Marcel Vertes

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Some people have requested that I republish a few of my blog posts! I decided to start with this one!! I hope you enjoy! In 1961, my very talented mother was in Paris on a trip.  She had admired an artist throughout the 40’s and 50’s.  His name was Marcel Vertes;  and he was an […]

Happy Mother’s Day!

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One of my readers wrote me today that she was thinking of how “dashing” my father was in my little film we found of my parent’s wedding in 1934! She gave me the idea to run it again on Father’s Day!! I ran this last year on Mother’s Day, and for anyone who didn’t see […]

Indigo Seas: My favorite store in the world

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“Joie de Vivre!” Pretty much describes the owner and spirit behind Indigo Seas:   founder and owner of the shop:  Lynn von Kersting. Lynn is the personification of the expression:  “Joie de vivre”.  It means “joy in life”;  it is a rare and beautiful thing!  she is the walking ,talking epitome of it!

The miraculous Arlington Gardens in Pasadena!

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I published a blogpost about this garden in 2011! I am repeating the pictures here;  and the garden has grown and I will take more pictures when I am there again! This morning my friend Kate Stamps published a picture of it on her instagram and I wanted to share with you again if you […]

The miracle of Arlington Garden!!!

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6 years ago I published a post on Arlington Garden in Pasadena.  This morning Kate Stamps of Stampsandstamps posted a picture on instagram and I decided to repost on this amazing public garden in Pasadena! As you may have seen, last week I posted about the Pasadena Garden tour, and while it was fabulous and […]

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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Merry Christmas 5 years later!! What a change!

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TODAY CHRISTMAS 2016!!!! Today is our first Christmas with these grandchildren in 5 years! We are thrilled to be able to be with them! We are so  grateful they live so close to us! We are so lucky to have five grandchildren live nearby;  and the East Coast duo visit often! I thought to publish […]

A lifetime collection of Italian majolica gets a new home!

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I was minding my own business, (yes working!)  looking for furniture for clients in my favorite antique store in our area;  and this bird;  this happy little bird caught my eye! What a delightful, fey,whimsical, little bird!  I was captivated! And look!!! Shelves all over the store filled with them! plates,bowls. platters of all sizes, […]

Test #3

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Sorry again for all the emails!!! Thank you for your patience!   We are having technical trouble;  and trying to work it out!

The artist Radisha!

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  Radisha has been an important part of my team for years! I have often said that my ideas are really unfulfillable without my treasured “team”. One of my favorite team members has and will always be my dear friend and talented artist Radisha. He has been creating sensational works of art for me for […]

Slipcovers!! Seasonal slipcovers save your furniture!

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Seasonal Slipcovers! What I love about slipcovers is so many things!! My mother was from the “South”.  (Lucky me in so many ways having particularly to do with the “HOUSE!”) She taught me to have four………yes four…… seasonal sets of slipcovers for my furniture. (My  goal is four;  I now have three;  and I will […]

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Our Home Featured in French Country Style ! AGAIN!!! 3 years in a row!

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Yikes!  What an exciting week! Fifi O’Neill , the founder and editor in chief of this magazine/book,(and many others!  “google” her!)  saw our house and my friend Renee’s house on my blog; ( she expressed interest in both of them)!  and Mark Lohman (a wonderful photographer, and an old friend) photographed them both  for this […]

Monterey Colonial garden update! Big difference!!!

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Hi there!  I have had a lot of requests for more updates on the Monterey Colonial our daughter purchased a few years ago here in Montecito! The previous posts are at the end of this post! She removed some shrubbery crowding this beautiful jacaranda tree; and changed the planting behind the boxwoods to only purple […]

The last “by invitation only”! WHAT AN HONOR!!!!

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Hi there! This is the last of “By invitation only” I adore that Marsha;  who started it.  I have no idea how she did it;  and I am still relying on her to connect me with “Mr. Linky” tonight ! My first experience with a blog (and there was not such a word) was with […]

Donna Karan gets a surprise!

