Monday, December 20, 2010

Last 6 Seconds - LtGen Kelly

My husband received this email today from our son, LCpl Reece Lodder. It speaks for itself.

Hey Dad,

Please pass this on to the family. I don't have everyone's addresses on my 
Marine Corps email. This is a goosebump-inducing testament to why Marines, 
sailors, soldiers and airman fight for the U.S. and each other.

Semper fidelis,

    Sent: 12/5/2010 8:00:45 P.M. Pacific Standard Time

     The last half of a speech given by LtGen Kelly to the Semper Fi Society of 
St. Louis MO on 13 November. As always around the birthday of the Marine Corps, 
November 10, it is common to highlight the legacy of the Marine Corps through 
the actions of those who bravely defended the country, or as Admiral Nimitz said 
after Iwo Jima, “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue.”
    As you probably know General Kelly’s son died 4 days before this speech by 
an IED in Afghanistan while on his 3d combat tour. He was a second lieutenant 
doing what lieutenants and NCO’s do – leading from the front and forward into 
the enemy. His name was Robert Kelly. 

    Where do we get such people?  We are most fortunate they walk among us and 
protect us.   Baker, surgeon

    "I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are…about the 
quality of the steel in their backs…about the kind of dedication they bring to 
our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans.  Two 
years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 
22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 
2/8 were switching out in Ramadi.  One battalion in the closing days of their 
deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat 
tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 
and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch 
together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks 
housing 50 Marines.  The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 
100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists 
in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by 
Al Qaeda.  Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and 
daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well.  
He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000.  Haerter, on the other 
hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.  They were from two 
completely different worlds.  Had they not joined the Marines they would never 
have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously 
depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might 
have been born.  But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same 
crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as 
close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.
    The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure 
went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no 
unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”  “You clear?”  I am also sure Yale and 
Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes 
Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the 
words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.”  They then relieved 
two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of 
Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.
    A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way-perhaps 
60-70 yards in length-and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey 
walls.  The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, 
killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were 
damaged or destroyed.  A mosque 100 yards away collapsed.  The truck’s engine 
came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it 
stopped.  Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of 
explosives.  Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in 
their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American 
    When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it 
happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this 
struck me as different.  Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace 
in combat.  We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground 
and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission 
takes.  But this just seemed different.  The regimental commander had just 
returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American 
witnesses to the event-just Iraqi police.  I figured if there was any chance of 
finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to 
acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two 
eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy 
Iraqi statements.  If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the 
signature of a general officer.
    I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen 
Iraqi police all of whom told the same story.  The blue truck turned down into 
the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine.  
They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines 
began firing.”  The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and 
then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.  All survived.  Many 
were injured…some seriously.  One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears 
welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”  “What 
he didn’t know until then,” he said, “and what he learned that very instant, was 
that Marines are not normal.”  Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the 
name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”  “No 
sane man.”  “They saved us all.”
    What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later 
after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy 
Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, 
recorded some of the suicide attack.  It happened exactly as the Iraqis had 
described it.  It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley 
until it detonated.
    You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives.  Putting myself in 
their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately 
come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into 
their view at the far end of the alley.  Exactly no time to talk it over, or 
call the sergeant to ask what they should do.  Only enough time to take half an 
instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes 
before: “…let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”  The two Marines had 
about five seconds left to live.
    It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take 
aim, and open up.  By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and 
gaining speed the whole time.  Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi 
police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and 
rational men they were-some running right past the Marines.  They had three 
seconds left to live.
    For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing 
non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds 
take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get 
past them to kill their brothers-American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks 
totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on 
two Marines standing their ground.  If they had been aware, they would have 
known they were safe…because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide 
bomber.  The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front 
of the two Marines.  In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never 
hesitated.  By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back.  They 
never even started to step aside.  They never even shifted their weight.  With 
their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as 
fast as they could work their weapons.  They had only one second left to live.
    The truck explodes.  The camera goes blank.  Two young men go to their God. 
Six seconds.  Not enough time to think about their families, their country, 
their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for 
two very brave young men to do their duty…into eternity.  That is the kind of 
people who are on watch all over the world tonight-for you.
    We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow 
to man while he lived on this earth-freedom.  We also believe he gave us another 
gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and 
Marines-to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can every 
steal it away.  It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today.  
Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two 
centuries ago, will forever remain the “land of the free and home of the brave” 
so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look 
beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest 
and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us 
    God Bless America, and….SEMPER FIDELIS!"

