Archive for May, 2009

Creative Señorita: Golden Flakes and Melted Paints

I wasn’t able to get to the studio as much as I wanted this past week, but I did manage to make it in for a few hours on Friday. Julie called me on Monday apologizing about the state of one of my paintings. She evidently thought one of the swirl paintings was dry so she positioned it on its side to showcase the result. When she came in on Monday, it was very apparent the underneath layers hadn’t dried yet. The top red layer shifted downward, and the bottom part of the painting looked like it was melting off.


I must confess, when she called me I didn’t think it would be that bad. When I saw it I was a bit surprised, but I know it isn’t anything we couldn’t fix. This actually happened before with one of Julie’s canvases. We thought it was dry and put the painting up on display. The next day, there was a giant mess on the floor. Now we know to leave these to dry three weeks at least before hanging.


My original intention with these three swirl paints was to create one center canvas with large roses in the middle. The other two could either go above and below or to the left or right of the middle piece. I wanted to crush my wedding flowers onto these last two, and create a gradient of gold and red flower petals. I’ve seen the fabulous Ms. Julie do this with pink and white so I decided to give it a go with my signature gold and red.


After doing one canvas I realized I should have crushed the flowers before the top red coat dried. This way I could have saved myself some gloss varnish. I dripped the varnish onto the petals to make them stick to the canvas. I still have to create the gradient effect. I am certain I will complete these two pieces by the weekend.


This next piece is going to be similar to my blue poppies canvas. The difference are the colors and the textures. My mom wanted something similar to the blue canvas, but in a brighter color scheme. I am making a small one to see if she likes it before we commit to a larger canvas. I created a texture with red acrylic paint and gloss varnish for this piece. Then I blended white, magenta, orange and turquoise for a background. I then used a mixture of two acrylic green pigments with some gloss varnish to make the grass. Now I have to let this dry to continue. I hope it turns out.


This afternoon our lovely friend Jeff played a few tunes for us on his harmonica. It was outstanding. We had no idea Jeff could play so well. It was a real treat. We were all very surprised. Here he is sitting in front of John Hancock’s painting and a few of Julie’s as well. I love Brighton.

May 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

The Nautilus: An Organic Habitat by Javier Senosiain

This fascinating structure was designed and developed by organic architect Javier Senosiain. The Nautilus home was built in Naucalpan, Mexico almost three years ago in 2006. As one can imagine, there were quite a few issues with this type of design. The structure had to undergo numerous changes before the right measurements to safely begin construction were found.



The interior of the structure was designed to create a sense of harmony and flow as one travels through the rooms in the home. The ground floor room is a sitting area surrounded by different types of flora. The rooms become more private as one ascends the spiral staircase. The designer intended to give one the impression of floating over the vegetation on the lower ground floor.




I do believe Mr. Senosiain accomplished his goal. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw images of this home. I think I’ve found my dream home. I’ve always wanted an indoor garden like this. There are simply so many things Mr. Senosiain has gotten right for me with this design. I truly adore The Nautilus home. The only thing I would change is the size. The structure seems to be mansions size, and I would love something like this in a “tiny home” version. I don’t know if it is even possible, but I have a starting point.

Images via Javier Senosiain

May 29, 2009 at 2:42 am 1 comment

Ecologically Friendly Paints From Little Greene

I actually came upon this innovative company by mistake. I was looking into artist paints for my work when I discovered these guys. Little Greene is eco-friendly company that designs and manufactures environmentally friendly home decorating paints and wall papers. They pride themselves on creating the best quality product with the least impact on the environment. As a matter of fact, Little Greene was actually the first UK paint manufacturers to achieve the European environmental standard BS EN ISO 14001.

The company offers high quality water and oil based paints in a variety of different colors. Their acrylic Matt Emulsions have been proven to be free of from toxic metals, which makes them safe for use around children. All of Little Greene’s products are manufactured in the UK, and they source all of their materials from environmentally friendly suppliers.

