Too Fast and More

Dasher poses for his portrait.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know we had to put our Abyssinian cat, Sami down. Months later, Dasher came into our lives. As you can see from the picture above, he has become quite the handsome boy. He’s so full of energy; more so than any other Aby I’ve owned. He seems to want that continued feeling of comfort he felt with his mother; even at one year old. He holds his blanket in his mouth and “kneads” it. He’s very intent on it and nothing stops him once he starts. Kneading can actually be a sign of happiness or contentment. My husband says the pizza shops could hire him to knead their dough!

Dasher kneads and holds his blanket in his mouth which can be a sign of happiness or contentment.

I love exterior doors that speak to you as you approach. It really can make a difference inside and out. Old-fashioned farm-style Dutch doors are making a comeback for interiors and exteriors. Bob Vila, best known as the television show host on This Old House, explains that the Dutch door originated in Holland in the 17th century. “Their purpose was purely functional.” “Built with a bottom half and a top half that opened separately, the bottom was kept closed to prevent rodents and farm animals from wandering into the house, while the top was opened to let in light and fresh air.” I follow studiomcgee on Instagram and the following pictures of entrances are from their postings. So beautiful!

Posted on Studiomcgee Instagram. So interesting and beautiful.
Posted on Studiomcgee Instagram.
Posted on Studiomcgee Instagram, the photo is from Kate Walker Design in Australia.
Another beautiful entrance posted on Studiomcgee Instagram from Doran Taylor Interior Design based in Salt Lake City, UT

I recently updated our entrance as much as I could since living in a townhome has its restrictions (my husband thinks that’s a good thing!) I added shiplap to the exterior ceiling and my interior foyer ceiling, replaced an outdated fixture, painted the front door black and replaced one French door with two smaller French doors. It visually brought elegance and character to not only the foyer but the kitchen. I bought a wonderful reclaimed wood cabinet for my kitchen. I had come upon it in a showroom at Furniture and Accessory Market in High Point, NC. It has given me so much more storage and a place to display my beautiful serving pieces that were hidden away. The glass design on the front mimics the design on my glass front kitchen cabinet. The cabinet came with a painted blue/gray interior. I had my painter repaint it to match my kitchen wall color; Benjamin Moore Adams Gold HC-18.

My updated foyer and kitchen.
A beautiful cabinet made from reclaimed wood serves as a display cabinet for my serving pieces.

I’m having deja vu. I wrote a blog in June of 2017 about all the rain. I mentioned all the good the rain brought to my life. One was how beautiful my garden was. And so, here we are again. My Kousa dogwood tree has never had so many flowers on it. It obviously thrives on cooler wet weather.

My garden at its best with all the rain.

My Kousa Dogwood displaying more flowers than its ever had in 10 years.

Recently my husband and I were playing golf at Green Lakes where I noticed a beautiful tulip magnolia tree in full bloom. What a beautiful tree. The flowers stand upright in what seems like endless perfection. Obviously, the tree has loved all the rain as well.

A beautiful bloom on a tulip magnolia tree in Green Lakes State Park.

One last thing that I wanted to share with you was that I always felt my friend, Barb, would be living here and in my life forever. I’m an upbeat person but boy it’s hard not dwelling on the fact that most likely I won’t ever see her again. Her daughter, Debbie, moved her out to California to be with her so she could take care of her. At 91, she still radiates love and caring. I owe Barb a lot and I told her so in a letter I wrote to her recently. She taught me the meaning of spirituality. “It’s not necessarily religion she said, “It’s taking notice of the cloud formations, the birds, and appreciating everything around you.” “Don’t just live, live and be aware every minute.” It was then that I stopped playing music when I walked. This was brought up again recently in a speech my 95 year old friend, Dr. Paul gave at the Retirement Home in Fayetteville. In the last part of his speech, he listed the top ten things we should all do.”Living in the quiet” was among one of the top ones.

At a recent gathering to say our goodbyes, I hugged Barb for what would most likely be the last time. Tears began to roll down my cheeks and continued on the drive home. I met Barb when I was trying to quit smoking and needed additional income. I advertised in our community newsletter for pet sitting. Barb contacted me which was over 30 years ago now to watch her Shepherd mix, Sheba. She was “put” into my life when I needed her the most. She loved gardening and decorating and so a friendship cultivated. I learned a lot about gardening and Barb loved sitting on my deck amongst my many potted flowers. “A slice of heaven,” she would say. I loved helping her decorate her home and every time she would come home she would say, “My home wraps its arms around me.” It’s so hard to imagine her leaving her home for the last time. She only stopped in her townhouse briefly when she and her daughter came back to put the townhouse on the market; “It hurt too much to stay any longer,” she said. When mentioning the sadness I felt to my yoga instructor, Katrin she said, “Just look at it as a transformation of a friendship.” Many of us have felt that transformation. I realized I’d felt it before when I was 11 years old. I have the image embedded in my memory block of my family driving down our street in Buffalo, New York as we headed to our new home in Manlius, New York. My then best friend was standing in the middle of the street waving goodbye. As we got farther away, she picked up her gait and began shouting and running down the street after us. Tears flowed from my eyes as they have now. Friends come and go and I firmly believe each and everyone is put in our lives for a reason; some for a day and some for a lifetime. Life goes too fast….Enjoy each and every day and all those who cross paths with us.

