Saturday, September 28, 2013

All Girls Like a Little Bling

About a month ago I got a wild hair to bring a little bling to ... of all places ... my CLOSET!

I was looking in my closet one day, trying to decide what to wear, and suddenly had an epiphany. Maybe just maybe if there was something bright and cheerful to look at while perusing my clothing choices, I just might forget how boring my wardrobe is.  Hmmm, what should I do?

Perhaps the answer could be found on Pinterest. Surely out of 73 boards and over 10,000 pins I can come up with something to inspire me. A lot of my pinning activity involves quilts. While I don't actually quilt myself, I love looking at what everyone else has created. From simple blocks to elaborate landscapes, quilting is truly an art form. My thought - why not glean some inspiration from the quilts on my boards and recreate it with paint?

So there you have it, I was going reface my closet door as a quilt. 

I started out by measuring and drawing out my blocks. Twenty-one big blocks, each with a border. Each big block was then divided into nine smaller blocks. It sounds easy enough but it took several hours to do. Side note: Almost immediately after I started painting I eliminated three blocks because I knew I wanted to hang a full length mirror in the middle and it made no sense to paint a design that wasn't going to be visible. And then, once all the painting was complete and I hung the mirror, I realized I could have eliminated four blocks. Oh well, live and learn.

Next I decided on a color scheme. I didn't want it to match the room where the walls are painted a neutral medium tone brown. Instead, I wanted bright, fun colors. I chose purple for the border, and pink, orange, and yellow for the blocksI decide on white as an accent color, and after I started painting the details of the individual squares I also brought in a little green and black. Obviously I wanted the blocks to look like fabric so my next step was to sketch symbols, patterns, doodles, etc. that would be the design of the "fabric" squares. 

The purple border came first followed by the individual squares. Next, over the course of several weeks, working an hour here and an hour there, I began to fill in the details. Ironically after I actually started painting the details, very few of the above sketches actually made it onto the "quilt." and while some of the designs are similar, no two squares are the same.  Slowly my "quilt" began to emerge.

As you know, quilts are stitched so naturally I had to paint the stitching in too. This step took F.O.R.E.V.E.R.  A tiny brush and hours of little dashes took it's toll on my hand. The first day I "stitched" for several hours and ended up with a horrible cramp in my hand. I broke up the remaining "stitching" over several days so as to not end up with a claw for a hand. I realize if I was really quilting instead of painting it would have taken a lot longer so I guess I got off easy, huh? And just in case you were wondering, painting the bottom three blocks was really hard. Finding a good angle for painting was. not. easy. I felt like a contortionist and at one point was actually laying on my stomach on the floor. Not easy for an old woman!

I finally finished my painting this week and last night hung the mirror. Here are the finished results.

I didn't really want my image in the mirror but it was the only way to take the photo!
A collage of all the blocks. 

My sister thinks the colors are too bright, said she couldn't face having to look at it every morning. Maybe if she had this master piece to look at every morning it might actually brighten her day! The main point here is that I created something for ME and I LOVE IT. It might not be anyone else's cup of tea but that's ok, they don't have to live with it. I told my husband if we ever put our house up for sale we'll have to attach a post-it note to the door that reads, "Buyer beware! This door is NOT included in the sale." I'm taking it with me!


Warning: closeup of each block to follow. Go put your sunglasses on! Also a disclaimer - I am NOT a professional photographer (not even close) and I couldn't get the angle right. I promise each block is truly square. 

This is the block that ended up being covered by the mirror. 
Once I knew it wasn't going to show I tried a little something to see if I could "age" the fabric or show depth. Obviously from the brown smudges, it wasn't coming out like I'd hoped so I stopped. Good thing no one sees it, huh?

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