Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This photo was taken by Suzanne Levine who lives in Hastings on Hudson, NY and as you can see the Hudson River before the actual Storm Sandy was rising.  The row of benches you see is under water.  I wanted to give you an update and let you know I am at a friend's who has power.  We have no power but are lucky to have our home.  There is no school and we are all trying to do our best as we wait for power.  I will be taking a break now and will be back as soon as we have power.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

surprise me not

I feel as though I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for a surprise.
 A part of me loves surprises and then a part of me not so much. 
 As we sit waiting for Storm Sandy to surprise us or not, we all wonder what sort of wallop lies ahead as we busy ourselves with routine tasks to make us all feel as though we were in control (not).
Here is my pretty white pumpkin perched on a plate with a pretty porcelain berry that I found on my walk.  
I plan to continue on, about my daily business and my routine
Stormy Sandy, surprise me not.

Everyone, be safe and I hope we can all keep calm and carry on.
Let's hope we are all ready and that there are no surprises.

hello and thank-you

A little Hello and Thanks to J.McLaughlin and the new shop in Southport, CT.  I did this illustration about a week and a half ago and love this announcement and the gratitude expressed as well.  How often do you say Hello and Thank-you?  Stop by, tell them PVE sent you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

class act

Every day, I receive updates and information about various products, brands and auctions all vying for my attention.  Mind you I do censor what I feel is worthy of sharing with you.  You know when to open certain e-mails that would make you cringe and are totally unacceptable in my book, however
when this e-mail from Corfield Morris subject title read  "Form is temporary, Class is permanent" - I knew that I needed to share this one.

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804)

Four partially draped figures

In a world of uncensored products and periodicals, I constantly choose to take the high road and associate myself with a certain class, one that is decent, noble and most of all respectable.  Perhaps I strive for high standards and an air of modesty and find partially draped figures less offensive than full frontal nudity.  Take the above work of art which is elegant, timeless and classy.  Is not the human form permanently full of class?

While I may never find myself behind the wheel of a vintage Aston Martin or in the arms of agent 007 or the subject of a partially clad model for an advertisement or nude life model,  I can and will strive to associate with class acts.  I am not a snob but I really find many advertisements offensive and vulgar and having little or no class.  There seems to be no regard for spouting off four letter profanities with no hesitation, it's as if it were cool to cuss and spew words that as a child would have been met with a bar of soap and a full mouth washing of such germs.

Is it me, or is it the world today become numb to class and just covets the bad boy sort of image which I refer to as  déclassé. 

Do you prefer class acts or value shock and awe advertisements?

Friday, October 26, 2012

all ears

I have been working on loosening up and learning to let go and well "listen."  Part of trying to work in silence is to listen to be able to hear my inner guidance.  I am calling it my "all ears" phase.

Often inquiries come to me and never materialize into a "sale" and I now realize that not everything is about a sale or being perfect.  I enjoy what I do and there will always be work for me.  That said, this realization feels like such a treat for me to free up space to try new techniques and to let my own ears and eyes guide me.  I think my very own dog does just the same, especially when there is a treat involved.

It is friday and I do hope that you will allow yourself time to listen and reward yourself with a special treat.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

awkward silence

There is something so empowering about taking time alone for an awkward self imposed sort of silent retreat.  A moment of silence in this world of sound pumped in, piped in and pulsating.  How many of you out there take time to just observe yourself in the mirror, alone, in perfect silence?  
Forgive me for my silence.  It is golden and much needed.
Not to worry, I shall be back with clanging cymbals and maybe even a gong.


What advice would you give to someone looking to own a home?  There is something fun about giving tips to a new home buyer or even hosting a housewarming party for a new home owner.

I guess I have always obsessed over homes which is why I love to illustrate them so much.  In the early evenings, I love to walk and see the glow of lights, the sign of life in homes.  I imagine the soul of the house finding comfort from it's inhabitants.

What would be or what was on your list for your home?  A fireplace, a garage, high ceilings?  Would you want a dead end street?  What sort of amenities would you need?  Would raking leaves appeal to you?

