Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vignettes around my apartment

Good day dear readers!  It's a beautiful day in Akron, Ohio.  It's gentle, gray and misty.  Quiet.  The kind of day where you take things slow and enjoy the smell of a pumpkin spice latte.  As you know, I've been working hard at making my humble, little apartment into an efficient and beautiful work/live space.  And, I am addicted to photography.  So today's post features a bunch of lovely vignettes around my apartment - at least they are lovely to me!  I love styling and rearranging.  All in an effort to achieve Nirvana.  Once the perfect balance between beauty and simplicity is achieved, I will stop (I hope).  For now I am in love with my apartment.

My little outdoor space has become an extension of my living room.  The three ceramic vases were made in Vietnam and purchased at the Goodwill for a song.  Lighted faux branches were from Big Lots.  Also, for a song.  But you know me, I'm cheap.

Remember my little installation of broken and ugly vases?  (See previous post here.)  Since I've been embracing imperfection, I've been embracing broken vases.  And why not?  I adore little orphaned pieces and get them on the cheap, so why not honor them when they are broken?

Here is a new vase that I got at Home Goods.  I love gray.  Especially with pink.  The vintage pink bowl - probably my current favorite - is from Etsy seller JunkHouse.

A little sake bottle and vintage Japanese tea cups in my kitchen.  The cups were a gift from my uncle.  This little corner sort of explains my color scheme.

I often make vignettes, and then dismantle them as soon as they are photographed.  I am fascinated by the idea of impermanence, like the Tibetan Monk Healing Mandalas.  (Styling my apartment makes me so happy, it's certainly healing for me. Fixing up your place is the perfect remedy for a broken heart.)  I am also fascinated by rendering the impermanent permanent by photographing it.  Meta-photography, if you will.

You already know I can't stop making shit.  And that includes jewelry.  Yep.  That's right.  I am now a jewelry designer too.  I am creating edgy pieces from detritus.  This piece is actually a bracelet, but I love it so much I have it sitting on a plate displayed as sculpture.  Everything looks like sculpture to me.
My spiked hat is hanging with my favorite purse and scarves.  I love its edginess.  A reminder to me to be the warrior with the iron fist in a velvet glove.

New little lamp from Family Dollar!  I almost shit when I saw it!  The shade is made of wallpaper like foil and is perfect for fall.  Only $5.00.  Yep.  You read that right.  $5.00.  Venturing into the hood sure can be fruitful.  Also displayed on the table is part of my rock collection.  Everyone brings me rocks when they travel, especially my sister-in-law.  This little collection includes rocks from Aruba, Alaska, Hawaii, Cleveland and Akron.

Isn't this the sweetest little Buddha statute?  Got him for $3.00 at CitiTrends.  I like that my home is edgy and a bit of homage to the hood.

All images by Peggy

Monday, October 14, 2013

Masculine Mood Board

Here's the story of my life.  I've been accused many times of being a lesbian. I'm not. I get hit on by women and I like women, just not that way. I'm not even curious.  I've never been with a woman in that way, and won't in this lifetime anyway.  Some guys do find me attractive, not sure why, but I'm grateful (hmm, maybe not so grateful afterall, keep reading).  Guys who like big butts tend to like me. I often riff on the Chris Rock you know it?  My version:  Thank God for guys who like women with big butts - they make the world a better place.  Not sure if I can make this joke ever again.

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a correlation between guys who like big butts and assholes? Just sayin'. Don't take offense. Just talking from my own experience. I don't know what it feels like to be treated well by a man. Think I'm going to become a Buddhist nun.

Wish I had been more selective in my youth.  Listen, girls:  hold out for Mr. Right!  You're a girl.  I know you enjoy your body and your sexuality, and you have a right to.  It's one of God's greatest gifts.  But....being a girl you are not purely physical the way dudes are.  Protect your tender heart, don't be a booty call.  Take the words from an old lady who's been there, done will get hurt.  Girls just aren't built the way guys are. They are perfectly happy with just the physical. We need much more.  Much, much more.  But it is strength, not weakness.  Don't let anyone tell you different.  If you are a woman - you are fabulous.  Period. Find a man to love you and get your freak on with him. Here's the remedy for a broken heart: vibrator, candles, bubble bath, chocolate and read this book.

