Monday, September 30, 2013



Today I am just posting unrelated photos of a few new  5 x 7 pieces while I tell you about my weekend.
I was hard at work on my son's room redo that I will be showing you on Thursday as part of Linda's Linking participant ORC.
The room isn't even done but I got so excited I emailed photos to my son, Mr. Death Metal Maniac, which is the name on his email profile and new to me. Nothing makes a mother prouder.


Mr. DMM also answered his phone, a rare occurrence, and told me all about his college classes. I was pleased to hear that he is crazy busy. He was also surprised to hear that I was redoing his room ( I only talked about it all summer) and that I have a website. I don't know how he crosses the street.


Saturday, my husband was home, another rare occurrence. We decided on an impromptu dinner out and nixed Oktoberfest in downtown Fredericksburg in favor of Culpeper. Culpeper, Virginia is about 40 minutes from my house and is a quaint little town in horse country. There is a restaurant that we had heard about and just not ever bothered to visit. I mean it is just Culpeper, right?
Boy, have we been missing out. The dinner was amazing and I am not easy to impress in the food department.
This is what we ate:
Crispy pork belly on rhubarb compote bruschetta
Grilled Lamb Steak served on a Citrus Braised Eggplant and finished with a Cardamom Scented Yogurt
 Pan seared Tuna  with roasted red pepper and golden raisin reduction
 Coffee and Chocolate Covered Almond Ice Cream
Chocolate Pots au creme 

It was heaven.
How was you weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This is the best stuff..

This is the best stuff for earthquake zones, people with children and pets or generally clumsy folks.

Museum putty is kind of like Silly Putty but it helps keep breakables in place.
I recently bought some and had not employed its use when a very careless cleaning lady knocked a family keepsake across the room, chipping it.
I wish I had discovered it years ago.
There are several brands. I bought this one.
I feel like I am the last person to discover this.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Potty mouth

Last week, I had the occasion to meet with a few moms from the new Montessori school that my daughter is enrolled in and sip some coffee and chat.
The house was a turn of the century stick style and thoughtfully decorated with a few unexpected touches.
As I was leaving I thought it might be wise for me to visit the loo.
Good thing it was coffee and not wine or I might have shouted, "Holy s#!%! Why have I never seen these before?!"
Instead, I contained my enthusiasm for this product and promptly bought two online.

I had no idea such things existed. I was thrilled that the bathroom needs of a small child were solved neatly without the unattractive accoutrements that I currently have.

Have you found an unusual and amazing product lately?
I've got another one for you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New work

"Thinking on the stairs" oil and charcoal on linen by Kerry Steele
Last week, the mood struck to do another figural piece. I chose linen and began in several pastel colors. It quickly began to resemble one of my blue and white pieces on linen with the pastel colors standing-in for the white.

I have a 48 x 48 canvas with an indentation on the top stretcher bar, nothing huge but I felt wrong to sell it so I painted something for myself. It is another painting that defies photography and won't show all of the subtleties in color.
Instagram filters seemed to be my only help.

 In reality it is somewhere between the two.

I also am trying to do a few smaller canvases.

I picked up two 5 x 7 canvases and decided to give it a whirl.
The one on the left sold very quickly so I think I need to do more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Fall uniform

I have been on a bit of a shopping tear lately. Sadly, it must come to an end but I feel really good about my Fall look.

This is a roundup of my Fall purchases.
I have had my Barbour wax jacket for about 10 years and its not the Bedale but its similar. Which reminds me, its time to rewax.

 I have wanted the waxed baseball cap for a long time and I just got it. Its way more comfortable than most baseball itchy. Since I chopped my hair off there is no ponytail option for those weekday mornings where I just can't get it together.
The Barbour Liddlesdale is really lightweight and it runs small so the adorable pink quilted jacket is only for slightly chilly days.
I am loving both pairs of flats.
 Do you have a uniform?

Friday, September 20, 2013

House tour updates

Yesterday I updated the House Tour page here on the blog. Keeping current photos at the top of a consecutive list gets difficult to organize after awhile. The current ones are at the top but then there might be several old dining room photos followed by a current family room photo and I thought it was visually confusing. I think I organized it a bit better.
You might notice some new Louis chairs. I only have that photo at the moment. More comprehensive photos are a few days away. It seems we have the post vacation/back-to-school cold to contend with first. A certain little girl just told me in her best Southern drawl, "I have a lot of sneezin' to do!"

This is a somewhat new painting "Boxed in" that I neglected to post. 
I am knee deep in commissions so I only have one other canvas going and its a self-commission but it will be here as soon as I am done.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vacation colors

I am back from a quick trip to the beach that was fun and exhausting and just the right amount of time. You know you have the right job when you are dreaming excitedly of getting back to work while you are still on vacation.

I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at color and thinking about the natural ways it comes together. Luckily, I had the Ben Moore Color Capture app so that I could share these thoughts in way that makes sense.

The sand has a heavy dose of black

I love the variety of cool and warm neutrals. 
I collected tons of shells and enjoyed categorizing those colors too.
Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fun with fabric design

My Saturday night went like this: Shirley Temples, popcorn, Despicable Me on the sofa. Then I got antsy and decided to play with fabric design for awhile.

