9 Ways to Take Ombre Into Fall

ombre fall

I've been writing for Babble this summer and have been quite enjoying coming up with posts about fashion and more family-oriented products there.  Stuff I don't normally write about here, but seem to fit in well with the parenting set.  I hope you'll enjoy my finds as much as I am finding them.  Todays post is all about ombre, and how to take it into fall.  I'm loving that hair so much right now!  Check out today's post here if you're interested.

Photo of the Day!

Bud Vase

Calvin Klein Trimmings!

New trims are now available from Calvin Klein Home through Kravet. They are designed to complement the latest fabric collection by Calvin Klein and are inspired by colors and textures found in nature.

This new tape has two layers with a fringed border. Shown here: T30564-11 (Grey Frost) and T30564-16 (Champagne). Seven beautiful colors available. Other colors: Pearl, Loam, Pool, Barley and Bronze.

Another favorite trim is this tape with metal buttons.  Shown here: T30571-46 (Bronze). Comes in two other colorways, Graphite and Taupe.

This beautiful Greek patterned trim is wide at 2.56"; perfect for skirt trim and pillows. T30563-135 (Pool). Comes in five other colorways too: Pearl, Grey Frost, Champagne, Barley and Bronze.

All trims by Calvin Klein Home are exclusively through Kravet. To the Trade.

PRESS RELEASE: Judy Kniffin at Bennington Museum in Bennington

For me, the process of painting is both a meditation on -- and thanksgiving for -- the natural beauty that surrounds us all. It is this quiet sense of awe that I wish to convey through my paintings. -- Judith Kniffin
On view through September 25 in the Regional Artists Gallery at the Bennington Museum is On Hallowed Ground, works by Judy Kniffin. Kniffin has so entitled her exhibit because “this is what my paintings reflect back to me: We visit our brief lives upon this sacred ground, and, like good guests, would give it our due respect and grateful thanks.” Join the artist on Saturday, September 3 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at her reception held at the museum.

Kniffin grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia during the post-war years of the 40s and 50s, when industry switched its focus to crank out all the conveniences of mechanized living inside homes, on neighborhood blocks, in Anytown, USA. “Bike rides to the countryside, catching tadpoles, and summer camp in surrounding farmland notwithstanding, I had very little sense of the earth under and around me. Cloud formations, weather patterns, rocks, soil, and the plant and animal growth they nurture were not part of my consciousness in the suburbs.” states the artist.

Painting with watercolors and oils, Kniffin explores these natural surroundings — the woodlands, mountains and waters, corners of her gardens, and streets in her towns. Her style is representational, while always teasing out the rich colors and patterns that a cursory glance at nature often overlooks. Kniffin explores the color relationships, shadows, reflections, textures and visual distortions of the objects. “Painting is my way to focus in on the quiet and sometime surprising beauty around us; to tune out the "noise" of modern technology and fast-paced lives.” she reflects. Recognizing that we are not in control of nature On Hallowed Ground nods to our fragile relationship with it.

Kniffin pursued studio painting at Skidmore College in New York, the Silvermine Guild Art Center in Connecticut, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Her works have been on view at NAACO Gallery, North Adams, MA; Bennington Arts Guild and Southern Vermont College, both in Bennington, VT; The Heart’s Eye Gallery, Athens, GA among others. She serves on the board of the North Bennington Plein Air Competition, North Bennington, VT. Visit her website at www.judykniffin.com

The Bennington Museum, located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington has the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings in the world as well as the largest collection of 19th century Bennington pottery. In the other seven galleries, the museum presents a 1924 Wasp Touring Car, one of only twenty produced, military artifacts, one of the earliest ‘stars and stripes’ in existence, fine and decorative arts, and more. On view through October 30 is “Grandma Moses and the ‘Primitive’ Tradition.” The museum is just a short ride from Manchester, Williamstown, and eastern New York, and open every day in September and October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. No admission is charged for younger students or to visit the museum shop and café. Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Images: On Hallowed Ground, 2010, 38” x 38”, oil on canvas Kniffin in her studio

PRESS RELEASE: Joan Curtis at Brandon Artists Guild in Brandon

An exhibition entitled Greener Grass, with richly colored drawings by Joan Curtis, is featured during the September/October foliage season (September 2 - November 2, 2011) at the Brandon Artists Guild gallery.

