Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Art Picks… What To Do

I have been thinking alot about art for one's home. How do go about picking what is right. That is the key. There is no right or wrong. Buying art, whether it be original, by a known artist, original, by an unknown artist( outsider art) , photography, or reproduction,  is all a matter of personal taste.

My best advice for buying art  in what ever form, is pretty simple. Buy what you love. I f you buy what truly speaks to your heart ,with a little bit of rhyme or reason, you cannot go wrong.

Living Room Vintage French Posters

Number one, come up with a plan of subject and subject  placement. For me, I decided on all of my likes. The theme, on a whole,  vintage France and travel.  I began with my love of antique  French posters. I have them in the living room.  Most of them have a theatrical or entertainment theme. Exactly what takes place in this particular room. My dining room, adjoined to the living room by an archway carries my antique French theme with framed vintage French menus.. The food related art subject is  a bit  self explanatory , but happily makes sense for the subject matter of the room .The color pallet~ Warm, earthy, friendly colors…lots of warm greens, muted reds, golds and cream. All of these colors are somewhat worn and relaxed and almost feel like comfortable  faded jeans in color depth.

Dining Room Vintage French Menu's
Continuity. I cannot stress it enough. Color, style, theme, all keep the flow going throughout your home. Follow this process and you will keep the tranquillity from room to room, and the flow will just make sense.

 From my dining room  the continuity of theme continues into my kitchen with petite vintage vegetable prints  with  french writing. The colors continue to be a worn, weathered, lived in look that are cozy and approachable. The food subject matter is appropriate to the the room.

 Moving into my family room, I kept the  color pallet, and somewhat of the theme,with the artists being French. From the vegetables and food related art pieces in the kitchen,  my family room naturally flows from edible plant life to botanical plant and garden life with similar styles and colors for a smooth transition.

Finally, I manage to work in some black and white photography as part of my wall decor in my guest bathroom. Although the medium has changed, my subject is still in the same subject matter. My subjects time frame of France,( The Eiffel Tower was built around the same time frame as my vintage posters were created.) as well as location of origin  (France) remains consistent~Thus the continuity remains. If you look back at most of my selections, green was the  constant anchor color and helped to unify, and keep the eye flowing from piece to piece.

Remember, buy what you love and have a a plan. If you already own somewhat of a collection, start  off  from it, and expand from there.   The right piece for your collection is always worth the wait so do not purchase for the sake of filling a space. Take your time to find the perfect piece that really means something to you. The love you have for your art piece subject matter will be apparent as soon as  your collection begins to evolve. Half the fun is in the search. The perfect find is  the reward. ~ Nadia

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Here……..

 Well, an update on my umbrella stand search.  Thought you might like to see that I found a lovely Art Nouveau  (C 1910) light bronze umbrella stand on Ebay, about a week ago. It just arrived today and I am so happy with it. It is very quirky and has all of the great Art Nouveau details that I was looking for~ such as... the floral poppy detail in the body, as well as the unusual brass handle. Now I need to search and conquer vintage umbrellas …more on those later.  For now, I am just happy with my new Vintage find! ~Nadia

Monday, February 14, 2011

Inglenook…Even The Name Sounds Cozy

One of my all time favorite old house features , in which you rarely see in modern building today  is, the Inglenook. Just the name  Inglenook  has a cozy, Hansel and Gretel,or Three Little Bears feeling to it. Originally in  Tudor stlye houses  of Old England, Scotland, and Ireland,  the term Inglenook, means "chimney room". Basically it is a fireplace with two benches on either opposite  side ( directly facing one another) to create a nook, or room within a room. Originally Inglenook's were surrounded in stone. As families grew and homeowners   became more affluent , the Inglenook progressed to be elegantly finished in wood panels with wainscoting and even stained glass windows.

