Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So, we have been on the hunt for the perfect fabric for two club chairs for a client's living room. The chairs will be the first thing you see when you walk in - focal point. JD and I both know what we want, we can see the fabric in our heads, but we can't find it anywhere! That brings me to Spoonflower. Folks, you can design your own fabric: you pick the pattern (send them jpg file), color, fabric content, repeat etc. Prices are $18-32 a yard. Love this place! Check it out here.

Some fabrics customers have created at Spoonflower:

Fun, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Monday Feature! House of the Week

On Mondays we are going to feature a "house of the week." These will be houses that we like and admire in Atlanta and other places we travel.

We are getting started with a charming Atlanta cottage that was purchased to be renovated, but then had to be torn down to the foundation due to some damage that was unknown when the project first started. Norman Askins is the architect and Richard Anderson the landscape architect. Jackye Lanham reportedly did the interiors, but we don't have photos of the inside. Perhaps we will all see it in a shelter magazine in the near future. Enjoy!

I love these windows on the front screen porch. This house could be in the mountains...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Stroll

John Singer Sargent watercolors for a Sunday Stroll...

Genoa, The University, 1911, by John Singer Sargent

Santa Maria Della Salute, John Singer Sargent, 1904, Brooklyn Museum of Art

Cafe on the Riva delghi Schiavoni, John Singer Sargent,Watercolor on Paper

Watercolor Detail, John Singer Sargent

Escutcheon of Charles V, John Singer Sargent, 1912

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oakland Cemetery

My children tell me I'm weird. There are a million reasons they like to tell me that, but one of the main ones is that I like to walk through old, beautiful cemeteries. The restful solitude speaks to me (maybe to all busy people), and I love the architectural elements in a cemetery. Also, I feel connected to the past in a real and earthy way (no pun intended) when strolling through these park like settings. In the late 19th century it became fashionable to plan cemeteries that resemble parks, and the living families would frequently visit these beautiful resting places for the dead.

The land for Oakland Cemetery was purchased by Atlanta city fathers in 1850 - it started with six acres. By 1872 it had expanded to 48 acres, its present size. My mother brought us here when we were children and she was working on a project with the Georgia State Archaeology department. Ever since then I have loved coming here.

On Memorial Day this year I had the idea to take my children to visit Oakland Cemetery to see the markers of the Confederate dead. So we lathered on sunblock and headed downtown. Stroll with us through Oakland....

Italian Cypress, or "pencil trees"

The Atlanta Lion, marking the unknown Confederate dead.

Markers for the Confederate dead

Door on the Thornton/ Kennedy Mausoleum

For more information and tour times, please visit the Oakland Cemetery website.

All photos via Whitehaven

Friday, June 25, 2010

Artist Profile: Holly Irwin

Winding Path, 20x20

You never know what life will bring, and that's just what Holly Irwin discovered when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 10 years ago. She had to quit her job and was in quite a lot of pain. But out of this debilitating illness came a desire to return to her first love - painting and drawing. She has been pursuing that dream now for the last 10 years.

For You, 60x40

Holly grew up in Pittsburg and attended the Carnegie Institute from age 12 until college, learning to draw and study art from the classical perspective. She then attended Carnegie Mellon where she studied art. Holly was inspired by her mother who was an illustrator and portrait painter. There were always easels around the house with artwork in various stages. Art, painting and drawing were a way of life for Holly growing up, and since she also studied art in college, the artist's path would seem like the natural direction. But after graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Holly got married, moved South and got a job that had nothing to with art or painting. She moved on to other things, leaving art behind for many years.

right, Silent Night

And then 10 years ago the illness struck and changed the course of Holly's life. She says she knew very soon after the diagnosis that she wanted to return to her dream of being an artist. But this was easier said than done, because the arthritis particularly affected Holly's hands - the artist's tool. But she persevered and found that when she is drawing or painting she does not feel the pain. She feels that she is now living the life she was intended to live and being who she was created to be.


Sisters, 12x16

Holly keeps a sketch book on hand and sketches her dreams and inspirations. From this sketch book she then creates her paintings. Her work has been described at soulful and evocative. She focuses on the simple life and this shows in her work. She frequently paints women and children, often with baskets, barns, houses and nests in the background or in the hand. Holly became interested in drawing barns after a driving trip through the Pennsylvania countryside. She says that the baskets and nests often represent positive emptiness - the emptying of the self, so that God can fill us with grace and blessings. Which is the journey that Holly has walked.

The Yellow Cottage, 48x48

Her work is layered and textured and seeing the work in person is a wonderful experience. Holly usually works in oil and frequently uses a palette knife, which gives so much richness to the paintings. Holly says: "I apply layers of modeling paste, gel mediums, oil paint and acrylics with brushes, knives and rags to achieve depth and complexity. The finished effect of my mixed media paintings is an aged quality, like a fresco."

Home, 30x40

Hush, 14x11



Reflected in her paintings is the grace, patience and love that fills Holly's life. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis changed her life, but not in a bad way - in fact it was the catalyst for the journey back to being an artist that she had begun years ago.

In Atlanta Holly is represented by Lagerquist Gallery. In Fairhope, AL her gallery is Lyons Share, and in Birmingham, AL you will find her work at the Lorreta Goodwin Gallery.

Holly's website is:

All artwork is reproduced with permission of Holly Irwin and all information was gathered from an interview with Holly in June 2010 and also from her website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chinese Chippendale Chairs

right, Jonathon Adler chair

How we do love these chairs!

Jonathon Adler chairs

via Elle Decor

Jane Douglas' Keeping Room

via Elle Decor, Miles Redd designer

image via decor pad

William Sonoma Home

via Architectural Digest

Of course they were the inspiration for our logo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Subscription problems

After cruising many blogger help groups, getting some great advice from TTI, and also I think feedburner fixed the problem from its end we think we're back to normal. Apparently this happens occasionally...Glad I didn't freak out...too much!

We are experiencing some problems with our posts being delivered to our wonderful subscribers. We are working on this problem from our end and hope google is working on it from their end too. Bear with us - we'll have it fixed soon.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Japanese Scrolls

Source for image at right

We are having a large Japanese Scroll framed for a client and can't wait to see how it looks. The scroll was owned by the client's mother and is 10 feet long and features two birds (possibly cranes or herons). It is quite dramatic and will be the statement piece in the entrance hall. To learn more about Japanese painting go to Artelino.

When we took the scroll to one of our favorite frame shops to be framed (Caroline Budd Picture Framing) Caroline told us that the scrolls in Japenese homes were changed seasonally and were kept rolled up while being stored in the off seasons. Our client's scroll depicts one bird looking up and one looking down and Caroline thinks it may be a marriage scroll. The male bird, who looks up to the sky is pondering things spiritual and eternal and the female bird, who looks down, is taking caring of earthly things. Interesting. We're picking up the piece this week and will have the great reveal then.

image from here.

The scroll we are using looks similar to the one second from the left.

Hanging scroll