Woohoo!! Only 13 more days until I hit the road and head to the MAX convention in St Louis! I’m super excited to be road trippin’ with an entourage of Minnesota painty friends, and to be teaching three convention classes AND one post-convention class! I’ll also be running a table in the vendor room. If you’re coming to MAX, be sure to swing by and say hi! I’ve only ever attended ONE convention within the US and that was right in my home state of MN, so I’m super excited to meet so many artists I’ve only known via Facebook! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@paintertainmentdotcom) as I’ll be posting pics of our adventures in St Louis!
Here are some descriptions of my convention classes:
I’ve had SO many people tell me they struggle with knowing where to put shadows and highlights. I’ll be using lots of visuals and hands on learning to help you grasp the concepts of painting something to look 3D! If you’re planning to attend my Realism class OR are just thinking about it, please connect with me via my Facebook event page by marking yourself “going” or “interested!” I’ll use this event page to communicate with my students and share info before and after class.
Thursday, April 20, 2:00-4:00: Window Painting Post-Convention Class
This class is a post-convention class, so it is NOT included in your convention registration. The cost is $75, and space is limited, though I still have just a couple spots left as of the writing of this post, if you’d like to snag one! $75 will be a STEAL for all the information you will get in this class! You can easily make that back plus a lot more on one window job. I am not wasting your time having you practice painting on glass…you all know how to paint with a brush, and you have windows at home. In THIS class I will teach you all of the in’s and out’s of window painting, and how I turned my covid pivot turned into an incredibly lucrative addition to my services. I will walk you through the process of painting windows, but will also tell you what supplies you’ll need (and how little you can get away with when you start out), what to watch out for, tricks of the trade, how to remove window painting, and how to keep painting windows in the winter months. I will give you a step by step plan to take yourself from never having painted a window to soliciting window jobs in your area, marketing tips, and additional learning resources. I’ll even with you my own window job contract, and the rates I was paid for the windows I have done to date. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of getting into window painting, do NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!! I will be boiling down everything I’ve learned the hard way over the past 3 years into 2 hours of gold for you!
If you are just thinking about this class or are planning to register, be sure to connect with me in my Facebook event page where I will be communicating with those who are interested! Once you register for the class, you will be invited to a private group for class attendees ONLY, where we can share our progress into the super fun world of window painting. If you would like to snag one of those last couple seats left, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
This week’s tip is on the subject of bling clusters…how to store them and how to display them! I’ll share with you my method…please feel free to comment with your own storage and display method! I’m always looking for more ideas!
Well, I just realized my post from LAST week didn’t post! Grrr…well, if you’re ever looking for my Tuesday tips here on my blog and they don’t show up, be sure to swing by our Facebook page as so far that seems to be the only place they regularly work! But for now, here’s lat week’s tip as well!
I made this mini pocket sized kit many years ago, but gave it a facelift this week! I love experimenting with the extremes of how small and portable I can get with things. I’ve had kits as huge as the rolling Fatmax and a guitar case, and have settled so far on something much more practical, but this little kit was a fun experiment!
The case itself is metal covered with duct tape…I probably found it at a thrift store but it’s been over 10 years so I can’t remember! The collapsible water cup has a strong magnet on the back so it can stick to the case itself, or can be left out, but inside has a tiny jar of glitter as well. Yes, I sawed off one of my Bolt brushes to use with the rainbow cake, haha! The round brushes are travel brushes designed for plein air artists, and the paint containers are full watercolor pans (links below) secured with small neodymeum magnets. I cut my own stencils to fit inside, made a mirror-slash-brush holder with duct tape and a plastic mirror.
This is just a fun thing to have on hand, whether you want to surprise kids in a boring waiting room or at a party, or just need a backup in your glove box! How small can YOU go with your kit?
Have you checked out our event page lately? We have a lot going on! Besides teaching at the MAX Convention in St Louis this April, I’ve just posted THREE upcoming jams for March and April! I LOVE jamming and try to host a jam every month in my home. I have hosted 51 jams since I started opening up my home to jamming in 2015! Covid was the only thing that forced me to stop for a while, with everyone working from home in our house!! Now I have one day a week when I can host jams and that’s Tuesday, so for the time being that’s when my jams will be! 😉 HOWEVER, I’ve decided that I couldn’t decide this time and in March I’ll be hosting TWO jams. One for balloons, and another 1 week later for face paint! In April I’ll be hosting a GEM jam where we’ll spend some time making bling clusters!
But there aren’t any jams in my area!
