Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for August 2007

Christmas is one of the biggest holidays of the year and as you probably already know, shopping for gifts can be quite a task. This is especially true if you wait to buy your gifts at the last minute. This is why there are so many benefits to Christmas gift shopping early. It can really make a big difference in how well the Christmas season goes for you. Below are some of the ways that shopping early can help you.

Each gift that you give for Christmas needs to be special and well thought out. This is hard to do unless you start early. Who wants to be pushed for time and rushed when trying to find a gift that shows how you feel about a person. It makes shopping so much more difficult because you really start feeling the pressure when you know you are running out of time. This is what causes many people to just buy the first thing they see, instead of taking more time to find what they really want.

Another benefit of Christmas gift shopping early is the fact that you will have a much larger selection of gifts to choose from. You know how it is during the Christmas season. It is very difficult to find anything that you really want. Everything has already been picked through and it is almost impossible to find what you want without going to several different stores. This can become extremely aggravating after awhile.

You know how stressful it can be when you are trying to buy gifts at the last minute. We have all tried it at some point in our lives. Between fighting the crowds of people and having a difficult time finding what you are searching for (if you are lucky enough to find exactly what you want) the stress can really begin to build. Many people seem to get rude and pushy during this time because of the stress they are under and this makes shopping very unpleasant. Christmas gift shopping early can beat the rush and end all this stress.

As we all know buying Christmas gifts are very expensive. By Christmas gift shopping early you won’t have to come up with a large amount of money at one time for the gifts you want, instead you can spend a little at a time. Many times you can also find the items you are searching for on sale when you buy early. This makes it much easier to buy all the things that you want without worrying about how you are going to pay for them. It can mean the difference between starting a new year off in debt or in great financial shape. Make this Christmas season the best one ever by starting your gift shopping early.

Do you know the best methods for making the most of your space? One of the most common problems that people have in their homes and with decorating their homes is not having enough space or not making the most of the space that they do have. There are many great ways that you can maximize the space you have in your home, no matter how small. Whether you are decorating a college dorm, a child’s room, an overcrowded office, a new apartment or your own luxurious living area, you can make the best of the space that you have to work with and you will find your area much more efficient and pleasing to be in.

If you have insufficient space or ineffective storage options, here are some other ideas to help you cope with this:

• Use storage units: There are many great types of storage units that you can find in hardware stores and even the houseware section on your local Wal-Mart. There are many different types of storage units made to fit in different types of spaces. You can look into them and see which will meet your needs the best.
• Use shelves: There are many great ways you can add shelves to your room and give you added space for storage.
• Add rods: There are many add-a-rod options that let you put extra storage in your closet. You don’t have to be restricted to just one rod in your closet.
• Use your walls: There are many great opportunities for using your wall space to its fullest potential. You can hang things from your walls instead of taking up drawer space, etc.
• Rearrange: Another great way to make the most of your space is to rearrange so that you avoid clutter and always keep things where you need them and within reach.

It’s important that you have the most available storage area for what you need. Remember that when you make the most of the space you are given, you can learn to organize properly and this eliminates clutter and makes your space more efficient and more comfortable to spend your time in.

There are many great things you can do within your home to help you decorate like a pro without the experience of a pro. You don’t need an interior decorator when you learn to do it yourself and one of the most important things to learn about doing it yourself is to customize. When you use a bit of creativity to customize a room, it becomes that much more special than a plain, boring room would be.

Customization is what makes your room extra special and different from any others already out there. It’s what makes you feel at home in your home because it is truly unique and special to you. There are many great ways you can customize your own home décor just like the pros but without spending a lot- or even any- money. Once you learn some of the many great ideas and things you can do without spending money, you will wonder why you didn’t start decorating like a pro sooner!

Keep in mind that the smallest and simplest of changes can make a big difference. You don’t need large and expensive furniture to make an impact on a room. You can do it with small effects that incorporate trends and your own sense of personal style into the mix. You can use small items such as wall décor and decorative photo frames, pictures of friends and family and items that show off your personality, such as things you enjoy doing.

A great way to decorate like a pro without spending a lot of money is to tie the room together with little accents and additions that you create or sew yourself. You can make curtains, photo frames, wall hangings, throw pillows and more that show off your creative style, your personality and create a fashionable and unique room décor. You might sew your own curtains or table cover or crochet or knit a throw cover. If sewing and needleworking are not your thing, you can create your own bookshelves, paint and refinish and old table to make it new or many other great ideas that allow you to spruce up an old room.

Another great way to add personal touches to your home is to shop thrift stores for unique finds that go great with the décor in your room. You can also use items that were passed down in your family or that you had as a child and incorporate them into your home today for an extra personal touch.

If you have trouble coming up with great ideas on your own, there are many wonderful resources for you out there. You can get great tips by watching decorating shows on television, watching videos on the Internet and by reading books, magazines and online articles that give you hints, tips and advice on how to decorate like a pro.

