The most beautiful thing about blogs!! Just wait till you hear!


Hi my friends and followers!  And thank you to the new followers……..I am struggling and my assistant is helping!

By the way;  I am working on the second edition of “during” with the Monterey Colonial!  I have a new assistant……I don’t know how to blog pictures well..

..blah blah blah!  I’ll get there!  I hope you can be patient!

I decided to “interrupt the program”  with  this, a truly heartwarming story !

And I think YOU ALL will have feelings about it!!

Background:   After being in business for 17 years;  I was first “published” (every decorator’s dream!  I think!)

Perhaps not;  but it’s always been mine!  (not to be “famous”…but,  to be able to inspire others to surround themselves with beauty!)

 And to help show them how!!    I started in 1970!

 (decorating;  not blogging!  I am not Bill Gates..just so you know!)

The first time I was published was in 1987;  in a one-issue magazine called “Tiffany Magazine”

 It was published once……and it never hit the newsstands……it was an celebration of 100 years of Tiffany’s;

 and it was given away at numerous fund-raisers all over the country!

 I almost died of excitement!  Beautifully photographed…….(I have no idea how they found me!!  And our house in Pasadena!)

Second time was for a TV show! “Dream Living”  about “people who live in their “dream houses”!!

(Lord have mercy….it is still on some channels…once a month I get a message…..or speak to an old friend…….

“Yikes!  I was in this hotel surfing the channels and there you are leading a tour through your house in Pasadena!”

How funny is that!?

 Yikes!!  My goal achieved!  “timeless decorating”!  That is my philosophy !

Next time was 2002;  in Traditional Home magazine!  Be still my heart!

 I was so excited I couldn’t stand it!  I had heart palpitations on the way to the mailbox .

 My new friend Bonnie walked into our brand-new house;  and exclaimed……….THIS HAS TO BE PHOTGRAPHED RIGHT AWAY!”

 And back she came the next morning with her camera!

She was (unbeknownst  to me;  a “scout” for Traditional Home”!)

As excited as I was;  the magazine articles  used to go into the stratosphere!

 The only feedback (and believe me I don’t mean “only” in a negative way)

was a “letter to the editor” the following month.(they post very few, understandably;  this letter to the editor is still one of my “peak experiences”!)

It said,    (or something like it)! ” I enjoyed  seeing the house that Mrs. Bianchi designed and built in Santa Barbara;

 and I especially loved to see how Mrs. Bianchi used the furniture from her former house in the one that she just built.”

I don’t have that exactly right..but you get it!  15 years after being “published” in a small  (yes, rarefied)  magazine;

 15 years later this lady in Maine is loving my way of reusing!!!??!!    (it is my religion!)  my “things”!

I had to go find a copy of “Tiffany” magazine to see the pieces she was talking about!  (I asked for 20 copies;  I just had to find them in my house!)

Yikes!  I can’t even describe how happy that made me!

The feedback that showed  one decorator learned  something so important and elemental to me!  Honestly;  maybe I am easy to get excited…….

but that was a major milestone  to me!  “Use what you have!”  Good Grief!

And that is the only feedback from several magazines I was featured in subsequently  (the thrill never diminishes!;   by the way)!

In the “olden days”  when any of us were published;

it just went out into the “ether”!!  I adored it;  but none of us had really any idea

who read what or who liked what……or any of that!

The internet;  as we all know, has changed our lives and our businesses profoundly !

Tonight I received an email!  And here it is!

I was choked up with tears in my eyes!  Totally wonderful for me and all of you;  in every way!

Look what happens!  Astonishing!

