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Saturday, February 21, 2009


Fin! Complete! The End!

I believe the proper upholstering term for executing this much tufting is, "Yowza!" I’m simply awash in the heady buzz that comes from finishing a re-worked vintage piece of furniture. It's likely that this is as many tufts as we’ve ever done in one piece!

I cannot be sure, but my guess is that my customer Lisa will be pleased with her custom upholstered chair. Here’s hoping! She simply purchased the vintage chair from my online store and then shipped me the needed yardage of her fabric of choice. I suggested several different lines of fabric that I carry, like Mod Green Pod and Ink and Spindle, but she had her heart set on a solid material.


I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned my workroom on my blog. My usual "spiel" goes something like this . . . “Customization in the home is like couture in the closet. Take this. . . (insert your vintage piece of furniture of choice that is in need of re-working).” So, if this sounds like something you desperately need, you can find more information about this service on my website.

Stay tuned for more show and tell from my workroom.

More, More, More . . . Lauren Ross

Instead of listening to the little voice in my head that told me to put more photos on my “At Home with . . . Lauren Ross” post, I gave into the “Now I’m tired -please make it stop” voice in my head. My blogger was wiggin’ out and refusing more photos. . . . All know is . . . I used to be good at stuff like this . . . And breathing, and basic speech . . . Apparently not! Anywhoozle, here is “more, more, more” (as one anonymous commenter put it) of Lauren Ross’ lovely home in Austin, Texas.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simply Grove featured me!

I was so flattered to have Kirsten feature photos of my home and business on her blog, SimplyGrove. In addition to writing her design blog Kirsten, is the mother of two, and a wildly talented interior designer. Her home has been featured on Apartment Therapy among other design blogs and her interior design firm based in Boise, Idaho. Thanks so much Kirsten, you're the best-est!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

At home with . . . Lauren Ross

Lauren Ross, who could probably fit into most peoples' coat pockets, has grandiose style! I love her home and I want all of her collections so badly that I am tempted to offer her some kind of trade, like, my children - just teasing kids. I promised your Grandmother I wouldn’t do that . . .again. Each time I enter Lauren’s home that she shares with her husband and four children, I feel pulled, as if by a magnet, to a beautiful mirrored chest in her entry. It is an inherited piece from her Grandmother. Lauren attributes her love of antiques and vintage pieces to her Grandmother who owned an antiques store in Beverly Hills, CA, on Rodeo Drive. I first met Lauren when she came into my shop in 2007. After several months of drop-in visits and purchases for client homes, along with conversations that revealed favorite antique haunts, I began to consider Lauren a dear friend. Though I didn't need to be convinced of what a lovely creature she was, she most graciously introduced me to producer, Jennifer Vreeland of Country Living. As a result, The Vintage Laundry got a mention in the article published in the April 2007 edition which featured her home. Thank you, Lauren, for allowing me to take these photos of your lovely home. Take a look and learn a little bit about a very talented and inspiring woman.

A friend with unlimited funds (don't have any of these but I can dream!) I would also love to design a home for Beth Moore, the best-selling author and lecturer with Living Proof Ministries. I have never met her but she has inspired me through her books and Bible studies and I would love to repay her for being such an inspiration to me! She is such a beautiful person.

Casual, shabby chic, feminine, comfortable

Martin-Senour paints - vanilla cream and cloud white are two of my favorite whites. I adore wallcoverings in small spaces, especially English papers such as Colefax and Fowler and "Jane Churchill

I would buy a second home...a cottage with a porch full of wicker and French blue shutters, climbing pink rose vines, hydrangeas and a white picket fence.

Calacutta marble countertops in my kitchen!

Antique shopping in Round Top with my friends, then staying at a Bed and Breakfast and playing show and tell with all of our new treasures or "what was I thinking!"

Round Top, Texas twice a year show. I have only missed one show in the last 20 years but only because I was pregnant and due any moment. My family forbid me to go for fear I would go into labor shopping out in the country!

My mercury glass, some of which belonged to my grandmother and other pieces that I have collected over the years. I am particularly fond of the mercury glass with the painted flowers.

It gives me flexibility with my 4 children. I can work my own hours and keep my family my priority. I also love meeting new people, making new friends and helping them make their homes a place they enjoy.

Making small inexpensive changes like changing out throw pillows, updating lamp shades, layering in baskets for storage, rearranging a few pieces and slipcovering inherited pieces to bring them back to life.

My paternal grandmother for her beautiful style. Her Beverly Hills home was filled with mercury glass, mirrored vanities, shell encrusted mirrors, chintz covered walls, small French chairs, treasures from around the world and of course my favorite color, pink! Her style was timeless. My maternal grandmother for all things quaint and lovely... her pansies, her teacups and her dolls with handmade clothes. She is the definition of precious. Design influences include "Rachel Ashwell for her casual shabby chic style and Charles Faudree for his attention to detail.

window shopping, realtor open houses, drives in the country, blogs like Cote de Texas and Velvet and Linen.

