Sunday, November 7, 2010

Island Paradise is a Craft Room Away

I have been dreaming of craft room in some sort of island paradise setting. I know you can picture it. Warm salty breezes gently whispering through white, veil-like curtains, cool, hard wood floors and juicy, island colors surrounding you. Up until today, I thought that place was somewhere in the Virgin Islands, somewhere in the distant future.

Pink Roses Wall Border Sample

I recenlty picked out two wall borders and ordered samples to see which one would look best with my studio color theme. The rose wall paper is gorgeous in person and has a shimmer to it. Although I do like it, it gives the room a subdued feel. I want to feel energized when I step into my studio so I think I'll have to pass on this one.

Island Floral Wall Border Sample

After putting this next sample on my wall I realized that with it, I was actually creating that island paradise craft room I've been dreaming of for years. Not only do I not have to relocate but I actually get the best of both worlds. I'm not looking out over turquoise waters but that's a small price to pay to be near family, enjoy 4 seasons instead of one and have a beautiful, new craft room in a home I absolutely love. Our dreams may not always take the form we expect but the universe does hear us and gives us exactly what we need. Life is good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just for Fun: Revisiting the Past

While I was cleaning out the room I am currently remodeling into the craft room of my dreams, I came across some old works. For some reason they whispered "keep me" and so I did.

Alfresco Past Bar Paper Neck Tie

While I was going to school at the Art Institute of Seattle, I took a letterform design class. I created a logo for a fictitious restaurant called Alfresco Pasta Bar. I then applied the logo to apparel which in this case happened to be a men's tie that could be worn by a waiter. 

Flowers and Window Seat Paper Sculpture

This piece is one of the earliest paper sculptures I ever did. I think this must be nearly 10 years old if its a day. The inspiration came from some type of book I have on home decorating ideas. I often draw inspiration from those types of books. Must be my way of living luxuriously. 

Monochromatic Water Color Painting

I took a class in water color at the local community college. This was a fun project because we were required to choose an image, in this case I chose an image from a magazine. I used tracing paper to draw a grid over the image and subsequently reproduce the image as a drawing on water color paper. Once drawn, the assignment was to paint the picture using only one color. Not bad for my first watercolor portrait, I'm still impressed.

Ravish Evening Wear

Another project from my letterform class. In this case I chose to do a logo for a fictitious evening wear clothing line. I had a lot of fun in this class. I discovered that I very much enjoy creating with type. This is evidenced still in the logo I have created for Kell Belle Studio. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kell Belle Studio is Lookin' Cherry

The weekend was a whirlwind with the craft room remodel going on. Saturday was spent putting down  the underlayment of the new cherry wood floor and prepping the threshold for placement.

Underlayment and threshold prep work
 My brother, Pat contemplates placement as the first board is laid. He did much of the cutting with his electric saw. I live in a condo on the second floor so I'll just bet I've made a ton of new friends this weekend especially my new neighbors below me who have a new baby. Well, I did try to let them know but they opted not to answer the door. Cest la vie, it's done now.

Laying the first board
 We didn't quite finish getting the floor laid Saturday so Sunday afternoon was a continuation although laying the floor went much more quickly. I had purchased just enough board to complete the project and I mean right down to the last board perfect. Alas, my brother cut one of the boards too short and it was off to the hardware store for me. No worries. That was really the only hitch in the project so I have no complaints.

Nearly finished as nephew oversees progress
 The floor is nearly finished as my nephew, David watches dad and learns technique for future floor installations. We've already informed David that he'll be the one laying the floor the next time so we hope he's paying attention. Haha, just kidding David.

Meet the crew left to right: nephew, brother, dad
Meet the hard working crew who laid the floor of Kell Belle Studio. From left to right is my nephew, David, my brother, Pat and my dad, Bill who will be moving to Phoenix next weekend which is why the floor was laid this weekend. I must thrive on the drama of waiting until the last minute to do things.

My new cherry wood floor
Ta-da! Here it is. Just putting the nails in the base boards and we're finished. It's just gorgeous! I LOVE it!! Thank you so much guys. I am truly grateful for your hard work and perseverance on a job well done and for giving up your entire weekend to help me. (((applause))))

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Seafoam and Popped Corn on the Walls

This past Friday I finally arrived at a definitive paint decision for the craft room. After typing in the phrase "blue green rooms" in a Google image search, I found tons of ideas for gorgeous looking rooms in juicy shades of blues and greens.

Aftermath of carpet and baseboard removal

So what colors did I ultimately choose? I had originally chosen and purchased two gallons of Seafoam Pearl at 50% color value which I took back to the Home Depot for them to darken to full color value. The trim and ceiling will be painted with something from the white family called Popped Corn which will warm up the cool blue-green color on the walls. Darkening the paint would allow for better contrast between the trim color and the wall color.

The blue green room aka Seafoam Pearl

So, yesterday morning at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. I entered the room with paint roller and brush in hand. I was not able to finish before dad and brother Pat got there to install the floor but I am 100% happy with my paint choices. I can always blend the darker blues and lime green shades into the room using fabrics for window treatments and basket liners as well as using accent paint on furniture. Predicament solved! Looking at what I've done so far, I absolutely love the room.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Painting Predicament

I have had some difficulty deciding what color to paint the baseboards in the craft room. I have tried at least a half a dozen colors, most of which can be seen here. A few have even been tried twice and so far nothing is knocking my socks off. That elusive "yes" moment when you know you've nailed the perfect solution for you has yet to present itself to me.

