Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ABC Carpet and Home New York

I Have never in my life set foot in a store so beautiful as ABC Carpet and Home in New York City. I was lucky enough to spend hours in there last weekend when I made a trip up there to meet my lovely girlfriends from England, Tracy and Sylvie.  At one point Sylvie announced that she thought she might collapse with sheer joy!

We all moved through the store completely agape. What a superb collection of found and vintage objects as well as hundreds of beautiful new designs. I was in heaven. The prettiest place I have ever been.  I can't wait to go back!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Bauble Nest

My Business partner, next door neighbour and dear friend Annie have a fashion jewelry and accessories company called "The Bauble Nest". We have been in business for about a year and are now investing in a website and some professional branding. 

This is our new graphic. Our tagline is: THE BAUBLE NEST ...decorate yourself. 

We would love to hear your comments here so please post one. Please go to our jewelry blog which is under construction. We have posted some images of our pieces and we plan to keep a visual diary of all that inspires us. Check out Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Place To Create

I keep coming back to the idea of a place to create. Kel saw this picture and told me that it HAD to go on my blog. She often describes my style as "a beautiful mess". Even though I would like to be tidier, I love to hop from project to project and there is never enough time to pack it all away. 

I love the relaxed style of this office nook in the Tasmanian home of artist Katherine Woo. See this and other images of her home in Inside Out July/August.


Lately I am into wallpaper. I love the Brian Yates wallpaper on the right with its vintage post card motif, but I ADORE Shannon Fricke's use of the Florence Broadhurst's 'Shadow Floral' paper in dusty turquoise. Shannon Fricke ALWAYS gets it just right. When I grow up I want to have that same finely tuned style that she has!

Image from Inside Out March/April 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House Portrait

My parents in law own this historic home built in 1857. It looks out to a spectacular Morton Bay fig tree that is surrounded by agapanthas. One of the prettiest country views I've seen. I painted this as a gift to them earlier in the year. 

House Portrait

My Aunty Helen excels at admiring pretty things. As a little girl, she taught be to sew using the prettiest fabrics and assemble a bouquet from her very own garden. I recently completed a little house portrait for her which she uses on her personalized stationary with their family name and address on the back. 

Mary Janes

I painted these cute mary janes using a photo that my talented friend Kel took for me. I have been making personalized note cards for little girls using this image on the front. 

I gave the original to my little friend Phoebe when she turned one. What is prettier than a little pair of black patent mary janes!!

How gorgeous is this image!! I think I may have to paint this in art class tomorrow- yippee!

So American

I really love these Federal mirrors. The one on the left was in pretty bad shape, but a coat of white paint sorted her out! I imagine that one day, they will remind me of how much I loved living in America. 

And on that farm he had a ........

I Painted this 12"x12" oil on canvas for my youngest son's bedroom. I am currently working on another animal portrait of Sophie Belle the very pretty French Bull Dog. For commissions- contact me at 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Personalized Stationary

My sister in law recently got married. I painted the church where they were married in a whimsical style and transferred the image onto little thank you cards as a wedding gift. 

Purple Hydrangeas

I grew up with a huge hydrangea bush near our kitchen window. I never payed much attention to it. That's the thing about getting older, you get better at Admiring Pretty Things......
I am no expert baker, but I have celebrated both my daughter's birthdays with pink roses, since they were born. This is my stock standard birthday cake party trick.

PS. My Cath Kidston table cloth is one of my most favourite possessions. Love that girl!

Meals Outside

Nothing beats eating a family dinner outside. After months of snow and below freezing temperatures here in Chicago, we eat outside almost every night.

The serving window from the kitchen to outside makes it all so much easier

Margie's Flowers

I painted this 12"x12" oil on canvas for my great friend Margie for her living room. I worked from a photograph in Ron Van Dogan's book 'Bloom'.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I love the simplicity of this bathroom. Those claw footed tubs keep reappearing. Had better get one in the new house. 

