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!
Shelves all over the store filled with them!
plates,bowls. platters of all sizes, cups, saucers, espresso tiny cups and saucers! Oh my heart!!!
There had to be story about all this; I could see subtle differences in the glaze color, in the application of the trims; and even slight differences in the bird!
I asked the owners, (twins who know everyone and everything about Santa Barbara County for the last 100 years!)
“Oh yes, Mrs. Flood collected this pattern for 50 years or more!”
Oh happy day! …
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 over 27 years. I first came across
his work in…(1989!) at, of all things, an “Estate Sale”! I bought several things I thought were old Italian painted furniture;
and was going on-and-on about them, until the owner said: “Would you like to meet the artist? I almost
fainted! He was at the time a Canadian citizen and was born in Serbia then studied art in Canada.
We have been working together on countless projects ever since.
He is skilled in many styles of painting, as you will see in the following pictures.
One of my favorite things in his art is his sense of whimsy!
Radisha has the ability to carry his artwork beyond the canvas to many different applications.
From painted screens to murals, he is able to adapt different styles and
techniques to always create a beautiful end result!
This is a four-panel screen in a Renaissance style.
This is a bedroom in Virginia with a “faux marbre” dado.
One of my favorites! a trompe l’oeil ledge with a mother dove on her nest in a powder room. Doesn’t she look surprised?!
This painted panel is a perfect example of Radisha’s whimsical style, always emphasizing nature and romance!
A tiled niche Radisha designed and painted in a loggia in Santa Barbara.
Some lovely Chinoiserie murals.
Pictured above is a painted mural Radisha created on a blank wall.
The curtains matched the dining room curtains which is to the right through an archway!
The house is an Italian Villa by Reginald Johnson; so the view is of the countryside in Tuscany.
This was the first job we worked on together. His paintings made this beautiful gallery “come alive!”
The owner; an attorney, called me one morning (she was supposed to look at and approve
the water color renderings of the gallery the afternoon before); she said…… “Oh!
I was so distracted by the new wallpaper in the kitchen;
I forgot to look at the gallery renderings! I hope I am not holding anything up!!”
I said, “Well; when I didn’t hear from you, he painted it all last night!
And just so you know; the overdoor in the middle is a man with an artichoke growing out of his head!”
Fortunately, the whole family loved it all!!!
This was a great project to work with Radisha on; the murals as well as all of his over-door
painting and details painted around sconces, etc.
are still (27 years later) a beautiful feature of the house.
See below photos of Radisha’s work from this project.
Detail behind a sconce (one of eight in the main gallery, all different).
Close up of one of paintings behind the sconce.
An over-door detail where the man has an artichoke growing out of his head, amazing!!
The upstairs hallway where each arch has a different painted scene.
This is a detail from one of the arches where you can see the owners two children running with the family dog!
Another overdoor panel at the opposite end of the gallery from the “window”
It is such a luxury to have an artist
like Radisha to make such a difference in a project!
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 have four!” )
First of all; when a new season starts; I get a” new house”! It’s almost like having 3 houses in one.
It is just a joy! Even my husband gets excited.
The very first day of “fall” The old “Oriental” rugs rugs go back down; All the pillows change, the slipcovers change on the furniture;
and it does almost look like a different house!
So to begin; this is fall. This is our “big hall” a combination living-dining room……
This is FALL!
This picture shows a lot of the furniture! with……
The fall slipcovers.
Deep rust Fortuny on the ottomans; teal on the chair seats, tapestry pillows and some quilt on the banquette, and the rugs and paisley
by the fireplace! (one of the two fireplaces in the room).
Rug and cozy seats around the fireplace on the “seating” side of the room.
(there are two fireplaces one at each end. One at the “seating end”; and another at the “eating end”.
This is the opposite side of the room!
Directly opposite the other fireplace!
Its oriental rug is a cozy addition.
This is the dining area: this area has its fall and winter backwards Fortuny.
Fall includes my lifelong collection of antique paisley shawls, antique needlepoint
(collected for decades; even some made by me) ;
and the fall cozy colors emerge to replace the Summer pillows and fabrics.
