Organizing Some Books.

While the fireplace is the the major “bookcase” in our house, I also have some of my favorite books on the shelves in my room.  These books were stacked randomly and always looked a little messy.  Yesterday evening while Scott was working upstairs I decided to organize them. Yes they are color coded and they look fabulous!

I am now wondering if I should try to color cordinate the books in the fireplace as well…


Isaiah Zagar Mural.

Ever since my first visit to Philly in 1995 I have been obsessed with the Isaiah Zagar murals coverning numerous buildings and walls in South Philly.  When we moved to Philly in 1999 we went for a walk down South Street and spent hours admiring all the murals on the buildings.  The colors were amazing the details stunning and the best thing about them was that they were accessible to the public for anyone to admire.  Never did I ever imagine that I would have one of Isaiah’s fabulously beautiful murals on the side of my house!

Our Mural up close.

Our house has an extensive side wall that is clearly visible from the street.  While the old brick walls of our house are beautiful, the cinder block wall separating our house from the neighbors was just ugly.  So on a whim I started to research how I could get one of Isaiah’s murals on the side of our house.  It turned out to be much easier than I anticipated…which really shows that sometimes all you have to do is try and you could get something amazing. 

Isaiah started the mural by making the larger pieces in his studio, then attaching the larger pieces to the wall and drawing the outline for his students to complete. 

Isaiah starts the mural (as Kiran watches). 

Then one weekend his students started working on the mural and they finished it in two days under Isaiah’s strict guidance.

Isaiah and his students working on the wall.

Scott and I Help with the Mural.

Isaiah adds the finishing touches.

The completed mural.

We’ve had a lot of people give us their comments on the mural.  Most of them love it and some people  think that we have reduced the value of our house.  Neither Scott nor I worry about the “value” of our house while we renovate it.  We are renovating the house to accomodate our lives and our tastes.  I think that the value based approach to renovating is unnecessary not always necessary and prevents people from being creative in their living space because they want to play it safe for resale purposes. 

Ending Summer and Beginning New Projects.

I haven’t done many new projects since my last post.  I spent some time organizing drawers, cleaning out my closet, and in general clearing out cluttered drawers, cupboards, etc.  Summer has officially ended and I’ve started  a few projects.  My first project was framing some “Art.”

“Art” means a lot of different things to different people.  For me everyday objects, shells, letters, notes, photos and Kiran’s paintings are all Art.  I like to include these personal mementos with more tranditional works of Art that I’ve bought at auctions, on eBay or at thrift stores.  Art can be anything that evokes a sense of beauty and nothing does this better (for me) than objects that evoke beautiful memories.

I used to scour eBay and thrift stores for old frames which generally needed a lot of work.  So framing things would always be very time consuming.  Then I discovred the Ribba frames at Ikea and framing is now a snap! The smaller sized frames are made well, come in a variety of sizes and include a great matt.

So here’s what I framed yesterday:

The painting to the left is something Kiran did last week using blue acrylic paint and some water.  He doused the paper with a lot of water and then lifted the edges up and watched all the water roll off onto the floor.  I love this painting because I love the way it looks and also because it conjures images of him squealing with laughter and delight when the water kept rolling around on the paper.

The painting to the right is a drawing I found in my father-in-law’s attic.  It is a drawing by Scott’s mother in 1966.  While it is sad that Kiran will never meet Scott’s mother (because she passed away when Scott was young) it will be nice to have her drawing in the house so that Kiran will at least know something about his paternal grandmother through her drawing.