Monday, March 31, 2008

Wallpaper Murals Dead Or Alive?

Remember the wallpaper murals from 1970's and 1980's? I recently stayed in a guest room where there was one in front of the bed. It was a woodland scene, a birch forest. Oddly, it was very relaxing to look at it in a trippy sort of way.
What better way to have an instant graphic for a blank wall or door. If you juxtapose something groovy in front of it, the mural looks exciting.
The top photo of the cream rose is on sale now at target.c0m for $169.
The vaguely hip version of the Art Nouveau Victorian poppy, and the dewy pink rose are from and range in price from $54.95 - $78.95
Size is approximately 6 feet X 8 feet.

More Wallpaper Murals

Here are some more murals.
The pink rose (with red chair) is another color way from
The peony, bed of roses, and Calla Lilies are from and range in price from $54.95 - $78.95
You need two people to do this. It's not too hard. The worst part is getting out air bubbles so the thing looks smooth.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Different Kind Of Intelligent Design

Marc Friedland is the visionary owner of the Los Angeles firm Creative Intelligence, that specializes in branding experiences by design. Marc is genius, and he surrounds himself with the best talent.
The top photo is the company holiday card, that came with a CD of great music, and a very funny DVD about Marc as a child with budding creative intelligence.
This gem of a book is out of print, but can be found at once in awhile.
"...angel, creative mid wife, resident mom, director of photography, and all around style meister, who pulled the project (book) together in every which way possible..."
This was written by darling Marc about a certain visual vamp you know.
Check out the web site HERE
It will make you smile, and give you a sense of the marvelous mortar and bricks creative factory Marc has built. You should stop by and visit when you are in Los Angeles.

Craigslist Picks Of The Week

These are all from New Orleans Craigslist:
Red slipcover on white Ikea couch and ottoman $149.
Set of 4 chairs $150,
Nesting tables with bamboo style legs $85.
French end table $30.
Crazy desk $20,

Chair About Town

While looking around for nice things to show you, this folding chair popped up on two sites, dwell, and The New York Times Sunday Style section.
It's very good looking, and could be left unfolded all the time.
XO’s Fol.d Chair, designed by Patrick Jouin, has a chrome frame and a polypropylene back and seat; $215 from (888) 898-6422 or

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eeeewwwwww Carpet Tiles

Recently I posted a comment on another more famous decor blog, in reply to a request asking for suggestions to help a reader named Carrie with her design dilemma entry hall. Off the top of my vampy head, I suggested carpet tiles. Any throw rug or mat for the front door is always problematic. Will the door clear the rug to open smoothly? Will the mat stay put and not slip around? How often must it be cleaned in such a high traffic area?
I have never owned carpet tiles, but I have seen them on the television design shows. They seem cool, because they have a sticky back that keeps them in place, without gluing them down, so you can pick them up easily to reconfigure, and also take them outside and hose them clean. They also have a low pile profile, so it seems that most doors would glide smoothly over them.
Carrie seemed to want a change from trad to a little more rad, and again carpet tiles come in great groovy colors. And they are not too costly. So I thought maybe a small square grid of carpet tiles might add something to the standard issue travertine looking floor pictured.
Being the new bloginista on the block, in a pantheon of savvy decor divas (whom I admire and respect), brings on a slew of sharp retorts from someone called anon. The comment to my comment was: eeeeeeewwwww carpet tiles!
So here are some carpet tiles I found on dwell.
"Official distributor of Alexander Girard designs máXimo recently announced its collaboration with InterfaceFLOR, a producer of modular carpet tiles.
The collection, which will launch this spring, will feature Girard's La Fonda del Sol sun imagery, along with the cheerful color palette we've come to associate with the revered mid-century designer. The partnership seems apropos—Girard wrote a letter to Herman Miller president D.J. Depree back in 1953 expressing interest in creating a modular carpet tile system. Some fifty plus years later the market is just catching up".
This was posted by:

Real Rooms 3

Working on the bathroom. What a drudge. The hubs was outside with our neighbors, the original Mrs. (and Mr.) Robinson. They rented this ginormous corkscrew looking piece of machinery, that they were using to make fence post holes. They got a vacant lot next to their house that they are turning into a garden. I have never seen two people work so hard!
I want to post something new for all the visual vamps to look at, so here are some more wonderful real spaces.
Again, if you see your space and you want credit, please e-mail me and I will take care of it pronto!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Movie Decor That Rocks

