Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amanda Nisbet: What She's Up To

The name conjures up images of fresh and colorful design, the perfect blend of tradition and modern edge, comfort and chic elegance.
You know her from her frequent forays into the pages of the top shelter magazines: Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, House and Garden and Southern Accents.

Many of you have been introduced through design blogs such as All the Best and La Dolce Vita (two of my personal favorites!!)

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Amanda and ask her a little bit about what she is up to right now. And believe me when I say, she has been up to quite a lot!
Here is some of our conversation:
How did you get your start?
I was a struggling actress and found myself getting more attention for the design of my apartment than for my acting talents so I transitioned from one creative role to another. I have to say my background as an actress comes in very handy as a decorator.

What/who inspires you?
I am so lucky to live in New York where I’m constantly stimulated and inspired by the art fashion, architecture and all the creative people who make their mark on this city.

How would you describe your own personal style?
Comfortable cozy, elegant and not too perfect. I like things to be a tad off balance and not too matchy and predictable. Formulaic decorating seems too “easy” for me I’d rather stretch myself and create more of a personal environment for my client.

Amanda has been working recently on a new line of chic fabrics and brilliant lighting.

Tell us a little about your new fabric line:

My new fabric line is essentially about the transformative powers of colour. I have 10 designs and 32 colours all hand-printed on either oyster linen, oatmeal linen or silk.

What was the inspiration for this particular project/product?

Some of my patterns are very painterly and loose some are more precise and clean. Achieving exactly the right shade and tint for my colours was of paramount importance. I was really inspired more by what I felt I needed yet couldn’t find for my own client’ projects.

What color are you and why?

Fuschia- its bright and happy gets along with everyone yet isn’t wimpy.

What is on your nightstand?

An Aquiesse candle, my kindle, “”The Week” “Laughter On The Stairs” by Beverly Nichols and “the New Yorker”

Here is just a peek at Amanda's new fabric line. Fresh, classic, colorful. I can just imagine all of the possibilities!

Pizzetta and Positano

Maderia and Chip 2

Alannah 2

Note in the first Living Room photo above, Amanda used her Chip 2 fabric on the stool behind the sofa. So perfect!

Amanda's full fabric line can be viewed on her website HERE and is available though the Holland and Sherry Showrooms.

Amanda has also introduced a fantastic lighting line which you can also see on her site. It is available through The Urban Electric Company.

It was so much fun corresponding with Amanda Nisbet. She is one of my all time favorites, and I have to say everyone in her office is top notch as well. Thank you all very much for your gracious attention!

Last, but not least, I just wanted to mention that Amanda Nisbet is one of the judges for the Bedroom Design Contest being held over at Ronda Carmen's All the Best blog HERE. If you have not had a chance to check out all of the amazing entries, please hop on over! AND there is going to be a "Reader's Choice Award", so do stop by and vote!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quadrille....You Make Me Smile

The latest from Quadrille's Home Couture Collection:

Persepolis and Taj.

Check it out HERE.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Busy Week, Overwhelming Actually....

So what do you do when you are trying to fit too much into a week (Art class chauffeuring, puppy shots, client projects, a traveling husband, school schedule foul-ups for a daughter, computer meltdowns... for starters) and then some other things try and push their way into the same week? Like the flu for example (two kids home from school)? Well...., I try to take a deep breath (or ten) and listen to some music that will make it a little more upbeat. This helped...... Especially drivng home on the freeway after taking my dear husband to the airport at 4:00 AM this morning.....windows open....wind rushing...radio loud.

Here's to a weekend where I hope to catch up with the music on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Sunshine

She is my light. Her smile and her wisdom draw friends and love like a moth to a flame. She can make me laugh with one look. She can dispell gloom with one thought.

There was a knock on our door this morning. A troup of friends were there to sing :"Happy Birthday" and whisk her away to school. She is blessed that way.

Happy Birthday sweet, sweet girl. I love you to infiniti and beyond.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday is Here. What are You Doing?

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

All Finished! The Emmy Green Room

Are you ready for the Emmy's this year? It looks like the Green Room is ready! Architectural Digest chose designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard which resulted in this global-chic space. Sort of makes you want to belly up to the bar and say: "Play it again, Sam".

If you missed it, I had posted about the brilliant designs of Mr. Lawrence-Bullard and the design sketches and concept board for the Green Room HERE.

A little clip of making of the 61st Prime time Emmy Award Green Room:


They make it look so easy, don't they?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Acorns and White Porcelain

The Oak tree out front is trying to tell me something: "Fall is fast approaching".

