Interior Design: Artistic Technique by Ginevra Held

Hello all!

I wanted to share with you how one of the main decoration elements in the room, that would be the profiles of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, came into being.  I used old fashioned pencil and paper techniques that I learned when I was little from my Dad who is an artist/architect.  These techniques are not fancy, but they are smart and creative.  There are easier more technologically advanced ways of doing this now, but there is nothing more fun for me then getting lost in a time warp of drawing.

Now, I have been using these techniques since I was little, so when it comes time to do it, the process is automatic for me.  So I am going to do my best to explain what I did.  In essence how I got from here:

To Here:

 I started with some good old fashion freehand drawing.  After I made a trace of the oval of the frame, I got to work on the Duke:

After drawing the Duke, I traced him and flipped him over.  And then drew the duchess on top of that to get their proportions right.  For example, the Duke and Duchesses' eyes are at the same level, and her hair ornament goes to the curve in his hat.  It was important to get these right, which is why I drew her on a trace of him.

A cool trick when you don't have tracing paper, is to put what you want to trace on a window.  Then put the paper you are going to draw on, and trace away.  The light pouring through makes the paper translucent and easy to trace:

Once I had the Duke and the Duchess complete, I had to get them on the wall in the room.  The cool trick for this is the turn the drawing over and apply your pencil graphite along the lines on the back of the drawing like this:

I flipped them both back over and taped them to the wall.  Once they are on the wall, you simply trace over your lines and in so doing, graphite will be transferred to the wall and you get your outline!  Its so much fun.  Make sure to press firmly!

After their outlines were transferred I was able to start painting:

And then fill them in:

Wheh! That's all folks!

It's intensive but a lot of fun and I love the result.  I'm lucky I was taught all these techniques by my Dad, they have come in handy on more than a few occasions!  As I said, there may be quicker more technological ways to do this, but for me, this hands on, multi step, I-forgot-to-eat-and-what-time-is-it? approach is the best for me.

Happy Drawing!



Interior Design: Tiny Styling Tip by Ginevra Held

Hey People! Here is a styling tip from yesterday's room reveal:

Instead of going all Marie Kondo on your magazines (you know that lady who wants you to throw out all your shit so you can have an organized life, but you really like your shit, it's yours after all, so wtf) - stack those magazines and make a side table! Organizing and Decorating in one! Then put a clock on it.  A vintage Louis XVI style clock on it.  If you liked it, you should have put a clock on it.  Feel me?

Then, if you're really cool, and I know you are, get an industrial lamp, and put in on the floor.  Not on a magazine stack.  That would be uncool.  I mean you should probably throw some of them away.  It's getting a little cluttered......




Hello Vogue!

Interior Design: One Room Challenge Finale! by Ginevra Held

Do any of you guys do Ballet Beautiful? (Don't answer that Mom, I know you do.)  

Well I do too, and there's one of her exercise routines (that would be Mary Helen Bowers) where you do these high kicks like you're one of the Rockette dancers, anyway, towards the end she has you high-kicking away and she goes "It's Finale!" So yeah, "It's Finale!"

The room, if I may say so myself, looks great.  

I mean, the room is like McDonald's....



I'm Lovin' It.

(see Pete Davidson)

So here you go my friends! Hope you like it, let me know what you think! But be nice!!!!

Also, all the painting and styling and photography were done by yours truly, just saying...

I don't know what it is, but this is my favorite angle...

Twins, Basil! Twins!

If you've studied Art History, and/or spend a lot of time with an Art Historian like I do, you will know who these two crazy kids are... If you don't know who they are,  head over to the Uffizi and ask for Piero della Francesca's Duke and Duchess of Urbino. Ciao!

One of my favorite lights, the Mayday lamp designed by Konstantin Grcic and manufactured by Flos, seen here hanging out with a vintage Louis XV style clock.

I had seen the Mayday lamp hanging out on the floor in a Maison Martin Margiela designed hotel in Paris, and I was like, hey, I can do that!