Some of the earliest awareness I had about decor came from the movies. I longed to live in rooms that I saw in the movies. Later I tried to decorate my first apartments like a movie set, with some degree of success, and equal amounts of deranged failure.
In the past couple of years Doris Day movies have been coming out on DVD.
I really like the goofy Glass Bottom Boat for the inspired 1966 decor and fashion.
With very little tweaking, these rooms could be in Domino, and I could be wearing this coat, hat, and boots.
Another crazy 60's movie with great decor is Woody Allen's What's New Pussycat? The set decoration was done by Charles Merangel. The character played by Peter O'Toole has the greatest apartment, complete with a giant white ceramic dog, just like the one Kelly Wearstler made so famous in her book Modern Glamour.
It is very hard to find film stills or photos of the sets, so rent or buy the DVDs for inspired visual vamping.

Doris in her Mata Hari costume. And what 60's movie wouldn't be complete without the darling Paul Lynde in drag?

The vintage poster from the movie,
Wonderful outfit on Doris. The hanging lamp, vase, table, and ottoman front left would work in any current setting.

Love the frosted glass kitchen cabinets.
The panelling and drapes are very Wearstler/Adler. Note the Buddha on the credenza that would be perfect for a flat screen. Chair front right is high style then and now.
These rattan wicker chairs are hot again, along with the peacock fan back chair.

Check out the sunburst on the wall, along with other groovy art.

What Would You Pay For RMS Convention

What's involved with the RMS Convention?
I am trying to get a hotel space for anyone who cares to come to New Orleans, first to meet one another, and second to watch the first RMS HGTV show together. There will be the city of New Orleans to shop, eat, walk around, etc. There will be a meet and greet party for all the RMSers. There will be a screening with gourmet "TV dinners". We are working on some decor workshops too. I would love to do a discussion group so we could share our RMS photos and experiences. I plan to make this an annual event for all the lovely design/decor "geeks" out there. There is such a great feeling of togetherness on RMS among all the comments and photos we share, and many of us have been wanting to meet in person, to deepen the friendship formed on the inter net. Anyone with an interest in decor is welcome to attend.
Right now I am trying put together a hotel package deal that will be a good deal. As soon as I have all the details, I will put it up on my blog (and as much as I can on RMS).
What would you pay for the weekend hotel package? Your feedback is important as I try and find a pretty and welcoming venue, without breaking the bank.
So save the dates: check in Friday June 13 -check out Monday June 16, OR just come for the screening on Sunday June 15.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Real Rooms 2

Kind of slacking these last couple of days. I actually had to get up from Barbie (what I call my little iBook), and do some work in the non virtual world.
Been working on the antique cupboard I got on eBay. It's turned into a beast that is being tamed. The hubs built a frame around it. I insisted using some 100 year old funky wood. He wasn't thrilled, but he did it, under the heading of you and your crazy ideas. I decided to give it a fresh coat of white paint that I would knock back. I wanted to make the "new" frame mesh with the cabinet.
I have been using this great waterproof paint in the bathroom reno. So I thought, cool, I'll use it on the cabinet. It worked great on the reclaimed wood, but not so great on the old cupboard. Ah oil base paint for sure, with me trying to put a latex product on top it. Duh.
So I began peeling it off, sanding it off, but not entirely stripping whatever managed to adhere. I got a very nice effect. I did a light white wash with Kilz primer, and then waxed the whole thing with paste wax. I cleaned up all the old hardware too, just enough to have a patina and not look cruddy. I have one more surprise element to add...stay tuned.
Also, I must put on clothes today that are fit to be seen in public. I have a meeting today at the hotel I chose for the RMS convention in June. I am hoping to put the details out there for all of you to see a little later. Save the dates - June 13-June 15!
So In the meantime, I know how a visual vamp needs a daily visual fix, so I am showing you a few more spaces done by fellow vamps.
Remember, my record keeping is faulty, so if you see your room and you want credit, please e-mail me and I will take care of it right away!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Would You Turn Down The Cover of Architectural Digest?

