what I do

what I do

Friday, March 30, 2012


I have been AWOL all week. Caught a flu bug of some sort and lost a few days. Made a little progress with work projects. There are only two rolls of fabric left sitting in my office finally - a dozen more are out getting made into chairs and drapes and lots of fun pillows.  I had these chairs re-done and they were installed this week (they look a.m.a.z.i.n.g.) and finally got the wingback dining chair fabric in and the chairs ordered. Progress is being made slowly but surely - I'm hoping to share some good photos soon. This week was going to be filled with appointments, catching up in my office and some painting projects of my own but none of that happened.

We started out celebrating my oldest daughter's 28th birthday (it is just shocking to see that number).

My youngest daughter, the one who is away at school, went camping with her dad in the Grand Canyon for a little Spring Break adventure ...

And this little girl (and her mommy) ...

Got to stay the week with me for their own little Spring break.

 It was a week filled with bugs. I got the flu bug, a huge swarm of bees appeared (thank you bee-keeper for coming out so quickly), had a couple of power outages (didn't get the kitchen lights back on for days) and then that darn flu bug attacked my daughter too. But not all of it was bad ...

This little ladybug turned six months old!!!

Sometimes life just throws you the unexpected and you are given a break whether you planned it or not! 

Keep smiling! Have a great weekend everyone :D

Monday, March 26, 2012

Welcome home

I just finished selecting exterior paint colors for a house on the water in Naples. It is a lovely house but it lacks great architectural details. So I wanted to give it a little drama with the paint. We are painting the house in neutrals but I thought it would be fun to paint the front door bright yellow.

I am really enjoying bright yellow right now. Not a lot of it ... just a pop. In fact, I have a piece of furniture in my house I am pondering painting yellow this week. I would go up against a gray wall - one of my favorite color combinations - gray and yellow.  I just had some gray and yellow address labels printed up by Sara at Less Ordinary Designs. I love the way they came out (I removed my address for this post):

What about you? Do you like a little yellow or do you shy away from it?

Either way, I hope this brightens up your morning ... Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How much is seventy-seven times?

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32

I read this quote for the first time tonight and agree so much with the truth of it. Forgiveness feels so much better inside than holding onto anger. It is not just that forgiveness is the right thing to do. It also feels right. Because holding on to the anger just hurts yourself. Don't you think? And I love that Paul says in Ephesians, not to just forgive but to be kind and compassionate. I think that true forgiveness can only really happen when you are able to genuinely be kind and feel compassion for the one who has (or continues to) hurt you. When you are able to do that, it is so freeing. Even if you have to do it over and over again.

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
- Matthew 18:21-22

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What do you do when a client cancels?

I had an unexpected unscheduled day today - a client had to cancel ... and instead of trying to fill in the day with other clients I decided to take a free day. I thought it was the first day of Spring (uh no, missed that - it was the day before) and thought I would get a jump start on Spring cleaning (ie. painting, planting new flowers in the courtyard, washing the windows...).

It was a perfect day. It started with this:

Don't let the crumbled box fool you ... because this is what was inside:

I have been dying to have one of Michelle Armas' paintings. I posted about them a while back and while I was putting up the post, the painting I wanted sold right out from under me. I contacted Michelle just in case the sale didn't go through (it did) and she assured me she would be painting more in the colorway I wanted (and in the size I could afford!).

So as she suggested I basically stocked her website (she said keep checking back). They sell out very fast. Did you know they are selling her paintings at Anthropologie now? Wow. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago there was the perfect painting for me!  It is called Truth. And even that appeals to me. Have you read the Hunger Game books? I just finished all three of them and one of the things that resonated with me was when Peeta SPOILER ALERT when Peeta had his memory taken away from him and he didn't know what was real or not real. I loved that he would question everything to see if it was true or not. Real or not real. I need to do that more. Sometimes I have things inside my head that feel like they are true but they really are not.

I love it! After I picked the package up from the post office, I ran by our local nursery to pick up some spring flowers ...

And went by the paint store. Remember my post on Monday, black or white? Well, black won.

