Sunday, February 27, 2011

Colour Inspiration

I am so inspired by the colors of Mexico.....the turquoise sea, crystal white bubbly waves and weathered gray wood, the soft buff sand. I am mulling on a decorating scheme based on these vibrant hues, with a splash of bold red.  When you snap photos in the sunshine, the just turn out so much better.

Sarah 101

You can watch the latest Sarah 101 Episode HERE.  Nice tile work, big box store fittings..........
As much as I think this Sarah 101 shows great design and how to's,  I loved her old show DESIGN INC. I would like to see another season of that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Mexican Treasures

......Because I am a bit of a worrier.....

I love Mexico.  The climate, the history, the people and I particularly enjoy their folk art and crafts.  Although my fever kept me from visiting town, there were plenty of beach vendors and vendor kiosks at the hotel.  I love that almost every vendor spoke English and were proud of their products.  It is so nice to come home with these bright treasures to remind me of my holiday and brighten my home.  My daughter and I both love Worry Dolls and both purchased a set of little ones.  I am going to put mine in a picture frame and hang it.

Made of local Llama wool and colorful cottons, these animals make a colorful addition to my shelves.

This angel (or saint) enclosed in a hand painted metal frame with sequined dress is  so pretty, I couldn't resist.
The prices were extraordinary....very reasonable.  Many were negotiable....a few dollars plus a beer or a Coca Cola.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friday Photo Challenge-People

Two of the most beautiful children I have ever seen......

Hello everyone.  We are back again for the photo challenge.  This week the challenge was people.  Photographing people in any way that you found interesting.  There is nothing more fun than people.  I could spend hours watching people.  My plan for this challenge was to photograph people in Mexico where I was this week. Although I have a lot of fun at a resort, I do like to get out into a nearby town and mix a bit and get a feel for the environment, culture and people. The first time we ventured to town, our bus was cancelled and we didn't make it.  The next day I ended up with a very high fever wondering how Mexican hospital care measures up to that at home.  Luckily, I was able to travel back today as planned, but didn't get my trip to town or my People pictures.

So my photo was the most charming of the ones I did take.  A little boy and girl discussing sandcastles on the beach.  I love her pink dress against the bright blue water.

Next Week's Challenge-Photograph a piece of jewelry.
Post your link below.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Vacation........and Comments Disabled

I am in Mexico for a brief holiday with my daughter for some mother/daughter bonding and Margarita's.  I have disabled my comments until I get back becauseI have had some spewing on my blog and I don't want to have to sign in from an expensive connection in Mexico to monitor him.  I will turn them back on when I return.

Don't forget if you wish to join the Friday Photo challenge that the topic for this week will be PEOPLE.  It can be close, far, fuzzy, discrete, in your face....whatever good people shots you can get. 

Because....There's Nothing More Fun than People.

Have a good week my friends.................

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fallen From the Cargo Hold and Giveaway Winner

"it fell from a plane......." and look at the size of the sofa could serve lunch on those babies.

Now don't get me wrong...I love Restoration Hardware and have used many of their furnishings in my designs, however this go around has produced some real Doozies.

Now you know what to do with your old WW2 fighter plane you've been hanging on to.........

They call this the Dentist Chair....................I don;t even know what style this is......

But I will say this desk reminds me of a Gyne table....

OTT-Over the Top
And my back is killing me just looking at "the Cockpit" chair.


And the winner of the Dash and Albert carpet is Alison from stuff-and-nonsense a new blog to me.  Thank you everyone for entering, and yes it was a tree fungus.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Friday Photo Challenge-food

Easily recognizable....The Cadbury's Flake........................................................

I tried to get another shot of it.......but it was a bit ellusive...................................................

Hello Everyone,  Thank you for joining us for the Friday Photo Challenge.  When polled a few weeks ago, a lot of you indicated that you would still like to continue, so here we are.  This week the theme was food.  Photographing food is very challenging.  When I look at great food shots, they are usually very close up, often have a backdrop of sorts, and I know from reading about the food styling industry, food can be sprayed, poked, waxed, brushed and prodded to make it look good in a photo. 

