Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Post And I Won A Giveaway

Today you will find me on Simple Dwellings as a guest. Amber asked me to contribute a post to the series, If My Blog Was A Room. It was fun putting it together at a time when I am looking at redesigning my blog. Thank you, Amber.


I would also like to thank Lisa Scibilia of Shine Your Light for the opportunity to win a wonderful recipe book, The New Boston Globe Cookbook, in  a giveaway. I won, and received it a few days ago and will most probably be trying out something delicious from a marvellous collection of recipes.


Now please head on over to Simple Dwellings to read about my guest post. Let me know what you think.
If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa

Monday, February 27, 2012

Patterns In Nature

When I was little, my parents had a subscription to National Geographic magazine. I would spend hours enjoying the articles and pictures in every issue. We have many copies of the magazine in the house now and my kids enjoy them just like I did.

Every so often I visit the National Geographic website. One could spend hours. Here are a few examples of pictures taken across the globe depicting patterns in nature which I find truly inspirating for their quality of photography, color combinations and patterns, subject matter and sometimes just because they are visually spectacular or dramatic.

Flowers:

Photo: Close view of a calla lily
Calla Lily


Photo: Hibiscus flower petals
Hibiscus Petal

Photo: Giant lobelia
The leaves of a Lobelia Plant spiral around the center.
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

Photo: The flower of a claret cup cactus
The flower of a Claret Cup Cactus Flower.

Photo: Hairpin banksia
The Hairpin Banksia.
Eastern Australia.

Photo: Thorns on a prickly pear cactus
Sharp spines on a Prickly Pear Cactus.
The Galapagos Islands.

Photo: Coleus plants
Coleus Plants.
South America.

Photo: Water lily
Water Lily.
St. Louis.

Photo: Palm fronds
Palm Fronds; the leaf is symbolic in many religions.


Photo: A close view of a green leaf
Deep relief of a leaf's veins.

Water:

Photo: Sandbars on Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Sandbars.
Australia.

Photo: Water vortex
Whirpool.
France.

Photo: High tide on a black-sand beach in Manzanillo, Mexico
Black sand.
Mexico.

Photo: Water rippling in Costa Rica
Like an impressionist painting, water ripples.
Costa Rica.

Mysterious Earth:
Photo: Biplane above Monomoy Island, Massachusetts
Biplane flying over Monomoy Shoals, Massachusetts.

Photo: Light reflecting on a rock wall in Utah
Light paints patterns on a rock wall.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Photo: Ray of light from a cenote in Mexico
Sunlight through a freshwater sinkhole (cenote). 
Yucatan peninsula.

Photo: Antelope Canyon's smooth walls
Antelope Canyon.
Arizona.

Photo: Sand dunes in Namibia
Sand dunes.
Namib Desert, Namibia.

Trees:

Photo: Canadian white birch trees
White birch trees.
Manitoba, Canada

Butterflies:
Photo: Butterfly on gerbera daisies
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly.

Photo: Zebra-winged butterfly
Zebra-winged Butterfly set off by the white petals of a flower. 
Nebraska.

Photo: Iridescent blue butterfly
Male Blue Morpho Butterfly with irridescent wings.


Auroras:

Photo: The aurora borealis over Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada
Aurora Borealis.
Manitoba, Canada


Photo: Northern lights over snow
Yellowknife, Canada


Photo: Aurora over a forest
Troy, New York


I could fill up an entire gallery wall with these. There is so much more stunning photography to indulge in on the website. Do you visit the National Geographic website? Do you look to nature for inspiration?
All images via National Geographic.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.



I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.

Lisa

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Change Of Color Makes A Big Difference

This is my chandelier in the newly painted dining room.


I wanted to share some pictures with you of the light fixture as it looks now with the new paint on the walls.  It is like I have a different light fixture. It shows how much of a difference a change of color on the walls can make not just to the room itself but also to the furnishings.
The built-in needs to be reorganized and I am toying with the idea of doing something with the interior walls. We shall see.
The cool, dark color (Benjamin Moore, Deep Space) is a great contrasting backdrop to the warmth of the chandelier. Previously, the fixture blended in.  Now it stands out. This was how the room had been for the past 6 years.