I was just playing around with some of my white "objets". I have things that are not quite perfect.: broken coral, a weathered concrete balustrade piece I made into a lamp (it still has green and brown paint on it that has worn through), a chipped vintage porcelain lunch pail with a metal lid. But I find them all beautiful and intriguing. Maybe more so than if they were perfect.

I found the lunch pail at the latest Sacramento Antique Faire and don't know a lot about it's origins. Has anyone seen one before? As I mentioned, it is white porcelain and has what appears to be a zinc lid that has clasps that wrap underneath the front and back. With all of it's imperfection, it is the perfect size for letters and postcards, photos and other small remembrances.

Perfectly imperfect.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Worth a Look: Mae Brunken's Beachwood Canyon Home

I saw this in the Los Angeles Times, here.

It looks like Mae Brunken is going to be on my radar from now on. You can tell just by looking at her: talented.

She bought this 1927 Spanish Colonial house in Beachwood Canyon, and decided to fix 'er up a little.

Nice, huh?

I especially like the bathroom! Such drama.

(Sorry about the lack of verbage....but I am off to the dentist....joy.)

To read the whole thing and see more pictures of this "chic girl and her house" click on over HERE. And to see her Interior Design Talents click HERE (quite a cool site!).

What are those Crazy Kid(s) Up To Now?!?!

Hi all!

Even if you are not a fan, I thought this was very well done! Just passing it along.

More info the guy(s) in the video here and here. Can you tell who is who in the video?

Have a great Monday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who's Doing the Green Room for the Emmy's This Year?

Architectural Digest chooses Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, an AD 100 designer with a stellar career which began at the ripe old age of 18....(I know!)! His past clients include the likes of Cher, Sir Elton John, Cheryl Tiegs, Christina Aguillera, Felicity Huffman, Tamara Mellon....the list goes on, let me tell you.
Before we get to the presentation board images for the Emmy Green Room, I thought it would be fun to take a bit of a trip down memory lane. I have chosen some of my favorite Lawrence-Bullard designs which have graced the pages of the leading shelter magazines. Just so you can see how stellar this designer is:

The photos show how adept Mr. Lawrence-Bullard is in any style, from traditional to contemporary. Perhaps the mark of a truly great designer is that one would feel comfortable in any of the environments they create. There is something about every one of these rooms that is very appealing: the mix of objects, the proper scale, the combination of colors.
It is small wonder he was chosen for the 61st Primetime Emmy Green Room design! So here is a sneak peek at the Moroccan oasis Mr. Lawrence-Bullard has created:

The designer acquired many of the antique items from 1st Dibs. The custom area rug is from The Rug Company. Edelman Leather supplied the leather floor tiles. Schumacher supplied many of the fabrics.

Martyn has been blogging about the progress (so cool), so take a look here.
And I love the fact that there is a Mood Board! (I always love to see how other designers present.)
For more info on the making of the Architectural Digest Greenroom at the Primetime Emmys, click here. It is quite interesting to compare the designs of the last eight years shown on the website. I think this year is going to be a winner.
AND don't miss those Emmys!!! Sunday, September 20 at 8PM (ET/PT) on CBS.
Who are you rooting for? Me, I'm loving Hugh Laurie of House, M.D. (which premieres Sept 21 BTW!)and Mad Men (of course!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photography Follow-up, and New Blogger Post Editor

Church on Matha's Vineyard
I wanted to follow up and give you all a couple of links to posts that are full of information about photography for your blogs. Joni at Cote de Texas did a great article, as did Between Naps on the Porch (also a lot of additional blogging tricks here).
One comment: Blogger does indeed have a new Post Editor, and I tried it out with this post. Not bad. But Blogger.....where is the spellcheck? Perhaps I am missing it somewhere. Thank you to Between Naps for bringing this to my attention! I obviously do not check my dashboard nearly enough.
An additional note on large pictures: I have had a few readers ask how to get large pictures on a blog. If you use LiveWriter, it should not be a problem to enlarge the photo at will without losing clarity. The only bother with Live Writer I have found is that photos will not appear in the sidebar of other blogs that use the link feature showing other blog thumbnails.
In Blogger, you must enlarge the photo in the "Edit Html" window. To do this, you need to look for the width and height pixel numbers. They look like this "WIDTH: 300px" or "HEIGHT: 400px" (most common sizes for photos) Go in and double these numbers (ex.: "600px" and "8oopx") You must also find the number following the "s" right before your photo name. It looks like this: :"s400". You double this number also. Ex. : "s800". These steps will double your photo size while maintaining clarity. It may not work as well for photos you are grabbing off the web. But it works great for original photos and scans. Now the photos may be too big. In the "Compose" window you can now make them any smaller size you wish. NOTE: you need to have the Minima Stretch Template for this to work.
Happy blogging everyone!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blogging: Taking Photos

