This past weekend I tackled another patch of concrete with SkimStone and Modellos and I am simply THRILLED with the results. It was two long days of hard work up and down off the ground, but one of the most satisfying things I think I have done. About a year ago I purchased this really unique gazebo from Lane Venture.


THIS will be the summer we engage in some romatic alfresco dining. Now that the “floor” is done all that is left is to pick the colors for the cushions and drapes! Oh-and I really want to paint something on the panels now. Might as well just take it over the top! Here is a detail. I LOVE the colors in the flowers.


March 20th, 2007

Progress, So to Speak

I haven’t talked about the NEW BUILDING we are buying for awhile because, well, things have been moving at a frustratingly slow pace. Here is a photo of me meeting with a contractor just after they had tilted up the walls around Christmastime.


Here it is three months later and they still haven’t completed the shell so I can close and the “fun” stuff can begin.


Things have gone pretty much as expected for these things. The original architect suddenly up and moved to Seattle to be with his girlfriend (imagine sound of balls dropping) and the local head of the development co. that is building the business park has been shown the exit door (more balls dropping). He was the guy who kept insisting that my building was on the “fast track”, which obvoiusly has never been the case. After getting all the paperwork in order for the bank to close last week, the new powers that be are saying they won’t be done with the shell for another month.

OK, I’m done whining. The good thing about all this is it gives me more time to change my mind repeatedly about the wonderful ways I am going to paint and decorate the 12 or so different rooms/spaces that will be waiting as pristing blank canvases. A recent night spent tossing and turning with wheels spinning has resulted in some fabulous ideas I can’t wait to share!

March 15th, 2007

Wood you, could you

I generally write an article for each quarterly issue of The Faux Finisher magazine. The one I submitted last week (and due out beg. of April) was on wood design treatments. I am planning on having a couple of wood floors installed at the new building to do some crazy cool stuff on, but not ready to reveal that yet. :) Here are a couple of photos that I used in the article.


The one on the left was done by my good friend Gary Lord in HIS new studio, Prismatic Painting. I have loved this design setup since we created it and was thrilled to see someone attack it. I had envisioned it for a coffered ceiling, but think it is fabulous on the floor as well. The photo on the right was done by a customer, Joan Kingsbury and I love the simple elegance of the geometric pattern.


This one is a sample I did for another coffered ceiling panel idea. These were all done with water-based wood stains and it is almost ridiculously easy when using Modello patterns. Look for the article, it has a step by step lesson!

March 12th, 2007

All in a days work

Welll OK, slightly more than a day. I did the first two skim coats on Saturday, but the remainder of the project was done on a beautful, sunny Sunday. With the radio and suncreen on, I was able to use my trusty color guide to complete this round pad on my back patio, using a Modello design, OrnCen155 in three pieces. I am really enjoying the new, expanded color collection that they have come out with, particularly the Sante Fe Pottery color that wend down first. This photo collection roughly shows the steps.


After a long day spent troweling on one’s hands and knees I highly recommend enjoying a refreshing beverage as you pick out the last pieces of the masking pattern.


Tonight, I’ll be applying a toning layer, using our Modello Dye Stains in Fawn to calm it all down and bring all the colors together. I’ll post the final “beauty shot” later!

March 9th, 2007

Project Fire Ring

It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in San Diego. That is NOT highly unusual. Just ask any San Diegan what the number 1 reason they choose to live here is. What IS unusual is that I will be tearing myself away from the keyboards and getting down to some serious troweling on my back patio. There is a project awaiting: An eight foot diameter circle of plain concrete inside stamped flagstone. I can’t wait to improve the view from my living room with this-


This is a rough color setup I did in Illustrator to give myself a guide for the application which will be done with SkimStone and one of our Modello masking patterns.. I’m sure I’ll end up winging it anyway! We’ll find out how well it turned out next week. BTW if you never hear of this again, you can come to your own conclusions.

