Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lliving with Pets: Pet-Related Injuries

Last night my dog gave me a black eye.

Today I have to go to a meeting with Very Important Clients, Builders, and Contractors and makeup is not going to cover this baby up.

I can't tell you how glad I am that we've all been working together for more than 18 months, so, hopefully they will not think that I'm an abused spouse.

Nope, I'm just a short woman who played fetch with a tall, bouncy dog, and who got clobbered when she glanced away for a moment.

Life with pets - it's not easy.
So, anyone else sustain a pet-related injury that they would like to share? Come on, please make me feel a little better about this one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fido Friday: Jack

A little Jackie-boy in the foreground, a reclining Dane and a Deco vanity in the background - what else do you need for a Friday?!
And the rare-er Smilin' Jack in warmer weather.

Happy Fido Friday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Icon Me!

From HERE.
Go make your own!

By now, everyone has seen the multitude of iconic Hope, Progress, and Change images of Barack Obama leading up to the election, so you can probably guess that the icon generator is 'inspired' Shephard Fairey's posters.

In a recent article on NPR,
"Fairey says he made the image to spur voters' belief in Obama as a leader. The image was never officially adopted by the campaign, however, because of legal issues related to the original photograph he used."
More info about Shephard Fairey HERE, and check out the multitude of his images at his site OBEY GIANT.

But you may or may not know that he got his start as a street artist, putting up sticker graffiti around Charleston, SC. One of his earliest images is of Andre the Giant:

From a May, 2001 article in the Observer Eccentric newspaper:
"Fairey created the first version of this image and made sticker copies of it at a local Kinko’s. He declared to his skateboard buddies what would lead to a worldwide phenomenon “obey giant has a Posse.” What started out as a joke among friends about the 7-foot-4, 520 pound pro wrestler manifested into something beyond his imagination. “He was so ugly, but so fascinating looking,” said Fairey, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. “He was the first freak of nature who was able to turn that into a lucrative career.”

Fairey began putting stickers around town wherever he went. There was no hidden meaning, no attempt to promote or sell something. Andre simply became his pet public art project. The mystery captured attention. “People wanted to know what it was about,” he said."

Eventually, the Andre imaged morphed into this:

Later images became both more sophisticated, and often more politically jagged.

This one almost made me wreck my car when I saw it on a light pole a few years ago; first I was trying to read it, then I had to work to stop laughing. It really hit my cynical funny bone:

President Obama

Feels great to say that, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Which I Make a Scene

When it comes to interior decorating, I'm something of a late bloomer.

I mean, sure, I've always cared what my home environment looked like, and I've always been influenced by my home surroundings, pleasant or bland, light-filled or dark. And I've always been an active participant in painting rooms and setting up furniture layouts. But it was only a few years ago that I really started to actively pour over interiors magazines, and start studying how rooms are put together. I figure it's the design-geek in me since interiors are just one more aspect of design.

And about 4 years ago - pretty far into my so-called adulthood - I finally found myself with the resources to start collecting a few antiques here and there. I say 'antiques', but an expert might question that. All of my favorites are less than a hundred years old. Nothing is especially expensive; I think that with the exception of Ingrid, each piece I've purchased for the house has been less than $500, often quite a bit less, thanks to the joys of Craigslist. I think the key here is collecting pieces over time, and with an eye to what makes you happy.

So, now that I have some understanding of how, and the beginnings of a collection of what, and a definite theme of when (hello, Cottage meets Art Deco!), I'm having a ball putting it all together and ahem, making a scene. (Groan)

This week, images are about putting things together to make a total scene, or, hopefully, at least a coordinated look.

Now in the study....Newly hung gallery wall .
Images are photos, prints, and old sewing pattern envelopes.
It's a work in progress.

This plus...

This, plus...

This, equals....

This grouping

As seen in the previous post, this light fixture should be on it's way to me soon. (Although, given a past experience with the French postal system, 'soon' could be interpreted to be 6-8 weeks!)

