what I do

what I do

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wedding planning

I'm up to my ears in WEDDING.  My garage is so full of furniture it looks like a serious hoarder garage with a few paths to walk around. My daughter-who-is away-at-school's bedroom is full of smaller things and even my office has been taken over. 

I had the time of my life designing my daughter's wedding last summer so I decided it would be fun to add "wedding designer" to my list of "things I do". With the help of my sister, the first Inside Out Design wedding is about to go on. We are renting out some of the things we used for my daughter's wedding...

And adding some things that are new. We have hit the flea markets, vintage and second-hand stores accumulating props and decor and I am excited to finally show it all off.

It is going to be quite a lovely affair (another barn wedding) and I can't wait to share the photos with you next week. In the meantime ... I'm taking a little break from posting in order to get ready for the big day.

See you next week! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The perfect office tray

I saw this office on Beau Lifestyle's post today and what caught my eye first were all the white boxes neatly lined up (well, there is one that is not lined up and I so want to fix that), and secondly I noticed the nice large workspace. (And the lovely drapery panels and fun chandeliers too). 

Betsey Burnham {via}

Having a nice large surface space to spread out on is critical for me to be able to function well when I am working on several projects at one time.

Unfortunately, my office does not afford me that luxury as it is much too small. In fact, often I end up spreading out and working on the floor. But small office or not it is critical that I keep each client's information, records, samples, and binders separate from each other and easy for me to find. Finding that perfect size tray was a challenge for me. I thought I had found them when I saw these at Pottery Barn

I loved the way they looked and the large volume they were able to hold, but it turned out they were too narrow to fit my binders. The binders fit but they did not lay flat.

So I searched further and came up with a solution that works perfect. They are Elfa drawers that I picked up at The Container Store. They hold everything I need and when I am not using them all, they stack efficiently together and can be stored standing up on the side of my bookcase out of sight. And my binders fit.

Okay ... back to work for me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Art for sale

Last week my daughter who is away at school had an interview for a summer internship with a gallery in Santa Monica. Her sister and I decided to drive up with her and then play a little and have lunch when she was done. While she was in her interview, we walked around Bergamot Station where the gallery is located. Bergamot Station is the hub of the art scene in Los Angeles and is the largest art gallery complex in Southern California. Besides numerous contemporary art galleries it is also the home to the Santa Monica Art Museum. The site dates back to 1875 when it was a stop for the Red Line trolley that ran from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier.

Schomburg Gallery:

Lee Webster Shaw, "Yellow Glider", watercolor / gouache, 18 x 24 inches, $1,400

Nancy Milner, "Bermuda", 18 x 14 inches, oil on canvas, $850

Inger Hodgson, "Leila", 20 x 16 inches, oil on panel, $2,500 framed

TAG Gallery:

Stephanie Visser, "West Hollywood Bougainvilla", mixed media, 14 x 14 inches, $785

Betty Sheinbaum, "In the Park", acrylic on canvas 20 x 16 inches, $550 

On Saturday, April 30, the museum is hosting an annual art exhibit and fundraiser, called IncognitoThere will be hundreds of original works of art for only $300 (8 x 10 inches) and the identity of the artists will be revealed after purchasing; buyers are encouraged to purchase what they love without knowing who the artist is. For more information, click here.

We had a lovely afternoon walking around Santa Monica and people watching. It was a good day. And the interview went well ... She got the internship!

INCOGNITO, legendary art exhibition and benefit sale @ Santa Monica Museum of Art
WhenSaturday, Apr 30, 2011
WhereSanta Monica Museum of Art, G-1 (map)
DescriptionINCOGNITO Saturday, April 30, 2011, 7 – 10 pm Doors open at 7 pm sharp Santa Monica Museum of Art's highly anticipated annual art exhibition and benefit, INCOGNITO, will return for its seventh year on Saturday, April 30. INCOGNITO features original works by 500 contemporary artists. From sophisticated art patrons to first-time collectors – all guests are encouraged to trust their instincts to guide their selections. Each 8" x 10" work is signed on the back and artist identities are revealed only after purchase. Hundreds of artworks are available for only $300 each.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend; time with family, relaxing and good stuff to eat! We sure did and it was great to have a couple of days without thinking about WORK! 

Milo gets his own hard boiled egg

But often after a weekend like that I feel overwhelmed when Sunday night comes and I start thinking of the week ahead. And what helps to relieve the stress is to sit down and make a list of everything I need to get done. Starting out Monday with a clear direction of what I need to do keeps me from getting side-tracked and procrastinating ...

He peels it but seems unsure ...

By writing it all out, I feel like I can start out Monday ready to tackle what I need to get done and my week will go smoother and more efficiently.

Oh yeah! That was delicious!

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a good start!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

No greater love

sac·ri·fice [sak-ruh-fahys] noun

a. an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.

b. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

"Greater love has not one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - Jesus (John 15:13)

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." - Jesus (John 10:10b-11)

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you..." - 1 Peter 1:3,4


Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweet neighbor love

I had lunch with my darling 94-year-old neighbor today. She served take-out Chinese food on china plates and we sat around her Mackenzie-Childs table; the one with the turtle feet.

