February 26, 2013


For as long as I can remember this has been my life quote, a saying in the back of my head that has guided me through most decisions, through most crossroads, and down life's paths.
Sometimes it has meant squeezing my eyes, straightening my spine and saying "yes" when my mind screams 'oh no you don't!' or 'you can't do that!'

All of which leads me to thinking about a topic close to my heart...... passions and how it goes hand in hand with my quote. Your passions, my passions, that strong devotion and desire we have for an object or activity that never fades away.
Often women contact me seeking advise on pursuing their passions.
"How do I get started....... (I am afraid.)  How did you do it......... (I am afraid.) What if I am not a success..... (am afraid).........."
No, they are usually not verbalizing fear but it permeates into every dream, thought and tenuous resolve.
Twenty four years ago I opened my first shop, knowing absolutely nothing about retail nor the services I was offering, Landscape Design.......more guts than sense!  I was pursuing a dream.
During my grand opening, a highly respected businessman I had invited, pulled me aside, I could not wait to hear what he had to say! "You are cutting edge, you are ahead of your time, this is a great concept, you will go far!"
No, he did not say any of those things.
He took my hand and said "Buy out your lease and get out while you can."
I was devastated. Consumed with doubt, I was embarrassed, and feeling the fool, I wanted to fold.
A crossroad.
After careful consideration, the decision was made to look forward, to follow through, to take that leap......          'I am the net', I told myself.

The ultimate decision was to believe in myself. What I did to make that happen and to not go into  any debt, would make for an interesting story, another day. I will say it takes single-minded determination, laser focus, very hard work and guts.

An excellent read is at Deborah Thomas' blog 'Boxwood Terrace'  as Deborah ponders following her dream of owning a brick and mortar shop and what that journey might entail. While there read some of the comments. They come in as either fear filled or joyous for her prospects, either or. 

What advise would you have for Deborah? What would you say to the dreamer within you?

For me, 'at the end of this line' i want to revel in what was, not question 'why didn't I?' 

Be it a seismic career career change or learning a new skill
In yourself..........

xo Debra

Need encouragement? Drop me a line. Took the leap? Please share in the comments!

February 14, 2013

A Tulip planter surprise!

It's getting closer.............
Maybe some of you have already turned to tulips. certainly not here in Chicago, but my shops say spring!
But this new variety has me gobsmacked....... RUBBER tulips!  
Rubber? And I am excited?    Oh yes..........these beauties;  leaves and flower, are the most lifelike tulips I have ever seen in the faux category
The reason for the euphorbia? The can go outdoors, and they will last for YEARS!
The faux silks, of just yesterday, were great but always have the look of, well, silk
One could always add real tulips to your outdoor containers, but as you know real tulips last a week, depending on the weather. The warmer it gets, the quicker their demise. 
And now, instant and enduring spring. 
Elegant solo
Or in a mixed composition. Just add your cool season annuals (filler) and ivy(spiller), insert the tulips 
and viola! (instant thriller)

We have a good stock, while supplies last

and now......the number generator chose 13 as the winner.  Jennifer, of Pink Pagoda blog, will receive the book, the 'Scottish Country House'
Surely I wished I could have sent each of you a copy. You shared heartwarming stories and your love of this hauntingly beautiful country

Love to all,


February 4, 2013

Scotland + Give-away

I wish I could share my escapades in Scotland to explain my absence, but that would be a fantasy.
I wish I could say I did not break my New Years resolution about regular posting, but I did.
I wish I could say I have been using the winter to catch up on rest, but I haven't

Instead I have been racing around like a mad woman.......
The good news is that we have gained several new interior design clients, due to our decorating at the Christmas show house, that we are currently working with. I can honestly say they are all dream clients.

A wee bit ago, for a special birthday Mr. 5th said we could go on a trip. "you pick", he said

And the dreams began; Africa, Bali, Norway........  Narrowing it down to Scotland or the Galapagos Islands, I eventually chose the latter. "Heck, I can get to scotland anytime!"... I told myself.
 Well, 7 years on, I have yet to go. But a girl can dream while reading a gem of a book.....
Being well into winter, and still in snuggly mode, I retreat to this luscious tome,' The Scottish Country House', on ten family homes, often still in the original families, spanning from the 17th to 20th centuries. The strength and masculinity of this ancient isle is well represented here, it's architecture, history, decor, heritage and it's gardens.

The rich texture and layers of history of each family adds a personal touch to this countries lore
The romanticism of "seeing" and knowing who went before you, must be, well, it is a feeling I would be unfamiliar with, as do most Americans. In rich detail, we are offered a glimpse of that lifestyle, the influences of the ages and the personalities that made these country houses homes and maintained them for upcoming generations.
A nation of clans, often warring clans, is so evident in the decor of these homes. The bravery fought by the families histories are well displayed.

The richness of nature provided food and sport. So taken into the very fiber of the Scott's being,
  those pursuits are proudly displayed in their decor

An entrance hall, a study in Baroque and the six year odyssey towards completion

Aside from the weaponry and quoined ceilings, this interior would be welcome and appropriately modern today

Moments of envisioning a Downton Abbey-esque kitchen, bustling with staff and intrigue. Oh the gleam of those highly polished copper pots.

The 18thc. Murano chandelier gracing the entry of the grand Dumfries House

A grand bed, a la Chippendale style
Of course the gardens, and so forth. Pouring through this book with it's crisp photography and intriguing stories brings alive a distant past timelessly melding into today.
Sadly, my personal obsession is absent; just a minor addition I thought you might enjoy......... 

speaking of enjoy........how about receiving this book in the mail??

All you have to do is comment and one name will be chosen randomly 

But......many say to me personally, "I do not know how"


At the bottom, center of each post it says "post a comment, or just comments" click on that, follow the prompts and have your say!
(not the email at the top of the page)

I have a CRUSH on those who COMMENT!


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