Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bhat Boy

Dragons and nuns ... Goldfish swimming around towers with huge eyes. Welcome to the marvellous, zany world of Ottawa artist, Bhat Boy -- a world where imagination and eye for detail clearly reigns supreme. And, if nuns and dragons aren't your cup of tea, then Bhat Boy's representational landscape and flower paintings are just as impressive. Check out "Haunted Weather", perfect for a spooky pre-Hallowe'en night; "Gigantica", the most gorgeous sunflower imaginable; and for all of us Ottawa natives, "February Thaw". I hope you enjoy Bhat Boy's work as much as I do, and if you want to see more, his work is impressively displayed and orderable through http://www.bhatboy.com/.
Oops, I gotta go, I hear a dragon at my door ... He must have just swooshed in from the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exterior Power

I know it's not winter yet, but being the good Canadian girl I am, I've started to think about how it affects our homes' exteriors. During the summer, many of us have lots of greenery around our houses, and flowers, too. There's lots of colour to nicely frame our homes and make them welcoming from the outside. But, what about in the winter when there's all that snow, and it can be so very, very grey and dreary? That's when front doors, shutters, and siding really come into play. And, actually, I don't think there's a season where it's more important to have a nice front door and siding than winter.

Here are a few shots I took of Ottawa homes just after a big snow storm a couple of years ago. It was a brilliantly sunny day, startling blue sky, and soooo cold. But, the houses in these shots look warm and welcoming, and they stand out in the snow. They haven't been taken over by the snow; they have a presence all their own, and I'd argue it's because of the colour of their front doors, siding and shutters.

We can't paint now; it's too cold and the paint would just peel off come spring. But, why not take a look at your front door, shutters, and siding and see if they could use a new colour to give them a new presence. While there's still no snow, and a bit of greenery and leaves around, think of what colour would look good in the spring, summer, and fall, and then take you into winter -- making your house pop out and stand out from the rest.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Moo-Cow Adventure (1)

I'm going to sign off for the weekend -- much to do and Hallowe'en to get ready for! But, before I do, I'll leave you with a couple of photos.

Right now, I'm working on a room for a little girl who'se going to be be moving out of her crib into her big girl bed once her room is redecorated. Over the next few weeks, I thought I'd show you the room as it changes.

Here's the room as it looks now, and here's the fabric which I'll be basing the room around. Stay tuned ... it's going to be one moo-cow of an adventure!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Christmas is coming

Well, ok, I know it's not even Hallowe'en yet, but it will be soon, and then, we'll all be starting to think just a little bit about Christmas, right?

But, it's Ottawa artists like Janine Smith who make shopping for Christmas easy and so much fun. Here are a few photos of her custom, hand-painted furniture and one-of-a-kind board games. Whether it's Checkers, Snakes and Ladders, Backgammom, or a beautiful rocking chair, Janine has them all, and I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do.

BTW, Janine does custom designs, so if you have an item, or a special someone in mind, it might be fun to give her a call at 613-222-3021, or visit her Web site http://www.janinesmith.ca/ before it starts to get cold outside!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Door knockers (yes, door knockers!)

I took this photo a few years ago in Florence, Italy -- and every time I look at it I think, wow, I wonder who lives behind that door??!! Today, when I pulled it out, though, I also thought, there's something missing here-- this door definitely needs a door knocker...

Actually, I think we all should have door knockers on our front doors, don't you? They're so much more interesting than bells, and they give our front doors real presence -- truly setting the stage for what's to come inside our homes. Here are a few photos I've pulled as examples.

Let me know which ones you like, and send me a photo of your own. I wonder if the door knocker on your own front door reflects the decor style inside your home or was it just there when you moved in? I know mine was here when I moved in and it could do with a change ...

