Friday, December 24, 2010

peace out

After a week of ridiculous amounts of rain, a crazy weekend in the mountains { 10 1/2 feet of snow - no joke }, our skies have opened up and we have blue again.

This may have schooled me to finally enjoy our, normally, sunny Christmases with the windows and doors open. All week I've had kids + dogs either,  bouncing off of the walls, amped up on Christmas energy or hovering at my shoulder..... "we're sooo bored"...."go outside" ....."we already did that"....." go make up a game"....."did that"..... "read a book"....... silence.....and it goes on.

Now, with the sun out, they're riding their bikes again, life is sunshine and anticipation. And I'm able to sit for 10 minutes at my computer. Merry Christmas +  Happy whatever you may be celebrating this weekend.

xoxo * M

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Week on the Skirted Round Table:: Author + Popular Blogger, Vicki Archer

If Vicki Archer's beautiful books aren't already on your wish list, then they surely will be after you check out these gorgeous visual treasure troves of inspiration.

Equally  inspiring is, Vicki's blog,  French Essence, which has  become a  vastly popular porthole into the life of an Australian, ex-pat  living an enviable life in the South of France. Her home is simply, RIDICULOUSLY beautiful. Reading her blog always makes me feel like a welcome guest in this piece of French history that has been restored to a beauty that's purely magical.

On top of it all, Vicki is just a lovely person {not surprising as this is the vibe you get in her writing } family oriented, dream driven and extraordinarily talented. Come have a listen while you bake those holiday cookies, or wrap a few gifts. 

Vicki Archer, on The Skirted Round Table

and don't forget, you can get a free subscription of SRT on iTunes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

peace out

photo:: the wreath blog

off to the mountains for some holiday snowboarding, mountain fireworks + merriment. have an exceptional weekend.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

today I sat down thinking, "I need to find some uplifting! colorful! interior  images" {since I've been housebound and green at the gills for THREE days now.  } Also, my computer is being slow + acting like I'm completely putting it out to ask for a few uploads. So I got this far........

"a cute way to bring summer  into a winter home, frame  vintage { or not so vintage } postcards of warm places to be + bright colored imagery - from here"

ok, but  then I felt cloying + insincere and stopped. 

in short   .....................................

I'd like to report that I'm now crawling back into bed, but I'm actually going to torture myself by going to a mall.  wish me luck as I dive in.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the post with no name

Oh you guys. Me the ever tough, ever hardy, " I can be up with my sick kids all night and never get the slightest touch of malaise", has just gotten taken down. I am sick as a dee-oh-gee. The Grippe has seized me good. I'm green and queasy. So today I'm poaching. A few cool things I found over at Wary Meyers enjoy, while I go eat a few Saltines and some jello. It's all I got for ya.

All Tag Sale finds. I'm dumbfounded (and living in So Cal, where people don't have cool stuff like this at Tag Sales)
  1.  A vintage Hermes scarf (from the 40s) 
  2. A David Hicks wallet, with a tiny leather address book. Never used, from Japan in the 70's.
  3.  L.L.Bean hunting boots, with leather kilties- that fringed tongue, and a 1976 Maine Road Atlas which has little dots showing every farm in the state.

Fingers crossed that I'll come out the other side of this with a few pounds lost.

Friday, December 10, 2010

peace out

photo credit:: une brise

If you're in L.A. this weekend, don't miss::

The Kathryn M. Ireland book signing at

Giannetti Home
11980 San Vicente Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90049


The ultimate indie designer/crafter party u.s.a.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

to do list

cookies and nog are so over.

photo:: not martha

some ideas for those of you snowed in or left with a bit of extra time on your hands this holiday season:
photo:: Vicki Archer
Mod-Podge your stairs with leopard paper.

make a bookcase tree

 photo source:: Nathan Turner

paint your ceiling dark gray

de kooning-ize your pillows { or go ahead and buy one from Wary Meyers }

make a festive, yet effective, trap for sneaky kids on Christmas Eve.

lucky number 4

Four. Four is the first non-prime number. The elephant is the only species on Earth that possesses four knees. Four is the age where you can legally be held responsible for reckless behavior in NY. There are four teams in that final basketball college, thingy. Four is the only number that has the same amount of letters as its value. Four makes three complete. Four is the number of seasons, the number of directions and the number of elements.
Four is the number that was randomly chosen to win the KAA, Life Style of Southern California book giveaway! Noe of the Adella Avenue blog....come on down! you are the winner of this gorgeous book.....
And thank you, everyone else. Stay tuned for more beautiful give aways after the new year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This Week on the Skirted Round Table:: Kathryn M. Ireland

