Decorative Painting

Fave 13 of 2013

Fave 13 of 2013

Before I run through the list of my favorite projects of 2013, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your support of my work. Whether you’ve chosen to work with me for your printed goods or decorative painting needs; referred Love Paper Paint to your friends, family and colleagues; or happened upon what I do through Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook…your involvement in Love Paper Paint keeps this lifelong passion of mine alive and thriving. I am encouraged and inspired by your kind comments, likes and shares…and I appreciate each and every one. For the past 13 years that I have been doing this work – despite ever-changing trends, technological shifts, and the social media evolution (yep, when I first started my business, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest did not exist and not many people were blogging) – one thing has remained constant and is my primary focus: I design and paint…for a living. This work that I do is a huge part of my life and is (hopefully) what I’m known for. Being able to do what I love every day makes me happy and grateful. Without this blog-site, my Instagram feed or Facebook page, I would still be a professional designer and painter, just as I have been since 2000. While I am not defined by social media or reliant on it to get work as a creative, it has given my work a bit more reach and allowed me to share my projects more quickly and to a wider audience. I may not have a lot of “followers” on any particular social media outlet, but I am thankful to have ones who are engaged and active…and I appreciate the feedback and participation I get from those of you who support my work. Like I said last year during my 2012 “fave” recap, “I know with all the online printing sites, DIY blogs, Pinterest, and Etsy…there are a lot of alternatives and options at your finger tips for everything from creating paper goods to decorative painting ideas. So I appreciate the value you place on my work when you support artisans, design professionals, and licensed contractors like me.” Again, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And here they are, my Favorite 13 Projects for Paper and Paint of 2013. In a nutshell: orange was the new black; my black and gold obsession continues; trees were a popular, yet timeless theme; decorative painting was taken outdoors (and under a huge inflatable castle); and there were A LOT of broken bones. I’m so lucky to have had such an interesting 2013 and I’m looking forward to another wonderfully unique year of projects!  Happy New Year! PAPER: 1. A travel-themed wedding (for the cutest couple ever), from a luggage tag save the date to an airline ticket-sized invitation. 2. These custom vintage comic book invitations never get old. I created these for my son’s 3rd birthday in 2007 and still get orders/requests for them even now. 3. My hand-painted brushstroke paper makes a stunning embellishment for invitations. (Wedding by Champagne Taste) 4. Bold and bright, but stunning, orange was the hot color for many wedding ensembles this year. And this one uses my hand-painted brushstroke paper as well.  (Wedding by Champagne Taste) 5. The format was simple, but the result was as decadent as the party theme. A Marie Antoinette inspired masquerade party. (Party by Events by Design) 6. It was all about that sparkly rhinestone buckle for this ensemble. This wedding was pure gorgeousness. And I got to assist the event designer and actually worked at...

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Monogrammed Chair Cushions

Monogrammed Chair Cushions

One of my favorite clients gave me this lovely pair of black lacquered chairs (Thank you Michelle H.!). She knows of my current obsession with black and gold and that I had mentioned a few old chairs I was planning to paint black and gold for my kitchen table (but never seem to have the time to work on). So, to save me some time and to add some seating around my table for a bit of entertaining I’ll be doing over the next few weeks (and because she is SO incredibly nice and thoughtful), she generously gave me chairs that were already a pretty black lacquered finish, with woven cloth cushions (of almost a hessian or burlap texture), with black piping. They’re perfect for my table and all ready to go as is…I just wanted to somehow incorporate some gold and perhaps spray Scotchgard to protect the fabric seats from kid fingerprints and food stains…I figured this could be a quick weekend project. After painting two antique travel trunks Michelle had in her bedroom, I was inspired to paint our G monogram onto the chair cushions. I pulled together a bunch of font styles I liked and put it up to my husband and sons for a family vote. Of course, they nixed all the ornate and flourishy script styles and opted for a traditional, but bold, serif font. My eight year-old, Mason, even sketched out his own typography style with his new favorite technique…shading and drop shadows. I was hoping for something a little softer, so I found a nice G in one of my clipart books, which the family agreed upon (as long as I got rid of the fancy floral motif and added a drop shadow, per Mason). I printed the G out to size onto card stock and hand-cut a stencil, taped it into place onto one chair and painted in the monogram using a mixture of Modern Masters Brass and Champagne gold metallic paints. After painting the gold, I removed the stencil and cleaned up the edges with a small brush. While the gold paint dried, I used some Rub N Buff to highlight the black lacquer and accentuate the shape of the chairs. I’ve been using Rub N Buff for 10+ years, it’s always in my painting and crafting tool box.  It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add a permanent metallic (simulating a gilded/gold leaf) finish to almost any surface. I’ve use it for picture frames, light fixtures, lamps, raised carved areas of wood appliqués, furniture or molding…even on costume jewelry and candles. It’s super easy to apply with a fingertip, dries almost instantly, and it can be buffed or polished to the desired finish. When the gold paint on the cushion was dry to the touch (about 20 minutes), I hand-painted a thin black outline with watered down acrylic paint. Then, per my son’s request, I added a “drop shadow” using very watered down black paint (it was basically the water I used to rinse the brush with the black paint). All in all, the project took me about 2 hours (a quick project that I worked on before we left for a friend’s party on Memorial Day). After my husband protects the cushions with some Scotchgard, these monogrammed chairs will be ready to take their place at our kitchen table....

