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Arts + Crafts

Arts + Crafts, Color Inspiration, Inspiration, Rooms

Just Add Orange!

June 29, 2007

Flickr user Robertspeg sent me a lovely little note a few days ago that I’d like to share with you since it gave me a few thoughts on orange that I’ll mention below. She begins, “I loved your orange post today. Orange is a color I never thought I would use in decorating. Then a couple of years ago, I found I really loved it with pink. Now I use it all the time.”

Just Add Orange!
Peggy is right, orange doesn’t always “click” with everyone at first, at least until they spot it mingled with colors they do love. Eureka! A feeling of surprise sets in, orange suddenly becomes your new best friend. Peggy adds that for her, there was a certain something that she had to do to make orange click in her apartment, “I painted the walls white and now I find I use orange, blue and pink constantly. I never thought I would use such a strange color combination.” And it works, as you can clearly see from Peggy’s photos above.

Orange looks great with pink, also with blue (remember this mood board from Starlee Matz?), and of course, green and cocoa brown, too. They all work nicely together in nature, which is where a lot of designers draw their inspiration, so of course they’ll work indoors, too.

Consider the colors of the desert, the coast, a sunset, or those in your flower garden. When I see color combinations in nature that interest me, I photograph it and save for future reference, as these often inspire my own work. Even if you don’t consider yourself a shutterbug, purchase a digital camera and carry it with you at all times. Just the other day, I saw the most beautiful whitetail and I asked my husband to photograph it (I wasn’t patient enough to chase it as he was!) because it was so pretty – the gorgeous blue body combined with silvery gray wings with cocoa accents. It made me think of a room where the key color is blue, accented with gray and of course, some cocoa and silver.

Artists have looked to nature for inspiration over the centuries, so when decorating your home, look to color combinations outdoors as your guide and let them ignite your creative spark. With every photo I take, I’m stopping to “smell the roses” and it feels so good. Not only am I looking for terrific color combinations, but in the process I discover beautiful little creatures, flowers, plants, all that I may have missed otherwise.

Maybe this weekend, you can carry your camera with you and snap some photos of terrific color combinations in nature? It’s a fun study and will most definitely fire up your imagination. You’ll be surprised to see what you find. :)

(images from robertspeg)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Rooms, Shopping + Products, Travel

Jenn Ski

June 25, 2007

Jenn wrote to me this morning and I was completely thrilled to learn that she’s brand new to the Boston art scene. Fantastic! Fresh blood! Her bright, modern paintings incorporate lots of organic shapes that I find completely captivating, and her color palette is gorgeous. I also like that her website shows the art living in a an actual space, and the extra deep canvas she works on. I love chunky paintings like this, and these organic shapes against bright backgrounds… Swoon!

Jenn Ski
Isn’t her work so completely vibrant and alive? I predict that this lady has a bright future ahead of her, her designs really appeal to lots of different people. You can purchase her original paintings over on her website (priced between $50-200), along with her giclee prints ($39), or you can visit her etsy store, it just launched last week and is fully stocked with prints that you’ll definitely enjoy browsing. P-2007-4, P-2007-17, P-2007-14, and P-2007-2 are a few of my faves.

Jenn Ski Jenn Ski
Congrats on breaking into the Boston art scene, Jenn and we all wish you the best in your career as an artist!

Psst: This girl is a blogger, too.

(images from jenn ski)

Arts + Crafts, Home Tours, Rooms

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home

June 25, 2007

I found some lovely home photos on flickr from Natalie Tweedie, aka Nebo Peklo, an artist/illustrator living in Glasgow, Scotland/UK. “My love of drawing flowers was born from studying printed textiles,” Natalie says. “If I was asked to describe my work and style I would say it was organic, linear, detailed, intricate, an abstract version of traditional flower and botanical studies with a contemporary use of line.” Most of us know about Natalie’s watercolor and gocco prints, but after spotting them “living” in her own home, I had to ask if I could show some on decor8. Her home sweet home has a lot of breathing space, and that’s quite refreshing as it’s a switch for me to see rooms that aren’t packed with color, pattern, and piled high with tschotskies for a change. Although in the right doses, accessories and lots of color can be wonderful adds, rooms can be equally pleasing if one decides to keep it simple. Some feel more creative in a minimalist space. Didn’t Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe once say, “Less is more”? Here are some thoughts from Natalie, along with some images of her favorite pieces of art, including her very own prints.

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “We recently decorated the living room and I picked the wallpaper to mirror the view of the trees from the window. The teak sideboard was found in a charity shop and I?ve had the original 60?s rocket lamp for nearly 16 years and it?s still going strong! Soon I hope to purchase hanging ?glow bowls? by artist Diana Fayt.” –Natalie Tweedie

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “My boyfriend and I bought our first flat last August and one of the main things that I love about my living room is the light from the windows and the view of the massive ash trees over the river. Having lived here nearly a year now I have seen the seasons change through the trees.” –Natalie Tweedie

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “On a recent trip to San Francisco I picked up the ?beauty? letterpress print by Hammerpress. It sits beside a small vase by Karin Eriksson whose work I love.” –Natalie Tweedie

