HELLO RETIREMENT!

Yup -This is it.

 It’s a moment in time .

 I find myself at the crossroads of work and retirement. I have thought about this day, planned for this day, and even, yes even fantasized about this day! Now that it is here I have a tiny little confession:

I  AM TOTALLY ESTATIC!

 Okay – maybe I exaggerate.

The truth is exactly what you might expect . . . I have completely mixed emotions.

 As I look back over my shoulder I see reflections of 40 years of being someone’s employee.

 I have been quite lucky because my places of employment have been extentions of my passions. That counts!

But now I really am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.

I may continue blogging –

I may work part time for another design store –

I may sell jewelry-

I may take a graphic design class –

I may take naps – or spend hours on a floatie!

I also have visions of doing some type of artwork projects with people who are drinking wine at the same time!   Hey! Did I just invent a new career?!

Oh wait,  I think Jackson Pollock already did that.

Today, however I just want to say thank you to my readers and to my family of co-workers.

Know that you will be dearly missed.

It’s time for me to smell some yellow roses!

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

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Interior Design 2011 – What’s In?!

So, if you are one of those with “IDS” , or as we say in this business,          Interior Design Sickness, you can’t help yourself – you must read on.

 

Is it circles or squares for 2011?

Yes!

 Kravet fabrics

 

 

 

Is it black or espresso?

Yes!

Thomasville bench 

 

 

Is it clean cut and linear or fanciful quatrefoil??                                                    Modern or traditional for 2011?

Yes!

 

Thomasville  Metro sectional 

Kravet fabric

 

Is it Adrenaline or Xanax?

Yes!

 

 

 

 

 

First dibs

 

Greek key bench

The answer is YES!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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Glitter Spiders in the Kitchen!

One more Halloween blog to inspire some home decorating. . .   My kitchen table is crawling with glittering spiders!

I don’t really know what happened to me this year but suddenly I am nuts over spiders!

Like many designers I have always been nuts over glitter so I guess it just makes sense to sparkle up some creepy-crawlers fo the holiday. I even found a fuzzy leopard print spider at Pier One! 

 

But, I digress. . .

TABLE DECOR

for the discriminating Halloween glamour puss!

 

The ideas for these pumpkins are a personalized version of something presented on the Country Living website called the “Great Pumpkin Challenge”.

 

I bought the plastic (I did say discriminating, didn’t I?) white pumpkins at Michael’s and already had tons of glitter. Spider rings also came from Michael’s. Originally, my plan was to have a play/art date with my four-year old grandson to decorate these pumpkins. You know – “ to do it for the kids!”

 Which we did.

 Here is Scotty’s work of art!

A little bit like his “nana” in that his use of glitter paint was somewhat extreme.

 It took 2 days to dry!

So,

after Scotty completed his pumpkin and took it home I was left with some plain white pumpkins.

I had an uncontrollable urge to rush back over to Michael’s to buy the all black glitter pumpkin!

Which I did.

Next, paint glitter on the little spider rings and hot glue them. 

Ghouls and goblins, I give you  . . .

the finished project. . .

 

My kitchen table. 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

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Candy Corn! Trivia, Decor and Food – really?

 

The origin of candy corn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Not Really.

This card (which I received 5 years ago) is so Halloween-gross,  it still cracks me up! 

 

Actually, the sweet little treat was invented in the late 1800’s, and because we were predominately a farming society then, the idea was to make candy in the form of something people would recognize. Corn!

We have been eating these tiny kernels of corn for over 200 years!  Don’t tell the First Lady but this month 20 million pounds will be sold.

So, besides scarfing them down, what else are people doing with

Candy Corn?

Everything!

Okay I have touched on some Corn Candy trivia so let me show you another very simple way to decorate  with candy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You could also use the candy instead of glass rocks under the candle.

Black bowls and Candy Corn.

Told you it is simple!

 

To make  an easy, crowd pleasing  Halloween treat using Candy Corn try this version of  an American staple: Rice Krispy Bars.

  • 1/2 c Butter
  • 10 c Crispy rice cereal
  • 9 c Miniature marshmallows
  • 2 c Mixture of candy corn and Indian candy corn
  • 3/4 c Miniature chocolate chips
  • Candy pumpkins
  • Yellow and red food coloring

Preparation:

Melt butter and marshmallows; stir until smooth. In a large bowl, mix rice cereal, candy corn and miniature chips together. To marshmallow mixture, blend in 2 drops yellow food coloring and 1 drop red food coloring, adding more coloring if necessary to reach desired shade. Add marshmallow mixture to cereal mixture; stir quickly to combine.

