Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Totally Cool Repourposed Light Fixtures

I found these items on the Apartment Therapy blog, and have to credit them for the photos. They are examples of what can be done with a little creativity and imagination. I love the bright yellow nightlight made out of tin can with a childlike car cutouts. And of COURSE already a fave Etsy shop of mine, Birdwing Productions crafted a beauty...an old fluted horn lamp affixed with a geometrical shade covered in Amy Butler fabric....quirky, beautiful and cool!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Edie Beale, Grey Gardens and Bohemian Style

I was introduced to Grey Gardens a few years ago out of mild curiosity. Most recently, due to the promotion of the movie, inspired by the original 1975 documentary with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, did I start to do more research on Big and Little Edie, their codependent relationship, their obvious mental illness and eccentricities..but what I have noticed the most is their delicate beauty despite the aging process, the fall to poverty (even though they were decedents of a great wealthy American family) and little Edie's consistent creativity to come up with outfits "costumes" she would say, and somehow pull off a crazy fashion that became a cult classic and defines a fashion style that we loosely follow today.

For those of you who don't know, Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith(her namesake- Edie), were decedents from the great American aristocratic Bouvier family, cousins to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. There isn't too much of the back story of these two women in the original documentary, it primarily was a record of their life in their later years, the hard years, riddled with disorder and mental illness. The most obvious reaction that most people have when they learn about the Beales, is the shock of how women who come from such wealth and privilege could fall so far. They garnered the attention of the media in the early 1970's when the Suffolk county health department raided the 15 room mansion and threatened to evict the Beales for living in unsanitary conditions. There were reports of cat feces, urine and piles of garbage rotting in some of the rooms in the house. Because of the media attention, and the relation to Jackie O, pressure was undoubtedly put on Mrs. Onassis to help stave off the eviction and help her relatives, and to prevent further embarrassment to the family. Jackie and her husband donated the funds to have the mansion cleaned and restored, and her sons payed the back taxes amid the negative publicity. The Beales stayed in the house Big Edie's death in 1977.

I was intrigued with the beauty of these women. Little Edie was a debutante, and model in her younger years, she was stunningly beautiful and went off to New York to make her mark on the world. She returned to Grey Gardens unexpectedly several years later after a failed relationship to a married man and she never left her mother's side until Big Edie's death. It has been reported that little Edie would no longer leave the house after the raids by the department of health because of her fear of being denied legal access to the house by authorities. Big Edie was left a small trust by her father after defying him with her elaborate lifestyle, her refusal to conform and desire to hang around with artists and younger men. The trust was not enough to cover the expenses on the house and that is why it fell into disrepair. Big Edie refused to sell or leave the property, despite the urging of her sons and other family members. Their requests fell on deaf ears.
In her later years, Little Edie suffered from hair loss and was never seen without a head scarf. The most interesting thing is that she didn't always use a scarf. She would use a shirt, table cloth, sweater, whatever she could find and artfully wrap it around her head, attach a brooch or some sort of elaborate pin and would look somehow put together...I can't explain why this is, but she would look glamorous somehow in spite of all her craziness...The most famous picture of Edie Beale is one where she is standing outside the ramshackle mansion, with it's overgrown shrubs, wearing a tattered fur coat, beautiful headscarf and large brooch. She believed she was glamorous, and she was right. She was proud of who she was, and in spite of her resentment of what she believed was taking care of her mother..she was a tragic figure.

The tattered antiques in the house are so hauntingly beautiful, traces of a bygone era that are cherished today and most defiantly used in the makings of Bohemian style. Big Edie refused to conform to rules of society that she was born into and that was ultimately her undoing, As I watched the documentary, the spirit of these women was enduring and I couldn't help but think the inside provided the inspiration for an Anthroplogie catalog...perfect in it's imperfection.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Etsy Shop!! Sasha and Dreamer

I am so excited to announce the opening of my Etsy shop, Sasha and Dreamer. I will be posting all of my extra cool items for sale on my Etsy site. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6303361 or jss1969.etsy.com- I have started by listing a few of my handmade bangle bracelets, which is start, but there will be a lot more to come, so keep your eyes open...as Tracy Porter ALWAYS says, dream with your eyes open!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Beauty of Decoupage

I have praised the merits of decoupage in the past, but thought I would post some of the little things that I have added to my collection that make my world more organized and pretty. You can find clear glass pillar candle holders at any of the big variety stores such as Target or Wall Mart. They usually sell for two dollars or so. I buy these pillar holders and attach pretty paper to the bottom using Mod Podge. Mod Podge is a great product because it acts like a sealant, glue and varnish all the same time. It dries clear and leaves a beautiful sheen.
I have used postcards of great works of art as well. You can use any kind of paper you would want to see under glass. I use the glass discs for candles, to organize perfumes, and as coasters for the coffee table! The use of these little glass discs is only limited to your imagination...make good on your dreams!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!

