Friday, April 29, 2011

Let there be light!

After a few-week break in remodeling, I jumped on the opportunity to use a sunny Friday afternoon for natural lighting while I replaced the lights in our kitchen. Our kitchen boasted an outdated hanging light fixture and an UGLY florescent light that both HAD to go.


Before... old, ugly lights
















Installing the new lights alone was a bit of a trial, but I have always enjoyed a good challenge. I got a great deal on new lights and got all three lights for about the price of one! I still have to hang the dining room chandelier, but that one is out of my reach and I think having an extra set of hands will be essential!




After... new, pretty lights!

another view
One more accomplishment of the day... I removed the ugly spindles from the half wall! I think the wall may go also, but this was a first step. Lukas is spending a few days with his father so this weekend is dedicated to me, my kitchen and the clay studio!





Monday, April 11, 2011

Half way there...

Well, the cabinets are half way there, at least!

Various trips and a pesky cold have slowed my progress on the kitchen makeover but I managed to hang cabinet doors and install some of my handcrafted porcelain cabinet knobs during the short hour that my cold meds to kick into action today. I am definitely happy with the decision to paint the cabinets black! Check out my progress and try to ignore the messy counters ;)














I began this painting project with the built-in desk area in the kitchen that we are turning into a bar! We each have office spaces in the house so a nice entertaining area seemed like a great use of the space - and a good way for me to test drive the paint choices. So far, Lukas agrees that black was a good way to go also! I am removing the center panel of the cabinet doors and replacing it with frosted Plexiglas. It is going to look really sharp, but it is also taking a bit more time and patience than I expected. The plan is to do this for three other cabinet doors for the main kitchen area but I will have to see how the first two turn out before any final decisions are made.

I will post more details about my custom cabinet knobs later...
but for now, a close-up picture will have to do!



So whats left to do? A LOT! I need to paint the bottom cabinets in the next week or two and finish up on the Plexiglas doors. Lukas has some finishing work to do on the stairwell wall and I have to rip out the half wall separating the kitchen and dining room. After that, we will install the new wood laminate flooring! We also decided to try a counter top transformation product from rustoleum that will take a weekend to do/dry. We will follow that up with a new sink and garbage disposal and a tile back splash. I got a great deal on new lighting and part of our tax return is earmarked for a new fridge; no more sticky fridge doors in our kitchen!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Budding Business Ideas in The Sunshine State

Last week I went to Tampa Florida for the annual ceramics conference, NCECA. It was a great trip, but my favorite experience by far was visiting the Craftsman House Gallery in St. Pete. This renovated Arts & Crafts bungalow is a beautiful backdrop for handcrafted art from around the country. I love that you can grab some coffee in their cafe and sit on the relaxing porch or explore the courtyard.
















Check it out for yourself: Craftsman House Gallery

I hope that sometime in my future my art business can grow into something along these lines. Look out Louisville, there may be beautiful art, busy studios, and quiet cups of coffee in your future! Perhaps mine will have to be the CraftsWOMAN House; it only seems fitting for me an two of my female artist friends who love the idea! Any investors in the audience???


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Weekend in The Windy City...

Lukas and I are glad to be home after a 3-day weekend in Chicago! We made the trip for a friend's wedding but saw it as the perfect opportunity for a mini vacation. I was especially excited about the Chicago Botanic Gardens but failed to consider that while Louisville is full of flowering trees and budding bulbs, Chicago has barely made it out of the 30s this year. We decided to check it out anyway and were happy to find an orchid show and some nice green houses worth walking through. If I make it back to Chicago later in the spring or summer I will definitely go back... it looks like it would be beautiful. Here are a few of the beautiful blooms we did see:



We drove closer to the lake and The Windy City lived up to its name... I was nearly blown over backwards while snapping this shot of the beautiful Baha'i house of worship. The architectural details of this building are stunning and the white facade is so beautiful against the sky.



Before we headed home we decided that it was only right to visit Lego Land since each of us LOVE Lego's! The line was full of kids that were so excited they were shaking with anticipation... Lukas and I felt the same way but thought that two "adults" should try to keep our composure :) We couldn't resist taking pictures though! Here are two of my favorites: Lukas with Lego Obama and me as a lego lion (or perhaps I have been eaten by the lion? I'm not quite sure)



Next week Lukas gets to hold down the fort as I head to Tampa Bay, Florida for the NCECA conference, which is basically a place to see some great ceramic art and party with a bunch of potters and sculptors. Clay artists are quite possibly the most social and lively group of artists... but then again, I may be a little partial ;-)  I'll be back with lots of photos to share and hopefully a new piece of pottery for my collection.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Say Cheese!

