Roller Shutter… More Like Roller Brusher Stunter!

I don’t know if this is the correct terminology for this – I looked it up and it seems to be contradicting across the board – but do you know stores in certain cities/countries have these rugged metal gates you roll up and down to open or close the establishment? Same concept as the door of a storage unit. Well, I don’t know if this is the publicly accepted name for it, but from what I saw, I liked “roller shutter” best, so that’s the name for the rest of this blog.

At the end of my Colombia trip for my grandma’s epic 80th birthday party, my brother asked my artistic cousin Jhonathan for help in blowing up the design of his new fast food joint logo, and painting it over the roller shutters of the place. He also asked for some additional artwork on the walls that reflected the available menu items. Since this was near the end of our stays (as Jhonathan lives in Bogota and my family is in another city named Santa Marta), Jhonathan enlisted my help to try and finish quicker – or quite honestly, just finish on time.

The main design for the restaurant named “El Chamo” (a Venezuelan slang word similar to ‘dude’), is this trippy casual guy, minding his own business but also letting everyone know there’s awesome food including shawarma at this place. But before we got to him, we started off “easy” by drawing and painting stuff like chicken wings, bowls of soup, arepas, wraps, eating utensils, etc. on the walls all around the building.

As you can see, the wall they were painted on had a thick corrugation, so these weren’t easy to paint – and we didn’t have great brushes either. But creative people shine when they have to make do with what they have, so we did! We also got help from our other artsy cousins Lizette & Karen, and we got through most of the walls in a few hours.

But now, the big piece. The Chamo logo on the super-mega-corrugated, not-a-single-flat-spot roller stunter… which made it literally the roller coaster of all painting experiences. That’s why I named this “roller brusher stutter,” because not a single stoke went by without a little bump or slide. It was challenging and we had to go slow because if we went too fast we could distort the image a little too much, and so this was way more time consuming than doing the whole wall. Without any further ado, here’s live and in color, El Chamo himself!

If you’re like me, you’re also horribly focused on the fact that that zipper looks a little odd. I know. Throw us a bone. It was really hard to draw on that surface and fixing it wasn’t much of an option. Also, look at that skyline! I can’t put into words how frustrating that was to draw/paint. Did I mention we actually had to do another Chamo guy on another of the roller shutters? Oh yeah…

This one was just half of the body because it was a half gate, so I guess a little easier, but still. Doing this twice? I don’t wish it on an enemy…

After all was said and done, my brother was very happy with the end result and my cousin and I were very proud of our work. He did the bulk of the hard parts drawing almost everything in pencil, and I mostly followed his outline with the paintbrush, so I did have that to my advantage. But I did do some drawing of my own

Here we are, proud artists and our work!

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Saving the Day When a Project Goes Wrong! Record Player Decoupage

Confirming once again that I was born in the wrong decade, my latest acquisition: a Record Player. While going to thrift stores to try and not break the bank while furnishing and decorating my craft room, I found a few second hand vinyl records and the nostalgia got the best of me. I wanted to know what it was like to play an acetate record and hear for myself the difference in sound that comes with a turntable needle. A trip to New Orleans and discovering the sounds of old Jazz might also have something to do with this new old obsession of mine, but I digress…

Since this record player is going in the Craft Room, I’m being extra disciplined with the color scheme as promised. I found this not-too-expensive record player on Amazon, and I bought it in pink but I planned on re-painting it because it’s not the right shade. I have a tendency to be overridden by a million ideas and then things don’t turn out as I expected because it might not have been a great idea OR I do something clumsy… And this was one of those times.

WCB RP 1

Poor innocent record player… Did not know it was about to be completely re-done

Unlike with the typewriter, I decided to paint the record player regularly. First mistake. Not really sure what would’ve happened if I had spray painted it but the point is, the whole painting thing did not work out. The material just wasn’t absorbent enough and it kept leaving tracks no matter what tool I used (brush, sponge, etc.) or how many coats I did. See Exhibit A:

WCB RP 2

Total fiasco. At this point, I felt like I had already messed up the whole thing and I couldn’t go back in time and ahhhhh why did I have to do this?! But, I had done it and I had to fix it. But how could I… LIGHT BULB – Yes I can! Decoupage! Duhhh! I could cover up the damage AND hopefully make it look cooler. Could I really make it better? I sure would try. In keeping with my weirdness and obsessions, I decided to look up newspaper images from big past events, like the fall of the Wall of Berlin, Pearl Harbor attack, iconic historical figures/artists’ deaths (Marilyn, Michael, Hitler, etc), print them out and cover the record player in them, taking the color scheme out of the equation and making it more about the nostalgia and vintage aspect.

