Tag Archive | photography

Urban Landscapes

Photography is now accessible for the average Joe. I know this is not a kosher idea, and the idea of creating art with your phone is foreign to some, but you can capture cool images with your phone. (Photographers, please send your hate mail to mariam@simplyturquoise.com) Then frame them and hang them on the wall. Or better yet….

A Frozen Fountain.

A Frozen Fountain.

Order them from Costco, printed on canvas! A genius idea!

Purple Bike and Coffee Bags.

Purple Bike and Coffee Bags.

 The edges of the photo will wrap around the edges of the canvas and create the frame.

Bust in a Shop WIndow.

Bust in a Shop WIndow.

This is the beginning of the Simply Turquoise: Urban Landscapes series.

Crates

Crates

Everyday urban scenes, everyday art, for your home. If you are too lazy to take your own photos, or you do not want to see the smiling mugs of your family on the wall, you can now purchase any of these urban landscapes here at Simply Turquoise. Don’t say I don’t have a mind for business! This is it! The beginning of the Simply Turquoise Art Dynasty.

Abandoned House.

Abandoned House.

Actually, I am thrilled to make available some of my favorite images from my time blogging to the public. Even if “the public” in this case is just my mother, I am still thrilled. Each landscape tells a story and each image is unique.

Lynchburg Doors.

Lynchburg Doors.

Capturing the people around you, or the places you’ve been or want to go, will add a layer of excitement to the decor in your house. Your house will be filled with movement, action and stories, bringing your walls to life. And if you can’t wait, message me. I accept love mail in addition to hate mail, and money in all forms.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

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#Window Shopping

On a recent trip to Lynchburg, Virginia, I was able to spend some time just strolling around town with Prima. One advantage of having an older child is you can occasionally pretend they are adults. They are good company that way, when the mood strikes.

Living with a mini-tyrant (baby), who tries to rule the roost, we both feel the need to occasionally escape and engage in some therapy. In this case it was fantasy-retail therapy, which is almost as good as plain-old retail therapy.

I ♥ this window display!

I ♥ this window display!

The baby, a naturally advanced and highly-intelligent little individual, has mastered the art of the tantrum, at 18 months.

Urban Merchant display

Notice the little bird cage light fixture!

We needed an outing, and on this excursion, we even found some new friends: Meet Margo. She was a little camera shy.

Margo.

Meet Margo.

These little downtown areas are a great way to find inspiration. Away from box stores, you can stop in artsy shops, or just draw inspiration from their edgy and unique window displays. It is this show of creativity that lures you inside and tries to separate you from your money. For me, this is living on the edge.

Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

To save you the suspense, they did get a little of my money. I can’t wait to show you the cool light fixture I bought for the office. But right now, I think I hear a tantrum coming on…. Until next time my dear readers, if I am still sane.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Make Yourself at Home

Drumroll please…. 

Introducing Fellow Coastie, Ultimate Frisbee player, and friend, Bill Putnam. He takes incredible pictures and agreed to write a post for me. He is one of those people you feel a little bit jealous of, always jet-setting around and just enjoying life to the fullest. This post is pure blog candy.

And Now….

Hello fellow Simply Turquoise readers! I’m thrilled to contribute to one of my favorite spots to come when I want to sit down with a cup of tea, coffee, glass of wine or pint of beer and find another idea for making friends feel at home in the places and spaces I live in.

This is, after all, what Simply Turquoise is for me. Mariam is someone who seemingly knows no strangers and always has the right advice for making a space more welcoming. Perhaps that is why she was interested in having me share with you some words and photos from a city I recently visited again but have been to several times: Charleston, South Carolina.  It is a place where I’ve never felt like a stranger or visitor, a place where just walking around you feel invited down every street, around every corner, and into each café, restaurant, or store front.

Charleston, South Carolina

City Street in Charleston, South Carolina.

This essay won’t be a history lesson on Charleston. I’m not that well read. It’s old and new, it’s Southern yet somehow cosmopolitan, and it’s coastal and colonial. Most of all, to me Charleston whispers “hospitality”.  If you’re a regular reader of Simply Turquoise you’ll remember perhaps that Mariam has written about a symbol of hospitality, the pineapple. You’ll find it throughout this city: from bed post finials to flags on storefronts, and even as a fountain found down on the waterfront near Charleston’s own French Quarter (yes the city even has a slight ’Nawlins feel to it in places).

Pineapple Fountain in Charleston, South Carolina.

Pineapple Fountain in Charleston, South Carolina.

I’m not Southern by birth unless you use the Mason-Dixon as your line of demarcation for that. Born in Fairfax, Virginia and raised in Northern Virginia, those residents typically like to call themselves D.C. suburbanites. But my time in the Coast Guard has taken me all over, and it is how I came to be introduced to Charleston. So I’m a reluctantly adopted southerner, granted probationary belonging by my grandparents’ being North Carolinians, my love of sweet tea, and my ability to use the word “reckon” comfortably and in proper context.

Charleston, South Carolina cobblestones.

Charleston, South Carolina cobblestones.

It’s difficult to feel out of place in Charleston, unless you don’t like comfort-able.  You can wander seamlessly from the university district of the College of Charleston, where I tried mightily to sell my son on when he was shopping for schools and where there is that hip, edgy and creative personality everywhere between Coming and King Streets. Then as you cross south over Wentworth and find yourself on King in a shopping district mixed with high-end antique stores and the usual suspects of clothiers littered in all the new “town center” type developments you find everywhere, but which even here seem to have a unique charm, to the extent that’s possible.

Cemetery gates.

Cemetery gates.

