What does Life By Design offer me?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Featured Artist From The Country Living Fair 2011, Kathleen Taylor!

Today I would like to introduce you to Kathleen Taylor!  You may already know her work, but if not, Kathleen is an amazing artist and a lovely person and I felt so blessed to be able to speak with her at The Country Living Fair this year!

I had admired her work before on the website, www.matildascottage.com and I was so excited to "round the corner" and see her booth for the first time. Upon introducing myself,  It became apparent what a warm and open person she is as well as what a great sense of humor she possesses!  It is clear when you view her paintings that she has a fun and irreverent approach to life.  Even better, she happens to be successful at sharing that perspective in some pretty amazing works of art.   She has many subjects in her paintings including animals, flowers, funny ladies and more!  As you can see in her pieces below, her use of color is masterful and heavenly.  I hope you enjoy viewing her artwork as much as I do!



The Country Living Fair-Atlanta 2011

















Please take a moment to visit her facebook page, simply search Kathleen Taylor on facebook, she has a page! You can also find some current paintings at :

Kathleen mentioned that she is working on a new site where she will be selling her artwork as well, so as soon as I find out that has been completed, I will do an update on the post and feature her site in the artist column in the right sidebar!



Thank you Kathleen for sharing your talent! I enjoyed meeting you and I look forward to seeing your new website! best wishes and keep painting!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Country Living Fair 2011- The Art Of Display

Hello Y'all!  I mentioned on my last post that there were some "Top Displays" at the Country Living Fair and I want to share 2 booths who had, in my humble opinion, the best overall displays and "shop concept."

Of course, the Fair was filled with creative vignettes as I have shown throughout the Country Living series, but this first booth impressed me with displays that were VERY well executed and it was clear as I approached , what this booth was selling and the themes that were central to their groupings of merchandise!

The First booth was KD Vintage!  Thank you for your beautiful visual inspirations!






KD Vintage is a manufacturer of beautiful seasonal items that bring back the vintage vibe for many seasons! One of the treats of being at the Fair meant that we could purchase their items directly!  They only sell their wares wholesale, generally and online, so if you are interested in these items, you can find a retailer online.  I would take a look at www.christmastraditions.com, otherwise known as Traditions.  This is a site that you should visit anyway, for they have some of the best lines of vintage and folk art holiday items online!


And the other booth that made an impression to the "visual merchandising" geek in me, was named
SassyTrash!  They had a great sign, the appropriate size booth for their available merchandise and a pretty cohesive concept.  Their booth was a lot of fun to look at!






These are images of either side of the entrance to their booth. Thanks for some great eye candy SassyTrash!
Visit their website for some more Country Living Fair photos and some extra photos from their booth!
www.sassytrash.blogspot.com.

Tomorrow, I will feature one of my favorite artists from The Country Living Fair this year, so be prepared for some major inspiration!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Country Living Fair 2011-Vintage Fabrics and Natural Materials

Today's Post continues the series from The Country Living Fair 2011!  Some of the most interesting and beautiful items at the Fair this year were those made from vintage fabrics and  natural materials.  As you will see in this first image, there is nothing more luxurious than layers of tone on tone vintage fabrics and pillows.


This vignette has great impact, and notice the large container filled with bleached peacock feathers... one of my favorite elements for floral designs and one I used recently in an arrangement for a client!  There is nothing complicated about this beautiful combination, and in fact, its success lies within its simplicity.  If you are wanting to make your bedding more interesting and layered, but feel overwhelmed, then start with a solid coverlet in a "favorite" color and begin searching for throws, pillows, crocheted blankets etc. in different tones and textures of the same color.   You will be shocked at the beauty of all of the elements combined.


Some other interesting and fun creations from fabrics are shown below. These display the fun and whimsy that was also present in many spaces at the Fair.  Also, notice the great distressed, painted wood christmas trees in the background, these were very well done and different from anything I have seen before.






Notice the houndstooth black and white wreath!



There were some items that stood out to me that were made of burlap, wicker, and grapevine!  Take a look at them below...




