Saturday, November 21, 2009

Back to the real work!

Well,I finally made it back to my computer and have been trying to catch up on things. Sometimes the more you try to catch up, the further behind you become. Einstein must have had a theory about that. Laws of the universe, etc.

I've gotten some really beautiful window treatments done, also, but no pictures, as they were for a couple of other designers clients, so I did't get to see them up! Such a disappointment. That's one of the best parts about this job. Nothing like standing back and seeing that your work came together beautifully.

Oh, I get "thank you they are wonderful " calls, and that's pretty satifying, but seeing the customers face light up with joy at the new look they have been so patiently waiting for is priceless.

Well, the one I am working on now is my client and I can't wait to see her face. I must remember to take a photo. Especially of the gorgeous little handmade (by me in the middle of the night) "dingle dangles" dropping off the points of the little tear drop swags!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old chairs, new look

There's nothing like an old chair. It may be comfortable, or not. It may be pretty. or not. It may be cherished because it belonged to someone you loved, or not. It may be that you are just tired of how it looks, but can't see buying a new one. Well, I say change the look.

For example, this chair is definitely dated. A bit of slip covering could give it a new look.

The client didn't want new chairs, just a new look. Here it is! A little bit elegant and just a simple trick.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn days

Aaaaaachoooo! It's a boodiful fall day! The sun is shining. Sniff, Sniff. And the trees are turning their wonderful colors. The air is crisp and will warm up to a lovely 65 degrees today. Sniff. It won't be long until the first hard frost. Yeah!!! Many of you know why that makes me happy! Many of us happy! But until then, I can't wait to go for a long walk today and enjoy the beauty out there right now. I'll just grab my hanky and away we go......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Grand Old Dame

As mentioned in a earlier post, I went on a couple day getaway and had such a lovely time. As someone who's passion is interiors and quite frankly I like exteriors as well, I can't help but notice so many wonderful buildings around, and I am especially drawn to the ones that need rescued. It's so sad to see a once grand place fall into disrepair.

This bank along with neighboring buildings was turned into a mall, that apparently couldn't make it. So sad. It looks like it had great skylights, now darkened by who knows what.

And the interior details, grand.

Here's wishing I had lots of money to save these dying relics........

Friday, October 9, 2009

Autumn Rain

Today is another beautiful day. "Sure", you say. "Can't you see it's still raining and has been for days?" Well, of course I can, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.

When I took the dog out this morning it was coming down in that gentle, slightly more than a mist, rainfall. The air had that great autumn scent and the sounds of the drops on the leaves and the flowers that are still hanging on, takes me back to my childhood. Staying in a cabin at the lake, reading a good book, and listening to the rain on the roof while warming at the wood stove.

A cup of peach tea sounds good about now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The age of Aquarius

I just returned from a fun getaway with some good friends and just wanted to share one of the unusual sites we saw. Now it's not something that anyone should go out of their way to see. Actually, if you have to drive to it, it is more effort than it's worth, but it just happened to be right around the corner from where we stayed.

Yes, that's right, a memorial to hippies! Now what they need to be memorialized for is just a matter of opinion,(confusion on my part) and the fellow that constructed it believes the hippies gave us the freedom to be who we are, whatever we want, and not have to follow the "norm". Scratching my head, I thought that was what our servicemen have done and continue to do for us. Huh......

This guy thinks they started the lifting of the glass ceiling for women and our rights. I had the feeling during that time that most hippies didn't want to be part of the "establishment" so why would they care about the "glass ceiling"?. Also, the right to be left wing (he is obviously left wing by the commentary explaining the monument and that's not a bad thing, as is being right wing isn't bad. Just using your head and common sense whatever you are is a good idea) and to just go with the flow and not be uptight. Cool man..... I guess I thought those are things we as Americans have always had, and I grew up in that same era. The memorial actually flows with the chronology of his life, as he explains it, so I guess it's really a monument to himself and who he is.

Good for you fella! Whatever floats your boat! Right on!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sunshine on the sofa...

