Saturday, 28 February 2015

Let's make some great art....

Introducing the inspirational work of Marion Deuchars

Some children are sporty, some children love to play....My daughter,Little Miss Moo, is more the arty type: Give her some pens and paper....or even better: Glue and glitter and she is happy!!
Recently she's started showing a real interest in design and art; pointing out patterns she likes and putting together colours that "goes"...and she loves hearing about different artists and types of art!
I love that she seems to have found "her thing" and want to encourage the aspiring artist in her....

So today I want to tell you all about a fantastic book I picked up for Little Miss Moo whilst we were in Norway last week:
Marion Deuchars's "let's make some great art"
(I got the Norwegian version, pictured above)

"there are people that makes the sun to a yellow spot , others transform a yellow spot into the sun" Pablo Picasso
Marion Deuchars is a Scottish born, internationally acclaimed,
award-winning illustrator that has created a number of inspiring children's books which focuses on art.
"Let's make some great art" is an interactive colouring and activity book, where Marion Deuchars covers the broad canvas of art ....and it's filled with drawings and engaging activities. Aimed at children aged eight and older, the emphasis is on fun and making the creation of art an integral part of the way you express yourself....But I found this book to be equally inspiring for adults alike, And Little Miss Moo, at just 5 years old loves it!!
"Learn what art can be, how it can be made, what it can mean for you and what it has meant for people through the ages."*

Marion starts by introducing us to the tools of the trade, with a beautifully illustrated guide to any arty equipment you may want to use in your arty endeavours! 

Throughout the book there are short introductions to some of the worlds most famous and ground breaking artist, From Leonardo Da Vinci to Jackson Pollock, often accompanied with a fun fact (Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci used to write all his notes in mirrored writing??) and a little exercise in how to make your own art in the style of the artist:
"You can complete the Mona Lisa’s simile or design your own Jackson Pollock inspired work with a marble, a tray, some paint and paper."*

The book also covers basic drawing techniques, from how to draw a face.... teaching you how shading works!

Marion also covers basic colour theory and the colour wheel, as well as delving into the historic significance of certain colours and how they are made....all done in a fun and interactive way, making it interesting for kids and adults alike!

There are pages for colouring in, pages that encourage you to get creative with patterns, "blank pages" that encourages you to come up with your own ideas...

This book will also teach you fun methods, like using card to make patterns and art....
Or about the ancient Chinese Tangram puzzles:

As well as being highly educational, there are also some "just for fun" exercises to do:

Like making little fingerprint creatures or making hand prints into elephants (??)

I am so pleased I picked up this book for Little Miss Moo, as it has not only captured her imagination, but also mine! It encourages creativity at the same time as it educates the reader on the history of art and teaches various simple and fun techniques to inspire you to make your own art!

LMM drawing her fantasy house, using patterns and techniques shown in the book!
Marion Deuchars makes the world of art seem more accessible in this book, and her easy and fun instructions encourages you to try making your own art!
"Let's make some great art" has certainly struck a chord with Little Miss Moo, and if you have a little aspiring artist in your family (Or even for your own inspiration) I can highly recommend it! You can buy it here **, or even visit Marion Deuchars' interactive website for some fun, arty activities that will keep the kids amused for hours..... or you can visit her blog, here,  for more creative ideas!

*extract from the Marion Deuchars website
**Affiliate link

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

5 Interior tips from a pro.... Lisa Reid of Room Design

Hi guys!
I know, I went AWOL last week...
I've been back in Norway for a little holiday! Now, the plan was to keep blogging while I was away, but too much fun and a nasty cold left me with little energy spare, so I figured I'd give myself a little blogging break!!
But that doesn't mean to say it was all play and no work!! I spent a lot of time in Norway seeking out inspiration for future posts, but best of all, I managed to invite myself around to the offices of Lisa Reid of RoomDesign for a spot of lunch and a chat!

Room Design
Click on the image to check out the RoomDesign website

You see: It's been bugging me for a while, as nostalgiecat has become more and more interior focused, that I feel like I am blagging it a bit! I mean as passionate and informed as I feel I am about interior design, I am NOT (yet) a trained interior designer.....and I'd hate to give you guys some dodgepot advice: After all interior design should be fun and creative, yes!! But it is also serious business!!
So I wanted to consult with a professional!

So, when I knew I was going back to Norway for a week, I got in touch with Lisa Reid that runs her interior design and consulting  business from her offices in the center of Bergen and arranged a meeting.

