October 31, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...(or insert your own name)

Copy cat pumpkin:  I confess, I cannot claim originality on this pumpkin.
 I recreated it from a pic. I saw online.  But I did carve it all by myself!
Besides Christmas morning and Santa, Halloween and the Great Pumpkin are my favorite holiday traditions.  The best part about Halloween is there's no pressure.  You can dress up however you like and call it a costume, raid other people's homes for candy, and you don't have to cook and invite your relatives over.  Plus, there's always good horror/thrillers on TV.  Like my favorite blankie-toting Peanut, Linus, I love Halloween.

The real reason I'm posting today is I just wanted to show off the pumpkin I carved all by myself.  I'm sort of proud of it.  He's hungry because no one gave him candy, poor thing.

Happy Trick-or-Treating!  And take Linus' advice: "Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker!"  (Please note that the quote can have more than one meaning...)  

October 28, 2011

There's no place like (someone else's) Home...

...especially if there's a fabulous guest room in that home.
A friend asked me to help her transform this guest room into something a bit more _____ (choose one: a. colorful, b. stylish, c. comfortable, d. all of the above).  Ding, ding, ding - D it is!  Here is what we're working with:
Say hello to brass.  A beautiful antique brass bed.
Cozy window nook.
A new attic addition to the house, the room already has a fresh creamy-white coat of paint. The plan is to add color with fabric and furniture.  

Follow me on the yellow brick road to Emerald City...

I'm a sucker for brass and a nice emerald green. And since she has a beautiful brass bed, all we need is a kick or two of green.  Here are some inspiration images for the room:
Orange you glad for green and orange?
There a few things about this room that are a bit too busy for my taste, but I adore the color scheme.
If I was a poet, I'd write an ode to emerald green.  On the color spectrum of greens, it's king.   Design board for the room:
Only the good witch Glenda is allowed here.
Without going into too much detail, I want to paint the chest of drawers already in the room an emerald green and add brass hardware.  There are two chairs on either side of the dresser that will get a fun animal print upholstery.  I also want to add a cushion for the window seat and a fun little mini chandelier above it.  New bedding and lighting will complete the look.  We are just getting going on this project, so stay tuned.  

Please forgive me if the following song is now stuck in your head: Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road, follow, follow, follow, follow...

October 20, 2011

Exotic in every way

A little exotic animal print in your home will not necessitate one of these warning signs.
Falling under the bizarre but true file is yesterday's little incident in Zanesville, Ohio.  Residents were warned to stay indoors due to an outbreak of exotic animals.  That's pretty exotic stuff for a Wednesday I'd say. 

Among the 56 animals corraled, and sadly, put down were 18 extremely rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears and one baboon.  I can confirm from a first-hand and frightening encounter with a baboon (true, but long story), these monkeys are vicious.  The owner, and collecter, of this wild but good-looking brood apparently let them all loose.
True story:  I once was faced by jaws similar to these.  It wasn't pretty.
Just my two-cents here, but if you are so inclined to collect exotic animals, there are much safer ways to go about it.  For instance, why not consider a little exotic animal print on a chair, or a little faux-zebra rug?  *(many zebra rugs are in fact printed on cow hides). 

Leopard print on a chair.  It won't eat you if you sit on it, and it still looks gorgeous.
Image via La Dolce Vita blog.
A Tiger Print ottoman in Designer Melisa Rufty's New Orleans home via House Beautiful.
It won't bite.
A zebra cow-hide rug.  No zebras were hurt to make my living room look prettier.
A nice leopard print pillow on a beautiful emerald green couch.
(Don't know the source...have had this image saved forever)
An antelope inspired rug adds elegrance to this soft room via Elle Decor. 
Antique benches covered in leaopard in the home of San Francisco designer Steven Volpe via
San Francisco Style by Diane Dorrans Saeks
Zebra print chair via  Melissa Rufty 
A little understated exotic animal print goes a long way.  Plus,no one gets hurt, not even the animals (as long as you're not using real fur/hide.)