No pressure though. Dad comes over today to rip the carpet out and put down the underlayment which makes this the absolute most perfect time to paint without having to tape off to keep from mixing wall color with trim color.

It sure would be nice to come to a solid decision on what color to paint the trim before the floor goes in tomorrow. Perhaps I'll go with white. At this point not only does it sound like the most appealing option but also the safest.  I can always accent with color in my furniture and fabric choices.

Say goodbye to the standard box room. Phases 3 and 4 of project craft room commence today! Wish me luck on my first ever paint job.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paper Obscenity or Obsession?

You never know just how much you have of something until you put it all in one place. Part of my craft nightmare is that I have paper oozing from every corner of my humble condo. Visiting 5 paper stashes spanning 3 rooms just to find the right paper for the project is not an effective use of craft time. *she admits, nearly blushing*

Before Consolidation
 Believe it or not the above picture is before I consolidated my paper into fewer bags. This closet is about 2 1/2 feet by 4 feet which gives you an idea of the impressive amount of paper you see in it. I hoard paper like every sheet is the last of its kind. Sometimes it is. I would like to drop the mindset that I'll never find another sheet of paper I like as much as I like my latest purchase. Is this obscenity or obsession?

After Consolidation
Clearly my fears are unfound. This is the after picture. I've discarded bits of scraps, there are now fewer bags and the difference is not shown in the quantity but in the organization. Bags are actually organized by type of paper from 12 X 12 to rolled light weight and flat watercolor. My mind feels lighter already without the load of "where in the hell did I put that sheet of paper" weighing on it.

Phoebe in Paperland
This is one of my new kitties, Phoebe. She and her sister, Flora eagerly volunteered to help with shredding and any ribbon unraveling projects I might have. They are such characters. Next up, Kellie paints her first room. Toodles for now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Nightmare Before Remodel

For nearly a year and a half I have been thinking about remodeling my spare room to resemble something like the glossy pictures you see in magazines like "Where Women Create."

The first paint samples were splashed on the wall in Spring of 2009 so while I continued to accumulate and inadequately store "stuff" I have to ask myself what exactly is it that I've been waiting for before moving forward with my project?

They say a disorganized space is a reflection of a disorganized mind but crystal clarity came quickly when my recently divorced, 71 year old father announced he was moving to Arizona to start his new life as a bachelor. I say way to go dad! Then I realized that with him would go my free remodeling help.  

There's nothing like a little fire under the arse to get you moving eh? That said, dad and I leave on our road trip to Phoenix on October 23rd which leaves me only 1 weekend to install the hardwood floor I had planned for the space. Me with a rented electric saw is non negotiable so this has to happen before he leaves.

Sooo, yesterday I spent 8 hours cleaning out the room. Closet doors came off to make room for built in shelves and storage, craft supplies were consolidated and 3 hefty bags later the room took on a dramatically different look than it had mere hours beforehand. 

The Salvation Army comes Monday to haul away items no longer needed. The plan is coming together beautifully because not only is dad coming over next weekend to put in the floor but brother Pat has offered to help and bring his saw! How cool is that unexpected surprise? By this time next weekend I'll have a brand new hardwood floor installed and step 2 of project craft room will have been completed.

The plan is to move from the kitchen table to a beautifully organized and inspiring craft space, the space I have dreamed of for years and am finally making a reality! Thank you Sheri Gaynor (Creative Awakenings) and Kelly Rae Roberts (Taking Flight) for your truly motivating messages of love and possibility. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Kell Belle Legend

As a child, the kids called me names like Kellie jelly or Kellie belly as a way to antagonize me and it worked every time. My own name followed by something as unimaginative as jelly or belly was about as pleasant to hear as fingernails on a chalk board. Ouch!

Logo: Rough Sketch

My sister and I were very close as kids, well, except for the time she leaped over the couch in a single bound and broke her arm. It was an impressive leap from where I was sitting and if that wall hadn't been in the way . . .   We had gotten into a fight and I flung her PeeChee (remember those?) across the room sending her school papers flying everywhere. She was so mad at me!

Logo: Tight Comp

As we grew older, she got married, had kids and we sort of drifted apart for awhile. After our mother and step father died in 2004, we began a weekly ritual of getting together on Friday nights to drink wine and watch chick flicks. We didn't have our mom to talk to anymore but we still had each other. Our Friday nights together were a way of honoring and celebrating that.
Logo: Tight Comp with Color

It was during this time that my sister began to call me Kells or Kell Belle which still feels to me like a derivative of that early childhood Kellie belly taunt. This time, instead of being charged with anger and misdirected negativity, it comes from a place of love. It comes from my sister's heart and pierces through mine.

Logo: Final

The images in this post take you through the evolution of the Kell Belle logo. I hope you find it every bit as visually appealing as I do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who do I Think I am?

For the past few years, I've watched and followed other artists, all of whom I consider to be successful mostly because they were earning a living doing what they love - their art. The grass always seemed greener on their side of the fence because of the success they now enjoy, success that I have wanted and envied but still have yet to duplicate for myself. This week, clarity has revealed to me that the key to the success I have been looking for lies in my own individuality. Even though I've known this to be true intellectually, I finally understand what it really means in my heart and soul.

Up until now I have tried to be everyone but myself in a variety of ways you may already have noticed but I won't go into them here . How could I expect anyone else to know who I am when I clearly did not know myself? My entire outer world has been a reflection of that mish mash of jumbled and wishy washy intentions that could only ever yield wishy washy results. This photo marks the gateway to a new art venture that is uniquely me. I am proud to introduce you to Kellie Reynolds of Kell Belle Studio.

Up next: How I got the nickname Kell Belle