I hear from a lot of artist lamenting that there are no jams in their area. And to this I say, “then make one!” Hosting a jam is not hard. You really just need a time and a place, and a way to get the word out! If you prefer to start small, start with just having one creative friend over to work on projects with. Don’t want to host in your home? Check out your local community rooms. Most libraries have rooms you can book. Many local restaurants and even grocery stores have community rooms! Just be sure to get approval to use glitter or bring your own vacuum!
What do you DO at a jam?
You can make a jam as focused or loose as you like. I’ve been to jams where everyone works on the same things together. I like to keep mine super casual. While I may pick a general theme like face paint, balloons, gems or henna, they are always open to whatever people want to work on…I don’t ever want a twister to feel like they can’t come to a paint jam, or vice versa! Most of the fun is just in hanging out with fellow entertainers and eating pot luck, am I right?! Sometimes as artists in this field, we just need a place to go connect with like minds and practice something we don’t make time to practice when we’re at home.
I have incorporated some other fun topics into jams. One time I did a belly painting jam and invited pregnant moms to be painted which was SO fun! A couple times I’ve invited people to bring their gear and supplies they don’t want anymore and set up a “garage sale” table where we could buy stuff from each other. Another time I did a “photo jam” where I set up a photo backdrop with lighting in the garage and invited some kids over to be painted. We were able to get some nice photos for our websites, menus, etc!
What about the food?
Feeding people doesn’t have to be hard either, but it does help if you jam for a long time! (The time FLIES way too fast at my 6 hour jams!) For my jams I just have everyone bring some sort of food item to share and we do pot luck, which is always fun and easy. I used to just pick up a couple Papa Murphy’s take-n-bake pizzas for my jams, but then ours closed over Covid. Boo! But pot luck is always good. If you host your jam at a local restaurant’s party room or grocery store, people can grab their own food there too which the venue always appreciates! If you’re lucky enough to live in a place with predictable good weather, you can even do an outdoor picnic jam at a local park!
Here’s a photo from my paint jam earlier this week! I may have been painting faces for 27 years, but I LOVE that I learn something new EVERY time I hang out with my artist friends. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room!” We ALL have so much to learn from each other, no matter how long we’ve been painting. If you live within driving distance of Minneapolis/St.Paul MN, join us sometime!! If you don’t, I hope you can either find a jam in your area or host your own!!! I decided when I started hosting these, that even if nobody showed up, I would still just utilize the time to work on whatever I needed to practice. If one person showed up, I had a friend to practice and be creative with! It’s really a win-win!
For today’s tip I’ll show you how I made a set of stanchions using things I purchased at the dollar store! They aren’t as bomb-proof as the fancy expensive ones, but they do the job and are much easier to tote around to gigs!
Learn to paint 3 different Christmas ornaments in less than 2 minutes! Earlier this week I stumbled upon a fun way to paint an ornament using a split cake, and then decided to put it together into a tutorial with two more fun ornament designs! Ornaments can look really detailed but still be super quick if you use the right tools. Check out this time lapse for some fun, easy ideas, and scroll down for a list of tools used!
Here are some of the supplies I used:
– “Holly” Arty Cake – TAG “Magpie” split cake – BOLT Firm 1″ stroke brush – Small round brush (#1 or #2) – black, white, silver paint
Ornament #2: – Large round dauber – Small filbert brush – Red, dark red, black, white & silver paint – Small round brush (#1 or #2)
Ornament #3: – 1/2″ flat brush – Small round brush (#1 or #2) – TAG “Magpie” split cake – red, green, white, silver & black paint
It’s been one busy month here at Paintertainment with window painting! Besides the three Dunkin’ Donuts locations I have the pleasure of painting seasonally throughout the year, I also did an interior job, painting some conference rooms in an office building! So much fun…here are some photos and movies of what I’ve been up to so far this winter!
Here is a time lapse video of the Chaska Dunkin’ location…this one is on two sides of the building…
Below is the Rogers, MN Dunkin’ location! This design was SO much fun! I love this client…she really lets me just have creative freedom and always chooses something super fun from my sketches. I love incorporating donuts into their designs! The previous fall design had a fun owl design on the lower panes, so we kept the text again here and I updated it for winter with some ice fishermen! This design definitely screams “Minnesota” as we love to ice fish here, and I was sure to paint a few of my favorite fish to catch here: sunfish, walleye and bass!
This window was the hardest physically for me to paint. It was supposed to be 50 degrees this day, however, it only ended up getting to 37 while I was painting. This is all fine of course if it’s sunny and not windy…I painted Chaska in 37 and sun and didn’t even need a coat. But, for whatever reason, this day I was absolutely freezing to the point of shaking! I think it was a combination of the cloudiness, the dampness (it had just rained the day before), and the breeze. So, the paint dried very slowly…but in the end I love how it turned out!!
