Friday, March 27, 2009

Bird Love with Geoffrey Gorman, Duane O'Hagan, Billy Hassell, and Liz Steving

My wonderful new bird sculpture, "Alba", with her nest, created by Geoffrey Gorman, from the Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe (I know, ya either love him or ya hate him - I love him!) inspired me to look around my house at all the birds I live with.

Oops, a dog on a wonderful Brunswig and Fils fabric I picked up once at Warrenton during the Round Top antiques fair................. now back to birds................

This tin bird is part of an assemblage created by Liz Steving, featured at other times in my blog.

This is an amazing painting by artist Billy Hassell. I have had it for a number of years and never tire of it.

One of my tramp art treasures that I also acquired a number of years ago. It is a favorite of mine.
I put different things in it. At times it has had some of the many bird's nests that I have collected, other times it might have shells in it. Right now it has some mystical herb bundles picked up in Taos, New Mexico.

Here we go - this is the same fabric from above. It has all sorts of creatures on it - I could only buy a few yards of it, so I made a window shade and covered a bulletin board with it.

An old Mexican blanket in my entry hall chair - looks like it's birds again!

My treasures from our last trip to New York - of course, when choosing my John Derian plates I was drawn to the ones with birds.

A sweet pillow from a favorite Nashville shop near Vanderbilt and Belmont
Universities called Pangaea.

Another John Derian plate, this one a Target edition that sits in my kitchen - love it!

I have collected old crockery, jugs, bottles, you name it..... over the years, both to keep and for re-sale, and it's no surprise, some of the ones I have kept have birds painted on them!

I love this one with the peacock, bought at Round Top, from one of my all time favorite antique dealers, Toni Perkins.

Another old crock with a sweet little song bird .......................

I love the amazing things of nature - bird's nests, wasp's nest, leaves, butterflies, shells.........I am in awe of the intricacies and details in something like a wasp's nest. I don't like wasps, I am always intrigued that they can build nests like they do! Birds are really amazing, building different shapes and sizes of nests, using different materials, depending on what kind of bird they are.

Two antique French weather vanes given to me as gifts years ago, one from my mother and one from my very dear former mother in law, Mary Webb (as in Joni !) . Both were picked up at a wonderful little French antique store in Houston, the name of which escapes me now. I loved them and both mothers surprised me with them, not knowing the other had the same idea in mind. Thank you to both for lasting treasures.

Another favorite little piece of tramp art, a wall pocket, this one has carved horse heads and on top, little carved birds!

I used to have a huge collection of old mercury glass, but have sold it at antique shows over the years. I kept my very favorite pieces, though, and they just happen to have birds painted on them! The pair, with the white water birds, were the first pieces I ever bought. I am very sentimental about them as they came from Martha Waldie, another all time favorite antique dealer. Martha was from Dallas and died several years ago. She had an incredible eye and was a well respected dealer in Dallas as well as in New Mexico, and of course, at Round Top.

As if I don't have enough pillows........this little hooked jewel came over during the red photo shoot and just never went back to the store!

Last, but not least, my birds perched on sticks, created by Duane O'Hagan of the Taos Blue Gallery in Taos, New Mexico. I just love his work, and if Geoffrey Gorman is too funky for you, these little guys will just steal your heart! As for me, I love them all!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Santa Fe Spring Break

With one daughter on a church youth group ski trip and the other on a mission trip to rebuild a park destroyed by Katrina in Mississippi , my husband and I found ourselves footloose and fancy free for our first grown up spring break. We celebrated with a 4 day trip to Santa Fe. We found a special package at the lovely la Posada de Santa Fe and off we went. The historical hotel and spa has become a Rock Resort in the last few years and with it's renovation it has become quite a beautiful example of Santa Fe charm and quaintness, coupled with luxury and sophistication.

The lobby is beautifully furnished. Of course, I love this area with the Spanish Colonial art work, but other areas have works by contemporary artists as well.

While we were there we took early morning walks, briskly, I might add! It was chilly, in the 30s,in the mornings, and then warmed to a perfect temperature in the 50s during the day.One morning we walked by Back at the Ranch before they opened and peeked in the windows. I had to get a shot of this great neon sign! I think I need it in my house.

People think of Santa Fe as all adobe and Indian, but the truth is there are a variety of architectural styles to be seen. This lovely English styled church was across the road from us and we were able to hear beautiful voices singing one morning during a Lent service.

The plaza in old downtown Santa Fe - early in the morning before it filled with people and vendors.

There are people in my life - most of them, I am afraid - who might say "and WHY did you take this picture of the ceiling?" Of course, if you are design nut like I am, you know I took it because I love the board and batten, the beams and the lantern, and I might just need it for future reference!

While there are Navajo rugs and turquoise jewelry spilling out of many shops in town, there are also modern places like design warehouse. Very, very cool.

