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!


  1. I am so happy for all of the wonderful things coming together for you Paula! Your work is amazing! Can't wait to see your new fabric line.

  2. What a year Paula! It looks like 2011 is going to quite the year as well but hopefully on a brighter note. Congratulations on the book deal. Looking forward to seeing your new fabric line. The photos of your home decor items are beautiful! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your life and work with us!

  3. What a year you've had! I hope that 2011 just gets better and better for you. My family have a saying that 'the wheel turns' meaning sometimes you're down going through the mud but you always come out the other end with things looking up. Your embarrassing story made me laugh, it's just the sort of thing that I would do! Happy New Year!

  4. Jeez Paula. What a year. I'm pleased to see it go. Here's to a fresh start and finally meeting in 2011!

  5. A constant work in progress... Life sure knows how to teach us things doesn't it? Whether we like it or not... Bad things, good things, Here's to 2011, moving forward, friends, and joyous memories. Your new home line is fantastic. I think I want to buy that mansion in your neck of the woods.. Good grief that's huge... that would be about 20 mil out here...
    ;-) hugs my friend.

  6. What a year is right!!!

    And, yes Victoria, it was on the market for $20 mil, but what a steal, huh?

  7. well Paula one thing we can definitely say about you and your year is that you are one of the Strongest people I know. I am sure that most people could not handle what you have this year with such dignity and grace, and laughter.

    I am a firm believer that you are only given what you can handle and if it seems you were pushed more than ever before this year, there is a reason for that, its preparing you for something "really" big!

    2010 was a big push year for me as well and you know why Paula that we were pushed to our limits?? Its because we are Aries- the warrior- the leader of the zodiac!! Did you know that 2011 is the year for us?? So all that pain and glory of last yr prepared you for the insane year to come!!

    I know your son is watching you and is beaming with pride of how amazing his mom is, and how lucky he was to be your son. The hardest thing in life is losing a child and and to top it off feeling like you couldn't help him. I know my mom slightly knows your pain.. as my sister is still here, but the daily grind of what she deals with is much.

    So Paula are you prepared??? because there are going to be even bigger things happening this year! Since I know you are good with change- you are ready for it like me- you might get your wish move this year- I know I am hoping for mine, to head back to NYC area for good this time.

    You are a warrior, you are a leader, you are the one whom others like to listen to and follow and you have strength beyond... walk in your truth today, feel happy about how amazing you are.. because you simple are AMAZING!!



  8. My goodness this past year has held alot for you & your family~~

    Love the new fabric line... it screams for brighter things to come in 2011!

    Hope you will be home this weekend..I am calling you!!


  9. Hi Paula,
    What a wonderful post! So many good things lined up for you this year.

    My MIL lives very close to E Lansing and we are about to embark on the same task...moving her to assisted living and fixing up/selling her home of 43 years. It's sad and daunting and we live so far away. I wish you the best for a quick sale, it's tough market there, but what an adorable home.

    I wish you all the best!

  10. Paula,
    I love reading your blogs. Your life is such an inspiration for those of us who are going at it unconventionally with all the highs' and the lows! I'm so lifted by your photos and how you surround yourself with color, creativity and a growth mindset!

  11. Congratulations on finding he right book publisher for you! Can't wait to see a copy. Happy 2011!

  12. The ladies probably just thought the eyelashes was an artist thing. I know I would.

  13. Oh Erica, I even emailed the one gal afterward and she swears she never noticed. My daughter said that was impossible and she was just being polite. She said they glowed in the dark.

  14. Oh Paula-- What a great post. You have such an amazing outlook. Congrats on the book deal! I was able to meet and spend a little time with Roxanne at The Creative Connection Event. She is wonderful! You are in good hands....or is she in good hands? I guess you both are. Congrats on an amzing outlook for 2011. I can't wait to watch it all come together for you-- the gal on her tippie toes sporting the new white eyelashes trend-- so new, no one even knows about it yet!

  15. What a lovely post Paula. I admire you for being so honest and sharing it all with us. I sincerely hope that 2011 is going to be not only a better (doesn't sound like that would be hard!) but also an absolutely fantastic year for you. I will keep you in my prayers.

  16. Oh Paula! I'm so excited for you - congratulations on the book and I can't wait to see your new line! You know I'll be waiting to get my grubby hands on both ;)

  17. It was so good to meet you and Tim, Paula and David and I came home saying, "it was good to spend the afternoon with those people." How I grieve for your loss. We will keep you in our prayers and we would like to get together again sometime. We can meet you in Indy if you want or perhaps you can come up to Flora sometime and see what living in the country is really all about. BTW, love your work. You are so talented. Blessings. Rhoda

  18. Hey Paula, I didn't know they even made a lash primer! Now I know what I need to buy next time I'm at the drugstore...just goes to show, what you saw as a mistake, gave me good information.

    Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

  19. My prayers are with you and your family. Wishing you much happiness and great success in 2011.

  20. Your posts are so inspiring. I am cracking up at the white mascara incident- that is something I would do.

    So happy your hubby could make the move back in time for Christmas. Especially with what you have had to go through. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. Praying each new day will bring you peace and comfort.

  21. Glad I stumbled upon your Blog through Pink Chalk! I've added Show & Tell to my Blog roll and look forward to your new projects and sharing. Happy New Year!

  22. Paula~ I am finally visiting your blogspot..its my first time on any blog! I love hearing more about your definitely brightened up the picture of what I already knew. I am excited for you for this new coming year and I agree, you are being strengthened and built up with perserverence. I am sure it will bear much fruit for you in many ways this year!
    I so enjoyed visiting with you at your is just beautiful..everywhere I turn, I could spend so long admiring such creative expression.
    I am excited to see what you are working on for this year...maybe I will learn a few things on fashion...Lord knows I need it!
    Many blessings to you and yours~

  23. Best wishes for the new year... Looking forward to the new collection!

  24. Dear Paula,

    I have wondered where you have been. My aunts and I have missed seeing you and Jennifer and your big beautiful smiles at market.

    I'm sorry to hear about your son. I'm sure he was as lovely as you!

    I'm so excited to hear about your home dec line and your new line with MM. I wish you the best 2011 ever!


  25. Paula!!
    WOW. SO much has happened! I am so inspired by your courage and your optimism! Your sweet son is now free, and I am sure he is with you often. How you must miss him! I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, and I wish you all the best in the coming year!
    You are a lovely human being, with a strong spirit. Hope to see you soon!

  26. I think of you often Paula and keep you in my prayers. Your fortitude and resilience are an inspiration to me. It's such a difficult road to travel. I know it honors them when we hold our chin up and go on, but it's a painful thing to do. God bless.

  27. Love your home decor goodies. Yummy pillows : ) I await in anticipation for "Botanica" because I know it will be FAB!



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