Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BRIGHT week here I come

If this pic doesnt get your creative juices flowing green - more will follow.
Bead Market at the Biscuit Factory in Salt River, Cape Town - visual honey on my visit

A fabulous idea from a woman with a wonderful EYE see all these pics to spit and polish YOUR day! Check it out at Concretehoney.

Bright Week
. happiness & lots of amazing visuals

Thank you Nicola.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Making an Entrance

Summer Joy captured in Kalk Bay, South Africa, looking up to the hills or down to the ocean.

We are almost into April. 2009
and spring has sprung, the grass is riz.

Goldie has been out in the yard, digging, rolling and keeping her eye out for other furry folk.
as you can see in this photo, Goldie is all about enjoying life, and wearing hats, or eating hats.

Since she is outdoors, and the sun is shinning, I decided to move on out and mow the lawn. It was getting pretty wild out there. So I was out cutting and mowing, and thinking about how lovely it is to entertain when the weather smiles.

Entertaining at home is the new IN place to be for meals. I read all about it, all over the big wide web. So I decided to explore ways to go about making an Entrance.

First impressions count, or so the cliche goes. and Cliche or not, its all true.
What better way to get people to sit up and notice your style, but with a brightly painted door,
a cool seat, or some wild art. Or all three.

None of these changes need to cost. Sometimes you just need to move things around.
A bit of paint can do wonders, and it is a cheap fix.
Fabric strips can make a colorful door curtain, old plaques or mirrors on the wall add interest.

And a couple of stylish items I ran into on my trip, down south, got me thinking.

Its all about the details.

How about fabulous eye candy for the soles ?
A new door mat - I spotted this one at Cost Plus Website.

and look what else there is to capture the imagination before crossing the Threshold :

another key element in making a statement is Numbering with style,

I spotted this on my way to the airport in my home town Pretoria:

make a statement by creating a colorful pathway, this one spotted in Kalk Bay, Cape Town

If you have gates, or if you have a place to hang gates,
look what fabulous things you can do with these:
a gate in Kalk Bay, captures my heart

and here is one that is pretty and functional in Fresnaye, Cape Town

a chair or some plants add whimsy and color, this one below I spotted in Del Mar, CA
what a clever way to repurpose a broken chair!

the simple folding chair below spotted in Mountain View, Pretoria

add some color with plants, spotted in Del Mar, California

or some fabulous art like these painted ostrich eggs
add some seating like this amazing grouping spotted in Johannesburg Airport, on my way out,
too bad I couldn't fit it on the plane, in my hand luggage:

There is a simple way to make your doorway charming and inviting:
Add some color and some items you love.
Group for effect.
Leave some empty spaces
Create a meandering path to wander down.
Add seating, lights, texture and art.
Then invite some friends over for fresh lemonade & cookies, or cocktails and nibbles, to admire your handiwork.

Below is an example from a client :

The before shows Safe & BORING

The front door is painted green to match the letters
The bench has acquired Red and green cushions (OSH), above the postbox we place a metal plant container with fake ivy (TJ Max)
The client; wrote to tell us how some blue birds had made a nest and were coming back and forth to feed their babies.
To break the window, a lovely white std Gardenia(OSH) in a red pot,(Target) with an inviting red green and orange mat(Target) to add some zing:

Write and tell me all about how you make an entrance and enjoy that wonderful moment when you step into your own oasis!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Inspired to change with small change

Back in the USA ..my mind is teeming with color and ideas.
I am inspired to make changes after seeing all the incredible ideas and clever artistic creativity in South Africa. Country of my youth, and it is very seductive, still.
Looking at this porch at a sweet spot in Kalk Bay - what a clever idea to wrap fabric around the columns.

How about these fabulous cushions & cover to add some pizazz to your living quarters
lively pillows and some fabric and clever stitching on what appears to be a gray blanket.

Flowers or leaves in an interesting container is another easy way to add energy and prettiness to your home, using the penny jar. see the garden roses and cut flower mix in the watering can.
Clever tricks with paint is another cheap way to add new energy.

