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Category: Garay Artisans

01 Jun

Fauxology Blog Archive: Snakeskin Revisited

I’m still down but hope to be back to business tomorrow. Today, we are going back to Snakeskin Revisited, where the team and I had a fun time in Land O’ Lakes, Florida — if you’ll click on the further links on the post, you’ll see the naked truth about why.  ;)   In Snakeskin Revisited, we also post the step-by-step recipe to achieving the realistic effect of Snakeskin (courtesy of Faux Effects).

Snakeskin Finish

18 May

Fauxology Updates

Hello, hello!  Well, I’ve been busy testing out several things and wanted to update you on the results. You ready?

First up, our Fauxology Fan Page on Facebook.  Are you a Fan yet?  WHAT?!?  No, no seriously.  It’s cool…no worries.

OK, enough shenanigans, we need to get through this post. ;)   Our Fan Page features a lot of links to stories and profiles that I find around the Internet that don’t necessarily translate to an entire post — but they’re still very cool to look at and read.  I also post (what I think are) amazing images, too.  I try not to cross-pollinate much because I like fresh content on both the blog and the fan page.  But I did do this…

fauxology facebook fan page
Screen Shot of Fauxology FB Fan Page

The updated menu on the side has an All About Fauxology tab which links to our Mission Statement and other cool things, including a Contact Us form. We’ve added our Twitter feed and the brand-new YouTube channel.  Best of all, there is a Contests & Giveaways tab which can keep you updated on all the current opportunities you have to win a great prize. It’s divided into three categories: The Deets (which is currently showcasing info on the gorgeous Royal Stencil Crèmes and a Giveaway), Week-long Series opportunities (only a few days left to submit your Column projects!) and the Photo Contests. The next Photo Contest is in June and it is a great prize.  I hope these enhance your Fauxology experience on Facebook!

Our YouTube Channel is new but we will be updating it with videos on both decorative painting in design and online marketing bites.  There’s a very cool announcement coming up about Twitter as well.  That’s all I can say for now since there’s so much more to come to compliment our Building Your Online Brand class at IDAL.

A personal triumph for me is that we sent out our first Fauxology newsletter this morning — it rounds up the current goings-on here at the blog as well as a sneak peek into what’s coming up in June.  If you’ like to sign up to receive future issues, the form to join our mailing list is on our Fauxology home page.

As a final, I wanted to let you know that yours truly is being featured in the Faux by Kathy website as both a blogger (home page profile) and as a Preferred Decorative Artisan with images of our work.  On the blogger article, you find out exactly what jumpstarted Fauxology.  (It involves the word “Intervention”.)  Faux by Kathy is a fantastic site for faux finishers as they post info on products, workshops and offer a slew of resources, including a free Finish of the Month series.  It is run by the lovely Kathy Carroll and is definitely worth checking out.

Any thoughts on the improvements and coming attractions?  Have a great day!

28 Apr

IDAL Class: Building Your Online Brand

Have you made your travel plans yet to attend the IDAL Convention this Summer?

idal conference logo

IDAL is the International Decorative Artisans League and they hold their annual convention and conference each summer. It is an opportunity to network with colleagues and peers, brush up on techniques by taking classes from the pros and check out the latest in products and tools at the Expo. This year’s conference is being held July 20-24th in Hampton, Va. I am excited to announce that Regina Garay and I will be teaching a class at the convention called, “Building Your Online Brand”.

Regina and I actually met “online”. I found her blog (this blog) and started leaving comments here and following her on Twitter and friending her on Facebook. (Does that make me a stalker?) Anyway, we became fast virtual friends and started talking about techie stuff like social media, search engine optimization, website building and blogging. I have a marketing background and have spent my entire adult life helping businesses “get the word out” about what they do. So, it was a natural progression for Regina and I to start talking about how we can help people in the decorative painting industry use technology  and social media to grow their reach, expand their customer base and have their brand show up in a BIG way online.

We have invested a good amount of time studying the best online practices and putting into action what we are preaching in the class. We have networked, taken online courses and both attended the Design Blogger’s Conference in Los Angeles in February. Regina has poured her heart, soul and brain into this blog, Fauxology for the last 4 years.  She dove right into the pool of social media in its infancy and now is a high profile Twitter-lebrity in the Design Community. I personally have spent the last five years of my day job helping clients brand their businesses, writing marketing plans and developing strategies and tactics for successful campaigns; All online. Regina and I are so stuffed full of tech stuff that we can’t wait to unload some of it on all of you guys.

