Friday, November 2, 2012

My Heart Goes Out...




















I have been struggling with the idea of posting anything right now because all I can think about is those in need in the aftermath of Sandy. My neighborhood was without power for 2-1/2 days, but that is nothing compared to those who are still without power, running out of food and there are insane lines waiting to get gas which is also running very low. I work in NYC and my office has been closed all week for it is still without power. When I look at the footage of devastation across the East Coast I cannot believe what I am seeing. My heart goes out to everyone. The American Red Cross is accepting donations as little as $10 (minimum online) to help in the relief effort. 

Please keep those in need in your thoughts. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Finding Joy

Images: Oh Joy


















Although I have been a fan for some time, I would say that one of the blogs out that has grown even more on me as a favorite is Oh Joy!. As a lifestyle blog I appreciate the diversity of her posts - food, fashion, decor, art and design - and that she shares her life as a mom and a wife. 

The other week I had the pleasure of attending the book party at West Elm in NYC for her newest book, Blog Inc. The timing of it coincided with Blogging Your Way Boot Camp taught by Holly Becker of Decor8 which I am currently enrolled in (can you tell that I am wanting to rework my blog?).  Joy talked to the crowd about how she started, what to do when one is not feeling inspired, Pinterest, and why she recently revamped her blog format - just to name a few. 

Joy recently decided to revamp the format of her blog where all of the posts come from her. Previously she had contributors posting on various themes, etc., but in the last year she felt that she wanted it to come from one voice, especially when she became a mother and her posts were more about those new experiences. Not only did Joy share this the other week at her book party, but she shared that on her blog. Very honest, very real. 

Coupled with the content change, Joy tweaked the design of her blog. The essence is still there, it has just evolved. The logo is still the same, the layout a little different, and I love the additional of the hanger at the top of each post. Nice touch. 

If you have not checked out Oh Joy!, I highly recommend you do. I think you will enjoy. If you have not picked up Blog Inc. and you are a blogger, you may want to check it out. Very informative and very helpful. 

I would love to know what you look for in a blog. Please share!

Simple Harvest Wreath

























A couple of weeks ago a couple of friends and I headed to Linvilla Orchards outside of Philadelphia to get our harvest time decor: pumpkins and other gourds, stalks of wheat, hay bales, wreaths and mums. I live in a neighborhood where everyone likes to do it up for EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY so feeling a bit competitive I knew I had to step it up. I do not like to go over the top, but rather prefer restrained exterior decor, but I wanted to do something. So while at Linvilla I bought a wreath made up of branches that I could embellish for a particular holiday and then reuse later (I prefer to buy things that have mileage). Below is a step-by-step:




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Savoring Sunday Mornings...


Image: my iPhone



I love weekend mornings (who doesn't?). I am usually up WAY before A. and I take that time to hang with the pets, sip coffee, look at blogs and consider the day ahead. Since I am out the door pretty early to head into NYC for work during the week, I love to take the time and eat an actual breakfast. Anywhere from waffles, eggs, cereal, to greek yogurt. This morning I have opted for waffles with real maple syrup from Maine (my sister always brings me back a bottle from her annual vacations there) and locally grown blueberries. A super food I might add. 

Today on the (exciting, hold your breath) "to do" list:
- work on the house...tasks that seem to never end
- laundry
- dinner later on with some family who will be in the area

Studio work has been neglected lately and I have all of these ideas in my head. I may try to steal some time later on for this, but we shall see!

Enjoy your Sunday!




Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Search Is Over...



For the last year I have been on the hunt for very small gold wire hoop earrings after having seen someone at the NYIGF wearing a pair. I have not stopped thinking about her earrings since. I love the idea of having a go-to pair of earrings that could be worn day in/day out. I have not had a pair that does   that until now...or until very soon. : ) FINALLY I found a pair that fills this need. Who knew that it would take so long? A similar pair of gold wire earrings? Really, I had no idea that it would take this long. Today everything changed when I somehow found a link to Nixin's page on Etsy. Not only did I find small gold hoop earrings in the desired size, but they include very small sweetly-sized diamonds! All day I wavered on whether or not to purchase, but thinking over the past year and knowing how much use I will get out of them, I finally took the plunge. I cannot wait until they appear in the mail. I will wear them constantly.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another..."Simple and So Good!"





























