Sunday, June 17, 2012


On this lovely summer evening, I would like to share with you, my dear readers, that I will be taking a hiatus from PlumSiena for a while. As those of you with blogs know, maintaining a blog is très time consuming, much less posting daily.

While I thoroughly enjoy the research, I have found that I need to concentrate on my other project, Design Culture Cleveland, an online resource of our city's boutiques, artisans and professionals with a focus on the many aspects of art and design. My goal is to promote local artists, designers, shopkeepers and galleries and to cultivate design and the arts in our area. Needless to say, I will truly miss the many friends that you all have become!

I am sure I will be popping in occasionally to say Hi and share stories about those that inspire. Till then, please stop by Design Culture Cleveland and visit for a while!

 The assemblage art of Susie Frazier

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gilded Beauties

While doing research for an upcoming project including gilding on glass, I came across the beautiful works of artist Jan Maitland. She works in two mediums, pastels and glass. On the glass, she uses the verre églomisé technique, which is the art of painting and gilding on the reverse side of the glass.

"Mardis Gras" Bowl  Verre Eglomisé

Designs may be hand painted or decoupaged, then 23 Karat gold leaf, fine silver or copper leaf are applied and sealed. The leaf can also be engraved. 

Square Nugget Bowl  Verre Eglomisé

She was first drawn to the verre églomisé technique when she visited the studio of  master glass artist Marco Toso Borella, in Murano, Italy. “I was inspired by his work on gilded glass and application of Gustav Klimt motifs. I knew immediately that I had to explore this exciting medium."

Glass Hors D'oeuvre Platter In a Millefiori with 23-Karat Gold Leaf Design
Verre Eglomisé

Glass Bowl In White Gold and Blue Patina  Verre Eglomisé

You can visit her website here and her Etsy shop here.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Discovering Manuel Cohen

I just stumbled upon discovered the beautiful photos of Manuel Cohen.

 Taking his first photo at age twelve while accompanying his father on an assignment for his news photo agency, AGIP, Cohen has never looked back.In 1996, he founded Avantis, a photo design agency specializing in photo montage.

I was especially drawn to his series of the Sagrada Familia's interior in Barcelona.

Cohen's photos are recording new views of the heritage sites, with an emphasis on architecture, line and form. Viewing his gallery is like taking a world tour. 

"Photography is the tool for modern painters." I agree!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Even with all of the attention that Morocco is receiving in the design world, especially with the recent publication of Maryam Montague's fab book, Marrakesh by Design, I never dreamed I'd be fascinated by a tannery located in Fez, Morocco.

Meet the Chouara Tannery, in use since medieval times:

Using the ancient leather tanning techniques, the skins of goats, sheep, and less often cows and camels, are first cleaned and sheered. 

They then receive a soaking in a mixture of acidic pigeon droppings, cow urine and lime, which cleans away the animal fat and remaining hairs, as well as softens the leather and prepares it for dying. (Whew!)

The clean skins then soak in the dried-earth pits holding natural vegetable & colorful dyes. The colors are changed every two weeks. Mint produces green, indigo>  blue and saffron yields yellow.The odors are (obviously) dreadful, but- this works.


Poppy flowers were used to create this red dye.
After the skins have dried in the sun for days, they are cut into pieces and made into beautiful leather accessories.

For a wonderful review of Marrakesh by Design
visit Regina's Fauxology post of June 12, 2012.  

Wouldn't you love to go on Melanie Royals' (Royal Design Studio)  


Monday, June 11, 2012

Color Play

Noting that the French (courtesy of Art et Decoration) seem to be a bit more daring in their outdoor decor. 
Adding these color punches really adds character, don't you think?

 Love the cobalt blue

Hey- why not pink and purple? 

A multitude of colors here...

and here- an eclectic little area.

And to celebrate- lots of color!

[1-4, 5]

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I am not one for fashion. 
I barely give the spring and fall fashion shows a thought. While I like to look in style, the up-to-the-minute fashions often look a bit absurd, especially on the boney models that look like they can barely make it down the runway. 
So it surprised me when I received Bergdorf Goodman's latest magazine book
Moi? Pourquoi?

Curiously, I opened the "book" and began to leaf through it. Then I actually starting to read it. Chuckling to myself, I thought that some of the writing wasn't bad. Reading the Mysteries of the Eyebrow was amusing and I started to contemplate my own eyebrow regimen. Was it enough?

Well, I made it all the way through. 
Granted I skimmed most of it, but I have to admit I actually enjoyed it. 
I could even see myself wearing the Low-Heeled Oxford from Jason Wu (if I ignored the price).

These Manolo Blahnik "Cusani" sandals (not on their website yet) made me smile

Akris' pretty Tree-Print Wool Coat, digitally printed

CÉLINE "Trapeze" bag (not on website yet)

Cute double-breasted trench coat by Gucci (not on website yet) 

What did you think of the articles?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blogfest 2012, Kravet Style

Sharing with you some of the highlights of the recent Blogfest 2012, generously organized and produced by the dynamic team at Kravet. We were treated to the best of New York's Design Week, which included several showhouses, the D&D Building and other sneek peeks.

One of the highlights for me was seeing the new Baccarat showroom in the D&D Building. We saw it in its raw state; it has since celebrated its opening on June 6, 2012. 

Seeing this deep cobalt blue, crystal chandelier was even more extraordinary in person.

And, yes, there really is a signature red crystal in each Baccarat chandelier.

The finished, glittering showroom, via Stacey at Quintessence.

At Elle Decor's Modern Life Concept House, Lee Kleinhelter, of the Atlanta boutique Pieces, designed the restful sanctuary, painting the walls with an off-black from Farrow and Ball and adding just enough pizazz with these gold sea urchin-like sculptures on the wall.  

Loved the tented fabric swag in the bedroom designed by Katie Leede, of Katie Leede & Company.

I have to say that, by far, my favorite section of Blogfest was the tour of the Kravet studios. That the employees absolutely love what they do and love the family-owned company that they work for was evident in each area that we visited. Many of their employees have long been with the company.

The fabrics were gorgeous- just look at the colors and patterns.

It was so interesting to see the amount of planning behind each design.

The digital age is in full force at Kravet, with many fabrics colored right on the computer, instantly. This sure allows customization for the client.

Although much more time consuming, colors are also still created and chosen by hand when necessary.

Gouache colors are used here.

Custom fabrics begin with a drawing, sometimes even on a paper napkin. Look how accurately the designs are reproduced.

Can you guess which designer's fabric samples these are?

Old wood blocks used for creating the designs are still treasured. As a matter of fact, Kravet's archives are large and deep, especially with their purchase of Brunschwig and Fils and Lee Jofa

The beautiful fabrics of Brunschwig and Fils:

All in all, I would like to extend a huge thanks to the Kravet family, especially Beth Greene, Executive VP of Marketing and her team of Jennifer Powell and Ann Feldstein!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Wide Open

The weekend is here and there are fabulous art shows to pick from here in Cleveland.

Heading out to enjoy!

I'll be back tomorrow with a few photos from Elle Decor's Modern Life Concept House
and a few other Blogfest 2012 treats.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I guess that could mean several different things...

Today here is a little peek at what is causing me to smile when I walk in our garden. 

The poppies are loving this weather, stretching to reach the papyrus in the urn.

Our apricot roses are such a happy color with a hint of yellow at the base.

The Golden Celebration rose smells divine.

As do the softly romantic peach roses...

We are blessed!

What is growing in your gardens?


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