Happy New Year!


Bonne Annee'

A little piece of the French coast; how wonderful is this pathway into the town? I wonder where the cobblestone path leads? Perhaps a new path is just waiting to be passed, wound around and finally arrived at. How lovely to wander these hills and mingle in this town? I am enchanted by the over archway sign that signifies the town's name and announces it's place. Quite a contrast to the American street and town, but as equally visually enticing for the eye!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

See you all next year! Aaah Haaa! 2010

Cote d' Azure France


Resolution List 2010

Top Ten

Over the Winter Break I am so often given the most important gift, Time. There is always a break from the school schedule, meetings & work.

It is with this gift that I try to catch up on my reading, magazine scouring & planning out upcoming renovations for my own home. With a stack of mag's in my arms, I headed to the couch & had a look see.

After much deliberation, I have come up with 10 of my own resolutions for 2010

10. Cluttah"

 Organize & repurpose the master closet's. My wardrobe has been picked through and streamlined for the best and least space taking arrangement. There are so many thing's I came across that were only worn once, a good way to give back and rid your closet of clutter. This also applies to other storage options within the house. My studio is no exception there either!
This image has been in my online library for far too long, long enough to remember from where it originated.

9. Writing 101

Writing letters & Thank You notes. I know that internet and i phones are so self gratifying for communicating, but the art of letter writing and Thank You writing seems to be a lost art these days. I love paper & writing papers. A favorite to pick up all things made of paper is Kates Paperie, NYC

8. Take Care

Taking a little bit more care of Moi!
It is a blessing to be able to organize, volunteer, coordinate and execute for organizations & groups. I am also blessed to be able to work doing what I love to do! Noticing that with age, comes maintenance. What I mean by that is taking care of you & keeping healthy as well as fit. I have always been active but taking the time each day to give back to you is a much needed task.

7. Les Fleur's

Fresh flowers, weekly. I know that even a simgle bloom can liven your day and get you through the week. Today, with the wonderful selection you can pick up some blooms at the grocer ( Wild Oats is wonderful ), Sam's or even the farmer's market florist. You need not let $$$ get in the way of a little color which will brighten your life! This image is circa 2008 from Style Court.

6. Finish, Finish!

Finishing all the projects that are already on the list BEFORE I start on any new ones!
I am famous for getting excited on a project, working for a client & then going on to another project all together. This is the year that I finish what I start!

5. Slow Down!!

This one may be the hardest to accomplish, but I am willing to try. I am going to be strict to my date book & only schedule what I really have time for. I think this may overlap with #6 & #8 but I am going to put it on my top priority list!

4. Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

About four years ago, I started to recycle items from our daily life. A huge fan of this phenomenon; my husband's family were really good at recycling items. Whenever we would go to Canada anything worth reusing would get recycled. On our trips home I would try to repurpose & reuse but it never lasted. It has been around four years now that an Ikea trip inspired some recycling containers & the rest is history.

I am also practicing the same in my artwork as well as the Interior design that I create. Transforming a piece of furniture or creating a functioning piece of artwork is a green alternative in design.

3. Create

Be more creative in the day to day aspects of life. There is beauty in ( I can't believe that I am saying this going to the grocery store is my least fav chore! )
grocery shopping, home keeping and work. Take pride in what you do. Whatever your lifestyle is, make the best of it and share your creative endeavors with the world. Keeping your talents hidden is not only an injustice to you but also a way to keep your creativity going makes for a fun & exciting life!

Cook that new dessert, try that new exotic restaurant, order that brightly colored shirt!

2. Sleep

Get more sleep, make a list every day. Go through the list accomplish what you can &
 move on to the next day. American's in general do not get enough sleep. While sleep is the subject; from a design point, get your bedroom in order! A relaxing space, well organized with good feeling bedding will make your sleep better!
Don't feel guilty for catching a few more zzzzz's if you get the chance!

1. Fear

Recognize it, deal with it and live with it. I like to embrace change and turn it into something positive. Change is enevitable, you will wither be captivated by it or you will let it control you. I would rather be in control of my fears that have them controling me.

This also applies to design &decor.......
If you love the deep paint chip, then by all means go for the color! I see a movement to homes as a retreat from the outside world. Fill them with things and design that reflects your own signature style! If a trend is something that you like by all means do it; but all in all live with what you love!

In the end your home will be your calling card in life!

I wish everyone has a fearless New Year!

Images courtesy of Google


Gone Skating .....


Skating with my beau, children & relatives ........

Wish me luck!

