November 25, 2010

A THANKS to you.....and the GIVING for a heart

 This stunning piece is part of the GIVING......but first, my thanks to all of you.

When each of us that blogs wrote our first post, we had no idea where this would lead.
If you were like me I thought "how on earth do i compete with so so many well established blogs out there?"
 Would there ever be room at the "table" for me?
The answer;  yes a resounding yes, I was not entering a competition (that's the old sports player in me) but a warm and welcoming family. Blogging and it's interactions, are now a large component in my life and I am thankful for each of you.
Not one to start out too slowly, I went to the top........Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar. I nervously reached out with an invitation to host a party in their honor when they were coming to the Kane County Flea market in Illinois. Imagine the screaming when I opened Jaithan's response....."Yes, we would love to..........."
Two years on these dear men are wonderful friends with a special place in my heart. We have shared much. Deep in my soul I know  they are the lifelong brothers I always wanted and I treasure them immensely. Could this have happened without blogging?
 This world I joined has been life changing. What a privilege meeting many of you; the talented people whose words and ideas have inspired me.   
Deep bonds have formed with many others that I hope to meet someday

 I am a better person, designer; landscape and interiors, possess a keener eye for those bits begging to be re-purposed, even becoming a newly re-ignited crafter (thought that was long over) and striving for honing any skill i possess as a writer and emerging photographer. Certainly my new SLR camera will solve all my issues............once I learn to use it!

                                 donated to Marija's family by Patricia of PVE blog

And then there was Marija of Holding Court, my new BFF. The joy of meeting this brilliant and funny individual behind the blog which resulted in instant magic, we were "forever soul sisters"
Anyone who reads my blog knows about the car accident which took Marija's life and left me scarred emotionally 
 My local friends, family and precious clients reached out. The blogging community had lost one of our own and rallied to Marija's husband, family and to me. 
note; a memorial blog called Holding Forth has been created for Marija's children. We would love to hear your story of interaction with Marija.
But since I rarely responded to those gestures of kindness at the time,(too buried deep within) I remain truly

And now for the giving............
As most of you are aware another "one of ours" remains in need. Valorie and Alberto of Visual Vamp

In brief Valorie and Alberto flew to Toronto for a Tango event. Upon exiting the plane, Alberto suffered a life threatening heart attack. The Canadian Health Care system is not particularly "foreigner friendly". Conferring with their Doctor in New Orleans he concurred that their method of treatment would be detrimental and Albreto needed to get home immediately for surgery.
Not so easy..............
  • Alberto was not allowed to take a commercial flight, he needed a Medi-Vac
  • The Medi-Vac must be paid in full, up front
  • The hospital had to be paid in full in order to secure a release
 We are talking huge sums and Valorie reached out for her beloved Alberto. Friends, family and her blogger community reacted. Funds were borrowed and donated. The borrowers lent their credit card and the payments are due. Having met and bonded with this darling couple, I would be honored to help. So I will stop rambling and get to it!

                                Art for a Heart

Another on-line auction. With the opportunity to both give and to receive. Seeking those of you that have something artful to donate. With the help of Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore, she is guiding me on how to host this endeavor.
 Laura's generous auction can be seen here with all of her participants.

The lovely sister duo of Providence Design opened their new on-line shop with a big gala. Did you see? We were all invited! And.........10% of the sales are being donated to Val and Alberto
 A long winded back to this gorgeous piece of jewelry. Our first donation by a reader of the Visual Vamp's, wrote me about being honored to donate her art; this stunning piece was made by the generous Carla Fox.
I have a feeling Carla will be in demand, don't you love this?!!
 Second up, a painting by the generous Karena of Art by Karena........can't wait to see what she chooses!

Third: I will be donating a beloved antiquity, a French playing card from the late 1700's lovingly framed and matted, can't wait to show you!

 Who can participate? Everyone, you can be an artist and showcase your work, I will credit you and provide a link for your new fans. And any art form; painting, sculpting, jewelry, knitting, glass, mosaic..........  from your heart. 
 Want to help but are not an artist? Consider donating an item of art, however humble, in your possession or an object in honor  of your favorite artist,something that speaks to your heart. Just send me an email
Together we are strong. And......I detect a pattern here, do you? Bloggers and readers of blogs all belong to this amazing community and we will know where to turn should the need arise.