Here is a video…
The third Dunkin’ location didn’t need much updating…I just removed some pumpkins and replaced them with snow!
With some careful planning, you can save a little time and money with seasonal updates! Of course, window paintings aren’t really meant to last more than a few weeks, but these ones stay relatively protected from weather, and still looked like new. So, why not make them last? I did turn her earmuffs from orange to red here as well. The other side of the building didn’t have anything super fall-ish so I left that one as-is.
The last window job I’d like to share with you was my first INTERIOR job! This was for three conference rooms, which have basically a wall of glass.
This was a really fun and HUGE job! I probably painted around 50 feet lengthwise, and floor to ceiling. It was nerve wracking painting on carpet, but I made sure to have plenty of drop cloths and am super careful about making sure any paint I’m not using at the moment is closed up and in a safe spot. The tricky part here was keeping everything within just a few feet of the windows, so that people could still walk by me in the hallways!! It involved a lot of shuffling of my supplies. Also, being on the 7th floor, I probably spent 1/2 hour or so just bringing stuff in and out. I did also have to run out to Home Depot to grab a better, darker green…so all in all I spent about 10 hours straight here! Everything took more coats than usual…just because I am picky and I like it to be as opaque as possible. But, since these windows have exterior windows behind them, there is no way to completely avoid seeing brush strokes with the sun shining through them. I love how it turned out in the end, and it was really nice to be inside and not worry about weather! I also got to try out my new Posca paint pens for the ornaments. I didn’t take any time lapse movies of this, being that it was in an office, for privacy reasons.
So, as you can see I’ve been busy lately squeaking in window jobs between entertainment jobs! But, I really love window painting and I’m so glad that Covid pushed me to add this to my repertoire. It blends perfectly with my schedule, as I can paint windows on week days during the day, leaving those busy holiday weekends for face painting and balloon twisting!
Interested in learning more about becoming a window painter? Check out the latest issue of Wet Paint Magazine! I recently wrote an article about how I got into window painting, and the process I followed getting started, including some tips & tricks of the trade, resources to learn more, and a list of what supplies you need to get going!
As soon as I first set foot in the Glamper I knew that the furnace would end up having to come out. The doors on these vintage trailers are very small to begin with, and the original placement of this huge, old furnace impedes the entryway even more. Not to mention the safety issues…these furnaces are not as safe as what you might see in modern campers, as was evident by the burnt paneling I discovered upon it’s removal!
There were 3 big parts of this project:
Removing the furnace, fan and thermostat pieces from inside the camper
Removing the chimney through the roof and patching up the hole it left, and
Turning the ugly hole in the wall into something functional and finished.
Removing the Furnace Inside
Here are some photos of the furnace before, during and after removal. This furnace is HEAVY, and it’s important to remember these things as keeping the weight evenly distributed is important in a trailer. However, I believe that some of the cabinetry I’ll be adding later as a work station will help replace the weight I removed here. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, I did hang on to this original furnace, should someone later want to return the trailer to all original. But for my purposes it needed to go. I plan to put in a new furnace at a later date…one that takes up less space and doesn’t have to vent out the roof. If we can ever avoid openings on the roof, that is a good thing! Openings are recipes for water damage!
Removing the Chimney and Patching the Roof
Getting the furnace out of the camper was probably the easiest part. Next up was removing the metal shaft that goes up through the ceiling, removing the chimney from the roof, and then patching up the hole to prevent any leaks. It made me a little sad to remove the cute chimney from the roof, but it was probably a good call as leaving an open hole in the roof that doesn’t need to be there just leaves it vulnerable to future water damage. Again, I saved all of the original parts if we ever want them back!
In order to remove the whole metal lining of the shaft that goes up through the roof (sorry I have no clue the technical terms for this stuff, haha!), I had to pull it up and out through the roof. But before I could do that, I had to scrape and chisel off all the rubbery sealant the previous owners had covered the seams with.
The previous owners did a great job keeping the roof very well sealed up, and this is one of those spots you want to seal well! It was a lot of work to get the old stuff off and expose the screws. I figured I’d have to drill the screws out, but luckily I was able to scrape them clean enough to back all of them out with a screwdriver. Once that was done, I was able to slide the whole works up and out!
