Last March I received a few mysterious emails from someone telling me "The deadline for your article is April 1"... Huh? Who is this? Is this spam? What are you talking about? I ignored it. Then came another email and another. The 'deadline' was moved around a week or two and suddenly I realized I better respond to this email. I wrote: "Whoever you are, what are you talking about?" It seems I had been chosen as one of the nine ladies bring featured in the Fall issue of Where Women Create. When asked to be in a magazine, I am used to a phone call from an editor months in advance and the usual meticulous planning to get the store or my home prepared. In this case, it really came out of nowhere.
This particular issue was designed to introduce some of the guest speakers and panelists who would be at the Creative Connection Event happening September 16 in Minneapolis (of which I am one.) I came really close to turning down this magazine's offer because I was leaving for the Round Top, Texas Antique Show in 10 days. I was especially stressed because they wanted to shoot my 'studio', office and store (hence the title of the magazine) but only one of these areas was camera ready. Studio? I didn't really have one! My stuff was thrown in a room like most of you probably. And camera ready? Hardly. Also, because of the last minute scheduling the editor, Jo Packham could not make it in to art direct and trusted me to handle the shoot on my own. Because of this I was thrilled Jo agreed with my suggestion to ask my friend Elizabeth Maxson from St. Louis to shoot my spread.
WWC was a book first, then became a seasonal magazine launched by editor Jo Packham. Jo has a long history of publishing along with a few years in retail. I first crossed paths with her in 2001 when she called me at my first store in downtown KC to tell me she liked a Christmas window I had done. She asked if I could duplicate it inside my home for a book her daughter was writing with Sterling Publishing titled Vintage Christmas Crafts. After working out some details I agreed and she allowed me and my employee Nicole (also a professional photographer) to handle it all on our own. So in February 2002 Nicole and I locked ourselves in my home for two days as I staged, styled, art directed and wrote 15 pages for the book. When it came out I was thrilled with the results and to this day it is still one of my favorite spreads on my home.
that I recreated in my home for Vintage Christmas Crafts.
the workroom, right, with all the projects piled high:
an old postcard I collected hanging over my desk.
I also had to redo my office a bit which has had so many makeovers in the last five years, I simply had to find its true identity. Months before the photo shoot I hung this brick wallpaper and found my new favorite utility desk. I haphazardly wired another 75 crystals on the chandelier and used these metal milk crates for my daily in-out boxes. The giant frame over my desk was a $10 plastic framed picture with a scenic 1970's waterwheel! I decoupaged dictionary pages all over it and now use it as a bulletin board- but there is nothing on it but the old postcard shown on page 66. Once I edit, I really edit! When the shoot finally came around I only cleaned my office up a bit and took out some of the bits and baubles I use to fix jewelry and design our advertising. Pearl is usually asleep at my feet, under my desk.
I have designed for the store; lower left a trophy my staff had engraved for me on
our first anniversary at the new store.
the store sign and metal sofa reflecting in the window; our vintage necklaces hanging on roe deer antlers.
dress from a make-shift wire hanger.
of the store which is usually hard to depict.
“You have been given such extraordinary gifts, how can you expect to lead an ordinary life?” -from the movie ‘Little Women’.
2. Give us your tip for success.
Design your life first, then design your business to fit your life.
3. What is your favorite place in all the world?
A cabin on the lake in the middle of nowhere.
4. What can you not go a single day without?
5. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
6. What is more than a gift?
7. It all started when?
I picked up my first magazine.
8. What inspires you to create?
Seeing someone else do something extraordinary.
9. What is art in your everyday?
Finding good design in whatever my eyes land on.
10. The endless hours you spend creating are made better only by?
No deadline, an endless budget, lots of manpower and good catering.
11. Who inspires you most to be better than you are?
My amazing group of girlfriends.
12. What do you pack to pursue your dreams and what do you leave behind?
I pack determination. I leave behind my routine.
13. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Become invisible in the workrooms of my favorite designers.
Choose a color palette for us to design your layout around:
And below are some photos we did not use:
Organized chaos! A wide shot of the workroom.
A boudoir doll left and shadow box art designed by my deceased friend Lynn Steely.
Part of the many cigar boxes I have collected over time.
I admit it: These crates were totally rigged for the shoot.
Pearl under my feet as always. They wanted to use this shot but I felt she has had enough press!
Some trinkets piled in an old tackle box I have.
The primitive hanger Elizabeth suggested I make.
I rarely go to Estate Sales but 20 years ago I wandered into one on the final day. It was virtually empty but when I slid a closet door open this little dress was hanging there. I nearly died! It is so fabulous. Dull green and threadbare with the aged lace. I have drug it around with me from loft to apartment to shop. A Hallmark photographer shot a beautiful image of it and told me all the film came out with a glow in the center of the dress. Something he could not figure out but now he believes it is haunted!
A few photos from my collection of men.
The trinkets I make and repair jewelry from.
This is me, all day, every day, staring at the screen.
A necklace I made for the shoot. That is my mom and dad's wedding picture and my birthday is the 17th.
How many muffin tins have we all seen filled with charms?
Our rolls of labels for gift wrap.
As much as I loved this shot I did not want to show bunnies and wreaths in my spread. Some things are better to not advertise!!
Our bedding folded in these fabulous Egyptian armoires.
A wider image of the living room.
An old iron chandelier for sale.