These baskets would look great hung on a small section of wall that could normally be forgotten, such as a small wall in a laundry room or in between two doors in a hallway.  Imagine the wall covered in vintage, muted newsprint wallpaper and then the wall covered in all sizes of these baskets from top to bottom!





These burlap poinsettias were one of my favorite discoveries at the Fair.  I plan on ordering these for some creations, because there are so many different ways to use these.




And I loved this sweet display!  Who would have thought....a vintage baby carriage with some burlap and mums and voila!  Imagine this by your back door!  Very simple, natural materials can make quite a statement.

Well, I hope that you feel like you visited the Country Living Fair as well this year!  I have some more to share, including 2 of the "Best Displays" at the Fair,(in my opinion) and 2 artist features whose work will blow you away!  Stay tuned for these stories in the next few days!  Have a great weekend and ....create something!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

A New Business Website and A New Comment System!

I want to give you guys a quick update.  I am currently working on a business website at www.lbdcarolinas.com where all of my services, rates and specific business related information will be available.  It is already published and you can click on the new tab at the top of this blog to directly link to the site.  It is under construction, but you can get a good idea of how it will be presented!  There will always be a link between the two so you can go back and forth seamlessly.

This will also give me the opportunity to expand the blog and develop some of the ideas that I have wanted to feature, such as sections devoted to artists and some other surprises!

I have also changed the comment system on the blog in response to many readers who have asked for an easier way to get into the conversation.  Simply click on the "comment/reaction" words in the gray box after the post and you will see a simple comment box pop up, asking only for name, email and comment, no tricks!  I hope this helps to build the conversation, because I know you guys have a lot to share!  And thank you to those who have commented so far, it makes things much more interesting!

It may take a week or so to work out the kinks, so please be patient!  Thank you so much!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Country Living Fair 2011...So Many Booths, So Little Time!






As you can see from the photo above, there were many vintage items at the Country Living Fair that could be used for display purposes and for floral arrangements or even unique collections!  Any of the small barrels featured here would be great if filled with fresh flowers and branches, or even preserved flowers, pinecones or fruits for festive table displays!  The large blue wood leaning tray would be interesting if hung on a wall and small collectibles were placed on the partitions, using them as small shelves...soo much more fun than a traditional small cabinet or shelf system.  I really like to use the vintage tool boxes like the black and wood ones as containers for floral arrangements that include hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus and apples or other fruits.
Obviously, when you visit flea markets and antique shows or craft shows, you can have a lot of success in finding unique items if you open your mind to all of the many unconventional ways things can be used!  I have found some wonderful finds and had no idea how I would use them when I purchased them, but had a place to store them until I figured it out!  It never fails, whether it is one day or 3 months, I always come up with interesting ways to utilize vintage finds.




One of the biggest trends right now, is the use of vintage suitcases for many decorative options in the home.  One of my favorite uses for them, is small pet beds.  I also love to see them stacked next to the bed as a side table in the bedroom.




There are so many uses for the small trunks featured in this image, as well as old wooden boxes with graphics like the Utility box as well.  Remember, you can put casters on just about anything to make it mobile, and any wooden boxes or crates that you find, you can put casters on and use for toy boxes, pet toys and bones, book storage in a library or bedroom, or hobby supplies.





So... are you getting a better idea of the abundance of items at The Country Living Fair this year?  So many booths, so little time!  Well I thought I would end today's post with a photo of the item that is currently at the top of my wishlist.  As you can see below, one of the vendors brought a collection of vintage goat carts and yes, I want a vintage goat cart!  no, not go-cart....Goat Cart!  And I will eventually check it off of my list, but my budget wouldn't permit this year. hmmm, maybe next year.




Well I hope you are enjoying the images and inspiration I took away from the Fair this year, and if you have any ideas for uses for any of the items featured in the photos today, please share!  The series will continue tomorrow with more photos and several talented artists who were at the Fair this year as well.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Country Living Fair 2011 - Furnishings!

Country Living Fair Series- Part 2

This year at the Fair, there was a larger variety of antiques and furniture, which was such a treat!  I thought that I would share some images of furniture that really caught my attention. I have also included a list of some of the vendors who featured some really interesting  pieces.

