Talking about bad girls…

Part of my deep dive into all things Andy led me to the legend of Studio 54. Opened in 1977, the club quickly became world-famous for its celebrity guests, hedonistic atmosphere, and flagrant drug use. The club served as a second home to Warhol and his stable of Polaroid ‘one-name’ celebrities like Liz, Mick, Elton, Dali, Bowie, Liza, Truman and Jackie.  Big stars to be sure, but to my way of thinking no one was more beautiful and happening than 54’s three ‘it’ girls: Bianca, Jerry and Diane.

To this day I still think these women remain as beautiful, intelligent and relevant as they appeared back in the day.  Bianca was the exotic one, married to the King of Rock and always holding court at a VIP table.  Diane was the sly bohemian, running her dress empire by day and surrounded by powerfully rich men at night.  Jerry was the wild-spirited Texan never far from a bottle of bubbly or fun.

I can’t think of a modern day equivalent to Studio 54, but if such a club existed I can easily picture Bianca regally sitting there while Diane discusses business and art with the Davos set and Jerry flirts and laughs the night away, all while wearing the following…

The Queen – Bianca
Rachel Zoe Elinoir Pearl detail Halter Crepe Jumpsuit Halston Asymmetric Crepe jumpsuit Mignonne Gavigan Liza Beaded Statement Earrings  |  Christian Louboutin Pigalle Plato Heels  |  Rebecca Minkoff Leo Glitter Envelope Clutch Rachel Zoe Bruno Metallic Jacquard Pants and Jacket Sleeveless Faux Fur Capelet  |  Dior Rogue Dior Lipstick  |  Halston Heritage Cowlneck Slip Gown  |  Tocca Giulietta Perfume  |  BHLGN Ginger Convertible Maxi Dress Lauren Hope Abba Crystal Drop Earrings
The Businesswoman – Diane
Halston Heritage Strapless Striped Metallic Flounce Cocktail Dress Saint Laurent Ruffle Silk -the-shoulder Dress  Sadie & Sage Star Print Fit-and-Flare DressNina Cherie Evening Sandals  |  Ippolita Rock Candy Quartz and Hermalite Earrings  |  Tom Ford Jasmin Rogue Lipstick ALC Tula Split-neck Long-sleeve Silk Metallic Dress Fame and Partners Maquino Dress  |  Christian Louboutin Artydiva Heels  |  Guerlain Santal Royal Perfume Kendra Scott Glenda Earrings  Nookie Europa Sequin Gown  |  Love Box Clutch  |  Sam Edelman Haide Feather Pompom Pump
The Party Gal – Jerry
Alice & Olivia Bridget Striped Sequin Slipdress Aidan Maddox Sequin Bateau-neck Cocktail Dress Dress the Population Jordyn Plunge Sequin Body-con Dress Jimmy Choo Romy Pointed Toe  |  Gas Bijoux Wave Small Drop Earrings  | Jean Patou Joy PerfumeLisa Perry Photo-Real-Print Cotton Minidress |  Diane von Furstenberg Cowlneck Satin Gown  |   YSL Rogue Pur Couture Dazzling Lipstick   |  Rosie Assoulin Pleated Halter Gown  |  Dries Van Norton Metallic Leather Clutch  |  Christian Louboutin Pigalle Loubitag Pointy Toe Pump
*Bad Girls –  Donna Summer

Andy Warhol looks a scream…

Polaroids by Andy – Collage by Me

I was excited to attend last Thursday’s reception for ‘Famous (and not-so-famous): Polaroids by Andy Warhol’ at Vanderbilt’s Fine Arts Gallery.  Ever since I learned of the show’s opening I’ve been doing a deep dive into all things Andy.  I had forgotten how much Warhol’s work influenced my own art or my fascination with him as the penultimate commercial artist. From his days as an illustrator in the 1950’s to The Factory in the 60’s through to the late 80’s when he was arguably the King of Pop (Art) Warhol was always there before everyone else knew there was a ‘there’ to be.

My earliest memories of Warhol stem from his odd physical appearance; that thatch of white blonde hair and the paler-than-white skin demanded my attention. He looked weird and shy and just a little unhinged, and yet he exuded an intelligence and sly wit that drew me (and countless others) in and left me eager for more.  His use of repetition in his silkscreens and Polaroids shaped my own fascination and use of nine’s in my own work.   I also share his obsession with all things Hollywood and celebrity. I’d even go so far as to argue there would be no Kardashian Kulture without Andy and his Superstars paving the way first.

