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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

art studio: 30-minute bar stool project

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I sometimes have a problem with anger, especially with my housemates (I put up with a lot!).  So in an effort to counteract that negative energy, I’ve taken to keeping a list of all those never-get-to projects and when anger strikes, I get busy on one or more of them.  We had this simple and inexpensive Ikea bar stool, purchased around 2003, which had done me great service as a quasi-ladder in my previous smaller residence and it was showing some of its wear and tear.  It was one of the items clogging up our cellar storage space in our new home.  What to do, sell it, donate it, toss it?

Well, off to Lowe’s I went to buy some Krylon gloss spray paint in French Country Blue and in 80-degree sunny weather, it doesn’t take long at all for that baby to dry.  The whole project done in less than 30 minutes for exactly $4.50!  I even had enough left over to snazz up an older peeling plant stand.  So now instead of the cellar, our “new” bar stool will go around the kitchen island where those people I was mentioning earlier can just park their pretty little behinds!  Just a note for you do-it-yourselfers, if you’re a vintage fan like me, buy the satin finish for an older look – if you want the item to “pop” the gloss finish will do well.  


art resource: unusual magazine for the in-home studio organizer

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 at 10:34 am

I discovered a new (to me) Better Homes and Gardens Creative Edition magazine the other day.  100 ideas flea market style is in its second printing and has great tips and tricks for studio organization, artist tools, decorating with tag-sale finds, and do-able projects.  What I liked about the 2010 edition is it outlines six style “types” you can manifest in your home – whether it be global cottage or carefree color – the magazine helps to train the eye on how to turn a tossed-aside item into a treasure.  

I discovered that I am not a european glamour doll (very long sheer curtains, crystal chandeliers, and french brocade sofas) but am very definitely preferential towards vintage flavors (good patina, old mirror frames, painted wood, and a very calm and timeless color scheme throughout – think house by the sea).  One of the most inspired tips I picked up and now am on the hunt for is the idea of massive wood fireplace mantels, church pews, and long Amish shelves that are dearly in distress.

For someone who thought Better Homes & Gardens was my mother’s magazine, I was surprised to find great tips throughout and good resource material (I’ll be hanging on to this issue).  Another great review by Deanna Dahlsad is available here.  

Better Homes & Gardens 100 Ideas Flea Market Style, 2009

art studio: the copper (furnishing) trend in interiors and exteriors

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Copper was at its peak between 1930 to 1950, especially in the form of American-made jewelry.  Some of these finds can easily be had at yard sales and flea markets for a fraction of not only their original retail market, but also what the market bears today.  More often than not, you’ll see copper in furniture married with wood or rustic iron in a Santa Fe or Southwest style.  Copper will continue to be a high-end item, not only as a precious metal but also as beautiful materials in making your living spaces a work of art.  

Featured below is an Archeo Copper Bathtub which retails at around $67,000 dollars.  It is made of solid copper with a fluted faucet and hand-held shower unit.  It is one of the world’s most expensive tubs.  

Top 10 Most Expensive Furniture - Archeo Copper Bathtub

You’re probably more used to seeing copper in terms of wall decor.  This triple slate tech and clear powder coated copper wall fountain from Nojoqui Falls will not oxidize (turn green).

Bluworld Nojoqui Falls Triple Slate Tech and Copper Wall Fountain with Light

 And here we have a custom copper fireplace hood, curved on every side from Smileys Metal Craft Inc.  Gorgeous!  

And lastly, we’re used to seeing copper in our kitchens – this Elkay Mystic River Sink marries an antique copper with a hammered finish (which does gain a patina over time) surrounded by an island of complementary wood. elkay-mystic-river-sink-antique-copper-50-inch.jpg

Copper preservation is a nod to yesteryear.  This gorgeous entryway graces the commercial real estate of Giroux General Contractor’s offices in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Not far from where yours truly was born.   

art resource: nancy corzine heroine

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm

When I win the lotto, these will be some of my very first stops.  Nancy Corzine.  Interior decorator & businesswoman extraordinaire.  

art studio: the gray (or grey) 2010 trend

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 12:42 pm


Not only have we been noticing an increased attention on women of a certain age (or not) showcasing their gray locks lately (myself included), we’ve also been seeing a tremendous focus on gray in film, in art, and in design. 

The recent film, Sherlock Holmes, is nearly an idol-worship of the color gray and its various hues. 

Joan Morris from the Contra Costa Times would agree in her recent article for KansasCity.com.  She reports gray is the new must-have neutral and advises that taupe gray is a warmer palette than its cousin the earthy shade of grade. 

Here’s a few recent interiors in gray for you.  The first is an abandoned church in Gary, Indiana (courtesy of weburbanist.com); the second is a Palm Beach parlour by interior designer & decorator Gary McBournie; and the third features gray office storage cabinets by luxury-ideas.com. 



art studio: china’s capsule apartments

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 11:53 am

Staying in Asia, we now have an article from ITN published on 4/27/10 that outlines Beijing China’s one-room capsule apartments as an alternate means to affordable accommodations.  These cubicles are standard 8ft x 4ft and are offered as one solution to China’s housing problem.  The ITN article show’s a cubicle-like “apartment” where the photo above is inspired by Tokyo’s capsule-hotels.

art studio: cage men rent sleeping quarters for $150

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 11:31 am


I believe when one is designing studios and workspaces, it’s really helpful as an advisor to know not only what the high-end foreign markets are bearing and producing, but also how very fortunate we are when we say “I have no space.”   When we compare “no space” to how others are living, our perspectives about space use, enhancement, and form vs. function become very clear indeed. 