The banquette is covered with my antique tapestry pillows; collected over my lifetime.
My favorites are from Dallas. The tapestry was falling apart; (there is nothing wrong in this)…….
The lady who made these exquisite pillows rescues the intact , fragile parts of the tapestry; and makes exquisite pillows
with antique trim, hand-dyed velvet, and down fills.
They must not be considered “pillows”!
Here are a few examples:
This is one from Dallas. There is a village scene around this tree.
This little creature I found in the flea market in Paris.
You can see that collecting things can give so many layers of beauty and meaning to your house!
(This is one of our dogs; rescued from a freeway on-ramp)! The dogs are fond of the banquette; and the leopard blanket came from Bunny Williams’
recommended dog bed source: “Wally beds” ; totally washable.
Again; Slipcovers. And end of FALL.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT SPRING!
HERE IT IS! THIS TRANSFORMATION STARTS MARCH 21st.
The main rugs go to storage and the pretty peach floors show.
Cushions pale yellow silk; ottomans yellow Fortuny.
Different pillows and quilt on the banquette.
This close-up shows the spring pillows in better detail.
By the way, the valance is two antique valances sewn together found at an “Antique Show”
Antique shows are great places to find vintage textiles.
And my antique toile coverlet with the hand embroidered work salvaged from some beautiful old sheets made into a pillow by my friend Kathy
(Pillow Beach on Etsy)
Here comes SUMMER!!!
Luna is in her guarding position on the ottoman covered in an antique linen and hemp hand-woven French fabric!
In Spring, these 4 chairs are in vintage red French ticking! In Winter, cozy paisley!
These are covered for Summer in white on white Indian fabric that is all hand appliquéd in various geometric patterns!
You can see the incredible hand-work.
Looking the other direction!
The bay window has different pillows; a combination of some similar Indian appliqué that I found in bright yellow!
My favorite pillow in this group was made from a panel my mother bought in
Europe many years ago; and I found folded in her linens!
Now for an amazing story!
A few years ago,we rented a house in Spain for a week; we had our whole family ! (All 15!!)
I went to a painted furniture place I had always wanted to see; and look what was hanging on the wall!!!
The identical linen panel on another color background!!!
I’m trying to find out where it came from!!
This ottoman is in a vintage red French toile in
Spring; and in a red strie velvet in Winter!
This is another view!
The dining side of the “Big Hall” with Yellow Soulaido French fabric on the chairs !
This fireplace is opposite the other fireplace!
The trumeau mirror is one of a pair with two different scenes with children playing painted on them!
Dog-proof is important!!
Our Home Featured in French Country Style! AGAIN!!!
3 years in a row!
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 issue! It just came out; but it will be on the newsstands until July 29th!
I absolutely love the job they did with the wonderful photographs;
(and the writing I think quite captured my philosophy !! And also Renee’s spirit and creativity )!
Fifi is quite the genius! She is unbelievable!!
We couldn’t make the printing bigger; so run out and buy this! The whole issue is just exceptional!! You will want to
add it to your library !
It is in markets (my friend from the “Henhouse”, Elizabeth found two in the Safeway! Cathy my friend in Pasadena found it at “Target!!) and
on newsstands kind of everywhere!
I must say, every article is definitely very educational! I am so proud to be
included in this group of very talented people!!
I actually read the analysis of things that I do! And I learned a lot! Much of my work is instinctive!
It is fun for me to see how it is analyzed!
The cover photograph is of Fifi’s cottage in Florida, where she lives!
Here is the informative, educational, and delightful article on our house!!
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 agapanthus. There were lots of them sprinkled all
over the property; so she moved them all here.
When they bloom under the purple blossoms it will be a show!
Here is the front porch with the Anduze pots with topiaries. Everything simplified!
there is a lovely new gate in the background on the left. It was made to match the back gate.
Around the back of the house; she has added oak leaf hydrangeas, and star jasmine.
Right around the corner.
Another new gate to match the back gate! The pool is on the other side!
Remember when you couldn’t see the pool from the garden? She opened up the hedge!
It is still private; but you have a glimpse!
