Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Invivtations...a Peek

This is some of the work of Cheree Berry who has designed the invitations for my daughter.  Her work is so refined and unique at the same time.  I just can't wait to see the ones we had made!  Beautiful!!!
{photo: Sacramento Street}

Beauty Isn't Just for the Young

I found this photograph on a lovely new blog I just found named algunas de los cosas. I thought this was so endearing and captivating.  Just a tender photo for you to enjoy my friends!
{photo: algunas de las cosas}

Time to Shop for a Veil

One of the things we will be doing in San Francisco this weekend is looking for a perfect veil.  Since the dress is here in Portland, my daughter has not been able to shop for one yet.  I feel so fortunate to be able to be there with her.  I know the perfect veil is waiting for us this weekend.
{photo: Sacramento Street via style me pretty}

Oh the Joy of Traveling

I'm so excited for my adventures in San Francisco.  I leave tomorrow and we already have a very long list of things to do.  Every errand is fun with my daughter - she has such a lovely spirit and knows how to make everyday things special.  I also can't wait to see my sister and niece.  I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving in Carmel.  I'll keep you updated on all our activities and adventures.  Think good thoughts for me as I bring my daughters wedding dress with me on the plane.
{photo: sfgirlbythebay}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wedding Invitations Arrived!

The invitations for my daughter's wedding are arriving tomorrow and being addresses by a calligrapher this weekend.  I know they are going to be perfect (we'll show you after the wedding).  These beautiful envelopes on delight by design are so lovely and have me so excited.  It's as if the wedding had already begun.  Both Caitlin and I are in love with any kind of paper so this is one of the most exciting parts of the event.  We'll be finalizing the list tonight and handing over the list tomorrow.  
{photo: delight by design}

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Adventure to San Francisco

I'm busting out of the chains of work and home, to visit my daughter, sister, and niece in San Francisco this weekend. My daughter had a free ticket and has given it to me.  We will be getting all sorts of wonderful wedding errands done for her wedding in April.  I'm actually delivering the wedding dress!  I know I will have all kinds of adventures to share with you when I get back.  Most of all, it's just going to be so nice to be with family again. And best of all, a great friend will be house sitting for me while I'm gone.  What luck for me!
{photo: Caitlin Goebel}

Atelier...In Paris...

My niece in California sent me this photo today.  She took it while we were in France last summer.  I adore it!  I have always loved the word "atelier" meaning "workshop" in English.  I dream of having a little atelier to work my design magic in.  It never ceases to amaze me how many little shops, parks, streets, and of course interesting people there are in this world.  So much to discover - what an adventure this life is!
{photo: Patricia & Claire Giffen}

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time for Spring Cleaning

I know its only January but I have the spring cleaning bug.  I love clearing out my house and polishing ever inch of its space.  Maybe its my desire for winter to be over and longing for the time to have the doors and windows wide open.  Right now its pouring down rain and I'm watching British mysteries (the best!).  I think I can actually create and design better with a clean slate.  So...changes are definitely in the air.
{photo - coco + kelley}

Kitchen Nook - Part Deux

I love the little kitchen nook here - I am really intrigued by the idea of having a love seat and a smaller table in my kitchen,  It seems like the perfect little space to work from.  So now I am in search of the perfect little love seat.  Any suggestions?
{photo-my notting hill}

Lessons from Friends

I've been meeting with a lot of friends lately - having tea, breakfast or just a walk. And I always feel I gain so much from their insights.  It also seems as though I find inspiration right after spending time with them.  So many adventures to look forward to.
{photo: bits of beauty}

Monday, January 18, 2010

Idea for a Friends Rooftop Patio in San Francisco

I'm posting this for a friend in San Francisco (you know who you are) who has a bit of a challenge with creating a rooftop garden.  There is no water source up on the top of her home and there are challenging circular stairs to get there.  Here is a solution - imitation boxwood hedges.  I think they look fabulous - especially when you have the texture of the table and chairs - along with the great striped fabric.  
{photo: domino via flickr}

A Thing of Beauty

This bedside table looks exactly like one I bought at the Alameda Flea Market in the Bay Area.  I was helping my daughter decorate her first apartment and we found the table painted mint green.  Our intentions were to paint it white.  I've done many paint jobs on various pieces of furniture but what I had in store with this piece I had never encountered.  As I began to sand the piece, large strips of the paint began to fall off.  I essentially peeled the entire table.  Underneath it looked identical to this table.  It has a marble top and was only $75.  I keep returning to Alameda but have never found another deal like it!
{photo: a room somewhere}

Remembering Those Before Us

Help - Where is This Purse From??

I know my primary focus for this blog is interior design and travel but I have to say I have an absolute crush on this bag.  I have been looking for the right clutch for years and this is it!! The problem is that I have no idea who makes it and where I can get it.  I love having a clutch for evenings and also you can toss it into your work bag and not have to deal with a purse.  If you what this particular clutch is, please let me know.
{photo: Habitually Chic}

Another Idea??

