December 29, 2010

Happy Year End to My Clients!

Posted in Decorating, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:04 pm by dotcomdecorator

As 2010 winds to a close, I want to pause and offer thanks to my WONDERFUL clients from 2010 and years’ past! I have enjoyed working with each and every one of you! Yes, even those who believe you were “challenging”. A good challenge fosters creativity and I have yet to shy away from either!

While this is a thank you to you, it is hard to express my gratitude without bringing myself into the equation, so please permit me this indulgence:

This year I have designed,  painted, sewn, shopped, moved furniture, installed window treatments, found creative solutions to some interesting problems, and even found myself making beds and hiding dirty laundry while answering the call of “emergency staging”! I have stressed (always) that my finished projects will meet your expectations; I have had goosebumps watching your tears of excitement and appreciation; I have felt part of your families; I have enjoyed interpreting your desires and needs to find your perfect design style; and I have certainly enjoyed the many glasses of wine, lunches, and other memorable moments shared between us!

Each project has afforded me the opportunity to stretch my abilities, work within new parameters, and bring my visions to life. I have reached the apex of frustration on more than one occasion, but have always reached the finish line. I have fallen off my step stool and ladder multiple times this year, tripped over a step and wrecked my shoulder, and even took a less-than-graceful spill down a staircase, yet I have (knock on wood!) avoided breaking anything–yours or mine! I have sat in my floor frantically trying to pull together your Design Boards; I have designed your projects in my head during long sleepless nights; and often find myself drifting from a conversation because I had a great idea for your home! I simply cannot shop just for myself–I have many (or all?) of you in the back of my mind and if I see just the perfect thing that would work in your space, I can’t wait to share that find with you! I often work alone, spend far more time on something than the average person would, and some days my body and mind are simply exhausted, yet I continue to love what I do, because of you!

This job of mine is in my blood…I can’t turn it off, nor would I want to! Yes, I know…I cannot manage to come into your home without “futzing” to correct furniture placement, align a window treatment or (cough, cough) take the throw pillows out of the closet and place them back on the sofa! Sorry, it’s just who I am.

When you hired me, you were looking for a decorator, faux finisher or custom drapery fabricator… I hope you found so much more than that; I know I have! I cannot think of any other career that allows me to have so much fun, constantly expand and express my creativity or meet and get to know such amazing, wonderful people! Thank you for allowing me into your homes and lives, it has been my pleasure!

Have a blessed year in 2011! Oooooohhhh, look at that sofa…

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator


November 15, 2010

Supporting My Habits

Posted in Decorating, DIY Projects, Uncategorized, Wine Cork Topiary tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:53 am by dotcomdecorator

Well folks, I’m back to the cork projects! This weekend I made two adorable little cork boards, some easy-as-pie napkin rings, and some kitschy push-pins. In all I used 528 corks!


Champagne cork napkin rings

Champagne cork napkin rings

Before you start wondering how I manage to make anything after drinking so much wine and/or champagne, let me assure you,  it’s my friends doing the drinking!  Ok, and me. Most often together.

As we open another bottle, I wonder:  Which habit am I supporting?  Have I started creating cork items because they’re fun and fit into my decor, and it is a great way to recycle; or have I amplified the habit of sharing a glass of wine with friends so I can have more corks? I worry about these things!


Cork board

However, it took only a moment to realize it was a silly question! Wine and friendship have been around for the ages, and if it weren’t for all those previously shared bottles (without any agenda other than to enjoy our friendships over wine), none of us would have amassed a collection of corks to complete these projects. So, pop a cork, raise your glass, and toast to good wine and great friends!  And, what are you going to do with that cork? Just asking…!

I will eventually have time to post project directions on my website, but if you are interested in learning how to make any of these items, or the wine cork topiary previously featured here, just drop me an email request at

Cork trivet/server

Cork trivet/server

I, and my friends, will continue to engage in the habit of enjoying the nectar of the Gods, satisfying our souls with friendship, our artistic muse with new projects for the corks, and our palettes with good wine! Try it, you’ll like it!

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator

PS:  If you like the serving spoon in the above picture, check out for more information!