Take note of the hanging lampshades that are numbered...Not only are they great to look at, but the chronological numbers carry your line of sight across the room. This is great for styling a booth where you want visitors to notice as many elements as possible.  I like the mix of vintage rustic and french without too much fluff.  I saw this space and immediately wanted to walk in and sit down, that is a successful booth!






This blue piece was one of my favorites! It was a tough one to pass up, but I was looking for a bench and had to stick to my mission. All I could think about when I saw it was, what a great piece to hold a collection of just about anything...from sterling silver to white hobnail pieces.

Imagine a collection of Delftware filling this piece. WOW!   Blue and white is such a classic combination and it is one that should be done in a "large" way.  Oh well, maybe next time!




Great bench and pillows...I couldn't make it work for me, but I am sure that someone grabbed this one and took it home!  As you can see, the styling was really well done at this Fair and I could tell this was not the first time around for a lot of these vendors.




I really enjoyed the overall composition of this display, with all of the different tones of blue.  This is the type of piece that can inspire the look of an entire room.  If you are changing any room in your home, there are many different ways to initiate that change and it doesn't always have to begin the same way!  A transformation can begin with a gorgeous swatch of fabric, a vintage chair,  a distressed accent piece or even a piece of art.





Here is a list of some of the participating vendors from the Country Living Fair who had vintage and antique furniture:


I hope you feel inspired and check back for more features on the Country Living Fair 2011!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Country Living Fair 2011...The First Feature of the Series!

I have returned from The Country Living Fair in Stone Mountain, Georgia and Wow, what an extravaganza!  This year, there were more vendors and even more of a variety of wares!  I will be featuring highlights over the next week, including several talented artists from the fair and many beautiful photos of the booths and artwork.

Today I want to include several photos of the entrance and welcome area of the Fair.  Upon entering, you immediately walk into a stone pavilion with a giant fireplace. This area is beautifully styled and it sets the tone for the aesthetic of the fair, overall.

Enjoy...as you enter the Country Living Fair 2011.  













Did you go to Country Living Fair this year? If so, what was your favorite part?  What did you buy?  Did you discover any new artists or vendors?

Check back for more Country Living Fair highlights throughout the week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Got Fabric? Today's Featured Artist Does! And We Are All Grateful, Thank You Ann Wood

In the past, I have shared the exhilaration and wonderment that I feel when I discover a new artist! (when I say new artist, obviously I mean new to me..) There have been moments when I turned the corner at a gallery and literally gasped at the impact of a painting.  There have been pieces that I couldn't get out of my head for months, and times when I have researched online for hours "googling" partial names from a few letter combinations I could make out at the bottom of a painting!

We all have those moments when we "hear angels singing and see bright golden lights."   Okay, so I am exaggerating, but I think you can get the picture.  Art and artists are my thing, maybe yours is shoes...or wooden surfboards...or poetry.

Today, I am featuring an artist whose works I DID gasp over when I turned the page of a magazine to see them.  Her name is Ann Wood.




Ann Lives in Brooklyn, New York and works with found and salvaged materials, mostly from vintage and antique garments to create ships, owls, birds, bats and more.



I am amazed at her talent and creativity.  It inspires me to see what beauty can be created from fabric scraps.  With Ann's touch, old gowns and garments can become special again...treasured by a new owner and enjoyed by new admirers in a completely different form-and yet the history within the fabric endures.






Please check out her website at www.annwoodhandmade.com.  I first discovered Ann Wood from "Cloth Paper Scissors" magazine in September 2010, where they featured her works with some amazing photographs.  If you would would like to see more of her pieces and learn more about her, visit www.clothpaperscissors.com.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ultimate "Sourcebook" for Home Products!

Thanks for your patience!  I have been a little under the weather and am happy to share one of my favorite resources with you, if you have not already been introduced!

Well if you check in often, you are already aware of my love for Houzz.com.  You can even see some of my favorite rooms and products featured on Houzz by clicking on the Houzz widget in the right hand column!

