Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Transforming a Living Room for My Buddy Kris

If you've been following my bog, you know that one of my all time besties is Kris!!!!!
I met her when she was looking for an interior designer.
 She saw an article about me in House Beautiful that showed me with lots of dogs, and since she lived with a dog (and kids) she thought that maybe I would be able to help her...
 with her house.
If she knew that it was going to change both of our lives....
I wonder if she would have made that fateful call.....
of course she would!!!!!
the woman is crazy about me!!!!!
She wanted help with her living room.
This is what it looked like when I first saw it.
The kids weren't in the room at the time.
That helped.
Nor the Foosball table, which also helped
(that had been moved across the hall to the dining room.)
She and her husband Keith had bought a turn of the century home in the Boston suburbs that had been allowed to go to seed over the years.
By attacking one room at a time, and not cutting any corners, we have transformed this rundown residence into what I now feel is a showplace.
However, because Kris is not a showoff.....
THAT IS LEFT UP TO ME ME ME!!!!!
To give you an idea of how long this has taken, the little boy in the photo is now out of college, fully employed and over 6 feet tall.

I have shown you pictures of this room before, but this past year we finally had the windows replaced, and I am always blown away by the difference muntins make in a window.
For those in the class that don't know what a muntin is.....

mun·tin
/ˈmənt(ə)n/
noun US
a bar or rigid supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass.
Most folks call them mullions.

For those in the class what don't know the real definition of mullion.....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullion

mullion is a vertical element that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen, or is used decoratively. When dividing adjacent window units, its primary purpose is to provide structural support to an arch or lintel above the window opening.

So think of it this way.
A muntin holds the panes of glass in a window sash.
A mullion is the structural vertical piece between windows when there are double or triple or more windows together.

Now that you know this.....
if you use this out in the real world, most people won't know what the hell you're talking about.

You're welcome!!!!!
Sooooooo.....
This is the way Kris's living room looked before we put in the new windows.
I had designed a new fireplace for her and had the bookshelves removed.
We had the walls re-plastered and crown moldings installed.
There were two doorways into the front hall (it must have been two rooms at one point in the house's life) and we had one closed off and plastered over.
I had new recessed lighting put in in one of my wonderful and fabulous lighting plans.
In the shot below you can see two of the windows that were replaced.
The biggest change was to the middle picture window.
I HAVE HATED THIS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS
 AND YEARS AND .........
Once again you will have to deal with my blurry images.
my hands are a little shaky, and I am too lazy to drag around my tripod.
SO JUST DEAL WITH IT!!!!!
In the image below you can see the new windows.
isn't it just the most amazing thing!!!!!!!
I have this love affair with muntins.
They make everything cozier in my less than humble opinion.
Behind the sofa is where the second door into the hall used to be.
By removing it we were able to create a better floorplan in the room.
This shows the long wall that now exits with the removal of the second set of doors.
This is the view looking into the room from the front entry hall.
I designed and needlepointed the seat covers for the pair of hall chairs flanking the chest of drawers.
This is a shot with the old windows, I am an idiot, I am an idiot, I am an idiot.....
I forgot to take a new one.
These is the sitting area to the right of the French doors leading into the hall.
You can see the reworked moldings that were created for all the doors and windows.
Believe or not.....
Kris and I still have some walls in this house that need to have some stuff hung on them.
AND THAT IS FOR MY NEXT POST!!!!!

On that note,
Latah,
Gatah

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

I'm Loosing My Mind, So You Have To Come With Me....

That's right little campers.....
I'm back for another post 
right on the heels of my previous one!!!!!
You guys are so lucky.
Or, as they say in New Jersey,
Yous Guys.
Seee?
I learned something from my under graduate degree.

After writing that I was definitely going to use the green colorway of my cabbage rose pattern.
I have changed my mind.
Again.
Quelle Surprisio!!!!!
(spell check doesn't like it when I make up new foreign languages.....)
(spell check has no sense of humor.....)

You may wonder why there are two blog posts in close succession...
WELL...
I have a headache.
And my headache medication has caffeine in it.
I don't normally have caffeine.
Due to medical issues that are none of your damn business.
(Not that you would be interested, 'cuz my family is certainly bored hearing about them, and they are all doctors.)
SOOOOOOO.......
when I have a headache, it is a great excuse to get a little caffeine in my system.
Which my brain box really really really really loves.

AND.......
I am having trouble working out a drop repeat right now on a new design, so I am looking for any excuse to distract me from my frustration.

