Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Her comment to me was "When I walk into these rooms I want them to make me laugh. Do you see that?". Yes, I did. I replied "You want these spaces to be so unique, so beautiful that it makes you giggle out of sheer delight". Her response "You get me".
Some of the best relationships are simply the mutual understanding of who we are. While we strive for individuality we still want to be understood. "You get me." And it's just that easy.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Sound familiar? I have never, not ever, been this far behind. I need a Clarence. I need an angel and an angle to figure it out this year. Part in blame is the puppy that stole my heart and my sanity that now lives with me, the other part is that I resigned one job to do my own thing and fortunately ended up being busier than I ever thought.
But yet I have had time to wonder what would have happened I had never been. The list of naughty and nice could be long, but I think of the little things in life that have hopefully made an impact. Years ago I met a young man that worked in a telemarketing room where I was employed as the marketing person. He came to me distressed because he wanted to resign his supervisor position to apply to medical school. I sat him down, told him to look at the big picture and wrote him a glowing letter of recommendation. His father later contacted me to tell me he had been accepted to med school, so proud and happy I could hear him beaming through the phone. I wonder where that young man is now. I wonder about the lives he has touched. I wonder if Clarence would approve of that moment in time.
'Tis the season to pay it forward, and sometimes it doesn't cost a dime. Maybe that is truly the best gift of all.
Monday, December 13, 2010
As I become comfortable in my own skin, I focus less on the packaging. After all, the wrapping has wrinkled and the package isn't as sturdy as it once was. When all the focus is on the exterior, we begin to miss what truly counts - what's on the inside of all those lovely trimmings? What is the substance underneath the glitz? Is the gift sincere? Honest? Will it stand the test of time? What is the value, the true worth?
So often that excitement over the packaging overshadows the product, the "crux of the biscuit", the core, the marrow. We miss the true gift, one that has taken years to develop. The true gift of Christmas doesn't come in a box. In comes from reaching out a hand to another in a gesture of kindness and goodwill. It comes from the heart. And asks to be returned.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Nuff said. Welcome new year, come what may.
Monday, November 29, 2010
When the dog bites, when the bee stings: Favorite Things: "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens....do you remember the words to this one? From the Sound of Music with Julie Andrews singing this..."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
And she was right. This year as we sit down to feasts and festivities breathe the moment in, feel your lungs expand, hear your heart beat. Inhale the fragrance of Thanksgiving - let it settle into your being. Be grateful for even the most unconscious things we do each day.
A few months ago a close friend and fantastic designer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She is the one of the most creative, talented designers I have ever worked with. If you have a space designed by her consider yourself darn lucky. Her kitchens have graced the covers and pages of many magazines and I am grateful to have had time to really know her.
Cancer doesn't care, but we do. Realize that each time you touch a life you touch many. As my dear friend walks through her treatments and on this path she has been given she should know how many are willing to be there with her. Willing to stand by her and waiting to see her smile again. Willing to send prayer or send energy or send whatever you believe in. Willing to stand by her and stand tall. Willing to be there all the way.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
You hear it said sometimes - the love of his or her life. It's hard to believe it really happens - but I'll tell you that it's true. Marriage is never what you expect. Yet looking at the wedding photos that are now 63 years old, Ann and Tom got it right. Till death do us part doesn't happen much anymore. It's easy to walk away. Love, honor and obey are hard words to say (OK I admit, as a native Baltimorean I said "Old Bay". It seemed to work at the time). Part of what we have lost is keeping common courtesy and simple kindness to one another alive in a relationship. Aunt Ann & Uncle Tom epitomized those traits. There was no MEMEMEME about it, they were in it together. And it showed, even today.
Smiling photos were everywhere at the funeral home, "remember when" was repeated throughout the room. Hugs and smiles and tears were the order of the day. As we left the church the sun began to peak through the clouds. Chris Botti turned his attention to "Someone to Watch Over Me". Indeed, a lifetime of love and the love of Tom's life shone though the grey skies. Her gentle kindness had rained down on all who were lucky enough to have been a part of her life.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I have seen some instances on some jobs where the contractor went from being low bid to outrageous crazy when unforseen circumstances arose. Were they unforseen or overlooked in order to get the low bid? Do your homeowork. Get references, call vendors that supply the person that will be in your home. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Make sure they are licensed & insured. Trust your gut instinct. Are they so low because they can't get work?
When it all comes down to it, the BEST PRICE is a fair price given by fair people. People that are working in your best interest with their best price to the best of their ability. So what is the real cost of the best price? What are you willing to pay?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A very touching part of the procession to the final site was driving past the home where Aunt Kay lived. How very telling in the story of our lives. Her dwelling, her home was honored as an integral part of where the love, the bond sprung forth.
In our own space, our own home, our own dwellings we define who we are. I have iris in my garden that I have moved from home to home (sometimes stored in black plastic bags) that I have had now for over 30 years. You know, the pale lavendar blue kind that smell like grape popsicles. Part of the tradition of the iris is to give them away when I separate them in the fall so they may prosper in friends' lives as well.
It's time to part the iris again and let a part of me bloom for someone else. Our traditions weave a rich bond with those in our lives. Design a tradition of your own that keeps that bond growing and pass it on.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Freshen your space with new pillows!
But realistically, how many pillows can one own before they own you? And where do they go when their day is done? Relegated to the back of a closet? Or off to the landfill to kabitz with the carpet and other household items that are simply filling up the Fill?
Instead of a quick fix - take a moment to think about your Christmas ornaments. Are they safely boxed away, taken out one at a time to remember the moment, where you bought them, what was going on in your life? Now look at your pillows. Do they hold any emotional attachment?
Design should have that connection with your life. In Japan there is a design practice called Tokonoma. One item is placed in a niche and that items is reflected upon until it is time to replace it with another item that gives meaning to the household. Your home should reflect the life you have led. Design your space with memories - in a frame or in a cherished vase passed down through families, or in the purchase of a single item that evokes a memory everytime you look at it.
Create a haven that is comforting, a reminder of your connections in this world. Save a pillow, save the planet. And dwell in a space that is truly your own.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So began the wish list - double ovens, professional range, new countertops, new backsplash, new new new. Then came the budget. By being creative, efficient, and cost effective, I instantly updated the space by adding unique elements utilizing the existing materials. And what a WOW. Check out the before and after, then we'll talk about redesign, renewal and renovation that costs less than you think. Good for the wallet, good for the landfills, and just good design.