Friday, September 15, 2017

Thyme to show you a Dressmakers Notion Box

Summer is winding down here on Cape Cod
which makes me sad because it went by so fast!

Fall Thyme is just as beautiful here!

Lets step inside the STUDIO to see what I have been working on.

I must say I am very behind on blogging about all my latest projects.
I have lots to show you!
Now that I will be spending more thyme inside hopefully I will get caught up soon.

Today I wanted to show you a project 
Dressmakers Notion Box
Design by Cynthia Erekson

My Palette

Traditional Raw Sienna, Marigold, Traditional Burnt Umber, Antique Gold Deep, Blue Mist, Antique Green, Plantation Pine, Desert Sand, Sand , Oxblood, Lamp Black

Emperor's Gold

Lets Paint!

I began by sealing the outside of the lid and box using

I let the sealed surfaces dry then I base coated them with one coat of
 Traditional Raw Sienna.

For the second coat I heavily loaded a 2" sponge brush 

Traditional Raw Sienna

I "pressed and lifted" the heavily loaded brush repeatedly over the first coat, 
creating a bumpy textured surface on the outer box and lid.

Next I measured a 2"margin around the lid for the wood grain borders.

I used a sponge brush loaded with Marigold to add a textured border
 within the 2" outer margins on the cover of the box.

I avoided the corner squares.

I painted the sides of the box in the same manner

I let the box dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Now to add some graining!

I mixed a graining glaze with my palette knife.
To do this I mixed 2 quarter size puddles of 
Traditional Burnt Umber 
onto the center of my palette.

I then squirted 8 quarter size puddles of
around these 2 puddles

Last I added 2 small squirts of 
Easy Float

I used a 2" sponge brush to "press and lift" a coat of glaze onto the 2" borders. 
I worked on one section at a time.

After I applied my glaze mixture I quickly squiggled through the glaze with my over grainer.
I held the tool at a 45 degree angle and pulled the brush through the glaze in a zig zag manner.

I repeated this on all 4 borders.

I let the box cover dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

I used my moon brush
Blue Mist 
to lightly build up layers of color 
for the sky .

After loading the brush scrub it on a paper towel to remove most of the paint. 
You want to be working with a dry brush!

You can cover your grained borders with some stencil paper so as not to get any paint on them while painting the center of the lid.

Next I transferred the horizon line.
I base coated the horizon with Antique Green using my moon brush.
Make sure after loading brush you scrub it on a paper towel first to remove most of the paint before applying to your surface.
You should not see wet paint on your surface!

I then used the same dirty brush and added Plantation Pine to define the hill areas.

I used the chisel edge of the moon brush to highlight the hilltops with Antique Gold Deep.

Next I transferred the main areas of the design to my surface.

I am now working on the main elements of the design.
People often ask what I use for brushes.
I usually use Loew- Cornell Ultra Rounds for base coating and shading details.
They hold a lot of water and you can easily build the depth of your color.

Close up of buildings as I paint them.

Here you can see a close up of the wood grain detail on the borders.
When wood graining you don't have to worry too much about getting it all to "match"!
That is what makes it more realistic.

I am now adding the trees to the design.
I've added windows and doors to the buildings.
I have added the bottom border with Lamp Black for the lettering detail.

I have added the paths and shaded the ground using the chisel edge of the moon brush.
I have also added the weeds and crow.

Close up of box.

I have now added the lettering with Emperor's Gold.
I shaded it with Oxblood.
I painted the corners Lamp Black.

I like to use Silver Micron Mini detail brushes for fine detail work.

I am adding the "beaded border" around the design using Lamp Black.

I have added the "beaded detail" around the design.

When doing the border I dipped once in the paint then dotted 3-4 times so the dots are not all completely uniform and also so they didn't get too big!

I am now working on the inside of the cover.
I painted a 4 1/2" square using Lamp Black.
I taped it off and used a small stencil brush.

I used thinned Traditional Burnt Umber to paint the remaining area of the inside cover.

I spattered the scene using Traditional Burnt Umber.
To do this....load a large stencil brush with thinned paint, 
hold brush over your surface and flick the bristles with your palette knife, 
pulling the bristles towards you.
I then added thinned Lamp Black paint to my dirty stencil brush.
I spattered the borders, sides of box and inside the box.

I "tea stained" a small square of batting using thinned Burnt Umber.
I pinned some rusty pins to the batting square.
I glued the batting square to the painted black square.
I also glued some buttons to the corners.

I used Gel Stain for the inside cubbies of the box.

I dampened my sponge brush lightly before dipping in the stain.

The Lamp Black spatters you previously did will show through the stain.

I stained the dividers for the "cubbies" in the same manner.

Close up of textured, spattered sides of box.

I brushed on some thinned Gel Stain to further age the box.
I wiped off excess with a soft cloth.

Thyme to varnish!

I applied several coats of Dura Clear Ultra Matte Varnish.
It comes in several finishes to achieve the look you want.

I painted the top edges of the cubbies and rim of box Lamp Black.

Be sure to let each coat of varnish dry completely before proceeding to the next coat.

If you don't let your varnish dry completely
 between coats your  surface may end up with a cloudy finish.

After all that work you don't want to see that happen!

Next I panted the wood squares Lamp Black.

I glued the wood squares to the corners of my box cover.

Close up of corners.

Inside of my finished box.

Rosemary Reynolds 
provided me with the paints to complete this project as part of their 

Helping Artist Program
Blogger Outreach Programs

Thank you DecoArt!!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint 
Dressmakers Notion Box

Happy Painting!



  1. Thanks for sharing. I thoroughly enjoy your blog posts and your finished pieces are always lovely. Could you tell me who makes the moon brushes and where I can get them? And, is the sewing box available to purchase? This would be the perfect gift for my SIL! :)

    1. Scharff makes the Moon brushes. I am doing an Open House in a few weeks in Rhode Island. I will have the sewing box there for purchase.

  2. Lynn this Dressmakers box is over the top. OMG it is beautiful. I cannot believe the amount of work and thought that went into making this project. Totally awesome and lovely. Anyone that sews would be absolutely delighted and tickled pink to own this treasure. Congratulations on such a wonderful design and execution of this project.

  3. Buongiorno Lynn,
    ma come si fa essere cosi' brave???
    non ho parole, (premetto che io amo il country painting...)
    sono sempre affascinata dalle vostre creazioni!!!
    Complimenti, un cordiale saluto da ...Carmen

  4. What a beautiful, beautiful box! You really did a lovely job on it! Thank you for sharing the process. You are such an inspiration to so many! <3

  5. I am running out of words to say what a beautiful job you do with all of your paintings! This box is perfect! Such an inspiration to all that keep thinking I will get around to it ~ you do it and believe me when I say you encourage a lot of fellow painters along the way!


Keep those brushes flying!
Lynn Barbadora @ Painting Thyme Needfuls

"Life is a great BIG canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it!"
~ Danny Kaye