Sunday, September 19, 2010

HGTV, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

What is it about HGTV, anyway?! I seldom have time to watch, and even when I do indulge in TV, it surely isn't my "go-to" preference. Strange and odd people become famous via this venue. The impossible seems to happen for all the world to see. Overnight miracles happen. Bad design seems to be embraced. Art (the kind we hang on our walls) is redefined. Sensationalism overshadows good design. Hmmmmm.

Today, I participated in a pilot for a new HGTV design show as a judge. Oh, I had visions of becoming the next Simon, as I have many opinions which I seldom keep to myself! A large group, or "target market" as we were described by the HGTV staff, previewed and made notes of the main living spaces of two small townhouses. Each one was designed by a local Bucks County designer. We were then interviewed and asked "not to hold back"...well, that was a green light for me!

It didn't take long, however, for me to realize that I was not the "target market" that they were looking for. They were not looking for design professionals and totally not looking for opinionated design professionals. They were not looking for the over-55 opinion. They were not looking for
anyone to stick out of the crowd. They were not looking for metallic platform pumps with silk bows tied on the toes. They were not looking for bright colors.

Most of my colleges and friends know that I generally have a rampage of expressions when visiting "sample homes" (as they are called in the East!). They hold their breath when they stroll through such "sample homes", with me rashly shouting out comments. You'll be happy to know that although we encouraged to not withhold comments, I held my tongue...well, maybe a murmur or two under my breath.

We were asked to sign a release form that promised many; no photo taking. Drat.
Thus, no photos to include in this post. It was a bit of a tiring day, as live TV requires multiple re-dos and several takes of the same thing, no looking directly into the camera, staged conversations and pointing, excited walking towards the "reveal", and much clapping and cheering for the winner.

At the end of the 7 hour taping, the only cheering I felt like doing occurred while steering my van towards home.

What is it about HGTV, anyway?

Have you ever wanted to be a "target market"?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fresh New Look

Good news! My landmark Yardley address is no longer empty!

Bad news...these are the new store made my heart hurt.

Somehow, my handpainted harlequin floors just don't seem to do them justice...

Did I mention that it is a new Bank? Yes, these are Bank windows.

I may just have to avoid Main Street.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Make-up Day!

I 've been trying to take Mondays off, without too much success I might add! But, today, I planned to make it work. I planned a "make=up day", you know, like when you miss a day of school and you have make-up work to do. And, did I ever have a list. It was a whole creative day of another realm. I seldom get to stay home all day and do home making things that I enjoy.

I started out with a bowl of fresh cantaloupe over cottage cheese while I meandered through my recipe books, looking for a good recipe for fresh peach pie. I am long overdue on my promised pie rewards for my darling friends who helped me move the retail store almost 6 months of my friends turned down my offer for a chocolate cream pie and requested a peach pie! I had to do some research, wait for the peaches to be just right...and today seemed like the day. All went as planned.

Yes, I do own tennis shoes! Just to document it, I took a self portrait to start out the day (my friend, Rita, would call it a "Pillsbury bake-0ff" day. And that's what it was looking like. After a short workout on the elliptical, I decided to leave them on. After all, I was going to be home alone...

While I was researching the pie recipe, I started my yeast proofing for buns that I would make first. Yeast breads are among my favorite things to bake. I always provide lunch for my staff the day of our annual Paris Flea Market, and this year I have a plan for a pulled pork sandwich. Home made buns would be perfect.

I made a double recipe of oatmeal rolls and this was the result! Yum. Weight Watchers took a little set-back when lunch time came around...

After the rolls came out of the oven, I prepared the peach pie to go in next. It's nearly impossible to get perfect peaches here...9-10 at a time, all in equal ripeness. I had been planning this for several days,but still had some that were not cooperating! The bottom crust ready, I sliced my peaches and piled them in the crust. I thought about laying them in some Martha Stewart-like pattern, but in between calls from the retail staff and a quotation that I had to get out , I decided against it. Who would know anyway, once the top crust was on?!

I found a recipe in a Denver Jr. League cookbook that looked like a winner. Also, not Weight Watcher called for one cup of heavy cream, mixed in to sugar and flour. Can't go too wrong with a cup of heavy cream!

The end result...(I made a tiny one in a vintage pie pan for Sneelock) and the large one for my friend, Dom. It smells pretty yummy and I can just taste it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I do think I still prefer chocolate cream however. I'm not sure this will ever make it into the favorites catagory. Enjoy,Dom!

Next, I polished some vintage silver forks that I purchased for the retail staff lunchroom. It seems that forks are like socks that get lost in the wash around my stock room. What the?! Where do they go? Well, here's another stash. Let's see how long they last. I just can't tolerate plastic forks!

I packaged a beautiful bouquet of roses that just came into the store for a dear friend who recently lost her sister to a brain tumor...also a bit overdue. I love these roses!

.....started some laundry. (Laundry is really hard to get to when one doesn't have a day off!)

....did some sorting for the Paris Flea Market....

Then, I mixed up my last gift of love and gratitude for the day, my personal favorite, mother's chocolate cream pie. Here it is in a water bath, cooling. Yum. Definitely, not a Weight Watcher's friend.
It was a pretty full day, but a rewarding one.

I neglected to photograph the kitchen prior to me digging in to clean it up. Now that really told the story of my day!

Now I think I need a make-up day to get over my make-up day. It was a great stylish day of being Suzy home maker.

I loved my day off.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall, Can it Be?!

This is what greeted me as I rang the bell for my first appointment of the day! What a lovely sight. Last season's offerings from Black-eyed Susan's Fall Wreath Collection! I can recall this one being designed and love the mix of fresh colored fall hydrangeas, complete with kumquats and orange boughs. In 90 degree heat, as I stood at the front door (obviously, not even trying to resist the photo shoot!), it felt like real fall couldn't be far behind. And, am I ever ready.

I had to get another shot with the palladium window and full view of this beauty. Good work, Joanne! I love it when I pull the selection and Joanne does her magic. Voila! Fall Beauty.

Returning back to the studio and retail store, I was greeted by this happy sight! Bright orange and yellow hops, forming a wreath with perfect color and motion. I just love flowers that have movement. This one comes in two sizes and two colors. Yes. Definitely fall must be coming.

Acorns just steal my heart! I have bags of them that I have collected from Fall walks over the years. But, just in case you don' can pick up a bag from the store in gold or olive. Pretty darn cute! These lovely harvest colored apples are called Asian Pears! Whatever...I love them.

Everyone knows that I can't resist a fabulous hydrangea. Look at these marigold and taupe colors. Ahhhhh.

You'll find wonderful bundles of hydrangea, pods, and monstera leaves softening the tabletop visuals. Definitely, Fall.
I'm always ready for the change of seasons. We get a slight jump on things. What can I say, one of the blessings of retail. It's all for the taking.

p.s. I put the glitter spider webs and spiders out last night...