Thursday, November 29, 2012


I received an e-mail from the Mercury yesterday with an update on the YWCA's Literacy campaign.  We have had 721 people who connected to the link.  That is $721.00 for the YWCA's literacy program.   At first,  I thought that was pretty good....and then I began to ponder how many people... with  computers, smart phones, Ipads and tablets...  are in the greater Pottstown area.  I think it may be a quite a few more than 721.. and now that 721 doesn't look that impressive..especially since the program lost thousands of dollars in State Funding Cuts... The good news is that we still have time to improve...the challenge ends December 10th...

I learned a long time ago that it is good to think BIG and Out of the Box...and now its time to be BIG and BOLD with this challenge.  The Mercury has  an anonymous donor with an unspecified amount of money to give to this Literacy  program..they are giving us $1.00 for every person who clicks the link and fills out their information and email address... and all we have to do is step up, spread the word and encourage our friends and associates  to click the link and give their information.

I was at first leery and skeptical. I am of the generation who doesn't quite get the 'Facebook' thing.. but was are assured by the Mercury and the YWCA that my email  will NOT be used for solicitations of any kind...

That being said,  I believe we should raise the bar and step up to the challenge of raising $5000.00 to $10,000.00. or even more..  Its free and easy...and we should not leave any of this money on the table.  As a society, we are only as strong as the weakest among us. Our neighbors and friends who can't read and want too... are certainly some of the weakest members of our community and we have this chance to help them into the Light of Literacy...    click this link and fill in the doesn't matter to me who's blog you select...just select one and enter your information..  BEFORE DECEMBER 10TH...

If you are a professional I hope you will use all your connections on Linked in solicit signatures.
If you are an employer or coworker reading this..I hope you will encourage all your employees and coworkers  to sign on..
If you have a "Facebook" or other following....include this blog and/or link and ask you followers to join in.
If you are part of a church group or other organization.. forward this blog or cut and paste this link and tell them the story...
If you are on a sports league or an Optimist or Rotarian or any other group...pass the the information on to your other members...

I know that with a little effort.. on the part of a lot of people... we can show the world what we can do with our generous spirits...and a click of the mouse...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Being a a very under employed Interior Designer, during the longest economic slow down in years...I have time on my hands.. between networking and looking for alternative employment...I was cruzzin' the web the other day and found a site that led me to a shop I had not heard of ....with a very funny name..

FROGTOWN..Their website  was interesting and I could not resist a little trip down Rte 100 to 23 find this place.. I found it on the left...just before the entrance to St. Peters Village on the right...The building looked like it may have been a convenience store in its past life, but there where large green flags to let me know I had found it. The ambiance was wonderful...lots of light..nice hardwood floors...fresh white walls..and lively but soft jazz music. The show room beckoned me in... One of the principles of the organization, Colin Macy, was knowledgeable and delightful...A brave man, I thought, to start a business a year ago during a recession!
 There is a wonderful collection of very sweet children's gifts that are sure melt hearts and become family heirlooms.

There is also a large selection of beautiful jewelry that would fill any woman's heart with joy on Christmas morning.
The paintings on display...all by local artists... where wonderful and showed the great diversity of talent in the Tri County area..the displays where interesting and whimsical, and related well to each other.

This solid cherry, hand crafted cradle..made by Colin's dad, a furniture maker,  is exquisite....What Grandmother wouldn't want her Grandchild sleeping in this beautiful piece of furniture...Colin's dad had many other pieces on display and all very reasonably priced... for the quality of the workmanship.  I am not normally a pottery person...more a crystal and china gal...but the tableware on display made me a convert.  Very different and colorful with wonderful style.. and a bit of whimsy that would blend well with the most formal of settings. Fine wood pieces and elegant but casual pottery.

They also had wonderful artistic cards an small items.. perfect for holiday hostess gifts..bring your wallet..

And while you are here....I would not have been able to discover this great place if  I could not read and enjoy the I hope you will take  moment to click this link.. and register you support for the Pottstown Mercury's Literacy drive...for each registered email reader...we have a donor who has pledge $1.00 to our fundraising drive for the YWCA's literacy campaign....go my heart here..  and sign on....

