Changing Murals

This is a quick post announcement from several alerts I just received indicating that at least two well known murals are changing. As one will be vanishing soon, so see it while you can, another gets a fresh redesign and new placement.

The beloved Luzianne mural by Robert Dafford in downtown New Orleans will be partially covered when a new residential unit gets built. So sad, this is a lovely mural that I enjoy seeing each time I go back home. However, the Reily family, the owners of the mural and property, plan on making part of the mural visible to the interior of the building. They also will digitally scan the Luzianne-cart section in hopes to reproduce and place on another wall.

Robert Dafford is the same artist who painted the wonderful Clarinet Mural. The Reily family not only started Luzianne tea but also Blue Plate Mayonnaise — two iconic Nola brand-name products. The highly accomplished Rozas Ward Architecture firm with Myles Martin as the lead architect are chosen to manage the project.

The Brennan family and Reily family share a common wall / section of the mural and there is a written agreement not to change or destroy the mural for 50 years from 1991. This could be problematic if agreeable measures to preserve the mural are not found.

One thought comes to mind, Casart coverings can digitally print the mural onto wallcoverings that can be removed without damage when and if needed.

dafford-mural-1-Times Picayune_AIE

Luzianne Mural by Robert Dafford. Photos via Times Picayune

dafford-mural-2-Times Picayune_AIE

Yes, that’s a “real” tree but certainly hard to tell with Dafford’s painterly skill.

dafford-mural-2-Times Picayune_AIE

Existing Reily Builidng_Rozas Architecture_AIE

Existing Reily Builidng by Rozas Ward Architecture

Proposed Reily Residential1 Rozas Architecture_AIE

Proposed Reily Residential via Rozas Ward Architecture

Proposed Reily Residential1 Rozas Architecture_AIE

Proposed Reily Residential via Rozas Ward Architecture

Jumping to the West, the locally known LA Lady Freeway mural by Kent Twitchell, which had retired due to being tagged and covered from view, is now being resurrected with an updated look and new Afghan Shawl. It will be rehung at the LA Valley College. Hopefully this will be a better placement for this lively lady mural to stay and for all to enjoy.

Old Lady of Freeway Mural 2_Art Is EverywherePersonally, I think the added shawl extending onto the adjacent wall works wonders with the new location. Sometimes changing murals are a positive improvement.Old Lady of Freeway Mural 1_Art Is EverywhereOne interesting side note, I’ve recently discovered Great Big Story, “a video network dedicated to the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing.”

They’ve featured a lot of art oriented stories like the Mumbai Taxicab fabric and others that I’ve also posted. I’ve added them to my Blogroll.

Take for instance this post about Harvard cataloging and saving the world’s most precious pigments that captured my attention. This is an art lover’s cabinet of curiosities!

Harvard protecting pigments_Great Big Story_AIE


The Completion of a Life Size Bird Mural Starts the New Year

What a perfect way to start the new year with the completion of the life size bird mural, So Simple, a Beginning.

It was about a year ago that I first wrote about Jane Kim of InkDwell‘s endeavor to depict the evolution of the world’s birds in a giant 70 x 40 foot mural for Cornell University’s Department of Ornithology. It’s taken a year and that’s pretty miraculous considering the intricate detail and accuracy involved to paint 270 birds and even a few dinosaurs.

Here are InkDwell‘s photos below showing the stunning result. Casart wallcoverings were used in the early stage as temporary wallpaper templates for the continents and geographical locations on top of which the birds were painted.

1_Many birds painted by Jane Kim on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Many birds painted by Jane Kim

African Section of mural on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

African Section of mural

Cassowary bird painted by Jane Kim on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Cassowary Bird

Jane adding details Secretary Bird_casartblog

Secretary Bird

early stage of bird mural_casartblog

Early Stages

Cormorant in progress_casartblog

Cormorant in progress

Great grey owl_casartblog

Great Grey Owl

Detail Broadbill bird_casartblog

Detail Broadbill Bird

Great Hornbill_casarblog

Great Hornbill

Congratulations to Jane and her crew for all their hard work to create the largest and first-of-its-kind educational mural about the evolution of birds!!

Casart coverings is glad to have played even a small part in this major endeavor.

Next time you’re in New York, be sure to visit the Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology to see the mural in person and perhaps even do a little bird watching while there.

Sit Down. Stand Up.

