Friday, December 2, 2011

Bratenella's painting station

Painting away like a little elf :)

This is my little paint "station" in my studio.  I like to have a small space to work on something and be able to leave it out to dry or make it easy to play with an idea, then go back to work on sewing.
Some of my favorite things at my paint station are:
1-That's not a cup of milk or iced's my paint  I love this cup, don't ask me why.  One day I took it out of the kitchen to rinse my brushes and now I can't paint without it.
2- I use paper plates for my paint palette.  I never remember to wash them, so a white paper plate allows me to just toss it when I'm done.
3- This is one of my favorite paintings.  I was inspired to paint this because my cats really sleep like this on their kitty bed.  I just can't part with the original.
4- This is my Bratenella logo.  It's me with my four "babies".  They are really my inspiration for art.  The first real painting that started Bratenella was of my cat.  I've been drawing them since I was little.  I've had siamese cats my whole life.  And I can't really have anything else now, because they're amazing little creatures and my cats have to match. :)
5-  This is tea cup flower pot.  I love putting stuff in flower pots because they're pretty and functional. 
6- My own mixture of paint for skintones.
7- Glaze.  LOVE the glaze.  It's my go to item.
8- A Bratenella elf that I made and couldn't part with.  She watched over all of the Christmas ornament painting this year. 

Having things around that I love to look at or mean something special to me....keeps me inspired.  I'm so thankful to have a space where I can feel like a kid :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bratenella Tea Party Photo Shoot

Amazing pictures from the Bratenella photo the amazing photographer Maisi Julian Photography.  She's located in Alexandria, VA.  Wish we were closer because everything she does makes my day! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

OMG! I saw this on the Lilly Pulitzer Blog.  Apparently, they have an artist named Paige...just like me.  It must go with the name to love pink and cake!  I hope they do some designs like this.  <3 <3 <3

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Custom Flower Girl Dolls

Just finished some really cute special Bratenella order dolls that a bride ordered for her flower the idea!

Her wedding colors are black and white.  She sent pictures of the girls and their dresses.  So, I worked off of that.  What a special and unique gift.  I'm going to have to market these for weddings and brides!

This was my final order and now I'm shutting down the Bratenella operation for a month or so while we prepare for the big move and then get settled in the new place and the!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pink, Yellow & Green Color Scheme

Putting together the color scheme for my new house. Shades of pink, yellow and green with hand painted furniture in cream. 
My dishes are Botanic Garden by Portmeirion.  I am going to upholster some furniture in the yellow and pink stripe.  Curtains of a large houndstooth pattern.  I'm waiting for the wall stencil to arrive and will do the walls with a very pale sage green (Currently they are an ivory-ish yellow.  So, I might just work with that).  The little posie print is called "Empress Woo". (How cute is that???)  I painted the table myself in a cream color with a pale pink damask pattern stenciled on it, then antiqued.  The shabby chic rose rug is a hand tufted wool.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Bratenella Cat Fabric

I always talk about how combining my art with the ability to create my own fabric is thrilling.....but, is!  Today I received an order and I just love how this one turned out!  I just might not be able to sleep tonight and will have to whip something up!  Something new might just show up on my website!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bratenella Tea Party Photo Shoot

OMG!  I am so thrilled to share the first pics from the Bratenella Tea Party photo shoot!  Once again, Maisi Julian Photography did the pictures.  She has an amazing eye and her ideas are always so great!  I mean, look at those little tea cups and cupcakes!  Maisi Julian Photography always makes my company look so great!  She's definitely worth the trip to Virginia!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hanky Panky

I have just selected some new fabrics and can't wait to work with this one.  The squares are 8" each.  So, each one should fit one doll perfectly.
The Hanky Panky Collection!  Can't wait to get my hands on this fabric and get started!

Bratenella is moving!