Thanks and look for my next blog about the ARTFUSION19464  OPEN HOUSE...DECEMBER 7TH.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


To all my readers...the fund raising effort I wrote about in a previous blog is on...and we need your help.  The Mercury has secured an anonymous doner willing to donate a dollar for each person who registers at the following don't have commit money...although we would love that too.....just tell us who you are and that you support the program...that's it...simple...

Then follow the  stories of brave people who have benefited from the program weekly in the Mercury...

I hope you will support me and the rest of our Town Square blogging community in this much needed fund drive...we are off to a terrific start and I hope you will keep it going...


Thanking you all in advance...

Friday, November 9, 2012


I am an art  lover and.. itty bitty collector.. who enjoys discovering new shops and galleries.  I am continually amazed at the wealth of artistic talent in this little corner of the state.  And sometimes I am a bit embarrassed when I finally discover something that was right in front of me.. and I didn't notice. Studio B is such a place... The old saying that "the teacher will appear when the student is ready"  is so true and applies to appreciation and inspiration as well.

The current show featured at the North Hall Gallery at Montgomery County Community College is a visiting collection of member's works from Boyertown's Studio B.  The show is Magnificent ....It is a mixed media exhibit that illuminates the wide range of talent in the Studio B's collective membership. 

Studio B serves as the home of the Arts and Activities Alliance, which is a committee of  "Building a Better Boyertown (BBB)".  Boyerown is a member of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center Main Street program. This program is funded by Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and supported by the Berks County Community Foundation  (from their brochure).

The show is quite large...I believe approximately 150 pieces are on display for your enjoyment and purchase. 
I was initially taken aback by this piece as I am a lover of books and to see one cut and shaped in this way made me pause. I then began to wonder how the artist saw this in their  head and and then created this little masterpiece. 
This piece is from the "Windows on Boyertown" display upstairs in the Gallery.  It depicts the horror of the Boyertown Opera House Fire and the hope for the future..haunting and hopeful at the same time..and so beautiful in its interpretation and skill.
 This beautiful silver sphere has colored art glass(?) interspersed though out. It is stunning and would be the focal point in any collectors home. My photo does not do it justice.

This is a small sampling of what you will discover at the current exhibit at the MCCC gallery. Studio B also has a Friday night lecture series during the month of November. You can find out more about this and other offerings at their web site

So get off your computer and get down to the Gallery to take in this wonderful exhibit... but it will only be here until December 14th....Gallery hours are 8:00 am til 9:30 pm Monday thu Thursday and Fridays from 8:00 am til 4:30 pm.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I recently attended a gathering at the Mercury with the wonderful people from the YWCA of Pottstown.  It was an informational and brainstorming meeting concerning the adult literacy program that is run by the YWCA.  I had not thought about this problem, adult who can't read but want to learn.  It was not part of my world ... until Hurricane Sandy. 

As I have stated before,  I grew up in central NH...  The White mountains, On Golden Pond, beautiful  autumn colors and fierce winter storms.  It's the storm part that teaches you appreciation for nature with all its amazing power and how to live with it.

During my preparation for any storm event,  in addition to stocking up on food, water, candles, batteries and wine, I always include reading materials...books and  magazines that I have not taken the time to explore are always a stacked on the coffee table. I learned  early in life that getting lost in a book is a good way to endure an extended power outage.. there are other things too...but that's for another blog.

During my preparation for Sandy,  I began to ponder that meeting again and wondered what my life would be like without knowing how to read.   I realized the immense freedom I have because I can read...the joy of being able to receive thank you notes, birthday cards, and even the monthly bills and understand the thoughts expressed in each envelop or email.  I suddenly felt a chill at the thought of not having that skill. I felt a tinge in my soul when I recognized the  value I place on owning books...they are all over my home..every room has reading material somewhere in the room.  I tried to imagine what my world be like without having the ability to explore and understand thoughts, ideas and concepts of great writers...My life would be so different and impoverished.

The Mercury is joining forces with the YWCA to aid their Literacy Program  It's funds have been cut drastically because of the economic conditions our state is experiencing.  On Sunday, November 11 the Mercury will be kicking of its awareness and fundraising campaign with a feature story about the program.   There will be links to social media as well as inspiring stories and ways that you can help raise money and awareness.

