Archives for the month of: March, 2012

Day 2 started bright and fair.

I don’t remember the city ever being this beautiful.

On the way in from the airport we passed block after block of car-sized forsythia in full bloom.

It was as if someone had reached down with a giant paint brush and painted the city bright yellow.

 I guess “Someone” had.

In the park dogwoods created a white canopy for the tiny daffodils to dance under.

Walking past the southern edge of the park we strolled down to Sarabeth’s, our favorite neighborhood stop for brunch.

They have some of the best eggs benedict you will ever eat to say nothing of the pumpkin waffles topped with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

You can dine on the sidewalk or inside in the garden room surrounded by  black and white photographs of Audrey Hepburn and other icons.

Today was a day filled with much walking… over 100 blocks to be exact.

If you know Manhattan this will mean something to you.

We walked from Central Park South to the Flatiron building!!!

That’s some miles folks.

Then we taxied to the village, walked all over Soho and walked to Tribeca.

I would NEVER walked that much at home. haha

Today was The Writer’s day to work and we met some fantastic people who will be friends forever.

Their names will be revealed later…. by him… but this is a glimpse into where we went and some of what we saw.

In Soho…

We visited a very cool war era loft apartment filled to the brim with intriguing art.

Here The Writer ( isn’t he handsome?) conducts business with one of the artists.

I felt right at home among all of the Mose T artwork.

Mose was a primitive artist from Montgomery, AL. I used to go downtown and visit with him in his little shotgun house as he sat cross-legged in the middle of his bed which was in the front room and painted on pieces of cardboard or wood or whatever was available.  On the floor would be dozens of open gallon cans of house paint. This was his medium.

I can relate. I designed my first fabric painting with Benjamin Moore latex house paint. It’s the medium I know best.


In those days if you took Mose a six-pack you would leave with a painting.

Those days are over.

His work now hangs in museums from Montgomery to New York and was included in a Nall showing in Paris.

Now, on to this artist.

This was a prototype for a work commissioned by the State of New Mexico.

Made of bronze and stone the real deal stands 14′ tall.

Another prototype, this one planned for Shanghai, depicts the new face of energy.

The larger man standing holds a solar panel. The smaller one, kneeling represents kinetic energy.

The prototype is carved out of wood. The actual installation will be bronze.

This little guy cracked me up. (The Writer’s background is the brokerage world)

This is one of a series of people who open up to show what’s inside of them. Some are filled with music.

This poor guy was tied up in knots inside. He’s from Wall Street. The knife-like objects stabbing him…..

Monte Blanc pens. haha

There is nothing in the world better than new friends. Especially ones with fascinating stories to tell.

From here we raced across town to meet with my old friend from grade school. Trust me.

You want to see what this guy is up to now.

Click HERE to see the awe–inspiring work of event planner extraordinaire DeJuan Stroud.

And finally, a meeting with a beautiful young Russian (U.S. citizen) artist back at the hotel.

 There are so many stories that we aren’t at liberty to tell yet.

Thanks to all of you who knew what was going on and prayed for us.

We felt them.  God is good.

This one is out of order but I had to include it.

It’s a tradition. I always have my picture made with my portfolio with the Doorman.

He brings me good luck.  We have our picture made. I present. I come back with a “yes”.

Works for me.

So from the city with soaring buildings

and soaring dreams

I bid you adieu.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at then end of your project contact me at

Monday was a sweet day for me because I was back in my favorite city- NYC.

At my favorite hotel…

The Ritz team is amazing. Once you become family, you are family. They know your favorite foods, your favorite restaurants etc. and they even provide MANY Bandaids for your poor aching feet (especially when you are dumb enough to wear new shoes). LOL

Our room was on the third floor. The top point of the American flag is in our window.

It’s not every day that I take a picture of my hotel bathroom but I do it every time we go here. LOL

Marble just never gets old.

We , the Writer and I, dropped off our bags and raced outside to the waiting cab that would take us to my appointment with Duralee Fabrics in the garment district.


We caught each other up on “life” before moving on to the business at hand.

This is your only full peek at the top-secret inner sanctum.

I will have to black out things from here on.

OH! But first, right there on top of the pile…

My fabric.  They say it’s getting a lot of buzz right now on Houzz. That’s gratifying.

It was a great meeting.  I learn something new each time I present that only challenges me more and makes my work better.  For that I am grateful.

We met with the entire staff and in the end they asked permission to keep 10 patterns.

That’s 10 times more than they took last time. woo hoo!

We now have to wait and see how many will actually make it into production.

