Friday, September 30, 2011

When did hair become art?

Throughout history, hair has become as iconic as the person wearing it.  Sometimes the lines are blurred between whether the person made the hairstyle iconic or if the hairstyle made the person an icon. 

Audrey Hepburn and the up-do

Marilyn Monroe and the "pageboy"

Mia Farrow and the "pixie"

Farrah Fawcett and the feathered shag that is actually called "The Farrah"

These hairstyles do not seem shocking or ground-breaking now, but they were artistic forms of expression and certainly a risk at the time of their conception. Now, it seems as if the possibilities for hair as an art medium are endless.  Look below for the modern conceptualizations of a few hairstyles of yesterday. 

"The Afro"

"The Dreads"

 "The Bouffant"   

     "The  Modern Pageboy"

These hair "headpieces" are beautiful and show an amazing amount of creativity. Maybe a bit impractical, but what is art if not full of fantasy and impracticality? 

"Cottonballs Anyone?"

      "The Hair Bonnet"

"The Horizontal Cone"

Let's go even further and see what hair looks like as actual piece of art.  Kelly Howley is an artist from Cambridge England.  She decided to make jewelry from hair- the intention being to take something that is seen as beautiful when it is attached to our body, but not so much when it falls out, and turn it into something beautiful again.  The technique and the actual designs are beautiful and certainly speak to her talent and patience.  I'll let you decide whether you would want to wear one of these pieces to your next cocktail party.   Howley's hair necklaces are an example of the best kind of art- the kind that you can't walk away from without having an opinion.  

Think twice before you pull your hair up, yet again, in that convenient could be missing out on the perfect opportunity to express yourself.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Explosions In The Sky

My husband was the first person to introduce me to this group.  Explosions In The Sky is a post-rock band from Texas that was formed in 1999.  They are known for their extremely elaborate instrumental music that often has a narrative quality.

To say that I have fallen in love with this band, may seem a little dramatic, so I will just say that they have provided me a shelter from the storm that is sometimes my life (wait...was that too dramatic?).  I turn to their music when I am overwhelmed, or have a non-stop day, or just need to have a moment to reboot.  It has the amazing ability to drown out little voices (of my two crazy girls) and infuse a calm air that both soothes and inspires me.  Jason pretty much knows what kind of day I have had if Explosions In The Sky is filling the air when he comes walking through the door  : )

They have come out with several albums in the past few years, but here are a few of my favorite songs: "The Only Moment We Were Alone", "The Moon Is Down",
"First Breath After Coma" and my all-time favorite "Your Hand In Mine"

Their songs average around 7 minutes, sometimes lasting as long as 11.  The time they have taken for each track really sets the songs up to include a beginning, a middle and often, an epic conclusion.  The story has time to come alive and develop within the musical notes.

Love...Love...Love them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Design Dilemma: Reincarnation of a dresser

Some people have a hard time seeing the possibilities held within old things.  I love "old things".  I get a thrill from taking something that someone else sees no value in, and turning it into something perfect for me.  There is a history and a companionship that lives in "old things".

I was given two of the same style dressers- one wide and one tall.  They were the childhood dressers of a friend of my mother's.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I loved them at first sight.  Their style was very indicative of the era- deep routed vertical grooves, wrought iron hardware, and a honey walnut stain with heavy gloss.

The biggest problem was that I ultimately wanted to use the dressers in two different rooms- the wide dresser in my room and the tall dresser in my daughter Ava's room.  I was faced with trying to make them look completely different but still keep the originality of the design.

For Ava's dresser, I painted the whole thing an antique white and then color-washed the beveled edges and made vertical stripes on the middle two drawers with a light pink.

I added crystal knobs that gave it a little glitz- what five year old has enough sparkle in her life?

For the wide dresser, I wanted to fill in the grooves, so they would look very subtle and not as deep.  I painted the dresser a flat charcoal grey with a vintage silver overlay.  I wanted the paint to look worn and distressed.

I bought some vintage glass knobs from anthropologie.   Sometimes hardware will be the biggest statement you can make when refinishing an antique. 

It's important to remember that your "old things" have another life waiting for them.  You can bring them to life again and make them feel at home in your home.

                                                          And they can be stunning at the same time : )

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Favorites: Hostess with the Mostess daily blog

Hostess with the Mostess daily blog is the first place I go to when I have a party to plan- whether it is a birthday party, baby shower, wedding shower, any party really.