Okay, what does this have to do with a mood board?  I know, my mind wanders. It's a gift and a curse.
So here's the jist.  I met a dude recently. Seemed so different. Had fantasies. Thought he was THE ONE. Wrong. Even thought I might be able to show up at the holiday parties at my families this year with A DATE. Can't remember the last time I did that. Years. Years, I tell you, not hyperbole.

Gave said dude benefit of the doubt. Warning bells immediately. Ignored. Lonely. I'm strong, but I still crave the arms of a strong man. And I'll admit it. On my bad days, I wish I had the shoulder of man who loves me. Apparently, it's not in the cards for me in this lifetime. I do feel sad, but focusing on art really helps.  Oh - and listening to Katy Perry like a zillion times. Actually thanked one of the playas (in my mind) from the past. Bad men teach good lessons, and make you strong. But you don't have to go that route. Follow my example. You are strong. No need to waste precious time on heart ache. Contact me if you need prayers or support.

Again, what does this have to do with a mood board, you may ask. Well said dude was like many I've met. Just wanted to get into my drawers. No interest in loving me, getting to know me or treating me right. Yeah, it hurts like hell. Even at my old age. Adding insult to injury, I'm mad at myself. I should know better. I can dish out the advice, but can't really take it. And, oh yeah, wazzup with my own arrogance? Who am I to give advice about men? I know nothing about them, and have failed miserably at trying to find one to be mine.

So, dude who wanted in my drawers was skilled at the game. Honestly, I think there's a player handbook. I could write it if there isn't. They all say same the thing. Said dude seemed a little different. Impressed me cuz he's a hard worker. Seemed to really like me. Has a nice house in the hood which needs some TLC. Pretended to be interested in my organization and design skills. Wanted to pay me to design his home to be more beautiful, streamlined and organized. Loved how simply and elegantly I live (or so he said while baiting his trap). Had some good vintage pieces, was gonna give me carte blanche - every designer's dream! Blue and brown his favorite colors. Wanted some ethnic pieces. Had some good vintage pieces including a blue vinyl sofa. Heaven! I couldn't wait to get started.
Masculine mood board by Peggy

The deal fell through. Dude didn't mean a word he said, just wanted drawers, doesn't even like me. Tried to crush my spirit. Mad at myself, but I learn quicker than I used to. The only thing to do in a situation like this ladies, is to cut him off. I feel really sad and disappointed. But, I'll dust myself off and keep going. What else can I do?  As you know, I've been fighting illness for a long time, and have been making strides everyday. What would possess a person to knowingly try to crush the spirit of someone so vulnerable? No sense analyzing like this...I don't want to understand that kind of cruelty. The only thing I understand about it is - well - that it should be eradicated to the point that it is incomprehensible.

Luckily, I have family who love me. My brother tells me not to give up. I don't know about that. In the meantime, I'll work on my own place. You may be surprised at my place. Really turning into a warm, cozy, romantic, dark little cave for winter. Reveal coming shortly. Hope to get it done in time for AT's annual color contest.

So the deal fell through.  It was a fun exercise, though. Even though I tend to think my audience is primarily female, I love designing for men. Especially if they are organization challenged.

Here's the boring deets if you are interested:  Clockwise from top row: 
1.  Twig lamp from Family Dollar, $12.00;
2.  Twig lamp from Goodwill, $10.00 and leather lamp from Goodwill, $5.00 (both would need shades and rewiring);
3.  wall colors:  accent wall pale silvery sage green by window;  dove gray rest of walls; 
4.  gorgeous white rum bottles from Target - expensive - but need something pretty on rolling cart;  pretty glasses and ice bucket are easy to find at Goodwill;
5.  witty little Buddha - CitiTrends, $3.00;  
6.  vintage cigar box, Goodwill $3.00 - was part of his birthday present so already gave him.  this is not a photo of the one I bought, which was totally fabulous - vintage from Bolivar in Ohio - with camels and temples on it - wish I'd photographed it! It's on his coffee table and he's storing the stuff he always loses: keys, remote, lighter, options can be beautiful!  And they help eliminate clutter. As you know, clutter just won't do!
7. turquoise curtains - in my collection;
8. fab blue bent wood chair - $10.00, Goodwill (shoulda bought this one for me);
9.  rug from CB2 - totally out of the budget on this project, but fab;
10. fabulous rolling cart, reasonably priced from VintageIndustries,Inc.

