Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day. We are going to attend our local parade and take time to remember those who have served and those who continue to serve. "Nor shall their story be forgot"- let us take a moment to honor our brave, "while fame her record keeps."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday shelf -silent celebrations

I love celebrations, especially when they are kept simple.

There is something special about secrets and silence that I admire as I grow. Who needs a party for 200 of your closest friends? Today, I have prepared a simple "soup de poissin" for my dear darlin blog buddy. We will share soup (just the two of us) from these wonderful shells and spend the day talking about our love of art, books, parenting, being a woman, taking care of pets, dreams, travels, health, excercise and back to art.
After lunch, I have a special sail boat coming to shore to pick us up for a sunset cruise.

I have a lovely basket of fresh fruits, some crisp white wine, raw nuts and some olives to enjoy just in case we need a little nourishment.
But first, a little road trip is planned, and these hot wheels are waiting for us to vroom away for the afternoon, do a little shopping, a little sight-seeing and squealing. Girls are never too old for screaming, laughing or just enjoying the silence together. Hermes scarves are waiting for us to tie-on, once the top goes down!
Look at these retro -patriotic puppies, found along the way, just in time to kick-up our heels and celebrate the day with some music and dancing.
Happy Birthday to darlin Debra over here. I made a special red velvet cake to celebrate.
There is fresh fruit if you prefer?
Take a seat, join me in wishing her a fabulous birthday.
We are out in the garden, near that raised bed, just around the corner from the sweetest little dream studio. So much for silent celebrations, the secret is out, let the party begin!
Look for the red white and blue flags lining the walkway.
Happy Birthday to a sweet lady!

Images from Coastal Home

Saturday, May 29, 2010

weekend of red white and blue

I cannot help but feel a sense of pride, when I start to see flags hung in preparation for the Memorial Day Weekend. Hearing marching bands, seeing those who have fought for our country wearing uniforms, riding in convertibles or on fire-trucks make me feel all emotional.
Seeing red poppies bursting against the blue of the ocean, make me smile.
Red geraniums, metal watering cans and moments in the garden to reflect and to remember those who so bravely served and to those who continue to do so for the red, white, and blue.
Happy Memorial day weekend to each of you.

all images, artwork of Childe Hassam

Thursday, May 27, 2010

wherever you are

A window in a local village shop, "Summer wherever." I love that Summer can be wherever we are.
Wave Hill showing signs of summer.
My daughter will gather a collection from the garden and simply arrange them with such effortless nonchalance. Funny how a weed is a flower to a 10 year old.
When do we start to diferentiate?
"If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come." Chinese Proverb

Freshness of green, the singing of birds, hot humid air, 90 degree days, shorts, flip-flops and the release of routine are starting to show signs that Summer is wherever I go.

Wherever you are, Just a reminder to hop on over to "Cote de Texas" and leave a comment, last I checked there nearly 300 comments....I feel so fortunate to know that so many of you would love to win a little "pve" design, wherever you are this Summer.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


pve design illustration - gifted to an inspiring blogger and decor aficianado and lover of all things with a french flair.
One of the best things about blogging is getting to know someone that you have never met. Spending countless hours reading blog posts and sending e-mails back and forth in the wee hours, one cannot help but feeling the connection to a coterie of blog friends. I could just dedicate a blog (or an illustration) to each one of you.

You probably know which blogger this house brings to mind? Certain things remind me of each of you. Yep, I had to send this image to Cote de Texas and of course, Joni commented on the drop dead gorgeous Wisteria. When I drive by a home like this, I feel compelled to send it to her and say, "If you lived here, I know you would be a stalker." Am I right, or what?

My little girl took this photo. Can I tell you how much I adore the composition, the tree, the fence and the canopy of leaves. I think it would make a wonderful illustration. (hint to me) Add that to the pile!

Joni, I really want to thank-you for inspiring me, with your posts that last for "more than just one" cup of coffee and for cajolling me to the world of blogging. Hop on over to "cote de Texas" as I just had to thank Joni with hosting a give-away of a pve design work of art. Leave a comment there to enter the give-away. (you have til Saturday) Blogging has given me a coterie of wonderful friends and advisors. Merci Joni.

news in newport

Another J.McLaughlin shop has opened in Newport, R.I. so if your travels take you to Rhode Island, please pop in and see what lovelies are in store. Certainly a befitting location for preppy clothing with a twist. Please pardon my "gray" scan, experiencing some technical difficulities for the technically challenged (that would be moi) have presented themselves in an untimely fashion.
Planning to stay close to New York City, then how about a day trip to one of the burroughs, a new J.McLaughlin shop in Brooklyn. Just look for the charming red shop. Summer is all about red, white, blue and what's new! All J.McLaughlin stores are located on the web site, along with sweet online postcards that you can send to your friends with little messages like, "wish you were here!" Happy Summer shopping and sailing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

shorely chic "give-away"

Winner is Laura Casey, random number five!
Shorely Chic has lovely items to add a "beach house touch" to even the most land-locked of homes. (beach house coasters, give-away)
A white washed table nearby the bedside and a blossom in white sure connotes that summer or a beach is nearby. Love the all white bedding.

