Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's have a chuckle, shall we?

Last week Linda and I were emailing back and forth about her thorn stripping tool and I mentioned having worked for a florist. She said she "would love to see"  a post on how to arrange flowers. Well if you followed the One Room Challenge, you may have noted that Linda gets what Linda wants. I did not dare tell the Queen of the ORC that I did not feel like it.
So I shirked my responsibilties, like vacuuming dog hair, and went to the store to buy flowers.
You must realize that my house gets really dirty and! There are five people living here and four of them are slobs. The other one is only three so she can't be blamed. 
But Linda wants to see flowers!!!

I laid out everything with plans to instruct in a way that would make Martha proud. I could not buy just greens so I planned to use the ugly flowers filler from the mixed bouquet instead.

In the first photo there was a roll of green floral tape. It was the wrong kind. I planned to tell you that cellophane tape was better since it was less visible and take the tape off anyway. You see, Ms. I-worked- for-a-florist-in-1994 does not use such amateur tricks.

Here I am pretending to cut off thorns with a knife. You will see in further photos that I did not cut off a single thorn. 

Here is the vintage floral frog  that I was going to tell you to use in shallow containers like this dandy gravy boat.

"You just cross the stems of the shorter, peripheral flowers and they will support themselves in lovely fashion" was the planned caption.

Next I was going to tell you that taller, central flowers could be added and then simply fill in with greenery.

What the....? I had the house to myself and swearing like a sailor felt good, don't judge. 
The magic of blogs made it easy for me to pretend that I did not actually intend to use the clear vase. It was only for the purpose of showing you (the amateur) how to place the flowers like an expert. I grabbed a white vase and started over, choosing a calmer palette.

More swearing after I cut too much off the stems and ended up with this goofy arrangement.
I chalk it up to dirty house kharma. I told Linda that "My washer is full and my dryer is full, dog hair everywhere, a few crumbs, and not a single bed made in the house." I was afraid to tell her that the dishes in the dishwasher were clean and the sink was full of dirty ones. She might think I am lazy.

Sorry Linda, 1994 was a looooong time ago as proven in my arrangements.
My expert advice: Just shove them in a vase and and pick those clothes up off the floor.


Yummy, enough said.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I went to a local church thrift that often has accessories and after regrouping when the cutest vintage bamboo dresser was sold, I looked at the smalls.

I grabbed the silverplate Revere bowl on principle. I wasn't sure exactly what it would corral. Right now it sits on my little bar table full of corks that are awaiting some Pinterest project.

It joins another recent thrift find, the julep cup trophy that now holds straws and one lone swizzle stick.

I grabbed this tray after looking at a few others.

I had planned to paint or do some sort of makeover but I kind of like the patina its got. It is not exactly glam but it holding a variety of un-glam things like bills, rejection letters and a few sketchy report cards.

Have you "thrifted" anything good lately?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flipping the mix

Did you ever notice that it is rare to see a room with modern furniture and classic art? The mix, if there is one, seems to generally be classic furnishings with modern art. Its an easy favorite. The kick that an abstract can give to a room that otherwise could seems stuffy is a no brainer but why not flip that and combine modern favorites with a classic old portrait or other traditional art?

What do you think? Which is your favorite way to mix styles?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chinoiserie shopping

A little post about "the many that got away" by Beth over at Chinoiserie Chic got me thinking and wondering what goodies could be had on eBay right now.
This stork patterned bowl is currently less than $30 HERE
It would be a lovely way to corral jewelry.

Ooh! Too bad there are not a pair of these. The auction ends Sunday evening but it has no bids and might be relisted HERE

The photography is not so great on this darling table with removable trays but its sort of local to me. Hmmmm. See it HERE

Well its not exactly Chinoiserie but my parents had one just like it in red and given the resurgence of the bar cart we all need a new/old ice bucket. HERE

Um, could you die over this fabric. Seriously! Its pink. Its chinoiserie. Its really freakin' expensive.
Ten fabulous yards of this Clarence House fabric, New Vase is listed for $1299.99 HERE

I forgot to mention in my last post that I am having a 15% off summer sale on Etsy. I have paintings taking over and I need to make room. Use the code SUMMERSALE25. It is good for commissions too just because I love doing them.
I also have prints on Fine Art America and using the code KUFYFG also get 15% off and I can add any other paintings on request.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend bits and questions

I know, bad lighting but I paint at night.
 This one was nearly ruined by a touchy, feely teenaged boy visiting my daughter. By the time he left, my jaw hurt from clenching it and I was madly brushing black paint on my brightly colored abstract.

