Inspiration

Highlights of the week

Today I hung a collection of paintings, photographs and collages at a local Brewery. ‘Tis the season to start shopping for the holidays. If you are local stop next Tuesday November 13th for a night of art, beer and live jazz from 7-9pm. There will be a group of artists showing paintings, photography and pottery. Bring the entire family, they have games and a popcorn machine. I would love to meet you so come say hi!

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If you love design and interiors you may have heard of The One Room Challenge. Participating designers are given six weeks to transform a space. I was lucky to have my artwork in two guest reveals. The first was a boys bedroom in Cobourg, ON. You can see more photos here from Thalita’s home. My collage is framed on the far right. How cute is this big boy room, no more cribs for these twins.

 Photo by Thalita Murray

Photo by Thalita Murray

I was contacted by Brynn to make a custom collage for her Sunroom. She fell in love with one in my shop and needed a pair of them for her space. Contact me for commissions, I’m always up for a challenge. The transformation of her room is incredible, check here for the before and after shots.

 Photo by Brynn

Photo by Brynn

This room was my favourite design out of all the reveals I looked at online. I just discovered Nicole & I’m excited to follow along as she renovates her new home in Philadelphia. Check out the before and afters here.

 Photo by Rebecca McAlphin

Photo by Rebecca McAlphin

My mother-in-law took me to a pottery class in September and we just got to pick up our pieces. Since it was only a two hour class we made the pieces on the wheel but our instructors fired them in the kiln and glazed them for us. At least we got to choose the colours. This piece is my favourite, an actual bowl! If you do pottery I applaud you, it is hard.

 I also got new earrings that I love wearing by  Keona Boutique  in Guelph.

I also got new earrings that I love wearing by Keona Boutique in Guelph.

It’s always the best feeling to see photos from customers of my art installed. This painting was shipped to England rolled in a tube and my new friend Blaise got it professionally framed. It now hangs in the master bedroom.

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If you want a head start shopping for the holidays while supporting local small businesses and makers, check out this pop-up I'm going to be a part of at The Oshawa Centre. There will be contests and giveaways so make sure to follow Casa Alma for all the details. It will be located in the Circa 905 vendor space across from the food court and Brown Shoes.

With over fifteen participating companies here are a few of my favourites: Swell Made Co., Lit Lettering, Sticks and Strings Macrame, Dwellisimo and Style In Form.

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 A look at some of the goods that will be available. Photo by Casa Alma.

A look at some of the goods that will be available. Photo by Casa Alma.

Yesterday we had our first snow fall this year, our new dog Biggie loved playing in it. My daughters say he looks like a polar bear and we won’t be able to see him in our yard in the snow. Guess we’ll wait and see. He is adjusting so well and we can’t imagine our home without him, drool and all.

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Have a great weekend!

Holly's Dream Home

If you are new around here I’ll give you a quick update on what gets me excited about houses. I love mid-century architecture, flat roofs, bungalows, lots of windows, black exteriors, car ports…my list could go on folks. Just for fun I scroll through realtor sites and sales listings in different cities, you never know right!

Maybe that perfect house will just appear and call my name. Today’s home known as the Lapierre residence is a beauty and was recently for sale. It was built in 1960 and situated in St. Catharines Ontario. A few hours away from where I live now. I attended University in St. Catharines and I never knew this house existed, it was so close to me. I could have went to visit!

These are the listing photos so I’m sure it is staged and the home owners didn’t live exactly like this. The space was just so dreamy I had to share. It’s not often you see a home from that era that still has original features, and is combined with modern details that are so complimentary to one another.

All photos are by Brott Hadden Group.

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Just think if only my family had of won the lotto last week…maybe it could have been our’s. Anything over a million is way out of our price range. Insert laughter here!



Casa Alma

I first met Elizabeth the lady behind the brand Casa Alma through the good old internet. We met at a cafe and chatted in person, I knew she was my kind kind of gal. She has great style, loves to thrift, and has a passion for home decor and colourful rugs!

