I Made a Pretty:


“…Freedom tasted like seawater and oranges.”
-Tana French, ‘The Likeness’

That quote ran through my head the entire time I was painting this:

I painted a great deal of this while talking to close friends on the phone…
which is rather unusual for me.

I hole up in my room and shut everything else out and off when I paint.

It was kind of a welcome change,
but not something I’m likely to do on a more complex
(or frustrating)

This one treated me pretty well,
for which I am grateful.



©Rebecca S Rea, 2011

Watercolor on cold-press paper

So I Promised these Pictures in October:

And…um…here they are?

This was my crazy project of hot glue and leaves and the staying up all night:

Baba Yaga‘s Hut

I made a 2D model of Baba Yaga and placed it so you could see her silhouette through this window. Creepy.

Do you know how hard it is to find branches that bend the same way???

The roof lifts up so I can replace the battery-powered flickering lights inside.

See the Chicken Feet?


There’s a funny story behind those Chicken Feet.

they’re real.

Cooked for six hours in the oven and coated in decoupage,
but very real.

I walked into an Asian Market and asked if they carried chicken feet.
(you know, like you do)
The gentlemen looked at me, and said, “Shikahn Fee? Wha ah Shikahn Fee?”

I kinda made motions with my hands to indicate scratching,
“Um. They’re. You know. Chicken? Feet?”
*scratch scratch*

“You draw for me.”

“OH! You mean Shikahn PAW!”

And apparently I did, because they sent me home with a dozen of them.

ps (for a sense of scale, Baba’s Hut is about two feet high by three feet wide.)

pps (In my head, it was only a couple of inches tall.)

ppps (I have no sense of proportion, people.)


I finished restoring a dresser last Thursday.

I’m 29, y’all.

That’s way too old to still be storing my clothes
in a three-drawer crappy plastic bin from Wal-Mart.

I was taking Le Pooch for a walk,
and sauntered past a dresser ditched by the side of the road.
I come from a loooong line of dumpster diving trash pickers,
so naturally,
I stopped to take a look at it.

It’s maple,
probably from the early 70s,
and still in (fairly) decent condition.

There was no way I could drag it home by myself,
though I did allow momentary visions of hooking The Damn Dog up to a sleigh
and hollering “MUSH!” over her head.

the last furniture liberation project I had was back at my old Inglehood place–
On a dark and stormy night,
I convinced The Boyo to help me get an enormous dresser
(I had to ditch the drawers, since they were so beat up)
made of particle board, weighing in at about 200 pounds,
covered in rain and mud,
into the back of his Kia,
with me perched on it, since the rear door wouldn’t shut,
up the very steep hill and two flights of stairs to my apartment.

He’s a trooper.

when I dropped a hint that there *might* be another dresser down the street
that *could* use a little love…
he was…um…reluctant.

(gosh, and it wasn’t even raining!)

Not to mention the fact that most of his belongings
are in the back of our old friend The Kia,
since he’s in the middle of a move,
so if liberating was to occur,
it would have to be with our four arms and legs.

I asked him to just come look at it with me;
and somehow,
we ended up carrying it home two blocks.

At night.

In a city that doesn’t really believe in street lights.

There may have been a couple of smashed fingers along the way,
but all in the name of home improvement, my friends!

(oh hai, Boyo! I love you!)

That last project,
fondly called “The Behemoth”,
took me nearly three months start to finish–
it was the first piece of furniture I’d ever mucked with,
and there were a few…miscommunications…regarding paint and polyurethane and primer and…

I ended up finishing the whole thing incorrectly,
and had to sand it ALL back down and start over again.

It took forever.
And there may have been tears.

But it turned out bea-yew-ti-fully!

Picture this without all the accoutrements--pretty, oui?

So when I picked this dresser up,
I knew that I didn’t want to be quite as anal about it,
especially after the look of consternation Roommate Jessie gave me
when I gave her an estimate of three weeks to get it done.

Rather beat up...and 70s...but look at that maple!

Oh, the poor thing!

(I had to create a workspace on the back patio with a tarp,
a couple of bungee cords and a handy patio umbrella.)