So,
let's get to today's design issue for little Betsy.
We left off here.
I was going to use my green colorway.
I really love this look.
It is fresh and pretty....(if I do say so myself.....)
however....
there was an uproar from the peanut gallery pushing the pink color back to the forefront
of my cerebellum.  
You guys liked it in the room, and pointed out that it was more what I was known for.
Not that you shouldn't allow me to evolve.
sheesh.
So I placed the pink on my antique French chair to show the class how it looks, because that is how I will be using it.
Like the way all my pictures are blurry?????
I am too lazy to pull out my tripod, and I am shooting in low light.
So deal with it.
I gots to admit that this colorway goes better with the rug and bookcase.
Maybe that's because I originally designed it to go with my living room.
It was so long ago that I forgot that.
Can you believe me?
Talk about a senior moment.
I expressly colored blue flowers into the bouquet to pull in the blue of the bookcase.
I worked really hard for this $%# colorway to work with my living room, and then I forgot that I did that.
Below is the way we sell it in my collection.
It is a fresher pallet.
Josh chose the more muted one that I show above to be printed on my natural linen ground.
Here is one of my fabulous side by sides!!!!!
See how the one on the right is more muted?
That's the one for me.
Below I've pinned the two samples to my current drapery panels, you can see the difference even better. 
Sooooooo.....
the one on the right is the bright way it's being sold, and the one on the left is the way I will use it, and it's not for sale, unless you want it, and then, of course we can accommodate you!!! 
AND THEN!!!!!
BECAUSE I'M AN IDIOT!!!!!
I had to try another colorway.
This is the French blue on white.
I am not going to do it.
But I am leaving no stone unturned.
I need another caffeine pill.
Or something.
ANYTHING.
please.
on that note,
Latah Gatah
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Redecorating Using My OWN Fabrics!!!!!!!

I'm redoing my living room.
I'm redoing my living room.
I'm redoing my living room.......

Have I mentioned that I am redoing my living room?????

I am driving myself crazy with this $%&!!!!!

You think it's hard decorating your own house????
Try doing it when you can design your own fabrics, 
and then change the colorways to be 
anything you want.....
I have finally settled on the pattern I am going to use.
It's from my Fall 2016 collection.
(don't you just love how that sounds?)
(It's like I have a gazillion different collections.)
(when we all know I have the grand number of....one...)

Josh (the boy wonder who is my partner and pain in my @$$) didn't want to sell this pattern in the large 18" repeat size.
Now that he sees how it looks on chairs he has changed his mind.
WHY DOESN'T HE EVER LISTEN TO ME?????
It's called Gypsy Bouquet.
Why I called it that, I have no idea. 
Don't ask me to explain myself.
You'd be waiting for an explanation a looooog time.
I have pinned the fabrics over my new antique chair and on top of my draperies, so I could see how they will look.
It lays out just perfectly for the back of a French Chair, or a toss pillow.
The reason for this is because
THAT'S THE WAY I DESIGNED IT.
I am soooo fabulous.......
Due to pressure from my besty Kris and Josh, I am using this sophisticated colorway for my living room.
I think it is the prettiest one.
The muted pink one matches my carpet, but this one is more growed up.
And I am a growed up person.
I am selling this in 2 scales.
This large one, which will be available in the Spring of 2017, and the smaller scale is available now.
Unless you want to order the larger scale, and then we can talk!!!!!
I was thinking about having the walls repainted in a soft green to offset the white background of the drapery fabric, but Josh thinks the white will look nice and fresh.
What to do.... What to do.......
I stand in the doorway of the living room and just stare and wonder...
stare and wonder.

I got sidetracked onto a tangent of pink color by my muted pink colorway that isn't even in my collection.
 (Josh vetoed it, it's printed on my natural line background, but not the white linen like here.)
The pink in my collection is a brighter color that he says is more the look of today.
I'm not sure.....
but there seems to be an insult in there somewhere......
See how it lays out great on a pillow?????
(I pinned it over my old pillow)
I am da bomb!!!!!
I was considering this with the smaller scale for the draperies.
It's very pretty with the pink rug in this room.
But Josh isn't going for it, and this will be an ad.
Or a magazine story.
Or both?!?!
I think this is a quintessential cottage look for a cabbage rose in pink.
See how it goes with my rug and the way the bookcase is painted now???
I will have to repaint the outside of the bookcase if I use the cream and green fabric.
Which I am going to do.
I think.
No, I'm sure.
Maybe......

I thought the problem I was having was that I needed a more sophisticated pink.
SO.....
I recolored the pattern in a more monochromatic pink colorway just for me me me.
It went OK with the rug....
I can never tell how a fabric will look in real life.
It always prints differently than on my computer.
Sooooooo...
I worked up 5 different levels of color.
That's 5
5!!!!
5!!!!!
I must admit to the class that the lightest one looks SUCKY!!!

So
after all that time fiddling around with pinks....
I am back using the cream and green.
Unless I change my mind.
Or design a fabric I like better.

In the mean time,
I have designed an awning stripe for my two club chairs to go with this and have recolored my Small Diamond Batik pattern in this colorway for my sofa.
I'll let you know when I get the strike offs from my factory.
By then I will have changed my mind.
Again.
Oy Vey.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

My Line is Up!!!!!