Decorating with textures and patterns can make a huge difference in any room. When it comes to decorating your home or office, there are many great ideas out there. You don’t have to hire an expensive interior decorator or spend thousands of dollars on decorating just to have a great looking room. There are many simple techniques that virtually anyone can learn and that will make a big difference in your home décor. For example, learning to make the most of the space and the items you are given can help you create the perfect décor for your room.

For example, learning to use textures and patterns correctly can help you add interest and character to an otherwise plain and boring room. If you need your colors to pop and your room to make a statement, you can do so with the careful use of textures and patterns. There are many different types of textures and patterns and which you choose will likely be determined by your personal taste and style and also by the theme you are attempting to create in your room or home.

You may find, in fact, that there are so many different textures and patterns that it is hard to choose what is right for you. It helps if you know a little bit about how each type of texture or pattern will affect your room, this way you know which to choose based on the overall effect you are trying to create in your room. For example, very complex patterns and textures can work well in a large room or area. They keep the eyes busy and help fill in a large space so it doesn’t look empty but in a smaller area, these complex patterns may be too much and should be avoided.

You also need to know that the color is important as well. Colors will affect the way that we see the patterns. The colors you choose will affect the ambiance of the room and how people feel when they are in this room. Choose your colors wisely when using textures and patterns as well. Remember that large patterns and bright colors might be too strong for a small room.

Remember that vertical lines will add height to your room so if you want to appear to have a larger room or larger ceilings, you can do this with vertical lines. Horizontal lines will add width to a room or an area. You should also remember the size and scale of the area you are decorating. As a general rule, we are told to choose the size of our print based on the size of the room but there are some exceptions to this. Generally speaking though, a small room will use smaller patterns and a larger room can use larger patterns.

Decorating with textures and patterns can really help add that extra pizzazz to an otherwise bland room. Take it up a notch and get your decorating groove on!

August Art Shows in Illinois (from – See their website for more details and other months events)

August 4 & 5
Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival
Dawes Park
11 am to 6 pm
125 Exhibitors
For more info:

August 4 & 5
AAUW Fine Art Fair
Part of the FoxFireFest
in Festival Park, next to the riverboat casino
10 am to 6 pm – Saturday; 11 am to 4 pm – Sunday

August 11 & 12 (sponsored show)
Art in Your Eye – Fine Art Show
City of Batavia Riverwalk
90 Exhibitors
Saturday – 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday – 11 am to 5 pm

A relatively new event, just in its third year. A very arts-oriented group has come together to really put Art in Your Eye in this lovely setting.
Expect not only an art fair but also the City Hall Art Exhibit, a special featured artist exhibit at the Depot Museum, continuous musical entertainment, hands-on art experiences, exceptional children’s activities, the sculpture adventure exhibit – a plethora of activities gathered to celebrate the arts.

The month preceding the festival, July 17 to August 11, is the four-week Batavia School of Art, free art-related programs at Batavia Public Library, and a Friday Night Arts Walk in downtown Batavia on August 3. Tempted? Get a better look at all this festival has to offer by visiting their website:

August 11 & 12
Art in the Glen
Glen Town Center
10 am to 5 pm
For more info:

August 18-19
Lakefront Festival of Art
Washington Park
Michigan City, IN
10 am to 6 pm
110 Exhibitors

Off to the beach? Don’t miss this art fair in the park on the beautiful shore line of Michigan City, presented by the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.
For more information:

August 18-19
32nd Oak Park Avenue-Lake Arts & Crafts Show
Scoville Park
Oak Park, IL
11 am to 7 pm – Friday; 9 am to 5 pm – Saturday
For more info: americansociety of

August 18-19
Long Grove Art Fest
Long Grove, IL
10 am to 5 pm – Saturday; 10 am to 4 pm – Sunday
August 23 to 26
American Craft Exposition
Northwestern University Sports Pavilion
150 Exhibitors

Thursday Preview Party: 6:30-9:30; tickets $100
Friday: 10 am to 8 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm; tickets $15 for three day pass

Mixed media art by Patricia Hecker of Bloomington, IN

This fine event is one of the top in the country in terms of consistency of quality and level of sales. There is a wide variety of contemporary work for the true collector.
For more info:

August 24 to 26
Michigan Avenue Arts and Crafts Experience
Plaza of Americas, 420 N. Michigan Ave.
8 am to 6 pm
For more info:
NEW! August 25
Downtown Fine Art Show
Village of Mokena
8 am to 2 pm
75 Artists

This new juried fine art show (and aren’t the new ones always interesting?) will be held in conjunction with a community-wide panoply of classy venues.

Discover a new destination:
• visit the art fair (buy something really special)
• peruse the Concours d’Elegance (lust over the fine vehicles)
• shop the weekly Farmers Market at the historic train station (purchase the veggies for the coming week)
• spend time at the Food and Wine Festival for the perfect ending to the day.
The pleasures of living in this country is discovering these unique and unspoiled events that show the heart of a community joining together for economic development and, in this case, also to profit the Mayors Charity Foundation and the Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center.

