Wednesday, January 5, 2011


As I finally stop and reflect on this last year I must admit I am so ready to bid 2010 farewell and am praying with hope and anticipation that this new year will be a much brighter one for me and my family.  I've divided the year into two catagories:


~ My longtime dream of having my daughter Jennifer and I be in business together came to a sad end when an obscure jewelry company called Stella and Dot swept her off her feet.  While I miss her dearly I well up with pride as I watch Jennifer's great leadership abilities launch her into being a director and founding leader of this incredible company.

~ The two most dominant male figures in my young children's lives when I was a single parent were both diagnosed with serious, life threatening illnesses.  My kids considered them "uncles" and they have been "family" to me for almost 40 years now.  

~ We made several trips to Michigan to start the long, arduous process of moving Tim's mom out of her house of 50+ years and into assisted living as her Altzheimer's progressed.  The adorable home that Tim grew up in is currently on the market :

~ Tim's job had him gone over a third of 2010.  The last four months we anticipated a job relocation and subsequent move and used every spare moment researching how to make the move from the Midwest to San Diego without losing the shirts off our backs.  I flew out there once in September to visit my hubby and search neighborhoods in person.  Otherwise I saw Tim briefly on weekends when he would fly home through the night and usually arrive Saturday morning and leave again Sunday afternoon.  Our short weekends were spent doing repairs and updating with the expectation we would be putting our house on the market.  While we were prepared for a major downsize and move across the country, in the end the offer was just not in our best interest.  On one hand the decision was a letdown, especially for Tim, as he was excited about the job and we both were willing to make the move.  On the other hand we were relieved that the uncertainty was over and Tim moved back just in time for Christmas. 

~ My months of researching and comparing the housing market in Southern California vs. the Midwest made me somewhat of a self-proclaimed expert of sorts.  The huge amount of the homes/condos were either in foreclosure or short sale and price per sf made my job even tougher.  What better way to point out the drastic comparison than with a visual.  Remember I posted about and fondly named this the Keebler Cottage?

During my search I discovered my favorite little cottage was actually for sale!  The 1908 sf home with the tiniest yard in La Jolla (a desirable suburb of San Diego) was priced at $2.3 mil.  At the same time the 25,000 sf La Chateau (Hilbert Mansion) in Carmel IN (a desirable suburb of Indianapolis) sold for $3 mil.

La Chateau Mansion Front

La Chateau Mansion Rear

While I readily admit these are extreme examples and realize the cottage has a nearby ocean.  I am making the point that my own humble abode in the Midwest was looking more appealing even with the snow.

La Prass Mansion

Sadly, our year ended with the loss of our son Jonathan to his long battle with bipolar and addictions.  It is still so raw.  I catch myself wanting to tell him I heard from a friend of his or wanting to ask him about something I read in one of his many journals.  How I wanted a different ending.  

While I didn't have control over what the year brought or how I would have spent it I do feel like I've been stretched spiritually and emotionally to become a stronger, deeper and more compassionate person than I was before.


I already shared some sneaky peeks of my home decor line with Demdaco here which will debut this month at the Atlanta Gift Market, Chicago Merchandise Mart and the Dallas Market Center.  Here's a couple new peeks for you peeps:

I heard the preorders for my home decor line with Demdaco is doing quite well and I am already creating my next collection which will be ready in January 2012.  I'm even more excited about my next collaboration for Demdaco and where I'm creating it for.  Demdaco has been a great to company to work with. 

What I haven't shared yet about 2010 is that I signed a book contract with Wiley Books.  I'm flipping out over writing a how-to book on sewing upscale decor projects for the home. 

So how can I go much further without a humorous story, even if at my own expense, right?  I had the priviledge of having a luncheon date with both my editor and publisher for the book.  I have honestly been regularly distracted the last couple months.  I start into something, but my mind is thinking about something else.  At Thanksgiving I apparently put the cranberry sauce in the Tupperware cabinet instead of the frig, which I didn't discover until, uh, too late.  Many similar stories, but on this day I rushed to get ready for my luncheon and after a lovely meeting I saw Jennifer.  She said something like, "Mom, tell me you didn't meet the Wiley gals with only your white mascara conditioner on"?   I look in the mirror and sure enough my eyelashes were bright white!  I emailed Roxane, my editor who swore she didn't notice.  Told her it's the latest trend and she acted like I really knew what I was talking about.  Here's the only proof, taken by our waitress on my iPhone.  Can you see my bright whites flashing at you?  If not, can you at least tell I was standing on my tippie toes?  Well I was...standing there all short and with bright white eyelashes.  Yup, this is me in the middle.  Incomplete, lacking.  But that's the beauty of it all..... we are all a constant work in progress and I might just be the leader of the pack.    

Last but not least, I was able to submit my initial fabric strike-offs for my newest collection with Michael Miller Fabrics called Botanika.  I'll share more once the strike-offs and colors are approved. 

Finally, may I say again just how much you all mean to me?  Your comments and personal emails have kept me connected and hopeful.  I love you all so much for sticking with me this past year.  I hope to make 2011 worth your while!


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