Friday, November 30, 2012

pucker up (gift-away lipstick)

Are you ready?  
Pucker up and prepare to give those lips a holiday gift of lip color!
Sure, you know what I mean, you could very well find yourself standing under a sprig of mistletoe, so today pucker up those pretty lips and pick out a smash box holiday lip stick, gel, or plumper.

 Smashbox is all about rich lasting lip color.

Now pucker up and pick out a new lipstick....tell me which one you would choose?
I will be back monday and announce the winner.
US only and please be sure to leave your e-mail or link to your blog so may contact you.

Winner is Patti16, winner was chosen via random number.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

in the raw

 On Thanksgiving day, one guest brought a beautiful raw kale salad that she literally massaged with lemon juice, garlic, onion, mirin rice wine, olive oil, salt and served as a side dish.  It was an incredibly refreshing companion to many traditional thanksgiving sides.  Another guest brought a raw salad with the most lovely dressing.  Both salads were a refreshing addition to a Classic Thanksgiving.
One dear guest and wonderful (blog) friend began her journey of eating "in the raw" several months ago and the benefits have been amazing to watch as well as be inspired by this lovely lady.  She has lost weight, has more energy and has embraced eating raw as a way of life.  The other guests were all a bit envious of her svelte and sexy figure in her stunning little black dress.  Here she is with her daughter who complimented her mother on her discipline and transformation.  Did I mention she is the Mother of four children?
I think a good way to start with eating more raw is to replace a meal with a raw salad.  As we enter into the holiday season and plates of sweets tempt each of us, dedicating one meal to raw, green, freshness will add vitality to your body and mind.  Perhaps you might be interested in eating raw, please visit "Art House Design" - Victoria will be happy to inspire you by adding raw radiance in your life, your diet and your home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Today is the big day to enjoy The Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Will you be going?  
pve design Rock Center Tree lighting, note cards in my etsy shop for sale.

Thank-you to each of you for your kind support of my artwork.  Your confidence in me fills my heart with light and joy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chestnut Hill

Chestnuts seem to be all around me and this J.McLaughlin shop that just opened is located in Chestnut Hill, PA.  I have to admit, I really got into all the detail of this store sketch.  Now I just want to sing "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire."  It t'is the season for all things Chestnuts.

Monday, November 26, 2012

monday motivation - massage

I am motivated by a massage appointment.  I was given the gift of a massage in the form of a gift card to use at any time.  There is truly nothing better than taking time out for a little personal spa treatment.
If you have never had a massage, I encourage you to book one now.  Did you know that a massage can drain your body of toxins and stress.  One walks away feeling refreshed and grounded.
A hot stone massage warms one up as well as balances one's spirit.
"An ancient technique performed using heated stones of varied temperatures placed on the body…a modality for spiritual balancing. Stone massage is very effective as it creates harmony and a positive energy flow promoting a sense of balance, energy, and peace."

The massage rooms always make me wish I had a room like this in my own home.  Do you feel motivated to make time for a massage?  Make time during the holidays for a little time to pamper yourself.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

magic of abundance

Life in abundance comes
through great love
-Elbert Hubbard

 Do you live life believing in the magic of abundance? 
 Do you focus your thoughts on the magic of abundance or do you let Scrooge get a grip on you and hold tight to the notion of scarcity and let the miserly control your thoughts?
 Perhaps I am a dreamer, but I look to the future and very much focus on the plentifulness of good things in life.  It is not that I am content with certain existing situations but rather the hope or promise of tomorrow shall bring wealth and abundance.  I think living with an attitude of "loaves and fishes" and sharing what one has only attracts a life of plenty.
When you think of the upcoming holidays, you think about children sharing food, memories, and religious and cultural events with their families. You don't think about hunger,  sadness, or poverty so cruel that there might not be any gifts, or family dinners, or a warm house. But this is the reality for many families in our area, a reality.

The holidays are approaching fast, and more families than ever are struggling to pay their utility and food bills. With little or no money available for toys, the holidays can look pretty bleak. But you can help make the holidays a magical time for hundreds of children.
As the children gathered together, I was reminded of the joys and hopes we as adults can and want to instill in our children's hearts.
They are our future and while during trying times in our world we must instill a brightness of light and let them know just how much magic they bring to our world.

Promise me that you will live with the magic of abundance and that although times for many are challenging that it is gathering with friends and family and sharing gratitude that we can create magical times for many.


