Thursday, September 30, 2010

Art & Music

I've been working some crazy hours as of late and when I'm not working, I'm full swing into redoing the guest/sewing room, and still in mess it up to fix it up mode. I'll have pics of the projects I'm working on soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd do something a little different today, and share some of my mixed media collage art with you.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
~Eleanor Roosevelt

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."
~Lanston Hughes

Much of my art is influenced by music.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
~Victor Hugo

"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold and she's buying a stairway to heaven."
~Led Zepplin

This collage by was inspired by the song of the same name, “Suite Madame Blue”, written by Dennis DeYoung and performed by Styx.
Madame Blue, is representative of America. It was written in 1975, just before the bicentennial as a wake-up call.

"Time after time I sit and I wait for your call
I know I'm a fool but why can I say
Whatever the price I'll pay for you, Madame Blue
Once long ago,
A word from your lips and the world turned around
But somehow you've changed, you're so far away
I long for the past and dream of the days with you,
Madame Blue

Suite Madame Blue, gaze in your looking glass
You're not a child anymore
Suite Madame Blue, the future is all but past
Dressed in your jewels, you made your own rules
You conquered the world and more ..............heaven's door"

I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into some of the things that move and inspire me, and as such, how they're reflected in my art.

Until next time,

This post is shared on "Show and Tell Friday"
at Cindy's gorgeous blog, My Romantic Home. You should check it out....lots of great ideas to discover!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Friend's House ~ Part II

Last week we started a tour of my good friend Liz Snow's home, but there's so much to see, we only made it into the dining room. Today we'll explore a bit further into the house.

We left off by peeking into her vintage kitchen; it is the brightest room in the house, which is otherwise predominantly done in dreamy whites and pastels.

Her kitchen is small, but it lives much larger than its size through her use of lively color and open cabinetry. The open cabinetry displays more of her gorgeous collection of art pottery. This, along with other vintage dishes, glassware and whimiscal accents makes this room come alive with personality and energy.

Liz has numerous birdcages through out her home. This turquoise one, sitting on top of her refrigerator is one of my favorites. I love the little green "parakeet" inside!

Now we move along to her etheral white bathroom

It is such a small room that it's hard to get in and photograph, but this tiny room is just loaded with style. I especially love the ornate shelves that hang over the toilet. She's created such lovely vignettes there...

Her "lady collection" mixed with cut glass, crystal, perfume bottles and other lady-like essentials is just stunning. Here you see a more complete view.

and a close-up...

These vintage toiletry and vanity pieces are just too pretty for words!

Moving on past the bathroom, we find ourselves in Liz's charming office.

She has a number of gorgeous statues, but this is one of my favorites.

This display rests atop her armoire.

This window overlooks her beautiful gardens.
Perhaps a tour for another day...
The pillow peeking up from the lower left corner is one that I made for her from a piece of vintage barkcloth.

I also made the "Dream" banner that hangs across the mirror over her desk.

The next room on our tour is the guest bedroom.
Because Liz's mother spends quite a bit of time here, the room is a mix of both of their collections.

It is packed with all sorts of amazing vignettes.

I love all of these old purses with the family photos mixed in.

This fabulous, shabby bureau was picked up for a song at our favorite "hunting ground".

I love how it is painted white with just the wooden hardware left natural.

The top is home to some beautiful old perfume bottles and vanity accessories.

Here's a close-up view.

This is part of Liz's mother's biscuit jar collection.

And a bit more of it...

So, now you've seen the downstairs. I hope you'll join me next week as we head upstairs to complete the tour. Many thanks to Liz and her husband Ed, for allowing me to share their wonderful home.

Until next time,

I'm linking up with "White Wednesday" at Faded Charm. Come on over and check things out at Kathleen's gorgeous blog!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mix it Up!

I've been working lots of extra hours lately, so progress is slow but I'm finally getting started with the decor in my guest/sewing room. I have a long way to go, but at least I've cleared enough STUFF to begin work on it.

And the first job at hand -- painting. The cotton candy pink walls worked well with my last scheme, but just won't do for what I have in mind right now.

I had a hard name coming up with a title for this post, though. I thought about things like, "Working with Color" or "Using the Color Wheel", but rejected them....BORING! So I decided to title my post, "Mix it Up", since that's exactly what I did.
You see, I wanted to paint the walls in a nice, creamy


But this is what I had on hand...

A rather icky shade of greenish yellow.
Now I could have gone out and bought a gallon of paint, but instead, I decided to mix up my own concoction.