I’ve been lucky to have my work in several of her projects, and the latest is something she should be very proud of. The transformation and styling of a huge project in Cobourg ON, that was just featured on HGTV Canada. You can check out the full interview here.

Below I’ve included some of my favourite photos, you know I love a good vignette and each of these rooms has plenty of them. Original art is a favourite way to add personality to your space, I was in good company with the other artists chosen. All photographs are by another talented lady Chantelle Watt. If you are local check her out!!

Grab a beverage and getting ready to get be inspired.

 This is Liz looking gorgeous!

This is Liz looking gorgeous!

 Macrame by  Sticks and Strings
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 My three framed collages available through  Jenny’s Print Shop . Also an original collage in lucite frame.

My three framed collages available through Jenny’s Print Shop. Also an original collage in lucite frame.

 One of Casa Alma’s colourful rugs!

One of Casa Alma’s colourful rugs!

 Two of my paintings hanging on the right. Far left available at  Dwellisimo .

Two of my paintings hanging on the right. Far left available at Dwellisimo.

 Art by  Beth James
 In love with this pottery by  Style In Form

In love with this pottery by Style In Form

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 Art by Larissa Clayton

Art by Larissa Clayton

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 Print by  Swell Made Co.
 My painting on the bottom left. Top right by Larissa Clayton.

My painting on the bottom left. Top right by Larissa Clayton.

 My photograph “Montreal” all framed up.

My photograph “Montreal” all framed up.

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Release of new paintings and collages

The leaves are falling, the colours are changing and I have been inspired to create some new work. My daughters are back in school and I’ve found some much needed alone time in the studio (aka the basement!). I’m excited to share everything with you and show you some of the photos that inspired me during the process. As of today new paintings and original collages on paper are now available in my shop.

Perhaps you need a piece to add to your gallery wall, or a set of collages to fill that blank wall that just needs a little something. I’ve got you covered folks, head on over to my online shop and check out all of the new pieces. If you can’t treat yourself right now, start making your Christmas list!

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 Photo by Costas Spathis

Photo by Costas Spathis

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 Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

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 Photo by Anthropology

Photo by Anthropology

 Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

“Your home is your sanctuary, so you want it to be cozy and calm, but you have to be brave in your choices or else it won’t have personality.” - Erin Walsh.

Jenny Prinn's colourful home

A few years ago I came across American artist Jenny Prinn. She recently shared a feature that was written about her on The Mainers, and I loved it so much I wanted to share her home with you. If you love vibrant interiors filled with original art, antiques and colourful accessories, then you will enjoy a peak into her family’s home. Make sure to check out Jenny’s website, I know you will find something you want to take home.

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To see the full interview and house tour please check it out here. All photographs by The Mainer.

Art and Inspiration

My inbox is often full of beautiful interiors, colourful designs and inspiring artwork. I thought I would share some things that have been in the back of my mind lately while I’m creating my latest collection.

This styled vignette by Fenton & Fenton has a mid-century feel that I’m drawn to. The placement of the artwork isn’t the same as your typical gallery wall, as these paintings are actually for sale. The space has an eclectic vibe and is grounded with the use of blue and black. I love it all!

 Photo by  Fenton & Fenton

Textiles such as raw canvas and worn denim are finding their way into my new work. I took a photo of these jeans that I bought in NYC when I was in my twenties before I cut them up. They no longer fit me but I was saving them for some reason. What better use than to incorporate them into my work?

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This is definitely not a washroom I would want in my own home, but I do love the mix of saturated hues. That lilac/grey shade is being used in my current work, and I love it with that peach. How fun are those tiles! They remind of of the 80’s and a deck of cards. My daughters are obsessed with playing cards so I shuffle them several times a day.

  Photo by Carola Ripamonti

Photo by Carola Ripamonti

Designer Jenny Komenda recently shared lots of details and some photos from her family’s holiday to Scandinavia on her blog. I’m always attracted to cool architecture and the muted tones shown in this photo “Sunshine Row” appeal to me. I think I need to print it out for our bedroom.