    "A great leader can see farther than those around him, knows what is coming 
before it happens, and has a plan to implement before adversity arrives with 
shock and surprize"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Food, Fun and Freebies!

It's time to celebrate! At this time of year it's a good time to show some appreciation for the wonderful clients I have met over the last 8 years and for those in my supporting community. 

Please join my husband and myself as we showcase beautiful window fashions by Edwards Drapery & Interiors as well as gorgeous watercolor artwork by Victoria Wickell. 

Enter to win: a free Springs Window Fashion window covering, a custom pillow provided by Kasmir Fabrics, Woods Coffee gift cards and more
  • Sample delicious appetizers and baking as well as hot drinks
  • Peruse the sample books and fabrics from companies such as Hunter Douglas, Springs Window Fashions, Kasmir Fabrics, Ado and Kirsch.
  • Check out the overstock and sample sale. 
  • Have your window covering and drapery hardware questions answered.
And, best of all, if you book an appointment at the Open House you will receive a 10% discount on all window coverings purchases.

We're looking forward to seeing you
on Friday, Dec. 3rd, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. or Dec. 4th, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m 
at our home, 3455 Alm Rd., Everson. 
Click here for a map.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I'm looking forward to tomorrow - Thanksgiving Day! And what better way to get in the mood than by completing a task I had been putting off for a while - handwriting "thank you" cards to clients whose projects were recently completed. I try to do this every few weeks to express appreciation for business received.

It was wonderful to reflect on the wonderful people I met in the last few weeks and months again. With some clients, our interaction was brief: a short sales call then a return appointment to install blinds or shades. With other clients there was a more lengthy relationship: a series of meetings spread over weeks or even months choosing fabrics, linings and trim to create the perfect custom drapes, sheers, valances or cornices. Yet, invariably, my clients were great! And I am thankful for every one of them.

So much to be thankful for: the talent of the workrooms that take my designs and recreate them in fabric; the very experienced installer who can install anything then dress it for that final perfect touch; the suppliers who get it right more often than not in these difficult economic times; my supportive family. Above all thankfulness to our amazing God.

And now, onward! There are pies to bake, a house to clean, candles to light. The family is coming home for Thanksgiving! I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Save Energy - and Money with the Energy Tax Credit!

It's hard to believe that the energy tax credit is going to be gone very soon! There are clients who will be kicking themselves that they did not take advantage of this credit of up to $1500.

Hunter Douglas' Duette Architella shades are the only window fashions right now that qualify for this credit.  They are the most energy efficient cell shade on the market, helping you save money on your heating or air conditioning bill by creating a barrier between the cold or the heat outside.

The rules of the game: the shades must be purchased and installed before Dec. 31, 2010. Hunter Douglas is also offering a $25 per Duette rebate until the middle of December to sweeten the pot. Call 360-966-4142 if you would still like to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity! 

Monday, November 01, 2010

Shining Eyes

Last week a friend forwarded a video link to me. I don't usually click on them, especially if they are 20 minutes long. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. This time, trusting the friend's good sense, I clicked.
What a treat it was to hear Benjamin Zander on music and passion. It's well worth spending the time to view this clip which speaks of so much more than music.

Conductor and pianist Benjamin Zander spoke of his passion for classical music . One day he was struck by the realization that his role as the conductor of an orchestra is to awaken possibilities in other people, to wordlessly transmit his passion to others. How does he know if he has accomplished what he set out to do? He said, "If their eyes are shining, you know you are doing it."

How do we approach life and our various roles? Are we passionate about awakening possibilities in others, in whatever role we play in their lives?  Do we desire to transmit our passion to others in such a way that they too learn and grow and enjoy?

I had the joy of seeing this firsthand yesterday. My passion for color and texture and fabric was translated into beautiful wood rods and pleated drape panels which we installed in my clients' home. As the clients viewed the finished result, our collaborative vision caused shining eyes - a project which surpassed the clients' expectations.

How many shining eyes do you have around you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Northwest Washington Fair Begins!

I'll remember the first day of the fair as HOT. With temperatures reaching 93 degrees in the afternoon, everyone was just plain hot. You could see it in the faces of the little children; you could see it in the tired shuffle of the senior citizens that thronged the Fair.

Even with the heat, there was excitement in the air! The Fair looked as sparkling clean and bright as always. The new horse barn opened, providing a beautiful new venue for riders across the county and state. For some of us vendors in the Expo Building, the excitement centered around the remodeled and expanded washrooms :) The Demolition Derby was anticipated by many, and I heard that the singing of our National Anthem to open the Fair was performed beautifully by Laurel Bareman, our Whatcom County Dairy Ambassador.

