Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!







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Feb 03

Pinterest LOVE

Posted In Art, Clothing, Decorating, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

As if I needed another excuse to spend WAY too much time on the internet.  As if I’d asked for more luscious pictures to peruse… of places, products, people and other amazing things to drool, dream and dote over.  AND then… along came

Pinterest Logo

DAMN you, Pinterest!  My daughters warned me.  My friends suggested I proceed with great care.  Even I knew I’d have to exhibit great self control.  MY Motorcycle Man rolled his eyes and groaned when I told him I wa now “addicted” and had hung out on Pinterest from 12:30-3:30 this am!  Question:  would I be awake during the middle of the night if I didn’t have Pinterest to play with?

But…. Pinterest is a great way to organize beautiful photos of my likes, loves, dreams, wishes, plans, ideas.  And… to look at those of other Pinterest fiends from around the world.  In picture form.

Here are some pictures from my files.

I like these bedrooms:



Such cool chandeliers:

Oh WoW… Looking for a branch now:

Inspiring garden scenes:


A must have…    gypsy trailer in my backyard…

Fun outfits are easy to find and “pin”:



My favorite Pins are the funny ones:




Have you looked at Pinterest?  Punch the “P” button on the right side of my website and you’ll get a little taste. Beware… you just might get hooked!!!

(PS….If you need an invite, let me know!)

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Jan 03

2012 Dreamin….

Posted In Green Design, Old to New, Styling, Uncategorized

OMG… It’s 2012!! Our guests have left and both daughters have returned to their homes.  booohoooo. The house is still a mess… Christmas stuff is everywhere. Bills are waaaaay past due. BIG bills. Laundry is stacked up next to the washer. Old leftovers crowd the refrigerator. My skinny jeans don’t fit very well and the bags under my eyes… oh my. (is it true Preparation H works for that?) I’m back to work today and have got to find my briefcase. I’m, well, just a little bit overwhelmed.

I DO plan to clean up from Christmas. Soon. Decorations will be packed away, cupboards will be cleaned and reorganized, furniture will be rearranged and decor will be freshened up. Many trips to Goodwill will be made. I will get on that ASAP. And that list of resolutions, goals and plans for 2012. Definitely. Coming soon!

Meanwhile, I also plan to dream BIG dreams in 2012. One will surely be my recurring dream… one that I’ve been unable to shake for years now. Have I told you about my desert dream?

My love for the California desert is HUGE. I spend a great deal of time imagining the weekend place that Mr. Motorcycle Man and I will someday own in this beautiful part of the state. This will not be a slick home with a giant pool and golf course view in a fancy Palm Desert neighborhood, but a rustic cabin nestled amongst the giant boulders of the high desert near Joshua Tree.


I dream of a place with sand dune and mountain views in the mysterious, fascinating, even magical  areas close to Landers and Johnson Valley. No lights or city views. Just big sky, gorgeous sunsets, millions of stars and QUIET.

This desert home will not be fancy at all. Nothing would be perfect, in fact imperfect would make it just right. It would be a shack where sand and grit, motorcycle and hiking boots, spilled food and wine and lots and lots of family and friends, young and old, would be welcome. It’d be constructed with found items, repurposed materials and a lot of imagination.

It’s possible we will build it out of pallets.



Or… a collection of colorful bottles:


Maybe we’ll consider old shipping containers. They make interesting structures:



AS do retired vehicles of transportation:

Tires, rammed earth, straw bales, wood, concrete, and corrigated metal could also be used to build this dream home in the desert. SO many choices…

As funky as this all looks and sounds, I promise this desert home won’t be ugly. It’ll be wildly interesting, beautiful even, in that perfectly imperfect way.  Gorgeous views, warm breezes, sunsets and the mystical aura of the high desert will be the stars in this setting.

SO. I keep a dream file. Of ideas, pictures, projects for the house that does not yet exist. Nor does the land. Mr. MM and I continue to look and dream knowing that someday this perfectly imperfect scenario will present itself to us… maybe even in 2012. IF meant to be. And if not… the dreaming and planning is just so much fun. We’ll enjoy the process.

And for you, I wish a happy happy 2012:  a year full of good health, joy and love! AND… one where the best of your big dreams and plans come true!

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