Arte Party

It’s hard to post a party in this Pinterest age…especially when one is living with all belongings in storage and every minute needs to be spent on house decisions and not party planning.  But this is my girl we’re talking about.  It’s her summer for a party (my kids who all have summer birthdays rotate who gets the party every year–to save some Mommy sanity).  So we made some compromises and did our best…we’re talking Capri Suns and chips served from the bag.


She wanted an art party–but I certainly couldn’t throw a painting party in our rental.  So we used a community building…and we spun this fiesta de arte Mexican style.  My daughter helped me fill the buckets and made the name tags herself.  And candy dipping pretzels was the job only an 8 and 5-year-old could do.

Thankfully I had some fabric at the rental that I reserved for my daughter’s sewing class.  I used some remnant to cover some folding chairs I borrowed…stapled on, frayed edges and all.  And, I threw some on the wall for our shrine to Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter.

Each party guest had a bucket-o-supplies and canvas pre-drawn with their portraits.  With a brief explanation of Frida’s self-portraiture (homeschool moms die hard), I turned the girls loose to created their own

I printed their portraits onto paper and transferred their images by rubbing the back of the paper with pencil and then tracing their portraits onto canvas.  Graphite paper works, too, but mine is in…storage!  I didn’t draw in their hair so they could do it as they wished.

Absolutely, we totally paint red lips first!

We had fruit, quesadillas, grocery store cupcakes on the obligatory artist palette.

Their portraits turned out adorable!  This friend made herself an angel–love it!

None of the girls wanted to paint in their noses.  I get it, noses are intimidating.

We pulled it off with help from the world’s best sitter and borrowing a few kitchen items from the rental house.  And, I didn’t end up embarrassing my daughter with my Frida-inspired party dress.  It’s probably a good idea I didn’t draw on the unibrow and ‘tache.

Did any of you Atlantans catch the Frida & Diego show here in the spring?  I find it is a little more challenging to drum up excitement in the children for art exhibits the older they get.  But I prattle on anyway, talking about the Museo de Dolores Olmedo with the peacocks and the xoloitzcuintli and Casa Azul and Frida and Diego’s side-by-side houses connected with a sky bridge.  Throw in a little Rockefeller and communism–wait!  And I wonder why I can’t drum up excitement?


But then I walk by and hear the two older kids talk about the bridge connecting their two houses on Minecraft, “just like Frida and Diego’s,” and then I know, oops, I did it again!

In my next life I will be a xoloitzcuintle.  Because being Angelina Bearded Lady from Ukraine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Room Service 2013 | The Afters!

It’s done!  Lori, Rhoda, and I finished our girl’s apartment at the United Methodist Children’s Home last week for the spring 2013 Room Service Atlanta project.  After teaming up last October on three spaces in the boys’ cottage at UMCH, we decide to combine our powers for the three-room girl’s apartment as well.  You can’t have an after…


…without the before.  Remember this is where we started:IMG_3352

Our inspiration was the art we found in the UMCH thrift store.  From there we found FREE fabric from Award Fabrics–navy stripe for the euros, navy solid for the bedskirt and drapery, and ivory solid for the drapery.  We added bright pink and orange with fabrics from Lewis & Sheron.  All the bedding and drapery fabrication was generously donated by Angela Thee–thank you!

We painted things we had around the house or found at the UMCH thrift store.  Lori donated the daybed from her own girl’s room–she and Rhoda painted it gold.


The bedside table is thrifted, ceiling lighting is from Home Goods, and the starburst mirror is from Target–spray painted orange.  Lori donated the bamboo nesting tables.  The rug is from RugsUSA.


Oh, paint, you work miracles!  Glidden donated four gallons of paint–Polished Limestone on the walls and White on White on the trim and bathroom/kitchen walls.  Gainesville Paint donated four gallons of Benjamin Moore paint–white ceiling paint and Bold Blue for the doors and kitchen cabinets.  Thank you for all the free paint!  Generosity makes these projects happen, and it is a beautiful thing to see!

Aren’t those bamboo shades lovely?  Rhoda’s sponsor Payless Decor donated those to the room–thank you!  I impressed myself by installing them–so easy and they work great!  The pink side table is from Home Goods, lamp is thrifted, and the bookcase and upholstered chair are from my hoarding stash.

The before of the table wall:


The after:

The table is from IKEA and the wicker chair is also from my house.  And while we planned to do a gallery wall here above the table, this 2007 painting of mine decided to make itself at home.  Cute remnant fabric lines a sweet brass thrifted tray.  And, y’all, my daughter sewed that pink pillow for the room!  (Proud mama.)

The kitchen before:


The after kitchen is scrubbed and painted afresh!  We removed the scalloped window trim, installed a new vent hood, and painted the cabinets Benjamin Moore Bold Blue.  Angela Thee made the sweet cafe curtain, and Rhoda donated the blue plates and wall shelf.  Most all the other items were thrifted.  Rhoda’s sponsor Moen donated the new faucet and her other sponsorKarran donated the new countertops with integrated sink–thank you, what a difference this combo made!