Flickr: Photo by Alaskan Dude, in Prague

Flickr: Photo by Antmoose, in Italy

Flickr: Photo by Robin Taylor, in Barcelona

Flickr: Photo by Rachael Voorhees

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sara Seggie

I have a real humdigger of a cold tonight -- so, I was really happy when I opened up my email and found mosaic artist, Sara Seggie, had sent me photos of her amazing wall hangings. Sara creates all her art pieces with "intuition and passion", using machine and hand rolled glass of many colours and textures. She then cuts the glass into various shapes and sizes, arranges them, and bonds them to an MDF surface that is bonded to plywood. Once the glass is well bonded, it is grouted and polished, and all set for wall display. Here are a few of Sara's beautiful art pieces. And, if you'd like to see more, The Collection http://www.collectionbar56.com/
-- a great little martini lounge in the Byward Market -- has some of her pieces on display, too. Sounds good to me: great martinis and great art. Can't go wrong there! (BTW, Sara's reachable at saraseggie@gmail.com)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Casa Luna

If you've never been to Casa Luna, on Innes Road in Orleans, you must go -- now! Alex Grooscors and his wife, Diane Dumas, have filled their store with the most beautiful furniture, art, and accessories imaginable -- all from their travels in Latin America. I have SO many shots of beautiful items from their store, but I'll just share a few to entice you to visit. And, please do check out their Web site at http://www.casaluna.ca/ It views like a travellogue, and the photos under Our Travels are breathtaking. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tick Tock Tom

I have a treat for you today -- the work of sculpture, Tick Tock Tom. Tom is based here in Ottawa -- of course! -- and all his truly 'green' works are made from scrap metals originating from old computers, photocopiers, assembly lines, etc. Here are a few photos of some of his amazing work and you can see more at http://www.ticktocktom.com/

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Decorating 101

Where to position lamps can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • First off, when a lamp is on a side table next to a sofa or chair, the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you're sitting down -- or 40-42" from the floor. Too high a lampshade will cause glare; too low a shade will result in too little light;
  • Next, when a lamp is on a bedside table, and it's used for reading, the bottom of the lampshade should be even with your shoulder when you're sitting up in bed -- or about 20" from the top of your bed;
  • And finally, if you're using a floor lamp for reading or for work, the bottom of the shade needs to be at eye level. If your lamp is too tall, and you're having trouble making this work, move the lamp about 10 inches behind your shoulder to reduce the glare.

(Source: Canadian House and Home, Summer 2006)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Felicity Taylor

I love jigsaw puzzles and I love Felicity Taylor's contemporary artwork for kids -- which is really, in effect, large painted jigsaw puzzles on multiple canvasses. Take a look at these terrific examples of Felicity's work and go to http://www.felicitytaylorart.com/ to view her portfolio and more information. BTW, Felicity does commissions, so, if you have a piece of art in mind for one of your kid's bedrooms, a playroom, or as a gift, why not give her a call. I'm thinking a giant dinosaur might be fun! ...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Day, everyone! Enjoy your turkey and all the Fall colours. See you again next week!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Christine Moses

I love the mosaic work of Christine Moses, a local artist who'se based close to Almonte, Ontario. Each piece - made up of bits of broken glass and china - has a special story behind it. Here are a few of my favourites.

BTW, if you're interested in seeing more of Christine's work, she's participating in the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour around Almonte this weekend www.crownandpumpkin.ca
If the weather gets better, this would be a terrific way to get out of the city and see some great local artists!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Not your ordinary tea towel

I just love these retro, but oh so now, tea towels. Just one look at those perky, smiling faces and what they're saying makes me want to laugh, too. You can find them at three wild women living sublime at 1171 Bank Street in Old Ottawa South where they're apparently flying out the door as fast as they come in. No wonder ... maybe pick some up for this Thanksgiving weekend as a hostess gift or for your own kitchen!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


My grandmother passed away earlier this week and today we are remembering her. In memory of a feisty 94 year old, with a wicked sense of Irish humour, I'd like to post something which I'm sure she would love very much --- the beautiful, contemporary glass art of Tanya Lyons -- an extremely talented artist who comes from a city where my grandmother lived much of her life --- Montreal. Please do go to Tanya Lyons' site http://www.tanyalyons.ca/ to experience it: her work, made of glass and other materials is breathtaking, and the accompanying music is absolutely lovely.

Photo: "Flood"
Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto

Monday, October 1, 2007

Wall Candy

If you're looking for something fun for your kids' walls, head on down to red chair kids at 1318 Wellington Street West, for some real wall candy that you can peel, stick, and decorate. Owner Monica Gallivan has a variety of wall candy arts (http://www.wallcandyarts.com/ ) that'll appeal to everyone -- from the fabulous, original dottiLicious that you can layer and stick up all over the wall (pictured here) to trains, planes, lambs, and groovy girls. And I guarantee you, not only do they look great, but they peel off easily, too! Definitely an added bonus!