March 8th, 2007

Enriching the Ranch

About 8 or 9 years ago I had multiple rooms in my home photographed for a book that Better Homes & Gardens put out on stenciling. It was very exciting and gave me the opportunity and incentive the get the rooms “done”. They gave me a whole section entitled “Enriching the Ranch”, as I live in one of those quintessentially boring American contributions to the world of architecture. I was just looking at the book the other day for the first time in a long time and it prompted me to get off my butt and post a new series of gallery photos Around the House. It’s a little nostalgic for me as some of the rooms have been redone a couple of times and I am trying to work up the resolve to do it all again! Some pages from the book, which actually has some pretty nice applications throughout.


Book Cover.jpgI know I am biased, but do you think that they might have sold a few more books off the rack at Home Depot had they chosen something other than giant carrots and cabbages to grace the cover?! The book is out of print now, but there are lots of people selling it used on Amazon. Forget the cover, it’s definitely worth the price of a latte to have it on your shelf.

March 7th, 2007

Visiting Livias Villa

Absolutely one of the many wonders of the decorative painting world, and should be be on anyone’s “must see!” list anytime you have the fortune to get to Rome is the National Museum of Rome. It’s completely confusing when you read about it in the guidebooks as it is actually housed in three different locations. My friend and I went to all three before we found the Holy Grail at the Palazzo Massimo location across from Termini Station.  Amazing mosaics and the beautiful frescoes from the Domus Livia, Domus Farnesina and the Villa of Nero at Nettuna.


I had lost my camera by the time I arrived in Rome last year, but I found some other nice people’s photos on Flickr. I’ll be travelling with my son to Rome and Florence Italy in a few weeks and I CAN’T WAIT to see these again in person!!!

March 2nd, 2007

Amazing Mosaic Site

I somehow stumbled across an amazing blog on Mosaic Art today, mosaicartsource. This is definitely one to bookmark for future design reference and inspiration. It seems to be endless. There are so many images on each page, don’t EVEN go if you still have dial up. Just a few images here….


March 1st, 2007

New Babies

We had a great SkimStone class here last week. A very nice group of people (as usual!) and they were very excited about the product and what they could do with it on floors, countertops, etc. It’s nice to really dig into a single specific medium/product and really explore it, so I always really enjoy teaching this class.


I had to excite myself with some new samples for this class though, as I had been teaching the same ones for a LONG time. The old ones were really pretty and when I showed them to this class they OOOh’d and AAAh’d quite appropriately. Maybe they’ll reappear for a comeback tour some day! I’ll stick with these fresh guys for awhile. Modern Masters came out with some new colors for their taking over distribution of the line, which is now in effect. You should be able to find SkimStone at your local independant paint store that distributes Modern Masters products. I am really loving the Sante Fe Pottery, Spa Blue and Toasted Almond as seen in the Terra Cotta Tile on the upper right. The Plum Blossom design, upper left, it a similar look to what I have planned for my home office-only really big and graphic across the floor. You can’t tell from the photo, but the flowers and leaves are highlighted with gold and silver mica powder that was suspended in the topcoat and troweled on.

February 27th, 2007

Tribal Vibes

Primitive art is probably something that doesn’t fit too well into most decorating schemes, but the graphic quality it posesses can work really nicely for clean, contemporary looks.


I created this column design for my friend and partner in the Art of Living project, Barb Skivington for her new loft space. This huge pillar is quite central in her living room/kitchen area and the custom Modello pattern was designed to fit seamlessly, so that it looks good from every side.


For my SkimStone class last week, I wanted to try something different for our “class carpet” project and I have been itching to do something with one of our new tribal panel designs. I think at first some of the students were a bit put off because it wasn’t a traditional look, but we had a lot of fun with the color scheme and the freedom to play with the design.


Coincidentally, one of our customer’s, Chris Zill, sent these completed furniture photos to me on the first day of class-more traditional designs but with the color scheme and treatment they looked quite African to me and we found these to be a good source of inspiration for the tribal carpet.