October 17, 2011

Stuart Smalley needed one of these...

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...
Acanthus Designs is the fairest of them all.
The unexpected perk of writing Antweak is that it has opened my eyes to the talents of the people right in my own back yard.  My friend and neighbor, Ginger Coffer, recently invited me to view her collection of hand painted mirrors. 

Determined to fill some blank walls in her own home, Ginger was inspired to take matters into her own hands.  Literally.  She found a carpenter, drew up some plans and got to work with a paintbrush.  Thus, Acanthus Designs was born.  

Two of Ginger's mirrors flank the mantle in her family room.

Tall ceilings and big walls may have been the launching point, but the rest is pure Ginger genius.  With careful determination and a knack for a fabulous patina, Ginger has created a line of custom-built, hand-painted mirrors, each unique to itself.

Perfectly patina-ed!
I'll take two please! 
Ginger through the Looking Glass...
If only Stuart Smalley had one of Ginger's beauties:

Perhaps he could've saved time on his daily affirmations.  Because when your reflection gazes at you through such a pretty frame, how could you not feel great about yourself? 

Seriously, if the above pictures are failing to speak for themselves, I will attest as a first-hand witness:  these mirrors are gorgeous.  To have one of your very own, contact Ginger at

October 07, 2011

Super-Girl with a Pearl

Please, don't let this go to a home where I'll never see it again. 
"Girl with a Pearl Earring," by Sarah Ashley Longshore 
Ashley Longshore's ode to Vermeer's masterwork, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ is further verification that I need to write a bestseller and turn it into a movie, or buy a lottery ticket and subsequently win the lottery.  I confess.  I covet this painting.

Per Ashley’s humorous/pop style, this 'Girl with the Pearl' is in a colorful Wonder Woman-like costume.  And if anyone can reinterpret this Art History 101 staple into a superhero, Ashley’s the girl to do it.  
Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's masterwork. Still crackin' some 300-plus years later. 
It’s quite possible you haven’t been to The Hague where Vermeer's original beauty resides.  Or maybe you weren’t a geek Art major in college (like me) and don’t give a hoot about some old Dutch painter whose parents called him Johannes.

However, if you live in New Orleans and aren’t familiar yet with Longshore and her body of work, please, for your sake, don’t make that public knowledge.  Check out her website, or better yet, visit her gallery on Magazine Street.  Ashley also has a line out for Anthropologie.

To call her paintings ‘statement pieces’ is actually an understatement.  They are more like 'proclamation pieces.'  Her 'Girl with a Pearl' is quite large (64 X 74), is finished with Ashley’s signature high-gloss glaze, and definitely falls into the category of my new, highbrow, art-speak term (see last part of previous sentence).

Unfortunately, a picture truly does not do this piece of art justice. Here we imagine it in a home:
A Mother of Pearl coffee table is really the only 'must have' to go with this painting!
Furniture and carpet all from and ABC Carpet & Home.

Don't take the above graphic too literally -- you could pair this painting with a plastic lawn chair and it would still look fabulous in your home.  

Now to the important stuff.  Please take this Cosmo-inspired Quiz to determine if you are up for the task of buying this hot item:

Do you have high ceilings?

Do you need a 'statement,' scratch that, 'proclamation piece' to define your space? 

Do you like pop art?

Do you value humor and wit?

Do you have $10,500?

Are you friends with me?

Score your quiz:  If you answered yes to all of the above questions, contact Ashley now, and then call me.  This piece belongs on one of your walls.   I will be over shortly to celebrate your purchase with wine and cheese.  

PS:  Sorry I haven't blogged this week.  Been busy with my real job...the one that unfortunately does not pay me enough to afford the artwork above.  Thus, this post.

PPS:  Lucky girl that I am, I actually do have one of Ashley's paintings from her 'Backstroke' series.  It hangs above my mantle and makes me feel like I'm underwater. Love It.  
Backstroke by Sarah Ashley Longshore
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