Monday, August 29, 2011

Painting Glassware

Painting glassware is often a challenge.  Many paints do not cover with the first coat so multiple coats of paint are required.  Between these coats, most glassware artists wait 30 minutes or more.  That is necessary so that your paint completely dries before you paint the next layer, otherwise, the layer or layers below might crack.  So, painting glassware takes some time.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to be painting several items at the same time, somewhat like a production line.  I might paint some leaves on a wine glass, the move to the next glass and paint the leaves, then the next and so forth.  By the time I have painted all the leaves on the glasses, the paint on the first glass is dry and I can start the second layer.  Some of my glassware have as many as 10 colors and and/or layers.

That is what takes so long when you are painting on glass.  You must build the layers unless you want the transparent look which is OK is that is what you are looking for.  Some paints are actually designed for a beautiful transparent look.

Also, glassware must be washed with hot soapy water to remove any hand oil or production oils from the glassware.  My next step is to dry the glassware carefully trying to leave as little lint as possible.  Then I wipe the glassware with alcohol to make sure that I have removed any oils from the glass.

After I have completed painting my glassware, I cure it in the oven for durability.  Most of the paints that we use for glassware state is upper level dishwasher safe however, I recommend to all my customers that hand painted glassware be hand washed to protect the design.  After many years of painting on glassware, I know that putting these in the dishwasher is safe.  A couple of times times I have had to remove something I have painted after it dried.  I soaked the glass for a long time in very hot water then had to use a razor blade to scrape off the paint.  It did not come off easily!!!

To all my customers who have purchased glassware from me, I truly appreciate the business and I hope that you enjoy your glassware.  It is not something that I quickly paint and move on as you can see from the process.  It takes time to create painted glassware but the end result is worth it. I love painting on glassware, especially wine glasses.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Leaky Basement

Several weeks ago we discovered that we have a leak downstairs in a closet.  This was our son's room.  He has moved in and out of this room since high school, once after graduating from college while he worked on his career in banking. He stayed for almost two years at that time.  Then he bought a condo and a couple of his frat brothers moved in and helped with the mortgage payments.  Then he sold the condo and bought a house because he could afford that on his good salary in mortgage sales.  That was about 2006.  Then the market started its slide and he had to change jobs.  In 2008 he rented his house and he and his Chocolate Lab moved back into his room. We consolidated his furniture into ours, putting some things into storage.  He changed jobs twice more trying to find better jobs and stayed another two plus years.

Last March, our son got a better job out of town and is renting a small bedroom in a frat brother's house.  We still have most of his furniture in our house and garage along with the Chocolate Lab.  His large walk in closet is still packed with clothes, baseball cards collected when he was younger and the other stuff from his youth that he did not have room to move.  Some of it was never moved. I was looking for something in that closet and discovered that things on the floor were wet so we started taking out everything on the floor.  When we had enough moved, we could see that the carpet, baseboards and walls were wet and there was some mildew. Obviously we have had the leak for a while.

After the insurance adjuster came and said that we were not covered, we priced one of those basement waterproofing companies and he wanted over $1,200 just to dry out the closet.  We decided to work on it ourselves.  So my husband used the wet/dry vac. to vacuum water from the carpet and we removed the carpet and pad.  Hopefully we will be able to reuse the carpet because we sure could not match it after almost 13 years.

Yesterday, my husband and a friend removed sheet rock and insulation around the bottom of the walls in the closet exposing the outside walls and house framing.  This room is in the basement surrounded on that side with dirt and has concrete blocks as the outside walls.  They discovered that we have a leak from our water well which they were able to fix.  We live out from the city so have our own water well.  All the wood around the floor of the closet was wet so that has to dry before they can do anything else but fortunately they found the leak.  Now they have to make sure that the pipes outside coming from the well are not leaking also.

It seems that we cannot get anything finished because every time we start doing one thing, something else happens that we have to work on.  We now have a room that is piled high with stuff from that big walk in closet.  We also have a long list of things that need to be done around the house.

I would love to have days to paint and quilt but those are interrupted with the events of everyday living. I did get a set of wine glasses and a matching carafe painted a couple of days ago with a 19th Hole design.  Also I am working on painting a vase which requires multiple layers of paint. In addition, I am working on a set of wine glasses for a bride and the bridesmaids as a sample.  I already have a beer stein painted with a tux for the groom.  If I could just finish all these things that I have started, get them photographed, write up descriptions, and get them loaded to my online stores, I would be doing good. Maybe today!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Painting Glasses

Since I painted the Appalachian State University beer steins for my cousin a couple of weeks ago, I decided to paint some more glasses to sell.  Well I now can confirm that I cannot paint a straight line!!!  So when someone says that they cannot paint, "can't even draw a straight line", I can truthfully respond that neither can I.

I am attempting to paint a beer stein with the North Carolina State logo and Woof Pack, one for the University of North Carolina with Tar Heels on the back and another one for ASU with Mountaineers.  I also have a glass started with a tux and the word "groom" painted on the front which I am hoping with fit in with some bride and bridesmaids wine glasses.  Of the four "glasses" that I am working on, the tux looks the straight lines.  I go downstairs to paint and work on the glasses for awhile then I get disgusted with them and leave.  I really have to finish them soon.

I am also painting a clear glass vase using multiple colors and it is starting to look good.  I am using black, silver, purple, blue, white and a clear medium to do layers of colors.  I love the way the vase is starting to look.  I am seeing the different colors through the layers by using the clear medium as a layer or mixing it with a color creating a transparent wash.

