Mural progress...

by Meredith 9. April 2011 22:55

I've done some work on the castle and the peacock. Enjoy!

Productive day today!

by Meredith 16. March 2011 22:49

Got a 40min walk in, house cleaning, baked cookies, some sewing done, played with Miss Maddie, cooked a couple of meals, and worked on Maddie's mural a bit.

More mural progress...

by Meredith 12. March 2011 21:39

I got a couple more days of work into Maddie's murals and Hunter has taken updated pics. Some parts have come along nicely, some not so much and are giving me trouble. I'll work through it I'm sure; it's just gonna take more time and many more layers of paint. :)

Hunter told me about a top coat paint that he had read about that is supposed to protect walls from crayons and pens. I'm not sure if I'm going to that yet. I would be a little worried about it changing color over time.

I've debated taking commissions for painting murals on large sheets of masonite for people to install into their rooms. But the cost for my work would be really expensive so I don't think many people would be willing to buy them. i would make more money working at a 7/11. :P

Mural progress...

by Meredith 2. March 2011 20:51

Got some more progress on Maddie's mural today. Thank you Hunter for taking pictures. :)

I texture painted the walls of the room with a sponge painting technique and applied two colors on top of the original room color. I just wadded up a plastic bag and dabbed the paint onto the wall. I used three colors; the room was originally painted a darker tan and I added a medium tan and then a light tan/white on top. With only two colors it didn't look very good. I think the 3rd color was necessary to create depth.

If every doing this painting technique, I strongly recommend wearing gloves and working the whole space at the same time. Despite my turning the bag around a lot, patterns would still form (probably my technique changing) and so I had to move around the room randomly to keep the texture even overall. It took me four hours to apply the first layer and 3 hours for the second.

Maddie's mural project is started.

by Meredith 7. February 2011 20:37

The mural I am painting on Madeline's bedroom walls is well under way. I have a book of Tiffany Windows that is the inspiration but there are some fantasy elements that I want to incorporate as well. Just started color blocking the individual panels and so far so good. This is only in the initial stages of laying out color and I've got a long, long way to go. (Hunter is collecting photos and posting them to an album on FB.)

Window Dressing

by Meredith 13. September 2009 10:01

I added privacy film to the condo's kitchen window. I think it turned out pretty cool. 

Not as much light comes through compared to no film, but the privacy has been really nice while the neighbors come and go all weekend. We're not even going to bother putting the blinds back up because I don't think they are needed. The color is also really nice and cheery (and adding color is important with the gray skies of the coast).

The film is super easy to install (you just spray the window with some soapy water, peal the backing off the film, and press it against the glass. Use a credit card and squeegee out the extra water and air bubbles. The print repeats in every direction so you can expand as needed by matching the seems. 

For the top all I did was cut out with a sharp utility knife only the portions of the print that I wanted to continue upwards. I pieced together different sections of the print to fill in as I wanted. 

I highly recommend this stuff if you need something for privacy on your windows. Not sure how it compares price wise to blinds or curtains. This stuff (magnolia is the print I selected) was $20 a roll and I used two rolls and have some scraps leftover to play with elsewhere.

Refinished Trunk (cat not included)

by Meredith 8. August 2009 12:30

I hit a local Goodwill a couple of weeks ago because I was looking for a cheap stool or table to use as a plant stand. Didn't find a table but I found a killer deal on a trunk. I picked up a smaller trunk that they only charged me $3 for! I wasn't totally sure what I was going to do with it, but for $3, all my guilt regarding the purchase went out the window. :)

For the first step, I needed to clean off the outside. The trunk is lined in metal and most of the bottom had rusted. With the trunk outside, I sanded down the surface, wiped it clean and then gave it a good coat of black spray paint over the rusty spots. I decided to turn the trunk into a coffee table and bought some simple wood finial-things from Home Depot to use as feet. I sanded and sprayed those black as well. Later when paint was dry Hunter used some Gorilla glue and glued the feet onto the bottom.

