Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow....

Two halves which created one heart....

Via Etsy Static

You lived together and died together much like Romeo and Juliet.

Two people who together, were examples of what love and marriage is about.  Marriage isn't perfect.   It isn't easy, but it is about compromise, trust, love and companionship.  It isn't about giving up but giving in.  Loving well.  Sharing. Respect.  Cherishing the good times and hanging in there when times are hard, through sickness and in health.... til death do us part.  

May you rest in peace...

Aunt Iris Parker who went to Heaven on February 23, 2012 and her beloved husband, my Uncle Julius, who joined her on February 26, 2012.  After sixty years of marriage on Earth, you enter the gates of Heaven together.  I will forever be thankful you were part of my life.  

I love you and will miss you greatly, but look forward to the day I see you again!

May God Bless your children and give them the peace that surpasses all understanding. 

"Parting is such sweet sorrow"
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Friday, February 24, 2012

I Seriously Think We All Need One of These....

Is this not the most precious pool house you have ever seen?  
I have a major big time crush on this one....

Ferguson & Shamamian viz Design Chic

It's just the right size!  I also love the pretty scalloped umbrellas out front!  Oh but first things first,
I guess we need to build the pool!!!!

and get a pool boy....this one would work...

but I'm sure the closest I'll get to all of this is painting my nails "Pool Boy Blue" by OPI

Oh well, a girl can dream, can't she?

Happy Friday!
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Your House Big Enough for Your Family?

Rob Lowe's House via Architectural Digest

As Americans we are forever obsessed with buying more, acquiring more, getting more
more, more, more.....

How much is enough?  

When I was younger, I thought if I could just have that bigger house with more closets, more drawers,
more rooms, a bigger garage, etc...yada yada, yada...does this sound familiar? 

What changed my mind?  We went on a trip with our sunday school class to the mountains.  
One night I was chatting with another class member, who happened to be a 
 very a talented and successful architect, here in Charlotte, NC.  His work has been published in many magazines.  You are more than likely familiar with his work which is mostly in high end design. ( I won't mention his name for fear the clients for whom he designs these large homes for might be offended.)   Anyway, this was during the epitome of the "McMansion" phase of building in Charlotte.   I said to my friend, "When are you going to build your McMansion?"  After all, he is married and has two children.  You know what he replied without pausing....NEVER!"  I said "why", knowing full well he could build anything he wanted.  He said "because I believe being in a family means bumping elbows in the bathroom when you brush your teeth".    He went on to say  he believes when we create a private room, study space, bathroom, etc for every member of the family we are creating selfish people who never learn to share.  Wow!  That's when my thinking changed.  If our children grow up with their "own everything"  how do they transition into being a room mate in college or better yet a spouse in a marriage,  
 The next time, you start to think you need a bigger house ask yourself, do I?  
It might be that what you really need is to clean out what you have, rethink your current space or simply re-adjust your attitude.  With the bigger house comes all sorts of added responsibilities such as higher maintenance bills, higher taxes,more to clean, more upkeep, which all translates into more work for you.
I think we'll just keep bumping elbows over here!

at least we will be sharing....

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Great Counter Stool for the Price!

Barstools and Counter Stools can be really pricey!  We needed two new stools to replace
our tattered 15 year old stools, but since we are in the process of renovating our kitchen which will not have a peninsula after the renno, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on stools.  I wanted something simple and something without a rush seat like the old stools.  
Those were a nightmare with children.  

I liked this one from Restoration Hardware but just couldn't see spending that kind of money 
for something I wouldn't be using for very long.

Restoration Hardware $315

The other day I was at Michael's picking up a canvas and decided to pop into World Market to pick up a bottle of wine. 
 Guess what I found....

World Market $109.

While it probably isn't as well made as the one from Restoration it was only $109.  I got two for less than the price of one of the RH ones! Score!  It looks great in the kitchen!  My kids love it because they can spin it to make it taller or lower.  
It is actually better looking in person.  

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Your Thoughts on Portraits

As some of you know, I have been anxiously awaiting my son's portrait arrival!  
Guess what!!!!!  It came!!!  Here it is!  The artist really captured him!  There is only a little tweaking to be done.I love the colors, wish you could see how bright it really is, but I took this yesterday when it was dark in the house so this is as good as it gets.  I chose the traditional route because my older children's portraits which were done 15-20 years ago were also oil.  There is something about an oil portrait that lends itself to a formal space but I tried really hard with all three of my children's portraits to keep them casual so that they could be used anywhere.  

