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French Tapestries Add Romance To Your Home Decor

Tapestries have been around since mankind first learned how to weave. In fact, some of the earliest examples date back to the time of the ancient civilizations who created looms that could create amazing works of art that were also functional.

Of course, most experts will tell you that the very best tapestries came from France, when the very best weavers in the world – those toiling away in the manufacturings in Gobelins – created some of the most beautiful tapestries ever designed.

Many of these were influenced by the French artists of the time. Back then, it was common to take paintings, even those from relatively unknown artists of their time, and create tapestries from them.

Today, we can benefit from their passion for their work for they have preserved some of the greatest works in woven form. This is particularly true in the case of French painters, including the groundbreaking work of Francois Boucher.

Boucher was extremely versatile. While he could paint scenics and portraits, his first love was the world of enchantment. As a young artist of just 20, he won the Prix de Rome. At 31, he was a member of the Academie Royale and worked on his first commission for Versailles the following year.

A leading proponent of the Rococo style, he became the supervisor of the Gobelins manufacturer, which was to have a significant and lasting impact on the arts throughout Europe, from porcelain to tapestry.

His romantic themes can be found in all of his works done during this time. Though often copied, Boucher’s work has been rarely equaled, except by the likes of Rubens.

Adding his French tapestries to your home instills a romantic touch that is both distinctive and sophisticated. Few artists have mastered the delicate balance between fantasy and reality as Boucher’s paintings and resulting tapestries, whether it is a simple romantic scene or a pastoral landscape.

That may be one of the reasons his French tapestries are so popular today. They recall a simpler, more romantic time that many collectors and homeowners long to portray in their residences.

Since the original Boucher’s are priceless, these French tapestries are a great way to portray his brilliance without busting a budget. It also lets visitors know that you not only know art, but artistry as well. While it’s easy to buy a copy of his painted work, a tapestry shows that you have a love of Boucher and fine tapestries at the same time.

In the world of French tapestries, the work of Francois Boucher plays an important role. His body of work spans history, mythology, landscape, portraits and ordinary life so it’s relatively easy to find a work that fits your decor and personal tastes in art.

One thing is for sure. Boucher’s artistry will not only add beauty to your home, but a touch of romance and sensual intrigue that you’ll love for years to come.

Landscaping Using Ornamental and Decorative Grasses

If you want your landscaping to be different from everyone on the block try planting different styles of grasses. The landscaping in the front yard can be the type that forms clumps instead of the grass that must be cut, while the back yard and garden landscaping you may want to incorporate some taller versions of decorative grass.

Planting tall ornamental grasses in a group or in a row can create a privacy screen from neighbors, air conditioning units, trash cans or something else you want to hide. Some of the tall grasses include the big blue-stem with beautiful flowers and blue-grey leaves and can range in height from four feet to seven feet tall; pampas grass has tall pink flowers and will range from six to fifteen feet tall and the giant reed grass can range between fourteen and twenty feet tall and has leaves that are three inches across. Ornamental grasses need to be cut back in the spring which means you will lose that privacy screen while it grows back.

These beautiful landscaping plants bring texture to most flower beds. By using two or three varieties of miscanthus or some fountain grass will give this effect to hydrangea and lavender. Mounded grasses will complement the plants that have creative textures and the vertical grasses supplement the plants that are more rounded. A lot of your hardscapes can become inviting and warm when you use ornamental grasses around them. Some decorative grasses do not bloom so they will not attract bees and would be good to plant around a swimming pool.

You can also grow these grasses in decorative containers and place them on patios, balconies, decks, or even on a high-rise rooftop garden. With so many different shapes, sizes and colors of containers you can have an entire container garden of just ornamental and decorative grasses in all different species. You can mix and match the grass colors and sizes to coordinate with the sizes and colors of your containers. Do not limit the ornamental grasses just in your landscaping; you can also highlight a regular landscaping by placing some of these containers filled with these grasses to enhance an existing landscaped area.

If you plant the same decorative grass inter-mingled among some of your flowering plants it can help tie your entire garden together. If your flowers are the tall version you may think about using a blue fescue which is a clump forming grass; a tall feather reed grass works better with the lower blooming flowers and will also look nice in a vegetable garden. You do not want a grass that will run because they spread too much and will eventually look very weedy.

These clumping or low grasses make good borders around flower beds because they are small but you will need to plant close together so it will resemble a border. Ornamental grasses will stand out at the end of the season when most of the perennials and annuals look tired and worn out. Some grasses such as big blue-stem and switch-grass have a fall leaf color that is very beautiful; some grasses will have colorful seed heads.

You can attract the birds to the garden with decorative and ornamental grasses in the landscaping. The birds find shelter in some of the larger grasses, the blades of some the leaves are good for constructing nests, and the seeds that these grasses produce are enjoyable to the birds. Just remember to plant the native grasses for your area. The low growing and clumping or mounded grasses make excellent ground covers; they smother out weeds while creating the textures for the landscape. Try adding some decorative grasses to your flower garden or front lawn as part of your next landscaping project.

Social Networking for Amateur Home Decorators

Social networking for amateur home decorators is one of the newest trends on the internet. The social network provides a neighborhood where amateur home decorators can showcase their projects and receive feedback and inspiration from other members of the community.

We know what we like and aren’t afraid to do the work ourselves. We will usually tackle just about any project, no professional landscapers, interior designers or decorators needed.

A little bit of advice, suggestions and ideas are certainly welcome from professionals and other home decorators. But, that’s were it stops! We have fun and welcome the challenges that come with decorating our homes.

There’s definitely a lot of information to be found from remodeling a kitchen to refinishing a piece of furniture. We are lucky to have shows like HGTV and Martha Stewart that are full of creative people that share ideas, advice and suggestions.

BHG, Coastal Home, and Southern Living are just a few of the many magazines available. These magazines fill their pages with fabulous pictures, decorating ideas, gardening, and cooking ideas.

The biggest by far and my personal favorite is, social networking through the internet. Amateur home decorators are able to share our home decorating ideas with like minded people. Our ideas are shared through images, slide shows and videos. We communicate through websites, blogs, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

I’m an artist that has fun creating for our home. I have no interest in selling these creations or creating for other homes, but I do like sharing my ideas. Social networking has made sharing my home decorating and cooking ideas possible.

When I first began my website I was surprised by all the home decorating sites that are available. These sites consist of like minded people sharing all their secrets through images and content. Link parties have become very popular with site owners sharing their ideas in one location. This is a great opportunity for visitors to be introduced to other home decorating sites and to gather information.

There are other social networking sites that are similar to a club, but you join and become a member for free. All that’s needed to join and participate is an e-mail address and password. The sites are for site owners, professionals and visitors and offer opportunity for communicating and sharing ideas through a comment page and images.

The member sites offer a range of different opportunities. There are those that offer a way to store images, videos, photo albums and slide shows as well as communication with other members. You can also share your collection of images through e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. Site owners can embed and link images to their own website or blog.

I found slide shows work well on website or blog pages. I don’t know about you, but I like to see a lot of photos of decorating projects. The down side, web pages take a long time to load when too many photos are on a page. The up side to slide shows, the capability to show a lot of photos that do not take a long time to load.

If you like sharing and communicating with like minded people, than you definitely should try social networking with fellow home decorators on the internet. You will be able to gain a lot of information, knowledge and inspiration.