Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let's do this again

Yesterday I posted a chair and asked for your opinions. I got some great responses and to be honest I am a little overwhelmed with other tasks at the moment.
So, today I am posting an entire room that I think will generate some strong opinions.
Could you live with this room?
Visit it?
Suggest it to a client?
Or did Pucci just get done watching The Wizard of Oz?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yes or no?

Short post today. Would you use this chair in your home or in designing for a client?
Awesome Baughman or funky and fugly?

Personally, I love the chair but I am having problems with the fabric.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Didn't I Y

Well, I cant say that my weekend was a DIY failure but it was a frustrating and still incomplete exercise.
I started with this project that I saw on Little Green Notebook a few months ago.
The idea is that you take photos to Kinko's and have them blow them up on the blueprint printer. It is not fancy photo paper but it looks fine for this usage.

You mount them on 1/2 thick foam board and paint the edges. Actually,
 you paint the edges first. The effect is a casual, modern look much like vintage news photos.
The first two I did were fine and the wall is huge so I went back with more photos.
The stars really lined up against me and as I trimmed one it just snagged and ripped despite a new sharp blade. 
I had a small painting that is a gift and needed a mat so I put the photos aside and decided to cut mats.
I figured I would re-mat this block print 

and maybe I could work it into the gallery wall.
First I cut a mat for the gift and noticed the corner was mangled...sigh.
I measured this print and frame and the margins were near 6 inches and my mat cutter only goes upp to 4 1/2 inches...double sigh.
I called Michaels to see if they would cut the mat out of the board I had and the short answer was no but they would let me cut it myself. Yay!
Somewhere between my house and Michaels a blob of yuck got on to the front of the mat which I had a devil of a time cutting with their enormous weapon cutter.
After fooling with it rather sheepishly, as if I had no idea what I was doing, I turned it over and discovered the goo and proclaimed, "I give up!"
I paid $14 for them to cut it for me and I have not tried it to see if it is right yet. I am terrified that it will somehow be wrong.
I will continue to work on the installation... because the wall looks so stupid at the moment that I can't stand it.

I was a painting fool this weekend and that went well. Thank goodness for small mercies.
I hope all of you had a lovely weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What's your DIY?

Most Americans forget that Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen heroes. It is  a shame, but we feel it is traditional to travel, cook out, and tackle projects.
I have a project that I will be working on that will, in a small way, honor members of my family. I won't pretend that Memorial Day was the impetus for this project but it seems fitting that I chose this weekend.

I have a staircase gallery wall that is just not working for me. Too many disparate, small things aren't looking so great.
I have already started this project and hope to have a finished DIY to show you later this weekend.

What are you up to?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

hand hammered brass vase $2 thrift score

My thrift store visits have been drastically reduced since my husband always has so much to do on his days off. We usually go together. I did make a quick pitstop in a local thrift and found these small goodies.
The brass vase above was a just because purchase. I liked it, I bought it, I probably won't keep it forever.

brass letter holder $1 thrift score
The letter holder is something I have been wanting for a long time. There are fantastic options on Etsy and Ebay but I just couldn't decide on one I love enough to pull the $20 trigger. I figure a $1 expenditure is best if I will just tire of it.

Any good finds in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Classic or tired?

Not clocks, tassels.

Are they tired trad or a classic fob to adorn handles or keys?

I have a few around my house and I will probably leave them in place but I sure don't view them as trendy.

What do you think?

Do you have tassels?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 talk of many things...

"Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.

Well, not really, I just like Lewis Carroll and this is an odds and ends post.

To start, yesterday I completely forgot that beyond grasscloth, I meant to discuss my ideas and existing furniture in my daughter's room.
The board...

I have two of those darling twin beds. I don't really want to paint them because they are lovely antiques with lovely details and I don't want things to be too sweet.

I bought this chic chair on Etsy and recovered the seat in the same pink velvet as the bolsters I had made for her room.

painted the lovely landscapes that will grace her room.

I will frame a few of these as well.

I want to find a way to turn this mirror  from West Elm into a light fixture.

Add to it grasscloth and this Designer's Guild fabric on windows..

I hope to create a deconstructed floral landscape without too much sweetness.
Yes?  No?

Moving on to my newest paintings...

"Friday Night" 24 x 18 inches acrylic and gouache on canvas by Kerry Steele
"Desert Blossom" 2- 8 x 10 inch acrylic on canvas by Kerry Steele
"Riverfront" 20 x 16 inch acrylic and gouache on canvas by Kerry Steele
and lastly, a piece that is nearly finished. I don't like to post unfinished work but I am so very pleased with this and it needs only small tweaks. It is acrylic and gouache on clear primed raw silk. The effect is very textural and tonal.
untitled nude figure  32 x 36 by Kerry Steele

The raw silk is much like burlap and had to be doubled to prime and paint. The color of it is a warm gray, mottled with beige-y-gray. It is large, 32 inches by 36 inches.
I hope to get the finishing touches complete and list it on Etsy in the next day or two.
 Let me know what you think... all opinions welcome!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dreaming of grasscloth

In the last 18 months, we have slowly painted each room in our house with the exception of our family room and and youngest daughter's bedroom. I originally wanted grasscloth in our TV room but my husband does not like the visible seams across a large area and there is a ton of wall. The family room has 18 foot ceilings so someone else will have to paint it.
Somehow, my little girl's room has just been down on the list.
I have been dreaming of a sweet pale pink room.

