Friday, January 30, 2015

Free Association Friday


Sophie Yall photographed by Marie Zucker   |   Jellyfish Chandelier

"Nocturne in Black and Gold" 1875 by James McNeill Whistler

Art Nouveau tile   |   Photo by Natalia Drepina

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In the Studio

I've just finished a few new pieces. I'm experimenting with using a limited color palette. Since I'm always drawn to blue, I thought it was a good place to start. I created the first piece for myself, something I don't often do. It will hang in my living room. The second piece is more of a practice piece in preparation for a larger work I'm considering.

Father  -  36" x 48" acrylic, pencil and oil pastel on canvas

Scarab  -  8" x 8" acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sashiko Embroidery

Lately I've been drawn to simple repeated patterns. Whether I'm sewing or painting or setting the table, I like the calm and ease of repeated natural forms. Sashiko is a Japanese style of quilt stitch that dates back to the 1600's. It's simple, but disciplined pattern is so beautiful and meditative.

Shashiko translates as "little stabs". It's a reinforcement stitch meant to strengthen places of wear and tear on garments and textiles. It's traditionally seen as a running pattern using white thread on indigo cloth, but I see it used everywhere now, especially in multicolored Kantha cloths.

I have some mending to do on my son's denim jeans, all of which have blown out knees. I think I might try this stitch to shore up the rips.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Time

I bought this wonderful Pottery Barn sofa almost 10 years ago. It's been a fantastic piece for me and my family, but we need something a little more dual-purpose. Since we no longer have a designated guest room, we need to have space for visiting family and friends.

So, I'm selling our sofa! And in it's place, we're hoping to find a pull-out sleeper sofa. Now, I don't want some old piece of crap pull-out. You know the kind I'm talking about: the bar down the center of your back, squeaking hinge monstrosity you slept on at that sweet sixteen sleep over in 1993. No. I want a sleeper sofa that my mother can be comfortable on.

So the first part of getting a new sofa for my living room is to sell the old one and make space. Bye bye, old friend. Here are some photos of my beloved sofa over our decade-long relationship.

And for my new sofa?
I'm looking at the Paige sleeper sofa from West Elm.
I'm thinking the Linen Weave upholstery in Regal Blue, shown on the bottom image.

Monday, January 26, 2015

48 Hours in NYC

Hello dear readers. I'm just back from a whirlwind visit to New York, where I accompanied my husband on a business trip. He worked all day, while I hoofed it around Midtown and spent a few lovely hours with dear friends. I'll be back to my regular programing tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a little photo tour of my time alone in the Big Apple.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shifting Perspectives | Home Art Studio

I'm continuing the house tour today with a look at my home art studio. Yesterday I featured my living room and on Tuesday, I featured my dining space. This room used to be my sons' bedroom. They shared this space and I had my studio in our converted garage. Now that the converted garage has been updated to make room for our house mates, I needed to move my studio. This room is perfect. It's the largest bedroom in the house and is the only room that has wood floors for easy clean up.

This fall, I had a queen sized bed in this room. I was trying to make this a dual purpose space to include guests. But after spending a month with the bed, I realized that it had to go! It was completely in my way.

My goal was to have three areas: one for painting, one for reading and writing and one for sewing. I also wanted enough floor space that I could stretch out, throw a yoga mat on the floor or layout a large canvas on the floor. I'm really happy with the results. And while it's not nearly as big as my old studio, it's just as functional. Here is the new space sans bed:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shifting Perspectives | My Living Room

Today, we're continuing the house tour here at La Maison Boheme. As I said yesterday, our home has been experiencing some enormous changes. This autumn, I shifted the rooms in our home to better accommodate our family's rapidly changing needs. Now I'm finished and ready to share these spaces with you!

The most impacted spaces are our communal rooms - living room and dining room. I flipped the rooms so that our dining space would be the center of the house, with more room around the edges for my son's wheelchair maneuvers.  The living room, in turn, now inhabits the old dining space, which has a lot of natural light. I wanted my living room to be more intimate - a quieter place tucked away from the traffic of day-to-day life.

I repainted the walls, but other than the expense of a can of paint, all of the furniture here was already in the house. I wanted a sitting area, a separate cozy spot to read and listen to music, and my husband needed a quiet office area to grade papers and accomplish his "at home" work. There's also a big canvas hanging over the sofa - an unfinished piece I'm in the process of working on. I'm not quite sure what I want yet, so it hangs there as-is.

Here's the living room new set-up:

Since I always get questions about where I got stuff, here is my source list.


Sofa: Craigslist (10 years ago in Seattle), originally Pottery Barn

Channel back chairs: 1940's vintage from Craigslist

Rug: Pottery Barn, a house warming gift from my dad

Tea tray / coffee table: Inherited from my Great Aunt - she got it in India

Stump table: Z Gallerie, found in the damaged section due to crack

Brass bar cart: Lula B's in Dallas

Desk: antique breakfast table my husband bought in California

Metal chair:

Pillows and flokati: Ikea

Brass swing arm lamp: sale section Pottery Barn

Record console and storage: craigslist, originally Ikea

Pair of lamps on console: Target

Blanc de chine lamp: thrift store in Utah