At the turn of the twentieth century, men who made great fortunes thanks to the Industrial Age, had need to flaunt their extreme wealth. In order to gain relief from the chaos of city life, many of the wealthy chose to build homes  for vacation retreats. The most common design of the era was Shingle Style( Victorian ) homes in which a great revival of the Inglenook took place. The Inglenook provided a cozy gathering place in these grand homes on cool Summer or Autumn nights. Intricate in design , no expense was spared. ( Source This Old House)

In today's modern building, there are some Architects and designers incorporating the Inglenook into new old house designs. One such Architect is Dean Davis, of Dwell Design Studio, in Atlanta. Dean and his wife, Karen Davis, are no strangers to old houses, or the trials and tribulations of old house restorations. When their first child came along they decided the practicallity of an old house restoration was not in their familiy's best interest. So, Dean set out to design a new old house that had the feeling of a vacation retreat. With many wonderful old house features such as window choice and beautiful moldings , what really stood out to me was Dean's descision to add an Inglenook to the foyer entrance area. I cannot help but daydream what an amazing inviting foyer and first impression of a home having an Inglenook such as  this would be. One can only swoon at the idea of cold winter days sitting in the nook with a lovely hot beverage.

The Inglenook of the twenty first century has many options as would most fireplace. One thought to note is the placement of the Inglenook. Generally the heart of a home, they  are more often used as decor than as heat. Any way you look at it, an Inglenook screams old house house charm. I f an Inglenook is on your wish list, make sure to have a designer and Architect familiar with this old house concept. Gather photos and styles and add them to your folder of old house ideas.  With a little planning you too can have an  Old World Inglenook that will bring years of enjoyment and artistry to  your new old house.
~ Nadia

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It Is Almost Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day just a few days away, I have been thinking of what truly the day means. A day to express love.  Is it love for your sweetheart? Is it love for your children? Is it love for your pets? I s it love for your life? For all of us, love has different meanings. I guess  what  is most important to us as human beings is that we experience love, no matter  in what shape, or form , it may take. I have always cherished Valentine's day because of the warm memories I have from childhood. My mother always made it special by doing simple things such as a decorating the kitchen table with red napkins and plates, flowers, and chocolate for a special Valentine's Day family dinner. I don't even remember what she prepared, but what I do remember was the love and  care she took in making a pretty table for us to gather around, making  warm, endearing memories . 

My very talented  sister in -law, and amazing Artist , Rose Mahanor, has taken it upon herself to explore  and express the journey of Love and all of it's meanings and mysteries . Rose has even gone a step further and has created a wonderful Blog for artists , and anyone inspired to contribute to the Blog with  regard to the subject ~ that being Above All LoveThe purpose of her lovely blog is to connect people from around the world from all cultures in order to explore and convey an understanding of the idea, or meaning of love. With Valentine's Day almost upon us, I think Rose's beautiful Heart creations are perfectly timed   to share.

The art of Rose Mahanor is as complex as she is. For the subject of love, Rose has been actively utilizing vintage papers and vintage items and locations, thus adding  antiquity to her compositions. One such location was an old barn in the town in which she resides in Maine. The years of patina from the old weathered barn added texture and history to this lovely design.  Amazingly, after this piece was completed, a devastating fire burned the surrounding structures, but the heart still remained intact.  Was this a message of Burning Love? ~ Not quite sure of that . But, the photo is quite striking in itself.  In this case, it truly seems that love  did conquer all.

In addition to her hectic schedule as a mother and artist, Rose actively substitutes in the art department at the  Fryeburg Academy near her home . Most recently, some of her her students, completed  a collaborative work of art  for "Above All Love". The piece exhibits the expression of love in a wonderfully youthful , fresh style. 

From Rose's insightful mind,  she eloquently expresses that "love is the human emotion that unites humanity and creates compassion. Love fosters responsibility and encourages us to care for one another.. Love is a vehicle that drives acceptance, understanding, education , and evolution."

 With these thoughts in mind, Rose would like to extend an invitation to all to submit an original idea to her Blog whether it be a poem, an artwork, photo, sculpture, or short film. ~ Nadia

 * For more information on Rose Mahanor Art , and to submit to her Blog, Above All Love  Please visit these sites.    

