Saturday, November 8, 2008

One more reason I'm not a decorator...

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but typically I only take jobs for people I know or referrals by people who know the potential client. I want to know that when I walk into someone's house, Tamara and I are in a safe working environment. So, when I got a call a couple of weeks ago from a guy I'd never heard of, I was hesitant to meet with him. But I checked him out and I felt reasonably sure that I could work for him. Since I have a hard and fast rule about not being alone with a male who is not my husband, I dragged Tamara along to take a look at his dining room that he wanted faux finished.

Turns out he had already had a crew paint over the existing brownish red with a color called "soft glow". He saw a picture in a magazine, got the color matched at the paint store and hired some painters. When we arrived, there was 2 coats of "soft glow" on the walls. Oh who are we kidding? It's pinky-orange! And since some of the red was still visible, the overall effect was kinda like a really thin-skinned blood orange. I've painted a bunch of rooms, done my fair share of faux finishes, but I was a little nervous about pulling this one off. He wanted a metallic finish. He wanted it to be stunning and high impact. As he put it, he wanted people to walk into his dining room and say, "Dam*". (To which Tam told me later, "People are saying that now, just not in a good way".) Now, I'm fairly confident in my abilities as a faux finisher, but here was the problem. He wanted it to flow with the rest of his house, and he was dead set on keeping the orange. What's that term they use in politics? "You can put lipstick on a pig..."

After several sample boards, I think I finally got one that kept his "soft glow" (not really, but it's close) yet still flowed with the rest of the house and complimented his existing window treatments. I'm happy with the results. What I'm not happy with is my attempt to decorate his art niches. His office is near a Tuesday Morning, so I popped in there to see if I could find something to put inside the niches. I found two fireplace screens that had a Tuscan look. I bought them figuring that if he liked them he could reimburse me. I was all proud of myself. I hung them up nice and even, borrowed some greenery from other parts of the house and "staged" the room to take pictures.

When I got home, I downloaded the pictures from my camera. In my excitement, I failed to see what is so obvious after viewing the pictures. Those fireplace screens look like giant bats. Giant bats with gold medallion necklaces. Giant bats who, if they had fingers, would be wearing diamond pinky rings. I immediately emailed him and apologized for hanging them. I really should stick to painting...

Friday, November 7, 2008

My funky laundry room

With the exception of my kid's rooms, most of my house is some shade of red, sage green or tan. The common areas are muted shades, but I wanted to go bright in the laundry room.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Second Grade Surfer

If you read my last post, you may remember that I donated a mural for my kids' silent auction and that I am a sucker. A teacher was the high bidder and I painted this room for her son. Actually, since the prize was for 10 hours of mural work, she painted the background colors (light blue sky, navy ocean, and tan sand). Then I came back in and added the shading and details. I still went well over 10 hours (with the help of another mural artist friend), but that's partly my fault because I'm really bad at estimating how long something is going to take me. Her son loves it. So that's pretty cool...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rhino Pop Art

Most schools have fundraisers. My kids' school has two: selling cookie dough (weird, I know) and a silent auction. The auction is a big money maker for the PTA. We live in a fairly affluent neighborhood, and the donated auction items are usually pretty impressive. Last year some of the items donated were: a Wii system, Hannah Montana tickets, a mosquito misting system (a very nice thing to have here), free orthodontics and a custom painted mural. (Yeah, I donated that last one. I'm such a sucker.)

Anyway, I wanted to donate something unique. Several years ago during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (it's huge down here), someone came up with the idea to paint these large cow statues with different themes. I wanted to do something along the same lines only using our school's mascot (you guessed it) a Rhino. That was 4 years ago. It's sort of taken on a life of its own. I donate about 10 canvases every year and I get a lot of requests for personalized rhinos and other work. How many ways can you paint a rhino? I'll let you know when I run out of ideas...