I'd Rather Be Surfing

The internet that is.

So I spent the weekend surfing Irene. Just kidding. I don't surf, nor am I that daring (stupid?). We didn't get too much here, Irene was kind to us. My friend and I did go out to take a look at the amazing sky Friday night. I was trying to show you a photo I took of said amazing sky and a hilarious video of a guy I know getting totally blindsided by a huge wave but I'm having such technical difficulties...all the way around. My computer is dying. My sweet friend who works in IT tried to help but wiped out all my settings. I am so lost! It takes like 20 mins to download a webpage. I'm way behind in work. Man do we take technology for granted when it works well! So bare with me this week....I might not be posting much. And if anyone has any advice, recommendations, anecdotes, etc. on buying a new laptop I'd love to hear it. Thanks! Meanwhile I will be doing a lot of this...

(Ugh, I can't even load this stupid pic of me drinking lots of wine!)

So I'm off to drink more wine.


This Week I...

Had another fun battle with Comcast, my IT guy and my laptop. No internet for 3 days. Just because I have Internet now, don't think that I won. No, no, no! $$$, cursing, countless hours troubleshooting on the phone and being way behind in work = losing my friend. I really want to do this....

Moving on.

Saw this beautiful custom vanity that was delivered for a client...
Painted in Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Grey. Here is the proposed design...

If you can believe it, she's second guessing those mirrors!?!?! I know, I know.

Got hives walking into my messy office...I'm pretty sure my desk is somewhere in there.

Installed these gorgeous guest towels into my booth at Southern Accents that I worked with WayWay of Blue Chickadee to design. Did I mention that they were gorgeous?

As well as this...what do you think of my custom art piece? I titled it "Sea Creatures".

What you can't see in this photo are the cool details. So I'll show you...
LARGE nailhead details on the side

THICK jute rope to hang it from
Your thinking I'm kinda brilliant right now, aren't you? Um-hum.

Also, did you notice these guys in my booth vignette photoed above?
They are industrial sewing bobbins. I am in love with them. For now, I am selling them "as is" in my booth but I have access to more and want to think of something to do with them! Any ideas all you creative readers? They are like 22"h and 3-4" diameter. Lamp and table legs are already on the list....what else you got? Leave a comment.

Have a great weekend y'all! I hope everyone stays safe from Irene (that bitch).


I'm Freaking Out

By what, you ask? Well, I bought some fabrics when I was in Atlanta that I wanted to use to wrap like a canvas as art for my booth. So I have been asking my carpenter to make some "frames" for me. Well, he and his wife just had a baby so he's been a lil busy or some BS like that. So I'm doing my best to be patient realizing that my art is not as important as bringing new life into this world...yada, yada, yada. So in one of my hunting and fishing trips to my local Habitat for Humanity Resale Store I came across these...

No, I'm not kidding. Two wood frames, the exact size I needed. It's like the decorating God heard my prayers and sent them down from heaven just for me. Here is one of them completed...

Do I always have this kind of luck? No. But sometimes, maybe every five years or so I go searching for one particular thing and stumble upon it. When I first got into design, I wanted a drafting table. I had no money so I went to my local Goodwill and literally found one. It was set up flat and it was holding a bunch of lamps but gosh darnit, it was a drafting table! Then another time I wanted a metal table for my porch so I went to Habitat and there was a zinc metal table just sitting there...with the sun glistening off of it like it was beckoning me! If you can believe it...I passed on that one! I know, I know. I think I was in shock. It was almost too good to be true. That one still haunts me at night. Actually, excuse me as I take a moment of silence for that beautiful zinc table.

Ok, moving on...

I was in Lowe's the other day and saw these...

If you are a loyal reader you know I love anything zinc or galvanized AND anything with circles. So I have been trying to come up with something to make with them. Well, looky what I found on Pinterest!

I mean, who climbed inside my head to create this? I'm in love.

P.S. My apologies to anyone who follows me on Pinterest...I was under the weather yesterday and laid up on the sofa just pinning away. Your box is going to be full of all my pins. Hope you like them!


From The Front Porch of Shannon Smith

From The Front Porch of Shannon Smith
Join me as I sit down with local artist Shannon Smith and have a lil' chat...

