Category Archives: Art

I Jumped on the Bandwagon a Little Late

Once again I can’t remember where I read it but apparently the trend of chalkboard writing is “so last year”.  Too bad because I just thought of something I wanted to write.

A beautiful refurbished frame.

A beautiful refurbished frame.

Two years ago I refurbished the gold leaf frame above but I didn’t have anything to put in it and I’m not just going to hang it up empty.

I like this frame so much I used it at the center of the gallery wall in the hall from the mudroom to the kitchen.

I like this frame so much I used it at the center of the gallery wall in the hall from the mudroom to the kitchen.

So I thought I should put a chalkboard in it until a better solution came along.

The beginning of a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy.

A practice sketch of the beginning of a poem by Arthur O’Shaughnessy.

I picked the opening lines of a poem by Arthur O’Shaughnessy:

Ode from his book Music and Moonlight (1874):

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
we build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story,
we fashion an empire’s glory.
One man, with a dream, at pleasure
can go forth and conquer a crown.
And three, with a new song’s measure
can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying,
in the buried past of the Earth,
built Nineveh with our sighing
and Babel itself with our mirth.
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
to the old of the New World’s worth.
For each age is a dream that is dying,
or one that is coming to birth.

I practiced the lettering on paper then tried it freehand on my makeshift chalkboard.

My chalkboard

My chalkboard

If a piece of real art that fits this frame comes along one day I’ll probably switch it out.

We're getting the gallery wall fleshed out at the same time.

We’re getting the gallery wall fleshed out at the same time.

But for now, I like it.

Do you have a favorite saying?

Everybody’s Writing About Gallery Walls

I noticed this week there’s a lot of chat in blogland about gallery walls.

Classic Casual Home
Design Chic
Design Indulgence
Driven by Décor
5th and State
Gwen Moss
Lovely Things
Rough Luxe 
Talk of the House
This gallery wall is tied together by subject and color scheme.

This gallery wall is tied together by subject and color scheme.

You know I want one.

I have to really study this wall from Pottery Barn -- it's so interesting.

I have to really study this wall from Pottery Barn — it’s so interesting.

I tried to get one here. No success.

The hall between the mudroom and the kitchen is still bare.

The hall between the mudroom and the kitchen is still bare.

Now I’m trying another tactic:  Lay all my pictures, frames, plates, flat objets d’art, etc. on the floor and walk by these things a million times.

I'm thinking vintage with a few surprises.

I’m thinking vintage with a few surprises.

I’m hoping a grouping or two will start to make sense to me. I want it to be balanced, unusual, interesting, unique, varied. Hope I can find all the little details that will make a gallery wall work.

How would you organize a gallery: theme? color? size? shape?

Art at The Glade: #5 – Capri

I have a small oil painting (approximately 12″ by 15″)  which I think depicts the Phoenician Steps in Capri (as in the Isle of Capri) that used to hang at the top of the stairs.

The oil painting of Capri used to hang in the upstairs hall before the doorway was enclosed.

The oil painting of Capri used to hang in the upstairs hall before the doorway was enclosed.

It came with two small ceramic plates (perhaps ash trays) that clearly say “Capri” in them.

Plates from Capri - 6" by 6"

Plates from Capri – 6″ by 6″

They used to hang next to the painting.

Painting and Plates

Painting and Plates

I have hung it at the bottom of the stairs on the “Revere Pewter” wall and it adds a bright note.

The Phoenician Steps with a view of chapel dedicated to Sant Antonio of Padua.

The Phoenician Steps with a view of chapel dedicated to Sant Antonio of Padua.

The Phoenician Steps in Capri

The Phoenician Steps in Capri

I’ve decided the plates don’t really belong on the wall in this spot so for now I’m going to use them on the nearby tiled nesting tables. Perhaps when I redo the powder room I’ll put them in there.

You can see the painting from the top of the stirs.

You can see the painting from the top of the stairs.

I was careful not to hang it too high – it’s just at my eye level.

The frame is burnished gold leaf.

The frame is burnished gold leaf.

I couldn’t figure out why I kept putting this painting near the stairs then it dawned on me that the painting itself depicts stairs.

Hanging at the bottom of the steps.

Hanging at the bottom of the steps.

Duh!

Are you trying to change things up in your own abode? Or once placed, do things remain static, so grateful for a permanent home?

The Living Room Needs Color

Our first floor plan is open. You can see the kitchen from all the other rooms: living room, dining room, conservatory, mud room.

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

The kitchen is yellow (Benjamin Moore Waterbury Cream) and dark, warm grey.

