Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#436...persian rug in the kitchen

Over the year's I've tried a lot of different rugs in my kitchen. Recently, I moved the rug from under my dining table (see it here) into the kitchen and I've been liking it so far. It is a vintage Persian that I got several years ago from It is easy to vacuum, lays flat, and does not move around when people and dogs run through the room. 
I'm hoping to enact some dramatic ceiling and glass front cabinet changes in this room toward the end of this year, so I thought I'd go ahead and document the kitchen as it looks today.

Friday, March 13, 2015

#435...plate hanging

I have a client who wanted a gallery wall of plates hung in her dining room. She really liked the idea of floating plates without a traditional metal plate hanger, so we had to get creative. I had a failed first attempt with Duco cement that resulted in broken plates and a nice floor gash. I ended up using expanding Gorilla Glue, paper clips, and Gorilla Tape (see below photo). It's holding so far. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#434...scrap wood animals (part deux)

In 2013, Tyler made me these scrap wood animals from bits of old wood salvaged from our many house projects over the years. I blogged about his inspiration for elephant, bunny and bird here.
 In 2014 he added two more animals to my collection, making owl,
and mouse.

(These are the easiest pets to care for.)

Friday, February 6, 2015 room decor

My client Judy has a lot of vintage ski artifacts, and wanted to display them in a guest bedroom in her house.

I started by hanging a bunch of the wintry art and a vintage snow shovel over the bed, creating a gallery art headboard wall.

A vintage pair of poles went up,

as well as some child-size vintage skis. 
A paper bag painted ski boot done by Judy's daughter many years ago hangs above a chair that is home to a pair of German lederhosen. It is fun to hang art at Judy's house, as I go when she is away at work and I feel like an elf sneaking in and leaving a gift behind.
While there this week, I also hung this round chalkboard on her back porch and wrote a giant "hello" with my chalk markers to her and her husband Bill.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

#432...square plate making

One of my new year's resolutions was to get back to making pottery pieces. Simultaneously, my cousin Marie was actively looking for white handmade square pottery plates, and I thought attempting to make the square plates would be a good way to dip my toe back into pottery making.

I started with a 25lb bag of mid-fire Cone 5 white clay, which I rolled into 1/4" slabs using my slab roller table.
I found this YouTube video that recommended using square Chinet dinner plates as a hump mold to create the square clay plate shape. Unfortunately, I did not take any pics of turning the slabs of clay onto the molds and creating the plates, but here is a finished pic of my dried clay plate. (Looks just like Chinet paper plate doesn't it?)
Once the clay plates completely dried (this took about a week of covered, slow drying), they were ready to go in the kiln for their bisque firing. I bisque fired them to Cone 06, which fires at a temp of about 1900 degrees.

The kiln fires for about 10 hours then shuts off, and takes another 10-12 hours to cool down enough to be opened (about 150 degrees). Below are the plates after they have been bisque fired. They pretty much look the same as they did as dried clay.
The next step will be to glaze the plates and fire them again. I have several glaze color options, but I'm going with white for the plates. Here are my glazes, and a pic of test tiles I made of the glazes once upon a time.

After all of this hard pottery work, I think I'll visit the other side of the cabana for a cocktail. Our cabana got turned into a bar for Tyler's 40th birthday party last fall, and has remained a popular attraction of our backyard.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#431...rowing room

In the front bedroom of our bungalow we used to have a twin sized guest bed.
Santa brought Tyler this water rower, so we have replaced the bed with his slim new rower. 
The room feels bigger, and I hope my house guests will be happy on the new AeroBed I bought for them. The good news is they can literally roll out of bed and work out!

Friday, January 2, 2015

#430...fabric succulents

I made a couple of fabric succulents to give as gifts this holiday season. One went to my sister Sarah, who has been unsuccessful at keeping live plants in her office. I thought a fabric plant would be a colorful addition for her desk.
I first made a paper leaf pattern and traced it onto various green and yellow fabrics.
Next, placing right sides together of two different patterned pieces, I stitched around the leaf leaving the bottom open for turning.
Turning the leaves right side out was the most tedious part of this project because it is such a tiny piece of fabric to pull through.
To add some structure to the leaves, I wrapped a piece of electrical wire with polar fleece using double sided tape. Each polar fleece wrapped wire was then inserted into each leaf.

For the succulent bases, I used small pottery vessels that I had thrifted or made years ago in a wheel-throwing class. I put floral foam into the pots to hold the leaves in the base, and used some hot glue to secure them. 
I needed something that looked like potting soil to cover the floral foam and found a pair of cut up brown leather pants in my leather bin. I cut pieces of the leather and scattered it onto the top of the floral foam.