Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lace Love!!!!

So are you dying to know what the lace "teaser" was all about in my last post? Well, even if you aren't dying to know, I am dying to show you! (I've been having a hard time finding all of the photos I took though--time to organize the computer!). I gotta say, I love the way this project turned out!

It all started when Jenny and Michelle found the following Christmas word blocks at Costco:

Wanna guess how much they were? $3. Count 'em. Three DOLLARS! The set comes with 9 blocks of varied sizes painted red and green with a cream letter on the front and the back so you can mix and match them to create several Christmas words.

I can't even tell you how excited we were about these things, especially considering Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday ever!

And since Michelle and Jenny are smart, they thought we should get some extras to paint later for other holidays. You already saw my version for St. Patty's Day, though I didn't use these specific blocks, but what I didn't tell you is that I was too chicken to paint over the whole block and make new letters at first... so for V-day, I totally cheated! And I did it by once again trusting in my strengths--and using textiles!

I picked out the letters for LOVE and taped off the portions I didn't want to paint over:

Then I painted around the edges with brown so they would just be a simple brown and red background,

but when the brown clashed with my wood furniture, that's when the actual inspiration hit and I pulled out a lace curtain I got from the thrift store and cut off a chunk:

I tried using it as a stencil first, painting on top of it with cream, but the paint seeped through the fabric as well, so instead of a pretty negative impression of the lace, I got a splotchy mess where the paint seeped through. Gross... that just looks like I don't know how to paint smoothly. I was looking more for visual texture than physical texture, so I painted brown back over it and thought some more about how to make it work. And that's when the card-making attempts of my past came back to me--I needed to use the fabric as a STAMP, not a STENCIL!
 (applying the "ink" on top of plastic to protect the table--I just cut open a garbage bag)

 Placing the stamp!

After a little trial and error, I found my hands got "inked" too much when I tried to apply the "stamp" without a buffer, and then the cream paint left on my hands would get in the holes of the lace that were supposed to stay clean...and brown. So I would position the lace lightly where I wanted it and then put a tissue on top, and then pressed down. Granted, I still got some paint on my hands as it seeped through the tissue,

and I had to use a new tissue each time I "stamped" to keep from more smudges, but it still protected the little holes in the lace from my dirty hands!

I also learned I needed to paint the piece of lace in between each "stamping" to make sure the design looks the same on each block, especially since the tissues dried out the paint faster than normal application would. In these two blocks, you can see I didn't have as much paint on one as the other.

I fixed that later, I promise!

 I was going to put a different holiday on the back and just flip them around when seasons changed, but I liked the lace design so much that I decided I wanted these letters displayed on the coffee table, so I painted the back too. I just love how antique and detailed the lace design makes them look while still being so easy and casual since nothing is exact or geometric. I am definitely going to use this lace method more often!

So next time you want to do something impressive without actually having artistic skill, take a page from my book and grab some thrifted lace for a stamp! Leave a comment and let me know what you would use it for!