Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fun things I learned from Props Land Part 1: Glossy Wood Tone

One of my absolute favorite things in props land is a product called Design Masters Glossy Wood Tone.

I was lauding it to the Tall One and marvelling at how awesome it is, and he said, "You might as well call it Patina of Age".

And it's true. This product is the magic 'Patina of Age' when it comes to props.

I've used it to age things in seconds.

Witness the back of a brand new red journal.

Magically it becomes the back of a well-worn hundred years old journal!

All it took was a bit of scrubbing with some sand paper, a wet sponge or two with a tint of acrylic paint, and a good overspray or two with Wood Tone.

Glossy Wood Tone is one of the many flavors of Design Masters Spray. It's actually a floral spray. But it's BRILLIANT for props applications. It's glossy, as the implies, but you can overspray it with clear matte and it takes that shine right on down. And seals it in!

If you just use regular old brown spray paint to 'age' or 'tone' things, then it's opaque. And if you get a little excited and use too much, it looks fairly terrible. Let me tell you. I've done it many many times.

But Glossy Woodtone is translucent, so if you do many layers it usually looks interesting. Or at least not like a major flaw.

It comes in other flavors, like Walnut Wood Tone and Cherry Wood Tone. But Glossy is the best because it's a pure middle brown color, and has so much versatility. The Cherry is too red for my tastes and the Walnut too dark brown.

Of course, they have their places, but they're not the all-around favorite tool of all time like Glossy Wood Tone.

It's actually hard to find GWT. You have to buy it for the most part at floral shops. I think Michaels and A. C. Moore here in the states might carry it as well. You can't just mosey on down to the Sherwin Williams or the Hardware store and pick it up.

And it's not something I really use on my personal projects. Mostly anyway I'm making drawings or soft sculptures, so I don't really need to 'age' things.

And spray paint is sort of yicky for a daily application.

But if you're in a hurry, or need to tone lots of things fast and don't want to mess with a tea bath, it's your woman.

At the Design Masters Website they have this little tutorial about ways to use it. I've never looked into these but they look like fun.

They also have a Terra Cotta ColorTool and an October Brown ColorTool spray, but they're opaque, so not as useful. But still good in terms of color variety in your spray paints.

I found an online marketplace for them, but I've never used them. Here's the link.

As always, if you do use spray paints, you should wear a mask, do it outside or somewhere with plenty of ventilation, and don't spray it in your face. Wear Safety Goggles just in case.

I like these little jobbies for holding a can so it doesn't hurt my wrist. Like the one here. Or here.

And if you do spray inside, make sure your pets aren't around, a window is open, a fan or two is on, and your husband or wife knows about it (or they may kill you later, the fumes stick around for sometimes over a day).

I've many times accidentally gotten myself a bit mixed up on paint fumes late in a theatre somewhere. It's always stupid. I'm working alone in a theatre shop somewhere and just trying to get something painted and don't have the fans going or anything.

If you do start to feel nauseous or dizzy, stop immediately, go outside and breathe a lot of fresh air, and don't spray any more that day. Sometimes that sort of headache takes a few hours to blow off. It is no fun. It kills your brain cells. Be smart and spray intelligently according to the label on the can.

No really.

Spray paint is dangerous.

But very very useful!

Like many things in theatre, you have to be careful and always read the signs.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Frog Attack, and adventures

The other day, I left my home to see this on the porch.

Hang on. Look a little closer. Here.

If you want to see it even closer, click it, and there's a larger version.

My first reaction:


My second reaction:

"Awww, a froggy!"

My third reaction:

"Um, it's sort of creepy staring at me."

My fourth reaction:

"Run away!"

We live in a house split between us and our landlords. So they must have planted that froggy there.

He just appeared, with no warning.

Now I see him every single day I leave the house.

I don't notice him as much when I get home, but when I open the door to leave, he's there.


Of course, since I love the bizarre, I find him adorable. But it's also just weird and baffling. Why is he pointed at our door? And why does he stare at me so?


On a lighter note, I took some more pictures of fun things I see in my daily existence. I'm a Westchester/NYC kind of girl these days. Bopping between them like it's my job. Which it sort of is...

Here's a cute little tile, painted by an elementary schooler several years ago. There's a whole ton of them on the bridge by the commuter train I take when I go into the city. I love each and every tile. This one speaks special things to me though. What's he doing? What's on his back? What's at his foot? Who knows. It's great.

I see these whenever I go into work in Brooklyn. Lots of things like this actually. But I love these doors. All paired up like that they're really great.

I went back to the cool Empire State Building bar on the roof. The M E bar at La Quinta Inn. On the way there I waited for my friend at 28th and Park. A nice shot ensued.

Yesterday I sent out some little friends to a potential photo shoot for a magazine. If I get accepted I'll tell all of you so you can pick up a copy.

Soon I will start a randomized series of, "Things I learned while doing Props". I'm excited to talk about the wonders of spray paint and various types of glues. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Facebook and the Heat

I've succumbed to the facebook. (Feel free to friend me, mention the blog). And of course it is taking a little bit of time to get it out of my system.

Right now I'm very excited to 'see' where some of my friends are. Ever since discarding Friendster a few years ago I haven't really had a social networking site. So it's sort of a reawakening of all that fun stuff from ages ago.

Where are you? Where have you been? You're married now?!

That sort of thing.

The summer is slowly turning into the normal New York scorcher that we all know and hate. There's a reason why most of the populace go to the Berkshires, the Poconos or all other points when it hits August round here.

I really want to be making more softies, but my studio is outside of the air conditioned area of the apartment. Which means that I really don't want to go out there...

Oh lordy. Now I know what all those Aussies were talking about awhiles back. Bleh. Heat. I need to move further north.

The other night I was out for some festivities for my friends birthday. And it was pouring most of the night. And then it was nice outside, and the tarps came off the rooftop bar, and look what I saw up in the sky?!!

A big blurry Empire State Building!


There are good things about living here.

This is one of them.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the Giveaway is: Chveya!

Her description of what she would do with my little guy and her caption for the weird ad were just perfect for my rose-like sensibilities.


Pop me an email with your snail mail address Chevya and I'll send him your way!

As promised, here is the full ad.

Don't get me wrong. I'm the first person to offer my seat to someone who needs or wants it. But this ad is just weird looking. Why are they green? Why are they large? It looks like The Hulk is menacing some weird business guy. I don't get it.

Advertising is beyond me.

And and and....

Nessie is complete!

You can buy her Here.

I think I might do a whole series of weird creatures like this. I made her pattern and she is the only one of her kind.

Awwwwwwwww.... is it wrong to love my own babies so much?

Have a great weekend everyone!