I haven’t been to Washington, D.C. since 6th grade’s field trip that everyone goes on. I almost didn’t get to go on that trip because of financial reasons which I will explain in a later post (I promise). So you can imagine my excitement to pack in as many places for that day!
My reason for this trip was because of a conference which was an amazing experience in itself, but I also had a day to explore until my flight departed. Prior to this trip, I asked friends of places to visit and I had come with a pretty big list. During my stay in DC I asked locals for suggestions which allowed me to meet so many different people that will be hard to forget. I whipped out my map and made a plan. Let me just begin by saying it was a beautiful 70 degree sunny weather. Below is what you’ll see:
A few years ago, I started this blog mostly about fashion but I knew from the beginning I wanted to combine art and travel. I was advised to keep it very specific and so I focused on just style and fashion but soon that interest started to fade. Deep down, my passion was art and traveling. Ever since I was a little girl I loved to draw princesses in big pretty dresses. As I grew up and developed my skills in art classes, I thought yes this it, I love it.
When I was in Art School (University of Hartford), I took a class abroad in Sicily, Italy! This opened up my eyes to another passion I hadn’t yet discovered…TRAVEL. I guess you can say I caught the travel bug in 2007! I loved every second of that trip – the food, wine, people, and culture. I felt like my mind was like a sponge- soaking up every ounce of energy around me and it felt amazing! My favorite moment was waking up at 6 am to paint the sunrise as it rose over the ocean. That sketch was transformed into a painting that always inspires me to this day.
The thing about passions I’ve learned is you have to follow them. For years I stopped painting and I traveled more but now those two passions were never fully aligned until now. I discovered that they fuel one another. If I want to recreate a lasting moment from a place, painting it the way my eyes saw it and how it made me feel is like I’m reliving that moment all over again. And the only way I can share that with people is by painting it. I can talk about a place and show you photos but the most lasting impression is in my paintings. That is magic to me at least. What you see above is me painting Trunk Bay – it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world located in the US Virgin Islands. As soon as I stepped my toes on that sand and looked at the view, I literally said “Paradise”.
P.S. My plan is to have an exhibit soon. So stay tuned! :)
A year and a half ago, I randomly visited my cousin and we went to an estate sale down the street. I found two french style chairs because I thought one day maybe I would attempt to reupholster them. They both cost me $30 total. Why not, right?!
When I got them home, I started taking one chair apart because I was so excited to find them. Mind you I love antique furniture and something about its history I find so intriguing! I end up doing some research and watched a lot of YouTube videos on reupholstering chairs for hours. It took me a week to take off the fabric of one chair – it may have had 500 to 1000 staples. After all that labor, I no longer was interested and talked myself out of it. At the moment, I stopped or paused the process.
Six months later, as I had been visiting the now evolved studio in my basement hundreds of times, those chairs were just sitting there staring at me as if begging me to finish them…so a week and 500 to 1000 staples later, the other one was naked (hah). I felt like I had really made some progress here. I still thought I couldn’t reupholster it myself so I decided to ask local businesses and soon discovered that it was way too expensive (close to $1000 for both chairs). This was the final courage I needed to prove to myself that I can do this!!
A few months later, I chose a color for the chairs and painted them. I used Americana Decor Lace Chalky paint that I bought from Home Depot. I applied two coats and then decided to paint the edges with silver acrylic paint to give it a richer feel. At this time, after some research via Pinterest I found out this type of chair is called King Louis XVI Arm Chair. You know that moment you feel like something is coming together here, this was it. You cannot imagine how excited I was because (one) I love France and (two) I am dying to visit Southern France!!
Choosing a fabric took me a long time because I wanted this to be perfect! Finally, ShopMyFabrics came to the rescue!! Once I got the fabric (1 yard), I kind of just remembered what I had seen on those YouTube videos a year ago. Luckily, I had kept the old fabric and used its measurements to cut the new one so that was easy! The fabric I got wasn’t enough for the back of it, so I went to Jo Ann’s and got a plain fabric for the back of the chairs. If you’re doing this, always get extra fabric just in case. A long time ago, I bought a heavy duty stapler and never used it from Home Depot. Not sure why I bought it at the time but it worked well for this project. As for the piping cord, it was challenging for me to find because people usually make it themselves by sewing using the same fabric. Number one, I ran out of fabric and number two, I don’t know how to sew. At this point, after asking an older lady at another store, she kindly told me of a shop in Rocky Hill, CT called Affordable Fabrics and let me tell you it’s really affordable and wish I knew of them before! I found the piping cord I wanted and the color matched my fabric! Perfect! I used hot glue to connect the cord around the edges of my chair so that it covers the staples. The results are the photos you see above.
This project may have taken me a long long time, but I learned so much from this experience. It was a challenge but I never gave up! I hope you learn something from it, too! The two chars are in my living room and I stare at them with great pride!