Earrings for heat

The building I rent my studio from has been in need of improvements and as winter is fast approaching we decided on a wood stove to help heat the massive hallway.  To help pay for the materials we held a support party which went great.  Super fun and everyone pitched in with the details and running the bar and entertainment.  

Meanwhile, the girls and I have been making some fun wearable sell-ables in hopes of generating some income for other improvements needed.  Caroline, My, Laura and I sat for weeks sorting through multi-colored bags of plastic beads and coming up with cute and cool motifs that we either thought might sell or that we just had to do for the fun of it.  

I found that the beads come in teeny-tiny size and decided to make it my trademark style. Also, couldn't see myself wearing the large and loud ones the other girls are so good at pulling off. So, a bit more discreet and petite for me.

Later on I decided that it needed some proper packaging to give it a finished look, better sell-ability and to give credit to our cause.

Little package boxes in 4 different colors that are cute to hold and easy to pack.  On the bottom of the package is a little blurb about our building and the historical area we are in.

and for a personal touch, each pair of earrings says who handmade them.

There is a larger package for the girls' and I'll put photos of that up next along with the display case I still need to make as we now have a shop in town that wants to carry them!  


Love for the old soul - Part 2

Luckily I have a fairly stocked studio and found most of what I needed.

  • Wallpaper paste
  • Paint scraper
  • Plastic bowls
  • Q-tips
  • Sponges
  • Caustic soda
  • Gloves
  • Brushes
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Linseed oil
  • Insanity
First step: Off with the metal bits.  Not good to expose it to acid if I don't really know what kind of metal it is.  Most bits looked brass. Loads of screws and a few nails as well and a lock (sadly no key).

Second step: Remove paint.

By mixing the wallpaper paste with the caustic soda, the paint softening acid sits where you want it to and doesn't drip.  You can coat several sides at once and let it do the work while you make some coffee.  It took several soaks and washes.  Apply goo, let it sit, scrap it off.  Rinse.  Repeat.  After a few times I rinsed it in water and let the wood dry a few days.  I worked on one part (Lid or base ) at a time.  When the box was as dry as I could wait, I used Q-tips to take off the remaining paint in hard to reach corners and such.  Occasionally I had to use a wood chisel to ever so gently scrape a fine layer of paint infused wood away.  After which I sanded everything smooth again.

I kinda wish I would have taken more photos of the steps I took but I think the work was mostly meditative  and I didn't think of it.

I did the same with the tin trays and brass fittings, screws 'n everything metal; Acid, rinse, sand.  I did this and not much else for 7 days.  One part dried while I worked on the other.   Then both needed to dry and I worked on the metal.

For the finish and health of the wood, I coated it 3 times with linseed oil.  Every week or so I still do that to keep it from getting thirsty.  I need to find a key for it as well.  Maybe the German silversmith across the hall with make one for me.

  • Aprox. cost of box: 3 dollars
  • Aprox. cost of restoration: 10 dollars
  • Estimated value: 150 - 200 dollars

I know this is a heck of a build up.  "How does it look?" you ask...

Absolutely gorgeous. 

Front cut from single piece as you can see in the wood grain.

Yup, Mahogany 

Yup, Brass fittings

Mid 1800's Mahogany travel paintbox

Love for the old soul - Part 1

Husband and I and a car-full of people from Riggersloftet all took a drive to The Blue Hall, a local flea market.  Great building of room after room of Antiques, bits and bobs, junk and jems.. you never know what great stuff you'll trip over.  This trip I picked me up a few things for what I would consider a real steal.

After not finding much to my interest or of interest to my wallet, a rather nice fella let me have a handful of old gramophone records and this old paint box for 35 kr. The box itself was only 15, around 3 U.S. dollars.

Here are some photos of what it looked like when I bought it.  

Side view where you can see the tarnished brass buttons where a leather strap would fasten to tote your paintbox around. (Brass? Really? Nice feature to a beat up 'ol box)

Here if you look closely you can see the dovetail joints.  If you could look real close you can see that they are hand carved.  And where the paint has chipped off, you can tell it's a decent hard wood. (Hmm, hard wood can always be mended.. so it's a solid box)

The inside of the box with 2 trays for paints and brushes.  (I paint, heavy solid box, has some brass bits..Interesting enough to me, and this is why I bought it.)