Be flexible with your ideas and schedule, don't take things too seriously,be a good listener, and decorate your client's home to showcase their personality.

In Austin: Janet Wiebe Antiques - The Courtyard Shops 5453 Burnet Road - European antiques, garden items, and beautiful trims and textiles

Shabby Chic - Domain - down filled chairs, sectionals and bedding in faded English inspired floral designs

Wendow - 1512 W 35th St. - antiques mixed with contemporary pieces

Antique Marketplace - 5806 Burnet Road - I rent a space with my dear friend, Lady Huffstutler. Lady has the most amazing slipcovered lamp shades made from white monogrammed vintage linens.

Round Top vendor French Vanilla - Peg Van Dyne's booth is absolutely beautiful and filled with vintage items all in shades of white.

The last pair of photos are courtesy of Country Living Magazine and Joseph De Leo.

The Creative Mind of Ethan Morrow

I came to know this artist's work through Angelo Surmelis' blog thedesigngeek. You recognize his name because he is also the host of the HGTV series Rate My Space.

I'm drawn to this artist's work for a couple of reasons. His technique makes his works feel vintage, as though they were found in a box of discarded sepia photos at a flea market and the appeal is further strengthened by the ethereal world created through his poetic imagination. Big Paper Airplane is the name of Ethan Morrow's site. On his entry page he has this statement: big paper airplane - dedicated to the fact that humans will attempt anything.Morrow's medium in the works above is graphite on paper, however there is an intriguing piece of film worth viewing here. It is titled "Dust" and was an official selection at the 46th annual New York Film Festival. His work, as Angelo put it, "feels familiar, yet different." Comparisons have been made, some say his pieces remind them of the film "Big Fish" and others "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". My personal opinion leans toward "Big Fish" with a little Robert Longo thrown in for good measure. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Affair to Remember!

Take your cue from Ms. Kerr and throw your limbs around someone on this Valentine's Day and give'em a smooch they will never forget! Above Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant embrace in a scene from "An Affair to Remember" in July 1957. Kerr also shared in another one of cinema's most famous kisses with Burt Lancaster in "From Here to Eternity" below.

The images are courtesy and

Friday, February 13, 2009

Make a Wish

Who among us hasn’t wanted the label of “Expert” attached to our name? Okay, so maybe I’m a shallow narcissist, but I’m excited that Christine Saunders over at has asked me to be an Indie expert and contribute as a recurring guest blogger and post ideas about how to inject a little bit of “vintage" into your wedding ceremony. My introduction and first article can be viewed here.

Wishpot is a free social shopping service that makes it easy to save and share interesting things you find in stores and online. Through exploring others Wishpot lists, I have found many Indie merchants and have broadened my shopping scope. I must admit being quite taken with the endless sea of goodies!

So, here’s how it works. Items are collected online or from stores by wishpot users and organized using simple online lists. Your lists and items can be kept private or shared with others. You can collect and discover products you like, recommend your favorite stuff, share and explore gift suggestions or ask for opinions and advice. My wishpot can be found here. I have great fun meeting other entrepreneurs through my friend connections and my lists of wishes keeps growing and growing! Yikes! Look for more of my posts in the future, I’ve gathered a lot of great ideas.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Swedish knockout

I've just finished some great re-worked pieces. One of these is a great mid century chair designed by Carl Eric Klote for A.B. Overman. It has great fluid curves and I couldn't resist it's aluminum swivel base. So, I grabbed it up from a Craiglist post and got busy with some white vinyl. I love the before and after photos - I'm kinda bragging - I know! I've listed them on my website under the vintage furniture tab and you can also get more details from my Etsy store. The older pieces like this one are becoming obsolete and quite hard to find - so, I feel very fortunate to have found it!

In the late 1950’s Swedish designer Carl Eric Klote developed a process of making furniture utilizing a light-weight expandable polystyrene frame for Overman. The company produced pieces in factories in Sweden and Germany before ultimately establishing Overman USA in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Very light, yet so durable the company offered a 25 year guarantee. These pieces have become classics of mid century design. The chairs and sofas all have sculptural qualities to them and, when properly care for, as the one shown here from the early 1950’s has been, are as graceful and fashionable today as the were nearly 60 years ago.

Klote went on to form Klote International Corporation in 1977 which is still producing furniture utilizing the same technique today.

He retained his Swedish citizenship until his death while working and keeping a home in the United States. At the time of his death in 2007 at his home in Högby, Sweden, he had over 2 million frequent flyer miles according to Clarence Hamby, the controller of Klote International. Hamby also has said that Klote was a workaholic, prone to working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. He further remembered Klote stopping by his office and saying, "I've put in my 12 hours; let's call it a half-day."