French Chateau for New Year's Eve


With anticipation of another 3 inches of snow tonight, I am dreaming of a cozy get away. We are scheduled to ice skate this evening, as another snow  front is coming our way! This would be perfect place to hunker down at for a New Year's get away. There is a certain black tie event a pond crossing away, in a little ol castle a few miles away from the good ol' USA.

Amberley Castle
The setting for a 7 p.m. event with chasmpagne, 4 course dinner, wine & dessert
Your only requirement is to get there & show up ( with 160 L per person )

The front of the castle

Entre .......

Sit back, relax & have a cocktail ...

or Champagne ......

Order a pre New Year's Eve breakfast or lunch on the balcony,

Be sure to stay if you have too much bubbly, secure a room and stay overnight!

In warmer months, the castle is available year round for guests & special events.

See everyone there, New Year's Eve ........

Here's to a New Year!


USB .....


Three tiny little letters that basically control my digital world. My lovely digital  recently disappeared & was taken, I have been awaiting a ransom note but so far nothing!

So, for now I am working on finding my old USB cord for my Olympus.

Bear with me, there are so many things that I want to share, & I have to find a solution BEFORE I go back to NYC next week!

Looking frantically, also keeping my eye on the next snow storm headed our way!



Joyeux Noel

The Day After .....

Anticipating sales, or sleep ?.........

All's well that ends well

This year it was not even a close race. I had made a go of the Holiday extravaganza & shopping was not on the list this morning! I was wakened to a no stirring this a.m. with everyone still tucked into their beds.

As I contemplated the rise & shine or stay in, it was clear that I would not be tracking to the stores this morning. Little did the 8 inches of snow have any bearing on the situation, but rather I was in need of nothing remotely materialistic this morning. As I poured my coffee, ( a special Manhattan blend ground at D &D while I was in NYC ) I was reminded of a time not so long ago where I enjoyed just being. As I longed for another time to city dwell, I was reminded of the pressing matter at hand. Take down the tree, and eliminate one holiday chore!

I slid over to the livingroom and I mapped out my day. An entire day where I could do just about anything I could imagine or go anywhere that my little internet would take me. As I lit a new Votivo Joyeux Noel candle (given to me by my darling), I dream't of a day filled with sun & surfing ...... the internet that is. But as luck had it, I began a quest that would lead me to moving closer to a new & more organized New Year!

With a whiff of my orange colored roses, so perfectly sitting on the coffee table, I began to plan my plight! Well, organize the coffee cups, coffee & the endless supply of chocolate! I always get a feeling to look ahead after the holidays & a clean sweep usually takes place too!

I eased back into my side of the sofa & decieded to take down the tree ( just the big one, leaving the family room festive). You see my beloved sister had turned a remarkable 40 this December, just a mere week ago. As a present she will be going to NYC for a trip. I so luckily will be joining her as a traveling companion. OOHHH, I know I just returned, but come on now......NYC!!! And with two girls (sister's) there is NO WAY to turn that down! Excited? Well, let's just say it is going to be a trip to remember.

So, with my new Gap slippers on my toasty toes ....(cute, huh)?? I began to line out my trip Flea markets, Antiques, more shopping, ( my darling did a remarkable job when we were there, no complaints......) but I am looking at non stop shop!! I also imagined my closet and the organization needed to withstand another trip from NYC.
Oh, the organizing, the mapping, & of course the big tree that needed to come down, just so I felt like I could justify going ahead with plans!

So, in one huge sweep, the tiny glass ornaments went away for another year, the tree vanished too, my cupbaord got a cleaning, and I was able to share Christmas one day post Joyeux Noel with mybrother in law, niece & nephews. A perfect day, the day after the holiday hustle & bustle, just perfectly planned and thoughtfully executed! Holidays are best when shared with the ones you love, today was no exception!

And now that the day is done,
Aaaahhhhh!!!! And to all a good night!!!

Ralph Lauren flagship store, Gap, MSL flowers,Domino


White Christmas!

Let it Snow!!!

Winter storm brought around 6-8 '' this morning here in the greater Tulsa midtown area!
Happy Holidays!

We are breaking out the snowboards until it is time to venture to Grandma's house!!

Wishing everyone a blessed day!!

Photo courtesy of Shabby Scraps via Flickr


Happy Holidays


Well, the count down is on it is officially crunch time with 3 days left to empty your wallet, a visit from a chubby old man in red crushed velvet appears & brings an abundance of gifts wrapped or not & places them under the tree.

We celebrated over the weekend with a wonderful concert, a trip to the shopping center that is shaking & driving folks mad, a two day basketball tournament whick ended with a silent night of movie viewing!

