Friday, August 22, 2008

What I'm Loving - Right NOW

I've been cooking a lot recently. Except for last night, nearly every meal this week I've made from scratch. Woohoo! Right now one of my favorite cookbooks is The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I got this for my birthday a few months ago and I have just started using it. This week I made Ina's granola recipe and today, I just finished baking almond shortbread cookies. Both are delicious!

I was uncertain about the granola, since I tend to enjoy very sweet treats and this recipe only called for a little honey, but let me tell you... DELICIOUS! I am completely impressed and I have already consumed half the jar of granola. The shortbread cookies are a delicious and very buttery (Paula Deen would love these!). I wish I had cut mine smaller, because they are very rich.

Go pick up a cookbook and try a new recipe or two! You'd be surprised what delicious treats are out there! Enjoy!

New Art

Here are two paintings I completed recently. I'm really happy with the way they turned out, especially the flowers! Neither took too long to do (maybe an hour each) and I love the sketchy and imperfect quality of the brush strokes. Hopefully my painting skills will improve as I continue, but if nothing else, its fun to do something that brings a carefree feeling of joy to my heart. :)

My next goal is to paint a series of three canvases with scenes from my parent's town on them. I envision them being unique with cheerful colors. I'd love the setting of one to be at the beach, another in the gardens between the small shops in town, and the third to be of the bridge.

We'll see when that happens - but hopefully I can get started on them very soon! I'll be sure to keep you posted. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Selling Art

So, I'm thinking about selling a few different paintings and small pieces of art I've made recently. The main reason is that I just don't have space for them, and though I love them, they are cluttering my life! Does anyone know about selling on Etsy? I've noticed that there are many people who sell their art using that website, but I wonder if its oversaturated with stuff. Will I actually ever sell my things there, or is it better just to sell things word of mouth or at local stores.

My hairdresser has ample room to display art, and has offered to put mine up in the past. I've considered putting it up there for sale. I always wonder though, is this the right "environment" for my work? I know that I appreciate it, and other design students value it, but I wonder if the everyday person would understand the design as I originally had. Hmm... maybe its just me having separation anxiety with my stuff (its been known to happen).

Anyways, I'll post more photos shortly. If you're interested in them, leave a comment with your email and I'll get back to you. Thanks!

- L.Alden

Sunday, August 10, 2008

City Chic

So, I just took an interior style quiz on My Deco's website. I wasn't familiar with the website, but saw a link to it on The Inspired Room's blog. According to the quiz, my style is City Chic. Here's the description...

"The classic look ranges from the opulence of a Louis XV armchair to the simplicity of a Georgian dining table. Fortunately, you don't need original antiques to recreate the look in your own home, even on a budget. Classical influences served the Georgians well, and they still hold strong today. Elegant, sophisticated and - in your hands - supremely confident, classic interiors ooze style and luxury: an elaborate chandelier hangs above a simple but beautifully crafted oak dining table, perhaps, or crisp white linen is showcased within the 'theatre' of a four-poster bed."

I think that some of this is true, but I would disagree about the formalness of my style. I love classic lines, but I also appreciate casual cottage-y interiors that are calm and inviting. I think the best way to achieve that look is with classic furniture pieces (some new, some antique-y looking) and simple linens. I'd like to add art and accessories to my space that are full of color and unique in style.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today is a beautiful day - temps in the mid 80s with a cool breeze! Needless to say, the air conditioning has been cut off and the curtains billowing in the breeze. Days like today make me want to relax in a clean and uncluttered home. As a result, I've been sorting through old school stuff recently and have tossed a large amount of things. There are things I need to keep (school supplies, sentimental things, and furniture that is too expensive to be replaced) and there are things that I am saving for an updated room in a new home. Among those things include simple white cube vases I found in the dollar section at Target a few years ago (back when they had good stuff!), Jonathan Adler style vases from Ikea (at a fraction of the cost), wallpaper scraps waiting to be framed, and two beautiful and nearly perfect linen lampshades in someone's trash pile.

I'm eager to get past the clutter and simplify my life with these neutral accessories. I think they'll work well with my many mood altering styles (modern one day, beach cottage another). I want to start collecting original art to be dispersed across my future home. I recently visited a friend who has original art in every room. Each space is layered with large and small pieces, each holding sentimental value to her. The colors in some are bright. Many are landscapes or local places around town. This is not financially possible for me right now, so I've been doing some paintings of my own recently. They are not what I always have in my mind, but I think I can work to improve them. Plaza art sells linen canvases that are a bit more expensive than the regular white canvases I'm used to, but they look chic on walls, even unpainted! I've purchased three for now (two 8x8s and one 4x4) and can't wait to go back for more.

I also picked up a small coffee table book this week. Paris Style is a great addition to any library. It is a small collection of French rooms. I would like to try and have a more European method of furniture selection in the future. I'd like to choose long lasting pieces that are neutral but inviting. I've noticed that many of the rooms include layers of materials, mirrors, textiles, accessories, etc. I think this may inspire rooms in my future home. We shall see!