August 18th, 2009

Face Painting

This coming weekend, I will begin filming the instructional video portions for my upcoming Virtual Workshops. It’s been a good 5 years since I’ve done one, and besides worrying about all of the things I have to do to prepare tools, materials and backgrounds for this, my thoughts have inevitably turned to another important consideration: How am I going to look? Yes, OK, I have a healthy-sized vain vein running through my body! SO, I call on the makeup artist who did the makeup for me in my previous videos, Doris Lew Jensen, to give me a “lesson”. You see, I’m imagining that I will be doing many videos in the next year and that I can certainly wield a makeup brush or two on my own behalf. Well, a full hour and….


…12 specifically designed makeup brushes later….


….I had a blueprint for beauty, and…


..I’m ready for my extreme closeup.


I’m so thrilled with my eye-popping eyes that after everyone else leaves work I decide to play “model session”


Yeah, I’m not expecting that America’s Next Top Model will be calling me anytime soon either….I’ll get back to painting my samples for my workshops now….

August 17th, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action

Did you know that “the experts” are predicting that by 2011, 90% of web content will be video based?? That seems like a s-t-r-e-t-c-h to me but it certainly IS a medium that’s building a lot of momentum, and as small business owner, it sure got my attention. So when I got an email from an organization that I belong to called Ladies Who Launch with an offer of a very special deal on a “business profile video” by Turn Here video, I jumped on it. I plan to shoot one for both my stencil/pattern companies, Modello Designs and Royal Design Studio, but Modello got to go first.


Their deal is that they send an experienced, local videographer out to your company to shoot for a couple of hours. They interview the company spokesperson (that would be me) and then lay over appropriate footage that they shoot around your location.


I called on a couple of local friends/customers to add “testimonials”. My friend Karen Jorgenson took her role very seriously…


…as did Marcelino Da Silva..


…and they were both  great!

The edited video should be ready in a week or two, so look for the premier coming HERE soon!

June 5th, 2009

Call for Entries

Last June we published our very first Modello by Design book, Inspiring Interiors from Artist’s Portfolios, Volume 1. When I put the call out for our customers to submit professional quality photos of their decorative painting projects using our Modello Decorative Masking patterns, I didn’t know what to expect…..Well, we got an amazing response and amazing photos from 80 different artisans and were able to create a beautiful and inspirational resource book that artists turn to for ideas and for a super sales tool for future projects. They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and it’s true! Being able to share visual proof of how custom decorative treatments can transform a room can make the difference when it comes to making decorating decisions for designers and homeowners.

Now, it’s time for Volume 2! We plan to publish the next edition in the early part of 2010 and are seeking entries of professional quality photography Modello projects. To “inspire” you, I’d like to share some of the lovely work we’ve received so far, from….


Barbara Wurden of Long Beach, CA….


Tricia George of San Rafeal, CA, and….


Angela Monk of Louisville, MS.

You can imagine the thrill and pride I feel when I see what amazing things these talented artists have done with our pattern products!! I think that this next book is to be off the charts with inspiring art and architecture. If you’re considering submitting some of YOUR projects for our next book, please go here and download the submission forms and read the guidelines carefully. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

March 25th, 2009

West Coast Artisans Guild


A very special group of women (and my friends!) have recently banded together here in San Diego to form the West Coast Artisans Guild. Their goal is to network to the local design community, support each other on large projects, and enhance San Diego residences and businesses with gorgeous decorative and patterned finishes. They have been SO helpful to me in getting some recent large projects done around our offices, studio and showroom. I’ll be sharing more on these finished project soon, but here they are….






…pulling Modellos….






and glazing!

Thank you Julie, Vicki, Kate, Sheri, Emma and most especially Karen (who now “owns” our studio bathroom!!)

February 2nd, 2009

Help! I’ve been sucked in!



So, I’ve been sucked into the facebook vortex and I can’t get out. All this social networking is beginning to feel like a social disease or just another addiction…..Would you like to join and be my friend so we can stay in touch 24/7 and then some??? LOL, kidding aside, it IS kind of fun. Here, precious……. 

