September 22nd, 2009

Modello, Me, and Miami

Well, everything arrived in one piece for the Modello Designs booth at the  HD Boutique Show (other than all the things that still needed to be assembled on site. that is), and after two days of sweating in an un-air conditioned convention center (they never have the air on when they have the loading dock doors open) we had-A TENT!


We (me and Barb) stuck vinyl stars on the outside, mirrored stars on the inside, finished off the large mirror’s decoration, hung still sticky canvases, hot-glued 40′ of beaded trim, laid tiles, hung doodads, made multiple shopping runs for last minute details like additional lights and flickering battery-operated candles, and phew! we had it done.


True to form, in the shower on the morning of the first day of the show I was already plotting how completely differently I was going to design NEXT year’s booth, but in the meantime there was THIS year to attend to.


“So, you do textiles?” “floor tiles?” “cabanas?” “custom mirrors?” “table bases?” Yes, yes, we do ALL of that, OR “we provide custom patterns for decorative surface finishes”. We witnessed both light bulbs going on and blank looks. It’s never easy to explain how you do “everything”, is it?? But, we did, hundreds of times…..


Like, “no, we don’t do punched tin lighting fixtures, but we CAN lasercut acrylic mirror into any shape….


…or do really cool custom canvases for wall hangings, cabana/tent “walls”, or faux granite/marble inlaid tabletops…


….as well as patterned patinated custom mirrors that are self-framed with a gilded decorative border….


….or tell a story about love.”


After all that ‘splain it felt really good to drink Caribbean-inspired cocktails and relax poolside at the elegant Mondrian hotel on the intercoastal in Miami Beach.


We didn’t provide the patterns that they used for the amazing sandblasted pattern in the decorative concrete decking…..but we could! Remember, we do EVERYTHING….

Bottom line: Miami is a pretty cool place to visit, with a frenetic energy that could come from the exotic, sensous, highly latin-influenced culture-or the drug trade. The scenery is beautiful, the food is tasty, and the water is warm. The HD Boutique Show was officially a success for us, with lots of great contacts, feedback, and potential future projects…pitching a tent there was well worth the effort…..and I’ll be back!

August 10th, 2008

Say Hello to IDAL

It’s been a couple of weeks ALREADY since my trip to the SALI show to teach and exhibit. I’m very happy to report that it was a great show and a good turning point in this organization that I have belonged to for almost 25 years. The Stencil Artisans League, Inc. is NOW, ta da, the International Decorative Artisans League. I strongly feel that the future of the organization hinges on embracing the future and the full spectrum of decorative arts, both in action and in name. I lobbied for and served as the Committee Chair overseeing the name change, so YEAH! It’s done. The new website is here at


Charleston, NC is SUCH a cool town, even when its 95 degress with 100% humidity! Some of us got the got a chance to get into town a few times for the requisite carraige ride around the historic district and multiple trips to some amazing restaurants including my favorite-S.N.O.B.


The booth was planned to be “easy” this year (as opposed to hauling half the warehouse there) and I have to thank my friends Barb Skivington, Becky Roth and Jackie Wiggins for all their help in setting up and manning the booth with me.

As usual, I forgot to take any pics with my own camera and have to depend on the kindness of companions for even the few photos shown here. My friend Helen Morris, of the Stenciled Library, however, has some really great photos posts on the convention and Charleston here on her blog! I think she really captures the magic of Charleston. Next years convention site? Memphis!

Ooh! Almost forgot. Thanks also to the 40 people that took my Faux Marquetry classes there! I just got the teacher evaluations in the mail yesterday and received 39 “Excellent” reviews. My apologies to the person who wasn’t 100% happy with the class. I really enjoyed teaching it and sharing the Marquetry Techniques.

August 7th, 2008

Art in Atlantic City

Back in the day, I used to do a LOT of travel teaching at studios around the country. These days, with two companies to run I seem to need to be close to home as much as possible to manage people/projects/problems and there just isn’t the time to travel around the country, although I get a LOT of people inquiring about classes that they can take from me closer to home (as in the East Coast). Well, if you are one of those people, here’s an opportunity!

Decorative Arts Show

I will be exhibiting and teaching at the Decorative Arts Show in Atlantic City in a few short weeks, if you want to head down to “the shore” and stroll the boardwalk, smell the salt air, and immerse yourself in decorative art!!. It should be a beautiful time of year. I have always loved being at the shore AFTER Labor Day.  We will have a booth in the Expo on Sept 10-11. I will also be teaching a two-day class entitled “6 Highly Sellable Finishes” there on Sept 12-13. Samples of the techniques and boards we will be doing follow:

Decorative Arts Show
Decorative Arts Show
Decorative Arts Show

I have changed the sample lineup a bit from what was first published to make it a little “fresher” with some newer techniques. After seeing the response to some of the newer finishes at the IDAL Convention I think that these will be very popular, AND they really offer a good range of different products, designs, and techniques.

Please note: ALL registration is through the Decorative Arts Show! Maybe I’ll see you there? OR maybe in San Diego?