A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Spruced Up: What my Studio Looks like when it's styled

Carefully curated collections. Perfectly positioned pillows. [say both of those five times fast!] When most people come to my studio, this is what they come to expect.  I'll let you in on a little studio is rarely this pristine!  If you catch me on a busy painting week, it looks more like a Goodwill got in a bar brawl with a Sherwin Williams. Furniture, paint and random objects strewn everywhere. It's chaos!  As much as I talk about how messy things usually are, things have been uncharacteristically decluttered and lovely. For the past few weeks, the studio needed to be kept perfectly styled for some exciting things going on here. I'll talk more about that soon enough, but for now, I thought I'd share a few shots of what the studio has been like. Seeing these photos makes It'll likely remain this way for a bit longer while I work on some personal photography projects, but 'nothing gold can stay.' Soon enough, things will go back to their creatively manic ways.   I plan to take photos of the studio when it's in full messy-mode, just to give you a sense of what things are really like around here!

A Peek into Chalk Painting Class

Playing with paint. Munching on cookies. Sipping cocktail or two.  Chatting about furniture and design. Learning something new. Sounds like my kind of party! I love spending a day working on furniture, reinventing and being creative. The thing is, working solo gets a little lonely. I have infinitely more fun when I get to paint and play alongside friends, family and my students!  I'm awful at remembering to take photos during class, but here are a few quick iphone shots I snapped during a couple different classes.  Right now, I've just started with my Chalk Painting Basics, where we do all of the above and students can bring something small to work on [check out the frame a student painted below, it's GORGEOUS!]. I'm getting ready to post my September class schedule, and I'm also posting a few slots for one [or two!] on one furniture painting classes! Now, you'll get to bring a piece to work on in my studio so I can show you my painting techniques on your own furniture! Nothing is posted just yet, but stay tuned!

A Brief Update on Things + Pink and Gray Styling!

So friends. I've been BUSY planning bigger and better things for A Simpler Design and beyond, so apologies if my posts have been less than thrilling as of late! I'm also getting ready for my big trip of the year [if you didn't read about that, check that out here!]. I'm planning on taking on a new creative medium during this trip.  I picked up a new AMAZING camera [more on that another day], and I'm hoping to capture bits of my entire trip on video. Once I get everything edited, I'll start sharing my Maui adventures on Youtube, but I don't want to give a definitive date, since I really have no idea how long it'll take me to edit and have things ready to launch. But I digress...back to DESIGN! 

I forgot to share some of the styling shots of this lovely French Provincial dresser I painted in Annie Sloan's French Linen [the PERFECT warm mid tone gray for any space!]. The dresser up and sold within a couple days of posting it, but these photos incorporating pops of pink had to be shared. I can't get enough of how beautifully dried flowers petals photograph.  I'm dying to do more design projects using these lovelies [along with other dried petals I've got in the works].

I also randomly painted this pair of bowling pins hot pink [they were in rough shape, and certainly not retro-cool anymore!]. I'd hoped to use them as book ends, but it turns out bowling pins fall down fairly easily [who knew?] so holding up books isn't their forte. This bold shade of pink does really set up nicely against the warm gray.

I like to bring in my duo of birds on occasion [I picked these up from West Elm a couple years back]. Their colors pick up the exact tones in my washi tape art [see more on that here] I have propped up behind them. They're just having a super casual chat, no big deal.

And there you have it: my random vignette of all things pink and gray. Sometimes I like to style things from a practical, realistic perspective [lamps, magazines, other normal things you'd find in a bedroom], but sometimes it's fun to imagine how someone more eccentric would style their dresser.  Bowling pins and flower petals and fake birds in some strange way work!

Repurposing a Snow and Graham Botanical Calendar

I'm getting ready to change up and add in some new wall art at my home and studio. I'm trying to be SUPER frugal about things for the next month [will discuss why later!], so I'm trying to repurpose things I already have laying around. 

I found this old Snow and Graham calendar I'd saved from years ago, and I've begun cropping them down to hang as an art installation. 

I HIGHLY recommend purchasing calendars like these, which have such beautiful designs, because it's just such an easy way to have something functional [calendar throughout the year] and beautiful [wall art once the year is up!] for your home.

Paper Source always has the loveliest selection of calendars. They can get pricey, but if you're just wanting to use the art of a calendar, head over there sometime in the spring when nearly all the calendars are 50% or more off!

Ideally, I would like to use mats to give these prints a more polished look. This calendar is a bit too petite for a standard 8x10, and too large for a 5x7, and I'm not in a place where I want to get into custom matting, so I imagine I'll just mount these on the wall as is. 

I want to figure out a way to do a little mixed media work with these prints using some actual dried flowers. No I don't the actual flowers from the prints dried [though that would be amazing!], but any dried flower would fit the bill.

Have you found any other gorgeous calendars to repurpose as art? Share them with me! 

Playing with brush strokes: Acrylic on Canvas

This may sound odd, but I woke up in the middle of the night, fresh from a vivid dream. I wish I had wrote this post immediately, because my memory is already foggy, but basically in the dream I was in a room filled with paint and canvas and brushes. Okay, so that's not necessarily far fetched considering what I do for a living, but the dream was an exaggerated version of my life I guess? But when I woke up again in the morning, I knew I needed to paint something, or at least dabble around with paint and color.  I didn't have many colors on hand, so I played around with different brush strokes and paint viscosities. I'm not sure this is exactly a 'painting'. It feels more of a study on techniques.  I imagine I'll try this again with a more cohesive idea in mind, but I'm finding as I look at the macro photos I took of what I did, I'm appreciating each small section of the paper more and more. Each little section feels more like art rather than the piece as a whole.