Through the Seasons

It’s amazing to me that this little skinny, big eared, long legged, big foot kitten could bring so much joy to me. When I brought him home at 13 weeks, my husband said, “He looks like the “reindeer” dog in the Grinch Stole Christmas. And so, the name Dasher “Dash” was adopted.  As you can see in the photograph below, he is trying very hard at moving into first place as the most photogenic Abyssinian I’ve had. He’s already stolen the hearts of my fabric reps. He’s sitting on top of the Kravet Fabric Representatives new fabric samples he was showing me.

I created a tree for the Manlius Historical Societies Miniature Tree Festival. I started working on the tree at home and Dasher decided if he stood really still I might not notice he was playing with the flower I had just glued on.

I hosted my Garden Club at the Cavalry Club where I worked on and completed the tree giving the members tips along the way to creating a unique and interesting holiday tree. My theme this year was blue and white in keeping with the trend of home design colors.

Work in progress on the 4′ tree I was donating to the Manlius Historical Societies Miniature Tree Festival. My color theme was blue and white.

A beautiful bedcovering in blue and white from my bedding company Eastern Accents is accented with red.

Our 8 year old Abyssinian Remi, quickly let Dasher know who was boss with a growl and a hiss. But as you can see in the photo below, we’ve definitely made some progress towards being pals.

One of my personal color favorites is the vibrancy of a brilliant lime green. I always seem to find it around me or it seems to always find me. I’m not sure! A friend of mine was leaving my home one day and a vivid green frog hopped out of the garden. She looked up at me and exclaimed, “Even the frogs match your decor!” The frog, who was in my garden and pond all summer turned around to look at me and I swear he give me a wink. “Perfect timing,” I said to him winking back.

“My” frog sunning himself in my summer garden.

Vibrant green on my deck fern is dappled by the rising sun.

My garden hydrangea turned a beautiful green this year for the first time. Paired with leaves from one of my hosta plants, I made a beautiful arrangement for a pre-wedding party my sister had for her stepson and his fiance.

We replaced all our fence post knobs this summer as they were rotting. I found wonderful bird post knobs and put two of them flanking the deck steps.

Although I’ve tried in the past and was unsuccessful, this past summer, I finally attracted the Baltimore Orioles to a feeder filled with grape jelly and an orange. The males are a beautiful shade of orange and black while the females are less striking in appearance, with yellowish-orange and dark gray or brown plumage. They frequented the feeder often and would chatter away before flying off when I infringed upon their space while working in my garden. They are a shy bird so getting a fairly decent picture of the male was a lengthy process!

While working on my blog, I was sitting outside enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean in Nantucket. I hadn’t been to Nantucket for many years and felt it calling to me to celebrate my 60th birthday. As I walked along the deserted beach early one morning, I couldn’t help but look back over the years that have gone by so quickly. I came upon a saying written on an old piece of driftwood in one of the village shops that I loved; “Live as though someone left the gate open.” I envisioned cattle/horses/dogs behind fences and all of a sudden the gate springs open. Running through the open gate they stop not knowing what to do at first then bursting into a run not sure which way to go but knowing they’ll find their way now that the burden of the gate being closed has been lifted. I, too, will live this New Year that is upon us as if someone has opened the gate. Hope you do too.

As I walked along the deserted beach one morning, the sun shone through the clouds creating a mesmerizing shadow upon the ocean.

The sunset created a backdrop for the metal sculpture of a woman commanding attention to the diminishing sun upon the ocean.

There was a Lillie Pulitzer shop in town and I tip my hat to whoever dressed the window box to coordinate with the window displays.

We had beautiful weather when we were there and rode our bikes to the Sankaty Head Light which is a lighthouse located in the village of Siasconset. It is on the easternmost point of the island. It was built in 1850, was automated in 1965, and is still in operation.

My husband, Rick, stops to rest on our bike journey to the Sankaty Head Lighthouse.

It was what I call a browned out fall as many of the trees donned rich shades of browns, rust and deep gold’s. A beautiful color palette for a cabin in the woods, a beautiful brick colonial home set in the Blue Ridge Mountains or a Log cabin set on a lake in the Adirondacks. Brown furniture is making a comeback this year. The picture I took below would make a wonderful painting over a fireplace in one of those homes accented by brown furniture.

Fall colors this year were warm and what I call, browned out.

I lit our first fire in November as the temperatures dropped. I had to rearrange my living room as Dasher was being a kitten racing around the room. He jumped on the back of a chair that was in front of the large fern by the sliding door then jumped into the middle of the fern and up into the transom window.  Looking at using the tree to come down I decided it would be best to move the chair from in front of the fern.  My husband came home from work and said, “Wow, I like the room rearranged this way.” Things seem to work out….don’t they?

