Monday, May 31, 2010

We Have A Winner!!


image Patricia Van Essche at her easel.


In one of my most popular giveaways yet, a custom portrait by PVE Design HERE, we now have a winner.  Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway.   And remember, if you really wanted a custom drawing by Patricia, her prices are very, very reasonable, so please consider commissioning her for birthday and  Christmas gifts. 


image The Winner’s Blog:  Loving Every Minute of It (I LOVE this picture – it’s so Texas Hill Country with its fossil laden paths!!)


Our winner is Ariel, who writes a Mommy blog called Loving Every Minute of It HERE.  I am so thrilled she won and couldn’t have picked a more deserving person – she even lives in the Texas Hill Country.   Ariel wants Patricia to draw the 100 year old cottage she lives in with her husband and three sons.    Hopefully, Patricia and Ariel will be willing to share the finished drawing with us!

Congratulations Ariel – and thank you so much Patricia for your generous giveaway.


COMING UP NEXT:   One of the BIGGEST giveaways ever!  I am soooo excited about this.  You will be too – I promise!!!  Details will be coming, very very soon.

Recognizing our Women in the Military

Women in the military have come a long way. They are absolutely Bright, BOLD and beautiful. "Airman Vanessa Dobos is the first female aerial gunner in the U.S. Air Force. Assigned to the 58th Training Squadron in Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., she looks out the crew door of an Air Force helicopter, equipped with a machine gun. "{courtesy of}
Airman Vanessa Dobos
Look how far we have come. "WASP test pilots Mardo Crane and Twila Edwards report for duty in Minter Field, Calif., April 1944. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) division was first created to help free male pilots for combat roles and make qualified civilian female pilots go on missions such as ferrying aircraft from factories to military bases. In 1943, more than 25,000 women applied for WASP service, but less than 1,900 were accepted. The 1,078 pilots who earned their wings were stationed at 120 air bases across the U.S.
Thirty-eight WASP fliers died during the war, but because they were not officially in the military, they were sent home at family expense and without traditional military honors." {courtesy of}

Sex and the City

Michaelle LeManne of Calgary had a "Sex and the City 2" party this past weekend,
and bought one of my "Sex and the City" watercolor prints for one of the prizes.
Sex and the City watercolor print
Thank you for sharing this photo with us!
I would love to feature your photos as well. Send them to

Sunday, May 30, 2010

So Beautiful...

Sparkle and light... shining through... reflecting on the day... enjoy!
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Weekend

I hope you are having an exciting and playful Memorial Day weekend...
I am loving this cover of Vogue's Summer Beauty Issue for May, 1941.
Vogue 1941 Summer Beauty Issue
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I wish you and your family a bright, bold, and beautiful Memorial Day weekend...
Summer Nautical Mosaic
All watercolor prints available in my shop.

Bright Ideas: Using Mirrors

I love to use mirrors in almost every room! This entryway sure makes a bold statement with the handsome mirror over the table.
Using mirrors
Cover up the mirrors with your finger to see how the look and feel
of the rooms change without them. Use mirrors to create more
depth and personality to your decor!
Decor Pad Chic Bedroom

No More Granny Wicker!



It’s amazing how something as simple as a new finish can come along and make everything else look so dated and out of style.  Lately, this phenomenon has happened to wicker.  Suddenly, gray wicker – or a gray washed wicker - has exploded on the scene and all other wicker stains and finishes look so…. granny.   

No one loves wicker more than I do – especially dark, deep brown stained wicker.  But, that’s all over now.   The end of dark brown wicker came when I started noticing the gray wicker finish here and there.   I also used to love white wicker.   No more.   Does anyone out there want to buy some white and dark brown wicker?    I’ve got a few pieces for sale!



image My guest room – yep, there it is, hiding its ugly face in the corner!  A dark brown stained wicker chair, just waiting to be replaced.  It thinks if it keeps hiding it will go unnoticed. 



image And oh, I used to love white wicker.  No more.  Sold to the highest bidder!



image Ah…there she is.  The most gorgeous wicker chair in the world.  Gray wicker.  It’s color is subtle:  light brown with a hint of a whitish gray paint covering it.  This chair is perfect either inside or out.   I especially love it in a dining room paired with a limed wood table.



image Just like this!  Jill Brinson’s gorgeous dining room.   The chairs look especially good when placed near the gray faux finished cabinets.   PERFECTION!



image These gorgeous chairs were seen in the Kirby Mears designed house in Veranda.   They are sold at Thompson Hanson in Houston as “Belgian Wicker.” 



image Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen pairs her gray wicker with grayish old shutters.   So beautiful!



image The same chairs then go outside on Brooke’s gravel courtyard.  




