Friday, June 26, 2009

There's Something to be Said for Serene & Simple

I have been contemplating the wonders of how where we live geographically influences how we live.
When we left Wisconsin, which was after twelve, brutal, long, cold, winters, I was warned, "its, going to be hot." My retort was always, "you don't have to shovel hot". What you do have to do is learn to get up earlier to get outside before the killer heat sets in. You drink alot more water/ and there's nothing quite as good as a gin and tonic, after being out in the heat, whereas, Wisconsin has the highest consumption of brandy per capita in the Country.

I fell in love with Texas almost immediately; especially, where we live, which is "The Hill Country"....I imagined expanses of nothing...and there are parts of Texas that are like that, but were we are there are hills, trees, canyons, water...all quite lovely. When my husband picked me up at the airport, I got on my phone to my daughter-in-law, and crowed, "Mija, we have palm trees!!!" All very exotic for a girl, who grew up in Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

I love the muted colors, offset by my favorite color, turquoise. I have always taken my cue in decorating from inspirations from nature and the local cultures.
This is an enole...they are quite friendly, and I love it during their mating season, when they show off by expanding what looks like a crimson balloon on their throat. They live in my ferns, and I have caught them peeking in our windows on occasion....
We have two, giant Agave cacti, which flank our driveway...I love the color, and they've doubled in size since I planted them...they give off many "pips", which I am cultivating to eventually form a border along our white gravel driveway. Occasionally, my doorbell rings, and a fellow wants to know if we want our long driveway covered over with asphalt..."No thank you, I tell him".....
The smaller plant is thyme...deer don't eat herbs, so we grow herbs.

We have a Western-facing dining room, and I made our window treatments "blocked", using French seams, and piecing together various hues of the sunset, and textures to add interest.
It's like a stained-glass window in the evenings.I had a small gallery in Wisconsin, in a little town called Paoli. This tree was the most magnificent oak....I do miss the changing of the colors of the trees. You don't get that in Texas.This was our backyard in Wisconsin...fabulous...and these have been colors that I have been drawn to my home, in my design work, and in my art. I especially savored them there, as for easily 8 months out of the year, it was grey, brown, white, and very cold. Which is why I used a riot of warm colors in my home.
I love the bark on these trees...they are Crepe Myrtle, and stand in a courtyard of a wonderful art gallery, "The Whistlepic Gallery" in Fredericksberg, Texas.....

I recently painted the "Foxes and Fireflies", and also, the carafes...Indigo, moss greens, and burnt seinna's show up in many of my paintings, and interiors.

For now, the foxes are propped up on my sideboard in my dining room, as they are very heavy, and I am not ready to hang them...In fact, they are slated to go into a gallery July first. The sideboard came as a kit, and my husband put it together. I finished it, and decopaged it....

The folding screen was my final project in a faux painting course I took while attending New England School of Art and Design in Boston. It fills in a corner of the dining room, and hides my sewing maching.
Our table was given to us by my husband's was covered with several coats of horrible, green paint, and he took it down to the bare wood, which turned out to be wonderful, Tiger Maple. I painted the white chairs black, and shades of siennas...I made faux leather seats, which I had to remake, as they sounded like "Whoopie cushions" when one sat down...always make one side of a leather cushion linen or cotton to avoid such disasters. Made a rather amusing dinner party.

The front of our house gets hit by the full blast heat of the western sun..."Mooley Grass", Cacti, rosemary, and our "Lily in Denial" (that's Lily of the Nile), do best. So much for my flower gardens of Wisconson, but somehow, it would be out-of-place even if the deer would leave them alone
I found this indigo, bamboo pot, and placed walking sticks, that my late brother-in-law had made for us in them. For a professional photographer, I cannot for the life of me get a shot of my dining room that isn't listing...just pretend it's on a ship...I give up..My former dining room was layered...heavy window treatments, dark woods, huge sideboard, antique dining table, heavy carpets and rugs..chandeliers, that I added as much trim and bling to as possible...Here, I like the serenity, and yet, it isn't bland...The stained concrete floors are cool, the lights are simple, as is the furniture. It has my paintings in it, along with my easel, for it is the best room in the house in which to, it serves as a part-time studio, as well.
I still love fun, funky, "bling"...and I felt this had an elegance that fit the space, but I've moved on...
Our home is evolving in design and decor, as homes are supposed to do....I am tiring of the beige walls everywhere, and have begun contemplating what to do next...