Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Yay! After much work, I finally finished my bedroom wall. Originally inspired by a design I made with Illustrator (which itself was based on a dvider decal) , the final ended up a bit more “snowy branches” than my original plan, although I quite like it.

The process itself was a bit of a comedy of errors. I went to Home Depot last weekend with Matt, and we agonized for a good 30 minutes about the best colour. I ended up choosing Behr’s Spanish Raisin, so we bought a quart. We went home, painted the wall, and lo and behold, we needed another coat for the giant wall. So I went back to Home Depot, bought another can of paint. I then did the three larger branches in a barely-blue white from Behr, decided i didn’t like one, painted over it twice with the Spanish Raisin, realized I still didn’t like one, repainted again, etc. etc. The branches themselves were easy, if not time consuming, requiring me to paint the “twigs” all at once, wait for them to dry, and then paint the circles using a circle template (the value of which is debatable). To add to the comedy, I had to stand on a swivel stool (as I have no real chairs) to do much of the higher up work, and then after painting each circle, I would have to get off the stool to wipe the paint off the stencil and get more paint for the brush, and then try to precariously mount the stool once again without getting paint on the stool or the wall. Ridiculous? Yes.

However, it still is a nice feeling to know i made something lovely, rather than just doling out $100-200 for wall decals. $10 of paint and a lot of work is much more satisfying (and budget friendly!)

bedroom wall, originally uploaded by Olivia Leigh.



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Heather Amuny-Dey

I love nearly all of Heather Amuny-Dey’s artwork available at Velocity. Bold colour, strong graphics, and cute (and sometimes bittersweet) prints combine to create something that is completely my style. She has quite a few birds, that when compared with greens are yellows can be a bit too Partridge Family for my taste, but overall, I find them adorable. Her Velocity bio says that she first started in design as a child, learning from her father, Jack Amuny, with whom she has worked on smooth and modern wooden birds.

In my new apartment (which I’ll be posting photos of soon and hopefully blogging regularly soon thereafter), I nixed a green wall and instead bought some Ralph Lauren paint in Old Violin (a traditional rich brown). I think prints like these, in these super saturated tones, would look absolutely brilliant against the dark backdrop. I imagine I’ll be picking some up soon.

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My, I have been busy lately. The show went divinely well on Friday, with over 500 people showing up for the event. The show has been extended through the month, so if you are in the area, please do stop by. While I was hoping things would slow down following the exhibit, that seems to have been nothing more than a naive hope, with work swarming with tasks in preparation for the upcoming press deadline and a huge conference on the East Coast. I’ve been tempted to pencil in things like “take photographs,” “blog” and “contact friends so they don’t think you disowned them,” but I’d like to hope I can manage to take care of these things without succumbing to that level. At any rate, I was scouring I.D.’s website today, and found so many lovely things. Thankfully I have no money after a big binge at IKEA and Home Depot (North Avenue’s location is open ’til midnight for some reason unknown to me, although Matt, myself and some random man seemed to warrant the paint department being open).

I.D. (3337 N Halsted) was one of the first stores I ventured into after moving to the city. While I was first taken by the gorgeous eyes and frustratingly perfect hair of the salesboy who hawked some of the most gorgeous Scandinavian glasses, it was also the place where my obsession with one Mr. Boontje began.


I saw his garland light in the window, and was thisclose to buying it, but fortunately decided to wait, as it really would have been relegated to a closet in my old apartment.

While I haven’t been to the physical store in a long time, there are plenty of neat things swarming about their site right now:


One of my least favourite parts of apartment living is the general lack of a fireplace. Given the frigid temperatures we’re continuing to have, this Chimo fireplace is green and doesn’t require ventilation. Way out of my price range, though.


Key board, in sleek metal, perfect for holding my perpetually disappearing keys (and only 25!).


Love these little Droog birdhouses, wonderful for a little splash of kitsch and fun in an otherwise “grown-up” room.


In line with the wall decals I posted about last week, as well as in keeping with the decal decoration trend, these stainless steel sticky decorations by Tord are so wonderfully charming.


