Upholstered Art

Ok, it’s time for a little DIY action. A few comments on Monday’s post about Josef Frank’s stunning fabrics reminded me that I had yet to publish photos of a home project I worked on earlier in the month. (silly me… I usually jump at those opportunities to share)

Since my days of interior design school, I have slowly relinquished a large collection of fabric samples intended for class projects. Much of my original collection was very nice but a few of the pieces were exquisite and so I chose to hold onto a those for some unknown future. Now, my assemblage of prized textiles rests quietly organized in storage. All my best intentions are for their eventual use but up until today’s project, that hadn’t happened. So, I finally decided to give one lucky fabric it’s worthy presentation by framing it in an odd frame I had sitting around the house. Here are the super simple steps I took:

1)     I measured and cut a piece of cardboard to loosely fit the inside of the frame. (If the fit is too tight, there won’t be room for the fabric once the cardboard is wrapped)

2)     After fitting the card board to the inside of the frame, I selected my fabric. (Had I done this in the first step, I may have chosen a fabric that was too small for the cardboard).

I chose a beautiful golden hued flame-stitch.

3)     Next, I cut my fabric to fit the cardboard with about an inch and a half clearance around the edge to allow for wrapping. With my newly cut fabric, I placed the cardboard in the center and stapled the fabric edges to the back side of the cardboard.

4)     Once my fabric was securely “upholstered” to the cardboard, I place it in the open frame.

Et voila!! As simple as un, deux, trios, my textile art is complete!

Quick and simple projects are wonderful things. They give you an immediate sense of success and accomplishment! If you have a box of fabric scraps around the house or perhaps a favorite textile in mind (one that might be too expensive to upholster the sofa in), try using them as art instead. As a fellow pattern enthusiasts, I’d love to know what you choose!

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A Modernist?

I am very attracted to bright, saturated colors… you know this. For that reason, the textile designs of Josef Frank caught my eye. I have known of Mr. Frank for some time but just recently came across his work in textiles, which are now in production and for sale through Svenskt Tenn. As I swooned over his playful and imaginative designs, though, I had trouble reconciling my ideas of Mr. Frank as a Swedish designer from the Modernist movement and his visually saturated patterns.  After a little more research, a feature on Apartment Therapy helped me understand this seeming break-away better.

“The patterns are vared, at times evoking mid-century kineticism and bimorphism and at others the more staid florals of William Morris. But all the patterns have a sense of movement and freedom, which was much the point: Frank used nature’s colors and shapes to open up the indoors and make urban homes into refuges from hectic lives.”

from Apartment Therapy, “Josef Frank Fabrics

His work definitely makes more since now. Tell me what you think. Compelling? Distracting? Personally, I think his vibrant, modern interpretation of the traditional floral or toile is so inspiring!

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Fading Colors

I hesitated to post today’s images. I’m sure by now you’re tired of seeing my country bouquet of late summer flowers since their first appearance in THIS post. But I’ve completely enjoyed watching their evolution from fresh, peppy buds to rich, full blooms and now softly faded shadows of those initial blossoms. Surprisingly, I think I prefer the last stage the most! The muddied hue of their petals gives the feeling of time and history and the crinkled leaves against others still fresh and alive creates a beautiful depth within their composition.

By now, they are far past their prime (or even the denouement after their prime), but I still love looking at them everyday. I’ve come to anticipate their ever-changing appearance and will be sad when it’s time to bid them adieu. Looking back, I’m amazed at their remarkably long life. Talk about bang for your buck! Much like this Texas summer, though… dry, shriveled, and long beyond it’s peak, the time has come to move on. David returned to school this week and while that doesn’t mean cooler weather (in fact, far from it) that does mean the beginning of something I have always associated with the Fall season, the Fall school semester. Bye, bye summer… and bye, bye flowers. Thank you for all the beauty in the end!

P.S. I’ve started working with watercolors as you can see by my brushes in the photo above. So far, all my paintings have been very basic and abstract. I can’t wait to paint these flowers next, though. They almost look like living watercolors, don’t you think?

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Amateur Artists

Last minute plans usually go one of two ways, really great or really not. This past Thursday evening, David had a last minute idea for a memorable (and affordable) activity to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Our hope… that the plan would be great despite it’s impromptu arrangement. Instead of spending a large amount of money on a fancy restaurant (which we have done before and it was totally enjoyable) he suggested staying in for an evening of wine and art! What’s the art about, you ask? A chance to create our own amateur artwork together over fine wine (and after a delicious home-cooked meal, I might add).

We both feel that original art is an important part of our home and would love to increase our collection. At this point, the “easiest” way for us to do that is by creating our own!! So, after preparing the meal plan, I stopped by Hobby Lobby, picked up a couple of canvases, some acrylic paint, brushes, and a palette and said a quick prayer for a bit of beginners luck to boot. (For those that are curious, our project cost us less than $30 in total!)

