Arts and Crafts

"Mom, are you an artist?"

"No. That's not art. Art is harder than that."

My eldest is right. Art is harder than this. This is craft, and my apologies to Gunther Forg.

The hallway needed....something. Even though it's yellow, it seemed achingly bland. I had picked these frames up at a garage sale a while back. I bought eight canvases for nearly nothing and carted up various paints from the basement. Paint samples for rooms that didn't work out, craft paint and kids' paint. It's an equal opportunity supply closet. Some were used in their original form; a few got to mix it up.

I used the image, top, for color inspiration, measured and drew lines across the middle of the canvases and painted. All eight canvases were completed in an evening.

The canvases did not quite fill the frame openings so I had the framer put in a white fillet. The framer, Frame Works, deserves the "Patience of Job Award." I took in eight frames and eight canvases, but the direction and order of the canvases mattered and the direction and order of the frames mattered (they are chipped and worn which I liked, but they needed to be arranged specifically.) So I had labeled each frame and each corresponding canvas with a number and an arrow pointing which way was up. And, "Well," I said, shifting my weight but not averting my gaze, "I need them in a week." Unflappable, Betsy never blinked.

I've ordered this Dash & Albert runner for the stairs from Stuff and that will be the last of the spitting and polishing before the holidays. I'm still aching for dining room curtains, but fear they remain in perpetual simmer on the back burner. There is a great wool at Off the Floor Now at a terrific price, but I'm worried it is too pale. When I mentioned it to one of our guests he said,"You'd better wait; I get the feeling you're picky."

I have no idea where he got that impression.

Image, top, Elle Decor, December, 2006. Photography by William Waldron. Design by Shelton, Mindel & Associates. The image also appears in Style & Substance, The Best of Elle Decor.

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