Monday, November 30, 2009


Phew! Thanksgiving was a whirlwind of family, friends, delicious meals and hunting for Christmas trees in the the Sierras.

But now, I am anxious to announce the winner of these beautiful Crane Stationers from the Martha Stewart holiday Collection! Thank you to all of you who entered. I enjoyed reading all of your holiday comments. It went a long way in putting me in the holiday spirit.

I wish I could send a box to you all! After a very scientific statistical analysis ( ehem....pulling a name out of the proverbial hat) the winner is...........


Thank you all again for playing along.

I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Hall Upstairs

Our lives are made up of bits and pieces aren't they? Things we've done, memories we've captured, stops and starts, all put together to make the composition of our life and what we are right now. Which isn't to say we might not change tomorrow or in the next moment. We will add another memory, big or small...perhaps monumental, or maybe just a whispered thought.

Our hall upstairs seems to have become a place where memories are stored. We pass by them everyday. The scene changes when the mood strikes or a memory is added. At the end of the hall I have a Biedermeier secretary that has been in my family for a very long time. Inside are old picture frames, and new. There are pictures of my Mom and Dad, my daughters when they were little, my in laws and grandparents. There are shells from beaches we have visited, and folk art from New Mexico, where my mother once lived. There are fortune cookie fortunes taped to the window glass and stuck into the frame from our many trips to our favorite Thai food restaurant and China Town in San Francisco....just the good fortunes though. There is a post card from a trip to Bodega Bay showing a scene from the Hitchcock film, "The Birds", which had been filmed there.

On top I have put one of my favorite Ironstone footed bowls, a branch I found in the street in front of our house, and a pair of exercise pins from the antique shop that Mom had once upon a time. The mirror I found at a garage sale, the faded mercury reflecting one of the star pendant lights I put up when we moved here.

I have an American Indian Rug that came from New Mexico on the Fir Plank floors. I think the floors are beautiful, being so different from the quartersawn oak floors on the first floor. The story as to why they used fir on the second floor I am sure is a good one. Often it was to save money by putting less expensive materials in the private areas of the home, but I wish I knew exactly why.

I put a faux bois table here. I love the color and the texture of the concrete with the wood of the floors and the white painted walls. The mirror on the wall above this table came from another life in Southern California when a new bride was trying to furnish a tiny house in Newport Beach. I have hung a little tramp art frame on top of the larger mirror. It frames your face when you walk by.

Life happens every minute. Before I took the picture, my daughter left a perfume bottle on the table before I noticed. But I like that it's there.

Every time I walk through this hall, I am reminded of things that make me smile. I hope you all have wonderful memories to be thankful for this coming holiday. I am thankful for you all and your sweet support for my little blog.

I wish you all the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please Help Me!

I have never done this before. Promote myself in a contest or give away. And I am kind of feeling a little ambivalent about it now too. But here goes.

The lovely Brooke Giannetti at Velvet and Linen blog has been offering a give away the last couple of weeks: a gorgeous Brickmaker's coffee table from Bobo Intriguing Objects.

Brooke had been discussing how things from retail catalogs such as Restoration Hardware or Wisteria can be made to look personal in one's own home just by how each person puts it together in their own style. She received a comment from Mark Sage, owner of Bobo Intriguing objects who offered three tables for a give away. His generosity is so amazing!

Well, I have been trying to furnish my office space, and on a budget, sometimes things can be a bit tough. I think this table would be so perfect!

So, I am hoping you all might help me out and send a vote my way. (pretty please?)

If you hop on over to the Velvet and Linen blog HERE, you will find the voting link on the upper right hand side of Brooke's beautiful blog and be able to read all about the contest and see all of the finalist photos. There are ten finalists, and three tables. I am hoping to be one of the three winners. (please!) Voting began today and runs through Nov. 29th.

I am not proud. ...PLEASE help me win one of the three tables? Thank you, thank you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gift Giving Season: Try Antiques

Beautiful French vignette. The settee was covered in a gorgeous yellow linen. I may be going back for this!

I always have my daughters fill out a little list of things they would like for Christmas every year. When they were little, we would take them to stores like FAO Shwarz and HearthSong and watch their faces light up with wonder. Things are a little different now. That kind of magic is fading to a degree, and I am apparently less equipped to surprise them, at least in a "good" way. Their lists have becomes much more specific of late. It can't be a white t-shirt from Target. It must be the V-neck "perfect t-shirt" from the Gap. And I have pretty much been banished from getting any "surprise" clothing. (And I thought I was one of the "cool" Mom's who had a handle on what kids were wearing.)

