May 20, 2009

I <3 New York City

US01394~Central-Park-New-York-City-USA-PostersThis past long weekend my husband and I and eight of our closest friends (they really are) visited the bustle and beauty of New York City. Of the many, many, many sights in this great city, Central Park is one of my favourites.


Our first visit was overwhelming, but this time we had our bearings and went our separate ways to cross specific activities off our individual lists. A group of two (including my husband) headed off to see the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid that houses the Sea-Air-Space Museum, while 4 others who didn’t make the first visit, took in the 4 hour city tour provided with our travel package. The remaining four of us spent a good two hours taking the the nature and beauty of Central Park.


The fact that the largest city in the US boasts an almost entirely man-made 843 acre park in it’s centre is amazing. Just a few steps into the park it’s hard to believe you are in a busy noisy city. Birds are chirping (approximately 275 different species), flowers blooming and the winding paths promise views of nature that have you oooing and ahhhing.


IMG_1693 According to the Central Park Conservancy (, Central Park has 150 acres of water in 7 different bodies, 250 acres of lawns and 136 acres of woodlands boasting 26,000 trees. Most of this was man-made over 16 years starting in 1858 based on a collaboration of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. It took 4,000 labourers, gardeners, stone masons, engineers and artisans to complete the design and over the last 150 years, the Park has certainly fulfilled the artistic vision of it’s designers.


My little backyard garden can only aspire to the greatness of Central Park.


May 6, 2009

Decorating/Designing Software

I spent an hour this week listening to and watching a webinar with Chief Architect, the developers of Home Designer software that is sold in various versions from basic commercial use to full blown professional architectural use.

I purchased the basic commercial use version last year on a suggestion from an instructor in the Residential Decor program I took. I have only used it a couple of times, but found it to be a great package that gives you many of the features of an CAD program for a much smaller price tag. The webinar provided me with a review of the creation of a house plan for a 3 bedroom bungalow with a full basement.

It seems to be a great tool to provide your clients with a 3D view of interior and exterior reno's or decor changes, as you can select brand name furnishings, fixtures and finishes ... to name a few... I am planning to test it on the deck planning for our new hot tub.

I'd love to hear from fellow decorators....

  • Do you use a software package
  • If so, which one and why?

May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

There are alot of things I love about Mexico - I love the climate, the beaches, the music, the food and I absolutely love the rustic charm of Mexican decor. The first exposure I had was through a friend who had build a new home and decorated in a Mexican theme. The combination of colours and raw elements makes me feel like I am right there in charming Mexico. Part of the draw must be the fact that I live in a northern climate with long cold winters, from which I love to escape to the warmth of Mexico (notwithstanding recent implications of travel to Mexico). In our last home, I used a mexican theme in our remodeled bathroom - with deep blue walls, rustic wrought iron fixtures and Talavera pottery accents - just thinking about it makes me feel warmer!

Here are a few pics that make me feel relaxed, warm and happy. Mmmm, I think I'll mix up a batch of Margaritas and plug in a Punta de Maya CD ...

Hôla amigas/amigos!!!

May 3, 2009


Thanks to everyone who left comments for me - you inspire me to write more! I'm really taking a shine to this!

I did receive a message from our daughter in Europe - they are having an amazing time (their first visit). The youngest is feeling much better and accompanied me to Ikea on the weekend - birthday shopping (22 tomorrow - yikes!!!). I do love to meander through the aisles at Ikea, although Saturdays are not the best days as you are fighting crowds and standing in lines. We did manage to pick up a new duvet and duvet cover for her apartment, which she was in sore need of. She is a happy girl!!!

On the home front, Sunday found us at a local hot tub dealer (a fall out from the Backyard and Cottage Show) making a toy purchase for our backyard. We are now planning out the electrical connection and location, with plans for eventually building up a deck around the new toy. Which got me perusing the net for deck plans ....

I love the multi levels of this deck.

Stonework is gorgeous...

Mmmm love the tilework and if we win the lottery, the pool is next!
Like the use of plants to provide privacy...

Very nice use of container plans, lighting and beautiful cedar....

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