Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Pretty Much Done...Check It Out

The living room is all put together- minus some details that will take days, weeks, months and in some cases years.  It wouldn't be fun if it didn't take time----right?!

Here is the before again:

Here is the main inspiration for this room- I fell in love with these here curtains from PB.  I typically make my own curtains- but I decided to splurge on these bad boys- and I'm glad I did- they changed the whole look of the room!

The round tables are something we got years ago at a hotel liquidation sale.  They are so cool, right?  Probably one of my favorite pieces in the house- but they are VERY heavy!

We need a rug in this new seating area- maybe later in the year...

This is one of my favorite family pictures- it's of Donell's mother as a baby- with her parents and brother.

I love the way my paintings look on the gray walls

The children love the new setup as well- they can chase each other in circles around the chairs!- ahhhh, if they were always this easily entertained- my life would be so much easier!

Not sure what we are doing with the mantle at this point- this is one of those year or more projects.  We really want a whole new mantle- but this one is fine for the time being. 

I decided to paint the whole mantel wall white, along with the brick surround and the wood- makes it a little less awkward (it's currently a floating shelf, with a gap of wall between it and the cheesy molding that was tacked up around a brick fireplace surround.

The artwork on the mantel is all mine- the blue figure sculpture is from a college figure modeling class (I stained it with blue shoe polish:), the piece on the left is a large etching I made in college (it's an abstract representation of a Gauguin painting of a Tahitian woman holding a mango), and the one on the right is a little watercolor I did from a photograph of a mud hill in the painted dessert (D and I stopped there on our way cross country- I spent a semester in Arizona in college).
I would like something large and not made by me for this space- I'm still looking...

Oh- and this little kitty on the wall is a paint drip from the original coat of paint that was done a couple years ago- my dad (professional painter) came in the day after the amatures and noticed the drip- and popped it off with his putty knife- well it came off in this exact shape- I HAD TO LEAVE IT!

This is me and D's little "shrine".  It's my favorite wedding picture taken by my girl Kel- and the little blue vase has purple sand from the beach where D proposed to me, and pieces of coral from our honeymoon in Aruba that we smuggled back.

You might have noticed all of the french doors (which I LOVE), but the trim is really shabby- which I DO NOT LOVE- since I am the only painter in the house.  VERY tedious work- but I will get it done!

and- I'll leave you with a picture of my little drama-queen.  Sad because Mosie took a bite of her fruit leather- gotta love little brothers:) How I wish she still napped- days like this she could really use one!

What do you think of the new space???  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So, My Living Room Is Now....

GRAY!!!! Hooray!

It was a busy weekend- I'm not gonna lie.  Full of painting, and running kids around, and shopping and laundry, and more shopping.  In all the running around I managed to get the majority of our living room painted.  I have had 3 swatches of color on our living room wall for months now- so this project was a very long time coming- and I am SO pleased with the results!

Here are the before pictures:

I had chosen the original paint colors before we moved into the house (as I typically do because I am the type of person that likes to be repainted and unpacked within the first week of moving in).  I am discovering now that it's best to wait a little while and get a feel for the space before making color choices.  So- the orange wall- got old rather fast- and I was searching for a change- it just took me a bit longer than I'd like to implement it:)

Here is the new color, mid process:

and a close up

I am IN LOVE with this color.  It's a soft, warm gray.  It's neutral but modern.  It adds light to the space, and it allows me to add pops of color in other places in the room (which I love!)

Here are a few pieces that I will be "redoing" to add to the space

This lovely little chair- I picked up for $2 at a tag sale last year-what a steal!?
I'm going to be painting the wood frame later in the week and trying to clean up the gold velvet seat a bit.

This lovely curvy lamp I found today- while on a virgin run at a local thrift store- $6.  I'm planning on spray painting a turquoise-y color, with a nice clean white shade.

The chair sits at this little desk- that I got a while back from an estate sale.  I'm still thinking of exactly how I will do to it- but I will be refinishing it in some way...

Once I painted the walls- I realized that the trim (there's a WHOLE LOT of it) really needed to be done too.  So- this week- during nap time I will be devoting my time to painting at least one area of trim each day.  I will also be painting the trim in the entryway around the  chinoiserie themed mural that I FINALLY finished the other day (it's been a year in the works...DON'T WORRY- if you ever hire me to paint a mural for you it will not take a year to complete- I promise:)

I added birds, and finished the distant trees/cliffs on either side of the door.

I'd also like to replace the light fixture in here...

Having lots of plans/goals keeps me ticking.  If I had nothing to do and plan and think about- I'd probably loose my mind:)

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Stay tuned this week for the full reveal! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Baby Sweet Baby....