It was a bit overwhelming at first, as neither one of us have any real experience with paint, but we were both excited about the idea of making something together. By the end of the night (and many preliminary drafts later), we had completed two works of art conceived individually but created together.

Our amateur pieces of artwork now have a permanent home in our personal collection of original art and we couldn’t be happier!

FYI, if you decide to take on a similar project of your own, please send me pictures! I’m interested in creating an album on Facebook that features the photos I have received from my dear readers’. I’m looking forward to future submissions!

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Dining for Two

If you read my last post, you know that David and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last Friday, a big occasion in our young married lives!

Since discovering Kinfolk, I have really latched onto the idea of creating special moments around fellowship and food, especially at home. Dining together is an activity as old as mankind and common to all cultures… something that I believe feeds us both physically and spiritually. I thoroughly enjoyed setting the scene for our beautiful dinner! It wasn’t anything fancy or expensive, but I did choose to use some of the nicer things we own such as our fine china, hand-dipped candles, and hammered silver candlestick holders. That plus excellent company made our evening a complete success!

In my opinion, it was just a lovely as any restaurant outing would have been! (We also planned an art-making activity but more on that later. See you here again tomorrow for more details on that part of our evening.)

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5 Years Already?

I can hardly believe it!! Five years have passed since David and I got married and eight years since we first met! My, how times flies. Of course, a lot has happened within those five years! Last year, I re-counted a few of the larger moments in our married life up until that point. Now, we have reached another significant moment… the 5 year marker. On occasions such a this, I find myself searching for the ability to appropriately re-capture and fully comprehend the experiences from the past.

Today, I am incredibly grateful for all we have lived through together, but my eyes are focused forward. The memories that have embossed themselves on my heart will be with me forever and now I’m ready to make new ones! Happy Anniversary, David… I love you so much!! (and here’s to 5 times 10!)

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A Pretty Perch

I have thoroughly enjoyed the finished product of my gallery wall venture (originally featured HERE). Besides it reminding me of a home project I did actually complete (yes, I have trouble with unfinished projects), I also love that it creates such a strong visual statement near the entrance of our home. It greets our visitors with, “Hello! This is David and Hilary’s home and this is some of what we love and who we are!” The bookcases below the gallery play a wonderful supporting role by providing the perfect ledge for additional displays of personal home decoration.

A dear friend of mine visited from Nashville last week and brought these beautiful gladiolas along with her. What a sweet friend… she knows just what I love! The pink, red, and white blossoms added an interesting layer of color and texture against the picture frames and artwork behind them. Since open surface space can be a rare and precious commodity in small homes (and ours is no exception) I am very grateful to have this perfect little perch to rest my flowers on!

Where do you like to place your fresh flowers?

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Old Dress, Old Chair… Old Soul

Since  I first started taking notice of clothing and decor as a young girl, I have been drawn to old things… clothing from a different era, patterns with a sense of heritage, decor telling a piece of history. I thinks it’s kind of odd considering that I am now such a fan of the modern arts… curious how our tastes develop and change over time. Despite my personal evolution, there’s no question that my love for antiques and vintage still burns strong (case and point HERE, HERE, and HERE). On days such as this one, it is unmistakably obvious!

Initially, I bought this old chair for it’s sturdy construction and clean, classic lines. The fabric works fairly well in our living room but it was a secondary interest. It’s old and tattered and could use a facelift. But after living with it for several months, I am slowly appreciating it’s age and history more and more. My plans for re-upholsterey and re-stuffing are most definitely still on the project queue but for the time being I’m enjoying it’s current state, ragged as it may be. (My choice for new fabric will probably be more neutral and a smaller pattern, but I have to admit that this retro fabric is actually very nice. It must have been really lovely in it’s own day!)

The dress is also a vintage piece I picked up HERE (of course). I love the rainbow seersucker and reverse button back. Likewise, it shows a visible history in the form of a falling hem (now repaired) and occasional age spots. This might be a negative for some but I like to think it adds character and interest to the piece. In my girlish practice of dressing up for the day, I can’t help but think about the lady that wore this dress before me. Who was she? Did she feel as elegant and polished as I do while wearing it? Was it a Sunday outfit or everyday house dress? Did she value it’s wonderful large, front pockets as much as I do? Our lifestyles have changed so much over the years. What was common then is special now. Part of my joy in wearing and using old pieces is the sense of refinement that comes with their use and is practically unavoidable. They seem to elevate the ordinary to something more significant.

Am I stuck in the past? I hope not. I greatly value the pursuit of originality. But do I have an old soul? Well, I think that’s obvious… undoubtedly, yes!

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