My rearranged living room with the first fire of the winter season fills the room with warmth and a wonderful glow.


This year, my tree was adorned with black, white and purple bows around the top with baby’s breath above them coming out of the top and scattered throughout the tree.

Dasher poses Christmas morning amongst some of the presents.

Remember, you should live with what you love, whatever is enduring and timeless to you. You should drive down your street, pull in your garage and know you’re home. I can help you get there….

Have a happy and healthy 2019. Please feel free to share my blog with your friends and family.




Sami in her warmed blanket.

Sami was my third Abyssinian and one that was the most challenging but, one that was so devoted to me and me to her. I find myself putting extra food on the plate for her when I’m feeding my other Aby, Remi, heading to warm her blanket before I go to bed for her to cuddle up in at night and looking for my girl in the morning as she would always come up next to me in bed before I got up. It is sad that now Remi gets up in bed while I’m reading at night and slowly goes over to Sam’s blanket with his head down smelling and looking.  He’s still looking for her even though it’s been over a week and seems to cry out at unusual times as if calling and looking for her. I am sure we will all adapt to our loss, but it sure is hard as a lot of you know and understand. Rest in peace my beautiful girl.

Do you get Transported?


A mesmerizing picture as fall leaves showed their colors in the ice as others below lay upon the grass in a “lake” created by so much rain.

Do you ever get transported?  By that I mean do you zone out? I do……Some instances when I get transported is when I’m picking paint colors, when I’m visualizing something in a room, when I walk or when I listen to music.  I was transported one evening when I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to my friend Dr. Paul’s son sing one night.  Michael Amante, a nationally recognized singer, whose resume includes a PBS special, singing for countless dignitaries and Presidents and has appeared on numerous national television shows. He sang at the Resort Lifestyle Communities at Towne Center in their theatre for the residents and those of us lucky enough to get invited. His voice, I liken to those of Josh Groban, Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli transported me.  He sang two of my favorite songs, the Hallelujah song and the song from Les Miserable’s, “Bring Him Home.”  I met my new friend, Dr Paul, who recently moved into the retirement resort when I helped him determine what furniture to bring with him from his large home he was selling. So lucky am I that I gained a new friend whose soul is ever so gentle and kind.

On one of my walks in the fall,  I was transported as the air became crisp and the leaves crunched beneath my sneakers.  With all the rain we had last fall, the Links Golf Course had “lakes” where they weren’t suppose to be.  Clouds mirrored in these “lakes” as brightly colored leaves floated above leaves lying upon the green grass below. It created a mesmerizing picture as you can see above.

A goose watches over her goslings off my deck. I wish I could have put a red bow around her neck, she would have made a beautiful holiday card!

As I walked up the hill to the Green Lakes Golf clubhouse early one morning; I found the need to use the restroom there.  Inside the stall, the most beautiful view from the window was bestowed upon me.  The photograph ended up looking like a series of paintings hung on a wall as you can see below.  You never know where your next photograph might be!

The photograph was taken from inside the ladies room at the Green lakes clubhouse, the photograph looks like a series of paintings on a wall which is actually the window overlooking the beautiful hills of Green Lakes.

Taking photographs of landscapes and animals/insects always transports me as well. Did you ever see so many butterflies as you saw last summer?  It was the most incredible summer for them.  While playing golf, I snapped a photo of a Painted Lady Butterfly on the Green Lakes Golf Course (my husband was teeing off so he wasn’t TOO annoyed with me!), my girlfriend in Colorado was also snapping a picture of one enjoying her zinnias in full bloom on her deck.

A beautiful Painted Lady Butterfly on the Green Lakes golf course.

I was blessed to capture a photograph of a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly feeding upon my lantana in my window box.

A Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feasts upon my lantana last summer.

In plenty supply last summer was the beautiful monarch butterfly that enjoyed my hydrangea bush in full bloom.  I captured a picture of an allusive hummingbird moth feeding upon my spectacular phlox. They are hard to photograph as they are very shy and fast. When I first noticed one, I thought it was a baby hummingbird but realized it was something else.  If you have never seen one, keep your eyes peeled.  They love butterfly bushes and phlox.

A monarch butterfly passes through and feasts on my hydrangea bush.

A Hummingbird Moth feeds upon phlox in my garden. They are hard to photograph as they are very shy and quick.

I photographed this “drunk” bee in the early morning feeding upon the nectar of the flower. Bees can actually forget how to get back to their hive when drunk, dying as a result.

I can’t wait to get my deck set up for the summer.

Flowers mixed with greenery from your garden can be very interesting as you can see below. I used ferns, hosta leaves, euonymus bush (fortunei) and grasses mixed with the flowers.

A bouquet of flowers from my garden made a beautiful centerpiece for a luncheon I had.