As I'm sure you know, red and green are complementary colors on the color wheel, so I added some red craft acrylic to the paint to neutralize the green.

This is what it looked like when I finished stirring.
You can see the difference in the original color and the newly mixed color on the lid.

Now to add some richness...

I mixed in some burnt sienna.

And added some beige sponge paint that I had on hand.

Even while mixing, it was already taking on a nice, creamy Café-au-Lait appearance.

Since, paint is always lighter when wet, I decided to stop adding pigment when it reached the point of looking very creamy and before it took on a caramel color.

This is how the first wall looked after it dried.

I actually did this on Tuesday afternoon, but because of working extra hours was forced to put the
remainder of the room on hold until today. I should finish the walls and hope to get my next project started.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Shabby Boho Bedroom

I sometimes dream of having a frothy white bedroom.
Something like the one below...

I did once upon a time ago...

But it's just not feasible right now. You see, the bedroom in my little pizza restaurant turned rental cottage is quite tiny. And to compound matters even more, there are no closets in it. In fact there are no closets in the entire house! To up the difficulty factor in decorating the bedroom, there are additional constraints in place. I need to crate Reese when I'm away and the only logical place for his crate is my tiny bedroom. Additionally, my precious Lucy and Reese sleep with me each night and while they're the best bunk mates one could desire, they are very hard on bedding. So for quite a while, I settled on a strictly utilitarian space and focused my efforts on the rest of the house.

But then I came across this spread in Domino magazine.

It started wheels to turning...

If I can't have a fluffy shabby chic bedroom, then why not try a 'sleeping closet'? While I love the idea of a loft bed, it wouldn't work for me because of the dogs, but there was still something in this article that put the wheels in motion.
This is what I came up with...

Since I'm continually replacing bedding, I shop yard sales and thrift stores for pretty florals that can be mixed and matched.

I sort of like the way it looks....

Reese's crate is situated at the foot of the bed.

Prissy the cat checking out Reese's crate

To make it look a little less utilitarian, I draped a sofa throw across it.

The top serves as useful storage for my sleepwear.

One problem solved...
Now on to the next one...

I love the large window next to my bed...

I love the light...and the view...
And I love being able to look up into starry skies at night...
But it just doesn't lend itself well to conventional window treatments.

My curtains were continually becoming damaged or knocked down, so I opted to knot them up and tie them back secured with a cup hook.

For some added interest I strung some picture wire across the top of the sash and cliped on some artsy postcards for a valance. To add just a little more drama, I hung some Chinese lantens from the ceiling. The little battery operated lights come in quite handy during a power outtage!

Ok, you're probably thinking by now...
"So you have a bedroom with a dog crate in it...
Where does the sleeping closet idea kick in?"

Left without many other options, I've been using my clothing and accessories as part of the room decor. I love vintage bed jackets, and having this one so close at hand reminds me to actually use it when the mornings are a little chilly.

While I know it would be prettier if all my clothing were in soft pastels like the bed jacket, I've got to work with what I actually do wear. Here is my "closet".

As you can see, much of my clothing is hung on a rod that was already in place as a "closet" when I moved in. I added another freestanding rack for additional hanging space. Shelves above the rods store purses and accessories. Shelving and cubbies below house my shoes.

I keep all of my denim on the free-standing rack.

Some of my favorite (but not often worn) shoes and handbags "decorate" the shelf above the denim.

I hung a towel rod to "display" my scarves.
My boots are on and also under a bench placed below.

Jewelry storage acutally turned out to be a fun challenge.
I decided to keep most of my jewelry out in the open where I could see it and enjoy it...not to mention, be reminded to wear it!

The jewelry display was made from an old cork bulletin board cut to fit a frame that I had. I covered it with fabric and then used various items to secure my "jewels". The star-shaped wire basket makes an ideal earring holder. Necklaces and bracelets are hung from push pins. Brooches just push right into the cork board. Additional jewelry is kept in the trinket boxes on the dresser/night stand.

So, there you have it.
My solution to the too small bedroom with no closet dilemma.

Lucy and Reese seem to approve.
And while it probably wouldn't win any design awards, it works for me. Hopefully if you find yourself in a space crunch, some of the ideas here might work for you, too!

Until next time,

This post is shared on "Show and Tell Friday"
at Cindy's gorgeous blog, My Romantic Home. You should check it out....lots of great ideas to discover!


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