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I LOVED DONNA KARAN’S BOOK SIGNING! AND I LOVE HER BOOK!! WHEN SHE FIRST STARTED HER OWN COLLECTION, I WORE HER CLOTHES ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY!! What fun I had going to the book signing of Donna Karan’s new memoir “My Journey” at our local bookstore Tecolote!  I was so surprised  she would be in Montecito! I […]

My fantasy dinner party!

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Splenderosa has an Invitation only series!  She invites a few of us to come together and post a blog about one topic! This month’s subject is “My Fantasy Dinner Party” I would invite Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl with her little doggie Blu. her talented protege Tony Duquette and his beautiful wife Beegle Duquette. His […]

New tv show! “The Real Houses of….”

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Our house is featured in an episode of “The Real Houses of…..”  on the W network in Canada! The series of shows were filmed this last Spring;  and were shown this fall season.  We were in the episode “Southwest USA”;  and we thought they did a nice job of showing our house! They were lovely […]

A blogpost from Brooke at Velvet and Linen about me!

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This was a post a few years ago by Brooke Giannetti at Velvet and linen! an evening with penelope bianchi and lars bolander… Having never attended school for interior design, I’ve always wished that I had a mentor. There have been a few times when I have met other eccentric, like minded designers, but they […]

A lifelong collection of a "Happy Bird"!!!

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I was minding my own business, (yes working!)  looking for furniture for clients in my favorite antique store in our area;  and this bird;  this happy little bird caught my eye! What a delightful, fey,whimsical, little bird!  I was captivated! And look!!! Shelves all over the store filled with them! plates,bowls. platters of all sizes, […]

“DID MY LIFE TURN OUT THE WAY I THOUGHT”?

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As I recall;  this was a great question.  However;   it had too many components for me.  Bottom line was (just for me)  “Did your life turn out the way you would have liked it to?” My answer is a resounding YES!!!  EVEN BETTER!!!  I had a mother who led the way!  (she was 40 […]

Garden update on the Monterey Colonial in Montecito!

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The gardens have  been worked on extensively for the past few  months! Huge improvements!!! Not too much has changed in the front; Things are starting to bloom! The real changes are on the side…. what was a shady mess where nothing much would grow To a charming space!  Bricks (hand-made ones…that is key!!) are laid […]

My friend Ellie in Paris is having a sale in Los Angeles!

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Don’t forget to click on the title of the post!!! Ellie is my friend who lives in Paris! She used to live in Santa Barbara;  and she had the chicest shop anyone has ever seen!  She and her mother shopped all over the world and put together (in the chicest possible way) the most amazing […]

My definition of “luxury”!

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luxury   noun (pl) -ries  1. indulgence in and enjoyment of rich, comfortable, and sumptuous living 2. (sometimes pl) something that is considered an indulgence rather than a necessity 3. something pleasant and satisfying: the luxury of independence This definition works for me! Now;  I will tell you what this means to me!  And I suspect it will be quite different from others! But maybe not! I will start here!  My picnic table my friend found in the nearby “collective antique store” for my […]

Flower power!!! The story of “festivity crowns”!!

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The very first one!!! The one with the swan! My daughter doesn’t look too embarrassed!!! Here is a story about “festivity crowns”!!! You see, a few years ago, my husband and I came out of dinner in Montecito, and a tiny little shop called “La Vie Boheme” was right by our car! (the shop was […]

Question: “Do you follow trends in decorating?”

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(Don’t forget to click on the title!! To see the whole post!) “Do you follow trends in decorating”? That is the topic on “By invitation only” on the blog:  splenderosa.com.  Everyone is different;  but this is something I decided many years ago  (43) to be exact! I do not follow trends for my own decorating; […]

Montecito Sea Meadow, my dream once-in-a-lifetime decorating job!! [repost]

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Well, there is a “secret place”   in Montecito.  Honestly;  even close neighbors barely know it is there! One can only see it from the water……or walking on the beach going from the “Biltmore” east towards the “Miramar”!   It was the dream job of a lifetime for me! In 1989, my client and dear […]

Pond update!

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The pond now has duck houses, plants and fish And ducks!! This was the pond a few years ago.  It was a natural pond (even though we re-dug it);  it was clay soil and held the water for 17 years! Then came the drought……over the course of 3 or 4 years; it needed more and more […]

A Marcel Vertes update!

