Thursday, October 28, 2010

Before and After: A small guest room gets a makeover

Welcome to a "bird's eye view" of the metamorphosis of a small room in my house.  We all seem to have a room in our home that is in need of a makeover.  The room I chose needed a new identity.

This is the photo of the room before we purchased the house 6 years ago.  It was being used as an office and really had no personality.

When we bought the house, I decided to keep using the room as my office but I quickly grew out of the space.  My business launched and I realized that I needed studio space because this tiny room was overflowing with my supplies.  (only you can't see the closet behind where everything was jammed in)
Secretly, I was only too happy to re-imagine this space and my color choices!

What I really needed was a guest room and even though my space is not very big (9 x 12) it would be the perfect size for a guest bedroom.  So come on down the hall ... it's the first room on the left.

I painted the room a lovely cafe au lait color (it was custom mixed - actually it started out as a big mistake and with the help of Philips Paint in Concord we were able to add a little of this and a little of that to come up with a pleasing shade) and we brightened up all the trim and mouldings with White Opulence by Benjamin Moore.

 Our builder installed bead-board to the back wall to give the room some much needed architecture.  The bead-board also became a headboard of sorts for the bed.  The bed is a regular queen sized bed but appears much larger because we had a custom bed-frame made years ago in London. The bed-frame has the bed sitting much higher - it's kind of like being in the story of "The Princess and the Pea".

Over the bed I installed my new "Egg Series" by Nelley Kelley.  The frames are so sweet - I'm thinking that I will begin to offer select artwork in frames on my website.  The frames are antique white with a gold frame surrounding the artwork.  

The antique mirror on the left is a vintage frame that I found during one of my treasure hunting sessions. When you find old frames (I think the more beat up the better) you should pick them up, refinish them or not and then have your local glass company install a mirror in the frame.  Then you have a custom - one of a kind mirror for your home.  My favorite places to hunt down vintage frames are Nesting on Main in Concord, Ma. and the. Brimfield Antiques Market.

Dont' forget to add some greenery somewhere - it makes the rooms feel so much more alive and welcoming.

Remember it's a guest room.  Don't forget the night light so your guests can see where they are.  I'm using one of my Nelley Kelley "eggs in a nest" night lights.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed the tour and the makeover.  I have to say that I love seeing this room each day that I pass it by.  It is now snug and warm and helps to make the house feel finished.

sneak peek of next week's blog on new products and art

See you next week,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creating Silhouette Paperweights

I thought I could send us off to the weekend with a fun project that could be created with gift-giving in mind.  Silhouette art or "shadow art" seems to be making a comeback of late and I thought the paperweight might just be the perfect place to show off these little treasures.  Here at the Nelley Kelley Studio, I use french crystal paperweights for much of my art work. I thought I would use the same type for my silhouette. One of my favorite companies for paperweights is Photoweights.  

Step 1. Take a profile picture of your subject holding your camera at just about eye level and standing approx. 4-5 feet away.

Step 2. Trim your profile with either a small pair of scissors or an X-Acto knife.  Pay careful attention to the fine details like hairs and eyelashes as they contribute to an interesting silhouette.

Step 3. Trace the cut out silhouette onto dark or patterned paper.  I am using black construction paper and have flipped my subject over for tracing and cutting.

Step 4. Cut out the silhouette that you have traced and flip over.  Your "shadow" will be revealed.

Step 5. Choose a background for your "shadow".  I have a nice collection of vintage ephemera that I use for my collages so I will rummage through them to find the perfect piece.  

Step 6. Remember to make a photocopy of your originals.  I have a lovely piece of vintage French writing that I don't want to part with so I photocopy it and place my silhouette on top.

Step 7. At this point I scan my artwork and resize it in the computer so it will fit into my paperweight.  My paperweight has an opening of 3 inches round so I mount the scanned image onto some decorative paper and then cut out my 3 inch circle shape. 

Step 8. My silhouette with decorative background paper has been cut out.  Fix the artwork to the background sticky paper that comes with your paperweight kit and assemble according to your kit's directions.

