Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Picasso

Last week, my daughter attended the "Awesome Acrylics" art camp at Cheekwood, an art museum and botanical garden in Nashville. I didn't have too many expectations, other than possibly to get some art out of the deal. I think I got some keepers.

This is her Chihuly-inspired floral piece.
Dale Chihuly has a dual exhibit going on now at both Cheekwood and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. We need to go check it out very soon. 
Dale Chihuly's blown glass art

Her next masterpiece . . .
This one Meg appropriately named "The Robot" for obvious reasons. I love the eyelashes.

And, my personal favorite . . . 
this fun and funky portrait. I especially love the saturated colors.

Almost immediately, it reminded me of this funny lady:
Isn't the resemblance uncanny? We're naming the portrait Rosanna. After I told my daughter who I thought the painting looked like (and she gave me a well-deserved blank look), I googled photos of Rosanna Rosanna Danna. My daughter and her friend both agreed with my assessment.

Don't you just love kid's art?

Sources: Exotic Excess, Pics Digger

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Help Wanted

While on a little thrifting excursion Monday morning, I happened upon this: 
My love of Chinoiserie is no secret, so my jaw about dropped to the floor when I saw it. I've been looking for a different table and chairs for my breakfast nook since we moved in four years ago. I've always thought an oval table would fit the space better than my dark, rectangular farm table with cabriole legs.
In our old house, we only had one dining area and this table and chairs fit the space and style perfectly. However, in our current house we have a dining room and a breakfast area. This table was too small for the dining room, so into the breakfast area it went.   I've always thought this space needed a different set-up - specifically, an oval table with chairs and a banquette or settee.

So, four years later, I'm excited to announce that I purchased the Chinoiserie-style faux bamboo dining table (with 2 leaves) and four chairs for what I consider to be an absolute steal. Now comes the fun part - figuring out what to do with the finishes and fabric.

It's been suggested I should leave the table as it is . . .
Please excuse my super messy garage.

And paint the chairs a fun color. But it has to be a color that fits in with the rest of my house because of my very open floor plan. Luckily, most of my furniture is fairly neutral. Yet another reason a pop of color might be in order. I'm leaning towards a rich saturated peacock blue shiny lacquer.

Something like the color of this Miles Redd living room maybe. Of course, it would be on the chairs not the wall so you'll have to use your imagination.

I don't think I could pull off anything too bright a la Jonathan Adler:

Of course, there's always white . . .

Although white would not look great against my creamy cabinets. I guess I could go with a creamy white, but that's pretty close to how they look now. So, I could just leave them the way they are if I decide on that route.

Then, of course, there's the all important fabric selection. Should I pick that first, then pick a paint color to complement it?

I've always loved Chiang Mai dragon by Schumacher in the aquamarine colorway. I know some people might think it's overexposed or trendy, but I don't care - it's still one of my favorites. 
Unfortunately, it's super expensive. However, I shouldn't need much since there are just four seats to cover. I'll have to check with my designer friend Kristen to see how the price breaks down and if they have a minimum yardage ordering requirement. 

If it turns out that Chiang Mai is out of my budget (which it might very well be), I've found some other cute fabric options. Please excuse the sheer multitude, I went a little overboard.

Okay, so that's about a dozen fabrics. I have an obvious love of fabrics too. So, what do you think? Any keepers in the bunch? Would you prefer cream-colored chairs with bright seats? Or brightly painted chairs with a more geometric pattern? Oh, too many choices. So, please give me your opinion. I really do want your help!

Oh, and don't worry about the table and chairs that I'm replacing. I'm planning on using them in my basement once we re-do that (about 5- 7 years from now, if we're lucky) or I might sell the chairs and keep the table. Haven't totally decided yet. I'm a little indecisive. Can you tell?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tag - You're It!

I'm starting to appreciate "tag" more as an adult (never my favorite game as a child). My friend Becky got an email invitation today to another fabulous "tag sale," so she of course forwarded it to me knowing I love a good bargain. This one looks promising (if you're in the Nashville area on Saturday) - she had me at Antique Indonesian Day Bed from ABC Carpet and Home.
Where: Tyler's House
1504 Cedar Lane
When:   June 26th 9am - 12pm

Maybe I'll see you there . . .

In other, totally unrelated news, we had a box turtle show up at our front door today (literally). My daughter, the fearless one, picked him up immediately causing him to retreat back within his shell - poor guy. But, he popped back out later to make his escape and I caught a photo of him:
Isn't his shell beautiful? I actually had the horrible thought that should he happen to meet his untimely demise I wouldn't mind having his shell to display. I know . . . I'm a horrible person. Please don't call PETA. Plus, I wouldn't harm him now that he's an official member of the family (albeit one who lives outside permanently). We named him Terrence. 

I think the heat drove him out of his usual stomping grounds. I know it's about to drive me crazy. Here's hoping cooler weather (or at least less humid weather) is on the way soon. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pilgrimage to the Homeland

My children and I traveled to my hometown of Memphis over the past weekend to visit the family. It was a short trip, but full of good times and some misadventures. 
 No, we didn't party on Beale Street but I just grabbed a Memphis promo photo off the Internet.

