Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two Layer Tuesday: The gallery project

There are times when layers are delicious

There are time when layers make you famous

And times when layers seem like the smartest way to go
Although in this case it is a toss-up.
Sure he is running almost naked in a blizzard but she is out pushing a baby in a blizzard.
Alas, in the world of faux finishing, the days of the wonderful 7-layer plus wall finish are few and far between. Your shoulder may be grateful but what about your wallet and your creativity?  Delivering a finish in less steps doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a pretty, interesting finish for cost savings.

Poor Tuesday. Not hated like Monday. No Happy Hump Day. Always TGIF, never TGIT.

For our Tuesday project, we are starting with a black background. Now our surface had random patterns over it that we needed to fill. Since we had an open container of Black Diamond Lusterstone, we used that to trowel as our base. But you could use Black Setcoat which is less expensive and easy to roll.

This is Layer One
Our next layer is made up of Lusterstone in this color palette.

The room is almost 300 square feet. I used two quarts of each color for this application.  We will be using a Rough Rolled Lusterstone Technique. This is a good application method if your clients have a level three finished wall or less (that means not so smooth walls), visible plaster seams, tall walls. curved walls, or want several colors applied. It is easier to "stack" your colors then trowel them on in a smooth flat application (the colors will either blend too much or look too spotty).

I like to lead with my darkest color which is the Weathered Bronze. My sea sponge roller is damp and I coat it in the Weathered Bronze.

Don't smash the roller into the wall. Instead you want to "dance" on the wall.

See how Fred's feet just tap the wall? You want your roller head to do the same. Think of this as a Bounce and Roll motion.

Or Roll Bounce!
You should have spiky areas to your Lusterstone.
The roller may be used both horizontally and vertically.
The next color, Rhino, is applied in the same manner.
You will roll the colors wet into wet lapping areas.

Roll out about a 3'x3' area. Take your blade and hold it almost flat to the surface and lightly blade the plaster tips.  Pull the blade across:

And up & down:

Use a Japan Blade to clean your trowel as you work. I butter the trowel with material cleaned from the blade and apply this to the ceiling line:

My goal it to work as efficiently as possible which means lessening the times I move myself or the ladder. Sorry these shots are so blurry. You try balancing on a ladder rung, holding a sharp blade and taking a cell phone picture. Any hoot! The finish at this stage looks really bad. Your client who is standing behind you will start in with, "that doesn't look like the sample!" Please feel free to insert ear buds at this time.

Now, we will finesse the finish. I butter my blade with the 3rd color-Frosted Denim. It is important to cover the blade so you avoid thick small blobs of color. This helps with color placement as well.

This color is popped into areas and gently bladed down.

I will also use this technique to add in more of my other two colors. The properties of Lusterstone allow me to work the colors wet into wet so I may finish my 3'x3' area before repeating the process in the next section. Because the application is so random I don't worry about dry or lap lines.

To complete a 300 square foot room, you would need 2 quarts of Black Setcoat and 2 quarts of each Lusterstone Color. Your product cost are about $231.00. That is .77 cents a square foot.  Let's round that to .80cents to cover supplies.  This finish should take 2 days to complete for this square footage: 1/2 a day to roll Setcoat (2 hour dry time) and the rest of the day and the next to apply to Lusterstone.

You have two layers so let's start out pricing at $2 a square foot. But the second layer is an artistic one and will take some time. I would price this Two Layer finish at $5.80 a square foot. $5 in labor and .80cents in materials. Your bid would be $1,740. You would make $1,500 for your labor or $93.75 an hour for 16 hours. 

Sometimes less really is more!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fort Worth IDAL Diaries: Convention Center/Detention Center

Boy, didn't this turn out to be true!
Thursday, October 2nd
Ah, my day off! Or so I thought when I reviewed my schedule. The start of my luxurious day is a run with my friend George Hackford. Then Sue and I will load up our classroom supplies in BOCT (Balls of Clay Truck from now on) and enjoy sightseeing in Fort Worth. Then we will relax and get ready for the Mad Hatter Party at our leisure.
But this is Topsy Turvy Thursday and nothing really goes as planned.

