Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Only Day Five...

It's day five. We're tired. Our feet hurt. (Note Linda's healing sore.)

We walked 12 blocks after market to go to dinner, fought masses for blocks, of Brittney Spears fans...really! (She was in concert across the street from our restaurant, which we did not know about when we made reservations.) I guess there was some entertainment along the way, if you know what I mean.

I think it's going to have to be an earlier night than usual. And, maybe a good foot soak.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Black-eyed Susan Treasure Chest!

Okay, right off the are our disclaimers on our photo shoot...

  • an amateur photographer
  • a pretend model
  • pretend odel states her age to be 51; not 19...and requests that all signs of aging be overlooked
  • photos taken at 8:00 pm---alarm went off at 6:10 am ---it's been a long day!
  • our feet are painfully tired
  • we're a bit slaphappy
  • room service interrupts our photo shoot---we stop to eat
  • after eating steak sandwich, sweet potato fries, and 2 oatmeal cookies model resists the urge to slip into stretchy pants
We spent most of the day purchasing floral stems, fabulous botanical leaves, fig trees, lemon topiarys, spring blossoms, perfect peppers, willows and all manner of new succulents. Oh, the succulents!

Mid afternoon, we headed over to the Cash and Carry from the day before to pick up our treasures! Our load was so heavy after that, it was nearly impossible to climb the many sets of steps required for the rest of the day. Ugh. Thankfully, there are strong young men employed by the market, to assist overloaded shoppers with their overloaded bags and gladly carry them up and down the stairs! We were so happy to take advantage of their offer for help.

S0, this is just a tease of the haul:

Pearl and rhinestone twinkle-y beauty!

Same thing...another angle. Wear with jeans or dressy occasions!

Aforementioned room service...steak sandwich with blue cheese and arugula with sweet potato fries...yum!

Black gaggle with pearls and rhinestones. Wow!

We're coming back with more "whisper bracelets". These are sold as sets of five in silver, gold, black, or pearl. Wear "as many as you can afford" (as per Charlotte Jane Hunter darling ever stylish to the end mother).

Another set of bracelets to be worn together...some of them are rivals of a famous designer name
selling for $900.00 per bracelet!!'s a secret!

Check out this magnetic closure rhinestone bracelet we couldn't resist. One could be yours!
Cost of ring - 20 years of marriage!

Another pave rhinestone necklace -we bought gold and silver. Versatile and glamorous.

Last temptress...a beautiful stretchy rhinestone band. Every jewelry box needs one.

We're coming home with the haul! I'll be planning and posting a time for a great jewelry sale to show off the new offerings, so watch for the dates to be announced!

A little more time for re-working the list for tomorrow...then an earlier bed-call for tonight.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

Another day. We found some great floral accents...lots of moss items, tons of succulents (oh, my heart!) and assorted great accessories.

Of course, we saw our share of ugly things as well...(I haven't documented much of that side of my buying this time!) I guess there's more of that during the holiday buying season.

How many of these should I buy? I'll need your orders right away to make sure we get what we want! tee hee...

This super chic desk is made of glass!! Beautiful sea salt colored glass. *sigh* (Note to self:: for your next private office)

A rather large pod of some kind! Sorry, while I ordered them for interesting table top use, I can't recall their rather exotic name!

Purple is everywhere...

Sassy green could be yours!

Recap of day:

  • Hit the cash and carry jewelry first thing.
  • Rush through the isles, heavily laden with packages.
  • Arrive half an hour late for our mid afternoon appointment only to be greeted by frightening vases.
  • Realize I left my camera in hotel room.
  • Linda's camera battery dies.
  • Wonder once again why we don't just open a 500 sq. ft. jewelry store!
With the camera battery charging, our brains begging to charge for the night, and our feet smothered in foot cream, we're preparing for another day...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Drinkable Color Abounds

Oh, how I love spending time on the textile floor! Bedding, pillows and French linens...soft, bright, patterned, and tone on tone neutrals. It's a joy to behold! I've said before that textiles are my drug of choice-so today, I was in hog heaven as my darling mother used to say!

These are some of the pleasing collections that caught my eye;

What do you know...warm stone and citrine! Of course, you know from reading my makeover project that it's a favorite pallet for me! Fabulous pattern, strong contrast and drinkable color.

It just so happens that you will find this fabric memo hanging out at Black-eyed Susan as an inspiration fabric! One of my sales reps came by the other day to show me his new collections and this one was one of my favorites! Halcyon blue has been added to the warm stone and citrine mix and it's pure magic. Love it!

But wait! Look at this coral vision (of course, combined again with warm stone). Ahhhhhhhh. I must find a project for this one!