Mackenzie-Childs' Round Turtle Table

I love this sweet lady. She has such a zest for life and she is the true "queen of everything".  I met her when I first moved into the neighborhood over 24 years ago and we have been friends ever since. Over the years I have helped her with a few projects around her house. Like the turtle table she saw in a catalogue and just had to have. Which led to more furniture to match the table ...

Because when she finds something she really loves ... she wants it all. A few months ago she was on a birdhouse kick and she came down to shop on my computer. We found her three that she liked. She said she thought three was just enough. But then she started seeing them at HomeGoods and the next thing I knew she had about nine. She put them in her rose garden and she delights in looking at them. And that makes me smile.

Signature Petoskey "Lake View" Cottage Bird House

Menlo Park Birdhouse

Claire Murray Sconset Cottage Bird House

And oh! I wish you could see her rose garden; it is just spectacular. The roses are immaculately cared for and are just heavenly. They really are! They are incredibly fragrant and have very few thorns. And there are so many! After lunch she let me go out with her clippers and cut a few. Ahhh... what a treat! Here is what I brought home:

I wish you could smell how sweet they are!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The glamourous side of design

Another long day. And to top it off I spent a solid hour on the phone with Amazon. Apparently the address I put on the order was not the correct delivery address. Even though my GPS got me there with it originally, it did not fly for UPS today. It is one of those large medical offices with the address numbers on the building. I listed the street on one side of the building, the street my client had given me. It should have been the street on the other side. But the numbers were right. I checked after the first couple of confusing phone calls and noticed the architect's plans had the other street listed. Oops.

So they could not / did not deliver the first of 7 pieces of the office furniture today. Why when you order 7 pieces together do they all come separately and why does Amazon think that this is doing me a favor? (They said,  " We thought you'd like to know that we shipped this portion of your order separately to give you quicker service").

So even though the furniture that apparently has come from all over the country is all here within a mile of the office it needs to be delivered to (well, five of the pieces apparently are here somewhere), it cannot be delivered because the address was not correct. I called UPS and they said, hey, no problem ... just give us the updated address and we will send it out tomorrow - all of it that is here, and all at once. Yeah! An interception they called it. Thank you UPS.

But Amazon said, nope ... we have a new policy. We will have to send it ALL BACK, refund your money and re-order it and start all over. REALLY???

Don't get me wrong, they are being very nice about it and are sending it 'next day' and there will be no additional charges to me but isn't that a little bit wasteful??? The furniture is here. And they are sending it back. And sending out the same exact stuff. All over again. It just doesn't make sense to me. But what do I know.

Dave Walker

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter egg decorating party

My Bible study group decorated Easter eggs today for our local Rescue Mission to use for their Easter meal on Sunday. Everyone brought a dozen eggs and I supplied the decorations.

Real Simple

I had the hardest time finding food coloring this year ... two of the markets I went to only carried the gel food coloring. I finally found the liquid and bought 2 packs - McCormick's Assorted (primary colors) and McCormick's NEON.

If you have never dyed eggs or have forgotten, you will want to mix about 20 drops of food coloring and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to about 1/2 cup of water. Growing up, we always used boiling water. All the directions I read online said room temperature water. I used boiling; I figured it would turn room temperature soon enough!

Real Simple

I also found an article on how to make marbleized eggs by adding oil to the mixture. Here are the directions:
  1. Start with dry, colored eggs.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to one of the cups filled with a dark colored dye. Run a fork through the mixture.
  3. Dip egg into cup and re-dye it in the oil mixture, turning the egg often with a spoon.
  4. Carefully remove the egg. Set it aside to dry on a paper towel. 

Note: I don't know if I like the idea of drying on a paper towel - I use the empty egg cartons. 

The first thing I did to prepare for our 'party' was wrap my table with brown paper to protect it. (Everyone laughed at the white chairs. Luckily no one spilled).   ;)

I set out everything we would need to make the eggs and to keep our energy up while working.

Other people brought yummy things to eat too.

We used a few different techniques to dye the eggs. We used crayons (you write on the egg with the crayon and then dip the egg in dye ... the part where the crayon was will not dye).

We also used painter's tape to cute out shapes or words. It works the same as the crayons - under the tape does not take the dye and when you remove the tape you are left with designs or words.

We used stick-on letters and flowers ...

... and even jewels! To put the non stick-on embellishments I put some tacky glue in little bowls and we used tiny throw-away paint brushes.

Everyone's eggs came out different and I think they look amazing! My favorite were the ones with the marbling. The oil left a bit of a sheen on the egg which was quite lovely.

My votive candle holders worked out just fine to display the eggs.

We had so much fun making the eggs. It was fun to see everyone's unique creativity and I absolutely love the way they turned out.