For details on the Art Show:
For details on the other events:

August 25 & 26
Highwood Fine Art Festival
60 Artists
11 am to 8 pm
What a great weekend for art fairs in Chicagoland! Add this new one to your list of events to check out while you are making the rounds.
For more info:
August 25 & 26
Bucktown Arts Fest
2300 North
11 am to 7 pm

August 25 & 26
Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts
Lake Ellyn Park
Glen Ellyn, IL
80 Exhibitors
For more info:

August 25 & 26
Port Clinton Art Festival
downtown Highland Park
Highland Park, IL
260 Exhibitors
Saturday & Sunday – 10 am to 6 pm

A highly selective process brings these top artists to exhibit their artwork in Highland Park. Only original work may be presented. Parking: on the streets and parking lots nearby

For more info:

Here are a few listings of arts and crafts tours and exhibits. There may be more in your area.

Tour: Bryn Athyn Cathedral
Year-round, Bryn Athyn, PA
Guided tours of the historically significant center of the Swedenborgian Community of Bryn Athyn. Specialty Tours by request. The Cathedral was built between 1919 – 1927 using a purist idea of the Arts and Crafts Artisian Guild System. Some of the original guild shops are still in use and continue to house craftsman. This building and its environment are unique among Arts and Crafts era communities in that the religious beliefs of the Swedenborgian community were blended with the Arts and Crafts ideology. Tours for individuals are free. Tours for large groups $2.00 per person. Contact the Cathedral between the hours of 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at 215.947.0266.

Tour: Boettcher Mansion of Lookout Mountain
Year-round, Golden, CO (20 minutes from Denver)
Tour a 1917 Arts and Crafts mansion, a 10,000 square foot “summer home” built by Charles Boettcher, famous Colorado entrepreneur. Dramatic cathedral ceilings with carved beams, massive stone walk in fireplace, some original hardware and lighting. Japanese patio lanterns are a delight! See permanent exhibit of early Mansion photos and original blueprints, including an ink-on-linen drawing. Open all year round, generally Mon – Sat. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday varies. Call for schedule of tours and information on renting for private or corporate meetings and social events. On 110 forested acres with views of the Continental Divide and the Colorado plains. Free for touring. (303) 526-0855.

Tour: Gamble House
Ongoing, Pasadena, CA
The David B. Gamble House, constructed in 1908, is an internationally recognized masterpiece of the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement in America. It is the most complete and original example of the work of architects Charles & Henry Greene. A National Historic Landmark. One-hour guided tours Thursday-Sunday noon-3 p.m. Closed national holidays. General admission: $8; Students/65+: $5; Children under 12 with an adult, FREE. Group tours available by reservation. For information call 626/793-3334 or visit the Web site.

Tour:George White and Anna Gunn Marston House
Ongoing, San Diego, CA
A craftsman style mansion built in 1905. Docent led tours are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. Regular admission: $5; seniors, military and students: $4. Children under 6 are admitted free of charge.
Exhibit: Gustav Stickley and His Era
Ongoing, Syracuse, NY
A small ongoing exhibit of Gustav Stickley and the Arts & Crafts era. Showing period examples of his work along with his peers. At the Everson Museum, corner of Harrison and State Streets. Telephone: 315/447-6064.

Tour: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Year-round, Oak Park, IL
Tours led by guides from the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation, these 45-minute tours of FLW’s restored home and studio are offered year-round. Monday – Friday 11 a.m., 1p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 951 Chicago, Oak Park, IL 60302, (708) 848-1976.

Are you searching for great wedding shower gift ideas that are both original and practical? Believe it or not, there are many of them out there. You just need to be creative and take your time to look for them. The first thing you need to consider is the fact that this will most likely be the only wedding shower this person ever has, therefore it is important to make it as memorable as possible.

You can check with any registery that the bride to be has filled out to see what she has put down as gifts she would enjoy. Just don’t limit yourself to only buying what is listed in a register. There will be many other gifts that she would love and enjoy that she probably had not even thought of at this time. Photo albums and picture frames are excellent gifts that will hold the memories of this very special day and all the ones to come in the future.Just about any “big box” store has registries, but alot of online store also offer them now as well.

Other great wedding shower gift ideas include home decor gifts. This could be anything from a beautiful painting to a decorative wall pendulum clock. Having nice decorative home gift is always considered an appropriate and exciting present for the recipient. There are so many to choose from that finding the perfect item will be easy. All you need to do is get an idea of what the bride-to-be likes.

For instance, if she loves birds or butterflies, then you can buy a clock, a lamp or choose from a number of different items that are uniquely designed with this theme. Just about any theme you can think of will be available in home décor and there is something available for every room in the home. Everyone would love to receive a gift that helps to give them a head start when it comes to home décor.

Whatever gift that you decide to give, you do need to always consider the fact that there will be alot of people present at the shower, so please don’t give a wedding shower gift that will be embarrassing to the bride to be. If you are at a loss for what to buy and just absolutely cannot come up with a gift, then don’t forget about gift cards. This way she can go out and buy the one gift she was hoping for but didn’t get. You can even buy a small gift and include a gift certificate with it.

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