June 22, 2010

Head in the Clouds

Posted in Decorating tagged at 11:05 am by dotcomdecorator

I would be a rich woman if I had a nickel for every time my mother admonished, “Get your head out of the clouds…”! However, I would not be the fun-loving, creative person I am today, so I believe it is  a fair trade.  My creativity is an extremely important part of my life…in fact, it’s as important to me as breathing! Almost.

I’m a woman on the move, and  constantly incorporate creativity (or sometimes just fanciful thoughts) into my day. Creating, recreating, moving this and that around, finding new purposes for old items, thinking up new products, projects, and bouncing ideas off of others are all par for course. Well I went off course–way off course–this past weekend!

I woke with an excruciating, debilitating backache on Saturday! For three days I endured this pain, primarily by laying flat on my back on the floor.  Stillness. Oh, how interesting…for 5 minutes! Don’t get me wrong–I know stillness and enjoy it, during my daily meditation/quiet time,  or laying on my lounge chair, watching the sky, but that’s a choice.  Laying flat on my back, staring at the blank  ceiling, knowing there were other things to do, was not a choice and it was hard! However, I did find a topic for blogging…

How many of us dare to walk around with our heads in the clouds?  To daydream, to take in the beauty of nature and our surroundings? How often do we actually even look up? We rush about from place to place, multi-tasking, frantically trying to get it all done, with our focus on the task at hand, missing what isn’t in our immediate line of sight.  I’m guilty of it from time to time. However, I am also just as likely to get lost, run into someone (or something), or be left behind, because I am busy looking up!

There is so much to see “up there”! I love unique architecture and the intricate detail found on the facades of many buildings–stories told through the use of iconic symbols.  I love laying back, watching the day sky and noticing all the activity that goes on above our heads–the birds’ and insects’ skillful maneuvers, the dandelion seeds (I remember thinking they were fairies when I was younger) lilting in the air, a leaf careening down from the tree, and perhaps even a balloon or distant airplane may cruise past, totally oblivious to my presence.  Take me into a lighting store and I’m a goner! I’m mesmerized and enamored with the shapes and colors, the interactive play of light around the room–some of it dancing in fun ripples, some of it stern and serious! So, yes, I’m a “head in the clouds” kind of girl!

It therefore makes sense that I get downright giddy when I see decorated ceilings! The higher and more ornate, the better! In my home, I painted a mural on the dining room ceiling (see picture), once painted a “hole” in my office ceiling that exposed sky and a nesting bird, have crackled the ceiling of my half bath (see picture), have a sky mural in the bonus room, and while not quite as glamorous, I have painted several ceilings in shades that blend with the wall color.  When painting a ceiling is not feasible, I try to incorporate architectural medallions around ceiling mounted fixtures, or select lighting that will cast a design on the ceiling.

Dining Room Ceiling Mural

Dining Room Ceiling Mu

My clients have been somewhat hesitant to trust in anything but “ceiling white” paint. However, I’m making headway!  I have had the opportunity to color-wash a dining room ceiling, create a story-book page mural in a young girl’s bedroom, a grapevine mural which broke across a kitchen ceiling, and to install faux copper panels in a bar area…people are coming around! My last client went as far as allowing a warm taupe tone on the ceiling 🙂

If you have not considered adding some interest to your ceiling, you should! It’s a blank canvas waiting for your touch.  A few ideas to consider are to paint the ceiling the same tone as your walls, then embellish with a metallic paint glaze, or stencil a design; start in the middle and paint alternating bands of color (triangular-shaped) to create the illusion of being under a tent; paint a night sky with shades of deep blue, pink, lavender and black, topped with tiny dots of glow-in-the-dark paint to mimic stars; create faux architectural details through the use of stencils or appliqués; continue a wall mural onto the ceiling; wall paper with a textured paper designed to be painted; or simply add an unexpected pop of color by painting a bold color!

Crackle Finish on Ceiling

Crackle Finish on Ceiling

While logically ceilings represent another surface to treat, the real reason I do them is for pure joy! Do you know the feeling you get when a friend’s smile lights up a room? That’s how I feel when I encounter  decorated ceilings. It is a little something special, something unexpected, something whimsical and fanciful…and a valid reason to be looking up with “my head in the clouds”! Try it, you’ll like it!

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator

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