Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sugar and Spice

and everything nice... that's what girls are made of. This looks like my kind of "tea party"... It has been a successful month of June thanks to you, and I am looking forward to exciting things to come in July! Let's celebrate with some
yummy cakes and macaroons...
Shoes and Desserts
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{via pinterest}

narrow bathroom with arch

This is a bathroom I saw a while ago over at desire to inspire. It cought my attention because we also do have one narrow bathroom with a shower at the end. We still have not found the right tiles for the walls and flooring. I somehow like the above solution for that situation. It looks very clean and natural. I wonder if the bathroom has natural light, and if yes were it comes from .

That's why I was impressed by this simple solution in the first picture.
A calm and basic look would suit maybe our bath - that, so far, looks like this:

The view is from the entrance: Under the arch will be the toilet. Around the corner on the left will be the sink. And around the corner on the right, at the end, the shower. A dark narrow tunnel (much shorter though that the other bath above). No natural light.

Above, more pictures from different angles - this is part of another PowerPoint presentation by CC.

And for the better understanding, below, the floor plan:

(click on pic to enlarge)

And to see our progress, below, one ugly before photo :

We enlarged this space by breaking through the wall on the left and taking away some 80 cm from the guest/office room to add a shower to the bathroom. The arch remains and will host the new toilet.

Our first idea for the end of our narrow tunnel (on the left) was an eye catcher by Bisazza. We thought that the a red coral motif (below) would look great for the shower. But the tunnel / shower is only 80 cm wide and while the motif comes in 129 cm wide. If you take away 40% of the motif, it has not the same effect. And of course it is a waist of money, as it would not be ideal to use on the other wall as well. When you shower in a narrow place and you have this mosaic in front of you, I think, you might feel dizzy and your eyes get crazy...

Therefore, still in my filing are the following pictures:

I always had this photo (from a magazine) in mind.
I like the red, warm, cozy atmosphere. And the fake coral deco.  

But after we deem the coral mosaic not suitable, we only found these:

by Bisazza, but somehow boring if on floor and walls

Slightly better: mosaic by SICIS for the shower and sink area, square tiles (by de Maio) for the flooring

to understand better what is on the floor and what on the wall

Alternatively: one of these mosaic tiles could be for the floor

.... or these colourful stripes for the floor ( by la moderna manifattura) and water resistend paint for the walls ? Maybe even golden tiles, like in the 3rd page of this powerpoint presentation (made by CC).

... mmh, I can't resist Vietri tiles, especially when they are put together in that mosaic style... I picture a Vietri carpet that at the end of the shower goes up the wall till the ceiling. The other walls would be white, tiles and/or paint.

Interesting kind of Greek style antique looking flooring (by la moderna manifattura).

Or after all this beautiful blue Bisazza mosaic (Paola) ?

Since we have seen all this and still have no solution, none of the above will be realised. The room does not bare too much or too big pattern. Unless we want a cave feeling we should go for natural, light & bright colour and reflecting material.

you can click on all pictures to enlarge (except the first one)

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A Confession


Beatlemania, NYC, 1964.   Some things never change.

In 1964, I was crazy over one boy – well, he was a young man then.  I lived and breathed for Paul McCartney.   That year, on Aprils Fools Day, my mother woke me up for school, screaming excitedly - “The Beatles are coming to school today!  Get up,  get up!!!”  Sad to say, I truly believed her and jumped up, got dressed immediately, plotting out ways I could impress Paul enough to get him to marry my 10 year old self.   I still, to this day,  almost 45 years later, remember EXACTLY how I felt when she told me it was an Aprils Fools joke. 