Seems like I've been away forever, but just keeping busy with some fun work. I just finished up a small job, where creative thought was required, more than usual. The client had a morning sun issue,(the old fading the furniture problem) but has such a beautiful back yard and didn't want to block that view. The sun only hits low and so only hits the back of the sofa. "Stretch panels!" you say? Well not for them. Toooo traditional! We came up with panels covered in the drapery fabric (quilted,to bring out the pattern)and completely impregnable by the sun.

They were rather fun to do, required little sewing, and lots of bonding tape. And a
really hot steam iron (but used carefully so as not to melt the silk). tricky

The panels were then attached to the window frame with Velcro, for easy removal and replacement. voila' ! Looks great in the room, not run of the mill and serves the need! Wish I had a better picture, but too much back light. Will have to go over some evening and photograph after the sun sets! I love this job!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's the dog barking at?

He: "Honey, what's the dog barking at?"
She: "I don't know, probably a cat." She wanders to the window to take a look. Honey, theres a crowd gathering on the front lawn."
She:"A crowd."
At this point , both head out the door to see what's happening.
Drunk neighbor #1. "Goooolly Andy , You ever seen one like that before? F*@!! it's something!"
Drunk neighbor #2. " I've never seen one so big. Ain't it f*@!!ing cool! Bet my wife id like to have that fer her class. It's F*@!!ing the neatest thing I've seen in a f*@!!ing long time."
She: "Well, if she wants it she can have it. "

That's how the neighborhood got caught up in the fascination of our hornet's nest. Next was dragging out a ladder and drunk #2 climbing up to cut it down. Lest you all are holding your breath in fear of stinging, it had been sprayed heavily with wasp spray a few days before. The conversation cleaned up after my husband pointed out that he didn't appreciate the impolite conversation around his wife. (He can be such a gentleman at times) And all the other drunk neighbors (they had all gone to the big first football game of the season) held the ladder while drunk #2 cut down the nest.

Lot's of oooh's and aaahhh's ensued at the fascinating miracle that these little bugs performed with it's lightweight and very colorful structure.

I hope the wife enjoy's her gift as much as he thinks she will!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ah, trees......


Everyday, after I arise and prepare to go on my merry way, I open the draperies to my room to let the lovely sun shine in. Oh, I would let the sun in, but only some daylight makes it, because of our wonderful trees. Aren't they a wonder? They keep your home cooler in summer and drop their leaves for the warming affects of the sun to reach your house in winter. Built in energy efficiency.

Shortly after that I head out the door, for my morning ritual of breakfast with my mother. I may be the only face she sees in days and we really look forward to our daily visits. But, before I go, I have to look at our fabulous perfect maple tree. It has the best shape of any tree around. Large dome shaped canopy that protects you from getting wet, even in a downpour. Well, at least until it's saturated, and gives such perfect shade on a hot day. I can't look at it without smiling.

Unfortunately, the tree's beauty has attracted some interlopers. You may see the condo they built in the far left of the photo. A huge city of hornets! Now, I believe in live and let live. I would never get rid of a squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk, birds, or even a raccoon if it made it's home in my yard or tree. But hornets are another thing. I'm not sure of their purpose in ecology, but I'm quite certain that it could be done somewhere else. I'm not trying to "stir up a hornets nest", but I think they are forcing my hand. I would be afraid to take the little ones to play outside under this tree, so I guess they will have to go. But, my, isn't their home a wonder, too?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Sunflower Day

There I was, sitting on the floor, going through a bunch of wallpaper books, looking for just the right thing, but what would appear before my eyes? An image from the past. Sunflower wallpaper. Now I'm not talking just run of the mill wallpaper pattern. I'm talking real life sized giant sunflower stalks. Floor to ceiling and all around the room. At least that was what I had in a formal Dining room in 1979, (which was quite elegant believe it or not) and here it is, back again!

Sunflowers never do seem to go out of style. My mother had a painting of them when I was a child. They were used quite a bit in the arts and crafts movement. They were on and in everything when my daughter was in high school. I even painted my own version not too long ago. And here we are again.