Sweet potato that is;)

This recipe is originally from Martha Stewart Living- a long while back.  I've been making these tasty little suckers for years- and what better day to make them then during ANOTHER snowstorm!!!!

Here's what you'll need...
flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, brown sugar, sweet potato, ginger, orange zest, yogurt, water
Roast the sweet potatoes at 375 degrees until they smell done- about 45 min or so, you'll need about 1 cup.
While Little Miss was mashing, I was zesting an orange, and adding half of the zest to 2 Tbsp. of melted butter(then set it aside).
Then combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, remaining orange zest, grated ginger, brown sugar
cut in the butter
then add the sweets and the yogurt, and 2 Tbsp. of water
mix it up real good, then turn it out onto a well floured surface- and pat it into a circle that's about 1/2" thick
This beautiful rolling board- that I use all the time was handcrafted by a good family friend- check out his facebook page. He's makes gorgeous cutting boards and chopping blocks too.

Then- cut them with a cute biscuit/cookie cutter
brush them with the orange butter that you made in the beginning, pop them into a 400 degree oven for 17 minutes

OK- this is TOTALLY off topic- but check out this crazy-Mosie-trick. I swear I gave birth to an acrobat...this is what he was doing while we were waiting for the biscuits to finish baking. He looks like he's on a pommel horse right?!

We had the biscuits with a delicious spinach, broccoli and cheese soup for din-din- oh so tasty!

Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 cup roasted and mashed sweet potatoes
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. orange zest
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. grated ginger
6 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. water

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Making of the Pond Mural

Here's how it all began...
I met with my friends/neighbors/clients to discuss their "vision" for the mural.
Here is the rug they had purchased for the room, it's from Land of Nod

They chose a nice sea-green for the walls...
and they had ordered a slew of swatches from Premier Prints for the curtains and decided on Glam in the Wan/Natural color scheme-

as I mentioned here.  Once we decided on the idea for the mural (they wanted a modern spin on a pond scene, including a turtle, frog, fish and lily pads) and we decided that I would paint silouettes of the animals and landforms and use the green walls as the background for the scene- similar to the painting in Z's room of the owl and the tree....

then I started the prep work for the mural.  I got photo-images of the creatures that I would be painting- I printed them out- enlarged them to the appropriate size, tweeked them a little, and cut stencils out of cardstock

Then, using the curtain fabric sample and the rug as aa starting point, I came up with pattern swatches that I would use to design the animals (all in various combinations of the colors chocolate brown, turquoise, yellow, white, and sea green)...

then- I applied all of that to the wall, adding a rock for the Mama and baby turtle to sit on, cattails behind the rock, two lily pads with frogs, a flower and a fish.  And after a couple days in the nursery, and four soft-pinch pleated curtain panels later- I was done!

Check out my other completed murals here!
and please feel free to contact me if you'd like a custom mural in your space...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Done!!!!!

At long last- the mural project in Baby B's room is finsihed (long sigh of relief). 

You see- projects take me a LONG time to finish since muraling is not an actual job (yet) at the current time. My hours out of the house are currently spent at my other 2 jobs-thus finding the time to paint is a little tough:)  But....I got it done!
(thank you for your patience C&S)

Here's a reveal....

C&S wanted a "pond theme" animal scene- done a modern, more figurative way.  We worked on the layout together- and here's what we came up with.  I love how it came out! So much fun! and it was extra fun painting in a house of friends to keep me company- and spending  time with their sweet baby girl!

I also stitched up some curtains to go with the room.

I'll be doing a Making of the Mural post in the next day day or two....stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stir Crazy?!

yeah----just a little bit;)- you see- we are currently living in Antarctica New England and bracing ourselves for another 6-12" on snow tomorrow night- this will be the 3rd storm in a weeks time.  Considering how little Moses cannot even walk in the snow (because it's over is head)- we are getting a little bit sick of staying in our cozy abode.

We are currently passing the time with lots and lots of snacks....

performances....featuring Fancy Zella (for those familiar with Fancy Nancy)...

   we even busted out the leash- you read it right- the pink, poodle, backpack/baby leash...

Zella took him for a walk around the house

Then it was her turn...

Which pretty quickly resulted in her pulling him around the house:)

Here are some more of our favorite snowy day activities:
1. Hide and seek  
2. Paper hats (Zella's new favorite activity)
3. Get you hair done (by your child-stylist)
4. Bath time- midday
5. Baking (specifically bread)
6. Homemade playdough
7. Obsticle course
8. Blanket forts
On a more serious note- I should have some actual work-related updates for ya'll by the weekend! We have finally  purchased the paint for our living room walls- here's a peek at the new color

It's MSL268, Whetstone Gray
(we have had samples up for 2 months now)- so that should be done some time in the next couple weeks!