For timing sake this blog post is regenerated from my other site but still applies for design.
This is not your usual blog post for Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog, but “Sit Down. Stand Up,” keeps ringing in my ears. I’m doing this a lot lately trying to get our new website ready. Radiohead’s song keeps playing in my head with its slow staccato beat building up with a frenetic crescendo to a sudden and unexpected drop. I was making steady pace and with a frenzy to be live by today but hit a sudden unexpected setback when I uploaded our 6,000 ! product variations with an importer and discovered, while on vacation mind you, that my 2,000 images had multiplied to 19,000!! It took 3 days, 10 hours each day, to remove these and to be able to start with a clean slate. I’m back on track but unexpectedly behind my original goal. Goals, I’ve decided are meant to be changed.

All this sitting has got me I’m thinking about getting a better office chair. Where to start? I started following Sayeh’s Office Stylist Office board on Pinterest. Maybe I’ll get some good ideas here. I need a drafting chair that is comfortable and one that raises and lowers height because I have both an office desk and a drafting table. The chair needs to accommodate both. I keep coming back to this one, seen in Houzz Interiors by Maite Granda but comfort is key. I believe this one if from Skolas, which I thought I saw listed or maybe that was the name of the person who first commented on it, but now I cannot find the source of course.

I want something white with chrome so this Airgo one from Pottery Barn fits the bill and will go nicely with my lavender Venetian Plaster and magnetized walls. I know, it’s a crazy artist thing but this color with white works for me. The one drawback (besides price) is it has to be cleanable so leather would be preferred.

Pottery Barn Airgo Swivel Desk Chair

I even like the one we used in our Peacock Damask photo shoot. I have to go back to Homebody, where we took the photos, to ask about it.

Casart coverings_French Peacock Damask, as seen on Slipcovers for your walls, casarrblog

Casart coverings’ French Peacock Damask

Back to sitting down and standing up and starting and stopping due to setbacks…We’re nearly there and can’t wait to get it up and going, so stay tuned while work progresses behind the scenes.

Maybe I’ll just get an office treadmill desk instead.


— Ashley

Laramie Mural Project

I did a good thing! Who knew a Google alert would lead me to the Laramie Mural Project. And here’s how it happened.

I have no connection with Wyoming but when I clicked on their mural link, I was drawn in. I liked their website – their home image takes up the entire screen. I’ve been paying attention these days to website design as I’m in the process of creating new and easier-to-edit templates for both my sites. I noticed the picture of the unfinished mural and I always like to see the progression of a project. This got me clicking to learn more.

Laramie mural project on Art Is Everywhere

I learned that Laramie is trying to beautify their town with murals with help through the Laramie Main Street Alliance — a partnership between the town of Laramie and University of Wyoming. I believe that murals can beautify a town by adding character and interest and increase community pride and involvement as well as bring economic vitality — all from artwork. This got me clicking more. I went to their Kickstarter page. I had attended a business conference with the founder of Kickstarter on the panel so I was interested + ever since we went through the process of applying for Living Social’s Mission Small Business Grant, I’ve been interested in ways to fund business projects. I have another in mind and I’m thinking Kickstarter may be a good testing ground.

I really liked what I saw — the murals and how easy it was to use the site. I thought the write up they did for each level of backing were clever and captivating. You’ll have to go to their Kickstarter Campaign site to check these out further but here’s a visual taste of the murals. They have a lovely assortment of styles and are very rich with talent. They expressed the big, wide open country that I think of when I think of Wyoming, of where I have only passed through once while in a car on a family trip. I must have been about 10 years old.

OK, I was sold!

Laramie Mural Project - Kickstarter on Art Is Everyhwere

The great thing with Kickstarter is you don’t have to spend much or you can spend as much as you want. I donated $15. I wanted to contribute something but I have no association with Wyoming otherwise, but believe in the mural project’s mission and like most of the murals. I also wanted to test Kickstarter’s platform for business. It’s one of the few fundraising sites that really does cater to artists and their creative projects; whereas, other Angel Investor type sites are primarily interested in start-up technology companies. Kickstarter as a business concept appeals to me.

Checkout was easy and used my amazon account. I was so satisfied with the process that I used their smart marketing message that came up at the completion to share with your friends. I shared on Facebook, which then gets tweeted to our 795 followers.

This was a great business lesson with marketing and charitable giving all mixed in. I felt good and even more so to learn this on the Laramie Main Street website, that they have reached their $15,000 goal but the more they receive, the more they can do. I like it and I’m glad that any donation beyond what they wanted will be well spent:

We have reached our $15,000 goal on Kickstarter!!! But, if you are still interested in donating, know the more we raise, the more we can do. Additional funds will be used for more murals and educational material like an audio guide or walking tour of public art downtown. Our Kickstarter page for the Laramie Mural Project will be up through July 21st.

