February 22nd, 2008

Lovely Helen

Way, way back when I started my own stencil company Royal Design Studio 15 years ago, I was greatly inspired by the British stencil company, The Stencil Library, and their classicly inspired designs. Back then, they already had thousands of designs in their catalog. Now, I believe they are up to 23.75 bajillion patterns, and Chips, the designer, just keeps em coming! Helen Morris is the frontman, er woman, though and she’s the one who charms us all with her inspiring and original applications, flaming red hair, funky stenciled jeans, British accent and endearing manner of speech.


Here she is modeling an outfit she created after being inspired by Christmas gifts from her cousin Rachel from this post on the Design Inspiration blog. I get a chance to see Helen every year when she crosses the pond to teach and exhibit at the Stencil Arsitans League Convention and Exposition-a very cool summer happening for the decorative finishing industry as a whole. Our industry is fairly small and we are a close-knit, supportive group. Some of the men seem to need to puff their chests out a bit too much, but OUCH! (that was me biting my tongue) 

concrete blond

Helen was sweet to feature some of my concrete work on her blog in a post about a very cool company that produces bespoke concrete surfaces, Concrete Blonde. It looks as though they have made highly detailed molds from lace and fabrics to pour these lovely concrete panels that can be installed on walls and other surfaces. Very tactile and a creative new use for a centuries-old medium!

Thanks Helen, see you in July!

January 31st, 2008

Operation Decoration Tees

I wrote about our Operation Decoration logo and tees some time ago but neglected to let you know that we have them avialable online in our Modello store! It’s a good thing I’m an artist because I would never succeed in a sales job! Here is a shot I took one day when all the staff girls got the memo to dress alike. Aren’t they cute?!


Left to right: Lauren, Dawn, Michelle, Ivy, Mary and Theresa


Here’s a closeup. On the back it says “Waging War on White Walls and Ordinary Surfaces”. That’s what it’s all about…..

December 26th, 2006

Antique Kimonos

I have been collecting inspiration on Kimono art for a few years now, so thought I would share some of my favorites. If you haven’t noticed already, Japanese motifs are suddenly showing up everywhere. I think that they are so classic that they trancend “trends” though, which is why I am planning on turning my home office walls into a “Kimono Collage”.


Some of the best color inspiration and design combinations I’ve found are though a website that sells antique textiles www.marlamallett.com. Some of my favorite pieces are shown above. There is so much beautiful imagery (Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, African, Ottoman, Indian, etc) on this site you may get lost for awhile. Even better, if you have a budget it is all for sale.

December 12th, 2006

New favorite thing!

At least until the next favorite thing comes along, which will probably be tomorrow. This is a tile design that we just did this past weekend in the 3-day SkimStone class. It was a great class with a diverse mix of people. In case you don’t know, SkimStone is an integrally colored concrete resurfacer (or a resurfacer for any other hard surface when you utilize their Bonding Primer).


This design, creatively named OrnTile 136 is one of our more recently released designs from Modello Designs and it seemed perfect for one of our class projects to cover a 4′ x 4′ square. At least 8 different people had their hands in completing this, but you wouldn’t know it!


This detail shows the texture that was achieved by using small Japan Scrapers to trowel on quick, random, successive layers of three colors that were then back-filled with a tight trowel of grey. I love the way it plays against the blue background. I would love to see this design/colorway done in a coffered ceiling between heavy distressed beams (possibly stenciled). Unfortunately coffered ceiling are in short supply in my world. Maybe someone out there??