So this is my dilemma. What can I get them that they will remember and care about. An iTunes card is fine, but not a memory builder kind of thing. They are becoming young women with tastes of their own. They are well aware of the economic hardships we and others are facing this year and are very thoughtful about that. They are asking for a few necessities and a couple of books and some theater tickets. And we will be adopting a family this year from the Sunburst Project. But what is Christmas without some surprises?!

The girls are getting to an age where they think about their rooms and how to decorate them the way they want to. I was thinking that perhaps it is time to get them things that will stand the test of time. Things they can take with them into the world to feather their own nests.

Sienna Antiques

Last week I took you on a little tour of Chelsea Antiques, a wonderful shop in Petaluma, California. I had gone with my Mother to see her friends from the shop. We also had a chance to visit Sienna Antiques, which is right across the street. At the time, I was not thinking about Christmas. (One holiday at a time please! )But I have started to think about antiques as a perfect way to give my girls gifts that are more than the expected items on their lists. Antiques can be so much more: they can be stories and memories, they can be something worthy of carrying with them into their lives.

Spectacular Stained glass window. Couldn't you see this in a loft space?! And the settee and leather chest were very handsome.

I suppose in the past, young women built up a "Hope Chest". That sounds so crazy old-fashioned doesn't it?! Maybe the idea just needs a new name. (If you come up with one, I'd love to hear it! )

This dealer had so much to love in a tiny space: Vintage leather chaise with mattress ticking cushions, monumental concrete lamp, copper tub (!), and leather chairs....all wonderful.

So....what could I start putting together for them that is portable, useful now and in the future, and classic enough to translate into many different styles? Right off the bat, I come up with silver candlestick holders, decorative boxes, and plant containers. Perhaps mirrors or wall sconces would work as well.

The staircase is even used for display. The combination of the gilt mirror and concrete troughs...perfect!

But I am not just thinking about my daughters here. A gift from an Antiques shop may well suit almost everyone on your list. It will always be something no one else can give, and it can many times work double duty for you. For example, there are beautiful trays that can hold glasses for you bar, or accessories for a coffee table, or perfume bottles on a make-up vanity. There are mirrors that can be used in a plethora of different situations. There are pots that can hold an orchid or wooden spoons in your kitchen. I am thinking that a weathered metal box like the one in the photo below might be the perfect bread box I have been looking for. Imagination is all you need.

Industrial chic metal boxes paired with Empire styled mirrors and a silver patina dresser.

Pretty settee with garden gate as art. Love the sconces!

In going through the photos of the vignettes at Sienna, I was thrilled to see how things were displayed in ways that were not immediately expected. Case in point: the garden gate above is being used as a room divider and "art" above the sofa. Below you can find Streetlamp glass globes used as accessories. I can also see that they might make wonderful lamp bases.

Streetlamp Globes paired with Asian ans seafaring inspired decor.

I think many of us feel the pressure to go to a mall to buy gifts, like it is the "go-to" shopping experience of the season. I don't know about you, but the anticipation of the crowds, non-existent parking and the mass market homogeny of it all just knocks the seasonal joy right out of me.

The colors are what drew me into this space. So different that the other spaces with the graphic Zebra art, vibrant rug and bright fuchsia pink walls.

Time to cut the ties and try a new kind of shopping. Sienna Antiques is a grouping of individual antique dealers sharing the same space. But that is where it's similarity to a "mall" ends. There are three floors of personal magic here. Each object was picked with care and is wholly unique. And the styling is just beautifully done by each dealer. Each space has it's own distinct personality.

I wanted to just sit and have tea in this charming room with it's Empire marble topped table and white and gilt chairs.

Boat model with it's own trailer. So very cool for a beach house!

This rolling table is so, so cool! And column fragments always work. Lots of Ironstone here.

These religious plaques would make a great wall grouping

LOVE these lamps!

More Ironstone on a beautiful green metal table

Great grouping of objects: bamboo chaises, chest of drawers, and I love the pagoda candle holders

Beautiful colors: apple green walls, marine blue chaise cushions, the cobalt blue elephant, turquoise pots and moss green fish.

I thought the unexpected periwinkle blue chair perfected this otherwise traditional vignette.

