Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Future Vintage

I don't use a lot of mass produced items in my home. Most of my pieces are second hand, flea market and vintage finds. I don't rely on Target nearly as much as I used to. However, I still like to mix in some fresh new pieces, and I'm not shy of a knock off. When I purchased my oh joy! ice bucket recently, I realized that I had a little collection of Target limited edition pieces:  a turquoise bread box holds tea, a hot pink tray and the new ice bucket look fabulous together. I love the simplicity and geometry of the pieces together and I love their color story.  And even though I don't like items to look mass produced, I do believe beautiful design is for everyone.

In contemplating these pieces, I began to think of things that I see in vintage stores that I remember having.  It's strange to me to see things from the 80s and 90s considered vintage! It occurs to me that one day these pieces will also be vintage! Time flies so fast it boggles the mind.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Styling an Etagere Using What You Have

Hello dear readers, I had a great weekend with family. Hope you had a great weekend too!  In my post below, I showed you my new etagere and now I'd like to show you how I styled it. I used to find display of a collection rather daunting. The key is to use objects you love, but not too many. To strike a balance that is pleasing to your eye - and to most of all have fun!

This piece is a little unusual for me, because I usually go for pieces that are very slick and modern. I have been wanting Ikea's Expedit forever. But there's no Ikea locally and they don't do online business.  I worried I couldn't layer this with my more mid century pieces. And then I reminded myself that decorating a home is merely assembling a collection of things you find beautiful and useful. This piece is definitely useful and very versatile.  I almost used it my entry way to hold purses, hats, scarves, bracelets and shoes. I've been thinking of turning my entry way into a dressing room. I've always wanted a dressing room and never had one, so I just might do it. It makes perfect sense in this apartment since the bathroom is located off of the entryway. (Probably poor Feng Shui)

For now this piece is displaying some of my treasures I've collected.  Mostly ceramic.  When I considered styling the piece, I was struck by its Asian, almost island resort feel.  I don't know if it's real bamboo or not, but it's put together very well.  I've always been obsessed with the shape of Asian conical hats, and wished I had one to put on the top shelf.

Image via Every Culture

Image via Farscape, "Thank God it's Friday Again" (Season 1, Episode 6)

Did you ever watch the tripped out show Farscape? This image from one of my favorite episodes. It's deep, visually stunning with fabulous music. I could write a dissertation on it.  But I won't. Anyway, I think that's what started my obsession with the conical hat. And, of course, I wanted it in orange.

Maybe I could find an orange hat like the lovely lady in the photo (from a previous post here). I really dig that table too.

Hat designer extraordinaire Philip Treacy teased me with this shape on Project Runway (Season 8, Episode 4). I need to do a post about Philip Treacy's work. Remember the marvelous fascinator worn by Princess Eugenie at the Royal Wedding?  (see previous post)  I just learned that it's a Philip Treacy design.  Where could I get my hands on an orange conical hat, or even a lamp shade?

I remembered that I had seen a beautiful orange shade at The Bomb Shelter, so I quickly headed over there. Isn't this gorgeous!  It would be perfect for the top of my new etagere. It would be fabulous made into a hanging light as well. Unfortunately, it was not to be. There was actually a pair of these shades for $90. I only needed one and that price is too steep for me. The owner of the shop was not to be persuaded otherwise. As I drove home, I must have something I can use at home to mimic this shape.

I walked in the door, and there it was!  Of course, I can use the rice paper lantern hanging in my living room. It's close to the shape I was looking for and since it's made of rice paper, has the perfect amount of Asian feel to it.

It now holds a place of prominence atop my etagere, which causes yet another obsession. Perhaps I need to take a trip to World Market to buy a couple of other rice lanterns. And okay, it's not orange, but I used an orange pot from Vietnam on the bottom shelf.

This is my first attempt at displaying some of my collection of vessels.  I do love it, but it looks a little cluttered to me.

Second arrangement with oh joy! ice bucket on bottom shelf.  Love it.