It is not just money that is needed.  The YWCA also needs volunteers who are willing to commit to be a teacher. They have a complete training program to guide you with all you will need to change someones life. All you  give is time and compassion.     It takes a lot of time to build a teaching/learning/trusting relationship with another human being... but I  can't think of anything that is more important during this life than sharing thoughts, ideas and understanding with another member of my community.

For my part, I will be writing more about this effort.. and I am even giving some thought to becoming a volunteer.  I hope you will join the effort...Mark your calender and follow this blog for links and more information....
Oh Yes...Sandy spared me and my neighbors.  I had a tree fall on my deck.. but no loss of power...Just cozy time indoors to contemplate and appreciate all that I have.
To help the YWCA  click on this link and register your support...and an anonymous donor will give us $1.00 for each register at the site....
Thanks for your help...Carolyn

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today was the day I finally made time to see the new exhibit at the "Art Fusion 19464" (the Gallery on High) in Pottstown.
I was not prepared for the complex emotions that I felt walking into the space.  I knew the story of the exhibit...THREADS OF A STORY: CONTINUED...paintings of the Freedom Riders and their journey with the justice system of the time...but I was stunned by my personal reaction to the paintings.

 I was 6 to 11 years old at that time in our American history, growing up in a very white New England village. But we did have TV, even if it was just three I would watch anything that was on.  I remember the News footage, but had no point of reference. It was not part of my "white girl life".             My response to these painting was such a mix of emotions.  The art is stunning:  big, bold and rich with color and texture.  The gallery has done a magnificent job of displaying the works.  It was my reading of their individual stories that hit emotional nerves deep in my gut.

"Mug shots are normally portraits of shame, but in those belonging to the Bus Boycotters and Freedom Riders, Charlotta Janssen sees their heroism, determination and courage"  (from the exhibit program)

These were real people with amazing courage and grace.  You can see it in their faces..their eyes. The artist has overlaid quotes, text and other media representation from the time. I sensed that these paintings were the work of her soul... honoring these heroic people...  To fully understand the injustice that they acted against, in a peaceful manner, made me wonder if I could be as courageous under those circumstances.  To be arrested and jail for peaceful assembly...respectfully riding a bus..

"In the spring and summer of 1961,...four hundred and fifty people-old and young, black and white, Northern and Southern- came togetrher to travel from Washington, D.C.,  through the Deep South defying the Jim Crow laws and putting their beliefs, even their lives on the line in defense of racial justice...their harrowing, horrifying and ultimately heroic story- (is) a tale of sacrifice, high drama, and unexpected triumph....a disparate band of volunteers expanded the realm of the possible in American politics, redefining the limits of dissent and setting the stage for the Civil Rights movement:  all by taking a ride on a bus"
                                                                   -Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle For Racial  Justice
                                                                                                     Raymond Arsenault

 I was sharing my thoughts with the lovely gallery attendant as I examined the story of each person.. posted next to their portrait.  We both agreed that we have come a long way....but that we are not completely were we should be.  There is more that must.. and will change.

 I found this to be one of the most emotionally powerful exhibits of art I have ever observed....I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience such a brilliant and enlightening collection. My wish would be for every American to spend time getting to know these faces and their story's....and to thank God they are who  they are.  Go... and get to know them..

  The exhibit is here in Pottstown until October 20th....a must see....
  The hours areTuesday-Friday 10-5  and Saturday from 10-3


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Exploring Beaufort's Run

I recently discovered a web site listed on another website... www.BeaufortsRun was listed as one of their favorites web sites... and being a curious person, I clicked on to open. I discovered there is a wonderful sanctuary in Upper Pottsgrove, created and set aside by it's owners to celebrate the beauty and tranquility of their property, and their dedication to their beloved departed dog, Beaufort.

I couldn't resist...I had to visit this place. So I called a friend to see if she had heard of it. She had not so I invited her to join  me in my discovery. On August 16th the weather was perfect and we both had time in the late afternoon. I wanted afternoon light to practice my photography.  We met at the property off Moyer Rd in Upper Pottsgrove...not far from my home. The directions on the web page were easy and accurate, although if I had not seen my friends car...I would have missed it...just a simple clearing for parking... and after we got closer to the path, a beautiful metal sculpture of a standard Poodle then welcomed us at the beginning of the path.

