Texture Tuesday: Elie Saab Inspiration!

Phew, glad the #Oscars2015 are over! After Downton Abbey, It’s like another familiar winter milestone getting us closer and closer to spring. And for the east coast, it sounds like this year it can not come soon enough.

I’m not going to do any recap here about the Oscars because it’s been talked about and Tweeted enough already, but congratulations to all who won and all who were nominated. Instead…..

For #TextureTuesday I would like to share the one gown that inspired me.

There were many beautiful gowns in celery green, pink, navy, silver, red and more – and yes, Reese Witherspoon, I totally agree,  women absolutely are “more than our dresses”.

But, for now, onto that one inspirational gown for #TextureTuesday.

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Academy Award Nominee, Emma Stone, in a gorgeous, celery green/chartreuse beaded gown by designer Elie Saab. Photo by EOnline.com.

Texture and color are my thing!  It’s what drives my design inspiration. I’m not alone, and fashion plays a predominant role. Whether it’s a beaded gown or a textured fringed handbag, fashion has always been a huge inspiration for me and other home decorators and interior designers. So once I saw Elie Saab’s gorgeous beaded gown above, worn by the spunky Oscar nominee, Emma Stone, I knew exactly what textile I was going to go grab in my studio and start working on. I was not only blown away by the color, but the texture as well.

Here’s why:

Detail of 1960's gown I have in my studio stash at Deborah Main Designs. Photo by Deborah Main.

Detail of 1960’s gown I have in my studio stash at Deborah Main Designs. Photo by Deborah Main.

Perhaps now you can see why the most talked about dress on the red carpet was so inspiring to me. Some press are calling it chartreuse, others celery green. My vintage gown (full pic below) is actually a little toward electric celery green, because it is sheer, with gold metallic thread stripes and a bright green fabric underneath. Great color and texture!

Either way, with this vintage gown in stock, I can’t wait to get started on creating luxury pillows. We here at Deborah Main Designs have a very curated collection of new and vintage textiles and we love nothing more than re-purposing a torn vintage dress, like this one below, into one-of-a-kind luxury pillows.

So enjoy a little #TextureTuesday inspiration and come along for the experience – from inspiration by Elie Saab’s gown to a 1960’s gown from Deborah Main Designs’ textiles – and watch how a vintage dress is expertly handcrafted into a luxury decorative pillow for you to enjoy in your home. (Vintage Stetson hat not included.) Till next time, be inspired! XO,PG

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From our curated vintage collection, a 1960’s sparkling gold and electric celery green gown with nehru collar and gold braided trim. Photo by Deborah Main.

(Please note: This vintage dress is not a comparison in any way to the gorgeous gown designed by talented fashion designer Elie Saab’s. It’s instead, one of Deborah Main Designs’ #FabulousVintageFinds of a textured and colorful gem that I discovered on one of my hunts at Flashback Vintage Boutique in Austin.)

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Detail of the gold braided trim on the 1960’s gown in Deborah Main’s textile collection. Follow PillowGoddess.com to see it transformed into a luxury one-of-a-kind pillow. Photo by Deborah Main.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by any person or company for this post. All photos (except where noted) and views are my own.

 

 

Texture Tuesday – A Nod to Mod!

This past Valentine’s weekend was a love fest for sure in sunny Palm Springs, California. It was the beginning of Modernism Week, and from what I hear and see, the opening weekend was a smashing success! Think gorgeous weather, cool blues and greens like this pool below, and breathtaking mid-century design and architecture.

Frank Sinatra's house and 100th birthday celebration at Modernism Week, Palm Springs. Photo by Michael Ruvo.

King of the “Rat Pack”, Frank Sinatra’s house,  at the  “Centenial Birthday Party of Old Blue Eyes”  at Modernism Week, Palm Springs. Photography by Michael Ruvo.

I wanted to be there sooooo badly!! But, like me, if you can’t get out there, follow @modernismweek, @ckennedydesign and @parkerkennedy on Twitter (and hashtags #ModernismWeek and #ChristopherKennedyCompound) and you can keep abreast of everything from homes to tour, cocktail parties to attend, films to watch – everything under the sun that celebrates mid-century architecture, design, and more.

The fabulous Modernism Week, and the much anticipated Christopher Kennedy Compound,  kicked off on February 12th with a 1960’s themed cocktail party (Oh, how I would have loved to wear one of my vintage 1960’s dresses to the party!) and runs through Sunday, February 22nd.  So it’s not too late to hop a flight to THE festival of the year in Palm Springs!

In honor of this incredible annual event – bringing together designers, architects and people from all walks of life to celebrate, share and learn all about mid-century modern – here is a peek at amazing showcased designs for #TextureTuesday. 

Modernism Week Show House 2015: The Christopher Kennedy Compound

There's no denying that the den, designed by brilliant duo Lance Jackson

Detail of den designed by Parker Kennedy.  You get just a peek at the fabulous couch that everyone’s talking about with textiles by Robert Allen. Photography by Brandon Smith of D Coop Media.

There’s no denying that the den, designed by brilliant design duo Lance Jackson and David Ecton, of Parker Kennedy from Atlanta, showcased in The Christopher Kennedy Compound, was a HUGE hit.  They knocked everyone’s socks off with their impeccable detail and all the fabulous color and texture. You can see a glimpse of the couch and pillows with gorgeous blue textiles from Robert Allen. I love the vintage amber glass and the gold spikes of the atomic star burst sculpture in Brandon’s photo. You’ll be able to see more gorgeous photos in future posts on Brandon’s blog D’Scoop and maybe even in his luxury online magazine, The Twenty Six.

