Archive for September, 2011

Seoul Bound

September 30th, 2011

Happy Friday!

I’m on The Nate Berkus Show today sharing my favorite projects from my book Upcycling. Thank you to Nate for all of his support and kind words about my work and decorating style.   It was a very very fun show to do and I hope you can tune in and catch it!

I’m also bound for Seoul, Korea today for a little mix of both business and pleasure.    I’ve been to Korea many times, but it has always been for work with a flurry of interviews, book signings and photo shoots.  This time around, I’m going early to do a little shopping and sightseeing and will end the week with a speech.

Posts will be sporadic, but I will be updating cool pics here when I’m gone.

Onto a 14 hour flight now!

Branchlers Branchlers Branchlers…

September 29th, 2011

That noise I heard one night… the crashing sound somewhere in the house…that was not the (rumored) ghost to live the house, but one of my upcycled branchlers crashing to the ground.

We shot these animal-friendly “antlers” for my next book coming out Fall 2012 and I guess I should’ve asked the stylists how they actually mounted them to the wall.  I loved how it looked in the hallway so much, I said “leave em be!”    And now I know some strips of masking tape looped behind them is, well, not strong enough to keep em up for a long time.

I moved it over to the kitchen and hung it above the collection of knives I have on the wall.

What do you think?    There’s some whimsical, charming and fun about it… and it’s a cinch to make.   Just paint an unfinished wood plaque (this is from Michaels) with paint.    Find a branch.    Use a wood screw to drill it into the plaque from behind.    Hang.


Anderson Talk Show Prep

September 28th, 2011

A lot of people think when I do a national talk show like The Today Show or Access Hollywood that all I have to do is show up, talk, and leave.

The five minutes you see on TV are really days, and sometimes weeks, of prep work to get ready.    TV, my friends, is a very complicated, crazy part of my life, but it affords me the opportunity to reach a wide audience with my message.  So, in other words, I buy my ticket for the crazy train each time a producer calls me and says “we’d love to have you on!”

In this case, it’s for Anderson Cooper’s new talk show simply titled “Anderson.”  I thought I’d show you some of the prep work that goes into it.

It starts with a final list of projects they like from the book (and this can always change…) and me with the email list printed out and ready to go for the hunt.

Rooting through my prop closet (which is a mess and I’m having a professional organizer take a look at…), I pull finished projects from the Upcycling book they love.    This time, it includes the leather belt mat and the carpet swatch patchwork rug.    The super large ZipLoc bags hold all the materials you need to make each project along with raw materials that have not been upcycled yet.   They are all neatly marked and kept together.

Projects are everywhere.   Inside bins and boxes and it’s a bit of a hunt to find everything you need.   But the time spent looking is far less than the time spent RECREATING projects, so saving them from photo shoots is way worth it.

One of my favorite projects finally gets a national TV platform!  Woo Hoo.  Here are the upcycled CDs made into truly functional and durable dumbbells.      All the items get boxed up and shipped to New York City for their TV debut.

And then it’s off to my weekend home to inspect these horseshoe chairs.   You ask why?   Well, they are going to be part of a fun “makeover” on the show, so now it’s a matter of figuring out how to get 150 pound upcycled horseshoe chairs to and from New York City.

I’ll keep you posted when the air date will be… but it promises to be a fun show!

Creating a Silent Auction Prize

September 27th, 2011

Whenever I can, I like to donate prizes to help worthwhile charities for their events.   While my busy schedule doesn’t really give me much time to attend these events, if I can send something ahead for a silent auction to benefit them, I always like to do it.

This time the request came from City Harvest, an organization that has for more than 25 years helped New York City’s hungry by collecting millions of pounds of food from restaurants, grocers and commercial cafeterias in NYC.

I decided to fill a recycled sailcloth bag full of wonderful eco goodies… like this Queen set of our Danny Seo modal bedding in bright, clean white.

Signed books, of course…including Upcycling, Simply Green Giving, Simply Green Parties and my DVD “Simple Steps to a Greener Home.”

And LOTS of our Danny Seo Eco-Existence towels.  People always need towels!

I also snuck in some surprise goodies to bring the grand total for the bag around $400.

Hope people bid on it and bid high!

24 Hours With…

September 26th, 2011

Here’s how I spent my Sunday yesterday in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Started off with a drive on River Road, where I pretty much make pit stops here and there running errands and trying to get everything done for the week.   With a crazy week ahead of me—-photo shoots, an appearance on “Anderson,” meetings and then jetting off to Korea—there was plenty to do and I needed this Sunday to get it all done.  Fortunately, the weather was cooperative and the drive was, well, really pretty.

I belong to a great gym called Cornerstone and I only realized recently that the membership I bought was good for all their locations.    So, this morning I thought I’d try out one of their other spots closer to New Hope, PA.     You know, working out in a new location seems to make the grueling exercise a bit more interesting.   Don’t know why…. but I put in a serious workout this morning.

Then it’s onto inspiration shopping.   I’m working on a very exciting project to create a jewelry line out of American made recycled gold.    Part of the preliminary work goes into finding inspiration pieces from all over the place.   At one of my all-time favorite junk/thrift/antique stores—-a top secret location!—-I go hunting.   And you need to go hunting because this place is packed.

Look at these vintage necklaces I found underneath a pile of blankets!   $1 a piece…. inspiring.

Just got an email on my Blackberry from The Anderson Cooper Show saying Anderson himself loved one of the projects in the book.    I realize we didn’t save it from the photo shoot, so I have to make a pit stop at a local hardware store to get the supplies.      I love both my Lowe’s Home Improvement and the smaller family owned shops….

Over in Stockton, New Jersey, I stop at the local farmer’s market to get some eggplant to grill up.    Then I notice a new vendor selling some beautiful modern, industrial, organic furniture and accessories.

I LOVE this mirror and how the laquered/glossy finish works with the natural shape of the recycled wood that was used.

The designer—Bret Cavanaugh—is there and we start chatting.   I need a round dining table bad and he says he could do a custom one based on my likes and dislikes… How exciting!  Starting to think this will solve my dining room table dilemma I’ve had for, oh, 4 years now.

The off to my weekend cottage to inspect the damage done by recent storms.  All seems good.    The electrician has reconnected the power, the new housekeepers did a great job cleaning it up and I make notes of what the landscaper needs to do for our Fall clean-up.  Can’t help but take this pic in the kitchen because i love how the light is hitting all the accessories.

And that’s it so far for Sunday…. did I mention it’s only 1230PM now?