This pattern came by way of a long and winding path. Do you remember the Family Circus comic strips showing how young Billy spent his day? Yup, it was like that. The assignment was a non-directional wallpaper. One that might even work on ceilings.
I started with the idea of bamboo sprigs. Researched designs and colors for my mood board. Came back a day later and was thinking desert, prickly pear. Hmm.
I have this idea, to revisit some of my early design themes. Patterns that are one-offs. Then I can create a collection of similar themed prints. I started on a prickly pear. And changed my direction again.
Click on image to see full size.
My copy of The Grammar of Ornament caught my eye, and saved me from my indecision. I landed on the mediaeval chapter. The geometric patterns created by William Butterfield were appealing. He used them to decorate his brick buildings. Polychrome brickwork is a style of architectural brickwork where bricks of different colors are used to create decorative patterns or to highlight architectural features.
Butterfield’s designs were called diapers. From the Oxford Dictionary of Architecture:
Decorative pattern on a plain, flat, unbroken surface consisting of the constant repetition of simple figures (such as squares, lozenges, or polygons) closely connected with each other.
You are absolutely right. There is nothing “sage” about this. The title came to me as I was working, and it stuck. Definitely more of an avocado. Or Palo Verde green. (Arizona’s state tree.)
Voting is now open, until the 4th of July. Thanks so much for your interest and support!
Egads! It’s been a month since my last post! I have missed four Spoonflower design challenges. I started designs for two, but didn’t finish by the deadlines. I do feel good about having two starts though.
Life has been busy. I am sure it has for you as well. My Mom was hospitalized for about a week in late May. The doctors were really very vague about it. She is on a heart monitor for a month. And she is seeing a neurologist in Phoenix on the 5th. Hopefully we will have some answers soon after. But more likely, it will mean several more trips to the city. She feels fine, but we need to take care of, whatever it is.
Earlier this month, I was informed by Spoonflower that five of my designs have been selected for their 2nd colorways feature release. (The fifth is still being updated.)
This allows shoppers to see multiple colorways on one product page. Up to 24 colorways of a design can be previewed. You can see in the images above, the color swatch links (circles).
I am very excited about this new feature on the website. And also to be included in this limited release. Thank you Spoonflower crew!
Studio Make Over
Thank goodness the majority of the work is done. I am still working on little details, projects and arrangement. I have been moving slower lately. Haha. My joints have been reminding me what a blessing it is when they are pain free. I am grateful I had the energy to do the work.
I am really enjoying my “new” space.
I still need to get artwork back up on the walls. And getting my supplies where they need to be is a process. I think I’ve got it, then I reach for something, and realize it should be better situated. All in good time.
My work area is, so inviting. I have really enjoyed painting my small projects. I painted a large frame and it was a breeze. I can walk around three sides of my work table. So much easier. I don’t have to move the item, I just move myself.
If you don’t remember, my desk faced the window before. Here is a look at it in 2017. Before I had the large bookcase. I had a larger table then, and desktop computer! Ha!
Click image to see full view
I originally wanted a vertical bookcase near the desk (First photo). I wanted to use the side as my inspiration board. To pin up postcards and gifts from friends. But it just didn’t work. I needed a spot for the record player. And I really wanted my everyday art supplies off of the desk. I had a set up like this years ago, the bookcase was more to the back, instead of the front of the desk. and everything was within reach.
But this works. And I can easily move my lamp to the left, and have light from both directions. (It’s the skinny silver stick on the desk.) I had paint left over from the the desk, and decided to paint my desk chair. Get rid of the black. I found blush pink chair covers, and visually, the chair blends in much better now.
I am so happy with the lighter palette. The vanity sits in shadow most of the time. And really looks beige or taupe. Neutral. I love the soft color. I papered the drawers, and reorganized everything. I even ended up with one empty drawer. More room for art supplies. 😄
I keep moving things on the bookcase. Rearranging. And I am going to have to empty half of it soon. I need to get a plug into the outlet behind it. All to clear about an 1/8th of an inch. Oh well, It is exercise. Right?
I have had this vanity since 1984. I worked for a Dr. Nancy Ashbach. I cleaned her home, and office all through junior and high school. She was going to throw it out. The back was falling off, and it was really ancient, even then. It had belonged to her mother. It was a faded brick red, and had a small, simple mirror that went with it. Not great quality by any means. I imagine it was the bargain piece in an old Sears catalogue. A treasured, hard earned gift from her father or husband.
Nancy gifted it to me. But my mother decided I needed to learn the value of a dollar and told Nancy she had to charge me something. (Never mind that I started working at 13 to earn my own money and had three cleaning accounts.) I paid $20 bucks and hauled it home. I had it dipped to remove the paint, and was told I would not be able to do that again, because the whole thing was likely to disintegrate.
It’s been many different colors over the years. The wood was stained with red. But this is the first time I have painted and dressed up the interior as well. I am still on the hunt for a mirror. For now, I am thinking of a small decorative mirror that will sit on top. And I want to add decoration to the nobs.
I am going to hang the TV from the wall and I want to disguise it with a minimalistic abstract landscape.
The top of the vanity was rough and bumpy. I had given it to my mom, years back. And she tried a technique that was meant to mimic a fancy gold rococo finish. I don’t remember, but it involved crumpled paper. Well, it was a bomb, and luckily she had only done the top. She gave the vanity back, and I do remember trying to sand it down, or remove the paper. But I was working long days and I settled for just painting over the gold. It had a beveled glass topper then, so the unevenness was less noticeable.
This time around, I wanted to smooth the top. But I do not have the tools or the energy for a proper restoration. I sanded, then I did something you should not do. But it worked. I added layers of self leveling gesso. Sanding in between. I lost count, but I could probably go one more layer, if I was after perfection. There is a little unevenness towards the back. You’d never notice If I didn’t point it out.
There is fluting detail to either side of the small drawers. I am debating highlighting that somehow. And maybe adding stenciling somewhere. Adding some fancy to it. But I like rustic more than fancy. We’ll see.
The Jolie finishing wax really elevated this piece. I love it. Now that it has cured, I can place items on top.
I replaced some items, after long searching. I found a new chair on sale, and a muted rug with shades of blue and pink (seen above with the bookcase). The chair is much darker than it appeared online, but it will do fine. It has a smaller footprint than the swivel chair I had before. That was my main concern.
That’s where I am. Two months of moving, and painting, and waxing and organizing. And that is just one side of the room. Haha. Still more work ahead, but not as much.
I have been very busy updating my Spoonflower shop. I have a stack of swatches that need fixing. Small tasks, but for large collections many designs are involved. Some are just color tweaks. Others require a change in scale. I am adding definition to some of my older designs. Using the pen tool to add outlines. Those will take the longest.
I also have had some site issues. Another nudge reminding me I really should move my site to a new format. But you know as well as I do, that task seems so daunting. With everything else I’d like to get done this year… I’m inclined to think, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I know that is not serving me well. May was my ten year mark for this blog. Whoa! I had planned to celebrate at five years. I don’t think it ever happened. Haha.
My 30 day countdown for the 30 day gathering begins in August. Yikes – already? But of course, I am looking forward to it all. Most especially, I am looking forward to catching up with mis amigas.
If you are like me… and enjoy peeking into artist studios…
I lost track, thought I had posted last week. You can click on the images to see them larger, in a slideshow view. I am showing these out of order. I will post the collage, and my favorites collage soon. It was a fun month, and I learned quite a bit.