I love me some big-ass tarp, y'all.

I started poking around for ideas,
and came across Centsational Girl,
who made this lovely piece of magic:

Patina Dresser



You can water down paint without it,
I dunno,
mangling or otherwise causing your furniture to implode?


I ran down to Home Depot and picked up two sample paints by Behr,
one in Pool Table Green,
and the other in Realm,
watered them down just enough to make the paint thinner,
and mixed them together to get a true peacock blue.

They are flat finish,
which weirded me out at first,
but ended up looking lovely under a satin finish poly.

The great (AWESOME) thing about using watered down paint
is that your brushstrokes don’t matter as much.
When I painted The Behemoth,
I agonized over making the top absolutely perfect,
which is difficult using an eggshell finish latext paint.

This time?

I just slapped the stuff on there–
and it was actually fun!

I wanted this piece to be a bit imperfect,
a bit rough,
and I really wanted the warm maple tones to show through.

(I had a bit more repair work to do than I thought initially,
which involved judicious amounts of Elmer’s Wood Glue,
and since I am clampless,
strapping tape–and it worked okay, but clamps are on my “I should have these around because they’re kinda handy, yo” list.)

The other great thing about using watered down paint
is that it dries faster,
which meant that I was able to paint all nine of the drawers
AND poly them in the same day.


Apologies for the fuzziness...as is my wont, I often worked on this after dark...

It took me five days to finish this sucker–
including the Cephalopod detail on the side and drawers.

Oh, and here's our dresser presenter of fluffiness, NAMI!

Isn't he cute?

So preeeeetty!!!



my back isn’t happy with the speed in which I knocked this out,
but it does mean that I won’t have a messy project going now that
Her Fluffiness the Corgi is living here.

I’ll have a cute dresser to pose her next to.

that’s what matters.

(Dear CentsationalGirl: Thank you. Seriously–you are magic.)

Supplies Used:

I used a Purdy paintbrush for Latex paints for this project. Purdy’s are expensive as heck, but totally worth the spectacular results.

I used this pearlescent paint from Modern Masters for the Cephalopod detail,
and painted it on with my water color brushes.
It is a bit…truculent to work with, but turns out pretty.

The polyurethane I used was Miniwax’s Satin Finish.
I may hate poly with the fires of hell,
but it makes for less-easily-destroyed furniture.

I wasn’t able to finish The Behemoth with a coat of poly
(shiny finish black furniture = Chinese lacquer = SHUDDER),
and it’s constantly in danger of getting scratched.
That won’t be a problem with this dresser.

And because I believe in torturing you with THE CUTE:

Aw, precious love!



Look at that prettypretty color!!!

I’m waiting for the last coat of polyurethane to dry,
then I’ll post the final results once I get it all set up in my room.

And now?

I take nap.

More Working:

paris when it rains

it gets a leetle disasterous...and yes, this was *totally* inspired by Christina Hendricks in LA Magazine

James is here with his (really great) crew,
setting up for a short film written by our friend Sarah Carman–
I got to do wardrobe and set design,
which basically meant trashing my livingroom
and placing questionable posters on the walls.

I have been twitching for the last couple of days,
loooonging to straighten everything up–
it’s going to look fantastically bad on camera!

Whatchy’all up to this weekend?

All Artwork Copyright of Rebecca S. Rea, 2010
All Rights Reserved


A bit of a sneak preview…
Had to make a few changes here and there
(man, do i need to work on taking criticism better),
but it’s coming along.


smile closeup


(i really dig how her eye is turning out...)

It’s good to remember that it’s okay to not finish every project in a hurry.
It’s good to take time to make something better.

I have a hard time with that.

But I’m learning.

All Artwork Copyright of Rebecca S. Rea, 2010
All Rights Reserved


Not gainfully, mind you.

But still,

Had an interesting idea come wandering into my dreams last night,
and it asked to be watercolored.

i actually don't like this part

Does anyone else cock their head at funny angles whilst working?
My neck is not happy with me right now…


Will post finished work soon!

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