Sunday, December 29, 2013

I love my house

As a fellow design junkie, I am sure you understand the desire to make your home magazine worthy in some way. Whether its Lonny or Traditional Home you aspire to that drive towards perfection is always needling us.

Many of us carefully stage and crop our photos leaving only the best bits in view.
Oh this is not a bragging post. Let me tell you why I have such a renewed affection for my own house.

A few days before Christmas my 18 year old son came down with something and spent the holiday emerging from his room only briefly for tea and and present opening.
The day after Christmas my little one seemed sick and miserable and my husband and I weren't feeling too hot. Not being the sort to let a little head cold stop us we set off on our planned trip to Pennsylvania. By the time we got there it was all we could do to lie down at my mother in-laws house. This was no joke it was the flu. We didn't stay long and since my husband was the sickest, I ran around for over the counter meds and tissues. He and my little girl were sporting fevers around 102.
That night it hit me hard and the next day I opted to stay in the hotel room. It was awful for my husband to drag himself out of there and they simply moved to the couch at his mother's house.
You would think that staying in the hotel was a smart move but when I am sick at home I think nothing of wandering to the kitchen for some tea or a glass of water looking like a feral cat in PJs but in a hotel...not so much.
As I lay there, writhing, I all I could think was how badly I wished I was at home.
 Although we are much better now, after another miserable five hour drive we arrived home and could not stop talking about how great it was to be home at our house.
So for all its lackluster flooring and builder grade fixtures...I love my house!
Love your house. Its the only place to be when you feel bad

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas cheer

Before I share some Christmas cheer I should tell each and every reader (whether you comment or not) that I appreciate those moments of your life that you choose to spend here.

 I thought I would share my Christmas table setting today.

I started with a silver charger from a discount store and layered on my antique looking blue willow plates that I grabbed at World Market last year. The top plate was my great-grandmother's. The pattern is Penelope.

I have a charming collection of antique, mismatched napkin rings that I did not polish because I am lazy like the patina. In them is a different great-grandmother's antique linen napkins. The monogram is "B" "D" intertwined and I love them.

I kind of forgot about a centerpiece so it was ribbon candy to the rescue. I used the ribon candy as placecard holders at the kid's table last year. I love the old-fashioned charm.

Speaking of old-fashioned...
One of the perks of choosing an old-fashioned name for your kids is finding engraved silver "just for them".

I have a few "thank you"s too.

First, Leslie at Pillow Love by le-ka-lia interiors featured a piece of my art in a darling and well-thought out nursery. You only get a snippet here so go visit Leslie to see the rest.

Also, the ever sweet Kristen at Pursuing Vintage sent me this pretty blue and white bowl. You know how I feel about blue and white!

Posting may be a bit spotty during the next week. My husband will be on vacation for a well-deserved 9 days and I am thrilled for us to have the time together. I kinda like him.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Room of the week

I was really drawn to the the symmetrical windows and bright light here, and the curtains look much like the ones in my living room.
I think the elegant proportions and chandelier seal the deal for me with this room.
Did I mention the floor? 
Thumbs up or down?

Monday, December 16, 2013

New work

untitled watercolor by Kerry Steele

I have been hard at work in my studio lately finishing pieces destined for places other than my shop for the most part.
It involves much of the non-creative parts like wiring, painting edges, and packing the canvases. Its not terrible work but it is hard to switch back into creative mode.
 I did finish a few new things too.
The watercolor was from a few weeks ago and I just could not decided whether it was finished until now.

"Dig it" oil on 24 x 36 inch canvas
 I have really been wanting to do a blendy, feminine abstract after so many florals and I finished this one on Friday night. You may have seen it if you follow me on Instagram. Not sure where this will end up.

"Alight" oil on 16 x 20 canvas

I also did a knife painting, ala my friend Sally Kelly, who mixes color on her canvas with palette knives. It will be on Etsy as soon as it dries.

"Miserlou" 30 x 40 mixed media on canvas
I put a priority on some larger canvases this weekend so that crate building could happen this week.

"Les Parapluies" 36 x 48 oil on canvas
"Les Parapluies", or the umbrellas, is my favorite of the bunch.

What did you do this weekend?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Room of the week

Studio Peregalli
I don't know where to start with my passion for this room. It has all of the the cozy, lushness of the inside of a genie's bottle. The layers of classic textiles and art over bookshelves really do it for me
I could lounge for hours, reading, napping, staring at art and as long as there are food and facilities nearby I could stay there, satisfied, for a very long time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Birthday sky-a special guest post

Nearly a month ago my neighbor gave birth to their third daughter. I had been watching their oldest daughter, Madelyn, after school for over a year and she had an extended visit that day.
As the sun began to set we noticed a most beautiful sky. I snapped a few photos. My husband said, "You should paint that." we both thought the same thing at the same time and said "Its a perfect baby gift!"
I painted it and wondered, "Will they get it? Did they see it?"

Here is the story as told by 6 year old Madelyn.

 When Andi was born at 4:13 on November 6th, Daddy left the hospital about an hour later to pick  us up to bring us to the hospital to meet our baby sister. When he walked out he was greeted by this absolutely beautiful sky. We couldn't help but think that our loved ones in heaven were sending a message to Andi that they love her too!
 Look at the heart in the clouds! Is that not amazing or what??? Daddy did NOT capture these pictures although he said that he captured a mental picture that he will have forever. My neighbor, Kerry,  noticed the sky at the same time that we let her know that Andi was born. She was watching me at the time and captured these beautiful photos!

AND Kerry is also a professional artist. She not only surprised us with the amazing photos, but she made this gorgeous canvas for Andi's room! 

