Friday, July 31, 2009

match maker

match box from "Shandells" with the artwork of pve design for
Emily Evans Eerdsmans

Shandells sells vintage lights, chic shades, matches, and more...
"Match maker, match maker, make me a match."
How clever is this little copper edged box of matches which Susan Shandell made for
Emily Evans Eerdmans.  

How sweet to "light" the way with such a perfect match!
Surely, Shandells has something to "strike your fancy"  I hope you find a hot match for your hearth!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ghost-buster give-away

Would like to win a baby ghost chair?   Mrs.Limestone has this fab give-away going on.  "Float" on over and leave a comment...for her.  The Ghost Chair is from all Modern.  

please and thank-you

Nothing pleases me more than a stack of artfully covered books, or the fact that 3 lovely books arrived this week, all "gifts" from various blog admirers.  
Thank-you for thinking of me.  Books are like friends, one can always make room for more.
The more the merrier.
Are these books not the prettiest?  I found them on-line via Haskell Harris, produced by Middleton's Library.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"shagreen" and bear it

pve design artwork ~ shagreen clutch for j.mclaughlin
Nothing like having a little shagreen accessory to clasp onto.  Shagreen has such a pretty look, and I have always admired it from afar.  Why don't ya "shagreen" and bear it?  Do you have a shagreen snuff box or clutch?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

statue portrait

Garden near Lucca, water-colour by John Singer Sargent 1910

To live with Sargents water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.’”

This has to be one of my favorite water-colours by Sargent. 

( Mind you this is one of 2,000 paintings.)

I never tire his use of color, shadow and the looseness of brush.

I love the way this garden statue has been captured and cascade of flowers 

trailing down.  Did you ever think a statue could be treated like a portrait?

Monday, July 27, 2009

pool house

A recent commission work of art for a proposed "pool house" caused me to do a little search and gather some of my favorite images of pool houses.  Note the outdoor shower on the side, for a quick rinse.
A variety of planters adds a special touch to this chic pool house.
A Rectangular pool for swimming laps comes in handy too.

Perhaps you prefer to swim around in circles.
What would your pool house look like?
I think my pool house would soon become an art-studio-go-to!

Friday, July 24, 2009


pve design illustration done for a private client
There is something so appealing about the word "Julienne." The word conjures up images of thin strips of leeks or carrots. The long and lean strips just look so appetizing served on a simple plate. Do you "julienne" - "slice and dice" or "chop" vegetables to add an elegant touch to a summer lunch or supper?  Perhaps there is a sweet little bistro with the name "Julienne's" near you to stroll to and be served a plate of julienned veggies.
I shall be julienning some veggies for a little aperitif on the patio.
Happy Julienning!


At long last, my dear friend has a site and it has launched.  I invite each of you to take a look at her wonderful work.  She has a gift to see, to photograph and create fine art.  I was fortunate enough to have the above photograph of me taken several years ago.  There were laughs and shrills of delight when the photos arrived.  Voila, Elizabeth Belliveau has a web site, voici!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

squash blossoms

my summer squash, in my garden
My Father would be proud of my garden, the summer squash and the squash blossoms. Tonight I shall prepare a favorite meal, summer squash, fresh fish and some spinach.  Slice summer squash and layer in a baking dish, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and bake til tender.  Toss a pile of clean, fresh spinach in a dish with lemon, olive oil and garlic and you know it is ready when it starts to wilt.  While that is baking, saute a fresh piece of fish, and serve.  There is nothing better than enjoying the freshness of summer from one's own garden.  A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime can add zest to a dish too.  How is your garden growing?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

feeling jazzy

'feeling jazzy' - pve design illustration
In several previous posts, I mentioned my sojourn to the city for an evening of sketching "live models and live jazz." I found myself feeling jazzy inside and out. I quickly sketched the "live jazz duo" doing their thing, providing great music to sketch to. The end of the songs or sketch periods were followed by rounds of jaunty applause and lively chatter.  The jazzy music and the bar helped for liquidity in loosening one's brush and any awkward feeling one might have about painting live nudes.  Hope this little sketch leaves you feeling jazzy. 
    Have a jazzy wednesday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

hello little-byrd

Meet Rebekah, she has a delightful blog and shares what she wears and what she collects and creates. I enjoy reading her blog and the way she can breathe new life into found objects and give them an update. Enjoy this interview with little-byRD!

