Monday, September 29, 2008


Well, it's that time again! My painted pumpkins are in the store (as well as in the front urns)!

Every year, actually, since I began doing them in about 1985 (Yikes!), we have requests for them! I'm not sure why I every thought of painting pumpkins. I started with metallic gold. That was the signature for years. Gauzy ribbons, metallic leaves, or gold bullion thread garnished the gnarled stems.

In the past few years, I started adding black into the mix, copper, metallic silver. One year several years ago, I even created a darn good replica of the whitish "Casper" pumpkin that is sometimes difficult to find! They looked just like the real McCoy!

Of late, we have added the ever endearing glitter! Several years ago, my dear friend Linda and I came up with the idea and nearly had to stop our work for the tears of laughing! We had created one that looked like something Paris Hilton would carry about--totally encrusted with multiple colors of glitter. We laughed so hard, we could hardly complete the night's work. As a laugh, we took that one and put it in the jewelry case! What was our great surprise, when that one was one of the first to sell! It truly looked like a diamond covered pumpkin!

This year, we have added a "glaze" of sorts, over the paint! Then, the glitter. The humidity seems to not favor the process, I'll give you a clue. Then, there was the one that Joanne, my staff florist created with the purple glitter! You can imagine my surprise when that one showed up, after I had instructed her "NO purple glitter! I hate that!" For the most part, Joanne has adapted my style to her work and I love it! Not to worry, there will be no more purple glittered pumpkins.

Come in to see the assortment, or call for your special orders! Xlarge to teeny-tiny. We'll be glad to whip one up for you! Sometimes they last until January!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the honor of the bes ribbon

There are many rewarding aspects in the world of design! One of them is the relationship of long-term clients who resurface after years with a new project. For the past few weeks, I have been working with a darling, teeny-tiny, entertaining client who recently made a move from The Main Line (old Philadelphia) to a posh hi-rise in the heart of the city. We have designed and chosen chic, high-style upholstery (while making sure that it will be able to be delivered, considering the size of the elevator)! and currently, Sneelock and I hung Carol's art collection throughout the apartment with perfect placement.

Now, I must say that Carol is a client of many years, going back to my first retail store in a small historic stone house on Stony Hill Road. It is often quite nostalgic for me to see some of the original purchases found in the homes of my clients. While working with the art to be hung, I came across a piece that of course, tugged at my heartstrings with memories of fondness. When I turned it over to measure the wire for hanging, there was the infamous Black-eyed Susan ribbon used for our price tags! I had to document this!

It never fails to amaze me how many times I am at a client's home and find a myriad or Black-eyed Susan purchases from long ago, or a recent one with the sheer nylon ribbon that we use for pricing, still attached! It seems that this ribbon is almost an treasured indicator of where it was purchased. I never guessed that my thin nylon ribbon would become a status symbol! But wait, it's not just occasionally that we find this -- it's very often, to the point of us taking note of this strange occurrence!

Yet one more example of a reproduction trophy vase with the original BES tag, and some time later, the same trophy vase with, yes, ribbon only. Go figure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What is it about glitter, anyway?

There isn't much in the retail world that can't speak to the heart-strings if it is covered in glass glitter!
Spiders and webs propped in an empty black vintage frame--see what I mean?

A black glass glitter bat! Unfortunately, already sold out. I hung this one in a frame within a frame

Who knew a bat could have such sweet appeal! , " I must have that bat!" Bats!

A trio of black glitter crows! Over the past few years in retail, and coming to know the world of vintage reproduction collect ables, I have come to love crows! Crows on perches, crows on books, crows in trees---all crows. Of course, I hate crows in real life! They are noisy, pesky, ugly and trashy. But give me a glass glitter crow and well, my heart sings!

This pair of glass glitter crows on stands is a silhouette of style! Crows with style, yes! (Note the "B O O " blocks in the background as well .

That proves it then, add a bit of black glass glitter to a crow, a spider or a bat and there you have it! Ah! the power of glass glitter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jumping off

Inspired by two daughters who have blogged almost daily for several years, and most recently, my sister, Denise, I am joining the ranks!

I've really wanted to do this for the past year and while in Charlotte,NC this past week for the birth of my newest grand daughter, Fiona Kate, have jumped in with both feet! Under the tutelage of my two daughters and son-in-law, Timm, here goes! I feel a bit overwhelmed with this creative venture, and excited at the same time!

Along with design inspiration, you can expect some personal insights and family introductions--all in the name of style! I'll take you on some field trips to some of my favorite spots, review some of my favorite projects and ideas. I think you will love some of my best recipes (mostly Charlotte Jane's)! I'll keep you abreast of the latest trends, my personal suggestions and favorite newest arrivals in my store, and great ideas for your personal style!

I hope you enjoy the ride.