By |2015-01-20T17:39:58-05:00February 2, 2014|Inspiration, It's Local|

Raise your hand if you know

How many hands do I see? Not many I think.

Spoonflower is a fabric and paper printing company and this is their tag line:
“At Spoonflower we make it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper, decals and gift wrap.”

In other words, anyone can create a design, upload it to the Spoonflower site, and have it printed on eleven different kinds of fabrics, two kinds of gift wrap, wallpaper or decals.
This is really C O O L.

IMG_8229_wm_wm Reception area at their headquarters in Durham, N.C.

The company was started in 2008 and has grown from, I think, four to almost forty full and part time employees. Aside from their main, and thriving, business of digital printing,they also offer all sorts of “Events” such as Surface Design: Creating a Basic Repeat with Paper or Mixed-Media Collages as well as opening their design space The Greenhouse as an open studio where you can bring your own project and work and meet others.

Spoonflower Collage 1

Spoonflowr Collage 2


By |2014-08-27T20:41:04-04:00September 7, 2012|8 McDowell, Inspiration, Shopping|

I have to admit, I am not a big DIYer. Give me a finished product or project any day!
However, there comes a time when we all must DO it right?
I had these two lamps, thanks to Marshalls, in my house for several years. We used them, but oh man, they were B A D. And the red shade. Well, brothel here we come!
So finally I took them both outside, taped them up, and spray painted with a Metallic Paint.
Lamp #1:
Back in the house, testing it with an old shade.
Of course it took me another few weeks to finally go and buy this
from Pottery Barn. I do like their collection of lamp shades…
Lamp #2. Same ultra-polished, faux chrome base. Yuck.
And here it is, on my office desk, […]


By |2014-07-21T12:18:11-04:00June 13, 2012|8 McDowell, Inspiration|

B O R I N G!
Boring, dark, but oh so useful piece! We had received this sideboard as a wedding present and have used it in every apartment and dining room in which we have ever lived. It holds linens, silver, flatware, paper napkins…. you name it, it has been invaluable.
But oh so out of date or boring!

Time to refresh.
And Annie Sloan paints were the perfect choice. I had bought one color, “Provence”, on my first trip out to Mebane and my dealer, The Melville Trading Company.
No, the color just was not right. This piece resides in my husband’s study: dark reds, Oriental rug, lots of books etc. and Provence was too…. what? … clean, is the best word.


Off I went, once again, with my friend Sally (this was her first, much-anticipated visit to a visual, design-lover’s mecca!).
This is the color I had decided to buy: French Linen
and a few ideas from Pinterest:



By |2016-01-03T11:55:11-05:00September 21, 2011|Blogs, Inspiration|

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.

I want to tell you what blogging has meant to me and what it has done for me.
More than anything else it is a community.  I never, ever imagined that there were so many people out there who liked the same kind of things and who were as design and color and detail oriented as I am. We really, truly speak the same language.
I work at home, alone. Many of us do.  Through blogging I have come to feel part of
a large community. I have made so many new and wonderful friends from all over the world. Occasionally I get to meet a new friend, in person, and I have yet to be disappointed. That moment of face to face meeting never fails to exceed my expectations. These are women to whom I feel a very deep connection.I know other bloggers out there who are reading this feel just the same way. We read and comment on each other’s blogs. Then we may take it a step further: we begin a dialogue through email. We become friends.

Along the way we discover we have this shared passion.

I have blogger friends who have helped me […]


By |2011-02-01T21:45:00-05:00February 1, 2011|Inspiration, Paris/French|



A few weeks ago I did a post on linen and the story of how it is produced in France.

Now, to me, this was a very special story and video. I know, not everyone is as into linen as I am! But there are a few of you out there: one of them being my friend Tammi of CoutureWindowFashions blog. We have recently become friends. Tammi introduces herself by saying:

“Having a passion for design and beautiful fabrics led me to the place where I am at today…. Taking my love of couture in clothing and transferring it to draperies has been very fun.”

  Tammi knows fabric! So, when she saw my post and the video she wrote and asked if she could use it for her own post on linen, and antique linen, and a story about her mother-in-law and her love of linen.

Naturally, I said yes. 

Little did I know what a fascinating story it would be!

Please, I urge you to go to Tammi’s blog and read on.


This tablecloth was made by Tammi’s husband’s paternal grandmother. Just amazing.



And the best part is that these linens are being used. That is, after all, why they were made. If you have linens, antique or otherwise, please, do not just […]


By |2014-06-30T20:03:34-04:00January 3, 2011|Color, Inspiration, Shopping|

Some things are so good they need to be repeated!
In July of 2009 I posted this video, “Finding Rhubarb”,  from Maine Cottage. It is one of my favorite videos of and about design and COLOR. I love it; what more can I say? Why? Well, it describes just where the color we see in the products we buy (in this case the fabric and furniture from Maine Cottage) comes from.  Designer Anita Dore says it all so well: that this is not an easy process, as some would say, but takes a lot of patience and a real focus on the “personality” of the color you’re trying to convey. She goes on to describe how she and her team arrived at the color “rhubarb”: through trial and error, through memory, and through patience.

Then, to follow up on color, they produced this video, “Patterns Are Everywhere”.
As Anita says, “It is my job to keep my eyes open”. Well said.
It’s my job also; but it’s also my passion. After all, it’s the details that count! This morning the sky was pink as i took my walk; this afternoon I photographed the peeling bark on our RiverBirch tree. Color and details: […]
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