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Quick Cabinet Makeover with ASCP

Quick Cabinet Makeover with ASCP

When left to my own devices, I usually paint something or work on stuff around the house. I know, not exactly what most women dream of doing if given an almost three week respite from daily household chores and kid duties. My husband and kids were up in the Bay Area visiting Nana and Papa for some summer fun before school starts…I was supposed to go, but had to stay behind because of my work schedule. I had three weddings in one weekend and several invitation ensembles to print and assemble, so I knew I would be spending my vacation time worrying about my pending deadlines if I left town. I had plenty of work to keep me busy and with no one to cook or clean for, shuttle to and from activities, or keep entertained…I welcomed the chance to get caught up on work. In between work projects: I thoroughly cleaned the house (marveling at how even at ten minutes or five hours, or two days later…it still remained tidy!); I did some random organizing (such as lining the dresser and nightstand drawers in the master bedroom); and I got caught up on a couple of blog posts. I should have been organizing my office or finishing up some other projects I’d started months ago (but haven’t had time to finish, ahem…hand painting my stair riser tiles), but since I only had spurts of spare time for personal stuff in between all my deadlines, I needed quick projects. While I was printing paper elements for a wedding ensemble and waiting on changes from a client for another, I remembered I had three tiny sample pots of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I had picked up at Royal Design Studio awhile back…so I thought I’d try them out and paint our guest bathroom cabinet. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is hugely popular amongst DIYers, especially throughout the blogosphere, because it’s supposed to be so easy to use and a very forgiving product…you don’t need to be a professional painter or an experienced decorative artist to use it. You don’t have to sand, primer, prepare a surface, before applying the paint. It dries quickly and can be used indoors or out. And it will “stick” to almost anything…previously painted surfaces, glossy finishes, fabric, metal, plastic, glass. Its muted hues are perfect for creating the look of time-worn, distressed or antiqued furniture and it’s very versatile for creating layered paint finishes. I have used Milk Paint and mixed my own variation of “chalk-ish” paint in the past for my clients, but haven’t had a chance to test out ASCP for myself. So I thought the bathroom cabinet would be a perfect “quick” project to see how the product works…and get a gauge for the paint’s coverage and usability. The sample pots are very small, only 4 ounces (expensive as far as paint goes at $12 each, a quart is about $40), so I wanted a project that wouldn’t require a huge amount of paint…and that I could get done very quickly. I only had about 4 hours total of spare time, in between print runs and meeting production deadlines, to finish the project. Plus I wanted to have it completed before my family was due to return home. I was inspired by an image of a vanity I had seen in Traditional Home of Designer Berkley Vallone’s powder room. I loved the red, gold and turquoise finish on the vanity and how it worked with the golden and copper hues throughout. These color combinations have always appealed to me and I thought something similar may...