The artist explains that the Greener Grass title may be interpreted a few ways. The pictures, which seem to tell stories, can convey a gentle sense of longing or yearning for “greener grass.” Alternatively, many of the images are so serenely bucolic that we imagine the scenes depicted to be the “greener grass” we seek.

The artist, in her visionary figurative work, often conjures up the feeling that a Quest is taking place.

This body of work, created since January 2011, comprises colored-pencil drawings on archival Arches paper. The surprise for the viewer is the layering of papers, a technique which allows a shallow three-dimensional appearance.

The public is always invited to BAG opening receptions; this one will be Friday, September 2nd, from 5 to 7 PM.

Image: End of Day, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Joseph L. Smongeski at Towle Hill Studio in Corinth

Towle Hill Studio in Corinth will present a retrospective show of the paintings and drawings of Joseph L. Smongeski (1914 - 2001). On Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, the show, organized by Smongeski’s daughter, Josette Lyders of Peacham, Vermont will also feature the 2009 biography about Smongeski, written by Lyders. Designed by Dean Bornstein, renowned book designer and owner of Perpetua Press, Joseph L. Smongeski: A Life in the Art World will be available for purchase, as will some of Smongeski’s paintings.

The gallery will be open on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Lyders and her sister, Mary Patch of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, will be hosting a reception with refreshments on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Joseph L. Smongeski studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and began his working career in 1941 in the art department of Western Printing Company in New York City. Five years later, he was invited to join D. C. Heath Company in Boston, where he served as a book designer for 31 years. He painted as well during all these years, creating an extensive inventory of landscapes, portraits and still lifes. In addition, he taught adult art classes for more than 25 years in Quincy, Milton, Weymouth, and Cohasset, communities on the South Shore of Massachusetts.

Altogether, Smongeski had 40 one-man shows including two very large invitational retrospective exhibitions near the end of his painting years, one at The Rahr-West Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin, and the other at the Milton Art Museum, in Milton, Massachusetts. He also participated in some 30 group shows in Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. He was elected to membership in the Salmagundi Club of New York City and he was given the honor of “Copley Artist” by the Copley Society of Boston.

Critics wrote favorably about his art. A few remarks regarding the larger exhibitions reveal much about his style and achievement:

From Virginia Freyermuth, The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Massachusetts), June 19, 1984, p. 15. “Color, spatial control and simplicity of form give the subject an added dimension of importance. . . .Although the aim of Smongeski’s work is to capture the moment at hand with a concern for color and light, the paintings are not impressionist in style. In fact, there is something very American about his style. . . .”

From Sandy Coleman, The Boston Globe, April 15, 1990, p.9. “The beauty of the painting (“Model in the Garden”) comes in the way the artist allows the light to play throughout, as if a gentle breeze is blowing color here and there. . . . Smongeski creates his vividly striking paintings by building them through layers of ‘constructive color.’ You can almost separate the color into planes, but they all form one harmonious unit, the painting.

From Constance Gorfinkle, The Patriot Ledger, April 19, 1990, p.32. “Color, bold and bright, is what most strikes the viewer about the. . .paintings. Smongeski’s landscapes and street scenes in particular are sunny evocations of a simple life. . . .[his] landscapes convey a sense of peace. . . .Smongeski often celebrates summer in his works. . .yet it is not just the season that we see in his paintings, but its place in our feelings and memories.”