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “I have a mini teak bureau that sits in my hallway and I like to use this to display some of the art I have. I have a ceramic log sculpture by Christine Buckton Tillman, a ?twins? collage artpiece by Dawbis, a Port2Port Press letterpressed calendar alongside some of my own artwork.” –Natalie Tweedie

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “My bedroom is very plain, which I really like; I don?t like too much clutter or decoration in my bedroom. I made the duvet cover from original ?still in the box? linen set from the 50?s which my mum found in a charity shop. I love the bright fresh yellow of the bed linen and this love of yellow can be found in my recent artwork. I have Tord Boontje garland lampshades in both my bedrooms in copper and gold.” –Natalie Tweedie

Nebo Peklo: Prints + Home “This is one of my new gocco screenprints created with my ink line drawings of poppies layered in blues, teal and yellow ochre. This is available online at my shop and is a limited edition of 49. More details here.” –Natalie Tweedie

I love seeing work displayed in the home of the artist, so thank you Natalie for this glimpse into your home, and to enjoy your pretty prints! I also love that Natalie allows herself to build her space over time. I think this organic design process is really the key to having a home that truly reflects who you are as a person. Allow each room to grow as your own life unfolds, as you grow as a person, or couple. You don’t have to order everything all at once and rush the process, stressing over it, making your hunt for a chair an obsessive, life or death, issue. Allow for some breathing space while you develop your ideas. What you like today may not be worth the investment, because tomorrow, you may be onto something else. Whenever I’m about to jump in and make a big purchase, I bookmark the item and allow it to sit on my desktop for a month. I frequently look at it, print it out, carry it with me, and “live” with it for a month before deciding on whether or not I will purchase it. Maybe you can give yourself this option sometimes, too. If pulling together your home is a stressful event for you, you’re taking it too seriously and you may want to pull back and do something unrelated for awhile because your home will reflect whatever energy you are bringing into it. Sounds silly, but it’s so true. You attach memories with each purchase. Let those memories be sweet.

Thank you Natalie for showing us your prints and the corners of your home. She appears to be a lady that prefers quality over quantity, a good lesson for us all. I read somewhere that you should think of decorating your home, not as a decorator, but as a curator. I can’t recall who said that, but I absolutely love the thought.

(images from nebo peklo)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Inspiration

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!

June 21, 2007

I just blogged about Christine Mason Miller on Tuesday, but since she just added original paintings to her Etsy store that I really, really like, I’m highlighting her work again. Sure, I love the colors and composition, but it’s their upbuilding messages of hope that impress me the most because life isn’t always smooth sailing. But you want to know a not so secret secret? Hope and inspiration are actually easy to find, we don’t have to go that far anymore thanks to the internet.

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“My work now is to sink deep into all of the joy, the blessings and the good fortune. It is so easy for me to be wary of it, and put myself on high alert for something to go wrong. I am all too aware of how quickly everything can change, but I cannot let this get in the way of all that is good right now. That is my challenge.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“We all need cheerleaders. We all need supporters who look at us and exclaim, “Yeah, YOU!”, going crazy when we score a victory, whatever that victory may be. Supporters who feel deep in their hearts that when you win, they win, and if you lose, they’ll keep on cheering, because the most fundamental truth is that you’re worth your own cheering squad simply by being yourself.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“When you are standing at the bottom of a mountain that you have no choice but to climb, taking one day at a time is the only thing that matters. It is the only way you will reach the top of that mountain, the only way you will find your way through the darkness. It is solid. It is reliable. It is like the rising of the sun everyday – it is something you might not take much time to notice, but it is always there, a reminder that each new day holds endless possibility.” -CMM

Christine Mason Miller: Take Two!“There are strange connections everywhere and messages waiting for us if only we take the time to pay attention and listen quietly. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take the peaceful road and approach whatever task is before us – pleasant, unpleasant or otherwise – with gentle steps. To be vulnerable like a fawn, trusting there is someone watching over us, trusting it is OK to lie still.” -CMM

Think about this: Most of us ultimately have a choice when it comes to our own actions and feelings. (If you are diagnosed with depression or something related to that, your choices are often very limited though.) But for most, we have a choice. We know our own buttons, both good and bad. Do we press the right ones? If we’re feeling bad, thinking about something that only triggers further negativity is a definite no-no. Sometimes we have to step out of our own heads for a moment and identify the feeling and take action to feel better. Sometimes simple things lift the mood. Toast with jam. Going for a run. Calling our best friend. Popping in our favorite CD. I like to create lists. Others paint or pick up a pencil and sketch. What about you? Isn’t it empowering to know that we can each choose to feel better? And isn’t it great that gifted artists are out there sending us heartfelt messages of hope and healing through their works? I’m grateful that technology has brought us all a little closer together.

If any of the paintings shown above interest you, please visit Christine’s etsy store to enjoy more, or browse through her wildly creative website. :)

(images from christine mason miller)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Art by Arkaybea

June 21, 2007

Did you spot the Brooklyn-based etsy artist, Arkaybea, featured on page 30 of the latest issue of Blueprint? The top left and bottom right paintings are part of the feature, so if you’d like them, grab ’em while you can right here for $200 each. I especially love the oval still life of the juicy peach against that lovely green. Yum.

Art by Arkaybea

(images from arkaybea)

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