Monday, March 9, 2015

Ohio State Reformatory

This weekend I spent some time in Ohio, and had an amazing time. I visited lots of great art galleries, (bought a wonderful piece) furniture stores, antique stores, (bought some chairs I'm super excited to show you!) and the highlight of the exploration side of the trip, the Ohio State Reformatory.

The Reformatory is probably most widely recognized as the filming location for the movie The Shawshank Redemption, but it was also used in several other films including Air Force One. Built between the years of 1886 and 1910, the historic prison is a stunning example of architecture conceived by noted Cleveland architect, Levi T. Scofield. Scofield, inspired by European castles and the nobility and gentility of that era, designed the sprawling reformatory in an effort to encourage inmates to be inspired by their surroundings, thereby correcting their egregious behaviors. The superbly landscaped grounds, Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, and general scale and footprint of the building in the middle of the Ohio plains was something of a marvel at the time it was constructed. People would come from far and wide to picnic on the lawn of the prison, and tour the scenic landscape.

Hard to believe having lunch in the prison yard would be fondly approached!

The reformatory closed in 1990, and a new prison was built behind it. Luckily, saved from being torn down by the notoriety it received after The Shawshank Redemption filmed there, it now is owned and operated by a curatorial 501C3 not for profit with goals of restoring the space to its former condition one room at a time.

I was able to grab some pretty good shots of this stunning place with my iPhone, and I can't wait to go back sometime in the warmer months with my actual camera, and maybe take part in one of their overnight ghost hunts!



If you're looking to make a trip, you can find more information on the website about hours of operations, ghost tours, special functions, and directions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Picture is Worth ...

The Pied-à-terre
A quick little shot taken with my iphone this morning. I'm still looking for pillows, but there have been a few new additions. The ballet tie slipcovers are done for the mouton leg ottomans, the Trader Joe's orchid looks happy in its new home, and the Hollywood Regency candle sconce has found a happy wall to live.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dianne D. Ballard - Artist Supreme

The Pied-à-terre
So many of you are familiar with the old rooms of CDLV. While they were lovely, they were dark, heavy, and they had become somewhat oppressive. I knew that I needed not only to be able to move forward in my life, but to move away from that dark and heavy interior and into a bright, neutral space in my new apartment.
Having such neutral interiors means that anything with color becomes a standout, so I knew that the art had to be two things: 1) really beautiful and of great quality, and 2) meaningful and interesting. Enter my friend, long time reader, and amazingly gifted artist Dianne D. Ballard.
Dianne lives in North Carolina, and grew up in a family that valued art. When she was a child, her parents had her portrait done by a local artist. It was before computer technology, and she had to sit daily for the artist to study her features and paint them on canvas. For Dianne, it was magic! The canvas came alive with every brush stroke, and in watching that process, Dianne knew that was what she wanted to do with her life.
Dianne D. Ballard
After graduating from college with a degree in fine art, Dianne worked in every facet of the interior design business, from doing department store window displays to working with clients on interior design projects. She continued her love for art - painting, doing faux paint treatments, murals, and finally teaching art in the public school system. When she retired from teaching, she knew that it was just the beginning of having the freedom to paint whatever she wanted each and every day.

Dianne D. Ballard
Naturally, having such talent for interior design and having been a long time reader of my blog, Dianne knew without hesitation exactly what she wanted to paint for me. Within a few days, I went from conceptualizing art with Dianne via email, to having the art in my hands - wonderfully packaged for safe and secure shipment, and ready for framing.
 Dianne D. Ballard
Each of my four paintings from Dianne are hand painted on paper, something I requested for ease in framing. She used a mix of media for the art, including soft pastel and acrylic. For other commissions Dianne has done both canvas and paper.

 Dianne D. Ballard

Dianne was a joy to work with from the beginning, right through to the end. She communicated with me throughout the entire process, letting me know what she thought would be best for the space, collaborating with me on color ideas and the way that the art would be hung. I could tell that Dianne wasn't just painting something I could buy to hang. She was painting and creating ART for ME!

Dianne D. Ballard
Having been the first time I had ever commissioned anything at all, I was unsure what to expect, what to think, how to feel. But Dianne held my hand through the whole process, and was comforting and reassuring. She was confident in her ability to make the art exactly what I wanted - and boy did she ever! 