I plan on following up on their mural progress because I want to see their completion and maybe even go visit.

Since there were only 3 more days left for fundraising for this project at the time of this writing, please go to Kickstarter to look for others and perhaps do a good thing.

Here are some other murals that artists from this project have painted.

Laramie Main Street_Wyoming Public Media_Pinterest on Art Is Everywhere

Laramie Main Street_Wyoming Public Media_Pinterest on Art Is Everywhere

Antiques in Alexandria

The decorative arts are alive, especially at Antiques in Alexandria this weekend. I’m involved and that’s fresh off the heels of returning from work in New York. Casart coverings is wrapping Mary Douglas Drysdale’s featured booth for the event in one of her Signature Colors.

Antiques in Alexandria, Art Is Everywhere

Antiques in Alexandria

The show runs March 7th with a Kick Off Preview Party tonight through March 10th. Proceeds benefit three Alexandria, VA community groups: Twig (supporting the local Alexandria Inova Hospital / my volunteer group), The Lyceum (supporting Alexandria’s History Museum) and the Alexandria Association (dedicated to preservation of historic structures and promotion of the decorative arts).

Euro Chic is a Classic Cushion

We’re right in the middle of launching new Euro Chic designs for our Casart Décor pillows. I haven’t had a lot of time to do much else — except to say that Art is Everywhere and on pillows as well. These designs by artist Edward Doyle are inspired by illustrations, signage and insignia that have an Old World, vintage charm with appeal for your modern living.

Casart Décor pillows on Art Is Everywhere

Finding the Right Photo Technology

In investigating ways to get high res images for some of my materials that we offer for repositionable wallcoverings, I’m looking into what might be the best, most convenient and affordable photo technology to use.

It’s pretty amazing that with the newest iPhone, you can get a good high res image that might even be better than earlier DSLR cameras — or at least better than my son’s, as he informs me. I think it’s a ploy to get the latest iPhone 😉 Actually, he wants a better camera.

In the meantime, I ran across this to explore. In just a couple of months, the technology may have even further improved.

Phonetography_via House Beautiful_Art Is Everywhere

We’ve already found a way to rig a tripod for the iPhone using a coat hanger, but ended up using a Luminex camera to shoot this latest footage. We edited with professional film editing software to be able to compare with the television footage and create our own educational video. This has been very helpful to show that not all repositionable wallpaper is the same.

If you are looking to turn your own photos into high res artwork, here’s a helpful “How To Make [Photo] Murals from Phone Photos” from PhotoJoJo on Apartment therapy. Click the link to read the steps. Not too difficult but you may just want to upload them to Casart coverings, where we can turn them into a large scale wallcovering that can be repositioned, removed and reused. No frame or hanging needed.

120911-photojojo via apartment therapy_AIE

120911-photojojo3 via Apartment therapy_AIE

I just noticed the date. Where did January go?

Boutique Birthday Getaway

It’s always fun to surprise someone and have it work out.

Last year this time, my husband and I were in Panama for a planned trip for his 50th birthday. I was just looking at those photos the other day on my new S-digital frame. (There are about 5 years of unedited photos to add and this way I can finally enjoy looking at them without the angst and time-I-don’t-have to edit them yet I can organize them in folders on the frame and play just what I want to see. Best Christmas present ever!) We were lucky to take this trip via Jetsetter’s fabulous package deal. Low and behold, Jetsetter strikes again!

I was reviewing yet another never-gonna-buy-from-Gilt email and thinking I really need to unsubscribe from this, when I saw the Jetsetter deal for the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, VA. We’ve been wanting to stay at this hotel (and I’ve posted about it previously on Slipcovers for your Walls, casartblog) but the rates and busy schedules have prevented us from doing so, and it just happens to be right down the street from us. We frequent their restaurants and their gourmet deli all the time, however. I couldn’t resist; I purchased the deal, sent them a message explaining we were their neighbors and this was a surprise getaway for Peter for his birthday. We arrived and they obviously had not read the “special instructions” comment box. “Oh well, the stay will be luxurious enough,” I thought. The interior design is done by Vincent Wolf and it has a very calming-contemporary, zen-like, spa feel.

I love the open surface, barn-type-track, glass doors for the bathroom and shower and the mirror is exactly what I’ve been looking for with a low profile for our own bathroom. Fortunately, I can purchase some of the Kimpton Style décor items through their website, where I will definitely be shopping soon…

Art Is Everywhere_Lorien Hotel



I’ve been wishing for this desk chair to replace the one in my office for years….


