Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Autumn hydrangeas in summer?

This is what my hydrangeas looked like just before we left on vacation the third week of June.

There were abundant puffs of soft pink, soft blue and white.  The week we were gone, temps rose to over 100 degrees and there was such a drought that we were on a watering ban, so our house sitters couldn't give our thirsty flowers a drink.

This is what my hydrangeas looked like two weeks later, and still today.

We've gotten quite a few soaking rains here and there, but not enough to save my lovelies. They're not supposed to turn these colors until autumn.  I hadn't even snipped any yet this season!  You snooze, you lose, I guess.  Darn drought.  Yes, I know people have much bigger problems.  But forgive me a quick little rant here.

Oh, and I bet this guy is thirsty too.  I snapped a photo through our kitchen window of this young (?) buck sniffing around our front landscaping.

Sorry we didn't have anything good for you to eat, buddy!  Our edible garden didn't do so well this season, either!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

My favorite pillow, now as a tray

My favorite decorative pillow at our house is the Splash pillow by Swedish company Fine Little Day.   You can see it here on the blue chair in our bedroom.

Today I discovered that they make the same design in a tray, too.  The funny thing is that I had been looking for a round tray for our coffee table for ages, and had a hard time finding one that would work.  I ended up with an oval turquoise tray I picked up on a fluke from Target.  You can sort of see it here in our in-progress living room.

 Had Fine Little Day offered the Splash tray several months ago, it would be adorning my coffee table instead.  Isn't it cute?  Like the pillow design, I love the mix of colors and the graphic pinwheel pattern.

I also like the hand-painted look, rather than each of the pinwheel spokes being uniform and the color being computer-done.  I think these are actually reproductions of a painting done by the artist who runs the shop.

What do you think?  Is this kind of pillow or tray up your alley?


Monday, July 16, 2012

New life for unwanted wall art

Have you seen this butterfly print before?  I bought it at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago.  I liked the beaded detail, the mirrored mat and the turquoise flower, but the frame and the print never felt right to me, so I never hung it anywhere.

One day a few months ago I got the bright idea to paint the frame turquoise.  I've got turquoise in every room of my home, and I thought it might make the frame work in my color scheme and style more that way.  It started out that I was just going to do a light turquoise wash, letting the detail below come through, but I wasn't liking the look, so I let the first coat dry and then continued with an opaque paint job instead.

The turquoise frame was definitely better for me, but I still wasn't feeling the print inside.  It's lovely, but just not my style.

When I ran into issues recently with the frame I ordered for my new algae watercolor by Miss Capricho, I remembered that I had the turquoise frame with the butterfly print just sitting in the basement, catching dust.  I took it apart and set the damaged algae print (a new one is on its way) over existing butterfly print.  Lo and behold, it fits!  The watercolor is just a teeny bit too large, so I'll have to cut it down a tad, which is fine because there is plenty of white space around the edges.

I think I'll like the mirrored mat, but I could always get a mat cut to fit if I wanted to change things up.

Once I receive the new (hopefully undamaged) print from across The Pond, I'll cut it down, assemble it in the frame, then get it hung.  And you know I'll share the results!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Algae watercolor coming soon

When Holly Becker shared Miss Capricho's art on her Decor8 blog back in March, I was in love.  I immediately ordered a print of her Algae watercolor.
Not only do I have a major weakness for coastal, beachy, or ocean-y things, I am smitten with the bright colors as well.  Yes, this watercolor had me at hello.

Fast-forward to July and I finally decided where to put it, and ordered a black frame which I was going to spray paint turquoise.  The frame ended up being too small (the art fits, but with no mat, and it looks much more miniscule on the wall than expected.  On top of that, the print got damaged in shipping (it had to cross the Atlantic Ocean, people), so I had to ask Miss Capricho to send me a new one.

The good news is that I found a solution in my own home for the frame.  Stay tuned for details!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ordinal furniture round-up

A little while back I shared with you the first in my "before blogging series," an ugly commercial lateral file cabinet that I painted to mimic Anthropologie's Ordinal Dresser. Here's my "Ordinal File Cabinet": 

If you missed it the first time around, you can see details here

I've been tracking other examples of knockoffs, as I love seeing what direction other people went with it.  Here's a round-up of everything I've come across.  (Click the links at the bottom of each photo to go to the original projects.)

Too Much Time on My Hands

East Coast Creative
(formerly The Real Housewives of Orange County)

Red Hen Home

Technically these next examples are Cardinal, not Ordinal (do you remember the difference?), but they're just as good!

Proverbs 31 Girl

Love at Home
Classy Clutter

The Lettered Cottage

Jilly & Mia

The one below is my favorite.  She used metal house numbers instead of painting them on.  I like the pulls too.

Cozy. Cottage. Cute

This last example is not a knockoff, but the real thing.  However, it's used in an unusual way, so I wanted to feature it here.  The Ordinal Dresser was installed as a bathroom vanity cabinet.  The homeowner cut a hole for the sink and faucet, and polyurethaned the metal top to keep it from rusting.  Love it!

The Handmade Home

Are you a fan of the original?  Which is your favorite knockoff?  And do tell me if I missed one ... I'm sure there are lots of others out there!.