We decided to offer a class at IDAL so we could help the artists in our industry navigate the web independently and show them some of the important places where they need to be found online. Some of the topics we will cover in the class are:

  1. How to set up and grow a blog
  2. How to use social media to promote your business
  3. How to set up Google Places
  4. How Google’s changing algorithms are affecting  Search Engine Rankings
  5. How to monitor the web for mentions about your business
  6. How to use Linked In, Twitter and Facebook effectively
  7. How to use analytics to track results
  8. How to create buzz without spending any money
  9. How to use long tail keywords to show up in organic search
  10. How to get the referral engine cranking

So, for a small investment in time (2 hrs) and money ($85) you’ll be ready to conquer the on line world. Well, maybe you won’t be able to conquer it, but we will at least give you a road map to get you started on your way. Check out the other classes, too.  There are lots of great teachers assembling in one location for the week offering classes on everything from stenciling to counter tops. Why not take some time off, come and network with your peers and learn a few new tricks? I hope to meet you all IRL (In Real Life) at the conference.

26 Apr

Embossed Allover Designs

When we were at the Design Bloggers Conference, designer extraordinaire Tobi Fairley took the stage.  She was giving great advice all over the place and then she said “Your blog should showcase your work about 70% of the time”.  You can imagine how I started cringing and sliding down my seat because that’s not this blog at all.  I’m lucky if I get to 15%, methinks.  I find comfort in that Fauxology was never meant to be a journal of my work — it’s more like the journal of my obsession with love of decorative painting.  I believe I will always continue down that road.

embossed stencil

Today, however, you get part of the 15%.  This project is one area of a beautiful home we spent a few months in.  Both the husband and wife were very involved in the design and wanted something out of the ordinary for the foyer-to-living-room entrance.  They loved the embossed stenciling we were doing in another area and wanted to incorporate it using an allover design.

We scoured stencil catalogs and Dover publications and our clients ended up finding designs they liked in a book. Since we had no time to order a custom Modello or stencil, we cut our own, created a grid and got to work mapping it out.

Here’s where I tell you that using single stencils to create an allover pattern is NOT something to recommend.  First, my brother came up with the idea to transfer the grid pattern to craft paper and make holes for where center elements would need to be…

craft grid

Then, we put pushpins in the centers of the design and drew out the pattern loosely on the wall to make the stencil placement easier…or so we thought.

mapping the allover stencil grid

Monica Arrache, patient team member

The drawn pattern didn’t make everything as easy as we’d hoped since we had to adjust time and time again when embossing.

allover stencil pattern

See the final embossed design as compared to the drawn pattern and level lines? It WAS good to have them, though, as a placement guide.

Of course, the stencil glue would lift some parts of the wall and the Venetian Plaster did seep under the stencil.  We would immediately clean up the seepage because you never want it to dry that way.

embossing with a stencil

Here’s the basic design layout coming around…

embossed stencil

Then we filled in the centers and the wall edges.  (I’d like to take a moment to say how much I now truly appreciate large production allover stencils with registrations marks that stencil companies offer.)

After the pattern was down and dry, we went to town with tiny artist brushes cleaning up all the background color.  Then we started overglazing.

glazing over embossing

Using an idea we spied on The Gilded Barn blog and with some tips from the writer, Tamra Cook, we outlined the edges of the finish with a chocolate Venetian Plaster, added metallic highlights over the top and tapped in decorative nail heads.  You can see it better in the second pic below.

embossed stenciling


embossed stenciling

Voila! You can also spy one of our antique mirrors over the fireplace.

I don’t even want to tell you how long it took — but our clients were SO happy and it really is a sight to see in person.  Our clients tell us that when guests walk in the first thing they do is walk right up to it, run their hands over it and ask about it in detail.  It was definitely enjoyable to have it all come together.  :)   Tomorrow we go back to the 85% — I’ll see you then!

29 Mar

Versatile Venetian Plaster

Venetian Plaster – one of the most versatile techniques in our industry.  It can be an elegant background via a single color or it can be embedded or embossed with patterns, detailed with metallics and/or encompass various colors to create a visual masterpiece.

Venetian Plasters fall into two different categories: lime-based and synthetic.  Lime-based tend to have a more “ethereal” look since they dry to a more luminescent stone state.  Lime-based plasters are also mold resistant and are the traditional Italian choice.  Synthetic plasters tend to have a “denser” look but are able to take deep colors better and are easier to use and match.  It is best to make sample boards for your clients to determine which look they prefer.

A few years ago, I traveled to Italy with Safra Plasters to learn more about this technique.

Yellow Venetian Plaster Venice Lime Exterior in Venice

My sister, Suzanne, joined me. Here she is next to an interior hotel application (left) and exterior application in Venice (right).  There was also a very creative plaster finish in another hotel.

Our company has done a few commissions since then…

Venetian Plaster glossy white

White Venetian Plaster in a Bath. Our client wanted the plaster to reflect the surroundings.

Venetian Plaster walls and gold Leaf ceiling

This Venetian Plaster has three different colors within three layers with wax. We also gold leafed the ceiling and painted all the wood, trim and moldings a glossy black.