 Photo by Jenny Komenda for  Jenny’s Print Shop

Photo by Jenny Komenda for Jenny’s Print Shop

I love creating texture in my work. This brick wall I spotted this summer has just the right amount of chipped paint and I’m a sucker for all shades of blue. I would print and frame this as artwork for sure.

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Artist Heather Day recently painted this fun abstract mural in California. It makes me happy just to look at it.

 Photo by Margaret Austin. Artwork by  Heather Day

Photo by Margaret Austin. Artwork by Heather Day

I spotted this Interior on Dwell. I’m not into the furniture choices but man do I love those geometric walls and ceiling. The wall of windows is pretty amazing as well. I’ve been inspired to use blocks of color in my latest collection of paintings.

 Photo by Alice Clancy

Photo by Alice Clancy

I love discovering artists and San Francisco based Rebekah Goldstein is my latest find. Similar organic lines are presenting themselves on my canvases. The warm color palette shown here has me ready for fall.

 Rug designed by Rebekah Goldstein for  West Elm

Rug designed by Rebekah Goldstein for West Elm

Highlights of the week

My daughters started back at school on Tuesday which means more studio time for me. I'm excited to continue working on a new collection of abstract paintings that I began during the summer months. I'm adding texture to my canvases with the use of fabric. Here is a preview of one of my new pieces.

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I'm working more hours now so time for myself and my art need to be a priority when I have free time. There is nothing like getting my hands dirty and getting in my creative zone. Other makers can relate I'm sure, you can't force yourself to make something great but you can try and hope it doesn't feel like time wasted.

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We welcomed a new addition to our family at the end of August. He's a big guy who is full of love and wants our affection. We named him "Biggie" which seems quite fitting. He shares my love for vintage rugs, so it's a good thing I have a nice collection started. He's not a fan of the hardwood, but likes to nap on the soft surfaces.

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Here's another shot of him outside, he's so cute! When we walk him in our neighbourhood everyone asks if he is a Great Pyrenees. They do look similar, but he is a Maremma Sheepdog a breed that was new to us. He's great with our daughters which is so important.

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I celebrated my birthday last weekend, I'm in my forties and loving every minute of it. Other than the mornings when my body aches when I get out of bed. Then I know I'm not in my twenties!

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My friend Natalie made this gorgeous Earl Grey flavoured cake for me as a surprise and it was delicious! She was inspired by my painting on the left and it truly looked so good I didn't want to eat it. This is a hobby of her's not a business, how talented is she though? Look her up if you need something special for your next event.

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I hope you had a wonderful summer and made a ton of memories with your families. It's hard to get back into routines but if I can do it I know you can to. I'm ready for bed ands it's only 9:15, a sure sign I'm aging!

Goodbye Summer

My family just got back from a road trip across the border. We spent the night in Scranton PA on our way to Virginia. My husband & I are fans of The Office so, of course, Dunder Mifflin was on my mind (Pam and Jim forever!). We made it into Washington DC a few days and the architecture and Scuplture Gardens were highlights for me. Here are a few photos from our trip.

 The National Archives Building

The National Archives Building

 The National Museum of the American Indian. Those curves!

The National Museum of the American Indian. Those curves!

 Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 We just saw an exhibit of Robert Indiana's work in Buffalo last month. Here's another of his gorgeous pieces!

We just saw an exhibit of Robert Indiana's work in Buffalo last month. Here's another of his gorgeous pieces!

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My husband and I went to a few concerts in Toronto this summer. The Foo Fighters were so good live, I highly recommend them. We both love to listen to 80's classics by Talking Heads so it was a treat to see frontman David Byrne's creativity come to life on stage.  My favourite song will always be "Once In A Lifetime." If you weren't born in the 1980's when it came out and have no idea who they are, please do yourself a favour and look them up.