Not only did I see them in the wallpaper book, but on my way home I passed a couple of fields of them. Now that is really rare around here. It's usually corn and soybeans. I'm growing them this year and they are in just about every garden around, their lovely, sunny faces brightening up everyone's day. Don't be afraid to bring the sunflowers in. Always in and always cheerful!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's in the details

It is amazing what people want you to do for their homes and what they want you to work with. Another designer friend of mine asked me to do a "little" sewing job for him. It entailed reproducing a duvet cover for a client in the same color of fabric as the original. He had helped the client choose the fabric and the color was perfect, but it was UPHOLSTERY grade fabric.Now, I'm not opposed to going out of the box for the sake of design, After all, isn't that what having a designer is all about? Origninality for your home? But this turned out to be something else to do. And I can't imagine that much weight on you when you are sleeping. They might need another person in the house to lift it up when they get up in the morning

Then, the duvet we were duplicating wasn't all that simple. It had a bias cut border, some cording in the body and plenty of top stitching. Actually, it was quite attractive when it was finished and the detailing made the simple plain fabric much more interesting. Details do make the difference. The client raved about it!

Now they want a shower curtain made out of the old one, holes and all! I guess I need to pull out my magic sewing machine!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playing with scammers

In today's internet world, you can do almost anything. Talk, share, learn, teach, tease, buy, sell, scam and many more things. Did I say SCAM?? Yes I did.

I recently posted an item on the internet for sale. I received an email requesting to buy said item and that they would pay me through paypal, which everyone knows is secure money. I even talked to paypal so I would know how secure it is, and no money is put into an account unless the funds have actually been accounted for.

Now here's were things get funny. I received an email from paypal stating that the money has been transferred to my account, however the money is $2000 more than for my item and that I must send the $2000 to the shipper of the buyer via Western Union. There are links to click onto to check your account, etc. in this email also. It looks just like what you would receive from paypal, but why would they be involved in the deal (they are basically a bank) and why would they not have me use paypal if I was to transfer funds? I check my paypal account (not through their links) and of course there are no funds there, so I call call paypal to report a suspected fraud, as well as the Internet crime service.

In the meantime, I am receiving emails questioning why I am not responding since they transferred all this money to my account. I decide to hold off my response a couple of days, and darned if I don't receive and email from "paypal" that is also being sent to the FBI for defrauding them, by not sending the funds immediately through Western Union, and they are going to arrest me if it isn't taken care of within 24 hours.

Now you know that I notified Internet crime (FBI)about the latest fake email, since it also included them! Then I responded to the scammer. MY, oh my! What is this that is happening? Did you (the scammer)somehow put your money into a fake paypal account? I heard they are out there. It wasn't in mine, and I checked my emails after I checked paypal and noticed there was one from them dated before I checked! I think we've been scammed, let me know what you think so we can notify Internet crime.

Now I guess the scammer thinks we are all stupid, but I have news for them. Yes some people will fall for their scams, but I have some tips for them.

Clue #1. Learn proper English grammar. The grammar in these "official" emails was terrible and we all know that these organizations don't issue notices that are poorly constructed.
Clue #2. Give the person time to repond before getting all bent out of shape. The whole thing from beginning to end took place in 4 days and of those 2 were Saturday and Sunday. I don't have a computer at home and therefore don't see my emails everyday.
Cue #3. Give the world a break and find something good to do with your skills. You can't be totally stupid to think up all this junk.

In the mean time, I'll be looking for your money in my real account to call off the dogs! Like that would happen!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cowboys in Indy?

Well, it's that time of year again. You know, when all the people of every (and I mean every) background gather at a large piece of ground and look at whatever the ambitious average soul has been up to this past year. The STATE FAIR!
Our state fair is a great...... come on join along in the song!... state fair.
Actually, Indiana is know for having one of the best state fairs in the country. Something for everyone, and it's right in the middle of the capital city, so even the city folk can feel country for the day if they want.
The "Family Arts" building is my favorite. Not only do they have the traditional pie baking contests, but the original works of arts by professional as well as the non professional are great. And the quilts! I've made a few and I understand the time and patience they take. WOW!
But my favorite thing at the fair, besides the afore mentioned, and pork chops, turkey legs, lemon shake ups, etc, is the people. I love watching the people. Even the Indiana cowboys that I didn't think existed. huh......