OK - of course when I think I have three solutions to the dining room dilemna, I see this photograph!  I think this looks so amazing when there is a mix of seating at the same table.  I think I need to really take my time on this and make a decision that works.  This is so warm and inviting - hum...

Dining Room Table: Part Deux

This weekend I went in search of a new dining room table that would fit my growing book club.  In the end, I realized that I adore the one I already have so I need to come up with a new plan.  Most of the time I don't have large groups over for dinner and I enjoy sitting at a round table.  However, that still leaves me with what to do when I have my book club over.  I have thought of three alternatives to moving my marble table.  The first is to have a plywood top made that could fit on top of my marble that I could store in the basement.  I would be able to store it in the garage.  The second alternative is to move the marble to my kitchen and have the kitchen table refinished and have pieces made to extend it.  Finally, I could buy a table that would work as my project table in the basement and just move it up for book club events.  Oh...decisions decisions!!!! 
{photo:domino via flickr}

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prize...what a treasure

Every time I embark on my annual road trip to San Francisco, I look forward to my day in Ashland, Oregon.  Nestled in the foothills of the mountains,  Ashland has quickly become a destination for me.  I can have one day in this little town on the Oregon-California border and do more than most large cities. To begin with, this is the home of the Shakespeare Festival and as a result there is always a show (many in a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre).  In addition, I adore staying in the Ashland Springs Hotel.  This hotel is located in the center of town and is a lovely restored historical hotel.  Finally, probably my favorite thing about the town is one of my favorite shops - Prize.  I was a client of Prize in San Francisco.  Several years ago, the owner moved to Ashland and opened the shop up there.  She has an amazing mix of old and new - I would definitely give her the "prize" of best flea market finds!!!  Some of my favorite treasures in my home come from Prize.  A beautiful arched French mirror in my bedroom, animal flash cards, maps, and my very favorite - small white camel tables that sit next to my French daybed in my living room.  I'm already looking forward to my next road trip this summer.
{photo: Prize}

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time to make travel plans

I can't wait to make plans for upcoming trips.  Today I need to book hotel rooms in San Francisco for my March trip.  This will be my last trip prior to heading down there for my daughters wedding in April.  The trip will be a great one - San Francisco and Calistoga. I'd like to try a new hotel this time - something that is relatively close to Sacramento Street and filled with charm.  In addition, we will be going for two days to Calistoga to take in the amazing mineral baths.  Since my daughter went to the University of San Francisco, we have been going to Calistoga as our quick get away trips.  One of the things I love most about the wine country is the smell of the air.  To me it smells like grapes, rosemary, and bay leaves.  It immediately calms me and makes all of my troubles quickly slip away.
{photo: la dolce vita}

Searching for a new dining room table

Right now I have a beautiful old and crusty marble dining room table on a pedestal. It sits in front of an amazing old french mirror (so old that the mirror glass is over an inch thick!).  I adore it. Unfortunately, my book group doesn't really fit around it.  I bought a very old farm table but got tired of always getting slivers from the old wood.  So now what I'm considering is a table with a zinc top - long and narrow.  I want to make sure this is the table for me.  Today I will look around again to make sure there isn't anything else that might work.  I'll keep my marble table and replace the french cafe table I have and put the marble one back in its place. I love having changes - it makes my heart beat a bit faster as I figure out what to do.
{photo: coco + kelley} 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Slow Readers Book Club

I just found a wonderful blog - Diary of Lovely.  She's an artist and has a wonderful creative style on her site.  One thing she suggested was a Slow Readers Book Club.  The book being read right now is Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. Read along this month and we'll have a discussion about the book on March 4 (hence the title: Slow!!!)
{photo: Diary of Lovely}

Deciding on the Right Bag

Whenever I start planning for a trip, there are two main items I spend a great deal of time trying to get right: my bags and my shoes.  Lets face it, the right travel bag or purse can help you have more carefree trip with less worries.  You don't worry about the long walk to arrive at the hotel if your suitcase is in good shape. Right behind the perfect bag is the perfect pair of shoes.  They need to be fashionable so as not to look like a tourist but at the same time it is vital they are comfortable for long days on your feet and slow walks through museums.  I'm already on the search for the bags and shoes I'll take on my trips this summer and I'm not even sure where I'll be going yet.  All I know is that with the right bag and shoes, I am sure to have a trip of a lifetime.
{photo: Apartment 34}

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Something Old, Something New....