I first became aware of Kathryn M. Ireland back in the early 90s when a friend of mine mentioned something about buying pillows from her in L.A. Admittedly, I quick to judge and thought {nose wrinkled} " The baby voiced, Kathy Ireland? the Sports Illustrated model...seriously??" I know, shame on me. But admit it, the thought crossed your mind too. And yes, yes I know that the other Kathy Ireland has had great success. got it. Moving on....
Soon after, I saw something about the shop that she owned with actress, Amanda Pays in House Beautiful { I think it was? }. Anyway, it was a photo of the two sitting outside of their shop, 'Ireland Pays', in Santa Monica looking every bit the young, fresh image of Southern California Beach living. Except that both are British by birth. And the pillows they were hugging were beautiful and different than anything going on at the time when Shabby Chic reigned . I immediately loved their aesthetic which seemed to combine an bright ethnic vibe with a very english, classic flavor- basically what we now know as, 'Boho Chic'.
Over the years I've kept the two on my radar, Amanda eventually moving back to England and Kathryn coming to the forefront of design as one of the leaders in the field. Kathryn is still known for her use of color, her blend of the ethnic and comfortable yet, beautiful european lines. Livable and beautiful design the beckons one to have kids romp comfortably on big soft sofas and guests spend long nights enjoying one another at long farm tables.
Her newest line of fabrics has me wanting to re do my living room in punched up sherberty colors.
And her books, are pure candy inspiration. In particular, her house in Ojai which is simply a masterpiece of perfection.
Kathyrn, whom I had always assumed to be a very quiet soft spoken woman {once again, judging } , couldn't have busted out of that stereotype more. Her vivacity is absolutely contagious, her joie de vivre admirable. In short she's just a lot of energy with a "Let's get this party started already" attitude. Come have a listen with us over at The Skirted Round Table. You'll love..... if you don't already.
::The Skirted Round Table:: ................................................................................................................................
AND if you're in the Los Angeles area, stop by my friend Brooke Giannetti's beautiful shop on San Vicente, for the Kathryn Ireland book signing:
Saturday, December 11th,
from 3pm to 5pm.
Giannetti Home 11980 San Vicente Blvd. Brentwood, CA 90049

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Girls In The Window :: Ormond Gigli

I want to blow this up and use it as wallpaper in an old, downtown utilitarian loft........
I actually prefer this version for the purpose { a vintage exhibition poster from '83 $600.00 on
"In 1960, while a construction crew dismantled a row of brownstones right across from my own brownstone studio on East 58th Street, I was inspired to, somehow immortalize those buildings. I had the vision of 43 women in formal dress adorning the windows of the skeletal facade. We had to work quickly to secure City permissions, arrange for models which included celebrities, the demolition supervisior's wife (third floor, third from left), my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to be parked on the sidewalk.
Careful planning was a necessity as the photography had to be accomplished during the workers' lunch time!
The day before the buildings were razed, the 43 women appeared in their finest attire, went into the buildings, climbed the old stairs, and took their places in the windows. I was set up on my fire escape across the streeet, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand. Of course I was concerned for the Models' safety, as some were daring enough to pose out on the crumbling sills.
The photography came off as planned. What had seemed to some as too dangerous or difficult to accomplish, became my fantasy fulfilled, and my most memorable self - assigned photograph. It has been an international award winner ever since.
Most professional photographers dream of having one signature picture they are known for. "GIRLS IN THE WINDOWS " is mine. "
Thank you Eileen for bringing this to my attention!

Monday, December 6, 2010

kat macleod::illustrator

kat macleod's, mixed media illustrations are inspiring me these days.
If you're not familiar with the above book, check it out. It's fantastic.

did you hear that I painted my floors?

oh. you did? ok. Just making sure that the 'Ad Naseum of the subject is being fully supported. And I just went from brown to gray. big deal. Check out these brave + beautiful, papered + painted, stairs....
orla kiely paper - which could be free handed.
kate spade via tumblr
reminds me of cashmere winter socks
skittles. I can only guess that this home is someplace gray and cold.
happy monday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

peace out

photo:: cassia beck
Peace Out [pees - owt] -verb
1. A slang term telling someone good-bye, used with a hand gesture in which you pound your chest with your fist twice, then give the peace sign.
banging my hand not once, but twice.... and wishing you a good weekend.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bangin' the Drum with EmersonMade. :: The Interview ::