Image: my iPhone


I really did not expect this, but yet again I find myself wanting to share another simple, yet OH SO GOOD! snack, meal, whatever. I did not make it to the store this weekend due to a busy schedule around the house and beyond, but a girl and her guy still need to eat. I am firm believer, and this snack/meal has only confirmed my belief, that some of the best meals are made with the simplest of ingredients. Allow for me to share...


What it takes:
- Sourdough or any country style bread loaf - slice it about 1" thick 
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano - a nice wedge from your local store's cheese section
- Tomatoes - garden fresh or whatever is available to you...and ripe!
- Basil - fresh is best!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh cracked pepper - if you have a pepper mill


The steps:
- Preheat oven to 250-300 degrees
- Cut 1-inch slices of bread of choice and place on baking sheet
- Grate cheese of choice over the bread slices - I love both options and promise that either is a brilliant choice
- Place bread slices in oven - keep an eye on them as you prep the other stuff - keep them in there for a few minutes and YOU judge when you think they are ready...as long as they are not charred. 
- Grab about 1 large basil leaves per slice of bread - I like to pull from our potted basil out back, but if you buy from the store, that is OK too. Whatever works. Wash and chop the basil leaves. Evenly distribute the chopped basil among the slices of bread.
Cut tomato into wedges and allocate three to a slice on top of the basil - if you are leftover with any tomato, store it in the fridge or eat and enjoy. I do the latter. Love tomatoes!
- Crack some pepper over each slice
- Shave a little bit more cheese over each slice
- Drizzle (go gently) the extra virgin olive oil over each slice
- Eat and enjoy!


I just gobbled my last bite and was a little bummed that it was already over. However, I am now on to thinking about some other ways to use Olive Oil. 


I am currently thinking about Vanilla Bean ice cream drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and topped with chopped Rosemary. I was listening to NPR the other day and someone mentioned some iteration of this. It sounded heavenly. Has anyone made anything like this? If so, please share!!!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Long Afternoon at Longwood























Images: my iPhone


A. and I took the day and went to Longwood Gardens for the afternoon. If you live in the Philadelphia area or you are visiting the area I highly recommend you make a trip to visit. It is breathtaking. It used to be one of the DuPont estates filled with beautiful gardens. I took gobs of pictures - these are just a few that I am sharing. If I had to choose my favorite(s) I would have to say the water lilies and the orchids, but really, everything is beautiful and totally inspiring.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Simple and so good!!!























Images (clockwise from upper left): Cluebert, She Knows Miso Vegan,  Virtual Science Fair, BBC Good Food


I don't usually write about meals that I prepare at home, but lately I have been loving the challenge of working with very few ingredients that make a simple yet so good meal for me and A. Last night I had such challenge. Although I had gone to the grocery store yesterday, when it came time to make dinner I felt that we had nothing to eat. I had been planning our meal all around the shrimp I thought we hadshrimp in the freezer, but no shrimp! What to do? 


I keep buying lemons never really knowing what I am going to use them for, but always feel like I need them on hand (great for cooking fish). Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pasta and a block of parmesan are staples in our house. We grow a few herbs in our back yard including rosemary. I adapted a recipe from Yummly using the same ingredients. Simple, fresh, totally easy.


Cook one pound of any style pasta in salted water. Once done, reserve about one cup of the pasta water. Heat olive oil and lemon juice in a skillet. Toss in cooked pasta. Slowly add the reserved water and toss. Add minced rosemary to taste; toss. Add in one cup of freshly grated parmesan; toss. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Top with a little bit of grated parmesan for garnish and more cheesy goodness.


Delicious!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life Decisions...again...

















Images: Teaching in Heels


Once again I am in a position where I have needed to make a big decision and it is scary. Scary because about a year ago I had to make a big decision and I learned that although it needed to happen, it turned out not to be the best decision for me. So now when I am faced with big decisions I am left questioning myself. That is a hard thing to swallow. I have all of these ideas, dreams, etc. and I know that this decision I must make will prolong the dreams that A. and I have together - house, family, etc. - but an opportunity has presented itself that I feel that I need to take. With every decision made, other things or people become affected by those decisions. Knowing this, I was up all of last night. A leap of faith. A new challenge. Another change. An opportunity to grow and learn. 


Decisions...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Headin' on up...














Image: Surtex

I am really looking forward to my day today. I am heading up to Surtex to walk the show. A friend of mine who has a booth this year for the first time - yay! - was generous to get me a pass. While there I am having lunch with another friend who is working the show and I have not seen in ages! 