Venetian Plaster Waterfall Cascade

For this commission, we applied several Venetian Plaster colors in a waterfall cascade effect.

I’ve also seen other recent images that I’ve enjoyed…

Lime Green Venetian PlasterA lime green Venetian Plaster in one of Elton John’s homes, recently profiled in Architectural Digest. LOVE the color.

Embossed Design in Venetian Plaster

This looks to have an embossed design on the Venetian Plaster and then troweled over with a metallic wax. That would be my guess. (Source Unknown)

(update) Above Source: Regency Redux

Venetian Plaster WallsA more “chunky” yet traditional look as featured in Phoenix Home and Garden magazine.

If you’d like to see more of our work and info on Venetian Plaster, please do check out our Venetian Plaster Demystified post over on the lovely Home Workshop blog.  I’ve tried quite a few product lines and have been satisfied with the results of most of them.  When we plastered the Orlando International Airport, the specified plaster was from Behr and it gave us a nice, matte result. (It did help that we had the technique down, though — it is a thicker plaster.)  The  most recent product line we have played with is Stucco Italiano — they also have a very cool blog and we’ve profiled them before. We love the way their plaster trowels and can’t wait to try it in a commission.  Tell me — is Venetian Plaster one of your favorite techniques?  What product lines do you favor?  I always like to hear more about this beautiful finish from fellow artisans!

24 Mar

Mirrors for Celebration!

A recent profile of our mirror works by the wonderful My Notting Hill blog inspired me to post a recent mirror project.  This one was an elegantly simple, albeit small, commission we did for the Celebration Hotel.  I truly enjoy working with the designer, Debbie Golding, because she is immensely talented.  Every time she designs a space I love it all — the fabrics, the textures, the furniture…I could go on.  She always finds amazing materials and products.  This was the fifth hotel we’ve worked on together — you can see the Asheville, NC project and also the one in Savannah, GA by clicking on those links.

For this hotel, we did antiqued mirrors with a metallic pearl and gold sheen for an exterior seating area.  The pearl took about 80% and the gold 20% — they were added and blended at the same time but each needed to keep their colorations intact.  You can really catch the sheen of the metallic mica powders in person.  We also did a larger mirror with the same colorations for the reception area but, unfortunately, do not have an image of that area.  Hope these will do…

Antique Mirror Patina

A close view of one of the exterior mirrors.

Antique Mirror Patinas

Mirrors in situ.

Antique Mirror Patinas

A closeup -- see the pearl and light bits of gold?

Antique Mirror Patinas

Wide angle view of part of the hotel exterior. I love all the light fixtures, accessories and colorations. The interior reflects lighter tones and more in the gold family -- it's gorgeous.

Not a big project, but I have caught guests touching the mirrors and then smiling.  Does it get any better than that?  You can see more mirrors in our other company website, Mirror Patinas.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these images. We do have a residential project that we recently wrapped and altogether spent a total of about 3 months in the home, working top to bottom.  I’ll share those soon as well.  Tomorrow, we return to our Portrait of an Artist series — an artist whom I’m truly excited for you to read about.  Have a wonderful Thursday!

22 Mar

Building Your Online Brand

The Future of Business.

YouTube Preview Image

(Thank for that info, Socialnomics!)

Social Media is a cultural shift and it will affect how we do business in the future. Fact. It’s been fun doing so much research, attending conferences, reading voraciously, talking to top tech experts — all to see how social media can help the decorative painting industry specificallyDana Tucker and I have been sharing some of this information with you on Fauxology and in industry articles (and we’ll be sharing more, trust) but we’ve also gone one step further.  We’re teaching a class for you called Building Your Online Brand during the IDAL conference in Hampton, VA from July 20 – 24, 2011.  The class is on Thursday, July 21st from 1:30 – 3:30 pm and registration for the conference and class is now open.  The cost for this two-hour workshop?

One Million Dollars.

Ha! I just wanted to see if you were still with me.  :D   The class workshop is only $85 and we’ve culled the best information to put together as it can be used by our industry.  During the two hours we’re going to cover the following topics:

  • Using Social Media Sites effectively
  • Search Engine Optimization for websites
  • Setting up, Maintaining and Growing a Blog
  • Creating an effective online Marketing Plan
  • Question and Answer session

A lot of ground to cover in two hours!  We’ll be giving out a folder with a resource guide and we highly suggest bringing a laptop or other tech device to use during class.  It’s going to be! (‘Cause I’ve wanted to fall asleep during some of the really technical conferences and I don’t want that to happen to you.)  I’m really excited to meet some of our gorgeous Readers at the conference as well, no doubts about that!  Tell me — is there anything in particular you’d like us to include in the class?  Or, include in the blog and/or our other writing efforts?  Let us know because, for us, it’s all about listening and delivering.

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