Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

It's my favorite time of year!   It's just turned cold enough to pull the cozy throws out of the linen closet and chilly enough to light a fire (for me, that translates into reigniting the pilot light).  All that's left is dimming the lights and settling in to watch one of my holiday favorites.  Of course, no season would ever be complete without "It's a Wonderful Life", "Miracle on 34th Street" and "A Christmas Carol" and I could never forget the characters I grew up with as a child; Rudolph, Frosty, Snoopy and the Grinch, but there are a few new titles that have recently worked their way into my repertoire and into my heart. 

I never tire watching Nicholas Cage, as a modern day Scrooge, in "The Family Man", the irresistible romantic comedy, "While You Were Sleeping" (Bill Pullman is my kind of guy - he loves furniture), the loveable dysfunctionals in "The Family Stone", "The Nightmare Before Christmas" - which I watch both in October and in December since Jack Skellington transcends both Halloween and Christmas in that one, and my season wouldn't be complete without the racy and raucous Denis Leary in "The Ref".  That one gets me laughing as if I was watching it for the first time - not to mention, throughout the year I sometimes find myself quipping and quoting some of its more racier lines.

So, grab a blanket - pop some corn and pull out your favorites.
Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


For me, it's a day of reflection, a personal recount of all to be thankful for and for those I am thankful to share my life with. 
I am thankful today, as I am everyday, for the good in my life, and even the bad, and for those who continue to love and encourage me through it all.
Happy Thanksgiving ~ Nancye


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Went West Elming...

So, the day before Thanksgiving proved to be a good day to start a little Christmas shopping.  The grocery stores were packed, so I hit the mall and one of my favorites, West Elm, instead.
I saw many things, but limited my expenditures to gifts for others, rather than gifts for me.
That said, here are a few things we could all use in our homes ~

Martini Side Table, Metal, Silver
Who doesn't have room for this little fella?  Made from recycled aluminum decked out in 5 sporty finishes (one of which is silver) and only 15" in diameter, it's the perfect spot to drop a book or perch a cup of coffee.

Soft Jute Collection
Braided jute baskets, small or large, hold everything from firewood to magazines - they're even comfy to look at.
Detailed View
a unique little space saver, a set of three stackable bottles that form one large bottle.  Perfect, I thought, for bath lotions and potions or even infused olive oils as each has it's own cork!  So cool, I picked up a couple - perfect for hostess gifts!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rabbit Runn?

I am often asked how I came up with the name for my design business and I credit it entirely to my husband. 

One afternoon, while trying to come up with a clever and catchy business name, I pulled out some old drawings and logos, I had done in college, for inspiration.  I came to a stylized rabbit logo and pondered.
Now, I love animals.  I mean, I love animals and the thought of coming up with a business name that incorporated not one, but two passions - well, this idea had merit.

The rabbit was outstretched and appeared to be leaping - or running as the case would prove.

My husband, in the kitchen making a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, came walking into the dining room - sandwich in hand - and studied the "mess" I had spread out on the dining table.   Before taking his first bite, he said, "why don't you use the rabbit logo and call yourself Rabbit Runn Designs?" 

Hmmm, I thought.

Then, with that first mouthful he added, "and put two n's on Runn, since your mom made the spelling of Nancye unique by adding the e".

and so, I did.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Treasure hunting in one of Alexandria's hidden treasures - DelRay!

Today was another perfect Fall day - perfect for a stroll along Mt. Vernon Avenue and perfect for popping in and out of some of the avenue's best hidden treasures.  I first hit Potomac West Antiques - an all time favorite where I can always find just the right decorative accessory or special piece of furniture for my clients (and for myself).  What's the expression, one for you and one for me...   

Right next door to Potomac West is it's sister store, Not Too Shabby Consignments, which is equally impressive - scented candles, lotions and soaps mingled with its trinkets and treasures, you are sure to leave with something.

A hop, skip and a jump away I found myself feeling particularly festive upon entering Eclectic Nature.  There I met Max, the orange tabby shop cat, sunning himself on a pretty plaid stool amidst green garlands and colorful ornaments - of special interest to me were the colorful sock monkey ornaments - which I already informed my husband (hint hint...) would look great on our "animal" tree, a Christmas tree devoted to only animal ornaments.
Sock Monkey Ornaments - Set of 4

I ended my stroll with a peek inside Bungalow Homewares Gallery and was instantly attracted to their simple and industrial store display shelves, made from scaffolding parts, and a convertible ottoman.

