Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Forward

It was a wonderful day...in the mail I received the new St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles that features the Hanley Towers project, that you can see on my website. The photographs are rich with color and so appropriate for Spring! Driving home after a long day, I was amazed to see a Blue Moon, the second full moon in a calendar month.

It was the first full moon of Spring, and is known in folklore as the Worm Moon. This refers to the increased activity of the earthworms in preparing the soil for spring growth. Appearing as it did on the same day my feature article appeared seemed quite appropriate! I look forward to helping my clients decorate their homes with new and fresh ideas.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nesting Instinct

Well, this morning while walking my dog, Chewbacca, my heart was warmed to see buds ready to burst on trees, green grasses shooting up, and a multitude of new spring flowers blooming. The cool, rainy weather is gradually subsiding to milder temperatures.

Check Spelling

"Chuck, chuck, chuck", calls the Common Grackle. The iridescent purple plumage caught my eye, and I was delighted to see one with a beak-full of dried grasses. Yes, it is springtime - time to build the nest and make it cozy, warm, and protective for our family!

Monday, March 22, 2010


One of the most endearing signs of childhood presence in the neighborhood is coming across a chalk-drawn hopscotch. Each is unique, and perfect in its imperfection. If the squares aren't too small, aren't you tempted to hopscotch it even as an adult?

Here is a mass-produced hopscotch carpet ready-to-buy at CB2 for $199. It is called hop to it. The catalogue reads: "Exclusively for CB2 (and the child in you), by the clever Italian design team, A/R Studio. Grey/brown gravel asphalt playfully chalked with cream in 100% fine Argentine wool pile. Reality is achieved with hard twist wool and gahbe dyeing technique, making each unique. Rocks not included. 4' x 6'. "

Well, even so, I think it's too perfect. I would rather have an individual child's own hopscotch rendering made into a custom-made rug as a family keepsake. Yes, it would cost a bit more, but what a wonderful family heirloom! And great for regular exercise every time you cross it. It will keep you young forever - a very fine investment!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Daffodil Sighting!

Finally, the first day of spring is here! Although it is overcast here in St. Louis and a bit chilly, I can't help but feel renewed and refreshed and happy to bid winter goodbye. The birds are twittering and the irises and grasses are poking their new green life from the warming earth. Appropriately enough on the first day of spring, while walking Chewy, I was thrilled to see my first daffodil.

Missouri Botanical Garden
I am inspired to simplify and streamline my home and office. Modern life can make us crazy. Get rid of the clutter and confusion and impose order and beauty! A good spring cleaning is always a therapeutic undertaking and I think there is a certain Zen joy to be found in simple work such as washing woodwork. And don't forget cleaning the windows! That alone makes a home ever so bright and cheerful. After the cleaning spree, Spring is a great time to make design decisions so as to make the most of the precious time that we have to enjoy here on this planet. Live neither in the past nor in the present, but in the here and now.

Let's all renew ourselves and be reborn!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Emerald Aisles

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! This is the most kelly green in nature that I think we're going to see at this time of year in the midwest. My neighbor doesn't have to mow his northern exposure front lawn because it is all moss! Most unusual to see...In my morning meanderings, I am sending you an Irish blessing to start off your day:

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step of the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
May happiness fill your heart each day, your whole life through.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


With spring but a week away, a concert of song at Christ Church Cathedral featuring Jessica Heuser seemed the right thing to do. Jessica had the audience sing a single tone as background to her first song. This was a gift from her to allow us to each experience what it was to chant. Singing the tone helped to clear our minds and was an exciting way to start the concert.

Jessica walked the labyrinth while singing the first song. In the program notes, she wrote, " I feel the turning of the year now, a human need to reinvent our wheel and address our impact, and the completion of a Full Circle. Some themes that run through the concert include the images of flowers blooming, birdsongs, trees and the passage of time."

