Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My next show
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Please stop by if you live in the area
lots of wonderful people and treasures

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Pam Scott of Catch All.
We both participated in a Christmas boutique at the
Convent of the Sacred Heart
on East 91st in NYC.
It was called Christmas from the Heart.

There is also a gigantic
Christmas Tree Sale at the school.

Each vendor contributed a percentage of her sales to
Christmas from the Heart.
Together with all the money raised at the Christmas Tree sale,
the school was able to give back to the community
through various outreach projects.
The students learned the value of giving
to those in need
as they prepared and organized the sale.

I loved everything about this boutique.
The people, the charity, the venue,
the students.
And to top it off, I am a Sacred Heart girl myself.
as are others in my family.

I remember that the organizers asked me to bring some items
for the young girls to buy.
So I made marbled pencils.
I spent many evenings
cutting and wrapping and glueing
beautiful marble paper around pencils,
and on notebooks.
I still have a few left.
Makes me smile still.
I think I charged $1 for 3 pencils.

But back to the beginning...my first show in December of 1991
at Convent of the Sacred Heart
on East 91st street, NYC
Christmas at the Heart.
I was still working
at a large NYC bank
and expecting Miss Is.
My plan was to build a business that I could operate from home
while being a mother.
It did not work out exactly that way
because I ended up working part-time for 17 years at another
big NYC bank
and running my business at the same time
while being a mother.
I was busy.
Still am.
But back to the story again...
It is boutique season again.
Next one on the docket is
Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
on December 3 and 4th

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another good poem to read and reflect upon this Thanksgiving weekend.


WE walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.

There's not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past's wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We out to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble.
Farseeing is the soul and wise
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o'er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Wednesday, November 24, 2010








the old family bird
from the table of my youth. makes me smile every year.

The Pumpkin

OH, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin,—our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I have always wanted to do before and after pictures...I arrive at a show with boxes and boxes, then I must transform a new space. Sometimes it looks better than others.

I had to work with a a tight space and a large black grid backdrop next to me...and I was not close to home so I could not run home to pick up extra material to hide the black screen...and I was split between two shows so my regular table covering was in Wellesley, oh well... The show was good and people loved the frames. I was asked to do more shows in the area which is always a goal - gotta keep finding new customers.
The final set-up
not my best
but it worked
catching up on my rest
ready for a peaceful few days ahead
Not great photos...but you get the idea.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New York Subway

The beauty of people in the subway
that evening, Saturday, holding the door for whoever
was slower or
left behind
(even withall that Saturday-night
& the high-school boys from Queens, boasting,
joking together
proudly in their expectations
& power, young frolicsome
bulls,& the three office-girls
each strangely beautiful, the Indian
with dark skin & the girl with her haircut
very short and fringed, like Joan
at the stake, the corners
of her mouth laughing
& the black girl delicateas a doe, dark-brown in pale-brown clothes
& the tall woman in a long caftan, the other day,
serene & serious & the Puerto Rican
holding the door for more than 3 minutes for
the feeble, crippled, hunched little man who
could not raise his head,
whose hand I held, to
help him into the subway-car—
so we were
joined in helping him & someone,seeing us, gives up his seat,
from us what we had learned from each other.

As seen on

"New York Subway" by Hilda Morley, from To Hold My Hand: Selected Poems 1955-1983. © The Sheep Meadow Press, 1983.

Now go here and read watch this video on the Compassion Project - a wonderful idea, so simple and yet so powerful. Engaging and thought provoking, and it made me smile. This link brought to me by Slow Love Life by Dominque Browning.

Just right for Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Tis the boutique season...
off I go to DC

Here are the directions if you live in the DC area
Connelly School of the Holy Child
on November 19th and 20th

and I double-booked
this weekend.
My sister Jeanne is helping me in the northeast.
Stop by the Wellesley Marketplace
on Saturday,
November 19

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I saw this photograph in
last Friday.
An early version of a memento/inspiration board.
This 1703 trompe l'oeil of a letter rack was painted by Edward Collier.
It is part of the recent and wonderful donation to the
National Gallery of Art in
Washington D.C.
by Linda Kaufman.

More on DC tomorrow;
I am on the road again for a round of trunk shows and boutiques.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Here is a photo of my favorite space at the Southport Rooms with A View last weekend . The room is by Libby Cameron, a Parish-Hadley alum. I forgot my camera but luckily I found these photos at StacyStyle blog - click on the link and you can see photos of all the spaces.

The walls were covered in framed drawings by Albert Hadley.
The book shelf on the right held some terrific titles,
including one book I never heard of:
A Decorators Notebook by Derek Patmore
published in 1952

Patmore "intended it to be a decorating primer for the masses" or
rather an English version of Dorothy Draper,
"but more erudite" as stated in the 1st edition comment on Nick Harvill's Libraries
This would be just the book to find at Baltimore's Book Thing.
click here to see all Meg's (of Pigtown Design fame) finds
at the Book Thing

The walls were covered in simple black and white patterned paper
with a touch of red in the grosgrain red ribbon trim at the
ceiling and wall edges.
Then there were other charming details like
the old Maxwell House tin coffee can with paint brushes,
a well worn hooked rug,
and there were lots of
wise old owls.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pam Scott
Catch-All Boutique
Time for Lyme Boutique
Greenwich, Connecticut
Also pictured is Libby Tuttle, (right)
another entrepreneur I know from the circuit.
Her business is called Designing Women.