Okay, now that everything was out, it was time to seal up the gaping hole in the roof and the holes in the floor. Needless to say, this is a job to be done on a nice, dry day! Here are a few photos looking down, through the roof and the holes in the floor where gas and I believe condensation may have dripped out…
The holes in the floor were pretty quick to patch up so I did that on the same day. Next I worked on the roof. We already had a roll of tin on hand, which would work to cover the hole. However, it was pretty big and I wanted to give it a little more structure under the tin. After all, if a branch is going to fall on this roof, Murphy’s law dictates that it would likely land right on this weak spot! I cut a piece of subfloor just for something rigid, applied some caulking around the hole, and smooshed the wood over it. Then I screwed the wood panel into the roof, and added more caulking around the edges of the wood, and where the edges of the tin patch would go. (photo below, left) Next, I laid on a piece of tin, smooshed it into the caulking, and screwed it in as well (below, center). Then I added yet another layer of caulking around the edges of the tin. Caulking is your friend!! Fill ALL THE HOLES!!
I let all this caulking dry for as long as it needed…I can’t recall if this next step was later that evening or the next day. but, you want to make sure something like this is allowed to dry well, before adding anything else that will block the air flow to it. Funny how I’m talking as if I’ve EVER done anything like this before or as if I have any clue what I’m doing…I’ll just add here that I’m really winging it with most of this stuff, haha! Anyway, back to filling alllll the holes….
Once all the caulking was super dry, I coated the whole works with some Flex Paste. I’m guessing this is the same or similar to whatever was already spread around the chimney that I removed to get to the screws (only white instead of black)…I went all out and just slathered the entire tin panel with the stuff. No water will be gettin’ in here! I’ll probably paint over this again at some point, but for now, you can’t see it at all from the ground, and the roof is water tight again!
Cleaning Up the Ugly Hole
Now that the roof was all good and sealed, it was time to go back inside and figure out what to do with the giant hole I just created in the cabinet where the furnace sat. My husband really wanted a solid grab bar to help get OUT of the Glamper, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to add that. With there being a hole now, I could set the grab bar back into the cabinet at an angle, so that it wouldn’t catch on people’s clothes or shrink the doorway like the furnace did. So, I decided to build a little shallow shelf cubby and incorporate the grab bar there.
I started by cutting out some of the edges of the paneling with my jigsaw, so I’d have a clean, rectangular opening. I’m really just wingin’ it as I go here…
Then I played around with the handle and figured out how I’d really make it solid, and at an angle so it wouldn’t protrude out into the doorway. Next, I cut out and removed the back panel that sat behind the furnace, opening it up to the cabinet behind. I still wanted to keep the storage cabinet, yet I wanted my grab bar to be inset, so I basically re-built the same size cavity in here…just made it look nicer and have more function. I cut a piece of 1/4″ birch plywood, and after installing a few smaller strips in the back to support it, I attached a new back to the shelf cubby.
Next I added the shelves (above). I cut strips to cover the inner right side of the cubby, leaving spaces to catch the shelves between them so I wouldn’t need any hardware showing. I’ve really never built any kind of shelf before, and like I said, I made this up as I went along…but it turned out pretty good. Better than a burnt, jagged hole I guess, haha! Next I made the left side panel which was a bit more tricky. I had to bevel the back edges so it would sit tight with the back panel at an angle, and then had to cut out slots for the shelves. Overall I think it worked okay. You can see in the right photo above, I put tape on the door trim and marked with a sharpie where my supports were, so I’d know right where to screw in the grab bar.
The grab bar is something I picked up years ago in a little antique shop, just because I thought it was cool. I had no idea where it came from originally, or where I’d use it, but it turned out to be PERFECT for this! I then removed it so I could stain everything.
Next I stained everything. I learned that the sample swatches in the hardware store look NOTHING like the actual stain. Grr. I should have tested it on a piece of scrap first like the can says to do, but I’m not great at following instructions, haha! So, you can kinda tell the base boards here are a tad too dark. That’s where I started and said “nope!” At that point I ran back to the hardware store and bought a color called “traditional pecan.” That was a better match, so I finished off the inside of the cubby.
A few days later I made it back out to get some trim to finish it off. Yeah, it probably would have made more sense to do all this staining at once but I was figuring it out as I went, and didn’t know what I wanted to do…so after the cubby was all stained and clear coated, I cut the outer trim pieces, stained and clear coated them, and then added those.
I think it looks pretty good! Better than a hole for sure! I’m no furniture maker but I’m happy with how it turned out. Of course, with all things in a vintage trailer, the project is never really done… I realize that I can’t drive down the road with stuff on these shelves. I’m still thinking about what I want to do for some type of rail. Maybe clear plexi, maybe a wood rod stained to match, maybe something fancier…I’ll think about that. In the meantime it looks nice. When I do new floor tiles, that’ll fill in the gap on the bottom shelf as well. I also just have a hole up through the top for now…partly because I know we’re going to re-do all the electrical and it’ll make it easier to reach those switches. But I am also thinking about adding a light up in there. We shall see. If nothing else I’ll close that up with another piece of wood after we’re done with electrical stuff.