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This is my most recent purchase of the work of Marcel Vertes! It was a “wall hanging” purchased in France in the sixties; The title of the work is “Le Jardin de Pierrot” Pierrot was a boy member of the  characters in the “Commedia dell’arte”;  a comedy group that started in Italy and spread to […]

What one thing do I really need for fall??

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Tonne Goodman style editor of Vogue! This is my NEW addition to my uniform for fall!  PANTS!!! I love that Marsha…….can inspire us to write on a “topic”; and I  cannot wait to read them all! Mine is a bit weird!  (no surprise!!) My goal for fall is a “new uniform”! I love, love love […]

Backyard Wildlife Habitat (National Wildlife Federation)

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I have many new subscribers!!  I am going to post a few of my favorite (and others’ favorite posts) In between new posts, so the new subscribers don’t have to go searching!! (Be sure to click on the title to see the complete post!) In 1997;  we decided to move to Montecito from Pasadena. We […]

The Summer Slipcovers Again!

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Since I reposted the Spring and Fall-Winter slipcovers;  here are the Summer!  (Like, now!) I know, I know!  I did a post already on the Summer Slipcovers!! But something went haywire;  and it disappeared from my website;  some people received it, and some didn’t!  All I could find was “error 104”!! It has completely disappeared! […]

A sad pond story with a happy ending for some ducks!

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This is what our pond looks like now.  I was so upset about this I couldn’t  even photograph it! Finally…….now that the ending is written……I could. This was two months ago. Can you imagine??? This is what our pond looked like a few months ago! Montecito is in a severe drought;  and we have been […]

Happy Birthday!

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How fun!!! My daughter gave me a birthday party for 30 guests!  Two of my grandchildren Penelope (Poppy), and Eva are here! Poppy is taller than I am!  Eva is about the same so far! Poppy, my daughter Ella, me and Eva! There was a long table;  and three of these beautiful “woodland fairyland  centerpieces! […]

The Coincidence of the " artist of the screens"! Or is it? I find it completely uncanny!!! Chinoiserie alert!

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For my subscribers;  it will perhaps no surprise that I LOVE “whimsy, fun, fantasy and Chinoiserie (which combines them all)! Here is the story of the “Screens”!  As I said in the title……I find it completely uncanny!! Three 4 panel Chinoiserie screens that I adore……..by the same artist…….1 in NYC at auction 1996;  one in […]

Surprise!! Surprise!! Chinoiserie Paintings & Prints by Harrison Howard

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I am running this post again! I just bought another of his beautiful “giclees” for my granddaughter Poppy’s birthday! I thought many of you hadn’t subscribed to my blog yet;  and would love to see these! I have always loved, loved , loved Chinoiserie!! I have been planning to do a post on it!  It […]

Another update on the "Monterey Colonial"! Interiors and exteriors!

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    This story has been a long and winding road! Anyone following my “blog” knows!! Rather than publishing the three former installments;  if you haven’t seen them, you can click  on the “search” box on this blog,  and write “Monterey Colonial” and they will show up!  If you haven’t seen them;  I suggest you […]

Monterey Colonial!! "Progress!" "More Progress coming next" This is the "Interior progress" midway! UPDATE!!!

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  Well;  again, instead of just launching into the ” update” on our “Montecito Monterey Colonial”;  because of my new subscribers, I am repeating the “during” published in January! With three children relocating from Europe; all the things I had done to the house in their absence, the progress now is slowing down!  But “slow […]

Monterey Colonial "During"!! again before the "present" to be posted in the next few days!!! Exterior!

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Hi there again! I am going to post the “present pictures” of our Monterey Colonial;  however, it has been so long since I have posted; and I have many new subscribers; so I decided to republish the  last  post”during”  a day or two before the “present” so no one has to search for it!! Here […]

What was James Wearing in Santa Barbara?

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One of my very favorite bloggers is the elegant , handsome, and charming James Andrew of the very popular blog,  “What is James Wearing?”!! He and his delightful partner Scott McBee planned a really fantastic “California Adventure” with help from some very knowledgable and sophisticated advisors!! One of their stops was the Bacara Hotel nearby; […]

Patina!