Pam at the
Spring Boutique
Doubles, NYC

I met Pam about 20 years ago when I first created my business,
mrr design.

Pam is an inspiration to me.
She may not know it, but I have learned so much from her.
Pam's entrepreneur skills and winning attitude have been a model for me.
Over the years, I would see her at show after show.
And she has the most beautiful smile.
Her customers love coming back to her booth year after year.
She has quite a following along the east coast
from New England to Florida
the mid-west.

I do not how she does it year after year.
Pam must do about 20 shows in the fall/holiday season alone!
She has been in business for 31 years.

She is truly a delightful person
with lovely taste.

Here is line up of Pam's amazing assortment of products:
Elegant linens for the bath and tabletop
Beautiful nightgowns for ladies and children
Wonderful wraps for any and all occasions
Handmade decorative accessories
Monogrammed travel accessories
Candles and diffusers
Baby gifts galore

I am proud to report
that Pam is now carrying my monogrammed frames.
Very exciting for me
Pam is one of the first people I got to know and admire
on the boutique and trunk show circuit.

Thanks Pam for all I have learned from you about the boutique business.
You are a wonderful example of a successful boutique entrepreneur.

Pam was always ready to share information with me;
not everyone will give out advice or tips.
Often I encountered a survival of the fittest mentality,
but Pam was generous in her conversations with me.
And I am grateful because I have avoided some mistakes.

Pam stays at it year after year.
Her inventory changes a little bit each year
to keep up with the trends.

Charitable groups are continually seeking out Pam's expertise
for the organization of boutiques for their charity events,
like the Time for Lyme benefit in Greenwich, CT
For many years Pam organized the Breast Cancer Holiday Boutique
in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Here are just a few of the places that you will find Pam
this holiday season.


November 10, Wednesday
Greenwich Womens Exchange
Round Hill Country Club
Greenwich, CT 9:30am to 4:30pm


November 19 and 20
The Twig Fair at the Apawamis Club
Rye, New York
Friday, November 19th: 12 noon to 8:00pm
Saturday, November 20th: 9:00am to 5:00pm


November 30, Tuesday
Holiday Gift Boutique at the Greenwich Country Club
Greenwich, CT
Tuesday, Nov 30th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Wednesday, Dec 1st, 9:00am to 5:00pm


Stop by, you will be glad that you did.

Pam travels all around the country
up and down the eastern seaboard
to the midwest
and lots of stops in Florida.

If you want to find out where she is next
beyond the Connecticut area,
just e-mail me and I will have Pam get in touch with you.

PS. I have been wearing one of Pam's beautiful nightgowns for years.
Beautiful, soft, and white with exquisite smocking detail.

If you miss these shows,
check in next year
at the Holiday Spree
in early October
at the Shenorock Shore Club
in Rye, New York.

Friday, November 5, 2010

While in NYC a couple of days ago,
I spent a long time in Grand Central,
which is one of my favorite places.
I love the hustle and bustle.
No one ever bumps into each other.
The astronomical ceiling is quite simply amazing.

As I was looking at Grand Central's brilliant turquoise blue ceiling,
I was reminded of the new book by

Madame Castaing loved NYC:
she said it was the place where the streets smoked.

Madame Castaing also loved the same brilliant turquoise blue
that can be seen in Grand Central.
Looking at the book jacket and Grand Central
I was struck by the similarities:
brilliant blue
the seating and ticket booth -
I noticed how they both sit in the
middle of the room
as the focal point.
I also love how this wonderful seat changes over time.

and this perfect monogrammed stool.
Just love it.
Inspiration for my next project maybe.

bottom photograph: Francis Hammond, via Little Augury
other photographs: Emily Evans Erdmans, The World of Madeleine Castaing

Monday, November 1, 2010

Marisa Marcantonio, author of the terrific blog, Stylebeat, and former style editor of House Beautiful and O at home, wrote a wonderful
post on Albert Hadley's Rooms with a View,
the miniature showhouse in Southport, Connecticut.

Mr Hadley, founder of Rooms with a View and honorary chairman each year, is retiring this year, and closing his design firm, so I urge you, as does Marisa,
to visit Rooms with a View this week.
November 4, 5, and 6.
The vignettes will be wonderful, given the star line-up of designers.

And don't forget to visit the marketplace boutiques;
I was a marketplace vendor many years ago and loved it.
And to top it all off, Rooms with a View is located in beautiful
Southport, Connecticut.
You will have such a delightful time at the show
and wandering around the village.

While you are there, you must visit the Fairfield Women's Exchange,
a short walk away, where you will find a lovely assortment of gifts,
everything from beautiful hand knit baby sweaters and hats,
to handsome, well constructed wooden toys,
to objects for the house
and antiques.
And mrr design's wonderful pictures frames and memento boards.