A bit of fun here with frames on frames.  You know how I love empty frames, and the gold in all the frames ties the room together with the gold on the other wall.

A view the other way, out the door, to the countryside. NICE.

This angle is so you know there's a skylight....

And again.... just like this photo.

Whew! There you go! Well, I will talk a bit more about how the design came about and influences etc soon, but for now I'm pooped!

Thanks for tuning in, see you next time.

I'm not only the president, I'm also a member.

Wait what?!



Random Thoughts: Thursday Market Vs Thursday Garbage by Ginevra Held

The Farmhouse....

The Farmhouse....

So yesterday (Thursday) was Market Day.  Now depending on how you receive this blog, yesterday may now be Friday, but for our purposes here, it was Thursday.  This is called suspension of disbelief.  My apologies if you are in California or Australia.  Fine, I wrote it yesterday and am posting it today.  Just go with it...

Anyway, I may have mentioned I am currently stationed, yeah, lets say stationed, that sounds formal, in the Southwest of France, an area known as the Dordogne.

The house, that would be the 9 bedroom farmhouse and grange owned by my lovely mother, is situated in the bucolic french countryside.

Not sure if I mentioned, but I don't drive.  I have a liscence as a formality but I don't drive.  This means, to get to Market day in our closest town, which is called Eymet, I have to walk. Not a biggie, its a 25 minute walk, a little awkward on the way back from market with a lot of heavy vegetables.  But you know, that is cardio and lifting mixed with shopping so I am not complaining.

Moving along, my whole point in starting this discussion, aside from mentioning that Eymet's Market Day is on Thursday, and has been since 1270, just so you know, Thursday is also garbage day.

Now, when I got home on Thursday and literally dropped my bags, and well then I put on some shorts and got a drink of water, and maybe had lunch and then I kind of hung out in the grass for a bit.... After all that I went to get my garbage can and to my dismay my garbage was still there.

I was pretty miffed.  I mean, was I being descriminated against by the garbage men?  Like did I not put my garbage can close enough to the road? Was it clear in my placement of said can that I am American?  Was it not done in a French enough way?  What the heck?!

So I marched over to my neighbor's house to find out.  He was in his garage fixing his lawnmower as you do.  When I mentioned the affront, he told me his had not been taken either.  Relief. But why? "C'est les vacances." Its vacation. When I asked what kind of vacation happens on a Thursday, he got up, looked at the calendar and said it's Ascension.

Of course!  How could I not know? Ascension.  You know when Jesus was taken up to heaven. 39 days after Easter. Duh. Hello.  

This is what I dig about the French.  It's a Catholic country in holiday only.  Most young people live together, aren't married, do a myriad of things you are not supposed to do as a Catholic, and yet, hell yeah they'll take off time from work to celebrate the Ascension.

So next time your garbage doesn't get collected, or stores are closed or the trains aren't running, just remember to go out and get yourself a Catholic Calender.  It's probably a holiday.  That, or the French are on strike.  Holiday or Strike people, that's what's up.

This has been Random Thoughts with Ginevra Held

The Garbage Can....

The Garbage Can....

Area at end of drive where Garbage can was expertly and very Frenchly placed and yet curiously not collected....

Area at end of drive where Garbage can was expertly and very Frenchly placed and yet curiously not collected....

Recipe: Easy Healthy Avocado and Egg Salad by Ginevra Held


Here is a quickie but a goodie for you!  You won't miss the mayonnaise when you have the avocado in the salad and tahini in the dressing.  Okay, you might, because lets face it, mayo is awesome.  But so is this salad! 


Egg and Avocado Salad:

1 Avocado, cubed

2 hardboiled eggs, cubed

1/3 cucumber, cubed

2 scallions sliced

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Tahini

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

2 teaspoons Sesame Oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk. Place avocado, eggs, cucumber, and scallions in a bowl.  Dress with vinaigrette, toss to combine.  

Save some of the vinaigrette for a side salad.


Healthy and Easy!!!

xo, Ginevra