This is my cover. Well not the whole thing. I just did the flowers and the photo styling for the photo shoot for the entire spread for the designer Timothy MacDonald. And I have another AD spread too, doing the styling and flowers for the designer Mary Meehan. Maybe one day I'll post that entire spread as an ode to New York decorators of yesteryear.
The reason I am showing you this, is because I read a sister bloginista's entry today at Decorno. The link is listed so just click it and read her article "Dear AD."
All the comments got me thinking. Oh yeah, about that drooling AND thinking thing. Decor blogs are eye candy for sure, but there's some good writing going on too, so if you stop to read, you just might have a thought in between drooling at the pretty pictures.
Anyhow, the comments were all a good old shit kicking bashing of AD, and with good reason.
If your eyesight is good enough to see the date on the cover shown, then I hate you, no I mean you can see that this is an issue from some years ago.
There was no fashion as decor happening then. No bloginistas. No Kellys; no Ruthies; no Jonathan Adlers; no eBay. Oh yeah, there was, but they were called Mrs. Goldstein (or our grandmothers or mothers), and a junk store or a flea market or a garage sale (where my mother or grandmother would never dream to shop). Or else AD did a spread on the actual homes of actual fashion designers like Geoffrey Beene or Bill Blass, mixing fashion and decor for the reader.
There were no fashion mags cross dressing as decor/design mags, like we have now with Domino, Elle Decor, O at Home, etc. Vogue and Harpers Bazaar included home decor editorials back then.
We had House Beautiful. We had House and Garden (way before it became the hip mag we all miss). And we had Architectural Digest.
As a young business woman with a design concern, I was thrilled to get anyone to print a picture of my work. It brought me a sense of pride, and it brought me business. Remember there were no digital cameras, no inter net, and a blog to self publish. Somebody had to ask you to be in a magazine.
Now everyone is an expert about design and decor; everyone is so savvy; everyone has an opinion. It's all been sped up, and distilled via HGTV and the inter net, and via the new fashion decor magazines as catalogs. We learn fast without having to do much leg work.
So for all the smarty pants bloginistas who hold their nose when they see AD, if AD, or a designer who gets a spread in AD, asked you to be in it, what would you say? No thank you I'll just wait for Debbie Needleman, or maybe for the editor of that Jesus magazine on the dentist's coffee table?

Monday, March 24, 2008

First Rate My Space Convention In New Orleans!

The idea is to start the first annual RMS convention, by the people for the people!
I have done a few events in New Orleans, and I think this is a perfect spot.
Anyone who comes would just pay for their way here (many can drive here), and their hotel room (people can share a room too). I will block a bunch of rooms for us. It's that simple.
We can get together, yak it up, walk around New Orleans, eat, drink, shop, and most of all watch the first RMS TV show together!
Since this happens June 15, we have to act quickly.
I am going to the hotels this week, to try and secure the date and good room rates.
Once I have the hotel, I'll put it up on my blog with all the details, and as much as I can at RMS too.
I am hoping to make this an annual weekend get together!
So help me get a buzz going in anyway we can!
The photo is from a view of the city lights taken from a ballroom in one of the hotels I have used, and hope to get for RMS First Annual Convention!
Save The Date: June 13 - June 15

Letters from HGTV Angelo Surmelis About Rate My Space

I am a virgin bloginista, so I was amazed and touched that HGTV personality Angelo Surmelis found my new blog, read it, AND wrote to me. I felt a little bad about what I said about him, because as you can see by his e-mails, he is very sweet.
I share them the with you....

Visual Vamp,
Angelo here. I heard you're not a fan (and that's cool) but I hope you give the show "Rate My Space" a chance. The homeowners are amazing, the inspirational homeowners are enthusiastic and sincere and our carpenter, Jared and his team perform nothing short of miracles every week. I may not be your cup of tea, but I think the show might surprise you. All the best and stay creative, Angelo Surmelis

Hi VV,
Yes, feel free to post my comment.
I am as passionate about all things visual as you and your readers.

I certainly am not a "big name" decor guy...just someone who is lucky to make a living doing what I love. I am proud to be a part of the HGTV family and always love hearing form people like yourself who are motivated, excited, frustrated, and curious by design.
RMS is a fantastic forum for all of that.
I love the idea that you and some of the RMS fans might be holding a screening.
Unfortunately my shooting schedule is a bit busy and I will not be able to make it to the screening (I think my next day off is DEC. 25th).
Thank you for the invite.
You and other RMS fans can learn a bit more about the show or sign up for it at the production company web site:
Each week a new low rated room gets a HUGE makeover while being inspired by three other RMS posters that were rated high. The made over room then gets reposted on RMS for a new (hopefully higher) rating.

The air dates right now are as follows:
Premiere June 15th
Regular time slot starts June 19th (new episode)
Another sneak peek of a new episode June 22
This is all subject to change so look for promos giving specifics along with checking local listing...
OK, now I sound like a bad commercial.