The rug is from Home Goods, and the little thrifted stool (along with the white plate) got the paint-dipped treatment.

The bathroom before:


Sherwin Williams donated the pink paint for our stripe in the bathroom.  A thrifted shelf painted the same pink offers more toiletry real estate.  We painted the existing medicine cabinet/mirror pink, too, to blend in.  Lori’s other bamboo tables help offset the lack of countertop space.

The shower curtain is from Jonathan Adler’s new line at JCPenney’s (I know, right!?  The line is fabulous!)  And, we found the brass shelf at the UMCH thrift store.

Working on these Room Service projects is one of my favorite things to do!  Making happy spaces for people in need–what can be better?  Thank you to my partners, Lori and Rhoda, for all their hard work, ideas, and talent.  Thank you to Chris for installing all our lighting, the vent hood, the shelves, and saving the day by solving a little countertop issue.  No install is without a snag or two, right?  Thank you to all the generous donations, and thank you to YOU who shopped my Joss & Main sale back in February to fund the space!  I hope the young lady who moves in will find the apartment comfy and homey.  We left plenty of space for her to make her own unique stamp on the place, too.

Yes, sir, it is one of my favorite (and most exhausting) things to do because the bonus to the giving-back part is being inspired by what all the other designers are doing in their rooms.  Please visit these AMAZING spaces by the other designers…you won’t be sorry!  (And I’ll try to add links as they come available.)

Kristin at The Hunted Interior

Ally at From the Right Bank

My Propensity for all Things Carny

Maybe it’s because only 563 electrolysis appointments separate me from headlining the Bearded Lady sideshow, I don’t know, but there is something inexplicable that draws me to artifacts of carnival life.

Certainly it’s the color, the fantasy, the retro kitsch.  My kids weren’t the only ones crushing on this number wheel that we spotted at Scott Antique Market.  I immediately thought of 563 uses for this contraption (although none of which included hair removal); and, so I bought this thing on the sly and had it sitting under the tree last Christmas morning.


Who doesn’t want to spin a number wheel?  You’re the grumpiest person on earth if you don’t.

And then what tempts me on my recent blogger weekend but this red-lettered

Darlene took this photo of Edie taking a photo of me and Shannon while I conferred with Shannon about my need for this sign.  Now, while it does convey something more highbrow than a carnival with the word “museum” on it, the red-serif letters appealed to the carny in me. I mean, I could just see “Angelina, Bearded Lady from Ukraine” written in those scarlet symbols.  Devil-on-my-shoulder Shannon told me I should get it.

So here it rests in my sons’ undecorated room until I can find its forever home.


What kind of freak show buys a 7-foot sign without knowing exactly where to put it?  This freak show, that’s who.

While I joke about being the bearded lady (kinda sorta), I don’t joke about being a freak.  Pretty much as far back as I can remember I’ve never felt like I’ve fit in anywhere.  And for the most part (kinda sorta), I’ve been okay with that.  Okay, not pleased as punch.  So there is more I have in common with carnies than loving funnel cake and making out on the top of the ferris wheel, I’m different.  But just enough different to confuse everyone.  Is she or isn’t she?


Bloggers apparently like taking photos of bloggers taking photos.  L-to-R, Darlene, Sheila, and Myquillyn

Recently I Myers-Briggsed myself–can you guess?  I’m ISFP–Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving.  When I read this ISFP description, my eyeballs nearly fell outta my head.  It was like specifically talking about me.  Any mysteries shrouding me?  Read it to be enlightened about Angelina, Bearded Lady from Ukraine.cottageweekend2

So when my friends put up incredibly sweet posts last week about their experience at the cottage, I posted a silly Guess-A-Blogger game.  Ever use humor to mask vulnerability?  Uh-huh, me, too.  Or I clam up.


Anyway, this girl needed a good solid week to process all the awesomeness that went down that weekend.  I felt comfortable and safe to be authentic and to risk being weird or say the wrong thing.  However, I couldn’t write about it last week because I was too emotional and probably would have said that I would move next door to these girls to be their best friend for-freaking-ever, but then that would be weird and definitely the wrong thing to say (but it’s true).design-retreat-19

So while I probably will continue to feel freakish, these ladies made me feel like maybe I’m not as hairy as this marquee makes me out to be (I know, I’ll stop with the excess hair references) and that different is as good as I thought it was…just sometimes, you know, I question it.

And I’m not suggesting that these ladies aren’t different, too.  They are.  Different in the most delicious-as-funnel-cake way, and that is precisely why I adore each beautiful one of them.


I know, I know, I know…I can’t take it!  The laptops and bloggers of Nesting Place, Fieldstone Hill, and Life in Grace–the triumvirate–are sitting at my table on a Saturday night.  I hope we can do it again soon!

For more photos:  Darlene, Edie, Myquillyn, and Shannon.

