Friday, August 31, 2007

Portland, Oregon: Where's The Ocean At?

Last night, Bill and Matt's friend Anne Stark threw a Last Thursday party for us. What's a last Thursday, you might ask? Where can I buy one? Well, children, gather 'round the fire, and all shall be revealed to you. Last Thursday is not a thing or an item, it's a happening on Alberta in Portland, Oregon. There are a growing number of galleries, and they are all open late.

We found a great fabric store Called Bolt. I wanted to buy everything that I saw. They had an amazing selection of great patterned materials and some wonderful books about sewing (one of Matt's favorite things to do, really). Some of you can vouch for my quilt making skills- the result of a broken foot in Tokyo, cutting me off from the outside world for a number of weeks. We purchased some leftover yardage, to add to my growing pile
of scraps that I plan to make into a throw blanket for our home this winter. We also bought a great beginner's sewing book, with some basic patterns: Bill is really interested in trying his hand at sewing.

Our second items that we stumbled over was a street vendor selling "Perfect Children" These are handmade, somewhat unnerving stuffed animals. Bill selected two: one is a large teddy bear with who appears harmless except for the two double rows of sharp teeth that its gaping mouth displays. We named her "Ginger." Bill also purchased a large hairy eyeball brooch, I suppose to wear to work? What did you buy that for, Bill?

They have a great website with their cute, cuddly offerings- animals as well as some disturbing photograhic prints of these little creatures in their natural settings. You can also take a look at the people who make these fun little bunnies and bears.

We had a great time, and we were not looking forward to returning to the heat of Palm Desert, California...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jeepers Creepers! Protect Those Peepers!

Here in Palm Desert, as we head into Fall, most of the country is starting to think about the inevitable appoach of winter and all the accroutrements that go along with subzero temperatures, snow and ice storms, and splitting wood.

It's too bad for the rest of the country, because here in the desert, we will just be getting to enjoy our beautiful winter weather- spending far more time outdoors in the Fall and Winter than in the Summer months. During this time we should be thinking about eyewear and protection from the sun. Most of us have sunblock application built into our routines, but most of us don't consider blocking harmful UV rays from our eyes.

It's important to wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV blocking lenses while spending any amount of time in the sun. Long-term sun exposure can damage vision, and is also linked to cataracts, macular degeration, and several other significant eye disorders that are irreversable.

To protect your eyes, make sure that the lenses protect at least 99% of all harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation. Sunglasses can also be a great fashion accessory ! Here are some of our favorites.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Magnificent Metallics!!!

Okay, make all the Saturday Night Fever jokes you want: metallic fabrics are back with a vengance- from full-on Solid Gold Dancer Vinyl to lurex-laced prints that look like they might be out of a 1957 Oldsmobile or a cocktail lounge aboard the SS France- the last of the Great French Trans-Atlantic Ocean Liners...anyhow, we're just wild about these reDISCOvered materials, especially used in accent pillows on sofas or beds!

The first moden metallic fabric was produced in 1946 by the Dobeckmum Company, just in time for Edith Head to use them in some amazing outfits for
Ivers." I digress again! Previously, aluminum was
used as a base in metallic fibers- however, stainless steel is being used more and more as a base. Although it is more difficult to work with, it is a materal that enables it to be used in far more applications than aluminum.

So go ahead, enjoy yet another guilty pleasure- we won't stop you!

Bill and His Maine Coon Cats

Bill and his Maine Coons

Bill has a passion for design and a passion for his cats! The Maine Coon is a pedigreed breed which has long been professionally recognized by the ACA (American Cat Association). Bill and Matt’s cats, Spike and Zsa Zsa are two classic examples of purebred Maine Coons.

These beautiful and loveable cats are one of the largest in size of all cat breeds, often reaching a scale-tipping weight of 25 Lbs.

Spike, or “Big Fatty” as Matt calls him; weighs in at 21 lbs. and was a former California State champion on the cat show circuit.

Maine Coons are very dog–like in their behavior are extremely friendly and affectionate. They enjoy the water and occasionally eat with their paws “raccoon style.”

Contrary to myth, the large cats are NOT a result of cross breeding with raccoon or bob cats, but do have an interesting history of origin.

Probably the oldest breed of cat in North America, it is believed that the Maine Coon is a descendant of prized Angora cats belonging to Marie Antoinette that were shipped ahead to North America for safe keeping during the French Revolution. The Exile of Marie to The New World did not happen and the cats were turned loose. Local wild feral cats mated with the French Angoras and now they freely roam our house in Rancho Mirage, California. Every once in awhile, you can also see them at the offices of William Miller Design in Palm Desert, California.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Bill and Matt are just back to the desert heat after a cool week in New England- we visited Massachusetts and Vermont. A few of the highlights were:
Finding a gem of a kitchen, bed, and bath accessories shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts: Utilities!

Meeting Scott Coffey, who makes hand-tailored men's resort wear and sells them at his shop in Provincetown: Coffey.

Our other great find was an exhibit at The Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. It's an exhibit called Chandelierious! It features some great lighting from Shonbeck and is displayed in an early 19th century round barn.

We crashed a Barbie Doll pool party (really) in Provincetown.

Bill also discovered just how fancy poultry can get, appearing a great deal like hats that Mamie Eisenhower might have worn- or were those actually chickens perched on her head? We'll never know! When our internet server was down for a few days, we were considering getting some of these to deliver messages from our office in Palm Desert, but we weren't so sure if they would be able to stand the heat or not...
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