Spread on a large buttered pan; press with buttered hands. (Or shape the entire glob into a pumpkin, ghost, or candy corn (!) shape before refrigerating and decorate accordingly.)  While warm, press on candy pumpkins spaced 1 to 1/2-2 inches apart. Refrigerate and cut into squares.

**Most of you are aware of my total dedication to PEEPS,

 my personal favorite health food snack,**

 but this is the season to embrace that waxed little marshmallow treat – Candy Corn!

 

I found this photo along with a cupcake recipe from alisonchirdon.com

See? 

It is possible to honor the integrity of  PEEPS,  and to incorporate candy corn as an element of  decor.

 

One more time for review and/or slow learners:

The origin of Candy Corn 

mojeetcat photo

More to come next week!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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GHOST Chairs Reappear

Art Deco had its hey-day nearly 80 years ago, even though we still “borrow” ideas and style from that era. Like, all friendly spirits, these ghosts keep reappearing! Some look very old-country, and some look very out-of-this-world modern.

 Victoria Ghost Chairs

The 1960’s  really ran with the clear plastic craze  and one of the many pieces produced was a “ghost chair”. Today the manufacturers use lucite, acrylic, polycarbonate, and even glass!

La Marie Chair

Phillippe Starck’s Louis XV Ghost armchair.

 Most are clear and colorless, while some companies are stretching  the entire playful idea of ghost chairs by offering designs in assorted colors!

Lionel Dean’s Holy Ghost chair

This is one of my favorites – it’s painted to look like wood grain and then the bottom of the legs are left clear, giving it that floaty, spooky ghost feeling! It is from the Japanese company Nendo. Of course, it’s called The Fade Out.

Enjoy the sit out of these fanciful chairs! 

 Coming soon to Phelan’s Floor.

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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EXTREME Cupcakes and LOVE!

 Cupcake girls! Cupcakes! Crazy Cupcakes! Cupcake Heaven! 

To illustrate the fact that the cupcake craze is still alive and well, today’s Valentine blog will showcase some cupcake specialties. I will include, not only the expected yummy, fancy decorated cupcakes, but.. .  

Cupcake furniture – a table that retails for about

$900.00 smackers 

 at neatorama.com

 

 

Ready for some more cupcake extreme?

CUPCAKE CARS! 

 

These cars are really on the market and may be purchased for $25 thousand smackers!

 

 Here they are again: cupcakes on the beach!

 

Moving on. . .

Valentines Day Decor wouldn’t be complete without our heart pillows, now would it?

Conversation Hearts are just so garden variety, so past tense. . .

 

Here is a much more 2010 Valentine pillow

 OMG – it is covered in fabric roses and it LIGHTS up! You can buy this

from Yanko Design:  UrHeart d light

Sorry, I don’t remember how many smackers this will set you back.

 

anyway

 Have a happy Valentine’s weekend. . .

Eat some cupcakes (or drive some)

feel the love

toss a pillow!

Funky Love pillow available at Cafe press

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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PS. Oh, I forgot to mention that if you buy the Cupcake Car you get the cute little, matching hat FREE! Come on people, how can you pass on this deal?!

After Christmas Sad-House-Blues

 Hey!  Happy 2010 Everybody!

I actually wrote this last year, but because it has been so well received, I decided to post it again! Must have struck a nerve with many readers!

 This syndrome is defined as depression following holiday parties.

It has many names (Treatment is available) and is sometimes known as

POST PARTY-UM BLUES.

Onset begins 4-10 days after Christmas tree removal.  You are at low risk if you have some but not all of these symptoms:

You have a family history of living in snow bound areas.

Sudden onset of snarky attitude and general melancholy.

Not remembering how dark the house is without Christmas lights.

Most, if not all of these symptoms of Winter-Dark-House Blues will be eliminated by implementing a non-specific commonsense home improvement project of any type. Do not deny the power of these Blues. Shop with an understanding friend who shares a similar experience and is good with color.  There is help. There is hope.

 However, CALL YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER  immediately if you experience any of the following high risk symptoms:

jill_1

Thoughts of hurting your sofa.

Halucinations – Seeing colorful accessories that aren’t really there.

Having an uncontrollable desire to paint everything sun flower yellow.

Thoughts of completely destroying or eliminating a wall.