I think this image of the home above conjures up all of the best things that I love about Autumn and coming home.  Take a look over here, sweet-tea-and-crunched-leaves.  Coming home to a warm fire, a pot of tea.  Wishing each of you a happy home-coming.  I hope everyone finds warmth and the joy in their home, especially this time of year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Yesterday morning my dear husband sent me a sweet text telling me to "go" to the watershed and see the light.  We both feel that our world holds a bit of magic.
Funny, those were not the only wise words sending me on a journey of sorts when I spotted
Imagine having your very own map created for you of your world.  Funny how most men's might consist of some sort of cuisine.  I think my map would definitely have a bit of heaven on earth.

What would your worldly-wise map say about you if you were to have one commissioned?

Monday, October 22, 2012

monday motivation - do the impossible

I love that Walt Disney's entire motivation was based on a mouse and having fun.  Now imagine trying to sell or dream that up?

Did you ever stop to think what or why it's kind of fun to do the impossible?  What is on your list to do that combines both fun and something impossible?  Do share.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


It's parents weekend and we are visiting our twin sons who are sophomores in college and I thought how sweet this bed is tucked in this dormer....I found it on pinterest.  One son lives in his frat house and the other son lives in a college dorm room and no this is not their room.  
I know that where they live it is not this cozy or sweet.
Happy weekend you fine people.

Friday, October 19, 2012

sweet sister

I happen to have three sisters and today happens to be my dear sweet sister Mary's birthday.
 We both share a passion for hand made artisanal objects. 
This is the second time this week, I have posted hand made beeswax candles.
Clearly, I have a problem.
I want to make a chocolate cake and use these lovely beeswax candles on top.  You can find the candles over here at my latest obsession, herriott grace.   With each passing year and day, I love simpler celebrations with hand made things and special wishes that can't be bought.  Well, yes, some things can be bought, but then there are the things that are home made that are more, well more special.  Made with love.
May all your wishes be simply sweet and full of love.  Happy Birthday dear sister Mary.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

tips on staying creative -guest post

Please welcome my guest Eileen from a a creative day blog
Eileen shares some tips on staying creative.
Staying creative is hard. Even though I work in a creative field (interior design) the 'busyness' of life constantly bogs me down. But being creative is something worth fighting for, and I have developed a system that helps me remember how much I love this work.

1. Unplug. Every single day.
In the busyness of life, its easy to feel guilty for turning off your cell phone. "what if someone needs me?" But I've found that when I stay constantly connected to my Ical and to-do lists, I can't be creative. We have 'no tv' nights where we just listen to pandora and sit on our porch and talk.

2. Walk it out
Besides the fresh air and sunshine being good for you, notice what you are drawn to and document it. Photograph your point of view, try the new bar down the street, play with texture. I constantly find myself picking up rocks and leaves, and what I'm drawn to shows me what I'm craving more of.

3. Bed Time
Some of my best ideas and projects have come to me when I get in bed before I'm tired. Just let your mind race.

4. Work with your Hands
This was huge for me when I was in college for architecture and we were constantly expected to be developing different designs and ideas. Some days I would have NO inspiration and no idea what I wanted to do. So I would come into studio and just start working with different materials with my hands, shaping and seeing what forms would come. You'll be surprised how much you can create without trying to.

5. Something new
I always find something new, no matter how little, refreshes my creativity. As simple as a  new notebook or pen, fresh flowers or a gold paperweight on my desk sparks my interest.

6. Wine.
enough said. 

7. Others
This blogging world is pretty special and I'm constantly inspired by the creativity of my 'bloggy' friends. Whenever I'm stuck in a rut, I stalk my favorite designer or blogger, look through pinterest. Don't let it overwhelm you, get excited for those who just went for it and get inspired.

Speaking of staying inspired... this very blog you are reading is an incredible source of inspiration to me. Patricia is so talented and I'm honored to be guest posting for her. Thanks for having me!