How did you come to blog?
I never thought I would have a blog! I had just started reading other people and remember thinking, "I could never do this". But then I opened up my Etsy shop and read one way t0 gain exposure was to have a blog. So I originally did it for business. It quickly became a mix of both personal and business, which I really enjoy.

How did you decide on a name for your blog?
My business name is Little Byrd. The Byrd is for By RD ( RD are my initials). I wanted a little business, something small to call my own and one day after months of trying to think of a name it dawned on me that my initials could be a play on words. So from there I named the blog Little Byrd, and then Little Byrd Vintage once I started the vintage side of it.

When did your love for thrifting, scouting, antiquing begin?
You know, I don't really remember. I would say shortly after high school. I had a close friend and she and her mom were always junking and decorating so marvellously with their friends and that really inspired me. Once I started going to the shops the thrill of the hunt hooked me. I've been treasure hunting for at least 15 years and it never gets old!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What will you be doing? I don't know. Thinking about this question has lead me to realize I never had a grand plan for life. I've worked in many different industries from travel to event planning to HR and most I've just fallen into by chance. Some days I think I will be doing exactly what I am right now, only perhaps bigger and better, maybe I will change my business name to Big Byrd - lol! Other days I think I might be doing something completely different. I love that it is a mystery!

What is your favorite thing to sew and what kind of methods do you have?
My favorite thing to sew right now is my woolen ear flap flapper inspired caps made from recycled woolen sweaters. I make handmade flowers to attach to each hat and choose an antique button to adorn it as well. Each one is one of it's kind. One of my favorite materials is wool and then combine that with the hunt for the perfect woolen sweater...I love it!

Who taught you to sew?
About 12 years ago a very kind and patient friend agreed to show me how. I couldn't even sew a button onto a shirt at this point. She was a fabulous teacher and taught me all the basics I needed to get started. The rest has been a self teaching experience. I still can't read a pattern though! My machine is Pfaff Hobby. Nothing fancy, very easy to use and always reliable.

Does your little boy enjoying scouting too?
What is his favorite thing to do? I think he is learning to love it! He is very observant by nature so he enjoys looking around wherever we are finding something interesting to talk about. He has recently picked up the habit of collecting bits of nature on our walks which I love! Leaves and rocks and sticks. I would say his favorite thing to do right now is roll play...ranging anywhere from scooby doo to firemen. He has a great imagination.

From reading your blog, I know you allow yourself time to wander-tell us why wandering is good for our soul?
Yes! One of my favorite things in this world is a walk all alone with my thoughts. It really keeps me in touch with all the thoughts and ideas swirling around my head and keeps it all in perspective. Wandering renews ones soul...When I am feeling burned out or overwhelmed a good wander is the quickest way to getting back in the swing of things.

Please take a moment to fly over to meet little-byrd and leave a comment. While you are there take a look at her Etsy shop! She has lots of sweet items.

Monday, July 20, 2009

strike a pose

Many of the model poses require patience as well as stamina to stay in a particular posture. Have you ever tried to hold a pose for an extended period of time in perhaps yoga. I love to examine many postures, sitting, lying, standing and feel the attitude from each pose. What is your favorite pose to strike?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Passport and Palette

As you may already have read in my prior posts, I had the pleasure of attending a free art event where painters bring their studio outdoors and paint amongst other artists. If you look closely you will see an artist situated to the right of the fountain.
When I walked through Central Park, there happened to be a New York Road Runners race and as much as I thought about trying a marathon, I could not wait to arrive at the Passport Palette
and to share one of the most beautiful spots in New York City. From time to time, runners would stop, take a seat along the edge of the fountain. I could not resist adding this fit couple who took a rest. There were runners of all ages and I was impressed with how fit and how happy they were after running the marathon.
How happy I was to be able to observe and speak freely to other artists who traveled to paint.
Artist Kathy Anderson selected a perfect spot to paint. My sister-in-law (lady in the purple dress) joined me in the park. She was happy to see so many artists out and the lawyer in her surely helped to peruse the situation and report all the facts back to me. She even came back with the camera crew for a quick interview, from the wonderful gentleman at Passport and Palette. It is nice to know that I can count on my family to act as my agent and pr firm.
Geoffrey Barbey, a friend and teacher who joined me amongst the painters in Central Park.
For those of you who do not know Geoffrey, he is a wonderful teacher and has an incredible sense of humor. I called him to come out and paint and he was thrilled to be there, in his element.
Mr.Tony Bennett came out to paint too. I love a man of many talents.
What are you waiting for, start painting!
James Asher painting away. He was a delightful gentleman.
I adore his work. The detail is incredibly awe inspiring!
I walked around to observe others who came out to paint.
Jane McGraw Teubner had quite the amazing box of pastels.
Her work was so rich, so thick and so full of detail.