This album by Australian band Middle Kids is amazing, it's been on repeat all summer at our house. "Tell Me Something" is one of my favourites! 

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I just discovered Toronto based company From Jess & Jules and I thought I would share them with you. Supporting small businesses is such a great thing to do.

"We are Jess and Jules. We've curated this beautiful assortment of pieces we've found all around the world in hopes that you will love them as much as we do. Each piece has been carefully selected, meeting our requirements of working with ethically sourced small suppliers, to bring you something special." 

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I love me a cozy cardigan once the cooler temperatures arrive. This chunky knit sweater is 100% Hand-knitted in Greece by some kick-ass mums. It's available in a variety of colors, I love this neutral as well as the Olive one.

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I would consider myself an amateur photographer but I would love to have one of these Brandy Camera Straps around my neck while I shoot photos of my family and artwork on our Nikon D600.

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I've never worn a hat like this but I'm always envious of ladies who can pull them off during the fall months. Grey is pretty much my favourite colour for clothing so, I think this would match everything. Can't you just picture me at the farmer's market looking so fashionable in this felt beauty!

A few more weeks until the girls are back at school. I'm ready to get back to a consistent routine and I'll also be starting to work more hours at my job come September. Painting and creating will happen, I will just have to focus on taking time for myself and making it a priority.

Flashes of delight...

Is a hashtag I often use on Instagram and I thought it was the perfect title to recap some of my favourite pieces of art from my recent to trip to Buffalo. I haven't been to the Albright- Knox in almost 20 years since I was in art school. Back then my love for contemporary art was not as strong. I'm so glad we spent the morning there, it was a great experience.

"For more than 150 years, the Albright-Knox has collected, conserved, and exhibited the art of its time, often working directly with living artists. This tradition has given rise to one of the world’s most extraordinary collections of modern and contemporary art." They currently have a sculpture retrospective on by Robert Indiana, which I highly recommend going to see.

In no particular order here are a few photos my husband and I took while exploring the grounds and viewing the collection inside the gallery.

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I wish I could tell you the name and artist of every piece, you will have to trust me and go to the gallery yourself. You won't be disappointed.

 

 

Art and Inspiration

I recently discovered the work of American artist Kevin Peterson online and was blown away. Wildlife and children in an urban environment, a combination I've never seen before. Make sure to check him out.

 Photo by Kevin Peterson

Photo by Kevin Peterson

In a few days we are headed to the Albright- Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo NY. I hope I leave feeling an urge to create, this often happens to me after viewing other artists work in person. There are quite a few murals I have discovered that are on my must-see list while we are in town. This is one of them entitled "We Are Here" by White Bicylcle Design Studio.

 Photo by Tom Loonan

Photo by Tom Loonan

I've been looking online trying to figure out what kind of moulding I want to do on the main wall in our living/dining area. This space designed by Amber Lewis caught my eye, our wall will be painted white. I like the spacing used and the flat pieces of wood (MDF). I've been wanting to get this project done for years, let's hope this summer it actually happens.

 Photo by Amber Lewis

Photo by Amber Lewis

The new Florence and the Machine album just came out and it's on repeat at our house. I always have music on while I'm creating and she is at the top of my play list.

 Photo- PJP PHOTOS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo- PJP PHOTOS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

This just arrived in my inbox, and it could not have come at a better time. "If you’re an ambitious, creative person you’re definitely going to have to train yourself to focus & hone in on what your mission is and what your priorities are all.the.time. because it’s easy to get excited about ideas, get distracted, and then feel lost in the noise. Don’t get lost. Stay grounded. And proudly be who you are. Stay boss." xx-Gina Moccio founder of Boss Babe Club

 Artwork by Libby Vander Ploeg

Artwork by Libby Vander Ploeg

Have a great week guys!

 

 

 

Holly's Dream Home

I know I'm not the only design lover who has been following along with Sarah Sherman Samuel's renovation project with actress Mandy Moore. Mid-century architecture is hands down my favourite style. Her space had me drooling from the start, and the design elements that were chosen are so good!!! In case you haven't checked out the article in Architectural Digest, I thought I would share some of my favourite shots with you.

