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Local artist Nicole Dinardo has built an uber successful business hand painting custom mixers. Her clients include Ree Drummond, Tori Spelling and Oprah. (Photo: Nicole Dinardo)
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Art & KitchenAids: The Perfect Mixture from this Arlington creator

At this charming farm in Arlington, you'll find a crowing rooster, a brood of chickens and a beautifully rustic barn.

But there's more to this idyllic scene. It's also the place Nicole Dinardo imagines and paints her intricate designs through her company, Un Amore. Her work is a blend of artistry and technical skill on 3-D objects that she sees as canvases.

"It started by accident," said Dinardo. "I got my very first mixer for my birthday from my mom. So I painted my own mixer."

The talented artist loved the result and realized that she excelled at creating one-of-a-kind pieces.

"Then it kind of snowballed when I did a guitar case for Gavin Rossdale," she recalled. "And when I gave it to him I kind of wanted to be professional-looking so I built a website and this whole thin. I had this gallery of — everything I love to do. And I realized that I had more mixers than I had anything else, so I kind of rolled with it."

Suddenly, she had a mixer painting business that's growing like crazy.

"I went a little bit overboard, like I do with everything else," Dinardo laughed. "It's all gas or all break."

Her friends and family started ordering mixers from her, "and it just snowballed."

From fancy florals to gorgeous pin-up girls, Seahawks color to "Candy Crush" stripes, the artist has created thousands of pieces of custom kitchen couture. All the while, she's continued creating other things too. From large scale pieces to living works of art — there is no challenge too big for this artist.

"A few cars and motorcycles, I like to tattoo as well now currently, so it's a new thing for me, but I'm having a lot of fun," she said.

A lot of famous folks have ordered personalized mixers from Dinardo, including Food Network star Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. She has painted three different designs for her so far and even gotten a shout out on Drummond's Food Network cooking show.

The irony is Nicole Dinardo doesn't even own a TV!

"I'm really appreciative of all she's done for me. I never asked her to do any of that stuff — she does it on her own regard which is really amazing. She's a wonderful person, a beautiful person inside and out."

But that's just the beginning. "Tori [Spelling] and Dean, I love those two. She's pretty amazing, super sweet, and Dean's really sweet."

Even media maven Oprah Winfrey has some custom designs created by Dinardo.

"I did Oprah's, and I didn't actually ever talk to her — which was totally cool. Her office did call me and thank me. But I worked with her chef, Chef Art Smith. And he's probably one of my favorite people."

And then there are the bands. As a matter of fact, she recently did a series for the ladies married to some seriously sharped dressed men.

"My recent project it is for the wives of ZZ Top. I'm super stoked about these because they're elegant, they're refined, but also have that badassery part about it."

These mixers are serious standouts. Whether her client is famous — or the star of her own kitchen — the steps are the same.

"I get the mixer prepared; the second process is the design process. I show the client a concept. Once approved, I go to the vector graphic process after that would be actual artwork like this and after this would be finishing."

It's typically a three to six-month turnaround.

Dinardo paints full-scale mixers and hand mixers — but the brand is always the same: Kitchen Aid. "I haven't painted anything else."

They can take up to 20 hours to make. Every second that she spends on them is painstaking perfection. She also mixes all of her own paints, except the primary colors blue, red and yellow.

"I make my own golds. I make my own pearls," said Dinardo. And these designs won't crack or fade.

"It's gonna last a lifetime. That's how I create my artwork," she noted. "The mixer may not last a lifetime — but I actually have my own 30 year certified Kitchen Aid mechanic that my clients send the mixers back to me, and he fixes them so it will last a lifetime."

The mixer may break, but the painting on it never will! The unique, usable works of art range in price from $800-$2,000 (for the design and painting — mixer not included).

You can't put a price on the feelings that these mixers stir up. There's an emotional component to them.

"I think it's memories," said Dinardo. "I think if you look back even to the 50s or 40s like everyone always did things together in the kitchen. It's kind of like the staple, I think is any household, is the kitchen — I mean that's how it is for me, but maybe that's because I'm Italian," she laughed.

Dinardo has a not-so-secret recipe for success. "I think that you get what you put in, and for me, that's hard work."

A lot of hard work combined with limitless creativity — it's the perfect mixture.

For more about Nicole Dinardo and her mixer designs, check out Un Amore Custom Designs. You can find out more information about Nicole's work as a Tattoo Artist here.

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