First, I take George on a run. But not a run by the river or thru a park as promised. Oh no, I take him on a run to the freeway underpasses and the dead end streets strewn with broken glass, empty Cheetos bags, wads of gum, and discarded clothing.  I keep telling him "that pretty running trail is just ahead." He is starting to doubt our friendship.
He is recovering from a knee injury which means he has to go slow. I am fairly quick. George is good natured but we both know the possible outcome of our trip:
We make it back from our excursion into the under-belly of Fort Worth unscathed.  George may run slower then me but he is much smarter. He goes upstairs to get ready for the day. Me? I decide to go straight to the convention center. Sue pretends not to notice my stinky condition and goes with me.
Now I can not find anywhere to park BOCT except at a parking meter. So I fish out coins-meters don't count pennies so don't waste them-and we go inside.  After many failed attempts at an answer,  convention staff tell me I may park at a loading dock at Noon. Ugh! It is 10am. So we drive, fish out more coins, and eat breakfast. A server drops a whole tray of food right behind us. Hmmm-maybe I am bad luck today?
We go back to the convention center and circle a few times-no luck-the loading docks are blocked. I go to the loose change stash in the BOCT console and feed the meter again. The police ride horses downtown and one takes a huge dump by my truck (the horse not the cop). Wow. The signs telling me to adjust my day are strong. But I ignore them. Of course.
A convention staffer tells me if I am quick then I may park at the back dock. Quick! That I understand. Bob Andrews loans us his flat dolly and we toss everything we brought on top of it. As Sue is adding what I think are the last boxes, I run to get BOCT and move him to the loading dock. Where this happens:
As I am loading my truck, a man driving a fork lift stops. He yells, "Yo!  Yes you, blonde girl. You can't park that truck there. You are blocking an entry." I calmly but tiredly tell him that I have been asking convention staff since 10am where I could load up my truck and this is where they told me to go. 
"I know this is not your problem sir, but I am just trying to get this truck loaded." "I was told to park here." We are shoving in boxes like mad women.
I have two boxes left to put in the truck. "What are you thinking?" he yells. "You better move that truck...NOW!" He picks up a walkie- talkie and says, "I am calling a tow truck and the police."
Oh no he didn't.  I admit it-I loose my mind and dignity. All the tiredness, frustration, and tension is released on this man. He actually looks shocked or maybe he thinks I am crazy.
"I am calling a tow truck and the police right now!"  He has retreated to the forklift.
Is orange really the new black? I don't stick around to find out.  Somehow I maneuver BOCT around the fork-lift and make it back to the hotel.
Oh crap! I have forgotten Sue. During my brush with the law, she went back into the center to find help. She calls and tells me we have a few things left to load.  How is that even possible? So I once again park at a meter and really dig (I mean dig, in- between the seats and under the mats) for change. We find a side entry that is unlocked and Sue stands guard over the last bit of our stuff. I run (again) to the truck....
And this is sticking under my windshield wiper!
With the compliments of stinky horse poo added in! I quickly find Sue and we make a run for it!
I am a mess.
It is getting late. We decided to go to the stockyards so I may calm down.
See I haven't showered or changed yet! I will fit right in the stockyards!
We walk around the tourist area but it is hot and the weather starts to look bad. As we stop for gas, I can see the wind whipping the trees. This doesn't look good. We make it back to the parking garage as this starts:
It is getting hard to see but I can just make out one parking spot left that is covered. Bruce's truck is big and long. It is also new. As I gently ease BOCT into a protected area, this happens:
It is like the Plagues of Egypt.
here are the plaques of Egypt
I really hope we don't get to that last one, me being the eldest child and all that...
Then suddenly the sky clears. It is like none of the day even happened. We are cleansed!
My cell phone rings. It is Bruce. "Someone from Fort Worth just called me."
Oh no. I curse the Balls of Clay Truck with it's catchy signs and visible phone number!
"Which one called you? The policeman or the forklift driver?"  I am biting my new nails.
"What are talking about?  Why are police and forklift drivers involved?" He seems confused, so I will go along with it.
"Well" I start, "this is a long story..."
"Someone called to apologize for yelling at you. For loosing control and letting a situation escalate."
I start to explain what happened when this comes on the lobby television: 
A wall of an old building in the stockyards blew over. It destroyed several cars. That is where we had parked BOCT just an hour ago! Wow! This is really my lucky day. My friend George is safe. Sue doesn't need to bail me out of jail. We managed to keep the new truck from being destroyed by pelting rain, hail, and a falling wall!

I am relieved.  Bruce is still on the phone.

"Look, just tell me about it when you get home. Is my truck alright?" he asks.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Fort Worth IDAL Diaries Part Two:

Monday, September 29th

Another beautiful day in Fort Worth so I take a 5 mile run toward the stockyards. Kathy Wear, fellow IDAL Board Member and runner, directs me to a tree-lined path that goes down by the river. Alas, 2 days later I will not find this spot to take my friend George Hackford running.

This is where I will take George for a run:

The Conference Center is walking distance to our hotel and has a visually interesting atrium. My talented friend Susan Kolesar took this picture and many other great shots of the IDAL Convention.  A cowboy hat star!

It turns out that a lot of concrete trucks are circling the convention center to set-up the Concrete Decor Show that is sharing our space. So our time to set up for classes is moved back...and moved back...and moved back.  We spend some time at the cool water park by our hotel...

which shows the lovely deployment of Concrete!
We also get manicures:

Well, not this one but it would be perfect for a stencil theme as long has you didn't have to get your hands dirty! We work and ruined our nails the first day. Ah, the glamorous life of an artist!

By the time we can set-up our classroom, I have One Hour before I am going to dinner with our Citadel Insurance Representative, Heather.  Now, I am wearing a Debbie Harry Shirt and grab at the last minute some clothes to change into for our very nice dinner.  Thank goodness Sue and Jeanette know how I like my class set up because I drive the Balls of Clay truck to the convention center unload about 10 boxes and rush back to the hotel to meet for dinner.

