Monday, March 30, 2009

Sneak Attack

Just played along in a Sneak Attack and this is what I got! It was alot of fun...the first one I remembered to be there for. Play along next time. Get the details here or hit the Sneak Attack button on the side bar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today I thought I would show you some of the cornices I have done over the years. The one you see above was an interesting project. The client gave me an embroidered pillow and asked me to incorporate the dog into the cornice without using the background. I stitched a piece of cotton around the dog shape and painstakingly trimmed and turned it. I then applied it to the finished cornice with fabric glue and a few tiny stiches to hold it. Even without the applique the cornice incorporated two different fabrics and two different trims with a cut-out design.
This cornice in the red leafy print was a fairly complicated design, cut out with a jig-saw. The trim used on the bottom edge was applied directly to the face.

This is just a simple straight cornice with a border at the bottom edge. Swags and rosettes were added for an extra touch.

A simple shaped bottom edge gave this cornice a little character and adding the cornice fabric as a border on the leading edge of the drapes brought them together.

This is a common cornice shape...with just a piped top and bottom edge.

This is the same shape, in suede , with a fringed bottom edge.

The client who had me do the Toile cornice and striped balloons found a picture of the exact same treatment (fabric and style) in a Calico Corners flyer. She purchased the fabric from Calico and asked me to replicate the design.

The shape of these bedroom cornices was determined by the shape of a table the client had and loved. The corners replicate the edges of the table.

This is a simple shaped cornice, trimmed with a crystal fringe.

This shaped cornice is trimmed with a tassel fringe. The drapes are made with a companion fabric and the same tassel fringe is applied to the leading edge.

I make all my cornices with 1 by pine. The frame is put together with drywall screws using 1 by 6 pine boards. The face is made by joining boards to get the desired length and then applied to the frame with drywall screws. I mount them using angle irons. Plywood could also be used but I have almost always used 1 by pine.

Several years ago some designers I worked with found styrofoam cornice kits and wanted me to use them. I reluctantly agreed.....and lived to regret it. The Cornices were easy to cut but it was almost impossible to clean the little styrofoam beads that flew everywhere. They were put together using long T-pins. Although they were very light and therefore easy to handle, I was always very nervous transporting them.
With four rambuctious kids I would never have wanted a styrofoam ANYTHING installed in my home. I imagined the cornices being whacked by a flying indoor football or frisbee and snapping in half.
The last styrofoam cornices I made were a mini disaster. I had made three, 2 for standard single windows and 1 for a triple slider, for a kitchen. Those days I worked late into the night almost all the time so I could be with the kids during the day. I had the cornices wrapped and ready to be installed late in the afternoon. My youngest, E , was being his normal bouncy self ....yup...jumped right on the cornice for the triple slider and snapped it in half.
He's eighteen now and still will mention it occasionally......only now we laugh. "Remember when I stepped on that styrofoam thing ,Mom?"
"You actually jumped on it."
"Jumped, stepped...whatever. It broke. Remember you cried?"
"Like it was yesterday"
I did sit down and cry when it happened. I was the kind of tired that I haven't felt since my kids were little. I had to have a few moments of self-pity before I could snap to and fix the darn thing. Yay for duct tape! It took longer to fix it than it took to make it from scratch. I didn't have the money to pay for a new kit AND I desperately needed the pay-check I would get when I installed it.
I told the designers I would never make another styrofoam cornice....and I never did. I wonder if any of them are still out there. I know the cornices I make from pine will last...and they can be covered and recovered.

Cornices are the most expensive, material-wise , of any window treatments I make.They also are a lot of work to make and install. I know I don't charge enough for them. Pricing has always been my Achilles heel.

Cornices are a good solution when you don't want something fussy looking. They can be very tailored. Adding trim finishes the edges nicely but a self or contrast piping works as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Dad

This is my favorite picture of my father. Today would be my dad's 80th birthday. He passed away in January of this year . We love him and miss him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Bye Misha

Misha 1994-2009
The beloved dog of close friends has gone where all dogs eventually go. Peace at last. We will miss you. Sending warm hugs to Janet, Anne ,Brock and Yeltsin.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happinesss is........

It's a little early here to start planting outside but I'm ready to start seeds indoors. We were teased , as so often happens in this "wait a minute" climate, with a beautiful weekend only to wake to a dreary and raw Monday. Ah well, better Monday than Sunday. I filled my flats with seed-starter mix and soaked them. I'll plant this week and in the next few weeks to get things started.
I dream of some day having a greenhouse. Only a dream,though. The list of things that come before that is a mile long. I am happy to see so many things starting to poke through the ground. The color in our yard is an awful grayish -brown that I can't wait to be rid of.

The crocuses are coming up around the River Birch. We planted the Birch 2 years ago and it is my favorite of all the landscaping decisions we have made. The bark is a cinnamon color and it peels back so beautifully. I really have to plant some purple crocuses this fall.

Things will be bursting soon.