Looking forward to the awakening soon to come….I already have bulbs blooming in my garden.  My hellebores (Christmas Rose) have beautiful flowers on them that were blanketed under the snow. Sami and Remi can’t wait for the screen room to go up where they’ll spend the summer watching the birds, sleeping and dreaming of catching a chipmunk! In the meantime, Sami sleeps on the heat vent on our heated bathroom floor.


Sami sleeps on the heat vent to keep warm while waiting to feel the warmth of the sun.

I leave you with a saying by Barbara Winkler from the book, “Time Began in a Garden” by Emilie Barnes.  “Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle…”  “A seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl and the anticipation nurtures our dream…”

Happy Spring and Happy Dreaming!




High Point Furniture Market Design Trends and More

Making the drive to Furniture and Accessory Market in High Point, NC is always an exciting time.  I’m very lucky as my husband, Rick, makes the journey with me.  Stopping over in Virginia to see our dear friend Lenora, we witnessed the beauty of the fall leaves turning. With paved walks gracing the entire development where Lenora lives, Rick and I took an early morning walk along the reservoir as the cool fall air danced upon our face. Enjoying a beautiful evening dining at The Boathouse at Sunday Park Restaurant, I captured the most beautiful sunset over the reservoir.


Upon arriving at the Furniture market later the next day, my senses were on overload with new and creative ideas overflowing. Having traveled there for the past 25 years, you get into an exciting but hectic routine. Walking through the doors of the IHFC Building (International Home Furnishings Center) one building out of hundred’s, not only enlightens your senses but, also renews my excitement of why I do what I do for a living. On the main floor called InterHall, some of the showrooms stage their entrances while others entice you in by the beauty created by lighting, props and their products.

Located in the lower level of the International Home Furnishings Center, this unique entrance to Imagine Home draws you into their showroom.

The Michael Lamb Interiors & Antiques showroom located in the Somerset Bay/Modern History Furniture building is full of glorious antiques. The owner’s dog, George, had apparently had a full day at market and did what we all wish we could do!

George had apparently had enough of market for one day.

So trending now, the hues of blue are artfully displayed in the MT Companies showroom.  I’ve represented this upholstery line for over 20 years and their attention to detail, craftsmanship and representation are impeccable. From unique ottomans to trim details on the sofas and chairs there’s so much you can do to make each piece uniquely yours.

I almost thought I would write a blog on, “The dogs of Market.”  Charlie, a Labradoodle and a star at modeling for a photo shoot, poses upon command on a super comfy chair in the MT showroom.

Located in Market Square, a wonderful complex listed on the National Historic Places was formally a manufacturing complex and has since been transformed into showrooms; some with the original beautiful planked floors. One of the showrooms, Thibaut Wallcoverings and Fine Furnishings does an incredible job with “staging.” Grass wallpaper in a stripe is displayed in this room below. The mirror, top of the end tables and the doors of the console are all embellished with a wallpaper inset.

Thibaut Wallcovering and Fine Furnishings showroom makes you want to redo your living room with this wonderfully cozy feel.

Still on an upward trend is the casual but classic modern.  It captivates a clean, elegant minimalistic styling.  So simple but so softly elegant as displayed in the Lexington Home Brands showroom located in a wonderful building 15 minutes from downtown.

Lexington Home Brands Sligh office furniture line casts a wonderful simple but elegant contemporary style.

Lexington Home Brands showroom featuring the Shadow Play line.

Trends I saw a lot of:  Mixing metals, such as dark bronze with nickel, brass with bronze, polished and brushed nickel; Brass is making a huge comeback; although white walls have their place, seems the jewel tones are very strong.  I saw a lot of white furniture and decor mixed with vibrant hues of orange, indigo and blue; Velvet fabrics making a comeback on sofas; Wallpaper in the living spaces – Geometric patterns are very big in wallpaper and fabrics; Still going strong is the Industrial Style – mixing of wood, metal and stone.  A sort of NYC loft feel with an inviting edge.

The Uttermost/Revelation showroom featured an industrial feel in this dining area. Notice the unique chandelier.

The definition of Trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing.  You may feel you like the modern design and appreciate it but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can live with it.  If you like something from “the trend” such as a large geometric print, you can add that to your existing style as long as the colors flow well and the new fabric compliments the patterns in the existing room. Following the trends is not all that matters, it’s feeling comfortable with your style. Mixing your style with a trend edge creates a warm personal style and keeps you feeling fresh and new…I love my yellow floral chintz chair in my living room from the MT Companies with a velvet leopard print pillow on it.  Remi does too…

Remi catches a few rays coming in from the skylight on the yellow floral chair in the Living Room.

Finding Time and More….

Most people can’t seem to find enough time in the day… I know I’m guilty. I’ve been trying to find time to write my blog and download photographs on Houzz of a new home I recently completed. I worked on so many wonderful projects last winter that continued into spring.  A personal project of mine included my husband, Rick, painting my workroom.  I decided to pick a new soft white tone.  Sherwin Williams SW9119 Dirty Martini….I promise I didn’t pick it for the name although it sure could have persuaded me.  It’s a soft beige/green. You can see on the photo below the old color on the left wall and the new color on the back wall where the door is. The next photo shows the newly painted walls and the room rearranged from the way it was originally.


