May 30, 2011

Rainbow Painted Stairs

A little happy happy for you...

Colorful Mexican Painted Stairs

Colorful Painted Stripe Stairs

Painted Colorful Stairs

Colorful Painted Stairs

Colorful Striped Painted Stairs

Holsteiner Germany Colorful Stairs

Holsteiner German Colorful Stairs

Rainbow Painted Staircase

May 25, 2011

I Spy Portraits

When I see a room I like, I dissect it: I look at each individual element to figure out what exactly it is about the room that attracts me. That's where the "I Spy" posts come in. The "I Spy" posts are design elements or trends that have caught my eye. Portraits are something I see reoccurring in rooms I like. And not just any type of portrait. They all seem to have a similar look: faded, dull acrylic or oil paintings of a somewhat somber looking person, usually a woman. Am I the only one noticing this? Looks like something you'd pick up for 5 bucks at a garage sale or flea market; however, I never seem to find them. I keep wondering what would draw me to a painting of someone I don't even know. Maybe it gives a room a human element? A cozy factor? Why would someone want to hang a picture in their home of some random lady? I like the idea, love the look, I want to embrace this idea, but I just can't live with a stranger. I guess I'll have to commission some somber portraits of my friends and family.


This last photo is of Amy Butler's house-- one of my longtime textile heros.
I'll be featuring her soon. Her house is AMAZING. You have to check it out.

May 22, 2011

Jute and Burlap Wreath

Have I told you how I feel about crafts and crafters? Crafters kind of freak me out. Like the ladies at Hobby Lobby who pay with a check. This is 2011 people, there's a thing called a debit card. And what could you possibly be doing with all those silk flowers?! I mean why does anyone buy silk flowers? I don't mean to offend anyone. To each their own, right? Spending hours on cutesie things that have no use just seems kind of pathetic to me. And while I say this... I'm afraid I might have become one those people! The people that work at Hobby Lobby know me by now. This can't be good.

This leads me to my latest craft. (On a side note, I will not ever be using that word going forward. I'll be calling it 'handmade stuff' for now until I come up with something better, and I'm open to suggestions.) So I've mentioned before how hard it is to find cool stuff for your front door. I'm still on that quest. And honestly, I still haven't seen anything that is just perfect. So I had an idea to make something. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Does it belong in a store called Karrie's Kountry Kraft Shack? Be honest with me people. PLEASE... tell me what you think. I'm undecided. I'm not really drawn to anything that would use the word "shabby" in it's description. Is it too crafty? Have I just spent hours on something that has no use?

Jute Wreath with Burlap Flowers

Jute and Burlap Wreath with Flowers

Maybe I could just give my front door a really nice paint job, and be done with it. That way I wouldn't have to spend so much time Photoshopping out the cracks and bumps out of these pictures! 

A side note to my burlap-crafting-friends (if I still have any after this post): Did you know that black burlap turns a lovely shade of coral when bleached? I really wanted a grey burlap, and thought I'd try to bleach it. It quickly turned a beautiful burnt orange. I left it in there to see what would happen, and after a few minutes it was coral. I hung it up to dry, and where the bleach collected and the bottom, it turned a really pretty pink. You can see it in the bottom left side of this pic.

Black turned Orange Bleached Burlap

May 19, 2011

Cable Spool Furniture

To reward myself for a visit to the grocery store (hate the monotonous weekly trip), I wandered down the magazine aisle. I hadn't planned on stopping, but when the little lady decided the greeting cards were fun to pull out and put in different spots, I enjoyed a few minutes of uninterrupted inspiration. I LOVE magazines. Definitely on the top of the list, right up there with the smell of melted butter and going barefoot on thick, cushy grass.

So what caught my eye in those few minutes of bliss? An ottoman made from an old cable spool I spied in ReadyMade mag. They had a cool contest, and this was one of the winners. Apparently you can get old wire cable spools for free from your local hardware store or from Craigslist. I'm going to ask next time I go, I'll let you know. Reused, repurposed, FREE. I dig it. Here's the inspiration:

Cable Spool Ottoman
And some more cool furniture made from cable spools:

Coffee Tables Made From Cable Spools
Kids Art Table Made From Cable Spool
Cable Spool Table
Ottoman Made from a Cable Spool
I'm feeling a project coming on. Who can't use more seating in their space?

May 13, 2011

Priceless Art for Cheap

I loved this post I read recently from Little Green Notebook. It inspired me and as I've been looking around, I'm seeing art everywhere. (This song should start playing now. Great song, I suppose I should check out their grown up music too.)

So here are some examples of cheap, but priceless art:

Jim Thompson Bag Art

Jim Thomspon Bag Art

This is actually a bag. I go all the way to Thailand, to the home of The Silk King, Jim Thompson, and somehow can't find anything to buy. That always seems to happen to me. I'm at the original Thai Silk Company, and nothing. I do find some treasures to bring back for my family, but nothing for myself. It was my resourceful mom who kept the paper sack her souvenir came in and framed it. Genius. Luckily I kept the other bags, so I have 2 of these beauties in my dining room.

Indian Arrows Art

My sister got these arrows in Mexico for next to nothing. For a long time they sat in a box, until my mom had the idea to mount them like this.

DIY Spoon Art

My grandmother collected small spoons (random, I know). When she passed, the spoons were split up among the family. This one that's been mounted on a grass-cloth sample found a happy home on my wall. (Thank you, Mom.)

May 10, 2011

Fabric Faves: Madeline Weinrib

Another textile hero in my book is Madeline Weinrib. I'm sure I'm freaking people out that know me well to learn that I have "textile heroes". Yes friends, this stuff really does keep me up at night. I suppose Madeline was destined to become my textile hero, afterall, she is the great granddaughter of the founder of ABC Carpet and Home: my most favorite place that I've never been to.

You've probably started to notice a pattern in my choice of fabrics, I just can't keep away from the handprinted look. It looks rich and textured, fresh and modern yet classic. Unfortunately, the fabrics and pillows are available "to the trade only", and not readily available online. I think I need to do something about that "to the trade" issue... more on that to come.

Here's a grouping of some of my faves:

Madeline Weinrib Textiles

May 05, 2011

Front Door Decor

I'm always on the hunt for something cool to put on the front door. Your front door should invite people to want to come in. Right now my front door says "GO AWAY", sadly, it's true. It's cracked, desperately needs a paint job, and I recently read that a black front door is bad luck. I did read that feng shui says to paint a door black if your front door is in your 'career path'. Whatever that means. I don't know about that, but now every time I look at my front door it just looks uninviting. Not to mention that both my neighbors have black front doors, so I'd like to mix things up a bit. So until I get around to doing some hardcore sanding and painting, I'm looking for a little distraction.

I think it's so hard to find good ideas for your front door. Really great wreaths are hard to come by. I refuse to put any fake flowers anywhere, so those thin baskets with flowers are out. What else can you put on a front door? Suggestions? Anyone? I'm needing some inspiration.

For now, I put my moss monogram "K" that was on my mantel on the front door.  I like it... but now it's just bugging me that I need to paint the door!

Handmade Moss Letter

Handmade Moss Letter
And the "M" I made for my sister.

Here's a great tutorial for making a moss monogram initial. 
It's very easy, and the moss is very forgiving to work with.