28 Aug

She Only Wanted One Thing

When we bought our house (our very first!), we asked the kids what they wanted in their rooms. The girl had only one request. She wanted to paint a scene on the walls. All the walls. And the ceiling. It’s only paint, so why not?!

K Mural drawing

Before the moving truck arrived, she and I spent some time looking at murals on Pinterest, sketching, and refining our sketches. The drawings above are the final concepts for the room.

 

K mural sketch

When we arrived at our new house, we jumped right into the room transformation. It was going to be much easier without any furniture in the room, and it was by far the most fun of the bajillion projects the house has in store for all of us. Using our sketches as a guide, I drew directly on the walls. By the way, my mom and step-dad, AKA Team Deco-Reno, had previously stripped the room of wallpaper, primed the walls, and painted the trim so the room was mural-ready.

 

K Mural paint

Next, we went to the hardware store to buy paint. We cleaned the closest one out of flat interior base in quart size and had to get the rest of our colors at another store! I would have liked to get tester pots, but those only came in satin finish. Oh well, we have more projects up our sleeves for the leftover paint.

 

K Mural WIP

The girl helped paint for the first two days. Then, she got bored and handed the more tedious work to me. That’s OK, I went faster on my own and could better control the quality. She was an awesome cheerleader though — frequently telling me how much she loved the mural.

 

K Mural dunes

The first finished wall was the desert.

 

K mural w K

Now the desert is partially covered by cubby storage. We made a trip to IKEA to get closet storage, a book case (with an eye on still being able to view as much mural as possible), and a rug.

 

K Mural forest

There’s a whole lot going on in the room now, with everything moved in, but it works for her, and I think the mural actually grounds her stuff in an odd way.

 

K mural pond

The mural took six days to paint and on the seventh day we ripped up the carpet a hour before the moving truck arrived. It was so worth it as the floor, while scuffed and worn, is in essentially good shape and looks so much better than the tired carpet that was there before. We hung just a few favorite things on the wall, to include the girl’s oil pastel of our beloved cat, Madison.

 

 

K Mural mountain

The closet is “behind” the waterfall, because waterfalls should always have secret chambers behind them. The finishing touches in the room were to paint the faceplates to match the mural and to change the closet doorknobs to pretty blue glass ones.

 

Mural ceilingFinally, painting four walls wasn’t quite enough. The girl’s concept included a “swirly night sky” on the ceiling. We tried a graphic solution like the clouds, but in the end preferred a more Van Gogh-esque style.

Just for fun, the photo below is how the room looked when we first viewed the house and made our offer to buy it.

K Mural before

 

12 Jul

Homefront & Downrange Wrap Up

Friday was the last day of my co-exhibit at the Arts Council of Moore County in North Carolina. I packed up all my artwork and brought it home to get packed again, with all our household goods and moved to our new home in Portland, Oregon. It was wonderful show, and so much more than I could have dreamed up myself. I am thankful for the vision and dedicated work of director Chris Dunn and friend Nanette Zeller. The exhibit was a real community effort. Below is a short video by local videographers Brady and Laura Beck which shows the artwork and the festivities from the opening weekend of the show. Enjoy!

 

PS: the blog will be on hiatus while we move. Hopefully more regularly postings will resume mid-August (brace for house before and afters!).

29 Jun

A Quick Family Vacation

After I returned from my trip to North Carolina for Homefront & Downrange, our family went to California to celebrate my sister in law’s birthday. A great time was had by all.

Highlights include the Museum of Tech and Innovation in San Jose, where we tried to build an internet,

SF 10

 

 

Crack codes (too easy, but fun nonetheless as you had to crack the first, to get the second, to get the third),SF 09

 

and picked locks. The kids agreed that it would be much harder to pick a lock that you can’t see into and that isn’t super sized.SF 08

 

We also went to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. I really enjoyed it. Currently, A Common Thread is one of the exhibits. The mix of techniques and artists were exactly the types that appeal to me, so I was engrossed. Some of my favorite works are by Joetta Maue, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, Jeana Eva Klein, and Rebecca Ringquist. Take the time to click the links and look at their work. There was also a small collection and a video of “Kawandi” inspired quilts by Margaret Fabrizio that intrigued me as in as they have a very peculiar way of contracting the quilts, with lots of scraps as “batting.”SF 07

 

Part of the family gathering was at beautiful China Camp State Park, SF 05

where I found the mother load of beach glass!SF 06

 

My son had his hands full too — catching crabs.SF 04

 

My daughter preferred to get her hands wet back at our hotel, communing with the koi.SF 03

 

The kids chose Alcatraz as our touristy destination. They loved it!SF 02

 

I have to admit, it’s kind of an amazing place.SF 01

26 Jun

Figure Friday

It’s good to know that I can miss almost a month of figure drawing sessions and still be able to make a decent drawing.

Figure Drawing 6.25a Figure Drawing 6.25b Figure Drawing 6.25c

12 Jun

New House Progress

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything about our new house. There’s been no real progress on the bathroom with the yellow sink, but that’s only because it’s not as high a priority as other, more practical things, like replacing locks on exterior doors, and painting as many walls as possible before the furniture arrives.

Remember this wallpapery entry hall?

Entry before

 

Thanks to Team Deco-Reno, it now looks like this:

Entry painted 2

There’s plans for a fun new door, but for now I’m very happy with it’s fresh, bright look.

Similarly, here’s what the Master Bedroom looked like when we first viewed the house (staging is for wimps).

MBR before

 

And here it is all de-wallpapered and move-in ready:

MBR Painted

 

I can’t wait to see it with all of our things, but that’s still a month and a half away.

