Who knew soap bottles could be so inspiring? Artist Carolyn Mason cleverly casts discarded plastic bottles in shiny porcelain and stuffs them full of brightly colored flowers to get this cheerful result! I loooooove the mass grouping on the fireplace - such a little ray of sunshine!
Yeah, it took two weeks. Yeah, it's completely useless. I don't
care. I love this totally handmade, plush Nintendo system. Designer blueblythe from Craftster dyed the recycled felt, hand-sewed and embroidered all the details. She even
made interchangeable Duck Hunt and Super Mario screens for the
television. Altogether, one of the most
enjoyable wastes of time I've ever seen.
Happy Monday! Isn't great to start off the week with a little bit of artistic inspiration? The uber-creative home of artist Hilary Pfeifer is certainly a great place to start! Owner of the Portland-based store Bunny With a Tool Belt, her remarkably inventive uses of recycled and found materials lend such personality in her work and in her home! Knowing we're all voyeurs at heart she has generously agreed to walk Design^Sprout readers through her home.
"I use a ton of found objects in my work (above) and alter them until you don't recognize the original form as easily. They come from thrift stores and some of Portland's great reused art supply and building materials stores, which I scour on a regular basis."
"I saved covers from the New Yorker Magazine for a few years to get enough to paper a wall in my foyer. It was inspired by my grandmother's farmhouse, where covers from the Saturday Evening Post were decoupaged onto a cabinet in the bathroom. I put a few layers of varathane on top and then hooks so I can hang wet raincoats and my cloth shopping bags near the door and out of the living room."
"This is the stained glass window I designed and had made for my front door. I chose various pieces of glass from the scrap bin at a local glass shop, all with white, and a simple helvetica-esque font for the lettering."
"An ikea bookshelf lets me alternate square cubbies of books with some of my favorite art objects."
"A sitting area off the kitchen. We are planning on finding a great breakfast table for this space, but right now I love having this couch here because the light is fantastic!"
"One of many lights I own by artist/friend Daniel Sadler. A year or so before his death, he started this series of houses where he took photographs of actual buildings and transfered them to paper lamps. He told me that this one was taken
of various walls of a children's music school in New Orleans. He loved this building so much that he returned the next day to take more pictures and the building was completely demolished!!"
"There are a billion cupboards in this room, so I decided to paint the walls a pale greenish yellow, and then randomly choose others to paint brown, kind of like a Mondrian painting. The fridge is covered with a series of cards I
made last year when I turned 40 and decided to list 40 things I'd
always wanted to do in the hopes that I'd tick down the list before I
"A detail of two of the cards, which I made with some of the clippings from my massive magazine image database I've been compiling for the past two decades."
"Here's the only shot of the dining room I'll release right now! It's a quilt I made years ago from my family's huge record collection. I don't have a turntable and was in the middle of a transitional year, so I decided to use the Log Cabin
pattern to show a series of labels that trace my musical influences,
from my grandfather's 78's through my mother's albums like Bob Dylan
and Carole King, to my 45s like Rick James' Funkytown and Elvis
"The downstairs bathroom is quite small and so I decided to paint it electric colors and keep my collection of glow-in-the-dark things there. It's fun at night, when the blacklight does its magic!"
"One of my favorite glow treasures--an elephant ornament from the 1950's, which is early glow plastic technology."
"This box holds a lot of smaller objects, waiting for their second life! Here's one of the pieces I have already completed for the September show--a shiva-like plant with unusual blossoms at the tips."
I have always always loved tales that involved cottages found off the beaten path - either in a deep dark forest or on the end of a long dirt path at the edge of a forgotten meadow. The kind of cottages that contain gnarled old women who offer advice of the most unusual sort and are surrounded by wild and useful old gardens and oftentimes a tree (just as gnarled as the dweller) clanking with bottles and charms meant to ward off evil spirits.
I thought if I had my own bottle tree, it would be tucked into some corner of my lawn, and while no one would probably come seeking advice from my house, at least I would have such an interesting (and protective!) tree. One month ago I bought a house with absolutely no trees on the entire lot. On a tree-lined street no less!
While I am stymied at the moment in my desire for a witch tree of my very own, I still had to share my adoration of their beautiful oddness. I must say I prefer those that involve actual trees over the ones made out of iron rods, but they are all charming in their way. Plus, it gives you a reason to re-use pretty bottles instead of tossing them all in your recycle bin. (And some of us go through many, many wine bottles).
So if you have a witch tree/ bottle tree of your very own, take a moment to share some pictures with those not-so-fortunate... pretty please.