Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bringing The Outdoors In

Several vases full of Zinnias bring the outdoors into my dining room

The summer heat and those pesky mosquitoes prevent me from spending as much time as I'd like to in the garden this time of year.  Fortunately, I can bring the outdoors inside in the form of bouquets.  

Actually, I love to do this throughout all of the blooming seasons.  I have a lot of fun searching my favorite home d├ęcor and second hand shops for inexpensive and unusual vases and experimenting with different flower arrangements throughout my home.   Below are a few photos of some of my favorites.  I hope they bring a little bit of the beauty of nature into your home or office today.

Home is my rainbow and bouquets of Cherry Blossoms help make it so.

After a storm I salvaged these fallen Irises for this arrangement.

This arrangement of a variety of summer flowers brings even more color to the inside
of my garden shed.

One of my favorite vases containing some of my favorite flowers,
Ballerina Roses.

Another wonderful thrift store container perfect for small roses.

I think these Limelight Hydrangea and Tall Summer Phlox
blooms make a very striking combination.

"Grow" Garden Angel Apron
"Grow" Garden Angel Apron by Victoreeah
Find more Grow Aprons at Zazzle

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Defeating The Anti-Muse

"Angel Of Imperfection" Art by Victoria Lynn Hall
"Angel Of Imperfection" Art Greeting Card by Victoria Lynn Hall

I complain a lot about how annoying my Muse can be but the truth is, I wouldn't work for her if I didn't think she was ultimately a force for good and magical things in my life. The problem is that working for her requires me to battle with my own doubts, fears and insecurities on a regular basis. Often, these things manifest as my perfectionist tendencies, a side of myself that I have come to think of as The Anti-Muse.

The Anti-Muse can be tricky to outwit because she often disguises herself as a rational and responsible voice in my head. She may even start off with a seemingly innocent and practical suggestion such as, “You should clean your studio before you start painting.” 

"What's wrong with that?" you ask. 

Well, nothing, until hours (or sometimes even days) have passed and I haven't finished or didn't even start to clean my studio because she's convinced me that it will never be clean enough or organized enough or stylish enough so why even bother?

Then, as I am searching the internet for storage cabinets and shelving systems I don't really need, feeling hopeless and frazzled, it suddenly hits me:

I've been foiled again by The Anti-Muse!

Fortunately, once I recognize this, she becomes a much less threatening foe. In fact, she becomes a guide of sorts as I know that doing the opposite of what she wants is probably what's best for me. So instead of telling myself I have to clean my studio before I paint, I tell myself I have to paint before I can clean my studio. Instead of believing her when she says nothing I paint will ever be good enough, I tell myself that anything I paint will be good enough (especially when compared to nothing).

I may have to battle with The Anti-Muse like this for awhile but eventually my Muse will step in and take over and things will get a lot easier. I will remember that my studio doesn't have to be perfect and neither do I. I will find myself free to do the best that I can do, which is almost always a little better than I thought I could.

And before I know it, I am standing in a (mostly) clean studio, ready to begin another painting and saying, “Take that, Anti-Muse!”.


Friday, August 2, 2013

The Cabbage Gallery

The Cabbage Gallery

I've heard experts say that you should live in a house for awhile and get a feel for how you live in it before you start decorating. This is good advice that I completely ignored when Hippie and I moved in to The Cabbage more than 7 years ago. I had a vision for this home the minute I laid eyes on it and started painting the walls minutes after we got the keys.

I was especially excited to tackle the two rooms at the front of the house that were original to my 1920 Bungalow. One was the dining room and adjacent to that was what probably would have been known as the front parlor. That, I decided, was going to be my dream library. And, after some work, it was, for awhile.

Before: The Cabbage Library

It was kind of a shame really but over time The Library just proved to be an impractical room. I think it took about two years for me to admit to myself that it didn't work and move the library to the guest room. Then for the next five years I took the experts' advice and just lived in my not-a-library-anymore room, mostly using it as an office as I waited for inspiration.

Slowly, as my life and business evolved, it became clear that I needed more than an office. I needed a place where I could store and display my art, products and the collections that inspire me. Finally, the idea of turning the room into a home gallery started to form until it became impossible to resist. It took awhile for it all to come together and I will probably be tweaking it for awhile but overall I'm super happy with it and I hope you like it too.

And now on with the tour...

Here's an expanded view where you can see my funky hanging pendant light, a thrift store find.

The Cabbage Gallery, daytime

Hippie built and installed all of the shelves and I have been arranging and rearranging stuff on them ever since.

Hippie's shelves, my art
More Shelves and Art

I'm excited to finally have a place to display my vintage photo collection.  I call it my wall of adopted ancestors.

Vintage Photo Collection

I've also been working on the adjacent dining room but it's still a work in progress.

Dining Room Entrance

The built in bookcases on this wall are a perfect place for me to store and display my Zazzle products.  Though after looking at these pictures I think I need to paint the inside of them a nice, bright color.

Product Display

Update: Painted the shelves, looks so much better now, don't ya think?

I am really bad at hanging wallpaper so I hand painted this butterfly and branches pattern on the wall instead.

Wall Pattern Detail

I made the window treatments by embellishing some inexpensive lace panels with some great scarves I found at Pier1.

The Cabbage Gallery Window Treatment

Cabbage Gallery Sitting Area

I got the fab pouf from Modcloth and Hippie helped me make a little stand for it to get it off the floor and make it more like an ottoman.  We also made a little pedestal for my card rack.

Pouf on a pedestal
Elevated card rack

So there you have it.  Thanks so much for reading. Now on to finishing the dining room!

"Potential" Frog Prince Art Card
"Potential" Frog Prince Art Card by Victoriart
Look at more Fairy tale Cards at zazzle

"Out Of Water" Mermaid Art Ceramic Tiles