Monday, March 2, 2015

XOXO: My Yearly Date with Angels

Top: Selfie with some of the Angels - Jody Battaglia, Letty Worley Brooks, Laurie Meseroll, Jocelyn O'Gorman, Sophia Brake -- after our annual lineup. Bottom: Life is good, especially when there is faux bois.
Never a dull moment with Jen.
Lucky me. Once a year I hang out and spend the night with Jen O'Connor and some of her stellar Earth Angels in Sanford, FL at the colorful Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery. For 9 years, Jen and her troupe have come South for a two day trunk show filled with paintings, a menagerie of handmade animals and quirky dolls, jewelry and miscellaneous decor. I arrive in plenty of time for the Friday art stroll and open house and leisurely make my way back home Saturday afternoon. I XOXO this tradition.
Nicole Bowen's totally fantastic plush felines. Rawr-lite.
Nancy Wiley's portraits (right) with a Theresa Disney painting in the back. "Clara", with the black bob, stole my heart.
Sophia wearing a Jocelyn O'Gorman apron.
One of Letty Worley's mohair kitties.
Jody Battaglia, artist and author of Funtown says, "You should never be skimpy when it comes to cherries."
And there were other fruits besides cherries to take home.
Collaboration: Laurie Meseroll "mezzes"with my blocks. is open 24/7 for browsing and buying PLUS the Angels often take their show on the road. Next stop, Nashville. You too can be a p/t groupie like me.

The Theresa Disney room at JT Folk Art
Jen Lindquist's studio space.
Jeanine Taylor Folk Art in Sanford, FL is an incredible gallery for original folk art from artists such as Theresa Disney, Mary Proctor, Ab the Flagman and Jen Lindquist.

Friday, February 27, 2015

NEED: Def Leopard

Currey and Co's Bethanne Matari rocked this amazing coat.
I believe that every home NEEDS a little leopard. And after attending Design Bloggers Conference 2105, I believe that every wardrobe definitely needs some too. As I diligently worked the Parlore table, demo-ing our app to interior designers, I saw a lot of spots go by. These designers and bloggers are a catty bunch! I regret not hunting down more examples and photographing them. If you saw Michelle Workman's shoes, you know what I mean.
At first I thought Cloth & Kind's Tami Ramsay's (right) button-up suede number was cork; Vicki Bolick from Ace of Space wore a grayish print dress with charcoal leather jacket; Duralee's Robin Gordon toted leopard with a pretty racing stripe accent and the woman at the top left I do not know but she looked good.'

Now, bring the cat back home. 3 old chairs that I've recently fallen for.

Florida Consignment Shop
Tritter Feefer showroom at Americasmart

Florida again. This one is my least fave, but it's still kind of cute.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Image: Pinterest
More than any other accessory lately, lighting continually captures my attention because it offers drama and mood while providing a very necessary function.

I have been particularly fixated on copper and brass pendants. If it's polished and gold-tone, I XOXO it.  And I find that I am gravitating toward the rounded curvy shapes. From spheres to ellipses, these suspended fixtures are as magical as sunshine, an orange moon, or a golden egg. And even though they're trending and glam, they're also classic like a new shiny penny.
Here are 6 styles that I like a lot.

Image via Pinterest
Like the cone of silence (below) but in copper (above).

Image from Boxothoughts
Image via Lonny
Equally chic for residential and retail,
Here, Tom Dixon's Copper Pendants (above) lend a fashionable glow to Lou and Grey's Westport shop.

Image via Camerich
 At the Vegas Market, Camerich's dome copper pendants caught our eye.
Lighting seems to be a new category for this modern furniture company from Seattle.

Image: Michele Varian
Michele Varian's brass aperture pendant is adjustable. Direct the flow of light by opening and closing the metal leaves.  I featured some of her other fixtures in Miss Blogworthy's ICFF round-up a few months ago.

Image: Schoolhouse Electric
Matte but by no means dull, Schoolhouse Electric's made-in-Portland Isaac Pendant has an 8" shade.

Image: Dunlin via Apartment Therapy
 Craving a little bit more texture, these hammered pendants were found on Claire Zinnecker's "Hint of Gold" Pinterest board by way of Apartment Therapy by way of Dunlin.

I like pretty metallic things around the house and I also like to wear them.

I rock this cuff almost every day. I get a ton of compliments on it.
Bought at a consignment shop for $4, it is major bang for buck.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WINTER REPORT: Style Below the Waist @ NY Now

It was the lovely Aleeza from Affirmats who inspired this year's boot round-up.
During the summer NY gift show, it's the pedicures and pretty sandals that catch my eye. In winter, I XOXO the skirts, worn jeans, patterned tights and "work boots." I know it's the "stuff" that I'm supposed to hone in on, but stellar personal style is on my list of journalistic priorities too. I am always interested in how sellers of stylish goods get themselves dressed to impress. Here are a few of my favorites.
Clare Frost did not wear these hand-embroidered mules to get to the show, but as she worked the Tulu booth on a bed of soft shag, she had the luxury of swapping shoes. Clare designs these shoes which are based off of Herati makes.