 Bedroom was designed by Mark Cutler.  Canopy bed was made by Mike Ragan/RAGS.


Bedroom designed by Mark Cutler of Los Angeles with beautiful Robert Allen textiles. Canopy bed made by Mike Ragan of RAGS. Photography by Brandon Smith of D Coop Media.

I love the textured pleating in this divine chartreuse canopy bed and the leather pillow balls.

More delicious details of THE couch that everyone's talking about designed by Parker Kennedy with Robert Allen textiles.

Close up of  delicious details of THE couch that everyone’s talking about designed by Parker Kennedy with Robert Allen textiles. Artwork above by San Francisco artist, Rex Ray. Photography by Brandon Smith of D. Coop Media.

If you’ve been following my blog or are familiar with my work at Deborah Main Designs, you know that I absolutely LOVE vintage and mid-century.  Nothing thrills me more than to discover a tattered 1950’s or 1960’s cocktail dress that I can transform into a one-of-a-kind luxury pillow. Or, even better, an entire bolt of mid-century fabric like this Redbrick Modern Limited Edition chain link pillow below.

So, unless you’re jet setting it out to Palm Springs this week, please pine away with me in anticipation of all the fabulous photos from Modernism Week coming out soon in Traditional Home. and California Homes magazines. Till then, a big congratulations to Christopher Kennedy and all the designers involved in creating a top notch festival! So inspiring!!  XO PG

Mid-century chain link pillow backed with chocolate faux ostrich. Modern Home Tour Austin. Photography by Gregg Cestaro.

Mid-century chain link pillow by Deborah Main; backed with chocolate faux ostrich. This pillow was featured in the 2011 Modern Home Tour Austin. Photography by Gregg Cestaro.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by any person or company for this post. All photos (except where noted) and views are my own.

 

Texture Tuesday – Winter White

Wintry white conditions have persisted in the mid-west and on the east coast amidst one snowstorm after the other. So I thought it was a good day to see some of the wonderful texture that comes from #WinterWhite. I happened to find some wintery product photos too from #SneakPeek2015 at Dallas Market that fit in nicely with this theme. Tune in Thursday (You can subscribe to Pillow Goddess HERE) for more details about some of the showrooms and products I saw in Dallas. Till then, enjoy the photos, stay warm and go out and play in the snow if you can. You never know how happy making a snow angel will make you feel on a gray day! XOPG

Snapshot of a winter white out during snowstorms on Long Island. Photography by Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates.

Snapshot of a winter white out during snowstorms on Long Island. Photography by Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates.

I love how the snow itself has texture and then as it drapes the trees it creates almost a mottled-weave look – with shades of gray, tan, off-white and more – that you’d see perhaps in a textured fabric like the one below by Ambella Home.  Their Dallas showroom was simply gorgeous and I can’t wait to share more about the fabulous furnishings and textiles.

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And, of course as everyone knows, with snow, you sometimes get ice.  Interior designer, Susan Serra, of Susan Serra Associates, captured perfectly here the texture that ice creates on a windowpane.

Solid ice on designer Susan Serra's windows creates a textural winter landscape.  Photo courtesy of Susan Serra of The Kitchen Designer.

Solid ice creates a textural winter landscape on Susan’s windows. Photography by Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates.

And these glass pendants (below) dangling on this Amadeus chandelier by Corbett Lighting are almost like wintry icicles. This elegant chandelier (which you’ll read more about in coming weeks) is handcrafted iron with a Vienna bronze finish, which in itself creates a wonderful branch-like texture.

But what captured my attention were these amazing large, tear-drop shaped, glass pendants hanging on the chandelier and wall sconces. 

Each is very thick and made from hand-formed, faceted Italian glass.  See all the texture in the detail image below. Doesn’t it actually look like the texture inside a wintry icicle?

Chandelier by

Detail of Amadeus Chandelier by Corbett Lighting at Dallas Market showroom.

Detail of

Detail of the faceted Italian glass which has bubbles and strands of glass that make it look so similar to real icicles. Amadeus chandelier by Corbett Lighting.

Here is another #WinterWhite landscape scene from New England by Linda Holt of Linda Holt Interiors.  Having been raised in New England and the Hudson Valley, I know exactly what this feels like and how it is so quiet, you can hear a pin drop. The textures are amazing!

Beautiful example of #WinterWhite on the back roads of Massachusetts Photography by Linda Holt of Linda Holt Designs.

Beautiful example of #WinterWhite on the back roads of Massachusetts Photography by Linda Holt of Linda Holt Interiors.

With all that snow, and even a few gray, cold evenings in Austin, you’d better think about snuggling up with these #WinterWhite throws by Peacock Alley. 

Fell in love with the soft, wintry white, gray and pastel colors of these throws by Peacock Alley.

I fell in love with the soft texture of these wintry white, gray and paste-colored, mohair Cape Town throws by Peacock Alley.

And lastly, my own little #WinterWhite wonderland in my studio, Deborah Main Designs, in Austin, Texas.  We mostly have sunshine (and certainly no snow!) but we’ve had many a gray day.  I was inspired to put together my own #WinterWhite outfit for the #SneakPeek2015 (see my stylish outfit in last week’s post HERE as I’m cozying up to the Peacock Alley Cape Town throws above), that I’ve been enjoying tinkering with textiles and vintage brooches.

My own little #WinterWhite magic tinkering around in my studio with vintage white metallic fabric, fur and a multil

My own little #WinterWhite wonderland with one of my favorite  vintage white metallic textiles, rabbit fur and a vintage multi-pronged floral brooch with amazing texture!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by any person or company for this post. All photos (except where noted) and views are my own.

