Living With Color Designs: Furniture Sketches: Ladies Chair in Lime GreenLooking at all those beautiful art sketches by real artist from my last post has inspired me to try and do a little drawing myself.  I once heard a designer say that they tried to do a little drawing each day just to keep the creative juices flowing, maybe I should give it a try.  I’d downlaoded  the Paper 53 app to my iPad a long time ago with great aspirations of what I would accomplish with it.  However, I’d never really sat down and taken the time to play with it.  Determined to rectify this scandalous situation and being all inspired I decided to get on it.  Now what should I draw? Continue reading →

Creativity Runs In The Family - Living With Color DesignsI’m happy today to introduce you to one of my Aussie cousins.  Besides sharing some pretty awesome family members, Julie and I share a passion for beautiful and unusual things, great craftsmanship, artistic endeavors, and creative people. Continue reading →

A few weeks ago my granddaughter had an amazing week of art camp at the Randolph Arts Guild.  At the end of the first day I was quizzed on the ride home about how much I had paid for her to go.  I was curious as to why it was important to her but reluctantly shared the information.  When I asked why she wanted to know, she shared that she had some money saved up and she wanted to go the next week too.  You can tell what a great experience it is when an 8 year old is ready to give up her hard earned cash to come back again.

paint pots

Three awesome instructors guided campers through activities with clay, animation, and mixed medium projects.  She came home so inspired and excited about each days achievements.  These types of enrichment activities reap huge benefits in developing creativity and problem solving skills in young kids.  The weeks activities has her looking at things differently, wondering how she could use random objects she gathered up to create something new.

Her favorite creation was the tree house.  I loved the details that kids thought were important to add.  My granddaughter added a swing, lots of color, and a ‘no boys allowed’ sign.  Others declared sentiments like ‘no duke fans’ and ‘nature is nature’.   Some sported nice amenities like big screen tv’s, furniture and pizza.  Who knew inspiring future architects could be so fun?  Campers brought their own lunches , had recreation at Bicentennial park, and even a rest period of free drawing.  The big event concluded with their works displayed in the art gallery.  My heart grew full as listened to my granddaughter share about her works and describe how she created each one.  She was filled with excitement and passion. Priceless.

Besides inspiring young minds the Randolph Arts Guild also has a beautiful gift shop with a great selections of hand crafted and artist created work.  You can find paintings, jewelry, one of  kind bird cages and much more.

Thanks to Les Caison, program director at the Randolph Arts Guild, for putting together this week long camp. Thanks to the wonderful instructors; Kerry Lowen, Rodney Bennett, and Leigh Blanchard for inspiring young minds.  They have another exciting art camp coming up July 21-25 with three new instructors.  Call to see if there are any spaces still available.

Yes, my granddaughter is signed up.  And no, we’re not making her use her hard earned cash. Quality experiences that nurture creativity  and inspire young minds are well worth the money.  Check out your local arts guild and find out what programs are available in your community.    –  Marianne



Michael Kors pocketbook watercolor
Photo turned into a watercolor by the Waterlogue app

It never ceases to amaze me how much joy an app that cost $2.99 can bring me. Like this one called Waterlogue. I found out about it from one of my Chi-O sisters on Facebook. Thanks Suzanne! It is so much fun you may have trouble stopping yourself from converting all your photos into watercolors.  I randomly took this picture of my pocketbook one day when I was fidgeting with my iPad camera. Since it beholds one of my favorite fashion colors I thought I would see how the color transcended when the app converted it to watercolor. I have to say I was pretty impressed. It turned an ordinary picture of a pocketbook on a bed to a work of art.

Michael Kors Pocketbook in Poppy
original photo of the pocketbook

So after being amazed by a pocketbook photo I knew I had to use the Waterlogue app on some interior design photographs. I really like the results of these pictures. My mind sees furniture as art anyway. Check out the artful transformations below.

interiors photos transformed into watercolors by Waterlogue app
Interior Design photographs transformed into watercolor by the Waterlogue app

After interior shots my mind wonders about outdoor shots. Yes, the wheels never stop turning in this head. I thought these were equally great. I could see small prints of these framed for display.

front porch
front porch
sidewalk landing
sidewalk landing with potted plants and adirondack chair
Peonies photo transformed to watercolor
This was an up-close photo of a peony  in my yard.