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First of all, I have to say how completely thrilled I am to be participating for the first time in Splenderosa’s BY INVITATION ONLY! AND Also incredibly lucky to have been able to pick the topic!!! As some of you may know, I was  published in House Beautiful (one of my very favorite magazines!) in […]

Grace Design Associates …..our wonderful landscape designers!!!

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I was showing a friend the photographs of our garden on our landscape designer’s website;  and read the story of our project!   I realized that our project from their standpoint was quite different from ours;  and thought a lot of people would enjoy reading about the challenges and reading the story! Thriving Wilderness Retreat: The […]

The Olive Allée!!!

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Definition: (from  Wikipedia) “Allée is traditionally a walkway  with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each side , which is used, as its French source venir (“to come”) indicates; to emphasize the “coming to,” or arrival at a  “focal point”  or an architectural  feature. In most cases, an  “avenue” is planted with all of the same species or cultivar so as to […]

Duckling update! And a rare bird nesting!

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Well!!  Look how big the ducklings are! They are now 57 days old;  their wing feathers cross over on their backs!  They CAN fly!! But they don’t seem to be going anywhere!!!      Do we think it is because I fill up their dish twice a day with duck food???   I will certainly miss […]

The finest embroidered linens: the legendary "Marghab"!!

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  When I was growing up;  my mother loved beautiful linens.  Embroidery was her favorite thing. Her favorite maker was a Portugese company called “Marghab” from the island of Madeira.  They had “separate boutiques” in the top department stores in the United States. In fact;  they were the very first company of any kind to […]

Quick duckling progress story!!! First ducklings of the Spring!

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   This picture is right after they hatched!!     April 13,2013  And this is today!! May 25,2013 All 11 ducklings have survived;  in 10 more days they will be able to fly!! They are a little hard to distinguish from their Mommy! (she is in the back watching!)     HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!! […]

La Colombe d'Or in Saint Paul De Vence : an iconic hotel in Provence

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In 1982 my husband and I went on our first trip to Provence together.  My favorite hotel I had ever seen was the “Hotel  de La Colombe d’Or.” (I almost fainted!!!) It is  perched at the top of the most beautiful  mountain  village of St. Paul de Vence. Here are some pictures we took at […]

French Lavender Oil

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When we were building our house;  we went on several trips to Provence. We stayed on one trip at a wonderful hotel in Aix-en-Provence called La Villa Gallici. http://www.villagallici.com/en/hotel It smelled absolutely divine;  so I looked everywhere for a housekeeper who spoke English! I found one and asked her what on earth smelled so good! […]

Our Home Featured in French Country Style !

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Yikes!  What an exciting week! Fifi O’Neill , the founder and editor in chief of this magazine/book,(and many others!  “google” her!)  saw our house and my friend Renee’s house on my blog; ( she expressed interest in both of them)!  and Mark Lohman (a wonderful photographer, and an old friend) photographed them both  for this […]

The magical things that can be created with paint effects!

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Sometimes people ask me about “faux” wall finishes. The walls in our house are not “faux” anything!  They are  lime washed.  Lime (which is mined out of the ground); is mixed with natural pigments also mined out of the ground in  Roussillon, France in a way it has been done all over Europe for hundreds […]

The magical things that can be created with paint effects!

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Sometimes people ask me about “faux” wall finishes. The walls in our house are not “faux” anything!  They are  lime washed.  Lime (which is mined out of the ground); is mixed with natural pigments also mined out of the ground in  Roussillon, France in a way it has been done all over Europe for hundreds […]

Spring Is Here!

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    Today really feels like spring! 11 baby ducklings! Just in time for the Piedmont Garden Club!! The proud Mommy!  It’s the most we have ever had! The duck house in the rear (from LWB Creations in Georgia) is where she sleeps to keep the ducklings safe! She laid her eggs and hatched them […]

A lovely post by a friend and blogger!