BIG NEWS FELLOW CAMPERS!!!!!
after 3.5 years and more hours than my @$$ wants to think about
(if my @$$ could think)
on Friday November 18, 2016 at 10:23 AM my fabric line was finally hung up and ready for sale!!!!!!!!!
This is how the fabrics are displayed at design centers, so decorators can see a full length of fabric.
(and yes, for those of you who asked, this is only available to the trade....sorry)
I have finished the website.
Here is the link: 
it is at: 
 betsytextiles.com
or betsyfabrics.com
or betsyspeert.com
or elizabethspeert.com
but
betsy.com was taken.
I tried to reach the woman who owns it, to ask to buy it, but she hasn't returned my email.
I can't understand way someone wouldn't want to have an email conversation with me!!!???!!!
Maybe I'll email her again.
She'll think I'm one of those crazy internet stalkers.
Or you guys could email her!!!!!!!

Sooooooo
To recap.......
I worked my butt off to get these fabrics ready for the spring launch 
(ha)
(we made the fall.......)
That's when I met with Josh to make the final colorway choices and lay out how the wings and waterfalls would hang in the Design Center.
We had a real meeting of grownups!!!!!
There were 4 of us in total.
3 grownups and Josh.
We used the floor of my living room as a large conference table to lay out the fabrics.
Anyway, last Friday, I went into Boston to the design center to work on making up the first batch of samples.
I worked with Jessica in the samples department.
We had to staple 870 labels onto 870 samples.
That is 
870 #$% times using a stapler.
As you can see, Jessica is lovely.
She claims her hands were fine after all that stapling.
well.....
I AM OLD AND MY HANDS WERE SHOT TO $%&#
and don't get me started on my shoulders.
Here they are tucked all cozy in their boxes.

Before the wings were hung, Josh spread the waterfalls out on a table in the showroom.
These will be pinned to the wings to show all the colors for each pattern.
Before we could get them all installed, someone walked off with one of these. I am hoping that means that they will be placing an order, as I had to sew up a new waterfall and add the labels to the back.
I was not happy.
I had a workroom make all the samples and waterfalls and wings, so luckily I had the skills to quickly redo this.
But this means that folks like my stuff!!!!!
We are already getting low on some of the samples and the fabrics were just put up.
I may have created a monster.
We may have to reorder more samples soon.
Which means more stapling........

When I tell my dad about this, he keeps asking if I've sold anything yet.
Good point.
But it has to be for sale before it can be sold.
SO.
Now it is for sale.

Josh thinks in a couple of years I may have to hire some people.
I don't want to.
He will have to handle that.
I am too old for this #$%.
Be careful what you wish for.

Besides all my bitching.
I am thrilled beyond words!!!
Well.....
maybe not beyond words.
I never seem at a loss for words.
They fall from my lips like pearls.....
or cherries.....
or road apples......

on that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Fabric Line is Almost Ready!!!!!!!

Before I get to today's post about my fabric line.....
just a quick comment about some of the most recent comments to my blog.
Some of you guys got annoyed (angry, pissed off, offended, enraged, ......) because I dared to go off topic from decorating and voice an opinion.

WELL LADIES (and the occasional gentleman) 

This is a blog, not a magazine article.
It is my blog.
This is where I get to spout off.
For those of you who have been following my ramblings for some time, you know that once or twice a year I find something that really fries my goat, and I vent.
That's what blogs are for.
They are personal expressions.
If some of you don't like it, 
NO ONE IS MAKING YOU READ THIS.
There will be no test.
It' very simple, just don't read me.
I don't get paid for this.
I still do it because I have been asked to.
I started writing this after my last book deal was canceled due to the collapse of the decorating book publishing industry.
But since I started my fabric line, I am very
BUSY AGAIN!!!!!!!!!
Designing fabric is a full time job.
Plus I now am designing my own website!!!!!!!
This is because Traditional Home Magazine is featuring my fabrics in the February/March issue, and I realized I better have a website.
So now I am obsessed with designing the website.
It's really fun.
So if any of you are trying to make your own website, I am using the Square Space service.
I spent a couple of days watching YouTube tutorials and now I am just like a pro.
(sort of)
(not really)
The site should be up and running within the next month or year.
(see how I did that????)
(The year ends in 2 months!!!!!)

Sooooooooo
my fabrics!!!!!
We have FINALLY gotten the wings and waterfalls so we can hang them up at the Boston Design Center.
We have had all the samples shipped, so this week I will go into Boston and help attach my labels to all the samples.

After 3 1/2 years this project is going live ladies!!!!!
Here's a shot of my living room as we were figuring how to hang the samples in the showroom.
This room was like this for 6 months.
I used it as a reference as I designed the next collection.
Here's a close up of some of the fabrics.
This pattern is called Small Diamond Batik.
Because
 it is small
diamond shaped
and looks like batik......
I am very imaginative with my names.
It also comes in medium and large!!!!!
Because it is medium and large!!!!!
Don't get excited, but here it is in the medium size.....
I have worked on these fabrics in colorways so that they will work together.
I have been collaborating with a person in his early 40's, so was only allowed one cabbage rose pattern.
I love this bouquet.
It's called Gypsy Bouquet.
I have custom colored it for my living room and am doing it in a scale that is twice as large as the one shown.
My collaborator, who will remain anonymous (Josh) won't let me do it that way in the collection.
He say's it's "Old Lady Fabric".
What I said to him, can't be printed here.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah 
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