The inside of the trunk had contact paper that was dirty, stained and was peeling off in places. I spend a couple of hours with a spackle knife and scraped the inside surface as smooth as I could get it. I then applied fresh contact paper to the inside. Man that was a bitch. Not a perfect application, but whatever, it's on there now and the whole inside surface is now clean and fairly smooth. :P

For the outside, I bought a bunch of scrap booking paper, tore it up into strips and then used watered down Elmer's to decoupage the surface…just like plain old paper mache. :) Once the surface was covered I tore up strips of black paper napkins and made ivy swirls and leaves to go over the top. I like the patchwork look of colored paper, but wanted another pattern over the top to make it a bit more random and organic. 

The black hardware still seemed a bit too much of a contrast to the colored patchwork so I used a balled up paper napkin and some black paint to sponge on some black shading around all the edges and hardware. For the final step, to bring some of the original brassy/gold color back to the hardware, I painted the rivets with a dot of gold paint.

And yay refinishing is done! :) For final touches I still need to give the outside a top coat of some kind of sealant, as well as buy a piece of plexi-glass to set on the top. I also think adding a chain to the inside so that the lid doesn't open all the way would be nice too.

Experimenting with Knitted Wire

by Meredith 12. January 2009 13:59

Here's a knitted wire project that I was testing out. The lampshades were just not working for me so I wanted to dress them up a bit. I bought some brass colored wire and bulk bags of glass beads (thank you Shipwrecked Beads!). Next step was to create a pattern. I did several test patches until I could figure out what my gauge was and worked out the sizing so it would fit over the shade. Basically, each shade is two halves of knitted wire that I then stitched together to fit over the shade. With my pattern worked out I sorted out my beads and loaded them onto the wire. I wanted the colors to be random but the size of the beads is smaller at the top of the shade gradually going to larger beads at the bottom. Once the pieces were knitted I stitched the halves together. I didn't take progress photos except at the very end. Here's photos with 4 out of 5 of the covers installed on the light fixture. You can kind of imagine the before/after of the project. I like how it turned out.

Burn Up and Burn Out

by Meredith 26. December 2008 14:03

I've made two more felt sculptures (a while ago) and have finally taken some pictures. 

Dying wool is really fun and pretty easy to do. Check out this website for some simple instructions: [link]

The website is describing how to dye yarn but the same principles work for dying wool roving. What is so cool about the process is that you use cake icing dye (available at Micheal's) so the process is non-toxic and can be done with your kitchen dishes. Also there is virtually no mess because when the dying is done, nearly all color has been absorbed by the wool. 

It takes about 1hr per batch and involves very little monitoring. I didn't bother with using a thermometer, I just kept an eye on it to make sure it didn't boil. Because I planned on using the wool for felting it didn't matter to me if the wool felted a little in the dying process. If I wanted to use the wool for spinning into yarn I would need to be a bit more careful. But even with being not-so-careful, the wool still remained fairly fluffy.

I also bought a pair of hand carders so that I could do some blending of the colors. The phoenix colors are blends of the red, orange, yellow, and brown dye batches. (I'll have to take some pictures of my dyed wool collection). 

Construction was off of a wire frame and I wet and needle felted the basic form. Then I wet felted sheets of wool (~4"x8") that laid the colors out in a gradient from white to brown/black. Once the sheets were dry, I folded and needle felted the sheets onto the form. 

They are a little top heavy and there isn't really any place to pick them up besides by the beak without crushing the felt. So I picked up some decorative wood blocks from Home Depot today to make them some stands. I think that will look pretty nice. Over all I am really happy with how they turned out.

Next project I want to try to make some little fairy dragons. I've started 4 frames this time so that I will have more to play with. (I was only going to do one phoenix at first but half way through I decided I wanted to do a second... it was a PITA to make a new frame for the second that was just like the first).

Anyway, I am open to more ideas of sculptures to try out. If you think of anything I am eager to hear. 


Dragon Wands

by Meredith 4. November 2008 14:10

Inspired by ~tallydragon ([link])

I made these as role-play prizes for a LARP event.

I used wire for the frame, wet felted a base structure, and then dry felted the colored wool on. The wings are wet felted sheets that were dry felted onto the wing "bones."

About Meredith Cook

Welcome to my repository of creative expression. I'm not a happy camper unless I am making something and over the years I have dabbled in quite a few different kinds of art projects. Some projects come from taking art classes, others are completely hobby driven, and projects like home decor come from a need to customize an item and make it better or unique. The overall theme behind what I do is to learn how to manipulate objects and practice what I know about visual aesthetic and good design. Oh yeah, and to have fun.