Jessica has purified the sound waves at the Stone Circle of Avebury, Echo Valley, the Meramec River bluffs, tiny churches and cobbled alleyways in England and France, and the inside of the Glastonbury Tor.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aging and Decay

I have always loved this painting by Matt Walters. Unfortunately, to my horror, after a few years, I noticed the piece cracking and flaking. His art experiments resulted in the medium lifting away from the canvas ground. I arrested the destruction by applying a layer of gel medium. Hard to see the imagery with the glare, but I would never want to part with this painting, even tho' it has suffered damage. In nature, there is beauty even in decay; it's all part of the life and death process. I put a turtle shell in front of it because of its similarity in color, texture, aging and flaking.

Matt Walters
Inverse Negative Cardboard
photo transfer on canvas
18" x 20"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Winter Waning

What a surprise it is every year to see my first crocus! It was an astonishing sight this morning as I walked Chewy and a sure sign that Spring is right around the corner. I have heard of daffodil sightings, but have yet to see one myself.

There were other delightful spring sounds to revel in: a woodpecker pecking, mourning doves cooing, birds chirping, and a variety of wind chimes plinking and chiming.

There are always a few dog barks and wonderful church bells clanging the hour and half hour as a general background. I remember living a summer in Italy and savoring scores of church bells ringing all at once, each one different. One of my favorite sounds, too, is the plaintive train whistle blowing a few miles away. These are all sounds that take me back to my youth, and I'm so happy to enjoy them still today.

This is a little wooded area above the Metro-Link. Here is Chewy off to enjoy the smells of spring, as only a dog can do.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Striking Stripes

Stripes have a been popular since ancient Egypt; they just never go out of style! Whether used in an overall traditional or contemporary interior design, and everything in between, stripes work! It can be an elegant silk or work-horse ticking; there is an abundance of fabrics, wallcoverings, furniture, and carpets that incorporate stripes.

Here's a great urban use of stripes as a pedestrian walkway. Very smart and eye-catching!

I recently installed this spectacular handwoven Kasthall rug in a client's condo. Kasthall, located in Sweden, has been in business since 1889. It makes a strong graphic statement and puts an exclamation point on this entrance hallway! I wanted something geometric to balance the figurative painting.

Renee Flanders
4' x 5'
oil on canvas

Lost and Found

I love visual poetry, and am always looking for rhymes. These can be rhymes in color, form, line, texture, concept, etc. They bring harmony to a space. Like a magpie, I'm constantly on the lookout for interesting things to put into inventory for current or future projects. Immediately, or later, the connections to other obects and ideas reveal themselves.

Here are a couple of found objects that I found in the street. I like the color and shapes. They could have been of interest when they were shiny and new, as well, but here we have a story of their lifetime of service. That the vehicles were so old and neglected that they actually rusted off says something of the owner and our society. John Foster
Stamp Piece #23
stamps, roplex
18" x 20"

This is a piece in my collection that I saw some connections to the car parts in terms of the grid pattern and color palette.

This African mask also displays rhyming components with the car parts and the Stamp Piece.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dentil Trim

We could also call this post "Tickling the Ivories"...There were two great pleasures that started my day today. First, my piano was tuned. I always want to be in close proximity when this every-six-month-appointment arrives. My piano tuner, Al Moles, is ever capable with his tuning fork in bringing my piano to be perfectly pitched! The intervals, dissonant and non-dissonant, resonate throughout the house, and I feel satisfaction that it is being cared for properly so that it will continue to give years of service with its beautiful sounds.

The next appointment was at my dentist's for my bi-annual teeth cleaning. I always look forward to this visit as long as nothing is found wrong! One special feature that I think is imperative to a good teeth-cleaning is to be covered with a nice, fleece blanket. I had several custom made for Dr. Michael Wallace, so that all his patients could have this comfort.

The blanket not only keeps a patient warm and cozy when it might be drafty, but provides a measure of security and modesty. I'm always happy to hear when the office tells me what a great hit they are with the other patients! It's little details like this that help provide a wonderful overall experience that I think of when designing a home, office, or whatever. Sight, sound, touch, feel; it's all important!

My favorite tool that Karen uses is the 'scaler'. Next favorite is the 'explorer' and the 'peridontal probe'. Piano tuners and dentists...such wonderful professions to pursue so as to keep our ivories ship-shape!