Friday, August 29, 2008


My grandparents together in the early 40's when my grandfather was a Marine.

Tomorrow is my grandparent's 67th Anniversary. Quite a milestone! They are two of the most kind and generous people you will ever meet. I want to wish them a very happy anniversary and thank them for the wonderful and loving example they have been to all of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I feel so blessed to have had them in my life for so many years. They still lead active lives at 90 and 89. They are an even better pair now then they were all those years ago! Love you, Grandma and Grandpa!
I hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Today I want to introduce you to another wonderful artist/designer, business owner and blogging friend, Marnie Ruane. I first became acquainted with Marnie's great designs through my friend PVE. Getting to know her a little has been a delight! Marnie has indulged my inquisitive nature with a little info. on herself and what makes Marnie tick!

Marnie and her daughter, Isabel

Marnie's desk and a photo with her husband.

Can you tell us a little about your background and home life?
Married for almost 20 years to a wonderful, yet unpredictable guy, dh, as he is sometimes referred to in my posts, (dear hubby). We are opposite in so many ways, yet it works. We have a terrific daughter, Isabel, who I mention on the blog periodically, 16 years old and quite independent and our dear dog named Libby, pictured on the blog next to me, "the mound of black fluff". She is a poodle - smart and active who thinks she is a "big" dog.
I was born in Boston and lived there until I was 25. Then I took a leap and moved to New York City where I stayed for 12 years. Branching out to NYC wasn't enough, so I took a year off from work, and went to London to study art history when I was 29. One of the best years of my life. Upon the arrival of our daughter we settled in Connecticut.

One of Marnie's great frame designs
What are your favorite foods?
Soft-shelled crabs (my husband makes them for me on every birthday) and ice cream cones - especially pistachio (but it must be white and not green) with chocolate jimmies (that's what we call sprinkles in Boston), second choice, plain vanilla with jimmies.
Three words to describe you? Passionate, Practical and Pollyanna!

Marnie has a terrific shop on Etsy - this is her Etsy store banner, I love it, don't you?!

Another of her colorful and preppy designs in classic madras patchwork.
Any favorite colors?
Celadon green and bird's egg blue. I collect all sorts of objects in celadon green: fire king mixing bowls, vases, wastebasket, tins, a tea cosy, aprons, etc. I also love the pink/red family of colors.
What did you aspire to in your youth?
When I was quite young I wanted to be a 1st grade teacher but that did not last long...I love art history... and thought a position at one of the auction houses would be great. Working for a company like Colefax and Fowler would be great too!
How do you get inspired?
My inspiration comes from reading and looking at everything around me - just keeping my eyes open, ears open and mind open - color, ideas, daydreaming.

Marnie's blog header created by our mutual friend, Patricia van Essche of PVE Designs.
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and artist/business owner?
This question is really a two part - because creativity and business do not always go hand in hand...
Favorite things essential to my success/well being as an artist -
Organization of time and space; a place of my own, even if it is the studio in our extra long garage; happiness, peace and balance in my life.
Favorite things essential to my success/well being as a business -
Believing in myself, organization of time and space, hard work, setting goals, pushing the envelope. To use current lingo, stepping out of my comfort zone and my excel spread sheets.
A year ago I started working with SCORE, a national organization of retired individuals who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs - it has been wonderful - they help me set targets, evaluate my business, and provide useful constructive advice, keeping me focused and consequently, energized.
What keeps you up at night? Risky ventures
Thanks to Marnie for taking the time to share more with us! You can check out her Etsy store and latest creations here .
Read her delightful blog as well.

Monday, August 25, 2008


In case you haven't noticed, I have a thing for orange, especially when it happens to be this classic kind of Hermes-like shade. I am like a monkey - shiny objects grab my attention. Lacquer is so appealing and the black banding adds a nice contrast along the edges. How's this for a tasteful tschotcke that offers storage solutions while punching up the color quota?

Vibrant colored glassware by Threseinthal - what fantastic hues!