New Work, Vol II: Lamp and Rug Designs

Happy Monday dear readers!  Hope you had a great weekend.  I had a ton of fun taking my teenage nephew and his friends to a haunted house.  So not my scene, but had a ton of fun being a chaperon. Teens are so funny and smart, and I learn so much from them.  One thing I learned - even though I love instagram, I really don't need an iphone.  Another is that I dearly love gangster rap. Actually, my night with the kids was merely a reminder, I've loved it since back in the day of Sugar Hill Gang, Ice T, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy.  Give it a chance, it's poetry.  And, in case you didn't know it, Dr. Dre is a genius.,

Sorry, I digress.  I wore my new spike hat (bought in the hood for a song).  The kids were calling me Auntie Minaj, which thrilled me.  Cuz as you know, Nickie Minaj is the shizzz.

My nephew and I both had black hats and matching boo boos.  Ha!  He's totally awesome!  I thank God every day for my family.  And speaking of blessings, as you know the muses have been talking to me a lot lately.  So much so that I can't keep up!  Here's some more of my new work.

Help!  My name is Peggy and I am a lamp addict.  I can't stop designing lamps.  Here is a lamp prototype made of poster board and electric tape.  I am currently seeking manufacturers for some of my lamp prototypes.  I'm planning to make this into a hanging lamp.  I know it's not perfect.  But, hey, I get a lot more done when I let go of perfectionism.

I've also been designing rugs.  I'm thinking of experimenting with buying a big piece of burlap and painting it. I haven't been much of a rug fan, but I am falling in love.  I miss the wood floors of my previous places and I love a rug to define an area.  Just have to do it on the cheap.

Here's another rug design I've been working on.  I am really into geometric shapes - and hot pink (as you know)!  This design is part of my quest to prove that pink can be a thoroughly modern and edgy color, and is not strictly girly.

Here's the second version of this design.  With some cut out paper, and painted squares.  I used some of my fabulous nail polish to paint a couple of shapes.  Nail polish is coming in such fab colors these days!  In fact, I am sure the Fall of 2013 will be known in history for having the most beautiful colors ever!  We will be talking a lot about color in the next few days.

Here is the third version of the rug design.  I just couldn't stop tweaking it.  Here I tried to make it look like an actual rug, with actual stitching and a border.  I used neon and invert features in Picasa.  Thinking of submitting this design to CB2.  Not sure how that actually works, but I'll try to figure it out.  It's funny how much I do, yet I have no idea what I'm doing!  :)

Hope you have a great day!  And, as always, thanks for reading!  xo

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A teaser for your humpday...

Happy hump day, dear readers!   Hope you're not working too hard on this beautiful Autumn day!  I received a couple of emails asking for pictures of my apartment.  No problem!  As you know, I dearly love my humble, little apartment.  It's where I experiment with color and texture.  I've been doing a lot of work making this 450 square foot one bedroom into the perfect edgy, girly space.  Not only must it be beautiful, but it must be simple and functional, since it also functions as my work space.  I have designed the perfect work/live space and I am finally feeling at home.  I intend to do a full blown reveal in the next few days. But for now, here's a little teaser....some vignettes, some new stuff and lots of pretty colors!  Hope you enjoy.

Gray is new my favorite color, it looks fabulous with pink!  The gray vase is a cheapy from Home Goods. The pink bowl is vintage, from JunkHouse.

I love this vignette so much, I couldn't decide which color process to use.  Photo editing software is addicting!