This photo above creates a pretty look that is easy to recreate at home, and adds style for pennies on the dollar. I spied this tray at the Biscuit Factory in Salt River.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.
You can create this look with ease using stuff around the house and fill in with a visit or two to a thrift store or a garage sale.

and how about a few new tea towels, not just for trays, but you can create cushions, place mats, cover a pot - I found mine at the biscuit factory at one of my favorite bloggers stalls.
What a treat to meet Heather Moore, in person, check out her blog selling all her lovely stuff - and because I was a reader she kindly threw in a pin - I chose a bird and I love that pin- I am wearing it and it makes me smile. Check out those amazing tea towels and bags & more.
Heather was so cool, and friendly. too bad I got there when everyone was closing up, so I missed out on a slow walk through the stalls. However I did get a chance to stroll through lots of other shops and spend a lovely time in the food market.

Summer Weeds in burnt butter - teatowel

Summer Weeds in burnt butter - teatowel

and shop for more amazing items of Heather's.

With clever repurposing of what you have, with some judicious shopping where needed, you can turn your living space into a space that welcomes and embraces you.

Love the home you have, get started on creating that new space with old things today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Makeover and repurpose, with Art that moves you

A key element of a space is the art.
More important than the actual content - and I hope you choose art you love, is the how where and why of hanging art.

Hang art at eye level - its there to be enjoyed and should be part of the rest of the stuff in the room.

When you have lots of small pieces place together to make a big impact - just we did here above at a Move-in makeover (the client moved in and we set up the furniture, the art the accessories - place looks fabulous in a few days of moving)

You can group photos of family or photos of your pet or pets.
Here is a classic family photo - Goldie is ready for touring and partying - a perfect picture to usher in the warmer months.

Using found objects or creating your own is another way to liven the walls. I am always on the hunt for thrift store art, interesting signs or even items from nature. There are not enough walls or time, for all that creativity that awakens and awaits...

I took this photo below in an old diner in San Francisco. You could do a series of interesting restaurants, or a row of food or pictures of plates or utensils. In fact in this restaurant, the most fascinating part, for me, was that they have plates from The Whitehouse china collection. What a feast for the eyes. I did try take some plate photos, but they did not come out well.
However plates grouped by style, type or color can also work as wall art.
As can kids art, labels, collections or travel shots. Be creative, and enjoy the process, as well as the effect. Even if you are not arty, photos are a great way to find your style.

Below, in a client's home, we grouped a handful of small oils to make a statement. The top picture shows the wall before, with the original art group. The middle oil is large and none of the work is set to advantage.
In this photo above, the After, you see the same wall, with the small pieces artistically placed, to give a richness to the space. The furniture and art now work in unison, to reflect the style of the owners.

In this client's home below, we placed a large Chagall poster on a wall to add drama & color! Previously the wall had been empty, and this poster had been hiding behind a screen. Because the piece is large, and this is a corner that does not get much use, we could drop the artwork low, to really change the feel of the room.

Turns out that dog walking is good for humans too - who knew? I can enjoy the color and form that nature provides, when I take Goldie out for her constitutional. Of course to her, every blade of grass and leaf, tells a story about what four legged creature has passed by, and lifted its leg or brushed against, leaving a trail of smells that seem to delight, and inspire her black wet nose to twitch and breathe in deeply. On one such journey I caught the branches of this white tree against the blue sky. Already leaves are budding where the bare white arms once posed. Actually its pretty funny, me holding the camera, for the perfect shot, while Goldie tugs on the leash, in a hurry to get to that next sniffing pole or to roll on the grass in pet abandon.another one of my passions, or is it obsessions? is food, I love to look at food, taste it, and enjoy it. The best part is taking pictures of all that delicious food - group a bunch of your photos or tear out from magazines and frame or create a collage. This was the waffles my daughter made from scratch in our waffle machine we acquired way back when. I think the waffle maker has been used about twice. But the waffles were absolutely delightful, and I love the contrast of the blue plate and the waffle with berries...looks good enough to eat.
I leave you to ponder on what is on your walls and why. Now that spring is around the corner, perhaps it is time to refresh your nest with new art. Rotate your pictures to change your point of view. Get rid of the pieces that you really don't like.

Art is life, life is art, live a little, with art to inspire you!

Note :I will not be blogging for the next two weeks, but I am out looking for new inspiration.