Bamboo Houses in Bali

June 5, 2015

This story is from  I try to create as much original content as I can, but this is too cool to not share, and I’ve been pretty bad as of late in posting so….bamboo-house-ted-talk-sharma-springs-elora-hardy-ibuku-bali-101

Elora Hardy left a successful career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia. The Bali resident and her team have spent the last 5 years revolutionizing bamboo construction in the belief that it is an underused but ideal renewable resource. Hardy uses boron, which occurs naturally in nature, to treat the bamboo and make it indigestible to insects.

Hardy was inspired by her father, who “chose bamboo for all of the buildings on campus, because he saw it as a promise,” she explains in her TED talk. “It’s a promise to the kids. It’s one sustainable material that they will not run out of. And when I first saw these structures under construction about six years ago, I just thought, this makes perfect sense…Why hasn’t this happened sooner, and what can we do with it next?”

Bamboo has the compressive force of concrete, the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, and is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Damage from insects and moisture are its primary weaknesses, but if treated, bamboo structures can last a lifetime.



April 5, 2015


I regret not taking some pictures while I was in the process of creating these blue and white Chinese pottery themed Easter Eggs so that I could make this post a “How To”.  I only have the “pretty” pictures to show you but I will explain my technique.   I will tell you the hardest part was keeping my fingers clean and not smudging the fresh white egg with food coloring.  Once I mastered holding the egg in play with a paper towel and blowdrying the egg as I painted, the lot of them happened in just a few hours.  IMG_0970 IMG_0968

Before I began I gathered Q-tips, a few toothpicks and lacking a tiny paint brush I grabbed a lip-stick brush from a make-up kit (but the brush was less predictable than the Q-tip, so skip it).  I layer a barrier of plastic  and then layed paper towels to make a “place mat” to work on.  For the Dye I used blue food coloring right out of the bottle.  I used some full strength, and for the lighter blues I mixed food coloring with white vinegar (avoid cider vinegar it will change the color of your dye).  I googled “Chinese blue and white pottery images” to use a few pictures for reference and borrow styles and designs for my patterns.  When you’re ready to start decorating hold the egg in one hand with a paper towel and paint with the other hand.  Before you roll the egg in your palm or paint too far around the egg, hit it softly with a hair dryer to dry the dye to avoid smudging.  it’s really that simple.

IMG_0942I am a self-confessed collector (almost hoarder)  AND I love to put out seasonal decor.  I find that kept in groups and displayed similarly my collections make a stronger impact and keep the house from looking cluttered.  I prefer handmade items and a soft colored palette but if you prefer a lot of color or stronger impact go for it!  To display my Easter decorations I like to use my collection on ironstone tureens.  Yes, that a collection to display another collection… genius huh?  lol.  The bunny collection is a tradition I have with my husband.  Each year he gets a small bunny in his Easter Basket.  We’ve been together 21 years, I started this idea a few years late so the bunny count is only up to 16 or so.

IMG_0943 These eggs (below) I made a year or two ago.  I must have have more time on my hands back then because I blew the eggs, dyed them and set them with beads.  Elmer’s white glue is easy to work with and dries clear. I love the texture and sparkle but my favorite from this group (not pictured) is an egg I left white and applied white beads to.  White on white, so clean and fresh and pretty.  I hope you have a lovely Easter holiday and you have fun on whatever creative project you decide to tackle this year!  IMG_0945

For Sale (CRUSH)

March 21, 2015


Does everyone dream of living on a farm with chickens, gardens, fields and a barn for parties… or is it just me? I’m crushing on this house big time.  I love that it hasn’t been redone.  As far as I’m concerned all it needs is a little paint (not a fan of the trim color) and maybe, maybe… shiplap or clapboard.

This one is for sale in Westport MA.  It’s 1.4 asking price is prohibitive for me v(1.4 Mil)  but I love the bones of this house and the mostly original interiors – if not original then just damn old – and the well proportioned rooms.  The kitchen is something I would build into a newer home just to get the turn of the century look.

l743bca44-m0xd-w640_h480_q80I think it is safe to assume this house was once sided in shiplap or clapboard siding.  I think I’d want to restore the outside to that original aesthetic (drink).  Love a shingled house but it doesn’t suit this one.  Every time I help a client remodel an antique home I try to encourage sensitive “updating” and to work with as much existing as possible.  Updating systems always seems to screw up wallpaper, and I’m ok with that it’s usual the wallpaper that is dingy, stained or not the desired look, But his house is so sweet, as is… I wouldn’t want to change much.  I’d just go antiquing and to garage sales and estate sales all weekend, and take baths in the claw foot tub. This place has to have a claw foot tub!   Right?!?


The other bedrooms are bigger, but I pick this one.  Love the vintage ship paintings and prints.  As it turns out I have had the pleasure of going to a party at this home.  A friend rented it a few summers ago, we played croquet on the lawn and drank lemonade, it was quite swell.  Lots of artsy folk from Rhode Island School of Design, and other wild free spirits. l743bca44-m15xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m14xd-w640_h480_q80l743bca44-m10xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m9xd-w640_h480_q80 These built-ins are clearly original but it looks like the cabinets not so much.  Id take down all the upper cabinets and put in open shelves like the pantry, or nothing at all. And, that’s about all I’d do.  ok, and paint… and peek under the linoleum to see if there are wide board floors, but that’s it!  I swear it. l743bca44-m8xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m7xd-w640_h480_q80 …and paint.  That’s IT!l743bca44-m5xd-w640_h480_q80

…and take down those bad swags on the dining room windows. RdWestportMA_02790

…is the link if you have to know more!



Light Blue

March 15, 2015

b6abad72cfb7a545ee502bf9b2ec994b massimo vitalli

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March 15, 2015

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tumblr_nbjvvqka081rqg8h3o1_500  tumblr_ndh0g9Glyo1rqg8h3o1_500

tumblr_ndvz78lYrI1s0e0ybo1_500  tumblr_netg1r7hd91rwwqtpo1_500


March 15, 2015




Do I have to say anything? really?!


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This becomes…2ea60b15fc5329154757075222fca5bc


Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Mona Lisa in the form of a kitchen…  or a living room, or anywhere else you might want to employ this moody palette.  Everyone knows I’m wild for a white kitchen, but sometimes you just gotta go a different way.  I respond well to the colors and textures in this kitchen especially if it’s done well and in the right house.  Inspiration can come from a sea shell, the side of a barn, an open field and yes… a painting.

mona lisa II

This room (below) by Tom Filicia is also a match.  The color is distributed very differently, consider this when using an inspiration for your decor…  You do not have to use the same amount of pigment or color when designing your space, whites and neutrals can mix in to lighten the look.  tomfilicia

b34780967e0db8bcd4e8eab5815a0ebd 873d7c420a09ac983157f04055cebbb2  tumblr_nfmeuzw3UF1qzbnpio1_500 981714c6486fcbad941671de10c701e1

… oh, and I love the creative way the paint chips were used to make modern day versions of the classic!


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