Twihards, 2010


Fast forward years later, through all kinds of obsessions with singers, books, and movies and here I find myself a Twihard.   It’s truly embarrassing to admit this, but yes, I am a Twihard, a serious devotee of Stephenie Meyer’s books, the Twilight Saga.    I don’t know how I fell into this (well, I really do know) but when I fell, I fell hard.    It’s not like I don’t appreciate fine literature – my cats names were Quilty and Humbert, for God’s sakes!!  But, I am, at the age of 55, in the grips of a series of books written for teenaged girls. 


 z002  Rob Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen, smexy vampire and Kristen Stewart aka Bella Swan, his fragile little human girlfriend.  Will he turn her into a vampire so they can live happily ever after as teenagers for all of eternity?  Stay tuned for Breaking Dawn to find out, the 4th book in the Twilight Saga – and the 4th and 5th movie.


So, people, I confess here, publically, to you that tonight at midnight – my daughter and I, along with every other teenaged girl in Houston, will be at the movie theatre attending the Twilight-Eclipse premier.  Something tells me we’ll probably return tomorrow for a second viewing.  Well, I will – not sure if Elisabeth will want to go again so soon.



I’m not THIS bad off that I would tattoo a famous line from the book/movie on my arms.  Not yet at least.   The actual quote from the book is:  


"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb..." he murmured.
I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.
What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
“What a sick, masochistic lion."

I guess this poor girl didn’t have enough room on her arms for the entire quote. 




Edward and Bella at their junior prom where she begs Edward to change her into a vampire.  He refuses, of course.  He’s too much of an old fashioned gentleman from the early 1900s to ever do anything inappropriate to Bella, like have sex with her for instance!  The Twilight Saga is definitely smut free.  Stephenie Meyer is a devout Mormon and her values on premarital sex are woven into the plot. 


Even more embarrassing about my obsession is that I almost escaped the phenomenon altogether.  Oh, if I only had.   I had heard about the Twilight Saga but never really paid any attention to it.   I wished I had continued to ignore it – it would save me all this humiliation.   Until last year, I didn’t even know who Robert Pattinson was, nor did I care – but boy, has THAT changed!   I laughed at all the endless TV promotions for Twilight and it’s sequel New Moon.  Laughed.   I’m not laughing now, I live for those commercials!   My fall into the abyss occurred  when the first movie, Twilight, came out on DVD.   Elisabeth of course was already involved.   She had a slumber party where she and her friends watched the Twilight DVD all night long.   I snickered at them.   It looked so boring!   The acting was so stilted!  Everyone looked so pasty!



Pasty???   Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen, the gentlemanly vampire.   His career is huge now thanks to Twilight – he has two major motion pictures coming out next year.  He is the the Marlon Brando, the James Dean of youngest generation.  He made the Forbes List.  And he is just 24 years old. 




Ok, I can’t resist another picture of this gorgeous man.   That hair!  It has a mind of its own.



Maybe just one more peek.  hehe.  Brooding Rob.   I’m Team Edward all the way.  Elisabeth is Team Taylor.  She even has a life size cutout of Taylor Lautner.  We argue about who is cuter – Edward or Taylor.   It’s all so ridiculous – I KNOW THIS!!!! 


THE END OF LIFE AS I KNEW IT:   I don’t know why I actually chose to sit down one night to watch the Twilight DVD, but that’s where this all started.   I’ve probably seen the movie about 30 or 40 times since.  Elisabeth has watched it probably over a 100 times.  Plus factor in New Moon, the second Twilight movie on DVD – we watch that one too, but it’s not as good as the first one.   Since we’ve seen Twilight so many times, we know the dialogue and can recite it, word for word.    It’s not a great movie to be sure, the acting is bad (except for Pattinson who steals every scene he is in), the script is worse, but it sucks you in all the same.   It’s no To Kill A Mockingbird or Gone With The Wind, but it’s a sweet story of first love, if your first love is a vampire, that is.   When you are hooked you actually wish there were vampires that you could fall in love with.  How sick is that?  But, what is so wrong with never dying, never getting older, never sleeping, having brute strength, incredible vision and hearing, and gorgeous good looks (all vampires are gorgeous to lure their victims in)?  Plus, the Cullens are GOOD vampires.  They only drink animal blood, not human blood.   I know, I know, this is all so STUPID!!!!!  But, what confession is easy? 




