I totally get this :: Jimmie Martin

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When it comes to furniture design, I am super picky about looking to others work and drawing attention to their designs. I want to call attention to, and put my stamp of approval on originality and uniqueness…someone who is pushing the envelope of design and doing something that is truly their own.

I have admired Jimmie Martin’s furniture for quite some time and am all about it…..all over it…..totally diggin’ it.

Hallelujah for this kind of work and creative independence.

 

Introductions

Well, there certainly has been an evolution process in the design of this chair! I loved it when my client brought it to the studio looking like this:

and I used it in several shoots until it was time to tear off the upholstery and freshen up the paint job…..and then it looked like this:

tearing off the fabric and foam proved to be more monumental than I had previously thought…..but it was done, and I moved onto the painting part. {woot!} I painted the frame in a medium gray and used a small brush to add some bronze details to the trim. Then, It was time for little miss to head off to the upholstery shop, and she came back to me looking like this:

For goodness sakes she is even more of a beauty now! I want to say thank you to my client “A” for trusting me with her treasure…and for bringing this beautiful chair back to the studio so I could photograph the end result!

Meet Aletta……and believe me…she is charmed to meet you as well.

xo,

Barb

FYI

I was catching up on some blog reading last week and I came across this project idea through Lindsey’s blog which then led me to the original post on a beautiful mess blog. I thought it was the coolest idea! I love paint by number paintings, I love paint, and I love letters and typography so this was a win win in my book of ideas!

I pinned the project on Pinterest so that I could remember it, and also remember where I saw it…..and I thought “I’ll do that some day soon “. I had two paint by number prints in the studio that I bought a few months back and I have been waiting to frame them. I thought about using them for this project…..but then an idea hit me one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I had a picture that was given to me and it came out of  my husband’s granny’s house. It would totally work! It was not a paint by number…but it had the look of a paint by number. It was your typical mountain, stream, and tree print with lots of blues and greens.

I already had completed my Father’s day gift buying but I was so excited about making this gift for my husband! I could hardly wait to get to the studio the next day and create it. When I took the picture out of the frame, I found that it was a thin sheet of paper so I wanted to make it a bit more sturdy. I used Mod Podge to attach the print to the piece of thick poster board that had been behind it, and once that was dry I started figuring out the placement of my stickers. Once the stickers were applied {it is harder than you think!} I applied two coats of white paint, and BOOM dynamite!

I know some of you are wondering what in the world “I Suwannee” means?! I chose to use this old southern slang phrase which means “I Swear” because it is a phrase that my husband’s Granny is well known for. I remember the first time I heard her say it……I could hardly keep from laughing. I did not grow up in the south so I was not accustomed to such “verbage”…but I thought it was a hoot! I would try to think of funny things to say just to get her to say it over and over. My husband could always get her to say it……and then I think she caught on to my giggles and would just say it for my pure enjoyment. Granny is so sweet, and this was my way of keeping a piece of her with us at all times.

My husband loves it….and thought it was the coolest gift…..and I have to say that I only pretend I made it for him….it is really for me! Hah!

xo,

Barb

Introductions

I think every time one of these giant pieces enters my studio I can almost hear the angels singing. I swear it. In my painting career I have had the privilege of transforming several of these gentle giants, but this one is extra special for a couple of reasons:

1. It belongs to one of the sweetest couples I know and I am truly honored to be trusted with their treasure.

2. It was such a mess with all of it’s white paint splatters and chipping veneer, so the prep work was intense, but that made the end result all the more rewarding.

I know there are those who look on these types of pieces as useless, victorian era, gaudy, yucky…….but seriously, in my opinion you can’t find a better statement piece that not only commands the room it resides in but also offers multiple storage and usage options. Painting these types of pieces brings them into the modern era and gives them a fresh and new aesthetic that surprisingly crosses multiple decorating styles. The detail on these pieces can’t be beat, and truly shines with a coat of paint. I also love painting the insides a bright and eye catching color so that it is always a pleasure to open the door. {wink}

Meet Berchelea.

xo,

Barb

 

FYI

I had several comments and emails about my design process after yesterdays introduction post, so I thought I would actually show you the drawings that go on behind the scenes. Sometimes I am just sketching designs that are in my head that are not necessarily connected to a specific piece, and sometimes I am actually drawing a specific design plan for a specific piece…….and then there are times where I don’t draw it out at all and just create it based on what is in my brain. I think there is a need for all of the above…..I don’t have to draw anything if I don’t want to because my brain is wired to see it without drawing it out, and spontaneity can be fabulous…..but I think creating visual aids, reminders, and guidelines is a great way to make sure that the proper time and care are given to each design.