My approach to the Industrial style home labeled by my clients as the “Dream Lodge” which, coincidentally coincides with the first initials of their last names, was to celebrate the home’s views and uniqueness.  Wrapped in charm and character, the home dons corrugated walls, wood ceilings, multiple paint colors in a room with contrasting trim, metal railings and so much more.  An antique kitchen table draws you in for conversation in the open space while the furniture in the family room from my upholstery company, The MT Companies, beckons you to enjoy the view, read a book, watch television or take a nap in front of the fireplace during the cold winter months. Please visit my site on to see the rest of the professionally taken photographs.  Another project I worked on was a new cottage style home in the Timberbanks development. Comfort and function were the key to this home.  My builder clients, who have been building beautiful homes for many years, decided it was time to downsize from a large home to a more manageable size home.

Windows and a door line three walls in the great room/kitchen area for wonderful views of the golf course. I angled the fireplace on the wall for interest and created a television/bookcase unit next to it. Ceilings are no less important than walls and their ceiling was no exception.  Created to add depth and dimension, the coffered ceiling shows what the builder’s trimmer can do. Adding to the senses of bringing the outdoors in, the walls and inside the coffered ceiling were painted Sherwin Williams, SW7696 Toasted Pine Nut, (not yet painted on the walls in the photograph below) which is a warm rich beige/yellow.

The builder’s trimmer puts the final touches on the coffered ceiling for my clients. An angled fireplace with bookcases next to it added a welcome bit of uniqueness to the usual fireplace planked with bookcases each side.

The topic of conversation always seems to be opened up by the weather……Ok, I am a bit sick of the rain too but, it’s BECAUSE of the rain, the wetlands next to us are filled with wildlife including  new born painted wood ducks that are an amazing array of colors…hence, the name painted wood duck, it’s BECAUSE of the rain, I’ve learned to take my walks in it and I never run into anyone else except for birds, turtles and deer, it’s BECAUSE of the rain we appreciate the warmth upon our face when the sun does come out and of course, it’s BECAUSE of the rain my garden is a watercolor painting waiting to come alive on canvas.  What is your “it’s BECAUSE of the rain” feel good thoughts?

A young great blue heron stands very still in the rain as he poses for me….Actually he found a great spot to fish and he didn’t want to move

Appropriately lined by size, these turtles cherished the sun one day to help digest their food.


A doe finds food aplenty with all the rain.

My Heartleaf Bergenia welcomes guests as they enter my garden. It never had so many flowers as it has this year from the rain.

My beloved garden pond was refurbished recently.  It’s been leaking for years and needed a little TLC.  “It looks better than ever,” my husband said. The frogs who have joined me this year think so too..

My newly refurbished pond creates the enchanting backdrop for my flower garden and pagoda I found at the Furniture and Accessory Market one year.

Sometimes stars just align. Overwhelmed and in the midst of work, Remi’s recovery and Chairing the Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Spring Dinner Auction, my friend, Patty stopped by with lunch for Rick and I on a Saturday morning with a picnic basket full of warm fresh bread she had made, homemade minestrone soup – best I’ve ever tasted even with the substitution of Turkey sausage (recipe below), the trimmings for the soup and yummy brownies. Enter aligning stars….I met Patty over 20 years ago when she walked into the design firm I was working at and needed decorating. We have cultivated a special friendship and share the same interests in gardening, cooking and so much more.

The best Minestrone Soup I’ve ever had even with the substitutions of turkey sausage and chicken broth.


Sami poses in my friend’s basket that she brought over filled with warm homemade bread, minestrone soup and cookies.

I leave you, as always, with pictures of Remi and Sami…..Abyssinians are known to have bad teeth and Remi was no exception.  In April, he had 16 of his 20 or so teeth pulled.  It was very painful I am sure and my heart ached for him.  We “lost” our boy for about six weeks.  He became very unsocial which, was the complete opposite of his personality.  Feeling so much better now that his infected teeth are gone, we’ve got our Remi boy back again. For those of you that know Remi, you know he loved to suck on his tail for comfort. Now not having any teeth to hang onto it in his mouth, he no longer sucks it.  He seems alright with it but every so often he grabs for his tail but then let’s it go when he realizes he can’t hang onto it. I loved it when he did it but, I suspect I will get over it as well.  I’m just glad to have my boy back again.

My aby boy recovering in the warmed sheets from dental surgery.

Remi recovering in warmed sheets from dental surgery.

Feeling left out, Sami poses in her warmed blanket.

Feeling left out, Sami poses in her warmed blanket.

Happy Spring


No Regrets….Just Dreams Come True


Sami felt she needed to be a part of the holiday decorating and posed under the grapevine deer I was adding new lights to.