Lots of collectibles here, and one dealer specializes in all things wine related.

Using the gates on either side of this huge mirror - loved it! Again, this periwinkle blue cabinet freshens it up.

The candelabras here on the table and the carved chest were beautiful, and I loved the green inside the black shelves. And the capitals on top of the shelves, great idea!

I hope you all have a chance to get out and try a different approach this year. I'll let you know how it goes for me! It might be a little too soon for a couple of teenagers to appreciate, but a mother can always hope!

Sienna Antiques, Open Daily 10-5:30

119 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA 94952


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Auctions and Art, What Could Be Better?!

15012 W Avenue D, by Richard Gilles

Art is such a personal adventure. What appeals to each of us is emotional and varied. Many of us think that art is beyond the envelope of our pocketbooks. So we put off collecting art that would enrich our environments until we think we can "afford it".

Witness, by Deladier Almeida

So.....this is one of the things that is so great about Sacramento. It has a burgeoning art scene that is vibrant and very much alive in this somewhat hazardous economy. The thing is....Sacramento is an inspiring and still affordable place for talented artists to work. It is growing and there are many artists that are coming here to set up their studios. This atmosphere translates into a lot of good things for you and me.

Portrait of a Young Woman, by Ruth Coelho

And....I have very good news. This Saturday, November 21, the Center for Contemporary Art is having their 2009 Benefit Art Auction for all of us who love art and would like to add to, or start a collection. Whether you love photography, paintings, etchings, sculpture or beautiful objects, you will find something to intrigue and satisfy your desire for art.

April Tailings 2008, by Julia Couzens

There will be a live auction, as well as a silent auction, so every price range will be represented. Many, many pieces have been donated for this event. I am showing just a smattering here.

Serenbe, by Lisa Barker

So, if you are in the Sacramento area this weekend, and enjoy amazing art, I hope you will join me in support of the Center for Contemporary Art at the Auction!

Darryl Forney, Darryl Forney Self Portrait

Tickets are $25 each or 2 for $40 if you purchase in advance (at the door, tickets are $35 each or 2 for $50). Tickets may be purchased below, in advance at CCAS or you may call the museum for credit card sales.

The Center for Contemporary Art is located at:
1519 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-5202

A grouping of pieces for the silent auction

I hope you will be inspired to add some art to your life!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Four of the six pre-designed Martha Stewart Holiday Cards

I thought it quite fitting that I start out my Holiday Season doing something that I find the most heartwarming this time of year: the giving of gifts.

There is something about finding the perfect thing for each person on my list and wrapping it just so that puts my heart in the spirit of the season. This will be my third Yuletide of writing katiedid, and I thought it was high time that I show you all my appreciation for your visits and comments over the last few years. I enjoy putting out katiedid so much and you all make it all so worth it!

Crane Stationary in partnership with Martha Stewart, has been very kind in working with me to bring you a very special gift. What could be better than Crane, an American company that has helped us with our holiday cards, bridal stationary and invitations since 1801, joining with the doyen of holiday entertaining to create the new Martha Stewart Stationary Collection for this Holiday Season? This Collection includes a line of beautiful, personalized holiday cards and invitations, and pre-designed boxed cards available now through select Crane stationers and Crane's Website HERE.

Calligraphy Santa, inside message: "to be jolly"

I am so excited about this give away! Typically, the Boxed Holiday cards come in sets of 10 cards of one design in their beautiful light blue Crane box and are priced at $20. But for this give away, I worked with Crane to put together a special box of twenty cards with envelopes, made up of four different designs (five each). Isn't that kind of great?!

Peace, inside message: "on Earth"

So, I will be sending out this box of Holiday Cheer to a randomly selected reader and this is all you have to do:

Leave a comment of your own thoughts on Holiday Cheer, be they family gatherings, decorating, food, travel, or any special thing that puts you in the spirit. I will pick a winner at random and announce the winner the day after Thanksgiving, November 27th, 2009!

Calligraphy Tree, inside message: 'Celebrate the Holidays with a flourish"

So please don't forget to check back!!!! I will be needing an email from the winner so I will know where to send your gift!

Under the Sea, inside message: "Wintertide. Christmastide. Yuletide. Hope they're All Merry!"

And thank you so much for coming to visit me at katiedid. I look forward to your comments everyday, and appreciate you all so very much.