Some of the designs pictured here have already been executed, and have found homes…..some have yet to be completed…some are half hidden because they may or may not be in the book….hee hee!…and some may get done in the next few weeks, especially the green one with the deep “V” pattern on it…….I drew that design plan last year….and I am going to make it happen……but it may not be on a chest of drawers. We shall  see!

It is super important to me, to truly create original and creative art with my furniture pieces…..so I choose to look at life and the everyday for my inspiration. It’s where its at.

xo,

Barb Blair

 

Found Goodness

I purchased several pieces from an estate a couple weeks back, and as I was prepping a fantastic little armoire and getting it ready to paint…. I discovered this handy dandy little accessory for helping gentlemen pick out their wardrobe for the day! I thought it was so simple in design, which I love by the way, and an absolute hoot! I can just see this poor guy standing in front of this little apparatus… closing his eyes, spinning the knob, and hoping he had the correct combination when it appeared!

Don’t we all wish standing in our closets and getting dressed could be this easy?

xo,

Barb

Introductions

As I was telling you on Friday….I am so thrilled to be working on several really fun custom jobs for sweet clients over the next several weeks, and this chest of drawers is the first off the “assembly line”! This chest of drawers is as solid as they come and a real beauty with its bowed front drawers and carved detail. I love painting pieces like this!

The Storm family is expecting their first little one, and his name is Sam. I wish I could show you the fantastic nursery that little Sam will grow up in…it is so clean, modern and very well done. I am stoked that a little piece of Knack will get to be a part of such a happy place!

Congrats to the Storms! I can’t wait to meet Sam!

 

xo,

Barb

Backwards, or forward….a tale to tell

I know all of you who come here on Mondays, come to see a furniture makeover, and I know that some of you will go away unfulfilled today in the furniture arena….but I hope to fill you up in a different way today, and then give you your furniture fix on Friday! I am working on two really beautiful pieces of furniture as we speak, but neither of said pieces was ready for a photo shoot……..yet!

Today I want to share a little from my heart: Besides being a creative business owner, writer, furniture designer, and photo taking lover….I am most importantly a mom to two very busy teenagers, a little puppy named roo, wife to the very energetic and wonderful JB, and a friend to some really special people who have poured into my life. My family is making the transition into our Summer schedule, which for me means slowing down, less days at the studio, and longer days to enjoy a more relaxed schedule ……at least for the next couple of months! My daughter has already been out of school for a week and a half now and my son will be out next week…..so our life is in full swing transition mode as we prepare for a fun Summer ahead. This is one of my favorite parts about being a creative business owner….I set my own schedule, and I plan and prepare all year for the “slow down” in the summer so that I still have enough work and income coming in to keep the business thriving, while at the same time giving myself a little thrive time too! It is the best feeling……and as we head into this fresh new Summer season, I have some goals for myself and for my family .

You may have wondered what the above veggie pictures were all about? Well, our local farmers market is in full swing, and this past Saturday I got up early and went with a friend of mine. We grabbed a coffee and strolled the booths of fresh goods. It was my first time at the market this year and so I was scoping out all of the different booths, and figuring out what I wanted to purchase . There are some new booths this year including a fresh pasta booth that had a line a mile long…and the piles of pasta were so beautiful and stunning! {I will see if I can get a picture of them next time since I will be purchasing some!} I hope to hit the market every weekend to buy fresh veggies, eggs, fruits, and specialty items like this amazing goat cheese, herb, and fig spread I spied and tasted on my way out! {yum!} I absolutely loved getting to chat it up with the local farmers and ask them questions about their goodies! I want to encourage and foster a lifestyle of healthy eating into our home starting this summer, and cut down on all of the processed junk food that gets consumed on a weekly basis. I would love to replace swiss cake rolls and zebra cakes with fresh strawberries and peaches…yadda yadda…..so on and so forth! We are taking baby steps, and hoping to make some changes in the activity area as well…..I for one miss my marathon running days, and the amazing shape I was in when I was running those marathons. The constant busyness and the growth of a business have all been wonderful things, but I have not been good to my body and it is time to get back to a routine of health. I want to be a healthy example to my family and to others around me….an example in making time to exercise, intentional eating, and lots of smelling the roses.

Be intentional. This is my goal.

xo,

Barb