I love the clean lines of this building - the muddy color of the stucco with the contrast of the crisp white trim.

Another building with straight lines and white painted posts. Many of the buildings in Santa Fe were designed by architect John Gaw Meem. He is known for his role in the development and popularization of Pueblo Revival style as well as Territorial style. Meem's influence on the city of Santa Fe was huge. He chaired the committee which authored the 1957 Historical Zoning Ordinance that ensured all future buildings in central Santa Fe adhere to either the Pueblo or Territorial styles. Lucky for us, as those styles continue to add to the charm of the city many tourists visit today.

Above photo, a close look at the wonderful brick work along the edges of the walls of a territorial building historic to Santa Fe, Sena Plaza.

The beautiful Sena Plaza, home of the Sena Cafe and many wonderful shops and galleries. Love, love, love the old stucco and the blue paint , the brick and woodwork, the imperfections of age .

Now, on to the new and glorious work of glass artist Peter Wright. Just one of his amazing pieces we discovered at a favorite new gallery.
Photos can barely do these pieces justice. They look like something beautiful and alive that one might see under the ocean.
One morning on our early, very chilly walk, we passed this new gallery. I pressed my nose to the window and declared that everything else would have to wait - we were coming back here as soon as possible! The paintings captured me as well as the incredible glass sculpture.

Evoke Contemporary, owned and directed by the charming Kathrine Erickson, was formerly home to an Ann Taylor store.It has been completely gutted and re-done and is now a beautiful, perfect gallery space, open for just a few months. We were greeted by Kathrine when we walked in and proceeded to spend a good part of our day with her.

These are glass, too . What beautiful color and form.

We were completely taken with the paintings of Louisa McElwain and when I asked if there were more to see, we had the pleasure of being taken to that wonderful place in galleries where more fabulous art is stored. What a treasure trove we discovered. The day was one of the highlights of our trip!

Take a seat and just try to take it all in - great paintings, amazing sculpture, intricate and beautiful handcrafted jewelry - all in a most lovely setting, Evoke Contemporary in Santa Fe!

Our next stop, 225 Canyon Road, sits at the base of the famous old Santa Fe known for it's galleries, chic shops and well known restaurants. I always love to visit my favorite shops here. One in particular is La Mesa of Santa Fe. I was particularly taken with the hand forged fireplace tools made by Christopher Thompson ironworks. They come in different sizes and different finishes and are very handsome.

Handmade ceramic wall sconces made by Juliana Young also caught my eye. They are used throughout the compound of shops in a variety of shapes and designs. Wouldn't it be fun to have one style on your front porch and a different one on your back porch - or more formal at your front door and whimsical at your back door!

To see more of the great art at La Mesa visit their website, or better yet, visit them at 225 Canyon Road!

Sweet bird sconce on one of the buildings in the compound.

Need I say more?

Last, but certainly not least, another favorite stop is Leslie Flynt's wonderful shop full of everything I love! Mexican, New Mexican, Guatemalan, folk art, textiles, jewelry, tin work, pottery, Dash & Albert rugs, Pine Cone Hill linens, David Marsh furniture...........the pictures will speak for themselves!

After visiting her store numerous times, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Leslie, a former Texan, who moved to Santa Fe years ago and found it to become her home. She has a great eye for color, art, and charm and it shows everywhere you turn in her wonderful shop!

Yes, I did want to buy the turquoise cupboard with the saints hand painted on tin insets, but it was already sold. It can be ordered, though!

I can't wait to visit Santa Fe again. If you like beautiful weather, great food, tons and tons of art and history, and very nice folks, you should visit. I didn't even touch on the museums and they are worth another post all to themselves. What a great spring break!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Pleasure was Mine!

If you have visited Hill Country House before, you know I am quite fond of the store red in our town. Recently I was treated to hosting a photo shoot at my house featuring some of the wonderful linens that red carries. I am also honored to be featured on the latest red blog post written by the creative and talented Nikki!

First, my bed was dressed in luxurious Bella Notte linens. Wow. I love the elegance and softness they add to my Italian designed iron bed.

My daughter's room was transformed with a wonderful slipper chair in a bright, modern fabric by Lee, metal picture ledges, whimsical posters, a sweet appliqued pillow and her own vintage telephone - actually purchased from red months ago!

Bella Notte linens mixed with a Denise Schmidt quilt add a young and fun sophistication to a teen girl's bedroom. I love the hooked fish pillow mixed with the chocolate velvet and linen shams.

The bedside table is ours, but the turquoise cat is from red. Too fun!!

Thank you to Carolyn, Theresa and Derek for an inspiring day. It was like playing "dress up" with my house rather than clothes! If you haven't visited red's blog lately, check it out. They are now also carrying Plover Organic linens, a wonderful line of bedding full of great pattern and color.


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