Thursday, April 30, 2009

brains & beauty

I take great pleasure in introducing the brains & the beauty behind my new blog look.  Allow me to introduce you to her here. (That is, if you do not already know and adore her!)

Lucky me to work with Bryn and to have had the pleasure of this interview;

1.  How did you begin designing blog pages?

In college I majored in Advertising and I spent all four years designing for the student newspapers and doing some brochures on the side.  Although I didn't go into graphic design professionally,  I still liked to keep it in my daily life.  I designed our own wedding invitations, and at the beginning of 2009 I re-designed my blog.  I had people e-mail me about it my blog design, and voila!  That's how I got here.  I'm lucky enough to have a computer engineer for a father, and he helps me with the HTML and CSS.  Although I plant to learn more programming in the future, my Dad and I currently split the projects (and earnings) down the middle.
 2.  Is this a full time or part time passion?  Where do you see yourself in a few years?

For now, this is a part time passion.  During the day, I work at a marketing job and during the evening and on weekends I work on my designing.  I absolutely love working with people and helping them create their vision, and I'm so lucky to have such a great hobby.  In a perfect world, I'll someday be able to quit the 9 to 5 and concentrate all my time on my passions: interior decorating,  idea boards, web design, paper goods and maybe even painting someday.

3.  I know you are a newlywed - What are you finding to be the most challenging and the most rewarding?

The only hard part if being a newlywed for me are the chores.  We aren't particularly people who enjoy cleaning, so it's a challenge when something needs to be done but neither of us wants to do it:)
As for the most rewarding part...,sometime at night we will keep each other up just by talking and laughing.  We'll laugh and laugh and sometimes laugh so hard that we  cry, and those are my favorite nights.  It's cliche, but it's true: my husband is my best friend.

4.  What are a few things that inspire you?

I get so much inspiration from blogs.  I LOVE blogging!  You "meet" amazingly talented people and find the most obscure, cool things that you would never know about otherwise.

5.  Tell us the highlight of your life>

Wow!  This is a tough question.  The highlight so far was our wedding day (it was amazing), but I think the best is yet to come.  I can't wait to buy our own home, be a Mom and career-wise hopefully to be able to live what I love someday.

Thank you Bryn for being the brains behind the beauty of my "new" blog design.  I appreciate the time and the patience you took to create my blog to coordinate with my web site.  It truly was a pleasure to work with you, "all on-line" and I am in hopes that we are able to meet one day in person.  I wish you much love, luck and success in your life doing what you love with the one you love.  Have a beautiful day full of design!

If you are interested in working with Bryn, please feel free to contact her and tell her that 
pve design sent you!   Are you looking for a new look for your blog?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

half note cottage

pve design illustration - "half note cottage"
There is something about a cottage named "half note" that brings music to my ears.  Layla over at The Lettered Cottage has been posting about this sweet little place as it takes on a new look with fresh paint and some tlc.  I remember moving to my home and the sudden urge to make it our own with a good scrubbing, some paint and scouting for items like a bird brings bits to its very own nest.   There is something about a cottage that seems simple and hits just the right note for me.  Are you drawn to half note cottages or full note castles?  What makes your home noteworthy?
* thanks Conni for pointing out my error with its!  I did change it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

easy chair

Do you have an easy chair?  A chair to come home to and to "take-it-easy" at the end of the day.
Is there a spot in your home or a place you love to sit a spell and gather your thoughts.  Hope you will find the time in your day to take a seat and a load off your feet.  Does your day allow for time to sit or do you run around chasing your tail? (like me!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

be a L-O-V-E

All we really need is L-O-V-E.  In New York City, this iconic sculpture (by Robert Indiana) stands on Sixth Avenue while pedestrians scurry by.  While in the city, my daughter and her friend decided it would be fun to have a photo taken in between the V and the E.  I have always loved this statue, the vivid red and the electric blue.  Be a love and tell me what are you in love with today?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Shelf - "stoicism"

"Cloud Shadows" - Winslow Homer

When we suddenly find ourselves under a "Cloud Shadow" of life, we need to take a moment to reflect.  Life teaches us lessons as well as the history of ancient philosophy.  