Next time you are in Central Park, take a seat and stretch to cool down or better yet, paint.
No need to be shy or feel that you are not good enough. Just start, sketch, paint or bring your camera to capture a day in the park.
Thank-you to my dear sister for telling me about this event.
My only wish is that you were there painting beside me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Painting at Bethesda Fountain

What a thrill to paint in Central Park amongst the many incredibly wonderful painters from near and far. I just wanted to share a snippet of one of my works of art from this morning.
I was so pleased to find a cool spot to enjoy the shade, and to see so many people and dogs out and about. There truly is no place like New York.

Central Park

Central Park Bethesda Fountain, New York City
I am one foot out the door, on my way to Central Park to sketch and paint.  More about this later.
Many artists will be flocking to see and to paint plein air with this painter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

love to come home to

When a request for a commission comes through, I am always amazed at the pride and joy that goes into transforming a house into a home. This 1929 Bungalow came to me and
she promised to post it on her very own blog.

pup charlie provides love in his eyes!  sweet boy!
The owner requested her menagerie, her two cats Bella & Bond and pup Charlie, be added to the front stoop.  How sweet to come home to a place with everlasting love and curb appeal.

This is the photo that I worked from. I love how a home can be a work in progress and to be part of creating an illustration at any given point makes me so thrilled. I hope that Mr. Everlasting, the recipient of this illustration will be equally as thrilled!

This photo is more straightforward, but there is something about seeing a home from the inside out or another angle that intrigues me.  What do you love to come home to?

mr. & mrs.

Ladies and Gentleman, "Mr. & Mrs."
pve design artwork on display
One of the most magical transformations at a wedding are that of the bride & groom being announced as "Mr. & Mrs." This lovely young couple stood before me as I sketched deliberate
lines, known as "gesture drawing."  The culmination of all the plans for this day, finally the symbol of husband and wife to become one.  Is there anything else greater than showing the gesture of love.  They were nervous and full of sheer bliss.  I told them, "show your family and friends your genuine love." I present to you the wedding couple full of love, ready for many happily ever after moments.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

she takes the cake

"Take the Cake" Wedding Cake
"Take the Cake?" Would you love to have a slice of this sophisticated cake? Not only was it artfully created, but incredibly delicious. I had the pleasure of tasting a sliver, one slice of carrot cake and the other was my favorite classic white wedding cake.
Although my sketch looks a bit washed out, it was not, blame it on the lighting. The tables were skirted with a gorgeous cypress green crinkle and really added an elegant touch. This baker really takes the cake for baking not only an incredible creation but a tasty one at that. Rumor has it that this baker (Mary) takes the cake all the time!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

gracious gowns

The bevy of beautiful maidens wearing gracious gowns - pve design wedding illustration
The bridesmaids wore the most gracious gowns, in a black orchid silk, from the back some had bows and others a layered sash detail.  Each wore a glorious head-piece made of fabric inspired to look like a flower, with silky tendrils hung ever-so-lightly, topped with a chic net for a very glamourous touch. How wonderful and gracious of the bride to select a silhouette in black that perhaps these gorgeous gals shall might actually wear again.  
                      Do you have a gracious gown at the ready for a special event?  

This gracious gal has all the perfect tips for living an artful life, and "lucky me" is featured today.  Thank-you Mindy Lockard for including me this week which is all about living graciously as well as tasteful tips.  Mindy is all about sharing manners each month!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the whirlers

Please meet the "whirlers."  
Are these flower girls not the fairest maidens?  Don't you just love their beautiful dresses, the floral pomanders gathered with elegant cypress green satin ribbons, the floral laurel wreaths and the sheer joy in their eyes to be part of a fairy tale event is something every girl can cherish.  Give it a whirl...girl...

As  I gathered them to pose for me, they were each "twirling and whirling" in their lovely dresses.  One whirler's head piece flung off.  Oh dear me.