Renowned Cape Cod artist, Richard C. Bartlett, a dear friend of the artist, wrote a tribute to Joseph Smongeski for the Towle Hill Studio show. He noted: “Joe and I were colleagues as book designers at D. C. Heath. . . . Joe had the taste required of a fine artist, and it showed in his judgement in how he presented an author’s manuscript visually. His typographic solutions were reasoned, making the author’s intent crystal clear for the reader. . . .he ran the Bookbuilders of Boston printing workshop with John Manganelli . . . and he taught adult ed classes in painting. If you can believe it, he still found time to paint! We sometimes went out sketching together. Joe could work as rapidly in oils as I could in watercolor, reputedly the quicker medium. . . . When you look at Joe’s paintings, you can tell they are the work of a happy artist.”

Lyders has written in her book about her father: “Perhaps it was the result of his growing up in a very large family and noticing the importance of everyday things on the progress of life. Perhaps it was the huge constraints of his student years in the Great Depression that made grandeur out of reach. Or, perhaps it was just a warm and caring nature that influenced his choice of humble subjects to paint. In my recollections of my father, I see a man who consistently found beauty in the world around him. It could be pastoral scenes, as he found in his visits to Vermont; it could be a small bouquet of flowers given to his wife; it could be in the look on a face. I see a man who never lost the wonder of life. I remember certain observations he would make: “Oh, God, look at that–how beautiful!” and, “I would like to paint that!” His subjects were never grandiose and never done for effect. He found the desire to paint in the intrinsic worth of the subject and he reveled in the joy of transforming that subject into his art.”

For the Towle Hill Studio show, Lyders has selected some twenty works representing different time periods in the artist’s body of work and a sampling of landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and more.

In the summer and fall seasons since 2009, Mark Nielsen, owner of Towle Hill Studio, has presented weekend exhibitions featuring the work of area creative artists, including painters, photographers, sculptors, and more. For more information about the gallery, visit the Web site www.towlehillstudio.com, or email Mark Nielsen at


For more information about the artist and about Lyders’ book, Joseph L. Smongeski: A Life in the Art World , email josette@fairpoint.net.

Images: Sugar Shack #1, 1976, oil, 16" x 22" A Rose, 1941, oil, 12" x 9" Reflections, 1985, oil, 10" x 14"

Scrapbook: 12+ Storage Ideas Round-up


With school starting up in some places already and just around the corner here,  I've collected a little round-up of great storage ideas for fall or anytime really.  Some of these you may have seen as of late, but most of them are new to the blog and hopefully to you.  (Above and just below:  Love these wicker baskets placed on the wall vs just sitting on the floor from In My House Blog).  Also I like the clips she has hanging on the wall versus the clipboard.


Ikea has a new series of storage boxes called KVARNIK which flirts with past times when crates and boxes were as well made as it's contents.  Dressed in off-white or dark blue jute cloth with label holders for labeling contents, the boxes come in formats tailored to include magazines, CDs and DVDs in a nice vintage style which is easy to show (love them mixed with real vintage storage as shown in this image from Livet Hemma).

 Adding shallow compartments to the back of the door via bhg.com

 Tin caddy tutorial by Cynthia Shaffer

Kitchen pantry makeover from The House of Smiths.  She sells all those lovely label decals too! (A few close-ups below).

Kitchen pantry makeover from The House of Smiths

Kitchen pantry makeover from The House of Smiths

Great shoe storage area for the entryway.  From Livet Hemma for IKEA

This low shelf with a mix of found storage boxes (vintage and new) has a really nice laid back feel to it that I really like.  (Via Emmas blogg). Photography by Pernilla Hed for Hus & Hem.

There's just something glamorous going on with this storage solution.  It's got that carefree sort of jet set vibe.  Photo:  Lisa Cohen.  (Via La Maison d'Anna G.)

Bookshelves just always seem to work in a dining room, and love these stacked super high from the home of Michale Murphy in Brooklyn, New York via Apartment Therapy.   Images: Mat Sanders.

Click here for more tips on storage and organizing I posted earlier this year.

