Lucky 12!

Once in a Lifetime Happy Birthday

     My niece is one special girl.  eDe turns 12 today, 12-12-12.  This darling and delightful girl is a spiritual gift to our whole family, so I had to find the perfect gift to mark this profound occasion.

     With 12 on my mind, I turned to EleganceLetters, the etsy shop that created the wooden monogram for my daughter’s dorm room decor.

The shop owner behind this site eagerly accommodated my special request with three different design choices, and within a couple of weeks, I was working on this.

     Since my Paintbrush and Pearls workshop, I am much more aware of how a painted piece can be improved so much with a bit of fine sanding in between coats.  After a bit of wood putty, light sanding, primer, fine sanding and a couple of coats of high gloss white paint, I am so excited for eDe to receive her 20″ Lucky 12.

Happy 12th Birthday, eDe!!!

Sure hope that this will always remind her of this unique day and how remarkable she is.

All photos by Avad Fan.


Let the Christmas Decorating Begin

Better Late than Never

     After twenty-five years of collecting Christmas decorations with the Hub, I am up to my eyeball in red and green boxes.  Of course, we don’t use all of the items contained inside them, but I do take a walk down memory lane with each box opened.  Like everything else, I should lighten up and let many of these go to Goodwill, but then will the memories of Christmases past go with them, too?

boxes

     I can’t risk that.  Nevertheless, while I am digging through this pile to create our 2012 Christmas, I will keep reminding myself of the simple beautiful of this stunningly executed tree.  It is such an inspiration to lighten up.

St. Catherine's Christmas House Tour 2012

Tinselled tree spotted on the St. Catherine’s School Holiday House Tour last weekend.


Another Must See: The Chihuly Exhibit at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Girls’ Day

     Some of the posse finally met at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to tour the Chihuly exhibit that continues until February 10, 2013.  Ever since our Fine Arts and Flowers visit when we spied Chihuly’s stunning blue and gold chandelier hanging at the main window of the Museum, Ellegram and I have been anticipating our return.

Chihuly hallway chandelier

I have recurring visions of this divine glass confection, which weighs about 3,000 pounds, consists of about 2,000 pieces and took a small army of workers and volunteers four days to install.

     The exhibition exceeded expectations.  In addition to the chandelier (which the Museum’s board would be crazy not to acquire and leave right here facing the Boulevard forever) and the outdoor red reeds in the water garden adjoining the Best Cafe, Dale Chihuly’s works are spread throughout seven display rooms that each contain completely unique and jaw-dropping glass works.

Chihuly Finland

Ikebana Float

When you get downstairs to the exhibit rooms, you have got to purchase the audio tour.  Don’t be a cheapskate:  for $5 you will hear Mr. Chihuly describe the inspiration for and execution of these larger than life creations.  The background information enhances the whole breathtaking experience.

Chihuly water garden

After having our minds blown open by this colorful art form and filled with wonder as to its actual installation, our Girls’ Day included a stop in the wonderful VMFA gift shop and concluded with lunch up on the Third Floor at Amuse, the members-only restaurant that creates its own locally-sourced and constantly changing culinary masterpieces.

Chihuly_cover

The Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Exhibit Book

Family Holiday Adventure

     I am only including a few iPhone snapshots to pique your interest and because my photos cannot convey the beauty of this exhibition, which you do not have to limit to touring only with your girlfriends.  This presentation is so accessible that the whole family will enjoy it.  With only seven rooms to visit, the tour itself goes very fast.

I wish this were my Christmas tree, don't you? Maybe next year.

I wish this were my Christmas tree, don’t you?  Maybe next year.

The kids will not be bored, and in this season of light and wonder, a visit to Chihuly should prove the perfect complement to your family’s festivities.


Looking for Holiday Greens in Richmond?

Find beautiful arrangements plus unique greenery for your own creations at

Holiday Gifts & Greens Market "Inspired by Nature"

     The ladies of The Boxwood Garden Club create fabulous wreaths and table arrangements for you to purchase at the Holiday Gifts & Greens Market at Grace Baptist Church in Windsor Farms.  The key to scoring something wonderful for your holiday home is to get there when the doors open. The outstanding designs sell out very quickly.

     I bought these two topiaries last year and put them in the large metal cachepots.  Though the boxwood and magnolias were live and green when purchased, I have let them dry throughout the year, and they still look beautiful to me.

Holiday topiaries at the fireplace78

     A lot of the arrangements that you will find at the sale look similar to these greenery arrangements gracing the pages of Pinterest.