It was an awful mess, but really was a blessing in disguise... the paint, not the boy. I had been struggling with the painting and adding the white to not only cover the black but define my composition, really worked for me.

This retro departure from my usual is up and about. The title is "Schrödinger's Cat" after the paradoxical thought experiment on quantum theory by Erwin Schrödinger. It may surprise some of you but I am a bit of a geek and the Gary Zukav book Dancing Wu Li Masters rocked my world.
 Also in other randomness...
If you are a Twitter person, I have finally joined the Twitterverse. I feel old and out of touch. I have been stumbling through the whole Twitter thing like an old lady. So, follow me @Kerrysteeleart  and  I won't feel so stupid if you do.
An odd question. What do people in your family and guests do with throw pillows and decorative bed pillows? I am curious because even the most polite people I know seem to find it OK to toss them on the floor. I can't tell you how this horrifies me. I know I am uptight.. sorta but the FLOOR?!
Tell me
Do you hate the painting, my daughter's new friend, pillows on the floor, or is it all just fine to you?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rock-a-bye maybe

I am sure we have all seen these rocking beds. Personally, I would not enjoy this sort of sleeping and I would find it unsettling in general.

I am sure to some these are the ultimate fantasy.
Here is  a round-up of some pretty outrageous beds.
Let me know what you think.

This last one looks like a glorious place for a nap.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where things have gone awry...or not

Most of us design junkies love an eclectic mix, with maybe a bit of bohemian vibe.
I thought I would have fun today and show you a few spaces that missed the mark, in my opinion.

Afghan, suzani, slipcovers, accent wall, rustic table, clutter, lots of pillows and abstract art. This room is just a mess. In my opinion. I am sure it makes someone very happy.

Some of you may like this but I am just not feelin' it.

Note the fake flowers hanging from the ceiling. The chairs are lovely though.
I suppose other's opinions of our houses don't really matter since we are the ones living in them but I can't help to wonder if these pictures were posted with pride. 
It could be argued that the level of personalization of these spaces is so specific that it is a given that most would not find it appealing. 
That leads me to the question: Does a room created with with the occupants in mind automatically equate to good design?
If not, where is the line between good taste and personal indulgence?

Monday, August 20, 2012

clever or tacky?

My busy schedule plus an a mild but annoying head cold have kept inspiration at bay as of late.
This is another one of those posts where I ask your opinion of an unusual item.
So, what do you think of the shelf...clever or tacky?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday morning treasures

On Friday night my family went out to dinner and on the way home we passed a tent that was being set up for an estate auction. Had I not seen through the "windows" of the tent I would have missed out on some real goodies. The house was small, old, along a main road and not in great condition. I never would have pegged the owner as a collector of fine antiques.

I came away with a few things that I liked and had a spot for but some of the really glorious pieces went for more than I was prepared to spend.

This vintage Hepplewhite style lowboy was what I wanted most and luckily it came up first in my list of wants. It was a good deal but more than I expected to shell out. One of the fun things was that I spotted my neighbor there and we sat together and shared the excitement.

This lowboy is replacing the cheap, rickety table that held the TV in my bedroom.

I was so excited to get this umbrella stand after missing out on two HUGE blue and white vases.

This ginger jar was only $15 at the end of the day. No one else bid on it.
My neighbor got a pair of enormous silver candelabras for $100. There were some seriously gorgeous antiques that we did not get but all in all it was a fun day of shopping.
The moral is: Don't judge a house's possibilities by its exterior.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A blessing for the fickle

Hello friends. I was hoping to have a more interesting post for you but life got in the way of that.
As you may notice from the picture above, I have yet a different painting on my mantle.
I am sure I will tire of this one too but its new, so I like it.
Here are the ones I had before.

This was the first and it had to go so I propped "Being There" in front of it.

"Being there" by Kerry Steele 2012

By Jenny Andrews

This one by MFAMB Jenny made an appearance in front of it too.

Then I just painted over the black and white painting. I had color overload.

I went with this more understated palette. That was in June. It lasted two months. I call that fickle!
Thank heavens I did not buy any of these.

I wonder how long this one will last?