Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vintage Jewelry Art - A Happy Accident

Have I mentioned that I have commitment issues when deciding on art?  I'm not exactly sure when I became so timid about selecting what to put on the walls in our home.  I guess I know myself well enough to accept the fact that I tire of things quickly and am a little color-phobic for the same reason.  The wall décor pieces that have stood the test of time and my ever-changing tastes, though, are mirrors, frames, and architectural salvage.  They work with almost every style and color palette, so there's less chance that I will change my mind as soon as they are hung.

I'm working on a gallery wall for our master bedroom; although this is definitely putting the cart before the horse, as the bedroom project is currently stalled...big time!  Anyway, I completed a piece that will eventually be a part of that gallery.  For now, though, it is hanging in the hearth room (mostly for blog photo purposes, haha.)

This piece was a true accident-turned-art :)  I picked up each of the 3 elements completely separately, with absolutely no plans to put them together. 

I picked up this mirror at a consignment shop for $6, and fully intended to use it to craft a piece for my Etsy shop.  It went into the "stash" of supplies and sat quietly for months.

This frame was found at Goodwill for 99 cents.  I loved the strong style and nailhead trim.  After contemplating where I might use it at home, it eventually joined the other frames in the "stash".

Many of you know how much I adore vintage jewelry.  Ironically, I don't wear much jewelry, but I had absolutely planned to wear this because it made my heart go pitter patter!  I found it at my favorite local thrift store for a few dollars (about $2, if I remember correctly....score!)  Well, it sat and sat on my jewelry tray with all of the other pretty, but unworn, jewelry until I finally realized that I should find an alternate use for it.

One thing led to another, and as I played with pieces from the "stash", I discovered that the nailhead-trim frame fit nicely within the square mirror...BAM!  Then a lightbulb moment struck, and I knew that the flower brooch would perfectly complete the piece.  I seriously couldn't have planned this project if my life had depended on it, but voila...happiest of accidents!

I can't wait to add it to that gallery wall  s   o   m   e   d   a   y   .   .   .


Sharing with: Bella Rosa Antiques, Lamberts Lately, Share Your Cup, A Delightsome Life, Thoughts of Home, Between Naps on the Porch, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru Life, The Scoop, Dwellings The Heart of Your Home, The Dedicated House

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Interior Design Boards: Today and "Back in the Day"

As a member of the Corporation Board of my college sorority, I am involved in the current redesign of our house's living room. We are blessed with a beautiful, spacious, historic building that serves as a home-away-from-home to many vibrant young women.

The ceiling design in our foyer was painted by an artist who also painted the Nebraska State Capitol's rotunda. There are classic, wide mouldings, and the charm of a stately old house throughout. We "sisters" are very proud to have the chance to live in this home for an all-too-short period of our lives.

My vision for updating the living room honors the history, tradition, and function of the building,  while also breathing fresh life into the space. Working off of the muted colors from the foyer, I chose a scheme of teal, soft yellow/gold, and green with touches of muted orange. Transitional-style upholstered furniture pieces blend with modern accents (lamps, art, tables) to ease this space into the 21st Century.

Also, our sorority colors are dark blue, light blue, and gold, so this is a variation of the colors without being too literal.  I think the girls would love the fun ghost table, sunburst mirror, and playful designs of the patterned upholstery pieces.  It's important to retain the character and time period of the architecture with a few traditional, heavier pieces, also.  I think the balance works really well and adds a lot of interest.  We meet as a Board next week...we'll see what the other members think of my vision...

As I was working on this inspiration board, I thought about how much the design process has changed since I lived in that sorority house. I decided it might be fun to dig up some (very) old photos of projects I completed as an Interior Design student "back in the day." Please forgive the quality of the photos...they are extremely faded!

When I was in college, we weren't yet using computers...GASP!! So everything was done by hand. We gathered samples of fabrics, paint chips, floor coverings, photos of furniture, lighting, etc. and made drawings; then we set to work with our exacto knives and rulers. We also did all of our drafting the old-fashioned way (no AutoCAD back then!)  Both commercial and residential projects were a part of the curriculum, though I always preferred the residential ones.

We mounted everything on colored matte boards and labeled design elements with vinyl rub-on letters (or we hand-lettered in that "architect" style...there was even an entire class dedicated to learning how to print!)  We cut out "windows" for drawings, samples, etc. and added decorative lines with graphic tape. It took hours and hours and often involved many nights that crept into the wee hours.  Those deadlines came up quickly amid the fun and chaos of college life ;)

Thankfully, technology has made life much easier for designers and design students these days. And thankfully, too, styles have changed through the years. I mean, check out the Neoclassic furniture and colors I drew in the room below...apparently I was trying to be sophisticated or something?? Haha!