I took a photo of a piece of porcelain and manipulated it for the design.

 Here is a closer look.

I played with the colors..

I made several colorways.

 I even made one for the color allergic. You know who you are!
The funny thing is that I like the grayscale version best.

I have not proofed them for color so they are not for sale unless I get a request.
Which is your favorite?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fashionable semantics

Februaury 2009 World of Interiors
Let's define trendy. Trendy, in my mind, means something on the new side of fashionable. Something hot but not in every home catalog.
 In the photo above, furry floors aside, I see nothing trendy but it strikes me as very fashionable.
This disparate mix of the untrendy, somehow as a group becomes the trend.

my house
My family room has some uber-trendy items like the laquered tray but the mid-century Brno chairs with the Eastlake dresser are an odd pairing, just the way I like it.
I took this photo after a small coup of a conversation with my 16 year-old daughter. She is finally coming to the conclusion that its more interesting to be original in decorating than choose matching sets, which she has always done.
This fine line between mainstream, trendy and fashionable and the individual perceptions of where they lie have been on my mind lately.
Sure, its fashionable to mix up pieces of different eras and quality but hasn't a touch of eccentricity always been chic?
Once a group of tastemakers decide that something is fashionable, isn't it too late?
How unfashionable do you have to be to be fashionable?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blue and white wishlist

1 / 2 / 3  / 4 / 5 / 6

Yesterday I received a gorgeous planter from The Pink Pagoda's shop.

I am nuts about her blue and white porcelain accessories. You would think that the Staffordshire dogs, a pair of beaker vases and this planter would satisfy my desire but it just made me long for more starting with the wishlist.
Here is my styling so far. I need more don't you think?


I am really inspired by this image and seeing the blue and white with more modern elements.
I think I will be expanding my collection!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New and exciting around here


I just bought the CB2 oversized equator pendant for my breakfast room and I could not be more pleased. It is huge and that is why I like it. It takes a hum-drum drum light and super sizes it for oomph.
Let me illustrate.

this photo from above shows its scale in relation to my table and also my urgent need for different chairs...damn you French country look!
 I don't even want to show the pathetic before. It was my most hated builder light in this house.

I had been lusting after other fixtures, especially variations of a Sputnik, but my commitment to budget and my litmus test won out. The test is to ask myself whether or not I am sure that I will still like it in five years . This fixture was only $200.

In other news, Kerry Steele art is the newest independent artist to become a part of The Nearby.

The Nearby hand-selects the best local boutiques and designers selling women’s clothing, jewelry, art and home accents. You can download the app for free from the App Store and shop Kerry Steele Art from your iPhone!

Once you download and register, the app will bring up all the best local stores and designers surrounding you, based on your proximity. Follow Kerry Steele Art and photos of our current merchandise will appear in your feed. When you see a photo of something that interests you, you can “like,” comment, or even click the “Buy/Chat” button to text directly with an associate at the store to help you purchase the item, put it on hold, or just get more info.

Download The Nearby for FREE from the App Store here:
This app has a connection to some pretty choice stores, galleries and designers and I am thrilled to be in such good company.
What's new with you?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I dream of...

...endless pillows.

I realize that I am totally dating myself with the revelation that the TV show "I dream of Jeannie" was, for me as a young child, a visual treat that fed my imagination and started these mad cravings for textiles and pillows...more pillows!

The cushy inside of Jeannie's bottle was a fantasy of glittery cocooning that really appealed to me.

I was browsing the interwebs in search of inspiration stuff to buy for a room zhush and I noticed my additions to several baskets were all in pillow form and I lingered over other stuffed square and rectangle bits longer than anything else.

"I am coming to your house" this one squeaked.

"Me too, crazy lady!" this one joined in with.

Can I just fill my whole freakin' house with pillows?
Yes, they would lose their visual impact but not their "Jeannie bottle" AKA grown up ball pit appeal.
Why not just a bunch of generic bed pillows? 


If it were simply for the flop of a a room sized bed, I would be imagining that, but Jeannie's bottle is pretty (in 5 year old terms) and I could love the indulgence of tons of soft, fluffy, gorgeous pillows.

Maybe I should check into a twelve pillow program.

Monday, September 2, 2013

2 new paintings

Jumping someone else's train  30 x 40 oil on linen by Kerry Steele
I finished two paintings last week that took until today to photograph properly.
I use the word properly rather loosely because the most pale colors, where there is a variety of subtle color, do not show up. This is just the nature of things.
In the first painting, "Jumping someone else's train" the areas that appear white are actually "linen gray" and "gray green" Charvin colors.
I know someone will want an explanation of the title. I was listening to The Cure's first album Boys don't cry. It just worked for me.

"Relatively chronic" 36 x 36 oil on canvas by Kerry Steele
In "Relatively chronic" I used white, vulcan gray, green gray and linen gray as the background which appears to white. The blacks are actually four different colors too. Payne's gray, sepia, mars black and vulcan gray. 

 Using an old gift card to apply the paint and gain a bit of different texture was a new thing for me.
I am kind of enjoying these color studies that appear to involve just two colors until you look more closely.
These two need another week or two to dry before they go in the shop.