Archive for Travels

My Ol’ Kentucky home

As many of you know. I’ve spent the past week exploring the stomping grounds of my childhood Louisville, Kentucky. I thought many these photos from my visit were worth sharing. On a day trip to Indiana, I found myself enthralled by the cloudy sky rolling over the farm.

Huber'sfarm

The visit to Huber’s farm in Southern Indiana was a pleasant departure from the bustle of L.A. It proved to be just as picturesque as any of the vineyards, I love to visit in Napa Valley. Best of all were the deep fried (yikes!) biscuits to slather with homemade apple butter, orchards to pick apples from. and ducks to feed.

Another snapshot from East Market street is quiet buzzing with galleries, design shops, and places to chow. We tried out Toast on Market, and the bread pudding pancakes were tasty!

East Market Street

An art store mural by a local artist on Baxter Avenue juxtaposes animals and machines.

Art store mural

Another form of artwork threaded throughout the city is are the painted horses celebrating Gallopalooza, a local event. Another mid-western city does painted pigs and cows too. The Derby, being one of Louisville’s most famous equestrian events inspires the horses around town.

Gallopalooza

This got me thinking about all the cool equestrian inspired design out there. I came up with tons of ideas.

Check back here tomorrow, when I reveal my favorites.

SImply gorgeous.

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Morris & Co.

Now for today’s brief art history lesson!

I came across some research I did in 2004 and thought it may be interesting in lieu of real travel to travel back in time today and look at some designs from William Morris.

Morris was a British designer who aspired to incorporate art into all aspects of daily living. He was indeed a bit of Renaissance man specializing in calligraphy, printing, weaving, and embroidery; yet he lived during the 19th century.

He was an innovator who wanted to incorporate art into every crevice of the home.

Check out his Chrysanthemum wallpaper.

Morris-&-CoChrysanthemumwallpaper

I love the color palette and intricacies of his work. His other work includes carpets, tiles, and all sorts of textile designs. There is an organic quality reflective of his love for nature. Let’s look at his Honeysuckle wallpaper, a former favorite of mine.

william morrishoneysuckle1883

Yep~I still love it! Now, I’ve come up with an idea on how to bring his art into the 21st century. A few years ago, I did a painting that was a modern interpretation on a William Morris design. Now, I’d  really love to take the same idea and apply it to a wall mural coming up with a modern interpretation of his work in an entryway or hallway.

Ok. Here’s one more I can’t resist, his Artichoke wallpaper.

WilliamMorrisartichoke

As you can see by entangling all these elements of earthly beauty, he creates a simple, yet stunning design. I’m going to work on developing a .pdf stencil for download, sort of a nod to his gorgeous work and design.

Plus, I’m serious about the wall art. If anyone would be interested in a custom piece, send me a message!

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Indian Textiles as Art

As promised, here are a few tips showing how to incorporate applique into your living space.

  • Tablecloths, curtains, and pillowcases serve as inspired and detailed works of art.
  • Use appliqué or embroidery to introduce texture.
  • Tiny mirrors reflect lots of light.
  • On a budget appliqué work could provide a cost effective wall decor.
  • Historically significant pieces could add luxury to a room.
  • Take a hint from Jaipur and embrace color!

color4

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Indian Textiles Part II

Today, let’s take a look at golden embroidery referred to as Karchobi or Zardozi utilizing spun gold thread. This work dates back to the Rajasthani region of North India and abounds in the north Indian cities of Jaisalmer and Jaipur, known for their artisans and trade. Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, offers a plethora of textiles amongst which includes the Karchobi style incorporating metallic threads of flat stitches into garments and tapestries.

jaipur

These garments are often used for weddings, costumes, wall hangings, and even curtains. Zari or jar thread is a similar process of twisting cotton or silk for brocading not to be confused with zardozi.

Mirror work is popular in appliqué as well. In India, it is traditionally linked to the women of Gujarat and Rajasthan who carry dowry bags embroidered with mirrors. The wife of Shah Jahan, the same man responsible for the construction of the Taj Mahal, promoted mirror work during her time. It went on to gain popularity around the 17th century. Historians believe it may have originated from Baluchistan, currently part of modern day Pakistan. In Jaisalmer, the saddle of camels and horses are adorned with tiny mirrors. In the city of Barmer, women’s bodices are also noted for this intricate work. Tiny mirrors encircled by threads form patterns in bedspreads, pillowcases, and quilts.

embroidered-cushion-covers

Lastly yet certainly not least, Monday I’ll make suggestions on how to incorporate these exotic pieces into eco-friendly and worldly designs!

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Indian Patchwork Rugs

I’ve recently been inspired to take a closer look at Indian patchwork rugs. The art of Indian embroidery is some of the best worldwide. India offers a variety of styles, each with a unique history and linked to a specific region and culture. Some types of embroideries are associated with customs such as weddings or festivals. Some are known for the special thread employed or method of stitching involved. Appliqué work is a popular style of embroidery that is recognized worldwide and within the design industry for it’s nuances including Karchobi and mirror work.

In appliqué work different pieces of cloth are patched together to make a multi-colored mosaic. The vivid colors, shapes, and patterns in combination stand out when stitched onto a contrasting background. Typically appliqué is attached to padded cotton backing, which itself can be purchased in large rolls. Patchwork of this kind is essential in many Indian tapestries and can be found all over towns in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in northwestern India.

Patchwork of this kind is essential in many Indian tapestries and can be found in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in northwestern India. In Nathadwara, a Rajasthani city, the Pichwai style embroidery reveals colorful cloths and wall hangings throughout the village. One aspect of some appliqué artworks is that they can be monochromatic or employ analogous colors. For example, a customer may discover an appliqué cloth in all blues, turquoise, and greens. Others feature rosy pinks and shades of fuchsia. For an interior, they could be used to create a monochromatic color palette within a room.

1sttower

Common motifs include trees, peacocks, houses stacked into the hillside or the tower pictured above. If you look a bit closer some appliqué work, shiny golden threads and mirrors gleaming within the embroidery can be seen.  More on mirror work and the pink city of Jaipur later this week!

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