Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolve to Organize and Decorate Your Office in Vintage Style in 2014

Your office.  You spend so much time there.  Does it reflect your personality at all or is it your standard clinical Staples office look?

When I worked in an office, I moved in, left it the way it was, and piles started accumulating. After 9 years, I decided it was time. I organized, threw away, filed, rearranged, and hung pictures. It was a great place to be. I didn't mind going there.  All I could wonder was "Why didn't I do this sooner?" As the great comedy of life would have it, my company closed two months later so I lost that office. So now, my office is home but it's still a challenge to claim your space. Mine is in my bonus room. Part office, part studio, part gym, part storage facility. There's a lot going on.

I will be starting off the year re-organizing the old office space into an organized place I want to be, surrounded by my favorite items. Join me in starting your year off organized and accessorized! You'll thank yourself. Productivity and happiness will be on the rise! Browse some of the great vintage office organization and decor items from maliasmark.etsy.com below.

Happy 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Christmas : Time for the 4th Annual Family Homemade Gifts and Painting

It's that time of year again! We have cards, we have decorations, we have the tree, we have gifts, we have wrapping, we have baking. Lots to do. So why not add something else on top of that?

What do you give to the family that has everything? It is still fun to shop and get them gifts but I wanted to do something special. So, I started making homemade gifts to give as well, with a little help from Pinterest. Because what the heck, why not take this thing up a notch to total pressure cooker of insanity! In years past, I have made cranberry lime vodka, peppermint vodka, coffee bbq rub, and cheddar herb bread mix. Big fan of flavored vodkas. I highly suggest you try them. So easy and so good!

Now that we are all grown, we don't all live close. So I wanted to do something to symbolize that even though we are apart, we are our own people, and we have our own families, we are still part of a bigger family. So I decided to painting. I took smaller canvases, put them together into one large canvas, and painted one large painting. Then each person gets a piece of the whole.

Here is what I did this year and how this years painting turned out.

  • First I made hot chocolate packets with marshmallows. I attached homemade Irish Cream. Perfect for opening presents Christmas Eve!
  • Next I made homemade vanilla extract that has been brewing away for months. It smells divine!I want to guzzle it but I know it would taste awful by itself. I added fixings for my favorite cookie recipe and opened the super secret vault to includ a copy of my super secret best cookie ever recipe. 
  • Finally, the painting. This year I used 6x6 canvases and painted 15 into one large painting. I was inspired by this little steampunk gears stencil I found a couple months ago and I think it works nicely with the family idea, all parts working together as one. Added some gears and rusty metal parts.
This is how they went out. 

I always have even more fun making these than shopping for the other gifts. And I hope the paintings mean more to my family than just something they have to hang when I come over. :)

Merry Christmas from the Maliasmark family! 

P.S. : The cat had to be photo-shopped in because she would not cooperate for the family picture. So for that she gets a Grinch hat in honor of my favorite Christmas movie!

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Walls : Original Art and Vintage Oddities

So after looking at my shop, you may wonder what the heck my decorating style is. You might be scared to see. A lot like my shop, my walls are covered with vintage oddities, some quotes, and lots of ORIGINAL ART. I frequently encourage people to support local artists and I try to do so by promoting other artists through social media and by purchasing their one of a kind pieces. Basically, I would cover every square inch of wall space if I could and with twenty foot ceilings, I have a lot of it.

Here's a little peek into what I have collected and the artists that created these amazing pieces...

  • First, my house features the photography work of my better half, the ones I'm allowed to. For an analyst, he definitely has an artists personality.

  • Left : I always see this artist's work at The Wrinkled Egg in Flat Rock, NC when I go to Flat Rock Bakery for the most amazing brick oven pizza and delicious scones. They do a lot of farm and country type stuff which is not my style but this one, this one was me. Love the dark theme, love the painting, love the quote. It's mine. Artist is Sandy Erickson-Wright. Find her stuff at http://www.ericksonwright.com/.
  • Right : Both of these are the same artist. Yes, I have two. Because they are amazing. Printed on wood, dark, eery, they draw you in. This artist usually has a booth at Woolworth Walk in Asheville, NC. Artist is Brenda Marks. Find her stuff at http://brendamarks.zenfolio.com/.

  • Top Left : This piece features a million little multi-colored dots raining down behind the stark white tree. It's one of my larger pieces and it was hard to choose one because I love all her stuff. This artist usually has a booth at Woolworth Walk in Asheville, NC. Artist is Jennifer Barrineau. Find her stuff at http://jenniferbarrineauart.com/.
  • Middle Left : Love the wood, love the re purposing that this artist does. Artist is Kevin Stinehart. Art can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/KevinStinehart.
  • Bottom Left : What can I say, this little owl spoke to us. A little happy for my taste but had to have him.:)Found this at Woolworth Walk in Asheville, NC as well. Artist is Heather Shirin. Art can be found at http://www.heathershirin.com/
  • Right : This piece is hard core. Effects of industrialism, loss of innocence. It speaks volumes. Found this at Woolworth Walk in Asheville, NC. In case you haven't guessed, you need to check this place out! Artist is Brian Mashburn. Art can be found at http://brianmashburnart.com/. Check it out!