Friday, August 14, 2009

Living in the Burbs

The people in our cul-de-sac are alot like the characters in the movie "The Burbs" in that it isn't likely that much could go on without everyone knowing.
We have the older couple next door that you don't see very much, but their son is out all the time taking care of things. A couple of retired fellows, one single and still in his teenage rebel stage. He rides a Harley, has his ears pierced and sports a lovely mohawk! He does keep an eye on everything and even takes care of the other neighbor's dogs. The other retired guy knows everything that goes on. I'm sure he could tell you exactly when anyone leaves or returns home. He is always puttering outside, but more watching everything, than really doing a lot. He has a great garden that he shares the fruits of, too!
Then there's the guy that drinks a little to much and is a little too friendly. His wife yells constantly, hence the drinking. The young couple next door, always waves, but rarely converses (part of his persona maybe since he's a private detective). And last, but not least is the couple with the son just getting out of his teens, but hasn't learned the meaning of responsibility. Likes having late loud parties, next to the retired guy that stays up all night, bedroom window. I wouldn't think the parties would bother him much, since he tends to stay up half the night anyway, but maybe he is thinking about his wife who has to get up in the morning for work.
All of this leads to my deep surprise when Mrs yells alot came walking out of her house yelling(of course) that some *!**!! had robbed them. Where were all the nosy neighbors that day? I've never seen the block so empty. I came home to police cars and a crowd of people wondering what happened.
My confusion increased by the fact that their dog was in the home (mine won't even let family in if I'm not there) and Mrs YAL wasn't frightened one bit. They still leave the garage door open at all hours and go on like nothing happened. Maybe they figures is isn't likely to happen again. After all, there is always someone around. Usually.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Excuse me, has anyone seen my tiara?

I know many people think that interior design work is just a lot of fun shopping and having fun with rich people. Oh, if it were only so! The fact is that it is a lot of hard work, math, paperwork, digging up the creative juices inside you (sometimes that is easier said than done),and in my case sewing. All while working to keep a smile on your face, when Aunt Lily's precious collection of salt & pepper shakers has been handed lovingly to the client, by Aunt Lily herself, with instructions to display them proudly.

My clients range from middle class people that have decided to use the money they have saved up for a someday makeover or improvement, to the guy whose wallet goes ca-ching every time you see a train car. It may be as small as a new valance over the kitchen window, or as big an entire a new house of unfathomable square footage. Although I do enjoy doing the kitchen valance (everyone should have something custom in their homes that is special)I really love the big new house.

There's nothing like starting with a bare pallet. I recently had a job to do with a couple that has a little money and big ideas and taste. Was it ever fun! The place felt like a palace when it was all put together. The living room window treatment could only be considered regal. A room where you snap your fingers and someone runs in to grant your every wish. Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cheer up, it ain't all bad!

What a day! Woke up early after just a few hours of sleep. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get to sleep last night. Tossed and turned and tossed and turned. If I didn't know better I would have thought that I was in a dryer. Today would have been a great day to sleep in or just cuddle up with a good book. Rain, rain, rain. We got 4 1/2 inches by 11 AM and it hasn't quit.

My daughters are experiencing flooding. The one in Louisville talked to her Dad this morning and said it was really bad down there, but she is fine. Many people having to be helped. My other daughter sent me a photo of her lake side view ( also known as the street), taken from the bedroom window. It looked like she was standing on the roof waiting to be rescued. Wasn't up to the door yet, thank heavens. My husband's business lot is completely underwater and the porch floated away into a neigbor's yard. I guess it would make a good raft! We know it floats! My place of business is very quiet today. A few limbs down and a little water in the basement, but nothing serious. Of course there's water in the basement! I imagine I'd be a little wet below if I were 110!