We started out our evening not at the hotel because their bar wasn’t open at check in time. We have recently discovered the Odd Bar in Clarendon and headed there — great vieux carré drinks, food and music, where we aren’t necessarily the oldest ones in the establishment.

Odd-bar_via thrillist on AIE

Upon returning this is what we experienced. We decided to cap off our night in the Lorien’s courtyard with hot mint juleps around their cozy firepit. This just makes me want to get a permanent firepit but we can always go to our neighbors anytime, the front desk assured us.
Don’t you just love the clever use of mirrors to enlarge the space? This is an idea I’ve always wanted to do in my own garden but don’t have the space to even try.


When we got back to the room, there was a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for us! I guess someone did read the memo…

We like their restaurant Brabo but haven’t eaten breakfast here, so we decided to give it a go. It was delicious but I am literally intrigued with their menu — at least the backside of it — metallic and cork. What a gorgeous combo of attractive opposites. I’d like to try to do this as a Casart wallcovering….gets me thinking.


Art Is Everywhere_Lorien Hotel

Finally, since we didn’t get to relax in their library, I thought I’d take a picture for its design aspect, all wrapped up in white. The only thing is, how do you remember where the book is that you want to read? 😉


What a great birthday getaway practically in our backyard.

Pinning Takes on a Whole New Meaning

When you think of the word “pinning” these days, you may think of Pinterest, or at least you should. It’s the visual social media site that has fast-paced come up in the ranks to match the clout of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and the likes. We use it for Casart coverings and it’s a must for anyone in the art/ visual/ interior design business. Seeing the artwork of Ran Hwang, however,  gave me a completely different interpretation of “pinning.” Just see what she has done with thousands of pins, buttons, bead and needles — incredibly gorgeous! Like beaded ball gowns but stuck to walls like a three-dimensional, sculptural “murals,” they fascinate and sparkle beautifully beyond words (via This is Colossal and Design You Trust). This first, “Whimsical Dream” piece reminds me of the cherry blossoms-like piece by Katie Martin, created with styrofoam cups.

Murals-by-Ran-Hwang-dyt, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Murals by Ran Hwang via design you trust

ran-4 via this is colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang mural via this is colossal

ran-5 via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via This is Colossal, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via Design You Trust, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang beaded pin mural via Design You Trust, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Ran Hwang as seen on Art is Everywhere, AIE

But as far as Pinterest goes, the co-founder Ben Silberman has his own pinned portrait by Eric Daigh.

His work reminds me of early Chuck Close.

Ben Silbermann_Pin portrait_Eric Daigh_via fastcodesign_AIE

So, save those pins, buttons, beads and needles and get pinning to create your own stuck-on and stunning artwork.

Follow up – Apple Design History & Flixel

This is just a quick follow up to my previous post re Steve Jobs. There was a very informational exhibit at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s exhibit, The Patents & Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Temporary Exhibit Examines the Design History of the Apple Co-Founder. If you’re like me and you missed it to, you can go to this dexigner link to get a visual overview (some are seen below) and learn more information regarding. Some of these devices are permanently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The_Patents_and_Trademarks_of_Steve_Jobs, as seen on Art is Everywhere

The_Patents_and_Trademarks_of_Steve_Jobs, as seen on Art is Everywhere

The_Patents_and_Trademarks_of_Steve_Jobs, as seen on Art is Everywhere

The_Patents_and_Trademarks_of_Steve_Jobs, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Now if you have a iPhone, you may want to look into this fairly new app Flixel that adds movement to your pictures. It’s pretty cool to see in action. Instagram is such a hit that this app may be too. It reminds me of flipbooks that I loved as a kid.

Flixel_via Mashable, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Here are some examples of still shots that create the action…

Flixel_via Mashable, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Flixel_via Mashable, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Flixel_via Mashable, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

And the same picture of where the action has been put together.

Skate_Flixel via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

This can be achieved with everyday images. Take a shot, hold it for 2 seconds, paint the area you want to move and voila!

Water_Flixel via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Another interesting step-by-step that I’ll mention is for Casart coverings and our mission — to get 250 votes for Mission Small Business, in order to qualify for a $250,000 grant to 12 recipients by Chase and Living Social. We are almost there but could use a few more votes. Please consider doing so to help us out. It is most appreciated!! Here are the 5 second, easy steps: 1) Go to the link   2) Click Support on the right  3) Login with your Facebook account (no registration required) 4) Search Casart (no city or state needed)  5)When we popup please vote and finally, please share on your FB wall and ask your friends to please vote. This would be an incredible opportunity for my business to expand our work with our local community. Thank you!

Casart_Living Social_CC promo_web, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

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