Okay... if inspiring Home Decor Resource websites were a family, then Houzz and Remodelista would be the supporting branches of that family tree.  Remodelista is a website rich with features that inspires AND delivers. It is the ultimate destination for sourcing products.  Both sites have a lot to look at, but Houzz is THE place to go for inspiration in room decor and photos, where Remodelista is the place to go for products for the home.
Again, both are full of different features, but this is what stands out for me.



One of my favorite parts about sourcing from this website, is that you can search for products in so many different ways and once you click on the product you would like to see, there is a direct link button to take you to the website to see more if you wish!

Be careful, this is another site in which you can lose major chunks of time! But oh.. how worth it, it is!
I recently searched for lighting and here are some great finds!







I hope that you enjoy this site as much as I do!  Take a look!  www.remodelista.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Simple Design For Small Prices! MUJI Delivers.

We all need a little "city in a bag"...right. So I need to introduce you to MUJI. Muji is a company with a design aesthetic based on simplicity, an overall approach that is devoid of frills and extras. They aspire to modesty and plainness in a way that makes every girl want to be a "little" more plain.

Muji focuses on simplicity in both design and packaging, opting for product packaging that is not wasteful and free of excess decoration which in turn, keeps prices down and makes it a lot easier for us to buy more for less!




Muji designs office supplies, interior decor, furniture, housewares and gifts. And all of their items are beautiful in their simplicity and clean lines. Even better, they are very affordable, for example the small sofa below sells for $330.00.

Take a look at www.muji.us/store to discover some impressive designs for surprisingly affordable prices. Maybe Muji is just a little too simple for you? Well, then maybe only one aspect of your life needs editing right now, such as your home office supplies or cosmetic and toiletries storage. This would be a good way to take some of the chaos out of your life, add some well designed organization and- achieve it on a budget!


Well, I will leave you to your quest for simplicity in good design and I will be leaving to order some kraft paper notebooks and aluminum pens. Thank you Muji!



okay, and maybe some baskets...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You Never Know When There May Be A Camera Involved! Stay Pretty, Even When You Are Scared!

As we all know, Halloween is right around the corner, (remember the part where we anxiously await the end of the night so that we can raid our kids' candy buckets?)  This time of year, along with the anticipation of hoarding candy, many of us visit our local corn maze or haunted house.  I remember visiting haunted houses as a teenager and getting the "you-know-what" scared out of me.

You always have the chainsaw wielding, Jason mask-wearing scary man, and the ghosts and murderers jumping out of dark corners...If you think about it, there is only so much variation on the themes of a haunted house, and only so many scenarios in which to enlist, but year after year we continued to be frightened by the same things like it is the first time.  It is a bit like the typical scene in a horror movie where the girl hears a noise in a completely blacked out home with no cellphone coverage,  and always searches for the source of the scary noise in the darkness asking "who goes there" as she approaches her doom. We are all victims of our own need for adrenaline in the "safe" fear of haunted houses and horror flics!  So maybe part of the anticipation of Halloween is sugar coma...but the other part is an adrenaline rush from haunted houses!

Well. I don't know if you have ever had a photo taken of you in mid-scream?  If you have visited a good theme park with scariness, they usually have the hidden cameras to snap the photos and let me tell you, it is pure gold.  There is nothing like watching someone "lose it" and fall ungracefully (unhurt, of course) to bring about a good belly laugh, but there is the photo of someone's genuine fear response that is classic and also arouses a good bout of laughter and finger-pointing...

Thank you Nightmare's Fear Factory for that camera in the darkened corner...

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Okay, really?



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Now you see what they mean by a picture says a thousand words?



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Just make sure if you get a little spooked this Halloween, that you look good when you scream your head off, because there may be a camera involved...



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Happy Halloween!  And if you want to see an entire collection of pure funny, then go to Nightmares Fear Factory facebook page!  This Haunted House is located in Niagara Falls, Canada and it looks like they may have a little variation on that theme I was talking about earlier.  Or maybe not, maybe these faces are a response to a chainsaw wielding teenager with a Jason mask on, in a dark corner....



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