I may not have my finger on the pulse of what's hot, because I am still really digging coral and shell motifs. Always have and always will. Hey, when you live in Florida, it's a perennial fit. I love this silver-plated flatware by Siecle. Very unique and looks to be so heavy, you can tone your arms while employing your utensils!

And last but not least, I thought this was a great accent piece by Ankasa. Perfect for a little extra seating. The orange Ikat pattern and great shape really grabbed me. However, if you have pets or kids, it might not be such a great fit, because at $2,800, you probably don't want it getting clawed or stained. MEEEEOOOOWWWW. All items available at Vivre.

Friday, August 22, 2008


A special end-of-the-week thank you for 2 great mentions this week from Sassy Java Baby for featuring my Pink Espresso print and Discourse and Design for featuring my quote prints (both available in my Etsy store). I am so grateful for the support of bloggers who boost independent artists like myself. Check out their posts and great blogs! It's been a crazy week here in Florida with Tropical Storm Fay and there's been so much rain and wind, I was about to build an ark! Things are calming down in my neck of the woods now and it's great to see a bit of sun again. Thanks, guys, for the mentions and hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend!


I just had to post this amazing wall/furniture treatment in a very hip and stylish European hotel. Art Louise KunstHotel in Berlin, Germany. Each room is unique! How cool is this? Art by Markus Linnenbrink. The color combo is amazing and it's so un-generic. I knew Karen at Alkemie would love this one as much as I do! (via Laissez-Faire) A visit to the hotel's website is worth your time for the amazing "installations" that are each room!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The much-celebrated "Ghost Chair" by Phillipe Starck now available in a mini version for children!

As most of you know, Phillipe Starck is one of the most prolific designers of our day. The Ghost Chair is one of his most popular designs to date and now this hip dad has designed a smaller version for little people who deserve a little style also. How cute would these be in a child's room or playroom? They just came out in Europe this Summer and will be available shortly in the US through Kartell for about $116. Available in a variety of candy-colored transparent pastel colors (fluorescent orange and green, sugar pink, blue, sky blue, purple, lilac, and pale green) and three opaque colors (red, white, black). They are made from polycarbonate, resistant to scratches and feature perfect ergonomics. It's a shame no one has come out with a miniature Saarinen oval table for kids, too! How perfect would that be paired with these chairs?
Photos courtesy of Marie Claire Maison

Monday, August 18, 2008


A great alternative to boring, solid colored plastic dinnerware, here is something great via SF Girl By Bay. These are just a sample of the great melamine plates and napkins offered by Pop Ink. I think these would be perfect outdoors for a meal alfresco complete with colorful chinese hanging lanterns. Not your ordinary cookout!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I got a kick out of this old photo and I dubbed it "Poor Man's Polo". Looks like the one guy is afraid of getting his eye put out! Have fun this weekend, but if you try this, please wear safety goggles!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Couldn't resist posting these cute, earth-friendly and sustainable utensils from Baci Milano via Marie Claire Maison. They are made from bamboo. I don't know about being dishwasher safe, but these are so fetching they might be worth washing by hand!

Monday, August 11, 2008


How charming is this Antibes Chest for an accent piece? I just love it! I am a real sucker for anything trellis-patterned and I also love the center oval detail. The same design is also available with two doors, versus the drawer setup. This is on sale now through August 15th and available online for designers. For non-designers, they have a directory available of local dealers. Elysee Collection carries an enormous array of other gorgeous and unique pieces. So much to look at. Check their selection out here!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I want to thank designer and blogger friend, Kirsten, at Simply Grove for her kind mention! She has posted a photo of two of my prints from my Etsy site framed and hung in her newly done, gorgeous lounge. If you have not visited Kirsten's blog yet, you are in for a treat! Check out her post and blog here! I hope you all have a fantastic and restful weekend!
P.S. I would also like to thank Courtney of Nesting Instincts for her mention this week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


The lovely and talented Sunny Goode

Porch floor by Sunny

Where were you born?
Atlanta, Georgia

What was your least favorite subject in school?