Surprisingly and fortunately, this worked out better than I expected. It was hard to work around the edges and metal embellishments that came with the record player, but with a lot of patience and a trusty exacto knife, I not only fixed the mess I made, but I was actually happier with the alternate ending!

Give a crafter some mod podge and some paper and in the blink of an eye you won’t recognize anything around you…

WCB RP 3

 

And for the final result… Drum roll!

I LOVE it. I really do. It’s something completely unexpected, but I couldn’t be happier with the turnout. It’s funky, it’s different, it’s perfect for the vintage vibe I’m into, and most importantly, it’s unique 🙂 It even looks cool wide open –

WCB RP 7

 

People don’t tend to see me when I mess up because I craft alone 99% of the time, but actually this happens to me A LOT. At this point I try not to panic and just find a different way to make it happen and for the most part it tends to works out. Have you messed up a project and found a way to fix it? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: after buying the record player, I spoke to a friend who told me that unfortunately these Crosley record players have a bad rep for scratching records and messing them up, so I cannot recommend this buy. I stopped playing my records on it just in case until further notice.

Project Craft Room – Details: Vintage Typewriter

Not too long ago, I got bit by this bug that left me permanently changed: the vintage bug! Sounds funny, I know, but the truth is I’m not really sure how or where it came from, but I became OBSESSED with everything vintage. I’ve always been told I’m an old lady, so it actually kind of makes perfect sense.

Anyhow, my bff Pinterest has helped grow and cultivate my love for the vintage vibe resulting in my “Vintage Bug” virtual pinning board, from which I’ve been drawing inspiration for my craft room remodeling since one of the characteristics of vintage items is pastel colors, and my craft room color scheme matches that to the t. I’ve been thinking of my craft room not only in the context of a home office, but kind of like how guys think of man caves, and I want to make sure the room contains items that are unique to my taste and that make me excited to be there.

One of the vintage items I’ve been most interested in acquiring is a typewriter. Yes. In the peak of the age of technology, miss cavewoman over here is regressing several decades. For me, typewriters have a sentimental value because my mom always tells me about her first jobs where she used to work with them, and I remember seeing her working on one when I was very little.

Now, as I mentioned on my previous craft room entry, I’m holding myself accountable to the color scheme of light teal/white/pale pink no matter what, and it would be AMAZING to have a pale pink typewriter as an accent piece in the room. Problem is, pink typewriters are very very VERY scarce, and extremely expensive, like in the $350 neighborhood. But, I’m determined!

I found this 1950-something blue consul typewriter on eBay from an antiques shop for less than $40, and since it’s a local seller I was able to arrange for pick-up instead of paying for shipping! “But, it’s blue!” you may say, and you’d be right… Except for the fact that I turned this into a crafting opportunity 😀 I’m turning this bad boy pale pink with the help of some spray paint!

See below the process of protecting the keys, and the final result!


I’m so so so happy with how it turned out, and the special touch it gives my craft room. I bought a new ink ribbon for it on Amazon which works perfectly, and the best part is my mom has shown me a couple of tricks to use it and definitely brought the nostalgia aspect I wanted 🙂 Do you like how it turned out? Do you have any items you wish you could paint over?

Simple Project Sundays: Kitchen Spices Display

This little project came about unexpectedly during my trip to Colombia while visiting my family – well, the one who wasn’t expecting it was me, because my mom and grandma actually had been waiting for my arrival to ask me to do this haha!

Having recently moved into a new house, my grandma is still finding her way around the kitchen, something that is very important as she absolutely LOVES to cook and it’s where she spends the majority of her day (she’s also a bit of a hoarder and owns every spice known to man and has endless amounts of mismatched containers… that’s where I come in!)

Since my mom remodeled the space for her and wanted everything to look as organized as possible, we went and got some glass jars with gold lids, and since not every spice is distinguishable, they asked me to make some pretty labels for them.

I used recycled paper and a regular pen to try and create a vintage look for the containers. The whole thing didn’t take too long so it’s perfect for a little update around the house on a Sunday, and now the kitchen shelves look nice and everyone knows what’s what! Happy grandma, happy house 🙂

Here’s the step-by-step gallery –