Saturday, July 31, 2010


My Mother always told me that in her day, glamourous parties were referred to as "affairs." (Affairs were something you attended and not had.) She also alluded that to stand out in class, one needed to be a "class act." Words such as demure, sophisticated, elegant, classy and ladylike have always been part of my Mother's vernacular.

Every generation has something to gleam from it and I love mad men for the artfully staged fashions. I am mad about "Trudy" and her look. Is she not the epitome of a classy lady, one of formidible style and grace? Tell me, what are some trademarks of "classy" in your book?

image from amc, trudy from mad men

Friday, July 30, 2010

birds of a feather

"a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

Many ask me about my pve design logo, many want to know the story behind the birds. I chose David Hartman, a graphic designer and family member to design this logo for me. David has known me since he fell in love with my sister long ago. He knew me when I was called names like "bird legs" and "treeba" when I was growing up in Kentucky. I wanted a logo that would be clean, fresh and easy to spot, just like a cardinal bird.

A series of initial designs were done and the one that sung the most to me were the pair of birds on the brush. After all, the state bird is the cardinal, it seemed only fitting that this bird be part of my logo. The female is green and my love of green was inspired by my Grandma Elizabeth who loved the energy of the color of the Spring green grass.

Most of my work is one part collaboration and one part creating a unique illustration for each client.
I have always had a fascination with illustrating places, people, pets, parties and more importantly to make others happy with my art. One of my earliest memories as a child, was when President Kennedy was shot, I remember everyone being so solemn. The television was on and in black and white (mind you) and the world seemed so dark. Then shortly after, my Grandma Elsie passed away and more sadness needed artwork. At the age of 3, I resorted to draw pretty colorful pictures to make all those sad faces smile.
To this day, my work makes me as well as others smile. With each work of art, I feel as though I am spreading rays of happiness. For years, I have been creating a look, or a body of artwork for myself as well as others. My intent as an artist was to find contentment and that I have achieved two-fold.

Shortly after the launch of my web-site in 2007, I landed on a wonderful blog
"All the best" and it was then that I learned about blogs. {Part of my want of a web site was to be able to reach clients world-wide, check!} I reached out to several bloggers to collaborate on artwork for them, for this thing called a blog header or banner. It was for All the best that I illustrated her blog banner, all before I had actually met Ronda and before I even had a blog. How could I not love Mrs.Blandings too, after all it was one of my favorite movies. Living in Manhattan, I could relate to moving to the burbs and to a dream home.

You know the old expression, "Birds of a feather flock together" - which I find to be totally true.
The artwork for Mrs. Blandings was so easy to do since I only had to create a picture to match her words and her dreams. Mind you, I have learned how to scan images, but still love learning more on this journey.
I began to flock to a few blogs that I enjoyed reading for mere wit, charm and that I just plain loved reading with my morning mug of coffee. After much encouragement from many other wonderful bloggers who inspired me to take time to make my day brighter, I made my own nest of a blog.

Go ahead and tell me if there are any other questions that you might have for me or what sorts of content you love the most about landing here and why you visit? What would you like to see more of? Let me know if you are a reader and or a blogger?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

heavy medal

Today, I award each of you a special medal for reading blogs, for taking time out to stop here for a visit. What would your medal look like and what sort of award do you deserve?

Now is your time to accept a heavy medal or two, and to leave an acceptance comment. Keep it brief as we have lots of awardees. If you are the humble type and feel the need to pass on your award, tell me who deserves an award? A fellow blogger or as you wish, pass it on.

I award;

The Zhush - (your medal will be gold with a purple ribbon.) You rock Summer style!

image of model Malgozia Bella

it takes two

Never did I ever imagine that I would host these terrific two last Sunday here in my home for an afternoon lunch. My ten year old daughter asked if Valerie and Alberto would mind to tango. Before we knew it, they were up and dancing away. It was a beautiful site to behold. I am especially in awe since Alberto had some pretty "big" surgery not too long ago. We know it takes two to tango through recovery to get back up on the dance floor of life.