Beaufort was a very loved dog...
This is the sign at the properties entrance stating that it is a certified wildlife habitat..It was not the a huge acreage I envisioned in my head (think Longwood Gardens)...But beautiful and just enough for a leisurely 45 minute stroll.  It is absolutely delightful, with wonderful  and whimsical little surprises sprinkled throughout.  We walked to the end and then backtracked to where we began...and we were amazed at the surprises we discovered at the second passing. 

this is the view as we entered the property.

These little guys just make you chuckle.

A lovely shrine at a peaceful turn in the path.

And this "out house"...  well what can I say...check out the hilarious.!!!
 This "Airstream" Bird house is my personal clever....
and this little guy says it all....
So the next time you have an hour to treat yourself...take in the beautiful little bit of heaven that is    Beaufort's Run in Upper will make your heart sing and spirits soar...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I was fortunate to be able to attend the Food and Art Festival at the Gallery at MCCC on August 5th.  The Affair featured a large gathering  of local restaurants, caterers and beer crafters gathered together to offer samplings of their finest fare to attendees as they looked at and enjoyed the displays of local artisans and crafters....many who had donated items for a silent auction.  It was a wonderful affair in a beautiful setting....the Art Gallery Building of the college on High St. It was well worth the $15.00 entry fee at the door.

The event was a fundraiser for  "Prays and Poinsettias"..a faith based group that raises money to help children who's mother has/is suffered the effects of Breast cancer.  It was started with one mothers love of her children and wish to ensure their education.
The following is the story from the website

{ Three years ago, Barto resident Mary Beatty started a scholarship to fulfill her friend's final wish. Mary's friend, Andrea Smith Collins of Philadelphia, had breast cancer, and her thoughts were with the six children she would leave behind. "Her concern was, the mother passes away ad the father is grieving and then college is dropped," Beatty Explained. To aid Collin's children and other kids whose mothers have stage 4 breast cancer, Beatty set up Prayers and Poinsettias, a nonprofit scholarship foundation based in Barto.
Collins, 37, died in 2008, and last year Prayers and Poinsettias gave out its first scholarships: $500 to a freshman at Montgomery County Community College. Beatty is a graduate of that school. This year, the nonprofit is setting up a scholarship at Boyertown High School. "It's really a wonderful cause," Beatty said. The first year, the nonprofit sold 275 poinsettias at $20 apiece. "This years we're ramping it up," Beatty said. A May fundraiser in Pottstown called Taste of the Town, which included a silent auction and food tasting, raised $3,000 for the foundation. Future scholarship amounts will depend on how much money Prayers and Poinsettias can raise in a particular year."We would like to be able to pay a (student's) full tuition throughout community college,"Beatty said.}

The art on display was wonderful and high personal favorite, from the Hemlock Forge, was a gloriously large floral arrangement in a vase...all forged and sculpted out of metal with a wonderful bronze and slightly gilded finish....absolutely stunning...and absolutely out of my mad money budget...but to see the artistry was such a treat.
There were so many artisans I could not count them all but they filled 2 floors of the gallery....I trust they will credit  them all and all the restaurants on their web site...
It was a well planned event making for a wonderful Sunday afternoon....and I look forward to attending again next year...and know you will too.....

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This is part 2 of last weeks post and you may want to review it so this will make sense...I am having a little fun today with all this . I am exploring the person who wrote the original article about "101 Designer's Secrets" (House Beautiful 5/2012)  It seems that she is not a designer, but a freelance writer who specializes in articles about Interior Design, Horticulture, Archetecture and Food.  Which explains why she wrote these '101 secrets'.

To a non-design person these little tid-bits of design wisdom might ring true, but to someone who has worked in the field for years, these blanket statements of fact are not something I would ever claim or suggest you adhere too.

The one that is stuck in my 'craw' today is by a designer named Kate Ridder who believes that:

" A bed should be 23 inches off the floor, no higher". 