I am just getting the hang of Twitter...not 100% sure of how it works, but if you want to follow, I am @moonjenny- (I think I put that out there the right way) Please let me know if I didn't! :)

Brooks' Room...all designed with reclaimed materials!

I thought I would show you some the items in Brooks' room utilizing all reclaimed furnishings. They key to doing this successfully, I believe is to stick to a basic color palette. I used blues, reds, black and white for his room and we are very happy with the results.

Many of the options that made his room come together were not chosen by me so, I had to work around it. The room was already painted a dark blue, so luckily since most of his furniture had red accents in it, it works- as long as we keep the dark blue IKEA bedding to tie it all together.
The sweet little chair that serves as a platform for his Ugly doll collection was a garage sale find. It was originally painted a dark muddy depression era 1930's brown- and of course, that just won't do in my house! So I painted it three different tones of creamy white- this was four years ago and now the chair is showing some of it's age as it has a few well loved nicks on the top- all adds to the charm!

The dresser was a barter from a friend of mine who is also very much into flea market finds and I had something she wanted so we did a simple trade. (I don't remember now what I traded for it, because I love the dresser so much!) I changed the color slightly; added the red top, then added a layer of crackle on top of the red, and toned it down with the white wash. It looks like an antique, but it's not...just old! I added the Texas (eBay find) star knobs, two of which Brooks removed because he wanted them on his closet door. I have to order replacements for them, which I haven't done yet....

The bed side table we use for his room was once in the hallway of a different home, lived in a bathroom for awhile, and moved several other places over the years, but I did find it at an unfinished furniture store 13 years ago. It has had many paint jobs- but the black base and signature LongJohn red top suit it very well. Brooks likes to keep his Lego collection right next to his bed! The long crack that you see down the side is a casualty from many years of opening and closing the door, but again I am not one to discard it because of this flaw- remember those imperfections, much like life, make living unique and real! :)

Please feel free to contact me through your comments or if you have any design questions, just ask me and I will get back to you ASAP!

Thank you all for your support!


Force Spring In!

It has been one of those spring seasons that feels like it so slow to come after an especially hard winter. One day the sun is bright and the weather semi-warm, and then the next day- rain and cold! Fits and starts- that's how I feel about the start of spring- In order to force some cheer into your home with a taste of spring consider forcing some type of flowering branches indoors. I am lucky enough to have a forsythia bush in my backyard, so I always cut these branches and add them to a vase of water. It helps to add pebbles on the bottom of the vase so that the branches will not fall out of the container. They should start to bloom beautiful yellow flowers in the coming days! Look for flowering branches in your neighborhood to force. They make beautiful decorative touches for no money at all and will cheer your day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do you ever.......

Consider painting your furniture the same color as the wall? I know it sounds radical at first if you have never done it, but it really helps with the overall continuity of the space. I have done this several times in my old house.

When I was painting the nursery for my then infant second boy- Will, I decided that the since the room was on the small side, that I wanted to make it seem bigger. My solution was to paint the bureau the same color as the wall that I was then painting exactly behind where I was going to put the bureau. The bureau was thrift store find so I felt I had nothing to lose. I don't have pictures of that room to show you here, but the above example is an extremely elegant display of some eclectic ingenuity and the picture below is a sophisticated nursery with the black dresser painted the same black as the wall!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Side Of The Road Find!!! ReDone!!!

I was so excited to find this cute little side desk and small chair set on my way to the grocery store the other day. It was put out with the trash! I felt silly pulling my car over and tossing it in the back of my wagon, but was thrilled all the same.

It was originally a banged-up hideous yellow color with metallic dots around the edges. (I should of taken a before picture, but was too excited to get the painting done). I ran to Lowe's to get some high gloss black lacquer spray paint and since it was such a beautiful day I brought the items out on the lawn and started spraying away...the result is stunning! When they were dry I brought them in to use on in my hallway as an accent table and hallway sitting chair (just made that up)! I would love to hear your comments so let me know what you think! :)