Last weekend my mother and I spent the afternoon shopping for porch accessories. The first blooms of spring are popping up here and there, and I’ve got a serious case of spring fever. I can’t wait for warmer weather. So what better way to pass the time than to spend an afternoon with your mom shopping for pillows, rugs, and accessories in fresh, sun-drenched colors?
We were able to find everything we needed at Pier 1 Imports. It’s a color lover’s dream store. There were plenty of fun outdoor accessories in every color imaginable. For this shopping spree, I took a photo of my inspiration rug with me (remember the tulip rug I posted a few weeks ago from GrandinRoad.com?) and used it as a guide. I grabbed a variety of pillows and accessories and arranged them in the back of the store, adding to and editing the mix until I found a pleasing arrangement. I asked my mom to guard my growing collection of items while I shopped so no one would grab a pillow out of my haul–I couldn’t allow that to happen.
I still have to buy some spray paint to paint the porch furniture. I’m thinking a sunny yellow-orange would be scrumptious. It’s going to take several coats of paint to cover the grape color the furniture is currently sporting. And I need to either find or make a wreath to match to hang on the front door.
It’s a bit windy for spray painting today. I’m hoping for better weather tomorrow. Check back soon to see the completed porch. I can’t wait to see it all come together and enjoy my first cup of coffee on my new spring porch.
Here are some pictures of my porch booty:
Here’s a picture of Pig entering the picture to check out my loot:
Pig giving the items a quick “sniff test.” Looks like they passed with flying colors.
Pig hamming it up for the camera and trying his best to distract me:
It worked! End of photo shoot. Enjoy your weekend.
I love experimenting with color and I love paint. Watercolor paints, spray paint, a gallon of Benjamin Moore–any of them will do. I love them all. If an item in my house can be freshened up with paint, believe me, I’ve painted it. Several times. Like my family room fireplace wall. It’s been a dramatic navy blue, a beachy aqua, and more recently a serene light blue. Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to add character to or freshen up a room. There’s no need for an expensive room overhaul. All you need is a gallon of paint, a few new pillows and accessories, and you’re good to go. Here are some photos of my fireplace wall in various shades of blue–from dramatic to serene.
Here are a few pictures of my porch today, which is still decked out for fall and winter in deep purple, wine, plum, and gold. You’ll notice that the red rattan chairs in my last post are now a deep eggplant. You should have seen my neighbors’ expressions when they saw me painting my porch furniture purple last fall. I thought it was a bit risky but I love the results. My inspiration for this project was the awesome plaid pillows and fabulous wine colored pillows; I couldn’t resist those ruffles. I carried those pillows around the store and selected everything else with those items in mind–the wreath, the chair cushions, the rugs, the silk flowers, and paint (Rustoleum in Grape). I purchased all of the items on this porch, except the furniture, at Target.
Here are a few pictures of my porch decked out in red and white. You’ll notice that the natural colored rattan chairs and pink rocker featured on my previous pink porch are bright red in these photos. I painted the chairs because the wind and rain really took a toll on them and they were looking tired. No need to toss them at this point when a few cans of red spray paint freshened them up in minutes. I purchased the red and white pillows at Pottery Barn. I found the adorable enamel tea pots at local antiques shops (more on those later) and the simple white ceramic pitcher at Target.
This pink and blue beach-themed porch was one of my all-time favorite porch projects. My inspiration was the colorful rug from Pottery Barn. It was an indoor rug and it didn’t fare well outside even on my covered porch, but I enjoyed it while I could. I ordered the adorable polka dot pillows from the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. If you’re a color lover like I am, Pottery Barn Teen or Pottery Barn Kids offer colorful accessories often at a lower price than their regular catalog. So the next time you’re shopping for colorful home accessories, don’t overlook the kids department. OK, so now my secret is out.
Spring is just around the corner so I’ve already started planning my next porch makeover. I love creating a comfy and colorful place to sit back and relax and enjoy a good book or magazine. And what better place to inject with lots of color than the front porch? This year I’m thinking of tulips–bright red and yellow tulips on a carpet of green like this fabulous outdoor run from Grandinroad:
It’s so fun and colorful that I just had to have it. So I ordered two of them–one for each side of my wraparound porch. My new rugs arrived this week and I can’t wait to roll them out on my porch. Next weekend my mother and I are planning a shopping trip to find some fabulous pillows and accessories to complement these fun rugs. And I’ll also have to make a run to the paint store so I can paint the porch furniture in fun colors to match.