The beds are also simplified with white agapanthus, iceberg roses and Viburnum.
The original back gate!
The other side!
Behind the above hedge is another whole garden! Avocado trees, wildflowers, fruit trees
and raised potager beds!
3 avocado trees all different species so they fruit at different times!
My favorite! Lavender, matillija poppies, artichokes and herbs! And roses!
I think they are doing a beautiful job of this garden!
I think my favorite of all are these oak trees in the front which were never
Congratulations to our daughter, her husband and their gardener!!!!
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 Hungarian who lived in Paris until the war; and then he lived in New York. He was working in all kinds of mediums. My mother was in advertising; I think that was when she first started following him. He did all the advertisements for Elsa Schiaparelli ; her “Shocking” perfume; even designing the bottle!
He also won an Academy award for set design for “Moulin Rouge.
She timed her trip to coincide with a show of his oil paintings at the Katia Granoff gallery.
In researching for this blog post; look what I discovered!!! A blog post about Marcel Vertes with my bedroom in it! I had never seen it!
Feeling Pink with Marcel Vertes
My mother timed her trip to coincide with a show of his oil paintings at the Katia Granoff gallery. He died shortly before the exhibit, in 1961.
I was 14 years old. She told me that she loved his art, his whimsy, his colors, and his animals. She also said she loved his women because they reminded her of me!!
This one was the sixth!
This was the beginning of a lifelong collection of the work of one artist by my mother, my brother, and by me!
This is a beautiful one that was above our living room mantle while I was growing up!
We had a fire in 1982, and one of my mother’s Vertes oils was lost. I bought this one from my dear Tony Duquette and Hutton Wilkinson; and after I had purchased it, they told me it had belonged to Elsie de Wolfe. My mother gave me her book, The House in Good Taste; which had inspired me to become a decorator!!
Crazy about the cat!
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 www.Newyorksocialdiary.com.
I read about it….and bought a computer so I could go on the internet and read it!
That is the God’s truth!
I love it to this day….and it is the only thing my darling husband reads
on the internet!
Then I started reading other things….David Patrick Columbia never used the
word “blog”. I don’t think it was invented yet!
I discovered “AnAesthete’s Lament”
Lordy! what a treasure!
All I know about blogs is the friends I have made! Starting with
David Patrick Columbia….we are fast friends….
I was just in New York…..and he wrote a post on me! It is funny!
I was in New York for a fun and wonderful celebration
with my daughter’s childhood and lifelong friend’s triumph on Broadway with
his movie being made a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber!
All in a blog! Then my blog! (oh, I haven’t blogged about it yet
but I will!)
My friends Brooke and Steve Giannetti……
seriously great and true friends met because of her blog.
I seriously choke up when I talk about them Such treasured friends. All through blogs. All.
All because of blogs. Hers. and she encouraged me. Why I have one.
James Andrew! Are you kidding? The coolest and most wonderful friend and man!
I just had lunch and dinner with him in New York!
(with Emily Evans Eerdmans who has abandoned her blog and is writing important books and has an important antiques store that is seriously fabulous!)
Did James and McBee and I and my dogs have fun here in Montecito???
Elizabeth…..la contessa…..the incomparable divine friend
sent from heaven….and her beloved aunt lived less than a quarter of a mile from me..in my
favorite house in all of Montecito…..are you kidding?
The gifts of blogs have been great!
do I think they are about over?
Yes. I do.
I posted a blog about meeting Donna Karan here in Montecito
and wearing a coat she designed 43 years ago…..(I am not kidding)
when she was 25 and working for Anne Klein! She recognized it in the bookstore
in Montecito! I saw it on her face! She did! It was such a thrill….and I wrote about it;
and she recognized it! It was a thrill for both of us!
(she said I “made her year”!) She made my “decade”!
What I do know is that blogging has been wonderful for me;
I have met great people….and had great fun!
And thank you Marsha for organizing all of this for us! Elizabeth and I will meet up with you somewhere! And soon!
We are all terribly sorry you had to go through that awful
thing with your husband….I am so sorry……and I know we all are!
You are a great leader!!
THANK YOU AND WE LOVE YOU!!!!