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    My friend and fellow blogger Tracey Jackson came to Santa Barbara to visit her mother;  and came over to visit! (These pictures were taken last Spring!  Not by Tracey)     Tracey is a screenwriter, and that is one reason she is such a good blog writer! She has also published books! Honestly, […]

A lovely post by a fellow designer!

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   Yesterday,  I was stunned when I received a post by my new friend, Julie of TG Interiors! She wrote me to ask if she could speak to me about how I started my career; and she wanted to see if had had advice for young people thinking about a design career! She lives nearby, […]

Butler’s Pantries

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Hi! May I introduce Mari, who wrote this lovely guest post about one of my favorite things:  “Butler’s Pantries”    (I need a butler!!)     Hello, everyone! I’m Mari, a writer for Arcadian Home, a fabulous online place to find chandeliers, lighting fixtures in all styles and finishes, and stunning home decor. I am […]

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

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  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 […]

Monterey Colonial Restoration in Montecito: "The Before!"

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For two years, we knew our daughter and her family were moving back this fall; and wanted to buy their “first house” !   Time to buy their first house!  Yikes! I have looked at just about every family house in Montecito!  And I saw some wonderful houses “dying on the vine” because of the […]

Kitchen details! I was asked by one of my favorites to show my kitchen! Here it is!

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Hi there!  One of my favorite bloggers and commenters asked to see more of my kitchen! It was from those darling people at “Wilson Kelsey Design”! Based in the next town to our daughter who lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts! Another lucky couple who work together in this fun and wonderful profession. (some people look at […]

Kitchen details! I was asked by one of my favorites to show my kitchen! Here it is!

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Hi there!  One of my favorite bloggers and commenters asked to see more of my kitchen! It was from those darling people at “Wilson Kelsey Design”! Based in the next town to our daughter who lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts! Another lucky couple who work together in this fun and wonderful profession. (some people look at […]

I am so lucky!! Our house "scouting photographs" by Mark Lohman for a new magazine!

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  A few weeks ago,  Mark Lohman, an excellent and well-known interior and exterior photographer (whom I have known for many years!) called me about a new magazine! “French Country”! Fifi O’Neill, the editor ,has written books, and has two other magazines,  “Romantic Prairie Style” and” Romantic Country” Her books are “Romantic Prarie Style” and […]

Trumeau

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My very favorite mirror above a fireplace or console is a “trumeau”! A “trumeau” either has a painted scene or some lovely carving.  They were always part of the “boiserie”  (paneling) in a french house; and are very popular here, especially in ” French” houses! This is what I do know!  I LOVE “trumeaus”!! Our […]

Renee's Kitchen

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The very first time I went to Renees house;  I got so excited I forgot to take pictures of the kitchen and dining area! I thought the design was so creative and practical that it really should be shown! So, back I went!  How divine is this bicycle?!  She rides it with “Bittersweet” the Yorkie […]

Success story with ducklings!!!

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Well!  After the trauma of the drowned ducklings  (good thing I never had to go to war) The same  Mallard female trusted Winston’s duck house from Georgia…….and laid 6 eggs in the back nest box! Another mallard mother trusted the newly fortified ” old” duck house and also laid 6 eggs! First time ever  (in […]

Renee's past publicity!! Bravo!

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Hi there!  Thanks to my reader, Brenda….lives in the South……. (who may not know it;  but does have a “photographic  memory”!  Thanks to Brenda; I have proof that Renee has been doing this sort of  imaginative and magical gardens for a long time!!! Brenda read my blog;  and she wrote me to say…..”could this be […]

Renée's Magic!!

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“Renee’s Magic” has been a difficult post!  It is so unusual, and so hard to show in pictures.  But here I go!!! You remember from my post on her garden ;   there is a fabulous trumpet vine that goes all the way around both buildings  (that were formerly stables) Stepping into the front door […]

The Secret Garden!!!

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My friend Bonnie  lives in the neighborhood where Ty Warner (beanie babies) built the most enormous house in Montecito! He bought 5 houses on a bluff overlooking the ocean; tore them all down;   (all of them multi-million dollar houses)  and built an enormous “Venetian” Palazzo. Bonnie called me and said….”Penny;  You absolutely have to […]

My wonderful surprise! A reprise for Mother's Day!!!