Dallas Market & Sneak Peek 2015 (Intro)

Me taking a break in Dallas on Peacock Alley's incredible cozy mohair throws.

Me taking a break in Dallas on Peacock Alley’s incredible cozy mohair throws.

Wow, what an exciting whirlwind it was going to Dallas this year. Not sure if you remember, but last January, I decided to get out of my comfort zone of creating luxury pillows and attend #SneakPeek2014 as a blogger (You can read about it HERE).  Boy, did that open up a whole new world to me! I had no idea that just a few weeks afterward, I’d be invited by the Goddess of Blog Tour’s herself, Veronika Miller, of Modenus to #BlogTourNYC for the experience of a lifetime. (There are many wonderful posts on my blog to read about blog tour in 2014).

It’s amazing, and I have learned first hand, what can happen for your small business and brand when you step outside your comfort zone.

Fast forward to January 2015, when I went up to Dallas this year for two reasons:

I have met so many talented people from interior designers to brands in the past year, and this year at the showroom and #SneakPeek2015, that I feel incredibly blessed to have taken this leap of faith to learn more about the home and design industries and to make such wonderful friends.

And because it was SO amazing to be part of BOTH this year, I think I might start the new year out this way EVERY January!!

There is so much to share with you, I don’t even know where to start. Please follow my blog Pillow Goddess by subscribing HERE to keep up with it all. You’ll only receive two updates a week, as I’ll be sharing #TextureTuesdays every Tuesday, and on Thursdays, more in-depth coverage of products, people, and more.

To start off with, here are some highlights of the five days I was in Dallas with my beautiful sweet daughter Qin. (It’s so nice for my daughter to be old enough now to WANT to join me on my business trips. She was such a big help!)

A selfie of my 19 year old daughter, Qin, and I at Dallas Market getting some lunch.

A selfie of my 19 year old daughter, Qin, and I at Dallas Market getting some lunch.

The Doris Sanders LTD Showroom (531-WTC): (hours M-F, 10-5, all year long) Here’s a glimpse of my display area in this highly respected luxury showroom. It feels fantastic to be back and meet the new reps and get to work together on getting my line distributed to luxury boutique retailers in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico. My whole display shelving and fireplace mantel was designed by the amazing Brandon Smith of D Coop Media. And with the help of Sue Wyll, owner of the showroom, it translated beautifully from the Atlanta market to Dallas.

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One of our Limited Edition Redbrick Modern pillows displayed on linens by Home Source International. Pillow available in this size only; handcrafted from a 1960's textured gown.

One of our Limited Edition Redbrick Modern pillows displayed on linens by Home Source International.

 

Detail of Limited Edition Redbrick Modern pillow handcrafted from a gorgeous 1960's textured long skirt. I'd give anything to have a whole bolt of this vintage fabric!

Detail of Limited Edition Redbrick Modern pillow handcrafted from a gorgeous 1960’s textured long skirt. I’d give anything to have a whole bolt of this vintage fabric!

#SneakPeek2015: From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday the 16th,  we enjoyed a full schedule seeing showrooms, learning more about Dwell with Dignity, listening to Jeff Lewis, and yes, meeting Donny Osmond (who just so happens to have a home line now: Donny Osmond Home).  More on all of this in coming blog posts.

Here’s the whole gang!! What a fun time we had!! Great to see old friends from last year’s sneak peek and make new ones this year.

Sneak Peek with Donny Osmond

From left to right back row: Kelley Copeland of The Hidden List, Katherine McCarthy of Front Porch Marketing, Chris Hite and his sister with Dallas Market Center, Kim Turner of Dwell with Dignity, Shelly Lloyd of LeDaire Design, La Toya Jones of Forever Royalty, Debbie and Donny Osmond of Donny Osmond Home, Deborah Main of Deborah Main Designs, Shay Geyer of IBB Design, Kristi Hopper of Kristi Hopper Designs, Jennifer  Peebles of Ritz-August and Amy Lee of House of Wentworth. (The front two young women to the left of Debbie Osmond I think are Monica Mathis and Rachel Alley; apologies if any errors).

Many thanks to the Host Committee, Kelley, Kim and Shay for coordinating such a wonderful #SneakPeek2015.  They promote it as a sneak peek “behind the scenes” and as a  “conversation starter” ,and it surely is both!

I look forward to sharing more fabulous details on design trends, Donny Osmond and more with you in the coming weeks, so please check back every Tuesday and Thursday.  Till then, enjoy the sun if you’re in Texas and on the west coast and the snow if you’re in the mid-west and east coast! XO PG

(Disclaimer; Pillow Goddess was not compensated for any information in this post. It is my own writing and photos.)

Happy 2015 – Dallas Market Here We Come!

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Happy New Year!  Well, the first week of 2015 is almost over and I’m sure you are well into the new year, while I’m still slowly making the transition. (There’s probably a few of you still enjoying a fabulous vacation on some gorgeous tropical island!)

I’m one of those that fully believes we need one more week between Christmas and New Year’s.

And here’s why….it’s just so damn cozy and so nice to hang out with family and do nothing but sleep, eat, play games and sit by the fire and your Christmas tree. And hey, it’s cold outside!. Ah, but reality beckons once the new year hits.

Our cozy family room with our Christmas tree and fireplace in Austin, Texas.

Our cozy family room with our Christmas tree and fireplace in Austin, Texas.

