April 29, 2012

l'élégance rustique du

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Built by Dore Callaway (Me!) The rustic elegance of... My French kitchen

Bird house built from salvaged picture frames, candle stick columns, vintage iron curtain rod corbels and hooks used for their perches and salvaged woods from job site remodels that I will salvage from in my interior design work. A French kitchen is all about treasured objects, here one of my French style birdhouses added to the theme of all things much about handed down, French flea market collected and created with a rustic rural French jardin in mind.

The French are trendsetters, famous for their food, wine and décor. Decorators often borrow from the French and table settings are no exception. In creating a French look, whether elegant or country, a French table must have stemmed glasses even if the guests are drinking water (or any cold beverage), it is served in stemware. The French use several different sizes and shapes of stemmed and stemless glasses provided all are clear. A separate glass for water and wine is a necessity. When arranging the glasses, place them largest to smallest from left to right. The French often serve different wines (one with dinner, one with dessert) which requires more than one wine glass. The idea is to be sure there is a different stemmed glass for each wine or beverage entertaining your meal and desserts.

Cutlery recommendations on knives, forks and spoons lean more towards placement on the table than what to use. Photos of French tables usually feature silver cutlery. Place knives to the right of the plate with the blade facing the plate. Forks go to the left of the plate with a soup spoon on the outside of the fork (if soup is served). If a teaspoon or dessert fork are used, they belong above the plate. In my case I set my French table with silver toned flatware by (Lenox)I love the Fleur De Lis like motif at the ends of their handles.

Plates are the decoration demanding attention. The plates can have scalloped edges or other designs lending an understated elegance as I did here using a pale pattern in a patina that lends to the feel of my rustic rural French home. Stoneware is often a first choice when used on the French country table, a separate plate is a must for each course like salad, soup, dinner, bread, dessert. I used my (Noritake- Memorabilia)Gala Cuisine, and of course the sweet birds make for charming my French table when I am not using my all pale of whites.

The Center (piece) of Attention
Centerpieces add awe to any table. A simple bunch of flowers in a stoneware pitcher is all a French table needs. On my table I used an old vintage bucket filled with ice keeping the French lemonade cooled. The dents and chips added to its worn distressed French flea market brocante feel. The idea is simplicity with the tables design while keeping all things French in its uncomplicated theme.

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For a casual French slip-covered feel to an odd chair you can cover them with a thrift find or a borrowed white long sleeved shirt from his closet. Then button the shirt onto the chair bringing the arms to the back side tying them in a lose knot with a handmade tag marking your guest seating place along with a snipping of lavender as I did here. You may also fill his front pocket with dried lavender for a calming scent replacing the lack of a floral table arrangement.

Hand painted signs by Dore (me!)
Inspiring the rustic poetry in this French setting.

April 19, 2012

A Gentle Touch Feeds The Soul

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I am reposting this piece inspiring the awakening of life gently touched.

THIS ART WAS CREATED BY ME! "Dore Callaway" for her. I want to thank my daughter Hannah Bailey Callaway for holding my hand in all that she inspires...
I continue to marvel at the ability my daughter Hannah has in celebrating and capturing her passion with beauty in an artful life, as well as her heart. She moves you to tears, laughter and will take you to a place of wanting to feed the soul. Ephemera book and mixed media art left me with the feeling of needing to place our hands on this piece of art by using tattered poetic book pages, you will soon understand why I had to place these hands to this special piece of paper art. Myself being an interior designer, and also an artist who works in mixed-media, altered art, paper and paint I found the need to create around my daughters artful words in the likeness and style of this art piece. Her words as a child inspired me to create something with my hand and the hand of my daughter placing them to poetic work with paper.

WHO CAN EXPLAIN the nurturing, sustaining role art plays in all our lives? Perhaps it is the dream-like quality of art, and its ability to engender ideas that makes art so important. I hope my art shows a celebration of love.

The left hand is mine, the right hand is my daughter Hannah's, the bird was hers from the wild.

In 2010 when I created this piece for my daughter she was entering college I was inspired to do this art piece when thoughts of her leaving my nest brought back a dear memory of my daughter Hannah when she was 4 years old and how amazed I was at her heart and her fond love of caring for her wild birds. They were hers because they were loved with her heart while making sure they all ate more than their fair share of the pounds of seed we bought monthly. One afternoon one of her birds had flown into the glass door and fell to the ground, she cried yelling for my help and ran right out to care for it, as she picked it up stroking its head with her tiny 4 year old fingers she told it to sing and fly, you can only imagine what that did to my heart. The little bird was soon out of shock from it's near fatal crash into the glass door and flew from her soft grip. She really believed it was her love that helped it to sing and fly. So now you can see why I had to do this poetic paper art and how the words Sing and fly were perfect for this piece.

The paper art is now framed under glass and has been hanging over our storage buffet in our kitchen reminding us everyday to "Sing And Fly"