Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Animal Bowls

For Christmas, I made my niece a set of animal bowls. I figured if they turned out well, I might try to do them again. I threw them on a wheel with warm brown clay, used foam stamps to imprint the faces right after I threw the bowls and built up a few areas like the eyes, and when they were leather hard I painted the faces with underglaze. They were bisque fired, and then I used a clear glaze to finish them. My brother and I have always had a monkey thing between us (don't ask), so naturally one had to be a monkey. I collect rhinoceroses, so one had to be a rhino. She has a Sophie the Giraffe that she liked for chewing, so I made one a giraffe, and the last one seemed like it need to be a lion to round out the crew. I think if I did them again, I would use white clay so that the colors would be a little more vibrant and kid-friendly. My teacher seemed to think brown wasn't a very good kid color, but I explained that she is an earthy kid. It seems to me that these might be popular for parents who have a hard time convincing their child to eat everything on their plate - you get to discover which bowl you are using if you eat to the bottom. If you are a parent, let me know what you think about that idea in the comments section. Thanks to my mom who took the pictures in her new light tent, and who will deliver the bowls to their new owner.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Storque Article on Decorating

Etsy's Storque blog had an awesome article recently about decorating for your personality. As I am not a professional decorator, and probably will never have the skill to be one, I am not very good at explaining in decorating terms how I find my style. But this article does a great job of explaining that concept. Check it out, and feel inspired and given permission to go with what you like.

Slate Tile

Tile is going down in the studio!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fruit and Birds

Last week, inspired by the elements of style blog, I went to Target to check out their Home Design event. Over the last few years, I have tried to stay away from Target, since I have a hard time walking out of there without spending a lot of money, and I had sworn off their furniture as well. I'm an adult now, right? MDF dressers aren't cutting it anymore.
Anyway, even from the pictures I saw on the blog and on the Target website, I could tell there were a few things I liked. And as referenced on the blog, everything was 30% off. I walked out of there with some cool things that I might have spent a lot more on somewhere else. The green glass lamp with the leafy shade, some large wooden candlesticks, a long skinny wooden mirror, the twisted acacia wooden stool (similar to those I have coveted at Viva Terra), and the zebra pillow.
Even though I left feeling proud to have upheld our economy for another day or so, I was even more pleased to have noticed a few things that were similar to items I already have at home.
I saw these cool, old-timey fruit prints:
A few years ago I bought actual old fruit prints that had been taken out of a book, and framed them in floating frames. I like mine better!
I also saw these cute bird prints.
I was reminded of the bird print I bought from a local antique shop. They said it came out of a hotel that was redecorating.

I like to see when I'm ahead of the curve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Music Room

I thought I would post pictures of my music room. This room is presumably what most folks would turn into a formal living room, but we don't have much use for that. Instead, we made it a room where I could [theoretically] practice. Below is the area with the music stand and piano stool I have set up. The violin I play most often is leaning up against the wall. My cello is in the corner on the right, and my antique violin and mandolin are displayed on the wall.
Here are close ups of my great grandfather's violin and my mandolin. Note the great mother of pearl detail on the violin. The back of the mandolin is probably even more beautiful than the front; it is has stripes of red wood.
This is another corner of the room - the violin hanging here has an electric pick-up if I want to plug into an amp for a jam session. (It could happen!) I have also displayed my small peruvian chulucanas (pottery) collection and a piece of art with another chulucanas featured.
This is a shelf I inherited from a friend when she moved. I like the round bamboo platter with the stone vase echoing the curved shape, and the linear detail on the stoneware pitcher echoing the lines on the platter. Since I took this picture I have also added a conductor's baton to the shelf.
Stained glass hanging in the sunny window, and a small square mirror from my grandfather hung on point between the hanging instruments.
We have since changed the piece of art hanging above the bench, and also switched this bench out for an antique I found. But this framed print is an historic house near where my husband grew up, which is cool.
The walls are Benjamin Moore's Wethersfield Moss, a fantastic green. Like the dining room, someday we'll tear out the carpet and put in hardwood. I would love to have a large area rug with some of the autumn colors from the room, too. And maybe someday I'll be able to justify getting this handsome wooden music stand from the Monticello store. If it's good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cold Hands? Warm Quilts.

I can't/don't/have never tried to quilt, but my mom is an excellent quilter (see the last picture in my previous post for a wall quilt she made me), and I have an appreciation for the time, patience, and skill that goes into a quilt.
Hawaiian Star Batik Quilt
From: Pamelaquilts
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From: Quiltlover Quilts and other Beautiful Things
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Radiating Stars Quilt
From: Quilts With Heart
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From: Cobaltquilter
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Thursday, January 8, 2009


Benjamin Moore's aura Buttered Yam on the walls. Glass topped table, end table, and buffet from the neighbors who were downsizing. Hutch with burl from the local thrift store. Sunflower platter from my mother-in-law's trip to Italy. Bird print from a local antique store. Thermometers/barometers under and over the thermostat were my grandfather's. Wall quilt by my mom. I try to weave together new, old, sentimental and natural to achieve a thematic decor that fits our needs and is visually pleasing at the same time. Someday we'll tear out the carpet and put down (reclaimed?) hardwood. We've made a few small changes to the room since I took these pictures, but it's still substantially the same.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Have I Arrived?

I wondered why one of my Etsy shop items had so many hits... turns out I made it into the Entertaining and Decor Gift Guide!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Progress Report

The carpet in the studio is GONE.
Here's one end of the closet:
Tearing the carpet out was easy - much easier than the steps before and after, which involved emptying the room and then tearing the carpet spike strips up and tearing the baseboards off the walls. I hate carpet spike strips. These nasty, meancing, evil things must have been invented by Satan himself.
On a happier note than evil stabby things, I've been doing some "window shopping" on Etsy for curtains for the room. I found another member of the Interior Design Team who has some designer fabric similar to what I have been envisioning. ArtisticLifestyling has this great fabric:
I also found a number of shops who offered these prints:
(My favorite)

Mom, you may be called in to help make curtains.
Finally, I want to show off these awesome ink and batik stamps I bought from ArtisticLifestyling. As the shop says, they will be great as a decorative display piece, and I can't wait to use them with clay, either.