Today I also started painting some wine glasses and a carafe with a 19th hole theme.  Last time I painted a set of these glasses, they sold immediately.  Hopefully I can get these finished and get them on my online stores soon. Maybe the set will sell quickly like the others.

Still hand quilting on my Appalachian State Wall Hanging.  Working on the two long sides and should have those finished today so I can start on the short sides.  I am anxious to get that finished.  As usual, I have numerous things that I am working on at the same time.  I want to begin creating some "quilted" ornaments with the college materials that I have and get those ready for sale.

Lots of things to do and as usual not enough time for everything that I want to accomplish.  Tomorrow is another day to get things done.   

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Week of Painting and Other Stuff

This was a good painting week.  I did not get the opportunity to paint much but taught two great classes. On Tuesday, I had three students at Michaels.  One was a returning student and the other two were new.  That was an interesting group of people.

One of the new students was the mother of the returning student and she has been doing ceramics for 25 years.  That was a challenge to get her to use enough paint on the canvas because of her dry brushing experience. This student was also an older woman, about 70 - 80 years old.  If she did not like something she painted, she would wipe off the canvas with a paper towel and start again.  After a rocky start though, she did rather well and plans to come back for the next class in two weeks.

The other new student was the daughter of the store manager.  She is about 14 - 15 years old.  Seemed very quiet at first but finally opened up during the class.  She does some drawing but never painted before.  Because she has not had any experience in painting, she really struggled at first however, she is an attentive student and did rather well.  She seemed a little nervous when Dad kept sticking his head into the classroom.  I finally told her that if he was bothering her I would ask him not come in again.  She laughed when I told her that he might "own" the store, but I "own" the classroom at this time and had no problem telling him to leave! She relaxed after that.  I would like to find some time for her to come to class again after school or on a Saturday but she has a very busy schedule as she is in the band at school.

My returning student has painted One Stroke for years and is anxious to learn how to paint landscapes and other types on canvas.  A friend of hers often comes with her but was unable to come to this class.  Both  do very well with a desire to learn and obviously have a good eye.  She does use lots of paint therefore has lots of texture on her canvas.  She suggested that she would like to learn how to paint trees, sky, clouds, etc. so I am putting together some technique classes.  Although we painted some trees in this class, in two weeks we will primarily focus on painting trees.

During my Thursday class at the YMCA, we continued working on the sunflowers painting.  I had only two students so I was able to provide a lot of one on one attention.   Interesting that we have painted sunflowers in the One Stroke technique for years and now we are painting these differently.  I  kept reverting back to my OS style when painting the sample and apparently so did the students. This painting is from a Bob Ross/Annette Kowalski book so it is an entirely different look.  The most difficult part is loosening up when painting.  I might try to "teach" a couple of abstracts to help this loosen up.  Also had an inquiry from the YMCA director about expanding my class and adding a kids class this fall.  Got some work to do to plan for a kids class but that would be fun!!! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Several Days Offline Due to Equipment Failure

After several days offline, I am back online.  Guess that I was having a little withdrawal from technology and the outside world.  During those days of no "puter", I found myself saying several times...I will look that up on the internet...then I would realize that I had no internet...therefore could not look at anything.  My cell phone is only a cell phone (imagine that) so that wasn't an option to use for access.  Wow, how I did not realize how dependent I have become on the internet and computers.

Late yesterday afternoon when the UPS guy delivered the package, I almost ran to the door to jerk the package from his hand and rip open the box to get my new modem.  My heart was racing as I sat there waiting for the few moments to pass until I could get my PC up and access the world again.  Since my husband was home, I showed restraint and let the UPS truck leave the driveway before I walked quietly downstairs and out the door to retrieve my new modem. I did walk straight back into the house and office then grab a letter opener to slice through the tape holding the box closed.  Slowly smiling as I gently lifted the new modem out of the packing material, I knew that I was going to get back online within minutes and everything would be OK again.  I spent several minutes disassembling the old modem and connecting all the new cords to the new modem, then I was ready to fire it up.   I plugged in the power cord and the lights began to breath caught in my throat...soon baby soon.  The fast start booklet that came with the new modem said that it might take up to 20 minutes to connect...I just sat there waiting and watching the lights flash.  Then I said to myself, this is ridiculous and forced myself to walk out of the room.  Coming back a few minutes later, everything looked good.  Lights were solid green...a good sign.  So I tried to connect to the internet. Something was wrong...after I went through all the required screens for signons, passwords, and everything else, I still was unable to connect.  Now what???  I checked all the connections while crawling around on the floor.  The only one that I could not get to easily, the phone line, was behind the desk.  Could I have it in the wrong side of the phone jack?  Crawling on my belly and wiggling through the stuff on the shelves under the desk, I finally reached the phone jack.  All that isn't easy for a 65 year old woman.  After several attempts, I finally changed the cord into the other phone outlet.  Now I had to stand up...but first, the phone was ringing so I answered it while still sitting on the floor.  It was a man from Angie's List wanting me to give him a report on a company.  He began to talk then said that his computer was running slowly and he would need to reboot...I explained that I was on the floor trying to connect my new modem.  He agreed to call me back later.  OK, now I need to stand up, please knees don't fail me now.  After several minutes of wiggling around on the floor, I finally got up on my feet again. Success!

Now, let's try connecting again.  This time the lights flashed and the internet appeared.  I let out a breath and felt my entire body relax.  Now time to check email to see important messages I had missed.  I had over 350 emails to wade through!!!  I am still going through many of them.

I have fallen into the tech world and become almost as dependent as everyone else.   Maybe we need to turn off our computers and phones occasionally and take a break from technology.  It can survive without us but can we survive without technology?  Can you?