Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm Thinking Pink!

I'd like you to meet my niece!  Her name is Emeri, she likes horses, unicorns, ballet, butterflies, knick-knacks, picking ALL the flowers in my garden, and playing baby/mommy with her dolls (and with my Meg). She also really wants a new pink room. Enter Aunt Traci! (Programming note: Emeri is dressed up as a cowgirl for a fun extended family picture we did last week, she isn't a cowgirl on a regular basis, although she would like to be!)

Somehow the pink room has been commissioned to me (I am not a designer/decorator but have received this project because I love doing it. . . and I begged a little). Now I receive daily phone calls from Em describing new specific desires for her room ("I want a pink horse lamp and a princess rug for my floor that is sparkly and I want a ballerina bed with flowers and rainbows and I want a big doggie on this wall and a kitty picture on that wall"). While I cannot supply all of her demands (a sparkly rug doesn't sound like it feels very good underfoot), I have been working to accommodate my young client and her parents, whose decorating tends to be a little edgier than little Em's.

My sister, bro-in-law and I have been having a good time with this project, and have finally made some progress. I think I'll share what we've done so far and what we are planning to do, so you can see it unfold. Nothing like putting the pressure on yourself by stating your goals on your blog. Ah shucks, why not!?

First of all, we painted the walls white and this armoire we painted a light gray. It doesn't look gray in any photos, but trust me. We will also be painting the bed's headboard in this gray. It looks nice against the white walls:
I've been scouring the local sources for affordable fabric to stretch inside the doors (instead of the glass that formerly lived here), and finally decided on this stripe: 
I found that porcelain horse head on clearance at Home Goods. We may attempt to drill a hole in his head to make a lamp. . . although Emeri did say it was "creepy." Do you think I can paint him bright pink? 

Next week, I'm going to use a stencil to place a pink design on the largest wall in the room, which will be the bed wall. 
Or perhaps this one, which I keep coming back to. . . . 
These above designs are both coming from Cutting Edge Stencils on Etsy. 

Then we will decide on some bedding. Since the wall will be so pink, we thought it might be fun to bring in a bit of modern sophistication (to the delight of Em's parents) with a ready made duvet, then add lots of girlie pink (and horses and unicorn and princesses) with carefully selected pillows and a quilt at the end of the bed. Here are some options we are playing with:

These are both Dwell designs, one from Target, one not (the difference of about $250). But I am drawn to the casual open lines of each. In a perfect world, I'd take the top design, in gray (not black). Hmmm. So far we've been pinching on the budget because we know there are some high ticket items to come. . . 

We still have a long shopping list. We need a desk/bedside table, comfy reading chair, bench, rugs, wall decor and horse lamp. Tomorrow we'll be hitting the Pasadena City College Flea Market  to scout out any or all of the above items. Eddie and Jaithan, if you're in the area, would you like to join us? No? That's a shame. Well, you'll be there in spirit and I hope to do you proud!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Color Story

This blog is about inspiration, wherever I happen to find it. In this case, it was in a parking garage. I love the combination of the blue wall, the dark green spiked foliage and the vibrant yellow flowers, tinged with a bit of red up top. I wonder if it happened on purpose or if the gardener just plunked a low-maintenance plant in this pot. In any case, I popped right out of the car with my camera turned on to grab a shot. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Adorable and Smart!

Last Friday we went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  You know--since we're back in So CA for the first time in a month but we're still sort of in vacation mode (good times!). Anyway. . . so many great things to share about the Getty, but since I happen to be the mother of a 4 year old girl (and didn't make it to most of the "adult" exhibits), this is what I'm posting!

I took a picture of this amazing French bed from 1775 (without a flash and didn't frame it well--there was a security guard eyeing me!) just because it's beautiful and Meg liked it, too. She has a blue bedroom and bed and pointed out the similarity (haha).
And then we wandered into the Children's room a few hours later to find a mini replica on which the kids could play! 
Meg loved climbing up and feeling like a princess and reading a few of the books put out there. What a treat for kids to get to touch and experience the fantasy--I would like to say thank you to the person who thought to put this little morsel in the Children's room at the Getty. My daughter adored it and I smiled huge smiles with her. 

And then I bathed her in a bottle of antibacterial cleanser and prayed there weren't any lice in there. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Visiting Jackson Pollock's Studio

I happen to absorb information when it applies to me. That said, I can read everything in the world about  a person or  subject matter but until it's put into a physical application that I can touch or feel (either physically or emotionally), it leaks right out. So while I've always known the name and art of Jackson Pollock, visiting his actual home and studio in the Hamptons, New York, last week was an absorbing experience to me. 

I went to the Hamptons! It's on my list of top favorite places in the world. My daughter attended a week-long summer camp and we were delighted to enjoy the hospitality of Lisa (Hampton Toes) and her family at their gorgeous home out East. I enjoyed a lovely week of snapping photos and eating great food and spending time with my dear friend, whose regular company I miss terribly. Lisa and I used to read piles of design magazines while laying on the floor of her playroom or mine, watching our little girls crawl around and play. . . 

Lisa knew I would love this, and she took me to a tour of Pollock's  home and studio while our girls were at camp one day. 

Jackson Pollock was a character, to say the least, but he was an absolutely amazing artist. Of course I knew about him, but visiting the actual home where he worked was spine-tingling. Here is a photograph of Pollock working in the garage turned studio in his signature style: standing over his work and using various tools to "drip" paint onto the canvas. It should be noted that Pollock moved this actual structure by tying a rope around it and dragging it across the property with a team of horses! He wanted the better light.
If you've ever wondered why these are such important works or said to yourself, "I could do that," please consider the painting below. Jackson Pollock never touched paintbrush to canvas, he stood above it and dropped it down. And yet he achieved such control as to be able to create images and then fill the spaces better than most children coloring with crayons. 

Here is another that represents Pollock. We learned that when working in this style, he never left white canvas showing, always covered the entire space with paint (or other materials). These are not accidental or random lines and blurbs, every stroke is intentional. 

And here is my illegally obtained photograph of the floor of Pollock's studio. Photography was forbidden, but Lisa distracted the guide while I snapped a few with my camera hanging downward on my back! I just had to bring home these pictures. We had to wear special foam shoes so as not to harm the floor (which will soon be shut off from visitor's feet altogether so as not to harm it). You can see the edges of the paintings on the floor along with the overspill. You can really get a sense of his movements:
After the tour, you get to make your own Pollock style drip painting! Here I am posing with my masterpiece!
If you get a chance, you absolutely must go to the Jackson Pollock house in the Hamptons. Maybe, like me, you will finally absorb the amazingness of this beloved American artist.