Friday, January 31, 2014


After another disappointing attempt at an abstract painting I decided to paint something distinguishable. See if you can figure out what these are:

Much happier, in fact, I think I'm in love.  Just look at those eyes.  Me thinks these are keepers.

On another note I had an amazing short visit with my daughter.  We packed in shopping, hosted a Stella & Dot Trunk Show, and lots of food.  She came from the Midwest vortex thingy so the weather here was yet another treat.  I was secretly hoping she might get stranded here; oh well.

Happy and safe weekend!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I have absolutely fallen in love with Burano, Italy.  The houses, shutters and doors are all brightly painted.  I already have a longtime love of windows and doors.  Flowers on the sill or a flower boxes make hearts float out of my eyes.  Yup, it's true.  I get on Google Maps sometimes just to "walk the streets" and tour cities around the world. Burano is one of my all time favorite stops.  

I decided to paint a window for my home and place it in my hanging easel.  I bought two easels years ago at market to use in a Decorator Show House.  I wish I had purchased dozens of these easels because the room I designed ended up on the front cover of Better Homes and Gardens Window and Walls and a book (here's a Before and After post about that cottage dining room here). I had way too many calls and emails wanting those easels.  Problem is they were no longer for sale and I sold the other one to a client.  

Speaking of chandeliers (huh?) I sure wish I had the chandelier I used in that Cottage Dining Room.  It was a bazillion dollars back then and sure it would be two bazillion now.

Before the holidays we invited four couples to dinner and our small dining room got swallowed up when we put the extensions in the table. We would have to walk outside and around the house to come in another door to get to the other side of the table. We tried moving the table into the much larger, unused living room.  As soon as we did, it was such a Eureka moment.  We thought, "Why not keep it this way, we're the boss of us?"  So we did.  We lit lots of candles for that dinner, but we are planning another event this week and decided we need a chandelier.  Went about researching something large enough to light a large room and cheap enough to take back down if we ever sell the house and have to turn it into a living room again.  I was not happy with the prices or the timeframe to order one.  So two weekends ago we set out to find something local, cheap and in stock.  I prayed beforehand for a great find, as God knows I can be a tad bit, how should I say, PICKY.  After hitting all the big box stores we decided to check out Urban Barn, a huge flea market shop/antique, um...barn in Escondido.  That can take about two+ hours so I went in hopeful.  Tim and I split up to divide and conquer.  We met up a couple times and Tim mentioned he saw a chandelier way in the back area but too much stuff barricaded him from getting a good look.  He tried to take me to this back area but were told it was off bounds.  Not finding much, we purchased a birdcage and wine holder and as we were checking out the owner asked if we found what we came for.  Ha, next thing we knew we were the proud owners of this big baby.  Cost?  $35.  Yes way!!!

It's not the one from the show house, but looks and feels very Restoration Hardwareish and works just fine for $35, don't ya think?  Oh, and here's our newly converted "sitting room".  It's my favorite place to sit in the morning and plan my day.  Okay, that scary striped thing is a coverlet and I'm usually under it. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Due to lack of sleep I sold my first painting! It's very normal for me to lay awake and stare up at the ceiling all night long.  One night I finally gave up and decided to clean out my inbox.  I know, I know.  In doing so I saw an email about an upcoming art gallery exhibition.  The receiving for the artwork submissions was the very next day.  I have never submitted artwork before, but the longer I thought about it I decided it was about time to get off my art stool. The next day I delivered my pieces and later got word they were accepted. Tim and I attended the reception, then moved on to all the holiday travels and festivities.  Then I got this call from the gallery saying one of my pieces, NEW YORK, NEW YORK sold.  AND the gallery's Chairman for the Board is the one who purchased it.  That's pretty cool for a rookie, right?   

While I have sold numerous pieces, they were always made for giclee's or reproductions and I own the originals.  This is a new experience for me and I must admit I have conflicting emotions.  I really liked that painting.  Makes me wonder; do artists hold a personal attachment to each piece?   I guess I better get over it, because I currently have seven paintings in various stages of completion.  I have poured hours over each one and they kinda grow on me.  Guess it's better to give them a new home than to enjoy all of them and be a starving artist, right?

Over the holidays we hand-delivered those pieces (here and here) for our grandson.  Here's what the whole group looks like hanging over his bed. 

He was genuinely excited, but Tim practically had him sign a Right of First Refusal in case Wyatt ever wanted to move on to another theme.  

So I started RUNNING this week using the Couch to 5k app!!!!!  Please, hold the applause.  Save it for when I actually finish.  What helps is there's a Brit that talks to you and I'm a tad bit embarrassed that she's talking when I'm within earshot of others.  I try to time it to get past people before or have even turned around to run in the other direction when I couldn't avoid passing people in time.  Now I can truly say, "gotta run".  xo


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


While 2013 certainly wasn't one of my best or worst years, I was still kinda mumbling "Good Riddins" under my breath as we were all welcoming in 2014.  However, as much as I dislike the underlying feeling that in January I'm supposed to make promises resolutions (so I can break them in February, then beat myself up for the rest of the year), I'm surprisingly much more upbeat about starting off the year with a clean slate.  The thing is, not setting any goals definitely didn't work for me!  So this year I'm in a good place and actually WANTING to achieve some goals.  There.  I said it.  Don't judge me. 

So the first thing I did was get a daily planner that was so stinkin "me" that I would actually want to use it.  I chose Whitney English's Day Designer.  I love it!  And, btw, if anyone ever doubted my long time affair with black and white stripes, here's the proof.

Speaking of love, my other long time love is all things Kate Spade.  Jennifer just got me this Things We Love book for Christmas and I hate to say I may have drooled on it a little.  These two books and my bible are what's getting me pumped to take on this New Year with a bit of vim and vigor!  My desire is to be able to add the word NEW to my vocabulary and use it frequently; as in NEW ARTWORK, NEW WEBSITE, NEW FRIENDS, NEW NUMBERS (as in dress size, cholesterol levels, income, you got it…)  This year I want to accept all those Happy New Year's wishes as blessings so that by the end of the year I can finally say, this was a happy year.  With that said, may you all have an amazingly HAPPY NEW YEAR.  I mean it!!


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