                            ( All Images Are Property Of Rose Mahanor Art)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rain, Rain.. Come My Way

Gothic into Arts and Crafts

Now while I may be jumping the gun, just a bit ( it  is only February 6th), today's lovely thaw has me thinking about Spring. With Spring comes rain, umbrellas , raincoats, rain boots, spring flowers, chirping birds, and flowering trees. All of these thoughts bring a happy, fresh , joyful feeling to my heart . I cannot  help but have that  fluttery feeling inside in anticipation of rainy days that smell like Spring. From  this , I  have been thinking about pursuing a new collection. I have decided to look for a wonderful umbrella stand and some new ( and maybe vintage ) umbrellas to add inside. I would like to place the stand and its contents next  to my front door which is clamouring  for something of interest. I truly believe a great umbrella stand and unique umbrellas serve not only their intended function but also work as useful art.

Art Nouveau into Arts and Crafts periods

Vintage umbrella stands come in may shapes and sizes and a price range as varying as materials utilized. Look for them at flea markets, antique stores, yard sales and even on Ebay. It is possible to find prices anywhere from thirty five dollars to as much as three thousand dollars. The  different design eras have varying styles in umbrella stands  reflective of  their popular motifs. Most common materials are ceramic, wood and metal,  and commonly stand from approximately twenty eight inches to as much as thirty eight inches. When looking for umbrella stands, make sure to check depth of the space you would like to place the stand in. Also, make sure the umbrella stand has a nice hearty weight to it to prevent tipping.

Mid Century
With a wonderful vintage  umbrella stand, it is as equally important to fill it with unique and useful umbrellas. Now as much as I love vintage, I am also inspired by some of the new lovely designed umbrellas by  French umbrella designer, Michel Heurtault. Michel's umbrellas and parasoles are created following French craftsmen' tradtions and are completely hand made. All umbrellas are made of enviromentally friendly materials such as wood, iron, silk, cotton, and linen. Each umbrella is a true work of art.

French Umbrella Designer Michel Heurtault
With just a bit of searching for your own unique style you too can have useful art that is inviting for the perfect rainy days. Mix vintage with new and your look will be one of a kind, and most important, it will be totally you. ~ Nadia

Designs from La Parasolerie Heurtault

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My True Meaning Of Home

 I have not post for a few days because I have been going through a very trying experience here with one of my beloved furry creatures. On Monday, I was happily sitting at my desk planning on what  to write about for my next subject.  Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my beautiful rescue cat, Finnegan, stumble, vomit, then fall. I shot up out of my chair , and proceeded to run to his side.  To my horror, Finnegan was vomiting,while having a seizure , along with the most frightening horizontal rapid eye movements. I knew instantly that something had gone terribly wrong. I could barely catch my breath and had to speak out loud to calm myself down. I grabbed the phone to call the emergency vet and was told to bring him in immediately. In a blur, I grabbed the cat carrier, and my purse and we flew out the door. At this this time every second was precious. We arrived at emergency to be met by one of the vet technicians. Finnegan was quickly assessed and whisked away, crying out with the sound of a wounded animal.  I had no idea if I would ever see him alive again. My heart was breaking and my thoughts  were of utter disbelief for what had just taken place. Once inside the examination room, the vet who I am so grateful to, explained what was most likely happening. Finnegan was having an attack of his Vestibular system, which is what controls his balance. Basically it is the worst possible scenario of Vertigo. The rapid eye movements were causing the vomiting , stumbling, and seizure like symptoms. Finnegan was admitted to the hospital, and treatment began. I kissed his head goodbye and had to drive home without him. I cried the whole ride back. Completely stunned, at one point I turned on my windshield wipers as if they could wipe away my tears.

As I returned home, the sun was just setting. The overwhelming feeling of Finnegan's absence made me almost crumble to the floor. This sweet, gentle little creature originally came to me by means of three little girls asking for my help. Lost, hungry, cold, and exhausted, Finnegan became  an important part of my family. Irreplaceable in my heart,  I instantly was reminded of what makes a house a true home. I t is not the beautiful furnishings, or artwork, or lighting, or even the structure, but solely its inhabitants who share experiences and memories together, no matter how brief.

Finnegan has since returned home. Although his prognosis is somewhat tentative, we are hopeful he will make a full recovery. This  eye opening experience has taught me to hold close those you love, and once again, has reminded me to never take life for granted. ~ Nadia

 For more information about  Feline Vestibular Disease please visit this site.