I am really glad I found this company. I do use emulsion and gloss in some of my work. I will certainly be trying Little Greene’s products on my next canvas.


Images via Little Greene

May 28, 2009 at 5:21 am Leave a comment

10 Very Clever Logo Designs

It’s logo time again. I absolutely adore clever logo design. These ten logos really caught my eye the other day as I was browsing one of my favorite sites, LogoPond. I am especially fond of the Giraffe logo. I am in the process of designing one for a friend, and these guys really helped clear up a design problem I was having.











Images via LogoPond

May 27, 2009 at 5:47 am Leave a comment

Fashion Find: Beautiful Ethical Jewelry By Nugaard Designs

These ladies really impressed me. Their designs are not only lovely, but they are created using eco-friendly materials and vendors from their home country of Brazil. Erica Pacey and Allessandra Feio are inspired by the natural beauty of Brazil. Their jewelry is created using natural materials extracted from the Earth in ways that do not harm the environment. Additionally, of their suppliers are certified eco-friendly merchants in Brazil. The ladies actually use real leaves, grass and seeds dipped in gold or silver to create some of their designs. I am very fascinated by their techniques and their lovely results. I never though something so delicate would withstand such high temperatures. I am very impressed. You can find many of their designs on sale at Nimli.








Images via Nimli

May 26, 2009 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

Fashion Crush: Cute Summer Flip Flops

I usually don’t like wearing flip flops unless I’m going to the beach, but I’ve seen a few girls wearing them in a very chic way. It certainly made me rethink this classic summer shoe. I have some black and white jeweled flip flops that I just adore. I’ve always admired the different styles and colors available in flip flops, and I’ve decided to showcase some of my favorite funky finds.








Images via Piperlime and TopShop

May 25, 2009 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Creative Señorita: Painting The Roses Red and Gold

I’ve had great success with my 20 paintings this week. I’m thinking about renting studio space from Julie, but I am not sure about it quite yet. I’ll have to think about it a bit more. I did manage to finish one of my cupcake swirl design paintings with Julie Anne’s help. I am making 3 of the swirls, and I’ve finished 6 paintings in total. I don’t know if I am going to make it, but I am certainly going to try.



The good news is that the chemical reaction I spoke about last week happened. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t cause the gorgeous cracking effect caused by using emulsion and gloss, but it happened. The result was beautiful. I spray painted the roses two different shades of red, and the middle one I spray painted gold. Then I sprayed gold and red paint over the canvas and roses. I stuck the roses on with a large glop of brown acrylic paint.



This next one is very interesting. I saw John and Jan use this technique a bit ago, but I was afraid to do it. I finally had the courage to, and the result was lovely. I used gloss varnish mixed with a drop of black acrylic paint. I mixed it for about 30 seconds until I get the consistency I liked. Then I used a paint brush to drizzle it on. I am not quite fond of the finished painting, but I am glad I learned how to create and manipulate the gloss varnish and acrylic paint mixture.


This next swirl painting will be similar to the rose canvas. It takes about 2 weeks for it to dry completely and crack. This one will be a bit different. I am going to crack new spray painted flowers on top of the paint. Then I will spray gold and red paint to create a chunky gradient effect.


These are the finished paintings from week 1. The tree painting was made using cat litter, sand and a hand cut stencil of a tree I painted years ago. The lips were made using a hand cut stencil from a vector design I made for a t-shirt. The paint is a mixture of texture paste and dark blue acrylic paint. The background is a blue acrylic paint with glitter spray.


This is Richard Newman taking some pictures of his work. We managed to catch each other doing the same thing outside the studio. It was a fun day. Sun was shining, and there were lots of people out and about. Had some one on one time with Mr. Marmalade cat as well. He enjoyed his hair brushing.