If you want to open your mind to thinking that the future is bright and full of abundance, then you must read this book.  You must watch this, click here.
Here is my Thankful tree created from branches and leaves that I crafted with the help of many children and friends.  Cutting and hanging them on the branches.
It shall serve as a reminder to me when the branches of winter become bare branches.
It is the hope and magic of abundance from which hope springs eternal.

Each guest was asked to write what they are thankful for on the back of these watercolored leaves.
When I prepare my home for the coming of the advent season, it is in the magic of abundance that will bring about great hope and joy.

Promise me you will create the magic of abundance around you and share it with a child or someone who might need a little hope or good cheer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey day

 It's Turkey time in the USA.  Today is the day we gather to give thanks and share a turkey and lots of good side dishes. We give thanks.  It is indeed a day to celebrate with gratitude.  If you host this holiday, you know it involves lots of preparation and hard work.  There is something humbling when I think of the sheer work involved at that first Thanksgiving feast and now all the modern day conveniences we have at our fingertips deserve many thanks.
Just a little glimpse at the grown-ups table.
The homespun linen napkins are from Heather Ross In House. It's a good thing I do not live nearby her shop, she has a great eye for wonderful home goods.  
Let me tell you that these napkins are scrumptiously soft and generous in size.

Everything else was gifted or collected over the years, our wedding Audubon Silver from Tiffany's, White Royal Copenhagen Porcelain dinner plates, Limoge Candlesticks, White Reindeer from an Antique shop in the city and the chestnuts were bought at Stop and Shop.  
The chargers appear yellow in this photo but in fact are gold from a nearby shop and the dark chocolate  linen tablecloth I bought years ago at Conran's in the city.
I am so very Thankful for each of you who pop in to visit or to leave me a comment.
Happy Turkey Day to you.

I am off to make the place cards and my thankful tree.
More pictures to follow.


My sister and I often remark that it seems very few dress-up in finery anymore and we both find it rather disconcerting.
On my honeymoon flight I wore a vintage navy ottoman suit that was from my Mother's side.  I could feel the cut and the weight of the fabric that made me feel special the way it draped.
I often imagine what I would wear if I were to have my portrait painted.
 There is something wonderfully timeless about navy blue and I have admired the artwork of Harrington Mann for a long time.  This family portrait of children is exquisite, although I can feel that perhaps these sweet children were dressed for this special occasion and perhaps not 100 percent happy about it. Just look at that boy front and center with his floppy jabot, he looks as if he is about ready to leap up to go climb a tree.
Sitting pretty powerful dressed in her finery, she exudes an effortless grace.
I have often admired those that dress with panache and style.  We had a great Aunt Louise who would always wear a suit when she came for dinner and she always brought home made ice cream and cookies from the bakery.  She often had a hat and gloves and I remember taking her coat and pressing my nose into it to soak up all the incredibly delicious smells of perfume and sugar.  My Uncle Bernie would wear a top coat, a 3 piece suit and a hat.  Those were the days of finery and dressing up.
I would like to dedicate this post to the the late Pamela Woolworth Combemale who graciously opened her home on Thanksgiving day.  This is a portrait of Pamela as a young girl.
Pamela was a marvelous hostess and a gifted woman.

Will you dress-up for Thanksgiving?  I would love to know what you intend to wear?  Is it something new or old?  Will you be forced to dress up or by your own volition?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I love how patient dogs can be.

I have been incredibly busy de-cluttering and letting go of things that had accumulated which has required a ton of patience.  I took the opportunity to do a major purge of books, toys, clothing and items that were no longer needed or wanted.
While I tossed items, donated things and cleared space it made me realize how a dog just has a collar, a leash and perhaps a special bed and a bowl for water and kibble.
Waiting for one's return or for the next chase, the next meal or nap.
We can learn so much from our creatures.
While we humans surround ourselves with stuff, we should learn a thing or two from our creatures who are patient and allow time to enjoy life.

I was inspired by Ella over here.
How sweetly she stands enjoying nature and the sun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

monday motivation, black please

Did you ever consider how a little thing could be so motivating?

I started drinking my coffee black over a year ago.
I like it black.  It took my husband some getting used to.  He kept bringing me coffee with milk in the morning until I simply said two words.  It's the little things that can be very motivating.
Black please.
 It's not that I had anything against milk but I wanted a change.
Black coffee is just right by me and I am loving black accents, doors, boots, frames, grosgrain, chests and fashion.