Have a great weekend and stay creative,

Your Letters To Visual Vamp

Many of you are writing to me, and I just love it! It would be great if you could please leave a comment too. I know it means signing up at Google's blog spot, and you may not want to do this.
So from time to time I'll post your letters.
Thanks for helping me get the *visual*vamp* off to an amazing start!

Hi! Thanks for the invite to your blog! You are so funny, I was laughing out loud so much that my husband asked me if I was ok from the other room. Your description of RMS is so very accurate, and I completely agree with your sentiments! Thanks for the laughs and for being YOU! Melissa


Thanks for the nice comment on my bathroom. I have looked at your blog and found it to be entertaining and interesting. I agree about the ratings on RMS. If it isn't typical pottery barn or straight and out of the box, the reviews and comments are nasty. I redid my bedroom, using little money and a lot of creativity. When I posted it, I was amazed at the negative attitude. I didn't leave it on there long. I am surprised that my bathroom is getting much attention and the high ratings, after all it is just a humble little room. Anyhow, thanks again, I have enjoyed "meeting" you. I have my dining room posted under a different name. I used to have a business and had a different computer there, that is where I posted the pictures of it. When we moved, somehow, I can't get back into that one. It's under dearadream, look it up. It might not be as exciting as the bathroom and most people that commented said it needs more stuff, but I am not a duster, and don't have a house keeper, so more stuff is not for me. Beth


Of course you can post my comments! I don't mind if you use my name either - I think I will enjoy plenty of anonymity with "Melissa". I will definitely keep on reading for sure.
Thanks for making my unemployment enjoyable! I am already hooked. I think I will go into withdrawal when I get a job and have to focus on other things - on second thought, no, I'll sneak your blog in :) Take care and stay fabulous, (is it weird that I don't even know you, and I think you are fabulous?) Melissa

************************************************************************************* Hi: I found your site on RMS and I love it! We seem to share the same opinion on many subjects! May I ask you what you thought of the winner of the HGTV dream home? Did it seem staged to you or maybe I just think I would have reacted a bit differently?! The host was trying to "talk it up" about the win but the woman just said nothing and kept scratching at her head. Maybe she had too much wine as I saw her husband take the wine glass out of her hand. They definitely knew they were coming. Oh well, maybe I am a little bitter since I didn't win! On another subject I don't have a space on RMS as I don't have a digital camera and wouldn't know how to load my pictures. Decorating has always been a passion for me and I am slightly addicted to the RMS site. It is awesome to see how much talent is out there. I always said to my daughter this has got to be a show and was delighted when I read your comment and found out it was! I agree with you about Angelo, yuck! I LOVE Danielle and she would be my first choice. I also like Joan Steffand (sp) and think she would be great. Even though Candace is my favorite I think she is too "fancy" for a down home feel. Well, sorry for the rambling. Hope to hear back from you....... Cherie


Hi. Was hopping about on RMS today and came across your posts again and again. So, I’m curious . . . are you just a huge HGTV fan, or something else? Again, just curious.
I posted a few things about the show back on one of your spaces and would have mentioned that we’re to be included on one episode, but I wasn’t sure if we’re supposed to mention it or not supposed to talk about it. Just didn’t want to do anything I wasn’t supposed to. There’s the one guy who has talked about it openly on his space, and because of some other info I have about the episode we’re to be on, I did acknowledge we’ll be included, as I thought we might be on the same show. Turns out not! Will surely stop back by the blog so that I know what’s going on! Thanks – Clyde aka wintepark