 

It’s tough being on the other side of the country from all this nesting preparation, but my mom and I have been entertaining each other, and staying on the same page aesthetically, via text and Pinterest. My recent messages look like this:Downstairs bath colors Upper Bath inspiration Upper BR colorsIt’s pretty fun while I wait to actually get into the house.

 

10 Jun

Knit Night

On Instagram I’ve been posting places you can knit — just for fun (#placesyoucanknit). I enjoy knitting as bring along hobby to keep my hands busy. Here’s a few fun places I’ve been knitting recently:

Knitting beach

At the beach (yes, I know that’s crochet, not knitting, but it still counts)

 

knitting car

In the car.

 

Knitting with cat

With the cat (especially nice when the colors match)

 

knitting Weymouth

In my room at the historic Weymouth Center where I stayed while setting up my Homefront & Downrange show.

 

Knitting bassAt my daughter’s bass lesson.

Where do you knit (or sew, or crochet, or doodle)?

 

08 Jun

Half Light

While I was setting up and celebrating Homefront & Downrange in North Carolina, my friends and co-conspirators Natalya Aikens and Vivien Zepf were setting up a group show of our work, plus that of two more in the circle, Robin Ferrier and Deborah Boschert.

The Gloaming is a presentation of contemporary art, inspired by the magical time betwixt day and night, eliciting myriad transitions. The art is manifested in fiber-based media, from cloth to paper and plastic, in sizes large and small.

The five artists in this group show hail from across the United States. We initially came to know one another through artist groups on the internet; later, more personal conversations ensued and friendships were born. This is the group’s first collaborative exhibition though individually, each artist has shown work in juried art exhibitions and been published.

We each included one larger piece and one 12″ x 12″ piece, all inspired by the colors of the gloaming — that period just as the sun sets when glowing gold mixes with twilight blue. My piece was inspired by the prominent transition in my life right now, my husband’s retirement from the Army. When I started the piece it was loosely based on a flag, with the structure of the stripes going dark in deep blues, purples and greens. The straight stripes was contrasted with an exuberant field of oranges and golds representing the possibilities awaiting in the next day. I was nearly finished when I decided that it was boring me and what I really wanted to do was to work on an improvisational scrap piece that was waiting for me to take a break from artworks with deadlines and purposes.

Half Light Medallion web

 

Half Light Medallion, by Kristin La Flamme 2015

So I changed course, and started fresh. I dumped out all my scraps in Gloaming colors and proceeded to make a new piece, starting from the center out in a Medallion Quilt style. While this one is conceptually further from my original intent, it still retains a bit of structure in the center, which dissolves into scrappy chaos, and then a casual twilight of spiky challenges next to peaceful star-filled spaces.It’s a little bit landscape, and a little bit reflection on transitions. Mostly it was a whole lot of fun to make as I figured it out as I went along.

If you are within visiting distance of Larchmont, NY, please come and see all our pieces on view from now until June 30th. Vivien and Natalya will be giving an artist’s talk on the 14th from 2-4pm. Please come.

June 2nd – 30th, 2015
Etui Fiber Arts
2106 Boston Post Road
Larchmont, NY

 

07 Jun

Homefront & Downrange

The last four days have been full of exhibit related festivities. I drove my Army Wife series to North Carolina last Wednesday and spent the afternoon helping to install it, along with photos by Hunter Rudd, at the Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines for our show, Homefront & Downrange.

 

HD Nanette

This came about because friend and fellow SAQA member, Nanette Zeller really wanted to see my solo show in Charlottesville a year and a half ago, but was unable to make it. She decided to bring the show to her. And she did! Working with Chris Dunn of ACMC, they have created not only a a lovely exhibit of my work, but an entire event, telling the story of military life through the eyes of a spouse, a service member (Hunter’s photos), veterans via The Combat Paper Project, and the kids through the Military Child Education Coalition. All the artwork together tells a compelling story, and each facet reinforces the others.

HD1

It took a lot of sponsors to make this event happen, so to thai them, Hunter and I gave a presentation Thursday morning at one, Belle Meade, and then we had a private reception Thursday night.

 

HD3

HD2

Friday night was another reception, open to the public and part of Southern Pines’ First Friday event. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed talking about my art and stories with visitors on both nights. I think we all agreed that it was all about the stories — mine, Hunter’s, and the viewers’.

HD5

Hunter talks about one of his photos.

Everything was about contrasts and comparisons. On the contrast side, the show is male/female, home front/downrange, soft textiles/hard prints on metal, and the most surprising to me was that I am the pushy one and Hunter’s is quieter, waiting for the viewer to suss out the story.

 

HD6

On the comparison side, there’s repetition in colors and visual textures. My work is up close and personal in the narratives and his is up close and personal because of the portraits. Both our works are BIG! We agreed scale helped to pull the viewer in in a very visceral way.

 

HD4

Nanette talks to visitors about the work too. This is nearly as much her show as mine. It couldn’t have happened without her.

HD7

I wish I could have stayed for the Combat Paper workshop, but I needed to get home to my kids and our upcoming move. There will be a Military Appreciation Day on the 20th as well, and I very much hope that it is as well attended and received as our opening receptions were. The show is on view until July 10th for anyone in the area to come visit.

It was a special four days, and part of that was because I got to stay across the street to the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities. It’s the historic home of a local writer and is now a retreat for writers to come and work in peace and quiet.

Weymouth

I loved the Jeffersonian serpentine wall, as well as all the nooks and passageways to explore in the house.

Weymouth3

This funny guy watched me from the end of the hall.

Weymouth2

It was all steeped in Southern charm, if you ask me.