One of the city’s nicknames is the “Holy City”. As you wander the streets around South of Broad you’ll see many church spires and wrought iron gates around cemeteries, with seemingly as many Spanish moss covered trees as headstones, all giving testimony to this well-earned moniker. And in keeping with the underlying theme of Charleston, even these places are not the cold intimidating off limits site of only those righteous or known enough to enter, they have their gates and doors open, inviting the passerby to come stay for a while.

Charleston Church Spire.

Charleston Church Spire.

And stay for a while is exactly what I want to do each time I visit this exquisitely contented city. There are still so many doors to explore and menus to try. Who knows, perhaps the name Putnam will fit as comfortably as Calhoun and Pinckney and I might also spend my day trying to decide which bronze door knocker looks best on one of the marigold-colored row houses, with pine grove green shutters and door. Or perhaps I already do fit in…that is after all how this city wants you to feel.

© copyright Bill Putnam and Mariam d’Eustachio 2012.

“itty bitty living space”

The living room in this house is a challenge. It was one of the reasons I hesitated about buying the house. It has an awesome amount of character packed into a room that only measures 13 x 13. To quote Genie from Disney’s Aladdin, “PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWERS! …itty bitty living space”. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this living room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTfXLLJlzM

Living Room: before.

Living Room: Before.

However, there are advantages. Think cozy and cottage and curled up with a book by the fire. Considering I grew up in a house with about 900 square feet in all, I can hardly complain. There is plenty of room for chatting and coffee and I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well. Maybe not cosmic powers like Genie, but still pretty good.

Living Room: After.

Living Room: After.

I painted the fireplace wall and bricks white for a punch of contrast and to help unify that wall. I also painted the brass around the fireplace surround black, to make it look less busy. The color on the walls is in the cool family, a trick to help them recede and not seem too close.

The coffee table is glass. This is important. It does not occupy any visual space, which helps the room seem less cluttered. I played around with some other options, but the glass table was perfect.

Living Room.

Living Room.

My crazy sis came and helped me unpack and when I realized she had reorganized the books by color, I suggested that perhaps subject might be a better way to organize the books. But she was right. The colors looked great. We had only minimal grumbling and eye-rolling from Stuart over this one and a suggested debate: Form or Function?

Stuart and I are too tired chasing the baby and unpacking to debate at all, so I win.

Extra seating tucked away.

Extra seating tucked away.

I have two ottomans tucked away next to the sofa for emergency extra seating. Very handy!

I hung my black and white photographs going up the stairwell to accent the farthest wall in the room. This helps create the illusion that the stairwell is just inside my living room, and helps it seem bigger. It also draws attention to the beauty of the staircase, which is a nice feature.

Staircase.

Staircase.

Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

The room is not entirely done yet. I still need to hang curtains or wooden shutters over the windows that face the street. I want to install a runner going up the stairs and I am sure that the room will continue to evolve over time. But right now, it seems perfect. Mostly because it isn’t full of boxes.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

Blogger’s Remorse and a Formula

So one day, I woke up and thought, “What the hell am I doing?” I have had an affair with a blog. Or maybe this blog is just another crazy scheme like my Dad gets when he thinks he found a winning formula for the racetrack. Something like this: size of horse + length of mane + how awesome the name is = furlong over dirt. That will be the winner, for sure. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy and am full of ideas that turn out to be one scheme after another in a long chain of risk-takers that usually lose.

Big breath.

I love design and color, being inspired, and I hate the computer. There is a certain amount of headache involved in this latest scheme. Especially when I am banging my head against the keyboard. I have learned a lot about things like html code, web statistics and other non-design related things. I have viewed these as uncomfortable side-effects. I will hopefully later refer to this time as growing pains and apply all of this newly acquired knowledge to a blog that is fun to read and focused on design.

Inspiration from Angela.

Angela, my sister and muse, is a never-ending source of ideas and creative energy. She is optimistic and young and ambitious. She is an amazing photographer. She encourages me to keep going.

What a beautiful spread.

Only in Las Vegas.

So now this latest scheme has a formula that goes something like this: beautiful rugs + interesting art + inspiration = a space you want to be in. You may have nowhere to sit, but you will be happy in it. My friend Valerie started this formula, and I am hoping to let it grow and blossom into a beautiful blog and a place you want to read in. Hopefully, along the way, you will spruce up your space and be happy that you did.

View of the ceiling in Paris … Casino in Las Vegas.

© copyright 2012 Angela Hunanian and Mariam d’Eustachio.

Midnight Dumpster Dive

Last night I went dumpster diving with the President Emeritus of the Diamond Hill Historical Society. Inspired by a fabulous day at the Community Market, I ended up peering into the dumpster outside of my neighbor’s house, at midnight, all because of a light fixture.

What better way to end an evening of good company, wine, and catching up, than with a well-worn piece of reclaimed wood from the dumpster? I love Lynchburg.

The Community Market is a place to gather, run into your friends, shop for locally grown food, and to feast on a croissant from the best… bakery… ever.

With a full stomach, high spirits, and coffee, we walk around seeking inspiration. It comes easily in this place.

Nearby, we shop in the quaint antique stores. We are filled with the excitement that comes when you are on the prowl for treasure; but leave with only ideas swimming around in our heads and a mission: a mission to find a piece of reclaimed wood. Wood that we can use to recreate the light fixture we want, minus the $450 price tag. This is how we ended up in the dumpster at midnight, hauling out old boards full of nails.

Community markets and farmers’ markets are springing up all over the country as a way to support local, American-grown or American-made goods. This is becoming a way of life and not only leads to good food, great ideas, affordable art, but a healthy economy as well.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio