Repurposed, recycled, remarkable bottle lights

When I was a kid, my mom made a lamp base out of an old mason jar she used to pickle cucumbers in.  I didn't think much of it then, as I was a kid.  Now I've come to realize my mom was repurposing far before it was called "repurposing".  Mom has always lived a very waste not, want not way of life. I found various beautiful lamp and light designs that have given some glass bottles and jars, a second, or possibly third, life through repurposing or recycling.  Above are recycled wine bottles transformed into lamps by Jerry Kott.  The bottles are cut apart, the edges are polished, then the inside and outside are frosted. The parts are then  reassembled in multi-colored lighting splendor. A "cool light" made from glass collected from bars in Brooklyn by the development company Macro Sea. A ceiling lamp made from mason jars by designer Johnny Swing. For the purist, an antique mason jar  lamp.  This was like Mom's, except hers was a lamp with a shade and was filled with empty thread spools. A wine bottle becomes a "green lantern" simply by hanging a charming votive inside.  (It feels like summer to me.) Love, love. love these sweet votives made using repurposed glass jars, food dye and Mod Podge.

Here's to you mom and all those out there who create lovely lighted objects by giving an old glass jar or bottle a purpose, other than ending up in a landfill.


Resources/Images:  (1) Trendir, (2) Gizmodo, Form Texture Function, (4) Poshposh, (5) DiggerList, and (6)Ruth Writes

Mini-Masters in Your Home

Is it just me or is my kid an artistic genius?  I would imagine most parents feel that way when they look at the masterpieces presented to them by their budding prodigy. The folks who put their child's painting in the apartment above probably do, and from the looks of the painting, they just might be right.

Children are very prolific, so there's lots to display.  Here are a few ideas to help you display the art of the talent who owns your heart.


Using a curtain rod and rings to create an ever changing display is a very clever and doable idea found at project nursery.

Covering the walls in durable wall paper (the example above uses seagrass wallpaper as found in Elle Decor) or cork board, allows you or the kids, to hang, rearrange, take down and put back art again and again without worrying about ruining the wall.

If you want to cover every inch, there's a Graham & Brown's wallpaper by artists Taylor & Wood that you can customize with your child's artwork or they can directly draw, paint, etc. right on it.  Very fun.

And as long as we're talking about drawing on the wall, here's a pretty neat idea from artist Maria gil ulldemolins as discovered on Design Sponge.  There's a roll of paper at the top of the frame, so the artist creates right then and there when the inspiration comes and voila–it's framed.  When another creative urge hits, just change the paper for a clean canvas.

I've custom framed a few of my son's creations, but it can be costly.  That's why this LiL'Davinci Art Cabinet is so great. You can easily refresh the frame with your child's latest work and store up to 50 pieces while your at it.

As kids grow so does their skill and their repertoire.  Filling your house with their masterpieces fills your home with joy as big and bright as their proud smiles–and yours. 

Images: (1) Odeedoh, (2) & (3)  Project Nursery, (4) Home (5) Design Sponge, (6) Lime Green Catalog

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Le Corbusier Art

Le Corbusier, born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, was one of modern architecture's giants.  However, he is less well known for his writing, sculpture and painting. It is estimated that he left around 7,000 watercolor paintings and 500 oil paintings during his prolific artistic life. He was part of the avant-garde purist movement that claimed a work of art should possess a sense of mathematical order.  The compositions of his paintings were organized by  geometric principles intended to establish harmonious proportions–a procedure he also used in his architecture. He painted shapes of everyday objects–bottles, pipes, glasses, musical instruments–because they held a purity in their simple shapes, which coincided with purist aspirations for industrial art. Le Corbusier said, "Part of every day of my life has been devoted to drawing. I have never stopped drawing and painting, looking wherever I could for the secrets of form. You don’t have to look any further than this for the key to my work and research....” His legacy as one of the most influential designers of the 20th century would confirm this commitment. Images resource:(1 & 2) Mirage Studio Seven, (3) Lark About, (4) The Curated Object, (5) RIBA Journal More information on Le Corbusier's art can be found at: USA/,, arc,

Feng Shui and Living Things

Years back I bought the book, "The Feng Shui House Book" by author Gina Lazenby.   I believe in the energy a home or any other living space holds. Haven't we all walked into a room that felt dull, lifeless or just icky?  And, haven't we all walked into a room that felt alive, full of energy, while at the same time being soothing and comfortable.  The following information comes from Ms. Lazenby's book.  I believe in having living things in my home–plants and animals.  They've both always brought me comfort and energy and thanks to Ms. Lazenby, I now know why.

