I Love Decorative Painting

Back in 2002, when I started teaching classes in One Stroke Decorative Painting, I was quite surprised that the One Stroke organization did not have pre-planned courses for their One Stroke Certified Instructors to teach, along with supply lists, and step-by-step instructions. As a newly certified instructor, I struggled with planning the classes, and demonstrations, that I was holding at the local Michael’s Arts and Crafts store.

Perhaps if I had been painting for a number of years before becoming a certified instructor it would have been easier for me to plan the classes, but I really had only been painting less than a year before I became an instructor and landed the job at Michael’s.

I had been given the impression that I was going to get a lot more help with planning and executing the classes, and demonstrations that I was expected to hold. Because of this, I found myself spending at least eight hours planning and conducting a two-hour class, and getting paid very little money for the time I had invested.

To be honest, if I didn’t love decorative painting, and sharing what I had learned, and the great students that I had coming to classes, I probably would have thrown in the towel. But decorative painting is a lot of fun, and I didn’t want to give it up!

One of my favorite demonstrations that I did at the store, was with the Outdoor Paints that had been newly released by Folk Art Paints. The demonstration was done in only one hour, start to finish, with a wooden birdhouse. The photos above are the result of that demonstration that I had done. I can’t remember for sure what year that was (I wish I had written the date on the project) but I think it was in 2002.

I get a lot of compliments (and offers to buy) that cute little birdhouse! A few people have even commented that they think it is cute enough to be sold online on websites like YardEnvy.com. I considered selling it on Etsy, but my hubby insists that it is “his” birdhouse and he won’t let me sell it! It seems that every time I make something and talk about selling it, to generate a little bit of extra income, my hubby “rescues it” and claims it as “his” so it ends up staying home with us!

Trash to treasure crafts

Clock made from a junk mail CD
Clock made from a junk mail CD
Since the school bus accident back in October of 2009 I have been unable to do many of the things that I love to do. For example, decorative painting. I am a One Stroke Certified Instructor, and I used to teach decorative painting at the Michael’s Arts and Crafts store in Augusta Maine. I loved to paint, and I love to share information that I have learned. As far as I’m concerned, if I have learned something and do not pass on that knowledge, then why did I bother to learn it in the first place? To keep knowledge to oneself seems to be extremely selfish!

Anyway, a few days ago I had the opportunity to show a guest in my home some of the things that I used to love to do. Naturally, one of the things that I am most proud of is my “Trash to Treasure” collection of items that I have crafted over the years.

I’ve always been mindful of the amount of trash that goes into our landfills, and pollute our environment. When we lived in Maine and we drove to our transfer station (used to be called “the dump”) there was a shed for recycling items. I used to sort, and recycle everything I could recycle and I would make the trip to the transfer station and put the sorted items into the bins.

Here in Virginia, recycling items is more challenging. Especially since I am not supposed to drive, and I don’t drive to the dump – we have a paid garbage pick-up service. To the best of my knowledge they don’t offer recycling bins as part of their service.

But I digress….

I am planning on randomly posting photographs of some of the crafty items that I have done in the past. I hope you enjoy them! And just to get it started, here is a photograph of a clock that I made from an old junk-mail CD. I painted it, installed some clock-works that I bought at Michael’s Arts and Crafts and then I turned it into a clock! It was fun, and easy, and I used it as a class project when I taught at Michael’s Arts and Crafts when we still lived in Maine.

Painting memories

Hand painted backsplash tile - strawberries
Hand painted backsplash tile – strawberries

I was rummaging around the basement, looking for a few things to take to the craft and lawn sale happening next month at the Community Center. I came across a box with a few kitchen backsplash tiles in it, and it brought back some memories from when I had the leisure time to paint. I haven’t painted since the school bus accident a few years ago, it hurts to hold a paint brush, so these memories of better days when I could do my One Stroke decorative painting whenever I wanted to paint are bitter-sweet.

A few years ago my mother-in-law decided to buy some new tiles from a local home improvement store to use as a back-splash all around her kitchen. She asked me to paint strawberries on them, to coordinate with her wallpaper.

That was my very first time painting on tiles! When I gave the finished tiles to my mother-in-law, she was thrilled! It would be very easy to glue some felt and ribbons to something like that to make a pretty gift! Or to glue cork to the back of it, put a couple of coats of extra-heat resistant finish on it and use it for a coaster or trivet.

I recently heard that my mother-in-law has re-done her entire kitchen. I wonder if the tiles are still there, or if they have been replaced with something else.