These are traumatic manifestations of Post Party-um Blues. If your symptoms are severe, last longer than an Iowa winter, or if you find yourself  fixating on buying an ocean front condo in Costa Rica, then you must be treated by a professional interior designer. Therapy won’t work. Medication is useless. Googling Rosicrucian psychosensory incantations is definately out of the question, but –

TO CURE THE MOST HIDEOUS CASES:

 Talk with your designer.

Schedule a house-call.

Make a plan and follow through with confidence.

See the light.

At the very least, buy one lamp!

img_1256_1

There is absolutely no need for Post Party-um, Dark -Days -of -Winter Blues to envelop you. For more information on this debilitating syndrome contact your personal interior designer or . . . or call me!

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

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Interior Design on Halloween

Why is this woman in a straight jacket? What pushed her over the edge?

Crazy                                                       Trick or Treat photo by A. Von Ahsen

 

 She didn’t come to Phelan’s first for all her home furnishings and design needs!  Don’t let crazy happen to you!

 

***HAPPY HALLOWEEN***

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer

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Iowa Rain verses Pretty Shoes

 Several pairs of my shoes have been flooded out. So far this year, over 40 inches of precipitation have graced the fair community of Cedar Rapids. That’s right – and we still have three of our “tradtionally wet months” ahead of us!

shoes_umbrella

Normally, I wouldn’t go off on a rant for this blog, but sometimes the Iowa weather makes me cranky. It makes everybody I know cranky. I find myself wishing I owned stock in a flip-flop company!

 

fishflops

 

 Frankly, we midwesterners are extremely weather-sensitive. The very first decision we make each and every day depends on the weather: what to wear. And this year (actually last year must be included as we remember THE flood) we  must decide what shoes we can or cannot wear based on how many inches of rain have been predicted. 

I mean,  don’t misunderstand – I am fully aware of heartland beauty. I appreciate each season with its unique spectrum of colors, and spicey or earthy scents, and comforting ambience.

But then it rains.

Every season.

PD*28602098

    So yeah, I’d wear these to work! 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

Stalks of Decor(n)

BLOG interruption for a Fund Raising break!

This magnificent summer weekend is (drum roll, please!). . .

corn servers 

 

St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival 

That’s right…. an unbelievable FOURTEEN TONS OF CORN will be cooked!

 

I will be there. My plan doesn’t alter from year to year. I will fast all day before arriving at the festival. I will ignore the car raffle. I will not be tempted to network with friends. The home made pies won’t lure me in. 

 I WANT CORN ON THE COB!

 

The Sweet Corn Festival is, in my opinion, the best reason to live in Cedar Rapids. I am practically giddy with excitement as I visualize chomping away on as many ears of corn as I can possibly choke down!

I totally understand people who love sweet corn and love this festival, but as an interior designer, I am having a bit of trouble  understanding people who love to decorate with corn. Count yourself lucky if you were unaware of the phenomena  known as corn decor.  AKA: decorn!  It is as real as it is hideous.

These are ceramic or pottery plates – totally appropriate for serving sweet corn. I get that. Same as the ones shown above, only not-plastic, and missing the pokey things you stab into the ends of the corn. Like I said, I understand.corn plates

Both of the above items are available on eBay.  

 

After that  things start going crazy on me. Like corn switch plate covers.

cornswitch Disturbing.  (also on eBay)

 

I have the capacity to completely enjoy sweet corn and even the idea of corn.  At the risk of sounding like a spiritual braggart I also have the ability to comprehend the absolute pure essence of corn on the cob.  I do embrace my heartland-ness.

I mean I live in Iowa, it’s no big deal. 

 

Are you serious? A smirking, napkin-holding decorn? deorn

 

 

Back to my dilemma. Through the years, just as a joke mind you,  my sister and I have gifted each other with decorn items that fall into the category of:  “Who in their right mind would possibly pay money for that ?”

corny

 As it turns out, each one of us does!  Anything for a laugh. The corn seahorse makes my case for me. This gift from my sister, this piece of decorn has to be the big winner. Could any decorn absurdity beat this!?!

It makes you wonder about who thought of the idea of a corn-bodied seahorse – but more intriguing than that is someone else thought the idea was good enough to manufacture!

corny2

I had to show the “piece de resistance” one more time – just in case you are having a tough time believing what is in front of your eyes. 

 I could easily continue down this corn row, but the story has been exposed.  So, enough about decorating with a corn motif –

Go out to St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival and feast upon the world’s best corn on the cob.

If you’ve never attended before, you will thank me!

NEXT WEEK –

Back to business –

RED HOT ACCESSORIES!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

 

PS Confession: The smirking corn thing is also from the author’s private collection.