When do you remember first showing an interest/affinity for art and painting?
My art class in 3rd grade, we really had freedom to create rather than be told what to do…it was my favorite part of school. I also have been very visual my whole life- photographic memory of color has helped me a lot with clients and projects.

Are you married?
Yes, to Read, 15 years. Very fun, supportive, and creative too.

Any children? Yes, Presley (girl) 11 years-Whit (boy) 9 years and Beck (boy) 6 years, they are great and make life fun and funny.

How long have you lived in your current home and what is your favorite thing about it?
We have been here 5 years, and what I like most is how it feels… very comfortable, happy and colorful. There is not one room I would freak out if 10 kids were hanging out in it…I also love our neighborhood- it feels like the 1950’s .

Foyer of Katie Ukrop's home

What's is your greatest challenge?
To educate the world how to achieve GOOD decorative painting …once you have experienced the bad stuff it is hard to get the visual out of your mind!

What do you love most about having your own business?
Really the humor! I have seen a lot of really funny situations…
Seriously, I love creating and sharing ideas. I also love customers who have gained confidence by picking a project out and doing it, and feeling successful! That makes me happy.

Living room and foyer of Katie Ukrop's home before the furniture was moved in and Domino photographed it.

What/who would be your dream commission/client?
Free creative reign, for a customer who shares my enthusiasm for pretty things.
Preferably somewhere tropical with great architectural bones…

If you could only shop at 1 place, where would it be?
Right now it would be Trina Turk- I love her fabrics!

A beautiful large-scale stencil in Sunny's Richmond, Va store

Your favorite color?

Anything Fusion -I love when chefs mix and match cultural tastes - it is always so surprising to me what can be done!

I really like a lot of different music…no rap or heavy metal though… that drives me crazy!

Your dream travel destination?
Lake Como Italy with my family for a summer

This is the second part of my feature on Sunny Goode and her decorative painting company Sunny's Goodtime Paints. Sunny is an amazingly talented decorative painter based in Richmond, Virginia. Her work has been featured in several decor magazines, including Traditional Home and, most recently, Domino. She loves color and pattern and is a pro at combining them to perfection. She has a store in Richmond, as well as online, where her uniquely tasteful stencil designs and gorgeous array of color washes are available for sale. I want to thank her for allowing us to get to know her a little better and see some more samples of her beautiul work. There is so much more to see on her website; tutorials, a gallery of her work and a selection of her products. Thanks, Sunny!

Monday, August 4, 2008


The Sculpture Corridor - Osbourne by James Roberts, 1852. Look at the meticulous detail of all the mouldings and architectural features - amazing!

The Council Room, Osbourne. It was used for the business of the Sovereign, but also doubled as a ballroom or theatre on royal birthdays and a drawing room for formal visits by foreign royalty. Painted in 1861 by James Roberts.

This was Prince Albert's dressing room painted by James Roberts - 1851. It adjoined the Queen's sitting room and, on the right, his bathroom.

The Queen's dressing room, also captured here by James Roberts - 1851.

Osbourne House is the former Royal Residence on the Isle of Wight that Prince Albert and Queen Victoria bought and altered for their young family in 1845. After Albert's death in 1861 and the Queen's subsequent death in 1901, Osbourne House was donated to the nation by an act of Parliament. The State Apartments still remain open to the public. This home is unique because it stands as a monument to their loving marriage and happy family life together. I, of course, was interested in these exquisite watercolor renderings of a few interior rooms, all by James Roberts. I particularly loved the way he was able to reproduce the paintings in the rooms, especially Albert's beloved Italian art collection in his dressing room. His dressing room could trump any of the closets of celebrities that people ooh and ahh over today!!

Friday, August 1, 2008


"Now, Bobby, you like your dog just barely cooked, right?" That should be the caption here. This is a vintage photo taken in the 50's here locally on Longboat Key, FL. My grandmothers both had bathing suits just like the woman in the picture. I enjoy putting words in the mouths of people I see in photos to go with their expressions. A little quirk of mine, among many. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and eat something tasty outdoors for me!