Hi again -
The internet is an amazing thing, and enables anyone and everyone to have a little louder voice about things they enjoy or for which they have some passion. Good for you for taking advantage of the opportunity. My life partner and I began a huge life change in early 2000, after some difficult times, and I got into HGTV in a huge way. I found I had some talents and interests which may have existed before, but had never shown themselves. I may weave them into my life a bit more as we go forth. HGTV, and now RMS, have been wonderful to enjoy from afar, and now, at least somewhat, to become a small part of. We don’t know a lot about our episode, actually. Our space – most notably one aspect of that space, and I’m not sure I should give it away – is one of I think three spaces to be inspiration for a “hacienda style” bedroom. What’s fun about this show from others I’ve seen is the interaction between those with the inspiration space and the new room. We participated in a video conference call with them. Initial awkwardness seemed to give way to good-natured teasing (okay, I think that ended up being focused on me . . . no surprise!) and laughter. The guy we dealt with from Pie Town is a prince. I think that is who everyone is dealing with. Such a sweet, nice and sincere young man. If businesses have employees who are golden, this guy is PLATINUM. We ended up going to dinner two evenings, lunch to break up the shoot and gave him a tour of Winter Park . . . introducing him just after the shoot to one of our new neighbors, one of the pair of Barred Owls which has, I believe, set up a nest somewhere around us. I just added her to my Rate My Space page this past week, and he was like a kid – he’s not too far off at 23 (uuuuuhhhhhh, I’m feeling OLD!!) – when I located her and he got some shots. Okay, I’m rambling, but it’s Saturday evening and we just opened some chardonnay . . . and I didn’t sleep well last night because two others who appear on my RMS page (our Boxers, Ellie and Katie) were taking up so much space on the bed last night (they get especially snuggly when it’s cool, as last night), I didn’t sleep terribly well. Far be it from me to infringe of the rest of the princesses! I know you worry about Angelo – from your blog – but I think he’s going to be terrific, from our brief experience. Again, never got addicted to 24 Hour Design, but as ships passing via video conference, we found him to be engaging, funny and eager to please his homeowners. Only time will tell. I think the rooms for this show are going to reach a higher level, also, closer to my absolute favorite on HGTV, Candice Olsen. Rooms which are truly “designed”, not simply decorated this way or that. Good luck with your blog. And your Easter festivities . . . saw your table on RMS. Love the lettuce plates, bunnies and napkins. Truly sorry for the loss of your friend. I’m sure she would have loved that creative, fun and VERY Easter-y table! I’ve dealt with loss this past year; and, it is not easy. Best - Clyde aka “winterpark”


VV - until I saw your post I had not heard anything about an RMS show. Where is this information posted? I love the idea of getting together - that idea rocks! I can certainly start helping by spreading the news of the show and your idea. If you have any further details please point me in the direction. You must be extremely organized to be an event planner...lots and lots of details in that job. I'd love to help in some way. Please give me suggestions on things that I can do. I bet we can spread the information quickly. Thanks for the reply.
Happy Easter. Pam

Kravitz Design

I have been watching CBS Sunday Morning for years and years. That and The Sunday New York Times are part of a ritual. Because the show comes on early, I often switch it on the bedroom TV from deep under the covers. And truth be known, all I "see" of the show is hearing the clarion of trumpets in the theme song. And I usually read the Sunday Times all week long.
I managed to be awake for part of this past Sunday's show, airing March 23. The part I saw was about Lenny Kravitz.
I like him. I like his music. So I woke up to watch.
The music segment was about him launching a new album/CD. Cool. The interview took place in his home. I think this home was in Miami or New York (he has several homes as people with money and a job that takes them traveling often do).
The place was striking. This was no MTV crib. The first thing you saw as you entered was this huge mural portrait of a woman with a huge afro. Lenny told us it is a portrait of his mother Roxie Roker, and that he always uses a picture of her in some form in every space he lives in and decorates. To remind you, Roxie Roker played Helen on the 70's TV show The Jeffersons. She passed away in 1995 at age 66, succumbing to cancer.
Deeper into the space, one viewed iconic furniture, moody lighting, and a grand sense of space. The place exudes sensuality, without being sleazy. It looks boho luxe, visually vamped to the nth degree.
The home was remarked upon, with Lenny talking about his REAL passion, interior design! Okay so many of you bloginistas already know this. He talked about his design firm Kravitz Design (based in Miami), and how they just finished a bar in the Delano Hotel in Miami. So I toddled to the Delano web site, and alas no pictures.
So I went to Kravitz Design dot com, and there is nothing there but a bland white page with a small gray typeface. Well one site leads to another blog, so I tried to find anything about Kravitz Design, and only came up with press release chat from 2005 when a soft opening of the firm was announced.
So what up Lenny? The firm is in full swing, staffed and producing projects. Why the slack with showing the fruits of your labor? Is it meant to be exclusive? Do you and the firm pick and choose your clients?
After much digging, I found these few photos from the New York Times. They are three years old, but still intriguing.
Since I was preoccupied in 2005 with other things, and The New York Times had stopped delivery to my city, the only visual vamping I was doing involved picking up decor mags in airports, and picking up the pieces of the life of my city.
I apologize for the lag. In 2005 I didn't even know the word blog, while so many of you already had design/decor blogs that were causing a groundswell in the industry. I'm late, but I'm exuberant. And since blogs are read at first mostly by its author, and those who love the author, we won't mind showing (and archiving) this very late breaking information about Kravitz Design. For all you other smarty pants, please share your more current information.
Also oddly missing in all inter net files, are photos of Roxie Roker. I thought I'd find a cool one of her from the 70's. Nothing, but one little black and white portrait that looks like a fuzzy year book photo, or the same group shot with the entire cast of The Jeffersons. The show ran for ten years, and Roxie and the hubs, TV producer Sy Kravitz, were a couple-about-town. It's odd that no PR photos show up on any site about film or television, other than the aforementioned.
The top two photos are in the Miami home of Lenny Kravitz, the next two are in his New Orleans home. He designed and decorated the spaces.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Really Small Spaces