Step 9. My finished piece of artwork - ready for gift giving.  I love the dome shaped paperweights.  

Step 10.  I also love the petite paperweights as well - all are perfect for gift giving.  Even if you don't have a paperweight kit ... the silhouette art on it's own is so lovely framed and given as a gift. (although, you might just want to keep it all to yourself!)

Paperweights by Nelley Kelley

Happy Weekend!
See you soon,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take a hike ...

I set out on a hike today - in search of inspiration, motivation and connection.  It was such a beautiful Autumn day in New England with blue skies, crisp air and falling leaves.  Camera in hand,  I decided to take note of all the beauty surrounding me on an ordinary day.
I made sure that I would look up so I wouldn't miss the changing leaves ...
and then I looked down to see the pieces of Fall captured between the rocks and pebbles.
It is amazing when you truly begin to look at your surroundings how the ordinary becomes quite extraordinary.  I loved the shadow play upon the Old Manse.
I walk over the North Bridge almost daily but it is in stopping and taking a moment that it truly begins to reveal itself.
I begin to look for the everyday objects that are passed by each day without recognition ...
and I begin to see Nature's artwork all around me on an ordinary day.
I am feeling inspired and motivated to create some of my own artwork but most of all ...
I am feeling connected again and that is good.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Write in your heart that every day is the best day of the year."  I think that is good advice.

see you soon,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Exciting news for Nelley Kelley

I finally get to share my exciting news with you.  Daily Grommet is going to feature my company,
 Nelley Kelley, on Tuesday October 12th beginning around noon ET.  Who is Daily Grommet you ask?
They are an online marketplace that is giving a voice to under-the-radar artists, inventors and designers that have something to say or something to show.  It's exciting  because thousands submit their products to Daily Grommet for only 20 coveted spots per month and guess what?  Nelley Kelley has one of those coveted spots!  Click on the video above to see just what a Grommet is.

As you can tell, I am so excited.  I want to be thought of as a "nice" company too.  Nelley Kelley is a small company with big dreams.  I am having fun creating beautiful artwork that I then turn into lovely, one of a kind gifts for people who are looking for something handcrafted.  I pack the boxes and add in little extras to say thank you for choosing me.  It means so much to me that the thing that brings me joy just might bring you joy as well.

I hope that you join me on Tuesday and log on to Daily Grommet's website or their Facebook page.  I will be participating in their "Talk about this Grommet" message board and hope to see you there.  If you want to share the love - send in your comments and share with the Daily Grommet viewers your thoughts about Nelley Kelley gifts and art.  I appreciate all of your support.

More to come...

Friday, October 1, 2010

just thinking ...

photo by Ellen McHale
I was, as they say, "having myself a good think" these last few days of summer.  Thinking about a new school year, a new Fall that leads into Winter, a new opportunity to grow my business and the importance of our family and friends in our life.  Of all the seasons, Fall seems to be the most reflective month for me.  It's a time to look at our  time here, where it's going and where it's been. For me it's been quite a journey from a personal standpoint to a business one.
Wilson Farm Lexington, MA
Last October I launched my website and officially started my new business venture.  To say I was scared was an understatement.  I had spent about one year trying to build a website on my own only to find that it is not as easy as you think.  My husband had the foresight to stop the insanity and found a web developer to help me put my vision onto the web.  Lorell of Rivervisions not only has seen me through my first year but has become a wonderful friend as well.  I've learned quite a bit over this first year.  I realize that a business is not born just because your website goes live but because you nurture it and you keep trying to improve upon it.  It's important to have champions -family and  friends that help to keep your chin up and tell you that you can do it and that they are proud of you for trying. The other thing I learned is that you have to sometimes get out of your own way.  Doing this has led to some exciting things for me.  I've got some new products on the horizon, new art and some awesome publicity coming my way soon.
Nelley Kelley studio
Rooster tea towel by NK

  I don't know where it will all lead but I am sure it will all be good.
Happy first day of Autumn ... see you again next week.