This morning, Reuters produced an excellent article about Hong Kong’s cage men who dwell in 15-square-foot cubicle cages (reprinted here courtesy of The Vancouver Sun).  The article outlines how the wealth gap in Hong Kong is the worst in Asia and how square footage for these cage dwellings is actually very expensive real estate indeed.  Count your blessings dear one.  Count your blessings. 

art resource: you tube creator’s corner

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 11:02 am


The folks at YouTube have a blog called Creator’s Corner.  It’s devoted to videographers and all the cool stuff made on YouTube.  What I love is that they’ve launched a series of videos (via Etsy) that brings you into artists’ studios. 

It’s coupled with instructional videos on how to make a video (camera, sound, editing) which is all very interesting for the artsy folks who never want to leave their introverted colorful caves.  YouTube’s Creator’s Corner site is here.

Etsy’s Process Videos are here.

art resource: robert wilson premiers in prague and spoleto

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Join Robert Wilson at his premieres in Spoleto and Prague

Dear Friends of Robert Wilson and the Watermill Center,

With Spring upon us what better time to think about Italy and Prague in June? Allow me to invite you for a very special trip to Italy’s Spoleto and Prague from June 23rd through June 29th. The trip has been crafted around two of Bob’s premieres, will give you time to enjoy some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and spend quality time with Bob. His production of SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS with the stunning cast of the Berliner Ensemble will premiere on June 25th in Umbria’s most beautiful city as part of the world famous Spoleto Festival. Bob has teamed up with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright to create a truly poetic-musical Gesamtkunstwerk that excites critics and audiences alike. Followed by Bob’s new production of Janacek’s masterpiece KATYA KABANOVA on its world premiere at the beautiful National Theater in Prague on the 26th of June.

We will spend three memorable days in Rome and Spoleto and the surrounding picturesque landscape and two days in Prague. Rome will feature a trip to the Vatican and a private visit to the Sistine Chapel. Our days in Spoleto will feature a special tour of the ancient city of Assisi followed by a special lunch hosted by Valentina Salviate and Luziah Hennessy in the home of Valentina Salviate where Sol Lewitt stayed for several years during the festival leaving several wall drawings. Following the premier of Bob’s SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS at Teatro Nuovo there will be a post-performance reception and dinner arranged with Bob Wilson, Rufus Wainwright, and members of the ensemble. Next Prague. This leg of the trip will feature a private reception with Bob and the ensemble after the world premier of KATYA KABANOVA at the National Theatre. The following day there will be a private tour of the Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle followed by a lunch in the Rococo room. Tours of the Jewish sights of Prague, a back stage tour of the National Theare, a concert at a one of Prague’s beautiful concert halls, and a special dinner will all be included as part of our visit.

Our last trip to Paris and Milan left a lasting experience with all its participants and sold out very quickly. We have limited the total number of people again to 25 in order to provide the highest quality experience for all who attend. Some of our patrons from the last trip have already signed up.

Join us on this pilgrimage to Shakespeare’s and Janacek’s worlds of love, desire, and dreams to support the work of the Watermill Center.

Warm Regards,
Jorn Weisbrodt

For more information and trip itinerary please visit the Watermill website

or contact Natascha Theis, natascha.theis, (212) 253-7484

Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation & The Watermill Center
All Rights Reserved
55 Washington Street, Gallery 216
Brooklyn, New York 11201 USA (212) 253-7484


art product review: staedtler non-permanent lumocolor

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 10:21 am


I recently tried the Staedtler Non-Permanent Lumocolor pen in part because I was so pleased with the performance of the .88 drawing marker series.  A water-soluble, refillable marker, this AP approved fine point marker is made in Germany.  Originally intended as a fine tip overhead projection (transparency) marker, it has an instant dry effect and can reportedly be left out for several days without its pocket clip cover and still work (I don’t try such things).  It doesn’t bleed or smudge, but it does (when used for writing on paper) have the smallest hint of a splatter and tends to be a bit difficult to push across the surface.  If you were using these on projectors, film, porcelain, glass or other smooth surface, I think you’d be very happy.  At one point, it felt as if I were writing with a brush and not a pen, the ink was flowing so beautifully.  The tip holds up to intensive usage (I wrote about 500 postcard mailers with it and it is still performing as brand new) and the green (which is available in the set of eight) is so pretty, you’ll think you are sitting in a tree!  Vivid, brilliant maybe, color – the ink is xylene free and comes in four line widths with a low odor.  Retailing for about $1.69 – $2.00 each, with the Lumocolor, I get more and more impressed with the Staedtler line – just remember, these are non-permanent and non-archival.