Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poll Results: Edenism Thumbs Down; Treasure Hunters = High; Garden Chic = Low

Two polls running simultaneously on the blog have ended and the results are in!

First, I'm happy to confirm that the results were unanimous ( 100%) that the term "Edenism" didn't have a chance to replace the term French Chic. In case you missed it, and don't know anything about the term, Edenism, a reprint of that post may be read below:

Interiors Design Intelligence is putting out the word that one of the hottest new trends for 2008 is Edenism ( as in the Garden of Eden). The look is described as dreamy with pastels (blue, mauve, pink) surrounded by dazzling sparkle and metal tones in gold and silver - a catalyst for a Marie Antoinette Moment. There's a pop-up slide-show at this link that shows one room evocative of the Marie Antoinette movie set. Oh my, this is sumptous stuff. But can we even remember Edenism long enough to make it a household name?

Psst. We already know it as French Chic; so, French Chic + Marie Antoinette Luxury = Edenism. (Taking French Chic over the top?)

The second poll helped to identify the motivation behind preferences for romantic shabby chic decor. It was titled: What Kind of CHIC are You?. The highest percentage of participants indicated they were Treasure CHIC-ers ; and, Garden Chics, surprising to me, scored next to the lowest percentage. Comfy Chics was the lowest percentile.

Complete results in percentiles are as follows:

  • I'll never give it up. This trend has opened a treasure trove of potential decorative possibilities for me -and on a budget I can afford. Call me Forever Chic.(51%)

  • This trend nurtures my feminine soul. Definitely, Romantic Chic.(48%)

  • I love using family heirlooms, old family photos, anything that I remember from my childhood. I'm a Nostalgia Chic.(48%)

  • It's the thrill of finding a vintage piece of anything to be refreshed and saved, I love the hunt. At heart, I'm a Treasure CHIC-er.(64%)

  • I love the pastel colors, the ambiance of tranquility I create for my own little tranquil retreat from the world. When I'm there, I'm a very Serene Chic.(51%)

  • I have a little bit of shabby, a little bit of country, and a whole lot of family. It's cozy, warm, and easy to live with and keep. I'm one Comfy Chic.(40%)

  • It's the roses and florals. I have them everywhere. I'm a Garden Chic.(44%)

  • I love white, glitz, and sparkle and lots of shabby architecture. I'm a Glitzy Chic.(48%)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MOTIF TRENDS 2008: Watch for More Crowns, Fleur de Lis, Crosses, Keys

Watching decorative trends evolve in home furnishings and accessories often makes me think of the riddle, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?". Do markets drive consumers taste or do consumers drive the markets? Usually, a mix of both, I think. However, the motif direction for 2008, is in my opinion, clearly driven by consumer taste for vintage motifs.

The dominant motifs will be crowns, fleur de lis, crosses, and keys. If new introductions in the recent Dallas market are an indicator, we will see the motifs used in everything from candleholders, lighting, and wall art to small table top accessories. How very interesting...

Those very motifs began to find a place in the hearts of shabby chic vintage collections as least eighteen months ago. This clearly appears to be a trend generated first by consumer enthusiasm and the market is now playing catch-up.

Watch for the reproductions in intricate ironwork and scrolled metals, carved in wood, and rendered in molds.

Will these motifs replace roses as a motif? Nooo, floral motifs are in a category all their own. Personally, I think I'll continue to have mine - well aged and vintage.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Art: Telling A Story With My Paintbrush

Don't forget all photos enlarge when clicked.

Above: Cherubic Guardian of Bluebirds & Nest

Copyright 2007: Original Painting by Devonia;

Rendered on Exquisitely Fragile Antique Concave Glass;
Framed in Delicate Gold Filigree with
Crown of Handpiped Barbola Vintage Style Roses

Above: Two Courtin' Crows by Devonia

Textile Design 1985

Above: Goose & Kittens

Textile Design by Devonia 1985

In my heart-of-hearts, I have always harbored a secret desire to illustrate children's stories. From the early designs for fabric art patterns to my current work, I think much of my art reflects that desire. The above photos show my inclination to allow my art to suggest a story. I hope it says something to you.

If you enjoyed seeing these photos of my artwork, you might enjoy seeing my Art Gallery. See link below.


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Garden Furniture: I Pulled Unmatched Pieces Together with DIY Mosaics

Garden furniture has come a long way. Aristotle loved to lecture outdoors at his home. Unfortunately, the weather sometimes left the grounds wet leaving the students no place to sit with comfort. Flocks of his students went to the local marble quarries for a slab of broken marble, plopped it down in Aristotle's garden; and thus, the first garden seat was born. Mosaics is also an ancient craft and combining the two - garden furniture with mosaics - can transform "trash into treasure".

This photo is a photo of a project I did as a layout, commissioned and published by The Underground Shopper, demonstrating how flawed, unmatched pieces, collected from here and there at an incredible discount, were magically married to create a wonderful garden retreat in our backyard.

I remember having such fun with it. My whole family was involved, one perfect spring weekend, in cutting the marble tiles and placing them in vined patterns. We created a table top, seats, trivets and even covered the pots and chimneria. The project was not without learning curve disasters. The first table top was done on a wood table round, donated by Home Depot for the project, and I sealed it only on one side. When it was finished, we were so pleased with it. Then the next day we watched, helplessly, as the moisture permeated the wood top and it bowed until it looked like a taco shell.

Not daring to admit to the Home Depot manager that I ruined their wood round, we bought another. This time, prior to starting the mosaic, BOTH sides were sealed and the grouting was sealed too - problem solved.

