4.29.2012

Paper + glue = inspiration






I spent two days last week turning two boring doors that looked like this...














into doors that looked like this...

























My friend Ted Watson, who owns two wonderful shops in Seattle, asked me to transform these doors at his Watson Kennedy Fine Home store located in downtown Seattle.

It was a vintage montage, piecing together a type of paper quilt if you can imagine...using pages from turn of the century encyclopedias, well-worn novels, insights from old journals and other ephemera that spoke of an era and topics of long ago...all of it the original pages...no copies here!

Spending time in such a palace of inspiration was delightful...
birds are a constant love for me...


























green harkens the beauty of spring...

I spied my collage coffee table (covered with pages from famous novels)
along with my typewriter notecards tweaked especially for Ted...

































Bailey, the shop dog, keeps a close eye on all activity...as one enjoys a cup of French tea...
If you're in the neighborhood, stop in to see the doors...and to experience the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of this exquisite shop.

And if you're interested in transforming your own wall, door, tabletop, or any other type of surface, just email me and I'll be happy to take care of that for you!

4.26.2012

Artist in action

























I'm spending today and tomorrow working on an art project for my friend Ted Watson...I'm going to be turning two boring interior doors at his downtown Seattle shop, Watson Kennedy Fine Home, into a vintage montage of antique ephemera.  I've done several projects for Ted over the last ten years...

including this wall at his weekend island studio...
























as well as the storage cabinets at his Seattle Pike Place shop, Watson Kennedy Fine Living...

Watson Kennedy Fine Home is located on the corner of First Avenue and  Spring Street in Downtown Seattle...
if you're in the area, feel free to stop in and see me at work...
I'd love to chat with you over my bucket of glue and paintbrush!

4.24.2012

The Queen of Junk

Last week I had the sublime pleasure to spend the afternoon with Shelley Holm...  she is the supreme Queen of Junk...really...she has me beat by a mile...and then some! 
You may remember that I mentioned Shelley in the roundup of artists that I rubbed elbows with
at an art show in October 2010...
shelley holm    typewriter clock   october 2010







































We both work on the same vibe of using castoffs to make artful creations...but Shelley takes it to the next level.  A couple of weeks ago I spied a photo of recycled boxes on Pinterest that I commented I thought I could make...in a flash, Shelley commented that she could help...we synchronized our schedules...and I arrived on her doorstep ready to create.

Before we could get to work, I was mesmerized by her inventory of possibilities...
others may see junk...but to the trained eye, its artistic fodder...






































Eventually we got down to the task at hand...constructing a wooden box with some device attached to hang the box vertically...I brought along a stash of lumber...but these peely paint pickets that Shelley had in her yard seemed perfect...

















oh, the beauty of having a table saw...clean, straight cuts!  I never seem to get a straight cut with my circular saw no matter how many times I pencil out a line...don't you love Shelley's bright red eye protection...


Shelley had a few tips that she shared with me that made the box construction much easier...first, stack up your pieces before starting...the two shorter sides stacked next to the bottom piece should equal the length of the two longer sides...





Second, nail together three sides, slide in the bottom piece
and nail the fourth side last...










Third, if the only nails you have on hand are too long, snip them off to the length you need, but snip them at an angle so you still have a sharp point for nailing...
this was a eureka moment for me - fabulous tip!










Since I was stealing away these white pickets for my boxes, I left Shelley with the load of lumber I brought as a swap...with my cut wood, a box prototype and a couple of handy pointers, I went home to my own little workshop to finish up the project...

Stayed tuned for part two...meanwhile, Shelley just launched her own blog - from the alley to the gallery
Stop by, say hi, and enjoy the junk!

4.22.2012

A synergy of ideas




Happy Earth Day everyone! 
In honor of the day, I thought I would share a few earth-friendly ideas that started with a red tulip...











The Southern Man and I were recently invited to a house-warming party...we have a new neighbor next door and we were happy to welcome her to the neighborhood.  Though she said not to bring anything, I didn't want to arrive empty handed.  Since the tulips in my yard are in brilliant bloom (and my neighbor's yard is bereft of any flowers), I thought a bouquet would be perfect.  But a cardinal rule of hostess gift-giving is never give a flower bouquet without a vase...the hostess had enough to do without scrambling to find a vase for the flowers you brought.  I grabbed an Atlas canning jar and filled it with tulips and greenery - clippings from the photinia bush, a branch of just-ready-to-bud lilacs and a couple of healthy fronds of parsley...yes, parsley...I have a large plant in my back garden that keeps re-seeding itself...and I love including herbs in floral bouquets.






































To disguise the screw top of the jar, I wrapped around a piece of plaid cotton fabric torn into a ribbon.
























































I also added a vintage clothespin to which I had drilled a hole in one end so I could attach it to the neck of the jar with a length of bakers twine.  The clothespin clipped a quick card made from printing out an enlarged copy of the word "welcome" from an old dictionary.

Pulling this bouquet together reminded me of the review I recently read of The 50 Mile Bouquet, the newest book by outdoor living expert Debra Prinzing in which Debra joins the chorus of questioning how/where commercial flowers are grown...examining the business of growing cut flowers with chemicals and transporting them vast distances.  She then profiles alternative and innovative practices, signaling the start of the "slow flower" movement.  A change in attitudes and appreciation of local floral possibilities is indeed welcome...






























Linking up to Funk Junk Interiors weekly fest of ideas and inspiration...a perfect match for Earth Day...

4.17.2012

Message on a bottle...

