Brise Soleils (continued)

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Brise soleils are common in American architecture of the 1950's and 60's, as architects grappled with the challenge of linking geometric structure to organic forms.

Much of architecture, from the Shingle style onward, is rooted in similar concerns, the synthesis between the rational-geometric and the organic-rustic-mystical.

In mid-century architecture, the intense interest between inner and outer space, promoted by earlier movements, continued. Aided by cheap, mass produced products like the blocks seen left.



Here is another example of the use of the seaglass color. I have used it here in my knitting - oh by the way I am addicted to knitting! I learned many years ago and have not stopped. I really love all of the fibers, textures and colors. I like the fact that I can combine whatever colors and stitches that I like. It has always been a stress buster for me, it is hard to explain but has something to do with the rythem of it. Occationaly I like to try a more challenging pattern, but usually I like something with a simple knit stitch and gorgous lush yarn.
Here I have combined a cashmere blend seaglass color, a wool mohair of the same color, a wool chartruse and a wool mohair bottle glass green.



I always love getting New Fabrics from my fabric houses. F.Schumacher is know for it's exclusive beautiful fabricic. Many of their patterns are recreated from their archives of historic fabrics. If a pattern is recreated from the archives there is always a document color or and exact reprodution and several other color ways based on current color trends.
Over the last few years I have seen more and more detail in fabric, wich is evident here in 2 of these. The fabric in the middle is a silk with sewn on rick rack, a complicated and precise fabric to make, but what a unique look. I can just imagine it made into roman shades, bedding - duvet cover, tailored bed skirt, shams and or pillows. The fabric on the right is a printed fabric with emboidery over the printed pattern. This gives a posh dimentional effect that is delighting. This one is a more contemporary fresh patterns. The fabric to the far left is a more traditional floral available in three colors.
Current color trends are always exciting because that represents change. The seaglass blue is such a big color trend right now and has been strong for several years. I think it is a stong trend becuase it is soothing ( important at a time of war and unsteading econimics ). This color can also be combined with so many other colors sucessfully, mocha, lime, raspberry, red, mustard/butter yellow, coral, navy/cobalt. I am even combining it right now in my knitting with chartruse and a clear green. (see another blog... )I would love to hear and see how you have used it. Contact me on my e-mail,

Jury Duty

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


As the market shook off its holiday torpor, likely fueled by lower prices and bargain basement rates, civic duty intervened. My breaks were stuffed with phone call catch-up and an obsession with the 6th floor view.

The courthouse, spare and unrelenting, might be described as Brutalist architecture, a modernist/minimalist sub-set. The term originates from the French breton brut, or raw concrete, and quixotic architect Le Corbusier.

My view was made more interesting by brise soleils, or sun breakers, a lone and lively piece of architectural adornment, that subtracted weightiness by adding delicacy.

Brise soleils or cobogos, reticulated screen block surfaces (of terra cotta or concrete) are common in California, utilized as a means to deal with harsh Southerly exposures or to balance intimacy and exteriority.

Less common are meshrebeeyahs (or "privacy windows"), a feature in some Islamic architecture: elaborately carved or turned wood screens or latticework.

Think Damascus or Alhambra, or...the Hill Street Courthouse?!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hey Pals,
Well we think we have received all of the Christmas cards that everyone has sent us. We have a total of 120 cards!!! Thanks to everyone for sending them to us. We love them all. Here is the final picture of them hanging up:
Here are a few pictures of the back side of the cards hanging:

It's getting a little hard for Papa to walk under them, hehehehe! Mama told us we can leave them up for a little bit longer.

Well we're in the midst of another winter storm right now. We're really sick of these storms. It's about -25 below zero right now with the windchill & the winds are 30 some miles per hour. Yesterday it was 40 some degrees above zero. Figure that.... The good thing is that the wind is blowing some of the snow storm past us so we shouldn't get too much snow. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.......we interrupt this program to bring you a news storm alert.......