I also love when I order coffee out.  Just saying black coffee sounds so simple yet bold.
Black please.  

How about you?
What little change have you made that pleased you?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Today, I am home and I awake to a quiet house this Saturday.  I am flooded with memories of my son performing Shell Silverstein's "Sick" poem on stage with his bathrobe and bugs bunny stuffed animal.
He was in 2nd grade.  The poem is rather long but he was determined to recite it at the talent show.


by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

My daughter has been fighting "sick" all week long, two days home, a visit to the doctor.  Each day she has been complaining of a new ache and then last night rebounded for ice skating and a sleepover.  I think knowing that it was Saturday made her feel more playful.  Part of me wanted to say, No, you are still sick, but then the other part of me knows that Saturdays should be all about playing and feeling fine.  I love this painting for the happy cheery colors.  Saturdays do somehow provide a sort of miraculous recovery.

Have a playful Saturday.

artist source

Friday, November 16, 2012


My son that goes to Union is in the midst of final exams before the break and I know that he is counting down the hours until he comes home for Thanksgiving.  I love this shot of the campus.  I am also in the midst of some deadlines, so I think I must be feeling sympathetic to the pains of being a college student and being desk-bound.
Speaking of desk-bound, can you spot my illustration of "Cottage and Vine" in the form of note-cards?
Hop on over to "Cottage and Vine" and enter the fun sweepstakes for some fantastic desk organizing items.
 Happy weekend to each of you and hope to find some time away from my desk.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

mindful moments

 It's a new day and the intent of this post today is to give each of you permission for  daily mindfulness.
As we wake to the embrace of the coming holidays, let us find the purity of peace and joy of season.

Care to join me on this journey of adding 10 mindful minutes to your day?

 Goldie Hawn's book is wonderful and would make a nice gift as each of us need to live happier and healthier lives.  The best gift that we can give our children are emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety.

Retreat to a room or a space where you can sit quietly and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Devote yourself wholeheartedly to this moment until the bell rings.
If by chance you cannot still or calm your mind, do a chore such as sweeping or raking leaves.  You will never finish for good, but you shall learn the point of pointlessness.  In turn a chore or bit of work will clear your mind and help you sleep too.

Love to know what helps you to create a mindful moment?

pve design artwork created for the pound ridge plume.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

sweet and saucy

 T'is the season to start planning one's Thanksgiving menu and here is an illustration I did for November's Sheridan Road's Good Eats article.  How about some of Nora Ephron's Sweet Potatoes Anna with prunes?
Pass the cranberry sauce please as long as it's Nigella Lawson's Red Cranberry Saucy sauce.
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?  What good things do you plan to prepare for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

cozy wrap

what a cozy wrap in this brilliant shade of pumpkin.
a shawl or a scarf to layer for a pop of color and warmth.
I never tire of white, ecru or any natural shade.
This rococo shawl would be perfect for winter too.
Found these here
See Elena
 Visit the Craft Westport Show in Westport, CT, November 17-18! A percentage of  November sales in the shop and at the shows will be donated to hurricane disaster relief efforts.

Monday, November 12, 2012

monday motivation - soldier on

Part of motivation requires one to soldier on.  This is my son who is a sophomore ROTC student at RPI.  He will be 20 years old in February and I am proud of him for all that he chooses to do.  I have witnessed the challenges he has bravely fought that brought him to this day and I have no doubt that he will face the future courageously.  Part of his confidence comes from within and his motivation comes from those who have served and lead our country.  He happens to share the same name as his Great Grandfather who served his country, France.  He also has the dog tags of his Grandfather, a veteran who is 84 years old.  As parents we never imagined that our son would choose this life, dedicating and devoting his life as an ROTC student.  Many ask me what motivated him to become a soldier.
 If anyone knows how to carry on, he surely does.  I think any soldier has the capacity to carry on, to persevere and to keep going.  Last summer, he traveled to Africa to teach and came home with an appreciation for our World, our Country and our Nation.
 Part of the drive for any soldier is the desire to see the world in a different way.  A soldier must be willing to serve and represent their country.  Today, take time to honor a veteran and give thanks for their service.  Get to know them.  I give thanks to all the Veterans and to the future men and women who serve our country.  Thank-you.

Thank-you for all your wonderful comments.  I shall pass them on to my son as I know he may not read my blog.  Then again, maybe he does.