Masons for the 4th of July

As a painter I love the American Flag. I have drawn and painted the stars and stripes many times. I have always had an

obsession with jars and now painted mason jars are a big part of my business. I have been meaning to a set of American Flag mason jars  for a while, a good long while. I put it off and off. I am busy I balance orders coming in with, promoting my business and making sure I spend enough time with my adorable son. And the then the 4th of July was coming. If ever it was time it was time. They were pretty simple to do: one jar all in navy with white stars and two jars painted white with red stripes. I discovered these wonderful metallic  blue lids that looked marvelous.

I painted some white stars on some blue heritage masons and made another patriotic set.  It was lots of stars and stripes over here. If you fancy them use code Pin50 for 50% off. Till next time Melissa.

Ceramic Cat Sculpture Green Tarnish Verdigris Patina

From Scary to Handsome: a ceramic cat gets a make over.

The cat before a little scary

The cat before a little scary

This is my first sculpture that I made over. When I saw him at the thrift shop he was scary with a capital S. He was Halloween all the way but he had a nice shape. I knew he would look amazing with a little bronze and a little aged green patina.

Because he is ceramic with a very shiny finish I first painted him with primer that was a little gritty to give the paint something to stick too , then the modern masters acid blocking primer. I love the acid blocker primer because it is chocolate colored so for an hour or two I imagine having a solid milk chocolate

lion Paw with the chocolate colored primer

lion Paw with the chocolate colored primer

cat or lion paw.  I don’t have any pictures of these steps. I do my painting outside it was starting to rain; I brought my cat inside with the intention to take pictures of his chocolate primer phase the next day. I so excited to work on him as soon I was he was dry I painted him with the bronze paint. Oh well, here  is a picture of my lion paw in it’s chocolate phase. You get the idea.

Cat with bronze and copper paint

Cat with bronze and copper paint

Then the bronze paint, then copper paint for accents, then the aging patina. The sprayer  stopped working mid spray so I was worried how he would come out. He spray doesn’t work right away so I had to wait 15 – 20 agonizing minutes to see how he would turn out I think he is awesome and gorgeous. I love him. From scary to classy for sure. What do you think? Check him out in my shop.

Cat with his green Verdigris Patina

Cat with his green Verdigris Patina. What a handsome fellow. Check him out in my shop.

What I learned from my year in business: Don’t give up, Ever!

I decided to start at the top and work my way up.

Sometimes things don’t work that way. Let me explain: I decided to make beautiful

furniture that I spent a lot of time on and wanted good money for.  I didn’t get the prices I wanted for my pieces. But try try try again. This is what I have learned from my year in being in business for myself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes and on’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, ever!

I love my Etsy business at my online shop Caribbean Style Decor, my obsession with all things blue, white and shiny; that business is wonderful but erratic $200 one day no money the next day.  I am starting to save for a house I need a steadier source of revenue. I went back to the drawing board and looked the items that brought me the most money, my furniture. I stopped working on my furniture because I didn’t get the prices I wanted for the time and energy I put into refinishing and re-painting.  It is important to pay attention to what the market will bear. I looked over my techniques, I am a perfectionist, my techniques take a lot of time and are

exacting, one table took over 40 hours. I call that one “The Table”.

I sold my furniture in two places a local retailer and on Craig’s List.  I rethought everything and came up with a plan to make My Craig’s list prices profitable. I knew this retailer wasn’t the place to get the best prices for my pieces but they were easy to get into and to work with. I sold all the pieces I had consigned to them and working with that store helped me to figure out where my prices needed to be to sell.

I made up a new set of rules for myself. There were a lot of things I could do to save time and

still achieve the look I wanted. I would spend no more than 8 hours on any one piece. These adjustments would get my prices into the Craig’s list zone.

That’s fantastic news because I LOVE doing the furniture. I love taking furniture ugly ducklings and turning them into gorgeous one of kind pieces.

I have two chairs at home waiting to be worked on. Stay tuned. I’m back at it. …Melissa

Paint glass Shiny Tutorial and Giveaway

I like shiny things. In really like shiny things.  I am so excited I want give something away! You might have seen my previous post on taking things from trash to shiny.  So when it came  time to paint some  mason jars and vases with pretty metallic paint  I couldn’t wait. Now before I started

Gold and Silver Metallic Maons

Gold and Silver Metallic Masons

painting I ignored my own advice. When painting glass, I say prime, prime prime!!!! Primer is your friend your best friend! I like Kyrlon’s Colormaster primer but I was on Pinterest and followed a link on “how to paint glass” no primer needed she said “Spray paint is meant to stick to anything.” So I listened and tried it again without primer. A big mistake!!!! A I usually do I didn’t handle the jar for 24 hours to let the paint cure / dry thoroughly , metallic paint is different and dries faster than regular spray paint, but I wasn’t taking chances. The finish was beautiful but the second I  moved it around the paint scratched. Listen to  me  and listen good prime prime prime before painting. I was very excited to paint this carafe I came across. I had already painted with blue glass paint

Silver Metallic Carafe

Silver Metallic Carafe

but it was so blah. but it came out amazing!!!! I just used the paint I had on hand for this project Rusto-oleum  Metallic finish in Gold and Valspar Metallic in Silver.

Valspar Rust-oleum Matallic pain

Valspar Rust-oleum Matallic pain

I prime and let it dry for 1/2 hour to an hour,  paint with the metallic spray paint (I love how the a paint goes on) light even layers to minimize drips. Check the paint instructions on when to apply your second coat. I hold the jar or vase in the mouth of and turn it as I spray. I leave the bottom unpainted so I can handle the vase. I rest the the jar or vase on it’s neck then I paint the bottom. I leave the painted piece to dry for about 24 hours. With the metallic paint I will probably be totally dry in about half the time but better safe than sorry.

Voila, gorgeous shiny awesomeness. If you don’t feel like waiting for the paint to dry pop over to my Shop Caribbean style Decor and use the code Hometalk15 to get 15% off. And don’t forget to enter to win a set of these shiny beauties.