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!! I ran this last year on Mother’s Day, and for anyone who didn’t see it, you might enjoy it!! I had a wonderful Mother!!  She was the creative behind my own creativity;  although my father, (whom I cannot remember)  was extremely creative as well! I owe so much to my mother;  and […]

Story of the Duck House!!!

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WHEW!!!   You haven’t heard from me in a while.   We had a duckling disaster!! Six baby ducklings hatched in our duck house.  Last Spring we had nine at the end of March, four in July, and nine again in August, all of whom got as big as their mother;  and off they flew […]

Spring is Springing in Santa Barbara!

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I posted the very beginning of Spring a while ago.  Some people say we have no “seasons” in Southern California!” Yes we do!!  Spring is in full swing!! DO WE HAVE SPRING??? YES!!!!! We have a handsome new deer trophy!  (wrought iron)  in a proud position! The house is fully cloaked with ivy!  (People ask […]

Thank YouT&G Interiors !!!! for such lovely compliments!

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 Here or click on the image above

Early Springtime in the garden 2012

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These pictures were taken two weeks ago, around the middle of March! Many people think we don’t have seasons in Santa Barbara;  but I am going to show you that we do! You can see the wisteria; which not only looks beautiful, but smells sublime! It creeps across the front of the garage, and around […]

Tra Vigne in the Napa Valley

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The beautiful Napa Valley was where my husband Adam and I spent our birthdays and our anniversary this past week! We stayed at a friend’s guest house right near the beautiful Auberge de Soleil  Hotel;  and even in the off-season; the weather was gorgeous!!! The first place I want to share is one of the […]

"the top 10 most romantic homes in the world in 2012"

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Oh my goodness!!  Imagine my surprise when our agent sent me this! This is an annual list released once a year!  These houses are selected each February and are publicized all year! No one can apply for, nor purchase this advertising! I feel extremely honored;  and I am with some very spectacular company!! I have […]

a new blogger's dream comes true!

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 Thanking blogdom!!!!!! I started a blog last April (I think);  and was encouraged by my dear friend Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen. I will learn how to make those links……(actually Velvet  and Linen is in my sidebar and you can click on it!) My nine year old grandson asked me what a blog was! […]

I have to push "pause"!

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Grandparent’s Day at Crane School Sunday with Poppy (Penelope) 13;  and Tommy , 9, and Adam my husband! It was 80 degrees, if you can believe it!! I cannot tell you how much fun it is to post a blog every week or so!  There is always something I am excited about!!  and that has […]

Christmas with grandchildren! Their "presence" was our "present"!!

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We are so lucky!  Two of our seven grandchildren live less than a mile from our house here in Santa Barbara! Three more lived here for 3 years;  but for 8 years they have been living in Switzerland;  and are moving back here next summer! For a multitude of reasons, Christmas has been “childless” for […]

My Christmas post!

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This is my Christmas Post!!! It is someone else’s Christmas Post!  “Splenderosa”! It feels OK to me to be using it;   not plagiarism if I give credit where credit is due! I hope so! It is so perfect, and splendid, I had to share it with all of you! Have a wonderful holiday season […]

My duck story…….after they flew!! and here they are BACK!!!

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Well……when the ducklings flew………(the last nine of the three groups..)  I missed them!  I was so happy they all lived…..but I must say…..just picture a pond with a Mom and Dad duck and 9 ducklings…. ….and then……one day…..none.  I didn’t cry.  But I felt like it! they flew on a Thursday….and the parents flew with […]

What I am thankful for!!! One of the biggest surprises; and one of the biggest gifts of my life! Mother’s Day reprise!!!

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This “Mother’s Day”;  I wasn’t with any of our girls or our seven grandchildren!  I thought all day about my own Mother! She was the creative behind my own creativity;  although my father, (whom I cannot remember)  was extremely creative as well! I owe so much to my mother;  and since she died when I […]

Radisha revisited!

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Radisha, a dear friend and artist extraordinaire, has been doing a drawing or painting a day; and generously sharing them each day in my email!  They are such a beautiful collection;  I decided to share them with you! Being an interior decorator is a humbling experience in many ways!  Probably the most humbling is how […]

A Thanksgiving thought!

