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Samantha Brown Visits New Hampshire

Quick bite for you today… If you want to know a little about the state where I currently live, Samantha Brown visits New Hampshire tonight on the Travel Channel. I heard Nahcotta may be part of the show as Sam stopped there during her travels. I’ve long been a fan of her show, so it will be exciting to see NH in the spotlight. Did you know she was raised here? I’m not from NH, you can say I’m just passing through and plan to relocate, but it’s very pretty and restful and if you love nature there is plenty of it as I’m guessing 80% of the state is green. So lush. And the coastal town of Portsmouth, which will be in tonight’s show, is simply lovely. It’s like a mini version of Portland, Maine. So typical New England. Very quaint.

Samantha Brown with Deb from Nahcotta pictured in front of the
collage art of Michelle Caplan from the winter Tiny Art Show.

I’ve blogged about Nahcotta before, a lovely (and popular!) art gallery and design + gift store in Portsmouth. They’re hosting another Tiny Art Show in September if you are interested in attending, and their winter show will be in February 2009 — for that show submissions are now being reviewed so please contact Deb for more information: gallery {at} nahcotta {dot} com if you are an artist looking to be part of a great show. Their opening night receptions are consistently packed and my artists friends who took part in the show were pleased with how well work sold, so go for it if you are interested!

So! If you are curious to catch of glimpse of what NH life is like, tune in to the Travel Channel tonight. In this area, the show airs at 10:30 PM EST but please check your local listings for the exact time.

Thanks Deb for this wonderful photo!

(image from deb at nahcotta)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, shopping, travel on July 24, 2008

Tonight: LA – Designers Networking Event

The fabulous Vanessa just informed me that the next Designer Networking and Social Event in Los Angeles will be held at Craig Olsen?s showroom* tonight at 7pm. The showroom is located at 130 N. La Brea (near Beverly Blvd). Please make it on time (7pm) so that there is enough time for introductions. And bring a friend – or two! You may invite other designers, product designers and showroom reps and owners. It’s a great opportunity to network so don’t forget to bring your portfolios and/or press information to share with everyone. These events always attract a terrific crowd of some of LA’s hottest up-and-coming and established designers so be there if you’d like to do a little meet and greet!

* Parking is available behind Olsen’s showroom. There is also parking available after 7pm on La Brea. You may contact Vanessa directly to RSVP or ask any questions. turquoise.la {at} gmail.com

(image from craig olsen)

Posted in events + markets, small business, travel on July 23, 2008

Magic Markers on Muslin: Your Thoughts?

I had huge reservations on posting this, I feared the home owner would contact me and tell me to either bite it or she’d do a drive by and take out all of my windows. But then I thought that if you have a living room that looks like this and you allowed the The New York Times to feature it then you must not really care about the opinions of others. And that’s pretty cool.


I’d love to get your thoughts on this NYC apartment that AT calls the Kidcentric Townhouse in the East Village. Homeowner Pamela Bell is one of the four original partners in the Kate Spade brand. In celebration of 15 years of hard work, this 42-year-old single mum has decided to take time off and dedicated her home to her three children. You can read the article When Perfect Is Not The Goal and view the slideshow here.

My opinion: It’s hard to judge how another person wants to live. Period. It’s Ms. Bell’s decision ultimately. Truth be told, I’m jealous that she has a $4.3 million townhouse. I could easily split time between there and Germany, I’d gladly trade that life in exchange for my New Hampshire home at any time. And another thing that I respect is that her home is painted in colors chosen by the children. Brilliant! The fact that the whole family was involved in the color selection is quite thoughtful.

I look at that sofa, marked up by her daughter and her classmates, and think it looks pretty cool. But then the practical side of me kicks in and that side isn’t too keen on marker art scribbled all over a very expensive sofa. And chair. But it isn’t mine, so who really cares. She likes it and good for her. My only wish is that she had offered the sofa pre-markers to me first and I could have given her my Room & Board one. (Sorry R&B, but John Derian wins in this case).


I’m not sure if their are other pieces in the home where she has allowed marker art… Perhaps the sofa and chairs are it and if that’s the case perhaps she views them as works of art and if so, fine. Go for it. But if the children have free reign over the walls and floors and anything else, I wouldn’t allow it personally because some of the designer pieces in my own home are like books, I cherish them and would never do anything to harm them. I wouldn’t draw in my favorite books nor will I allow my future children to mark them up. But who cares what I would do. This is Ms. Bell’s home. But back to the book thing, if I do have a book that isn’t quite a treasured piece (a 1969 cookbook that is already in poor condition) then I may decide to alter it in some way. Same goes for a dresser or chair that I no longer like. I give myself permission to alter it anytime I please – new fabric, new paint, etc. I think this may be the approach that she has taken here and so part of me totally gets it.

Now to make a sweeping could-be-controversial statement having to do with money. Another paragraph I dread writing but here I go…

I think it may also be a money thing. Clearly if you have millions to spend on a home then money is viewed differently than say, how I look at it. I will never own a home worth 4.3 million dollars. I have accepted this truth as most of us have. Big deal, I live large in other ways. I have lived on all income levels actually, from poor single girl to married woman with a crash pad in Germany. So I have saved a little cash and my bank account is okay. Just not million dollar okay. But I’m happy with what I have, but my mother was raised on a huge farm in Rhode Island and my dad was born in Kentucky to a working class family. Though I was raised slightly different, their roots influenced me. They were always quick to remind me of the sacrifices that they made as kids whenever I would play the “only child” card to get my way. They didn’t buy it, I wasn’t allowed to be the cherished only kid, I was to respect them, others, and our family property. I had my creative play space yes, but it wasn’t on the family sofa with my trusty set of smelly markers (cherry was my favorite). I recall when I was 4-years-old my mother gave me an original Shirley Temple doll, one that she was given for Christmas as a little girl. I took permanent markers to the porcelain face and to this day I still remember watching her cry. She wasn’t angry, she was deeply hurt. Years later she told me it was her fault to give it to a child in the first place, she should have waited until I was older and understood the value of things. It meant something to her and seeing her sadness impacted me so greatly that I looked at material possessions differently after that.

A cherished doll and a John Derian sofa are very different things so it could be that Ms. Bell does not attach herself to items in her home enough to really care what the kids do to them. If that is the case, I applaud her. Sometimes I wish I could detach from worry and not care about staining the rug.

What is YOUR opinion? How much decorating direction from the children do you allow in your own home (or would you allow)?

(images from the new york times)

Posted in real talk on July 23, 2008

West Elm Love

Have you received the latest West Elm catalog? I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite products and apparently so has Domino magazine. It’s all right here blogged today at Real Simple.

I’m feeling a total Bleu Nature vibe from this driftwood mirror!

Did you spot any, how do I put this delicately, items at West Elm that remind you of something or someone else’s work out there? Nothing stood out to me this time around except for the driftwood mirror… I always play this little ‘spot it’ game when my West Elm catalog arrives and I find at least a few things that look like something else I’ve seen out there. I guess this is to be expected, we’re all influenced by so many of the same things.

(images from west elm)

Posted in round-up on July 23, 2008

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