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All photos by Architectural Digest. Check out the full feature in the magazine here. All those glass windows and that view, I can't even imagine!!

Today we booked tickets for our tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House next month. I can't wait to share our getaway with you.

My authentic self

I recently listened to a podcast by Kate Gremillion and honestly didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I don't listen to a lot of them, but every now and again when I'm doing boring stuff around the house, like folding laundry, it helps time pass quickly.

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Selling yourself and your brand is something that is important in this day and age. Social media allows us to share ourselves and sell our product to people all over the world. Sometimes I wonder what it was that first attracted a new follower on Instagram or someone to my website. After listening to Kate's words I know that discovering my personal brand came quite naturally for me. I'm a visual person I have been since I was a child.

My strength is visual art and creating colourful artwork. I've mixed that with what I've always enjoyed, interior design & styling. "People want to share their experiences and make connections." -Kate says and I couldn't agree more.

"Opportunities come to us if we let those around us know what we are interested in, and what kind of opportunities we are looking for." I need to start doing this more. My friends and family know that I have a passion for writing about interior spaces. I do it because I love to read them and share them with others. I don't get paid to write my blog and currently do not have any companies that advertise on it. Maybe I need to change this? I am putting this out there for all my readers. If you work or own a company that would be a good fit let's chat. If you read about a position online for a contributor to a design based website, send me the link. I have a few artist friends that have been very kind and supportive, sending me job postings they hear of. Keep them coming!

 Photo by Anne- Marie Ezeard

Photo by Anne- Marie Ezeard

If you have been following along since the beginning you may know that I taught evening art classes part-time for several years. That has recently changed and now I have a part-time job during the day, which still allows me time to create and spend time with my daughters.

I remember when I was in college my friend asked me what my dream job was and I told her working for a home decor magazine. I honestly had no qualifications and didn't love writing so I'm not sure why I gave her that answer. My friend went on to study graphic design and work for several in-house publishers. Today I have a blog and discovered that I actually do enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and interests with others.

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I have never considered myself a blogger, I do it because I enjoy it. Not because it's a job and I have to. Maybe one day this will change, but it's going on three years now since I started my website. Thanks for following along, encouraging me and giving my artwork a place to call home.

 

 

Highlights of the week

Two weeks ago I made a lot of new work for an upcoming collaboration I'm excited about. So this week was about trying to get my house in order and doing some much-needed gardening. 

 Last year I discovered The Modern House. Even though I'm not planning on moving to Britain, it's still fun to see all of the beautiful homes & inspiring designs they promote. This one caught my eye...that pop of yellow is so fun. The architecture reminds me of a vintage dollhouse from my childhood. I love me a bungalow!

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Our vintage/new dining table is finally in the kitchen. (Read about it here) Which means changes need to happen soon. I have always hated the backslash in our kitchen & after four and a half years of living with it, I think I may have found an inexpensive solution. Peel & stick tiles, now I have to decide on how much of a pattern I want. Debating if I need to order samples or just go for it. 

 Our kitchen shot by Lauren Kolyn a few years ago. The glass tiles are much more beige in person, and stores please stop selling accent tile! I'm not a fan.

Our kitchen shot by Lauren Kolyn a few years ago. The glass tiles are much more beige in person, and stores please stop selling accent tile! I'm not a fan.

 I kind of like this graphic tone on tone pattern.

I kind of like this graphic tone on tone pattern.

Recently I read Emily Henderson's post about her being on the set of the television show New Girl. I had only watched a few minutes here and there but decided I should give it a go. I've been binge watching it ever since and am now on the third season. I laugh so hard in every episode and my husband even enjoys it as well. 

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Netflix brought back Arrested Development and we're loving it as well... Gob Bluth is my fav! If you want to feel like you've got your shit together, I suggest watching this or Shameless. They are both very strange families.

