Monday, August 27, 2012

Field Trip!

It's not very often that the staff at Black-eyed Susan fits in a side trip of interest during our everyday work schedule. *sigh*

At the end of the week last week, Jackie and I found ourselves within relatively close proximity to a destination that we had been wanting to find time for. We were in Downingtown for an accessory call/consultation, and on the way back to Buckingham, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch and a fun field trip! 

*NOTE TO SELF*  do this more often!!!

One of my employees, Anne (with an "e"; kindred spirit!)  had been treated to a trip here several weeks ago and came back with a glowing recommendation . Take a look at what we found.

We sat down in the most charming open air cafe and treated ourselves to lunch!

First course was this frosty ice water served in a pint size mason jar and a fine specimen of bread baked in this clay pot! It was divine. Herb ed butter with sea salt and a bit of honey was served on the side. It didn't last long! I'm definitely going to try this with my favorite Sheepherders Bread recipe.

We both ordered this gauchpazio soup with balsamic drizzle. Spicy and cool. Yum!

We split this portabela mushroom and roasted red pepper sandwich which equaled our delight.

Our bill came tucked inside this paperback book!  The whole experience was delightful and entertaining. We commented several times on feeling a bit guilty while the rest of the staff toiled away...

This vision made me feel like I was walking the streets of Paris!

Next, I'll give you just a bit of the kind of inspiring merchandising we took in.
Yes, colorful and stylish pickles!

Red kitchen timers, vintage inspired.

Pink lemonade. So pretty.

These tear off pads of cheese papers caught my eye. I have purchased from that vendor before for the store.
 Love. It.

These trays of fresh lettuce reminded me of the artificial lettuce I have at the store! Great centerpieces mixed with fresh hydrangeas.

Stacks of French tea towels. Favorite colors; orange and gray!

I just had to document these lovely succulents, the exact same ones (artificial) that you will find at Black-eyed Susan!

Of course, they had plenty of fresh succulents for the taking as well. Yes.

Let me explain! Moss spheres (real) packed in water...then the whimsical white marker..."I love the Lake" and "I love summer". Oh. My. I was really taken by this. I would suppose the water had some kind of preservative? So cute. I love moss...what's not to love?!

Yes, terrariums!

Fresh and glorious succulents. Want.

 We had a wonderful field trip, much deserved and much enjoyed. I highly recommend it.

Terraine is located in West Chester, Pa. I came away inspired and ready for the next night shift. Definitely worth the trip! Make sure you have time to see the entire spread...and take me along too!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Newest Introductions!

Those of you who know my routine, know that Wednesday night is when the magic happens.

Last Wednesday night was a long night of transformation. *sigh*

The first of my fall offerings found their way out of the stockroom and almost every major surface was re-merchandised due to 5 large new pieces of art that were hung. Quite a team effort. Sneelock, myself, Anne and Shannon. Anne fueled our energy at the beginning of the effort with her delicious seviche,guacamole and chips. Fabulous, I might say.

Then, we set out to flip the store and give new life to the 8000 square feet of showroom. I have a great team. Creative. Fun. Talented. Hardworking. Visionary....a pretty good formula. Let's just say, it makes the "night shift" possible and sometimes even enjoyable.

A peek into my new front window...yes, it's all about style!

This season it's all about "fresh cuts" in permanent botanicals. It looks as if we have gone out into the yard and pruned our favorite maple or birch. I love it.

 We sorted through the new fall offerings and of course, I had several motifs of crow-related objects! I may have cut down on whimsical Halloween, but I've always got to have a few crows and a little bit of glitter (see the framed crow print in black glitter frame!)

The color peacock cannot be denied in this season's color pallet. It's importance is being seen in art,
accessories and fabric alike. Several months ago, I painted this vintage console in a Sherwin Williams color to herald the trend. I've gotten lots of great comments and put it to good use! Love it.

 If you are looking for great aspen leaves, here you are. Shannon designed this dramatic and breathtaking focal point using our fall leaves, the aspen and various berries.The table is supported all around with stems for the taking. Beautiful. Fresh. Oh so Fall.

I'm so excited to announce our new idea for your front door! Black-eyed Susan has been so well known for years for our signature grande wreaths. This year, I've introduced an idea that you can easily design yourself (or with a little help from me and my staff)!  This door basket will easily take you from season to season with the simple change of a new selection of your favorite picks. Holiday, spring and summer will be just as stunning as this fall selection. 

One more feature of a realisticc Fall branch cutting. I love this!

 So there you have it. Your own preview of the real magic that happens on Wednesday night when the merchandising crew comes in. Looks like Thursdays could be the day to find the newest looks.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Instant Gratification

We have a current ad running right now that has the tag line 

"Fresh Inventory for Immediate Gratification"

It's pretty much the truth. Today, we had a very satisfying retail day on all accounts. Early in the day, a darling client who pretty much depleted me last weekend by purchasing 10 significant furniture pieces, came in and we laid out and designed accessories for three important areas;

1. The living room mantle
2. The living room coffee table
3. An accent table in the living room.

This is a service we offer in the retail store. If you bring measurements, photos and enough for me to design from, I will lay out several ideas and stage the design. After several suggestions and layouts, the customer takes several photos as a tutorial to re-create my design on her own at home. It's fulfilling for both myself and my client! Indeed, it is the immediate gratification that my ad speaks of. Perfectly placed details. Love. It.

This is the coffee table design we decided on. 

Immediate gratification. Come in for some of your own!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


What is it about monograms, anyway?!

Just take a look at a few of the monograms that are offered by one of our favorite custom bedding vendors. It's just plain fabulous.

How about that graphite thread?!
So many choices...I guess I'll have to choose them all. Do you have a favorite?

Headboards, bedding, pillows, guest towels, napkins...monograms.


Color Makes My Heart Sing!

I've been asked to do another whole house project in Charleston, SC. 

It's always a pleasure to work in the South...even nicer if we try to install it in early winter instead of mid summer! Last December, Jackie and I flew down to take a look at the project. It was inspiring and exciting! As we drove through the downtown suburb, Jackie made the comment, "This is beautiful. It's like Bucks County meets the Live Oaks"! She was correct. The neighborhood was full of historic charm, lush vegetation and  live oak trees with Spanish moss! Bucks County and Charleston married into one fabulous neighborhood. We knew we were off to a good start and a project that we would enjoy. I think you'll enjoy following our progress.

 You'll have to admit, it's a pretty happy pallet! I've always been a lover of color and this vision of chartreuse, coral, cream and taupe just makes my heart sing! 

We proposed it to our client and she did not hesitate. *sigh*
We're out of the gate and running!

 We'll be using some graphic and colorful papers for the dining room, powder room, master vestibule and possibly foyer...

We selected graphite and coral for the great room, a slight variation on the theme.
Can you just imagine the fun we'll have with accessories and art?!

You can watch for some further updates over the next few months! It will take most of the remainder of 2012 to complete the design, but I'll keep you posted for a fun ride. 

Yes, definitely installation in early February! A great time for a trip to Charleston. 

Come see the magic.