You have seen them all over Etsy and Pinterest, and here she is ladies and gentleman – the originator…
I love, love LOVE your antlers. You really started an online antler frenzy! After seeing your pieces on Etsy, they were all over Pinterest! Does it bother you that your art has turned into something that people try to take on for themselves?
Thank you for the kind words about my work! I love that people get excited about what I am creating and want to try making their own DIY painted antlers. I am all for people seeing ideas and re-creating them for their personal use. It does bother me, however, when I see people copying my ideas and trying to sell them. That is endlessly frustrating.
What attracted you to the idea of painting antlers? And what type of paint are you using?
I had been doing large scale installation in college and a few years after, and I wanted to start working on something faster and smaller. I also love animals and natural objects, but the expense and inhumane-ness of working with taxidermy was wearing on me. Once I learned that shed antlers are completely humane they just seemed like a natural fit. The first antlers I made were a mix of paint and sequins (a natural progression if you see my older artwork), but the sequins kept popping off and I realized that using just paint would be more versatile. Now I use predominately acrylic craft paint.
to see more of Cassandra’s portfolio)
How do you decide a color scheme and pattern? In your Etsy shop I see that you accept custom orders, do people just send you color schemes and you decide the design?
I have a HUGE selection of paint now, so I just play with different colors until a combination stands out to me. I love pairing coloring together, it is one of my favorite parts of the process. Each antler has its own unique shape, so the designs I paint are inspired by what patterns fit best on each antler. Custom orders are all over the place and are super fun! Sometimes someone just wants me to recreate an antlers I have previously made, but other times people have wild ideas. The craziest antler I have ever painted was a Texas flag antler that a woman wanted as a birthday gift for her husband. I was apprehensive at first, but it turned out pretty awesome!
And it seems you have moved onto painting the entire bust of a deer – what made you decide to tackle the entire head? And where did you get the whitetail deer bust? (It’s gorgeous!!)
The painted deer mount (that I made recently for a show at Sky High Gallery here in Milwaukee) was actually a throwback to my older work. I used to paint and sequin entire pieces of taxidermy, but moved away from it because it was so time consuming. That White-Tailed Deer head was obtained from a friend who wanted to get rid of it. I have always gotten my taxidermy from previous owners who no longer want it, I have never bought it new.
Do you look at your pieces as more art, or home decor?
I definitely look at my work as a mix between art and home decor/design. Coming from a fine art background, I tend to create my pieces like fine art (ie. they aren’t indestructible, they need to be treated like fine sculpture and handled carefully) but I know that they fit more into a design aesthetic and I am perfectly fine with that. A good amount of my work is made for wholesale orders to home decor boutiques, not fine art galleries.
I love how you incorporate natural materials, animal taxidermy and those small wood slices, what made you decide to include hatchets and those new knots? (I included one of your knots on a previous blog post - they are so cool!!)
After the antlers became successful, I wanted to come up with other items to paint so that I didn’t get bored, and also to prove that I am full of good ideas, not a one trick pony. I saw a post on Pinterest of old sailor knots and that is where the inspiration for the Monkey’s Fist knots came form. The hatchets were a suggestion from a friend that I absolutely loved.
How did it feel when Anthropologie, Better Homes, Crate and Barrel and Us Weekly – all started raving about you?!
It was fantastic! Last Fall the press and opportunities just kept rolling in! Two of those featured, Crate & Barrel and Us Weekly, I didn’t even know about until a friend saw them in person. (Read more on Cassandra’s Press Page).
And lastly – Where do you see your work heading in the future? An entire animal? Any other animals you would like to get your hands on? I bet a white mountain ram would like AMAZING with a splash of your neon colors!
That would be amazing! I think I’m going to stick to the smaller items for a while though. I’m still loving how relatively quick I can produce one item, it is so satisfying! And I have more ideas for painting the antlers that I haven’t even had time to experiment with yet!