  • Both of these are by the one and only Tim TV, a man of many talents including performance artist. We saw both of these pieces at the first performance we caught of Tim TV and his circus. Mark had to have the Tom Waits piece, I had to have the piano piece for above my piano. Favorite status. Catch Tim's work at http://www.timstvs.com/. If you have a chance, catch a show. He performs regularly impromptu downtown so take a lot of cash for a tip, it's worth it!


  • Of course, got to have my quotes. Love them. A little less subtle than art but sometimes you need it loud and clear.

  • Then my oddities. Top left : I have two corbels that I will never sell. They don't match, the paint is badly chipped, they barely stay together, they were burned in a fire, they are mine, I love them.
  • Bottom left : Love wood. Love wood grain. And a little extra nature thrown in.
  • Top right : Tobacco basket. Another one of those pieces that made my shopping companions of the day worry for my sanity. But I was vindicated once it rested on my wall. And I never remove my vintage dust. It's all there, dirt, dust and all.
  • Bottom Right : My brother Josh made me this super awesome floor lamp out of a vintage surveyors tripod. Who knew? Restoration Hardware sells these for thousands of dollars.
I said in my last post, a piece of original art is so much more than a pretty picture. Not only is it beautiful, special, and could become valuable, it is a piece of the artist, their time, their experience, their passion. Get you some.

So there's a peek into a sampling of what decorates my home. Yes, I am the person who hung a horse bridle and reigns on my wall. No, I don't ride horses. But I like it, and I do what I like. That pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Timeline Of An Art Piece : Let Yourself Out

Does art happen overnight? Sometimes, but not likely. Art is the culmination of months of material gathering, hours of creation time, and a lifetime of the artist's experiences and inspiration.

So, you know that feeling when you have a word on the tip of your tongue and can't get it out? Yeah, I experienced that creatively this week. I felt like I had some inspiration and all the pieces but I just couldn't put them together. It's all very manic. So, here is how it came together and the timeline of this piece.

Well, now that I put it in a timeline, it looks so planned and organized. Let me assure you it is anything but. It's mostly random acts sprinkled with a lot of self doubt.

  • First, along time ago in a galaxy far far away, we start with a teenage girl. Angst, one of the great creative motivators.
  • Then I found some skeleton keys at an antique store. Who doesn't like skeleton keys? Am I right or am I right? I'll take them.
  • Listening to my dance cardio Pandora station doing some cleaning, doing some dancing, liking "Until the End" by Dirty South. Lyrics "But don't you see you're holding all the keys to all the dungeons let yourself out just let you be found" stand out because I think most people are their own worst enemy and are the only ones holding themselves back.
  • Found a new junk store on Craigslist. Love it! Find some vintage door knob backers which I love because they are metal and rusty.
  • Had been wanting to go to this salvage place for a year or so. No time like the present! Got some nice sun baked barn wood.
  • Found another new junk place on Craigslist. The best junk places are always in old buildings that could be considered a little scary, much to my better half's chagrin. Little frame could work in an art collage, I'll pick it up.
  • Bought a collection of creepy dolls at my first auction. Better half is not excited about having them take up residence in our bonus room.
  • Better half has a photography project. Why not use said creepy dolls? 
  • Listening to Lana Del Ray's "Young and Beautiful" and thinking of how it applies to all my old rusty things. And the answer is yes! I do love you even more. :)
So, this is what ensued...

Whew! That's exhausting just thinking about it. Let Yourself Out could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To me the piece means that each of us has the keys to all the dungeons that we keep ourselves locked in and it's as simple as taking that key and letting ourselves out. We don't have to wait on someone else to let us out. Someone else isn't keeping us in there. Take that key. Simple is a generous word. It could take some work but this piece is an awesome reminder that YOU can do it! Let yourself out.

Let Yourself Out can be found for sale at Maliasmark on Etsy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Junk...uh...what is it good for absolutely everything.

I absolutely love anything old, odd, mechanical, metal, wood, and rust.

Some people wonder what I do with all my junk. Some people think I'm crazy for paying money for it. 
And I buy a lot of it. Let me tell you, I have the best of intentions. Each piece is lovingly selected with a fabulous art application in mind but who has the time. So I decided to share. A lot of what is posted on https://www.etsy.com/shop/maliasmark is just that, items that I intend to fuse together into an art piece...at some point. But in the meantime, if someone else has an idea for it, I will begrudgingly pass it along. :)
So stay tuned for new junk, old junk, junk that finally got a new lease on life, and the story of how it all happened.