Halloween and Folk Art

Here in southern California it seems that the Day of the Dead celebration has influenced our Halloween style in many ways. For me, it is an opportunity to bring out my hand painted Mexican wood trays and toss in some of the traditional bits that I bring out when fall arrives. Here, a cooking pumpkin waits for me to bake it, surrounded by fall color. I love the way the black wood tray with painted design looks on my round wood table. It's got the kind of informality that is my best style.

Do you have any folk art, textiles, pottery or other cultural objects that you work into your holiday decor? It's so much fun to bring out these pieces and make them the focal point for a bright table, mantle or window treatment over the next few months.


A Chat with Sibella Court

Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet and have a chat with Sibella Court at at her book signing for the wonderful "The Life of a Bowerbird" here in L.A. (at the French General shop). Sibella's inspiring career resume may be splashed with successes in both New York and Australia, but I found her to be a down to earth girl who is easy to talk to. I was most interested in her interior design career, her unique viewpoint and her ability to work her broad business in between her global jaunts and visits to the US. She remarked that she has two assistants to help her with her lovely shop, The Society, Inc., and the design business at large. When I asked if locating and procuring her fast assemblages of objects was difficult, she shrugged and said that she found so many things in her travels. Clearly, she loves what she does, and that's inspiring too.

Part of her charm was the inclusion of her niece and sister-in-law at the signing. It seems her equally gifted younger brother Chris, who photographs those marvelous images we have become so familiar with has re-located to the beach in Los Angeles, so her visit was part business, part family. I love that!

The Life of a Bowerbird, published this month by Harper Design Available online

(The photos here are part of her publicity, and not my own)


Fall Afternoon: Views from a Balcony

Fall is one of the best times here in Southern California. It's finally cool enough again to resume living outdoors, and the afternoons can come alive with color contrasts. I have a favorite balcony that I love to lean out from to catch a wonderous view from Orange county to the south, all the way up to the Hollywood sign to the north.

The view was sunny and bright on this afternoon, and a breeze off the ocean filtered through the open door as we sat on the balcony to enjoy the afternoon. As the shadows lengthened along the roof tops and cypress trees, a dusty haze from the beach started to come up the valley towards the city, as it does most fall afternoons.

Time to slow up a bit, consider our days adventures and finish up a few projects we had set aside a few weeks ago. My trusty graphic designer finished up my wonderful new blog banners (also a darling new banner for my other blog) and in trade I worked as an assistant to photograph her leather crafts for her online shop. We worked outside in the open light of her deck that has a view to the city, something that would have been impossibly hot only a few weeks ago.

This is the first time in years that I have been able to have the opportunity to actually stop and feel fall arrive. In the past, it's been too hectic and busy for me, but now I have the space and freedom to stretch out and see fall again like I did as a kid: planning my Halloween costume and dreaming about Christmas.


Flea Market Sunday: Pasadena City College

I'm not one to get up at dawn and fight the dealers at the local swap meets. For me, it is an opportunity to wander the aisles and take in the visual chaos while enjoying the morning sun. This week I started outside, where the old original flea market began along Hill.

There weren't as many vendors as I can recall in the past, which was a surprise to me, since this was the first Sunday with a cool breeze in months. But maybe they will be back for the pre-holiday rush.

It is interesting how trends affect flea markets about as much as they do retail in general. This time, galvanized tin was king. Tubs, bowls and watering cans abounded. It looked like a French flea market with the number of vendors who brought out their country tins. In addition, chandeliers that had scrolls, twirls, and twists were hanging from canopys and awnings.

Mid-century modern still fills many booths, with lamps, chairs, tables and couches. It is enough to make a good choice if you were looking to fill a special space in a home or office.

But more than that, it's an opportunity to pause while towing a cart filled with treasures, to talk to old friends that I haven't seen in awhile. More time was probably spent sharing stories than walking the rows if I stop to think about it.

What did I buy? Screen prints from new artists excited to share their prints with a customer, a few linens from a table heaped high with random treasures, and a new leather punch from the tool guy in the big booth at the end of a row.

That was enough for this visit. Next week is the Rose Bowl, and I hope to still have some of my allowance to spend!

Pasadena City College Flea Market:
when: 1st Sunday of the month: 7am - 3pm
admission: free
location: Hill @ Del Mar, outside parking lot (park on Green St. for free)
location: Bonnie at Colorado: parking lot and inside parking structure
parking: $2.00, parking structure on Del Mar between Bonnie and Hill
eating: across Colorado Blvd. from campus


COLOURlovers: Playing with color

COLOURlovers is a beautiful place to find color groups and themes. This website is all about color in its many forms. There you will find a huge library of color sets and trends. If you sign-up, once a week you will receive an email with the latest color groups and information. Just click on the link HERE and you'll see what I mean!

There are so many creative ways to use this amazing website. The two links below show color groups that I found with a simple theme 'search' under the terms listed here:
Sunny Garden theme: HERE
Craftsman theme: HERE

How will you use this great resource?