it possible?

I wish it were possible!  I'll take 4 of me.  I wonder if I could make the clones in all stages of of the aging process.  One 20 something with abundant energy to clean the house, mow the lawn, work on the flower beds and make it to the gym everyday.  Imagine buying the size four clothing!

The next would be a thirty year old.  Time for family activities, playing games in the backyard and making every school pick up on time.

Maybe the third and forth would be forty year old and wise in business, have time to run around with the dog and fit a date night with the hubby.  While at the same time being able to fabricate window treatments  galore.

Why am I feeling this need to clone?  My interns are gone.  They have left to begin their own careers.  While I wish them well, I realize how much they have helped me this year.  Small chatter in the workroom, responding to an email, organizing the intake files, the list goes on and on of all the things they accomplished during their time here.  I wish both Ashley and Evan well.  May they fly to new heights in the interior design world and I look forward to the day that they come into my workroom requesting fabrication for their own clients.

Wishing everyone a lovely day!  Here is to hoping you accomplish all you have set out to do today.


Zimmerman House Glory

Spring in here!!  I experienced it while fulfilling my docent role at the Frank Lloyd Wright Zimmerman House in Manchester, NH yesterday.  The flowers are in bloom and the gardens are beautiful!

I love volunteering for the Currier Museum FLW house.  Secret....I get as much out of it as the visitors.  Putting the white gloves on and talking about my passion for the architect Frank Lloyd Wright always puts me in a happy place.  

If you have never experienced his design, it is a must see.  If you are close to Manchester, NH the best house on the touring list is right at your front door!  The Zimmerman's where the ideal clients, opting for Mr. Wright's input for items as mundane as table linens.  Why you ask?  Answer: to live in an environment that is harmonious and good for the soul.  

Imagine being inside a home, but feeling like you were still outside.  Sounds crazy, but it is possible.  All comes to life in this home.  Grid systems, mitered corner windows, repetition of a 13" formula, and grand vistas of the backyard create a harmony and flow that can not be felt in our contemporary dwellings.

I invite all of you to come on down, drink the same Cherokee Red cool aid the I had and find a place in your heart for the master architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  I promise you it will be worth your time!

Post William Morris

Well I am back in my workroom talking to the dog again.  A bit of a let down after my trip of a life time.  I am scrambling to make up for lost fabrication time, but I wanted to post another hopefully humorous blog.  This blog will be an overview of our day in Bristol, England and Indigo vat dyeing.   

First the drive....uneventful but bloody long.  I thought Boston traffic was an experience in patience.  Well London traffic is an experience and the contemplation in the possibility of hell.  Two hours later we arrived in Bristol and needed to stop for a lunch to bring to the workshop.  Jayna pulls a u-turn and stays with the car.  (This being said, the area seemed a bit sketchy) I am tasked with entering a small convenient store and parading up and down the aisles to create a feast for lunch.  Bread, cheese, ham and Pringles were part of the delicacies.  As I checked out, spending a mere 6.44 pound, the cashier looked at all the dates on the packages.  Yikes,  apparently not the best location to get fresh eats.

The vat dyeing was in an artist co-op.  We made it.  A few mini vans and RV's outside, apparently this is a live, work  and play section of town.  :)  Alex greeted us with coffee and biscuits and our learning began!  History, technique and pattern application and we were off.  Chic peas and rubber bands for me.  Yes they do create a lovely pattern on fabric.  Needle and thread, as well as clothes pins for Jayna.  

Dyeing consisted of dunking the fabric carefully into the vats and for me blue hands and arms, William Morris style!  Rinsing and dunking three times and our fabric was dyed and hung to dry and for all to admire....well after all those rubber bands and chic peas came out.  This was about a 20 minute process.  Who knew?!

The day rushed by.  We each dyed three pieces of fabric and left with a sense of accomplishment and vigor.  The last step in the process, run the fabrics through a rinse cycle in a washing machine.  A "to do" when we returned to our flat.  Well let's just say that our ability to run a washing machine in the UK was less than fair.  Either the water temperature was off or we were, but most of the fabrics ran together.  We did salvage one piece each.  The chic peas survived!  Did Morris have such events in his dyeing experiences?