The living room looks through to the dining room and to the kitchen to the left of the dining room.

The living room looks through to the dining room and to the kitchen to the left of the dining room.

The living room is grey with a grey sofa and blue chairs.

The living room is looking very monochromatic.

The living room is looking very monochromatic.

I want to tie these two areas together.  I know I can do it with pillows.

Grey bird on an ochre and white background would add some charm to our living room.

Grey bird on an ochre and white background would add some charm to our living room.

My inspiration shots are here and here.

This picture seem to tie all the colors in my first floor palette together.

This picture seems to tie all the colors in my first floor palette together.

And then inspiration really did hit when I found these two identical trays on the free table at church.

Can you see the tie-in?

Can you see the tie-in?

Any idea where I’m going with this?  I hope my next post isn’t a “project fail” post.

Do you get unlikely brain storms? Is it more like a storm or a gentle rain?

A Bit of Whimsy Nobody Gets

I can remember my mother having an orange teapot shaped like a cat next to a modernistic owl.  I asked her why the teapot was on the shelf under an end table in the living room and she responded: “The owl and the pussycat.”

I got it. Clever, Mother.

I gave the teapot away to a cat fancier friend of ours but the owl popped back up when we unpacked after the renovation.  This owl has been sitting on the kitchen windowsill for months now and I just found out Charlie has no idea what it is. He likes it because it’s a chunk of wood.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall.

This abstract wooden owl is about 10 inches tall and has a metal beak.

I also inherited a small ceramic Tiffany cat that could be a vase or a pencil holder.

The cat is clearly marked "Tiffany".

The cat is clearly marked “Tiffany”.

I’m pretty sure it’s a vase.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

A sort of flower frog lid on the top of the cat.

I put kitty on the windowsill with the owl.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, of course.

Other family members have looked at the two items together and wondered aloud why they were there. Like Mother I said: “The owl and the pussycat.”

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

Maybe not the pair Mr. Lear had in mind.

No reaction.

So for those friends and family of mine who just don’t know, here’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
   What a beautiful Pussy you are,
            You are,
            You are!
   What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
 
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried,
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
            His nose,
            His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
 
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
            The moon,
            The moon,
   They danced by the light of the moon.
 

I shall show you my runcible spoon another day.

Do you have decorative jokes that nobody gets?

A New Shelf in the Kitchen

I have a shelf I’ve been wanting to hang somewhere for a long time.  It protrudes from the wall so it needs to be in a spot where it won’t be bumped.

The kitchen is the most finished area of the house.

The end of the cabinet run on the far right needs some decoration.

I had the bright idea of hanging it on the end of a kitchen cabinet.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

The sides of our cabinets are wood.

It’s fairly heavy so I chose 2 large-headed screws that wouldn’t let the brackets slip off.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

The screws had large heads to hold the brackets on the side of the cabinet.

Charlie did the honors since we thought it would be the perfect resting place for his grandmother’s yellow ware dough bowl.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Charlie tightened the screws after the shelf was hung.

Ultimately the dough bowl just wasn’t right so I put the 3 Graces vase up there until I find the perfect object.

A good display spot for special objects.

A good display spot for special objects.

This corbelled shelf balances out the stark end of the cabinet run with some natural wood that also ties into our island. And it’s high enough that we won’t smash our heads on it.

Do you shop your house for decorative elements?

Wall – Quilt, Why Not?

When I took the large seascape out it of the back bedroom I had a large expanse of wall to fill.

This large painting has been moved to the living room.

This large painting has been moved to the living room.

I tried to use some framed pieces I already had but they were way too small.

These 2 brass rubbings are too small for the wall behind the bed in the Treetops room.

These 2 brass rubbings are too small for the wall behind the bed in the Treetops room.

I moved the oval marble-topped table to the living room and put the green dressing table in its place.

The table moved to the living room.

The table moved to the living room.

While I was moving things around and cleaning up I discovered a quilt I had made for my mother folded on small stool.

My mother's favorite flower was the iris so I made a quilt with hand-painted flowers.

My mother’s favorite flower was the iris so I made a quilt with hand-painted flowers.

Then I had the bright idea to hang it on the wall over the bed.

The iris quilt is hanging with Velcro dots on a piece of trim.

The iris quilt is hanging with Velcro dots on a piece of trim.

It fills the wall and keeps the top of the metal bed from banging against the wall.

TreetopsQuiltBed

Love it.

Are you surprised when you find something while straightening up that you forgot you owned?