I stopped at my favourite butcher today to buy a few things, and that darn fellow has to stock English Bits....hence the Flake which I added to my purchases because I knew had assigned Homework.   When I was just going through the shots, I noticed the wrapper said "South Africa" not "England".  I did sample it to see if there was a difference and there was.  You British Expats will know what I mean.  Cadbury's chocolate made in the UK tastes very different from Cadbury's made in Australia, Poland or the USA (manufactured by Hershey's)  The milk in different countries tastes different so it make sense.

Next week I am in Mexico, so I am going to pick a topic that I think I can get a good shot of. TEQUILA.
No sorry...the challenge for next week is PEOPLE.  According to my photography teacher, you can photograph people in any public place without permission, however if you are asked not to, or asked to remove a photo, you are obligated by decency to do so. I picked this subject because people are difficult for me (and maybe others) to photograph.  I wanted the challenge. You don't see many people shots on blogs other than fashion blogs. When you take your shot, try and capture something that makes that person(s) stand out, the interactions, the nuance.  So get people watching and see who you find.  Next Challenge Date Friday the 25th February.

Add a link to your site here.  Click on the Linky Tool below and thanks to Linky Tools for giving free service for all these years.  You deserve to get paid.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

House Tour-Part 2

Yesterday I showed on my blog my friend Lorraine's House Tour Part 1, and explained how she had started to dislike her house because she felt that nothing worked.  No rooms were finished and all had disparate furnishings, and nothing melded.  She mentioned that she wanted me to just come over and pull things from one room to another and do what I wanted.  It can be difficult decorating with client  interference input, so I leaped at the chance to help her out. I often feel like re-arranging peoples houses, but being the restrained polite person that I am, I never do unless they insist.

See this couch?.....Two weeks ago Lorraine wanted to be rid of it.....A gorgeous tufted leather Chesterfield that had come all the way from England with her.  It looks great, but not an easy item with it's burgundy leather and rather flat back.  It was actually quite bossy. Not in the budget to replace, this feisty, creased old Brit was a bit like Mick Jagger.  It had had it's hey day, but still had a lot of spunk and charm left. I knew we could make it work and look like the collectors piece that it is. With a little bit of work tightening the web and coil construction and a leather polish it was renewed. 

We hauled a teak table from her patio inside to use as the coffee table.  A little Mineral Oil and it looks great. A rustic and natural Juxtaposition from the tufted leather sofa.  The existing wall colour is Benjamin Moore Elephant Gray.

With doors and windows and a fireplace or opening on every wall, the only place for the sofa was in front of the window.  However, it looked small and lost in the Bay.  Lorraine and I sell Vintage Furnishings and we had this farm table (literally hauled out of a Farmers field) that we had tried and tried, but could NOT SELL.  Because it was so beautiful and perfect for behind the sofa. I am so glad we couldn't sell it because it would be hard to find another piece so lovely here.  The cream woolen blanket is another natural piece to cozy things up, and came from my Closet of Woolly Blankets.

Tip. If a sofa seems small, lost and insignificant, beef it up by adding a desk, console or table behind it, and load that table up with bits that reflect your personality.  Here we added dried hydrangeas, books and will add a big dish to house the TV remotes. It makes a nice vignette from the street view as well (keep this in mind that people can see this from outside, you need to dress it both ways) 

And, if ya Daddy never bought you a pony so you can win yourself a Silver Cup, you can buy yourself one and any flea market. I love this cup here. It adds just the right amount of sparkle to keep this table from being too rustic...BALANCE..that's what they teach us in Design School. 

Awarded to Lorraine R_______ for wishing she had a pony when she was a little girl...............And to TAMARAH  who wishes she had won it. 

Looking the other way into the Dining Room.  Another tufted chair.

A Beautiful Welder's Urn (can anyone explain that?) in a soft honey colour that picks up the floor colour and the faded hydrangeas.  REPETITION.....repeating elements to tie things together.  Because the fireplace is quite formal, we picked crude, hand made pottery Bits. 

The chair has a very low back, making the proportions look a bit odd.  Simply adding a taller white cushion altered the lines and the tall cabinet now serves as a backdrop for the chair. This antique cabinet beside the fireplace was a piece also brought from England, and Lorraine was disliking it so much she tried to sell it as well. (Unsuccessfully) Again, the colour was perfect in here, and against the gray walls, it became a feature. It had been sitting unused in the basement.

