Monday, July 25, 2011

Short and Sweet!

Short and sweet....relates not only to the size of this post, but a piece of furniture I designed for a client.  In a previous post entitled "It's A Jungle Out There",, I talked about using animal prints in home design.

My wonderful customer, Karen, needed more seating in a room we had already designed.  She wanted some footstools that would fit under her coffee table so they would be out of the way when not in use.  Her living room, which is still a work in progress, is the room I'm using multiple animal prints in.  Karen, being Karen, likes to carry theme and colors from one room to the next.  Her family room already utilized the taupe and black color scheme we were carrying over to the living room.  She fell in love with this darling Cheetah print from Kravet.

Kravet 16476-81 Cheetah

I looked in a bunch of my furniture catalogs, but the footstools I saw were either too high, too low or not the right style. A quick phone call to my extremely talented upholsterers, Armand and Roger, and we were in business!  They would construct the frame and upholster the piece with the specs I gave them AND the price wouldn't break the bank!  All I had to do was send them the fabric, the legs, and a workable drawing or picture.

I sent Armand and Roger a semi-workable drawing.  My sketching skills are sketchy at best!

After a few conversations, we decided that since the legs I found were shorter than my sketch, we would cover a larger part of the base with fabric and still have the "crown" on top.

Turned bun foot with tenon from Van Dyke's


I found some great legs online.  Van Dyke's Turned bun foot with tenon was the right height and the right feel.

A few weeks later, Armand and Roger dropped off the world's cutest footstools!!  Boys, you outdid yourselves this time!

Focus On Design Cheetah Footstool

Focus On Design Cheetah Footstool

Focus On Design Cheetah Footstool

Now my customer has the size, shape and fabric she wanted!  I can't wait to see her face when I deliver them!  Of course, if she reads my blog, the cat (or cheetah!) is already out of the bag!

"Enjoy Life!  This is not a rehearsal!" - Unknown

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Path Less Traveled...

Did you ever look for something...sometimes for hours...only to find it right under your nose??  (How did that get there??)  In a previous post, I mentioned getting out of your "own backyard" and "exploring your neighborhood".  It was meant more as a metaphor for exploring the regions where you live.  Well, I guess I took it literally.

I have been living in my home for over 7 years - a semi-rural suburban town about a half hour north of Boston.   I live on a busy street with no sidewalks.  Neighbors are about an acre apart, so houses aren't on top of one another and chances are you may only know one or two neighbors.  

My street
My husband and I used to love walking around the town when he lived in Gloucester, MA.  The one thing we didn't love about our home is that there is no place to walk unless you drive to get there.  Kind of defeats the walking purpose!

One day last year I noticed a pathway that was to the right of the road in the above picture.  (My driveway is on the left in the center of the picture.)

The Pathway
"Self", I said..."Wonder where the path goes?" I assumed it went behind a neighbors house into their backyard.  Then one day I saw some mini-bikers get off the street and go down the trail.  Hmmm....interesting....  Another day, I saw a horse trailer parked beside the path.  Double hmmmm!!!

"Husband, its time we explored the path!"  So one nice summer evening, we entered "The Path".

Well, it was like Alice falling into Wonderland!  This beautiful dirt path went on and on!  At first we were walking through forest.  Quite peaceful, except for the insects who decided we were going to be dinner!  Did Alice have to deal with mosquitos??  (Where is that "good ole fashioned" pesticide when you need it!)

At one point, we came to a gate.  Why was there a gate in the middle of the forest??  And the gate was closed.  "Are we trespassing?"  No sign.  So what's the worst that can happen?   What would Alice do?  Open the gate and walk through!

The Gate

Now we came across some wetlands.  Marshy overgrown areas with a lot of dead trees.  The big beaver lodge to the side of the path was an indication of what was going on.  Beavers, being beavers, will build dams.  Unfortunately, they will divert the flow of water to areas that aren't supposed to be wet - hence the dead trees. 

Moving on in our trek, we were stopped by a small brook that blocked our way in two places.  Always the industrious one, my gallant husband picked up several rocks and laid them in the brook so I could step on the stones without getting my sneakers wet!  I love this man!

 Brooks and marsh gave way to more forest - but deeper and darker forest.  Maybe we should have left a trail of breadcrumbs to mark our way home?  (Of course, the "one way" dirt path that led us in was a dead give-away for the way out!)  But I did feel like we would come upon the evil witch's cottage at any given moment!

And on we trudged, seeing no houses or signs of civilization.  Just the distant hum of the cars on the main road.   But we did see some interesting vegetation!

Strange looking 'shroom!

Mushrooms!  Ok, now I'm getting hungry!  Time to turn around and head for the refrigerator!  We mentally marked our ending point - where two double trees were standing - and decided to return at another time - armed with hiking shoes, food and BUG SPRAY!


What a delightful evening!  We could have been doing this for seven years!  Who knew we had this wonderful nature trail right across the street??  Talk about a "V8 moment"! 

So moral of the story?  You'll never find something unless you look for it....  And those paths in life not taken - TAKE THEM!!  You never know where you'll end up!

"All of life is a journey - which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us.  We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there."  - Unknown