Savannah 2, Watercolor Painting

Savannah II Watercolor Painting
Savannah II, Watercolor Painting by Loribeth Clark
This painting was more difficult to paint, because of the detail of wrought iron.  But it was so worth the effort, because I fell in love with the curved stairs leading to the entrance of this building. I wish I knew if it is a house or business. I like to think of it as a home, because it seems so romantic.  

This painting is the second of my  four-part series of watercolors inspired by photographs I took while strolling around Forsyth Park with Jim the day after we were married. For me, they invoke memories of the most romantic moments of my life.

An 8x10 artist print can be purchased of this print in my shop, Moments of Art.  
You can buy it here.

Title: "Savannah II"
Size: 8x10 print on 8.5x11 inch paper
Orientation: Portrait
Paper: Professional, artist grade, acid-free, textured
Printing Process: Giclee 6-color printing process CcMmYK
Ink: Fade-resistant, Archival Ink

Savannah 1, Watercolor Painting

Savannah I Watercolor
Savannah I, Watercolor by Loribeth Clark
This painting is part of a series of four watercolor paintings inspired by photographs I took while strolling around Forsyth Park with Jim the day after we were married. For me, they invoke memories of the most romantic moments of my life.

This particular painting is probably my favorite. This is what I think of when I think of Savannah. It is so graceful, yet strong and bold in a way that cannot be described any other way except elegant. 

An 8x10 print can be purchased of this print in my shop, Moments of Art.  
You can buy it here.

Title: "Savannah I"
Size: 8x10 print on 8.5x11 inch paper
Orientation: Portrait
Paper: Professional, artist grade, acid-free, textured
Printing Process: Giclee 6-color printing process CcMmYK
Ink: Fade-resistant, Archival Ink.

Kitchen Mini - Update

We haven't gotten as far as I would have liked, but replacing the upper cabinet and getting the microwave installed has made a huge difference in how our kitchen feels.  Getting the microwave off the counter has made it feel larger.

Microwave installed. Still need to finish the cabinet doors.
 I leaned the doors up against the cabinet for the picture, but I still have to put the final top coat of poly on them. I just wanted an idea of how it was going to look. I wish I had thought to take a better "before" picture, but I honestly thought I had some.

Not a great before picture.
Before of where the microwave and countertop oven used to be.

After installing the new microwave and moving the countertop oven. 
As you can see, it's opened things up a bit. But we still have a long way to go. We need to install two shelves between the cabinet and the to hold the countertop oven and the other to hold my glass pot lids. That change alone will open up a lot of countertop space.

Sorry about the poor picture quality. I'm fighting a nasty cold right now. My eyes are itchy and watery and my nose is runny, so I'm not in tip top condition and it shows in the pictures.

So there's your mini update.  Pretty good so far!

Looking for some art to spruce up your space. I have a lot to choose from at my Moments of Art shoppe. Check it out, and you just might find the perfect piece you've been looking for!  For any question you might have, feel free to contact me, I'd love to hear from you!

Before & After: Dining room chairs and our "haunted" table

It's all finally coming together.  Last year, we bought our "haunted" dining room table off Craigslist, and started the search for chairs to go with it. When I told you about the table last year, I shared my idea of using the chairs from Jim's old table that we sold.

Table and chairs before the chairs were painted.
The table with the chairs from Jim's old table.
Well, I did end up using the chairs from Jim's table. The size and design of them really fit the style of our home. They brought a kind of casual elegance to the our formal mahogany table. Do you see how the tied in the country feeling of my beautiful china cabinet?

The problem with them was they were the wrong color of wood. Next to the mahogany table, the pecan chairs looked drab and least to me they did.

Close up of how the woods do not match
Close up showing how the woods didn't go together.
Now, normally I don't have a problem with mixing different woods together. However, it was so obvious the chairs did not go with the table that when friends visited, they always asked what I was going to do with the chairs. Which every knows is a nice way of saying, those don't look right together and you need to change them. haha!  I'd almost be offended if they weren't right!

So with the idea that I'd paint two at a time, so we wouldn't be without chairs to sit on, I started by painting two of them white. They looked great! I played around with the idea of painting them yellow, but Jim vetoed that idea. He liked the white better... I still have the yellow idea in the back of my head though, so who knows.

Formal mahogany table with casual white chairs
Newly painted chairs!
I'm super pleased with how they turned out. Yes, I'm still thinking about painting them yellow just because I think it would be really fun. But then again, when you consider that it took me nearly five months to finish painting them the first time, who knows how long it would take me to get around to painting them yellow!

Before and after of the table without painted chairs and with painted chairs
Side by side before and after
As you can see from the side by side, there have been some other changes too.  I've decided not to use seat cushions, and I've added a rug.  I found it's easier to keep the dust bunnies under control with a rug under the table, but finding one that fit our small kitchen and that was also large enough for the table and chairs was quite an adventure. I never did find the size I really wanted.

