Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Peter Max and Painting the foyer, stairwell, and upstairs hallway

So after living in this house for 3 years or so Collison and I FINALLY repainted our foyer, stairwell, and hallway.  When moving in it was already painted this shade of beige that just wasn't doing it for us. I know beige is a popular paint color for the home and if you can use it and make it look good in your space more power to ya. For us though, well, we just didn't get it! We lived with the color for these past few years, partly out of laziness, sure, but partly out of lack of inspiration towards the space in general. 

Here is that most impressive shade of beige I was telling you about...

Things finally came together though and we found inspiration in our Peter Max paintings to finally take the plunge and paint...


We kicked around some ideas for the stairwell/hallway area (grey maybe? what do you think of peach?) and even tried some different paint samples. Nothing clicked though until we thought about what we would be hanging on the walls. 

A couple years ago Collison and I went on a cruise through the Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Line and we acquired these Peter Max paintings/lithographs. There were tons of events planned on board the ship that passengers could attend while at sea but, one of the coolest events for me was the fine art auctions they had in their art gallery several times throughout the week. They would talk about the life of the artists that had work being auctioned off and share interesting information/stories about the individual pieces and the time in which they were created. Going to the art auctions was like attending fancy art history lectures with complimentary champagne so YEAH, I thought it was pretty cool!

After each event at the art gallery they would give everyone who bothered to stay for the whole thing some raffle tickets for a grand prize at the end of the week. We made it to every art gallery related event and I won't lie, a lot of that had to do with the complimentary champagne. What can I say? We LOVE champagne! 

When the grand prize drawing was held at the end of the week one of our tickets was drawn. We won a set trio of Peter Max acrylic paintings and color lithography on paper. It was quite exciting. After winning we had to pay to have them framed in special glass to protect them from fading and UV exposure. Not cheap at all by the way but sooo worth it and they are framed fantastically. 

Here are some close-ups of the art. This first one is from his Woodstock series and was used in the stage design for Woodstock 99'. Of course no Woodstock could ever live up to or replace the original Woodstock (so I've been told) but very cool none the less. 

Here it is reppin' the 60's at the end of the 90's. Sweet, huh?

The next one is his most famous and iconic piece called Love. Remember this is not the original painting we have here. We have a lithograph of it that he painted on and added to. They would not just give us the original for free in a raffle prize after all!

And the last one and largest of the three is called Year 2250 on Blends

We were inspired by all the color in these works and thought the pieces would really pop on our walls if they were purple. By the way, if you've never heard of Peter Max look him up sometime. He is a famous, still living, pop artist and laid back, cool dude in general. 

Here is our upstairs hallway before we painted. Yup, it was a pigsty. So happy to share that with the world! yay! haha.

And here it is after painting. If you look closely you can see the wall displaying the Peter Max paintings is  painted a brighter shade of purple than the rest of the walls.  We went with a purplish/grey shade called Silver Frost by Pittsburgh Paints for the rest of the walls.

And yeah, that is a Sistine Chapel size portion of The Creation of Adam hanging above our stairs. lol. I wasn't crazy about it when we first got it but now it is one of my favorites among all our hand me downs! I'd love to see the painting in person some day. 

Anyway, that is what I was up to last week! I was so happy to take pictures so I could share them here and show you all what our stairwell is about now. lol

Til' next time folks :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life lately...

Well, what can I say? Life has been good. I've stayed busy making stuff, for work and for home and it has been an awesome time.

I had a foxy ladies sewing meet-up at work one Tuesday night earlier this month. The foxy ladies include my co-worker, Jean, my boss, Caroline, one of the most awesome volunteers ever, Chris, and then myself. I call us the foxy ladies because our mission was to create as many belt attached fox tails as possible. Since the name of the new play town exhibit at the museum is called Fox Hollow we imagined it's citizens being comprised of foxes. This quickly evolved into woodland creatures though, including beavers, deer, wolves, raccoons and who knows what we'll come up with next. :)

I don't have a pic of the raccoon tails. My co-worker, Jean, made those later in the week and then I sewed the belts on. They're pretty darn adorable though.

Here is me having wild fun figuring out this fox tail business...
"Am I doing it right?!"

After our epic sewing meet-up Jean handmade us each one of these felt fox face pins. I repped it at the exhibit's grand opening right next to the Fox Hollow button I helped design and make.

It was a cool way to commemorate a fun night of trying something new together and being around for the completion of this museum renovation. What can I say, Jean is awesome :) I'm looking forward to finding more projects we can all team up for and work on for the museum. 

I didn't make this but I'm excited about it. My friend, Jess, and I checked out Good Karma Shirt Co. in downtown Rock Island and while I was there I bought a pair of galaxy leggings. 

I was completely fascinated by them and couldn't help but love them despite how far out they were. I'm a little far out myself you might of noticed ;)  Experimenting with fashion is something I always have fun with and galaxy leggings, my friends, definitely make for an interesting fashion experiment! I think they rock and Good Karma Shirt Co. is definitely worth checking out if you are in or near the Quad City area. 

It is a tiny store but it reminded me of shopping in Chicago because they carry some of those unique/super trendy items you can only find online or in big cities. It's so fun to be browsing along and then stumble upon those items in person though, ya know? I'm glad to see my little hometown(s) getting some Good Karma coming it's way ;D They also carry vintage pieces and I'm talking the vintage you WANT to wear. Like I said, check it out sometime. The store is sweet :)

At home I painted the word abide using some of the many pieces of cardboard I've been hoarding on my front porch.  Here it is hanging up above our living room doorway. 

Since I had all these squares of cardboard cut the same size I thought it would be neat to spell out a word using some of it. I wanted to put it in our living room and I had a few ideas for words I could spell out. Relax, calm, peace, love...chill? Ha ha. They seemed do-able but none of them felt perfect. 

I asked my husband what he thought I should spell out and it was like he knew what I should do the whole time. He was just waiting for me to ask. :) He said I should paint the word abide. If you love The Big Lebowski you should know where he is coming from. We both laughed about it, and then we were both like, "BUT SERIOUSLY". Ha. So anyway, that was that. I had fun picking a style of font to use and just rolling with it. I sketched it out free hand and then painted the letters in. 

While we discussed words I could paint Matt and I had our own little craft session. I also save corks (especially from champagne bottles) so we turned some into magnets. Collison would cut the coolest looking corks into two pieces and I would glue magnets on the back of them. Here is our first little experimental batch which by the way turned out perfect. yay! 

If you ever want to make your own magnets I recommend using E6000 glue. They sell it with all the other super glues at the craft store and just about everywhere. It is industrial strength so your magnets won't come apart. 

A couple years back Collison and I made a chess set out of champagne corks but I can't find the picture on my computer. I might have to take another pic of it so I can post it on here for you all to see. 

Well, that's about it for now. I'll keep posting my projects, experiments, art and creations as they come along. :) Thanks for reading!