Thursday, December 31, 2009

#117...the gift of photography

For Christmas, my sister Sarah gave me a disc full of her photography. This past semester she took these shots and many others for various school projects. She is a much more skilled photographer than I, and I really admire her talent and am so excited to print and hang more of her work. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you this New Year's Eve, and wish everyone a healthy, happy 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

#116...happy whooooolidays

These three owls are flying to new homes this Christmas. I made them using this pattern bought on etsy. The first and third owls are made from recycled materials and all three owls all have recycled leather eyes.

Wishing you a Christmas that's merry and bright!

Monday, December 21, 2009

#115...goldleafing metal

My friend Lisa's mom Liz got the above matching metal lamp and table as a wedding gift over 35 years ago. Liz asked me if I thought there was anything that could be done to restore the metal to the golden finish the metal had when she got it, as years ago someone had cleaned the metal with a chemical that had eaten all the gold off. The above two shots are of the metal condition when I picked them up from Liz.
Initially, I had hoped to take the pieces to be replated at a metal refinishing shop. With replating, the metal is first dipped in a stripper and then dipped in a new metal, dried, and meticulously cleaned and polished. You can choose from a variety of metals like chrome, brushed nickel or gold. Tyler and I have had most of the original hinges and doorknobs in our bungalow replated to a brushed nickel. Unfortunately, it is not an inexpensive thing to have done, and the price quote on Liz's pieces was in the hundreds of dollars. While the lamp and table do have some vintage value and are very cool in a Hollywood Regency kind of way, they are not worth spending hundreds on to replate.
I decided to try my hand at gold leafing them. I purchased gold leafing powder in two varying colors from the art supply store, as well as the liquid mixing medium needed to make the leafing paste. I used a brush and thinly applied the leafing, layering multiple coats, allowing each coat to dry in between. The liquid medium has a very strong odor, so I would recommend doing this in a well ventilated space.
It was a fairly easy process, and I think they turned out fairly nice. My other thought was to spray paint, but I think that the leafing turned out much nicer looking than spray paint, as the leafing process is actually applying metal onto the surface and not merely paint. Additionally, I picked up the new lampshade at HomeGoods, as the former shade was dry rotted and totally hid the black crystal at the top of the lamp base that you can see in the last picture below.

Friday, December 18, 2009

#114...abstract inspiration

I was recently commissioned to paint a large abstract canvas, primarily in pastel colors with some pops of pink. My client Vanessa gave me ample inspiration examples, but when I came across the work of artist Elizabeth Schuppe, her work struck a cord with me, and became my primary inspiration. Here are two pieces of her work. Elizabeth Schuppe

Elizabeth Schuppe

and here is my painting, done in acrylic, on a 3ft x 4ft canvas. My goal was to evoke the feel and movement of Schuppe's work, but with slightly more subdued coloring. Interestingly enough, I thought the painting would hang vertically (as pictured), but when I delivered it, Vanessa told me she plans to hang it horizontally over her soft caramel colored couch, opposite some freshly painted and upholstered vintage chairs from her grandfather, and in front of her beautiful stone fireplace. I can't wait to see how it looks hanging in her stylish home!

Christie Chase

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#113...lamp redo take two

I recently redid this lamp for a client. I picked the brass candlestick lamp up at the Goodwill for $6.99. At first, I spray painted the base orange, and wrapped the top part (like this) with a scrap of Amy Butler's Love fabrics. I found the shade at a different Goodwill shop for $1.99.

The whole thing looked O.K. and you can see it here in my client's room, but neither she or I loved it. The orange was slightly garish, and the shade, while being the right shape, was slightly yellow in color and covered with some type of tone on tone squiggle pattern that just did not look that great lit. Additionally, the fabric we chose for the top of the lamp seemed to be too big of a pattern, and you really lost the paisley effect with such a small bit of it showing.
So, I took another stab at the lamp, this time changing the base color to wine to match mirrors hanging in the room. I recovered the top part in a smaller fabric print, and decided to try covering the lampshade with fabric that has a coral/orange in it that we used elsewhere in the room. I think it makes a better coordinated statement now, and will hopefully fit right in with the other room elements.

Monday, December 14, 2009

#112...wallpaper inspired painting

I recently completed this acrylic on canvas painting for my friend Nancy's bedroom. The painting inspiration came from this Graham & Brown wallpaper that we used on the inside of her bookcase, which you can see here.

Friday, December 11, 2009 give and get

I have enjoyed reading though the multitude of gift guides out there this season, so I figured I'd compile one of my own. To be honest, I am not giving any of the below items as gifts, but they are all things that I would love to get. Hope there is something on this list that can help you wrap up your holiday shopping! This upside down hanging orchid pot is the coolest

I think this walnut tape dispenser would look great on my desk

...and I need some Japanese tape to go with it
I never buy this kind of thing for myself, but I have been given this Bliss body buff as a gift and I love it

Kelly Wearstler's new book HUE would be an inspiring addition to my book collection
One of my aunts gave me a tie dye kit when I was a kid, and I am really dying (no pun intended) to tie dye again

I am in need of a new bike (sadly, my last bike was stolen). I think I might like a cruiser like this

I'd really like a lemon tree to grow in a container on my deck

We are in desperate need of a doorbell
I saw this embroidered clutch in person and it is so lovely and unique

I can never get enough fabric, and I really need a yard of this red riding hood fabric

and a yard of this animal print which would make a nice summer beach bag

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#110...Isabella's Room

I have been helping my client Sara pull together and finish decorating her daughter Isabella's room. Below are two shots of Isabella's room before we started.
This room had good bones to start with....pretty furniture, a lovely custom window dressing and a soothing green wall color. We simply set out to add some personality to the room, and to give it a style that could grow with Isabella. Starting with removing the pastel wallpaper border that was not really adding anything to the room, we rearranged artwork, added a few new pieces including lamps and mirrors, added two matching bed quilts and some bright pillow shams. After the holidays, Sara wants to turn Isabella's closet into a play fort for her, which will be a fun project. Here is Isabella's newly spruced up room.

Over the bed, I used these gold frames found at the Goodwill, and simply painted them a wine color, recovered the mat with some Amy Butler Love fabric and added mirrors.

I also made this little silhouette art of Isabella that we hung gallery style over her bed along with other sentimental heirloom pieces. You can see how I did it right here.
We added this lamp to Isabella's dresser. It was a plain brown lamp that I painted with the little owl that coordinates with the Alexander Henry Spotted Owl fabric that I used behind Isabella's silhouette.

I also made this little owl (which Sara and Isabella have not even seen yet) using this pattern that Sara found on Etsy. It is so adorable I want to make more!