In my Beyond Layers class, yesterday's exercise talked about taking care of ones self...taking the time/effort/thought to nurture yourself and thus your creativity.  I'm pretty good at this...but occasionally I fall into the rut as well as anyone else of putting other needs/demands/wants first.

This thought has been on my mind, so when I got out of the shower this morning, I decided to indulge myself with the scrumptious lotion that my art friend Kate just gave to me...I know this seems trivial...but I often "save" the expensive lotion...and on my work/art/studio/household days, I just use whatever lotion I bought at the grocery store...but today I splurged...and as I looked at the bottle...the message couldn't be more apt...






































I also took the time to process my image with a couple of the techniques I've learned in the Beyond Layers class (framing and editing with kk texture "letgo")...so it was a learning experience two-fold...

What do you do to nurture your creative soul...

4.15.2012

Learning new tricks




Last Friday, this old dog had a chance to learn a few new tricks...I've been curious about encaustic collage work for some time...when my art friend Leslie West announced that she was hosting a beginner's workshop...I was first to sign up.
















There were only 4 of us in the class...and we met in Leslie's art studio...which was such a treat...I love checking out other artist's work space...I find it fascinating to see what they gather around them for inspiration...































Leslie explained the basic process and then set us on our way...adding in supplemental information as we worked.  She gave each of us a 20" x 24" canvas board that was partioned into 16 squares...working in a smaller area was easier to tackle and it gave us the opportunity to try different techniques in each space.































Some of us brought along our own "stuff" to incorporate into the process...but Leslie had plenty of raw materials/ideas/suggestions to spark our imaginations...































I jumped right in...my inclination for letters/numbers/graphic shapes guided my design...and interesting, a large dose of the color red appeared...































After 5 hours...this is what my three classmates created...































Not all of us finished...I still have some found objects I want to add to a couple of my squares...here are the squares that I feel turned out well...

































































and of course...there had to be birds!













I don't know how much I will pursue this technique in my own work...but its always good to try something new...and it was a great creative day...always the best!

4.12.2012

Treasured memories



I recently completed a commissioned art piece for a friend...she wanted to give her mother a special present for her 75th birthday...so she packaged up a box of bits & pieces/odds & ends that belonged to her mother's mother and asked me to convey the life of this woman, whose passion was sewing...
I started with an old wooden drawer...it would act as a type of shadowbox...































After a layer of whitewash and a backdrop of polka dot tissue and old pattern pieces, I began the assemblage of layers...the vintage thread holder was a prize possession and took center stage with a pearl and rhinestone button added to the top...






































A menagerie of buttons strung on a silk ribbon adorns one corner...






































while in the other corner, a trio of wood finials mimic the shape of the metal oil can
(used to keep the sewing machine in fine running order!)






































Every flat surface of the drawer was decorated in some manner...
the top was given a patchwork of vintage wallpaper designs that copied the look of calico quilting....
























while the sides were embellished with old sheet music...
and sprouted a few posies made from old zippers...






































The crowning touch was my own addition of "SEW" created from vintage wood type...





























Treasured memories that can be viewed...rather than stuffed away, never to be seen and often forgotten. 
I would venture to guess you might have a few such items yourself...I challenge you to unearth them...arrange them...and enjoy them daily...

Linking up to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors...lots of ideas of ways to show off your treasures...

And sharing the vintage love over at Knick of Time - Tuesday Vintage Style

4.09.2012

Insta-love

Instagram for Android was released last week...and it quickly become clear to me why it has been so popular with iphone users...and making android users jealous...but no more...

I've done some photo editing on my phone with past pics I've taken...but there's something about the ease of this app that actually makes it fun...

I spent four days last week at my sister's...which meant plenty of time for junking...here is a montage of my visit...of course, all photos taken with Instagram...

my obsession with metal...and numbers...I have a plan for the Flinch numbers...stay tuned...































one of my favorite finds...a sweet lone salt shaker...now an adorable mini-vase...the back drop is a book my sister bought...great texture...






































and even happy hour produced an Instagram photo-opp...






































In addition to having photo editing fun, your photos can be uploaded to the Instagram site, where you can follow others on their photographic adventures...I'm fourcorners if you wish to follow along...

4.06.2012

I am a catalog junkie...part 2

Last August when I received the IKEA catalog in the mail, I confessed that I am a catalog junkie ...I recently received a major infusion...the Restoration Hardware catalog...and this time I didn't squeal...I swooned...this was the first image I saw when I opened the catalog...






























I knew this was going to be good...luscious photography, exquisite furniture, immaculate styling...I don't know anyone who lives this way (well, actually - in another life, I did know people who lived this way...but that was long ago and far away...) but the treasure trove of ideas would be fabulous.

I had to pace myself...the catalogs (there were three of them in the package...and they call them "source books" not catalogs) weighed almost 5 pounds and the package was over 1" thick...and who says the postal service is going broke...I would guess they made a fortune mailing this baby out to thousands...and I'm not even sure how I scored this boatload...I bought two pillows from Restoration Hardware over 8 years ago...oh yes, they must know I'm a decorating maven!

And though I won't be rushing out any time soon to buy any of this furniture, it is a source of ideas/inspiration/fodder...and good design is a hallmark to follow whether its economical (like IKEA) or expensive (like RH)

A few of the pages I drooled over with my own comments added...

What I love about their design is that every piece looks like it could stand up to everyday living...putting a glass down on a table without a coaster, having the dog jump up on the couch, move the metal dining chairs outside if needed or bring the patio furniture into the house...very adaptable...and classic...

I'll be keeping these source books for a while...if only to drool over that Parisian pied-a-terre on the first page...

worth a look...

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