In exchange for the advertisement of their products, every single thing in the photo, including the baker's rack, the chimneria, and the plants, was donated and ours to keep and enjoy. I was especially sad to lose the miniature roses nestling on the baker's rack- I lack a green thumb. Roasting marshmellows in a chimneria while little ones chase fireflies is such a memory-making treat; and it was a happy morning spot to start a new day. Over all, not too shabby, heh? Doesn't it make you long for spring?

Click on the photo to see an enlargement that is a burst of color that promises flowers around the corner.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Country Living: Living The Dream

Who hasn't yearned for a home in the country, a farm with a country home,
a garden, maybe a few cows, lots of animals and especially the peace and serenity of another time? An online blog, Life on a Southern Farm, provides a heart-warming glimpse of a family living the life that rivals our most poignant dreams.

The author of the blog, Pam , invites us to " come visit Backwoods Farm way down South, where you can rock on the 4 columned front porch and watch the goats play, cows graze and guineas run around. Sit a spell at the pond and listen to crickets, frogs and maybe an owl in the distant woods. See hawks fly their circles, bass jumping, catfish swimming." She adds, that "I live on a 100 acre farm with my husband, a few cows, a few goats, a big dog, 2 cats, 8 guineas, and a donkey name Jack. Of course there is Annie the goat(don't tell her) she thinks she is a person. We live a back to basics, debt free sort of life with hard work to keep us occupied."

Take advantage of Pam's priceless invitation to join her family as they explore their 100 acres of farmland, once ravaged by Sherman in the Civil War. Thrill with them as they discover artifacts from another era, watch as their barn is raised, chuckle as they patiently teach their goats to be goats, fall in love with the farm mascot, a donkey, named what else, Jack.

Learn how Pam's husband transformed what looked like an old country tavern, with oodles of appeal in its own right, to a dazzling white columned estate farm house. Both are so wonderful that it is difficult to choose your favorite.

I promise you will find the experience so real that you can almost breathe the air as the laundry dries on the line. Pam writes with a charming, down-home wry humor, shares a weekly mouth-licking recipe ever pulling you up-close-and-personal with lots of posts and photographs that fully capture the joys and wonder of life on a working, country farm.

Click Photos to enlarge and enjoy. Then click the following link to Pam's Blog - Life on a Southern Farm.

Thank you, Pam, for sharing.

Monday, January 21, 2008

eBay: Wishing Upon A Star

In the face of rampant rumors that e-Bay will soon be introducing a newly restructured fee system for auction listings (raising eBay fees); it might be a good time for sellers to address the unfair star system that allows buyers to rate sellers according to the services provided. The two stars most relentlessly left tarnished are the star ratings for shipping time and shipping costs. That's ironic because it is the one service that sellers have little or no control over. Sellers do not set shipping rates nor can they control shipping time once the item is delivered into the shipper's hands.

This is absolutely a no-win situation for the sellers. Most sellers clearly state what their fees will be within the auction description. If a seller ships the quickest way, the cost is prohibitive. If a seller ships the least expensive way, it takes much longer for the buyer to receive the item. Amazingly, even "free" shipping has been known to receive poor ratings. All of us, buyers and sellers alike, hate that shipping fees are steadily increasing; and as sellers, we certainly sympathize with the buyer's inclination to voice their frustration somewhere- we just wish it wasn't our stars. All of us, both buyers and sellers, resent those rotten apple sellers who grossly overcharge for shipping and handling or fail to ship in a timely manner.

There has to be a way to address both the good sellers who receive unfair blemishes for shipping times and costs and those really rotten apples who make it difficult for both buyers and sellers.

I am going to drop this suggestion into the eBay Suggestion Box:

Dear eBay Decision Makers: As a seller, I may be "wishing upon a star"; however, if eBay could grant me, as a seller, one wish - it would be that eBay drop the unfair stars that currently rates Shipping time and Shipping and Handling charges in favor of a star that would benefit both seller and buyer:

Would You Buy From This Seller Again?

After all, eBay, isn't this the heart of what all sellers and all buyers really hope to learn from feedback?

If you would care to wish upon a star with others, feel free to copy and paste the above request and drop it into eBay's suggestion box HERE.

It isn't even necessary to include your seller id.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Faux Chocolate Valentine Log: Elegant, Masculine & Romantic DIY Gift For the Man You Love - So Very Quick to Make With Fluted Cardboard & 2 Jar Lids

Click photo to enlarge.

Is it already time to get started on Valentine gifting? If you are like me, there is barely enough time! I have some fluted cardboard, brown shoe polish, masking tape, left-over Christmas trims and two jar lids- what am I going to do with it? To be honest, I'm not quite sure but I have some ideas. Hubby is out of the house, so now is the perfect time. Check back to see how it turns out for me.

And here it is! A flaming Valentine Log that is both masculine and romantic...

My son saw it and said, " Wow! A log! For Dad? What are you going to put in it?". I explained it was for Valentine's Day and I wanted it to look masculine and hopefully like a burning chocolate log. He started making suggestions to fill it - Chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels, lots of good beef jerky (the expensive kind, mom), all kinds of good cheese, and a bottle of wine plus long stemmed crystal wine glasses. He then added, "Make me one too!". (grape juice, the 25 yr old boy of mine will get grape juice). YEA, it's a hit! This is almost as thrilling as receiving roses.

This was quick-as-a-wink to do. NO COOKING - Faux Chocolate Container. Complete and Easy Instructions have been added to the Many Shades of Shabby DIY Project Page.