Saturday, October 31, 2009

Can You Say "Shoe Sachets"?

When I had my gallery in Wisconsin, about a million years ago, I would whip up "shoe sachets" as stocking stuffers...or just a nice hostess gift, or a gift for the teacher...I charge $12.99 for the pair..which, considering the fabric, ribbon, lavender, and the time making them, that's reasonable...I don't completely fill them with lavender, but use at least 4/5 tablespoons in the toe, and then, fill the rest with fiberfill...
I am going to be at our "Market Days on the Square" next Saturday, so I whipped up about fifteen pairs.

I did try saying "she sews shoe sachets by the seashore"...didn't work out try it..HA!
I wish I had a more diminutive shoe in which to display them, rather than my size 10 gunboats, but at least they are lovely, size 10 gunboats!

I can't decide which color I like best...made them "non-gender specific" husband stuffs them in his dress shoes, as well....which do ya'll like better?

I am painting glass today...blew my back out, lifting a big bag of kitty litter, so I have strapped on the heating pad, and am painting all day....
As to the holiday trim for the market, I have to make a bid..they liked my, let's see if I get it...Don't want to say too much until the fat lady sings (that would be me)!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wish Me Luck

Very busy today...sewing "shoe sachets", and painting glass, but wanted to share that I have an appointment tomorrow with a large "specialty" (like Whole Foods - which is out of Austin, but actually, a subsidiary of our giant grocery chain here in Texas) give them a presentation to decorate their store for the holidays. Carving out a niche market here....

Wish me luck, let you know...

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Little Song, A Little Dance....

.....a little seltzer down your pants! Okay,it's Monday morning, and it's pouring rain, and I awoke thinking, "the best part is, I don't have to get up, get dressed, and drive in it".....feeling a bit goofy, I thought I'd just try to brighten your Monday. This is Ginna Mae, the "peanut", in my big, cherry bowl...I have been painting cherry bowls for days, now..they sell well..but getting tired of doing little, red circle thingys.
I found these wonderful, iridescent watercolors quite awhile ago, and painted this "Iceland Poppy", which I donated to our local animal shelter for it's silent auction fundraiser...hope someone bought it..I didn't go, as the theme was "chocolate", and I knew I'd go face down in the chocolate fountain.

More iridesecent water colors...I am going to approach "Fish City" (a restaurant), and see if she wants to buy them, after all, I eat their oysters all the time...yum. I did have their "oyster Nachos" the other day, and my mouth is still on fire!

I did this dining room for a Parade Home in Madison, WI (I did twelve Parade homes over the years, it was like giving birth to twelve children..enough was enough).
Ithought of this because it is pouring rain today, and it was doing so when I was painting all the olives around the lighted tray....I watched in horror as all the sod they had put down that morning slid into the street....
Did I mention I love red...loved the chairs, and no, I didn't paint the sideboard, but would love to give one a shot.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Red, I love Red

Diana Vreeland, who was the editor of "Vogue" for about a hundred years, said "everyone should have a red room in their home". I have had red rooms...not here in Texas, as it's hottern'hell here in the summer, and I think it would just melt the house....but, I used red in so many homes in Wisconsin, where it is coldern'cold in the winter..which are long, dreary, and long...did I mention they are long?
Since moving to Texas, I still love red...but in moderation...I know, I seldom do anything in moderation, which gets me in so much trouble, I can't even tell you.... There are so many permutations of red - I can't find a "true red" on my color palatte on my computer, so this is as close as it gets...

This dining room was "miso red" (Martha Stewart), which has brownish tonality to it..with a dash of violet...

This dining room started out as "Jamaican Red", which I then put a burnt sienna glaze over...yum!

For the Fourth of July, I used this tiny, red checked cloth, and my patriotic rooster, waving the old, "Red, White, and Blue".

I love shots of red with golds, browns, etc....(styled this bed)...long, long ago.

