Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Deciding on a paint color

I've been mulling over paint colors and I'm almost ready to commit… I just need to see how the duvet cover looks (according to UPS, it got delivered to my house today). Even though the paint color is a bigger deal, the color of the duvet cover is harder to customize. So, I'll be working around that.

I got some second opinions from Serene, who's a graphic designer for BeadStyle and has adorable style herself, and A Guy Who Shall Remain Nameless, a co-worker who'd undoubtedly be mocked for his creative side. His first suggestion wasn't a paint color but a recommendation to get a headboard. Actually, it was to make my own — out of three wooden pieces, painted to match my room — and bolt it to the wall. Great idea, but, unless we're talking about jewelry, I'm more buy-it-yourself than do-it-yourself. Plus, that would mean three more paint decisions in addition to the wall color, and I don't think Jane, Serene, or Nameless has that kind of time.

Anyway, Serene and Nameless both picked the same color. I've misplaced the color that Jane liked, but it was more mauve-y than purple. Right now, the frontrunners are similar plummy shades from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams (Passion Plum and Kimono Violet, respectively). I prefer Kimono Violet — it's a great purple, not too red and not too blue.

Aside from waiting to see how the berry or merlot bedspread looks, I'm attached to three other colors. The dark horses: Mulberry, Gentian, and Seduction. Mulberry (which is more berry-ish than in the chip — it's the center color in the left-hand chip) is probably too intense, but it's so gorgeous I can't quite let it go. Gentian (on the middle card, second from the bottom) is a darker shade of what's already on the walls, so I'm partial to it even though it's not Moroccan. Nor is it much of a change. And Seduction has amethyst tones that I love. Anyway, I'll be buying paint on Friday, so at least there's a deadline.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My bedroom redesign, Part I

My newest creative endeavor: I'm redesigning my upstairs bedroom according to feng shui principles. To get motivated, I googled the topic. It might seem a little cultish to adhere to the strict principles, but I think feng shui makes a lot of sense. For example: position the bed so you can see the door — and what's coming in and out of your life. Pretty basic, right? I found a lot of info in this CNN article.

Here's a "before" photo of my bedroom: the paint is a light periwinkle, and I don't have any art on the walls. Also, this is a finished attic room, so the ceilings are sloped. And there's a ceiling fan smack in the middle of the room, which makes bed placement more challenging. But that's a concern for another day. By the way, I will be keeping the (new) gold brocade curtains. And no, I didn't think they looked good with the current paint color.

My first task: repainting. In the past, I've favored pale, neutral shades. Flat paint. No stenciling. No unusual finishes. Just pure, serene colors. I'm a huge fan of Sherwin Williams paint: the color's pretty true to the cards, and I can usually get away with one coat plus touchups. I've heard Benjamin Moore is good but I've never used it (anyone have a recommendation?).

Next weekend, I'll do the edging and my friend Bonch will use his brawn and the rollers to do the walls. So now I'm looking at colors and considering the same ones I like in jewelry: fuchsia, purple, blue violet, and turquoise. Gemstone colors — sort of Moroccan, that will look good with gold room accents. But here's the twist: I don't always gravitate to the ornate details in Moroccan design, so I'm modifying it to keep the lines simple.

Jane, my co-worker, is helping me narrow down the palette. Eggplant and midnight blue? Too intense. Plum? Maybe too brown. Deep periwinkle? Gorgeous but not very Moroccan. Sigh. What to do? We've consulted the color wheel and stacks of paint chips, but I'm still undecided. Also, I just ordered a merlot duvet cover (or is it berry?). It will arrive in a few days and I'll have to decide 1) if I like it and 2) whether it will work in my bedroom. So many decisions.

Thank you, gentle reader, for following along on my meandering, micromanaging journey through color and texture. It appears that my designer's block is cracking, but I'd still love to hear your thoughts on paint and feng shui.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Win a vintage bracelet kit!

Hey beaders, here's your chance to let everyone know your jewelry thoughts: Post a review of Cool Jewels: Beading Projects for Teens on Amazon and enter to win a vintage bracelet kit. The kit has all the supplies you'll need to make a bracelet like the one on the cover — including hand-picked charms (hearts, hearts, hearts!) and beads in my favorite retro colors. (If you want, I’ll even put the bracelet together for you.) Please post your review by November 1, 2007, and email me at cooljewelsnaomiATgmailDOTcom to enter. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jewelry and Living the Life

I just got back from sunny Virginia Beach, taping a jewelry segment about Cool Jewels for Living the Life. The trip was a whirlwind, but everyone in Virginia is kind and friendly and professional, which really helped put me at ease. When my phone rang to alert me that the car had arrived, I heard, “It’s Buddy from the front desk. Bring your smile!” How could I not be enthusiastic? The trip was filled with many signs like that: Angela, who picked me up from the airport, told me how nice the hosts were. Eddie, a pilot for Southwest, encouraged me to be myself. And Emily, the server at breakfast, also reassured me: “I promise it will go well.” Yes, I shared my fears with virtually everyone I encountered.

By the way, if you ever get a chance to stay at the Founders Inn, do. The staff is cheerful, the restaurant serves a yummy Kobe beef burger (mine had American cheese and caramelized onions), and the inn is set on a beautiful campus that also houses the CBN studio, a fitness area, tennis courts, a swing set, a spa, and plenty of terrace seating. I didn’t partake of all of those, but I did walk a few laps to calm my nerves.

The taping went so fast — one take. I’m hypercritical when it comes to my own performance, so I’m already thinking about what I could’ve done differently — but I won’t spoil it by running through my list. Carolyn and Louise, the hosts for the segment, have so much energy that they just propelled everything forward. They are total pros! The segment didn’t go exactly how I expected (as I am not a total pro when it comes to TV), but what in life does?

Afterward, I went to dinner with Heather, a fellow Scorpio who taped a segment on timeshares. Over sushi, we talked TV and life and laughed at our need to try to control stuff — even stuff that can’t be controlled.

All in all, the trip was a great experience: I met interesting people and faced a professional challenge. Not so bad for just three days.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cool Jewels necklace in blue and green Lucite

On Monday, I'll be in Virginia Beach taping a TV demo for Living the Life.

I'm demo-ing the Pretty in Pink necklace from Cool Jewels — but this will be a blue and green version with a Lucite mix from The Beadin' Path. So stay tuned, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ruby rondelle earrings

I'm not a huge fan of red. If you've ever been to a Cal football game and heard fans chant "Take off that RED shirt" as they rolled the hapless offender through the crowd, you'd develop an aversion, too.

That said, I do love the way rubies and gold go together. So I made this pair of hammered gold hoop earrings. (The rubies are from Bead Palace, by the way.) I strung individual rondelles on 26-gauge head pins and made wrapped loops. I was so proud of my simple idea until I realized that the rubies clustered together rather than fanning out in an orderly fashion. (I like order.) Fifty wrapped loops later, it occurred to me that premade hoops with loops would have been less time-consuming. Or, wiring the rondelles to the perimeter of the hoops also would've been easier. Or, I could have made the gold hoops smaller to lessen my loop-making load. But as Alanis Morissette says, you learn. And I do like the results.