Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shade Season

It's time. Time for new colors, pallets, textures. It's time for the fall line.

Without much ado, much rant or rave, this is a teaser. A glimpse of what's coming. What's current. Thicker linens, bright silks, woven wool. It's still summer in southern California, and it will feel more like summer than a brisk fall for quite some time. Fall isn't about scarves, wellies, raincoats or thick socks in this part of the world. But fall means change. It means gearing up, dusting off, hunkering down. To me it means WORK. Fall is what I always refer to as "lighting season". A phenomenon perhaps only I am attune to, but one that is real all the same. It doesn't stay light as long, we spend more time indoors, we realize we need more light, better lighting, something cozy. Whatever the reason, it's shade season. 
More to follow...stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For years now, one of my favorite words, and the name of my profession- a MAKER- to MAKE is what I love, it's what others who I adore do too, and it's what will MAKE us matter long after the iPad is no longer a thing. We build with our hands, we borrow time and steal inspiration from the strangest places
to form, fabricate and forge fashion, functional objects and funny bits of fluff. It's what we do. Far away from the Makers I knew and loved so well in Seattle and Paris, for that matter NYC and NOLA, Austin TX has it's own Makers and I think I just stumbled onto two of the most magnificent.

Kristen and Eve are the owners and operators of MAKEatx, a local Austin workshop that not only exists as their own atelier, but a work room for other artists who want to join with a (take it from me, I know how expensive rent and specialty equipment is) very small fee. I was captivated by their work at a local boutique called Parts & Labour that plays the part of purveyor to what MAKEatx plays as manufacturer. What are all these bad-ass women doing? Well, in Austin TX they are MAKING hot stuff happen, and crafting and keeping intoxicating spaces to sell it in.

I can't help but wonder, what would the lovechild of LiT and MAKEatx look like? Hmmm...maybe we can MAKE that happen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chicken & Stitchin

Darlings, I would like to introduce you to my 2 new addictions: Ms P's Fried Chicken, and Stitch Lab.

These two places have very rapidly overcome my every waking thought. If I'm not thinking of the delicious and spicy chicken sliders at Ms P's(sweet King's Hawaiian rolls topped with blue cheese coleslaw and hot buttermilk battered fried strips of fresh farm raised chicken), then I'm thinking about the
Oliver Henry, Michael Miller, and Kokka prints found at Stitch Lab. Alexander Henry's Sugar Skull collection will be at the top of my list for a new line of shades-promise to post pics here asap.

If you don't live in Austin, no fear-Stitch Lab's flicker account has a huge selection of fabrics to choose from and you can order and have them shipped directly to you. The same may not be true for the hot chicken at Ms P's, but all the more reason to hop on a plane and migrate south for some sun and the best food-truck action in the States!

In the meantime, Ms P's asked me to stitch up some new table cloths for her picnic benches...I think I know where I'll be getting the oil cloth. Looks like this new romance may be a love triangle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting for FedEx and Other Top News Stories

Working for yourself means You are the one who sweeps the floor at the end of the day, You are the one who has to sit listening to 13 voicemails all over again just to get to the one at the end where you can almost hear the last digit of the telephone number you need to call back. It means a lot of busy days, but it also means a lot of waiting. Today I am waiting for the FedEx truck to deliver materials to me so I can make some fantastic shades for some Seattle, Sonoma, and Missoula, MT clients. So I wait.

While waiting I scanned the headlines of my favorite news source: "Child Wins a Grenade", "Amorous Squid Seeks Partner: Any Sex Will Do", and "Marines Hit the Ground Running In Seeking Recruits at Gay Center". No, this is not the Onion, this is the front page of the New York Times. Proof positive that real life is stranger than fiction.

I am not the most patient person, in fact I HATE the wait, but as I sit here reading the Times and eating sopa de fideo in air conditioning, I am reminded to keep perspective. Until just yesterday, Gay men and women had to hide who they love while dying for the freedom of everyone else. That in Somalia a radio station is giving a kid a fully automatic assault riffle for winning a raffle and that some people have REAL problems. That if a squid can be down with doing it with either a male or female indiscriminately, we can all wait a few more hours for that FedEx truck to come so I can finish some lampshades.

If you run your own business, you feel busy ALL the time, you never have a moment to yourself, or you just need a dose of perspective; take this time-right now-to read about Barry Lubin who at the age of 59 is still pursuing his dreams as a circus clown. Barry, you are an inspiration to us all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


There is a meeting in every city. You can talk to people there who are going through exactly what you are. You can get council or good resources to deal with the problems you face everyday.

I'm talking about ASID, not AA.

While in Austin I thought it would be a good idea to meet the local designers and get a feel for what is going on in the Southwest. I was not disappointed. Our speaker had lots to say on Google and how to get the most out of it for your business, and marketing in general. I met lots of well dressed ladies-and some khaki wearing men. I had salad and Sweet Leaf tea.

California Closets hosted the meet up and here is where I saw the difference in design from Paris, FR to Welcome to Texas. Big. F#$%ing. Closets. They are huge! But they're not all clunky wood monstrosities, we are talking the newest of materials and the best industrial design all just for storing your things! One thing I could say is that though one CC is the size of my entire apartment in France, the french would LOVE the inventive use of space. So well organized and so thought out, a place for everything-and everything in its place. I should have CC re-design my french apartment, I would find enough room in my 10x10' cubical for a guest loft and an office...

The true mark of a good ASID meeting; networking enough to mingle together a good crew for Friday's happy hour. All in all, I'd say it was a very productive Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's the Season for Shades!

This summer has been one for the record books. My Jay learned to swim, I learned to bake, and we both baked in record making 100deg heat streak while down here in Austin, TX. We will be staying here a bit longer, and as the September sun beats down a little less boldly, and tacos infiltrate nearly all our daily meals, it's time to start getting serious about another record I have been wanting to break:
1,000 lampshades

I count the "lamp shade year" from September to September since with the shorter days, cooler evenings spent inside, most people realize they need to look at their lighting needs. It is the busy start of my work year, and last year I made 867 shades. This year, I hope to break 1,000.

Can you imagine it!?! 1,000 happier lamps. 1,000 more lovely rooms. 1,000 more men and women who when they look at something I made, they see themselves, their inspirations, their own goals. Custom shades are not about me, or my business, or my ideas brought to light(pardon the pun). Custom means YOU. You can have whatever you want, you can seek and find the piece missing from your perfect parlor, the sultry glow you hoped for in your re-vamped bedroom, the "Welcome Home" you hope people will find when they flick the switch on in the guest bathroom.

Let's break some records, you help me with mine only by letting me help you with yours. I think that's a pretty sweet deal. To get you all as excited as I am, from Sept. 7th-30th all shade orders made online will be 15% off. Any size, any style, any $400 fabric from O&L. Any shade.

So catch me at LiT and let's start making some shades!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking Forward and Across the Atlantic

I have been absorbed in my Parisian life (if you're curious visit, but I am soon heading back to Seattle!

For the month of July I will be in Seattle enjoying my favorite restaurants, friends and making a TON of lamp shades!

Feel free to email me if you are in any need of shades, I cannot wait to do some sweet Seattle style-lamp makeovers...and to get a REAL cup of coffee. The BEST coffee in the if only I could have that with a French eclair. Having your cake and coffee too...