Detail of chair back
Detail of the chair's pressed back.  I used a gloss to highlight the design.
For those who are interested, I painted the chairs using the Rust-oleum Cabinet Transformations kit that I had left over from painting the upper cabinets. It has held up extremely well on both the chairs and on the cabinets, so I highly recommend using it if you're not into doing a lot of sanding and want an easy and quick change that will last.  I'm planning on getting another kit when I paint our lower cabinets, that's how much I like this product.

Mahogany table with white chairs
One last look...  Ahhhhhh.... I love it!
You know... The table doesn't look so haunted any more!  I think the spirits like what I've been doing to it.

Don't forget to leave a comment and tell me what you think!!  I love hearing from you, it makes my day!

If you are looking for something special for that wall in your house that just doesn't seem finished, check out the art in my shop, Moments of Art. I have a lot of beautiful items for sale, and you might find something perfect for that space!

This post was shared on Furniture Feature Fridays.

The kitchen renovation begins!

Remember a few weeks ago, I told you about updating our kitchen with Craigslist finds?  Well, after I wrote that, I found two more items to update our kitchen...a stainless steel dishwasher and over-the-range microwave.  As it turns out, the microwave was a dud (you just never know when you buy something off Craigslist), so we bought a new one on sale at Lowe's. (With our military discount, it was a pretty good deal.)

We also bought a couple of kitchen cabinets that we found on Craigslist.  One that is 27 inches wide so we can fit the dishwasher next to the sink, and one that is 30 inches to replace the 33 inch one that's over the stove. It always bugged me that the cabinet was three inches wider than the range hood, so now that won't bother me. We scored the cabinets for $10 a piece, so that helped the reno budget. Granted, they don't match exactly, but that's okay, because they're going to be painted white anyway.

Kitchen plan drawing
My drawing of the kitchen--pretty close to scale, but not quite. 
I've been planning this renovation on paper for several weeks. As you can see from my drawing, we have a small kitchen, because that's seriously how wide our kitchen really is. No room for expansion. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Small kitchens mean fewer steps when cooking.

The far left base cabinet and the sink cabinet below the window are staying where they are. The two upper cabinets on either side of the window are also staying where they are. Right now there is a wooden valance between the two upper cabinets that is coming down and a new light fixture is going there above the sink. I'm pretty sure we're going to go with the one below from Lowe's, unless I find one I like better.  It fits the space, has the leaf design I like, and the arms are adjustable, so I can put the light where I want it on my work surface.

Possible light fixture for above the sink
Allen + Roth Track Light from Lowe's

I also saw this one, also at Lowe's, which I absolutely LOVE, but it costs a little more than I wanted to spend.  But it would look really cool above the sink. If anyone knows how to make this for less than $100, I'd really like to know!

Possible light fixture for above the sink.
Allen + Roth Pendant Light from Lowe's
Okay... Back to telling you what we're doing.

In the picture below, you can see the area that's going to experience the most change.  First of all, the cabinet above the stove is being replaced, because the one in the picture is too wide. That cabinet was taken down today, but we didn't get the new one installed yet. The new microwave will be installed under the new cabinet. Then two open shelves will be installed in the space between. The bottom one will hold our toaster oven, and the top one will hold our glass pot lids.

Kitchen as it is now.
This is the side that is getting the most renovation
The base cabinet will be moved to another location in the kitchen, and a 27" cabinet will go next to the stove. We're dong that, because we need three more inches of space so we can fit the dishwasher. All the cabinets are going to be painted white like the uppers.

All the cabinets are going to be painted white, and I'm going to do beadboard wallpaper in the centers of the lower cabinet door like I did in the uppers. I was so pleased with how it turned out before, and the cabinets have held up really complaints at all, so I'm sure I'll be happy with how it looks on the lower cabinets too.

Once the cabinets are all in place, we'll replace the countertops with cherry butcher block. I know a lot of people get them from Ikea, but we're going to get ours from Lumber Liquidators, because we can get them in a 12 length, which means no pieces them together, except behind the stove. The backsplash will be beadboard the same as we used in the bathroom.

A few years ago, Vanessa at this & that blog posted about installing butcher block countertops with an undermount stainless steel sink. Her countertop and sink turned out EXACTLY how I want mine to look!! Here's a picture of hers so you can see what I'm talking about.  She even has the beadboard backsplash!

butcher block countertops and stainless sink.
Vanessa's sink and countertop from this and that.
Exactly what I want for my countertop and sink.
I'll probably be referring to her post quite often when we get ready to do the countertops. She did an incredible job of explaining the steps she did to finish the countertop and install the sink. Sounds like she has a very handy husband too.