We cozied up the sofa with some cream velvet Ikea pillows and some Mongolian Lamb cushions to add texture and warmth.  I love this room now, and she is finding her family are using it all the time. Other than the cup and the 2 pottery pieces, NOTHING was purchased for this room.  All we did was pull together things that were disconglobulated in other areas of the house.

And a quick peek at her daughter's room.  I traded that black Spooled Table for a piece of art that her husband hated........There's a well worn path between our two houses. A focal wall of Flocked Wallpaper, black mirror and white painted floor boards.

And when you have 4 kids, you need a glamorous laundry room....silver and pineapple wallpaper and decent lighting.

You still have time to enter my giveaway of a 4' x 6' or 2.5' x 8' Dash and Albert Runner. Click HERE to enter, and see part one of Lorraine's house tour.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GIVEAWAY CLOSED.......Mystery Item And a House Tour Part 1

This photo Dash and Albert Website.

I mentioned the other day that I have been helping my friend Lorraine with her house.  2 weeks ago she was really moaning because she felt like it was a Hodge Podge and nothing was working.  With 4 kids still living at home and 3 relatives from England on the way to stay, she asked me if I could re-arrange a few things to make it work.  I spent an afternoon there, bossing her family around and having them haul things from all over.  We decided her family room needed a rug, and ordered a big cotton stripey one from my store RAZMATAZ, perfect with her busy house and 2 large dogs.  This is my coffee table that I moved from my house the other day which went for a street walk to her house.
The Black sofas belong to her daughter and are leaving soon.  She has ordered another one from me that I will show you when it arrives.  A beautiful cotton velvet one in dark gray.  The fireplace was horrible builders yellow brick and they gave it a Slipcover in surround painted Farrow and Ball Off Black, combined with black marble.

I helped her bit with her kitchen design last year. I designed this wall, but originally it was to be installed over to the left.  Instead they took out a different wall allowing this gorgeous stove wall to go right here. This kitchen shows what you can do with IKEA components.  A little customization here and there and it is spectacular. 

1 ' x 6" subway tiles in white glass were used for the back splash.  That's my cup of tea waiting right there.

The dining room with a modern table, has beautiful chunky built in shelves to store all of her white dishes.

Her husband bricked this wall in the dining room with reclaimed brick from a Toronto University.

Looking the other way from the dining room to the kitchen.  Just beyond the kitchen is the family room.

Go pour that tea Girl................................. 

You may wonder what that THING is on the mantle to the left of the artwork (the fiber art piece I gave her last week).Well, that's a component of this giveaway.  You have to guess what it is...we found it at a flea market, but I do not think it is old.  People are curious but so far no one has guessed correctly.

A closer view................................................................Don;t you love that set of horns we found too.?

Closer looks great next to the art piece.....
One side.......
And the other........

Do you have any idea?  Here is the giveaway part.  I am giving away one of my Dash and Albert woven cotton rugs in a 4' x6' or a 2 1/2 ' x 8' runner to a lucky winner who gives it a try.  You can chose any cotton rug in either size.  Have a look at or from my site Razmataz.  My shop has Canadian pricing, (higher because of duties and shipping) but American shoppers can order from me and I will honor the US price list for you, should you wish to order from me in the future.


1. Leave a comment with your guess of the mystery item (1 entry)
2. Become a Follower (1 Entry)
3. Blog, tweet or Facebook this giveaway (1 entry for each)
4. You get a BONUS entry if you guess correctly.

The winner will be drawn on Saturday.  Good luck.                  House Tour Part 2 on Thursday.      

Monday, February 14, 2011

SMITTEN with BHLDN.........Launched Today

All images in this post are from

BHLDN, Daughter of Urban Otfitters and cousin of Anthropolgie was launched today, offering a stunning array of not-so traditional wedding attire.....perhaps perfect for a beach or country wedding.  Order online (how easy is that) and they even have international shipping...  .    They have a most glorious site to peruse.  Enjoy.....

All images from