My husband was out of town which means I sat in bed and watched random celebrity interviews on youtube and caught up on design blogs.  I discovered this show and had another great idea...but realistically I need more hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to do.

I love this hand painted wall treatment and am going to try something similar in my daughter's bedroom. We've been talking about switching things up for a while and I love to decorate so it's a go. She was hoping for wallpaper and I would love to get this from Juju Papers, but it's not in the budget. Wish me luck with this technique.

 Photo by Mr. Kate

Photo by Mr. Kate

Since my house is already a mess I thought why not repaint our master bedroom as well. I'm doing it first as it will hopefully be quick and easy. I just happened to go grocery shopping yesterday and drive by Sherwin Williams to see that they were having a 40% off sale. It was meant to be folks!

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I went with the shade of green on the left, the color was inspired by this room that Mandi Johnson used in her study which she is currently designing.

 This will be on my summer reading list.

This will be on my summer reading list.

It's been a while since I checked in here so I thought I would catch you up on what's happening. This tired lady is off to bed!

 

 

 

 

Art Opening

This week I had the opportunity to hang some of my artwork at a local brewery that is new in town. They gave me permission to do whatever I wanted and I got excited. Over the past few years I have experimented with many techniques and styles. A gallery wall featuring some of my favourites was what I had in mind and I'm thrilled with how it all came together.

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Now I should add that this opportunity came about simply because I made the first move, I inquired if they would be interested in displaying my work. If you are reading this thinking boy she's lucky, let me tell you my secret... JUST ASK.

The first time I came here I noticed the walls were blank, it dawned on me the next day to email them. The response was quick, they said they were open to supporting local artists but unsure how to go about it.

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"Only women truly know what other women go through on a daily basis. Whether it’s work, life, or mental circumstances, no one knows what a women is facing more than another women. It’s so important that we build each other up, no matter what. Be cool to your fellow sister!" - Wise words from Candace Molatore.

 Photo via pinterest

Photo via pinterest

When I was in my twenties I don't think I would have had the courage to put myself out there as much. Today I'm forty and know that the responses I will receive are: no reply at all, no thanks, or a yes. It's really that simple.

Design Sponge's Grace Bonney shared these words about collaborating with others and I thought they were very helpful. There is definitely some good advice here if you are unsure of what to say when reaching out.

Don't take things personal and keep trying. If you feel passionate about it then you will find a way to make it work. If you need support or have a question send me an email.

Experimenting

 Abstract art is what I am the most comfortable and confident in creating. However, some of my favourite ideas are formed when I am not sitting in front of a blank canvas. The days when I wake up and have the urge to experiment and try something different get my adrenaline pumping.

I posted about a fashion photographer late last year and his work really caught my attention. My friend Roslyn has always been into trends, and the one who sported an animal print blouse into the art studio while we were in University.  I wore a grey cardigan similar to Mr. Rogers that once belonged to my Grandpa. For real guys, I wore it a lot! I did not dress to impress and still wear jeans and a plaid shirt most days I leave the house.

 I think I was 21 in these photos. I was into up-do's & as you can see, capris & platforms were obviously the trend. I even found a photo of Roz in her favourite top! 

I think I was 21 in these photos. I was into up-do's & as you can see, capris & platforms were obviously the trend. I even found a photo of Roz in her favourite top! 

Since that time Roz has started a fashion blog and has some inspiring looks. A few months ago I  asked her if she would like to collaborate with me. She sent me a few images and I played around on my tablet once the kids were in bed. I've always been drawn to pop art and Andy Warhol's mix of colours. These pieces were extremely satisfying to make and I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you. 

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The snow has finally melted here in Ontario & I think warm days are ahead. I'm so ready to give myself a pedicure and start wearing sandals, like every day! 

 

 

New Season, New Space & a Giveaway!

Spring is officially here, even though there is still snow on the ground. I think it's safe to say we are all ready to change up the decor when we look around our homes.