Ugh! I have one minute to change..in the truck (clothing becomes somewhat of a theme later on). What I think are black pants are really black leather leggings. And I forgot my nice shoes-looks like the Leopard Flats on my feet will have to do. I meet this very sweet and nice young woman from Citadel dressed like I am going to an "I Love the 80's" party.

IDAL Vice President reporting for duty!

Tuesday, September 30th
Finally my first class day. We are beginning with the Modern Historian wall
and cabinet finishes. I am not going to sugar coat it-the set-up was nuts.
Pole and drape on the convention floor. And plastic on the concrete made you walk like Frankenstein!
I naturally have a really loud voice...
but I was really yelling.  This is something that the people in Mave's class
(behind the curtain next to me) will attest to!
They should think of it as 2 for One Instruction!
Well, that is one way to sell it.
OK! So it was loud with concrete mixers going. And I was slip 'n' sliding across the floor.
But guess what?  We had a good time and a great class!

Photo courtesy of Susan Kolesar

See I am happy-no one is holding me against that upright table and throwing darts-that's a win in my book!

 The battle of the cell phone pictures!

Everyone is working very hard-maybe because my yelling scared them but hopefully it is because of the great samples they made!
 During a break, I am expected at the Chapter Luncheon with a yummy Bar-b-Que provided by the Dallas Chapter. Now, I have been carrying what I call my "important papers" in a file since arriving on Saturday. As a kid I would have purses filled with drawings, clippings, and such. My Mom would threaten to throw away my "trash" and I would cry, "You can't-those are my important papers!" What 5 year old has important papers? This one!
The collar is either popped or it's not! Who dressed this kid?
Well this time, the papers matter. They are all the information and surveys I have been trying to collect about IDAL membership.  I enjoy talking with the Chapter Presidents and hearing what they want and need from IDAL. And Cindy Andrews the new Chapter Liaison, makes a nice presentation about new goals for Chapter growth and development. Thinking things are going smoothly,  I place my folder on the table for this picture with Lyna

and a gust of wind blows everything out of my folder and across the plaza!
One of the things I learned about Chapter Presidents? It turns out they run fast! Thankfully they captured all my papers. I didn't have time to sort them before returning to class which makes me twitch a bit.

Photo Courtesy of Susan Kolesar
This is me after the luncheon and I look a little crazed! Probably because I have not counted my Important Papers!  But our class finished 4 wall and 3 cabinet samples in one day-GO TEAM!
Wednesday, October 1st (The day)
2nd day of class and I have two helpers-Sue and we also have Jeanette. She finished her class on Tuesday and is ready to go! Jeanette is a machine with the stencils! That is why I look less crazy this day!

Susan took this nice picture of a Modern Romantic Sample the day before-thought I should tell you this since it looks like I slept in the same clothes! Now I fell asleep with my hands on the keyboard to my I-pad sitting almost upright (Sue thought I had a stroke) but I did change my clothes.
It was so warm I could wear my Fauxy Painter shorti-alls with my favorite pink shirt both days!

Photo by Susan Kolesar


I love these pictures! This is what it is all about...the prep, the drive, the set-up...working with people excited to learn and try new things! I am so grateful that I finally met so many Facebook Friends and people that order product from Surfaces-you are no longer a voice on the phone. What a great group of artists to work with over the two days! 

We had a really good time!

I am really proud that everyone did such a great job in class by staying focused and helpful! All the samples were portfolio ready! We even made up some new samples as we worked!

There was only one moment when things got a little too much. Now, the concrete people are lovely talented folks. Some of our decorative artisians are very talented in this medium. I want to just state that I love the concrete people. But one guy in the expo decided it was time for a Hoe-Down and really cranked up a the music. Now normally I love a good dance party, but in the middle of class?

Once again that cardio work came in handy. I bolted from class and really nicely
(yes, I was really nice) asked the very sweet young man if he could please
turn down the music-which he graciously did. Problem solved!

Wednesday, October 1st (that night)
This is my first General Meeting as a Board Member and like most of the week, I rushed from one thing to the next (good thing I run). I am also anxious. For weeks, I have been sitting in on the Board discussions and, as I noted in my first post, participated in my first official BOD meeting.
 It is hard to know that you are getting ready to tell your membership there will not be a Convention the next year. Sitting on stage, I could see the disappointment and questions on people's faces.  I also know that board members struggled for a long time with solutions to declining membership with rising costs.  Many people on the board had delayed their own personal needs to be at Convention to face the group. It was hard all the way around.
Plus, once again, I have selected the wrong clothing! Sue and I  walk a long way (me in heels)from the Convention Center to find comfort food-pasta! I keep fiddling with the ridiculous slip I have on until my OCD goes into over-drive. Now, I played soccer on all boys team so I got pretty good at changing garments in a discreet way.

 I shimmy out of my slip at dinner! It was discreet...until we posted a Facebook pic!
Thank goodness cell phones weren't around when I was a teen.
I am exhausted from teaching two days and attending functions but we are not done yet....