See pics from my stoll, below:

Tight on space?  The fold-away gets a sophisticated update - inspired!
from Bungalow Homewares Gallery

Who says display shelving has to be boring - this could work in an interior space as well!

Max, Eclectic Nature's mascot

A festive display, Eclectic Nature
Assorted scents and lotions, Not Too Shabby Consignments

Assorted canning jars and rolling pins, Potomac West Antiques

Mercury Glass, vintage books, artist originals, pottery and everything in between, Potomac West Antiques
Even a turkey tureen - and in time for Thanksgiving!
Potomac West Antiques


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wild for Oaxaca!

Can I just tell you how wild I am for Oaxacan woodcarving?  Really wild!

The Oaxacan region of Mexico is known for it's food and folk art - for me, it's the folk art. 

Talented artists use wood from the indigenous copal tree and carve fantastical animals, fish, insects, birds and even imaginary creatures from each sinuous piece allowing it's form to speak to which figure they carve.  Once the fresh copal wood carving has dried, they begin painting the figures in bright color, patterning and unique designs.  Most artists have his, or her, own style and can often be recognized by the figure's carving and it's style of painting.   

I've been collecting these brightly painted animals for nearly ten years, first becoming interested after purchasing an alligator from a local shop in San Antonio, TX while vacationing.  I was so enchanted with another figure at the shop and couldn't make up my mind, that my husband sneaked back the next day and purchased the armadillo, although I thought it was a possum.  That's where my love (my husband says obsession) first started.  I now have over 30 of these in my collection and am most proud of my 15th anniversary gift this year - a gorgeous bat in flight, carved by renowned artists Jacobo and Maria Angeles.  Jacobo carves and his wife, Maria, does the painting - reportedly with a cactus needle!  All I know is the Zapotec symbols and designs are so small and precise, I need a magnifying glass to appreciate the intricacy of her craft.  

I've even been able to work some of these little painted gems into my interior design projects - recently I purchased a Luis Pablo dachshund for a client's mantle, becoming a whimsical conversation starter as well as a personal touch.

Two of my favorite websites and galleries can be found below - as well as one local resource, The Phoenix in Washington DC (Georgetown) - be sure to visit!  I've also included photos from my personal collection - enjoy! 

El Caracol Zapoteca  and Solmar Imports Art Gallery

Here's the fella that started it all, by one of the Castillo brothers.

Handstand Rabbit, by Arsenio Morales.  He's known for using marbles as the eyes.

A giraffe couple, by renowned artist Luis Pablo

Zebra, also by Luis Pablo

Hippo by Arial Playas 

Rabbit by renowned artists, Jacobo and Maria Angeles

Just look at the detail!

Pig, also by The Angeles'

My bat! 

Detail of underside of wing

Inticate pattern and detail

Friday, November 12, 2010

The 40th Annual Waterfowl Festival, Easton MD

Brilliant autumnal colors!
What a glorious Fall day; crisp sunniness and brilliant shades of orange against the clearest blue sky - so, what better day to head into Easton, MD for the 40th Annual Waterfowl Festival. 

No festival is complete without balloons!

A patriotic front porch.

The small town of Easton waking up for day one of the festival.

Mmmm, pit beef barbecue - the festival is complete with good eats!

A carved raven, a new addition to my bird collection.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stairway to Heaven? No, just to the attic.

I am pretty excited today - my new attic stairs arrived!  Since space is at such a premium, it's nice to be able to utilize the attic and now I won't have to worry that my current "antique" attic stairway will keep me from getting to the Christmas ornaments.  After doing my research, I found a set through Bessler Stairway Company touting, "you don't climb a Bessler Stairway, you walk up it".  With 6 inch treads and a 57 degree incline - I cannot wait to carry my brightly colored boxes of garlands and twinkling lights down the staircase, rather than tossing them from the the attic to my husband, who is patiently at the ready in full tactical and a mouth guard.  I'll be sure to post once they are fully installed - so stay tuned!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My First Blog!

Greetings and Goodnight.
By the time I figured all this out, it's after 10pm and I have a full day tomorrow of client appointments - so the blogging will have to begin then, but at least I am set up and ready to roll when daylight breaks (and things begin to happen).