Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday vignette

Iantha Carley D.C. Design house 2013
Why am I showing you this vignette? Because I have sideboard styling on the brain. Two weeks ago I found a vintage Thomasville faux-bamboo dresser on Craigslist. I never find anything good on CL so I knew I had to have it and paint it a glossy black. It will take up the wall in my kitchen that I never show. The wall was where my easel was and a rustic style armoire used as a china cabinet. I was a little sentimental about that rustic piece but its not my style and it was starting to fall apart.

Well I got off to a great start... and then my husband, who never gets sick, got sick and went down in a heap. He works about 60 hours a week and then helps at home and it got him good.
At this point the dresser and paint was taking up my half of the garage and the contents of the china cabinet that I was tossing were in piles in the kitchen and dining room.
Chaos ensued.
Now that I am sort of back to normal, I am debating lamps or no lamps. Symmetry or asymetrical styling.
I have a giant white oval platter that won't fit anywhere else so that has to live in this plan.
I also bought this darling planter from The Pink Pagoda accessories shop.

Several cookbooks will be out too.
I hope I can make it quirky and traditional but fun.
You'll be the first to know if I succeed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My studio...Come on in

I have been doing artist intros on Tuesdays but I thought I would take a week off and show you this.
Finally, other rooms were painted, furniture moved and I have a dedicated studio!
This is the room that was slated for a library but our snail's pace and a stepson needing it as a bedroom kept that from happening. The room was meant to be dark and moody with silk curtains and portraits of ancestors. The ancestors are still here no books, moodiness, or dark is part of the picture just now.

I really don't want a messy studio but isn't that what everyone expects?
These photos are moments after move in yesterday.

The Chinese rug has to go or it will end up looking like that towel.

Some works in progress among finished pieces
The room gets great light all day. My studio time will be every morning once school starts and the a.m.light is best.
I hope to show the room off a little better soon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Saturday in old town Fredericksburg

Art First Gallery on Caroline St.

 I was sitting in the Art First Gallery on Saturday really wishing I could go for a walk about town. Old Town Fredericksburg is about 15 minutes from where I live and I end up here quite often.
The historic buildings and their charm had me hooked the first time I came here.

The boutiques, restaurants and antique stores lure me here enough but when I can't spare the time I love looking at the details of the old buildings.

Fredericksburg sits to the south of the Rappahannock river and many of these gorgeous homes sit on a small bluff overlooking the river. Kind of my dream house!


George Washington grew up across the river and his sister Betty, lived here at Kenmore plantation, which is really in the middle of downtown at this point.
I have yet to visit Kenmore or the other Washington homes here.

I have visited a few other Fredericksburg institutions like Goolrick's pharmacy. Its a total throwback with a lunch counter and soda fountain. I think they actually fill prescriptions too.

Everyone goes to Carl's ice cream in the summertime. Its a standard for first dates.

I love living here.
Do you live somewhere awesome too?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday artist intro

"Doble bubble" By Diana Delgado

Today I chose the artist behind one of my first Pinterest pins, Diana Delgado. Her bio includes plenty of remarkable accomplishments including One Kings Lane's Emerging Artists sales.

I love the feminine colors juxtaposed with high energy, sharp shapes.
What do you think?

"Blue flowers (lamps)" by Diana Delgado
 See more of her work HERE.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Big news, new work and new shop

"Sweetest revenge" 24 x 30 oil and charcoal on linen
Happy Monday! This is a really great Monday in my book.
I wanted to share some new work today as well as some exciting news. Today I have mostly a series of blue and white on linen. I would love to do a boat load of blue and white studies. I am also liking sepia and white (see below) it is a warm brown and purplish black that I find really beautiful.
Jennifer of The Pink Pagoda, is sharing a few of my blue and white paintings today too, as part of her blue and white Monday series.

"Blue study 1" 24 x 30 oil and charcoal on linen by Kerry Steele
After thinking long and hard I have decided to transition out of selling original canvases on Etsy. It has been a wonderful place for me grow and connect with new collectors of my artwork, so I am sad to move on in a way.
 I will continue to offer prints and paintings on paper on Etsy. The reason for this is that a necessary price increase, I believe, prices me out of Etsy with my originals on canvas. Paintings on paper and prints will remain the same price.
I will offer a sale of some sort as part of the transition very soon.

"Find Autumn" 30 x 48 oil and acrylic on canvas by Kerry Steele

So where can you buy Kerry Steele original work?
I have set up a new shop as part of my site The URL is but there is also a simple link on my home page.

"Mod light" 24 x 30 oil and charcoal on linen by Kerry Steele
The big news...
You will also be able to see my work at Blue Print store in Dallas starting in August.
For those of you not familiar with Blue Print, it is an interior design mecca owned by five interior designers. One of my favorite artists, Sally King Benedict, has her work there along with other well-known artists and now I will too!
 I am so very excited!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Halfway there

This light was ordered
We mostly finished painting my youngest daughter's room on Tuesday. The contents of her room are making both the hallway and my bedroom a bit uncomfortable at the moment so the last bit of touch up is a priority.

As you can see, even the painter's tape is still in place. The color is a very pale pink, BM-885 Key pearl. I wrote about choosing the colors before and the wisdom in choosing a lighter color on a paint chip than you think is right. I also advised using sample pots of paint to choose the right shade.