This portrait was painted by the artist, Chuck Leise, from Wilmington, NC
Chuck is not only a very talented artist, but one of the nicest people I have ever met.
This was the first time I had ever worked with Chuck.  This boy is a sweet child and I think Chuck did a great job of relaying his essence in this portrait.  He was almost 13 when he sat for this portrait so
this is a tricky time to have portraits done.  He had braces which we didn't want to show.  I have never liked any teeth showing in portraits so that worked out fine for us. 

My older two children's portraits were painted by Charley O and are below:
The first one is my oldest child's portrait.  He was not thrilled with having to spend the afternoon
with the artist, but in the end he really got a kick out of it.  She put so much symbolism
in the portrait.  I won't bore you with the details, but all very meaningful especially now that he is gone.

I  love this portrait of my daughter.  She was a very serious little girl and the artist
caught her expression perfectly.  She wasn't happy about the afternoon spent with the
artist one bit until the artist told her she could bring her favorite stuffed animal which is
at her feet in the portrait.  There was 10 years difference in the portrait of my first child and
this one, so you can see how the artist improved in her skill.  This portrait is big 40 x 40 and
a little more detailed than my first son's portrait.  I purposely cropped the frame off both of the
portraits because I wanted to focus on the children here.

While we are on the topic of portraits, I was wondering do you like portraits?
Working with clients, I have found that some people do and some people don't like portraits hanging in their homes.  I guess my it's southern roots showing through, but in the south people tend get their children's portraits done around the age of 5(before they lose their teeth) at 16, 18 or 21 which marks milestone birthdays.  Formal portraits are for everyone though.

Here is a contemporary approach to portraits fro James Wall Portraits

In recent years, some people have strayed away from the traditional portraits
 for more contemporary family portraits like the ones below which I think are fun.

"Birney" by James Wall

We are seeing a lot more photography these days like this cute little guy.  Supersized seems
to be the way to go.  It adds drama to the room.

These black and white photographs on canvas are dynamic in a space like this.  

Nestor has some black and white photography of her children in grouping
with other things  which works well.

I also think sketches are really nice.  Still rather traditional but with a little more organic feel.
There are lots of different mediums  to chose from, like sepia,
watercolors, pen and ink and charcoal like this one..

 I especially like the sepia studies like this one:

What about this pop art version for a child's room?  


Sugar Bee Crafts made this from her own photography.  
The complete tutorial is Here.

Sugar Bee Crafts

Or you could create a full wall mural like this one by Clicking here!
I think would be fun to do in a hallway or playroom.  I have been thinking about
doing one of these with a photograph of my parents from their wedding and putting in
their beach house so surprise them.  It's easily removable, so how great is that?

Another option..

Here is a family photo that was taken and make super size by Lulu de Kwiatkowski's and featured in Lonny

Here is a mix of color and black and white photography.

Poppy Talk blog has another great tutorial on how to make this poster from a photograph here...

Let's don't forget about the ever popular silhouettes either.  They have made a big comeback
in recent years but are also much larger than used in the past as shown below.  There is a tutorial
on how to make silhouettes here!

No matter what your preference is where portraits are concerned, I think you will agree that
they do add personality to a home.  Let me know what kind of portraits you favor?
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day

Yes, it's President's Day!  In honor of this day, I am posting a sneak peek of one of my projects because it is the only thing that I have that has a president on it...

 The pillow is by Thomas Paul and is called George.  This is the landing of the upstairs hallway in one of my projects.

ok, so I'll show you another little peek...

well may be just one more for good measure...

soon I will be able to show you the entire project!
don't you love this Madeline Weinrib rug?
Kinda works that it is "Carolina Blue" and this house is in Chapel Hill!
For those of you who aren't Carolina Fans, this is def their color!

Hope you are enjoying your day whether you are off or working.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday Shopping Trip

Yesterday I went out in search of some things for a project I am wrapping up.  
I didn't find much for the project but I did find some funny things to share with you.  First off,  I was looking for lamps for a buffet.  
I almost bought these but didn't think they were as tall as I needed.

Then I found these which I think will be perfect for this job!  Can't wait to show you!

