Designing Nena's Kitchen

About a month or two ago I got an inquiry from a wonderful twitter friend of mine about designing a tile with her mother-in-law in mind.  She was interested in giving it to her as a Christmas gift this year and would I be able to paint one for her adding in any or all of the following elements:  Her (mother-in-law's) kitchen is decorated with a wine theme.  She is always in her kitchen doing the dishes or cooking.   She always wears yellow plastic gloves when she washes dishes and she always wears her apron.  Maybe I could paint her holding a glass of wine too and could I add the words "Nena's Kitchen" into the mix somewhere? Could it be done?  Oh, and she attached a photo to her email so I could get a better idea of what her mother-in-law looked like.  I emailed back with my quote.

Time passed and I assumed that they had decided to go another direction for this year's holiday gift.  Then, one day, I received an email saying they'd like to proceed with the order.  My friend had been persistent with her husband regarding my tiles and had made sure he was aware of the work I'd done in the past for other clients by visiting my portfolio pages.  Sweet!

Now, there is always a bit of pressure when painting a tile for a client, but this one was exceptionally scary knowing that "said" husband was a little leery.  Could I pull it off and make a tile he'll (as well as she'll) be proud to present to his mom this Christmas?  Something she'll treasure and something that will forever bring a smile to her face in it's own unique and personal nature???   I won't know for sure until after the Christmas holiday, but here is the tile I designed using my friends suggestions and some of my steps involved in painting it:

Well, it's a start. Let's see, what should come next?  Oh, I've got it....

Huh? What the heck it that?

Oh, now I get it.  It's JUST the kitchen sink. Seems a little backwards if you ask me :)  Hang on, we'll get there.

Whew, it's starting to look more and more like a kitchen and I'm starting to feel a tiny bit more relaxed!

Here's my brainstorm for making her kitchen have a wine theme.  I think it was a good one (if I do say so myself).

And here comes Nena now. No arms, no face. Just an apron and a nose.  At any point now, if I screw up, I'll have to scrap the entire tile and start over from scratch.  So far, so good.  I continue...

Well, a sink full of dirty dishes and a hovering glass of wine but no hands to complete the task.  Better keep painting so she can at least drink her glass of wine :)

There, that's better. Look, she even has a big smile on her face now and her eyes sparkle!  Someone has even taken the time to stage the back counter with snacks for the company.  Awesome!  She is quite the hostess!

And here we have the inspiration for the tile.  I wish I could see the look on her face when she opens this gift!


The party was a huge success and this hostess with the most'ess is enjoying her glass of wine amongst all the bubbles in her sink and a good time was had by all....

CHEERS!  You sound like a woman after my own heart!  :)

If you have any questions or would like a quote on your own custom tile, please email me at: