Friday, November 30, 2012

Virtual Show House starts Monday

I am so excited to start this blogger guest post series called "Virtual Show House". It is exactly what it sounds like. Designers from 5 of my favorite design blogs that are Virginia or D.C. based will be designing virtual rooms in the house above. 
Come back on Monday to see Loi Thai of Tone on Tone's entryway design and the rest of the week for
Lindsay of Sadie and Stella
Stefan of Architect Design
 Nancy and Bethany of Powell-Brower Home

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Don't fall in!

Herman Miller
I saw this picture in an article about the Herman Miller collection and was drawn to the mid-century iconic look. The huge windows and roaring fire were enticing too but then I tried to imagine myself, my family, or a group of my friends in the room. Would we all sit on oddly low stools and color? Or would the over 40 set (myself included) ever be able to launch their rears out of those sleek but deep black chairs? Can you really imagine sitting anywhere comfortably in this room with a cup of coffee or a martini?
I have problems with it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Salad days

"Salad days" 20 x 20 by Kerry Steele

Thank you Charmaine! It seems resizing the pictures works. Wheew! I am still playing with what size looks right.
I was just posting some recently completed paintings today.
"Salad days" would best be described as painting a fragrance from memory. Do you remember the smell of certain perfumes that adults close to you wore when you were a child? That is "Salad days" to me.

"My husband loved Bo Schembechler" 20 x 20 by Kerry Steele
About a month ago, my husband said, "You should do a football painting so that more men would buy your art." Take a minute and imagine the look on my face. Luckily, he clarified his ridiculous statement by saying, "still an abstract like always but in a team's Michigan."
So here is my Michigan painting.

Here is a bad nighttime picture of a large commission I am working on. Its a very gray day so I doubt I could do much better at the moment.

Thanks again Charmaine!

Technical difficulties

Sorry guys, but Google, Blogger and Picasa are not my friends anymore.
 It seems that I can no longer upload images despite being no where near the limits. I cannot seem to find the answer among Google's troubleshooting so if anyone out there knows how to rectify this let me know.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My daughter-my client

My 15 year-old daughter has been aching to give her bedroom a new look. She chose white paint for her walls when we painted a year and a half ago and really regretting that decision. When one's daughter is the client it seriously complicates the already slippery slope of guiding a clients choices.
Here is where we are.

Custom curtains on Etsy

Budget and practicality are major concerns but also the fact that she will be off to college in a few years and I will be using many of these items as the guest room decor at that point.
I think we have settled on chevron curtains. This is the girl who wanted cheetah print curtains a few months ago so I am breathing a huge sigh of relief.
I might try to "guide" her to this Greek key pattern instead.

She was leaning towards several bedding sets from Target--totally budget friendly.

She has toyed with the idea of a plain white comforter too.
Given the high fickle factor it is a wise choice.
She wants to add yellow, gray and black elsewhere. It was red and orange two weeks ago. See what I mean?

We have this Ikea Ektorp loveseat and I could get out of buying more yellow and gray pillows by giving her the pillows that I have in my family room.

If I can unload my pillows on her I will get these.
Things are getting too matchy-matchy in the family room.

All in all, I like this plan.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The day after (un-design related)

I hope you all have survived Thanksgiving. My day was surprisingly relaxing. Wednesday was kitchen craziness day so Thursday only involved cooking the turkey and a couple of side dishes.
Did your kitchen look like an episode of "Hoarders" after the big meal? Mine did, minus the bugs.
Since we had no guests we were free to lazily do as we pleased. So I watched TV, something I rarely do.The two 17 year-olds are grounded so they have been playing hacky-sack everyday. I had no idea how funny this was to watch. I got a good belly laugh out of it and my husband can barely walk today.

Not my kids. They can't get their legs that high.LOL!
It turns out that they were running out of hacky in the sack and wanted to go after-dinner Thanksgiving shopping. I don't know what possessed me to say yes but I did.  Probably the fact that everyone refrained from annoying me and the teens were pleasant to be around. First stop was Walmart. It was surreal watching the same guy with a huge TV crisscross the parking lot looking for his car while we looked for a space. I was really thankful that Walmart did not have hacky- sacks because the lines were miles long.

We went a few other places with no luck. Where are all the hacky-sacks!?

