Where Rustic Living Meets Refined Elegance

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back in the Saddle again

 Well it's been some time since I've posted anything but I'm back and even though things are moving slowly they are moving forward.

The move was exhausting, the project of repairing and fixing up Left Brain's rental has also been exhausting. As I continue to finish up the house so it's ready for someone who will move in and love it for the lovely home that it is I took the time to update my website which was much needed and I've also been working on honing some of my other artistic skills.
One of them being Gilding.
I LOVE Gilding!!   I love gold, silver, platinum and copper.  I love a rustic room with a little bling.  I recently spent a week in San Francisco with one of my favorite artists and instructors Lynne Rutter learning the finer details of gilding or as I like to call it, Gildapalooza!  I have been, as she so kindly puts it, gluing metal to stuff for years.  However if you really want something truly gilded then there is a true technique and I can honestly tell you it's not for sissy's.  I went in knowing there would be a lot of technical knowledge to absorb but felt the overall application would be very doable.  Thank God I kept those thoughts to myself! lol  As I began the process of both oil gilding and water gilding, I was like a monkey without any opposable thumbs.  No "LOL" inserted here because I'm not joking.  
The picture above is of a small sample of Sgraffito work that I did.  This is water gilded with 22 K gold (and in the right light this really blings!) with an egg tempura in black painted over then scratched back to produce the design.  Oh how I loved this work!
Here's a little piece of trim with water gilded 22K gold waiting to be burnished.  I'll have to post a picture of it after burnishing, it's like gold velvet.  Just beautiful.
If you like gilding and beautiful pieces there's a fabulous book you shouldn't miss.  
This book is on my serious wish list!!
Lynne just happens to be friends with one of the authors, Monsieur Laurent Hissier whose story of how he came to be in charge of the atelier there in Versaille is amazing!)  and recently while she was in Versaille he gave her a private tour of the atilier and storage rooms in the castle!  
I highly recommend this book as it is filled not only with stunning photos but some fabulous instruction on repair and gilding.

So there you have it. As I continue to work away my studio is packed to the brim with all our belongings except the bare necessities, i.e. bed, minimal clothing, a few dishes and my jewelry box, lol.  So with all the chaos my blog sort of got set on the back burner, but I'll be getting back up to speed now and start posting pictures of the transformation of the current "Barn" I've been gilding.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Well it's done.  Sold.  
The packing process is in full swing.  The paring down (we're moving into half the space), the cleaning, the paper signing (Oy, the paper signing), the trying to decide what to keep unpacked until the last, the packing bare essentials for the last part of the move and most unbearably.....the living in the midst of chaos.  Yuck.  I really dislike chaos, especially in my home.

But enough of that.  Now the good part.  We all know what comes with a move, yep.......REDO AND REDECORATE!  Whoooooo Hoooooo!  I have to say I'm actually getting really excited.  To be completely honest, I've never really "clicked" with this kitchen.  It's weird but after years of dreaming of a big kitchen it's just not what it seems.  Too much this, too much that, more room to cover and certainly not cozy.  So my mind is already dreaming of what I will do different to whatever new space I decide to call home.

I will say it helps too that the people who bought the place do seem to really love it.  I'm so fanatical about change, always repainting, recovering, resomething, that I have no objections to someone completely redoing this to make it their own.  But when I find out they wanted some of our fixtures and other items because they compliment the look of the house so well, it tells me they don't plan on stripping it down, which is a nice thought that they enjoy some of the work we've done.  I met one of the new owners yesterday.  Very nice and very complimentary, (thank you Suzanne), and I have to say I was even more excited after she left.  She and her husband are relocating from Southern California to make this their home.  I could tell she shared the same love of what makes this barn such a beauty.  One being the floors.  They are truly a labor of love and so desperately need a new coat of wax.  Her appreciation for the floors (even is the sorry state they are in) and requesting info about what wax we used really made me happy.  It's nice to know I'm leaving this place in the hands of someone who will care for it and from what I'm gathering they have the means and to really finish it out to what it should have been.  For that I am grateful.

In the meantime, my studio has been completely relocated out of my home into an industrial space in town.  And surprisingly I love it!  I love having my work out of my house, I love having a professional space to meet with clients and not have to schlep 80 lbs of plaster and paint to clients for them to see, they can now come to me, by appointment and see it all.  Heaven!  I've been working hard to make it look presentable and it's coming along.  I'll post pictures later this week.

We've also begun helping my brother with a complete remodel of his rental.  Previous tenants over the last few years have completely destroyed it.  So we are gutting it and having to take some rooms down to the studs.  The plan is to have it back together and looking good by the time escrow closes on February 15th so that we can stay there for a bit while we decide our next move.  Pictures coming of that project too but it's got to get a little farther along.  Right now it would just gross you out.

So lot's happening and I will be keeping the The Gilded Barn going.  Every home needs gilding of some sort and just because my next home won't be a real barn I don't think anyone will care, I know I won't.  So with thoughts and dreams of the next place to "Gild", onward and upward!


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