Wishing my family, client's and friends a wonderful Holiday Season, and many wishes for a prosperous New Year!
I wish the same for all my fellow bloggers & blogging friends who have been so kind, appreciative and supportive this past year while I created this little blog;

La Maison Fou
wishes you, Happy Holidays!

The official La Maison Fou Holiday card; Image courtesy of Alix Rowlands photography, Laguna beach, CA 2009


Last minute shopping


One more weekend before Santa comes! Where ever you are with your lists; good luck with the crowds, the sales & the hunt!!

I am almost done myself; but love to get out & have a little fun while shopping. All the good stuff is out right now, it is a great time to feather your own nest, closet or that of someone else's.

Happy Weekend, Happy Shopping!


Love this image with the flip flops, the Santa hats & that enourmous tree!

 theage.com.au > image source


A little green & silver


It's amazing what a little R & R will do for the creative spirit. I am working the elves to get a few last minute things finished around this workshop.

Luckily, I did get the tree up; and my kids are extremely glad for that! I also got the extra second wind to get a silver tree out & decorated in the keeping room.

An angel fragment sports a tarnished crown

This was one of my finds from the weekend's flea market. It is the top of a medal where a ribbon would have been placed behind. I could not resist the carving & raised detailing.

Another bone inlaid frame, ....... I must have a few of these around!

My Santos, wearing the crown by Heather Bullard & her web store, the Santos is looking more holiday than usual.

Another look with some of the acid green & silver mercury glass trees, the tinsel trees are a favorite from Nell Hill's.

This close up of the hand rosary was picked up on my recent New York trip across from St. Catherine's cathedral, the shop.

A horn filled bowl with Nira; ( Nigerian monies ) collected by my husband on one of his African trips to Nigeria when he was a boy. The horn tipped magnifying glass is great for looking at the coins & their wonderful imagery.

A silver tree, trimmed with another find from the flea market, some antique glass beaded garland. A perfect match for the green / silver colors in the room, I found 7 strands last Saturday in an old dusty shoe box.
The clear glass balls are getting peace signs painted on them for next year, the other silver mercury balls are vintage & the long spiral ornaments were last year's after Christmas find.

I plopped the tree in this French market basket, an alternative to the traditional tree stand! The tree skirt is mt linen table cloth for outside in the Summer.

And then there is my Eddie Ross inspired wreath made last year, after seeing his online. It is made from     silver balls, dusted with glitter; also inspiration from the wreaths made by Cody Foster. I love the vintage feel of this wreath, espescially against the more modern holiday accents in the room.

Leslie Rowlands Designs


All I want for Christmas .....

Let's Say Thanks

Many of us are decking the halls, trimming the tree & fighting the shopping crowds.
Yet today when I opened my email a relative of mine had sent me an email that struck a chord in my heart.
I have a few connections to retired servicemen & vetrans in my own family, so this to me was a wonderful opportunity to spread some holday cheer.

If you go to http://www.letssaythanks.com/ You can pick out a card, Xerox will print it and send to a service man / woman that is currently serving in Iraq. How amazing would it be if everyone we knew did this!
There is nothing to buy or personal info shared, just a kind gesture to our men &women in the armed forces.

I would like to ask anyone who would like to include this on their blog, please do so. Whether you are for or against the current war; it is important that the men & women serving overseas know that their efforts are supported by their  fellow American's.

Please take the time to click on the link, send a card and let someone know that their efforts of sacrifice are appreciated.

Happy Holdays!


Silver Lining ....

Silver Lining

Between the holiday of Thanksgiving & Christmas, I was able to squeeze a little fine art piece into my own art collection. In my on going living room project I was in need of a little art piece. Inspired by a piece that I saw at Nell Hill's in November, I liked the thought of a little modern art.

With the main color of chocolate, touches of cream, steel & French blue I wanted a tonal palatte with a limited color scheme.
So, into the studio I went & the outcome was this piece "Silver lining".

Inspired from my better half, his view of black or white and my need to always find the silver lining in everything. On canvas, a highly textural piece with lower section scored and overpainted. The upper section of the piece is highly textural with a midsectional line of white, bordered with silver leaf applied by hand.

I was also looking for a ornately carved & aged frame in which to put the piece in. I had picked this up randomly, as I do with frames you never know when you may need one.
I have always been drawn to the gilt golden frames, but as a finish needed to be "taken down" I was inspired by the many frame finishes you will find at MOMA within the French Inpressionist galleries.

The walls are cream color, The chest I found a dirty bright white, with pen scribbles & a laminated top. I painted it out in a French bleu, added the highlighted panel colors and added a new wooden top; also painted bleu. After the right amount of aging was acquired it was complete. My ever growing cross collection was placed on one side, a clear lucite lamp on the right, a horn inlaid frame with a pencil drawing of Derby. I also picked up the Chinese calligraphy brush in KC.