So how did you get started painting? I was born and raised into a family of artists. My Mom, my twin sister, and I are all oil painters and my triplet brother is a photographer.

How has growing up in a family of artists shaped you as an artist? Life as a triplet and an artist have made to be a fun and interesting one! How unique to be able to share a close sibling bond as well as all sharing the same artistic talents. My Mom was a full time mother of three, but she started painting once we got out of the house and started going to school. I was exposed to art at a young age through her works, attending art shows, and our family travels almost always included visits to art museums. I have fond memories of dabbling in watercolors in Mom's studio.
1979, Age 7

So did you always know that you wanted to be an artist? Wanted to be an artist, yes. I always had a love of drawing and painting and grew up wishing to be an artist like my mom but didn't believe I could do it professionally. So I did not become serious about painting until college. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Clemson University with my focus on oil painting. After graduating I was unsure about being able to support myself and making a career out of my art. While at Clemson, I broke my leg skiing and had to undergo knee surgery and months of physical therapy. That unfortunate experience sparked my interest in the field of health therapies, mostly physical and occupational therapy. I moved back to Charleston and went back to school for a year to fulfill the health and science prerequisites needed to apply to MUSC's graduate program of Occupational Therapy. However, I was not accepted and although disappointed at the time, I quickly realized it was a blessing in disguise!

Had you ever shown your work before? I had exhibited in Spoleto's outdoor art show in the past with my college art and decided to paint for that year's upcoming festival in May. I painted 25 oils for the show and sold over half! I was thrilled beyond words at my success. It was the boost of confidence that I needed to follow my passion as an artist! I also give tremendous credit to my mom and her artist friends, watching them achieve established roles in the art community, both locally and nationally, truly gave me the courage to follow my passion and follow in their footsteps! I am now a full time professional artist of 15 years, showing in galleries and museums, and have not looked back since that May of 1996!

Where do you show your work? This year we celebrate the 10 year Anniversary of the opening of our family gallery, Smith Killian Fine Art on 9 Queen St downtown Charleston. [Shannon also show's her work at the following galleries: The Well's Gallery at Kiawah Island, South Carolina; Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia; Parker Gallery in St. Simons Island, Georgia and the City Art Gallery in Greenville, North Carolina.

Where do you paint? My painting studio is in the upstairs of my home in Mount Pleasant, but I also take my "studio" outside and paint en plein-air when nice weather and great travel opportunities permit.

Shannon in her home studio.

Shannon plein-air painting in the misty rain on Shem Creek.
Also she is a Signature Member of the Plein-Air Painters of the Southeast.

How would you describe your paintings? My subject matter varies between landscape, still life, and figures while all sharing the common theme of dramatic use of light. I consider my style to be somewhat impressionistic and representational, with strong emphasis on color and light.

Here are some examples of her latest work.

"Cortona Light"
40x30 Oil on Linen

"Lowcountry Roots"
36x60 Oil on Linen

"Summer House II"
30x30 Oil on Linen

"The Waiter"
30x40 Oil on Linen

"Pink and Pewter"
16x20 Oil on Linen

Shannon has a wall in her studio she calls her "Travel Wall" where she creates paintings from all the places she travels. In the photo, you can see one of her two Himalayan cats, Ollie (other is Rufus). Ollie likes to sit on the sofa and watch Shannon paint. In fact, sometimes Ollie gets a little too close as he had green paint all over his beautiful white fur! Just one of the hazards of being the cat of an artist I suppose.

Shannon will be teaching a painting workshop along with fellow artist Laurie Meyer in Italy in April of 2012.

Since I am an interior designer, you know I am going to ask you about your home!

Your house is adorable! How long have you lived here? It will be 6 years this Thanksgiving. I bought it during the construction phase so I was able to customize some of the elements to my particular taste. What really drew me to it was the Nantucket cottage feel it had.

What is your favorite spot in your home and why? My back screened in porch without a doubt! I grew up always having a porch where our family shared meals and time together. It is my "happy place" where I unwind and truly relax, whether it be with my morning coffee or evening glass of wine. I just love being outside close to nature... watching the birds at my bird feeders and enjoying the critters that frequent the pond behind my backyard, ie. ducks, herons, egrets, turtles, snakes, and the occasional visiting gator! All while listening to water trickle from my fountain, I also take in the fast changing colors and clouds of evening light which soon become a beautiful night sky of moon and stars. I am also fortunate to have a front porch....now that is where I go to rock in my rockers and be more social with the close-by neighbors!

