Mar 28, 2010

I have moved

It's been a fun run, but I am on to the next thing.

I am packing the bags, figuratively, settling in, for real, to a new gig with a new look and new content all with moving pictures that talk! It's the next wave in blogging...'s VVVVVVVVVlllllloging. Or webivision, or webcasting or something like that. I really don't know, but I am sure to find out.

Find me at:

Feb 21, 2010

Kelvin's place -- my first ever vlog

So here is my first attempt to capture, on film, what I do. This is Kelvin's place that I just finished working with my design-buddy Paul Pagano.

I shot video on my iphone, not the best quality, I know...but starting with what I have.

My purpose here was to: 1) learn how to create composition with the camera, 2)see how lighting affected the views and 3) see how I could get my subjects (people) to respond.

Thanks Kelvin and Katherine for helping out!

I didn't have to talk them into it which surprised me. It shouldn't have. Kelvin is experienced in PR, so he gets it. Katherine loves to talk and is so personable. I should know that many friends will want to join in.

Katherine asked that I not focus on her face because she didn't have her makeup on.

I get that.

So I artfully (at least I think it is artful...thoughts?) shot her from the back and side in silhouette form. You see her camera in the film and get the idea she is examining the space for the shoot, which is why we were there in the first place. Katherine Bish shoots most of my portfolio shots.

OK, so how do I shoot windows without it making my view all dark. I know that you aren't suppose to shoot into windows but how can I show the window treatments then?

Really, I was tickled at how I could manipulate the shots to capture what I want. Film is like playing with clay. Never occurred to me before. I really like this medium of expression. I think I am catching the bug... a little excited, for a moment...but I feel so amateur and limited, scared again.

It's a beginning, right?

Kelvin is a doll, a great client (all my clients are wonderful in different ways). Kelvin is a great communicator and set the design objective early in our first meeting. His goal was to redesign his masculine bachelor pad to be more inviting for his female friends. He talks about some of the things that made a difference.

I wish I could string these videos together, put in music, cool graphics, my commentary...etc. I will learn. I am determined to master technology I find totally scary.

Let me know what you think of the videos...any tips are welcome.

Giving birth to my vlog and beyond

I am thinking -- actually "committed", but that is too scary to put down in words -- of starting a video blog (vlog). It will likely move from this blog to another to chronicle my journey in the making of film including all the spills, chills, thrills,triumphs and defeats. What can I say, I've been watching the Olympics.

I am totally frustrated that photos don't tell the whole story -- my story and others. So this may be a new venture for me. At least my husband and Whitney have dared me to try.

I think Dan -- my husband -- is tired of my wondering when/if HGTV will call. I am not obsessed, though I think he believes I am.

Dan woke me up one morning -- a morning I was trying to sleep in. "I think you need to start a vlog."

Me: "I have a blog"

Dan: "No, a vvvvvvvvvlog, video, post video of what you do."

What? He wants me to have another project? Is he crazy? He knows what a commitment that will be for him, let alone me.

To be honest, I have never given this serious thought. But his waking me up out of a deep sleep prompted my taking this idea very seriously. And opening my mouth to Whitney made me commit.

I am my own worst enemy.

Dan just wants me to move on, keep going...

I do think a lot about what should happen next.

You see, HGTV's Design Star has not called. I sent my application in about a month ago. They might still call, but I am not one to wait around. And if reality TV is not the path to share my voice, then I need to keep forging ahead until I find the right way.

Maybe, hmmmmm....: I start my own production company (The forest); post videos on the web via the various outlets (the trees); produce my own webivision show (lots of trees); create my vlog (planting the trees); gain a working knowledge of film making (pruning the trees); ...or help others to edit their vlogs (multiple trees and forests).

Or maybe it's all that.

Where to begin? The dream, the forest...that is where I always start, the end goal in mind, which is to have a media platform to share my voice and my friends' voices in the creative ways we approach lifestyle subjects (people and topics).

Think "Oprah".

