Friday, March 19, 2010

A Step Back In Time

The Great Smokey Mountains

Just outside Cherokee, NC is a wonderful visitor center as you enter the Smokey Mountain National Park. If you find yourself passing into the park, take time out to visit the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum.Visitors can explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago.

Mountain Farm Museum

The farm buildings, most dating around 1900, were moved from their original locations throughout the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to create this open-air museum.

Corn Field

Old Equipment

Split-rail fences line much of the property. Constructed out of timber logs, split-rail fences were typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. These were very  simple in their construction, and could be easily assembled with few tools even on hard or rocky ground. They could even be partially or wholly disassembled if the fence was needed to be moved or if the wood became more useful for other purposes.

Shake Roof

A shake is a wooden shingle that is made from split logs. When these are used for covering the top of a house, the result is a shake roof. In North America shakes are typically made from Western Red Cedar.

Out Building

Barn Door (Window)

Davis House

The Davis House is a rare chance to view a log house built from chestnut wood before the chestnut blight decimated the American Chestnut in our forests during the 1930s and early 1940s.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center and The Farm Museum is free. Open All Year:
Open every day except Christmas Day

January - April    8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. May    8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.June - August    8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
September - October    8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
November - December    8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Inside the Smokey Mountain National Park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US-441.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Winecoff Hotel Remembered

 The Winecoff Hotel

Built in 1913 by renowned architect, William Lee Stoddard, best known for urban hotels in the eastern United States.
 William Lee Stoddard (1921)

The Georgian Terrace Hotel, Ponce de Leon Apartments, and the Connally Building were all built in Atlanta by Stoddard between 1910 and 1915.

Building Detail

The Winecoff Hotel was Atlanta's tallest and most luxurious hotel. Standing fifteen stories tall with an open-air terrace dining room, coffee shop and lounge, the hotel was strategically located in the heart of Atlanta's retail district.


According to their stationery, the hotel was advertised as being absolutely fireproof, even though it was designed without fire alarms, fire escapes or a sprinkler system. The Winecoff is best known for a fire that occurred there on December 7, 1946, in which 119 people died.

The Upper Floors

Guests at the hotel that night included teenagers attending a Tri-Y Youth Conference, Christmas shoppers, and people in town to see Song of the South.

Historical Marker 

It remains the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history, and prompted many changes in building codes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leather & Lace

What to do? A designer has an idea to layer leather fishnet lace over a silk taffeta in a formal dining room and I am to come up with a design for her client. "No!" was my initial response. I could not think of anyway that that combination, in that setting, would ever be appropriate or attractive. Whatever protesting I did fell on deaf ears.

Three Arch Windows

To further complicate the process, that the Architect saw fit to have a bank of 3 arched windows on one wall. Dressing each arch was not an option as the windows were set too low - to dress each arch would have closed in the room. Simple panels between each window would have solved the problem but the end client thought that that would not have the dramatic look he desired. 

 Morticia Adams

OMG! All I could think was that this dining room was going to look like something out of the Adams Family and THAT is when it hit me. I was designing "Morticia" draperies. The sleek long drape would be made of the Copper Metallic Leather Lace over the Tangerine Taffeta. Black velvet was chosen to add some punch to the mix with a gathered skirting and swagging. 

Button Detail

Other dressmaker details were added to finish off the look. The Window Treatment was mounted on a single Black lacquered rod on rings.  

The Vision Completed

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Color Purple (Flashback)

As a young designer for a bedding company, I was sat down by the owner for a strategy meeting. He inquired as to the color I thought was up and coming. After some consideration I told him "Purple".

He apparently did not like my answer one bit and promptly told me that my 'taste' was in my bum! A month or two later I was called into the office. I could tell the owner was a little miffed, but why? The answer was clear when he tossed the leading trade magazine on the table in front of me. There it was in large bold letters the pronouncement "The Color is PURPLE". By that point it was too late to put product into production and he missed out on a great opportunity.

Purple is often associated with Royalty and Nobility, for me, I associate it with just deserts!


Water Hyacinth

Maypop (Purple Passion Flower)

Japanese Anemone

The photos above are taken from the book "Flowers" by William West. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Al Fresco

As Spring quickly approaches, so does the desire to dine and entertain outdoors. Pull up a chair and have a seat - good friends and good food are right around the corner!

The pictures above were taken at the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach, Florida. This open-air pedestrian promenade is "The Location" for restaurants, stores, art galleries, and the Regal movie theater.

The people watching on Lincoln Road is considered the best in South Beach and without question, can match any place in the world. There seems to be a constant flow of stunningly attractive women and men passing by, and many wear fashionable clothes with a major dose of sexy.

Chicken or Beef?

After Class

Public Parking

Delivery or DiGiorno


Did I mention that even the dogs get into the act? Each and every pup was dressed finer than the last!