 Robbie Calvo

I had the great pleasure of meeting and lunching with one of our favorite customers (and a Featured Artist in Modello by Design) on Friday: Robbie Calvo.

robbie calvo modello

Robbie was on the West coast for meetings in LA regarding his new design show “pitch” to the decorating networks. We got to see the 5 minute piece that showcases his concept and creative abilities. I truly don’t have time to watch many of these shows (and frankly they all tend to look the same) but Robbie’s is definitely a “cut above” in taste, style, and approach to most of the shows out there. An accomplished musician, he incorporates his composing abilities into his room design, focusing first on the rythm (the foundation walls, floors, etc), then the harmony (main pieces like furnture) and finally the melody (accessories and assorted fluff). During the process, he also composes a short piece of music to compliment the room design. It is REALLY good!

robbie calvo modello

Shown above is the room that was used for the decoration in “the pitch” and, let me tell you, it looks even better on film.

robbie calvo modello

Robbie has been so generous to create a wonderful page on his website talking about his association with Modello Designs and we are happy to sponsor his success AND his upcoming show. He’s a truly talented and humble person who deserves all the success that will be coming his way. I can’t wait to watch more!

May 30th, 2008

The Art of Living UPTOWN

The paint is barely dry and I’m a million miles away from getting caught up with myself but it’s on to ANOTHER big project. Bring it on! I love living a life full of creative tension and unrealistic expectations (of myself, mainly).

Art of Living Uptown

I just posted the details of the next Art of Living project over on the Art of Living Blog. Please check it out. Barb and I are super excited. We’re going UPTOWN!

Oh-and check back for more on Marrakech here. I have posts stacked up like the planes at JFK (leaving on Friday night for an international flight)

May 13th, 2008

Artisans on the Water

Get your sea legs and Dramamine ready, we’re going for a cruise! My lovely friends Susan and Todd Allemand from Out of This World Finishes in Seattle are hosting the first annual Artisan’s on the Water August evening dinner cruise.


Mix dining, dancing and imbibing with artistic demonstrations from namey “name” artisans and HUGE prize giveaways and what do you get? One rockin evening, that’s what! Oh, but hurry, you must get your tickets before May 20th to take advantage of discounted registraton.

April 21st, 2008

Modello by Design

We get so inspired from seeing the photos that our customers send back to us showing how they have utilized our Modello patterns in artful applications! A picture IS worth a thousand words. I know that our customer base of professional decorative artisans get a lot of great ideas by looking at other artist’s work and also how important it is to be able to show a potential client how a design will look in a real-life setting-in living color. And so, last month we announced that we will be publishing an inspirational book entitled Modello by Design, Inspiring Interiors from Artist’s Portfolios. We asked our customers to submit photos of some of their favorite projects which we will be compiling for a book to be released in late July. I love the idea of being able to get our talented customers “in print” while giving them a tool to spark their imagination and entice their clients.

Modello by Design 1

Cover photo by Terri Riesenman.

Modello by Design 4

Marquetry floor by JoAnn Kingsbury.

Modello by Design 3

Fabulous ceiling by Nichole Blackburn.

Modello by Design 2

Awesome niche by Dee Ann O’Neal.

The photos are still coming in! The deadline for submission for Volume 1 is April 31 so if you are out there and sitting on some great work we’d love to see it! Soon!! Here’s the skinny on how to submit.

January 15th, 2008

Modello Makeover

One of my businesses is Modello Designs. I started this as an offshoot business 4.5 years ago from my original company Royal Design Studio, which specializes in elegant designer stencils for interior decorating. Rather than a reusable,mylar stencil Modellos are one-time-use decorative masking patterns (masking stencils!). They have some advantages over stencils for certain types of designs; can go very large, very intricate, continuous pattern, positive or negative image, allow for development of  new decorative techniques, can be custom-sized and cut to order, and much more.


We now offer 1,000′s of patterns and are constantly developing more, so a static, bound catalog just doesn’t work because it becomes out of date very quickly. This Spring, we will be introducing our brand new, easily update-able design binder, with a new look that really showcases what we are all about: Pattern and design!

Modello Design Library

Lauren came up with this great (I think) paisley concept after cruising many design blogs such as decor8 and print and pattern and being inspired by the rich paisley patterns that are popping up (again). We have filled the shapes with some of our favorite designs and I think the end result is colorful, unique and quite fetching….

Modello Design Library