Houston interior designer Sally Wheat used these gray wicker chairs in a breakfast room – paired with a Wisteria steel table. 



image In this house, Sally Wheat used the gray wicker with painted legs as bar stools.  





For this client, Sally took a paint brush to white wicker, turning it luscious gray.  Hmm.   That’s not a bad idea!!!





Heaven on earth!  I ordered three sets of three wicker baskets – all heavenly gray. 



 image The smallest sized basket sits on my kitchen counter – filled with take out menus.



image  The medium sized basket on my bakers rack holds Elisabeth’s school books.




My Albans client is borrowing a set of the baskets until she finds a Mora clock for that wall. 




Noir Furniture LA is a great wholesale company for this chair.   Doxa Home HERE carries this chair for retail clients.







Of course Restoration Hardware is all over the gray wicker.  They call it their Provence Collection.  And of course the French would want credit for this gorgeous wicker. 



image  Restoration Hardware:  It is a pretty collection.  Not as fluid or sensual as the chairs with curved lines though.



image Restoration Hardware:  These make great chairs for the inside dining room.





OKA – the best catalogue in the world.  They get it.   HERE.




Pottery Barn – you need to wise up.  These two shades are out, finished, over, done-with, out of style.   Get with the program, Pottery Barn!



While I am dying to get with the program myself – and change out all my wicker to the new gray - for the moment, I am going small.  I recently bought two tiny gray wicker baskets with filled with succulents at Thompson Hanson (of course!)    For now, I will be happy with my small nod to the new gray wicker.   Ben is hoping this will get me through the trend.   Somehow, I doubt it.   But – we’ll see!!!  It might!



image For now, I will be happy with my small nod to the new gray wicker.   Ben is hoping this will get me through the trend.   Somehow, I doubt it.   But – we’ll see!!!  It might!



REMEMBER:   PVE Design give away ends on Saturday -  hurry and sign up!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

IKEA Family Live

I want to give a shout out to Sarah at IKEA Family Live.
Thank you for featuring my home office (full of IKEA furniture I absolutely love, and enjoy every single day) in the IKEA Family Live gallery. Click here for more details about my IKEA items.
IKEA family live gallery

Check out their fun website with so many inspirational ideas!
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Bright and Bold Colors

When I saw this beautiful colordrop necklace by Madewell displayed among the vibrant paint tubes, I had to share it! So shiny and bright for your Summer soiree!
Colordrop necklace
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Photography by Fulvio Bonavia

Photography by Fulvio Bonavia is a Feast for your Eyes! Need I say more?
Fulvio Bonavia photography

Fulvio Bonavia photography

Fulvio Bonavia photography

Fulvio Bonavia photography
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Old tiled floor restoration

Oh, wow, bellissimo !

We got old beautiful tiles in three rooms of the house.
Now, in two rooms the original floor can shine again!
Today I received some beautiful photos of the restoration work.

It was a work process over two days:

Floor grinding and levelling starts here

Vincenzo at work with his machine

Grinding, levelling and joints sealing completed 

Now, Vincenzo makes the floor shiny (lucidare

Vincenzo has finished his work. BRAVO ! Bravissimo !

As you might see on the right (above), we used some other old tiles of the same thickness (from the third room) to repair broken areas. The same was made before us in the other room in the corner (below) :

In case you are looking for some professional cleaning or polishing of your floor (marble, granite, all kind of stones and tiles), stairways or a treatment for terra cotta floors- give Vincenzo a call!

I almost forgot to post a BEFORE photo:

BEFORE: Unfortunately, the electrician needed to install some cables and broke more than was already broken.

AFTER repair with old original tiles with floral ornament :

The spare tiles used for repair are from a third room where too many were damaged to be able to restore the floor nicely. So we decided to take them out and re-use them in another smaller area. There we will need less of them and had some leftovers to use as spare tiles in this room (above).