Frankly, I would lose my mind in this room, and I wouldn't sleep a wink, but the art director for the Graber/Springs Window Fashions shoot wanted to really "pop" the black blinds..and do they ever. Actually, it does have a more "youthful" audience.

Okay, some would call this orange...which to me, is red in another life...more of a brick red...again, Wisconsin...cold...long...winters...hence, the fireplace I designed...

After moving to Texas, I sold (on good old Craig's list) this duvet cover, and matching sheets, by Ralph Lauren, why, you ask?...Because, you can't see scorpions on these sheets (seriously)...we now have white and taupe sheets....

I had a magazine article in Madison Magazine, showcasing this home...The kitchen is "Red Pepper", with wonderful "Country French" window treatments and accents..
Same home, same article....This is the powder room to end all powder rooms...I gold-leafed the ceiling, the door (a pocket door), and the mouldings...then, I aged them...The owner is Oriental, but his wife is a nice, German woman, who is a hospice nurse...she wanted "life" and "lot's of whimsey"...The fellow in the niche was named, "Peeking you PeePee" (we couldn't help ourselves)...

I found these "book boxes" at the largest outlet mall in the world (really) San a Pier One..they were originally $24.00 each (which was rediculous), and I got them for....drum roll....79 cents!! They are wonderful - I do have to figure out how to label them, as stick-on adhesive labels come right off the fabric. I will probably (one of these mornings like this morning, when I am wide awake at 3 am) print some out and use my trusty glue gun..
I finally got my desk cleared...noone who has been in my studio will believe this, as it hasn't been cleared in two years, but it is done..and I love it..of course, right now, I am hand-painting glass, so it is strewn with , well, glass, and paint pots, and paper towels..but the glass top is perfect for me. I got this desk (actually, a slab of glass on metal tubed sawhorses) for $50 twenty years ago, and it has served me well.
I used this wonderful, Waverly pattern (sheets, actually, but you can still buy the fabric), for window treatments in my studio - yep, that's my desk, and I painted the cherry bowl. So much to paint before the Market Day event mid-November.

This was a "Parade Home" (again, Wisconsin), and the woman who bought it had moved "South" from Minnesota.."Yea, you betcha" land. She fell in love with this study...bought the house, the art, and everything in the room...I love using outdoor lighting as sconces.

Finally, these are the pillows on my bed...and speaking of which, even though I've had a cup of coffee, I've been up since two am, painting glass, screwing up my computer, and writing's now 6:52, and I am going to go lay my head down on these pillows...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Offices are Tough, Part Deux

Let's face it, my husband's office "transformation" was a pretty big yawn. I mean, it was okay, but it was a nice enough office to begin with...nice paint colors, pretty fabric on the chairs, decent was just stark - and don't get me started on the lamp again. I don't think the photos did it justice as far as making it an inviting space. That said..these photos are of an office I did for a law professor at the U of Wisconsin..(he paid for the transformation..not the "U")...I only put that in there because there were some pretty jealous office neighbors, who were too cheap to pay me..let them live with it.

At the time, my husband was with the U of WI, but at a different, smaller, podunk campus, where his office was a hell hole...In fact, I showed him the photo below while I was working on the project, and he said, "wow, that's a really nice office"...I told him that was the "before" photo, which shocked him, as his office wasn't nearly as nice as that - poor guy...I never even tried on that would have cost a fortune. This office cost around $10K to husband's most recent....nothing..I did all the art, and I had all the blue-and-white - but, I digress.

Anyway, these are the befores....ripped out those bookcases, and installed new, wooden ones down the side of the room..also, a new, two-drawer lateral file (none of which is pictured). This is the "after" of that client let me put nice lamps in...and I did later add a piece of artwork on the end wall. I had beautiful grasscloth down the long wall, and had the room painted. Installed new carpet (I won't go into the asbestos situation, which was finally resolved)...if there is asbestos in a public space - and anything built before the sixties usually has it, you cannot rip it out, unless you can bring in Hazmat suits and evacuate the entire building - ended up just going over it with carpet...shhhhh.
Here's the other end of the room...I do wish he'd have let me do some sort of nice, wooden blinds, but he was adament about just taking the ratting blinds down...he said he never closed them anyway...I was fine with that.

