Saturday, December 24, 2011

And to all a good night!

Custom, hand-made drapery panels can be a work in progress. In the mean time, they look pretty hanging. A good way to ponder what next. 
And why not just throw up all the other panels that might work together in some kind of fashion. That's the Old English way to do things; as if they have been added over years.

The Aluminum tree comes out and is in the process of being fully loaded with sequined ornaments from of old. It looks simple and uncluttered like this, but the favorite collections need to be appreciated...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do What You Love

"Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of product or service." - Steve Jobs

Many years ago, after reading
"Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow" by Marsha Sinetar, the inspiration came for following a dream of economic independence. However, the road to success is never a straight line.

Not to give up or give in.

Design, "to create and bring into being", can be applied to most anything; life itself, success, a thing.

Doing what you love has to be by design. No one can tell you what you love.

Staying on that path can be tricky. Things come up, things get hard. It may even seem like it isn't happening. It is not hard to fall into despair. Especially when the walls start falling in.

Ms. SpoolTeacher uses sewing as a default antidepressant. Whenever she feels like she is circling the drain, she tries to creates something. Usually something that has been spooling around in her mind's eye for some time, driving her to cutting something out of fabric and dreaming something up.

Go to to see what she's been up to lately to ward off the evil uglies. This is a first attempt. A prototype? When she was trying to reverse engineer a sleeping futon a while back, she got sidetracked and spent that day spooling around and ended up making a haute handbag from an old flannel shirt. She also made the shirt pillow the same day. She got a crazy idea then of what could be done with the disassembled collars. She's finally getting to it. Although, this one was developed from scratch, not one from up-cycling.

It's a crazy item. Halloween around the corner, she was led to the color scheme you see. As it is shown above is how she imagined it to be used. However, it takes on many rolls. It can be worn as a crazy headband, wrapped around the breast as a silly topper (best over something since it is sheer, unless it is for a special someone in a private showing). It can be wrapped around the neck the other way (up) and then the ruffle stands. Maybe she will do a shoot and show you the alternatives...once she finds a wispy willowy model who has an avant-garde look.

She will keep you posted. Until then, she wishes you great success, however it winds around..

"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle." - again, Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jackson Pollock Style Floor Treatment

It was fun to pretend to be
Jackson Pollock  for a minute or two. At the least, it made one want to study his methods.


When it came time to bring Lollipops & Polka Dots Variety Shop to the home "studio" garage, it was time also to do something about that awful peel-n-stick floor.

First things first; it had to be cleaned. Scrubbed, and scrubbed. This old garage conversion has holes all over and is like a sieve. It was converted for the previous owners to place an elder in to live. (Don't know how they survived.)
Only 1/2 of the space has these tiles on it. Of course all the contents of the room had been shoved to the other side which is concrete. One side at a time. The picture above this one is after this scrubbing and it was ready for a high adhesive primer...
Much better already. This was a Glidden product and worked especially well. Very happy with the quality and results. (no sponsorship here, just a happy camper) Whenever something works well, it is hard not to recommend it. That's the point of something being good. It will sell itself, without paying. Kudos Glidden!
The next step was to paint on a base coat as a background. To be sure there would be enough, several cans of left-overs were combined, adding only the shades that would create the undertones desired. Knowing that it would all "brown/gray" out, cool undertones were chosen to keep it fresh seeming.
Now for the Jackson Pollock fun!

 Be sure to put on a pair of old shoes or socks you won't mind throwing away. (could always frame as their own "work of art"?)
You could always tape up some paper to keep the "slings" from throwing up on the wall, or you could just paint over it "later". (Ms. SpoolTeacher's famous last words)


Start slingin'...

Use your intuition...

Get into it...

Let your mind go...have fun...don't think too hard...


Clean up the walls "later", maybe?
Maybe not? Kinda looks cool?
Try to balance the distribution so there is a sense of unity throughout. 
Don't let the doggies in until it dries...unless of course, their "signatures" are required.

(See Ms. Purple-haired Annie up on the shelf?)

(Polka Dot Chairs hand spray painted by Ms. Spool Teacher)

This arrangement didn't last very long. It was too much of a sieve, the dirt and dust were impossible to keep at bay, the weather was too hard to control, the City came a callin'...The "studio" really needs an overhall. But; The Shoppe is home, in holding, waiting on the next miracle!

There's always HOPE.

This was the room, high 5 Ms. SpoolTeacher. A job well done!
(you don't even want to know..!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Animal House

Before you have to look at the mess Floor Monster created, here is a shot of a tub of Picket Fence White, (Ms. SpoolTeacher's favorite white of choice these days.) Paint Monster is getting ready to have some fun.

Floor Monster started ripping up flooring almost as soon as Ms. SpoolTeacher moved in to her 1945, "custom built" little dwelling. The Real Estate agent was also the owner, and she had scooped this little wreck up at a super bargain and then proceeded to "fix" it with everything bargain basement as well. 