Anyway, it's been a great day to work on a project with very cheerful fabric. A fun dust ruffle in plaid, with coordinating insets. It'll brighten up someone's day, besides mine!

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's a couch, isn't it?

I don't know if everyone gets as confused about terminology as I can get, but it came to my attention in a conversation with one of my girls the other day that there are a lot of terms for the word couch. Or is it sofa? Or is it davenport?

I first remember the term Davenport (a brand name turned generic, like jello) when I was a small child, and since my parents used the term couch, I didn't know what our friend was talking about. I finally figured it out, but couldn't understand why they just didn't call it a couch. Then I found out later that a davenport is also a term for a type of desk! And then again, there's the shortened version, divan,which as it turns out is slang. Go figure.

When I first started in my first job in the decorating field, the company I worked for insisted that this type of furniture was called a sofa, and it was d'classier to use any other term. Oh, brother!

Now, of course, there's loveseat, settee(not to be confused with settle), canape, Chesterfield (Canadian for Davenport), fainting couch and and chaise to throw into the mix. Are you totally confused yet?

Well ,believe it or not there are some minor difference in most of these, but it primarily has to do with how many people can sit on it. For some of us it might be easier to just point and say that thing over there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh the memories.......

A lovely summer evening. Temperature about 75 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. Top down on the convertible. Buddy Holly in the background singing on the juke box. Bright neon arches on the entry to the building. A carhop takes the order and soon a delicious root beer float appears.

Nostalgic yet?

You have just returned to an earlier time, when fun was a short drive to the drive in restaurant.

However, that was us Friday evening.

Yes, we have one of those places still around. Edward's Drive-In has been in Indy since the 50's and is being run by the 3rd generation of Edwards. Known for their own root beer and tenderloins as large as a plate. There was a time we feared it's loss. But after a devastating fire, the current Edwards knew they had to rebuild for their loyal customers.

The new building, decorated in 50's style, with it's chrome tables and chairs, Formica tops with the "boomerang" pattern, retro colors, is as fun as ever to visit. The atmosphere is great and you can pick your favorite oldies to listen to for free!

There really is a time machine and we can all use it. It's our memories and imaginations plus a few choice spots that someone has taken the time to preserve.

Forget your troubles and see you at the drive-in!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Macho Men and Decorating?

Why is it that men think they are decorators the minute they get engaged or married? Does a marriage license also mean they have a license to be a decorator?

My mother firmly believed that this is what men truly believe, and I suppose, if you look at most couples, their first homes do reflect this. Did you ever notice what people buy for furniture when they are first together ends up delegated to family rooms or basements later on? If you think about it, girls are really raised to coordinate and put things together, from dressing dolls and doll houses, picking out clothes, and in general experience the "finer" side of life. Boys are running outside playing ball, cops and robbers and generally learning how to be more macho. Now I know today's young parents are trying to change that trend, but most guys over 30 fit the afore mentioned bill.

I have seen many situations in my experience where what the wife want and what the husband wants are completely at opposite poles. Women want pretty things. Art that expresses, flowers, pillows. vases, candles, etc. Men want to show off their stuff. Models, military and sports memorabilia, collections of baseball cards, pictures of motorcycles, etc. Most women do not want to look at that stuff.

Well there is a way for both of you to have what you want. The living room can be her room and the family room his. If you don't have a family room, often a spare bedroom is great for his "den". Men love having "his own room", and men usually like more casual rooms, so this makes a great solution. My family room is decorated around my husband's likes and is nothing like me. The living room is more me, and the dining room was a complete combined effort.

When I decorate common areas, that is, areas used by both the husband and wife, the choices are things she likes,(although on a few occaisons he was actually better at this than her, so he does the choosing) with keeping his preferences in mind. Then all of her choices, usually 2 or 3, are presented to him and the one he prefers is the way we go. Most women know what he won't like and those are eliminated immediately. Everyone is happy.