As are vases!  I'm obsessed with their simple, geometric forms.  I also love them because I believe every object should not only be beautiful, but it should also be functional.  Form and function.  My little bookcase has a new coat of paint.  It is white again!
Most of these vases are from the Goodwill, and cheap.  A thing of beauty doesn't need to cost a lot.  I don't even mind if a piece is damaged.  I love hunting for unloved, orphaned pieces, then bringing them home, giving them a bath and a new life!  The exception to this is the tiny dish from from up in the air some where.  I wish it were bigger, but it is divine.  It's kind of expensive for such a small piece, but it is hand made.  It's even hand stamped on the bottom.  I love her work so much, I'd like to have a whole collection of it.
Here's an example of using what you have.  I love changing items to suit my needs, for a purpose other than intended.  I had this gold votive holder in the cupboard.  I love it, but really don't feel like gold in my place right now.  I kept wishing it were white.  So I painted it.  Voila!
The inside is still gold, so it casts the most beautiful candle light.  The square piece is depression glass from the Goodwill, the small white candle holder is also from the Goodwill.

I also love deconstruction.  I am in love with teal.  It looks great with gray.  I got this lamp for super cheap at the Goodwill and made it into a vase.  The small vase is a gift from a friend.  It's an inexpensive, mass produced piece that is heavily influenced by Celadon.  Its shape is perfect and adds the perfect Asian touch. I wish it were mint green, a color I am falling in love with all over again.   (I did a ton of mint green in the 80s.)  I am loving mint green with sage, with olive and chartreuse.  I thought I'd never use green in my decor. When it comes to color, I've learned - never say never.

Got a couple of new side tables and ottomans on sale at Target.  Perfect in keeping with my low scale motif. Heavily influenced by Asian design.  Perfect occasional pieces too for those times when my nephews visit.  A simple and effective way to provide enough seating for company, and take up very little space.  Important in a small space.
In keeping with low scale, I arranged some of my favorite books under the kitchen island.  I dearly love books, but this makes me so much happier than keeping them in my eye line.  I just don't care for the cacophony of colors.  I prefer things neat, simple and sparse.  That's what inspires me.  Clutter just won't do.
New cake plate from Home Goods.  White vases:  clockwise, ASA Selection, Z Gallerie, TJ Maxx and Donna Karan Buddha cup.  Architectural remnant from Goodwill.  Painting is one of my own.  It's one of my favorites.  I've given away a lot of paintings recently and am down to my favorites.
A trio of vases in my kitchen.  Green vase and white bottle are from Big Lots.  The Big Lots near me is moving so are having ridiculous sales!  The pink bud vase is a gift from my sister-in-law and is from Ikea.

Another trio in my kitchen.  Love the simplicity of this one.  Have been wanting to add light wood, helps with my desire to add more organic touches to my apartment.  The white flower pot is from the Goodwill.  Large serving bowl from CB2.  BTW - have you seen CB2's Fall catalog?  Oh gosh - it's the best ever!  If you haven't had time to check it out, you can check out my CB2 pinterest board.  Of course you will be looking at my favorites.  :)
Here's another little vignette in my kitchen.  I really like this one.  When I am arranging a vignette, I keep a close eye on balance, and try to maintain simplicity.  I like to display objects on plates or bowls to corral clutter.  This arrangement is sentimental to me, because it's all gifts from people I love.  The black river rocks and cute little fish are from my sister-in-law's trip to Japan.  The vintage Japanese paint brush is from my uncle.
Close up on the cute little fish.  Love it!  Tried to get a close up on the calligraphy on the paint brush, but wasn't patient enough.  Oh well, another day.
Oval shaped bowl from Target is coraling part of my rock collection.  On my window ledge in my bedroom. I'm pleased to say I've been working hard on my bedroom.  It's been very challenging because the closets in this place are the size of a pea.  Hyperbole, yes.  But only slight.

Got these cute little ottomans from Target.  A perfect place to charge my cell phone and rest my glasses at night.  Also provide needed storage for blankets and pillows.

Another fine gift from my sister-in-law.  Kimmidolls on my dresser.  Butterfly barrette honors who mother, who we lost too soon.  I miss you, Nora.  And, yes, I do wear the barrette.  I'm really five years old stuck in a 52 year old body.

I hate making my bed!  So this is how I roll.  I embrace imperfection!  I love that the bed is low scale.  I have a lot of sexy pillows and am obsessed with bedding.  I just throw the stuff around upon awakening. There's no wrong way to make this bed.