Looking in from the family room.



I  had removed the sconces, washed them and cleaned up the chandelier. This is what the fixture looked like while we painted....interesting. A glimpse of the kitchen in the background.


 
Sconces were replaced this morning after which I took these pictures.


 
From this..



..to this


It is amazing how a change of color can change the look so much. It is the easiest way to change the look of a room and to view everything else in the room in a new way and sometimes with surprising effects. I am loving the contrast.

The metallic paint from Nova Paints arrives on monday. Then begins the stenciling.

On another note: I apologize if I have not visited/commented on your posts this week. With the kids home for winter break and our internet service being predictably unpredictable it has been challenging sticking to a schedule. I hope to catch up over the weekend.
If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dining Room Painting Progress And A Q&A

We got a fair amount done  with the dining room paint project over the weekend. Some of these pictures were taken at night. I prepped and taped the walls on Saturday. I normally would have this done days before painting but this time I did not have the time. Mid Saturday afternoon the painting began.
 

Remember, this is the color from Benjamin Moore - Deep Space.


I had it matched in Behr's Premium Ultra Plus at Home Depot at a lower price.




I am excited to work on the stenciling. Time to order the metallic paint.

Other links to posts on  my dining room:

Last week I got tagged by two favorite bloggers with a set of 11 questions I have to answer; something that is making its rounds from blog to blog. I have decided to answer all 22 questions!

These questions are from Pam of Simple Details

1. What would be the career of your dreams?
What I am doing right now but full-time. There is much more to look forward to.

2. I would eat Top Ramen noodles for a month in order to save up for ___________! Or, I wouldn't eat Top Ramen for anything!

I wouldn’t eat Top Ramen noodles as I have discovered tastier brands but eat them rarely as they are very unhealthy (besides being very addictive).


3. Which would you choose for a date with your husband: Candlelight dinner at a nice restaurant or day of hiking in the mountains?
Hiking in the mountains. Something different (for him).
4. In which sport or athletic activity would you most like to participate?
Indoor Rock climbing. Is bowling considered a sport?


5. What do you wish you were more knowledgeable about?
How to make the most of my all the functions on my camera.


6. Pretend one of your online blogging friends is coming to visit for the weekend, what one thing would you do to your home before she arrived?

Bring in some fresh flowers..always the last thing on my list.

7. What kind of driver are you (speed demon, rule follower, tickets, fender benders, easy going)?
Rule follower, definitely.


   8. It's hard for me to_____________.
   It is hard for me to say "no" to people sometimes.

  
   9. What are your nicknames?
I don't have any.


10. What is your best quality?
   Creative (and compassionate).
    11. What is your best piece of advice for raising children?
Communication is key. Beginning from the moment a child can communicate, always keep the lines of communication open. The first thing my kids do when they walk in the house after school is tell me about their day - about the good and the not-so-good.

Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea sent me these questions.

1. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
I enjoy a regular cheese pizza but we have recently discovered Pepe's Pizza (NY,CT) and they do a delicious roasted chicken pie.


2. If you could swap lives with someone for a day who would you choose and why?
I think currently I would like to spend a day in my 13-year-old's shoes in order to better understand Middle School cutlture. It is a transitional period and the kids are exposed to a social environment that is too mature for them at this age when they need to focus on excelling academically.  Having said that, she would be too young to spend a day in my shoes.


3. Do you drink coffee?
On occasion, a cappuccino after dinner at a restaurant. I am a huge tea drinker largely because of where I have lived growing up as well as it being a cultural thing.


4. If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?
I would like a relaxing beach vacation in an exotic sparsely populated location which is not too commercialized. I used to want to visit Mauritius growing up and the Maldives would be a close second. New Zealand is also on my list.

5.What was your favorite book as a child?
I would read a lot and loved mysteries of any kind; no one book springs to mind. Anything by Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series - before I was a teenager.


6. If you were a color crayon what color would you be?
Turquoise.

7.Best thing of 2011?
I discovered blogging and after being shown the basic setup, taught myself a lot about it..still learning.


8. Are you an early bird or night owl?
I have always been a night owl and I get a lot done when the house is quiet but I could be much more of an early bird if I did not stay up so late.