"Happiness is the good flow of life."  
Zeno was an ancient Greek Philosopher, the founder of the "stoic" school of philosophy.
Stoicism placed great emphasis on the goodness of peace of mind by living a life according to nature.
"Weary" - Winslow Homer
When you are weary, find a spot under a solid tree outdoors and feel the power of nature.
Take a moment to find solace in nature. 
"Two are company- Three are none" - Winslow Homer (illustration)
During the last week, my mind has been shadowed with cloudy thoughts, sadness, loss, anger, frustration, yet the virtue of stoicism reigns supreme in my mind.  Often, alone time is best in order to find peace of mind.

"Sunlight and Shadow" -Winslow Homer  
(Day's missed on a Hammock, a gal after my own heart)

As the artist Winslow Homer said. 
"Look at nature, work independently, solve your own problems."  

 Often, finding solace in nature does provide the answers to solving one's problems but it is also with the help of stoic friends and family who have a way of standing tall, proud and full of virtue.
Are you living a life of virtue?  True good can only exist in virtue.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

art of tea

sister Lizzie's tea pot, perhaps she will paint this for us one day

I love my sister's tea pot.  She inherited this magical pot from our Great Aunt Louise 
who had a collection of "strong and stout" things to enjoy the art of tea.
I enjoyed a cup of tea with friends last Sunday and they introduced me to a fabulous site full of the most intoxicating teas.   Currently the Art of Tea is having a "economic stimulus package" 20% off all great tea til April 30th.   Take time to enjoy a cup of tea (on sale).  
Tea is an art, all the more reason to pour me a cup.

Friday, April 24, 2009

All the Best

"Cheers" to Ronda for inspiring me to illustrate her header and motivating me to join the blogging world. I am quite honored to be included today in "All The Best" tastemakers profile.
Thanks for you encouragement. I do however feel the need to illustrate an "ostrich with a head in the sand" as I am rather shy when it comes to praise.  I guess I better work on that.
Back to the drawing board I go!

lilacs for me and hue

One of my favorite flowers are lilacs along with the heady aroma.  I adore the shade of lilac and spotted this room at the Kips Bay show.  The color is sumptuous, serene, and an oasis of "lilac" calm.
photo from New York Times
Imagine curling up here with a good book, a cup of tea.  Just look at those silk taffeta curtains and the tufted day bed.  It is an art to use many various shades and textiles in one hue which always exudes an effortless sophistication. 
photo from Habitually Chic blog  (note the colors are more mauve like this!)
This photo was added after the comment came in from "Things that Inspire" and true, the color is more like this, more of a vintage rose or mauve hue.
Room designed by Donald Schermerhorn.
How about you, do you have a favorite flower that would inspire you to design a sophisticated palette in one corner or one vase?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

fainting room

pve design illustration for visual vamp, to present to bayou contessa
There seems to be lots of chatter about day beds lately.   I did a little research and found that during Victorian times, women sporting tight corsets would retire to the 'fainting room" for a little rest.  Can you imagine trying to wear a corset all day?  I feel faint just thinking about it and at the same time positively dizzy over the thought of having a little room to go to, perhaps for a little air, or a room to read in or paint.  Do you have a fainting room or a day bed?  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"The Newspaper" painting by Edouard Vuillard
Please forgive me while I write a little bit of news.  Yesterday I was hit with some news, horrible news of my sister-in-law's boyfriend, who died of a heart attack, after a tread-mill work-out while he was away on business.  A handsome young man ( only 52) who adored my sister-in-law.  They had been a "couple" for the last six years and I always knew they cared for one another.  Some obstacles along the way, but both had an open heart for one another.  He sent her flowers on Sunday - signed from "me."  How sweet.
Interior - Painting by Edouard Vuillard
Later, that same day, I helped my neighbor out with laundry when her washing machine would not spin.  I proceeded to be the super-laundress as well as short-order chef for her little ones with a mac n cheese, and some green beans.  My neighbor has three all under the age of four (and just went back to work as a fourth grade teacher.)  Yes - people, three children all under the age of four.  Doing for others in the midst of tragedy surely left me feeling pretty connected to the man upstairs.  My Dad has always told me to "do for others, just showing up for church is not gonna cut it."  (Right he is)  Thanks Dad.
"Green Interior" - Painting by Edouard Vuillard
While the laundry was still drying, I dashed off to a wake for a 93 year old gentleman who was the father of a neighbor and friend and it was amazing to see how many people were out for a popular guy and a family who are amazing.  When I moved to my home, they brought an apple pie (home-made) for our family. 
"Au lit" In Bed - Eduoard Villard Painting
I remember it is the little things, that make the news.  
I am looking forward to another day and a bit of rest.
Sleep always helps one to prepare for more news, the good and the bad.
How about you, any news?
(All paintings by Edouard Vuillard - my latest obsession)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