My husband's tastes have refined over the 38 years we've been together and some lucky women have men that have an inherent good taste. And even luckier is the woman that has a guy that has bad taste and knows it, consequently leaving those decisions to her. Any way you look at, his tastes can't be all bad. He chose you, didn't he?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Decorating for the pet

Isn't it amazing that you can always tell when someone has a pet? Especially if the pet happens to be a dog or cat. I know people can tell I have one, every time I step out my door. The barking is a dead give away, but if I'm not at home the signs are visible. Dog hair. I wear a lot of black and boy does blond dog hair show up on my slacks! I keep a lint roller at work,so that I can look more professional, although I should probably keep it in my car, . Animal hair is not professional. Imagine that!

I used to have a black poodle, which was great, since her hairs didn't show on the black slacks as badly. Now, there are those of you out there that believe poodles don't shed, but to tell the truth, they all do. It may not be as evident with some animals as others, but they do. I could tell the poodle did by looking at the side of the chair she always leaned against. It was covered with those little hairs and it was the only place I ever saw them. Of coarse, we don't think people shed either, but we all know better. Just clean a bathroom floor.

It's not that I don't clean the house, but the dog is faster at shedding than my vacuum is at picking it up, and she would eat my arm if I tried to vacuum her.

I guess the point of my message is this, maybe we should consider decorating in colors that are complimentary to our pets. For instance, my dog sheds a lot if she's getting closer to needing a shave. I have decorated my Living room area in beige's and soft golds with accents of blue grays and her hairs just blend into the funrnishings. Not as noticeable as it would be if the furniture was red, green , blue, etc. I didn't plan this advantage. I just wanted the the soft colors, but it sure came out to my benefit. So, just something new to think about when deciding on a new color scheme.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Face lift for the neighborhood.

Isn't it amazing what a new street can do for a neighborhood? Living in the city, you often find yourself driving down a street and it is in really bad shape. It makes the whole neighborhood look shabby. Broken sidewalks, pot holes and cracks. I think it affects the way people think about where they live. Maybe deep down they think keeping their place up won't make much difference, because from the sidewalk on, it looks so bad anyway.

Then something amazing happens. The crews come in, remove the broken sidewalks, repave the street and voila, the whole neighborhood has a face lift! People start to take pride in their homes again and a transformation takes place in a very short time.

I must say, I live in an area where the streets don't get all that bad and most everyone keeps up their property, but this week moved in the BIG TRUCKS! Everyday you patiently (or not so patiently, depending on your personality) wait for one or two pieces of the heavy equipment to move out of your way as you leave for work, or are coming home. Then you navigate very carefully the side of the road that you can drive on, dodging occasional rubble and unintentional holes where something broke up before intended.

There's also the wake up call, and you better heed it or you will be stuck for awhile. Jack hammers at 6 AM. What a lovely sound to get up to. Like Beethoven. Even though they told you the evening before that they were going to dig out in front of your drive at 6 AM, for some reason or other an ambitious worker (I know, you don't believe there is an ambitious road worker. I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes) decides to go to work early and starts digging out in front of the drive at 5:30 AM.

Now, I didn't run out and start ranting and raving about how they told me 6AM and it's not even close to that and how did they expect me to drive my little sports car over a 3 foot deep ditch. I don't have one of those super trucks in the shows at the dome. Someone did it for me. So they refilled the ditch with lots of gravel, making a bridge just wide enough to maneuver. And they were really nice about it! One of the workers always sees that the way is clear for me when I come and go and with a smile on his face. I feel special! And even better, the port-a-pot is in someone elses front yard!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Myface or Spacebook?

Getting a handle on all the things that you can do on a computer isn't as easy for some of us "older" people as it is for those of us that are younger. Especially, if you have never been electronically or mechanically inclined. I still don't know how to set my old VCR to record a show at a set time if I'm not there to do it. We all know that VCRs are now pretty much obsolete, so guess how far behind I am. I can hook one up, or a DVD player, but now there's something new on the market and T-bow? DVR? I don't even have cable!