Third and current arrangement. I am having fun with boutique style! It pleases me that my favorite pieces are displayed. I sold most of the pieces I had in storage.  As you know, I worry about having too many things, so I am trying to keep only my favorites that are currently on display. If it's in storage, you don't need it!  Ah, the problems of affluence.  One thing is for certain about human beings.  They sure make beautiful things.

Some New Things in My Apartment

Since I've been so remiss in blogging, there's a bunch of cool new stuff in my apartment to show you. I think I have design ADD. I change something literally everyday, even if it is just moving a vase or changing pillows. In decorating - just like in fashion - I believe accessories make the room (or outfit). I love changing my accessories. As you know, I'm super cheap, so when I want something new - something old goes out. I sold some vases that were collecting dust in my closet.

Over the years, I've dreamed of owning my own shop. When I got tired of a piece, it would go into the shop. It's the ultimate in recycling!  And there's nothing more fun than sculpting a vignette with vases.


When I saw this lovely home, I almost had a heart attack.  Pomona's Boutique-Style Space via Apartment Therapy.  Of course!  Boutique Style!  I could create a boutique in my home.  I dearly love beautiful objects, but I have several rules for the use of objects.  To be beautiful is not enough, they must also have a function. This is why I love pottery, tea pots, dishes and candlesticks.  Also, display is as important - if not more so - than the collection.  Beautiful objects must have room to breathe, and not compete with each other. Clutter just won't do. I love how Pomona has gone vertical with her collection of beautiful objects.  A quick word about yellow.  Is that yellow vase just too fabulous or what?  I want it!  Pomona is very smart in her use of yellow.  A little yellow goes a long way.

Pomona spoke of her treasures as being things she collected during her travels. I felt a little wistful when I read that. I think I'm catching the travel bug. Then I realized - I also have treasures collected from my travels.  Okay, my travels mostly consist of traveling Northeast Ohio, but hey, I've still collected some lovely vessels. This is a big step for me. I decided to admit that I am a collector (shudder!). So my lovely collection needs proper display. I knew I wanted to go vertical. After much consideration, I got this lovely piece from Land of Plenty. I got a great deal on it, the delightful owner cut me a break since I blogged about her shop. I had a lot of fun considering this piece, I measured the piece and measured the space and plotted my display - just like a real designer!

Look at this fabulous score!  I got this lovely vintage Indonesian batik from The Bomb Shelter. Of course I got it on the stupid cheap. It's large and it's framed. Heck, a frame of that size could cost $100. I love it! My place is kinda taking on an island resort look that I think is cool. I think it might also be maturing a bit. I want to make old lady chic a valid style.

I bought this necklace at Dot's. It is so gorgeous, I couldn't put it in the drawer, so decided to display it with my scarf collection. My place is unapologeticly girly. This necklace makes me think of Stacy London, who I adore.

Here's a couple of cute little vases I got for 99 cents each at a vintage store.  I love the Asian-inspired shape of the lidded vase.

As you know, I love deconstruction, and I love using items for purposes other than they were intended. My red lamp is now functioning as a vase.  Don't worry, it's easy to turn it back into a lamp should the mood strike me. I am addicted to the genie shape!

I mostly use second hand and vintage objects in my decor, but I like to mix in something new now and then. I got this ice bucket from Target. It's part of the oh joy! collection. I love the color, although I wish it were a little more peachy.  You have to be careful when using coral or salmon color as too much can look to fleshy. Originally I bought it because I needed something to store my curlers in, but it's too cute for that. It has a place of prominence on my new etagere. I'll be showing you the styling of my etagere in my next post.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Cleaning

Hello dear readers!  How are you doing on this beautiful day?  I know it's a crime to be inside on a gorgeous day like today, but I've been a little under the weather and in deep hibernation mode.  I've needed a little time to unplug.  Don't you feel that way sometimes? I may take the summer off completely....not sure. I am daydreaming a lot.  Such a joy. My thoughts are of Buddhism, nature, tiny houses and, of course, pottery. I am also thinking of taking a trip to Portland.