Day 1 is behind us; the rest of the week lies ahead. Though the number of fairgoers seemed a little low yesterday, I am sure that cooler weather will bring more visitors later in the week. I am excited to be meeting new clients and talking to clients I've done work for in the past; all part of my continuing effort to fulfill
the window covering needs of Whatcom County and beyond with gorgeous, practical and energy-saving window fashions.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Northwest Washington Fair is almost here!

I'm excited! I'm counting down the days to the opening of the Northwest Washington Fair here in the small but beautiful town of Lynden. The Fair gives me the opportunity to show my work to a large and varied audience and it's something I look forward to all year. It enables me to meet new clients and reconnect with clients I've done work for in the past.

I've been prepping for a while already. My 10' x 10' booth will be jam packed with offerings. On the back wall of the booth I'm featuring a cornice with side panels; an aqua chenille is used on the lower portion of the drape panel with a contemporary paisley in cream, tan and aqua for the upper; they're joined diagonally and accented with a coordinating fabric tape. Topping the panels is a shaped cornice in aqua with beaded trim. A Moreland valance with tassels and trim as well as a tent pleated valance round out the drapery offerings for this year.

For the first time, I am highlighting Panel Accents sliding panels by Graber, a modern and functional way to cover patio doors, wide windows, and closet openings . As well, they can be used as room dividers and come in a wide variety of fabrics including screens and woven woods.

 I'll exhibit many other shades, including the always popular Silhouette window shadings by Hunter Douglas, energy-saving cell shades, wood blinds  and  UV-blocking screen shades. Sample books will find a place too, next to beautiful fabrics. Business cards and brochures are printed, informational literature is ready, and I've found plush carpet, classic furniture and decorative elements to dress up the booth.

So am I ready for 14 hour days of standing on concrete? To smell fair food for six days in a row? To listen to the spiel of the Magic Mop guy time after time? To enjoy the camaraderie of fellow exhibitors? To welcome new clients and chat with the old? To have the opportunity to share my love of designing window fashions? To educate? And in my own small way, make people's homes a better place to be?

You betcha!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Spa Delights!

I spent a wonderful day a few weeks ago being deliciously pampered at the Chrysalis Inn & Spa in Bellingham, WA.

Earlier in the year, I was blessed to be able to provide the Spa with beautiful mossy green chenille floor to ceiling drapes for one of their treatment rooms. The purpose of the drape was to ensure a tranquil experience for the Spa's many clients, thus the drape was lined and interlined for the greatest sound absorption. Suspended from a contemporary stainless steel rod and running the length of the room, the drapes provided a soft and luxurious backdrop.

The glimpses I had of the Spa enchanted! I knew I had to return to sample its delights.

One cool spring morning, my daughters and daughter-in-law accompanied me for some decadent pampering. It began with slipping into luxurious robes in a well-appointed and softly fragranced change room. We decided to forgo the sauna, and were guided to comfortable chairs in the Spa's relaxation room. The attentive spa attendant provided us with beverages, and over the next hours we quietly chatted and gazed at the contemplative gardens while receiving spa pedicures. When the pedicures were complete, we weren't ready to leave! As a Spa lunch was available, we opted to kick back for a while longer and were treated to beautifully presented and delicious meals. As we reluctantly walked through the doors of the Inn to our vehicles, we agreed it had been a wonderful experience and vowed to return.

My thanks to Alan Richard, whose FaceBook status today was: the major expense of today's woman: Nail Salons!!! It brought back memories of a wonderful day spent at the Chrysalis Spa. Hmm, I think I'll book another appointment...

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I am not a morning person. Let me be very clear about that. Yet, for the past three years, I have been getting up at the unspeakably early hour of 6 a.m. and heading to Bellingham.

Why? Connections.

Not just because of the connections I have made, or will make, but because of Connections. That's the name of the business networking group of which I am a member. I pulled some info from the website to explain a little about Connections...

A Step Beyond Networking
Would you like to expand your business presence in the community? Would you like to be part of a group of service providers with confidence in the quality of their products or services? Connections operates on the premise that if there is trust, business will follow.
Members are committed to providing clients with dependable, local, quality service. We promote each other's success by providing a weekly forum for sharing ideas, referrals, street talk and giving individual presentations. In addition, we offer joint marketing and social activities throughout the year to build the relationships upon which trust is founded.