Memo Pops! A Summer Project

The folks at Present and Correct sent over another one of their fun little DIYs to share today, and we're always game for their clever, cute and original  projects.  This time it's a summer themed stationery project. Memo-pops! Easy, graphic, fun. A super fun craft if the kids are bored or you fancy making a fun gift yourself.  If you haven't already be sure to check out Present and Correct's new blog here - it's a must-read!

You will need:
1. Wooden popsicle sticks, pads of sticky notes, pencil, glue, circle cutter, eraser, knife, ruler, card, packaging (optional)

2. Decide on your shapes. Varying scales make the memos more fun and geometric shapes are easiest to cut. Use a compass cutter for the circles. It is easier if you split the pad of stickies so you can cut neater layers, and then reassemble once you have cut out the shapes. A blob of blue tac will prevent a hole going all the way through the pad. Be sure to cut the shape within the section which contains the sticky part, otherwise your memos will fall off! Make sure you recycle the waste.

3. Once you have chosen your shapes arrange them on the stick, and draw around them onto the card. Cut this shape out.

4. Attach the stick with glue to the back of the card cut out. On the reverse side glue on the memo pads.

5. There are infinite possibilities. Cheap stickies come in lots of colours and sizes. You can add your name on the stick with transfers or even handwriting.

6. Make lists!

Mini DIY Round-Up

Japanese washi-tape magnets by Twirling Betty via Craftzine.

 DIY Dixie Cup Garland via Hey Gorgeous

Restoring a Farmhouse

A fabulous (and fast) before and after happening over at Aesthetic Outburst today. Abbey whipped up their new farmhouse dining room into shape in record time, creating a most desired aesthetic I might add. Love the thrifted lighting and that wool rug at a local (to her) store called Nasco Home not to mention the refinished hardwood flooring!

Shop our Amish made Dining Room Tables and Chairs

At DutchCrafters we offer a wide variety of dining room tables and Amish chairs for your family gatherings! Dine in style with one of our Amish dining room sets.

Please call 1-866-272-6773 to speak to one of our helpful Amish furniture specialists with questions or ordering assistance.

Behind-the-scenes at Petit Collage

I like this behind-the-scenes shot for the image below from the photo shoot for Petit Collage's new fall catalog.  Proves you don't need a big studio to create such a great image.  Just the right lighting and one steady hand.  Love their new fall line of child wall décor and accessories by the way which I wrote about today over at Babble.

Robert Allen Fabrics Goes Aztec!

Go rustic with style! Photo courtesy of Interiors Magazine.

A rustic neutral fabric palette but with touches of blue.  Robert Allen's Blue Desert Collection!

Our main fabric is ethnic and rustic but has touches of bright blue that would make any room more noticeable. Fabric: Arizona Desert in Horizon. This fabric is an acrylic/polyester blend with a medium repeat. Also comes in one other colorway, Earth.

Fabrics from top left:
Camp Evergreen in Lake - A beautiful stripe in a cotton/poly blend with shades of blue.  Wider fabric at 60 inches which is great for draperies or upholstery. Comes in six other colorways too.
Diamond Cable in Pebble - A solid color with texture in a cotton/poly blend. It does have a small repeat of 4 inches. Comes in seven other colorways.
Diamond Way in Bone - A smaller Aztec pattern in subtle tones. A cotton/poly/rayon blend with a 5"h x 10"v repeat. Comes in two other colorways.
Aztec Symbol in Dusk - A larger Aztec pattern in two subtle tones. A blended fabric with a large repeat of 14"h x 21"v.
Rodez BK in Bisque - The perfect 100% acrylic soft fabric that comes in 24 colorways! Perfect for upholstery.

Rustica Rope in Sepia
Rustica Tassel in Sesame

Top off your rooms with this great color palette from Sherwin Williams that was assembled just for this fabric group. How easy!

Fabrics courtesy of Robert Allen Design. Paints from Sherwin Williams.

Chech design from Inveno

more: http://www.inveno.cz/

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