Monday, October 5, 2009

Handpainted Tole, Rosemaling & Folk Art by Grammy BJ

Grammy BJ is my Mom. She's 89 and an amazing artist with a passion and a gift for painting. All too often I see the spark dim in seniors who don't have hobbies or interests. But not my Mom. She does beautiful Tole work, Rosemaling, Folk Art and Primitive Folk Art... and the real gift is her desire to share her work. She loves to paint and enjoys tremendously seeing her work show up "on the computer". So she paints and paints away her days... and hands off wonderful pieces to me, looking forward to seeing them in my online store.

She just recently handed me a collection of trinket and treasure boxes, and said "these would be perfect for Christmas". So I took lots and lots of photos and now they're "on the computer". These are mostly wooden boxes with hinged lids and a latch in the front. There's even one box with a rosemaling design that could be used as a way cool retro wood purse... it has metal corners, a hinged lid, latches AND a handle.

And what collection of rosemaling would be complete without a stunning design on a black background??? This truly would be a lovely one-of-a-kind gift to surprise someone with... it's just beautiful!!

You can see all of her boxes "on the computer" in my online store now. Mom broke her hip on Valentine's Day 2008. Painting was the last thing on her mind for a while, but she's back on her feet and doing terrific (and alot more careful about what she's doing). It's a real joy to see her painting again... and I hope you enjoy her art as much as I do.

But wait.... there's more!!!! She also had fun painting some delightful birdhouses (which are "on the computer")... and some precious miniature pieces called ACEO's (they measure about 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" and can be slipped right into your wallet for art to go!!)... also "on the computer". There are miniature Fanciful Birds and there are a few Other Critters. You'll fall in love with all of them for sure!!!

So if you're looking for something special for someone on your Christmas List... be sure to stop by Stone Hill Collectibles... a Grammy BJ original might be just what you're looking for!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The old-fashioned art of Tin Punch

The Colonial days of early America were filled with the hard work of building a new life, home and nation. The pleasures and comforts of life were few and far between and difficult to come by. Tin punching was easily accomplished using materials that could be found around the home. Candlelight was enhanced with tin punched shades of different shapes and sizes. Tin punched panels that would let air in but stop the insects worked beautifully as screens. The Pie Safe provided a place to store baked goods while they cooled... the decorative tin punched panel protected the food while the hot air escaped. Finished Tin Punch pieces added appeal to otherwise sparse and modestly decorated homes. The Welcome placque shown here is from a 1983 Tin Punch pattern book.

So are you ready to give this wonderful craft a try?? The tools required for tin punching are simple and you probably already have what you need around the house. You'll need a lightweight hammer, a center punch, and a piece of plywood that is at least 1/4" thick. The plywood should be the same size or a little larger than the piece you will be punching. You'll also need some tracing paper to copy your patterns onto and masking tape to fasten the traced designs to the metal. If you want a satin finish on your completed project you'll also need some 0000 steel wool and any brand of dull or matte finish plastic spray. This Colonial Couple is from a 1983 Tin Punch pattern book by Jan Way.

A variety of metals can be used: Tin, Tooling and Decorative Foil, and heavier metals (.010" to .020" in copper, brass or bronze, and aluminum).The choice of metal and material thickness will depend on the effects you'd like to achieve. Copper and Bronze or Brass will produce a rich, lustrous finish. Aluminum and Tin can be finished with various antiquing finishes (don't be afraid to experiment). Aluminum is not a traditional tin punch material, but it won't rust and can be finished with a lovely pewter effect. What appears to be quilt blocks to the left? This is just an example of some of the amazing effects you can accomplish by combining your imagination, creativity and tin punching. You'll find these patterns in a 1984 Tin Punch pattern book by Jan Way.

The thinner materials will produce a more rustic effect. The heavier metals will give a quilted effect. Whatever your choice, you'll achieve the best effects if your punch tool is not allowed to heavily pierce the metal. Practice on some small pieces until you get the hang of punching... and experiment to see what effects you like the looks of best.

So what can you make? Lampshades, Candle Shades, Picture Frames, Placques, and many other beautiful items. Locating vintage pattern books for Tin Punch designs can be difficult but I currently have several Tin Punch books available in addition to wonderful pattern books for many other crafts. Please come and browse my selection of items at Stone Hill Collectibles. And don't forget to check out the "Free with Purchase" craft patterns (no minimum purchase required).