Thanks for looking back into the past with me today :)


Sharing with: Share Your Cup, A Delightsome Life, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, Between Naps on the Porch, Cozy Little House, StoneGable

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Anthro-Inspired Upcycled Vintage Art

One of the retailers that always inspires me is Anthropologie.  Are you a fan?  I must say that I rarely buy their clothing, mostly because I feel the style is too young for me.  There's something about being in an Anthro store, though, that just makes me feel creative and artsy.  Their merchandising is incredible, and their displays are extremely artistic.  The profusion of color and pattern in their home décor line is so spirited!

In thinking about some of my vintage art pieces, I decided to play with color and pattern-mixing and to use the Anthro vibe that so influences my emotions.  Spring seems to be the perfect time to splash some color around, don't you agree?

I started with three of these orphaned (and slightly dull) art pieces.  The images are quaint, but the framing really wasn't doing them any favors.  By focusing on the colors in the art, I pulled out some bright accents. 

This European canal scene is brought to life by painting the frame teal, which echoes the shades of the water.  A little antiquing medium adds some "aged" character.  For fun, this leopard-print edge really modernized the art.  It was super easy to create with patterned washi tape :)  Then, I just sealed the whole frame with clear, matte medium to protect it and give it a hint of lustre.

A soft, deep orange was my go-to accent for this French street scene.  Teal worked as the perfect accent, both because it is found in the image, and because teal and orange are complementary colors.

(...dusting the cobwebs off of my Interior Design education to share with you there, haha.)

The cherry red/pink color in this European street scene really pops!  Doesn't it jazz up the art?  And by the time I was working on this third piece, the wheels were really turning in my head.  I got bolder with trim, using this apple green, khaki, and turquoise striped tape to echo the bright greens in the art.  (Again, red and green are complementary colors, so they play well together.)  The pattern-on-pattern of the washi tape next to the art turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this project.

When styling this vignette, the black and white photo seemed fitting in its green frame (a baby photo of "yours truly" carries the antique theme through, haha.)

As you can see, a little paint and decorative trim can do wonders to upcycle old, abandoned, and tired art.  Wouldn't this trio be fabulous as part of a gallery wall or in a Boho-style room?

(These lovelies can now be found in my Etsy shop.)

Until next time................


Sharing with: Share Your Cup, Thoughts of Home, A Delightsome Life, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, Pieced Pastimes, Between Naps on the Porch, Dwellings the Heart of Your Home, Cozy Little House, Domestically Speaking, A Stroll Thru Life, The Dedicated House, Bella Rosa Antiques

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Club - The Kitchen House

If you're looking for a new book to pick up, I've got a recommendation...

"The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom is an incredible read! This novel is set in the early 1800's on a Virginia plantation, where we are immersed into the lives of Lavinia, an orphaned Irish immigrant, and Belle, a slave and the illegitimate daughter of the plantation owner. We are taken on a heart-wrenching journey with these young women and their surrogate families as they face insurmountable tragedy, betrayal, and loss with courage, determination, and sheer grit.

Every member of my book club loved this book! The author gave us "food" for a fantastic discussion about the trials each character faced, and the events that cause people to become who they are.

Speaking of food, here is what I served as the host of this month's gathering...

Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls, veggies & hummus, assorted chocolates, and Belle's Molasses Cakes :)

The recipe for this tasty cake can be found in the back of the book; and it was fun to incorporate these cupcakes into my theme for the evening. Of course, what is book club without wine? My favorite bottle to serve is Well Read (although at some point the novelty of this will wear off, I suppose, haha.) I also served a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Republic (recommendation courtesy of a Trader Joe's staff member.)

And to add a special touch, I dug out and framed an old keepsake shade pull that had been my great grandmother's. I realize that today this would be politically incorrect, but it fit the book's theme, and it's a piece of nostalgia for me. I really have no idea where my great grandmother got this or why she had it, but it reminds me of a very sweet, kind, and special lady (who would never have wanted to offend anyone.)

Have you read "The Kitchen House" or any other good books lately? Our selection for next month will be "The Daughter" by Jane Shemilt. Sounds like it's going to be quite a departure from what we just read! Keeping things interesting...


Sharing with: In the New House, Share Your Cup, The Charm of Home, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, Pieced Pastimes, Interior Frugalista, Between Naps on the Porch, Dwellings the Heart of Your Home,
Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru Life, The Scoop, The Dedicated House