June 25, 2010

What to do with Greeting Cards

So I was sitting around the other day twiddling my thumbs, wondering what in the world I can do to occupy the vast quantities of idle time that I have, when suddenly it occurred to me... GREETING CARD ART!! Ok so I wasn't just sitting around with vast quantities of idle time. But I DID find these adorable greeting cards at a yard sale (see my May 27th Post http://trulyyoursdesignnet.blogspot.com/2010/05/okay-now-one-thing-at-time.html ), and since I recently acquired a couple of $0.50 frames at a thrift store that were in dire need of a little pick-me-up, I thought perhaps pieces and parts of each should meet because they might just hit it off and who knows what could happen! So I set about orchestrating that very meeting...

The box of 50's/60's greeting cards:

The unsuspecting gold frames (marked $1 each, but I talked the owner down- I mean, really, a whole dollar EACH?):

These frames were ugly. Yes they were. So I fearlessly slapped on some off-white paint (whose best friend is Heirloom White SPRAY PAINT?! Can I get an AMEN?), then traumatized distressed the edges a little bit to give it a bit more visual interest. Layers, people, layers.

I thought one of the Get Well cards would work perfectly with some blue polka dot scrap booking paper I already had:

The inside of the card had coordinating artwork. Here is the card unfolded:

So I creased the card and tore it into quadrants. Next I layered the two pieces of artwork, stacked one on top of the other, and cut out around the design of the larger-size print so that the edges of the two would match. I left a LITTLE bit of black along the edges so that it would stand out better from the blue paper going behind it. Looking at it afterward, I wished I'd left a tad more black on the edges, but it's fine.

Next step was to layer the cut out card art, then the scrap book paper, glass, put the back on, and VOILA! A very quick, easy, inexpensive, and really cute little framed art set!

Now you know what to do with those old greeting cards! Wish I'd thought of this years ago before I threw away the cards I received when I was a kid, especially from family members who have passed on. It would be nice to put the signature part behind the artwork in the frame. No one would know it's there except the person to whom it means something. Also, when you're switching out your artwork for the seasons (at least at Christmastime, RIGHT?!), it would be easy to do this with old Christmas cards, and an inexpensive way to add little details to your home for the Holidays!

June 2, 2010

To Drool For

Check out these brand spankin' new Duralee fabrics! 

Oh. My. Goodness. Can anyone say Hollywood Regency style? DROOLS. These fabrics are a new Duralee line called Highland Court and if you tell me you don't think of Rita Hayworth or one of the original big-screen sirens, I might just call you a liar.
Can't you just imagine these fabrics in a posh bedroom- some of them positively BEG to be put on a chaise, and to top a posh bed covered in beautifully trimmed pillows (that someone else has to remove prior to bed time, and return to the bed after waking, of course). The bed would be flanked by either mirrored side tables or those made of Lucite perhaps, and of course there would be gorgeous fresh floral arrangements. OR perhaps the side tables would be a dark espresso-finish or ebony, with crystal lamps to beautifully light the evening for a romantic evening IN.     

MWUAH! Magnifique!

I don't know about you, but I wish I could say that I SOMETIMES run across a fabric, finish, fixture, or furnishing that made me squeal (or feel like squealing but am sadly unable to due to my unfortunate bent toward maintaining certain societal norms), but I cannot. I FREQUENTLY experience this phenomenon. It is inexplicable and each and every time a completely "new" experience. I never tire of looking at or drooling over these things, and if I had an unending supply of money, I would have buildings filled with them and I'd visit them every day, and rotate things in and out of my house on a very regular basis (of course, here in la-la land there would be someone else who has to CARRY said objects in and out of the house on a regular basis and do all the refinishing work necessary and all that jazz). All right, that might be a bit of a stretch, but I LOVE this new line so I could not help but share with you.

Here is my two-day long (so far!) dilemma, chickies. I am deciding if I should buy this duvet set on Overstock.com for $40. My hesitation is a question of quality, although the reviews of it are good, I'm skeptical. I suppose I could always resell it on eBay if I decide I don't like it- what do you think?

(photo from Overstock.com)

This set is rather Hollywood Regency in styling, which I love, and I have in mind to do some silver-leaf side tables and an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom, which is the PERFECT shade of taupe. I will also incorporate an inherited dresser with mirror (needs to be refinished- it is ROUGH!), and some sort of bench, probably French, in a washed gray paint treatment with burlap or sackcloth seat, mercury glass accessories, and so on. Oh the plans I have... 

These fabrics make me think of the way designers such as Russel Groves and Patricia Gray use a lot of monochromatic palettes but keep things interesting with layers of texture and proper scale, proportion, and just enough of an accent color. By adding surprising elements opposite to what is "expected" in spaces, their designs go to a whole other level. Pairing beautifully smooth, shimmering surfaces with rustic and rough-hewn pieces is a great way to achieve a look that has not only the "WOW" factor, but also feels more personal and exceptionally comfortable to a larger scope of personal tastes. Here is an example:

(Russell Groves)

Now THAT is a beautiful space. The juxtaposition of the rough, natural timbers and stone with the concrete surface of the console (to the left) and smooth steel legs of the leather-topped bench is stunning; not to mention the GORG pearlescent light fixture. This light fixture works because it is the unexpected in its finish, but also because the curvilinear form of the globe is a great foil for all the linear attributes that are going on in the space- from the exposed beams and rectilinear windows to the horizontal-line rug. By using curves and round objects throughout the space, the designer keeps things from feeling too sterile- note the drum shade on the floor lamp, round cocktail table, cylindrical planter with the bright green stems in it, etc. There are elements of very contemporary and very rustic successfully combined. Not only is this space beautiful to look at, it looks like it's VERY comfortable, and that is what we're looking for, isn't it? A place to call HOME, a sanctuary, a place to walk in the door and feel "AAAAHHHHHH- I'm home." 

What does it take for YOU to feel AAAAT home?