I saw this photograph on one of my favorite blogs - From the Right Bank.  This is exactly what I am referring to when I say I want a mix of old and new.  I love the old and crusty sofa combined with a modern looking lamp and modern art on the wall.  I feel that when you combine the two it's a much fresher and younger look.  All antiques looks like a grandmother's home and all modern is too cold for me.  The perfect solution is combining the two.  Right now I don't even have a sofa.  In its place is a french daybed with a beautiful hand made cushion that I had made by a man who used to make mattresses by hand.  He used those old techniques to create the cushion.  As soon as I figure out how to use my Nikon D90, I'll post a photograph.  
{photo: From the Right Bank via Head Over Heels}

To do or not to do...acrylic

I have to say that I am absolutely smitten with acrylic recently.  Of course I have no desire to have a house filled with it but I wouldn't mind a chair or two to add a bit of surprise to my decor.  In the house I stayed at in London, even the toilet seat was acrylic!  I just need to figure out where I would put them.  Any ideas?
{photo: domino via flickr}

Changes in the Air

One of my goals for the New Year is to continue to work on my house and update it's look.  As I mentioned before, my trip to London last summer gave me a new perspective on the direction I would like to go.  Mixing more modern with my antiques excites me.  I love having vintage French chairs combined with a modern table.  Right now I have my eye on a dining room table that is basically a long nickel/steel top table that rest on V-shaped horses.  I love the idea of something unique as a dining room table. Right now I have a very old marble table that I can move to the living room once I have another table.  It's fun to try and figure out my new direction.  
{photo: domino via flickr}

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Warm Cup of....

With a cold front arriving tonight and bringing with it either freezing rain or snow, it seems like a good night to brew a cup of fresh coffee in my new espresso machine that my family gave to me.  Four years ago when my daughter and I were in Paris at Christmas, we saw lines of people circling the block.  We decided to walk closer to see what the attraction was.  It was a store called Nespresso and they sold espresso machines.  They were the complete rage in Paris.  Then this past summer when we were back in Paris with my sister and niece, they also became intrigued.  They actually went into the store to look at the products.  When all of us got home, my sister bought the Citiz.  I was visiting her at Thanksgiving and I couldn't believe how amazing the coffee tasted.  It was absolutely the best cup of coffee I had ever had.  Well, under the tree for me was my very own Nespresso machine and I adore it.  Thank you Patricia, Jon, Claire, and Caitlin.  I feel so blessed to have all of you as family!!!
{photo courtesy: Patricia Giffen}

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Too Many Things and Not Enough Room

Last week while my daughter was home from San Francisco for Christmas a friend hosted a wedding shower for her.  It was an amazing afternoon with many friends - both old and new.  Of course my daughter could hardly fit her Christmas presents in her suitcases, let alone her gifts from the wedding shower.  So that means a road trip to bring down her lovely gifts.  Oh yeah, did I mention I have a Mini Cooper?  I have to say, I have managed to fit an amazing quantity of items into my little car but I think by the time I fit all of her gifts, I'll look like the Mini above! What an adventure that will be.  

Monday, January 4, 2010

Destinations for the New Year

{photo courtesy: wallyg/flickr}
{photo courtesy: sfgirlbythebay}
{photo courtesy: Oberazzi/flickr}
This year I hope to travel to several places. Of course I'm always ready to jump into a new adventure if it presents itself.  I know I'll be going to San Francisco several times this year.  My daughter will tie the knot on April 10th in Napa Valley.  She lives in San Francisco so I'll be making several trips down there.  In addition, I would like to take a road trip down the coast of California to photograph the mission churches in California.  Finally, I am working to go on an all expenses paid trip to Istanbul.  I would be going with a group here in Portland that is working on Christian - Muslim understanding trip.  I teach history and have been involved with a group dedicated to helping promote understanding.  Istanbul is near the top of my list of places I would like to visit.  It seems like the place that East meets West and I would love to absorb the city.  I hope the trip comes together!  Where are you hoping to go this year?  Any ideas for good places to travel?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Changes for the New Year

photo courtesy: domino/flickr

The start of the New Year gives me a chance to think about the changes I would like to make in the coming year.  In the areas of design and travel I can think of so many things I would like to do this year.  Since my trip to London and Paris last summer, I've been working at incorporating modern touches along with my antiques.  I love to see modern pieces mixed with older antique pieces.  The things I hope to do in my house this year are:
  1. Buy a new kitchen table like the one in the above photo.
  2. Make simple changes such as lamps and accessories that are more updated.
  3. Black & white photography on the walls of my office.
  4. Finally, a NEW MATTRESS!!! Mine is old and uncomfortable.  Any suggestions??
I'll talk about my plans for traveling later today.  So many ideas - hum......

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have to say I miss the days of actual film in a camera.  That being said I'm thrilled to have purchased my new camera yesterday.  One of my hopes is to pursue photography this year.  I have one of the best photography stores less than a block from my house so it was easy to get the advice I needed for the camera.  I am happy to say that I purchased a Nikon D90 with a 80-150 lens.  I played with it all night and I am sure I will have many happy adventures with it.  If anyone is an expert I would be thrilled for any advice in my new adventure.  I hope to share all of my snapshots this year as I travel and explore photography.