Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

It has been since the end of last year that I have been working on creating a studio.  Even though it has been painfully slow, I have been sharing the experience with you.  Now, it suddenly seems to be pulling together.  I have a theme and a direction that was missing before this week.  So far, it has been driven by a desire and thinking process, and once I got more focus, I had direction.  Hooray!  What I wanted was:
  • a fun, playful place to create that made me feel happy and creative just to enter the space.
  • an organized and dedicated space
  • a place that symbolized my most positive feelings and nurtured my spirit
  • a place that I would be happy to spend time every day
  • a work area that took care of my creative and physical needs
  • a small, attractive and exciting space for display, to house jewelry that I make for sale so that customers can look easily and soak up atmosphere and feel the goodness
In order to accomplish all this, what I needed to do was some soul searching and a lot of research.  It is not something that can easily be thrown together, and unless an artisan has been at their craft for years, it is not easy to know all that is required.  I have been moving slowly because I wanted to make sure I purchased wisely and set up the space right the first time.  This is especially important for the walls, which newly faux-painted, will have to hold shelves, display pieces, and other invasive equipment.  If I wasn't careful, they would look like Swiss cheese.

One thing I knew I wanted was a mirror. I had an old one that I don't even know from whence it came.  It was a dark and plain wood frame, so I added decoupage.  I wish I had thought to share that process with you, but I get so ahead of myself at times and there is no slowing me down.  The first thing I did was to paint the beveled edge of the frame nearest the mirror with copper metallic paint (cheap from the craft store) and allowed that to dry thoroughly.  Then, I applied leafing adhesive and added gold leaf.  The next step was the decoupage.  I used a wheel cutter to cut straightedge strips from wrapping paper, wide enough to wrap to the back of the frame.  The top of the frame was painted in manageable sections with wood glue. I got that at  Lowes at $4 for a rather large bottle.  The glue was thinned just a little with water with just enough to flow easily but still be tacky and not runny.  I placed the strips at the beveled edge and smoothed them down on the top.  The next day, the process was repeated for the sides and around the edge of the frame to the back.  This two step process allowed the top to dry and have a strong hold to keep the paper from sliding out of position.
Giving the decoupaged surface yet another day to dry, I then covered the entire surface with a coat of Mod Podge.  Just one coat, because I am not a fan of high gloss surfaces.  I want the room to have a cozy up-cycled artsy vintage feel.  Please pardon the reflected junk on the other side of the room, it will be gone soon, as everything shapes up.

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