I also spent the weekend turning hems on a couple jobs I have going. Yes. I hand-hem the bottom and sides of most drapery jobs. This is tedious but it pays off in the final product.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Served the King of England

I loved this movie. It tells the story , in flashback , of Jan Dite's rise and fall and reflection starting at his release from prison. (After serving 14 years and nine months of a 15 year sentence...good behavior, you know.) We are told in voice-over that the diminutive Dite's life's ambition is to be a millionaire. It's a serious story told in slap-stick style.

In the 1930's , in Prague, young Dite starts out selling hot dogs at a train station. There he comes in contact with Walden, a Jewish businessman, who will turn up briefly several times in the movie and will become somewhat of a mentor to Dite. He will see him again at a train station in an entirely different context. Dite's rise takes him from hot-dog vendor to busboy, waiter to Head Waiter,and eventually millionaire Hotelier. There are some dips in the rise and an eventual fall.

Dite has much luck with women in spite of his tiny size. The decadence of the time and place is shown in generous proportions through beautiful women being used as playthings and the indulgences in food and potables for the rich.

The photography is beautiful throughout. Whether we are in a brothel or a bar, a restaurant or a hotel the interiors are lush and gorgeous.The camera leaves out nothing and for those of us who love decoration and design it is an unending treat. The food preparation and service are treated with the same care. The dinners and banquets depicted in the movie are a delight to behold. I've always heard that Prague is a beautiful city and it is higher on my list of must-sees after this movie.

The beautiful photography is reason enough to see this movie but there is more.

Dite's ambition makes him selfish and blind to what is going on around him. At the beginning of the war Dite has become Head Waiter at a posh hotel restaurant. There he has another mentor, Skrivanek, the M'aitreD. As the German's move in he does not join the resistance but becomes a sympathiser due only to the fact he falls in love with a woman his size.

There is a brief but profound scene where the happy hustle and bustle of the dining room merges seamlessly with the joyless room after the German Occupation.

Dite betrays,in different ways, both his mentors. His eventual riches come from the suffering of others. Though this terrible time is treated lightly in the movie I think it is because the camera and script shines completely through Dite's eyes and mind and does not try to make us feel anything. We are merely presented with Dite's view of life. There are times when Dite has a tiny twinge of conscience and it is presented as just that; a twinge.

A still oblivious, but rich Dite is imprisoned after the Commmunists take over. It is his post-imprisonment time that finally causes him to reflect (both literally and figurativelly).

Be aware that there is nudity and some scenes of sexuality, though not graphic.

In Czech with English subtitles.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ultimate Kitchen Sink

This looks like it is being used in a Bathroom. Don't you think it would make the ultimate kitchen sink. Found this and many more beautiful things here.
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

This just in..............

I don't know if anyone cares..............Whose husband just called to say he has Leonard Cohen tickets? MINE!!!
Who's going to see Leonard Cohen on her anniversary? ME!!!
Ok, no more whining. I am really happy right now.

Looks like sunshine..

This was one of those jobs that was a joy and a pain to do. I love the fabric, a sunny golden silk that is an unusual 118"W, with the stripes running horizontally. I was a bit of a wreck about the length of the panels, lined and interlined!
I install 99% of the jobs I do. In this case I told the designer that she would have to hire someone to do the installation. I'm not a real lover of heights; ski lifts..yeah,! I have an eight foot ladder and if I can avoid going higher, I will. The man who installed these panels and the high Butterfy Balloons was pretty easy-going about the death-defying act of Window Treatment installation.

The panels obviously were done with the stripe running horizontally, as the fabric ran. The Buterfly Balloons (also known as London Shades) were done with the stripe running vertically.

I was very happy , as were the Designer and client , with the way they turned out. Just a beautiful, sunny room.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Before you know it.......


TURNS INTO THIS...............................

But never fear...Trader Joe's is here................

Spring is on it's way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


They added a second show. I'll be at a funeral when the tickets go on sale. Hmmmnn...I really need this show.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Leonard Cohen

This man....this man is touring. And I won't get to see him. I love a live music show..we go to a lot of them. A variety of different genres, too. But, oh my god...this is the one that could make me swoon. Just a few weeks ago..I re watched I'm Your Man again and fantasized about seeing him live. W (my husband) assured me that we would see him if he ever chose to tour again. I laughed at the silly boy and told him I thought it wasn't likely to happen.

W came home Friday night with a clipping about the tour.. A (our daughter) emailed me from Edinburgh about the tour...Yes! Boston.. at the Wang..on our Anniversary! Tickets went on sale this morning...and promptly, I mean promptly sold out. I tried online..I tried by phone..I tried, and I cried.

I am hoping they add another date. Please, please, please. I can't believe L. Cohen will be in Boston and I won't be able to see him. He is 74 years old and this is his first tour in 15 years. Did you see him recite Tower of Song when he was inducted , finally, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I want to see him. stomp , stomp. Stomp.

If you haven't seen I'm Your Man then I suggest you watch it. You are in for a treat. A sublime musical and documentary experience awaits you.