Sweet Basil

My darling friend Lori has the most amazing booth called "SWEET BASIL" at Heritage Trail Mall on Ridge Road in Wilmette.
She has an incredible knack of spotting the most adorable "shabby Chic" objects.
She recently found for me a beautiful blue bench to go in my new mud room. It is upholstered in silver cow hide with rusty nail heads. One problem. Its too pretty to sit on!!!
A randomly placed rose. I do this every day.... don't you?
A claw footed bath AND a chandelier.  Totally decadent!
What is it about Chandeliers that makes EVERYTHING more romantic?!
Imagine curling up in here with a book on a Sunday afternoon. Bliss!!!
This one is of a white peony. Again a really big painting. about 3.5'x3.5'. I sold this one at one of my favourite stores - Seagrass in Winnetka,Illinois
I love the white penny  floor tiles. These are going in my downstairs bathroom for sure!
This one is hanging in our dining room. Its about 3'x3'. Everyone thinks its a peony, but its really a chrysanthemum. My mum has the smaller version in her bedroom. A mother's day gift last year. 
Loving these white floor boards. Can I do these with 4 kids and a dog?
I am always drawn to softer palettes. I painted this room from an old British Homes and Gardens magazine cutting I have been holding onto for about 7 years. I figure, if I can't have the room, I'll paint the room. 
Not sure it gets much more glamorous that Candace Bushnell's living room. (photograph courtesy of Elle Decor's So Chic)
My friend Karen, invited 7 girls to ski in Jackson Hole Wyoming in the Spring. Wow what a trip! Her parents have a magnificent home out there. Built from enormous logs and set against the background of the most magnificent mountain range. How lucky are we!!!! Truly luxurious in the most unpretentious and inviting way. Set to the side of this gorgeous home is a tiny cabin belonging to Deedy (Karen's mum). As a thank you I painted it for her. So inspired was I!
My Brother and Sister in Law have a particularly pretty house. I am practicing house portraits. This is one of my first. 
I adore this ktichen in the home of J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons.

I love the navy blue kitchen island. I think A Ralph colour. Also the concrete bench tops and exposed duct work.

 This photograph was published in the late great Domino Magazine, the passing of which is just too sad!

Right now I have a red door. I love it. Thinking about a turquoise door next time. My friend Kel gave me this cutting. Cheers Kel!
I found these on I think I will put 4 above my new marble kitchen island. Perhaps it will make life in the kitchen feel a touch more glamorous?
Oh for a dreamy office nook just like this one. No matter how small. A place just for ME!!
This one is hanging in Ruby and Mia's (my Irish twins) bedroom. A tribute to girly girls. 
I gave this one to my friend Julie. Was about 4' x 2.4' . Often hard to give paintings away, but I knew this one was going to a good home.
Another gorgeous image from Amy. How cute are these leather poufs. Also check out the gold wheat sconces. I just bagged a pair of French ones from the 1940s on Ebay for a crazy $98. joyous!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love to find gorgeous objects at a bargain price. There is something hugely satisfying in these times about pulling off a great look on a budget. My friends and I frequently visit Forever Twenty One check out , even though we are far away from being 21. Its being young at heart that counts right?!
Being the proud owner of 2 pretty turquoise lamps (courtesy of a rockstar find at Heritage Trail Mall on Ridge Road in Wilmette), I was inspired by a Jan Showers advertisement to paint this little vignette. I have mine framed in a vintage wooden frame and recently completed one for a friend who had admired it hanging in my kitchen. Cannot get enough of the colour turquoise and truly love the combination of pink and turquoise.  
My friend Amy is full of gorgeous ideas. She frequently gets me into trouble sending me messages from Etsy and Ebay about things I absolutely MUST have. 

One of her more amazing suggestions has been to frame an Hermes silk scarf. Look at the gorgeous aqua border and the subtle palette. We share an obsession with all things aqua and turquoise.