Cafe Society

Switchplate Art: Brownstone Cafe cafe-society-close-up

This image is a cropped detail from an 1892 advertisement for a Cafe in Amsterdam.

The beautifully rendered brownstone facade, complete with cafe goers both inside the cafe and outside the door.

The amazing detail, including the black dog in the foreground will delight your guests!

 

Shop News

One of my very favorite new additions to the Switchplate Art collection is  Cats .

cats-5

This unique light switch cover is simply the cat’s meow! – the purrrrr-fect addition to your feline friendly abode! A great gift for the cat lover on your shopping list!

The image is of 2 interlinking cats, a sleek amber eyed grey representing dusk, and a sunny green eyed golden tabby, representing dawn.

I designed the art designed for the light switch plate, and executed the original art work in watercolor. The painting was scanned at high resolution, scaled to the plate size and archivally printed.

The Light switch cover can be mounted with either side up – dawn or dusk – you get to choose.

Election 2016: After Word…

only-in-darkness

It’s a time to draw strength from hopeful, sustaining, inspiring thoughts. This one does it for me, so yesterday, as post-election therapy, I made it into a poster and added it to my gallery shop, Serra Studiospace , to share with others.

At the shop you will find very inexpensive printing options for posters, prints, pillows, tote bags, etc., as well as a wide array of more pricy framing options, all fulfilled by Fine Arts America [They make excellent, high-quality products] . Perfect for a bit of Retail Therapy, If you’re so inclined…

I also posted the image in this blog with no watermark, so if you are too down in the dumps to shop, feel free to copy, paste and share as much as you like.

 

Nursing Homes at the Holidays: No More Ugly Snowflakes, Please!

OK, so with fall here, winter isn’t far behind. So it gets me remembering the many years decorating for the Holidays in my past life in Recreation Therapy… and so, on to my soap box for the day… and this is a shout out to all of you who work with the elderly in nursing homes, as I had the privilege to do for 39 years…..

PLEASE DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT decorate with those

Bad snowflake... no sugarplums!:

Exhibit 1:  Some Seriously Scary Snowflakes 

ugly poor excuses for snowflakes that recreation staff see fit to “deck the halls”, and usually the windows, with.  It’s enough to drive a visually oriented senior [such as myself] to popping Haldol.

And don’t you CTRS’s out there be smirking like you “would never” … I’ve seen snowflakes by staff with masters degrees that are enough to give me the willies…..

And there’s always the one in the bunch using the excuse ‘aw, but isn’t it sweet Mrs. So and So with dementia made that. I just had to display it in the dining room!‘. No it’s not sweet, -it’s castrating. Mrs. So and So may not remember she made the butt ugly snowflake, but it stands in testimony to how far she’s declined… to her, in lucid moments, and to her family when they visit.

To paraphrase my Psychology of Perception professor, Hannes Beckmann [formerly of the snowflake-1Bauhaus], a harmoniously constructed snowflake is like a graceful ballerina, standing on it’s toes.  [OK, so he was talking about a well constructed heart … same difference].

There are a zillion online tutorials to teach you how to make elegant snowflakes. . If you’re artistically challenged, get some help NOW and practice up, because the holidays will be here before you know it.

Even if you think you got this covered, GET SOME HELP!!!! Err on the side of caution here… overestimating your skills can cause unexpected consequences.

Beauty and harmony in our environment, or the lack of it affects mood. Mood effects behavior. And a lot of the distressing behaviors we see [or fail to notice] in individuals with dementia are caused by environmental stressors, including discord, clutter, and noise – both auditory and VISUAL, …including butt ugly snowflakes.

A side word about behaviors we see and those we don’t… It’s easy to identify a behavior and trace it back to the behavioral trigger when the behavior is overt. Someone pitching a fit in response to increased anxiety is hard to miss. But some behaviors are a lot more subtle, and hard to spot – like withdrawal. And without intervention, withdrawal can cause serious harm. It artificially reduces functional ability and hastens decline.

So, let’s all commit to reducing toxic visuals in the environment this holiday season, remembering that our nursing home residents will have to live with, and possibly suffer at the effect of, our decorating faux pas.

The idea here is that we’ve got an opportunity to spread some comfort and joy and even wonder, with some harmonious sophisticated seasonal decorations. All it takes is a commitment to get some basic skills on board. – Like how to make a fine looking snowflake.  There’s got to be over a hundred quick you tube tutorials that will have you making Martha Stewart grade snowflakes in no time.

And while you’re at it, make sure to watch at least a five tutorials on how to decorate a tree. There are a bunch of simple tricks for creating a harmonious lush looking Christmas tree.

So this holiday season, if you work in long term care, remember part of respecting our elders is committing to ensure that we have the skills to give them our best, down to the little touches – like a well crafted snowflake.

 

PREP THE HALLS….

Yup! It’s that time again. The holiday season is creeping up. Halloween is upon us, and that means only one thing…. Time to start seriously prepping for the holidays. Lots of advice online about decking the halls – that’s the fun part, but before you get to deck the halprep-the-halls-2ls, you gotta prep the halls. Yes, I am talking the dreaded “C” word – cleaning.

I am not thrilled with domestic chores, so I need serious motivation to roll up my sleeves. I have been known to invite company, just so I will be shamed into a whirlwind pre-visit cleaning fit.

Lately, I’ve noticed that when I add a small new item to the decor, I am more willing to spend the extra time to pick up that area – and it stays more tidy. With that in mind, instead of offering a holiday sale at my shop this year, I’m doing a “Prep the Halls” coupon promo – just in time for the pre-holiday cleaning frenzy!

The Gypsies say ‘if you change your curtains, you’ll change your luck’.  It’s a lot easier to change a switchplate, than change the curtains. And with the variety of beautiful Switchplate Art pieces to chose from at SerraCraft you are bound to find something just perfect for your home!