I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where Do Designers Find It All? Chelsea Antiques

Beautiful vignette: Linen covered chairs, hotel silver, gilt mirror. A simple painters drop cloth as the backdrop ~ good trick!

My mother used to live in the Northern California town of Petaluma, where she was one of the dealers in an antique shop. She moved to Sacramento to be near me and my family about 5 or 6 years ago leaving behind a very close knit community of friends. Sorry Mom!! She had her birthday recently, so I drove her over for a surprise lunch with all of her antique loving compatriots. We had a delicious lunch and much reminiscing, then off to the antique shops to see what had changed since the last time we were here!

Front window of Chelsea Antiques

The Northern California town of Petaluma is known for it's abundance of extraordinarily good antique shops and Chelsea Antiques is one of the best. This is where Mom was a dealer. Chelsea Antiques is a two story collective of many dealers who all have their own unique style. They are all excellent at merchandising and putting together beautiful vignettes. Wouldn't you just love to have five minutes in each of their own homes?! I always wonder what they keep!

Great combination of intriguing pieces: vintage airplane model, English riding boot forms made into a lamp (love that!) a root table, and medical illustrations.

While Mom was visiting with her pals, I took the opportunity to take pictures of all of the amazing talent that goes into making Chelsea Antiques such a success story. It has been in business for about 20 years now, catering to top designers, the "rich and famous"and all of the antique lovers that flock to town. But if you think that has turned the heads over at Chelsea, you would be mistaken. The dealers and staff are welcoming and down to earth, making the shopping experience easy and so much fun.

I have a "thing" for mounted fish, specially when used in an unexpected way. Love the wire basket to the left, the shutters and large candlestick holders. may be asking yourself about prices. The prices are set by individual dealers and, for the most part, are very do-able for most of us. Antiques are an investment, and more often than not, if you decided to sell an antique, you will be able to sell for what you paid, if not more. And mixing an antique into a room of things from national furniture stores will give it character and make it "yours". And let us not forget that antiques are about the greenest way to furnish your home. So...go on...splurge a little every once in awhile. It will be something you will treasure.

Metal chairs on the wall become "art". The linen chairs were such an interesting contrast.

There was so much inspiration here. Just the way things are displayed made me look more closely at how I might use furniture pieces for my own design work, and my own home. There are those who sell French, English, Industrial, Swedish and Early American here, and the combinations the dealers put together is inspiring.

Still Life painting and wine bottle rack, nicely put together with an interesting slatted sideboard.

So I hope you enjoy this little tour of Chelsea Antiques. If you are ever in the Northern California vicinity, it is well worth a trip to Petaluma. But keep it under your hat, 'kay? I don't want all the Northern California designers after me for blowing their secrets.

This Swedish style settee was so fresh and pretty with it's white linen upholstery.

Early American mixed with Northern European. Very large scale things for that "California" look.

These concrete baluster lamp bases still have moss on them. So great!

Very sweet roll top desk, collection of pewter steins, a lovely mix

Again, it's in the mix: a Madonna, silver trophy, French pottery and beautiful concrete baluster lamp.

Grandfather clock was just marvelous....and already sold.

This dealer had a decidedly French flair: great urn lamp base, framed tapestry, and I loved the horse head plaque.

More French flavor with the Provincial Armoire, market baskets, glazed pottery and cane chair.

Beautiful Gate leg table, and the hug piece against the wall was used at one time in a kitchen no doubt.

There were a number of French smoking chairs in Petaluma on this trip. This pair was gorgeous! The mirror was a really good size for so many applications: above a fireplace, or a sideboard, or on a wall as "art" like it is used here.

Amazing architectural salvaged pieces. An if you look closely, you can see the metal balloon forms sitting on the back table next to the mirror. Lots of French wine bottles, and very well priced!!

Lovely French Bergeres and Armoire!

The gilt jester head almost came home with me, and I also loved the propeller!! Pretty gilt mirrors too. Again...great combination of stuff!!

Nice range of folk and fine to be found at Chelsea.

Chelsea Antiques is open daily from 10-5:30

148 Petaluma Blvd N

Petaluma, CA 94952-2905

(707) 763-7686

No....there is no website for Chelsea's I am sorry to say. But isn't the experience that much better in person? You can call for a list of dealers, and some do have individual websites.

And if you are planning a little antiquing and wine country vacation after seeing this, I don't blame you. Email me...I'll give you all the 411.