“Hi Penelope,

I just read your sweet reply regarding my name, Poppy, at Tone on Tone, Loi Thai’s wonderful blog. I was so moved by your lovely words that I clicked onto your name and your blogger profile came up. As soon as I saw ‘interior decorator’ and  ‘Montecito’, I recognized you from a magazine article featuring your beautiful home that I had bookmarked in one of my decorating magazines! I clicked onto your web page and then onto ‘Press’ and, lo and behold, it all came back to me! Your gorgeous home and impeccable style were the first things that inspired me in the job of designing our first country home, here on the island of Crete, way back in 2002.
Today, ten(!) years later, to have been noticed, albeit because of my name, here in blog land, by the person who influenced my design style, is truly serendipitous!
I am a Greek Canadian living in the Cretan countryside, and I have been writing about my home in the village since May of this year on my blog: www.poppyview.blogspot.com. Interestingly, your name is derived from the great Penelope, wife of the hero, Odysseus, who is known for her faithfulness and feminine virtue, in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. In my case, my lovely daughter nicknamed me Poppy (after the flower’s delicate quality and colour), a long time ago and friends and family picked it up immediately; it was the most natural thing!
It was a pleasure to ‘meet’ you! I still can’t believe my luck!
Hope you’ll drop by Poppy View sometime, and have a look around.
Now it is me, Penelope again!
Can you wrap your mind around this?
Exquisite and heartwarming and soul-feeding;  and words fail me!
(Whenever that happens…….I say  “YOWZERS!!!”)
I cannot imagine anything (except from my family) moving me the way this did!
I was almost breaking into tears standing in line for popcorn at the movies!  I bailed…tears streaming down my face! (no popcorn for me!)!
Honestly;  one of the most meaningful and soul-strengthening things I have ever received!
And I am sure you all know why!
I hope you all understand that there is no “bragging” going on here!  (I do not mean to “brag”)
It is just “MAJOR”  to me that I,  (completely unknowingly),  helped a woman build the house of “her dreams” on Crete!  in 2002!  Because of the article she read
(and SAVED) for 10 years!
She thinks SHE is excited!  I haven’t even answered her yet!
I have to go to sleep first!  I am way too filled with emotion!
I am posting this before I even go see her new blog ! (I think I am new, and I am, but she started in May this is just this last May!)
How lovely of her to send me this incredible feedback.
Thank you Tone on Tone;  (for having such a great blog that people in Crete are reading your beautiful ideas!!) That is a wonder in itself!
and thank you for publishing my comment……
 thank you Brooke…..”Velvet and Linen”..without you I would not have a website…..and this thrilling thing could never have happened..
Thank you , you wonderful woman.
And thank you all my subscribers!
If I knew how;  I would send you all a personal thank-you note!
I will learn how;  but until then, please know I get so excited every time I get an email…new subscriber!
I will get back into the swing of things as soon as possible!

We now offer our design services online. Please contact us at Penelopebi@me.com for further information.

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18 Comments Subscribe to comments

  1. pimpmybricks.wordpress.com

    No, I don’t think anyone for a moment would think you were bragging. You were sharing the joy, and that’s what you do, and that’s what makes you such a beautiful person, Penelope.

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

  2. tara dillard

    And this is only ‘1’ you know about. There are so many more.

    You change lives.

    Of course pictures/articles are saved for decades.

    Our hearts put into secure harbor what the soul craves to save/nurture itself.

    Bragging? Hardly.

    Lucky woman, to have discovered your article! No accident either.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

  3. Thoughts on Design

    I was smiling and laughing for joy for you as I read your post. All three times!!! A big hug across the miles Penny!!! it is so heart warming to know that what you do has made a difference in another person’s life!


    Nov 19, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

  4. Profile photo of Penelope Bianchi
    Penelope Bianchi

    Tara, Thank you!!! And you do too!!!

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 3:34 PM

  5. Profile photo of Penelope Bianchi
    Penelope Bianchi

    Thank you so much!!! I am still in shock!

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 3:34 PM

  6. Victoria Athens

    This reminds me of the expression about throwing a stone in the water. The ripples go on forever and you never know who will see them and be affected by them. What a beautiful experience to discovery those ripples reached half-way around the world.