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I know I am late! I’m working on two things for Thanksgiving; neither are right!  Yet! But I received a picture of 4 generations of her family  from my “best friend” since the 6th grade!  Her parents have been married for 70 years!  They are both in their mid-nineties! (we were “not asked back” to […]

"Porch" a wonderful store!

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  Porch!  A lovely store in Carpinteria had a   ” Winter Fest”!!    The co-owners Christy and Diana are talented and energetic; and their store is truly special!!! They describe their wares as “Shelter and Nature”.  They have all kinds of things for bringing the outside in, and bringing the inside out!  And these […]

Paint magic in a kitchen! A total transformation with paint!

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My brother and sister-in-laws new kitchen!!!    Before and after! Via the internet from California to Connecticut!  Utilizing , my favorite tool, our iPhones!!! My brother and sister in law bought their house 15 years ago; and wanted to add on a family room with a garage under it off the kitchen. They did that; […]

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show 2011

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Hooked on Houses Provencal farmhouse feature

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One of my very favorite blogs is “Hooked on Houses”!  She has a huge following and is always interesting! She did a whole post on our house;  and combined some photographs from a House Beautiful article with others, and I was thrilled with the results!  Her taste and sensibility are excellent; and combined with  her […]

Another wonderful blog I love!!!

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Leta Austin Foster is a sensational decorator and has one of my very favorite shops in Palm Beach Florida. In her blog, she shares all her amazing sources in Europe and other places! This article has fabulous sources in Paris! I also want to thank her for mentioning me in this post! You can read […]

Please Join Us!

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Picks of the Week! Round 2! Thanks to "Pinterest"!!!

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Well, I have a new addiction that involves the internet.  Oh dear!  “Pinterest”!!!  It is a genius idea!  One can see a sublime picture on a post or blog or magazine, or whatever, and you can “pin it” just like that!  And that is saved on your “inboard with its information of where it came […]

My dear friends' "Swedish Village" on Orcas Island!

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My longtime friends from Pasadena have developed a charming spot on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington state.  They have been going there for 22 years!  It is a dream of a family compound! This summer I went to Orcas Island to visit my granddaughter at her camp and visited the Coffey’s […]

The tale of the pond!

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On Mother’s Day in 1997; we purchased this vacant lot.  It is a little over two acres;  however it seems like more because it is in the middle of 90!

The inspiration for our French chickens!!

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Our granddaughter feeding the chickens! About eighteen years ago;  my husband Adam and I went on a trip to France. I had read a lovely review of a new hotel opened in Burgundy that sounded wonderful. The name was” Chateau Vault de Lugny”.  The owner was a young woman who had grown up in the […]

I promised the pictures of the dogs! the stone ones! Here they are!!

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Originally, when we built our house;  I only had one of the pair of the Madam DuBarry Sphinx. (See my blog post The Garden Sphinx) I found these delightful cast stone reproductions at Quatrain (an antique store in West Hollywood).  Here is their description: “LOUIS XIII STYLE CAST STONE HOUNDS . The original early Baroque examples are from the famed […]

Thank you Tara Dillard, Velvet and Linen and Callie Grayson!

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Thank  you so much to those who have posted three wonderful posts about us recently.  We are over the moon! You can view Tara Dillard’s blog called Landscape Design Decorating about us, and this earlier post here! Brooke and Steve at the fabulous blog, Velvet and Linen. You can view the articles she did on us […]

Hatched in the wild!!

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Three weeks ago,  a hen of ours went missing!  I was afraid a coyote or hawk had taken her;  but I couldn’t  find feathers anywhere! About  ten days later, I found her outside the coop in the morning, and I knew she must have made a nest outside of the coop!

The Garden Sphinx

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I have always been a lover of gardens, especially the wild ones!  I love statues, birdbaths, and accessories  (although when overdone;  I am reminded of a cemetery)!  Two of my most prized possessions are a pair of terra cotta sphinx that sit on the entry way to my house.