Warhol was a gifted artist and brilliant visionary who even in death remains way ahead of his time.  Did you know:

  • He coined the term (in conversation with ) ’15 minutes of fame’
  • He produced The Velvet Underground
  • He founded Interview magazine
  • He designed the infamous Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album cover
  • He used a stable of other artists to mass-produce his work
  • He barely survived being shot by a disgruntled hanger-on (and radical feminist)
  • He used ‘ghost-pissers’ to help create his Oxidation paintings
  • He created 610 time capsules of ephemera, which are housed at his Pittsburgh museum
  • His last art, from 1985-1987, was 5 episodes of MTV’s  Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes

The ‘Famous (not Famous)…’ show left me wanting more.  More Polaroids, more silkscreens, more stories…more Andy.  I’ve got a trip to Pittsburgh planned for the spring to deliver some upholstered furniture to Stephanie Tripier Design for revamping, and will make time to visit The Warhol Museum to see more of Andy’s works.  Maybe I’ll even have Stephanie cover a chair in Campbell’s Soup Cans or multiple Marilyn’s as my own sly homage to Andy: a wink to his art I hope he would approve of.

*Andy Warhol – David Bowie


Jesus was a Capricorn…

My natal chart

I no longer make New Year’s resolutions for three reasons.  The first is quite simple.  Whenever I’ve made a resolution it has more often than not failed, leaving me feeling like a loser.  Who wants that?  Secondly, I’m a planner by nature (and by the stars). I am way more successful when I outline deliverables and timelines and work towards my goals, regardless of how long it might take. Finally – and please try not to laugh – with a birthday right after the New Year I look to my monthly and yearly horoscopes as a barometer of what might be in store for me., gauging how my goals might align with my stars to deliver a favorable cosmic outcome.

Do you believe in astrology? I find it hard to entirely dismiss how close the science of the heavens comes to nailing individual personality traits based on the movements and positions of celestial objects.  Silly as it might seem, I have been really excited about the big Capricorn astrology news, which coincided with the start of 2018.  Saturn (Cappy’s ruling planet) entered Capricorn on December 19th and will stay there until 2020 – bringing about three years of what really rocks a goat’s world: long-range plans successfully coming to fruition. For some strange reason this makes me excited and has me feeling like I can make some professional and creative goals I’ve long dreamed of and worked towards a reality.

One day, I want to have a detailed natal chart made so I can see how closely the stars and my reality align.  Until that time I will have to be content with a freebie chart (you can run your own version at Café Astrology or Astrolabe).  According to the skies I am realistic, grounded, dependable and loyal.  I am attracted to status symbols.  I am a planner. I value privacy. I am educated. I am an independent thinker. I always need to win. I am capricious. I am blunt. I love literature. Family is important to me. I like beauty. I am independent. I prize my freedom. I am obstinate. I am a non-conformist. All true things, and certainly all things that define the essence of me.

How about you?  Have you ever run your natal chart to see how accurate it might be?  Do you read your horoscope with any sort of regularity?  Do you believe the heavens play a role in our time on earth?  If so, do you find that creepy or comforting?  Drop me a line.  I’d love to know….

*Jesus was a Capricorn – Kris Kristofferson

You can’t judge a book by the cover…

Decisions, decisions…which book to read first

A belated Happy New Year to one and all.  My 2018 began just like my 2017 ended, with me driving thousands of miles to see loved ones spread far and wide. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been as creative as I had hoped and then calculated between Thanksgiving and January 6th I drove just a tad over 7,000 miles. I guess that’s a good reason for not getting much done, huh?  Thank god for rental cars with heated seats and satellite radio along with kids I adore who had hours of far-ranging playlists and podcasts which combined to make those miles a pleasure to drive.

On the downside, so much driving meant a lack of time for any substantive reading.  I spent most of December lost in Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, a story I really enjoyed and was sorry to finish.  When I reached over for my next read I realized my bedside stash had dwindled to a crisis level.  That’s why I was so excited by the nine books that Santa (aka my Momma) gave me for Christmas.  I always say the only present I really want is to spend time with my family but I will never say no to the gift of a book.

After I finish the two library books I am currently reading I can begin to get lost in my newest set of 9 (past ‘nines’ can be found here).  Have you read any of these books?  Which would you recommend I read first?  I’d love to know…

*You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover – Bo Diddley 

12-23 Ephemera

Image courtesy of Weltmeisterschaft der Nikolause ClauWau

Ready or not Christmas is here.  All I have left to do is wrap some gifts and make it home through the woods so I can relax, catch up on some flicks (including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project, Ladybird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) and football (Go Eagles!) and enjoy time with my family (the BEST present of all).

I’ll also spend some time surfing the web over the next two weeks seeking travel, art, and fashion inspiration for 2018.  As befits THIS holiday season, I’ve spent the past month fascinated by any Christmas-related article I stumble upon, including…

Wishing you a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and fun.  See you in 2018!

*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

Simply the best…books of 2017


While the exact number escapes me I have read a LOT of books this year.  I love our library system (believing it is one of the best ways our tax dollars are used) and typically check out 6-12 books each month, as well as buy or ‘inherit’ others, all of which total around 100 (give or take a few).  Going forward, I’ve decided to track my reading to determine an exact number, details of which I will share with you this time next year.