So there’s one of my big projects from the past month or so! More things are in the works, but with the temps dropping I probably won’t be able to do the flooring until spring. I want to make sure I have ideal temps for my adhesive to work. But I also know that I’m going to really miss the Glitter Glamper when I go park it for the winter in our friends’ barn, so you may see me pop in this winter with some other small projects! 😉
It’s time to show you some more progress on the Glitter Glamper!
As I mentioned in my previous Glamper renovation posts, my goal with the Glamper is to make it what I need it to be, yet still preserve the original birch paneling inside. The birch inside the Glamper is in amazing vintage condition, however, it just makes for too dark of an environment for me to work in, which is the purpose of the glamper!
I special ordered some tin ceiling tiles from Menards, which took a few weeks to get. I didn’t want the cheaper glue-up tile, because I don’t want to damage the wood with a bunch of glue or foam tape. So, I went with real tin. I also couldn’t use your standard tin ceiling tile nails, because they would be too long, and likely could poke through the roof of the camper, which would be disastrous!! I also felt that shorter nails still probably wouldn’t cut it, being that this is a MOBILE ceiling that will be riding down the freeway, bumping as it goes, and I didn’t want the nails to work their way out. So, I decided on some small screws, just 1/4″ long, enough to catch the wood. If I ever want to go back to the original birch, I’ll have some small holes to putty, but that’s a lot better than paint!
The first thing you have to do with a ceiling like this is find the center of the trailer, and start from there. I measured the ceiling and marked the center with a piece of tape. My son helped me hold the first tile against the ceiling while I drilled tiny pilot holes through the tin and attached. From there I was able to complete the rest by myself.
I used my ruler, sharpie and tin snips to cut around cabinetry where needed. I highly recommend wearing gloves…I did not take my own advice and got quite a few cuts on my hands, but hey, no pain no gain, right? This spot shown above left with the exhaust fan/window and sink light fixture was the toughest for sure! I had to take apart the fan and the light partially, and cut around two cabinets, all in one piece. But, it turned out great!
To keep the feel of the canned ham shape, I wanted the ceiling tiles to continue down the front and rear curves to the floor.
In the rear of the camper, however, there is a curve that is just too tight for these tin tiles to bend. Even if I could get them to flex that much, the paint would chip off really bad. I found some plastic material that would make the curve to fill in that space, and while the pattern isn’t an exact match, I think it looks much better to continue the white field down to the floor. I might eventually do the same thing to line the tiny bathroom!
I still had a couple trim pieces cutting across the white above, so I covered that up with some adhesive backed silver glitter vinyl.
Cleaning up the edges of this in a curvy camper is tricky, because you can’t just bend crown moulding around the curves. I really just needed something decorative that was wide enough to cover the corners, so I ended up finding some 1/2″ diameter silver twisted cord online. It turned out great! The trailer originally has some vinyl piping all around the corners, so that’s what made me think of something fabric in nature.
The back wall is the one place where I used a piece of actual trim, since it was a straight section. The rest was rope..glittery silver rope, of course!!
I first measured the entire length I would need, so I’d know to order 17 yards of trim. When it arrived I used a hot glue gun to attach it around the camper, taking care to keep the glue mostly on the tile and not on the wood, again, to preserve the original finish. (though hot glue peels right off the wood too if needed)
The last little bit of tile that needed to go up was on the front wall, which I had held off on because there was no wall. I removed the original birch panel because it had some rot in the corners, and I had to access the dented corner to make some repairs. So, last week I picked up a sheet of 1/4″ birch plywood at Menards, measured and cut it to fit, installed it and stained it! Yes, I was going to cover it up with tin tiles anyway, but I still wanted to preserve that complete look of the original birch walls underneath. So, I did it right as if I were going to finish it with wood, and then added a few tiles. If I ever want to go back to original, I just have a few small holes to putty! Overall I think it turned out great! I achieved my goals of brightening up the space while preserving the original wood, and achieved the cohesive look of a continuous arch of white paneling from front to ceiling to back, keeping all the sides wood.
This was a big project and the tin tiles were crazy expensive. But, I am really happy with how it turned out in the end!! So many more projects to show you and more to start on, but I’ll leave it at this for now! Stay tuned for more!
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