This got me thinking.. so I took my yardstick up stair to my own bedroom....Oops it's 26 inches..But  I think it looks terrific.  I have a large spacious bedroom with well sized furniture and 15 foot Vaulted Ceiling.  I also wanted it the same height as the matching Bachelor chests that I use for nightstands. They are large and are very balanced in the lots of storage. I then remembered hearing of a study done years ago by Domain, a high style retail  furniture company. (a store in the King of Prussia Mall).   They queried their customers and found that most people really prefer to climb up into a bed...not down into it.  Perhaps Ms Ridder works primarily with Far East design  or perhaps she is very petite...I don't I  "Googled" her web site and checked out her work.  Just as I suspected...very clean Mid-Century modern designs with a touch of Asian influence. No big comfy looking beds here.
After I "Googled" Ms. Ridder,  I "Googled" the author of the article, Lisa Cregan. On her web site she listed all the articles that she has had published with pictures of the magazine covers..  I clicked on the one for the "101 Interior Design Secrets"  in  House Beautiful May of 2012...and to my surprise.. the online version of the article only listed 35 Designer Tips (which  are good starting ideas)... Ms. Ridder's belief was not one of them....Do you think Ms Cregan might have received some feed back from those of us in the field?

The moral of this before...there are no hard and fast rules in Interior Design...And when in doubt...GOOGLE THE SOURCE......and now for me....I am going to climb into my Great Big High bed and have a wonderful and regal nights sleep.

SPECIAL NOTE..Next week I will return to writing about places around Pottstown...I'm planning a trip to explore Beauforts can google it.....and going forward I will be writing design tips on my new blog at the "Pottstown Post" every Friday. ...Carolyn Harris...Interior Design Coach.    Hope you will check it out and follow me there...

Friday, July 27, 2012


I have been very busy lately discovering new music venues and wonderful art and theater,  but I am not an entertainment or art critic...I am a Designer. So I am going to take this blog in a more profession direction for a while.

A Designer friend recently presented me with a list of "101 DESIGNER SECRETS" that she found in a prestigious design magazine. This group of "Top Interior Designers" where interviewed for their personal tips and rules.. As I was reading some the "rules"  I felt like screaming...No, that's not true in all cases!
I found some of  this to be a tad bit arrogant.. as interior design is an art form and therefor has no rules.  An idea... that in one situation can feel quite off, when applied in another situation can be quite perfect. 

So for the next few weeks or months.. I will examine some of  these "design secrets"..and free you all to be as creative as your heart desires..because good design is about "Your Home" and "Your likes" and what feels good to you.

The first "Rule" I will contest is by a designer named Carey Maloney.
  "don't hang a mirror between windows. The spatial void it creates distracts from the view. And don't fall prey to using mirrors in every room or over every mantel.  Mirrors are not art, and a room needs art."

Well, there is one concept here I will accept.  Don't hang a mirror over a mantel... and the reason is quite simple.  When you are sitting in that room.... look at the mantel from the seated place..if you  see the reflection of the ceiling, and or opposing wall.. then perhaps  a wonderful  piece interesting of art would be more appreciated.   And as for hanging a mirror between windows...well that depends on so many things.. the space between the windows, the size of the windows, the size of the mirror, the frame design housing the mirror and how does it work with the size of the room.  I recently let a client hang wonderful antique mirror between two windows in the guest room we where working on and it is quite prefect and the best place in the room to show of this beautiful piece.

And as for the idea of "Mirror's not being art"....well that is just plain silly.  I personally a a large Venetian glass framed mirror, which is one of my most elegant possessions. If your personal collection includes several interesting and wonderful mirrors that relate to each other, have fun with them and hang them as an art grouping on one wall.   It could  be a great focal point.

One myth down and many more to go...and if you have design questions about your personal project, please feel free to email me and I will give you some ideas to think about....See you again soon with more rules to debunk...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Barns Alive..Must See

There is a wonderful exhibit of "Barn Paintings" at the Montgomery County Community College that should not be missed ...whether  you are an art person  ..or just a lover of  anything country..or an appreciator of talent and vision...I know you will enjoy this downtown Pottstown....Sherry McVickar has her paintings on display and her vision of old Barns  is extraordinary...she calls herself the Barn Lady...and she has that right 

I am not an art officianardo...but I do know what makes my heart sing...and her interpretation of the "Grand Dames" of country architecture is amazing...She has a vision of color and light that is unlike any other artist I have experienced...and I have seen a lot of New England renditions as well as Eastern Pennsylvania art.