I always just need a little bit more time to process the end of one year before I jump into the next.  Don’t you??  There’s got to be more out there like me. But as you know….my wish will never come true. But that’s okay because somehow it works out. I won’t even go into what the scene looked like at the post office last week, when I was half in one year and half in the other with a total brain fog trying to sort which package went to whom. Let’s just say it was the “ice breaker” into 2015!

And boy did I need it, because next week I’m off to Dallas for the Total Home & Gift Market, January 14 – 20, 2015, and I need to be in tip top form.

I’m SUPER excited to be “back home” , so to speak, and once again have my luxury pillow line, Deborah Main Designs, represented year round by the Doris Sanders LTD showroom in suite 531-WTC.

Not too many photos to show yet as just started setting up in December, but I’ll have plenty of photos after market for sure. Please stop by to see me at the Doris Sanders showroom, 5th floor, #531 in the World Trade Center.

You can see just the beginnings of my display with the fireplace mantle (designed by none other than Brandon Smith of D Coop Media) behind the antler chandelier. That's what I love about the Doris Sanders showroom....fantastic lighting!

You can see just the beginnings of my display with the fireplace mantle (designed by none other than Brandon Smith of D Coop Media) behind the antler chandelier. That’s what I love about the Doris Sanders showroom….fantastic lighting!

You see, 2015 starts a new 10-year chapter for me and my little studio. About 8 years ago I cut my teeth at Doris Sanders showroom.  I had gotten into the showroom because my dear friend Cynthia Bloom, of Cynthia Bloom Collectible Jewelry took me up to Dallas to “show me the ropes.” It sounded SO overwhelming to me and she had years of experience with her jewelry line there, so one day when I told her a retailer suggested I get my line into Dallas Market she said “Don’t worry, I’ll take you!”  Now, THAT is a true friend and I am so lucky to have her and so many others that have helped me grow and learn during this first 10-year chapter of Deborah Main Designs.

It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise a small business too. Thank you all!

A few leaders in the design and media worlds that have helped me along the way, Laura Van Zeyhl, Editor of Home Fashion Forecast magazine and Elizabeth Traub of Elizabeth Traub Consulting. Both of these amazing women came into my life through Twitter.

Two dear friends in the design and media worlds that have helped me along the way, Laura Van Zeyhl, Editor of Home Fashion Forecast magazine and Elizabeth Traub of Elizabeth Traub Consulting. Both of these amazing women came into my life through Twitter and both showed their support when I did the Atlanta Int’l Gift & Home Furnishings Market. Love these gals and what great stories we have about meeting #IRL!!

And what an amazing showroom Doris Sanders is!  I was green as could be when I first started there in 2008, hardly knew what an order form looked like, and had never sold wholesale. But the founder’s daughter, owner Sue Wyll, and her fabulous reps were so kind and helpful teaching me along the way.  I’ll never forget my very first show. I was standing there all prim and proper and everyone just kept walking by like they didn’t even see me.  And this is what Sue said to me:

“It may look like they (the buyers) are not looking at your line, but believe me, they are!  When a new line comes into the showroom, buyers want to get familiar with it and see if you’ll stick around, as they don’t want to invest in a new line if it’s not going to be a long-lasting company. Then they come right back the next market and buy! ” Sue Wyll, Doris Sanders, LTD

Well, I think after 10 years I have surely proven I’m a “long-lasting company” and this go around in 2015 they’ll see a far more polished and award-winning luxury pillow line that I am so very proud to showcase. I’m not green, but there’s always more to learn.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in Dallas and I look forward to this fantastic opportunity! I can’t wait to see my long-time buyers and meet new ones, cause Deborah Main Designs has got a lot on the horizon for 2015 and beyond. Here’s just a few pics of some of our luxury pillows that will be in Dallas next week.

One-of-a-kind pair of silk brocade pillows with bright orange ribbed velvet on the back. One of my fave silks I bought in Suzhou, China.

One-of-a-kind pair of silk brocade pillows with bright orange ribbed velvet on the back. One of my fave silks I bought in Suzhou, China.

 

A fun pair pillows handcrafted with vintage textiles  from our UnZipped Collection. With just the swoosh of a tassel you can imagine the conversation pieces these little fellas become!

A fun pair of pillows handcrafted with vintage textiles from our UnZipped Collection. With just the swoosh of a tassel you can imagine the conversation pieces these little fellas become!

While we’re on the subject of sage-old business advice, I was also told from Becky Jacobs of Alyson Jon (prior to that she was at The Market in Austin, the very first store that carried my pillow line) that:

“It takes time Deborah, a very long time to build a brand.” - Becky Jacobs

And, at the time, I had no idea….but boy was she ever right!

Building a long-lasting, profitable company takes time, hard work, money, patience, failure, support from your family and friends, and due diligence.

And the research says that it takes a full 10 years.  Well, we’ve hit that mark friends, so we only can go up from here. Watch out Dallas, here we come cause Deborah Main Designs has exciting plans lined up for 2015!

I have had absolutely NO time to reflect on 2014 yet, but I know many of you have, and I look forward to reading your blogs and following all you amazing designers and friends from Vegas all the way to Germany.  Once I get past this show and well into the new year, I’ll be able to pause and talk more about all I learned in 2014. Here’s a snap to remember the best trip I ever had to NYC on Blog Tour:

Amazing group of designers and bloggers I was so honored to be a part of. Thank you Veronika!

Amazing group of designers and bloggers I was so honored to be a part of. Thank you Veronika!