Allow me to introduce Liz from Shorely Chic.
Thank-you Liz for answering a few questions!

(pve) 1. What is the simplest way to add Summer decor touches to a home?

(liz)I think color is key! Lots of whites, light blues, aquas, and beiges definitely add that refreshing feeling to a home. Think about the colors of the beach, blue skies and water, sand, white clouds and bright sunlight. These can be brought into your home in so many different ways, i.e. paint colors, light colored candles in lanterns or clear glass vases, light-colored tablecloths to cover up dark wood pieces, throw pillows, shells and pieces of coral scattered about, mirrors with light frames, open windows without heavy drapery, and the list goes on!

I am always happy to make recommendations free of charge (for now) to people regarding decorating their homes, from the little to the big things, even virtually using photos :)

(pve) 2. Do you have a favorite Summer place to visit? A beach?

(liz)I love Watch Hill, RI. My boyfriend and I had an incredible weekend there last summer and I think it became my new favorite summer destination. I also LOVE Montauk and parts, key word, parts of the Jersey Shore, thanks to the MTV show for making me clarify that! We also live around the corner from the beach in Darien, CT which I love to go to after a long day of work or bright and early to go for a run. It's so peaceful and refreshing, just how I like my homes to look.

(pve) 3. I noticed that a fresh coat of white paint can transform something dark and drab into something bright a beachy, do you have a tip that you would like to share with us or tools you use that help you to do the job?

(liz)Oh yes! This is my favorite little trick and it can be so easy and inexpensive to do transferring such amazing results! Take the other day for example, I had purchased a little sidetable from a tagsale for $3.00, yes, 3. It was a dark wood color with a pretty antique brass pull. Now, here is how easy this project was:

first step: sand it down very lightly, don't go overboard this should only take one minute.

second: paint it with a primer first and let dry.

third: take a white paint, I used milk glass white for this particular piece, and paint the entire piece and let dry.

fourth: add a second coat and let dry.

And finally for the fun part, get out your sandpaper again, and sand the edges and anywhere else you would like so that the paint comes off and the wood shows through and...Voila, you have a beautiful distressed white piece of furniture looking very bright and chic in your home :)

The best part about this project? When your friends come over and ask where you got that adorable piece you can say you made it!

(pve)4. What is your favorite item in your shop?

My new modern chic throw pillow! OR my Florentine Chic Wall Hanging

(pve)5. Do you wear sunscreen and what is your brand of choice.

(liz)I do, but I must admit, I am a very bad example of skincare when it comes to the sun. I always wear SPF 30 (whichever brand) on my nose but only when my skin starts getting bronzed do I apply it all over - eek!

Take a look at Liz's blog and shop and come back and tell me what would add a "shorely chic"

summer time touch to your surroundings? "Shorely Chic" is offering weeknight trunk shows within one hour from Darien, CT. What a perfect way to kick off summer as we approach Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy bringing summer to wherever you live!

Monday, May 24, 2010

game over

Game over.
pve design oil commission

I finished this oil last week and after many days of running around the canvas with my brush and paint, I feel like these dogs need a rest and some sort of treat.
(Picturing some sort of chunky wooden frame.)

This artist deserves a treat too.
How do you reward yourself when you end a game of hide and seek or chase?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday shelf -bow ties

I have always admired boys and men in bow ties.
Especially on Sunday. There is something positively proper and all gentlemanly at any age.
(Worn with seersucker, with khaki or with jeans.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

princess on board

Princess Grace, christening the Cunard Princess Ocean Liner.
The Queen Mary 2, docked at the Pier in New York.
I took this photo as I was about to board for a luncheon.
Princess Grace, the epitome of elegance and grace.
Truly, it was a royal treat and I felt like a Princess for an afternoon.
An Ocean Liner complete with a crowning ice sculpture and staff armed to serve bubbly as we arrived.
Artwork on board - near the Library on board.
I found this wonderful vintage postcard of the Cunard Line, "Aquitania" leaving New York.