New York Times writer Penelope Green did a nice piece in the Style section today.
It's about how Broadway stars decorate their dressing rooms.
The slide show is fascinating, and filled with lots of good ideas that would look great in any space, including yours. I especially liked a little orange table, and a paper lantern trimmed with star fish.
Pictured is Harvey Firestein in his dressing room during his run in Hairspray.
The NY Times is using audio slide shows, where you hear the writer's voice narrate. I turn the sound down. For some reason being told what I'm looking at robs me of a little pleasure of processing it for myself.
Click on the link to The New York Times in Blogs and Sites You Might Like.

Real Rooms Of The Day

I have so many great real rooms by real people to show off. So I am going to post at least one or two a day. I am not always good at record keeping, so if you see your room, and you want credit for it, please e-mail me the information and I will include it.
There's so much talent out there, and I think it's good to see that, if you have the desire, and do your decor homework, you too can have a visually vamped space!

These Shoes Are Meant For Reading

What a bang for the buck! Four decor magazines and two new pairs of shoes for Spring!
The shoes are four inch wedges, and I'm not sure how far I can walk in them. I did good in the store, and they made me feel sexy and confident. I'll let you know when I hit the first crack in the pavement!
The Spring issues of these magazines are just great. O at Home is the best! Domino # 2. Elle #3.Western Interiors #4.
O at Home has great information and spreads, and it is organized in a way that doesn't make your eyes blur.
Domino is always good, but sometimes the layouts are chaotic.
Elle just is stiff. It's a good magazine, but it takes itself too seriously, under the heading of having to drool AND think.
Western Interiors is quality stuff. Some folks might yawn at Southwest, Tex Dec, etc., but once in awhile it's good to see that there's a whole world out there besides modage.

Western Interiors Magazine April/May 2008

In case you mag junkies haven't checked this one out, Western Interiors is a regional publication getting more rack space nationally. Many of the editorials are specific to the west, and maybe that's not your cup of salsa. It's a nice mag, and remember Los Angeles is in the west too. The spread about Woodson & Rumerfield should satisfy any visual vamp who loves the fashionista interior decorators and designers. I especially like the word W & R coined, modage, to describe their look that combines the words modern and vintage.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

HGTV Rate My Space Top Rated Today

I am a stylist, decorator, designer. I had a design business over 15 years ago.
I'm a boho through and through. I love the beauty of the world, and especially the rooms and spaces people create for themselves, or for a profession.

To amuse myself, I make little styling projects at home. The digital camera allows instant results.

The blog allows an instant magazine. I am in pig heaven.

These images were made for the good folks at HGTV's online phenom Rate My Space. They really are my base readers. We encourage one other, and have a strong support system among ourselves.

I did not intend to put in on the blog, because it is a little like a Hallmark card, and it is personal, because it's my Easter tribute and memorial to my dearest, best-est friend Miss Anne.

Miss Anne was the ultimate visual vamp. Her home was jam packed (but not junky looking) with decades of things.

She loved to decorate, dress up, garden, club hop, dance, dine out, shop, paint pictures, and sew.

She had every decor and fashion magazine, and she knew trends, and what was good and what wasn't.

She was not wealthy. But her home looked unique and fabulous.

She was a single working mom who once lived on boiled peanuts to put her son in a good private school (and feed him something better).

She was a fashion maven beyond compare.

And most of all she was a positive life force: kind, but not stupid; busy, but never obsessed, and she was my devoted friend.

So here's to Miss Anne!

Thank you all for helping me make my tribute to her get to Page One Top Rated on RMS!