I will say 2014 was the most AMAZING year!!  From starting with the Dallas Sneak Peek (which I hope to join again next week) to being selected by Veronika Miller of Modenus for #BlogTourNYC (a trip and experience of a lifetime!) to meeting and making new friends in the design and blogging worlds (and learning so much from each of you!) to ending my 10th year in business as a finalist (WOW was that totally unexpected!) in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards competition. Well, let’s just say, there is A LOT to reflect on, so I know I’ll be talking about 2014 all throughout 2015.

Till then, I wish you the happiest and most bountiful year with much love, laughter, and joy. Thank you for your stopping by my blog and, as always, for your continued support. XOPG

My Story: What Makes A Deborah Main Pillow Unique? (Part 3)

Austin Police Officer, Curtis and me at BiGAUSTIN's WOW1000 kick off event in February.  See what WOW1000 has been up to lately with my last post on the FAB-U-LUNCH.

Austin Police Officer, Gena Curtis and me at BiGAUSTIN’s WOW1000 kick off event in February. See what WOW1000 has been up to lately with my last post on the FAB-U-LUNCH.

Happy Friday all!!  Today marks the last weekend you can vote in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards competition, as it ends Monday, October 13th. Thank you for all your votes and shares as your support has meant so much to me! It’s such an honor to be a finalist – to celebrate 10 years in business on such a sweet note – so please help me surpass 3,000 votes and who knows, I just might make the top 25 finalists!

I thought to wrap up the voting frenzy this past month (I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to creating spectacular pillows for the holidays!)  I would shared more details about my pillows.  Because as my website, Deborah Main Designs, says:

“There are pillows. Then there are Deborah Main pillows.”

And I thought it was high time I filled you in on WHY my pillows aren’t just any old pillow – “The Story” behind my work.

You see, every pillow I make has a story…has a history to it in the materials and vintage brooches themselves….but also in WHERE and WHY I selected the materials I did. And most importantly, HOW I put the materials together, making it a one-of-a-kind Deborah Main pillow.

So I thought I’d start at the beginning and take you on a journey. So sit back, relax and enjoy “My story” of how I became a textile artist and how a pillow becomes a Deborah Main pillow.

It all started with the pillow below.

Much loved pillow made for me in college by my best friend, Andrea Vanhoven.

Much loved pillow made for me in college by my best friend, Andrea Vanhoven.

This delicate ribbon pillow was made for me by my best friend from high school, over 30 years ago. (Okay, I know…I’m dating myself here, but age is relative. You’re only as old as you feel, and I’m just getting warmed up!!) I’ve loved this pillow all these years, as you can see how tattered and torn it is, and it turned out to be my very first inspiration. (I also have a few other pillows passed down generations from my Grandmother Jones and my Great Aunt Karen who was Danish).

Even though I did NOT know how to sew, this soft downy, handmade pillow meant so much to me that surely,  I could learn how to make a pillow like this, right?  I thought, ‘How hard is it to sew a square?’

Fast forward 20 years, and it brings you to this pillow below, my very first ribbon pillow that I designed and sewed myself.  (I had my artistic epiphany in a local fabric store, Cush Cush, that was filled with colorful French ribbon, which is a whole story in itself!). I took a 3-hour sewing class from master seamstress Leslie Bonnell, owner of  Stitch Lab, which was then a small sewing studio in a tiny building behind Leslie’s home in South Austin. (Check out Stitch Lab’s great classes HERE where they’ve grown to TWO bungalow houses with almost 100 classes a month!). I signed up for a “Pillow Making Class”, where you could come in with all your supplies and leave with a finished pillow ready to use in your home decor.

I thought WOW, a finished pillow! Now how cool is that? I can do that!

I remember so well Leslie’s expression when I timidly asked her if I could make this ribbon pillow, as the bundle of French ribbon spilled from my hands.

True Confession Here: After I had my artistic epiphany at the fabric store and bought the gorgeous French ribbon, I actually hid it in the back of my closet for about two years, because I didn’t want my husband to see how expensive all that ribbon was!

It was definitely a complicated endeavor for my first pillow, but Leslie patiently supported me (even when I couldn’t remember how to thread the damn sewing machine!) and voila, there you have it.

This is the very first pillow I ever made. These ribbons are all from Cush Cush fabrics where I had my artistic epiphany (see My Story Part I). I took a 3 hour sewing class at Stitch Lab to make this pillow. My first time ever sewing a pillow.

This is the very first pillow I ever made. These ribbons are all from Cush Cush fabrics where I had my artistic epiphany (see My Story Part I).

Now fast forward to 2004 when I answered an “Open Call” for designers by Patty Hoffpauir, the owner of The Garden Room here in Austin.

You have to remember I was not a designer and to think that I could go to an open call with a few pillows I made at home was quite a stretch! I had seen pillows in her store window, so I called to see if the panel of judges would look at my pillows, and they said yes. Oh boy, was I ever nervous!!

I knew I could not go in front of this prestigious panel with just one pillow, so I had to make two more, cause three would make a small grouping. But the problem was I hadn’t taken the sewing class for 2 years and I didn’t even remember how to thread the sewing machine, let alone how to sew!   So I stayed up super late (I think this was the beginning of my #NightOwl habits)and whipped out two more ribbon pillows, praying as I was turning them inside out, that they would indeed look like a pillow.

I remember so vividly how my husband came out from our bedroom into the dining room where I was working, like at 2:00 a.m. in the middle of the night, and said “What are you doing up so late?”  And my response was “I’m having fun!”. At that moment I knew I was on to something. I was beginning to create my art.

My very first bridal ribbon pillow I showed at the Garden Room's "Open Call" for designers in 2004.

My very first bridal ribbon pillow I showed at the Garden Room’s “Open Call” for designers in 2004.

