Monday, January 28, 2013


There are so many great fabrics out there right now, it is almost impossible to narrow things down when it comes to actually placing a fabric on a piece of furniture! Are you all finding this to be the case too?

Designers like those from Million Dollar Decorators all have fabric lines, and there are more and more less "famous" designers starting their own fabric lines as well (like my blog friend, Lauren Leiss from Pure Style Home blog and her LL Textiles) . Schumacher has picked up some of these celebrity designers like Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Trina Turk, LULU DK, Kelly Wearstler, Celerie Kemble and the latest addition, Mary McDonald. (If any of you were watching Million Dollar Decorator, you will recognize the inspiration for her Chinois Palais fabric.) It just keeps getting more fun to shop all the time.

I have been collecting thoughts for fabrics for a client Family Room and came across this large scale floral pattern by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher and it has all of the colors I am already using in other parts of the house. Perennials is another line of fabrics I use often since it is very family friendly (Indoor Outdoor fabrics are great!) I love the Zig Zag pattern of theirs (bottom right) The navy and white ikat is also by Perennials, as are the indigo woven textures (small samples). The other two coral fabrics, the stripe/ikat and the diamond embroidered pattern are also from Schumacher.

Can't WAIT to get to Design San Francisco this year  (February 6-8) to see all of the new design inspiration.
I will let you know what I find!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Messing Around

After putting away Holiday decorations, it seems that I have an annual clean slate on my front table in the Living Room. Most people fill that New Year's clean slate with noble resolutions, and while I know I really should lose a few pounds, improve my business, work on being a better mom, wife, daughter......I tend not to want to paint myself into a corner I can't get out of. SO....I put a little energy into finding some New Year inspiration and re-arrange this table"scape". I know it can always be changed, updated, added to, subtracted other words, there are no corners in which to get stuck!
Every January, my neighbors get together for a fabulously fun and delicious Progressive Dinner Party (more on that soon!). This year, we were on the Dessert team, and the dessert course was held at our I did have to put a quick something together for the party. My very quick response was a few books, a mercury glass sphere and some simple pillar candles (IKEA!) and a round mirror. After looking at some older photos of this table, I realized that you have not seen the new (old) lamps that came out of storage when we moved Mom from Petaluma to Sacramento. I have also put up the beautiful photograph by James Bleecker that I had in the Marin Designer there are a few bigger changes.

Here are a few of the past assemblages you may remember........

Shells, Ironstone and Flowering Quince.

Christmas mercury glass, silver punchbowl with a rosemary Christmas tree.

This one does have the new lamps, books, shells, green glass demijohn on the floor and fern.

A Fall collection of wicker covered bottles, antlers, gourds and white pumpkins.

So you see, I an inspired by experimentation and just plain old messing around til things look interesting. I usually use things I already have and add flowers or something seasonal. Do you have areas in your home you re-arrange regularly? I would love to hear how you re-energize your New Year!

AND I noticed that my new camera is taking MUCH better photos! So....I will make one resolution.....I will learn to master my new Sony a37 camera.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Elle Anticipation

Living Room of Ginnifer Goodwin, Photo by Hillary Walsh

The February issue of ELLE should be arrive any day now....any second. Yes, that's do hear my foot tapping. I am sitting at my desk knowing it is time to get started with yearly chores like paying association dues, Business Tax Renewal Notices, Business insurance fees, and how can I forget is tax season.

Is it any wonder I am sitting here daydreaming about Elle? After all....the coming issue will have a feature showing the house of Once Upon A Time's Ginnifer Goodwin's bungalow in LA. Ginnifer is also known for her roles on Big Love, Mona Lisa Smile and He's Just Not That Into YouShe is adorable, so it follows that her home would be too.

So let me know if you have gotten your issue yet and let me know if you think Ginnifer's home is worthy of her Snow White persona! The few photos I have seen appear to be spot on.

Monday, January 14, 2013


A couple of weeks ago, we went to Napa to visit a favorite Aunt and have a bit of Lunch at Oxbow Public Market. Oxbow is such a fun place, full of food purveyors of all kinds. There is a small farmer's market, an oyster bar, wonderful ice cream, cheese, tea, name it! Modeled after the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, it is a wonderful place to try an array of delicious treats.

On this latest excursion, we had so much fun at a place new to us that specializes in culinary antiques and curiosities. We were immediate fans of Heritage Culinary Artifacts..... 

Proprietress, Lisa Minucci, has been obsessed with all things involving food and wine since she can remember. It would only follow that travel would be a huge part of her life in order to follow her passion around the world. We are lucky to have access to her world-wide finds, all having to do with cooking, or, as I would put it....the good life.

I hope you enjoy a little foray into Lisa's world....a collection devoted to cooking.....

and even better...... eating!

to read more about Lisa and her latest adventures, I hope you have a chance to peruse her foodie blog, Morsels, and visit her Online Shop.

Open that bottle of wine, spread a little brie on a baguette and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Welcome Winter.......