Val had e-mailed me to let me know she would be in town, so we had the date set for weeks. I served a salade nicoise buffet style so my guests would be able to compose the salad according to their wishes. (I did forget the anchovies, oops!) My dear friend Kwana who happens to conveniently live down the lane was able to join in and I have the feeling that she and her delightlful husband were just as inspired as I to take tango lessons.

One of the most wonderful aspects of blogging is the community and the connections we make along the way. During our lunch, we watched the most wonderful summer rain pour down as if the skies were a bucket list all being turned upside down. I would like to thank my husband for opening his heart to my joy of blogging and to be a gracious host to my blog friends. Well, we both know it takes two to tango the incredible dance of life.

Open your hearts to the world of blogging and to connecting with others who have inspired you. If there is someone who inspires you, let them know by meeting for lunch or hosting a meeting. I know many of you probably might shy away from this sort of thing, but really, you will be glad you made the effort to connect.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

hampton's in my dream

Excuse me while I dream of summering in the Hamptons.

Shopping in Southampton sure sounds Mcdreamy.

Dreaming of riding my bike to the beach with a good book until thoughts of food and more shopping tempt one to stray to another snappy Hampton's village.
A jaunt into Easthampton to pick up some lunch and take the dog to the groomer.
Perhaps a mani, pedi and a facial for moi.

Stopping to admire and sketch things like the charming windmill in Easthampton.
Glad I remembered to bring my watercolors...(in my dream)

Suddenly you are back in the smelly, hot city but happy to realize that you are not the only one who is dreaming of spending the entire Summer in the Hamptons.
After all there is no other place like New York in the Summer!

Savouring dreamy memories of the Hamptons scenes
and dreaming of owning your own little Summer cottage.
Then you wake up and realize that it is all a Southampton's recessionista dream.
Where are your summer dreams taking you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

happy down under

If you have not seen the new happy home shop for Anna Spiro, hop on down under to see the new shop which has had a fresh lift. Yep, absolutely beautiful and happiness radiates round and round! Congrats to Anna. Wishing you tons of cheer with your shop and your family too.

I am thinking that it is a good thing that I do not live nearby, the sales people and I would be on a first name basis. They would say, "here she comes again!" I could sit and sketch all day long.
Tell me, what is your most favorite beautiful thing from her shop? Make sure you check out Anna's desk! It just may make you want to twirl.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

hot vamp

It is another hot one today, in fact it is predicted to be a scorcher of a day. On this hot day we look forward to welcoming one hot vamp to our home for a cool day of lunch and perhaps a swim at our local pool club. Touche, to fighting the heat with Val and Alberto. We may even persuade them to do a little tango for us.

Ever since Visual Vamp has been painting the town with a wash of "greige"- I thought this pump was very fitting and as stylish as she. I am off to fold fans to beat the heat. En guard, Mr.Hot Day, we have every intention of foiling you in style.

artwork from here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

happy hunting

Life can get in the way of happiness and there is nothing like Summer to remind us to generally have more fun. Put this on your list if you have not read it.Things like getting more sleep, adding happy colors to life and spending time outside, make me happy.
Tell me what sorts of things or projects make you happy? Hope your weekend is full of happy hunting! I am heading outside for tennis and some gardening today.

ten demerits to me for not saving the credits for the two photos. I would be a heck of a lot happier if I knew if I could hunt the sources. Please chime in if you know. I apologize if they belong to you....they just make me so darn happy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

forget me knot

found some more knots over here.
all these forget-me-knots must be a reminder to go here for a massage.
Signing off, or sailing off people. TGIF.

in knots

No, my stomach is not in knots but my eye keeps spotting knotty things that seem spot on for Summer. Knots and braids and jaunty nautical touches seem to have roped me in and caught my attention.
image from dwell studio (fab blog)
Simple knots, twists, braids are calling me to set sail. How about you, are you in knots over knots?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

folding chairs

Several years ago, I paid a mere forty dollars for two folding chairs that look just like this but without the handle. A neighbor, a kind german lady sold them to me as she was moving to an assisted living spot and needed to just take only what she needed. For many years, I spoke to her while waiting at the bus. She would time her walks and I was always happy to see her and hear her lovely german accent.
A visitor told me that my chairs looked like they were designed by Hans. You know Hans, son of a cobbler and modernist danish designer. He designed the "Wishbone" chair along with this folding chair. For years we had metal folding chairs as a practical placeholder til we could afford proper chairs. If only I had known about these lovely folding chairs.

