2022 Nebraska State Fair

I am usually out of town when the when the Nebraska State Fair rolls around. This year I made it back into town just in time for its very last day. The Nebraska State Fair isn’t just about the carnival rides, its mainly about 4H and FFA. There is livestock, food, crafts, woodworking, quilt and many more competitions. There are food vendors and other vendors displaying their merchandise, entertainers, and concerts. Here are some pictures from the fair:

Hand Painted Nativity

I was looking through my boxes, yes boxes, of crafts I had not finished for my next project, and I found the nativity set. I opened the top cover of the box, and everything looked yellow. Then I removed the plastic cover, and the pieces was still white and in great shape. The price tag on the box had the year of 2004. This set survived a flood and traveled over 1100 miles to it new home.

I painted each piece with acrylic paint, but I wanted the pieces to sparkle. After the paint dried, I applied pearl glaze over each piece. Usually, the pearl glaze is added to the painted, but using it like varnish, gave the pieces the shine I wanted. To seal the pieces, I sprayed each with polyacrylic varnish.

Painted Coaster – Set 5

This is another project that was sitting around for a long time waiting for me to finish it. I do have a few excuses: 1) Resin is difficult to work with so I normally put it off; and 2) Items should be varnished in warm weather. For these coasters, I use the Fluid Painting technique, also known as Pour Painting.

I first sealed the wood tiles using a white primer and let it dry for a few days. The paint mixture was 1 part acrylic paint to 2 parts Floetrol, with a drop of shredder oil. The different color paint, white, pink, light blue, dark blue, purple, red was layered in a cup (multiple time) and pour over the wood tiles.

I let the paint dry for weeks, before cleaning it with a mixture of Dawn soap and water. Again, I let it dry for a few days before spraying the tiles with varnish. And, then they sat for months. I had to dust them off before pouring the resin over the tiles. Resin does not like dust or oil. Either of these on the surface would cause bad results.

After letting the resin cure for a few weeks, I put glued cork on the back of each tile.

Wood Tray with Folding Legs

Have you ever gone into a store and saw something and thought, “I could finish that item! If I did, my sister would love it”? That is exactly what happened to me earlier this year when I was strolling through Hobby Lobby.

Wood Tray with Folding Left finished by Sarah

The first step was to purchase the Wood Tray. If took me several trips to Hobby Lobby before I decided that I would work on this project. Next, I sanded all sides of the tray including the legs. Originally, I was going to stain the tray a traditional color. As I was looking through my collection of stain, I found Worn Navy by Rust-oleum. Perfect! My sister likes greens, blues, and teals. I painted the bottom of the tray with primer and stained the rest of the wood with Worn Navy. After it was dry, I placed a light coat of varnish over the stained area.

My original idea was to create a mosaic on the bottom of the tray with just leaves. I already had some leaves cut and baked which I made from Sculpey Clay, but I decided to add some flowers too. I used Sculpey Polymer Clay to make the flower petals and additional leaves. After everything was prepared and laid out, and even though it had a nice gradient, I decided it was too plain. I drew a tangle on every leaf, petal, and circle using acrylic paint pens. Each petal and leaf were glued to the bottom. Mint Puff Paint was used as the grout. I sprinkled three colors of glitter over the grout before it dried.

I seal all my work with polyacrylic before applying the resin. Sealing the piece helps to reduce the number of bubbles in the resins. My flavor resin to use is made by Art Resin. Their resin calculator is very useful.

I could of stop there and it would have been beautiful, but no I had to paint flowers on the outside edge and vines and leaves on the legs. I used acrylic paint pens. I like color, so the flowers were painted different colors.

After the painting was completed, I put a few more coats of polyurethane on the tray (sanding between each coat). You would think I was done. No! I was concerned that if it was stored, the legs would open at an inopportune time, hitting someone and causing an ouchy. Another trip to Hobby Lobby and I purchase belt buckles and ribbon and put my limited sewing techniques to work and made two straps. Again, they were a bit plain, so I used Puff Paint to paint flowers on the straps.

Flower Chests

These chests were a pain to sand and stain. An absolute pain. It took me over two years to complete them and at one point I almost tossed them in the garbage. The boxes were purchased from Hobby Lobby.

The problems: First the tops and sides of the boxes were so fragile they were difficult to sand. Second, I tried to use Minwax Gel Stain on the inside of the box – that went very poorly. On the plus side, this was a test of the Gel Stain before I put it on something much larger. I tossed the Gel Stain to never to be used again.

Three Nesting Boxes

First, I sanded the boxes and applied stain all over, even the areas I intended to paint. Second, I applied the first coat of varnish to the areas I was not going to paint. I apply varnish to seal the wood just in case I accidently got paint on unwanted areas of the boxes. Paint can easily be cleaned off the varnish areas before it dries, otherwise the paint would soak into the wood. Next, I painted the tops, sides, and the inside bottoms of the boxes using chalk paint.

After everything had dried and I was satisfied with the painting, I sanded the box again and applied another coat of varnish. Matte varnish on the painted areas and gloss varnish on the stained areas. Afterwards, I decided to add something extra. I created a mosaic pattern on the inside of the box, which I created from Sculpey Clay. I put a light coat of varnish on the bottom of the box before I poured resin over the pattern.

Since the bottom of the box was already painted. I didn’t see the need to fill the spaces with grout.

I still was not satisfied with color of the boxes. I wanted them to be darker. So, I lightly sanded the boxes with steel wool and applied a coat of Minwax Polyshade. It has stain and polyurethane.

Felt was added to the front and sides of the boxes because I thought if anyone wanted to store anything small in the boxes, it would just fallout through the holes.

Wichita Art Museum

The Wichita Art Museum exhibits work honoring women artists, pre-Columbian artifacts, glass works, and other sculptures and paintings. I found Kay Sekimachi’s Leaf Bowl a fascinating work of art.

The artist of the glass painting did a remarkable job capturing the light reflections.

The museum had some beautiful glass works.

One of the most interesting items in the museum was the history of the Corning Glass Works. Most of us have use Corning dishes. They made the first light bulb for Thomas Edison.

The blown glass exhibit featuring Richard Marquis was entertaining. His glass work was unique, humorous and creative.

Finally, the sculpture titled “Bed” by Lloyd Glasson was amazing.

4″ Wood Squares

I purchased some wood squares from Michael’s. I was going to create fluid art on them and make coasters. I have multiple sets of fluid art coasters so I decided to sand and stain the squares while I was staining my desk. I used acrylic paint markers for the designs and sealed the squares with gloss polycrylic.

I am not sure what to do with these. I may still make coasters out of them. Coaster work better if they are sealed with resin. Which is still possible, because resin work better when the surface is sealed.

Four Panel Paintings

Here are four paintings that I poured together on 8 inch wood panels.  Numerous colors were used to create these painting.  The mixture for all the colors were the same: 1 part acrylic paint, 2 parts Floetrol, 1/10th water,  2 drops silicon.

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