Thank you to Cassandra for taking the time to answer all Munro Shea Design questions – for more information about Cassandra check out her website here
Every time I go home to my parents, my boyfriend always says, “Don’t bring home anymore furniture or knick-knacks!” He knows me oh to well… On Sunday night I brought home this little gem, but he didn’t seem to notice it since I strategically placed it among the dinning room furniture.
When I went to Brimfield a couple weeks ago with Mama Shea (read more about that here). We got the best deal… a $5 wicker bucket seat. So cute! And on Sunday afternoon, (after our weekend in Chatham) I took it out back and cleaned it off.
It definitely needs some TLC – fresh paint and a cushion. I’ve never made a cushion before so that will be interesting. I was thinking of doing something with a ‘dipped’ paint effect, like these examples I found online:
I gotta go to Home Depot and pick up some spray paint today and decide on a color scheme – then I can get started on my sweet-ass cushion!
This weekend I ventured to Chatham with my family – we covered all summer bases, beer, barbecue and sparklers! Yeah ‘Merica.
I got a couple emails asking (thanks for asking!!) about where I got some of my home accents in my living room – some pieces I inherited from my family – but others I picked up from Etsy, Ikea and all over! Below I’ve linked up to the items shops, or where to get something similar.
Bark Decor Fox Print, Saturated blue rug, Sheepskin, Rattan Chair, Yellow Ikat Pillow, Black and White pillow
Check out the sources on our Pinterest page!
Ever since I posted my little, Man Mood Board, for my boyfriend’s imaginary man cave, I have been day dreaming about a cowhide rug… Especially after seeing all those beautiful pieces at Brimfield.
But then a few problems pop up.
1. I have a guilty conscious about having something on the floor – which used to be alive.
2. I think Bruin would love it – she always rolls around when there are feather pillows – but I would be nervous if there were any puppy accidents on it – how does one even clean animal skin?
3. They are kinda expensive!
4. I might be allergic? My sister and I are allergic to everything.
So I have been seeking (in the title, get it?) for a cowhide alternative. Unfortunately a lot of ‘faux Cowhide’ look like this:
Which would be cute for a kid’s room…maybe. But I envision the rug sprawled out on my living room floor… like this little mock up I created in photoshop of my living room. (Still have to put in the new coffee table!)
A nice mocha/cream/black mixed piece would be beautiful! Pretty snazzy right? I was starting to get a little discouraged because I couldn’t find anything that I liked! But then this blog popped up: View Along the Way which linked to an overstock webpage that – had faux cowhide rugs! VICTORY!
And the price isn’t too bad – I don’t mind paying a little extra to not feel guilty! Acrylic all the way baby! Its definitely something I’ll have to wait to purchase. I have a family vacation coming up soon, gotta save those bills for the Christmas Tree Shop in Hyannis! ; )
In my research I found these two blogs in case you were in an DIY mood: Makemoore and Shoestring
On Friday night, I poured myself a little glass of Magners and was relaxing with my boyfriend. I got up to make us some snacks and when I came back in the room – guess who was drinking my Magners…? My dog… Bruin. She had jumped on the coffee table and was helping herself. It got me thinking that we probably need a taller coffee table. The last tenants were nice enough to leave the one we have now, which was great! But my little drinking buddy finally pushed me over the edge to get a taller table. And then it got me thinking about some supplies I had in my parents basement…
Sunday afternoon I drove home and headed to the basement for my next project… making a new coffee table with my Dad!
I had these old iron hairpin legs that I bought off Ebay for about $15 a couple years ago, and then three planks of poplar wood that I picked up from Lowes – I just thought the wood had the prettiest marble affect, I bought it with the, ‘this will be great for a future project‘ mentality, sometimes that can be a dangerous/hoarder mentality!
Whenever I have a wood working project, I like to work on it, on my Dad’s tool bench – I never have to buy anything – he has everything! Scrap wood, washers, screws and all the tools. We (yes, even though I was snapping pictures I was also doing this!) cut up a piece of scrap wood to bind all three poplar pieces together on the under side. Then squeezed a little wood glue down, put the wood in place and screwed them in. As for the legs I found 3/4 thick screws and used washers to help them stay in place. Then voila – a coffee table! The entire process took about 20 minutes, now all I have to do is finish sanding and lay on the polyurethane (to seal the wood).