Paint will be easiest but grasscloth would add so much texture and interest.

I love the organic and uneven feel of grasscloth and I happen to know that it is pretty kid proof.

 It often comes in earthy colorways but lately the varieties have expanded.

 Thibaut and other companies have included patterned, colored, and even metallic choices.

I know have seen a pale pink grasscloth with tiny gold threads that I really want. I just can't remember where. It would certainly make little girl's room chicer than most.

How do you feel about grasscloth?

I havebeen 

Friday, May 18, 2012

wishlist making

This ginger jar is on my ever growing wishlist.
My need for a new washing machine and the fact that I really don't have the perfect spot for it have relegated it to the list and not on my credit card.

My wishlist often gets shortened by my fickle nature and limited memory. Thank heavens!
I rarely spend much time pining away for particular objects but if something stays on my list long enough and still seems like a juicy get, I purchase it.
Do you have a running wishlist?
What is at the top of your list?

Longer posts coming back soon...promise.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I did during my "week off"

First, I want to thank everyone for the plentiful well wishes. It really is a pleasure to open email after email with notes from blogging buddies and other friends wishing a girl a speedy recovery.
The first thing I did when I realized that I could not handle the work, was to cancel my little girl's birthday party. :(
It was a blessing in disguise.  i actually got to enjoy the day with my little princess.
My family still came and so I was scrambling, okay walking like an old lady, to get grocery shopping and tidying done. It really is a test of one's priorities. I am glad I did not freak out about my teenager's bathroom. I wanted it spotless and sparkling. No one ever went in it.

I did feel the need to do a few little things here and there to make my house seem less undone after a year and a half of living here.

my library
I managed to hang a few things. I plan on many more things to fill the walls, English country house style. Some of the things here I have bought, but much has a family connection. The odd frames above the lamp and the one from the first image are tailwings from a World War I airplane. Yes, WWI, My great-grandmother's brother flew a plane for the RAF. Think Downton Abbey. The planes were made of wood and canvas and upon Uncle Percival's crashing and ultimate POW status, he took bits of his wrecked plane and carved them to pass the time and make a "souvenier de la Guerre' as one is marked.

In between all of the boring chores there were bits of light and fun and beauty.

We stopped at a great Chinese restaurant on the way to the grocery. I think it might be our gushing praise over the traditional food or our 30% tips but our favorite Chinese restaurant keeps serving us delightful tidbits of cake at every visit.

I painted to take my mind off just how bad I felt. I finished one commission, set up another and sold the small painting above.

I crafted a very pedestrian dinosaur cake for the smaller birthday celebration.

We slept whenever possible but not nearly enough.

We opened fun presents. One of these is a pop up fairy tent that just might be the best toy ever. It is tons of fun and it folds up easily so the room is not toy central all the time.

I also sent my 17 year-old son off to the junior prom. They had fun, I hear.

I guess its not actually funny but our washer died during all this craziness. It was a mess. Luckily, we had a spare but it was quite a project to get it up two flights to our second floor laundry. The "new" machine was my husband's as a bachelor and the capacity is not really suited to a family of five. Last night it started smoking!!!!! I am appliance shopping today. Ha!

I still read blogs and left comments but it was a relief to have one thing less to do.
What would you do if you had a week off from one of your daily activities?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For sale

I think I have made a decision that will make everyone else in my family rather happy.
If I get someone local that is willing to pay me what I spent on these vintage Brno chairs...they go.

My husband hates them.

He doesn't like them mixed in with my antiques and is his defense, I still haven't gotten the balance of fussy and sleek. I was thinking the Lucite table would do it.

I bought them last year through OKL in the blogger's Tastemaker tag sale. They are in good vintage condition. They weren't cheap and I love the look but I think it is just not working for us.

If you are in the greater DC area or Richmond and are interested, leave me a comment and we'll deal.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two looks that aren't going anywhere soon.

I figured that you all are sick of looking at my "sick" post. haha, and it it would be best if I got on with a design post to kick start the week.
A few months ago, I  got my hate on and wrote about trends that I am tired of seeing so I thought I would use today to talk about ones I like and foresee sticking around.

 If you guess from this image that I am talking about the Swedish/Belgian look, you would be wrong.
I think an understated palette, that relies on texture and form, is a classic that we have seen many iterations of and the Belgian/French/ Swedish happens to be it's trendy child.

 Whether completely traditional in style, or not, the quieter colors and simple, elegant lines are a look that has been seen and refreshed many times.

 I think many people desire spaces that are visually interesting and "quiet" at the same time. That is why I am predicting the "understated" look in all its trad and funky practices alike is here to stay.

Which brings me to the other look that I really think has traction and I am certainly not sick of seeing it.
I call it "the mix" but it is actually the very unoriginal idea, of being original in one's decor choices. Its very trendy but I think to pull it off one has to be authentic and sincere when incorporating disparate styles in one room.

Lately, these mixes include unabashedly feminine touches and colors with metallics and mid-century iconic pieces.

Being authentic and sincere in those choices means, to me, having some sort of connection with a particularly unusual item, the color scheme, or whatever the "off" aspect happens to be.
I think the eclectic mix that has been so popular lately is here to stay also.

Neither are profound predictions just trends that I think are very enduring.
What do you think is here for awhile?