Monday, January 4, 2010

Thinking ...

I'm 3/4 finished with the break down of Christmas in the Living room, anxious to get it all cleaned and removed so that I can work on putting together the "new look" that I've had on constant playback in my mind since Saturday. What's that? How about a hint, or 6:

What do these vastly different rooms have in common, and why would they inspire my living room? Well, Saturday after dinner, Scott and I stopped at Barnes and Noble to check out the newest interior design books and mags, and I came across a large Taschen calendar. Marked 50% off, I picked it up initially thinking it would make a good calendar for my office, until I started to closely look at the images within:

A beautiful collection of quality prints from Edward Lear's lithographic plates published in a very rare and highly coveted book from 1832. Lear's work has been critically acclaimed as perhaps the best ever published on the parrot family (Psittacidae) and among the greatest work on birds (all genus) ever produced. What I found most fantastic, was that Lear actually sketched and established color from observing live, captive, birds. Most artists of that era sketched from taxidermy. Lear suffered from asthma and epilepsy, but sketched most of these (perhaps the most accurate and beautiful ever sketched) from age 18-20 while working with the London Zoological Society. I'm constantly amazed by the dedication and perseverance of great artists.

The prints measure 12x15, an odd size for framing which will make for custom order mats, but with 12 gorgeous prints costing little more than $1 each, how could I go wrong? So, now, they sit waiting for their custom mats, and then to be grouped above the fireplace, while the excess Christmas decor sits in totes, waiting to be trudged through a foot and a half of snow to the garage. Oy ve! Will it ever end?


  1. I also see an every day use for the peacock feathers in one of your pictures...are you going to leave some out?

    These will make gorgeous prints...what a deal, can't wait to see the finished look.


  2. Inspiring Artie! I love those beautiful bird sketches! Can't wait to see what you come up with in the house and for those little birds!!
    All Things Heart and Home

  3. Great idea and beautiful prints, Artie.
    I have two Cavallini bird calendar page prints, matted and framed over the chest in the bedroom. The photo is on my sidebar. I bought the 2010 calendar...full price. I stored the remainder of the calendar away, in a sort of "hope chest". I would love to frame more pages.

    I took the two pages to Michael's and had the simple mat and frame done, during their 60% off full framing order sale. I believe there is a sale going on at the moment that goes through January 16th. At least the sale is in our neck of the woods. Perhaps in yours, too.

  4. I was at a garage sale a few years ago and was looking at a huge book- John James Audubon- The Birds of America. Wonderful prints of watercolors just chuck full of gorgeous prints! The man saw that I was interested in the book and said I could have it!!!

    I have been thinking about framing a bunch of these prints for one of the guests rooms I still need to redo. I think I am going to have a hard time tearing them out of the book though!

    Can't wait to see what you are up to!


  5. I am looking forward to your changes. I so enjoyed your posts over the holidays. Just lovely.

  6. Love the first picutre, hope to duplicate something like that in my living room this year.

  7. These prints are gorgeous and I can't wait to see them hanging in your room, which by the way, is already fabulous!

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Great find! And now I'm kicking myself for not checking the calendar section. But while at my own B&N on Saturday, I did see a big fat Taschen botanicals book on the remainder shelves ($29!) and have been regretting not buying it. Looks like I'm going back...
    Can't wait to see what you do with those birds.

  9. Oh I cannot wait to see what you will be perfection.
    Heard you were going to design need to be teaching it! :)

  10. Who knew that birds could be so chic? Great eye!


  11. They will be beautiful framed and grouped together.
    Thanks for visiting. That is to much snow for me. Hope it misses us, but does not sound like it will.

  12. I love those type of prints -- I have way too many of them in several rooms at Linderhof. They are great finds in England -- they tear them out of books and then sell the pages -- but they're reasonable and OLD! (and can easily be brought back home without worrying about breakage).

    If I had more wall room, I would head north in search of that calendar!

    Can't wait to see the finished product -- they will be absolutely smashing in your living room!

