I Made This!

Too much time on my hands? Maybe! Got inspiration for this piece from Pinterest:

Sea Shells, Vintage Carnival Glass Vase, Vintage Bead Necklace.

Sea Shells, Vintage Carnival Glass Vase, Vintage Bead Necklace.


I started with a vintage carnival glass vase that belonged to my grandfather. I found a tag on the bottom that looks like it was purchased at a garage sale. I have no idea of its age or value –just that it is covered with a relief of mermaids. I’ve been collecting sea shells (mostly bought) for many years. The beaded necklace came from a thrift store and was probably from the ’50’s or earlier. (I liked the way it blended with the colors of the vase.) The base underneath the vase that is covered with shells was an old ceramic pillar candle holder. The shells and coral on top are affixed to yet another taller candle holder. The base pieces —candle holders, larger shells, coral piece and vase— are glued in place with liquid nails and the rest of the shells were affixed with hot glue. The beaded necklace is not glued on –I could still wear it someday! This is a very heavy piece.

Family Heirloom Transformed

My husband and I just completed this conversion of my grandparent’s bed. They slept in it for over 60 years –then my husband and I for the last 10 or so. We made it into a bench. My husband did the carpentry and I painted it. The seat cushion is wrapped in a quilt my mom made. I hope this will become an heirloom one of my children will appreciate someday as much as I do.

Used to be a queen size bed.

Used to be a queen size bed.

“Painting” With Chief Architect

Lately I’ve been working on a landscape design which has lead me to create some renderings.  Along the way I have been investigating some artistic techniques that are available within my drafting software of choice (Chief Architect) and also manipulating the finished renders with my photo editing program Photoshop Elements.  I have often thought about getting back into painting but I am really excited about some of the results I’ve been able to achieve with the computer.  An example of one of my “paintings” is the background image of this blog.  I will post others as the are completed.

Image using Chief’s “painting” technique.

The same image with “watercolor” technique applied

This one was crated in Chief Architect but was given a dappled painting effect with Photoshop Elements.

Painted effect with PE

The same image with the painted effect and a line overlay with PE.

This image was also created in CA and amended with PE.

This is an older rendering that I applied a painting effect with PE.

An older render

The same render with a pallet knife painting effect applied and “texturized” with a canvas texture.

Older rendering

The same rendering with a dry pastel effect applied.

This view has had a “poster print” effect applied to it with PE.

This is the same view with a “graphic pen” technique applied to it. If I were to try to attempt something like this by hand I’m sure it would take days to do rather than the minute and a half it took to do this with Photoshop Elements.

Ray Trace rendering without “outdoor lighting” turned off to show shadows.

Same rendering with painting effect applied.

PE is the baby brother program of Photoshop and is very inexpensive.  There are a lot of photo editing programs out there.  This one came with my computer.  I’ve used it for years and I’m just learning some of the many wonderful things I can do with it.  One of the things I’ve done in the past is create iron on transfers with images onto fabric.  You can purchase the transfer paper from a craft store and run it through your printer.  It’s amazing the things you can do with a little imagination and creativity.