pve montage

pve montage of illustrations, arranged by Bryn
A pve montage to be used for a postcard to send!   Artfully arranged by Bryn.
If you do not know this incredibly talented gal, please hop on over and browse her lovely blog.
She is a newlywed, all about designing her life with freshness and just great things that will leave you inspired.  I shall be posting an interview with her, so please come back soon!  If you would you like a postcard?  Just e-mail me your address!  
(Don't forget to visit Bryn and feel like a newlywed again!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

play house

pve design illustration    ~    becoming home photograph
Today is a special day, I feel as though I am a kid playing house!  My blog will soon have a new look and we have a winner of the "best face forward" from last fab friday!  Number 36 was the number selected by the random number selector and the winner is "Pam" - so Pam, I hope you will e-mail me with the photo of your favorite face!  I shall work from your photo and send the artwork to you!  (Love to draw your favorite face "Pixel" - your Brittany Spaniel!)

Do you ever like to play house?  What makes your day and your home more playful?  A tot, a pup or something else?  (I added this fence to "becoming home's" home to make it more playful) One of the joys of being an artist is the art of play!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sunday shelf - "series"

A "series" of books has always been a part of my world as well as my sons.  Although they are older, these books still remain on the shelf.  Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, The Hardy boys, and other series of fortunate and unfortunate events which have provided a great source of wonder and immediate escape.  A collection of swiss army knives given by my husband to the boys, you know how most boys are about toys.  They are on a shelf up high and are part of a series too.

So, tell me, do you have a series of items or books on your Sunday shelf?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Royal Poverty, "Grey Gardens"

Tonight, at 8 PM, HBO will show "Grey Gardens" and I know many of you cannot wait to see the sets, and the acting of Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.  As much as I am fascinated by Big and Little Edie, I know a huge part of me wishes that there would have been some sort of rescue remedy for them, but then again, these are the things that make stories, and even movies.  

Life is so precious for each and every one of us and I shudder to think that they could not have been helped.  American Royals, mother and daughter, living in East Hampton, in isolation, in total squalor, with all those cats.  I know of so many people with stories of neighbors living life in very much a similar fashion and being content.  It seems that there is little that can provide the service to help these people.  Many choose this life, but then again, many are mentally ill and truly need help yet often their own family cannot intervene or provide the strength to care.
Will you be watching?  Does anyone living near you live like that?  Have you tried to help them?  Does social services know?  Do they care?  Are they utterly happy sleeping in fur?

Friday, April 17, 2009

fab friday - "best face forward"

Today is fab friday (blame it all on Seleta) and it is all "about face" - I did this portrait several years ago of my son.  Fond memories of the ferry ride to Block Island and always coming home with a new cap or a t-shirt.  Idyllic days spent riding bikes, sleeping late, walks on the beach, eating clam chowder, lobster, Payne's Dock doughnuts, flying kites, skipping rocks, meeting friends, and just slowing down our pace and enjoying a simple life.  
There is something special about the ferry - the lull of the engine, the waves, and the salty air.
It is a treat for all senses.  In this portrait, I think I captured the happiness of my son and how much it meant  - to him to go to Block Island.
I would love to capture a face for you in a portrait.  Simply leave me a comment and I will randomly select (through random number selector) a winner.  I think part of why I love capturing  a face is the emotion.  The winner will be contacted and asked to e-mail me a favorite photo of their favorite face.  There is also something very soothing about working in prismacolor pencils.   Although this style is more realistic, I enjoy a variety of styles along with many faces. Do you have a favorite (one) face that you would like for me to capture in a portrait? 
(Comments entered by Sunday, April 19th til mid-night -Eastern Standard Time.)
Winner announced Monday here!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

good bones, great pieces

pve design illustration for "good bones great pieces" mother, daughter team
I have long admired mothers and daughters with "good bones" if you will, the one's that are always dressed with something stylishly chic, sporting great pieces. Certain great dames come to mind, "Estee and Erin Lauder" and then these fine ladies come to mind.  
the "good bones great pieces" team,  scoring a "toulouse" at an estate sale
Meet a mother daughter team full of tips, ideas and information to help you with finding great pieces for your wardrobe or your home.  These ladies have an innate sense for great style.

pve design illustration for "good bones great pieces" - click on "background"
A colorful lamp, a stylish sofa, a framed collection, a table, a pillow, a starburst mirror and soon you are on your way to a home full of good bones and great pieces to love and cherish.