Although the day was marked by success and some failure, we are now renewed and are wanting to set up a vat dye here at home.  Any one interested in blue hands and arms?  Practice will make perfect.  Here's to William Morris and the wonderful people we met in England all due to his fabric design and inspiration.  

Cheers!  Next adventure ....hmmm I think I will keep this a secret for a bit.  :)


I have died and gone to William Morris Heaven!!!!

The first official stop on our All Things William Morris sights is the William Morris and Co. headquarters.  A journey into the archives.  It is all we can do to keep from leaping over the other cars along the freeway as we drive to our destination!

Will we see original works?  YES

Will we touch original wall papers, fabrics and carved blocks?  YES

Will we see part of an exhibit traveling to Japan?  YES

Will we see the new fall line of William Morris papers and fabrics?  YES

Will we get a tour of the studio where the designers work?  YES

Will we get a goody bag of items to take home and enjoy?  YES

Will we meet the most lovely designer, Allison to give us a show of the archives?  YES 

Will we ever be the same again?  NO

Glory, glory we have gone to a heaven on earth! 

Fun facts that we learned on our experience here:

*Seven colors to a wallpaper-only one color a day can be printed.  That means seven days to fabricate.

*Metallics were in during the 1860’s as well.  Beads were also added to the papers.  They captured the gas lighting and created a glow on the wall.

*It is true that Mr. Morris had blue stained arms from all the indigo dying he did for his fabric line.

*When Julie is behind the wheel, stay clear of the left of the car!   :)

We did have to say farewell to the archive "heaven", but no worries, we proceeded to find another slice of sunshine at a fabric store.  Now to purchase the fabrics we saw in the archives.  Our suitcases will be heavier on our return flight.

A dinner of the required fish and chips, a Tube ride to see Buckingham palace and wave to the queen, and a taxi cab ride in an iconic taxi cab (with a stop at another Harcourt road...oops.  Julie's bad) ended our evening, but not before misplacing our keys, trying the front entrance for the first time and finding a way to remove the chain latch from the outside.  Always a giggle.


All things Willam Morris

We made it to London!

Let the learning curves begin.  First to drive on the left with a standard car while using the navigation system.  Laughter, gear grinding and several wrong turns abound.  A great parallel park job by my cohort in crime on this adventure, Jayna only to find out that street parking was for residents only.  More laughter! 

Onward to breakfast.  Thank goodness for Google maps.  That voice kept us in check to a lovely breakfast close to our flat.

Flat check in.  I think that we have more keys that the entire UK.  One for the outside door, one for the flat, one for the the patio door, one for the garage entrance and a few we have yet to figure out.  Will it be safe to leave and find the correct key to re enter without having to call the owner? 

We did dare to go out, and now for the London Tube.  Wow this nearly broke my brain trying to navigate.  Oyster pass you say?  Well of course, but do not insert the plastic credit card like pass into the ticket pull.  My pass disappeared into the deep abyss of the ticket taker machine.  I go to purchase another 30 lb. pass while Jayna, aka my guardian angel, pleads with a lovely Tube employee to retrieve my card from the nasty machine.  Just as I am about to hit purchase at the kiosk, success.  The employee opens the entire machine to retrieve the crazy ladies pass.  Now to make way to Libery's of London.

After a transfer from the green line to the red line, we ride the escalators to day light.  Arts and Crafts fabric here we come!!!  Were any of you aware that Liberty's has 4 floors?  Jayna proceeds to lose her shawl (never to be found again) while we  shop till we drop...or shop til Jayna drops, I am the energizer bunny.

Now onto dinner and some grocery shopping.  Hunger forced us to find eats close before making our way onto the Tube again.  It is fascinating to see Londoners run through the stations to meet trains that come every few seconds.  Is this an unwritten rule?   Must have a quick run before getting home?

Another successful navigation back to our flat with a stop at the grocery and of course to a wine shop!  The owner had already locked the door, but must have felt compassion for the tired travelers and opened the shop for us.   Two bottles of wine and the correct flat keys (yes that is plural) we made it safely to our home away from home. 

A toast to a wonderful start to our all things William Morris adventure.