June 30th, 2008

More Boho Modern

The Boho Modern class went VERY well, thank you! I’d have to say it is my new favorite class to teach. Generally the last thing I’ve done is my new favorite thing. I just wanted to share a few more samples from the class before I move on to THIS WEEKS project which is getting ready for the SALI convention in a few weeks. I am planning 10-12 new 4′ x 7′ backdrops. Just a LITTLE ambitious. Wish me luck!! More class samples….



June 23rd, 2008

Cool Creative Weekend

Well, there was record breaking heat here in San Diego again this weekend! As we don’t have air conditioning in our house (didn’t used to need it here by the ocean!) I spent the weekend in the studio with the thermostat set at a semi-comfie 78. Well, it beats 101! Actually, I was going to be there anyway as I have a new class, Boho Modern, starting this week and wanted to work on some last minute ideas. Nothing like a deadline to spark some creativity!!! I actually LOVE being in my studio on the weekend. No distractions, no phone calls. I didn’t even turn on any music. Sometimes it’s good to listen to the thoughts in your OWN head, you know? There were more hits than misses. I tried a couple of different versions of an embroidery-ish theme.

Modello custom stencils

Neutral can be nice and tone on tone looks are always classy-and easy to decorate around. I love the subtle textural quality of this. It actually is all smooth when you rub your hand across. This funky floral motifs are originally from a series of old printer’s ornaments.

Modello custom stencils

I was playing around a lot with metallic foils that I got from my friend Gary Lord. These are applied to a bed of gold size, like metal leaf, except that they come on big rolls and in yummy colors like celedon green, blue and plum. I love the way the eggplant glaze settled in around all the little peacock feathers and makes these guys POP!

Modello custom stencils

I found this old sample board painted with this unusual (for me) coral color. It must have been left over from some long ago project. I’ve had these blank boards laying around for up to 8 years! I thought it might be cool to combine these funky modish flowers with some embedded lace.

Modello custom stencils

I transferred some metallic foil first; Candy Apple Red and Orchid. It wasn’t super dramatic but adds a nice little sparkle. The color of the plaster I pushed through the lace was actually a dark brown. The antique gold mica glaze I applied over it turned it more green. At first I wasn’t too sure about it, but one is really starting to grow on me!

Modello custom stencils

Another finish with an embroidered look. This time on a metallic stria finish.

Modello custom stencils

I’ve had these jars of large mica flakes sitting around for some time and wasn’t sure what to do with them. Hmmm. What would happen if I stirred some into a glaze? This!


I call this one blue steel. More metallic foils! This one incorporates a hologram foil as well which gives you some really crazy color shifts as you view it from different angles. I like patterns like this classic modern allover one, that divide the space in half. It has a nice symmetry and balance don’t you think?

Modello custom stencils

Well, I’m off to clean up the studio. I hope you weekend was equally fun and productive! BTW, the next Boho Modern class is scheduled for December….

June 16th, 2008


“Hard as stone and soft as silk” is a phrase that is commonly used to describe a very uncommon, ancient form of plaster that is believed to trace it’s roots to the Atlas Mountains surrounding Marrakech. This unbelievably tactile and sensuous surface, which is waterproofed by burnishing repeatedly with a stone and further sealed with olive soap, used to be reserved for hammams (public steam baths) and royal palaces. It can now be found in most of the stylish riads and chic restaurants of Marrakech, where pierced tin lanterns fixed with colored glass cast amazing color and shadow on its rich, glossy surface. Positively dreamy. Here are some images from the Hotel du Tresor and Les Bains de Marrakech.


The little tower on our upstairs patio.


Peeking through a keyhole door (this room is best for short people, I think)


“My” bathroom


Reflections on a wall….


and a ceiling.

The very prettiest examples were in some of the restaurants, though, like Narwama and Le Tanjia. Click through to view!

I picked up a most amazing tile book at the airport bookstore in Casablanca on the way home from Marrakech. I seem to have a grave weakness for very large, very heavy and very expensive books. SO worth it! There are already ideas in the air for future Morocco projects and collaborations and I am positively smitten and inspired by the follow gorgeousness. They say the blue is the big “new” color this year. Um, I think it’s been pretty hot for a few thousand years…..


Far and away, one of the most enchanting and easily copied customs for exotic Moroccan dining and entertaining may be as near as your own backyard. If not yours, check your neighbors! It’s scattered rose petals….

Moroccan Rose Petals

In the fountains

Moroccan Rose Petals

At dreamy Dar Moha. So many there you could almost play Scrabble.

Moroccan Rose Petals

For our most special farewell lunch at Peacock Pavilions

Moroccan Rose Petals


Morocco-Rose-Petals 5.jpg

and our farewell dinner at darling Hotel du Tresor. Aaaahhh, where are my pruning shears!

June 2nd, 2008

Rhapsody in Blue



After a week in Marrakech, it was time to hit the beach and dip our toes in the chilly Atlantic Ocean, North Africa style. It’s a 2.5 hour drive of questionable auto safety on a busy two lane road to Essaouira and the coast, but well worth it once you arrive! We missed seeing GOATS IN TREES on this drive (Alas, I think goats in trees are currently out of season) but trust me, they do exist. Google proves it.


Essaouira was once a fortified town, has fabulous shopping in a walled Medina area, and is all decked out in the most refreshing shades of blue painted wood set off by whitewashed walls.


I’ve already posted about the blue doors of Essaouira after my March trip but I must do so again as there are so gosh darn many gorgeous ones and they are SOOO photogenic.


Even their propane tanks are color coordinated!


Some more cool blueness


and a shot of my new favorite adult beverage, Campari and fresh-squeezed orange juice over ice. Is that our handsome horseman in the background?