Sunday, August 1, 2010

With A Little Paint and Magic Brush, We Have the Solution to the Decorating Problem!

"Summer Time....And the living ain't easy! But, that's how it is when you own a business on Cape Cod within the height of the season. (And, we are thankful for that!) Streams of sunny people visit us at our shops. Some shop friends are new and some are people who care enough to come back year after year, to shop and catch up on "what's new". All in all, it's a "good tired" when we reach the end of the day.

Along with running the shop, I've been working on a custom order for someone with a home guessed it....Chatham. She had a pine blanket chest, previously finished in a dark brown stain with a picture of the Chatham band stand painted on it, along with "Chatham, 1712". Since her room is done in yellow, blue and white, with a hydrangea theme, the dated dark brown just wasn't getting the decorating job done.

Below are pictures of the solution! (Remember to double-click on the pics!)

I apologize for being so bad at not starting my photos at the very beginning. Here we have the piece, which has already been sanded, primed, base coated in the chosen yellow, and striped. As you can see, I am starting to lay out my design with my trusty fan brush and sponge.

My client wanted the a free-form design.

She also wanted the Chatham band stand put back the way it was, along with the lettering. I was lucky enough to find a stencil the exact font and size that was previously on the trunk (probably, because the first decorative artist used the same one). The first band stand design was also free handed, but did not have the flowers and surrounding grasses.

So, here we have the basic design lay out and now we are ready to have some fun!

The above shows the lay out of the ribbon (which, when complete, will match the reverse side fabric of her comforter and window treatments). I've also hand painted the large leaves and added the shading and high light detail.

Here, I've added the vining and shadow leaves, along with the detailing on the ribbon and first of three layers for the hydrangea petals.

Close up of finished design.

More details within a flowing ribbon.

Signed, sealed, but not yet delivered. (Still in the barn workshop.)

I have another project due for the same client. When I deliver that one, her guests will be gone and she says I can take pictures of the pieces I have done for her on site.

Until then, it's back to visiting with shop customers and covering myself with paint, as I work on projects for reopening the back room of my shop.

I wish all of you out there in blog land and wonderful, wonderful week!

Pieces Of Dreams


  1. Lovely blog and project. I only wish that I could do decorative painting too. The photographs are beautiful, as is the over all design for the blanket box. What a treat her guests will have when they see how you coordinated the painting with her fabrics. Amazing and fanciful. I love the bandstand and the color scheme.

  2. What a BEAUTIFUL job you've done!!! That's one very lucky client!!! SOMEDAY when I'm driving by I'll stop in... lately I've become the non-stop taxi service! Can't tell you how many times I've been by your shop... at LEAST 2 round trips (4 times) past your shop daily! lol

  3. You did a fantastic job! It's so incredibly beautiful, and you will have a mighty thankful client. I could never get up the nerve to do this!

  4. It looks absolutely beautiful! Amazing job! ♥

  5. Wow! You are grea twith a brush. Good luck with the sea shell project. I'm sure it will turn out great.

  6. Hi Karen,
    This trunk is gorgeous. I'm sure your client will be thrilled!
    Thanks for sharing the step by step pictures.
    Happy painting,

  7. Thanks for stopping over and commenting. I love Brewster, MA! That's where we would always stay when we'd come up to visit the beautiful Cape. Lucky you to live there. Wonder if I've even been in your shop. It's been years though.
    That blanket chest is beautiful! Hydrageas say The Cape for sure. I love them. I bet your client will adore the chest.


  8. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness - LOOOOOOVE that chest. It is gorgeous - and your painting - beautiful!!! She is gonna love it - no - absolutely adore it. Hang in there with the shop - I know that overwhelming feeling - it's great but very tiresome. But we all must be thankful and I know you are! Have a great week and don't work to hard - but then again - us shopkeepers don't know how to NOT work hard. Blessings, Cathy

  9. what a wonderful, talented artist you are!! the chest is simply stunning. you have been so busy. everything looks fabulous!

  10. Hi there, I came over from The Cape Cod Rambling Rose! We will actually visit Chatham in October, I'm so excited!
    From Paris with love,

  11. Karen, that chest is gorgeous. You are very good my friend. Love the way that turned out and I bet she loves it.

  12. Just found your blog and am going to follow and put you on my blog roll. I live in Boston, my folks live on MV, and it is fun to read about your life on the Cape. I think you have a great job although it is hard to be on all the time, and it is wonderful that all of your store items are ones you find and fix up or create! I have a blog friend from NH The Rehab Boutique...check her out, and I will tell her about you, as I think you have things in common. She is new to blogging, I bought things at her store (we have a summer place in NH) and I told her to share her creations!