The famous school cafeteria scene in Twilight.  Here Edward sits with his “family” – the Cullens. He is the only one without a partner, so he is lonely and brooding.  The “fragile human” Bella has a special scent that attracts him like his own “personal brand of heroin.”  He can’t be with her or without it.  It’s all so tortured!!!!   In real life – Bella (Kristen) and Edward (Rob) are also romantically linked.


After watching the movie, I read the first book in about a day, then promised myself  - I was through with all this nonsense.    Except there’s that pesky thing called Kindle.   Kindle makes it too easy to buy a new book at 3:00 a.m.   In shame I tell you, that within just a few days, I had read all four books.   Twice.    But it doesn’t end there.  It’s just the beginning.    After  you have read all the books, there is this weird thing called FanFiction.    What is FanFic exactly?  Well, it’s where people write long stories (as long as books sometimes)  online.  These stories are their interpretation on the plot -  they may rewrite an original book with different endings, or  different beginnings or even different plots altogether.  Sometimes the FanFic story will just takes the characters names and it will have nothing to do with the original book.  FanFic is not just about Twilight – any book or movie can be rewritten.    For instance, fans of the book To Kill A Mockingbird have written over 350 FanFics, retelling that book in their own way.   There are 607 FanFics for Gone With The Wind.   For Twilight, there are over 150,000 FanFic stories.  Harry Potter has over 450,00o FanFic stories.    So far, I have probably read more than 100 Twilight FanFics in my spare time.   Some are actually fabulous books – change the characters names and they would have nothing to do with Twilight.   Many of the more popular FanFic stories are even better than Stephenie Meyer’s original books.  It must kill her to read the better FanFic.    Still, FanFic is a mysterious and strange world, but a highly addicting one.




While I am bad off, I’m not this bad off that I would camp out for days for a glimpse of the Twilight cast.  At least I don’t think I would, but it sure looks like fun!


So, this is my confession to you.  I’m not just about decorating and French antiques.    I’m a Twi-Mom.   And yes, there are a LOT of us out here.    I won’t admit this to you in person, nor will I talk about this addiction with anyone that knows me except my poor long suffering husband and daughter.   It’s my secret.   Until now.   I might need an intervention.    I’m sure there must be a 12 step program out there for people like me who are hopelessly lost in the world of Bella and Edward.   Knowing Twihards though, it would be a 3 step program that would sound something like this (taken from an important excerpt in the book):


About three things I am absolutely positive.

First, Twilight is just a book.

Second, there is a part of me that will always be addicted to this book.

And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it!


hehe.  You need to read the book for this to make sense!


 image Cote de Texas on her cell phone at the premier of Eclipse.


If you are going to see Eclipse tonight or tomorrow or the next night – be sure to wave if you can recognize me.   I’ll be the one in disguise wearing all black.  


If you want to see what all the fuss is about – I suggest you read the Twilight Saga books first.  Then rent the movies Twilight and New Moon.  And then, and only then go see the movie Eclipse.     OR you could do what I did and see the Twilight movie first, then read the books, then see New Moon and Eclipse!  Either way.    If you are already a Twihard and have never heard of FanFic, email me – I’ll give you some great stories to start out with.

Amazon:  HERE

Twilight FanFiction:   HERE

Beautiful Inspiration Boards

... so much inspiration, you cannot help but want to be creative and make something! The first image is my board in my studio. As you know, I love butterflies. The center print is from my friend, Katie Daisy! I just love the vibrant colors flowing into each other in such a graceful way... and the two prints on either side are from my friend Colette over at Raw Art Letterpress. I am in awe of the process of letterpress and I was so thrilled to receive my custom Bright, Bold, and Beautiful piece of art!
Check out some more beautiful inspiration boards to get you kick started today!
Bright, Bold, and Beautiful
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{images via flickr, pinterest}

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fresh Home Magazine mention

A huge thank you to Fresh Home magazine for mentioning Bright, Bold, and Beautiful in the latest issue, Summer 2010! The turquoise colored pegboard I designed for my Art Studio as well as a few of my watercolor paintings can be seen on page 12. I am beyond excited, flattered, and honored...
Fresh Home Magazine
Purchase your subscription here Fresh Home (1-year)