 ........Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless" - Terri Guillemets

We had a most wonderful adventure for Christmas this year. We decided that shopping was not how we wanted to spend our time or money. We craved an adventure....we wanted to be somewhere that would bind us together with the threads of our combined memories....a sharing that was more than of just things. We are at a time in our lives where our sprouts have sprung into trees and will soon be on their own adventures, and also a time where parents will soon not be able to brave the rigors of traipsing through the frozen woods. So the time was now......and the place was one as magical as we could find...the Yosemite Valley......

We have been here in winter before, but it has been a few years, and it has never been quite so beautiful. We came into the valley when there had already been some snow, but it had just begun to snow again. It was like entering another world just past the gate. We chained up on the side of the road, and met a pretty women who was traveling with her own two daughters and her mother...just like we were. We helped her get her chains on her car and we all traveled on to the "castle" in the valley: The Ahwahnee Hotel. There was to be a concert there that afternoon, and while we knew we were not going to make it on time because of the snow, we hoped to see some of it. We did get there and listened to the carols in the historic lodge while the snow fell outside....and then we saw a familiar face! The woman we had helped was there with her family to see a friend in the choir. She thanked us again for helping her get to the concert in time to see her friend, and we were pleased to have spent the time helping out someone to kick off our trip. Our adventure was off to a perfect start!

I cannot say that there were no presents at all this year. There were a few....but they were important and they were specific to each person and what they needed and really wanted. For me....I had dropped my camera in the fall and had been limping along with no zoom and no flash for a few months. So this trip was the maiden voyage for trying out my new camera. I was all set to get a Nikon D3200, but was convinced to try out the Sony a37 at the camera store. There is a lot to love about this camera...and I will be taking some free training to learn all the bells and whistles. There are some major differences in how each camera I will be getting used to it in the days to come. So let me know what you think about the photos! (Thank you Tim for spoiling me!) 

I hope you enjoy a peek and enjoy the peaks.......

Misty morning on the valley floor
After a cozy dinner at the Yosemite Lodge by by a roaring fire, we settled in for the night anticipating and dreaming dreams of great day to follow. And it followed with a new blanket of snow and a gorgeous blue sky! Trust me when I say I had to severely edit the quantity of photos so as not to overwhelm you with "my Christmas vacation"!

Half Dome was magnificent dressed in white, and one of my favorite gifts this year was to see my Mom's face when she saw it for the first time. Born and raised in California, she had never been to heart grew three sizes that day.....

The light was ethereal, and everything was so quiet. We all just sort of fell quiet ourselves and stared at it all....

And thought very thoughtful thoughts......

While we did try to spend every minute outside that we could, we also had plenty of time to enjoy the Ahwanhee Hotel in all of its grandeur.....

The hotel was all decked for the Holidays. Fires were roaring....

Hot Toddies and Hot Chocolates were in great abundance....

Trees were adorned .....

A little warming up and relaxation was in order.....

Christmas Eve was fast upon us, so we headed back to our own lodgings to get ready for the Bracebridge Dinner, an 85 year old Yosemite Christmas Tradition. This is an event I have been wanting to attend for years, and this year we decided was "the" year! It is a "formal affair", so we all donned our finest. Thank goodness there was valet service. I cannot imagine how we would have slogged through the slush in our heels on this snowy night! I was lucky to have a vintage 60's lace coat from the old I. Magnin store in Pasadena given to me by my Mother to wear., not only very chic, but also warm......

There were women wearing long gowns and tuxedoed men all gathered for the Renaissance holiday feast.....

Could you tell I used my iPhone to take the photo? No cameras are allowed into the main Dining Room for the pageant! All very hush hush you know. We enjoyed all seven courses, sharing a table with a great family from Southern California and were satiated. There was caroling and court jesters....there were trumpets and arias....there was peacock pie and plum was merry and filling and great! Happy and tired, we made our way out of the hall, saying goodbye to all of the players in the pageant. I thanked them all for their performance, but was stopped by a couple in full costume who insisted they knew me.....I had no idea who they were and thought I had become part of the play, as many others had already been. But they insisted, and I realized I was talking with two old friends from college who were part of the production. You see....our freind was the granddaughter of Ansel Adams ( photographer and one of the founders and Master of Ceremony of the Bracebridge Dinner), so she and her husband had been asked to be in the pageant. It was a wonderful surprise to end a magical evening. We all had a drink together to cap off the evening. After wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, we headed back to our hotel and to bed to wait for Santa to find us all.....

We had Christmas Day Brunch at the Ahwahnee (Best brunch I have had in ....well.....ever!) and then went on a little hike to the Yosemite Falls to work off the Croque en bouche. There was more scenery to see and pictures to take....but I will leave you here at the Falls my friends.

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! 
Best wishes for a wonderful 2013 from all of the Denhams....and Fred

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a freindly hand and for a talk beside the fire....." - Edith Sitwell.