They have to jump through many hoops and find a slot in already slated collections.

Stay tuned.

Leaving Duralee we walked toward Madison Square Park and stopped at a great little- well not so little- market called Eataly.

It is an organic market that sells everything from veggies to homemade pastas and sauces to gelato to……

There are six different cafes within the market that serve food made from items bought in the market. Very cool.

We grabbed a real Napoli Margheretta pizza and a couple of drinks before heading off to our next meeting.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your short stay in the city.

Come back tomorrow to see what happened on day 2.

And if you would like to say,”That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

My goodness. I have completely ignored you.  I am sorry.

My only excuse is: 4 weddings, speaking engagement, work trip to Florida designing 3 lines of fabric and now…

this afternoon…..

flying to New York to present said fabrics.

Pray please. 🙂

“PLEASE call me (or a designer you trust) BEFORE you start making major purchases in your house.

Trust me, you will save money and as a client just said to me last week; Ugly costs the same as Pretty. Clients that call me BEFORE they make major decisions are so HAPPY that they did!”

I love this quote from Maria at Color Me Happy. She has recently encountered the situation that all designers dread, the phone call from the potential client that should have come in 6 months earlier. They are now way down the stream of decision-making, are about to hit the rapids and want you to save them.

We can’t.

It is so sad to me when I see people who think it is too expensive to use a professional so they buy inexpensive things or just inappropriate things and in the end have to call us in anyway and end up spending double.

Worse than that are the ones who hire a professional but don’t like what they hear, think they can do it for less and…. same story.

See you SOON my gracious friends… promise.

If you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project please contact me at

I just completed my site inspection at the beach which centered on paint and stain colors.

One of the most interesting things that has occurred with my work in Florida is the extreme effect the light has on hue.

Their light is much brighter and seems to have a bluer tint than ours therefore colors selected in my light,whether natural or artificial, do not translate when they hit the walls down there. This is the second time I have encountered it and am curious to know how other designers have handled it.

The colors originally selected were Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist (center) and Northern Cliffs (right) the chip on left is Puritan Gray and it was the accent color for the kitchen island.

This is what the chips look like.



On all jobs I have the painters test the colors before they begin so that we can see what happens in the client’s light.

Often if a room is filled with windows overlooking  foliage the paint will take on a green cast.

In areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight the paint may look gray so site testing is very important.

When I arrived this is the first thing that I saw. This was supposed to be the wall color but in this light and in the shadows cast by the staircase it looked olive green. Not good.

I suspected this was going to happen so I came armed with several other neutrals all in poster board size samples.

Hopefully you can see the different undertones represented by these boards.

It was absolutely crazy what happened when we pulled them out.  A color that looked like a soft, pastel blue lying on the work table went wedgewood as I started to lift it at a 45 degree angle and by the time it was vertical we had a dark blue-gray.

No one present could believe it. Scary.

The paint chemist in me came out and I began to experiment with 1/2 formula, 3/4 formula, etc. but none of it worked.

You can see what I’m talking about in this photo. Every wall is the exact same color but if you look at the stair wall on the second floor compared to the first the second looks blue ( it has a window with natural light coming in).

The wall to the right in what will be the kitchen looks orangey- yellow- it is picking up on the color of the raw pine which thankfully will be stained to reflect the proper hue.

Color selection is not for the faint of heart.

Boyd was as bum-fuzzled as I.

LOL  (My Daddy always says that. Is it a word?)

In the midst of all that, we had to take a break from paint to solve a tile problem.

A vanity shown as 5’11” on the plan had been field changed to over 10′ and we weren’t sure that there was enough tile to complete the backsplash.

Here we are counting every tiny piece of 2×2 tile we could find.

 Fortunately, we had enough- by about 6 tiles. Whew!

In the end…. I used the original trim color as the wall color. (shown on the bottom of the right board)

I chose another white altogether for the trim. ( shown on top of the right board)

The original wall color went from flat to semi-gloss and became the cabinet color. (shown on top of left board)

And I chose a blue, tinted almost 50% lighter than the original selection to use on the kitchen island. ( bottom left)

What do you think?

By the way do you know the difference between tint and shade?

You start with a hue (what we know as color i.e. red) Imagine that it is in the middle of a long horizontal line.

If you begin to add white, one drop at a time, moving to the left of hue you get pink ( a tint of red).

If you begin to add black, one drop at a time, moving to the right of hue you get maroon ( a shade of red).

Now, go impress your children.

What color stories do you have to tell? I would love to hear your experience with color selection.

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

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