Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Latest Artwork and Vintage-Inspired Home Updates (Picture Heavy)

In an effort to get back to normal life, I have been working hard at the office and at home to stay busy. I find that during times of stress, if I keep myself occupied with job tasks and creative activities, I feel better. I would love to get back to the gym again but I know that I have to pace myself. I cannot have too much on my plate so I will just take things as they go.

Nevertheless, I have made a few houseware purchases at my local Home Goods store, converted a plain table lamp and a simple bud vase into mid-century inspired pieces, and have completed an array of atomic-inspired paintings for the house.

So, let's start with the housewares! Here is a tall, orange ceramic vase I found at Home Goods for $19.99 USD. It stands about two feet (24 inches) tall:
I also found another amazing starburst mirror at Home Goods! I found my first one there in February. This one is slightly bigger in diameter and boasts silver-toned facets. It retailed for $49.99 USD:
Now, here is an orange ceramic bud vase I found at my local Michaels Craft store. It was plain orange and it cost about $4.99 USD. I decorated it with DecoColor Paint pens in aqua blue and gold.
This lamp used to stand on a side table in my guest bedroom.

The base was white and the shade was an off-white cream shade. I think I bought it about 5 years ago. I painted the shade with a blend of clear mixing medium and antique white acrylic paint. When the shade was dry, I applied gold acrylic paint using a damp sponge. I then applied another coat of the paint mix and when it was dry, I applied another round of gold paint. Using a gold DecoColor paint pen, I drew on simulated string on the top and bottom of the shade.

As for the base,  I painted two coats of orange acrylic paint. I let it dry and then applied a clear varnish mixed with 1960s vintage, square gold glitter. 

Now, here are the new paintings! This large canvas is located in my foyer. I wanted bright, primary colors:

Here are two 8x10 atomic cat paintings I did using acrylic paint and paint pens. I found inspiration in a 1950s carved wood set of cats that were listed on Esty:

This is one of two matching 4x5 canvases. Again, I used a blend of acrylic and paint pen:
Here is how the above 4x5 set looks paired with the atomic cats. The paintings are in my den/living room area:
This next painting was inspired by a 1950s, atomic-era tablecloth I saw listed on Etsy. I added orange to make the muted colors pop. Again, I used both acrylic paint and DecoColor paint pens:
Back in February, I purchased a set of plain wood shadow boxes. Until a week ago, they were sitting unfinished in my basement. I was not sure what to do with them or what colors to use and then an idea came to me, go pink! I have pink tones in my upstairs foyer/hallway. I also have a pink diamond and black starburst table runner I made using vintage fabric.

I painted the shadow boxes with two tones of pink acrylic paint and I also used gold paint along with black and gold paint pens.  I painted two pink diamonds with starbursts on two matching 8x10 canvases. Here is the result:
Inside the shadow boxes, I placed vintage blown glass figurines. One is a whale and the other is a mouse, both from Norway.

So, there you have it! The latest updates to my slowly transforming vintage abode. The process is taking time (going from modern to vintage that is) but it is worth it!

What home decor updates have you gals done recently! I would love to know!


  1. WOW Tara!! I gotta say your house is looking amazing!
    What you did with the orange vase looks great! I totally thought it was vintage.
    Your artwork on that lampshade, Holy heck!!

    I love all your paintings, you did a fantastic job!

  2. Very creative and talented! Love the paintings!

  3. Thank you so much, Melzaelf! I am keeping busy with the artwork. I enjoy it a lot. If you ever want to "atomic-up" or "vintage-ize" anything, DecoColor paint pens are amazing! They work on ceramic very well and as I recently discovered, they are excellent for making details on paintings. I always had trouble painting thin lines with a brush and paint. The pens are so much easier to control.

    The lampshade is just a patient layering process. The sponge technique is good for creating faux textures like marble-ing. Gold paint is fun because the metallic effect gives depth to your creations.

  4. Awesome work! I always think that as a creative person, it really does give you an outlet to escape from other troubles you may be having - something positive to focus on :)

  5. Wow!!I love your casa decorations.
    Your an artista, you should sell your art amor.
    especially love kitt painting and the pink ones.

    fijate de las cartas, the wands mean a lot of stress and worries depending on what cards are drawn next to them.

    Ace of cups means something new is coming your way like oportunidad. unless your pregnant.
    I dont usually reverse my tarot cards, I let them reverse themselves ,but reverse 4 wands means stuck in a rut could be work or school. delays and starting over.your going through some cambio.

    hope it helps.

  6. Your paintings look fantastic!! They look very 1950's/early 60's :)

  7. Fabulously creative! I particularly love the paintings, I have already told my OH I want to commission him to do some for me, thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Wow Tara, you are so creative. You must get so much pleasure from looking at all those things you've done yourself x

  9. Tara, I've only recently become a follower, but wow what great art! I'm totally inspired to take a stab at some atomic art styles now myself.

    On an unrelated note: I'm a retro girl in the DC area and right now I'm looking for a hair stylist who knows anything about giving vintage appropriate cuts (I've had a fair share of disasters here). Do you have anyone you'd recommend?

    Thanks! Erin

  10. Clare,

    Thanks for the compliment! I agree about creative people being lucky to have an outlet like art. Whenever I need a distraction or need to unwind, I make resin jewelry, paint, sew, or experiment with makeup looks.

  11. La Dama,

    Muchas gracias! I enjoy painting a lot. It is a good way for me to calmar mis nervios.

    As for the cartas, the wands are totally right on. I do a 10 card spread every semana or so.

  12. Thank you, Kate! That is era I was going for! I really wish I could go back in time just to do shopping! I am currently looking for retro/Eames era looking pendant chandeliers for my dining room and foyer. I also want to update my guest bedroom into a proper atomic look.

  13. Fiona,

    I would love to see your fella's art! Your home always looks smashing too! I am always inspired by your sewing creations and fabulous interior design!

  14. Thank you, Margaret! I have fun painting for sure. I enjoy seeing the house finally coming together. It is taking a while but it is worth it. I am almost done with the tiki bar in my sunroom. My fella got me an authentic bamboo tiki bar for my birthday in April. I just bought a new rug (floors are wood) and I am going to be doing a couple of paintings soon. I also bought tiki lights (in the shape of pineapples) that are soon to arrive! The next big project is updating my bedroom, guest room, and master bath.

  15. Tamina listening,

    Thank you for following my blog and the comments! That is neat that you too are in the DC area. I am in Northern Virginia. It is good to know there are other vintage enthusiasts in the area!

    As for my hair, I go to my stylist of four years, Corry Kendall at Hair Studio 54 in Chantilly. He has been giving me 40s era middy cuts for over a year. I just brought in a diagram of a middy and he made it perfect. I am currently trying to grow my hair out to a longer middy a la Rita Hayworth.

  16. I love the straburst mirror so much and all the paintings/decorated items! We've been "vintaging up" our home lately too working slowly though the main floor to the top, It's so cool seeing posts like this for inspiration, those deco pens sound like a great way to fix up some less that super items, I can' t wait to give them a whirl!
    (I have some photos of our 50's inspired kitchen progress on my blog too... http://quaintrellelife.blogspot.com/search/label/decorating )