We're a  widely diverse group, ranging in age from early twenties to mid-seventies, with businesses across the alphabetical spectrum, from ACN to Hamsterpuncture to Zervas Group Architecture. We're united by the desire to help each other succeed.

I've learned so much from fellow members; been mentored, and been a mentor; shared in triumphs and tragedies; laughed a lot! And oh yes, along the way, I've passed on leads and received many, as we helped each others' businesses to thrive and grow. I truly have been blessed by the connections I've made at Connections.

And every Thursday morning at 6 a.m., when I blearily rub my eyes and roll out of bed, I really don't mind at all.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Super Infonars by Gillian Wendel

Imagineering our window fashions was the focus of Gillian's first seminar of the day. She wowed us with photos of beautiful window fashions that illustrated the Seven Basic Principles of Design. Gillian showed examples of designs taken to a whole new height by using hardware in non-conventional ways and thinking outside of the box. She encouraged us to incorporate ideas from the home furnishings, fashion industry, all kinds of catalogs in our window fashion designs. One particularly inspiring idea was Susan Kostelecky's pink tulle slip-covered chair for a girls' bedroom that was inspired by bridal fashions, detailed with lacing.

We moved into an infonar on Design and Proportion, which had us thinking mathematically using the Proportional Scale wheel and the Golden Ruler, measurements based on phi and extensively found in nature. Think of the beauty of the nautilus shell as a perfect example. Thanks to Anne Lubner I had my Starbucks espresso so I could be mentally alert for this one!  Gillian had us thinking about designing in a way that is pleasing to the eye and the math behind it.

I have learned so much this morning again! The International Window Coverings Expo truly is giving me a vision for the coming year.

Jackie von Tobel - Building your Brand with Social Media

Jackie dynamically dealt with the question: Is social media optional if you want to succeed in business today? Her feeling is: Participate or die!
The main focus should be on getting more business and making more money. Everything radiates out from your website and drives people back to the website.
She encouraged us to develop a New Media Plan by:
- researching the platforms
- participating consistently
- analyzing the competition
- formulating your strategy
- developing and implementing plan
- starting slowly and building consistently
- sticking to it and being consistent
 Be engaging in sharing and interacting with others for we are our business.
Another informative and helpful infonar from a very energetic  speaker!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Innovative new idea: Safe-T-Shade

Stevenson Vestal's rep (booth 1050) briefly demonstrated the Safe-T-Shade, a soft shade combined with a spring roller. This shade has no exposed cords and meets current safety criteria. The back side is a traditional shade in a variety of fabrics. this shade has no tracking problems due to a patent-pending J-clip and is comparably priced to a Rollease shade. Maximum shade width is approximately 60 inches; the shade can pick up a maximum of 18 pounds of fabric. Right now the mechanism is available only through SV but will be available shortly across the country.

Innovative design and safety - a winning combination!

Window Illusions - Tips and Tricks

Jeanelle Dech gave the design professionals present a real treat this morning. Using illustrations from her own workroom, she showed us beautiful examples of window illusions. The window transformations were stunning, combining fabrics, trims, textures, color and designs.
Key is listening to the client and creating the window fashions they desire, even if it is not your first choice. However, occasionally we goof - then we need to assure the client that we will make it right and do whatever it takes. Jeanelle encouraged us to visualize the big picture before we get to the details.
Her hints and tips were very helpful; her completed projects inspirational. Another great seminar from another talented industry professional!

IWCE Day 2 Infonar 1 - Cloud Computing with Debbie Green of Minutes Matter

The International Window Coverings Expo, held in Atlanta May 12-15 this year, is a treasure trove of information, seminars and products from leaders in the window coverings industry and beyond.

Debbie Green of Minutes Matter shared her knowledge on Cloud Computing, introducing many of us to GoogleApps, its functionality and capabilities. We were wowed by the possibilities of Google Docs. Presentations can be done from your computer to clients almost like a webinar via a link sent to them. Definite bonuses of cloud computing are saving money and updating instantly. The info saved here is secure as well.

A wealth of information shared by a very knowledgeable instructor!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Susan Kostelnecky's Latest and Greatest Things - Design and Trend Showcase

Susan started today's last seminar with a bang, showing us beautiful and functional drapery hardware from a wide variety of manufacturers. I was really impressed with Iron Art's Clip-A-Crown and want to get a close look at it in their booth

Some of the supplies featured: Somfy's motorized shade is a show special - I want to get my hands on that one! Wavy Drape is a two part tape which creates perfect spacing. Ialso want a Tape Measure Grip and Grid Line Tape supplied by Rowley, (Booth 1539).