So, I was talking to my girls the other day, and they think I should really get into this computer networking stuff. I should really check into some of those interactive with your friends sites. I haven't a clue as to how or even if I want to go on Myface or Spacebook. Something about that just doesn't seem right. If you want to talk to somebody, call them up. Or go see them. Talk to my face and I'll make space in my book!

Do kids want their moms to be their friends? I doubt it, but they may not want to tell you that. Hurt feelings. boo hoo. There are some things you just don't want your mom to know or hear you say. Maybe not your grown kids either. Even at my age, some things would not be discussed with my mother, but then I probably wouldn't put that on the internet anyway. It's best not to put anything on the internet that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying in church. Why embarrass yourself?

So, for now I am just thinking about it, and if I decide to give it a try, I guess I'll figure it out. After all, I'm just starting to get the hang of blogging!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I've got the blues

Today I installed a beautiful window treatment in a room that just exudes peace and tranquility. The spacific use for the room is to drink coffee and read the morning paper. The soft blue grays, as well as the rich woods, give the room an elegant, yet casual feel. You just want to put your feet up, and curl into the furniture and read a good book. I would love to do that, however, the room doesn't belong to me and I don't think the owners would want me there all the time, using their space.

For those of you out there wanting such a peaceful area in your room, it's not so hard to achieve. Soft peaceful, calming colors: blues, blue grays, and soft greens give that feeling. Just makes you want to relax just thinking about them. Excuse me (deep breath and sigh)while I go take a relaxing nap.........

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Is beige boring?

I am choosing a lack of color for a house going on the market soon. It seems that it is the consensus that lack of color sells a house. Most people, apparently, cannot imagine a room being workable if it has color on the walls. Yet almost everyone I know loves color on the walls.

The house I lived in, and sold, a couple of years ago had lots of color, and the buyer didn't want to change any of it. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Yet, I must choose lack of color for this house.

Actually, I am choosing a color wantabe. Beige. Not just any beige, but one of 450 shades of beige in the universe. There's probably an infinite number, but thankfully, not in my paint deck.

The wood work will be white. Of course, my paint deck has 140 shades of white. Nevertheless, it'll make a nice contrast and give the room the warm, clean elegance that a monochromatic color scheme gives. But I can't help myself! There will be a punch of color in the house. The Dining Room will be RED! Most people don't have alot of upholstery in a dining room that will put up a fight. Red walls are great in a dining room. Food looks good on red and it stimulates conversation. And if the buyer doesn't like red, well, paint is the least expensive decorating tool we have!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Little bitty cherries

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I went out to pick the last of this years cherry crop, before the greedy little birds finished them off. Not to mention the squirrel I saw running upside down, frantically rustling down a branch, sucking up all the cherries like a Kirby vacuum. I bet he had a tummy ache!
We both looked like we'd been in a battle. Red was oozing from our hands and down our arms. OK, some of the cherries were REALLY ripe. I must say that cherries are a beautiful fruit, which is what has led me to my current insanity.
It isn't enough that I love real cherries. I love them enough to want them in my garden. That is, my miniature garden. Unfortunately, miniature gardens, such as the one I'm making have to be fabricated. No Miniature bonsai cherry trees exist to my knowledge, and if they did, I'm sure the cherries would be too big and I'd not know how to care for it, and it would die, and then I would die (so the legend says) and , well, wouldn't that be disappointing for me.
I digress. I am known for my maniacal desire to notice and capture details. So, when I started this little garden scene it had to have a tree and one screaming with color! Red Cherries! Red Cherries! Red Cherries!
I had to give in, and why didn't someone stop me? I couldn't just glue cherries to the branches, which I am sure most peoples wouldn't have noticed. No, mine had to have stems! Anyone out there know how many cherries it takes to fill a tree? Me neither, but it's lots! If the bonsai doesn't get me it may be old age from making cherries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kids Rooms