I discovered Sandy in the Lila Handcrafts booth, modeling a "Kameez" (kind of a long chemise), featuring Ralli Applique, crafted in Southern Pakistan.
Katie from Mushmina in great patterned tights by Alternative Apparel that she sells at the store.

I spied Kelly Edmonson's shoes as she walked by me in an aisle and then was happy to relocate her in the Lifeguard Press booth. Kelly got these furry leopard shoes at Anthropologie right after Christmas. She is also wearing a "vintage mermaid skirt."

In the Rhadi & Koko booth, Jane (a different one) wore an amazing emerald silk tunic with Stuart Weitzman boots.

Guys, I did not forget about you, but I'm usually looking at your faces more than your feet.

when I mentioned my "Below the Waist" style blog, a friend told me I had to meet Matt Austin from Chalk Ware. Matt's metallic red hi-tops are made by Creative Recreation. He bought them at Barneys. Matt's shoes were indeed cool, but his chalk sets rank among the best of show.

Ryan from The Wooden Palate is a Frye loyalist. When the California woodworker does home restoration, he'll almost always take photos of the work and use his boots as props.

Dawn and Paul were kicking back in the Central Station/Notre Monde booth. She in "vintage-ish" Frye boots that "take 2 to get off" and he in a pair of El Gringos that he's had for years. It was so great to catch up with Dawn. Her only regret twas that I did not get to see her in her kickass turquoise and brown boots. Maybe later sometime?

And then there's me.

Black Sunday: These black vintage cowboy boots were a Christmas gift. As some of you know I wear a size 12, yet my friend Karen, an antique dealer with an awesome eye, picked these for me and they fit well. I was in a black-on-black mood and paired them with my cheetah jeans. I am sitting on a fab stool @ Made Goods.

Here I am, in soft pink snow boots, standing with Kate and Alice from KalaStyle.
Let it be known that this year the incessant precipitation in NY was a thorn in our stride. My personal footwear plan was derailed, however, the upside is that it gave me time to get my boots restored by a good shoemaker. Cobblers in Florida are far and few between and when you find them, they are a bit of a rip off.

Monday, December 23, 2013

XOXO: 14 Xmas Photo Shoot Memories

When I was a magazine editor, Christmas-time was extremely busy. We would always try and shoot in season for the next December issue. This made sense because homes would either already by decorated or homeowners would welcome having their homes decorated by Country Living editors, or holiday decorating it was a collaboration between homeowner and editor.

Either way....whether I had to work my butt off creating Christmas from scratch or just marvel at the seasonal creativity of each individual homeowner and figure out how best to capture that....I did a lot of Christmas and XOXO-ed it.  Here are some of my favorite Christmas shoots.

1. Free Models - my kids have modeled for me over the years and they love looking back and seeing how cute they were.

2. The faded wallpaper in artist Kitty Babendrier's upstate NY house was the best mood maker for this dining room and I loved the overall time-worn vibe. When I was buying flowers for this shoot, I dropped my phone in a bucket of hydrangea. I was not happy.

3. Painter Helen Howard's home was cool Connecticut and I am hooked anytime traditional American furnishings look fresh and not uptight. And check out the fab wood valance.

4. Artist Ashley Carter set up a divine dessert part complete with her sparkle fantasy minstrels and of course, pink snowballs! Love the combo of soft chartreuse with multiple blush tones.

5. I love the way rayon ribbon drapes, and Midori's printed ribbon says it all.

6. This was one of the best holiday shoots ever because Mary Jane McCarty had the best stuff to work with in every room of her house. Out on her porch, I decided that a pop of yellow would do good and so painted and glittered twig stars for this tree.

7. Darlene Duggan and I collaborated on many shoots. She could make anything and had a trove of amazing vintage. And with the help of Jennifer from Sis Boom sending in goodies from afar and a magical disco ball, we made magic.

8. Simple and silver...this was one of my first studio holiday shoots. And I still like it and the chest looks amazing.

9. How do you bring holiday into the bedroom and make it look romantic. Answer: like this. (from Mary Jane McCarty's house)

10. I am a sucker for miniature deer and love the way my friend Cheryl Rogers propped this sweet one atop a pile of pristine white buttons.

11. Paper doves on a spindly feather tree in an old bucket - can't get much simpler or prettier than that!

 12. Also from the Mary Jane McCarty shoot.  I borrowed the vintage glass ornament wreath from Blue Raccoon and was so overly concerned with not breaking it, that of course, it slipped from my grasp at one point. Country Living bought the slightly damaged wreath after the shoot and it hung in the lobby for many Christmases thereafter.

13. This shoot took me to my hometown of Philadelphia to the home of fabricator and bag maker Liz McIlvaine. Her red walls and funky flooring set the scene for a funky and ultra colorful shoot.

 14. One year I was totally loving red and white.  The following year Spiegel was also loving it.