Is there a room in your home that could use some freshening up? I've teamed up with some local companies and we've decided to put together this ultimate giveaway. One lucky winner is going to win this amazing prize! Details on how to enter are at the end of the post.

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This painting I created will inject a pop of colour into any room.

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Sage Living & domino are inspiring coffee table books filled with endless decor inspiration. Check out Watson & Lou in Peterborough & shop their collection of unique handmade products. Also read about the fun & innovative workshops they offer.

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You know I have a weakness for anything mid-century. Dwellissimo in Port Hope has a wide selection of furniture & vintage decor. They are giving the lucky winner this modern chair. 

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Emerence of Stoney Lake Textiles has sewn this pair of gorgeous toss cushions that will instantly transform your sofa from blah to fabulous! The details like those gold zippers, I'm in love.

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Casa Alma out of Cobourg has an amazing collection of vintage rugs. Their collection of curated goods combines vintage finds, clean lines and globally influenced pieces. All of these colours are my favourites, it would look right at home in my entry.

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Aluminum black legs with a salvaged tongue and groove wood top. A touch of vintage charm to add into your space by Project Lola out of Cobourg.

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You know I have a thing for plants, they really do liven up a space & are an inexpensive addition to your home. The Local Bloom in Cobourg connects flower lovers with 100% locally grown blooms.

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Angie of Sticks and Strings Macrame is a busy lady, teaching workshops & creating these whimsical weavings throughout the Kawarthas. This boho wall hanging would look amazing in any setting.

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Thalita Murray Design is offering her design skills to you. Either an In-home consultation or e-package to help you transform your space.

This giveaway would not have happened without the amazing photography skills of Chantelle Watt. Based out of Cobourg Chantelle believes in "Capturing real love and real life. I love the chaos of family sessions and the love and support you can feel at weddings. I find joy in delivering clean, timeless photographs that will fill your walls, your heart (and likely your social media profile) for years to come."  She is giving the winner a $100 Gift Certificate!

You can enter the giveaway here. It runs until Friday, April 13th so tell your friends. It just may be you taking home all of these gorgeous pieces.

 I am blown away by how kind people are when you just reach out. Remember small businesses love other small businesses & want to connect & collaborate. Good things happen when creative minds join forces. I'm so happy to be apart of this & look forward to sharing more fun contests with you over the next year.

 

Holly's Dream Home

When I come across a beautiful home I get excited and a little envious. Gemma van der Swaagh is an interior designer out of Boston. Her family home is filled with colourful patterns, bold wallpaper and a mix of eclectic and modern furniture and accessories.

I admire Gemma's style and she has an art collection that makes my heart skip a beat. Check out these photos and see what grabbed my attention. I really don't think I can pick a favourite room, but her master bedroom is high on the list. 

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All photos are by Gemma van der Swaagh Interior Design.

Art

This weekend is going to be filled with new experiences for me, I can't wait for Saturday to arrive. The Artist Project is a contemporary art fair in Toronto and is in its 11th year. This is my first time attending. You can see mediums such as painting, sculpture and photography, and take home some original pieces. I can't wait to discover new Canadian artists and have a day date with my husband. I often leave events like this with a fresh mind and enthusiasm to explore new ideas in the studio. 

 Artwork by Bettina Carating.

Artwork by Bettina Carating.

Sunday I am taking a class that I have wanted to try for years. I have a thing for font, letterpress and printmaking. Local artist Jeff Macklin from Jackson Creek Press does it all and will be instructing a beginners workshop for lino block cutting at Artspace. We are going to make our own piece to bring home, hopefully, I will be happy with how it turns out. If not I know my daughters will want it in one of their rooms!

 A piece of Jeff's that hangs in our home.

A piece of Jeff's that hangs in our home.

I need to try pottery this year. I've been saying this for a few years and I still haven't gotten my hands dirty. I have recently discovered the work of Canadian potter Heather Dahl, and I am crazy about it all. Her abstract vases are so beautiful.