Once I found the lamps, I decided to venture over to Sleepy Poet Antiques so see what goodies I could find there.  
This place is massive.  Over  50,000 sq feet of antiques, vintage clothing, home decor, art shabby chic and more.  
It's not much on the outside but the inside is sure fun!


Vendors rent spaces and fill with all kinds of treasurers


There are rows and rows and rows!  I got so confused I think I actually walked in circles part of the time.


Everything from silver goblets to demitasse name it they have it!  You just have to find it!


There is even a little snack bar if you get hungry, which you do because they have free popcorn which
you smell the minute you enter the doors...


If you aren't into home decor, you might like the jewelry options such as these bakelite bracelets and rings. 
 I like that black and white number down front...  There are also great vintage clothing vendors!


 I entered through the consignment area and couldn't resist taking a pictures of these fun screen doors used to display jewelry, so I could show you.  I was thinking you could hinge one of these behind the door to your room and hang jewelry on both sides of it.  It would be totally out of the way!

here's a close up...

Next I found this 1927 Singer sewing machine.  It looks like the sewing machine I learned to sew on. 
 I was so tempted to buy it for old times sake.  I think my mom still has the one I learned on so hopefully she will give it to me one day.  I spent many hours sewing projects on hers for my apparel design classes when I was in college earning my first degree.  This reminds me of the time my son asked me if I learned to drive on a Model T.  Teehee!  If he saw this he would definitely think I did!

I was digging this pair of Foo Dogs wish they were larger.  They were really small and $195.00

This was an interesting table and chairs.  Not sure what the Ruby Red Slipper was
doing there.  Think Dorothy danced on the table at the Sleepy Poet?

Next up....Here is my DIY for the day...

Attach a magnet to the back and voila!  Or you can buy one for $3
They weren't exactly flying out the door!

Or how bout bottle cap earrings?  Special date?  Remember it with caps from the beer you drank?
No, I didn't think so...oh well....

All kidding aside, I really did love these pottery bloom pots.  These I might be going back to buy.

When I turned the corner... bam!  THERE THEY WERE!!!
I found the antlers!!  All great prices!!!  The small ones were only $25.00

These were the larger ones...

Loved this print.  Reminded me of a night out with a friend when he asked his date what she would like and she said in the most southern voice ever "well, I like you".  Ok, so you had to be there.  It was funny! I might have to buy this for him...

Sorry for the reflection on this charcoal.  She was a real beauty.  I have thought about her
a lot since I left.  I don't know who she is but she is certainly stunning!  

Especially like this shell.  It is a soft green color with pale pink.  Would be great if
I was there to look prints for a grouping, but I wasn't.  Do you need one?  Here it is for $75.00

Loved all the vintage suitcases.  This stack would make a great bedside table if you removed
the train case on top!  I guesstimated the bottom four would cost approx $200 which isn't bad!

I loved this little pine bench.  It is waiting to go live in someone's hallway, bedroom or
 porch.  The carving on this is beautiful! The sales person said he thinks there is another one too.
A pair of these would be great on a porch!

Aren't these adorable?  Antique wooden shoes with leather scalloped buckles!
I really wanted to try them on but didn't want to take off my boots!

Ok, so I saw a lot of fun things but not really much on my list.  
Are you wondering what I bought?  

What if I told you I bought hunks of wood....
yes, that's right!  I bought two hunks of wood.  My husband just shook his head but
I was excited!  One of the vendors lives in Myrtle Beach and each week drives up and brings
loads of driftwood.  Really great prices!  I got these two pieces for under $20.00
Sure beats the manzanita at West Elm for $50 for a piece about half this size!
(This is insider scoop from the window dresser at Anthropology)
If you live in Charlotte and read my blog there you have it!  The cat is out of the bag...

This is two pieces.  The larger piece was 12.00 and the smaller one was 6.00!

This is the piece I got for $6.00

I almost forgot...I also bought these megaphones!  I thought they were perfect to put in a bookcase I am trying to fill for a client.  I have been collecting things for this bookcase since Sept.  I hope to soon finish it so I can show you a picture of all the fun things in it.  

Here are the megaphones.  Aren't they fun? So far every male who has seen these have put them up to their mouth and tried them out!  

(all photos are property of Lisa Mende Design unless noted)

Hope you enjoyed my little shopping excursion.  Can't wait to take you other places after all
we still have lots to buy!!!

Hope your Sunday has been relaxing!

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