I tried using some photo’s with peoples faces in them but I was not thrilled with the results. The Waterlogue site recommends, for faces, to crop into your shot and make it predominately about the face. This should result in a more detailed colorful result. They have a wonderful help page that answers all types of questions you might have about the app.

I decided to print a few out and see how they looked.  I just used some nicer paper I had that had a little texture to it and they looked great.  Waterlogue suggest two options for printing: Apples iPhoto Print Products and for really large prints CanvasPop

You can check out some of their favorites at Made With Waterlogue. And they also have a blog: Waterlogue Photography Distilled.

Undaunted by the results of the photo’s with my precious grandchildren’s faces I searched to see what other types of photos I had on my iPad.(I guess you can tell this is getting addicting.) I found plenty of pictures from Christmas and you all know how we love those. Last two I will share. I promise.

ornaments removed from the tree
teachers gifts tied in ribbon with greenery and winterberry

Go ahead. Get the app and have fun transforming your pictures into watercolors too.  It almost makes me feel like an artist.   –  Marianne

 I never knew the emotional connection I had to all the familiar things I see from year to year or day to day until I took a few pictures in my yard and displayed these pictures in my home.  Spring is a great time to capture pictures of beautiful blooms right in your very own yard.  I know it is early spring and there may not be much to take pictures of yet, but I want you to ready your cameras and keep an eye out for new blooms and also wait and watch for flowers to reach full bloom.  I am always taking pictures in my yard.  I just can’t help myself.  I will even stand there and think “you know you took pictures last year” and then go ahead and snap some more.  After you have taken some great shots blow them up, print them out, frame them up and  put them in your home.  You will be amazed at the connection you make to these pictures and the enjoyment you will get from looking at them.

These are some beautiful big peonies that we planted.  I remember when, where and from whom we bought them.  The local garden club sponsored the sale and it was held at the beautiful farm/estate of a neighbors.  One of the ladies in the garden club had dug them up out of her yard.  I can’t remember what I paid but it was a deal. Early Bird Gets the Worm kind of thing. We were early birds.   Every time I look at this picture I am reminded of that fun day.

I was so excited when I found these frames.  They are so unique.  I like the casualness of just clipping the photo a little askew in the shadow box type frame.  The clips on these frames make it easy to change pictures whenever you want.  I haven’t changed them though.  I’m surprised how attached I get to photo’s.  There is a delightful “ah ha” moment when a friend or family member realizes that they are looking at a picture of something they have seen in our yard. 

The statue you see is my favorite birdbath.  Surrounded by beautiful plantings chosen by my husband, the resident gardener.  I also am reminded of whom we got this from and all the places we have used it.  When taking pictures be sure to include items that you love like a tried and true container or urn that you use from year to year.  This item will tie  the location where the picture was taken in with the beautiful plants.  

Of course here in the South we love our hydrangeas.  They come in many varieties and I love them all.  I have taken tons of pictures of them and am so glad to put some of  those pictures to good use.  This picture is actually of a chinese snowball bush (viburnum) which has a similar bloom to a hydrangea.

One of the most beautiful things in my yard is this peach tree.  The bright pink blooms just put a song in my heart.  Bringing this beauty into my bedroom year round was a wonderful idea.    Just a few days after I took these photos the blooms began to turn brown so be watchful.  Timing is everything with these blooms.  Thankfully newer digital cameras make it easy now to take quality photos. 

I chose these beautiful silver leaf frames to honor my peach blossoms.  They compliment the  silver leaf mirror that hangs over my Henrendon dresser which has silver drawer pulls.  The wall is painted with Valspar Paint. The color is 5006-8A Swim.  A beautiful color that I think I will never tire of.  Combined with this wall color the pink blossoms just pop out of the frames.

I hope you will try this little DIY home enhancement activity.   It is an inexpensive and personal way to add art to your home.  Truthfully I had never been a big fan of adding photographic art to my personal surroundings until I took these pictures of things in my own yard and framed them.  And now you can tell I am a really big fan.  I have also added some professional photographic art to my home.

Now it’s your turn.  Go ahead and get out in your yard.  Just don’t forget your camera!  –  Marianne

Footnote: If you read this earlier and notice some changes you can thank my resident gardener.  He gently reminded me that the tree in the backyard was a peach and not a cherry.  We even had tiny fruit last year.  How could I forget that?  He also let me know the picture with the big white blooms was of our Chinese snowball bush not our hydrangea.  This is why he plants them and I just take pictures and enjoy them.