Friday, March 28, 2008

Frasier Crane, Cocker Spaniel

Our Family Pet
I'm sorry to say that it's been a few weeks since I blogged. Our dog got sick the first week of March. While his master was away, Frasier took ill. I took Frasier to the animal hospital every day for 4 days to give him medication & make him comfortable. I also took care of him round the clock until his "daddy" came home. On the 5th day, we said our good byes. We had a very darling gentleman as our veteranarian, who said: 'you don't realize when you see the bright eyed, happy puppy at 6 weeks old, that later on you accept the responsibility to make these decisions upon their death.'

I've always said, "I'm not a dog-person". I've been with Frasier for 11 out of his 17 years. Frasier has taught me, no matter whether you are a 'dog-person' or not, you will always love your family pet and miss him when he's gone.

Painting With Aura Line of Benjamin Moore Paints

Painting Project -Dining Room
I have always enjoyed working with the creamy texture of Benjamin Moore (TM) paints. Recently, I tried their new product- Aura. The basis of this line is that you do not need to prime the walls; using only two coats- saving time and money.
One of the features was that Aura paints has a quick drying time. You can apply the second coat in one hour. Another is that Aura paint has more pigment color than the other products and is particularly beneficial to use with darker colors providing a more intense chroma ( richer color), avoiding a dull or faded look that you can get with dark colors.

I selected a deep reddish color called Sultan's Palace. The original wall paint was the typical white one would see in a model home. The fine print on the can, advises to use Aura Foundation for deep colors- meaning we're back to 3 coats. The local Benjamin Moore paint store was very helpful and are required to go by the manufacturer guidelines when making a recommendation on to prime or not to prime. 'Sultan's Palace' was not on the list requiring a primer. So, 3 coats were needed to give an overall even finish. However, it does looks great!

The biggest problem on this project was the adhesion properties of 3M Painters tape (the blue tape) in combination with the Aura paint. There is a lot of architectural detail in the room: crown moulding, chair railing, base moulding and 5 arched windows. 3M advertises that you can leave the tape on for 14 days. The sales rep at the local Benjamin Moore store, cautioned to keep it up for only 8 hours. I kept the tape on for 3 days- only because life happens (this is when Frasier got sick). I had to take off the very last 1/8 of an inch of the tape with tweezers on most of the moulding. It sounds crazy but true! The tape split and adhered to the moulding wherever paint touched it. I used a razor when possible to cut away from the wall, but the tape still stuck to the moulding.

I don't know if the root cause of the problem has to do with the properties of the Aura paint and the 3M adhesive qualities, the fact that I kept it on for 3 days, or just the adhesive strength of the blue tape. I painted the third coast without any tape and just wiped off any paint spots on the trim with a wet cloth. Being a decorative artist, I have a very steady hand and was able to do this.

It seems that there are mixed reviews with the professional painters whom I spoke to regarding Benjamin Moore's Aura line.
I would appreciate any feed back on the Aura brand of Benjamin Moore Paints.

Paint Selection & Planning; Decorating Tips

Paint Selection & Planning Decorating Tips

Here are some helpful planning tools to create a successful project; whether you have a blank canvas and don't know where to start,want to update an existing space, or want to change the look of your space altogether with new furnishings. These guidelines will help you when selecting a paint color for any room. As I've mentioned before in my previous blogs, planning is key to a successful result.

  1. Use an existing fabric to select a paint color. It is so much easier to match a paint color to fabric. It is much more difficult to match an already chosen paint color to a fabric you select after you painted the room.

  2. Use a color wheel to help you identify the complementary colors of your fabric or color scheme. You can buy one for a couple of bucks at your local craft store.

  3. Select a color/colors from the artwork ( poster, print, painting) you would like to hang up in the room.

  4. Buy your rug first and use it as the foundation for fabric and paint color selection.

  5. Before you purchase a gallon of paint, invest in a paint sample jar or quart and paint your sample on a good size canvas board (16x 20). Paint two coats and mark the back of the board with the brand, color name, and finish. You can get canvas board at your local craft store. Live with the color for several days: day light, night time, sunny day, cloudy day, morning light. Natural light will change the appearance of your color selection and it is important to choose a color that works for you in all of these light conditions before you commit to a color. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Fashion Accessory Trends

Fashion Accessory Trends

This season's fashion trends for Spring & Summer 2008 are pendant necklaces, semi-precious stones, natural wood accessories, peared with natural fabrics-silk, cotton and linen and metallics. This season's colors are orange, fuschia, turquoise, and yellow as well as some bright green acents.