My Birthday Flowers

I take alot of pictures for my little blog. Some turn out. Many don't. Some make me think," Did I really take this picture?! It almost looks sort of professional or something!". Sometimes I even think I have a new career ahead of me: "Stylist, photographer extraordinaire". Sometimes......then reality sets in and I realize, mostly, it is luck. Yes, I think I can compose a pretty good shot. But I have no special camera (just a point and shoot, Casio EXILIM), no special lighting . I have learned quite a bit about how to "get by" from reading other blogs out there. And I sometimes tweek a photo with Picasa.

Roses in the Evening

But sometimes, a photo just turns out all on it's own. And it makes me feel pretty good. Not only because I, and my little camera made this image, but because I will have a record of something I saw that was beautiful to me and was fleeting.

Vegetables from Napa

I said that photos turn out sometimes because of luck. But perhaps that is wrong to say. It is not really luck to recognize that something is worth recording, and to compose that "something" into an image that is clear, balanced and interesting. I think that comes with practice, and learning to adjust our mind's eye to the way the camera can capture a scene.

Flowers on Bench from Aspen Hollow

There are many bloggers out there that have mastered this quite well. A couple of bloggers who have amazing skills are Leah Phinney from A Day that is Dessert, and Isa from The World According to Isa. I have learned just by looking at their photos. If you visit and look through their posts, you will see what I mean.

Lake Tahoe Sunset

So....I have some questions for you. Have you taken photos that you think turned out exceptionally well? Did you learn on your own, or take a class? Do you take many of your own photos for your blog, if you have a blog? Do you have any tips that make for a great picture? I'd love to see your masterpieces and share with everyone if you would like to send them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How You Find Out About Things: The Red Egg Gallery

Debi and Chris

I had a roommate in college, Nicki, who was a graphic arts major. After graduation, she went into the printing and design industry eventually working with big names like Apple Computer and HP. She met alot of people along the way. Nicki started her own Marketing and Design company awhile back, Black and White Design.

Nicki is what is referred to as a "people" person. Cliched term it might be, but Nicki has that ability to connect and befriend almost everyone that comes her way. One of those people, during the early days at Apple, was Debi Lorenc. They worked together for years and became good friends. Eventually Debi became a partner at Black and White. Through Nicki, I became aware of Debi and her husband Chris and what they are doing in their lives right now.

I thought you all might be interested too.

Debi and Chris have taken a leap of faith, literally. They have begun a journey around the world and into their hearts to find a way to unite other hearts through art and craft. They have begun a travel blog here, with the intention of establishing an art gallery that unites and celebrates the differences in cultures around the world.

Here is their mission:
The mission of Red Egg Gallery is to awaken in people a healthy, dynamic integrity of nature, art, community and wisdom in their own lives in such a way that they celebrate, support, learn from, and connect with that same dynamism in other local places and traditions. We imagine the whole as a peace-process supporting diversity.
We are creating a new paradigm for a gallery that supports high-level artisanal craftsmanship and artistic bio-cultural values that already exist in diverse local places around the world. While we support traditional art, we also support innovative work that also deepens and enhances the overall integrity of nature, community, and the wisdom traditions of its place. Our activities will be more active, participative, and community-building than the term “gallery” usually suggests, and we will partner to create artist-led workshops, lectures, performances, and symposia.
These principles will guide the
on-line gallery as well.

Their blog has the most beautiful and thoughtful photos of their travels and the people they meet.

They have gone to places most of us will never see in our lifetimes. They show these places through their artistic eyes and are able to pass along their inspiration.

I urge you to take a look at their wonderful travels. I am looking forward to opening of Red Egg Gallery this fall.

These are just some of the artisans and art that will be represented:

Umfa, a Tuareg jewelry artisan with his daughter, Rhiesta - Niger

Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quiler - Alabama

Photography by Tri Huu Luu - Vietnam

Rufina Amaya Marquez, Survivor of the El Mozote Massacre - El Salvador

Detail od Haida Pole. Haida Gwaii - British Columbia

Gaze of Tara by Losang Gyatso - Tibet

"Leap and the Net will appear" (Zen saying). I think Debi and Chris have found their net.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!