Please take some time to check out Eileen's blog and be inspired.  Share a tip on what keeps you inspired.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a small shop - inspiration

pve design illustration of jmclaughlin shop in brooklyn, ny
 Ever since I was a child, I have the fondest memories of riding my bike to the local village to buy something from a small shop.  My mother would give me 25 cents and I felt so empowered.  Off I would go to buy something.  Usually it was a pay-day bar or some chocolate.  I loved hearing the shop keeper say "the usual young lady?"
pve design illustration for maisonette shop in hastings-on-hudson
 Things have not changed for me because I still love supporting small businesses.  Getting to know the shop keeper is part of what makes the entire experience so joyfully unique.   If you have not shopped at maisonette shoppe in Hastings-on-Hudson, please do.  Shop keepers Maria and Kevin are delightfully inspiring.
pve design illustration for ardsley hardware
Our very own local Ardsley Hardware is always a treat to pop in for a lightbulb, a bit of paint or perhaps just a welcome greeting "hello, may I help you?"
Joe and his handsome staff are always so helpful.
Vesuvio Bakery in NY
  I love small businesses and just the act of buying a freshly baked baguette adds such a personal experience to my day....the smell of fresh bread is incredibly inspiring.  It is such a treat.  We have our very own bakery but I wish it looked like this famous shop.
Ben Pentreath Ltd. in England
 I simply adore black and white and love this shop on the other side of the pond.  This shop is on my list to go visit.
I am on the look out for a really good cheese shop nearby. 
If you were to open up a shop, what would you sell?
I'd love to sketch your shop for you.
Even if it is only pretend.

What is your favorite small shop?

Number 11, Winner of the tea-lights is Tone on Tone 

Monday, October 15, 2012

monday motivation -hand made tea lights give-away

I have a passion for hand made things.  I love to support small artisans who use their hands to create and make good quality as well as useful items.  One etsy seller who I admire happens to be Michael Nell from the Green Candle co.  Today, I am happy to share with one of you a box of 100% beeswax hand made tea lights.  These are perfect for your Jack-O-Lantern or for your table.
 These tea lights make wonderful gifts.  Michael says;

I pour these tea light candles from wax obtained from commercial honey producers in the Southern California High Desert. The wax is naturally colored and has the mild fragrance of honey.

These tea light candles are poured in recyclable polycarbonate shells that let the warm glow if the candle flame shine through. They burn for about 4 hours in optimal conditions, (see below), and give a lovely, gentle light that contributes a sense of warmth and intimacy in any setting.

It is said by some that burning beeswax candles is more healthy than burning petroleum wax candles as the beeswax produces less harmful products of combustion. It is also said that burning beeswax candles produces negative ions in the air for a cleaner, healthier environment. 
Visit the Green Candle shop and tell me which is your favorite candle.  You may see something you like there too - Michael would be happy to ship candles to your door.  Leave a comment and wednesday morning I will be back to announce the winner.  Happy Monday.

If you create something artisanal with your hands, I would love to share your hand made items with my readers.  Please feel free to contact me.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ardsley Day

Yes, I live in a place that has a free fun day for everyone, Ardsley Day, Sunday October 14th from 12 to 5.  I plan on baking 2 pies for the contest.  Last year's (stiff competition) and winner was Regis Courivaud who won "Sweet Genius" and this year he is a Judge.  My daughter has a travel soccer game an hour away so we hope to have a little time to get in on all the fun.
If you live nearby, come, check it out and have some "free fun."  Can you even imagine living in a village that rings in Autumn in such a fun way?  Pinch me.

Thank-you to all the volunteers and our village for making this day possible.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Sometimes, I seriously think I have lost my mind when I say "yes" to another ridiculous thing but then it ends up being just amazing.

Busy finishing up some artwork today and preparing to host 12 girl scouts in my studio for an inspiring art lesson.  I am arranging the table and setting envelopes for each girl to "scout" for some inspiring clues to work on a creative project.  I think they are going to love it!

What are you doing to make today ridiculously amazing?
Enjoy your day, today.  Make it amazing.

image from here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October good and evil

 October is a month full of goodness.  
Good warm things to eat and share with family and friends.
As we spend more time inside, we find the time to enjoy slow roasted stews, soups and roasted meats.
hmm. hmm. good.