Hmmmmmmmm, this is Butchy & Snickers Mama, where did they go??? Something's up. I just found this by the front door:

Then I looked outside the window and saw this in the driveway.....
Gee, now I just heard the back door slam shut, what's up????

Uh oh, now I see this pink blur out in the field across from us. I know what's up now, I think Butchy & Snickers just headed off to Gussie's house in sunny Arizona.
Those darn furkids!!! Now I just found a note on the counter telling me they left early for the Super Bowl pawty at Gussie's house cause they didn't want Aire-Ruby to get grounded here in Janesville due to the high winds this week. Hmmmm, wonder how they paid for the pink 4 wheeler????? Guess I better let Muzzer know that some wirey kids are on their way to her house.
Wirey Hugs!


Monday, January 28, 2008


I want to talk about the design process and share with you how I get from point "A" to point "B" so to speak. In this project we were redesigning the bathrooms, laundry room and the kitchen. At the same time that we were layout out the cabinetry, first for function then for aesthetics I was researching tile. I discussed with my client a color pallet, I comunicated that to my rep in the showroom and she sent me a box of the most amazing tile options within those colors. At the same time we are working with plumbing options and cabinet color options and counter materials. When using "whites" it is important for them to match, so I co-ordinated the plumbing, tile and cabinet whites. The metals also need to work together. I don't believe that they all have to match but they do need some harmoney. This includes, faucets, cabinet hardware, towel bars and door hardware. Once we have looked at some of the tile options then it is up to me to start putting them together to create a design. As you can see from the finished photos I used many different tiles together. I start with a scaled elevation drawing of the areas and start fillling it in with tile. These scaled drawings then go to the tile installer to estimate the amount of tile that I need to order and he also uses these to install from. The results here are quite beautiful. A coordinated affort between first the home owner, Designer, showroom rep, builder and the tile installer. Thank you to the "team".

Law and Order Update

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Update from my August post:
Law and Order's season premiere had a quick showing of the Turkish doll Tennessee Antique Shack provided! I'll enjoy watching upcoming episodes to see if she makes a return appearance!!

For more information, check out:

Tennessee Antique Shack

A Crow's Cage


Inspiration, that magic little "?" that sparks your imagination. It's funny how sometimes all it takes is the quickest glimpse of something to set it off!

How one thing can lead to another and so forth and so on. It all started with a single photo by Robert ParkeHarrison titled "Flying Lesson".

Suddenly I realized how absolutely impossibly necessary it was for me to build a Crows cage and fill it with mysterious little creatures!

My Crows cage stands about 6 feet tall from ground to the top of it's feather plume. Its built from wood scraps and some chicken wire and odds and ends and this and that.

I wanted it to have the feeling of a deliciously decorated cake of sorts, albeit a wire cake,

trimmed with prickley dried vines, to keep the spiders out of course!

and old turn keys to make it safe, a long and winding tale it is and so let us begin.

Pots with little smiling faces peer out,

and giggle here and there,

then Shhhh,shhh, shh! Some one is ever so quietly watching, from up above the rest,

just waiting for the perfect moment, waiting for a chance,

to lower herself down and settle beside her.

All the while unsuspecting and floating on a breeze is a dandelion fluff,

busy as a bee, teasing and taunting the flower shop girls!

And the little bitty lacey winged ones flitter all about,

buzzing in and out,

and up and down,

trying out their wings.

While butterdrag or draggerbutt, which ever you prefer,

looks on and oversees the youngsters,

to keep them out of trouble!

Which is no small feat, might I mention!

Keep an eye wide open,

keep a good long watch,

and though those delicate gossamer wings

seem fragile at a glance,

she's the keeper of peace,

and queen of the land,

that no one dares to challenge, not bug, not bee,

or frog or pillar, cater that is.

Well, at least you can't say I didn't warn you in the beginning!
It isn't easy being green, but it sure is fun! Wait, what were we taking about?!

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