July 23, 2011

Rustic Gray And Tattered

Inspired by the French landscape and there beautifully weathered gray stone homes. Who can explain the nurturing, sustaining, and inspiring role art and design plays in all our lives? Perhaps it is the ability to engender ideas, that makes it so exciting to create!

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A French chest with little going for itself came to me with an out dated stencil job on the face of the drawers in a lattice pattern with tole painted roses in all the wrong colors. A weekend mission to create a little gray, with lots of added instant history to the piece making its presence important.

I never see beautiful home designs as a big investment, more often shopping for vintage junk can be a great bargain setting the tone for amazing French living. Let the language of the piece tell you what it wants to be and where it wants to do its job and it will all fall together authentically. This chest purchase was a beautiful find in shape and lines, yet a mess with its original busy out dated paint finish with all the colors one could imagine was painted to this piece, green, red, orange, pink, purple and yellow, I saw beauty underneath it all.

Don't let a great piece get away because you can't see the hidden beauty. Adding just the right painted finish will give character to the rooms pieces with a look that it has evolved over time.

I took and painted this piece an old aged French gray with the feeling it had been passed down from generation to generation. My French cottage fulfills a beauty for recycling pieces that find me. If a piece has worn out its welcome in one room I will hand it down to another room, while combining eclectic new pieces all in the celebration of French flea market brocante style.

You may notice the bottom drawer pull is missing a piece making it not match the others, instead of buying new hardware I opted to keep it this way, reminding me that not everything in life is perfect or needs to be.

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"Burlap luxe" has been busy creating for you, where you will find these birdcages in my peaceful etsy. Vintage in style wire birdcages constructed all by hand, adding a perfect balance of grace and beauty by altering each one making them one-of-a-kinds. French brocante pieces add to their sophistication charming them with flaking paint, bleached and weatherbeaten as if it was brought in from the garden. The patina to each one is layered with a technique that gives them a crusty build up to the metal wire form and the aviary wire mesh as if exposed to the elements with a lack of care. Tattered laces, fabrics and vintage embellishments to each one telling you a story of its own. Ephemera book paper and vintage book covers add to its gypsy-like spirit like non other.

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Taking notice of my hand made crown hanging at the bottom of the birdcage made of wire and embellished with little treasured finds. The cage topper was salvaged from a vintage chandelier, making a perfect crown and ring to hang this cage from.

Rolled edges, tears in the mesh, gaping holes add to the tattered charm giving them the feeling that these birdcages have been discarded and tucked away or tossed in an old garden shed with intentions to someday repair.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all.
~ Emily Dickenson

SOLD! and on its way to Jill in Canada, Thank you Jill!
Birdcages can be found in my... peaceful etsy!

July 19, 2011

Dusted With Gray

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Artist Dore Callaway (Me)

Found, not lost forever. A beautiful old garden shed shelf painted in old brown paint and riddled with nails to hang much needed garden tools from found its way into my studio where I create. Charming this piece was a given, then painting a surface that looks layered-as if only time could prefect.
The "finish" was to feel as if it were weathered like a neglected piece of garden furniture with distressing that thins to a dirty film settling into the cracks showing imperfections adding age. Blending its now shades of milky whites dusted with weatherbeaten grays, allowing it to merge with the soft shades of the French landscapes.

A salvaged shelf doing its job for 40 plus years while saving it from a tear down, this piece of garden history became mine letting it once again become something.

Perfectly sized 36" long by 9" deep 7" in height, heavy solid heirloom wood.
Finished and distressed ready to illustrate French garden roses and the love for gray.

Evoking "Frenchness"

Honoring the salvaged shelf for its aged beauty, adding a gracious gentleness to its new use. "I don't often show the less then desirable, because I see desire in all."
~ Dore

"With Brush In Hand"

July 10, 2011

A Home That Speaks French

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Living without more and surround yourself with simplicity adding a balance like none other. I am sympathetic to an overly used and abused cast off, leaving me to pick it up and brush off the dirt recycling it into my homes design style. Recycled finds need to be displayed in a simple space where all there aged imperfections show off. I like to feature larger pieces for a bold statement and smaller flea market brocante finds for a quiet understated rustic French elegance. I have always been attracted to pieces with evidence of being well loved and to often not appreciated for what it was and what has become of it. There is such excitement in taking a piece and breathing new life into it giving the piece a new resting place in a recycled euro chic home. I never look for a find, I let the piece find me like this worn-out ladder with just the right amount of white and cream paint to it.

This French Chair was gifted to me from one of the developers I design for in there custom home building. I design all the interior designs of there estate model homes as an interior designer and construction corrections. This French chair was finished in a dark wood stain and blue fabric, it was in need of a face lift that I could not wait to get my hands on after there own years of personal use. Spending a great number of years in the home fashion industry and designer marts I have had the opportunity to pick up a furniture piece that would wow most, but for me it just does not satisfy my need to salvage and create charm that only a recycled piece can offer.

Recycling for your homes charm adds to the beauty of your unique style in choosing the right furniture pieces in your hunt to rescue, re-style and reuse. By looking for inspiration at local flea markets, thrift shops and salvage yards, someone else's cast offs can be the perfect piece that encourages your style. It was a perfect fit when I spyed this ladder, the tone and age added charm to the imported French pieces I already had.

I never look at a piece for where it would be placed as much as what role it will play in each room with its function. I then look at a piece with what history has it acquired with the texture and paint finish it has peeking through the soul of the piece. If a piece needs to be stripped down and re-painted I let the piece tell me what it wants to become and where it should rest in my home.

A French imported storage chest that not too long ago had layers of aged French blue paint to it, having a great need to fit it in with my colour tones I stripped it down to see the life it started out with. Loving the outcome of its natural tone while leaving traces of the old to it, I fell in love with it speaking French to me and the storage it offers.

The Anthropologie wire basket on the left was one of there found objects and mine to, the wire galvanized egg basket was a perfect companion fit adding extra storage when need be.

The mirror used as a back drop beautifully aged with scratches needed a nudge with its aging, it was another recycled find at my local thrift for .99 cents. I took it apart painted its dark frame and applied stripper to the back of the mirrors foil removing areas as if it had aged with time. I then cleaned both sides of the mirror, to then apply a stone gray spray paint finish to the back side spraying over the missing foil of the mirror, giving it a hauntingly aged feel to its creamy whites and gray home.

A French Chest with a French iron bed adds to the love of French flea market style in my daughter Hannah's room, along with added distress whites.

My daughter Hannah's boots, one of a few pairs of cowboy boots she wears often even if she is in feminine whites with ruffles, or jeans and a tee her boots are her first choice of footwear next to ballet flats.

A recycled bevelled mirror had a dark frame finish and embellishments I removed to not date the piece making it less recognizable to its era, another find from my favorite thrift for $14.00 dollars. I then painted and distressed it to go over a costly piece I owned for many years and a new look was a given, I had no problem getting to work on this piece making it a new old white for my daughters room. Finding ones own style is a celebration of individuality and creating your own place of peace, letting your design choices do there job.

A salvage wood box placed on a white chest in front of our sofa celebrates a recycled home.

A hand made frame I created from salvage wood house molding and a vintage postcard of roses make for flea market style framed art, adding romance to hanging over a wood box that contains herbal teas on a kitchen counter.

Inspiring all things recycled adding simplicity.