In addition to arrangements and a small selection of curated vendors selling Christmas presents, you can also purchase fresh and often hard-to-find greenery to create your own holiday designs.

     Put December 7, 2012 on your smartphone calendar and be at Grace Baptist Church in Windsor Farms by 10 a.m.  This is one shopping event that you really will not want to miss.


Small Business Saturday: Shop Local at The Pink Palm’s Lilly-licious New Richmond Location

The Pink Palm Has Moved Just Across the Street . . .

to a bigger and brighter location.  With the new pink doors now open,

Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to stop by The Pink Palm and support one of the happiest places in Richmond.  You can not help but smile when you enter this big confection of a space.

     No longer crammed all together, you can fully see and appreciate the artful designs of all of the Lilly Pulitzer inventory,

as well as treasures from curated vendors selected by creative owner, Lizanne Jeveret.

After too much food and too much Black Friday, drop by The Pink Palm at 5019 Huguenot Road (River Road II Shopping Center) and relax.

Let your blood pressure drop and your spirits rise.

You are sure to find the perfect gifts for all of the Lilly lovers and beachniks in your life.

     Happy Holiday Shopping!

All photos by Avad Fan from my iPhone.


Welcome to Richmond, Brocante Home!

Thanks for bringing Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint to the Capitol City

     You have been reading about Annie Sloane’s chalk paint for awhile now as I have been freshening up the old brown furniture around our abode.  My source for the paint has been the fabulous French shop in Irvington, Brocante Home.  Though it’s a bit of a hike from the West End, every time I head to the Rivah with friends, we make a point of stopping in and leaving with at least one new can of paint.

     The owner of Brocante Home, Rachel Pugliese, loves to teach her customers about the wonders of this paint.  In fact, most Thursdays you can find her in the store paintbrush in hand transforming an old piece into something wonderful.  She is always full of tips and has started offering two-hour workshops to help her customers get comfortable with this easy and clean medium for transformation.  She has even named the workshops “Paintbrush and Pearls” to further her point.

     One of the posse and I decided to try the workshop the other week, and sure enough Rachel was wearing her pearls as she took us through different finishing techniques to use with the chalk paint and waxes.  Of all of her pearls of wisdom gathered from experience, the most valuable to me was the importance of buffing after waxing and sanding.  A really good going over with 800 grit sandpaper makes all the difference to the final look and feel of the piece.

     The other information that we picked up during our workshop was that Brocante Home has just opened a small outpost in DéCOR, the design center in Carytown!  For now, Brocante’s floorspace is mostly Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, but the shop has plans to expand as room becomes available in this wonderful design haven.  Several local designers have set up small shops within these walls, and Brocante Home is the perfect addition.  Rachel also plans to be on-site on Wednesdays so that she can answer customers’ questions about the chalk paint.

     Now you have no excuse to postpone your own furniture transformations.  The paints are nearby, as is the expertise.  Plus the paints are so easy to use that you can just set up a workshop in your living room just like this Avad Fan.

     Happy Painting!


#thankfulfor Tweet trend

Are you on Twitter?

     If you are anything like me, you probably don’t know the difference between a tweet and a trend.  Several months ago, I asked a twenty-something to explain the Twitterworld to me.  After three hours I still didn’t get it, and my tweet-free world remained unchanged.

     Recently, however, a good friend encouraged me to join her on this social medium, and in my ongoing effort to remain relevant in the 2010s, I decided to give it a try.  Signing up was a breeze.  Then I tried looking for people to follow.  Well, but for my previously mentioned friend, it doesn’t look like my posse has jumped into Twitterdom.  Hey ladies, it is time to figure out what your kids already know.

     Just sign-up here.  You will be prompted to look for friends and interests to follow (don’t forget to follow me, listed as Alison Fauls).  Then help me try to get a trend going.

     You know how you hear Natalie Morales on the Today Show always mention what is trending online?  With Thanksgiving only five days away, let’s get a trend going about what we are thankful for (I know that I shouldn’t be ending a sentence in a preposition, but it just doesn’t work otherwise).  In the box on Twitter where you can add a Tweet, type in what you are thankful for and finish it with #thankfulfor.  Then hit the blue Tweet button that shows up.

     Can’t wait to see if we can get a positive trend going.  How cool would it be to hear it mentioned on the Today Show?  Listen to that little blue bird calling to you to take the challenge and get tweeting.