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 5:29 PM

  7. Marietta

    I don’t know why you are so shocked…..you have such an impact on other people every single day of your life. It’s just “natural” for you. A day in your life is nothing more than amazing. To come to your house is truly the most magical experience. Happy you are my kindred spirit.

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 5:37 PM

  8. BoxwoodTerrace

    Hi Penelope!

    What a lovely story. The connections we all make through our blogs and shared interests never ceases to amaze me. I’m not surprised to learn you’ve made a difference in someone’s life!

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 7:07 PM

  9. La Contessa

    I so get it!!!!!!!!!!!CONGRATS!What a bellisima compliment!The world is small….NO?
    Did you get the photo I sent?I havenot gone back to track down number 15 but will do!How is the new pup doing?

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 9:04 PM

  10. Linda@DesignInMyView

    You are priceless!

    This excitement and the connection is one that we all would be equally thrilled to share, rejoice. :-)

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

  11. Profile photo of Penelope Bianchi
    Penelope Bianchi

    Hi Deborah! I love your blog!

    I find it completely astonishing! And I am so grateful to be a part of it!


    Nov 19, 2012 @ 11:51 PM

  12. Profile photo of Penelope Bianchi
    Penelope Bianchi

    The new pup fit in immediately. She was sent by some other dog we had. Adam said we can “keep” the third dog!

    I have to write a post on rescue dogs……Lordy! She looks like the other two……(no, just like one of the other two….it looks like you are seeing double!)
    Thank you so much!

    Nov 19, 2012 @ 11:53 PM

  13. Brillante Interiors

    Such a beautiful story Penelope. It also shows why social media is so important today.
    I love blogging and I love your blog!

    Nov 20, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

  14. Bette (@Ideezine)


    How sweet and Thanksgiving of you to share this with us. The circles in life are never random and always meant to bless us when we “see” it and especially when we acknowelege the gifts pay it forward.

    It is pure joy to read how happy your blogging makes you feel. This is truly living with lots of sharing and that’s what we all do best is share and care about others.

    Thank you…Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


    Nov 21, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

  15. Taylor Greenwalt

    The Blog world is amazing….the people you meet and the relationships you form are incredible. I have meet so many wonderful people that I would of not meet. What a lovely story….looking forward to our lunch.

    Nov 25, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

  16. Joni Webb

    unreal story! i too was thrilled when you started commenting on decorno because i’ve always loved your house. btw – bonnie, is that bonnie broton? she photographed my ktichen last year!! is it the same bonnie? i need to ask her!

    Nov 30, 2012 @ 11:29 PM

  17. Profile photo of Penelope Bianchi
    Penelope Bianchi

    This Bonnie is Bonnie Maharam! she is a “contributing editor of “Traditional Home”!
    I swear to God; she walked into the door; got ten feet inside the house……and said……”Do not talk to another magazine !!!” I’ll be back tomorrow with my camera!”

    Joni…….can you imagine? The most darling and enthusiastic woman! And FUNNY? (Her daughter had chickens in upstate New York……there was a freeze.. the chickens had to come into the house…….(of course!!) Bonnie said…….I opened the front door…..”the whole damn house smelled like “chicken shit”!

    Well what else to do??

    Save the chickens!

    (The Maharams…..The funniest and lovliest couple I have ever known……..she said later……”I walked in the door…..I saw those red chairs……and I knew!”)

    Guess what? “MAHARAM” Is a HUGE fabric company! Mostly contract……both Bonnie and I think two daughters were “contributing editors” to Traditional Home magazine!!

    She was back the next morning with a very fancy camera…….and three days later…….we had an appointment for a photo shoot for “Traditional Home ” magazine!

    This was way before the internet……Just remembering it thrills me to my toes!!

    I adore your blog and you! And I think I have already told you how much I love Texas…..and Texans!!


    Nov 30, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

  18. Wall Decal Company

    Will be following you on pinterest.

    Dec 05, 2012 @ 8:12 AM


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