I used to attend Surtex for my job when I worked up in NYC, but the job I have now we do things a little differently. I am walking the show for myself. Can't wait.


Happy Monday.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

In Search Of...






















Images: Jane Green


I have real estate on the brain. A. and I have started the very beginning stages of looking for a house. The house we are in currently is a temporary situation helping my family fix it up to sell. It had belonged to my grandparents and over time it has become very dated and needs TLC. 
A. and I were in a position last year when I left my job in NYC to be a little closer to home where we could take on the role of "house fixer uppers." It has been a bit difficult and we are looking forward to the day that we can have a place of our own, but we need to figure out where that will be. 


Since I have house hunting, or house dreaming (call it what you will), in the forefront of my mind I have been all over the internet looking for ideas of what I want in a house. I stumbled upon author Jane Green's beautiful home that she and her husband had built. I am most fond of the kitchen which extends to a sitting area. I could totally see myself in a kitchen just like this. I am not sure how much cooking I would actually do. Ha! Actually I enjoy cooking, but it is the clean up that I try to avoid. 


I cannot foresee that our kitchen or house even will look remotely like this, but I am filing this away for the "one day."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Urban Zen


Image: Urban Zen

When it comes to clothing I seem to be all over the place. Some days I gravitate toward somewhat preppy, bright and happy colors, and then I gravitate toward neutrals, whites, blacks and greys. Although my tastes may fluctuate depending on what mood I am in, ever since I was  a young girl I have loved the style of Donna Karan. I recently came across the website of her more recent venture, Urban Zen. The clothes are beautiful. What adds to the beauty is that attached to the clothing line is a foundation, also called Urban Zen, whose mission is (taken directly from the site):

"The Urban Zen Foundation creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children in mind, body and spirit. Urban Zen designs forums, partners with existing organizations and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action."



Images: Urban Zen

As a designer I have been trying to find a way to meld design with the purpose of doing good in some way. I am still on that path, trying to find the direction to go in. I feel inspired by what Donna Karan has created.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Currently digging...

























Images: Southern Living, Highland Court


I used to think that I was NOT a plaid person, BUT lately I have been really digging plaids - buffalo plaids, tartan plaids...and most especially Highland Court's Greenwich II as seen above. I need this in my life. Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors is one lucky lady. She has it as window treatments in this fun and quirky sitting room as seen in the most recent issue of Southern Living magazine. Getting off subject, but has anyone else noticed the positive change in that magazine? Like plaids, I never thought I would think that I like that magazine, but I do! 


Note to self: I have to thank my stepmother for giving me that subscription.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Seeking Inspiration






























Although there is only a couple of weeks left of the exhibition of Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū (1716–1800) at the National Gallery of Art in DC, I am determined to get down there to see it and get some inspiration on. 


So beautiful...







Friday, April 6, 2012

See the similarity?




















Images: One King's Lane, Piperlime


Dress your window in Kathryn Ireland's "Tangier" in Brilliant Blue Multi and dress your feet in Cynthia Vincent's "Sage Moroccan" flats in Blue. Love!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's all in the details...continued





























Images: Matchbook Magazine


Love the styles of Ann and Sid Mashburn which I could go on about, but today I just want to comment on the little detail shown above of the cushion tufting as seen in Matchbook Magazine. Not your standard button, but rather something that resembles a tailored bow. I adore the pink color too! 





Friday, March 30, 2012

It is all in the details...













Images: To The Trade, Kravet


I am totally inspired by most things Asian - textiles, furniture, decorative objects, art. It could go on. So I was so very pleased, no, ecstatic when I received Kravet's new catalog of window hardware at work and learned that Barbara Barry added window hardware to her Indochine Collection. Look at those finials! How amazing are they?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Digging...

















Images: Helga Wagner Palm Beach


I usually wear very small earrings, but really big rings or necklaces. However, earrings are very cool. Very beachy, very Palm Beach. Totally digging them, but if Helga Wagner reads this...may I make a suggestion? 


These would make awesome rings! Hint. Hint. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Art to Fashion















Images: Mary M. Payne, Style.com


Cherry Blossoms (and I guess Almond Blossoms) are in bloom - one of my faves! - and I LOVE that Rodarte took inspiration from Van Gogh's Almond Blossom (c. 1890) to apply to the fabulous dress above. 
Added bonus: Turquoise ground color.