I followed all of my own advice but in the early part of our painting, I had some serious doubts. It looked really pink. I like pink but a cliche little girl's room was not my goal.
I am thrilled to report that it is a very subtle and understated pink now that the entire room and ceiling are painted.
I have white linen curtains for the window and I am still looking for a shade.
The light fixture in the first photo was ordered from Home Depot and the budget friendly price was key. It uses three chandelier bulbs which used to freak my husband out but his training is coming along quite nicely.
Her dresser has been painted with AS chalk paint in graphite.
Now I need to choose one more piece...for the TV.
Before you shudder, let me explain.
I have a boat load of kid's VHS tapes from my first round of little ones and this little girl, being in a home of adults only, often loses out in the TV department. She likes to lie on her bed and watch movies, no cable. So I need to rework that set up. Here are the two options I like.

As much as I like this choice, I am not sure it is right as it won't hide cords and leaves me stacking tapes on top which was the set up and I hate how messy it looked.

I am leaning towards this one for several reasons. 1. Its gray, albeit lighter gray than the dresser. 2. It doesn't hide cords but the basket I store tapes in on the bottom shelf will. 3. Its got cute fretwork details.
I'll have to show our future progress. We are still waiting on the light to arrive and until then we have this klassy number.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We interrupt the regularly scheduled...

*** Update***
She was found safe on July 20th. Hooray!

I am taking a detour to help a dear friend today. Please read.
Joann is my oldest friend, that is we have known one and other since we were six. I heard this morning that her 16 year-old daughter has been missing for 10 day. 10 DAYS!! My heart aches for her.
Her daughter, Autumn, was last seen in downtown Charleston, SC.
Some of you are from the Charleston area or are friends with people who do live in the area, please pass this along so that there is a happy ending.

Back to design tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New weekly feature

Mickey Mouse club (the really, really old one) had a special guest every Tuesday.
I am going to feature a painting/artist of the week every Tuesday. It will always be by someone other than me and I hope I can introduce you to someone new along the way.
If you ever have a suggestion let me know too.

"Feeling the pinch" 36 x 36 by Wedy Mcwilliams
Today its all about Wendy Mcwilliams
I have been stalking her art on Pinterest for quite some time.
I am very drawn to basic emotions that it evokes and her liberal use of black to create both shapes and negative space. Her exuberant brushstrokes create, for me, the visceral reaction that art should give you.

"Delicious poison" 36 x 36 Wendy Mcwilliams
Wendy sells on Etsy HERE
and is on Pinterest HERE

Monday, July 15, 2013

Things to play with

My fabric designs
Do you ever feel like avoiding the things you should be doing and resort playing with things online? I am not talking about Candy Crush Saga (I am never talking about those games) I am talking about the wealth of sites that let you customize their product and see it before you order.
Here are my faves.
We all know about Spoonflower, right? It is a deep hole to fall into. I have uploaded and tweaked image after image only to notice that it is suddenly 2 am.

Fabric is something I can never get enough of so I have played with Spoonflower a lot. It is one of my favorite diversions.

I was catching up with one of my favorite blogs, Privilege and found this personalizer from Crane & co.

Cute, right?
Why stop there? Did you know that you can design your own US postage?

There are several sites but I  tried and it is actually real postage.

I had a ton of fun playing with my paintings on stamps and trying the customizable ( albeit ghastly) borders.

 I had a hard time visualizing what exactly would look good surrounded by a border of hearts or balloons but they are available.

Found anything good to play with lately?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New paintings

"Here is better than there" 18 x 24 oil on canvas by Kerry Steele

I finished two small paintings this week, which felt like quite a victory. The funny part is that my oldest daughter was grounded and that meant I got some work out of the lovestruck, lazy girl, freeing up my time to paint.

"Say, Momma" oil and acrylic on 16 x 20 canvas by Kerry Steele
They are both still wet. The thing with oils is that they do not "dry" they cure. This is a fact that is making me a little crazy right now. I posted a painting several weeks ago, "Bluestocking babe" that is still "wet"

"Bluestocking babe"  18 x 24 oil and charcoal on linen

Its not just a little wet, either. I read that heat can speed up the oxidation process and help them "dry" faster so this one is hanging in my garage.
I am going to try not adding so much extra linseed oil. I have four canvases in progress and I am going to start another today and use an additive called Liquin to remedy this problem.

I also bought over 100 new tubes of paint this week. That was a fun box to unpack especially since it had more than a few shades that I have never used before. It was just like being a kid on Christmas morning. I didn't know which to play with first.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sleepy spaces

I thought I would show you all some of my favorite bedrooms and talk about the perfect bed today because that is where I would like to be. A recent bout of insomnia is making for some tired, less-productive days.

One of the few places that I choose muted colors over vibrant is in bedrooms. I tend to go with very traditional furnishings too.

I am cool with decorative throw pillows but my sheets and pillow cases must be white and 100% cotton. I have even turned my husband into a bedding snob. Last year, in a classic non-label reading- Kerry-move, I accidentally bought sheets that were 50% poly. My husband was shocked and appalled. I tried really hard to pretend that I did not mind them at all and I meant to buy them. They pilled near our feet and were hot and uncomfortable. I finally pulled them off and threw them in with our pile of painting drop cloths in the basement.

Are you picky about your pillow or blankets? I used to sleep with a down comforter but its just overkill. I now have two thin cotton quilts and an electric foot warmer for the winter.

Is your bedroom dark and cave-like or light and bright? Mine is light and bright which is great when you are not trying to sleep but it stinks at 8 am on Saturday morning when the sun aligns perfectly with the space between the blinds and my left eye.

That's enough pillow talk for today. I think its almost nap time. Yay!