Now fast forward 10 years, hundreds of pillows later, and too many fabulous experiences to mention here. But it gives you just a little history of how Deborah Main Designs came into being.  Now I want to share with you the story about THE pillow that you’ve been seeing for the past month featured on my profile for the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, as this pillow below is a great example of all that goes into making a Deborah Main pillow.

Mint Green Bow Pillow with Vintage Julianna Brooch

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Deborah Main original Mint Green Bow Pillow with Vintage Julianna Brooch from Les Bijoux de Luxe Collection.  Photo by award-winning photographer Gregg Cestaro.

 First, while I was building up my collection of vintage brooches, I happened upon this AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS, champagne-colored, vintage brooch by Julianna. Julianna costume jewelry was made by DeLizza & Elster, a jewelry manufacturer that started in the late 1940’s. There’s lots to read about costume jewelry and Julianna designs is the perfect place to start. Please see many more of this company’s pieces and the history behind the stunning jewelry craftsmanship HERE. There’s also many costumer jewelry books where you can learn more just like I did.

Once I had the brooch, which is one of my all time favorites because its is in mint condition and the coloring is just so elegant and beautiful, I knew I had to find the perfect fabric to support the exquisite elegance of this pristine brooch from the 1950’s. So a year went by and then BAM one day it just all came together. My friend April Meyer, another textile lover (aka: fabric junkie) who owned the Fabricker at the time, acquired from a private estate four pieces of gorgeous vintage silk velvet that was only about 18 inches wide. I bought every piece as I loved it! (I often collect fabric I love not knowing exactly how I will use it at the time of purchase).  I loved how the vintage brooch, with it’s Aurora-borealis stones and prong setting, looked on the soft mint green velvet. But it was when I was bopping around Austin vintage shops (that I love to do to get inspiration!) that I spotted the finishing touch….it was standing right before me, a gorgeous 1960’s mint green and gold dress with a partially torn sleeve. I said to myself, “That’s it!That’s the perfect fabric to finish out my design for the Julianna brooch!”

One of my most favorite things to do as an artist is to re-purpose vintage cocktail dresses from 1940’s through 1960’s into pillows! I couldn’t wait to get back to my studio and put these 3 pieces together, the vintage brooch, the 1960’s dress, and the vintage velvet. I just knew the colors were all going to be fabulous together. THAT is just one way a pillow becomes a Deborah Main pillow.

I can imagine someone wearing the gold accented dress in the ’60’s and the vintage brooch, and the kind of person that had this gorgeous velvet tucked away in their private sewing room.

My job as an artist is to take all these amazing materials of the past filled with rich history and transform them into contemporary, striking works of art in the form of a decorative luxury pillow. 

 detail...photography by Gregg Cestaro.

Detail of the vintage Julianna Brooch.  Photography by Gregg Cestaro.

You can see in the detail photo above how the soft champagne-colored stones coordinate perfectly with the mint green dress and velvet and how the setting of the Julianna brooch complements the gold floral accents of the dress.

When I put all three vintage materials together, it’s like a high of all highs – pure joy and excitement of having found the perfect ingredients to make the next Deborah Main luxury pillow.

Next came the design. I had always wanted to create pillows featuring a massive bow, and the velvet was very stiff, so it was the perfect texture to keep the bow from flopping around. My daughter helped put the bow together with just the right amount of pleating and I decided that a strip of the 1960’s dress needed to be on the front and the back of the pillow. When you see this pillow in person, all this will make sense. Give me a call  to come see it, or better yet, it’s still available for purchase on my website Deborah Main Designs. and comes in it’s own signature black gift box. (We’re working on making EVERY Deborah Main pillow come in it’s own custom gift box.)

Deborah Main Designs samples

I’m still working on my new business model for the next decade of Deborah Main Designs, and the language to express to you all that goes into making a Deborah Main pillow.

As you can see, they are not your every day pillow. To me, and many others, they are works of art that I have created to bring you, and myself, joy and beauty for generations to come.

So stay tuned in the new year, for exciting new developments with Deborah Main Designs, and you too can start collecting one pillow at a time. (In fact, now would be a great time to collect before the prices go up. Call me at my studio 512.447.9807, as I have many, many pillow designs not up on our website). In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed a little of my story, I would greatly appreciate your support by voting for me in these last 3 days of voting right HERE.  Voting for the 2104 Martha Stewart American Made Awards ends on Monday, October 13th; winners announced October 17th. Thank you for all your support and making me a finalist in this prestigious national competition. It’s a great way to celebrate my 10th anniversary in business. Let’s go for the top 25!! Thank you!! It is a real honor, and brings me great joy, to be able to share my art with you!! XOPG

Pillow Goddess Strives to Be #AmericanMade Finalist!

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Calling all friends and followers who support Deborah Main luxury pillows being “American Made”, handcrafted in Austin, Texas, USA!!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: In order for your FB or Tweet to count toward my social media total shares, you MUST please do it from my profile page.  My goal is to reach 400 FB shares and 300 Twitter shares, as I’m up against stiff competition of over 2,715 nominees. This post tells you more about it. I can do it with YOUR help!! Please scroll down on my profile page until you reach “Share This Maker With Your Friends” to social share. Thank you so much!!

I don’t enter many contests. In fact, I haven’t entered one since winning Best Home Accessories Designer for Austin Fashion Week in 2011.  But at the last minute, I decided to give the Martha Stewart American Made contest a shot. Why?  Because my pillows are ALL handcrafted in the USA, even our pillow form inserts, and I am VERY proud of this!!  This key fact about Deborah Main pillows is at the core center of our values as a small business. And, as many of you know, Deborah Main Designs, supports entrepreneurship, small businesses, and craftsmanship in the USA!