With the difficult time in the US right now, we approach the holidays unsure of what the future holds so let us capture the beauty that surrounds us and as American author, Carolyne Roehm recently stated, “When in doubt, or sadness, I still think the beauty of nature is always inspiring and restorative – whether it encourages you to go on and fight for your beliefs, or promote the intention that we will go through a hopefully peaceful transition.”  And so, I offer some recently taken photographs to hopefully bring some much needed peacefulness to your soul.






The wonderful mix of voices creates the incredible harmony of the group Pentatonix. I leave you with they’re beautiful rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?”

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams” John Barrymore…..May 2017 bring all of us peace, harmony and dreams come true.


“Why I Wake Early”



Sanvitalia in a pot cascades over the lettuce water plant in the pond.


Starlight Petunia, new this year, dances above the hedgehog statue known to bring good luck upon ones doorstep.



“My” frog holds very still as he gets ready to leap for a bee on a flower in my garden.

“Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver, is a book of poems a dear friend of mine gave me many years ago. She knew I loved the early mornings. This summer, rising as the sun was barely coming up over the Green Lakes hillside, I would make my coffee and head out into my garden to water my plants.  A twice daily chore this past summer that was a reminder of how precious rain is.  The early awakening of wildlife is my love…and the shenanigans were all so present this year.  I happened to glance out of my kitchen window one morning and witnessed two baby chipmunks emerging from their home in the ground among my garden flowers.  They were very apprehensive as they took in their new surroundings.  Their eyes blinking from the now bright sunlight upon them. This year, as in the first year I had my pond installed, there was a frog that “grew up” in my garden.  He went from tiny to medium sized in no time. Ever present as I worked in my garden daily, he was there with me on his various perches in and out of the pond. He loved one rather large rock where numerous flowers cascaded over the rock providing the frog with his daily intake of bees foraging on the flowers pollen.  Sometimes jumping up to grab an insect flying by and landing on the ground with a thud and no insect…I swear he’d look up at me saying, “I was practicing!”



View from the beach at the Chatham Bars Inn.

My husband and I traveled to Chatham, MA the end of September for my birthday.  A wonderful time of the year to travel to the Cape as the crowds have all gone, leaving behind a peaceful sanctuary of fishing boats, empty beaches and time standing still.  We stayed at the Chatham Bars Inn a delightful place recommended to me by a client. Being that it was a slower time of the year, we were graciously upgraded to a suite for my birthday. Arriving back from a golf outing or a walk along the wildlife refuge shore I would flip on the gas fireplace while I worked on emails and phone calls. I sat at a small table next to a bay window that faced the ocean off in the distance.  When we first arrived, we ventured out for a walk. Heading towards the beach, I heard what I thought were dogs howling.  As we approached the beach, there were hundreds of seals on a small sandbar near shore.  Some playfully swimming and some bathing in the sunlight. A wonderful sight to see.




Except for the color, the staircase runner to our room was the exact carpet I installed on my staircase to my office last December.  It is very durable and very forgiving in a high traffic area. But so beautiful!









My clients Brittany Spaniel, Noodle, strikes a stately pose for the photograph I was taking.





So many interesting projects this past summer. One I completed this summer was a beautiful “cape” home that longed to be on a beach somewhere. Fabrics of neutral canvas, soft blues mimicking the oceans hues and furniture so casual it begged to have sand upon its seats.  As the furniture was being delivered, I was “staging” the new coffee table to send a picture to my client so she could see it. Her Brittany Spaniel, Noodle, decided he wanted to be in the picture and proceeded to jump up on the sofa where he struck a most stately pose…

Displayed below are the five stain colors we were contemplating for the hardwood floors. We selected the second from the left as it was just dark enough to contrast against the light feel of the home.


Five hardwood floor stains were painted on my clients floor so we could visualize the colors that we were contemplating.





Soon to be completed is the Industrial Style home I mentioned in my last blog.  It was a project so full of new and creative ideas it made my heart sing. Acid washed corrugated metal walls in the mudroom; the builder, Don Petrocci, informs me they actually use toilet bowl cleaner with acid in it to create the look, instead of cabinets above in the kitchen, we did free floating black walnut shelves on the walls; creatively made and installed by Cazenovia Cutblock, a metal railing with squares in the loft balcony, wonderful paint colors of navy, brandywine and shades of a cozy foggy day.  I am planning on photographing the home in the spring.  I’ll keep you informed.

I was recently informed by that a photograph of a kitchen I did had reached 1000 saved hits on it.  I now have a banner button on my site stating that. If you haven’t already, please visit my site on to view the many wonderful photographs of homes I’ve decorated.

As always, I either start or end my blogs with pictures of my photogenic Abyssinian’s.  While spending a rare full day in my office cleaning out files, organizing and doing paperwork my Aby, Remi, never left my side.  He desperately needed a nap but, he was afraid he might miss something….Finally he got up on the sofa and curled up in a little ball.  I turned around to look at him and as you can see by the picture he was not going to let me out of his sight no matter what!


Remi keeping a close eye on me as I worked in my office.