Jackie Von Tobel's new fabric line is stunning ! Carlette Cormier, Savannah Fabrics, has a line of fabrics and products with historical motifs. Creative Fabrics has plenty of interesting buttons. Decorative onlays which can be painted or stained are provided by Decorator's Supply Company. Diamond Head Upholstery Tacks are interchangeable decorative tacks in a wide variety of colors. Joanna Braxton's pelmet, covered with embroidery and trim, is gorgeous! English Home has pretty ready-made embroidery panels and sheers.

When I walk the show floor, I'm going to have a closer look at Stewart Filmscreen's acoustic motorized blackout (soundproof) shades (Booth 1416) and the Camily Wand, handy for getting rid of bugs in Silhouette type shades.

Lots of great products to explore once I get out on the show floor tomorrow! Thanks, Susan, for the great introduction to these innovative items!

Infonar 2 - Consultations that Lead to Sales by Michele Williams

Michele ( led us through her journey to the window fashions industry and detailed her start in the industry -with one sewing machine, one table and one iron.
Using the phone tree she employs, Michele discussed the initial phone screening of a client and stressed that not everyone is our client. What questions should we ask at the initial screening and what do we do with this informations so we are prepared when we walk into the home?
Michele told us: After an appointment is set, send out an appointment letter or email. Define the process for the client and set expectations. Have the invoice, contract, terms and conditions prepared and spelled out. Know what you want to accomplish and always be mindful of your first impressioin. Be on time to appointments, manage your time at the appointment, and leave when you say you will. Follow up with a letter or email. And always be timely in your response.
Again a great infonar led by a dynamic speaker!

Day 1 IWCE - Infonars Abound

I'm sitting in my first class, FutureVision: Interior Design in the Year 2020 taught by Susan Schultz. What an apt way to begin Vision 10! I'm so intent on her ideas that I just startled the person sitting ahead of my by knocking my water over and splashing her. Oops! Susan's outlining changing trends, forcing us to face up to the reality that as design professionals we need to change as well. She led us through IT changes, changing demographics, changing user values, changing values toward money. She illustrated her points with photos, graphs and a design hierarchy of needs. The pyramidical hierarchy flows from wellbeing to ergonomics to origins to pleasure to other needs such as emotional needs, self-fulfillment, spirituality and connection to others. We are facilitating experiential purchasing because it represents money better spent and greater happiness for the purchasers and for others. These purchases produce more happiness regardless of the amount spent or the income of the consumer, and lead to greater long-term satisfaction.

My head's spinning with facts and figures and pondering how to apply this to my own window coverings company. Great food for thought! .

"It's a whole new world and you ignore it at your own risk" Paige Rense

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Atlanta IWCE Excitement!

Well, we made it to Atlanta despite nearly missing our flight! And from the notifications flooding my inbox, it seems as if everyone is about to leave, is leaving, or has left, if they're not here already!

My hubby and I walked the floor already this morning - he was staggering under the load of material for the trueIMAGE Publishing booth. It was a hum of activity; people bustling about, containers being unloaded, front end loaders roaring around. There was a definite air of excitement in the vendors I spoke with.

And with the show-goers! We're excited to attend the wide variety of seminars being presented by some of the best, and to see the new and exciting products on the show floor.

Don't forget to stop by booth #1651 and say hi to my hubby Bob. Have a look at what a beautiful personalized calendar can do to promote your business year round. New for this year is the gorgeous Window Fashions Calendar, as well as a stunning Patriotic Calendar and many more titles. Enter your name in the drawing for 50 free personalized calendars!

See you there!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

COM - to do or not to do?

It presents a quandary: A client you've worked with for years has stumbled upon a bedcover she just loves, buys it, along with ready made drapes and pillow shams. Then comes the phone call: "Please, can you use this to make window treatments for my bedroom?"

This is not something I usually do, or even like to do. Neither does the workroom. But for this client we made an exception and created a bright, pretty room. The pillow shams became cornices, too-short drape panels were lengthened with the addition of a coordinating fabric, and beaded trim was added to tiebacks and cornices. Once again, a happy client. Now onward to the master bathroom!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Silk Drama!