At our studio, we pride ourselves in re-purposing vintage, antique and designer fabrics that we’ve collected for years all across the USA. And not to mention, vintage brooches and designer scarves that are made by many USA designers from the 1950’s!  So, if you’re not sure what Deborah Main luxury pillows are made out of, or where they are handcrafted, please be sure to visit our website Deborah Main Designs to learn more about us and check out our American Made 2014 Nominee Profile.

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But what I’d REALLY appreciate this weekend before Monday September 8th is for you to Tweet and Facebook the heck out of this post please and/or my American Made Profile!! 

The most IMPORTANT REASON:

“On September 8, 2014, up to an additional 200 wild-card finalists will join the judges’ picks for grand-prize consideration. These finalists will be selected from the remaining nominees based on the highest number of social shares on Facebook and Twitter. MarthaStewart.com

Here is the Deborah Main American Made 2014 Nominee Profile.

martha

Deborah Main

Austin, Texas
I’m an artist. Using new and vintage materials I handcraft one-of-a-kind luxury pillows in my Austin, Texas studio.
Texas
Please support American Made products by Tweeting and Facebooking my Deborah Main Profile and looking at all the other wonderful American Made makers!  You can visit the American Made Website HERE for more detailed information about the contest.
Please share this post (and/or my profile) on Twitter and Facebook A LOT this weekend so that I may have a chance to be selected Monday, September 8th, as a finalist. (Remember, you must please do your FB and Twitter share directly from my profile page. Thank you, and thank you Leslie Carothers, of Messages of Hope, for pointing out this important fact!)
Yes, this is shameless self-promotion, but I do not enter contests very often, and would sincerely appreciate your support. Voting starts September 15th, so you might see one more post about it all, IF I become one of 200 finalists selected Monday September 8th with your help. Please share from my profile page. Till then, thank you for your continued support of my work!!  I appreciate each and every one of you! XOPG

Deborah Main Pillow Fight Not Just for Sleepovers

Get your throw pillows ready….it’s time for a Pillow Fight!!

#DesignLUX, DCoopMedia, Pillow fight, luxury decorative pillows, luxury designer pillows, home decor, home furnishings, home accessories, pillows, throw pillows, toss pillows, accent pillows, art, glass, photography, Austin Fashion Week, events,

And we really had one ya’ll!!  In 2011, Deborah Main Designs pulled out all the stops at our last Austin Fashion Week event at 1020 Glass Art & Decor, called a “Pillow Party at The Pillow Glass Lounge”.  It was very cool, I must say so myself! With such great memories, well, I thought this photo above was very apprepro for this week’s upcoming #PillowFight.

Now tell me honestly, do you ever get frustrated trying to arrange your decorative pillows? Do you sometimes feel like throwing a pillow at your husband because he said the wrong thing, or, as found of D’ Coop Media, Brandon Smith, reminded me, re-enact the hilarious stabbing scene from “Along Comes Polly”?  Well don’t worry, as we have all been there. Here’s your chance to literally throw your grievances on the bed and take it out on your pillows. Just please leave the knife in the kitchen.

Come help us duke it out this Thursday, May 22nd, at 3 PM CST (1 PM PST, 4 PM EST) on Twitter, as I partake as guest host, on Brandon Smith’s #DesignLux chat’s “Pillow Fight”. 

That’s right, the Pillow Goddess, moi, is in the hot seat!

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Deborah Main Tunes in on Modernism Week in Palm Springs

 Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, Modernism Week, a non-profit organization with their signature design event in February, is happening RIGHT NOW in Palm Springs, California! This year it is being held February 13th-23rd at the Hilton Palm Springs. The event occurs on an annual basis to celebrate mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and of course, culture.  It’s also designed to encourage contemporary thinking through education, preservation and sustainable modern living to reflect what Palm Springs is all about. Modernism Week showcases over 100 events from films and lectures to tour buses and parties, there is so much to do and see!  Click here to see a list of their events. Some of them are even free, so if you are in the area, I would definitely urge you to check them out! You can also view their program here.

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We’re lucky to have a couple design pals attending many of the events (and let’s not forget the poolside parties!), Brandon Smith of D’ Coop Media (Editor of The Twenty Six) and Allan DallaTorre, of Hinge Decor (a fabulous new home decor line). So we’ve been getting a little inside peek of some cool design via these two stylish men. Both have seen everything from zebra and fish wallpaper to pops of Orange Tango, neon green and bright yellow, to black glass tile.

Allan’s Inspiration: “Grill work of the 1950’s and ’60’s was one of the hallmarks of mid-century homes. The geometric is so simple but when cast in iron or stone with the sun wafting through it…it becomes such a great graphic that I plan to take it back with me to incorporate it into my own design aesthetic…maybe some wallpaper even.”

Brandon is attending on behalf of Crossville, Inc., an award-winning Porcelain Stone® tile and natural stone manufacturer that creates beautifully designed, environmentally friendly, American-made tile and stone for residential and contract applications.

Brandon’s Inspiration: “Modernism of the ’60s’ and ’70’s can be interpreted to whatever it is you want it to be. From Pop Art elements you put into your home or whatever you like, it becomes “liveable design”.  Heck you can throw anything on the wall out here and it is called art. Plus I’m really seeing the outdoors as a true extension of indoor living.  Like a Chesterfield couch covered in vinyl.”