When the box was covered in enamel paint, it looks as though the drying process was either disturbed or very poorly done as there are peaks of paint that stand up from the surface 1-2 millimeters... and then painted over again.  The paint is yellowed from age I suspect.

With some tugging I discovered that the trays are removable and made of zinc.  After finding one similar box online, though a deluxe model, I am inclined to think the trays were added at a later date. 

I had found my next project. :-D

Circus foot stool

One of the girls in my building is a circus performer and co-owner of Tin Can Company.  Really fantastic woman.  She donated a a small piece for me to reupholster  as I was looking for a project so I could procrastinate on a current project.  Took 2 days, a few coats of paint, clear lacquer, fabric and foam, and brass tacks.

Here are the results.



Cheers, K

Studio Production- Dad's carepackage

Lots has been happening in the studio these past months.  I've had some time off to immerse myself again and I'd like to share some progress that I'm proud of.

Dad's birthday care package was a great deal of fun.  I had long decided that it would be civil war themed and after seeing some obvious jealousy over brother Brian's red linen shirt I knew what had to be done.

I had to make him one.  

So, confederate grey linen was chosen and I hand stitched everything.  My first ever hand stitched piece of clothing and I think only a few people can really appreciate the effort in detail.  I can confidently label myself a "stitch-counter", a term used for re-enactors that have a high standard of authenticity some may call excessive. :-)

The package contained:

1 hand stitched, civil-war period shirt

1 pair hand knitted socks
1 hand written, civil-war period letter 
several boxes of matches
1 slate board and graphite 
Wrapped with tea and coffee stained paper, bound with hemp twine

SHIRT- Handmade custom pattern, Mid-thigh length, Long sleeve, Wooden buttons.

LETTER- Authentic "letter from home" hand written, cursive-style script.  I used bottled ink and pen,  closed with sealing wax and personal seal emblem.

Cheers, K

Studio production- Blue 1930-40 armchair

This chair is an old soul and I'm quite attached to the whole experience.

Now I wish I had taken before photos to show the extent of the repair but I think you can see that the result is rather good anyhow.

I found this chair discarded and had to adopt it. The original covering was leather fixed with brass upholstery tacks. The leather, so old, it had ripped like cardboard paper on all sides and the tacks were green with oxidation. I thought it a hearty solid chair and it still had some life left as well as the original springs and under structure in place so I grabbed it.

I have a favorite fabric store that is stocked with warehouse leftovers and has the most reasonable prices. I got the fabric and trim for this chair for around 200 kr. which is roughly 36.00 U.S. dollars.

I made plenty of mistakes and wasted too much fabric but it's my first ever upholstery project and I'm proud of it. By the way, give me some input on how old you think it is :-)

When I had taken off the old covering there were 2 old black and white passport photos stuck between the layers. I also used these to help date the chair.

Drawing, painting, sculpting... surely one will do the trick?

He started out as a sketch a few years ago and while going through art pads for inspiration and some stone to leap from, I found him lodged between scribbles, barely formed yet entirely sure of himself. Wanting to break in my new easel given to me by Husband as a wedding gift, I decided this noble fellow would be my first excuse to wear the shine off and get started. I had not painted in quite a long time and though it is like riding a bike, the nervousness of hitting obstacles and other immovable objects, like practice, gave me a passing flicker of dismiss able thought. Doesn't matter if I can't paint, I'll learn again or at the very least. the tragedy of enjoying myself trying.

I picked a medium canvas and decided acrylic would be to my speed. Easily forgivable and not much waiting time between attempts.

The first underpainting took an hour to block out and not much
trouble. The next hour was building up basic highlights and shadows and roughing in the volume. So far NO problem. I was quite pleased. A few breaks and cups of coffee in between drying layers, play with the dog and chat with some of the guys in the building. In fact I was feeling so confident, I started a fimo clay figure head, though the painting kept luring me back. A wonderful way to spend a cold winter day.

Day two: Working well. And then I hit the wall.

I just got stuck with shadows and details, started messing up the clothing.. BAH. Time for a different approach.

So I found that you can get really cheap clay here around the holidays. Apparently it's used for sticking plants and things into for table decorations. 2 kilo for 1 dollar 20. Man! Genius! I got myself a whole new media. I haven't really worked with clay so much and wanted to make a study of this froggy fellow to help me with the detail work of the painting based on the sketch.

Nothing finished but still enjoying the tragedy of it all :-)

Love from Cph

k y r i o u s . o r g