  13. Bird are wonderful; so pretty & practical, great look for framing. I gave a mini one to my friend for x-mas, from Kates Paperie...she is going to do the same. Also, luv the new tunes & the header!!
    Take care,

  14. After Christmas, the joy of that little time to a wonderfully exceptional belated holiday gift, don't you think?

  15. Your bird pictures look beautiful and I can't wait to see them displayed in that beautiful room. Hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  16. I have to admit, while scanning each picture I kept saying, "Oh no, he's going for the birds." And you are. And I'm still a little scared, but I'm going to trust you on this.

    Justine :o )

  17. I haven't been by in a while... since the fire detector tree topper... like me you have some stuff whirling around in your creative mind....catch the thoughts ...organize...and create something new as we write the new Chapter of a new decade... Happy New Year... and let those creative thoughts land on your home,and a fabulous post... wow your blog is as Elf says..has gotten gy-nourmouse...or I think that is what he said?Maybe a different spelling... Anywho, may you make leaps and bounds in your world.
    I am planning a total makeover...we will see $$$$$...?

  18. This will be great. I'm intimidated by the idea lining up the pictures. Then I toured the "Blue Remembered Hills" condo. He said the trick was Velcro. On the wall and on the pictures. Well, his were lined up.

    Good luck. -TK

  19. Oh Artie-Makes me want to run out to Barnes and Noble right now! Will you have to get custom frames too? I often see that people have even downloaded botanical prints and they look good--on website. Don't really know how to tackle it myself. Can't wait to see this!!!
    ps--love the music :)

  20. Don't you just love calendar prints! I am partial to a Highwaymen Calendar I just picked up. The Highwaymen are a FL treasure...if you are not familiar, check them out...known for their FL landscapes...bold colors.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  21. Can't wait to see your vision come to fruition! I thought of something similar for my bedroom. Kmart has beautiful "aged" mirrored frames, {much like the ones in Ballard's, containing beautiful prints...that I COULD NOT afford}! LOL! Now I just need to find the prints and make my own. :)

    Wishing you many blessings for the New Year! ~Rhonda

  22. I love decorating with Calendar prints. I just received one with pictures of the photography by Domingo it.

  23. I know this is an older post of yours, but I couldn't resist a late comment. I was so intrigued with the pictures you showed of Edward Lear's calendar that I tried to order my own from B & N; alas, they had none to offer back when you filed this post. However, a little trolling on the internet netted me the same calendar (at full price, still a jewel) direct from Taschen. And I have decided to do one wall of our study/library with the framed prints. Wanted to ask you what size mat/frame YOU had in mind? I am new at this and don't want to make an expensive custom mat mistake. Also, the color. Many thanks! Love your blog!!

  24. Vickie H. - I hope you get this! I tried to email back to you but your email wasn't linked. I am having them framed in 16x20 frames, and the mat was cut to 12x15. Because the prints are an awkward size, 11x14 cuts the latin name for the parrots off of the print, so you have to go with a 12x15 cut. Not really that expensive - but custom, nonetheless. I had initially picked simple 11x14 frames and wasn't going to have them matted, but I found the look much more expensive matted and framed in a 16x20. So, good luck with them. Thanks for asking, and I'm glad you found them! :)

  25. My dear man!!! Yes, I got it....had to come back to this older post but I have checked back a couple of times to see if you had time to respond. And I thank you so very much, as I can see that you are busier than a "one-armed paper-hanger" as we say in the South. I don't know why my email is not linked so I am leaving you my email address in this comment, which I hope you will delete once you have it. The info on the frame and mat size is extremely helpful...and at this point, not having looked at any other colors at the frame shop, my plan is to mat in the same color as the print paper. Not sure if I went with another color what I should tie it to...very insecure here...don't want to waste $$ on the wrong mats...and I am thinking simple frames...I want the birds to be the center of attention, not the frames. Anyway, thank you so much for your input and I will try not to bother you again. Good luck with your continued bathroom are doing an absolutely SPLENDID job! God bless! and take care of that only have ONE!

    Vickie Hurst