I actually published a book!

Finally I have compiled a number of “Other People’s Children” into a book that will move you and inspire you. I wrote and edited more chapters to meet the deadline as well. Nothing like impending open heart surgery and a good 40% off coupon to get things onto the front burner, eh?

Seriously:

This little book is an invitation to YOU to step into a new comfort zone with your sisters and brothers in this world. We are all frightened children trying to find the silk edge of the blanket at times. Let us be kind.

The plan is, that this is just the first of several little volumes. This book contains 16 original paintings by me, plus one ‘artistic photograph’, so it is a large undertaking. The book is 8″x10″ in full color so you can appreciate the art along with the stories.

Buy a hard copy. You will want to hold this in your hands. Then you will want to give more copies as gifts.

Franklin – Steampunking My Bathroom 6

tiles_completeAlmIt may not seem like much, but it was a huge undertaking for me. I finally finished painting the lines for the tiles on the upper vanity wall of the bathroom. There are five accent tiles. I painted the background color on these. It is taking me so long because my health has been not so good. I had a severe TIA a few weeks ago. We thought it was another stroke. I am still suffering some deficits from it. At any rate, it landed me in the hospital. They did all sorts of poking around and found that I have some major heart valve issues. This explains why I am exhausted all the time and fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

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Franklin considers his grandfather to be the wisest man he knows.

The latest cartoon character to join the collection is the Peanuts character Franklin. He is Charlie Brown’s African-American friend. He is Charlie’s most loyal friend. He admires his grandfather and considers him the wisest man he knows. He is located to the right of the clock.

Of the four remaining accent tiles, only two will be cartoon characters. The other two will be dedicated to Bethann’s and my passions: sewing for her; art for me. They will be a challenge.

Focal Corner / Steampunking My Bathroom 5

tiles_accentThere is an angled wall which conceals pipes and wires. It is right behind the toilet. It is at the opposite end from the bathroom door. I was trying to figure out how to treat this one foot surface with regard to the faux subway tile painting. I started out just continuing the normal pattern around with the two yellow rows. It looked awkward. Then it hit me. This is just paint. I don’t have to order or cut special tiles. I only need to measure, draw and paint! The first thing I decided was to move the clock onto this wall and paint it with Rustoleum’s “Hammered” galvanized look paint. It is just a $10 clock with a cheesy, faux wood frame. Next, I took the yellow and framed a large section over the toilet with 3″ x 6″ tiles and filled it in with blue and shrimp checkerboard 3″ x 3″ tiles. I hung the clock at an appropriate height on this wall. This freed up the spot where the clock had been for a cartoon tile portraying Woodstock.

A couple of the guys who work at the State Store have been following my progress. I ran into one of them at the grocery store and I told him about the cartoon characters I had added. He asked me if my bathroom would pass true steampunk muster; if Bruce Rosenbaum or Damien McNamara would approve. I replied, probably not. This is just a poor man’s version. Plus the faux, subway tiles, with the cartoon accents, are really more postmodern. So what we have here is Steampunk Postmodern Fusion. My grandchildren like it! It’s bright and cheery. It keeps me from playing on the freeway, as they used to say. Who knew this guy was so design literate? Kudos!

Sienna Mist radiator
Sienna Mist radiator

Next to the toilet is the radiator. I spray painted it with another of Rustoleum’s new paints: Sienna Mist. It was true to its name. The overspray left a fine coating over the entire floor of the bathroom and the lower two feet of the walls all around. Thankfully, most of it came off with just warm water, a rag and elbow grease. This photo doesn’t do it justice. It has a copper or bronze-like metallic sheen.

I’m into the home stretch now. I have to finish the subway tile lining here and there and four or five more cartoons. I have to paint the clawfeet of the tub and perhaps the tank and seat of the toilet. That’s right. I still have to fabricate and hang the copper tubing curtain rod for the window valance, and repaint the crates. No rest for the wicked.

Line Painting as Entry Drug

DSC02939I started out just painting two different colors on the same wall. Then I stepped it up to include thin white lines to make the colors appear to be rows of tiles. Next thing you know, I’m freehand drawing cartoon characters to paint onto ‘special tiles’. The first three were from physical models I could hold in my hands: Rubber Ducky, Pokey & Gumby. Then my appetites led me to scour the internet for images to draw: Rocky, Bullwinkle, Sylvester, etc. I published these on Facebook, and my public clamoured for more! They were surprised by my talent. My wife was surprised by my modest talent. Quite frankly, I was the most surprised of all. I have never been able to draw!
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This was quite intoxicating. I took the next step and graduated into original art. Well, you can be the judge. It’s a cartoon self-portrait. Before condemning me, remember that it was you, my public, who drove me to this! I would not have gone so far down this cartoon art rabbithole without others enabling me and coddling me along the way; not allowing me to hit bottom.DSC02933

Here is the selfie that is the basis of my painting:DSC02960

Here is my 9″x 12″ cartoon selfie:selfcartoon

 

 

 

 

To think, it all started with a seemingly innocent line. Of course, in reality, it goes back to the Rubber Ducky that set me on the path to painting the bathroom to begin with. To think of it, I never would have gotten that Rubber Ducky if the bathroom didn’t have an antique, clawfoot tub.  It was that tub that put its talons into my soul to put me on the path to perditionDSC02936 of cartoon art!DSC02935

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Custom Tiles / Steampunking My Bathroom 4

tile_rubberduckyToday’s little update is that I started to paint some custom tiles. Originally, I was planning on painting graffitti rubber ducks of various colors on top of the tiles, once the walls were painted. However, I was inspired by the custom, reproduction subway tiles I saw when I was researching for this project. With all the work I’m putting into this, spoiling it with graffitti just didn’t appeal to me anymore. I still wanted to include my rubber ducks, etc., so this is a more civilized presentation.

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If you like what you see and you want to continue seeing progress reports, please help us keep our home.

Our house is not just our house. It is also the base of operations for The King’s Jubilee to which we have dedicated our lives and resources for three decades. It is also a small native plant refuge for birds, insects, butterflies and small mammals in the middle of an old borough in part of the urban sprawl outside of Philadelphia. If you want to help us save our house you may make a donation via The King’s Jubilee using the Paypal button below or go to GoFundMe and help us out there. Thanks!



Accessorizing / Steampunking My Bathroom 3

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Shampoo & soap dish for shower.

Today I added soap and shampoo holders for the shower and little trays above the sink to hold cups, toothpaste, etc. These are made of 4″ galvanized vent caps bolted together, then bolted to the wall. I was inspired to use these in this maner by the use of the PVC end caps that are bolted to the scaffolding at Home Depot and used to dispense advertising flyers and such. I failed to share a picture of my toilet paper holder until now. It is angled out for two reasons. Our toilet angles from the corner, so this places the paper in actual parallel. More importantly, this allows the holder to receive larger than standard rolls. We sometimes are given “remnant” rolls of TP by a cleaning service. This spindle will accommodate them just fine.DSC02914

If you like what you see and you want to continue seeing progress reports, please help us keep our home.

Our house is not just our house. It is also the base of operations for The King’s Jubilee to which we have dedicated our lives and resources for three decades. It is also a small native plant refuge for birds, insects, butterflies and small mammals in the middle of an old borough in part of the urban sprawl outside of Philadelphia. If you want to help us save our house you may make a donation via The King’s Jubilee using the Paypal button below or go to GoFundMe and help us out there. Thanks!