Something Fishy

I add one fish a year to my river house collection of wooden fish made from “found” objects. Can’t wait to choose a new one this summer. Each new fish is “the best one ever” and I love them all for different reasons.

Catching real fish at the river is harder than it looks, so when a fish is caught and grilled up, it is definitely a special event!

Here is the wooden fish collection so far…









I designed a family of inexpensive cloisonné fish necklaces for those who love colorful fish.  Let me introduce you to…





When I first saw the Melvin Martinez painting I could not stop saying “I LOVE THIS PAINTING!”

I found it impossible to look away from the huge canvas in front of me with its explosion of undulating bright colors and varied textures.  What a treat to experience such a wonderful work in a private collection in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I took a photo of the large painting and did some research on Martinez when I returned home.

The Yvon-Lambert Gallery website describes his paintings as being made from “both oil and acrylic paint adorned with glitter, confetti, and other decorative elements… Martinez uses materials more common in creating decorative crafts, capturing the distinctive celebratory elements of the Caribbean region where he lives; evoking a sense of joy, festivity and pleasure in those who view his paintings.”

Even that glowing description is an understatement!  I was blown away by Melvin’s use of every brilliant color and ultra-thick paint application, in which strands of pearls and bows and ribbons are embedded. The glitter layer made the whole canvas seem even more like a party, a decorated birthday cake, and a salsa tune wrapped into one.

Here are two more of his paintings:

A photo of the painting I saw sat taped next to my computer and after looking at it all winter, I was inspired to create a family of necklaces that I hope will evoke the feeling of Melvin’s paintings.  As an homage to Melvin Martinez’s work, the “Melvin” family is now here. Each necklace is different but includes a variety of glittery, funky beads in Caribbean colors.  Have a little fun and wear at least two of these at once!

 A few of the MELVIN family…


See all three of these Melvins worn together…pretty crazy but even more like a real Melvin painting. 


Beginning in early spring, people usually ask me this instead of saying good morning.  They ask this question for a good reason, since I have been painting furniture and floors for 31 years, especially at my river house- a painted furniture kind of place.  I always have a painting project to do and am never happier than when I have a paintbrush in my hand, a fresh can of Benjamin Moore high gloss paint on my painting table and a piece of furniture sitting on my sawhorses ready to be transformed.

I enjoy obsessively fussing over the color choice for each piece, often mixing colors to get just the right shade. Later when I began to design jewelry I realized that my long experience with blending paints directly corresponded to the creation of my necklaces: deciding which “parts”- pearls, spacers, stones - should be juxtaposed to create a beautiful “whole.”

I usually prefer pastel shades of blues, celadon greens, and yellows.  When you enter the cottage you see all of those colors.

PROVENCE CREME is my current favorite soft yellow; it is so perfect for a cottage floor or for the legs of this old stool.

BASHFUL BLUE, CRYSTAL SPRINGS, BLUE ALLURE, and HYDRANGEA are all wonderful blues and show up regularly.  Depending on the visitor, this aqua hutch holds these vases or tea party cups and saucers.

My new preferred blue is BUCKLAND BLUE,  a stronger shade which worked well for the mantel and chimney wall and other vertical pieces in the living room.  

FLEECY GREEN by Pratt and Lambert is the only non-Benjamin Moore color I use.  I absolutely love this color on my desk, a vintage washstand, and my dining room chairs. 

Spring is here and I am itching to paint!  I can’t wait to use my most treasured Christmas presents- an electric sander and some snazzy sawhorses. 

Painting on a sunny breezy day next to the river is the most relaxing thing! You should try it sometime.


Please join our Treasure Hunt!  If you use the new VIEW ALL feature on our site  to browse your favorite collections your reward will be finding many reduced prices.  Hurry up because the hunt lasts only through Tuesday, February 14th.

HALF MOON BAY (below) was $125 and is only $85 during this 5 day hunt.

Get busy with that VIEW ALL button.

Happy hunting!

A Punch of Red


San Juan, Puerto Rico is in love with red!

Everywhere you look-restaurants, hotel lobbies and one very swanky apartment where we attended a cocktail party-you see stark white furniture and white walls combined with generous pops of ROJO.

Have you ever seen such a perfect pop of color as this funky red rope chair?

Along with the huge brightly colored modern paintings punctuating the white walls, it is the perfect contrast to that living room’s sleek white upholstered furniture.

Nothing makes a stronger statement than a bright red necklace worn against black or white.  Punch it up with one of these!





Serenity Now!

As the boxes make their return trip to the basement, I say goodbye to my angels, reindeer, and all of the gold and red sparkle that filled the house with Christmas cheer. I bring back my favorite yearlong companions: my buddhas. A few are from Thailand where my family lived in the early 1960s.  I purchased others here and there— seven in New York City with a slight wave of a paddle at my first auction experience.  That memorable auction day was immortalized in a bedtime story entitled “Anne Whittle, Seven Buddhas, and the Pink Throw-up” which I won’t relate now.

Ours was an especially wonderful, jolly Christmas! But when the holiday crazy whirlwind comes to an end, the quiet and serenity of January settles in.  I appreciate the calm and now have time to put my mind to new designs, especially for Valentine’s Day and early spring.  

These three buddhas are from Bangkok.

This assorted group are some of my favorites.

Although it is difficult to choose one, I must admit this seated gold buddha is my favorite.