I’m pretty sure these were featured on D*S some time ago, which may explain the holiday backorder comment on I.D., but these transglass vases and glassware are so breaktaking, I would happily wait for one. Made from recycled bottles, they remind me of beach glass I used to pick up along Lake Erie, but of course in the most fashionable form possible. Just lovely

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Digitally Entwined


Short blurb to let everyone know that tonight I will be having some photos in a wonderful gallery show in Bucktown. “Digitally Entwined” will feature the work of 15 photographers from Flickr.com. It’s quite neat with lots of lovely photos. If you are in Chicago, you ought to come. Free food, drinks, music, and of course, great photographs.

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I love Marimekko, as have generations of Americans (and Europeans, and people of many other regions of the world, I expect).The history of design and design houses is often so fascinating to me, and I find myself discovering new, interesting tidbits of history all the time, as is the case with Marimekko. For instance, today I learned that Marimekko first became popular in the States after the divine Miss Jacqueline Kennedy was seen wearing a simple Marimekko dress on the cover of Sports Illustrated (my, how we’ve changed.)

Personally, although I feel like i have had a consciousness of the Finnish design house’s patterns for many years, I remember “learning” the name after I discovered some loverly lumimarja canvases on eBay.


Then, to my happiness, CB2 began offering some wintery Lumimarja sheets last year.Lumimarja

I simply adore this pattern, and specifically the tones going on here. I don’t think the design is overly feminine (unlike the bright pink lumimarja print, for instance); but rather, would look great in almost any home. I was at the CB2 on Lincoln/Addison last week, and they still had these displayed in the store, sitting on a very clean and modern bed, where it looked divine. I like a bit more colour in my bedroom, in general, so I have yet to bite the bullet, but for anyone who can’t handle bright purple walls, I think they are divine.

While I probably won’t be using Marimekko in my bedroom, I might buy one of the wall hangings offered through the truly awesome Textile Arts. I first heard about them through the equally great site, Apartment Therapy, after seeing two of the designs in one of their house tours (so addictive).

While I can paint my new apartment, I’m a little reluctant to, as my building doesn’t seem to have a problem with charging people high prices for various things, and I fear that I would end up having to pay some ludicrous fee when I leave, even if I repaint the walls. So, I’ve been looking at some non-paint options to add colour to the room. The difficult part is working with the various colors that will be going on in the room. I’m doing a partially furnished sublease, and a giant red couch that is very blah but very comfortable has to stay. I also have a light blue chaise that was my dad’s from the 70s, and just last weekend picked up a great coffee table/padded ottoman with great lines in a light milk chocolately brown. Semi-difficult scheme, especially for someone who likes bolder colors as a rule.

I think this print, called Pasky, might be a great solution. With red, blue, brown, and a camel color (which is featured in some random covered stools I found, but might sell), it seems like it could integrate things very well. They describe it as an abstract mountain interpretation, and the blue and seafoam shapes remind me of little birds. I quite like. Plus, at $95 for a 54×54 panel, it’s a really affordable piece of art that can work well with my high ceilings.

Here are some other random Marimekko loves (from Marimekko.com & Textile Arts):



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Glowing Plastics by Rob Zinn

I was browsing Generate, one of my favourite design sites today, when I came to their lighting section. They always have very unique, conceptual and sculptural pieces that I can nevertheless see occupying a prime space in my own apartment that is sadly lacking in inherent design.

I’ve become obsessed with these plexi pieces by Rob Zinn, and at $250, they’re not so outlandishly priced that I can only hope to ever own one. I’ve always loved interesting pieces of art that feature lights, and with my recent obsessions with plastics, I couldn’t imagine a better piece to take up residence behind my bed.

That said, I was talking to Matt and he got me thinking about perhaps making one of my own. Matt used to work in a sign shop where he worked with plexi quite frequently, and according to him, making some of these shouldn’t be a ridiculously difficult procedure. Challenging, yes, but impossible, no. I’ve always wanted to try to do some more unique art with plexi and lights instead of paints and pixels, and trying to replicate these could be a good — or at least humorous — challenge.

Major, Expansion

Warm, Futura

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