On deck, taking a tour of the ocean liner with our wonderful guide "Graham Cracker." I decided to wear a vintage navy Tahari silk dress and vintage Bruce Oldfield clutch that my dear Mother-in-law gave to me and pearls. After a hectic week, it was nice to finish my friday with a lovely luncheon. Thank-you to my sister-in-law and to the Princess Grace Foundation and staff for a wonderful lunch and tour of the Queen Mary 2.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Painting by William Glackens
Growing up, there was a spot to go with a counter for ice cream served in chilled silvery cups and men in white coats behind the counter scooping away.
pretty Emma Watson having a strawberry shake
I vividly remember going with my Great Aunt Louise for a sweet scoop. She would wear pretty suits and always have a proper cotton or linen hanky for wiping a brow or for any necessary primping. I love this painting with these ladies in their bright cheery dresses. There is something fun about wearing brights, eating ice cream and feeling all prissy.

Which brings me to, is "primping" priggish or out-dated?
Would you "primp" in public, add a smear of lipstick, wipe a chin in public or do you need to excuse yourself to "powder your nose?"
Are you prim and proper or _______and ________?
Fill in the blank for me, pretty please.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

garden gadgets

The hard working hands of Joanna Reed - found here.
(introduced via reader Home before dark)

Garden spade from De Wit Store of Holland
I spy Pretty Pink Tulips for this reader
Pruning shears
Just yesterday, a comment from "Helen" telling me about one inspiring lady, Nancy Lancaster made me remember this wonderful book on my shelf. I began to think about garden gadgets and how one's tools can implement an entirely new lease on life in the flower bed.

my well loved watering can (pve photo)
Home before Dark (loyal reader) left a comment about Joanna Reed and I located a fabulous image of her hard working hands. Proof that a garden takes hard work and tools to make it flourish.

I am fascinated with those that can create such spot on gardens. Crafting a landscape, with a plan, and proper tools which are crucial to all creative aspects of life. An artist needs good tools, just as a gardener, moving dirt, pushing paint, manipulating life from a seed or an idea.
Are you planning on growing anything or do you have any seeds that are sprouting in your garden? What garden gadgets bring purpose to your garden? Do you have a favorite tool?

Thanks to all my readers, your comments catapult me into new directions, inspire me to appreciate each and every day. I am overwhelmed with inspiration and gratitude.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Artist, Alice Neel painted portraits of people, pets, strangers.
Portrait of feminist Kate Millet
Portrait of Robert Smithson
Portrait of Alice Neel, painted by Phyllis Johnson
Alice Neel
Many know me by this "famous" photo taken by this incredibly talented artist and friend. I thought I would give you a little history behind the photo. I tear pictures out of magazines of things I want ranging from good hair cuts to pyrex bowls. In the rag trade, we would refer to them as "tear" sheets and they would provide the inspiration for collections, perched precariously on what was called "mood" boards.

My tear sheet was an elegant lady, standing in a room, looking at easy in a long gown as if she were waiting to be picked up by some chap in a chariot. I immediately thought to myself, that is it, I need to have some sort of photo that captures the way I feel when I am at ease or at the easel. Did you know that the origin of the word is dutch from the 16th century "ezel" which translates to "ass" - in German, "donkey" which an easel is somewhat like a horse or donkey in it's design providing support for the canvas.

Early that morning, I gathered my garments and hopped in my car for a road trip to my friend's home and as soon as I arrived, we got down to business. She has arranged the set up according to my image and we had such fun. I did my best to keep the photographer entertained with silly quips as I imagined my children hollering at me, wanting to know what was for dinner or where was that pesky physics book? Somehow, falling into the role of an artist, quickly made me forget all about the demands of mother-hood and at ease with who I really was first (B.C)
before children.

I love my family, and I adore my children but when I am at the easel, I find myself intensely at ease. Mind you, it is work and is one part love and the other labor. My Father always told me to "do what you love and it will love you back." I want to make a collection of images so that when I am old and gray and my fingers are curled from arthritis, my children will ask me, when, why and how did I look so at ease in the midst of motherhood which is what I say about my very own Mother.

Now, I am on a mission to paint my self-portrait. I feel at ease now to paint an intense portrait.
Inspired by Alice Neel and her vanguard ways. Any vanguards inspiring you lately?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

sunny side up

I need this sign as a reminder to go forth each day and bring my own sunshine with me. A pocket full of sunshine packed and ready for yoga class, sporting a yellow top and orange pants.

Today is my Dad's birthday. One thing he is never without is a ray of sunshine, he is one of most positive people I know, always looking on the bright side of life! One of nine children, raised seven and is kind and loving to all his 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Dad, may your day be like a bowl full of sweet berries and fresh cream.

May each of you go forth today full of sunshine, radiating warmth, love, peace and may you find time to share your sunny side self with those around you and celebrate life.