P.S.  I know some of the spacing is weird in this post.   I wish Blogger was easier to use in that aspect.  Am I the only one whose spacing looks totally normal in the editing window, but when you preview or post it, the spacing gets all wonky?  HTML is not my favorite, and it's getting late, so I decided to go with it as-is.  My OCD might kick in while I'm sleeping and give me nightmares as punishment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To paint or not to paint?

As obsessed as many of us are with great painted pieces, there has to be a decision made as to whether a piece needs paint, or would be better left alone.

Since it's been a long while since I've done a new painting project (my "before blogging" series doesn't count because those projects were done 1.5-3 years ago), I am eager to get something done.  I had spray primer and spray paint in hand, along with this breakfast tray, but then I stopped.

I'm not sure that I really want to paint it.  Would it be sleek in lipstick-red like the glossy side table in my bedroom? Well, yes.  Would it be fun to paint a geometric pattern on the top?  Well, yes.  But should it be left alone?  I don't know.

I need your advice.  What do you recommend?


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Before blogging: Drip art canvas

Third in my "Before Blogging" series is a drip art project inspired by HGTV's David Bromstad.  Remember when it seemed like every piece of wall art he created on his show "Color Spash" was something like this?


After seeing him do it so many times, I thought surely I could figure it out.  Did I look for a tutorial?  Nah, I just winged it.  And remember this was completed before I started blogging, so I have no step-by-step photos.  You'll just have to imagine it in your head using my explanation below!

Here's the final product:

I started by setting my canvas on an easel.  Only I don't own an easel so I used The Mr.'s music stand instead.  Don't laugh -- it worked!  The canvas actually was from another old art project which didn't fit with my colors or style any more.  I used blue, white and greige paints I had on hand to blend a base color.  I just used a paintbrush and worked and worked on it until it came as desired.  Actually, I think I did too much blending the first time and it turned out brown instead of blue, so I let it dry and started over.

Then I gathered a few colors I wanted to use for the drips.  I chose a smoky blue, a brown, and red.  I also grabbed a spray bottle, a la Mr. Bromstad.  I dabbed a bit of paint at the top of the canvas and sprayed a bit of water to help the paint run down the canvas.  Here's where things veered away from what David does.  If you look at his painting at the top of this post, you can see that he does a lot of blending.  Instead, I wanted the drips to be more individual.  What I ended up doing was using a paintbrush to drag the paint drop down the canvas.  I started out doing each color one-by-one, spacing them out at various intervals, then I filled in and filled in until I had the drip spacing that I liked and the balance of colors how I liked too.

It hangs upstairs in our game room, as you can see below.

Honestly, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  Once I found out that my lovely sister-in-law Lydia (whose decor opinion I value) had sneaked some camera phone photos of it, and was interested in recreating it herself, I realized that it must have turned out okay!

Do you sometimes have a hard time feeling confident about things that you create too?  I guess it's similar to the idea that something costing $1000 must be better than something costing $100.  Maybe it is, but maybe it's just the price that elevates it in our minds.

 If you didn't catch the first two projects in my Before Blogging series, check them out via these links:
  1. Ordinal file cabinet
  2. Inhabit-inspired coral wall art


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Friday, July 6, 2012

Crushing on: Chester Sofa from West Elm

While I do like the modern lines and clean-ability of our black leather sofa, which was picked for us by an interior designer, I've always longed for something different.  When we first moved in, I was going for a coastal look, so linen would have been my first choice as far as looks.  However, with pets, linen isn't a very practical choice.

Our sofa today

I had resolved myself that linen will never be for me since I know I'll always have pets, but I'm constantly looking longingly when I see lovely sofas in photos.  Recently I was intrigued by a find in my West Elm catalog.  Have you seen their Chester Tufted Sofa?

Chester Tufted Upholstered Sofa in Pebble

It stock they carry it upholstered in either Oatmeal (linen color) or Pebble (gray).  Or you can choose a special order fabric.  They also carry it in leather, too, which is pet-friendly!

Chester Tufted Leather Sofa
I like that the tufting gives is a classic look, but the arms and feet make it contemporary.  That's a perfect blend as far as I'm concerned!  What do you think?  Are you a fan?


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Before blogging: Inhabit-inspired coral wall art

Today we have the second project in my "Before Blogging" series.  At the time I was looking for art to hang over my sofa.  I was totally into a coastal look, so I fell in love with the coral design on these pillows by Inhabit.  I decided to use my artistic skills and recreate the look on canvas.

I used leftover paint I had on hand (Silvery Blue by Benjamin Moore) to coat my canvas.  After that dried, I used the pillow as inspiration to draw a coral design lightly with pencil.  I was into a blue and brown coastal color scheme, so I used three colors of paint I had on hand to fill in the coral.  The brown is Branchport Brown by Benjamin Moore, which is from my master bedroom.  The white is from our house trim paint.  The smokey blue is from a small acrylic craft paint I had from an unknown project.

Here's how it turned out:

It first hung above our sofa, but the canvas wasn't quite large enough, so it got replaced when I found something else.  At one point it hung on our stairway landing (which you can see in the background below).

Today it fills up a wall in our laundry room, with a little blue-on-blue action.

If you didn't catch my first Before Blogging project, you can see my Ordinal File Cabinet here.  It's a knockoff of Anthropologie's Ordinal Dresser.  Next up in the series is drip-art on canvas, inspired by David Bromstad.


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