Orcas Island

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This past week I took a little vacation up to Orcas Island, where my granddaughter Poppy is attending summer camp.  Orcas Island is the largest in the San Juan island chain, located off Washington state.  The area has so much history, and it was a real treat to visit Poppy while she is away at […]

Dive into Summer, my favorite pools!

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With the onset of Summer in full swing, I can’t help but get excited for the season.  I avoid  sitting in the sun;  but I have always loved unusual pools and pool houses.  They can make or break an outdoor space(usually, unfortunately, break), so I thought I would share with you a few pools I […]

Australian talk show

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Click here to see full interview, aired on Australian TV.  I was in a room with a camera;  and they were talking to me in Australian accents!  That is hard!!!  Hope you enjoy!

Corsica, Villa Murtoli

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“Like nowhere else on Earth” This is a perfect  way to describe the luxury villas at Villa Murtoli on the island of Corsica.  I have dreams of visiting this place, strolling the beaches and meandering through the rolling hills and countryside.  As you will see in the photos below, this rambling property is a true […]

Picks of the week

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While perusing the internet and visiting some of my favorite sites and blogs this week I decided to save the images that most inspired me.  Please take a look to see what was on my “favorites” list this week.  I am always so overwhelmed by the amount of imagery out there, now I have a […]

Daily Mail, London

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This is the note I just received from friend, and local author Richard Mineards:  “How nice to know a worldwide celebrity! This is from today’s London Daily Mail… Pip! Pip! Richard” “‘Oprah Winfrey’s my neighbour!’ The ‘chicken lady’ who chats over the fence with the world’s most famous chatshow host.  Soon after moving into her […]

Radisha

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I have often said that my ideas are really unfulfillable without my treasured “team”.  One of my favorite team members has and will always be my dear friend and talented artist Radisha. He has been creating sensational works of art for me for over 22 years. I first came across his work in…1989,  at, of […]

Duckling update!

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“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”  Michael Caine. I have not been very good about keeping duckling updates!  But I have pictures to show their progress!  They are  46 days old today!  I have added a few images to show how they have grown over the […]

Pasadena Garden Tour

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit some exquisite gardens in Pasadena. The Garden Conservancy  has “Open Days” all over the country;  where members with lovely gardens open them to the public to raise money for their group.  Their goal is to save and restore lovely gardens that are endangered all over the […]

Ella's Garden

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Welcome to Ella’s garden! My daughter Ella along with husband Scott, and children Poppy and Tommy were recently featured in this month’s Traditional Home Magazine. While spring is in the air and flowers are in bloom it is hard to stay inside these days.  Ella’s garden is the perfect place to entertain, relax, and appreciate […]

House Beautiful

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Easter at the Lemon House

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This year Easter greeted us with a beautiful day and a fun filled event with family and friends.  We celebrated at a friends farm, known as the Lemon House.  Where what used to be a lemon packing house, a young family of four now resides.  Present at the party were three generations of several families; […]

Ducklings

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Welcome baby ducks! This is the tenth year we have had mallards hatch in our pond.  Hatched March 24th, they are now almost 1 month old. Ducks take a special liking to backyard pond: By Carolyn Bolton, News-Press Correspondent A Mallard gave birth to a brood of ducklings Thursday on a private pond off East […]

An evening with Lars Bolander and a thank you to Velvet and Linen

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“An Evening with Lars Bolander,” also, a night to remember!  Several months back we hosted a book signing for author, antique dealer and friend Lars Bolander. His new book Scandinavian Design has received much praise, several other successful book parties and even a spot on the Martha Stewart show! Visit his online store larsbolander.com to see […]

House Beautiful Sept. Interview – Mediterranean Style Home with a Well-Worn Patina

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Mimi Read: Your house is filled with collections. Are you a Victorian at heart? Penelope Bianchi: I don’t think of myself that way. I’ve been a decorator for 39 years, and I never believed in any kind of a trend. My husband and I inherited about half of what’s here. A lot of it is […]

Santa Barbara Living Book

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Traditional Home

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Santa Barbara Magazine

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Los Angeles House Book

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Garden Design

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Home

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Traditional Home 2002

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