My head felt dizzy and giddy with delight to capture the whirlers in this brief moment, and then they were off, moving twirling, and being little girls, full of sugar and spice.  Can you feel their mischief?  The younger little ones have that look of "let's whirl again" while the elder one lead the way with a more "appropriate" behavior of acting like the "big" girl on campus.  Now really, what girl could not resist a spin in a dress like that!
Alright, fess-up and tell me, are you a "whirler" when you put on a party frock?
I know that I cannot resist that temptation to whirligig when I don a frothy fairy god-mother sort of dress.  If only I could find my magic wand.
Do you feel more magical when you whirl?


pve with jessLC ( I snagged this photo of Jess and I)
Dining here with fellow blogger and entrepreneur Jess LC was indeed a highlight of my weekend in Chicago.  Jess is one of the most efficient bloggers who shares resources for designing a life with intention.  

Jess designs jewelry as well as provides small business advice, giveaway tips, scrumptious recipes all with the intent to design your best life.  Jess began her blog only in January as a way to journal her intentions.  I truly believe that Jess is working toward a book which will influence the expectations for a new type of social behavior.  Our actions can improve ones life through addition by subtraction.  I encourage you to email Jess with something that you would like to get rid of in order to make under your life.  Jess loves email and is the tops in netiquette.  I anticipate hearing great accomplishments about Jess in the future, she is not afraid to share nor to ask questions in order to design a life with powerful intentions. Intentional behavior can also be just thoughtful and deliberate goal-directedness.  Design a life of intention....and then tell Jess about your make under.  Trust me, it works!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lady Chapel

pve design illustration- wedding ceremony at the chapel
Here is a close up of the chapel illustration from the wedding.
The idea is just to capture the moment and not to compete with the wedding photographer.
This is the lovely chapel where the wedding took place.
Who could forget the altar, the windows, the height of the ceiling - all of it heavenly.

doing what you "otter"

David Lloyd painting of an "otter"

I am back home from my weekend romp in Chicago, capturing my prey, filling my eyes with details and moments and getting it all down on paper.  Have you ever found yourself in a situation and said to yourself, "Now this is what I call a "doing what you otter" moment?  For me, I know that sketching fast and trying to take it all in is a bit like a kid in a candy store metaphor. 

After my bags are unpacked and I come down from my "high" - I plan on posting some of the wedding sketches and sharing some graceful tips on how you can find your inner otter!  Indeed, it is akin to falling in love, and only you will know what "otter" suits you best.  Think about what you really want to pursue that will add a creative outlet to your life.  Are you on a mission to design or create a more artful life?  What is holding you back from playing like you "otter?"

Friday, July 10, 2009

chicago bliss

I am leaving today, on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back that does sound really nice, but I am headed to Chicago to work, to"illustrate" a wedding! My heart is already 2 sizes larger with excitement to see a couple I have never even met, and then to illustrate that love on paper. I also will have the pleasure of meeting for dinner with a wonderful fellow blogger.

I know that the wedding details will be incredible and that I will be in heaven trying to capture it all right then and there. There is something tingly about doing this sort of work "live." I am praying for divine intervention, but then I know my blog fans will want to see what I see in the form of illustrations, right!

What sorts of illustrations would you have liked to have had or have of your wedding to hang in your home to remind you of that special day?

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Put a little skip in your summer with some nautical touches. I have often thought that it would be fun to find some bright outdoor patio furniture upholstered in a sailcloth and some high gloss all weather furniture.  Does summer put a skip in your step?  

(Today is "Creative Thursday" and I am enjoying the on-line pod casts which I will post about next week!  Marisa's voice and words always put a skip in my step!)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

easy care

pve design - summer shore usa
Summer is a time when life slows down and cares should be easy.  I have always loved the shore at summer, where one finds canvas totes, terry towels, lots of navy and white and just being out near the ocean. Thick head bands, easy-care cottons, perky prints, striped swimsuits, sandals, sunscreen, seagulls soaring and the sound of sails flapping, buoys buoying and the laughter of children playing in the waves without a care in the world, except catching the next wave or ice cream truck.

I do indeed hope that you are having an easy-care summer day, sand and all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

easy rider

There is something easy about riding a horse. If you have never had the pleasure of riding, then I encourage you to give it a try. If you are nervous or tense, the horse automatically senses your emotions. Being around animals always soothes me. I associate many terrific books from my childhood with animals, Black Beauty, Charlotte's Web, and the list goes on and on. I grew up in Kentucky, near a riding stable and still love going to see the horses there and listening to the organ music of the horse shows.  I always found the riders to have a certain elegance, and the exquisite ribbons to be just glorious in color.
When this request came in to illustrate this beautiful horse, "Dewey" - I could hardly wait to capture his gentle demeanor. Here he is feeling so proud, hanging out by the barn, waiting for some carrots after an easy ride. Do you ride? If so, what are some steps you take to ensure an easy ride?