A stylish room set to shine with objects, styled and found by "good bones great pieces"
The stamina to search for objects, to "eye" something and immediately see it fitting in and complimenting a home or a person is an art.   Placement is also key to giving each item a moment to shine.
Scouting for items, attending auctions, thrift shops, and trade shows all add to their expertise of bringing you great details that truly make the difference.  Seeing the value in a table that is weathered, worn and just needs a fresh coat of paint and some "tlc" are what it takes to transform and breathe new life into a piece.
the "sartorialist" snaps the daughter on the streets in New York
Pop over, leave a comment, tell them what you are looking for and trust me they will find just the right piece, with good bones.  These ladies ooze style.  We could all benefit from a little "oozing" - every now and then.

supreme (style) court

pve design - illustration for one with supreme style of the court.
Each day, one of my favorite jaunts is to visit a spot with supreme style, "Queen" of the 
style court if you will.  Often it is those who I admire not only for their ability to post often, but to be so passionate about what they love.  Many of you know style court already, but for those of you who do not, take a caravan, a rick-shaw, or carrier of choice to visit.  There you will find a bit of art history, a collection of art, some vintage books and style that pays homage to another era.
The above sketch, I illustrated for style court, just for fun, just because she inspires me and takes me to a far away world full of intrigue.  Oh, yes, you know who you are, and there are others out in the blogosphere that inspire me to keep illustrating, and not surrender my desire to draw.  I thank each and every one of you for inspiring me to create and to connect with individuals who are engaging, well-read, passionate, on a pursuit to live an artful life.  What blogs motivate you or inspire you to do your best?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

you've got mail

I love getting mail almost as much as I love sending mail.  A simple card or a package with a book sent at a "book rate" costs little and can simply delight the recipient.  Winner and blogger and sketcher extraordinaire posted my little package today.

She won the book -"Less is More" and I did a few little sketches for her.

I shall be doing another little giveaway this friday, so if you are feeling lucky and you like getting a package in the mail, then you have come to the right spot.  In the meantime - hop on over to Suzanne and see her wonderful work.  She keeps an (open) sketchbook at all times and there is always something fun to see.

saucy curves

Eva Zeisel with her designs
How proud one must feel to have designed something that stands the test of time, in a sleek and saucy way.  Eva said, "I do curves, because I am bit curvy."
I stand in awe of Eva Zeisel and her modern designs in porcelain.  The above photograph, I snapped while at the Moma in New York.  Is it not the best soup bowl?  I love it.  The designs are part of the classic Century collection found at Crate and Barrel. 

 I love designs that have that "ahead of her time" feel.  I have always admired her as a designer and that her designs have stood the test of time.

I love the simple lines, the sleek modern timeless shapes of these shakers. 
A sprinkle of salt or a dash of pepper.  Do you have any of Eva Zeisel designs?

Monday, April 13, 2009


"A truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with excellency of heart."
                                                                                       Henry Fielding

A package arrived, one full heart and of good taste, a feast for the eyes.  Creamy flowers to pin on a hat or a lapel, a black silk box tied with a satin ribbon and inside a paper-weight to artfully display on my desk. A hand made card, full of heart.
Gifts from the heart from little Augury
I cannot exactly remember when my obsession with "taste" entered my realm of being.  I do however remember being fascinated with those who exuded good taste.  My quest began at a young age to learn about what connotes having good taste.  Creating a life of good taste, wearing a strand of pearls, a satin ribbon, using fine china, linens, sterling all conjure up images of honoring good taste. 

What are some things that bring good taste to your life?  Are you a tastemaker or are there certain people who surround you emulate a taste for finer things.  Do you look to them to share a certain savoir-faire, a vivre for easy elegance?  What are some things that touch your heart, and cause you to elevate your elegant self?

Friday, April 10, 2009

fab (good) friday - spring fever

A quick hop into the city for a visit to the Moma. 
A sweet bunny on paper hops into my heart.
Paper on display.   Artfully folded and hung for thoughtful introspection.
A visual display of energy, youth, vitality.  
Everyone seemed to be out enjoying the Spring.
Denim.  Cell phone.  Friends. Check.
Spring blossoms showing off in the midst of concrete and metal.

Spring fever is in the air and on the wall this good friday.
Do you have spring fever?