Here’s to a wonderful fall…..Enjoy the beauty of the colors that nature blends so beautifully together. It’s a time of inspiration, a time of coming indoors, of gathering around the dinner table and nights by the fire. Let the beauty inspire you to define a new space that’s not used, paint a new inspiring color in a room or just redecorate by rearranging.  I’d love to hear from you.  Marcia


The beautiful colors of fall inspired me to take a picture on one of my many walks along the Erie Canal.

New York Charm and More

Remi on chair

Remi poses on the living room chair as the Ladyslipper plant creates a beautiful backdrop with it’s periwinkle blue flowers in bloom just in time for spring.

As I sit here writing this, I can hear the rain as it hits upon my skylights.  I think what better way to awaken the garden than a spring rain.  To further awaken it,  I took the winter shield off my pond to reveal mini dancing daffodils, Grecian Windflower bulbs sprouting and Chequered Lillie bulbs emerging all of which I had planted last fall.  There’s something to be said about a garden in the spring that’s full of sprouting bulbs and perennials.  For me, the excitement of watching the perennials and bulbs emerge makes the expectation of the arrival of spring even more exciting.

Last fall, I moved an endless summer hydrangea from the side of the house to the front island bed.  It wasn’t getting enough sun to blossom so moving it will hopefully give it new life. I journeyed to Greenscapes in Jamesville, to find a rock suitable to add as a backdrop against the dominating evergreen tree behind the newly planted hydrangea.   I found a 630 LB rock shimmering in hues of greens and yellows from the St. Lawrence.  It was delivered the following week and became the much needed element in the island.  It became center stage against the existing anemones, white and purple butterfly bushes, black eyed susans and a white cone hydrangea shrub.

“You’re invited to tour a secret garden” was the invite to view my garden from a local garden club.   They are coming mid-June for their breakfast meeting.  I will be offering scrumptious overnight pecan buns (so easy to make!), homemade best ever banana bread, the best gluten free muffins I’ve ever tasted along with Barefoot Contessa’s Banana Crunch Muffins, that are a bestseller at her restaurant, as well as fresh fruit, homemade granola and yogurt.  I will be giving a speech and demonstration on, “Entertaining?”  Decorate your table with flowers.”  They will then do a walking tour of my front “secret garden” and back garden along with viewing my two adjoining neighbors’ gardens who I invited to participate as they both create beautiful gardens as well.

For the second year in a row, I chaired the Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Dinner Silent and Live Auction which, was held on April 14th, at Traditions at the Links.  The auction, is the Chamber’s biggest event benefiting the Greater Manlius Chamber of Commerce, FM Community Outreach in Manlius and Heaven’s Pantry in Minoa.  There were over 200 people that attended the social event.  As the president of the Chamber stated the other night, I actually created a production. I guess I never thought of it that way but there was live entertainment that filled the air. Brick House by the Commodores came on as the live auction opened up and the first auction item came up for bid, The Lion Sleeps Tonight played as a kayak was carried out by a Syracuse Crunch member. Megan Coleman from a local newscast modeled a bracelet being auctioned off and much more!  I was glad when the event was over.  It was a lot of work and worries but, in the long run, it was a fun evening and very successful! I couldn’t have done it without my incredible committee.

On one of my many walks, I happened to look back over at our condo and felt blessed to have captured such a beautiful watercolor picture.  Almost as if someone had painted it. I have asked my dear friend, Lenora, who’s a very talented artist, to paint the picture for my husband and me.   A few days later, I was working at my desk and noticed a storm quickly approaching.  I went out on the deck to capture the approaching storm clouds.  The lake, spring fed from Green Lakes, was showing it’s true colors!  As I stepped back inside, there was a flash of light and a tremendous crash.  I thought for sure the condo had been hit. The cats disappeared under the bed for hours. The next day as I ventured out on my walk down the path next to our condo, I saw where the lighting had struck.  There was a large tree with its bark completely stripped off from the top down and the pieces were scattered everywhere.

EV Walk

A “watercolor painting” captured on one of my many walks.

EV Storm

A storm approaches as lighting strikes a tree very close by. The bark completely stripped off from the top down and pieces of it were scattered everywhere.

rainbow 2

Looking for my pot of gold after the storm with the brightest rainbow I have ever seen.

I  have posted the much anticipated professional photographs that were taken at my client’s beautiful home I recently completed decorating. I entitled it, “New York Charm” as so much thought and detail went into the process of creating their charming home.  Please visit to view the rest of the amazing photographs of their home.


The elements in the living space encompasses old beams from a barn, a bead board ceiling and a stone fireplace that all adds to the comfort one feels in the room while taking in the beautiful view of the golf course.