I got a couple of new comforters from Home Goods.  I bought both the pink and the gray.  They were a crazy insane price.  Something like $39 for two queen sized!  I paid more for that for sheets at Target, which were pretty but not very pleasing on the skin.  Can we talk sheets for a second?  Can someone please tell me about thread count and such?  I have very sensitive skin.  Cannot bear microfiber, flannel or jersey.  I need very soft, very cool feeling sheets, but also don't care for satin.  Any ideas?

I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour of my place.  Stay tuned for a full reveal in the next couple of days.  Hope you have a great day!  And, as always, thanks for reading!  xo

Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Mascara Ever!

I'm obsessed with Project Runway.  I'm also obsessed with Pinterest.  I'm finding Pinterest to be a great tool for when I can't keep up with my blog.  What's that?  You've fallen behind in Project Runway?  Don't despair?  You can quickly catch up by checking out my Project Runway, Season 12 Board.  Bear in mind when you check out my board, it's all my own humble opinion.  Opinions are fun!  Fashion is fun!

One of the bonuses of Project Runway is the L'oreal hair and makeup artists!  I would dearly love to have them do my hair and makeup.  Okay, the ads get a little obnoxious on the website (I stream everything, no TV, no need).  Anyway, why do the commercials come on like a zillion times, advertising stuff that's already clearly shown in the show?  And why do they come on breaking the sound barrier?  I jump out of my skin every time. Thank goodness for the nifty PC remote I got at Radio Shack.  Plugs right into the USB port.

I think I'm going to barf every time the commercials come on.  Same ones, over and over and over:  1. Colace (yuk, I don't want to hear about your poop habits),  2.  Charmin (again, yuk!),   3.  Yoplait (is this the stupidest commercial in history - when the guy sings I wanna meet the cow that made this?) and 4. Abilify (why would anyone take this?  did you hear those side effects?).  Okay, My Lifetime Network would say the ads pay for the show. I don't buy it.  There's more than enough product placement and sponsors to pay for the show. (Lexus, L'oreal, HP, Belk, Mood, Parsons, etc,)  What does this have to do with mascara?  Nothing.  Sorry, I digress, my bad.

Anyhoo, I dearly love L'oreal products.  No - this is not a sponsored post.  (But I'd love it if you'd like to sponsor me, L'oreal.)  I was in need of a new tube of mascara, being the type who doesn't replace their eye makeup very often. I use a tube of mascara until it's completely dried out.  I know, I know.  Yuk.  When I shopped this weekend, it was a no brainer for me.  I knew I wanted L'oreal mascara.  And I wanted something to make my lashes look fabulous.

I opted for the Voluminous False Fiber Lashes.  And hey, can we talk product packaging a second? People who work in advertising, merchandising, marketing and branding are geniuses (see previous post on this subject here).  My new tube of mascara is a work of art.

Image by Peggy

And, oh yeah, it's great mascara.  This stuff makes your lashes so long you won't need false eyelashes!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kawaii Overload

Good day, dear readers!  I had a great day, took tons of pictures.  Today I ventured out with my 12 mp camera, which is a little more difficult to hold steady than my 4 mp.  The advantage is that it does super close up and super wide shots, but it really wants a tripod.  I'm too lazy to use a tripod, and that defeats the purpose of being a guerrilla photographer, lol.  Please be sure to check out my urban photojournal.  I'm pretty excited about exploring my new 'hood.

I had a post all ready to go.  Published it and everything.  Then made an edit, and lost it!  Oh gosh.  First time this ever happened to me.  I was crushed, I work hard on my posts.  I didn't have the heart to start over at the moment.  So instead, here are some pictures I took at Target today.  Everyone likes kawaii, right? How about some kawaii over load?

Dolls have gotten so pretty!  Dig her pink earrings!  If I had a little girl, I'd probably buy a ton of them.  Heck, I do buy some for me (and even play with them).  I'm really five years old.  I'm trying to control my obsession, though.  Not easy. Humans sure do make plenty of beautiful things.  I love beautiful things, but not clutter.

Isn't her hair cute!  I love green hair.

Red eyes, and wearing a veil.  Wicked.

It's a bonus when dolls come with cute little pets.

Isn't she cute?  My little ponies come with companion dolls now!  Dig the boots!  Love her blue skin and her ears!  Too cute!  She even has a spare outfit.

