Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gone wall-crazy

When we moved into the house 18 years ago, 
our bathroom needed detailing. 
The fixtures were current, the mood neutral.
The walls were a plain golden white or "French brie,"
according to the descriptive label on the paint can.

The Schumacher motiv that started
it all: reinterpreted at 3' tall

Within a week, in the confluence of ideas that is typical for artists, 
I saw a wallpaper ad by Schumacher 
and the dotted photos in Barbara Milo Ohrbach's book, "Simply Flowers." 

I suddenly knew what I wanted on the walls.
I bought a few metallic gold markers and went to work.

Ohrbach's inspiration

 Each time I went near the bathroom, I would "dot" the walls.
 I estimate that it took 50-60 hours to complete.

  Some bouquets were simple.


Some were more complex.


The one beside the toilet grew into a 5' monster,
which I dislike to this day.
I remember walking outside to eye the concrete planter
for a model to contain the ebullient cabbage roses and vines.


I found a terra cotta uplight among our building supplies.
W painted it to match the room
before I dotted flowers on it
and "X"'d a ribbon on its edge.

Though I've thought about changing the decor on the walls,
the flowers have stayed.
It feels classic and timeless.


Peeking out from behind bathrobes white towels,
or twirling around the door and over the 3-way mirror,
the wall design is neither garish nor loud.
The subtle gold on yellow-white walls is soothing.
Spa-like, even.

The view keeps the eye moving and interested,
even after nearly two decades.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Apartment Therapy weekend challenge

Apartment Therapy does a "January Cure" guaranteed to whip the house into better shape. One of the weekend assignments was more pleasant than washing floors or cupboard doors.

The task? Buy fresh flowers, arrange them. and enjoy.

I headed to Trader Joes, picked up 3 miscellaneous assortments
@$3.99 each. (Eat your heart out, New Yorkers!)

Then I pulled out an oval crystal vase that has sentimental meaning
(gift from my "best" uncle and aunt.) I poked the flowers into a
Japanese floral frog (weighted spikes) and quenched the 
thirsty bouquet with water.

I love the mix of pinks, orange, and red berries.
The chartreuse mums contrast nicely with the deeper greens.

It's beautiful from all sides, 
whether in my living room (above) or dining room (below).

Thank God for flowers in all their glorious dress, 
for eyes to see their colors and shapes, 
and hearts to appreciate their beauty!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mossy beauty

 When the days started to turn cold last October,
I re-purposed an 13"X20" plexiglass drink tray to make a moss garden.
It invites my reflection and a closer look at nature.

Once in a while I pull out my camera phone to capture
the microcosm that lives on my desk.
Today the mosses rest, quiet and calming.

Sometimes it looks like a forest in miniature.
I see fallen logs, stream beds, undergrowth, and loam.

The moss garden needs misting each day
or it dies back.

If I leave for a few days, it looks pitiful. 
The baby tears that sowed themselves among the moss disappear
and the lush mosses turn dry and brown.

Within a few days of misting, the green and greys
spring to life and the baby tears reappear.

I wonder some times at how big and small worlds collide.
A life here, a community there, and global humanity everywhere.
The same creative thumbprint of our Creator connects us all.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Creation day

The first tote - polka-dots galore!
Many artists talk about energy welling up before they paint, compose music, or sculpt. Creative tasks lie unfinished until "it's time!"

Works for me! Having cheerful people walking by the cabin helps boosted my "Do-It" mood. Glacier Camp was hosting the first day of the annual "West of 60s" camp. All those friends chatting, strolling, and visiting made me smile. (I have 4 more years before I can attend. I've been waiting 15 years for this camp. It looks like they have much more fun than any other group.)

So... I was thinking. For our daily walks to the post office, I could use a lightweight backpack tote. I bought two 1/2-yard fabric remnants that sat for a week while I figured out a work process AND waited until my art energy got high enough to tip the "GO!" bucket.
The second tote: more subtle navy and cream

The synergy happened at noon. The how-to process became suddenly clear as I hauled out the sewing machine. Within 15 minutes, I'd finished two tote bags, one from each remnant. And then, why not? I used the leftover panels to make a third, a two-print tote.

Tools of the trade: minimal! for maximum fun
When I was done, I was still on the prowl. Upstairs in the cabin, we'd ignored a "Ugly" entertainment center for several years. It's a sturdy Broyhill piece that doesn't remotely match anything else we own.

A few days before, I had a germ of an idea and bought a roll of white MacTac (sticky contact paper, for non-Canadian readers). Seemed like anything white I could create on that storage piece would at least match our white walls! We have a birch trunk in our entry and a few birches outside. White. Well, white-ish. Voila. A birch idea took shape.

"Am I done yet?" Nope. Doesn't feel complete.
The "creation day" seemed like the perfect day to camouflage the piece while I was still looking for something artsy to do.

I started by cutting somewhat-straight lengths from a 78" piece. We had a perfect razor knife (from putting up blinds) that zipped through the stick-on paper like nobody's business.

I thought I might be done after putting up the branches: I remember an art instructor saying the trick for artists was knowing when to say enough. But nope, I wasn't quite ready for "the End."

Left side
Right side
A few more snips and I had a finished product - for now. After a few gashes in the long trunks and a few leaves ...

I considered some pencil shading for realism. [I put those in but forgot to take pictures. Another big improvement.]

It felt like there was still art energy to burn off. Oh oh! I ran down to the kitchen to cook something wild and tasty before I did something silly.

What's your creative project this week?

[This is a repost from August 2012 at www.peacefulones.blogspot.com]

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Praying in paint

Our pastor challenged us to pray 10 things for 10 minutes. One day, I journaled my prayers in watercolor:

My prayer of 10

Praise be to the Creator!
Forgive us our sins
Do the impossible, what only You can do

Make us mindful
Help us to replicate what is good
To model eye-to-eye

Bring those who need you to yourself
With hearts soft and open

Change our attitudes from darkness to light
And let us live and move in concert with You