It is perfect in her nursery and every time we look at it, we can't help but think that Pop and Great Grandma Betty didn't have something to do with that sky!  She is so talented. Since I spend so much time with her, she has inspired my inner artist too! I love making abstract art now and call it my masterpiece! Thank you, Kerry! Thank you Pop and Great Gram for the message....we love you too!
I just love that Steve saw the sky and they totally understood the special meaning I intended with the painting.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas switcheroo

If you are a regular you will remember my furniture rearranging escapade a couple of months ago.
My living room went from this...

to this...

Which I hated and changed to this...

I bravely solicited comments and the consensus was naught.
 There were so many different points of view that I just decided to leave it. I nearly killed myself moving all of the furniture myself. 
I had this nagging desire to move the sofa back under the painting which I created and hand stretched expressly for that spot.
Last week I decided to try the one arrangement I had not yet tried and I had big, strong Mr. DesignduMonde to help me.  It was time because we had to accomodate the Christmas tree. It only took us 10 minutes.

I am not crazy about the bombe chest being crammed in the corner but I feel so much better with the sofa under the painting and I am in love with the creamy vignette created by the chairs, curtains and the tone on tone abstract I bought from my friend Kenneth.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New work

"Lemonade envy" 12x 12 oil on canvas
Last week I was immersed in creating not just watercolor paintings but also canvases for Jennifer of The Pink Pagoda's new shop.
Each of these is created with her look in mind and they should be available later this week.

"If you dance" oil and charcoal on 18 x 18 canvas
I also completed a floral abstract that is headed to Anne Neilson Gallery in Charlotte, N.C.

"Palace garden" 24 x 48 oil on canvas

Some paintings come together so quickly its like they painted themselves. This was not one of those. I tweaked and layered and glazed for what felt like too long but the resultant layers are what I strive for with all of my paintings.

The other two that are headed to Anne Neilson are "Penny Mac" and "Watery"

"Penny Mac" 24 x 48 oil on canvas

"Watery" 24 x 30 oil on canvas

Friday, December 6, 2013

The obligatory wishlist


I have a relatively small Christmas wishlist this year. It must mean that I am truly blessed because I really feel that I have most things I want and 1500 square feet of flooring won't fit in Santa's sleigh.
I did spy a few goodies that you can never really have too many of.
My watch collection consists of dated styles and gifts from old boyfriends or husbands so a classic Timex would be welcome.

A Christina Baker won't be under my tree but I am in line for one in January or February. The girl is busy! I bet you want one too.

 Pretty things are always on my list but I want something to play with too.
 This molecular gastronomy kit looks like so much fun and I can pretend I am dining at The French Laundry right here in Virginia.

In all actuality, my present won't be under the tree. I think we are losing the ghetto faucet situation in my kitchen in favor of this, Yay!
What's on your list?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Anne Neilson Gallery

I am pleased to announce that I am part of an amazing group of artists represented by Anne Neilson Fine Art in Charlotte N.C.
Anne herself is a noteworthy artist, nationally known for her ethereal Angel Series paintings which are inspiring reflections of her faith and flair for color and light.  In addition to her popular Angel paintings, Neilson’s repertoire includes dramatic landscapes featuring scenes from her travels.
The list of represented artists is HERE . Design afficianados will recognize a few names and children of the late '60s and early '70s will recognize a name from TV.
The grand opening is February 6th and I plan to attend.
Will I see you there?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Room of the week

Today I decided to find a remarkable bedroom and, well, remark.

I love bedrooms with calm colors but if there is nothing interesting, I just can't get into it.
This room has the architectural canopy with pleated fabric that reads (to me) as very traditional and a little fussy. It continues the solid fabric in rather modern panels serving as a headboard. On that is a wee antique portrait. It works so well.
I love the juxtaposition of clean lines, ornately carved pieces and textural fabrics. That Greek key bed skirt doesn't  hurt either.

Do you prefer bright, bold bedrooms or or neutral and serene?

Monday, December 2, 2013

New blue and white

I have been playing with watercolors again but this time with a purpose.
I am painting these exclusively for the new Pink Pagoda shop that will be launching any day now.

These are simple flower paintings on 9 x 12 watercolor paper. I am keeping the style loose and not too literal.

Jennifer will also be offering original art from several artists and I am busy creating a few abstracts expressly for her.

"Brazil" 20 x 20 oil on canvas by Kerry Steele

This is the first of those.
I am linking this with The Pink Pagoda Blue and White bash today so hop on over to see tons of blue and white goodies.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Novica winner

So is everyone still wearing their yoga pants after yesterday's feast?
I know I am and there are still a few dishes left to do.

Its really interesting to me that the first person, Kristen on the last giveaway won and the last person SolDucky won this one.


I off to get a few things done today.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Art + math =

Last year I used the Fibonacci spiral as a basis for a composition in a painting.
The Fibonacci sequence is a magical group of number that begins 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21...
Each number is obtained by adding the previous two numbers and it makes for some interesting math tricks.
Here is a short but great video illustrating how the Fibonacci sequence works.

The other night I decided to use that sequence to mark off a composition. Instead of using the spiral I marked off inches along the top and side using the sequence.

I did not want a canvas of varying rectangles so I made the rule that each stroke, curve or plane had to correspond with one of the marks that mapped out two 1 inch areas then a 2 inch and a 3 inch and a 5inch... on up to 13 inches.

This canvas is a 24 x 36 in ch canvas. I wont make you do the math but I had some space left over after I measured this out and that really called for a more free-form style as opposed to precision.
I loved this way of painting. I am always mindful of composition and this set of guidelines allowed me to relax and have fun with the paint because Fibonacci took care of the rest.

I really hate math unless its fun like this.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Also select canvases are on sale at through the holidays.