This was a new collection from one of my favorite long time vendors. Her line is fairly traditional, but always full of fine and distinct color pallets. This one combines soft grayed blues in printed linens and panne velvet. Sink into this bed of non traditional color for a dreamy night's sleep. Purely pretty!

Shannon, this might have to be a next look for a welcoming guest suite! Do you approve?!

I'm just pointing out, that around Black-eyed Susan, we have been ahead of the color trend for the past six months! I surely do not have my fill of it yet. Just drink in these patterns.

Cutest display every from a darling designer. Nancy Bishop has real style and we are definitely on the same page of the color wheel. Her firm, Lacefield Designs can be previewed with me at my event coming soon, "Look What I found!" I'll have her catalog with pricing and special order information that night. Her designs make my heart sing! This is a must to see for yourself.

One of my favorite vendors, Aiden Gray, had this adorable display to pull his new wall color off. He used a drinkable color of soft pink (to be announced at my post market event). The creator told me that it is the first time ever that color had been used on the walls of his booth! And what a soft, inviting color it was. I could just imagine a glamorous bedroom in this color.

Last on the list for the day...this purely stylish and inspiring booth! Great color. Great vision. Great name!

I've got a few hours of paperwork to sort through, a bit of pressing to do for tomorrows wardrobe, emails to respond to and Sneelock to call....goodnight for now!

More good reports tomorrow.

Atlanta Birthday Bash!

Every year for the past 20 (!) Linda has spent her birthday with me. Well, I think there was one (the year she turned 40) that she was not present...that's a pretty long track record! I'm not sure I would be so magnanimous myself to spend this special day year after year working, walking, documenting, searching, fighting for an elevator, walking...walking...walking...(did I mention walking?) I can count three of her four pregnancies that she was a trouper. I can tell you that there is no one who is more entertaining, more brilliant, more intuitive, more stylish, more energetic, more focused and more just plain fun to work with than Linda. Almost hourly, someone asks us if we are sisters. (I suppose I would qualify for the wicked older stepsister)...Occasionally, I help her with a design project with my insight. For the most part, it's all about Black-eyed Susan and the quest for new and exciting merchandise. She is the total voice of reason with the benefit of quick wit and style. Thank you, Linda for so many years of support and hard work.

Here's a quick report of a few of our findings today! After all, look at the time and my 6:00am alarm goes off again tomorrow morning...

Fabulously serious chartreuse urn! A definite.

:: Monastery table for client...check.

::Companion Paris 16 Bookcase for
same client...check.

:: Paris 16 sideboard! So grande. Check.

What could be more delightful than this heavy glass over sized bowl filled with chartreuse mood moss...a signature accent at Black-eyed Susan. Check.

::Day one, check.

Thanks, Linda, for another personal and special day given to the cause. You're my darling friend and blessing. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig...or moss spheres.

This morning at 6:15am I pulled out of the driveway. I left one heat box for another...Atlanta July Market...again!

I always fly into Charlotte and make the drive with Linda. It does seem just a little silly to have an overlay in Atlanta on the way to be picked up from the airport, and drive to Atlanta...(is there something wrong with this picture?!) On the up side, there is no one more entertaining than Linda, and the ride down is spent catching up, planning vendors to see and generally making good use of our time together.

For you return readers, you can always count on my good and bad picks at market for the next few days! I'll keep you posted, so check in each night. For you new readers, the Atlanta Market is full of Southern charm, food, and three professional buildings to the retail trade, each 20 stories high and about 50 showrooms per floor! (I so wanted to bring my pedometer, but forgot it!) We are on our feet about 12 hours a day...sometimes, more. (Never mind, Linda had knee surgery a few weeks'll see how it has impacted her shoe wardrobe!).

We checked in to our room, newly redecorated. I have often dreamed of designing a posh hotel chain, so of course I have my critique of our new accommodations.

I will say, that I was thrilled to see that our room was punctuated by colorful orange accents, such a compliment to my favorite rolling cart!

...the newly designed room did not take into accommodation the need for two shoe mavens..

...our tiniest of tiny closet (more like a single wardrobe!)

...the geometric urban patterned carpet, cool.

One (actually, the only!) piece of art in the room...bright and fun composition...

Sheer draperies...not so good. Actually, bad. Bad, bad, bad, very bad. SO BAD! (Not one for the "remember" file).

Of course, no room would be complete without a large flat screen for early morning and late night news casts.On occasion, we have been know to rent a movie. (How I wish we could view it from the bathtub during a foot soak!)

...the bleak evidence of Linda's foot surgery! She's doomed for flats all week. Hmmm. Maybe this could a new trend for us!