I would wear this anywhere...anytime...seriously...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Belted and Scarved






























































Images: Taigan


As I am thinking of my spring wardrobe - what to add, what to subtract - there are a few things that always get factored in: Shirt dresses, belted shirts, and gauzy scarves. These are some ideas I came across on Taigan.
I am totally in love with that shirt dress and white belt. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hometown























Image: Net-a-Porter


I may have to get this dress for a couple of reasons:


1.) It is navy and white stripes
2.) The label named it Swarthmore, which just so happens to be the name of my hometown


I am actually heading to the old hood tonight to see some friends. I always love driving by the two houses I grew up in. My mother no longer lives in there so I do not get there often, but when I do pay a visit my mind becomes filled with the best memories of such a great and beautiful town.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seersucker...be still my heart


Inspiration...























Images: Kim Seybert, Dransfield & Ross


I LOVE seersucker. Seersucker suits, seersucker bedding, seersucker anything


As the maid-of-honor for my sister a few years back, she let me select the dresses and since the wedding was in June in hot hot hot DC, I selected a seersucker dress by Thread. I still love that dress. So as an admirer of seersucker I could not resist the seersucker napkins by Kim Seybert or the seersucker cocktail napkins by Dransfield & Ross. However, since I have been itchy for a craft project and I am not quite ready to print the design for the lampshade I mentioned in my last post, I thought I would make my very own seersucker dinner napkins as seen below. 

























Images: my iPhone, Save the Stitches (inset of bottom image)

I opted for classic blue and white seersucker for my napkins, but for a little pop I sewed the hems with coral colored thread. Now I am debating whether or not to finish off the edges with a blanket stitch in coral embroidery thread for an added touch. These napkins are to be used on our screened-in porch which we will not be able to use for a little longer, I do have time if I am feeling up to the task. Regardless, love them...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perfect Perch for a Pooch


























Last idea I posted about is making lampshades or window treatments. Still on the list. In fact, I am currently working on a small repeat pattern which I plan to screen print to then turn into a lamp shade. I finally worked out the motif yesterday morning and will try to put into repeat in the next couple of days so that I can then make my screen and then hopefully print it. I will share images once I get that worked out. However, added to the list is a new dog bed for my lovely little Cleo. The one I made for her about a year ago is getting TIRED. I would love to recreate something like the beds above. So stylish. These are on the home page of Lisa Fine Textiles. She is not selling these, but I love the idea of taking really high-end fabric and making something chic for one's furry friend. Okay, not the most practical, but a fun idea nonetheless. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

In need of a project



















Images: Pinterest

Over the last week I have been very itchy to take on a little craft project at home. One of the possibilities is creating fabric roller shades. This, after a client came in with one that she made with this beautiful fabric she picked up at Liberty of London years ago. Totally inspiring. Then it got me thinking about what else I could do...recover a lampshade came to mind. I am sure I will start with a basic hardback lampshade to get my feet wet, but I aspire to make a pleated lampshade like above with a beautiful printed border design. It is always good to set goals, don't you think? Happy weekend!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Noticeably Nautical























Images (clockwise from upper left): Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Chance, LL Bean, J. Crew

It must be all of the resort collections that have been launched - have you seen the Tory Burch Resort Collection ??? - but I cannot help but think about navy and white (or ivory) stripes. Classic. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

These are awesome...




























Image: The Glow





























Images: Anthropologie


Now this is the kind of taxidermy I can handle...cruelty free. I am trying to decide which three I would narrow in on for a wall - because things do look good in odd numbers. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simple yet so good...























Image: Varpunen


As much as I love color I adore white. This room is so simple with only touches of color and then that framed pattern! Graphic. Simple. Good use of color. Stack of mags tied with a black ribbon...nice touch.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wishful Thinking and Busy at Work

Image: lazybones

Of course I realize that it most likely that the shot was styled to convey someone relaxing and basking in the calm silence or something to that effect. However, based on how I feel this morning it conveys something totally different. Totally shot. I have been busy painting in my studio late the last few nights coupled with running all over New York yesterday doing some research for a client and visiting the showroom that represents the fabric line for the woman I work for...all while it was raining and not wearing my Hunters. It could be much worse, but I can tell you this morning my body is saying "stay in bed." So much so that I have already begun researching ergonomic desk chairs and stools for my drawing table. Any suggestions?