Today we ate pie for breakfast and I have a huge canvas staring at me.
This has turned out to be a really nice holiday for us with lots of laughing.
You too?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just a bit of sweet eye candy

I don't really have anything to say today. I am mega-busy prepping for Thanksgiving and painting a commission and more. I thought it would be a good time to simply share some images that make me happy.

I sold this painting over the weekend and it just may find itself in a lovely room that you will be seeing more of. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Merry Christmas to me


Every year when I begin my Christmas browsing I see tons of things that I would not mind seeing under the tree...for me.
Lets call this the 40-something, design junkie gift guide. It sounds better.

I found Gryphon Designs on Etsy and they have some pretty cute equestrian style jewelry.

I often ask Santa for books and Miles Redd's book is at the top of that list. Ya hear Dad?

I desperately need new sheets too. Every time I mean to buy them something large and expensive breaks in my house so threadbare sleeping it is. The biggest problem is that I am a sheet snob. They must be 100% cotton, they must be sateen not percale, they MUST be white. I usually but 800/1000 thread count.
I suppose that it is kind of a strange gift but if they were from Saks I be OK with that.


I think that it is safe to say that no one will be wrapping $700 sheets for me this year so a more economical gift would be canvas pliers. They are for stretching canvases and I never use them but can't help wondering if they would make it easier. At $11 I should be able to find out.

What design junkie's list would be complete without a little chinoiserie? A pair of Chaing Mai pillows would be a good place to start.


When I saw this garden stool from Gump's, I just about died.
Gump's has an entire page of Garden stools

I could never choose just one.

What's on your Christmas list?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Smart Swedish stuff

match tealight holders
I stumbled upon this Swedish design firm, Form Us with Love last night and was charmed by the clever items in their trove.
In 2012 Form Us With Love was named by Fast Company as one of the worlds 50 most influential designers shaping the future.

Those little votives with a slit to facilitate match lighting was the first to catch my eye.

Form pendants

I have a tenuous relationship  at best with most lighting but I kind of like these as a group.

This prosthesis clothes hanger is not much to look at (in my opinion) but for the short on space it would be a Godsend.

The slideshow for their "Dandy" exhibition is not to be missed.

The concept looks clever and very well executed. There are photos of the display pieces being created.
I encourage you to check out the site. I spent quite awhile exploring it. The navigation is slightly unusual but I am sure you will get the hang of it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another-It's about dern time project and DIY

I procrastinated on this project for almost two years. I bought woven wood shades and wanted to line them before hanging them in my west facing family room. Sorry there is no before photo. I still had ugly mini-blinds from the builder.
Keep reading there is a how-to below.

First, let me ask...does anyone have any tips on how to photograph sunny windows? Anyone?.. Beuller?
The four windows are the only natural light in the room and the get sun all day hence, the need to line the shades.
The other issue was whether to mount them inside or hang them high and outside the window frame. Outside would have been ideal but the ceilings are 9 ft and the windows go nearly to the floor. I was unable to find any shades long enough so inside mount it had to be.

Here is the low down on how to line these. Lay the shade string side up and untie the strings. Pull the strings out of all of the loops but not out of the shade mechanism.
Cut your lining (I used blackout lining) to the width of your shade and hem or glue a 3/4 inch seam along each edge.

I used Fabri-tac glue and  even though I am generally opposed to gluing fabric it really is the best way to attach the lining to the shade. The glue is acetone based so be careful what you get iton but it is also flexible when dry which is key for this project.
This is the tricky part to explain. You have to glue the fabric in sections cutting a small slit to pull the rings through.
I start with the bottom edge and about 8 inches along each side and carefully a small amount on the sold parts of the shade in the center. You don't want the glue to glob through.

Feel for the rings and carefully make a slit. Do NOT press down to cut as you might cut the strings holding the rings in place. It is more of a snag and pull motion that calls for a very sharp utility knife.

Carefully pull each ring through and continue gluing fabric to the next set of rings and repeat until you are at the top of the shade.

Make a hem along the top with the extra fabric and restring your shade.

Make sure to tie the ends on the last ring.

I might have procrastinated for a ridiculous amount of time but I was still lining the last shade and insisting that my husband get busy hanging those shades!