Lisa set up RoomDesign in 2010 with a vision to help people create their optimal rooms, where both functionality and the clients dreams and visions would be equally considered!
I fell in love with this ethos when I first came across Lisa's website, as I feel that far to often the dreams of how you want a space to look gets compromised for the sake of functionality (and it needn't be!!)....and I have been following Lisa's interior adventures on facebook ever since! 
Lisa also runs short interior design courses where she generously shares her knowledge and expertise, and helps people get more confident using colours and finding their own interior style.

Needless to say; I was absolutely thrilled when she agreed to see me!

I'd had a feeling we would gel, but had not anticipated Lisa's warmth as she welcomed me into her beautiful offices, where she'd laid out a wonderful lunch spread!

We ate, drank and chatted for more than 2 hours, mostly about interior inspirations and how to create a space that is personal, beautiful.... and functional....and how to achieve a dream look when the budget is tight and space is at a premium....
and Lisa has kindly allowed me to share her top 5 tips when it comes to interior design:

Paint the ceiling and walls the same colour

Image from Elle decor Espana
This may sound wacky, and is a fairly new trend that interior designers all over the world is embracing....but it is actually a really neat trick if you are decorating a small space: It creates an optical illusion by diffusing the outlines of the room, making the room seem larger and more cohesive. It looks elegant and is relatively easy and cheap to achieve!

Make your furniture dissappear

Image from Entrance

No. of course you shouldn't chuck out all your furniture, but if you have a small space there are a couple of visual tricks to furnish a room yet still make it look spacious!

Lisa suggests using wall shelves and sideboards in the same colour as the walls to make them visually disappear and become part of the back ground.
Another trick Lisa uses often to free your gaze and enhance the feeling of space, is to keep as much of the furniture as possible off the floor. This will make the room seem airier and bigger. Think shelves and floating credenza's...or even a coffee table in glass....The more you can see of the floor the better! Which brings us nicely to Lisa's next point:


Layering rugs

Photo by Amy Bartlam via SFgirlbybay

Like me, Lisa is a big fan of a good rug!!

Describing them as "the jewels of the floor" Lisa  tells me she loves the trend of layering rugs!
Adding rugs to a room design will help define the room and the different functions of the areas within it!
 So what's better than one rug?  A few! 
 Here's a few of Lisa's tips on how to get started with layering rugs:
Decide on the size of the area that is to be defined by the rugs, Start with a neutral sisal or jute rug for texture(bang on trend for now!!) as a base, then add smaller, more decorative rugs on top with patterns and colours that compliment each other! Don't make it too matchy-matchy...the point is to bring in different patterns and textures....even shapes...mixing it up to create a truly personal and unique, fresh look for your floors!

Level lighting

Image via desire to inspire

The importance of good level lighting of a room can not be underestimated, and like Abigail Ahern, she recommends having between 6-8 different light sources in each room: From overhead lighting to task lights, like a lamp by your favorite chair for reading or a spotlight on a favorite piece of wall art...Good level lighting helps create an ambiance in a room and makes sure no corner is left dark and dingy, ensuring maximum enjoyment of the whole room!

Build up lighting sources on all levels, from the floor and up. Think floor lamps, table lights as well as candles and decorative lamps. Lisa suggests grouping lamps together with low wattage (energy) bulbs on a sideboard...and having one white and one pink bulb will give a very natural light!

Fill your walls

Image shows one of my favourite graphic designers, Nynne Rosenvinge's home via Femina

Lisa's last tip is to NEVER leave your walls bare! There are loads of different ways to fill an empty wall, and I am planning on delving further into this subject in a few weeks, but for now, here's a few suggestions:
Display family photographs grouped together, hang a rug to cover a big blank wall space or use wall shelves to display collected items and artwork.
 Nothing makes a space quite like the right artwork!
A big piece of well chosen art is a real statement , that helps bring personality into your room!!
Or how about creating a gallery wall with loads of different sizes art?
Top Tip:If you want to hang a piece of art behind your sofa, but it looks a bit too small for the wall space, a trick is to hang it a few inches off center, so that the negative space next to it becomes "part of the image"(Like in the "pink ceiling" picture above)!

I think you'll all agree that Lisa's tips are great for creating an creative interior that shows off your personality and uses the space to it's maximum....

I adore her commitment to sharing her passion and knowledge of interior design, and her uncompromising desire to achieve a look that suits her client's personality and dreams!

«A room shouldn't scream the name of the designer but more the personality of the client»

-Lisa Reid-

Please check out Lisa Reid's blog to keep up with her tips and tricks, or follow her on Facebookinstagram or pinterest to get inspiration for your interiors