I’m working on a marvelous “Industrial theme Guest Cottage” in Skaneateles that’s in the process of being built.  We’ve selected wide planked ruff looking hardwood floors, leathered granite in the kitchen and corrugated metal on the walls.  There are no cabinets above in the kitchen. Only shelves held up by metal rods.   I am also working on a glorious new home being built in Fayetteville with a Cape Cod feel inside.  Hues of ocean salt air and shimmering shells fill each space as the rooms unfold.  A soapstone countertop on the island in the kitchen, bead board cathedral ceiling in the kitchen eating area and beautiful marble and limestone tiles in the bathroom.

I will keep you up to date on the process of these beautiful homes.  I feel so lucky to do what I do.  So many great clients/friends that come my way with so many diversified styles to keep my creative flow going.



Sharing Bits and Pieces

Remi under fabrics

Remi, my Abyssinian cat, seems quite content buried under fabrics being shown to me by one of my fabric reps.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  With all the disturbing events happening close to home and overseas, I linger longer than normal looking at the small, individual efforts that people make to embrace the season.  These efforts seem to touch me the most….The single lit tree outside, the Christmas tree peeking out through a front window and candles reflecting in the windows for us all to see.  I look in those windows and imagine families gathered around the dinner table laughing and sharing stories and the little ones anticipation of morning to come.  Excitement and peacefulness fills the air while all the while shutting out the world around for that brief moment of time.

Visiting from Massachusetts, my grandniece and Godchild, Kaleigh, spent the morning with me. We had fun making ornaments for Mommy and Mimi (Grandma).

Kaleigh making ornament


As winter settles in, I dream of the afternoons my husband, Rick and I played golf.  Enjoying the game of golf and becoming more proficient at it, I found myself taking an afternoon and playing nine holes by myself.  To me it’s not about the game but about a chance to walk and get exercise, to enjoy the fresh air and de-stress as I’m focused on the game and surroundings.  Lucky were we when, my husband and I donned in shorts, played golf at The Links at Erie Village on December 24th.  That was a memorable day.

We were able to get away the first of December to celebrate my sister’s birthday.  My sister, her husband, Rick and I flew into Miami and stayed at the beautiful Thompson Miami Beach Hotel where we sat on the beach soaking in the sun’s rays.  As Rick and I strolled down the beach, we happened upon the Miami Beach Art Fair or commonly known as the” Art Basel Week” that was taking place.  There were amazing exhibits.  One exhibit, showcased wooden crates placed sporadically around the beach.  Upon opening them, one could select a free art poster showcasing the various artist’s work.  Continuing on our walk, there was an actual rollerskating platform that had been erected on the beach.  With skate along music playing, one only had to put on rented skates and skate along with the music and rolling waves.  Being that it was a year ago I had broken my toe so badly, I opted out on venturing into the arena.

The next day, the four of us jumped into the car and drove the Overseas Highway sometimes called, “The Highway that Goes to Sea,” to Key West.  As we came upon the island, I felt an urge to sing Jimmy Buffett’s song, Margaritaville.  Noting this to the other three in the car, don’t you know shortly thereafter, as fate would have it,  the song came on the radio.  As the four of us sang along; I think they were singing…I know I was… we had now entered into another world.  We stayed off island at the Sunset Key Cottages.  A seven minute taxi boat ride from Key West.  You felt as if you were in paradise.  Life was good as we had our own cottage on the water complete with a hammock and a beautiful view of Key West in sight.  Every morning I walked the brick lined streets passing homes that reminded me more of the cape than Florida.  Being there during the holiday season heightened the senses to overload.  Awaiting us on the front porch every morning was a basket filled with fresh fruit and homemade muffins.  Can I retire here!!??

Below are a few pictures from the cottage we stayed in.

Sunset Key view 2


Sunset Key View 1

A few of the homes on the island where we stayed.

Sunset Key House


Sunset Key House 3


The beautiful lobby at the Sunset Key Hotel.

Sunset Key Lobby

So different was the Island itself.  With so many bars, restaurants, stores and wild chickens and roosters roaming around.  We, of course, had to take a tour of the Ernest Hemingway House Museum complete with 57 polydactyl (six-toed) cats.  About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA.  Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the grounds are descendants of that original cat.  We also visited the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory which I loved.  I told my husband when and IF I ever retire, that would be something I could do.  As I meandered around the conservatory, three butterflies decided to hitch a ride on my legs.  After seeing the butterflies on me, one of the employees came up to me and said, “they don’t land on people very often but, when they do, you know the person has a gentle and soft spirit.”

One of the polydactyl cats poses on a rock while the tour guide wraps up his speech.

Sunset key Hemmingway House

Butterflies clinging to my legs at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.


Sunset Key Butterflys

Very soon my photographer, Jonathan Beach, will be photographing a few of my client’s homes for me that were recently completed. Keep your eye on my site on to view the photos.  One of the beautiful homes I completed recently will be photographed in February as my clients were recently married and are off on their honeymoon.  My husband and I were in attendance at their wonderful wedding.  We wish them much happiness in the years to come.

Brad and Erin's wedding

I love David Bowie’s wife, Iman’s Instagram she posted after David’s death, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  Enjoy every moment!!!

Wishing you a Wonderful and Glorious 2016!