Another huge thank you to all the Bright, Bold, and Beautiful readers.
I truly appreciate each and every one of your visits and kind comments.
Bright, Bold, and Beautiful would be nothing without you!
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Bright and Beautiful Art: Birds on a Wire Series

The colors in my new Birds on a Wire series are rich and vibrant! All are available for purchase here. Which color combination fits your palette?
Juicy Fruit
Juicy Fruit, original watercolor, 4.5" by 11"
Love Birds at Sunset
Love Birds at Sunset, original watercolor, 5.5" by 7.5"
Birds on a Wire
Birds on a Wire, original watercolor, 4.5" by 11"
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Inspiration

I hope you had a lovely weekend and are charged for the new week ahead.
"You can have it all. You just can't have it all at once." Oprah Winfrey
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{via pinterest}

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Decorating Your House: Skirted Roundtable

This week on The Skirted Roundtable HERE,  the three of us discuss decorating for the seasons and how to update your house for the 2010s.   I am currently writing a magazine article for Antique Shops and Designers HERE on this very topic, and the conversation flows from that story.  One segment is devoted to Megan talking about painting her brown hardwood floors white.  In case you have never seen Megan’s adorable beach bungalow- below are a few photographs to help you follow along with the conversation. 



In fact, if you have never been formally introduced to The Skirted Roundtable’s Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8, here she is – Mrs. Smexy!   Is it fair for ANYONE to be this beautiful????  I LOVE this girl!!!




image Megan lives in this adorable rose covered, picket fenced bungalow in Manhattan Beach, California.  Her street is a walk street only – no cars allowed and her house is but a few doors down from the Pacific Ocean.




This is Megan’s “front yard” – the life guard stand is at the end of her street.  Aw….must be tough living!   



Megan’s bungalow is tiny – she readily admits - but, it’s a small price to pay for such beautiful and valuable real estate.    Megan is contemplating painting the walls in her living room a lighter color and painting the dark hardwoods either white, cream, or light aqua.    She is also getting new window treatments.   Her furniture is all slipped – the two arm chairs are in a light blue and white batik and the sofa is white.  




On The Skirted Roundtable, I mentioned that I love this turquoise chair!   In fact, I adore everything about Megan’s house and am green with envy she lives so close to the beach in such a charming house. What a dream life she has.



image BEFORE:  Years ago when Megan and her daughters first moved into the bungalow, she had a leather sofa courtesy of her former husband.   She quickly replaced it  (along with her husband!) with the white slip covered sofa and recovered her two chairs.  The dhurri rug was replaced with sisal. 


Megan actually hung the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis wallpaper herself!  During the show, she says she is thinking about taking it down.  Should she?  I happen to love the wallpaper myself!   Notice the white light fixture. 




In this picture – she has a red light fixture.  I’m not sure which is her current fixture, but this red one is too cute!  I love her iconic Saarinen table with the classic West Elm chairs.    



image Megan’s “famous” bedroom.  This photograph is all over the blogosphere and is universally admired.   When Megan moved in, the walls were plain sheetrock and she had them covered in plank boards to create a beachy feel, a process she explains on the Skirted Roundtable. 



image Of course we have to talk about the carpenter who redid her bedroom – none other than this famous Calvin Klein model!!!!   Yep!   Only Megan would have a carpenter like him.  She dismisses him by saying he was a lot “older” when he worked on her bedroom.  




image OK, back to business.  So, should Megan repaint her hardwoods white – like in this picture?   I say YES, absolutely!!!!  What say you?


Be sure to listen to this week’s The Skirted Roundtable HERE – it’s a fun one!!  Don’t forget you can get The Skirted Roundtable on I-Tunes.

p.s.  Again, let me apologize for my voice!  I know I have the worst voice and it is really magnified by Linda and Megan’s melodious ones.  I don’t know what to do about this, but believe me, it annoys me more than you.