I have always known that the quality of the camera will reflect in the photos, but I haven't really experienced it first hand before. Tonight, that changed! I have managed to get some great photos with little point and shoot cameras before, but indoor shots are hard to get and even harder in a dimly lit room. Below is a shot taken at a distance in a dimly lit wedding reception.
I am far from a pro, but after learning a few basics about ISO and shutter speed my photos (especially indoors) have improved drastically!

 













There will be many more where this came from... now that I know what settings to use! Anyone want their picture taken???

Saturday, March 19, 2011

love, Love, LOVE my new earrings!











I have a weakness for earrings, which is why I began making my own out of porcelain but I still can't resist when I see a beautiful pair of handmade earrings. I met Jennifer Stephenson McLamb today at the Kentucky Crafted Market and LOVED her booth. Her line of Eco Jewels jewelry is beautiful and recycled! Her studio is in Lexington, Kentucky but you can buy online at her etsy shop.

Read more about her beautiful jewelry on her website: http://www.jennifermclamb.com/

Lukas and I have been investigating the best way for me to accept credit cards at my own art shows and Jennifer mentioned that she was going to try Square. I just heard about squareup.com on Thursday and meeting another person who is going that direction is a good sign. This also means that I will have to get a newer fancier phone, oh darn ;)

That's all for now... I'm off to paint the kitchen cabinets while wearing my new earrings for creative inspiration!

Let me introduce myself...

 Since my blog is still very new, I feel the need to introduce myself a little further. My name is Jennie DiBeneditto and I am an artist living in Louisville, KY. I married my wonderful husband, Lukas, in October 2009 and we are loving our lives as newly-weds! The one very small dow­nside to our marriage? I had a fabulous logo from when my last name was Fyhr! My solution to this dilemma was to add a “d” to my logo and hang on to the “Fyhr” for a while longer. 

 I recently graduated from the University of Louisville with business degree and an art degree; my goal is to merge these two bodies of knowledge and own my own business selling my art! As I work towards this goal I am working on campus doing some marketing and graphic design work and continuing to take clay classes as I set up my home studio. Want to see some of my artworks? Check out my website: JFDceramics.com

Why am I blogging? I am a planner and I always like to think through big projects a few times before I start them; this is one more way I can work through the details and maybe even get some feedback! I also love reading other blogs and learning from all of the projects that others have going on. It’s about time that I contribute my own ideas to this wealth of online information.

What will I blog about? My life right now is focused on two main areas… fixing up my house and growing my art business. Most of my posts will be updating the progress of each, but there are bound to be some random posts along the way!

That's it for now; Lukas and I are headed over to the Kentucky Crafted Market! This market is full of beautiful artworks handcrafted in Kentucky and it is impossible to leave without being inspired by something. I am especially interested in checking out how the booths are set up... I have a few shows in my near future too ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Black or White Cabinets?

Our New Kitchen!
(can't wait to rip those spindles out!)
As our kitchen makeover began there was one main question in my mind... black or white cabinets? After living in an apartment with a tiny galley kitchen our new kitchen seems huge, but in reality it probably qualifies as a small or medium sized u-shape kitchen. My husband, Lukas, worried that black cabinets may make the space too dark. His vote was for white cabinets so it would feel large and bright. 


I kept going back and forth. Of course white cabinets would look nice; there are plenty of white kitchens out there to prove it, but I think my design taste is a little edgier than that. Black cabinets seem sexy; more of a statement. They could make our kitchen seem to dark, but they could look really, really cool! After lots of discussions (and a facebook poll of my friends) it seems as though we had equal votes for both. I knew that I wanted lighter accent colors; we both especially love green! Check out the two inspiration photos that I used for my poll:
Inspiration: White Cabinets



Inspiration: Black Cabinets



















So what was the end decision? I convinced Lukas to let me paint the cabinets black!!! Everyone kept asking what the counters and floor were, but since we will be replacing both I felt compete freedom to take the risk! The one stipulation: I must be willing to admit if I made a mistake and then repaint the cabinets white. (but I'm pretty sure they are going to look great and I'll only have to paint once ;) so wish me luck)



Happy Home Anniversary!

My husband and I have been happy home owners for just over a year and we are celebrating with a kitchen and dining room make-over! He is ripping out the old wobbly banister railing around the stairwell (which, thanks to my 1 year old niece, we discovered has spindles that are spaced WAY too far apart) and replacing it with a sturdy half wall. I am taking on the kitchen design by painting cabinets, selecting new counter tops and installing wood laminate flooring.

When we bought our house a year ago, our realtor warned us against over-improving the kitchen for the area we live in so I am trying to make very budget-friendly choices with huge bang for the buck! The goal is to have a sleek contemporary space that is still bright and comfortable to live in. Stay-tuned as we work through the details and make our house or own!