Ms. Stevie Weevie and all her siblings started "ripping" things up as well. 

There is no doubt that behind the vacuum cleaner, close to the camera holder's feet, there is a ball. That was Stevie's thing.(You can read about her wonderful life by clicking her name, she was the best ball-doggy ever, we miss her terribly)

The thing to notice here is the flooring. As you can see, "Floor Monster" has been wrecking his havoc all over, leaving Ms. SpoolTeacher many messes to challenge her super budget creativity.

When you love animals, live in Arizona where grass is impossible, dirt is staple, and your house was built in 1945; carpet must be pulled out. There is no hope for it's survival.
Carpet harbors all kinds of unwelcome, and uninvited guests.

Stevie, Little Red-haired Girl, Orphan Annie, Bobcat and Ms. SpoolTeacher ran uncontrollably with dirty/muddy feet from gardening, digging ball holes, just traversing the property for all things needed, etc. to the point that carpet just ends up looking like so much, now only "good-for-weed-control", regurgitated (off-the-Home Depot- roll carpet), popcorn-Berber. Out, out, out of this house.

Thank you Floor Monster. That was a good job you did. Now, what to do with that, disgusting, off-the-Home Depot-carousel roll-cheapest-easy-to-tear-when-you-move-the-refridgerator-out-to-paint, %$@#! sheet vinyl. Floor Monster thought Ms. SpoolTeacher could use it for a base to paint on? No. Hey, good idea, Floor Monster. You're starting to show signs of usefulness.
Along with many other projects Paint Monster has started and not finished is this purple round. It was used for the top for display on the fabric sample book rack at Accessory to Design - Interiors, when Ms. SpoolTeacher thought there might be a market for her "wisdom" on all things window covering and she opened a shop on Huachuca Street.
Then Paint Monster finally coerced Lilly (who doesn't paint) to stand by watching while s/he added a layer of a soft gray to the purple so it would blend in better with the decor, so far...

Now, about that floor...hmmm...hmmm

Okay, let's start with a high adhesive primer for the base..
Then mix up all those left over buckets of paint so you'll have enough and cover everything that doesn't have something sitting on it...(Ms. SpoolTeacher is big on doing the heavy lifting..."later"...)
What a yucky color..oh, well. There is an idea Spooling around in her head for a "plaid" treatment she saw done with asphalt tiles years ago in a model home that she has been sitting on all this time, hoping for a reason to pull it out of her bag of tricks...Well! Finally. Finally...the time is near...
The next thing is to mark off the grid. She decides she likes the large tile size and uses one of the many sample tiles she has brought home to look at as a template. "Pencil, please."

She did this treatment once before, only it was a faux "marble" effect in, what other than...Purple...It was kind a cool. But now for that plaid she has been sitting on so long. It had been done so beautifully. Looked just like plaid but was those old fashioned, harder than rock, never wear out, asphalt tiles. She wishes she could do it that way, but her super budget creativity must suffice...
Paint Monster loves to "cut in". So Ms. SpoolTeacher lets him/her at it...S/he's real good at it too. No masking tape was used except for that stubborn, "Yellow Brick Road" yellow color. For some reason it wanted to bleed. It was thin and needed several coats.
Everything became intuitive at this point. The placement of colors, the colors themselves. She mixed colors she had with each other to make a related scheme.
"Where's a good example of plaid?", she asks... "I'll go drag out one of my fabric sample books!", she is getting very excited..
Now for all the colors. She starts the spool in her head intuiting...this, that, that and this, and that and that too...

She did create a pattern, but it evolved as she decided which colors seemed to pair off in a pleasing way. She would mix some of the red with the yellow and get an orange and place it next to each of the related colors. And so on, and so on..
Orphan Annie is sneaking a peak. She'd really like to leave a "signature", but she was too timid. She's still a little feral. Never has come completely out of the bushes she was found in in a parking lot and brought screaming home in a cardboard box; but she's happy to be part of the fam.
Still one square of that awful, yucky, muck muck color. "I know!" Ms. SpoolTeacher exclaims.."I'll clean the whole thing up with "Picket Fence White", her favorite new shade of white.
That's it. That's the ticket.

Joe Joe picks his favorite color. He thinks it makes him look good in the environment. He's learning from Ms. SpoolTeacher.

She liked the idea of this beautiful yellow remnant, but it eventually got used for another spool of thought...she'll show you later...
This vintage tiled carousel was an impulse buy. She can't believe how her colors follow her wherever she goes.
It's starting to make sense.
And that table round that started out as the display top for the fabric sample rack, evolved to be useful as the sign for the Lollipops & Polka Dots Variety Store.
It's home now with her waiting for it's next best use.

She what she means about "her" colors...

Stay tuned for the Jackson Pollack style floor redo...

My version above, Jackson Pollock below, just a little bit of difference? 


 Lilly just will not lift a finger claw to help.
Lazy flat cat.