May 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

The Sustainable Village Of Pembrokeshire

I’m certain you’ve heard or at least seen a picture of these fabulous, sustainable homes in the middle of the forest. I saw one of these some time ago, and I still dream of living in one. They resemble those cottage looking Hobbit homes from Lord of the Rings, and they’re just as posh on the inside. The first Hobbit home design I discovered was Simon Dale’s woodland home, but since then Dennis and I have discovered a group of people that are actually making a community of them. These folks belong to a group called the Lammas Low Impact Living Project, and they are based in Wales.



The Lammas group aim to create a thriving example of low impact development and living. They plan on becoming an example of a successful sustainable rural development. Unfortunately, the village isn’t built quite yet, but the Lammas group are currently applying for permission to build their eco-village on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland next to the village of Glandwr, Pembrokeshire in Wales. It is a bit difficult to get permission from the local councils for such a development, but the Lammas group will not give up. They plan on starting construction this summer.


One of the issues the Lammas group is having has to do with their low-impact living initiative. This concept involves the intense management of ones natural surroundings in order to maximize return and minimize waste. The group’s plans were a bit out of the ordinary, and the council found it a bit difficult to approve without further investigating their proposal. However, according to their website, the Penbrokeshire council has been very understanding, and are willing to work with the Lammas group on this project.

The actual homes will be built from materials found in and around the development area. They are specifically designed to blend into the landscape. Each building will use a combination of natural and recycled materials and building styles. All homes will be built with the latest environmental technologies and design techniques.


I really do hope Lammas and the Penbrokeshire council come to an understanding. Dennis and I have signed up as volunteers to help build low-impact homes in Penbrokeshire, but I hear they are delaying their plans at the moment. Dennis and I are very willing to take on a task like this. We figured there wasn’t a better way to learn about this lifestyle than to be working with low-impact community pioneers. I hope we can make this happen. Our dream is to build our own off-grid, sustainable home in a few years time, and the Lammas group are truly inspirational people for pioneering such a project.

These are similar low-impact living homes.




To find more information about the Lammas project visit

Images via Lammas and Simon Dale

May 21, 2009 at 11:31 am 1 comment

The Dopie: Naked Shoes from Terra Plana

Terra Plana has developed a new very fascinating shoe design. The Dopie was developed by designer Matthew Harrison while studying at the Royal College of Art in London. It was co-developed by the Terra Plana team into this very fascinating end product. The team began by researching different materials and shapes to create a the most minimalistic footwear possible. The shoe is designed to be super comfortable by molding to your feet. Additionally, the shoe designers suggest the design helps straighten your toes, thereby eliminating the occurrence of bunions.


The Dopie is certainly a very fantastic design. Dennis and I have been looking for something exactly like this, but I do have my reservations. I have purchased two pairs of shoes from Terra Plana and both pairs have been unwearable. I understand that Terra Plana shoe’s require training to wear; however, the barefoot design is not the problem I had. Both shoes had a very rough and bulky seam in the Achilles part, and they both rubbed the back of my ankle raw. I simply could not wear the shoe without getting an open wound. I ended up recycling the shoes.

With that being said, I do hope the Dopie design turns out differently for me. I am willing to give Terra Plana another chance because of the outstanding design. However, as I have described in a previous post, eco-design is always best in my opinion only if it works. I do have a concern with the Dopie. I am afraid the “nipple” part of the shoe will hurt the area between my toes, and cause all of my toes to curl while I walk. This usually causes severe pain all over my feet. I suppose we will have to see. I’ll post an update when Dennis and I have tested them for a bit.

Images via Terra Plana

May 20, 2009 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Stunning Paper Sculptures by Richard Sweeney

Multi-talented artist Richard Sweeney creates these stunning sculptures using paper modeling as a means to create form. According to the artist, all of these sculptures are merely pieces in an ongoing exploration into the medium. I believe this is the one of the very interesting aspect of his art. These experimental forms are stunning themselves, and simply knowing they are merely experimental pieces is fascinating.







Images via Richard Sweeney

May 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

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