I am dreaming of the Forest, then, but I need to start and grow where I am planted, which for the moment means I need to cut down some trees.

I am money-challenged (husband is unemployed -- four months, but who is counting?) and time-challenged (I am over-employed). I can't do much about limitations I can't control.

I am tired and over-weight. I can control that. Sleep more and eat less.


I am highly technologically challenged. I can do something about that. I learned how to blog afterall.

I hate, really hate, learning technology, but I will try to learn and to geekify myself if needs be.

That is how determined I am. And scared.

So I start here, with my iphone -- the only technological device I am in love with -- that is my only video camera, a supportive husband and tons of supportive friends. These are my resources...this is where I start.

Not sure where this is going...but I am sure it is going, which is a relief (read "whew"!!!) to me because I just don't stand still.

Stillness makes me crazy.

And maybe that is why I am drawn to video/film.

It moves. Can move with me.

In truth, I probably move faster.

Upward and onward and beyoooooooond!

Back to earth...What will I share?

Anything and everything related to topics I love: family, home, design, raising children, gardens (only marginally interested in gardens, but I have lots of friends who are and do cool stuff where things grow.), cooking (I am only interested in 30 SECOND meals for my grab-and-go lifestyle)...etc.

It won't star me alone. THAT would be nauseating, watching and editing myself, yuk, cough, gag...yuk. But it will include my friends...and friends of friends...etc.

First friend: Paul Pagano, designer friend also seeking a media platform.

I'll focus on where I live -- wonderful St. Louis, my home of 11 years -- and on what I know, some home and family topics of relevance to the world.

Yep, I can handle that.

My journey will be supported by my family, friends, media-mentor friends, PR professional friends...and anyone interested in this journey. Yes, I saw Julie and Julia .

Please, please come along for the ride!

Tell me what you like, what you don' me and others develop our video skills.

Send me your videos, send examples of videos...on the lifestyle topics I/we love.

Whitney told me to give myself a homework assignment each day. So tomorrow I will start, just start. I will post videos and muse about what I learned...and want to learn.

How's that for starters?

Feb 6, 2010

Angela Adams

I am a sucker for amazing area rugs...I think they can make a room and be a great starting point. How about these Angela Adam rugs.

Jan 29, 2010

Meet George Jetson -- Katherine's office

I have had so much fun designing Katherine Bish's office. She is my photographer and good friend. Katherine is turning her dining room into a home office.
She wanted her office to be totally different from any other room in the house. The room is closed off by two doors, so we don't have to coordinate the look with the rest of the home. When the door closes behind it's like we enter a star ship enterprise.

Well, sort-of. It's just cool and fun to imagine.

Katherine wanted seating for two to face a large screen TV where she can display her work. The desk will have lighting under and along the desk top, also under and along the shelves above. So the whole work area will glow. Other features of the room are her collection of old cameras and display of her photographs.
What's next? I am sending these renderings to fabricators to solicit bids for the built-in desk. Other furnishings will be purchased at Phillips Furniture where I lead the in-home design program.

I have proposed two different chairs...I favor the turquoise ones. They swivel and and harmonize with the curvilinear lines of the desk. I love the pop of color.

Which chairs are your favorite?

A big thanks to Jeff Hangartner who did the rendering. He understood the concept and my back-of-the-napkin sketches perfectly.

Stay tuned...I will post updates and the finished room.

Jan 12, 2010

designHop at Amy's house

Here is a follow-up to the designHop meeting at Amy Larson's home.
Paul Pagano joined us for the fun. He lent his expertise in mid-century modern inspired design for the make-over.In this video he examines the layout and explains why we needed to switch the china hutch and buffet. Immediately we were struck by how open the space felt.

Amy was at a loss for what to put in her china hutch. We raided her kitchen and found typical plates and bowls in her favorite blue colors. To give them a more retro look we flipped the bowls over and put another bowl on top to create this fun atomic-inspired shape. So simple!