Sherry brings a bigness and boldness to these wonderful structures with her point of view... and then she infuses them with light and color that can only be experienced during a set minute of that days sunlight...

Sherry McVickar is a creative genius with her brush, paint medium, and pallet.  Her work is  a joy to behold...

You must not miss this showing at the Montgomery County Community College which ends June 29th...if you do...check out her website at    

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


People who know me personally,  know that I am the absolute Queen of bargain hunters... My best find yet was a much wanted 108 piece set of gold rimmed bone china, a brand new service for 10... for $25.00.

The trick to being a top notch bargain hunter is not just how "cheap" the item is, but to recognize  impeccable quality and exquisite style  that fits with your personal taste..and then to find it at a below rock bottom price. 
Lately, I have been in shopping Nirvana!  There has been an emergence of  consignment stores in our area and the shopping is great. This  is part of a national trend.  It seems that all those folks who went on "buying binges" during the early part of the decade..before the crash.. are now selling all their great, hardly used  things. They are selling their designer clothing,  fabulous home  furnishings and great books.. and those of us who  "hunt"  both for a living and for  "sport" are having the time of our lives finding great "trophies" for very little money...

I recently completed construction of a new media space in the lower level of my home..the space for sports and movie gatherings...and I have been inspired to furnish the entire space with consignment finds.  My  first find was a classic leather sectional sofa in great condition for $299.00...and it looks fabulous and will stand up to years of  sports, spills and The Cat!   And now I am searching for the area rugs, tables, lamps and a media goal is to complete the entire room, with style,  for under $800.00..I will keep you posted....

Where are these great stores?  For starters travel down High Street just beyond the Library to a great shop called Decor.  My dear friend Penny, who is always ahead of the trend curve, has recently converted her fabulous shop to include high quality decorative furnishings on consignment. The trick with Decor and most other consignment stores, is that you must visit often to find the best items.. and most shops have limited hours and not on Sundays...

Some great places for clothing and wardrobe accessories:  The French Creek Boutique is on Rte 23 west of route 100 seem to have Chester county's finest cast offs ( be sure to sign up for their email newsletter of events)... Sophie's Choice is in the Amity Place Shops in Douglassville and is another great place.  They offer coupons in the Hometown Coupon mailer.

And for Books, I love, love, love  Gently Used Books in Douglassville. I always find what I am looking for, and then some, in their expansive collection...There are other new and used book stores in the area as well, but they  feel like chain stores to me..and don't have quite the variety and depth of subjects I appreciate at Gently Used Books..( they also have a great web site and search capabilities).

I have  found many other great stores outside our area and I am currently compiling a list of my favorites. Perhaps I  will be share that  in a later post...

So if you have a little vision,  a creative spirit, and love the thrill of the Hunt...I suggest you begin shopping consignment stores.. You will be amazed!.....And please write me and tell me of your finds....I love a good "trophy" story...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Discovering Bear Creek

It has been a very busy 2 months for me.  A full renovation of the  basement level of my home and the result were worth it...I now have a huge sun lite, walkout studio with place to spread out all my supplies and projects,  and  a very large TV viewing space for the less ambitious moments of my life..Special thanks to Gregg and all the men from GH Remodelers..and to Larry Pierce and the men  of Chester County Painting.

During all the chaos, I did manage to sneak out for some afternoon excursions.  One particular discovery trip was to Bear Creek Ski area.  I was on a fact finding mission for a friend who is relocating  to the east coast after decades living in the mountains of Colorado.  He is looking for a location that will have all the amenities of 4 seasons, but without the harsh long winters of his home state of NH. Golf, skiing, the sea shore and cultural venues.