The kids really like it as you can see from the picture below. It was a productive twist on my lazy Sunday.
I think its the boating aspect of summer, that gets everyone in the knotty mood. You can pick these items up on Etsy!
1. Jute woven rug
2. Rope Wrapped Lanterns
3. Painted Knot
4. Rope Towel Hook
5. Woven ottoman
6. Tea Towel
Instagram has become the best way to creep on designers, shop owners, and just overall artsy people around the world. This week – on my Instagram creepin’ adventure, I found Homestead Seattle… and I have fallen truly madly deeply in love with everything in their shop! I mean come on – look at this first gram I discovered -
Enough said, right? You can see they would have hooked me in with their mid century Kopenhaven modular shelves! Owners and j’adorable couple, Michele and Ryan Tansey are running the show!
Their Story, “At Homestead Seattle we believe having a beautiful home that you love makes for a happier life. For us this doesn’t mean spending a fortune to get the same stuff that everyone else has. We try to keep our prices well below those of our inspiration stores: Ralph Lauren Home, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie and Design Within Reach. Unlike those stores we sell one of a kind pieces with character and a story to tell.” Michele acts as buyer and stylist, whereas Ryan is the product photographer as well as furniture restoration specialist.
Take a gander at their shop: (Below is the sold section, just to give you a taste). I love that Michele and Ryan give the story of each piece in their shop, sometimes when buying antiques you never get the chance to hear the history and design changes of restoration workers. Read more about how they discover and transform in their blog!
This bench – the Pearsall Pendleton Bench 06, is my favorite piece in their shop! Love those pops of color.
“We had a dark wood Adrian Pearsall-style coffee table upholstered in a vintage Pendleton brand Native American wool camp blanket. The Pendleton blanket is called Eagle Seelatsee or Chief Yakima, it was part of their Beaver State line. This handsome piece is perfect for extra seating or as a coffee table. It’s in excellent condition overall with natural distressing on the wood and like-new upholstery. Please see pictures for detailed condition of this piece.”
You can also find their own home on Apartment Therapy’s House tours – Michele & Ryan. And thank you to Michele and Ryan for having such fabulous taste and sharing it!
Last night, I once again, took on a roll that I am slowly getting used to: being domestic a goddess. I have to say, wanting to make a cozy home comes a little more naturally to me. But setting up a nice dinner and tablescape feels a little out of my comfort zone. I get flashbacks of my childhood, setting the table with Robin and being yelled at that ‘I wasn’t doing it right’ by Mama Shea, ‘And once I have a home of my own I’ll want to know which side napkins go on!’ Well… I still am not totally sure…
For last night’s dinner, the napkins hung out on the left. They were also a great Christmas Tree Shop find for $2.99 for four of them. (Some day I’ll make it to one of those commercials, fingers crossed). Layering the placemats was going to be the look for our country-chic, blue and green kitchen. The blue felt place settings, were from Homegoods also $2.99 and the jute circular mat was from Christmas Tree Shop as well for $1.49. Total = $7.47, so fab.
I decided to try cooking something that I have never made (all by myself) before! Swordfish – The Steak of the Sea! (Cue the Jessica Simpson mental fart, ‘Chicken of the Sea’ moment).
I called my Dad to make sure I knew what I was doing. He suggested broiling the fish – squeezing lemon on it and when the fish looked flaky, it was time to eat!
Easy enough right? I also picked up some fried calamari from Whole Foods and threw in a baked potato.
This weekend I also thought it would be a good idea to do something about the dead space above my kitchen cabinets/refrigerator. Since I am a renter, I don’t want to do anything too crazy – so a quick easy DIY alternative was to buy wrapping paper and then go nuts using painters tape!
Guess where the wrapping paper was from? If you think Christmas Tree Shop – you are WRONG! It was Homegoods, (haha) it it was also $2.99 for the roll, which is all it took!