Dianne D. Ballard
I love everything about the paintings that Dianne did for the pied-à-terre; including how they work en masse and separately. It will be art that I will enjoy for a lifetime, and isn't that what art is supposed to be? They are exactly what I wanted for the space: interesting, provocative, soothing, emotional, captivating, and personal. Without a doubt, the most incredible art I own, and by far one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had in creating a living space.
When I asked Dianne if I could blog about my art, my experience with her work and the process of commissioning art from 400 miles away, she was gracious enough to let me share with you not only the art she had created for me, but work from past clients as well.
 Dianne D. Ballard

Dianne D. Ballard

Dianne D. Ballard

Dianne D. Ballard

 Dianne D. Ballard
 Dianne D. Ballard

Dianne D. Ballard
Dianne writes: "I am grateful to God for this gift of talent. I thank my parents for supporting me with so many opportunities while I was growing up and I feel very lucky to have adult children that remain my loudest cheerleaders. I am Southern to the core and have lived on the Carolina coast most of my life. I now have a studio in my home and am represented by Studio 413 on Broad in historic New Bern, N.C.."
If you have ever thought about commissioning art for your space, I recommend you talk with Dianne and have her create something as spectacular as she did for me, for you. Pictures can not capture the warmth and character of these pieces. To know, and experience art is to hold it in your hands, and study it yourself - and if you get the chance to do that with one of Dianne's pieces - well, you'll be in for a real treat!
If you wish to commission a painting there are many ways you can do it. Dianne can be reached at or phone 252-497-6246 to discuss the possibilities for your space.
Thank you again Dianne, for creating such wonderful art for the pied-à-terre, I love it!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Picture is Worth ...

The Pied-à-terre
Remember when I used to do these posts?
A Picture is Worth ...
They were a shameless copy of Joan's "Snapshot" posts which featured one photo, expertly styled, and stunningly captured (all of her photos are) with little or no writing. They were quick, refreshing, and left you longing for more.
They were the precursor to Instagram!
I remember asking Joan if I could copy her ... changing the name of course.
My mother raised me better.
Of course Joan ...
(and in the event you don't know who this Joan is)
she writes the fabulous blog For the Love of a House
granted me full permission to be a bit of a plagiarist,
and I started in her footsteps.
I figured while I'm working on the pied-à-terre, it might be useful to revive these posts.
So you can see what's going on.
As it happens.
Like news.
 I'll be posting soon about the FABULOUS art framed on either side of the mirror above the sofa.
Until then, here it is.
Phase One, View One.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meet Leo

The pied-à-terre

I'm still working on the apartment.
I will be ... forever.
But I wanted to take some time to introduce you to my new boyfriend, Leo.
Leo is tall, broad, handsome, and masculine - without throwing it in your face.
Leo plays well with others, doesn't complain or insult, and he's completely stable.
Leo is an old soul, and he exudes beauty and sophistication.
Leo is strong, and holds all of my stuff without any hesitation or funny looks.
Leo is Swedish. Scandinavian, actually - and you know how those European men are!
So romantic.
Leo came into my life via Craigslist. Such a strange place to meet a new lover, but the moment I saw him and read the ad, we clicked, and I knew that I had to snatch him up quick before someone else beat me to the punch.
So, on New Years Day, I drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where poor Leo was living in a garage, and brought him back to Buffalo to share my new apartment with me. I know it's fast, and I know you're worried that I might have jumped too soon - but when your heart knows, your heart knows!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thank you ... and onward to New Beginnings

I wanted to spend a little time today to thank each and every one of you who either left a comment here on the blog, or who emailed me personally with your heartfelt sympathy regarding my dear, sweet Abby.
It's so comforting, and heartwarming to know that there are such wonderfully caring people in the world! I want you all to know that your words of encouragement, and the stories that you've shared about your own four-legged friends, both living and watching over you, have made this experience easier to handle.
I appreciate you all, and I am grateful for your friendship and thoughtfulness during this time.
 Many of you have probably discerned from my recent posts that I am no longer living at CDLV. After nearly nine years, Scott and I have mutually agreed that it was best to continue our relationship as friends.
I learned a lot about myself, my skill, my talent working in the rooms of CDLV. But I always felt like there were boundaries I couldn't push, guidelines I had to follow, a box that couldn't be a shade of gray, it had to be either black or white. It was a combination of things, but mostly due to the constraints of the space. With it's orange-hued woodwork, and dark rooms - the house couldn't be the fun and vibrant space that I really wanted it to be. And while it always felt soulful, it also felt old. (Not the good old, either!)
My new space is coming together. It's a transitional space that I plan on sharing soon.
I haven't yet decided if I should do that here, within the framework of this blog, Color Outside the Lines, which had been solely devoted to CDLV, or in a new blog, with a different name and a different look. At any rate, while I decide on those things and work on this new space - I hope you'll continue to follow along, enjoying the inspiration, until the time comes that I feel it's right to open up the doors and let you all in, be it here, or in a whole new setting.
Now, in an effort to move forward, let's get back to what this blog is all about, shall we? Beautiful and inspiring spaces!
Today, instead of lots of pictures from different spaces, I wanted to share with you one space that I recently rediscovered and totally fell in love with all over again. I used to crave spaces like this, but being the realist that I am, never saved the pictures because I never thought that they'd be an option for me. Now, they are ... and so, I give you the Austin home, of Shabby Slips owner, Renea Abbott and husband Greg Manteris as featured in the Houston Chronicle, her site, Papercity Magazine online, photographer Jordan Polevoy, and pinterest by way of blogland's Cote de Texas, and others. Enjoy!