Now, it is important to note that I am also a transplant from NH and I spent many years as a professional skier at some of the largest ski areas in the Northeast. When I moved to this area of  Pa., over twenty years ago, I had already resigned from the sport I loved passionately due to  bad knees, so being aware of ski areas near my new home was not even in my consciousness. I knew there where several areas in the region but had not explored them.  So, after reviewing their web site for its location, I was surprised to discover that Bear Creek was only 14 miles from my home. I had to check this out... and headed up route 100 north to Church Street which becomes Mountain Road.  It was the beautiful sunny afternoon of Feb. 9th,  and as I came to the top of a hill... there it was in front of me.  It was a magnificent site.  A big mountain with wide sweeping trails covered with snow. The chairlift moving steadily up the mountain full of skiers and snow boarders.  My heart began to flutter with a feeling of excitement I had not experienced for decades.  You see in 2007, I was blessed with a brand new knee and no longer a cripple.  I realized that the possibility of putting on the 'boards' again was very real and here was this wonderful mountain facility right in my back yard.

Later that day I reported my findings to my friend. I had sent him the link to their web site, but actually seeing the area is much more impressive.  He had been looking at several of retirement regions but never considered Southeastern Pa.  Who knew that it had so much to offer.  There are 7 golf courses in a 10 mile radius of my town, the ski area is 14 miles away, the shore just 2 hours away and  access to arts and historic culture, both local and regional is unsurpassed. So now  my friend is very excited and will be arriving here soon, and I am looking forward to some wonderful afternoons on the slopes next winter.

We really do have it all right here in the Tri-County region.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentines Day Shopping

Yes, there are all the usual shopping places for Cupids Day....jewelery stores, chocolate and wine stores and of course the florist.  But if you want to find something just a bit different...something with more of an artistic quality..then I have two wonderful suggestions...

Taylor Backes glass blowing studio is one of the areas treasures with national prominence. Just a walk through their fabulous studio at 2nd and Washington street in Boyertown is and awe inspiring experience.  The wonderful and sensuous glass objects, both vessels and sculpture pieces, will delight the eye. The vivid dance of colors as you go from room to room is so visually pleasing and exciting you will have to pause just to catch your breath from wonderment. And, of course the furnace is usually burning and an artisan can be seen working on a project of molten glass... Even if you are not planning to spend several hundred dollars for  and object d'art you will have sensation of having visited a  fine art museum.  But the real beauty of Taylor Backes studios is that you can always find gifts in all price ranges...from $15.00 up. To find out more about this national treasure and to plan your trip...

At Christmas time a friend took me to Bey's rock shop on Rte 100 north of the walmat store in Bechtelsville. I need to have a necklace restrung.  What a surprise.  The building is quite deceiving  as is the name of the magnificent treasures inside.  Beys is much much more than a rock shop.  It is a jewelery makers heaven with whole rooms filled with tables of beads from ordinary to exquisite.I picked up several beads for my charm bracelet for under $10.00.
Venture deeper into the shop and you find there are other rooms filled with Objects made of gemstones, crystal quartz and other exotic earth material.  There are fabulous bowls , pedestals, paper weights and other objects in all sizes and prices.  This place is a must  for more information..

And finally, this Monday morning is day 4 of the renovation in my home and the Framing is up and the new window is in and today the electrician is working his magic...and tomorrow the sheet rock...unbelievable! A finished basement in  just over 7 days....I am a very happy home owner....thank you Greg!

Monday, January 23, 2012

back with New places, New Ideas and New Information

I'm Back with New places,New ideas and New information It has been almost a year since I last posted. I took time off to survive the recession...and now that its over...I am back with many of new discoveries and ideas. In the coming weeks I will be sharing information and opinions on new places I have discovered and new ideas in the design community.

I am also embarking on a huge (for me) renovation project at my home and will be sharing the trials, tribulations and progress with you. The bids are in and the contractor is selected...My job in the next few weeks will be to empty the space for the builders. Its an arduous job, but for me this process is particularly insightful. You see, in my profession, I have occasionally had clients that required assistance in purging and de-cluttering. I assist them as a "coach" helping them to understand their need for 'stuff' and then release it. I am now getting a whole new perspective. I consider myself a neat and organized person.. so I was surprised at some of the items I have " given space to" over the years. Emotional attachment?..validation that I was there?... I already feel a new sense of freedom and liberation with the first 5 garbage bags on the curb.

Also, in the coming weeks I will share with you fabulous shops I have found..some new.. some just new to me. I will share great places to shop for valentines Day and lots lots more. And we will soon be in the Home Show season. It's always fun to see whats new and exciting. I hope you will check back often.