My humble little apartment is finally starting to feel like a home....just as I am thinking of moving, lol! I am grateful for the energy I feel today (and for my perfect cup of Colombian coffee).  A lot has changed in my place over the Winter.  This apartment has spoken to me and is taking on its own character.  I'm kind of surprised to see an almost island resort paradise emerging.  There is, of course, lots of retro and Asian influences. There's also some Moroccan, Bohemian and romantic influences.  I am still having my feverish, passionate love affair with color - but you might be surprised not to see as much pink as you have seen in the past.  Not a divorce, merely a respite. I still dearly love pink.

The next few posts may seem a little random, but I'm going to show you what's been going on in my beloved space. I am so grateful for this space, I thank God everyday. Personal space is very important to me.  Virginia Woolfe was so right when she said women need a room of their own.

Here's some new stuff in my place. As you know, old stuff goes out before anything new comes in. I like the feeling of recycling. If I want a new vase, I either sell, gift or donate an old one. I do worry that I have too much stuff, especially since I am thinking of building a tiny house. The apartment is feeling complete, and that makes bringing anything new in so much less tempting.  Although humans do make such beautiful things, don't they?

I bought a couple of plants!  Aren't they sweet?  I've been so scared to buy plants, I kill everything and it breaks my heart. The difference is now we have this lovely tool called YouTube and you can learn anything there!  I tried to pick up a couple of easy care plants, but lately I have my eye on an orchid and a bonsai...oh dear.

What made me finally take the plunge on a couple of of plants is Eva's beautiful and serene attic apartment.


Eva's Sense of Clarity via Apartment Therapy.  I adore the way she has used plants as an integral part of her environment. She helped me to realize that plants - like any living thing - are a commitment. And though, I admire her level of commitment, I don't want that big of a commitment.  So - I am committing myself to two little plants and we'll see how it goes. I am a nature lover, but I think sometimes I prefer to see nature in its proper environment.  Oh well, that's a post for another day.  I have been wanting more organic touches in my home.

This vintage amoeba-shaped dish fit the bill nicely.  And only 99 cents at the Goodwill.  Score!

I'm in love with my new deceptively simple painting.

I'm still loving this monotone blue room from House Beautiful's March 2010 edition  So tranquil, and loving the various textures (see previous post here).  But I'm also still dreaming of the Prada-inspired jewel tones of my favorite Domino cover.

I know I've shown you this cover many times, but I just can't get it out of my mind.  Love that royal blue sofa.  Love the global influences.

Here's another new accessory.  Cute yellow glass vase.  I am hooked on the genie shape.  I can't decide whether I want to go with a hot pink....

or turquoise sofa cover.  I am really digging turquoise.  I think I might really be a homebody, and I love making something out of nothing.  Of course, I am listening to music while cleaning.  Today I'm digging me some Drake.

Started from the Bottom.  Warning:  Explicit language.  Also, here's a hint:  skip from about :57 to 2:17 - major snooze.  Not sure why they interupted the flow like that.  But the rest is dope.

Take care. This one is the dreamy, tender side of Drake.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Color Inspiration for Spring

I know this is old news, and I never really follow color trends....after all, color never goes out of style. But, as you know, Pantone's color of the year for 2013 was Emerald.

And for 2014 Pantone's color of the year is Radiant Orchid.  Shown here with a few colors it looks great with.

And guess what?  Not surprisingly - Emerald looks fab with radiant orchid!

Whether you call it orchid, lavender, lilac or just light purple - it's a gorgeous color for Spring!  No one does lilac better than Jamie Drake (see previous post here)  I've been planning to add more lilac to my apartment.
Okay, you like these colors but you don't feel like painting, or you're already committed to another color scheme.  How about a fabulous throw pillow in aqua, emerald and lilac?  Available at DelindaBoutique.

Periwinkle has long been one of my favorite colors.  (Remember my periwinkle kitchen in my studio apartment? See previous post here.)  Periwinkle is such a mysterious, romantic color. Not quite blue, not quite purple. If you're like me, you never get enough of this color. Here's a beautifully curated Pinterest board featuring periwinkle.
I love this picture, not so much for its country style. I'm not much into rugged, or shabby chic, but just look at those colors!  Pale blue, aqua, turquoise, light purple. A beautiful color story that is speaking to me.