Believe it or not, I'm not finished telling you my plans yet.  I am going to to replace all my drawer pulls. I know I just installed glass knobs a couple years ago, but I really wanted glass handles and I found vintage ones from the 1940s on Etsy, and there were the exact amount I needed. So I splurged and bought them from Karen at kadhivintageandmore on etsy. I'm keeping the glass door knobs, but the drawers will have these lovelies on them!

Glass handles

I'm also planning a little surprise inside my cabinets and drawers.  I'm going to paint the insides yellow!!  I got the idea from a picture on pinterest that I found.  It was of white cabinets with the insides of the cabinets and drawers painted blue. Although I love the blue color, it doesn't really go with anything in our living area. We don't actually have anything that's yellow either, but I had a yellow kitchen before and I loved it, and yellow and green go together. It will be a happy surprise every time I open a cabinet or drawer!

Well, wish me luck and if you have any advice, please feel free to share!!!

If you are looking for some beautiful art to complete your decor or just for something special because you deserve it, please check out my shoppe Moments of Art!

Before & After: Upholstered Chair!

My mother gave this chair to me several years ago when I moved into my old apartment.  I fell in love with the chair immediately. It had good bones, a beautiful shape, and it was heavy, an excellent candidate for being reupholstered.

But...and this is a big was ugly!  The fabric was old and worn. The fabric covering it was a funky shade of green that I think might have been popular in the 1970s.  I hated the green fabric on it so much that I don't have any before pictures of it without something draped across it hide the fabric!

After spray painting the fabric black and painting the legs white.
Even though Jim never saw my chair when it was green, it still wasn't beautiful, and I know he had to wonder why I was so adamant about keeping my ugly chair, because it didn't go with anything. I get it. I really do. It was hard to imagine that my ugly duckling chair was really a beautiful swan waiting to emerge. Especially when its fabric has holes in it, has been spray painted, feels a bit like sandpaper and grabs pet fur like crazy. But I could imagine it, so I couldn't abandon it.

When decided I wanted to get fabric for it, I think Jim still had his doubts, but he went with me. I told you about it in my "I was shocked!" post from my old blog, because Jim surprised me when he chose a beautiful brown damask. It was the first step. I had fabric, all I had to do then was find someone to upholster it!

Channel back chair painted with fabric paint and stenciled.
After stenciling it.
That was back in 2011 and since finding an upholsterer wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, I did other things to it to make it look pretty, including stenciling it. The stencil made a huge difference, but trust me, it looks better in the picture than it did in real life. I was actually surprised and flattered by how many people pinned my chair to Pinterest after it had been stenciled.

A couple years passed, and upholstering my chair went on the back burner. Then last month when shopping with my friend Karla, we stumbled upon an upholsterer in an antique shop who I just knew I could trust. I talked to her in person and saw her work first hand. I was impressed. I liked Marsha, and when I showed her a picture of my chair on my phone, she quoted me a fantastic price to upholster it.

Upholstering the chair was no longer on the back burner! I was so excited I rushed home and pulled out the fabric we had bought two years ago. That's when I realized the beautiful fabric Jim had picked out wouldn't work. We didn't have the same furniture, we had repainted the living room, and the decor was much more light and casual.  I still loved the fabric, but it was too formal and the wrong color. I knew I had to get different fabric.

I can't even tell you how many fabric samples I brought home. It took some time, but I found the perfect fabric and trim. I also stripped and refinished all the wood, restoring it to a beautiful mahogany finish, which took longer than it should have because of some snafus with the stain. But I got it done, and then I took it to Marsha to upholster.

She worked fast.  A week later, my chair was done!

Are you ready for the reveal?????  Well, take a look!

Newly Upholstered Chair!
The fabric was reversible, so I had Marsha do the channel back, arms and seat with the dark background, and the back and sides in the light background.  It isn't terribly noticeable, but I think the subtle contrast elevates it to a higher level.

Side view of the newly upholstered chair.

Back of the chair.  
I love the way it looks with our new curtains. And I'm so glad I went with a lighter color. The color of the fabric and the color of the trim just pulls all the colors in the room together. This chair has become a statement piece--something special.

In the room, and looking wonderful!
My ugly duckling chair has become a swan and I love it!

Oh...and Jim said it looks nice--which means he really does like it. Everything just fell into place, and I'm so glad I waited to find the right person!

Do you need beautiful art to complete the look of your home? Then check out my shop, Moments of Art, which is filled with unique pieces of art created by me that you won't find sold by anyone else.  

This post was shared on Furniture Feature Fridays.

Do you have a chair that could use an update?  One Kings Lane has some great advice on whether to DIY the upholstery or have it done professionally.  You can check it out here.