I'm pretty sure that I'll hang the light in the master bedroom, where this headboard and footboard will one day be living - once my refinishing project is finally done. I went for it with the light because of the similar floral details. I do have several of these French Deco pieces that all have similar carving, though, so the light goes with any of them.

Footboard details

Headboard with traces of old paint that need to be stripped.

Matching nightstand

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not to worry; I'm Doing My Part for the World Economy

It's quite simple, actually.
Just do as I've done this week, and purchase something from an international seller on Ebay.

Remember my obsession with French Art Deco pate de verre chandeliers? Examples are here and here. Well, I've continued to stalk them on Ebay, and I recently found this little lovely. It's 'in the style of' Schneider, although it's not a signed piece.

It was listed by a British expat, currently living in France. Now that the dollar to GBP ratio has improved a bit, the price for the light wasn't so bad. It seemed, well, silly not to jump in and purchase it.

So, voila, a Paypal purchase in British pounds, a boost to the French economy, and the French postal system ought to help things out a bit.

Before anyone gets all up in arms and says 'what about America?!'
Again, not to worry.

The chandelier will still need to be updated for US electrical voltage, and Smithy insists that the silk cords and modern ceiling canopy need to go. So, the local lighting company will have a shot at rewiring the light, and a certain local blacksmith will rework the hanging structure.

Smithy is talking about forging long brass or copper hooks to suspend the chandelier. I'm not sure yet whether he will also forge a ceiling canopy, of if I'll go with a store-bought one. We're inspired the gorgeous, drool-worthy Deco lights at Decorum in San Francisco, but toned down a bit with non-ferrous (that's the official word for non-iron metal, like copper and brass) materials instead of the nickel finish on Decorum's lights :
Gorgeous, aren't they?

So, it's simple really.
Ebay. The answer to the global economic downturn.

(Y'all know this is all tongue-in-cheek, right?)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Book Signing: Darryl Carter

The new year is off to a great start: I had the opportunity last night to go to an Elle Decor sponsored presentation and book signing by It Designer Darryl Carter. The event was held at a Thomasville furniture showroom, to showcase the lovely new line of furniture Carter has created for them.

Like his new book, The New Traditional: Reinvent, Balance, Define Your Home, the furniture line is all about putting a modern spin on traditional styles, with an emphasis on comfort. I haven't had a chance to do more than thumb through the book, but the over all look there and in the furniture line seems to boil down to whites, ivories, and neutrals mixed in with lots of brown wood furniture with clean, elegant lines. Now, that may sound formulaic, but trust me it isn't, and it works beautifully.

While I'm not an uber-traditionalist in my own own approach to decorating, I am a big fan of clean lines and straightforward shapes in furniture, and wood as wood. You'll see lots of that in The New Traditional. The beauty of the white and neutral backdrops of his rooms really let the furniture breath in the space, and lets the wood grains be part of the texture of the room.

A couple highlights from Carter's presentation include his take on downplaying pattern in a room. He said that when upholstering furniture pieces he will often use the reverse side of a piece of fabric, like a toile, in order to maintain a subtle pattern without the saturated color. And he suggested doing the same thing with rugs: flip 'em over and use the underside. While the furniture pieces in the Thomasville line were upholstered in lots of neutral linens, Carter also emphasized practicality while living in mostly white and neutral surroundings; he said that there are lots of great neutral synthetic fabrics out there that can hold up to the wear and tear of kids and pets. Basically, don't let real life hold you back from living with white.

And speaking of pets, dog lovers will happy to note that Carter's dog Otis enjoys a prominent spot on his website and in the pages of the new book. In fact, I even spied something that I rarely see in other design books and magazines: a pair of dog beds placed under a table-style kitchen island. Amazing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We're Ready!

Happy New Year, kids!

We are so glad to be starting off fresh with a brand new year.
The canines and I feel rested and recovered from all the holiday madness....
Well, most of us do.

And I'm ready to get back to blogging.
Look for more posts on dogs, Deco, daily life, and even a smattering of gardening info.