My photos came out terrible (it was too late in the day) but I did get it all painted. It is dramatic and different. I had really struggled with painting over the quote my daughter had painted on the wall when she was in high school and the room was hers. (I posted about my dilemma with painting it a couple of years ago here). But then I realized today, she is turning 28 on Saturday - which means it has been up at least 12 years. And the lavender walls - they have probably been like that for 15 years or more. I decided it was time. Now I need to work on that bed!

 It was a very productive day (even managed to wash my car and clean the house and a few windows!). It is nice to take a day and do things around your own house - especially when you are always fixing up other people's!  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Black or white?

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Celerie Kemble's book, Black & White (and a bit in between).
It is a beautiful book and very inspiring - the images are stunning. You know how much I love white. I cannot get enough white some days. But black? That is new for me. Especially on the walls. But recently I was watching an old episode of The Closer (yes, my mother got me hooked on the re-runs when she would come over to see the baby when they were living with us - if she was here and it was 3:00 it had to be on!) and as always, I notice the decor first and there was the most fabulous living room with black walls. I had to pause the show to stare at it awhile and I have not been able to get it out of my mind. You know how you notice something and then you start seeing it everywhere? So tonight, as I was searching for images of swing arm wall sconces to help a client of mine visualize my idea for her reading room,  all I could see were black walls. Everywhere. And I am loving them. 

Beautiful right? And so dramatic. But then I wonder ... do I want drama? Or the calm of white. That is my dilemma right now. Black or white. Or black and white. Because I am in the mood to paint.

But regardless of the wall color, I know I am in love with the brass. And the sconces.

Phoebe Howard via

I hope my client will be too. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Working from home

Do you work from home? I do. I have a separate office in my home - a space designated just for working. I love it. It is very convenient and thankfully clients are not aware that often when I am working with them on the phone that I am sitting in my pajamas with my dog at my feet. I don't have children at home any longer so distractions are not my problem. Working endlessly is. It is hard to set good work boundaries (ie. normal office hours) when you are working from home. Or that is what I find anyway. It seems I live in this always accessible, always available, always working mode.

So here are a few tips I have read lately that I am going to try to implement into my work routine:
1. Take breaks. Get up and stretch. Go outside for at least 30 minutes everyday (huge health benefits I hear with going outside - including helping with better sleep).
2. Do not work long into the night. Set a regular work routine and stick to it. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Really HUGE health benefits on this one and I am not very good with this at all.
3. Be careful with your eyes. I spend HOURS in front of the computer either working on invoices or research (well yeah, and reading blogs, haha). Try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Like these tips? I found most of them here. There are 30 altogether if you want to read the whole article!
If you have the opposite problem I do and find yourself distracted and have difficulty staying focused here is a great tip for you:
Keep 3 lists of 3: Three things you will get done, three things you would like to get done but aren't essential, and three things that need to get done at some point. That way you stay focused and aren't left with idle time at the end of the day.

I hope my sister who is the illustrator is reading this. She works crazy hours and sleeps very little. And today is her birthday. So I hope she will take heed and go outside for a while today! 

Did you love all these home office images? I found them all on pinterest here but they are all from Morgan's PepperDesignBlog originally. Check it out - it is a great blog and Morgan will surely inspire you - take a look at her chevron napkin DIY project -wow!
Okay people. It's Monday. Now get back to work! :D
Happy Birthday Deb!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What goes through your head?

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." 
                                                              -Philippians 4:8

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No matter how you wear your green ...

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world, with joy that long endures.

May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours! (an old Irish blessing)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! xo

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More nursery love

I did a little painting while I was visiting my oldest daughter this past weekend ... and snapped a few photos with my iphone ... they are not great but I thought I would share anyway. 

There was still a blank wall in the nursery that needed some love ...

We took some old frames we had rescued from our garage sale last summer - two were white and one was black and we covered them with acrylic paint that my daughter had in her cupboard (didn't even need to leave the house for this project!). I mixed two colors to match the crib.

We cut up a calendar, framed a colorful gift bag and a LOVE poster from Made By Girl.

Do you see the framed numbers? They were from this project.

The pink bookshelf was previously spray painted - it used to be natural maple.

I think the nursery is coming along quite nicely!