On Saturday, we got my son's 5-year-old shots at my dad's pediatric office then proceeded to get lost on the way to my nephew's baseball game across town. How is this possible when my mother and I both grew up in Memphis and were both in the car? I have no idea. I blame the fact that I had never been in this particular part of town and on my mother's inattentiveness (sorry, mom).
My daughter happened to be snapping photos from the backseat during our seemingly endless wandering in a not so nice part of town. Fun.

After the game, my sister and I escaped to one of the Worlds Away outlets in Memphis to check out the merchandise (I neglected to take photos, sorry. These photos are actually from their website).
These pieces were in the store, but even at wholesale prices nothing was really within my price range. Sigh.

Later that day, we went to see Marmaduke (not exactly an Oscar-worthy film) with the kids because it was too hot do anything else - oppressive heat blows.

After the terrible movie, my sister and I rewarded ourselves with some shopping. This time - paydirt. I didn't buy anything but I did find some super cute and super cheap fabric at this great store called Premier Fabrics in Germantown just down the road from my sister's house.
Hello . . . fantastic prints at incredible prices -  $7.99 a yard for cotton and $8.99 a yard for linen fabrics. They also offer a very affordable line of furniture upholstered in the fabric of your choice. You can check out more of their fabric options online.
Here's the cute Parson's chair they offer for $215. Somehow, I neglected to photograph the chair I would like to purchase for the corner of my bedroom - a skirted winged-back chair variation. Now, I just need to pick a fabric. I'm leaning toward the bamboo lattice or possibly the zebra. I know I have zebra throw pillows on my sofa already but that's in a totally different room for heaven's sake.

Since that's all the shopping I got to do out in the real world, I decided to go shopping around my parents' house. Not as exciting, but there are always things to covet.
I used to think this gilded candle holder passed down from my grandmother was gaudy. Now, I'd like to steal it. No dice. Mom's not parting with it. 

A gigantic suzani from one of my dad's trips that hangs on a wall in their den behind an old desk. How cool is this? Once again, they're not letting go of this puppy. 

And more faux bamboo that you could shake a stick at. This chest of drawers was part of my bedroom set growing up and still sits in my old bedroom. Good ole Ethan Allen circa 1975 (or so). Of course, years ago, I didn't want it. Now, I want it back please. There are matching twin headboards stored somewhere too possibly under a bed. 

Lastly, I was able to barter a deal with my sister for this little beauty . . .
It was very inconspicuously hanging out on a corner bookshelf in her living room when I spied it. She bought it many moons ago at Pier One, but I think it's got a nice timeworn elegance.  She didn't really want it anymore so I traded her a necklace that didn't fit me well. Apparently, my neck is fatter than my sister's because it looks great on her. Win-win situation!

But the best part of the trip was getting to visit with family and friends. Most importantly, these little monkeys got to spend lots of quality cousin time together . . .
Meg is happy. She really is. She just hates getting her photo taken. Especially, now that her two front teeth are gone.

And, I got to visit one of my best friends from college and finally see (and love on) her new baby . . .
Josephine Claire aka "Josie"

and her beautiful red-headed big sister Abigail.
Aren't they precious? 

We had a great visit and hope you have some safe and happy journeys this summer!
Sources: and Worlds Away

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Look for Less

Okay, my blogging has really been lagging lately. I apologize again. Summer is just getting all hectic on me, my cable/internet connection has been out, and I'm trying to finish a book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (you must read it if you have not. I'm almost done and I can't wait to read the next one!). Anyway, I digress. I've hit the mall a couple of times in the past week while my kiddos have been in their respective camps and found some pretty good deals that I thought I would share with you.

First up, the bohemian look. Have you seen the cute tunic/caftan type tops at J. Crew with all the ethnic details?

Well, I found this similar style the other day at JC Penney - yes, you read that right - for $20 (I looked on the website and now it's $17.99)! I thought it was a pretty color and a pretty good deal so I snagged it. Now, obviously it's not exactly the same, but for an almost $60 savings and a similar look, I thought it wasn't bad. It also has an ombre effect (gradually getting darker at the bottom) which is a nice detail.
Please excuse the photo. JCP's photos wouldn't load so I made my son take this picture. He's 5 and didn't really understand what I was doing or why I interrupted his Wii game.

Next up, a sort of Anthropologie-esque look combining two of their popular themes right now - flowers and stripes.

Here's the tank I found again at JCP (I know, I usually don't shop there, but I gave it a shot) in the Juniors' department for $14.99.

Lastly, I found some cropped white jeans (seen in photos above) at Ann Taylor Loft for 50% off today. They were originally $54.50, so I got them for $27.25 (plus tax, of course). A similar pair at J. Crew (seen below) cost $98.

Not bad, huh? Happy summer sale shopping!