Feng Shui is about our relationship with our living space. The goal is to arrange a space so that "chi"–energy–will flow harmoniously, making the space feel balanced, and therefore making those who live in the space feel balance is their life as well. Living chi–plants, flowers, animals–add a dramatic improvement to the energy of a room and consequently to our well-being.

In today's high-tech world, plants and flowers inside the home help restore a natural equilibrium.  Plants also reduce stress and absorb air-borne pollutants and toxins.

Plants rooted in soil help to ground and balance us by strengthening our connnection to the natural world.  Plus, digging in the soil and watering plants can be very soothing.   

This kitchen not only features plants, but its decor also includes raw wood which further reinforces positive chi.

Whether incorporating plants or flowers into your space, be sure to keep them healthy or fresh and replace them as soon as they begin to fade or die, as this will take energy away from your room.

Animals contribute much to the energy force inside or outside the home. They move chi around, make a house feel like a home and provide focus for our attention and love.

Anything that moves will activate chi, so even though birds in cages don't fly, their movements and songs enhance the energy in a home. Or if you prefer, a bird bath outside will attract birds and activate the energy around your home as well.

The same principle applies with fish.  You can add an aquarium to your decor or ….

add a fish pond to your garden outside. There are as many different types of ponds as their are yards.  For instance the pond above is small (actually a cow trough), yet still as effective as one on a larger scale. In addition to holding fish, a tank, bowl or pond also holds water which is good for healing and prosperity.

Placing photos or images of animals around your home can affect the chi as well.  Overall, what is important is to include a living energy within your home besides yourself.  Because while pillows are cozy, snuggling up with a kitty or pup, or enjoying fresh cut flowers  just seems to amp up the chi of warmth, happiness and tranquility.  And isn't that what we all want in our home?


Images: (1) & (2), (3) Ken, (4), (5)Exquisite, (6) Cool Garden (7), (8), (9)

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What music looks like

Tim Bavington, Long May You Run, 2010, Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica

I've come upon Las Vegas-based artist Tim Bavingnton's pop music-inspired paintings.  Bavington translates the aural experiences of music (riffs, guitar solos and entire songs) into visual ones. What intrigues me about Bavginton's work is not only the kinetic energy of the pieces, but also the sensory synergy he draws upon to create his art.

Tim Bavington, What's The Frequency Kenneth?, 2009, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

He matches 12 tones of the musical scale with 12 tones from the color wheel, assigning each note a particular color.  The length of each note defines the bandwidth of each stripe. From a distance the stripes seem defined. Upon closer review, they actually blurr and blend as if vibrating like they music they emulate.

Tim Bavington, The Best of Me, 2004, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

As Bavington writes himself, about himself, "While neither attempting to capture music with painting nor the “Spirit” of Rock and Roll, the painter finds expression in the form of color and geometry.   The difference between using a score to make a painting and using a score to perform music is that each creates a distinct temporal experience. The sheet music is to its performance as the sketch is to the process of painting. The score and the sketch lay down guidelines with some specificity, and they are both open to interpretation and arrangement."

Tim Bavington, Up in Suze's Room, 2009, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Vertical striped patterns are typical of Bavington's work, but the imagery also includes unhibited looseness where colors bleed into one another or fade in and out creating open spaces of white light within the composition, such as with (above) Up in Suze's Room.

Tim Bavington, Happy Today, 2009, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Robert Pincus of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes, "Bavington's art makes the visual equivalent of joyful noise.  It's feel-good art, with an urbane and sophisticated sensibility.  And to the I say, "Rock on!"

Tim Bavington resources: Art in America, Arts, Steidlville, Jack Shainman, Mark Moore and the San Diego

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