In 1996, I was doing a lot of sketching and decorative painting. It was also the year I found the perfect Hoosier cabinet at a good price in a local antique store. It became the theme of my homemade Christmas cards that year. I sketched and then printed out the cards but I didn’t have a color printer at the time, so each sketch was hand-water-colored.
This year I finally found the perfect 1930s era Hoosier kitchen cabinet – just about my age! It has become the baking center of all the holidays but has never looked prettier than at Christmas time.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and the chance to find something you have always wanted.
The old Hoosier cabinet still means just as much to me and the greeting from almost 20 years ago still rings true.
A while back, I made my first garden banner featuring a harness horse. So far, it has held up well through a very hot, sunny summer and a few torrential rains. I wanted to make another banner for “back to school” and chose a favorite design by Helan Barrick from my decorative painting days. I call this a banner rather than a flag because it is quite stiff and becomes even more so when exposed to the weather.
I used canvas duck fabric (not outdoor canvas which is treated) which was sewn to make a double thickness 12×18 inch banner with sleeve and primed it with two coats of Gesso front and back. Then I drew the design on the front and painted it with acrylics.
For the back, which I can see clearly from my front window, I painted a design of an Amish-style quilt block.
Both sides were finished with two coats of Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic to make it weather-proof.
I like seeing the banner in my front yard – my dog Rusty is looking out the door, probably admiring the quilt block on the back!
I have a small garden flag stand beside my front walk and have a lot of nice seasonal flags for it, but I was never able to find a flag with a harness horse on it. This past week, I bought some canvas duck fabric at JoAnn’s to make a floor cloth and thought I would try making a small banner out of this material, using the same general procedure I have used for floor cloths.
The duck canvas gets several coats of Gesso to provide a good surface for painting. The design is painted with acrylic paint and inked with a Sharpie fine or ultra-fine pen on the canvas and then several coats of clear satin acrylic varnish are applied.
I cut a piece of fabric for the back from an old county fair panel I’ve had for years. This was also coated with the varnish.
This piece is something of an experiment for me since I know the process works well for indoor floor mats and the acrylic works well for outdoor wood items, but I’ve never combined the two processes before.
I like the banner very much. The barn is from a photograph of the horse barn my father had for his harness horses for many years.
It was a gathering place for the family in the 1950s and 60s, especially during county fair time when everyone congregated.
I’ll see how this banner works out in all kinds of weather and I may be making a few more throughout the year.