Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Honor of the High Point Furniture Market: "Fancy Furniture" Word Search

I am an ace at word seach puzzles and happy to report that both of my kids are aces too. Sammi and I often do a puzzle as part of the "tuck-me-into-bed ritural. Flipping through her puzzle book the other night, we saw this "Fancy Furniture" word search. I XOXO it because along with "Needlepoint" and "Pick-Up Hockey", it's just so random. It's kind of a short puzzle though - sigh! I think they could have thought the theme through a bit more and added words such as these: tufted, gilding, marquetry, inlay, brocade, velvet, and ormolu.

Friday, April 20, 2012


 On the way to Orlando, en route to the Coverings trade show,  I had time to meander. Rather than drive a straight shot on the boring turnpike, I veered west at Yeehaw Junction and turned a 3-hour ho-hum ride into an unplanned and unhurried 6 hour exploration.
A big boot, just my size.

Tuesdays are notoriously slow at Talk of the Town.
Through Lake Wales, Haines City, and Davenport I admired architecture,  did a bit of thrift shopping, and met a few locals.  What also made the ride memorable were the tunes.

Getting the goods ready for auction.
Before I left I grabbed an old CD case that I hadn't opened in a while. It had some goodies including "I Like Cheese -- Volumes 1 and 2" --  nostalgic compilations of songs that I bought as 45s back in the 70s, and carried around in a flowery vinyl case. My friend Steph made the CDs and they made my road trip perfecto. Barry Manilow, Styx, Karen Carpenter, Gilbert O'Sullivan....the list goes on. I think the song I XOXO-ed the most that day was "Billy Don't be a Hero." 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why I XOXO My Bathroom at The Peabody, Orlando

Hello, Peabody!
Photo by Charlotte Barnard

I am in Orlando for 3 days for COVERINGS tile and stone show. 
I am staying at The Peabody in Orlando. It is a beautiful giant hotel, and I fell in love with my room immediately. 

The bathroom is amazing on its own. Here are 6 bathroom features that I XOXO.

1. the chic TV installation in bathroom

2. Plenty of space: there's an extra shelf that holds all my crap

3.  the bathrobes  are super soft and feel like the thinnest corduroy. i actually wore mine to bed. 
4. the magnifying mirror doubles as mood light.
5. a scale for convenience if I should I want.

6. light sensors


When I left my cousin's birthday party yesterday, I circled her block on Bay Harbor Island, FL and photo-ed 5 fabulous instances of fun Florida architecture. Pictures from the driver's seat are far from great, but hopefully you can sense the charm of each one. I XOXO them all.

Love the "wave" on top
the rotunda and curly railing
the tall skinny cypress tree (?) and "10000"
soaring turquoise panel with decorative inset
the accent colors in concrete decoration

Sunday, April 15, 2012


photo from here
 I met Simon Doonan two weeks ago. He and hubby Jonathan Adler were poking around a Miami antiques shop. It was a big thrill for me. He was warm and personal. For a very long period of my pre-writer life, I wanted to be a window dresser, and Simon, of Barney's fame, is the bomb of visual.

I recently asked Simon to contribute to a blog about "Mad Men" decor. He spoke about Joan's apartment. Here is the e-interview in full; certain parts were omitted in the previously posted Benjamin Moore blog.

JD: Have you been watching MadMen since the beginning?
SD: Totally. We are addicted and there is no methadone for Mad men. 
JD: Obsessed or mildly attached?
SD: It is like crack. One hit and you're lost.
JD: Why did you pick this set? Please discuss the decorating and what appeals or does not?
SD: The decor seems poignant and earnest. There is nothing frivolous about it. Joan is ultimately 
not a playful character. This struck me as clever set-decorating.
JD: Would you change anything? Add? Edit? Paint the dining chairs?
SD: Joan is not about being groovy and fabulous. She is all about efficiency. I would be scared to change anything in case she came home and caught me fiddling in her drawers.
JD: Do you like Joan’s character? Why or why not?
SD: I like her busty maternal governess thing. She is like the sexy strict dominatrix. 
Guys who like to get spanked are probably obsessed with her. Every office needs somebody who
can crack the whip.
JD: Do you think her husband doctor had a say in the decorating?
SD: I think Joan did it all. She tried to present a facade of earnest respectability. She is much too smart to nag her hubby about it. Am sure he just came home and it was done.

JD: If you were invited over for cocktails and some shrimp cocktail, where would you sit?
SD:I would probably perch on the end of the couch like a terrified gerbil.
 JD: Should she replace anything with a Jonathan Adler furnishing/accessory?
SD: I think some JA alpaca letter pillows ( J _ O _ A_ N)  and a red and white zebra rug would add a little je ne sais quoi. Am worried that Joan would get mad that I was poking my nose.

I hope Simon's words leave you with sore cheeks as it did me. To read more of what Simon thinks  check out his monthly SLATE column or buy one of his books.

Friday, April 13, 2012


door knocker earrings came in green too.
 I spied these neon pink earrings at Charming Charlies and I think they NEED to be repurposed as curtain rings. They'd look fab on a gold, silver, white, or seriously any color curtain rod with just about any color or patterned fabric flowing from them.

Use with this and its a celebration of color. photo from here
Or keep colors in the family with Marnie in fuschia from Sis Boom

Or let them stand out with simple white. photo from here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

XOXO: School Art Projects

 photo from here
I was googling around for op-art stencils today and discovered Krissy Sabol, a passionate and committed Connecticut art teacher. From her Flickr alone, I know I XOXO and respect her. Krissy dreamed up this project to familiarize her 6th grade class with Op-Art. She explains, " They studied various versions of optical illusions and then recreated their own on a 20-sided geometric form called an icosahedron. Making the stencil for the form required careful patience and instruction, and drawing the illusions took planning and diligence. All turned out beautifully and certainly made us dizzy!"

I'm a greedy mom when it comes to school art projects of which there aren't many. Here are 3 of my favorite.

two views of the same project done in 10th grade art

I saw a teacher carrying this and asked her about it. She gave it to me. I don't think any of my kids actually made it. Wasn't that nice of her?

That's my Dylan. She painted it this year in 10th grade art.
Dylan produced the most art in 3 months of art class than she did in her 15 1/2 years.
She impressed me.


Monday, April 9, 2012

I XOXO MY NEW BOOK: The Wonderful World of Fashion by Nina Chakrabarti

Cover Love: Borrowing a line from "Jerry Maguire": You had me at Hello.
 If borrowing books from the library makes me feel deliciously spoiled, imagine how I felt today when I actually bought myself one. This afternoon in Barnes & Noble, I was downright giddy by the discovery and subsequent purchase of "The Wonderful World of Fashion: A Book for Drawing, Creating, and Dreaming" by Nina Chakrabarti -- a 1" thick book filled with black, white, and pink drawings on soft off-white drawing paper stock.  It was $20.

Just let it go (deep breath):Not even 1/2 hour old and a cross out
When we got home, my daughter opened the book and started writing on the first page in pink magic marker. I freaked.
 "What are you doing?" 
 "Writing my name."
"Your name?" 
(I was confused. I distinctly remember telling her in the car, "Look at the present I bought for me.")
"I'm also putting yours," Sam said. Nice save, honey.
"OK," I said admantly, "but that's it."
"Gosh!!!" she said, kind of mad/hurt.
YUM: sample drawings that are inside

It may sound a trifle anal or selfish of me not to share my new book immediately, but I wasn't ready for her to make her mark. I get it first!