She is just turning into a teenager and what do you do? Let her have her own way and pick out what she wants, or decorate her room the way you would like to see it done?
That can be dangerous either way. She'll probaly not really like what you, the parents, choose. Young people have taste so different from us older people. They don't mind the stuff we are sick of, because they didn't grow up with it. Lemon, lime, tangerine. A virtual fruit salad of colors.
She might be going through a not so good phase and want everything black. Cheerfully depressing to match her hormonal moods. I wanted to run away from home when my daughter reached puberty. Then again, your child may have really good taste.
I find that for the most part, kids know what they like and can easily sit in on the process. Just like every other area in their lives, a little guidance goes a long way. Sometimes the combining of the minds brings surprisingly beautiful results. And yes you can combine, stripes, checks, and prints. The example shown has 6 different fabrics in the same color scheme.
Have fun and let loose!
Oh, to be young again!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Color coordinated garden

It seems that when you decorate for a living, the desire to make things look right permeates everything you do and every aspect of your life.

For instance, I planted seeds for the garden to be all in shades of pinks and purples. Now the kicker is that things never turn out as you would plan. My garden has started coming into full bloom and very few are in the colors I planted. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall planting most of what is coming up. The whole thing is a profusion of yellows! Are they remains of some long past garden, before it was mine? Have the birds gone berserk and dropped mounds of yellow bearing flower seeds? Oh where, oh where have the (pink) flowers gone? Yet, I can’t bear pulling them out. They are God’s beautiful creation, so I cannot destroy them.

For you purists out there, I admit, weeds are also part of creation, but I believe they were put here by the devil to cause confusion and chaos. Don't all flowers have a an evil twin weed?

Alas, I guess I’ll try changing my color theme to yellow, then maybe next year they will come up pink.....or red.....or orange.....or...........

Monday, June 29, 2009

Art placement?

What makes some people better at placing art than others? Is there really a better way?

When I was a child I often heard people say (and still do on occassion) that art should be hung at eye level. This is quite confusing to a 4' tall child standing next to a 6'4" man, and still is at my full grown 5'2".

I entered a restaurant the other day that had a small picture on one wall. The eye level would have been for someone at least 6'6" tall and the piece was so small that it looked like a post it note on a refrigerator. You had to be standing on the table on the other side of the room, with binoculars, to view it comfortably. This is, by the way, frowned on by the owner of the establishment and no matter how much I tried to expain my reason he just wasn't understanding.

So, for all you out there not sure what to do, here are a few simple guildlines.

1. Small wall: small art

2. Big wall: big art or tight grouping to give the effect of 1 large piece

3. If art is placed over furniture or a chair rail, the bottom of the art should be 3-11" above the object. I find that 6-7 " works for most pieces.

4. If not over anything: What are you doing primarily in the area? Standing or sitting?

a. If standing : Pretend the art is a mirror reflecting most adults chest up. If you are in a "Mutt and Jeff" situation, as I am with my spouse, imagine the art as a reflection of how a photographer would capture the two of you standing side by side. For those of you not old like me and don't know who Mutt and Jeff are, put a tall and a short person together.

b.If sitting: Place the art where it can be viewed COMFORTABLY while sitting. You don't want to be straining your necks to see it.

Art is to be seen and enjoyed. Placed well it enhances the art as well as the room it is in, and that will make us all much happier!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's not the 4th of July, yet!

It's another hot June day and really quiet in the shop. Everyone is at the park celebrating the 4th of July. The fact that it's June 27 doesn't matter. Our fair city wants to be the 1st to display fireworks in the area and makes a whole day of celebrating. Food vendors, dance schools and acrobats performing, some military equipment with the local guard. You know, an all around fun time. My favorite thing in life is looking at army trucks. The parade is so "good" that as one 6 year old put it "That's the worst parade I've ever seen!" They had a band this time. Haven't had one of those in years. Must be improving!
So here I am, with the hope that someone will wander off from the park and maybe stop in the shop and spend some money. I've been hoping that would happen on this day for many years and it hasn't occured yet. Even when we've offered free snacks and ice water!

Oh well, guess I'll close and go look at army trucks.