I admit it.  I gotta thing for the Hulk.  Maybe it's his tortured soul.  When I played with Barbie dolls, I used to use monsters, GI Joes and Vikings as the boyfriends.  Ken was - and still is - too much of a woos for me.  I don't like pretty boys very much (sorry, not trying to cause offense, just stating my preference).

I like little monsters too.

And minions!  I haven't seen Despicable Me 2 yet, but I want to!  Hope it comes to Netflix soon!

Omigosh!  Look at this.  A Barbie world that you make out of Legos.  I wish I'd had this as a kid.  I wouldn't dare buy this - because I am sure it would totally consume my life.  I probably would never stop playing with it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Work, Vol I: Collages, Sculpture, Deconstruction and Vignettes

Dear readers, I am excited to reveal some of my recent work.  As you know, it's made mainly from recycled and 100% post-consumer waste.  Poster board and frames were obtained at Dollar General for a steal!  There is plenty of upcycling going on as well.  Detritus found on my daily walks also appears in some of these works.

Still lamenting that a guidance counselor talked me out of becoming a graphic designer.  This was years ago, before the internet took off (hard to believe I actually lived in that time, and actually got things done.  boggles the mind).  This grouping made using shipping containers, brown paper bag, jewelry box, sharpie markers.  I love the colors and the graphic punch.  Since I can't paint the walls in my apartment, I'm adding bold color in my art and accessories.  If I could paint, I'd do a gray accent wall!  Gray is my new favorite color.

The work over the sink is also new and is part of my lamp design series.  I've made a couple of prototypes and am now in negotiation with a manufacturer.  I loved this vignette, but as you know, I'm not much of a grouping girl.  I prefer art to stand alone without competition with too many items.

I've been wanting more organic touches in my apartment, so have been assembling sculptures from my rock collection.  This is a sculpture of a snail.  I love it!  All rocks, and the dried vine, were found during a walk to the Tow Path with my brother. Care to see my brother at the MetroPark?  Click here.

I decided the little snail need his own environment.  That gob of blue stuff came from the inside of an FTD vase, that I made the mistake of washing.  It hardened and is pretty interesting.  I collected some little twigs and painted them silver.  I've been wanting to paint branches forever.  Now I'm addicted.    Also  used the silver paint on paper that was part of packaging.

I wanted to give the little snail his own environment, which included a moon.  I found this huge earring in a parking lot.  Painted it silver too.  Had the silver dish in a cupboard.  I like this, but still not completely happy.  Maybe I need a little piece of AstroTurf to simulate grass?

I played with this wrapping paper.  Still feel like the snail needs a moon on his world.  Wasn't happy with it either.  Would make a cute rug or painting, though, wouldn't it?
I played around with cotton, to simulate snow, and decided to cover the snail and trees with a cake dome. Don't want them to get dusty.  I put them on a candle holder I had.  Love the color.  Used one of the collages above for the moon.  Hey, the moon and the ground match in color.  Awesome.  Turquoise moon and orange atmosphere.  Why not?  It's another planet after all.

It's really difficult to photograph the glass dome, but you get the idea.  I have the sculpture in my kitchen. Considering whether I should light it with fake tea lights.  You can get them really cheap at the dollar store.
I got really excited about the color teal.  So I didn't stop there.  Now that the sculpture is done, it's time to move things around in my apartment.  As you know, new art always influences my vignettes in my apartment. I adore deconstructing cheap lamps and turning them into vases (see previous posts here and here).  I've been wanting a Buddha statute, but am a believer in using what you have.  My copy of Feric's book does the trick nicely.  How cool is that bio-mechanoid Buddha in the lotus position?  Too cool.

I'm crazy about this teal color.  The lamp was already broken, so I didn't mind taking its guts out.  Also, it only cost me $1.50 at the Goodwill.  Here's a tip, however.  If you buy glass that has been spray painted inside (as opposed to cased glass).  Don't wash the inside.  The color is painted on and will fall right off, like a balloon.

I am in love with this teal color.  Don't you just love the colors for fall#  It seems I fall in love with color more and more. Bright, neon colors are all the rage here in the 'hood.  Also cobalt blue, gray, teal, turquoise, mint green and - of course - pink!

All images by Peggy


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