In the next few weeks we will be leaving Connecticut for South Carolina. Bratenella will be moving into a large studio. I am so excited! I am temporarily closing my etsy shop and items for sale on my website as I won't be able to devote enough time to special orders and running the sites. I am going to work on some new items in my spare time, get things packed up for the move and then settle into my studio. I can't wait to set it up and decorate. I know it will give me inspiration to do some cute new things!
In June,I will begin the decorating process. So, check back and see what we're up to!
Just remember, "Being a brat isn't necessarily a bad thing!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is what I do when I’m trying to procrastinate…..
Find an old desk…..and make it fabulous!
Old furniture is my favorite thing to create something unique.  I use to “try out” my techniques on “junk” because it wouldn’t matter if I ruined it.  But, taking a risk is well worth it!  Sometimes you just have to jump in and figure, the worst thing that will happen is it looks horrible.  That’s not really a big deal in the scheme of things.  And paint is forgiving….if you hate it, paint over it.  It’s that simple.
So, what I did is find a little secretary desk.  I paid $100 for it at a “junk store”.  Well, worth it in my opinion because it’s very solid hard wood with dovetail joints.  I like the curved front drawers overall lines of the piece.
  • Stripping:  Because this was a stained piece, not painted, I had to try a different process.  (If it’s paint, all you have to do is sand and scuff it up so the primer will adhere.)  With a stained piece, you have to strip it or the primer will not adhere.  This was the first time I used a stripping product.  Now, this is powerful stuff!  It has warnings, but I wore regular gloves (and they disinegrated….so follow the instructions and wear special gear!)  You simply “paint” the goop on and wait for about 30 minutes and scrape it off.  It makes a mess, but amazing how it works.  Then, clean it up with a “wash”.  This will ensure there isn’t any residue left behind.  Because it will harden and look really bad.
  • Prime:  My absolute favorite primer is a “Gripper” primer.  This mean, you can apply it to surfaces that might normally scratch off.  Cover all surfaces.  Depending on the coverage you’re getting.  I often let it dry thoroughly and then apply another coat.
  • Paint:  I use a semi gloss latex paint for the basecoat.  Paint two coats of your base color.  I used a cream color called “raffia cream”.  Use a brush for small areas and use a small foam roller for flat surfaces like the sides and top. Let your paint dry overnight.
  • Stripes:  This time I decided to do stripes.  A low tack painters tape works well for this.  Apply the tape in the pattern you desire.  Smooth down well on edges.  Then, I used a roller to paint the stripes.  Remove the tape while the paint is still wet.  It gives you time to clean up anything that may have seeped under the paint.  I then, used a brown (raw umber) paint to make a fine stripe along the lines.  This highlights areas on the trim as well.  Let that dry and then apply an antiquing medium.  I like to apply paint, then rub it off.  You can apply a polyurithane (just make sure it’s waterbased if you’re using latex)
And there you have it!  Apply your hardware and you’re done!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bratenella Dolls Photo Shoot

The Bratenella photo shoot was fantastic!   DC Photographer, Maisi Julian Photography from Alexandria, VA set this up using my dolls.  I loved her ideas and the photos are beautiful!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My distraction

I always need a little distraction from the work I'm suppose to be doing.  So, in between sanding, painting and sewing I started working on this little kitty needlepoint.  I plan to incorporate it into one of my fancy pillows with tassels and trims.  I'll post it when I'm done :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scissors fit for a BRAT like me!

Scissors fit for Bratenella! I found these and thought to myself….if I were to imagine the perfect scissors for me, these would be it! Simple pleasures :) Many wouldn’t understand, but it’s like when you have a favorite pen. Some pens make your writing stand tall and look it’s best. I love pens, all kinds of pens. Always have. Always will. And I don’t even think I’ve ever used all the ink out of a single pen because there are so many around. I must have hundreds, but sometimes I wonder where they’re all hiding because I’m always looking for one when I need to write down a message. Same goes with tape and scissors. They’re always missing….but, I doubt the boys in my house will want to have anything to do with these beauties. <3