The door is one of a set of doors we added a few Christmas's ago, I painted, glazed & aged the piece. The ornately carved handels were an Ebay find, & the old aged mirrors flank either side of the doorway, a local Francophile find ( CF ). I like the mixed, almost not matched feel of the time periods & styles of the objects.

I am famous in my domain for starting a project around the holidays, last year with the beginning of my blog I tore down the South wall of this room, it is almost completed with all the finishing details. I think it is one of the times of the year that I set aside a little free time to get " details" completed in my own home. The time is relaxed, much like the summer months for me. The schedule is in a holding pattern & I am able to carve out a little bit of free time!

I am liking the mix of modern & a more traditional look. Funny how you can see this look in the media or around but one day it converges & it becomes interesting to you. Just goes to show you, "art is in the eye of the beholder".

Leslie Rowlands Designs LLC


Plastic Balls


If you got balls, for goodness sakes use them!!
Lots & lots of plastic balls, I grabbed these up several years ago when we had an ice storm right before Christmas. It nearly crippled our city, not many after Christmas shoppers were out & about. I found these balls for .25 each, a garage sale waiting to happen at a retail store. So, I scooped them up,there must be something in the air but this was the year to bring them out of their dark, hiding spot and hang them out!
So, 20 feet of garland later, a bargain at $11 at our local midtown hardware store & wholah!!

A festive entrance for some good ol' holiday cheer! I remembered the balls after the fact of making the wreath, I thought that adding a little glittah, would get the holiday spirit going!
So, greens up, lights wrapped & some balls added it has a festive feel.

You never know where inspiration will come from, I was given the berries from my sis for the wreath & the balls just sort of happened. Funny story where the red ones came from, a silver tree given to me by my brother, it came from his work AKA Coors distributing a few years back.
I was about to pitch them this morning when the lightbulb went off & I thought that they were an exaggerated version of the berries in the wreath, so I turned the balls to the plain side of red & up they went on the garland.

I think the plain door would have been fine but the addition of the lighted garland pulls the whole entry together. Not a big color person when it comes to decor, but red, silver & natural greenery is so holiday. Keep your eyes open this year espescially before & after the holidays. You can find really great things that don't have to break ol' Santa!

A closer look at those big & smaller balls, white lights & natural greens. Total cost for this hanging of the greens? About $25
Getting into the holiday spirit?

Leslie Rowlands Designs LLC




Many years ago, ( 16 to be exact ) I began collecting glass blown ornaments for my Christmas tree. Not growing up with these types of ornaments this style of decorating was new & exciting. I had picked up a copy of Southern Living magazine with a little lady who stood by a tree that was so covered with ornaments that the tree literally disappeared.

It was then I knew that I must reproduce this for my main livingroom. I would shop before Christmas, during and of course after holiday sales ( the best). Over the years the collection has grown, and I must say that I may be close to my limit of ornaments needed to completely cover my tree.

I like to collect ornaments throughout the year that relate to my family, children , husband, dog and our life. When we went to the islands, I picked up starfish, fish & seahorse. A busy football season brought a glittery football or player. A cute ballerina reminds me of years gone by, and then there are the cans of diet coke & chocolate ( a shopping staple ). To say I am not obsessed with these ornaments would be an understatement, believe me I am taking steps to ONLY buy really, really good ormaments in the future.

Just a pic of some of the many styles of ornaments; from the Mona Lisa to clip on birds & hamburgers ( for my son, plain with cheese, please )!

A bubble gum pink fish, a fav of my daughter nestled in next to a alligator for my niece Allie.

The arc de triomphe, Big Ben, chocolate chip cookies & glittery frogs.

My living space is neutral, so a used a few yards of natural burlap as a tree skirt, the color goes well with the sea grass rug. The only other glitter on the tree are clear glass picks inserted into the tree before the ornaments are placed on the tree. The illumination that they give off is wonderful, the rest of the tree is a kaliedoscope of color from the various ornaments.

I will enjoy the tree this year, as we have to finish up this room before Spring is upon us. There are plans to reclaim a former fire place and to update this room for tele viewing; ( a request from my children ) I guess they do not appreciate Lifetime or the Fine Living channel?
What ever you are celebrating this year, enjoy your time together with the ones you love.

Happy Holidays!

La Maison Fou

Celebrating my one year anniversary today, it is hard to believe that I started blogging a year ago. I appreciate all the comments & the people whom I have met.
Here's to many, many more!