Poppytalk Handmade – The Handmade Artist

Ha! Leave it to me to blog my introduction two days before the ‘Back to School’ market closes! Good thing I’m participating in the ‘Mixed Tape’ show next month.

I really need to relearn time management skills.

Pelmet Tutorial

We recently finished one of our many slated projects, the pelmet for the dining room. The word pelmet is a framework used to hide curtain fittings and to help retain heat inside a room. Pelmets are frequently called top treatments, cornices or valances. However, they differ from other top treatments in that the pelmet is generally a hardened valance or a treatment built over a structure. Some people make theirs with a wooden cover more like a box, or more of a facing, like the one we made.

Pelmet Box Tutorial 1

We found this remnant silk with embroidered lotus blossoms and mom fell in love with it. It was too narrow to fit the width of the window and the piece was too short to extend the pattern side-by-side, so we picked out a few complimentary remnants. I chose to use the color on the left, as I felt the darker color would dominate the the beautiful details. I cut off the stripe at the far left, and sewed the pieces together. The bottom photo shows them sewn together, before pressing.
Pelmet Box Tutorial 2

We bought a 1′ x 10″ x 8′ piece of pine board from Lowe’s. Michael sorted through them to find the straightest one in the lot. We measured ours to be 4″ wider than the window on each side, and and made it a depth of 6″. We used bridged L brackets to attach the corner pieces. We found the last time we built them that the regular L brackets caused the sides to turn in a bit. These do not.
Pelmet Box Tutorial 3

Continue Reading…

Inspiration to application

We finished the pelmet box in the dining room yesterday. A more detailed post is coming. I also painted the electrical ‘candle’ covers on the sconces yesterday. I posted my inspiration photo a while back, and now I have the two for comparison. I’m very pleased with it, but mom isn’t sure if she’ll warm up to the blue. If not, we’ll change it back to black.

{ Credit for photo on left: desire to inspire }

Trunk Show in the Bay Area

For the Bay Area friends…
My very dear friend Aileen’s band, Trunk Show, will be performing several shows during the last weekend in August through Labor Day Weekend, and then heading down to Huntington Beach for a show on the 8th..

Aug 27-29 Café Van Kleef, Oakland, CA

Sept 1 Live on Mister Odom’s Bottomless Pit @ Pirate Cat Radio, 5pm

Sept 2 Kimo’s Bar & Penthouse Lounge, San Francisco, CA 9pm
www.kimosbarsf.com (w/Damon & the Heathens and Mermaid Bones)

Sept 3 Ghosttown Galleries, Oakland, CA 10pm

Sept 6 Kaleidoscope (Labor Day BBQ!), San Francisco, CA 5-8pm
www.kaleidoscopefreespeechzone.com (w/Mister Odom & The Odom Poles and The Lee Vilensky Trio)

Sept. 8 Blue Cafe Live, Huntington Beach, CA

You can hear samples of some of their songs at http://www.myspace.com/whatisinyourtrunk. Most of the lead vocals are Aileen. If your musical tastes include Tom Waits and Nick Cave, then you should definitely check them out!

Bon Weekend – the mad scientist’s assistant.

Malkie has been thoroughly enjoying Michael’s studio.


Looks like I need to reshoot some of the new pieces, but in the meantime, I did get one uploaded to Etsy…



ETA: Oh hey, I like the new storefront on Etsy!

Studio Transformation

Thank you for the feature Design*Sponge!

Design*Sponge feature!

All images click through to their Flickr hosting, with several notes!

I was terrified to take on this monster after the move. I decided to keep the color of room painted by the previous owners.



After we made some progress in the room we installed the new lights and fan, all purchased from Lowe’s.

Then it was time to paint the magnetic chalkboard.

Continue Reading…

New Pieces

I’ll be uploading these to Etsy this afternoon!

blackBlueChoker coralTree2 auroraBorealis

whitePeacockChoker sandOpalTree yellowHarlequin
{ Click on image to enlarge }

Before | After: Computer Table


We purchased a 1926 Singer 66 sewing machine last year at Goodwill for $9.99. Sadly, we think it’s in very poor condition, and we’re considering using it for parts for another 66. The veneer on the table was in horrid shape as well. I needed a new computer table, so it seemed as though this was the perfect solution. We pulled the top off, stripped the problem veneer, painted it, and added a new top made from scrap MDF. { All images click through to larger sizes. }

The neglected 66 that we’ll attempt to restore down the road, or used for parts for another 66.


After a light sanding, we spray painted the base with Valspar’s Black Satin paint. Michael then cut the scrap MDF top and drilled the hole for the table grommet for the cords, or cord with my new computer.

Continue Reading…

Workbench cover issue solved.

Thanks again to Pinterest for hooking me up with a potential solution for hiding the unsightly storage space under the workbenches Michael built for his studio over the weekend. Some canvas or some upholstery stock, heavy duty snaps and presto! Sassy cover.

{ Photo credit: This is Glamorous }

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