Here are the top five reasons I love this website:

1) Kid's Parties- every theme you can think of has been done and is posted on the website.  The pictures are wonderful and every detail is documented.  The parties are elaborate- but if you use them as inspiration, you can scale your own child's party down or you could expand on the ideas you see.

This is one of my favorite parties that is featured on the site- "Up" themed birthday party for a 7 year old

The details in this cake are amazing.
Each child at this party received a travel journal just like Ellie had in the movie

The kids watched "Up" as their entertainment

This balloon wreath is adorable and could be done for all kinds of parties

Each of the kids was given an Ellie badge for their favor. 

2) Recipes and DIY tutorials- Under the Design and Creative tab of the blog, there are tons of ideas with specific instructions and recipes so you can recreate your favorites at home.

I loved this idea-  Sooooo cute!
The instructions are shown step by step

...and the recipes are listed as well

3) Surprise Giveaways-  What I love about the surprise giveaways is not that I think I could win any of it.  I love it because most of the giveaways are from companies I am unaware of and  I end up loving. It's a great way to find what your next "favorite" could be.

This giveaway was for Pop and Lolli oversized fabric wall decals- reusable, removable and repositionable

Sooo cute and did I mention fabric?  Would be perfect for a bonus room or playroom.


4) Creative Food- I love finding new ways to prepare everyone's old favorites.  The creative food tab on the website is filled with creative ideas on how to make an old recipe new and exciting. I loved this recent posting for making chocolate and candy keys and jewelry:

These would be amazing for a vintage-inspired bridal shower - a new twist on the chocolate mint served at bridal showers years ago.

5) Fabulous Gift Ideas- I love gifts- making them and giving them.  If I don't have the time to make a gift, I love having resources to find special gifts- that are special and especially thoughtful for the person I am giving them to.  HWTM website has a Fabulous Gift Ideas tab that features retailers that offer something new and different.

All of these serving dishes are offered through Sweet and Saucy Supply

I love the vintage-inspired look of these cake stands and candy dishes

Any of this party ware would be a great bridal or hostess gift

(All of these pictures were taken from the HWTM website and should be attributed to the individual photographers at each linked site)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Who knew that glasses could be used for more than sight?

So, I have worn glasses since I was seven.  The year was 1985 and I was sooooo excited to pick out my first pair of glasses.  I thought I was so cool.  I didn't have any friends that had glasses...I was going to be the first....and what turned out to be... the only person in my class to have glasses.  It was that way for a while.  And this cool opportunity to be different, turned into the only way I was able to see.  The "cool" factor went out the window.  And suddenly, the bigger the frame, the flatter the lens, the more able I was to see the blackboard.  The first pair of glasses I owned were E.T brand.  Yes, I said E.T. as in Extra-Terrestrial- phone home. 

I look at them now, and I think, I could make these work (maybe).  Back then, my glasses served a purpose-  they were not an accessory.  As I grew up, I was resigned to the fact that my eyes were bad and I had to wear glasses.  It did not occur to me that I could have fun with them, until my first year of college.  And then, my eyes were literally opened.

The options and possibilities are limitless now.   Here are some of my new favorites: 

I wish there were this many options when I was growing up-
                                                                     I WOULD have been sooo cool : )

Monday, September 19, 2011

Botanical Inspiration

I took all of these pictures while driving through the English and French countryside.  I was amazed by all of the different colors and textures that occurred everywhere you looked.  None of these flowers or trees were found in gardens.   

 I have no idea what this tree is.  From afar, it looked as if the whole tree was covered in cotton candy.  Not until we got very close to it, was I able to see the strangest blooms I had ever seen.  

Clematis grew everywhere. Walls were covered- as if the vines knew these buildings were hundreds of years old and they needed a little sprucing up. 

I can not see a thistle without thinking about my best friend Victoria in Scotland.  The first time I ever traveled out of the country, I went to see her.  It was an amazing trip that changed me in many ways.  She picked a thistle for me before I left.  I pressed it in a very heavy encyclopedia, and kept it until it literally disintegrated in my hands.

When I became an art major in college, thistles were a consistent theme throughout my work.    

These thistles were growing all over the Cliffs of Dover- some were covered in spines...and others had purple tufts of petals on top.

 Even Queen Anne's Lace looked different there.  Still lacy and angelic, but the blooms are much bigger- a bouquet by themselves.

Walls of roses...

          ...and fields of grapes.

I have always been a sucker for nature.  It inspires me daily.    

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