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Keep A Breast Cast

Keep A Breast Cast

In October 2011, I had the honor of being part of a wonderful project for The Keep-A-Breast Foundation. This was my favorite project of 2011, and probably the most memorable and meaningful art work I’ve ever had the opportunity to create. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…ever since I was introduced to The Keep-A-Breast Foundation and their important mission, by my brother-in-law, Mark (who was involved with KAB as a designer for many years and is still an ambassador for their cause). The Keep-A-Breast Foundation’s art shows and events exhibit “one-of-a-kind plaster forms of the female torso, customized by artists and auctioned to raise funds for breast cancer programs all over the world.” Many celebrities, athletes, musicians and artists have participated in KAB’s Art Events and Cast Exhibitions. Breast casts of participating celebrities are turned into works of art by selected artists and designers. Conversely, breast casts are also transformed by the celebrities themselves. The painted casts are displayed and auctioned off at the exhibitions and online to raise funds supporting breast cancer awareness and education programs. I was ecstatic when Mark asked if I would be interested in painting a cast for an upcoming fashion show and cast exhibition in San Diego. It would be an opportunity for me to express myself while contributing to this very important cause. Mark said that there were no rules for what to paint or how to transform the cast. It was up to me and I had complete artistic freedom to create a work of art. A dream project! I immediately discussed what I envisioned: metallic paint in copper or bronze with a patina to resemble armor…symbolizing strength and courage; hands pressed together in prayer or meditation, as seen on Hindu or Buddhist goddess statues, with ornate and detailed decoration or tattooing like henna…to represent reflection and self-awareness; decorative scrollwork and flowers…for beauty and femininity. Lastly, I wanted to somehow incorporate a mermaid theme (a recurring theme that I’ve used in my own personal artwork since high school), perhaps in the form of fish scales…to symbolize a connection between two worlds, of finding balance and of transformation. At this point, I had the cast, but had no idea who it belonged to. I only knew that the castee was a young breast cancer survivor and that she would be holding her cast as she walked down the runway at the fashion show. That in itself made this project even more inspiring for me. I had already started painting, when Mark sent me this link to The People’s Fleet video, to give a little more insight into the casting process…and I learned that the cast I was painting belonged to Sharishta, who is featured in this compelling video. Not only did watching this video put a face and a story to the cast I was painting…as I was blinking away tears, I realized what a profound effect art can have on our lives and how it connects, inspires and educates us. I was painting with purpose, for Sharishta, in honor of her courage and strength in her fight against breast cancer. http://youtu.be/4c5GDPYlaNQ After I completed the cast, Mark compiled this video of the progression of the painting, using the photos I had taken during every step of the process. He also created the awesome music track for the video.   This was such an amazing experience for me…and to see Sharishta walk down the runway, proudly holding her cast and just glowing with beauty, strength and confidence, was truly incredible. I was so honored and deeply touched to be a part of this....

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Door Repurposed As Garden Décor

Door Repurposed As Garden Décor

My friend, Susie, is the very talented and creative landscape designer of Susanna Pagan Landscape Design. She brings a fresh approach to enhancing and beautifying landscapes for homes all over San Diego. I am a big fan of her work…and adore her as a person, she has such a sweet, fun and magnetic personality.  So, it was no surprise to me when she was chosen, out of 1,300 members of the San Diego Horticultural Society, to design their display garden this year for the Flower and Garden Show at the San Diego County Fair. I was incredibly thrilled when Susanna asked if I would be interested in painting an old door for part of her garden display. She wanted to re-purpose an old door as artwork/décor to be displayed as the focal point at the end of a mosaic path. The salvaged white door she had obtained needed some love – a fresh coat of color and decorative painting to make it pop against all the bold and vivid colors she was planning for her design. Of course I jumped at the chance to work with her and to be a part of this project. I’ve always enjoyed the Flower and Garden Exhibit at the Fair, and was really excited to have the chance to showcase my work as part of the SDHS display. Susie allowed me to express myself and my style, giving me free reign of the design and colors. She shared her color palette, some of the plant choices and other decorative elements she wanted to incorporate…and let me take it from there. With her theme of a “celestial garden” in mind, and my colorful “bohemian” painting style inspired by Indian, Moroccan and Spanish decorative designs, I hand-painted (freehand) a floral motif dappled with small sprinkles of star-like elements. Judging for the competitive exhibit took place earlier this week and the awards were announced yesterday. Susanna’s design for the San Diego Horticultural Society’s display took home EIGHT well-deserved awards!  Congratulations, Susie! If you’re in the San Diego area and are planning on visiting the San Diego County Fair (which opens today, June 8th), be sure to stop by and check out Susanna’s beautiful work. A silent auction will be held for the door on Monday night, with proceeds benefiting the San Diego Horticultural Society. For more information and photos of the exhibit, please visit (and like) the SP Gardens facebook...

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