Friday, February 26, 2010

Architectural Photographer Michael J. Lee

This week we sat down with the very talented architectural photographer Michael J. Lee.  I (Linda) am very lucky to call Michael my own photographer as well! Michael's unique talent and eye stems from his background as a professional interior designer working for two of New England's finest design firms coupled with a slightly geeky love of technology. Michael shared with us his views on photography, the place architectural photographers sit in the spectrum of design and he shares some great tips that all of us can benefit from! 

Below are some of the photographs we discuss in the podcast, so you can follow along. TIP: If you open up the post in second window,  you can listen to the podcast and then click on the images below for a larger view.


Linda Merrill

Anita Clark Interiors


  Linda's kitchen bar set up

And a few more amazing photos:


Ana Donohue


 Charles Spada

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jackie Von Tobel, book giveaway winners

Thanks to all of you for your great comments regarding Jackie's fabrics. They're all so beautiful, it's really hard to choose just one. And now, on with the program.
...............drum roll.....................
The winner of the first book, The Design Directory of Window Treatments is....
Leah Grier !!! Leah, we expect to see photos of the window treatments you make, inspired by this amazing compendium.
And for the second book, The Design Directory of Bedding, the winner is......
Jennifer Cauthen!! Jennifer, pressures on. We expect to see major bedding with this in your grips.
Thank you again, everyone and stay tuned for future giveaways.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Interior Designer, Author, Fabric Designer, Blogger - Jackie Von Tobel

Jackie Von Tobel caught enjoying a moment of relaxation!

This week Jackie Von Tobel takes a rare hour off from work and stops by The Skirted Roundtable for a visit. We feel extremely lucky to share some time with Jackie, she is one busy lady. We all first met through the blogs - Jackie writes Jackie Blue (HERE) - but quickly learned there is a lot more to this lady from Las Vegas than just blogging. She is an interior designer by trade and had built up quite a large business in Vegas, even operating her own showroom.

Jackie, her husband and daughter - she also has two sons. Jackie's extremely handsome and talented husband is in advertising and is quite famous for writing one of the most successful ad campaigns "What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas!!!!"

After many years of hard work running first her own faux painting company and then, an interior design firm, Jackie unexpectedly switched gears and became an author, quickly churning out two massive reference books on window treatments and bedding. These two books are fabulous resources, filled with her own charming illustrations. The amount of work and time it took to write these two books is beyond comprehension, each is filled with thousands of her drawings!

Jackie's first book is all about window treatments.

But wait, there is more. After her two books were published, Jackie was approached to bring her illustrations to life by creating her own fabric line. You can purchase her fabrics and pillows online HERE. And also in conjunction with her books, Jackie recently designed software for Minutes Matter that lets you customize your client's window treatments using her templates! Is there anything Jackie can't do???? To read all about her collaboration with Minutes Matter, go HERE.

Jackie's second book is all about bedding.

Jackie is full of stories on how to make your dreams a reality and how to get motivated to accomplish it all. Listening to her is truly inspiring, she makes you believe that "hey, if I can do it all, so can you." Well, that's not exactly true. Jackie is one-of-a-kind special, her humbleness keeps her from seeing how accomplished she truly is. Her lust for life is infectious and we all felt so motivated after listening to her life story. I hope you will too!

To coincide with Jackie's visit, we are hosting a giveaway, thanks to Miss Von Tobel - we are giving away a copy of each of her books! In order to enter the contest, you must go to Jackie's web site HERE, under Collections, and pick out your favorite fabric from Jackie's line. Come back to the Comment Section and tell us which is your #1 fabric pick! We will pick two winners from the list. The contest will run until next Thursday, February 25. So be sure to hurry and enter!

Thank you again Jackie for stopping by and putting the fire under us to push ourselves harder, because dreams do come true - it just takes a lot of sweat, determination, talent, patience, and hard labor!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

French School Poster Giveaway - We have a winner!!

Congratulations to Laura Ingalls Gunn, who writes the blog Decor to Adore you have won this coveted vintage French school poster!

A huge thank you to Jill Mitchell of for providing this amazing prize! Laura's website, blog, Ebay and Etsy shops are open for business, so if you didn't get the chance to check it out, you won't be sorry.

And thanks to all who entered this week's contest. We appreciate the time you spend listening to our podcasts and participating with your comments.

And, speaking of podcasts and giveaways - stay tuned! We had a great chat with week with the amazing Jackie von Tobel of Jackie Blue Home and she has given us a copy of her two books - The Design Directory of Window Treatments and The Design Directory of Bedding -  to give away to two lucky winners!  So come on back for that! And next week, we'll be sitting down with architectural photographer-on-the-rise Michael J. Lee.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blog contests, giveaways and promotions. Plus a giveaway!

Megan, Joni and I chat about blog contests, giveaways and discount programs. The pros, the cons and the inside scoop on some of our own contests.

Joni's French Market basket giveaway that garnered nearly 1,000 comments and emails.

Brooke Giannetti's Brickmaker's Table giveaway on Velvet & Linen

The winning entry in Linda's Blogging Top Design Swarovski Crystal Chandelier design contest

(Note: open this blog post in two different windows if you wish to listen while clicking links.)


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And, in honor of our chat about giveaways, we have a giveaway! Jill Mitchell lives in Provence and hosts vintage and antiques buying weekends in Provence with a specialty in women's only tours. She has a website and blog called Le Trip.  On request, she will meet people in Paris for a little shopping as well! Eleven years ago, Jill started a wine tour business with her California winemaker father. She fell in love with buying antiques and vintage goods after she moved to France and started her own tour company. She sells her finds on Ebay and Etsy for those who can't make it to France. Ooo la la!

To enter the drawing, take a trip over to her sites and let us know in the comments what items catch your eye!

From all entries, we will randomly select a winner, who will receive this fabulous vintage French school poster, courtesy of Jill!

This is an original mid century French vintage school poster which are becoming prized by a new generation of interior decorators and designers. "Plantes Sans Fleurs" beautiful charts flowerless plants, including ferns, mushrooms and algae. Printed on high quality thick stock paper. The print measures 29.5" x 35". When found in U.S. boutiques, these sell in the few hundred dollars price range.

We will select a winner on Thursday, February 18th. Jill notes that since the poster will be mailed from France, it could take a while to get to the winner. Good luck! And don't forget to visit one of Jill's sites and let us know what grabs your attendion!