They also started a new company in Lüneburg, Germany under the same name.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Vintage Laundry now offers Mod Green Pod fabrics

I'm so pleased to announce that The Vintage Laundry now offers Mod Green Pod fabrics through our workroom. I was checking in over at Mod Green Pod's blog today and they were sharing this great sneak peek of their new Austin headquarters. They're headquartered in an adorable late-40s bungalow in central Austin. They are loving their space and even though they still don't have a sign out, they are feeling happy, comfy, and productive in their digs on the inside. Though it's not a retail space, they are available by appointment. The photos above are what you will be greeted with as soon as you enter. I'm so excited they're back in town!

The Sprucettes are at it again!

Kallie over at Spruce contacted me the other day to let me know that Amanda and Lizzie are offering Spring workshops.

Spring workshops schedule:

March 7-8: Make Your Statement Chair Class
April 11: Build a Bench Class
April 25-26: Make Your Green Statement Chair Class
May 9 : Build a Bench Class

You can find more registration information on their blog.

They recently announced the opening of their second Etsy store, Spruce Home Must-Haves. In this shop they will be featuring smaller statement items for your home.

In January they were Etsy's featured seller! Go here to see the interview.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vintage Shower: Hanky Panky

So much can be done with vintage handkerchiefs. If your shower guests are particularly skilled with a needle and thread, or a member of your crafting group is getting hitched, the following shower idea might be for you. I read recently about how to keep guests entertained while the bride-to-be opens gifts at her bridal shower. The suggestion was to have guests bring an embroidered square, vintage handkerchiefs, or scraps of fabrics to the party and as they watch, the guests sew the squares together to make a quilt or pillow that the bride can keep for years to come.

I've just listed several beautiful, vintage handkerchiefs on my online store - there are many monograms and Valentine hankies.

Vintage Wedding: Karisa Winkel

"Vintage" has been enjoying a well earned popularity for several years now, whether it is accessories, clothing, or a piece of furniture for your home. Many brides are including vintage elements into their ceremonies, which spurred an idea I’ve had about posting a series of blogs on the topic. Lately, I have come across some really creative ideas. One such idea came from Karisa Winkel at Pretty Handsome Paper.

Karisa says she just finished a project that was a lot of fun. A bride wanted something with old New York style that was totally unique and meaningful. So, for her "Save the Date" cards, Karisa and the bride decided to use vintage handkerchiefs instead by silkscreening the message on center field of the hanky. To completely capture the recipients' attention they were sent out held in place with a vintage hat pin! She admits that although it wasn't easy finding 82 handkerchiefs they finally found them all and Karisa silkscreened them herself. She jokes that she came very close to robbing a Grandmother.

What guest would miss this ceremony? I’m completely charmed by the novelty of this idea.

After 3 years of being an Art Director in NYC, Karisa gathered the courage to pursue her lifelong dream of starting her own design boutique. Though she markets herself as a wedding stationery designer, she also does custom projects and loves taking on a challenge.

Karisa’s company, Pretty Handsome Paper, now offers custom designs for every occasion. Is your project unique? Do you have a clever concept? Do you want to do something original and creative? Go check things out and see if you can’t collaborate to make your wedding a ceremony that people will be talking about for years to come!

A Sweetheart of a Deal

Today, if you will pardon the pun, I would like to broach a subject very near and dear to my heart . . . heart and cardiovascular health. I’m sorry to say that I’m pretty much a heart attack waiting to happen. My family tree is not full of cardiovascular and heart health success stories. My Grandmother and Grandfather both died after having heart attacks. My Mother and Aunts have had double bypass surgeries, pace makers and valve replacements, and my beautiful sister, D’Aunn, died after suffering a stroke at the age of 39.

So, as you might imagine, in February, in partnership with American Heart Association, I promote the heck out of heart and cardiovascular awareness and education. To begin, you can wear red on February 6th to show your support and foster awareness. The American Heart Association offers many great items at You'll find jewelry, clothes, desk accessories and more -- perfect for Wear Red Day on February 6th. They have this great pin that costs $5 or you could purchase 10 pins for $40 and give them to your co-workers, friends and family to promote awareness. With just one purchase, you directly support the Go Red For Women® movement and can help in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

But if that’s not your thing, there are many ways to show your support.

For instance:

° You can choose to shine: Gather with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take a photo of your Wear Red Day activities. Then send it to us! We’ll post it on our Flickr site, along with the hundreds of other Austin area businesses and entities Going Red!

° Or you can choose to share: Do you choose baked over fried? Do you take the elevator or stairs? What choices have you made to positively influence your heart health? You can tell your story at the Austin Go Red For Women® Casting Call, Friday, February 6th from 11am to 1pm at Louis Shanks of Texas, 2930 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Tx. You could be selected as a finalist to be featured in a nationally syndicated Go Red For Women® television special!

° Or choose to celebrate: Join us from 5-7pm on Friday, February 6th for a Wear Red Day celebration at Zax Pints & Plates, 312 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Tx. Wear red and 10% of the proceeds from your purchase goes to support Go Red For Women®!

I’m committed to supporting Go Red For Women® so10% of each purchase on my online stores for the month of February will be donated to the Go Red For Women® campaign.