These Bellingham clients love classic styles with maximum impact. They decided their dining room was the next room that needed the softening effect that drapes could provide. To complement colors in the wallpaper wainscoting, a bronze silk from Kasmir Fabrics with beautiful slubs and sheen was chosen for the pinch pleated overdrapes. Shimmery sheers decorated with scroll-like embroidery provided the backdrop. The drapes were lined and interlined with Angel's fabrics then accessorized with stunning single tassel tiebacks. The result: elegantly dramatic, delighting the senses and pleasing these special clients.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Trims and Tassels Up the Impact

The owners of this spacious Lynden home wanted their window coverings to bring out the beauty and character of their antique sofa. We began by creating a classic design of swags and panels using DreamDraper software.A lustrous faux silk fabric dotted with gold was chosen for the valance and panels.  Delicate sheers provided a soft backdrop; bullion trim and tassels were the finishing touch for the overlapping swags. The mirrored treatments on the window pair framed the sofa to perfection. And, as you can see, Buddy liked it too!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sneak Peek - 2011 Window Fashions Calendar has arrived!

 Design collaboration: Debra Lysy, ASID and Tammi LeNair, L'Interieur LeNair
Photography: Peter Leach Photography

The new 2011 Window Fashions Calendar is ready to print! Together with the publisher, trueIMAGE Publishing, we finalized the copy this past week. It features imaginative designs by Anne Lubner, Tammi LeNair and myself. The calendar is not up on the trueIMAGE website quite yet, but will be soon. In the meantime, feast your eyes on their other gorgeous offerings!

I'm excited about this new product specifically for the window coverings industry. This calendar can be personalized for each designer or workroom. I've sent out personalized calendars to clients for a number of years around Christmas time, but never one featuring beautiful window fashions. This will be a special treat for several clients who will see their rooms featured. trueIMAGE Publishing also makes it possible to create a personalized calendar featuring your own designs or photos. 

 Designer: Anne Lubner, Anne Lubner Designs
Photographer: Devin Vinson, Vinson Media

What better way to keep your name in front of your clients all year round?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who Says You Can't Put Drapes in a Bathroom?

This Bellingham client had recently completed a beautiful remodel of her bathroom. However, she requested we create a window covering solution that provided privacy, beauty, practicality, and sound absorption. Our solution: a top-down bottom up cell shade paired with a thickly padded cornice in a patterned faux silk, accompanied by softly striped washable sheers that perfectly echoed the colors in the surrounding tiles. Coordinating tiebacks were fashioned from multi-colored cording echoing the one used on the cornice. Result: a room that reflected its owner's personality while meeting all the owner's requirements!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Beautiful Solution for Challenging Windows

When these Pacific Northwestern clients added onto their home, they didn't realize just what a problem the sun would be. Their beautiful family room needed protection from the ultraviolet rays that streamed through the large windows. As well, the clients desired occasional privacy without blocking the view.

For the bottom windows, Hunter Douglas Silhouette shadings in a neutral cream shade provided a perfect solution. The vanes could be tilted for privacy, opened in a down position for UV protection, or rolled up into the headrail to let in the light. Templates were made for the two windows flanking the top center window, and were custom fitted with non-operable Silhouettes. However, the large top center window presented a different challenge. Window coverings aren't made in this shape! Working from a custom template and with much dialogue with Hunter Douglas' factory, two side by side Hunter Douglas Silhouettes were fabricated then expertly installed with barely a gap between. These shadings matched the other window coverings perfectly.

Problems solved: UV blockage, light control and privacy all wrapped up in a beautiful package. Edit Text

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Motorization - A Great Solution

This week we installed Hunter Douglas' motorized Duettes for a special client. As you enter her stunning log home, you see a wall of glass on the far side of the great room. Two large pairs of French doors are topped by stacked sets of windows, reaching up to the arched 20 foot ceiling. The vista beyond the windows is gorgeous, framing Mt. Baker in the distance, with nearer views of the river and the nesting bald eagles.

That much glass presented a problem in the winter. Those expansive windows allowed the cold to seep through, casting a chill in the room that even a roaring fire was not able to alleviate. The sheer height of the windows made it very difficult, if not impossible, to operate any window coverings manually. Motorizing the highly energy efficient shades was an ideal solution.

The client chose shimmering Opalessence fabric in Copper Blaze, which complemented the warm wood tones of the log home. Hunter Douglas' new Platinum remote made it possible to use either infrared or radio frequency technology to operate the shades together or singly.

The result? Beautiful window coverings that combine energy savings and insulation in the winter with reduced heat gain in the summer, in one easy to use package. And one satisfied client!

HD Duettes complement any room or style