 Photo by Heather Dahl.

Photo by Heather Dahl.

 

 

 

 

Licensing Artwork

Last week I read a comment on IG that made this post topic come to life. The painting in the image below was styled in a space and someone asked who the artist was. We no longer have Target in Canada but I knew that it was available there as everyone on the internet appears to have purchased it. As I continued to read the comments, one appeared that said "I'm the artist", I was curious to find out more.

After browsing Pamela Munger's Etsy shop and seeing her work I sent her a message. We chatted back and forth and she has been so kind to share a bit of her journey. If you have ever thought about licensing your designs or artwork this post may be helpful for you. 

 Photo from Emily Henderson of Pamela's painting "October" available at Target.

Photo from Emily Henderson of Pamela's painting "October" available at Target.

 I know not everyone enjoys big box art, but this is very beautiful and affordable as well. It comes framed as shown above. 

There are a number of artists out there that may have feelings of self-doubt, believing they need an education in art to be taken seriously. Pamela is self-taught and here is a bit about her. Her Etsy shop has been open since 2006, and she enjoys working with oil and acrylics.

"My career as an artist started when I was teaching English and was looking for something to do creatively. I was given some art supplies one Xmas, painted my first painting and that was it. I was hooked. What started as a keen hobby grew to be a part-time income and now I work full time as an artist. I’m from southern California and currently reside in rural western Colorado where my husband and I have a farm where we grow hops for the Colorado microbreweries. The big open sky and land are a constant inspiration for my art."                                                                          

Pamela has sold work through Anthropology, HomeGoods & other retailers. Her work has also been featured on the television show Mad Men. "I’m all about experimentation with paint, surfaces and subject matter but I like to keep it simple and innocent, avoiding detail and not giving away the whole story. I lean towards the abstract because that’s where I can truly be creative and people can develop their own interpretation based on what they see, but I also do the occasional painterly landscape or still life." 

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"I was very lucky to be contacted online by the director of a major art manufacturer company called Artissimo Designs based in Los Angeles. She thought some of my art would work in the retail stores they work with so we agreed on a contract and I started submitting my images to them. They create samples of my work to present to the retailers such as Target, HomeGoods, HomeSense, Kirkland, etc. If one of my pieces get chosen, the retailer orders so many units and I get a royalty from that."

"When Target needed art for their new brand called Project 62 my painting 'October' was chosen to be reproduced under that line. It turned out to be popular with their consumers and has been great exposure for me as some design bloggers have featured it on their blog.  I have my name on a tiny sticker on the back of the painting so that helps also."

"Licensing art can be a great way to increase your income and get more exposure as an artist. Some artists don't care to have their work in the mass market industry and I can understand that but for myself, I think that the more people who can enjoy art, the better!"

 

 

Home

I know not everyone is into interiors and design as much as I am. But the other day I read this on Apartment Therapy and it got me thinking.

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Invigorate and keep us moving forward, I couldn't agree more. In the article, they were referring to a homeowner that had recently moved into a new space after a divorce. Choosing to start fresh with the items and furniture that filled her new apartment.

As a maker I find these words motivating. I want to create art that changes the way a room feels, and also leaves the viewer with new thoughts. Perhaps you invest in a piece of artwork for yourself, maybe you buy a gift for a family member. I know from experience that every piece of art I have collected tells a story. When I decorated my daughter's first nursery, for example, I based the wall colour on a thrifted paint by number I found. I don't think I could ever part with it as it reminds me of my first trimester and the excitement of our growing family. Memories, I have a lot of them involving art in our home.

 My painting is on the bottom left.

My painting is on the bottom left.

Recently a collector sent me this photo of my painting alongside drawings that her grandfather had made years ago. The gallery wall is so personalized and I can't express how happy this makes me. Putting these sketches in frames will now allow her family to see them on a daily basis and form new memories. This connection is something you may not think of but, I believe it is powerful.

When collecting art, worry less about the value of each piece, and more about whether it makes you happy.