Somehow, I think he must have been inspired by his military days and his desire for engineering a functional folding chair. The above chair is available here.
Give a boy some wood, some sticks and some string or rope and let the mind create.
Which one do you prefer the blonde or the ebony chair?
Let the chips fall, and the chairs fold, my chairs were a lucky find even if they are a knock off the old block.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

azure escape

painting by Beverly Bader, rivertown's art tour artist
I spy blue. Nothing says summer more than that of the color azure blue or the entire range of mediterranean blues.
Azure blue takes me to the ocean.
What color takes you away?
Apparently I am not the only one who finds beauty in the blues. Read this.
Thank-you goes out to my sister Liz for sending me this article.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

short story

Summer and shorts seem to go together. So, tell me - do you wear shorts and what kind of shorts? Love to hear your comment, keep it short and sweet.
fashion illustration for J.McLaughlin

Monday, July 19, 2010

in unison

I am inside now, sheltered from the rain, but when the sun comes out and the rain stops, I will be back outside, working in the garden. How handy would this apron be! In unison, we would work together weeding and tending to the garden.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday shelf -silence

One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is Shaker Town, located in Kentucky. One of the reasons I love it so much is not only for the architecture, but for the silent eloquence. I hope you don't mind me if I am silent for a little while. Signs keep telling me to hang up my hat, take a nap, find the stillness in the summer light.

I have some work and deadlines to meet, so pardon me and my silence. Not to worry, I will be back shortly. Wishing each of you a golden moment of silence.

Friday, July 16, 2010

perfect patio

The perfect patio for a Summer party. This illustration I did last summer for Jen who you can find over here, but I wanted to share it with those of you who are new to my blog. Welcome, take a seat and help yourself to a cool drink. Hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are.


I saved this image for the mix of patterns, the paisley and the zebra-ish pattern. I like the way they mingle and mix. Have you ever thought about amalgamating two opposites to see if they could get along? Funny how a classic paisley and a fresh wild animal print can co-exist. Who would have thought?

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Twiggy then.
Twiggy now.
Helen Mirren now. ( age 64)
Trisha Goddard, age 51 is glowing.
In a world obsessed with agelessness, what sorts of ageless qualities do you admire?

Monday, July 12, 2010

hot and sunny

High temperatures can sure present a challenge to one to look "hot and sunny" while remaining cool, calm and collected. I was sharing my fashion portfolio with my daughter and she loved this illustration. She said, "Oh - Mommy, I love the coordinating shoes!"

So, tell me, how do you remain cool and calm during the high heat of July. We loved watching the world cup and seeing all the spectators wearing jackets and scarves.

Hop over to Laura Casey, how could I refuse a pve giveaway - to someone so calm, so cool and so sunny! Take a look at Laura's Interior Design work on her site while you are there!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

in the window

These darling dogs wait in the window for the master of the house to return. Can you imagine feeling the love, seeing "Summer" and "Max" ready to welcome you home. Not all the money in the world could buy that kind of unconditional love.

What is in the window at your house?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

beef up

Beef up all your carnivores.
Which side of beef do you want?

Where's the beef?
over here.
Add a little humor to your kitchen with these salt and pepper shakers.
Fire up the grill.
What's your beef?
If you are vegetarian, I sincerely apologize.
This post was not meant to hurt any cow.
Artwork by Martin Camille Hood, at shop bell jar in san francisco