 Thankfully, to all those that visit, comment and extend your hand in friendship, loving you all


PS;  By accident I deleted all my fav blogger reader list. If your blog is missing, still re-building 




November 13, 2010

Chasing Dreams

 We all have dreams, plans and goals.................what are yours? Is it something that still eludes you?

 Being an endless planner and one with long and short term goals may make me seem serious, but I am also a dreamer. Truly believing that pursuing my dream will indeed transform my life.

 I long to go from this

                To this!
My dream has always been to draw. 
I want to make paper or canvas come alive. Wouldn't you agree that the ability to draw is another form of communication? Ever try to explain a killer chandelier with words only? How about an amazing interior, or a stunning garden? It is for me, a handicap..........but no more

Since dreams are for chasing, I will be off  for two weeks in January studying under the masterful Mike Lin's intensive graphic workshop to learn the skills of hand rendering. 
How is this for a before and after! And as mentioned in TWO WEEKS
Mike's definitive workshop is the fourteen day straight session for 12-16 hours per day!

But see what you can accomplish

Here is Mike observing his students
Here is Mike drawing blind-folded.
But why are the workshops called 'Be Loose?' Well, these workshops not only teach you how to draw but are transformative.  In order to free your mind to draw, one must become "loose", adjust your attitude, while increasing one's confidence and grabbing life by the horns, in other words.........this is life changing.
Our proud master at the end of the session displaying and critiquing the after drawings.

He is an  author who has taught all around the world. To Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers, Interior Designers, students and numerous other professionals.

But...........this is not for the faint of heart. I feel as though I am entering the film 'Karate Kid'
Here is a child.
How do I know all of this?  
I took this workshop once before. There, I said it (my head is hanging low). Everyone excelled but me. Teasingly I asked Mike (whom I now consider a friend) if there were discounts for returning students?
"No, you fool around too much!"
And that was the truth. For some unknown reason I did fool around, with all my new-found friends....But 
    N O T  T H I S  T I M E!

Take a look at Mike in action. Being a master, he makes this look effortless but it is part of a technique taught.

                      geneva shop before
One of the reasons to acquire drawing skills is to do our exterior stylizing and landscape designs
                      Rendering of Geneva shop after

An associate in my firm, Stephanie Fania is our in-house artist. She draws and is wonderful conveying my thoughts. Telling her where to put what, what to change, eliminate............and she understands horticulture and architecture. Mind you Stephanie will NOT be replaced. I may fool around but I am not a fool, this takes practice.

                                     Friends warehouse before in North Carolina
In this instance Thomas sent photo's, filled out our survey and without ever being on site we proposed the following with minor changes such as paint and landscaping with minimum architectural details.

But with life's twists and turns or small interior design appointments by myself I long to draw.

Care to join me? Drop me a line. But I have promised myself this time, no partying!


November 7, 2010


Our previous post was an introduction of the talented artists in Chicago represented at our trunk show. And a giveaway.

Mona Thompson (on the left) of the wonderful sister blog  Providence Ltd Design
(sorry, my link is not cooperating for Mona's blog. Go to
Design inspiration galore. And take a look at Mona's home on the cover of AT HOME IN ARKANSAS
Their feature 'Sunday Supper' is my go to for quick and original recipes.

Mona chose a copper cuff by Lisa York

There was not a second place but I just had to. Sue of The Zhush, a must see blog, has a daughter affectionately called Veve.

I cannot resist, the Sugar Cookie soap bars would be perfect.

The other WIN..............

Calling all bloggers!
A meet up in L.A.. For an incredible opportunity of learning, inspiration, and friendship.
The inaugural Design Bloggers Conference.  Drool here

My winter schedule is quickly getting booked
January; Two weeks of intensive schooling in Las Vegas, thank goodness it is intensive, not a vegas girl.
The New York gift show and visiting friends.........who else is coming?

Closet and drawer year

Have a wonderful week!
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