June 21, 2017

I’ll Take This: Classic House

I grew up on a “dead end” street that only had 10 houses on it, and everyone knew everyone else, visited up and down the street, played endless games together and had the run of the street. It was a microcosm in a big city. We loved it and lived in our house for almost 30 years.

I knew that another one of the houses was coming up for sale and today, it was listed. It’s an old cedar shingle house, surrounded by a beautiful veranda and huge trees. The current owner (he’s lived there for 30+ years) is an architect and has made some modifications, but left others intact.imageThe house has seven bedrooms and six baths over more than 7,000 square feet. It’s also got over an acre of property, although much of that is steeply sloped. In the spring, it’s filled with hundreds of daffodils.imageMuch of the house’s original detailed woodwork is still intact, and in many ways, it reminds me of our old house.image

imageI love that they’ve kept the old butler’s pantry. imageThere’s a huge three-story staircase, capped with a skylight. image

imageLike our house, this one has a huge top floor playroom. We used to smack tennis balls against the end walls. imageI love the porch with feels like you’re dining in the tree-tops!imageOne of the other fun things about this property is the little covered spring on the back hill. My brother talks about jogging with our old dog, and then sitting at the spring to cool off.

The listing for the house is here, so take a look.

June 13, 2017

BIG Sale at McLain-Wiesand–You MUST Go!

My friend, the amazing and talented David Wiesand, owner and brain behind McLain-Wiesand, the furniture-makers, is having a once-in-a-lifelong-time sale! His works are sold through some of the top showrooms and are made here in Baltimore. His warehouse/workshop is a  trove of fascinating bits and pieces.IMG_2620David has an incredible eye and even his left-overs are treasures! He has gathered things over the years, some in pristine condition, (should you want to give someone last rites), IMG_2601

and some pieces in a little worse shape. IMG_2616

This grape lantern/chandelier is a lot of fun. David and I were at an auction in rural Pennsylvania, when he found it. The piece needs some re-wiring, but it could be amazing. Even the leaves are glass!IMG_2630

Should you be inclined to open your own church, David’s got you covered, from Holy Water to candles!IMG_2602IMG_2623IMG_2624

If you are a creative DIY sort, there are plenty of bits and pieces to use. IMG_2611IMG_2621IMG_2625IMG_2627

There is also artwork, IMG_2631

mirrors, IMG_2633

lighting, IMG_2617

sculptures and castings, IMG_2607

and much more.IMG_2638

What did I want, you ask? How about this fabulous trophy to add to my using-odd-things-as-vases collection.IMG_2606

Here are the details: McLain Wiesand Custom Furniture & Decorative Arts 1013 Cathedral St, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 Thursday, June 15 and Friday, June 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

June 1, 2017

BritFest 2017

As Americans, we LOVE all things British, from the Royal Family to Downton Abbey, from Barbour jackets to British beers. It’s so funny that there are Greek Festivals, Italian Festivals and Irish Festivals, among others, but there really isn’t a British Festival. So, my friend, Hugh, a British ex-pat, decided to create BritFest. Odd coincidence: Hugh and my father attended the same school in England, alhough about 40 years apart.FB HEADER

On June 10, the First Annual BritFest will take place at the Maryland Polo Grounds, with all things British, including music with a Beatles cover band; games, including polo and croquet; food and drink including Pimms and beers; clothing; antiques; cars, including Land Rovers, Jags, MGs and Triumphs, and much more! And of course, there will be a toast to HM Queen Elizabeth, II who celebrates her 91st birthday this week. image

My friend from the shop Yoicks will be selling Barbour jackets and other hunt and equestrian gear, vintage British art and books and other oddities he finds in his travels. There will be about 20 other vendors there selling a variety of things.

I am going to have a stall and will be selling British antiques, including cutlery, Wedgwood, china, tea-towels and other items of interest. Here are a few of the tea-towels I’ve designed for BritFest (although you can order them from me if you’re interested!). Britfest tea towels2

And how could I do an event without making some decorative bunting! brit bunting2Tickets are $20 per person and include a souvenir mug and beer samples (insert legal language here). You can order from Mission Tix, here. Hope to see you there! And if you do come, please stop by and say Hi!

May 30, 2017


It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since this little girl came into my life! As much as I loved Connor, Figue is like a totally different type of creature. imageFirst, she’s portable. I can just pick her up and sling her over my shoulder with no problem. When she’s out back and won’t come in, I just head out, grab her and bring her in. imageAnother huge difference between Figue and Connor is that Figue doesn’t shed! I do have to have her groomed every other month, with a face clip in between. But honestly, I really hate to cut her beautiful golden curls off. image

She looks completely different – so much so, that the first time she was groomed, I didn’t even recognize her! Until she started barking.

That’s another funny thing about Figue – she is a barker. And a yeller! She sits on her ottoman in front of the window and watches the world go by. And barks at everything. imageShe also yells – it starts out as sort of a wobbly, gutteral growl and builds into a full shriek by a 70 year old woman who smokes and drinks. It’s pretty freaky. Click here to see and hear what she sounds like.

Figue loves her vintage American quilt and can often be found curled up on or under it. image

I have to say that my favourite picture of Figue, and one which encapsulates her energy and boldness, is this one.


Happy Fig-iversary, my little girl! I am so happy that I found you!

May 24, 2017

#ThisisBaltimore: Spring Edition

We haven’t had a #ThisisBaltimore post for a while, and now that spring has sprung and it’s fully bloomed out, it’s time to show you spring in Baltimore!

In March, I taught my iPhone photography class, and just before I did, I upgraded my phone to a 7+, which I love. It has dual lenses to take some really cool portrait photographs, so I’ve had a great time playing around with it. Also, in the few weeks before the class, I really worked on editing my images with SnapSeed, an amazing (but non-intuitive) photo editing app from Google. Some of the results are shown below!

The wooden chapel at Crimea, Leakin Park, Baltimoreimage

A.T. Jones Costumers, a long-time Baltimore institution.image

DLA Piper building, designed by local architect, Charlie Brickbauerimage

First race of the season – Green Spring Houndsimage

Brooklyn Park Water Tank – it has more than 20 different shades of brick.image

Ingram Manor, a beautiful 1920’s apartment house.image

Cloud Computing after the morning gallops at Pimlicoimage

Short & Sweet peony season.image

A long-time Baltimore tradition.image

Thanks for following along!

May 17, 2017

Peony Time!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The peonies are blooming and they are just stunning. I think that peonies are one of my favourite blooms, and I always take advantage of their short season to get as many as I can.

Luckily, I have friends and neighbours who are willing to share their bounty with me, and if that fails, I can usually find them, during the season, at Whole Foods.

This year, my next-door neighbour's peonies are blooming away, but the ones at my friends' farm, just 15 miles to the north, are still mostly in tight bud stage. 

But the few that were out when I was there yesterday were stunning. We are having an event on Thursday, so I only took pictures of the peonies at the farm, and didn't cut any. 

Although the season is short, my appreciation of these stunning flowers is vast. 

And, as I said, I am lucky to have friends and neighbours who are willing and happy to share!