Decorating the porch has become an obsession of mine. My porch furniture has been painted every color of the rainbow over the past few years. Come to think of it, so has the interior of my house (more on that later). Hand me a paint brush or a can of spray paint and I’m a happy girl.
So, while I’m off searching for fun items to create a tulip-themed porch, I thought I’d give you a peek at some of the colorful porches I’ve created in seasons past. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
The first thing I did when I unpacked my art supplies was to grab a sheet of watercolor paper and start experimenting. I wanted to try out my tools to see what they could do. So I grabbed a cup of water and a couple sheets of paper towels, picked up a paint brush, and got down to business. It wasn’t long before my daughter, Greta, joined in.
So we stood there at the breakfast bar at 9:00 pm, still in our work clothes, and played. We tried wet-on-wet techniques (wetting the paper before paint is applied), dry painting techniques, using the paint straight from the pans or tubes, mixing colors, layering colors, adding ink details after the paint dried, adding ink first and applying paint afterward, layering multiple washes of paint, and lifting sections of paint with paint brushes or paper towels. Here’s the end result of our little play session:
Once I decided to use watercolors as my medium I visited several of my favorite art forums and blogs and assembled a list of materials to help me get started. I purchased watercolor paint in both half pan blocks and tubes since I didn’t know which product would work best for me. Here’s a peek at my shopping list:
- Cotman Watercolors by Windsor & Newton–#654 Turquoise, #538 Prussian Blue, #322 Indigo, #502 Permanent Rose, #095 Cadmium Red Hue, #089 Cadmium Orange, #118 Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, #744 Yellow Ochre, #076 Burnt Umber, #731 Windsor Yellow Deep, #489 Permanent Magenta, #672 Ultrarmarine Violet, #379 Manganese Blue Hue, #637 Terre Verte, #311 Hooker’s Green, #447 Olive Green, #074 Burnt Sienna, #507 Pereylene Maroon, #554 Raw Umber, #465 Payne’s Gray, #217 Davy’s Grey, #331 Ivory Black, and #150 Chinese White
- Daler-Rowney FW acrylic ink in Burnt Umber, Evergreen, Olive, Black, and White
- Koh-i-nor ink nibs and holders
- Pigma micron 05 pens color set – 16 pens
- Derwent 6H drawing pencils
- Windsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Round Series paint brushes in various sizes
- Windsor Newton water color art masking fluid
- Acquarello Watercolor Artistico Extra White 100% Cotton (Grana Satinada Hot Pressed) paper by Fabriano
- Aquarelle Fontenay 100% Cotton paper (Fine Grain, Cold Pressed) by Canson
- Ultra-slim Light Panel light box by porta-trace
I found some of these items at Michael’s craft stores, some at a Benjamin Moore Paint store that had an interesting artist’s loft upstairs with a small selection of art supplies (and a coffee bar), and the remaining items at www.DickBlick.com. All totaled, this was quite an investment. The final bill was well over $500.
For the past 20 years I’ve earned a living as a professional artist generating computer graphics for a variety of clients and corporations. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in years. But recently I’ve felt a strong urge to get back to basics and create art the old fashioned way–with paints and a paintbrush. So here I am with my first post on my new art blog. I’ve chosen to focus on watercolors because I love their transparency and versatility and mostly because I’ve never used this medium before and wanted to try my hand at something new. I love a challenge.
But first I had to assemble my artist’s toolkit. So I visited my favorite art blogs and made a list of the tools of the trade and began to assemble my kit. It took me a while to acquire all the items on my list. There aren’t many brick and mortar art supply stores in my area. I wanted to be able to see and touch my art supplies, to hold them in my hands and try them out before I purchased them. I found most of what I needed at a local art supply store and two different craft stores, but had to purchase the remaining items online.
It wasn’t a cheap undertaking. At each store I spent about $150.00. That brings my total initial investment to about $500.00 spent over the course of several weeks. But enough of this babble. It’s time to jump in with both feet–or both hands in this case. So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and follow along as I explore this new medium. I hope you enjoy my work. I look forward to your feedback and comments.