I got these shots in before his new computer set up was installed, but it was not as invasive as the old one...
There, that's it....perhaps one day, I will stop obsessing about the lamp for my husband's desk, but I doubt it...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This One's for Kelly

I love Kelly...never met her, but I love her...I follow her blog, . She's my greatest cheerleader. KiaKai/ said in a comment on my last post that my life was more exciting than yours...I seriously doubt that..seriously...for example, yesterday, I; got up..made beds, fed cats, cleaned litter boxes (bleached and washed and dried, or else Raisenette won't use them), did three loads of laundry, swept the floors, did last night's dishes (I seldom leave dishes overnight, but wasn't feeling well), cleaned out the fridge (evolution was taking place in the crisper), cleaned all the appliances, cleaned the countertops (I found out that plain old rubbing alcohol makes them shine (thanks to my friend, Stephanie), filled out my quarterly taxes, went to the post office, sanded and painted my french door that opens out to the porch, worked on my office (found my desk), went to the grocery store, went to the bank, came home and cooked dinner (catfish, tomatoes, and green beans), did dishes, watched "Dancing With the Stars", went to bed, read three pages of a book (an ex-husband has written a novel, and although I am "described" in it, play no obvious role, thank God...I don't think it's very good, as I fell asleep reading it). That was a day in my "exciting life"..HA!

Kelly can refurbish, refinish, renovate, restore, and repurpose anything...really....and she's a very kind person...she loves animals, as do I...

Well, for some reason the photos of my husband's office just don't do it justice. I think it's because I used a flash, and was in a hurry, but here they are...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Love What You Haven't Done to the Place

Was a comment delivered to my husband by some people, who were business associates visiting his new office. My husband's response was, "yeah, and my wife's an interior designer". So, Friday I loaded up some art (he had taken my desert painting earlier, but was afraid to hang it)...some blue-and-white Chines vases, some hand-painted black-and-white photos, some bookends, etc., and struck out for his office (forty-five minutes from where we live).

I took photos of the space after I put everything in place, but am struggling with uploading onto my computer (have to call in the geeks)...but, I will try again tomorrow. I personally, think it looks much better...he likes it, as does his boss...who was having a meeting when I arrived...(they moved into the conference room while I did my magic)..At least it is a decent space to begin with..
See this lamp...this is a butt-ugly lamp...I am trying to convince him it has to go..he has no windows (which is why I put a landscape in...I traditionally put landscapes in offices with no windows...creates a "vista" to look out upon). I quoted the late, great Oscar Wilde, who was reported to, on his deathbed, have said, "either this wallpaper goes, or I go"....I tried it with the lamp. He doesn't want to buy a lamp for his desk, so I am going to have to be sneaky, and just find one at a very, very good price for him.

He wants nothing on his desk, so that he can, as he says, "spread out"...You would think that after twenty-seven years (in March), I would have him trained better...
I will return with photos of "after".
Right now, I am going to go and eat ribs..yum.
It was 72 here in Texas today; we are reaping the rewards of months of searing heat...took a five-mile walk, had lunch at Fish City (oyster nachos with pico de gyo (sp?), and some ice cream, as my mouth caught fire...gardened...planted a Datura (purple and white moonflower), and a few red yucca - well..had to murder fire ants in one of them before I can plant.
Not an eventful weekend, but sometimes, those are the best.
P.S. Next day: My husband just called to say it was lovely to walk into his office this Monday morning...nice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Round Tuit

I am having difficulty with my computer....I cannot import new photos, nor perform certain, I am going to bite the bullet and call in a "computer geek" (that will teach me to try to mess with settings on my computer).