9. Do you prefer a bath or a shower?
I prefer a shower. It is more efficient. A bath would be a luxury!


10. What is your favorite childhood memory?
A lot of roadtrips with my parents and 3 siblings. Whichever country we were in we would do some. In India we had the driver with us and the four of us squeezed into the  back with my mother. In Nigeria, we travelled along the coast (with a view of an emerald-hued ocean) to Togo one summer, passing through Ghana. In the UK we did  the most - Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury, The Lake District...North, South, East and West.


11. What do you want to  be when you grow up?
I want to be me!


Thank you, Pam and Ange, for tagging me. I got to share a little bit about myself today.

 
If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.



I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.

Lisa

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Color For The Jewelry Organizer And Weekend Project

Well, the blue flannel fabric was more than enough for me to make another attempt at framing the jewelry organizer. I also added two different strands of chain links to jazz it up. I need help cutting one of the strands so I can finish this up and I know this will all be accomplished by tomorrow. I used my glue gun and many hot glue burns later here is a glimpse.


I actually prefer the gold against the blue rather than the red flannel fabric I showed you in my previous post. 

You might see strands of glue on the fabric if you look closely. I have to clean up the piece once I am done. This is what I need help with, hopefully this evening.

 
I cannot wait to get it done and to start using it. My jewelry awaits.

 
I picked up the paint for the dining room - Deep Space it is! I have started emptying the breakfront and plan to begin prepping the walls, taping and so on this weekend and hopefully get some paint on, too.

 
If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hardware Decor And Update On My Project

Have you visited your local hardware store recently? When you do, have you spent time browsing the shelves? There is so much available that can be used for different projects, large and small, at reasonable prices. Your local hardware store is a wonderful resource for items that can be transformed into something beautiful that will enhance any space.

Here are some perfect examples of chic and decorative creations using such mostly functional items. The first two are courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.

Hardware Sconce via 


A novel idea!
Modern Wine Rack via


Yes, one would need a hacksaw for this one.

Here are some ideas I have pinned on Pinterest. The following three are highlighted in the book by Stephen Antonson and Kathleen Hackett (authors) entitled 'Home From The Hardware Store: Transform Everyday Materials Into Fabulous Home Furnishings.' Photography by Lesley Unruh.
  
These could be painted or not.

Pinned Image
Machine-Age Candlesticks via

Something fun for storage in a kids' space or mudroom.

Pinned Image
Chic Wall Storage via


Space-Age Table and Periscope Lamp via


I have been plugging away at my jewelry organizing/display piece which I posted about here and here.

Besides the hardware cloth and garden stakes, I also picked up some shower curtain rings, pin-on hooks and slip-in drapery hooks. I found some pretty metal chains which I knew I had to include in the design. These are typically sold by the foot for anywhere from 99 cents and up. I picked up 3 different designs in different gold finishes (matte, polished, embossed) and paid $2.14 per foot for the priciest chain.

Besides the paint and protective finish, these have been my purchases so far.



I have also sprayed the grid with a protective finish, Rust-Oleum's clear top coat.



And used Krylon Short Cuts metallic paint in Gold Leaf for the hardware. I love combining silver and gold to create a modern look and this is a perfect opportunity to do just that - gold hardware on a silver grid.



I wanted to soften the look of the piece - so much metal - and also cover the sharp edges. I looked through my fabric scraps and found some red flannel left over from a patchwork stadium blanket my kids had sewn for their father a couple of years ago. I cut strips of fabric and used Liquid Nails - my first time using this product -  to glue the fabric around the edges.


Then I proceeded to glue the chain (with the smallest links) to the inside of the frame. This is what part of it looked like.



It started to look good but not for long. Perhaps it was the wrong combination of materials but it would not adhere properly and started to look messy. I could not control the quantity of glue for each application. 

I was not happy so I have ripped the fabric off and the chain, too. I might make another attempt with some cobalt blue flannel I have, if I have enough, or else it is on to Plan B. It is worth another try and would save me having to  make another purchase.


If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or sclick here for further details.



I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.

Lisa

Please Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are solely mine and are based on my experience with the products.