Conscious Style Home

March 28th, 2013



Back in 2001, I published the book Conscious Style Home about the eco renovations of my parents’ home in Green Hills, Pennsylvania.

Can you believe it’s been 12 years?   I can’t.

Back then, photography for illustrated books was still very much done the old fashioned way: on film, processed and printed into 8X10 sheets that were scanned and used for books.

Today, all of my books are done digitally and all of our art files are saved digitally.   But in my office, this binder of 8X10 prints still exists and I thought it would be fun to frame some of them to hang in my home.



All the photos came with contact pages which we pored over and picked our faves… cute dog!



We shot most of the book in black and white and I love some of the simple still life images in the book like this window with the light sheers blowing in the wind.



There were some color photos.  I planted this garden in the Spring and just loved how it prospered and grew in the backyard.   I do miss gardening and think I will eventually get back into it.



Love these pics.   An old washtub upcycled into an outdoor bar.   Or this outdoor table with recycled aluminum chairs and a great big fish statues I rummaged out of the dump from a seafood restaurant.



And I think I found some winners to frame: a rustic backyard compost heap and outdoor dining under the canopy of trees…..


Happy Friday

September 14th, 2012

Happy Friday!

My Korean translation book for Upcycling arrived and I’m so excited to pore through the pages.     My publisher, Random House Korea, also included the gallery guide to the upcycling exhibition that was held in Seoul and featured many of my projects.

The layout inside the Korean edition is different, but really tastefully done.   Here’s one of the Korea-exclusive upcycling projects where we took a soy bean paste container (very common in Korean households) and upcycled it into a glittery tissue box holder.

Inside the gallery guide were images from my book as well.   We also sent them finished items to showcase and then suggested they sell them off for charity.

Other artists also participated.    I’m particularly fond of these upcycled chairs.    They look melted and melded together to create fantastic places to sit.

And on the back of the book, they chose an image of me having a drink while sitting on an upcycled outdoor chair.  And since it is Friday, I think I just might do that now.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Upcycling Celebrations

August 20th, 2012

In a few days, my 9th book Upcycling Celebrations will be hitting bookstores.   I’m so proud of this new book and really, truly love how it all turned out.     Last summer, we put our “A TEAM” of stylists, photographers and photo shoot assistants on this book to churn out what I think is the strongest craft book I’ve ever done to date.

I wanted to share some of my favorite projects from the book with you.

The EASIEST personality bottles you can make in minutes.  Super kid friendly.    And it’s just a two step process!

Ugly silk flowers (these are from Goodwill) can be crystallized in one easy step.

Upcycled chocolate crayons, anyone?

TONS of fun Halloween costume ideas, too.  This one is my “mad as hell” mask.

How about this plump, fat upcycled garden hose basket?  All you need are zip ties!

There are hundreds of new projects in the book, all photographed with clear step-by-step instructions.     It’s full of great ideas for entertaining and gift giving, along with decorating ideas and general tutorials how to upcycle just about anything.

Hope you’ll check it out when it comes out!

Upcycling Celebrations

July 25th, 2012

Here’s a sneak peek inside the Upcycling Celebrations book coming out late next month.  I got my first bound copy the other day and have been leafing through it like crazy.

I am happy to report this book is about 20 pages longer than the previous book and also have about 20 additional projects with a few hundred ideas (all original content) inside the book, too.

We invested in a whole new styling team and photo team to produce this book and I think the results show it: it’s brighter, clearer and the projects are just way more fun.   I’m very proud of this one.

I dedicated the book to you, of course!

In the back of the book, there is an index of all the upcycling projects organized by photos for quick and easy reference. I felt strongly snapshots would be better than a written list of the projects.

An upcycled robot pinata project from the summer celebrations chapter.

DIY color blocked totes using different types of industrial tape.

Our quick and easy take on shrunken apple heads for a spook-tacular Halloween centerpiece.

And finally some nice words of support for the book from pals like Nate Berkus, Katie Lee, Johnny Iuzzini (from Top Chef Desserts), actress Emmanuelle Chriqui and Deborah Needleman who founded Domino magazine.

The book is out soon, so you can pre-order here:

Botanical Book

July 12th, 2012

There is a vintage botanical print book that I bought at a flea market several years ago for about $5.   It’s a gorgeous book and I have it propped up on a book stand in between two club chairs (JCPenney!) that face out to the backyard.

Everyday, I’ve made it a habit to flip the page to reveal a new set of prints and I thought I’d share them with you.

The book is called Wild Flowers of America and was published by Crown Publishing.




And Today….