New Painting

Untitled, 36" x 36", acrylic on canvas

Here's my first large painting for 2014. I haven't been painting much because I need a studio space. This painting is highly influenced by my desire for more calm and healing blue in my apartment and my love of the Lake Erie sky. It's hard to see in the photo, but it actually has some texture to it and a few colors, ranging from baby blue, to violet to periwinkle.

Painting Vases

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know I have the vase sickness. I prefer vases in simple, modern shapes and in a matte finish. I also love painting them. I haven't been buying many vases lately, as I'm trying to keep my possessions to a minimum.  Not easy - humans sure make a lot of beautiful things. I recently ordered a modernist vase from West Elm. The vase is actually made in Vietnam. I love Vietnamese pottery! And I've got a lot of Asian-influences going on my apartment. But I just wasn't happy with the rugged finish.

No problem. I decided to paint it! Since it had a textured surface, I could get away with sponge painting. I used Glidden Gripper for my primer.  I like to use interior wall paint for my projects because of its self leveling qualities, and Behr is my longtime favorite. This color is called Blue Surfer. I love it! It's influencing my color choices for Spring.

Yellow in My Apartment

Hello dear readers!  I hope you had a great weekend and are staying warm!  I want to continue talking about a couple of my favorite things this week - my apartment and color!

Until recently, I had been using a lot of yellow in my apartment.  I think it's because I was missing the sunshine.  Yellow is a color that can be used in small doses - a little goes a long way. I love yellow, but I don't think I'm going to be using it in my home for Spring.  My place is taking a surprising turn. Stay tuned.  The yellow vase to the right was a gift from Jessie, who is bravely simplifying her life.  Thanks Jessie!  I love it!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tooting My Own Horn

Hello dear readers! I always have a little trouble tooting my own horn, but here goes. I am honored and humbled that some of my urban photography now resides in the fabulous home of the equally fabulous Kim of Desire to Inspire!  I mean how awesome is it that a slice of Cleveland now resides in Ottawa! Cleveland is now an international city, lol!

Artists out there (of course every one's an artist, right?) know how it is. Your works are your babies. Sometimes I have trouble parting with my work. I want it to be loved as much as I love it. So when I give away my work, I have to be prepared. It's truly an exercise in letting go.  More often than not, it kinda goes into the abyss, never to be seen again. Most of the pieces that I've given to family and friends has been thrown into basements, attics, etc. So this is a treat many artists don't often get - the chance to see our art prominently displayed in some one's home. This isn't why I make art, I make it because I have to. It's in my soul, I have no choice. I must create. But...I take immense pleasure in being able to show people my unique vision. And technology has allowed each of us to express our unique voice.  Ain't technology grand?

These pieces are part of my post-industrial Cleveland and my Pink City series and were featured in the May - August 2011 Room with a View Show at the Summit County Executive's Office. I love this low tech presentation of my work - indeed my work is intentionally low tech and gritty.  And how appropriate it is that the duct tape is pink!

Thank you, Kim for displaying my art in your home and always being a source of inspiration and moral support!  To see more of my urban photography, see my urban photojournal.

Now for the shameless plug:  All photos are available as prints.  Please contact me if you'd like to buy a print.  A perfect way to put unique art, and a little flavor of Cleveland, in your home on the cheap. What could be better?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Places to See in Akron: Hazel Tree Interiors

Hazel Tree Interiors is a place downtown, Akron that I have driven by many times but never had the courage to go in. You know the kind, a high end gallery where nothing is in your budget. But hey, I love art and I'm curious. Every time I drive by, the cute building catches my eye - so I'm proud to say that I finally ventured in last week. The place itself is absolutely gorgeous, with white brick and a loft. It would make a great house!  Here's a few things of interest that I saw:

I just can't get enough found and upcycled art.  This fab piece, entitled the Red Castle, is by Michael Marras.  Michael's process is so fascinating, I plan to do a post about his work in the near future.

Oh yeah, never enough lamps. This one is made from pipe and an antique beer bottle, by Peared Creation.

Beautiful lighting display using vintage insulators.

Gorgeous industrial chic dining set. I could see this in an industrial loft. The moral of the story? Never be afraid to go into a shop. I was treated well and enjoyed my visit.


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