Weekend Reading (I Was Optimistic)

I didn’t lift a one from my weekend reading stack, even with good intentions.


But I did take in some tulips.  Just a few.


I refereed some rough-n-tumble boys.


I breathed it in and whispered thank you.


I contemplated a brother swap for the mischievous little one.  He’d fit right in.


I made a note-to-self:  get some sheep, STAT.


But I positively, absolutely didn’t do any reading.

(I adore the Biltmore Estate in spring.)

MyColor Paint Party

I love a reason to set a table for fake guests.  The kids came home for lunch after tennis with their daddy, and I said, “Don’t touch anything–this isn’t for you!” as their hopes for a festive lunch deflated.  We ate lunch outside on paper plates.

My fake dinner party is for a MyColor Paint Party.  I am one of five bloggers this week giving you the skinny on MyColor Inspired by Pantone paints.  Mycolor gave me my choice of three colors.  I chose Cloudburst, Classic Blue, and Blithe for my placemat project.

Lately I’ve found myself obsessed with lovely table settings for our everyday living.  I’ve given my daughter a cabinet full of tablecloths, trays, candles, and napkins to mix it up for dinner every night–it’s on her chore list, in fact.  She has full creative reign at dinner; and so, needless to say, there have been some really interesting combos.

Anyway, I thought we would add some placemats to her cabinet of props.

The 12 x 16 canvas boards are the perfect placemat dimension.


First I painted the canvases Classic Blue.  Then I wanted to do some triangles and planned on making a stencil…but that would have required mathuhmatiks.jim-carrey-01-645-75

I try to avoid math when I can so I was happy when a little lightbulb went off.  Uh, hey, what about those little triangle makeup sponge-thingies in your junky bathroom drawer?  Lloyd, don’t let anyone tell you that bowl cut makes you look stupid–you’re brilliant.


Those little sponges make the perfect imperfect stamped triangles.  I worked on two boards at a time, stamping Blithe and Cloudburst in no real pattern.  I left some spaces blank, just because.


After I had all six painted, I put a coat of Polycrylic on top for shine, protection, and cleaning ease.

With the deep sea color, the chevron, and the Greek key, I can’t help but think of ancient Minoan art.  You, too, huh?

A glamour shot of the vintage glasses…

…and you can see how the Polycrylic gives a nice shine on the placemats.

So don’t think that because I blow off math that I’m not an overachiever.  I totally am.  After the placemats, I decided to make a tablecloth with the leftover dropcloth from the parson chair makeover earlier this year.


I like the dimension the existing white and blue drips give to the MyColor loops and twists.  The canvas is raw so the paint absorbs fast and doesn’t spread well.  But I like the imperfect edges of the loops.  Just turn on some tunes and loop, loop, loop.

All done…and I do like a tablecloth that bisects a table and leaves the ends bare.


I set this table with Talavera plates that I found at the most amazing pottery warehouse in Cuernavaca, Mexico, when I was studying there, ahem, 17 years ago.  I was a month from my wedding, and these plates were better than anything I found to register for back home.  So I bought them on my mom’s credit, had them shipped from Mexico, and promised to pay her back.  She surprised me at my wedding shower with one of these plates wrapped up and my debt forgiven.

Seventeen years later, I love them still.

One more story, promise.  See that little yellow pitcher?  I’ve had it 18 years, a Christmas gift from my boyfriend.  We had been to Galveston, Texas, where I dragged him to a charming little French store near the Strand.  I fell in love with every-expensive-thing in the store but really adored this little yellow pitcher bedecked with red buds.  Months later, I opened it at Christmas from a very thoughtful young man.  Is it any wonder that I married him 7 months later?  And he has proven to be a thoughtful giver ever since.

Oh, no, we’re not done.  Just one more.

I poured Classic Blue into a bucket to try dipping some terracotta pots I had lying around.


The paint went on nice and thick.IMG_5502 After the pots dried, I popped some marigolds and petunias in ‘em for instant spring cheer and stuff.

Can you tell that the pot in back isn’t dipped?  Well, turns out my bucket wasn’t wide enough to dip that pot.  Way to check the diameter beforehand, Lloyd!  So I fudged the dip by painting the blue on with a brush.  Fudging here is okay, but dipping yields better results.


For more MyColor ideas and inspiration this week, visit these skilled bloggers who also are posting for the paint party:

Nicole from SKETCH 42






Oh, and turns out we did have a dinner party.

Thank you to MyColor Inspired by Pantone for letting me experiment with their great product and their talented spokesperson Kristen F. Davis for inviting me to participate in the party. You could win a sample of MyColor Inspired by Pantone by commenting here about how you’d use MyColor paint in your next project. For a second chance to win, tweet your project ideas to @MYCOLORPAINTS using hashtag #PassItOn.  And, if you “like” the MYCOLOR INSPIRED BY PANTONE FACEBOOK page, you can share your project ideas there for one more chance to win.  MyColor is also on Instagram @mycolorpaints.

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