Lastly, every year we travel to this market during Linda's birthday! (She's so good to keep coming). I always come armed with her gift and we celebrate by having our one nice meal of the week. I'm thankful it comes early in the week of long days, as I will admit that by mid to late week, we just want to sit quietly with room service.

And so, another market week begins. Stay tuned for the reports!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

100 Can be Beautiful!

As my mother used to say, "Once in a blue moon"...a project comes along that truly speaks to my heart.

This is one of them.

This 100 year old beauty (back door shot) belongs to my very happy and stylish owner, Carol-who happens to be a client that dates back to my original historic stone-front store in Lowe Makefield, Pa. I've worked on her Yardley home, her former historic Main Line home (historic Philadelphia), her Philadelphia city high rise, and now-back to the Main Line again...home at last! I think these projects total about 18 years! Only a few doors down from the home she sold a few years ago, Carol bought this home in pristine condition the hour she saw it go on market. She knew the home from years ago when she was a neighbor and couldn't get her realtor on the phone fast enough.

Done. And here we are! Lucky her. Lucky me! Oh, so's truly inspiring.

We entered through the side door into this bright and inviting kitchen. Oh, how I wish I had that rolling ladder to store and reach my cake plate collection. *sigh* Classic white marble counter tops; clean, crisp subway tile back splash; commercial Viking oven; strong, industrial style pendants. What more could we want?! Did I mention that the walls are painted a fabulous stony gray color? Yea. Pretty much perfect. (I couldn't help but think that I should have been the owner...I guess designer will have to suffice. )*sigh*

Do you think the Black-eyed Susan bag is sort of like staking my claim?

After the appropriate jaw-dropping assessment of the kitchen, we were ushered into the butler's pantry. My heart jumped again. I happen to have a real soft spot for butler's pantries. Does anyone recall the highlight of the Princeton Jr, League Designer House several years ago where I did the butler's pantry? I think it might be one of my favorite projects ever...sorry, no photos at hand easily. I can just see this one filled with old hotel silver, china and crystal of all shapes and periods. There is an original stainless work sink that will get plenty of use with society galas. Watch for the finished design of this room! (Can't wait!!)

This is an original wall sconce still lighting the way in the butler's pantry! Such style.

We rounded the corner to the living room. A few changes (wall color and sconces ) are to be made prior to the furniture placement. Most of the furniture from the current high rise will be used in this room. Shag rug? A few unexpected urban touches and this room should be good to go! (I'm still lobbying for some graphic linen draperies, but can't get Carol to jump on board! ) She can really be stubborn. *sigh*

Just look at this front door. Ahhhh, historic architecture. There's nothing that can match this.

Carol swung the door wide to expose the bright sunshine. The foyer is a room in itself. I'm not kidding, we could place a good 12x12 Persian rug in there! Great idea. Note to self, *get a fabulous 12x12 Persian rug for the foyer to replace that tiny slip of a rug Carol is standing on. (Carol is a little slip of a thing herself!).

*second note to self. Make sure 12x12 is large enough*

There are mirror image sun rooms on either side of the living room and dining room. I'll have at least 4 mantles to detail! *sigh*

Delightful sunlit rooms. Cozy winter spaces and breezy spring spaces. *sigh*

The house is full of these beautiful doors, solid walnut with an inlaid border. This charming shape is a pass through hall from the kitchen to the dining room! I'm pretending that the house servants must have been people about my height! Anyone too tall would have to duck to breeze through these halls.

Vintage door knobs grace every door. I was particularly enchanted by this tiny one! (One more for the case of small helpers...

On the third floor, we entered a closet with several treasures! These deep storage drawers were tagged with labels. I would never remove these!!

Original charm and history. *sigh*

In the same closet, Carol had found several of the mahogany doors at rest. She had the brilliant idea of turning one of them into the breakfast room table! Simply brilliant! We brainstormed having some iron legs custom designed to support the door. Hardware will come off, and the holes will be part of the history and character of the table. (Did I mention that I love this idea?!)

This marble floor will definitely remain! (Is anyone wondering just what my job will be yet?)

Thank heavens, there are a few rooms that need immediate help! This was the former mother-in-law suite, on the third floor. (It might make being a live-in mother-in-law quite desirable)!

Carol peering into the original dumb waiter. These people really knew how to live! There are also original wall telephones in several of the bedrooms.
Room service, please! *sigh*

This house.

Is not.

For the faint of heart, or weak knees.

This was the view from the back door! Oh, my.


An architectural vista from every angle.

Charm unmatched.

So that's the tour! (I did leave out some important rooms...too many rooms, not enough time.)

So, you can see, I'm truly in heaven. Thanks, Carol. The pleasure is all mine.

Now, to bed. I've got a lot to design tomorrow...and the next day...and the next get the picture.