If you haven't seen a post on the house and folks behind the flourishing brand, EmersonMade. , you haven't been doing your blog due diligence. Because, in recent months, Emerson and Ryan { husband + wife team behind the brand } livers of a creatively quirky whimsical lifestyle - have been featured on every other blog, East and West of the Mississippi -including this one. And why not. Everything about them is intriguing and enviable. So, after, sifting through their site, staring at every detail of their photo shoots, I had to know, WHO are these people? Are they real or is this one big marketing ploy? DO they really live this way or is there a larger creative force behind the two? I asked them to answer some of my nosy questions and Ryan and Emerson were kind enough to indulge.
ok, ready? here we go
Yes hello Megan! BigR and I will be doing this interview together! He is Blue and I am this Pink! Thank you Megan!
First of all, Emerson, your name seems too perfect to be real. Is that your real name? { Living in Los Angeles, this is a totally normal question }
hahaha, thank you that’s a nice thing to say! My full name is Emerson Bethany. People have called me both names all my life and I’ve always favored Emerson and so for the company I chose Emerson. Shorter!
I think we're all curious about both of your backgrounds. In particular ,Ryan's photography, Emerson's styling. Can you tell us about what each of you were doing before starting EmersonMade?
Emerson was (is) a classical painter by training. Ryan ran several companies. Yes! That is a fantastically succinct answer Ryan! Well done BigR!
Your line started with Emerson making and selling handmade linen flowers. What inspired you to create them?
At the time I made the first ones I was painting a great deal of Peonies when we were living in nyc. The flowers were created initially as a way to better understand the construction of flowers so that I could paint them better. Try to recreate them in my mind the way architect might do with a model replica. But the flowers were great and I started wearing them. People started asking me about them and we were off to the races. The company was never intended to be a flower company but instead a launch pad to something bigger. Our best stuff is yet to come…..
The idea of selling fabric flowers is not new, but you all have done a tremendous job at marketing them and creating a lifestyle brand around
these accessories. It's much bigger than just a line of handmade product. It seems to be a way of life that you're marketing. Was there a plan in place to go this direction or did it unfold organically?
Oops I kind of answer that one above. {That's ok, blog interviews have a tendency to get stepped all over, it's just their nature } But yes, flowers by themselves aren’t the scope of the brand but they are a Loved Part of the brand. yes that is a good point you made about way of life, we are most often telling a story about a way of living in EmersonMade, a lifestyle. In particular one that’s genuine and real.
Do you guys really live the way your photos portray that you do?
Hahaha, yes! That is all our life in the photos. As the companys grown we continue to show life on daily basis. Lately we show whats happening in nyc as the 2011 line is completed.
Before going out on a photo shoot, do you have a "story line" that you try to produce in visual images?
That’s a very good question! Yes I almost always have a very clear vision about what I am trying to tell. No one has ever asked me that before.
Speaking of organic, can you tell us about your fabulous farm house? Is that pantry always so perfect?
Thank you so much Megan, that is very kind! The pantry is as you see it! We do not have any storage other than the pantry area so that is our place for foods! We raise our own animals on the farm and are growing our orchard, berry patches, and vegetables ready for market this year. Yes! Ryan does an enormous amount of work on the farm- he astounds me every day with his industriousness!
We are certified organic and all our animals are pastured raised heritage breeds. they are happy animals also, very loving!
Your home has been featured in so many design blogs because it's so darn charming. Is there any chance there will be an Emerson Made for the house?
Thank you Megan what a nice thing to say! We do have a number of new product lines coming out in 2011 and 2012 for Home
We've watched as your business has blossomed into a full on, clothing line. Can you tell us about what influences your style?
The biggest influences are my favorite era’s for womens fashion, not to mention social and political change for women: the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. great combinations of sexy and classic for formal and casual. Powerful women doing powerful things. These three era’s encompass so many incredible options, and Woman want to look good and have options!
I design pieces I want in my own closet depending on the woman I need to be that day. We all have so many sides to our personality, so many things we can do, lives we are made to live, characters we are in different moments.
I am designing for all of those. It’s the transformative power of clothes that I’ve always loved, the story we tell. Open your closet and choose your destiny.
Bang Your Drum.
Emerson, what's the tat on your wrist?
it was from a long time ago. It was symbol, but it means strength.
If EmersonMade created a mixed tape, what/who would be on it? playlist please...
this is a great question! if you were doing every day entertaining we use mostly old records. So Benny Goodman, duke ellington, theloneous monk, willie nelson to name a few. But if you needed a tape for running and working out the upbeat du jour of current pop stuff. I have little bits of dance music and things I don’t even know the name of but you’d know them because they’re on the radio and they make you want to drive fast and get tickets so you can flirt with the Cops! I joke! They play them in stores where there’s lots of Tweens running around. You know Tween!? Is that the word. Forgive me if that is not the word. Ryan where are you I’m rambling!
If Emerson Made created a scent (candle, perfume etc), what would it smell like.
Megan you are looking into your crystal ball again! funny that you ask this question because of something we’re working on right now for 2012 .. . in the spirit of BigR You will have to wait and see ;)
A perfect weekend at Emerson Farm would be....
One where we aren’t working the whole way through! record playing, good foods making, hand holding, loading up the rifle for target shoot and hot tea after, dinner party, afternoon nap, sunrise run, moonfall sleep, peepers in spring, fireflys in summer, snowstorms in winter Just relaxing and maybe imagining it all instead while I sit on the steps and talk to the birds
And finally, you look like one tall drink of water. Mind sharing your height ? {coming from someone barely grazing 5' 6" I have a feeling I'm going to have major height envy }
You are about the same height :-) Emerson is 5'8"
seriously? I think we all thought she was around 6'.
It must be those awesome, EmersonMade. clothes. Dressing tall is key to glamour.
thanks again for hanging with me and answering some nosy questions. You guys are the bomb. I want to be you in my next life. You're the perfect example of creative, earth loving, glamorous, foot loose and fancy free while being tremendously chic. xo Megan
you still there? I'm more intrigued than I was before. They're the real deal. Do you think they'd adopt a 40 something year old blogger who can do a mean chicken imitation?

the B to the Log

it's all about me, really.

My photo
Manhattan Beach, California, United States
editor | interior designer | podcast personality | social media pollinator