We left Amy with a space to fill for artwork, but gave her a lot of good ideas. Paul shared his favorite artist Jenn Ski.

Dec 27, 2009

Phillips Furniture -- one table, four ways

I am having so much fun in the very fashion-forward Phillips Furniture store in Kirkwood, Missouri, where I've opened the in-home design program that offers affordable design services.

Our store is where "life meets style", as the tag line says.

True to life, a client gave me design challenge. She loves the above very cool guitar-pick table by Sitcom. She wants to replace the stools for chairs that provide a supportive back for her child's booster seat.

Can life meet style?

Ha, you bet!

I found three stylish options to support a booster seat:

So which is your favorite?
Come visit me at Phillip's Furniture to learn more about the in-home design program, because YOU deserve a designer! 314-966-0047

Dec 24, 2009

Gift Wrapped Dinner Table

Merry Christmas! It's been a while since I posted. I have been so busy with exciting projects I will share later.

These are photos of our Christmas Eve dinner table. I pulled this together in about 20 minutes, all the time I had before guests arrived. I used wrapping paper -- used in place of a table cloth -- and bows, paper goods I bought on the way home from work and a few candles I found in my closet. I had literally no time to pull out usual table linens and iron them, unpack holiday dishes...etc, I had to go with simple and easy. Thankfully my husband made the dinner!

The wrapping paper had a slight coating on one side and so it kept the table clean of spills. But I would recommend using a table cloth or table pad under the paper.

I love the challenge of designing on a dime and no time. It forces me, in a good way, to think of solutions I would never consider if I had all the time and money in the world. And there is so much satisfaction found in being resourceful.

Nov 29, 2009

Heather's piano room -- bold, happy color!

Friend Kara recently shot photos of Heather and Tom's piano/living room for my portfolio. I am preparing my Design Star application and I plan to include these photos.

So where is the piano? On the other side of the room, but the fantastic chandelier to go above it is not yet installed. This is just a preview of things to come.

My husband said, "I am impressed with your work, but even more impressed by Heather, that she would be so fearless."

There is NO fear in this interior. Heather has embraced color and pattern in her wardrobe for years. We just took her wardrobe and splashed it around the says "Heather" all over it!

What about Tom? Well, let's just say this room is a monument to a husband's love for his wife.

Rate it on Rate My Space.

Nov 4, 2009

Meet my friend Paul

So for months now my friend Paul Pagano has been saying he needs to start a blog.

He did it!

Kudos to Paul. Please encourage him by visiting his site -- click here -- and leave a comment.

Paul is an interior designer of the Ty Pennington variety, very hands-on projects involving creative construction, destruction, re purposing, painting and unique finishes. His faux concrete counter tops are his own unique invention and I am sure you'll see them on his blog soon.

Paul's background is strong in vintage restoration projects, but his heart is a mix of mid-century modern and vintage. His unique, fun style is featured at the Crestwood Plaza (see above photo) where he shares a space with like minded artist and furniture repurposer (my word) Elizabeth Maxson.

Paul and I partner on some jobs. He is currently doing a commissioned painting for my clients and I'll share that soon.

I love featuring design collaborations and I am so proud of my friend Paul.

my tree & me

Check out my tree & me for contemporary family history charts. I have been looking for something like this for a long time. I think I'll get the above "Birds of a Feather" print.

Every home should have a family tree, do you agree?

I found this resource on design*sponge.

Nov 2, 2009

Rate Me on Rate My Space

I am having fun reading comments to my portfolio at Rate My Space (RMS). It's a great online community and place to bounce off ideas and gain feedback to your work.

If you are not a part of it, you might consider. It doesn't' matter if your space is a work-of-art or a work-in-progress. The community supports your efforts. It's like having designers and neighbors at your fingertips giving you feedback and encouragement.

Top-rated right now is the remodeled kitchen I did for Annette and John in Ladue, Missouri. I have posted a photo above...see more by viewing the slide show at Rate My Space, click here.