Meantime, I will explain what "A Round Tuit" means. Years ago, I was in a family owned hardware store, and on the wall was a round piece of cardboard that said "A Round Tuit" other words, when I get "around too it", I am going to: totally excavate my office (I do have photos of before, but am ashamed to post them) - when it is finished, I will post the afters...You would think an interior designer's office would be picture-perfect, but for months, I've been so busy, that I just keep throwing stuff in the office...
In case you are wondering why the angels and the Wise Men, I have decided these will be my Christmas ornament project this year. After decorating over a hundred Christmas trees for Macy's, I decided that my tree this year will be what the holiday is about...not "Teen Divas", with pink poodles, etc., nor "Wine Trees" (although it is very pretty), but about the birth of Christ. I am going to decoupage these images on round (there's that round tuit again) pieces of balsa wood, that I have gold-leafed, then put a ribbon through a hole, and hang them....
Alrighty then, I also said, "I'm going to get back to exercising", so here I gooooooooo!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Warming Fire....

I spent Saturday sitting in a chair on the square..(sounds like a Dr. Suess book). Actually, it was our Georgetown square, built around the ubiquitous courthouse....where vendors set up their tents, and display their wares were my floorcloths, my painted glass, and my greeting cards...It was supposed to be a pretty day, but turned cold, and we Texans (okay, I've been here three years, but I guess I am a Texan by now..) are used to the heat, but the cold - well, it was a bit chilly. Having also lived in Wisconsin, I know about, I had on my cashmere/silk blend sweater, a jean jacket, and a lovely woolen and silk scarf my friend, Doris Jean, had made for me...I was quite cozy.

I sent many people away with literature and photos about the floorcloths and my design business, and did manage to sell a piece of my glass...came home three plants...two red yucca, and one Datura (purple moonflower)...can't wait to plant them.

Also, it is finally our "rainy season", and it is much, we built a fire this afternoon, watched the golf tournament, and just "cozified".

I love that we have a wood-burning fireplace, even though the gas ones are oh so much more convenient and much less messy..but we had the gas in Wisconsin, which was not energy efficient..might as well cut a hole in the roof. Anyway, it was lovely to recline on the sofa, and gaze into the fire.

Tomorrow is "excavation day"...time to finally get to my office and make an effort to uncover my desk...on to other things....looking forward~

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stop the World - I Want to Get Off!!

This pretty much has been my life for the past few??? weeks..seems like it's gone on forever... A circus...of getting up at 3 am, driving in downpours, decorating hundreds of trees.. threatening work stoppage to get paid, but Friday was the last of it!!! Perhaps by the day after Thanksgiving (the day I put up our tree), I will be able to put myself into that frame of mind..That said, I will have a very "traditional tree"..Actually, I am going to dedicate it to my deer, who are, sadly, "done in"....I know it is supposed to be a season of love and giving...I have to forget that there are trees out there with themes like "Circus", or "Princess Diva"...I am determined to pull back and to remember what this Christmas thing is about...The birth of Jesus Christ. I am not a devout Christain, and I appreciate that many families rely on this holiday to put food on their tables...but, I don't ever want to see another "Swell Noel" tree...puleeeze...many are pretty, but I've been there, done that, and bought the tee shirt..done with that completely. I was told I will have a job this time next year.....don't quite know what to say to that....Grateful for the work...but...

The chaos in some of the stores was terrible..but it's over now..
I made enough money to: pay for my cat, Raisenette's vet bill ($231), and for the deductible on my car for repairs (had a fairly serious car wreck this Sunday)...$250) for the motor in the back door of the car, which rolls the window up-and-down ($400 - seriously). I was hoping to buy a new camera - you may have noticed my photos are fuzzy - 8 year-old digital camera...and I still may..we shall see.
And so, my goal this Christmas is to have a lovely, simple tree, loving family around me, and a few good friends to celebrate this holiday...Meantime...on with Halloween!!!!