Name one item in your home that you are most proud of? I am most proud of my art collection....mostly oils and a few etchings and photographs. Of course they are all original pieces! While some are my own works, several pieces were traded with my family and artist friends, and some I have purchased through art galleries. I treasure each and every one for their meaning and inspiration to me and my life as an artist. I am out of wall space...time for a bigger house to continue my art collection!!

What is the first item you bought for your home? Afghan and Turkish hand made rugs from Zinn Rug Gallery. Most of my wall colors and furniture are shades of white and neutrals, therefore the rugs and artwork are a chance for a pop of color.

If you could update one aspect of your home what would it be and why? My light fixtures. When completing this house, I chose things that fit in with the traditional coastal cottage style. I now wish I had meshed more contemporary modern with the current cottage theme. I like the idea of new and modern mixed with antique and cottage....keeps it interesting! I am not at all a fan of "matching" decorating, color wise or furniture wise! I think changing out light fixtures, ie. my pendants over the kitchen bar and chandelier over the breakfast table, would be an easy way to update my home, giving it more of a modern twist without a lot of fuss.

It has been great getting to know you better, thanks for taking the time to sit with me Shannon!

[From The Front Porch Of ___ will become a regular post I will be doing for all of us to get to know local artists, business owners and craftsman in the Charleston area that are in some way "home" related. I hope you enjoy getting to know these folks as much I do!]


The Help

I finally saw The Help last night. Man o' man did I cry my eyes out! I was literally exhausted from crying. Admittedly, I only read half the book. I put it down and never picked it up again (very rare for me as I always finish what I start) but I had a lot going on last summer and got distracted. Anyway, I wanted to do a post about the interiors of the homes but couldn't find any of the scenes I wanted to talk about. Bummer. Oh well, this will have to do...

The cabinets were a mint green color as was the peg board walls around the cabinets in the kitchen at Hilly Holbrook's house...
Emma Stone as Eugenia

Lots of floral wallpaper! It is the South after all.
Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote

I'll give someone a dollar if you tell me who makes this lamp? Because I know it is current but cannot place it! (Shine?)
Sissy Spacek as Missus Walters
P.S. Sissy Spacek was awesome!

Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly Holbrook

Ahna O'Reilly as Elizabeth Leefolt

Anna Camp as Jolene French

I loved the jars in the pantry, glad we've come full circle on that.

Elizabeth Leefolt had this adorable Chinoiserie chest in her daughter's bedroom...

I also spotted a few familiar fabrics including one of my all time favs which was on a sofa in Skeeter's mom's house in the foyer.
(I think Kravet makes it but I know Calico Corners sells it as Debbie Floral)

This was the drapery fabric in Aibileen's house...
Royal Court
Duralee Duragard Chestnut

I wanted to show you more but I guess you will just have to go see the movie!


Before & After: Custom Iron Art Piece

Here is a lil' somethin' somethin' that I made.

(Barrel Rings)
(used some steel wool to clean off the rust)
(used this to keep the rust off)
(behold the art!)
For Sale over at Southern Accents


This Week I...

Went to the Homegrown Concert (annual Hootie & The Blowfish + Friends) with my girls...

(Not the best photo but it is the only one we took!)

Dropped these pretties off at a client's house for her art studio...

And these beauts at another client's house...

Only 13 days left to take advantage of my Summer Promotion: Get TWO rooms for the price of ONE on my e-decorating services. Here is a dining room just completed for a client. Email sidney@eclectic-idg.com for more information.

Look at all these gorgeous pillows for sale in my booth over at Southern Accents. Interested? Email sidney@eclectic-idg.com. I can ship them to you!

I have SO much to make and load into my booth. Gotta run...have a great weekend y'all!


Crazy Fan?

Well, I was looking for a specific image and got distracted by the brilliance of Kay Douglas so I thought I would share it with you fine people. To my knowledge this is all her work. Delight in it...

Atlanta Homes and Gardens Kay Douglas

If she sounds familiar it's because I've talked about her here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Yes, I am completely aware that I might be entering restraining order status.