As for 2017, I can truly say that the five books pictured above were my absolute favorite reads of the year.  Each writer delivered a fresh perspective on love, loss, pain, yearning, and family.  I came to care about the main characters, hating some and loving others, always curious to see what was in store for each.  These books kept me reading late into the night in expectation of what would happen next and I was sorry when I finished the last page.  Even more astonishing, these books have stuck with me as I continue to reflect on issues as varied as as rape, slavery, abortion, crime, and religion – none of them light topics but all treated with respect and curiosity through the author’s engaging, dramatic, and unique story-telling.

How about you?  What were your favorite books of 2017?  Are you looking forward to reading anything special in 2018?  I’d love to know…

*Simply the Best – Tina Turner

I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus…


Last week was super busy for me.  Much of my work week was spent decorating, shopping, catering, and hosting a reception for 60, followed by a one-day 1000 mile drive to retrieve my son for the holidays.  Now that I’ve had a chance to relax and rest I’m ready to share my last guide with you – gift ideas for the real Santa (aka: Mom).  Most mom’s would rather spend time with their loved ones than receive a gift but it never hurts to have a present or two ready so you can stay on her nice list….

  1. Anthropolgie Tea Set for One
  2. Kew Crystal Collar Necklace
  3. Premiere Edition Scrabble
  4. Olive & Thistle Wreath
  5. Kate Spade Cameron Street Lottie Bag
  6. Kendra Scott Juniper Earrings
  7. Modern Sprout Garden Jar Herb Kit 
  8. Lincoln in the Bardo
  9. My Absolute Darling
  10. Dottie Honey Pot
  11. Ted Baker Issy Impressionist Cape Silk Scarf
  12. Floral: The Graphic Book of the Garden
  13. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum
  14. Sourdough
  15. Dylan’s Candy Bar Signature Chocolate Wheel
  16. SpaFinder
  17. Oscar’s Bouquet Embroidery Pillow Kit
(In case you missed my other gift guides check out kids, tweens, young adults, and dads here)
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Amy Winehouse

Give love on Christmas Day…


A few weeks ago I listed some gift ideas for kids, teens, and young adults.  Having worked many a Black Friday in my younger years I try not to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday if I can help it.  Fast forward through a week spent working on a Program in Music, Mind & Society event and I am ready to get back into holiday shopping mode.  Next up, some gift ideas for the fathers in your life….

  1. Olive & Sinclair 8 Bar Box Set of Chocolates
  2. Classic Rock-n-Roll Art
  3. The Taking of K-129
  4. Easy 123 Art Paint-by-Numbers Miami Nice
  5. UGG Ascot Slippers
  6. Sticky Fingers : The Life of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone
  7. Kentucky Bourbon of the Month Club
  8. Ravensberger Neuschwanstein Castle Puzzle
  9. American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land
  10. Meyer the Hatter Dobbs Dayton Felt Fedora
  11. Atari Flashback Portable Player
  12. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
  13. Pink Floyd 1972 Obfusc/ation
  14. DiBruno Brothers Beer & Bourbon Collection 
  15. SCTV Volume 1, 2, and 3,
*Give Love on Christmas Day – The Jackson 5

Thank you for letting me be myself…

“The Clown” by Prentice Cole (1977, Philadelphia Daily News)

I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I have two special turkey day memories that I think of every year.  I was once a screaming blackbird  on top of the ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ float in a Gimbel’s Thanksgiving Day parade in Philly, and I famously defrosted the first turkey I ever cooked (a 15-pound rock-solid frozen Butterball) in a jacuzzi on Thanksgiving morning (which remains the tenderest turkey I’ve ever cooked).

Over the next few days I plan on slowing down to enjoy the things I am most thankful for: my family and my health.  I’ll spend time cooking, watching the Macy’s Parade and some football, and finish an embroidery piece I am excited about.  I will also be thinking those of you who visit this blog occasionally or have become followers.  Thank you for your support and encouragement. I wish you all a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, food and fun.

*Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly & The Family Stone

All my sisters, all my brothers…


It’s only 4 days until Turkey Day and the nation’s holiday shopping madness officially begins. I’ve already got gift ideas for the little ones and tweens in my life.  But what to get for the slightly harder-to-please grown-ups?  Here a few of the things I am considering – maybe you’ll find the perfect thing for your brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, or bestie too…

  1. I’ll Be There necklace
  2. The More You Gnome Zen Garden
  3. 100 Albums Scratch Off Poster
  4. Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season
  5. Many Moons Clutch
  6. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook
  7. Swirling Leaves by Sophie Borsting (or any original Art)
  8. Christian Siriano’s Dresses to Dream About 
  9. Thistle Farms Bath Soak Trio
  10. One Pan, Two Plates
  11. Guitar Stands
  12. Soap Rocks
  13. Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel
  14. Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water double-sided puzzle
  15. Baggu Leather Backpack
  16. Wooden USA Beer Cap Map
*Peace Brother Peace -The Righteous Brothers