 Then there is the mean and evil bad part of October that very often is just girls being mean and excluding one girl.  It always seems to be around Halloween.  It might even have something to do with the entire costume scene of one person feeling excluded.
I have a 13 year old daughter so I feel like an authority on mean girls.
It is not only the evil that comes out in girls, boys can turn on their devilish charm too.  Imagine a young man invited to a wedding just bringing along eight uninvited guests to a wedding party without notice, and think they were just being good.  It sounds familiar, right?

Is it me or does October bring out the good and the evil near you?

all illustrations created for Sheridan Road Magazine

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

keep going

 Finally framed and hung the "Just Keep Going" poster which was a gift from the "Jess LC-Business with intention workshop that I attended in Brooklyn a few months ago.
Jess will be closing her shop to keep sharing her business with intention workshops and one-on-one consulting.
 Between shopping for new yarn and sending our twins back to college, a middle schooler back into the routine of school and after school activities, it seems we all have good things to just keep going.  Knitting too.  Yarn keeps us going.  I am hosting knitting today, just coffee or tea and a few nibbles.
Time to gather, take a moment to knit and to share stories to just keep us all going.
 Beautiful neutrals for anytime of year paired with white, denim, gray or black.
Beautiful stitches to inspire us to just keep going.
Do you have something special to just keep going, to just keep looking forward to?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

getting started

A blank page awaits your creativity.

A collection becomes a composition.
Leaves gathered.
Nature's design.

Need help getting started,
just take a look at all these images,

found on etsy here.

Winner of "Blackberry Winter" is Kristin who keeps a fantastic blog "Vignettes"full or creative ideas for celebrating life.

Friday, October 05, 2012

blackberry winter -new book give-away

As an artist, I am always curious to know about the homes of other artists and authors.
Here is the home of Sarah Jio which I illustrated.

I am honored to share and to give to one lucky pve design blog reader, Blackberry Winter - the brand new book signed by the author Sarah Jio.  One of my personal goals has been to read more so I could not be more delighted to connect directly with the writer and author.  It feels almost surreal.
This is the lovely Sarah Jio - writer, a blogger, a Mom and she bakes blackberry pies.  Sarah's third novel, Blackberry Winter has just launched.  Sarah writes for Glamour too so you may have read Sarah's writing.  Personally I feel connected to how she uses words to lure me in and makes me feel like a sister.  You may friend Sarah on Facebook too.
This is where Sarah writes.  I love seeing where writers and artists create and hone in on what they love.  Connecting with Sarah has been such a joy.  Her writing is from the heart and sincere. he meantime, please leave a comment and one of you will be randomly chosen.  If you have read Sarah's other books, feel free to share your thoughts.  Please welcome Sarah today and I thank her for sharing her passion for creating beautiful stories.  The book is available for purchase at  Sarah Jio books, should you want to order on today.

I will be back tuesday to announce the winner.  Taking some time to prepare for my twins homecoming for Columbus Day weekend and to complete some artwork.  In the meantime, do leave a comment.
Thank-you Sarah for sharing your new book with us.  I wish you all the best.

The winner is Kristen of Vignettes.  Kristin, please contact me to provide details where to ship your winning book~ Thanks again for all your comments.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


 Last week, I gave myself permission to spend some time alone in quiet contemplation. 
It was truly by design that this moment of inspiration was created for me to find peace.

After watching a film with some wonderful women one evening, "Daughters of Wisdom" - a documentary about Tibetan Nuns living in a monastic life.
I was reminded by the power of embracing acceptance.
  Granted, it was a hard concept however I chose to give it up and the peace manifolded in this action was not only freeing, it felt like a huge lift to my imagination and creative spirit.

Immediately, I felt as though there was this golden ray surrounding me like the warmth of a canopy of autumn leaves.
  If you are looking for answers, try to focus on the disturbance and replace it with silence.
 Know that everyone in this lifetime is not free from worry, from suffering, from judgement but if we seek serenity it shall happen.
Serenity comes in accepting the things that we may not be able to change.
Celebrating life, restoring order, giving thanks, breaking bread and simply embracing and accepting life
adds love and joy.

It felt like a kiss of peace.
Find time alone.
What would you contemplate? 

Leave one word in the form of a comment.