Laurie Laizure of Customized Walls and fearless leader of the Google+ group, Interior Design Community. held one of her fab G+ hangouts earlier this week with both of these talented designers. That’s how I was able to capture the details of this fantastic event in Palm Springs.  Enjoy the photos below by Brandon and Allan and please check out Laurie’s G+ video: LIVE from Modernism Week in Palm Springs

 

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Photo by Allan DallaTorre

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The architecture of that era is phenomenal.  Photo by Allan DallaTorre

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Great example of grill work that was so inspiring to Allan.  Photo by Allan DallaTorre

Modernism Week also holds several other events including “Fall Season Kick-Off” in mid-October. This event includes architectural tours, cocktail parties and even trips to retro “yard” sales. In addition to this, partner organizations will throw “mini-Modernism Week” to kick start Palm Springs social and recreational season. Modernism Week provides scholarships to Palm Springs students who are seeking a degree in architecture or design. Modernism Week is also actively involved with both local and state preservation organizations in their efforts to preserve mid-century architecture throughout California.  And a good thing too, because there is so much eye-catching design out there and houses, like Frank Sinatra’s, fully intact!! (You can see many of the inside of these houses on YouTube).

Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, architecture

A rare pair of single-owner Hans Wegner AP19 chairs from Loft Thirteen. Photo by Brandon Smith on behalf of CrossVille, Inc. #DesignLux

Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, architecture

Detail from salvaged screens from Boulder Medical Center. Photo by Brandon Smith for Crossville, Inc. #DesignLux

At Deborah Main Designs, we really enjoy learning and talking about Modernism Week and mid-century modern design because it characterizes the sophisticated, smooth and cosmopolitan lifestyle from 1940’s and 50’s which I so love. Our studio incorporates these timeless characteristics into our Redbrick Modern Luxury Pillow Collection, Timeless Travels Souvenir Scarf Pillow Collection, and  Designer Classics Luxury Pillow Collection. The clean lines and minimal adornments create true classics that homeowners can enjoy for years to come. Not to mention, that Deborah Main’s unique pillows are made from original textiles and vintage scarves from that era. Can’t you just picture the handsome Rick Blaine and lovely Ilsa Lund in the movie Casablanca leaning against these pillows as they reminisce about Paris? Now that’s class if you ask me!

Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, architecture

Deborah Main pillows, handcrafted from 1950’s curtain panels and 1960’s pop art, featured in one of Austin’s Modern Home Tours. Photo by Gregg Cestaro.

Pop Art, Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, architecture

Deborah Main original Pop Art pair of pillows. Handcrafted from 1960’s hot pants. Only one pair left. Call our studio to order 512.447.9807

 

Modernism Week, vintage, classic, mid-century, modern, home furnishings, lighting, furniture, vintage textiles, fabric, lighting, Frank Sinatra, Palm Springs, color, texure, stone, tile, architecture

1950’s chain link design. Available for custom orders only. Call our studio for pricing and availability. 512.447.9807

 

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Mid-century Deborah Main classic. This one-of-a-kind pillow  is handcrafted from an original Vera Neumann silk scarf.

We at Deborah Main Designs are going to figure out a way, sometime soon, to be able to attend this incredible event as it is a design era so important to us.  Gotta find a way to get out there to enjoy all that sun and fabulous design!!  And like Allan and Brandon, maybe a poolside party or two. Those lucky dogs!! Until then, enjoy the sun in Austin and keep praying for an early spring.  XOPG

A Magical Christmas with Deborah Main, Fred Astaire & Delysia Chocolate

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I’m hanging a beautiful red silk brocade ornament that my daughter made me for Christmas.  She made it from the fabric she used to design, sew and model a dress for the Stitch Lab fashion show.

At Deborah Main Designs studio in Austin, Texas, a cold front blew in last night, and as we try to stay warm, I cannot believe it’s going to be 2014 in just 2 days! I’m still catching my breath from Christmas as I have many things I’d like to share with you before the end of the year.  So, I’d better get started.

First off, I hope all of you who celebrated Christmas had a magical day, with family and friends, filled with joy, laughter and love. We had a lovely time and you can’t beat a Christmas day that plays a complete line up of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers’ movies on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  I was in heaven and watched three in a row, my all time fave being Top Hat.  Ah, there’s just something so magical about the way Ginger’s dress swirls in the air while Fred spins her so delicately around. Pure magic! (These two photos were taken directly from my TV).

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home decor, home accessories, jewelry, high end, luxury decorative pillows, luxury designer pillows, art, lighting, furniture, Deborah Main, Design, Interior Design, Handcrafted, Christmas, table top settings, silverware, vintage brooches, jewelry, holiday ornaments

But back to my holiday theme. There was plenty of inspiration this holiday season on Pinterest and beautifully written blogs on holiday decorating, but two blog posts particularly inspired me.  The first I found on Leslie Hendrix Wood’s award-winning fine living blog: Hadley Court: Motivational Monday. What struck me is what guest blogger Kristi Leeper wrote about focusing on what’s right.

“In the swirl of trying to get everyone out the door together and on-time… I encourage you to breathe deep, smile and count the things that are right as you glance around.  In the Christmas story many things weren’t right. I mean who really wants to give birth in a stable after being drug about on a donkey? But, what was right, was really right.” Kristi Leeper, Hadley Court, 2013.

Reminding me of this simple gesture helped me a lot during the holidays.  Because even though I try not to have expectations, I still have a few that hang around. Like when I couldn’t get my family to pose for a family photo when we were all dressed up and dining out in honor of my mother (who died 11 years ago on Dec 23rd.). I mean REALLY!?!? It was very frustrating, but I let it go. And all was not lost, as I had my sister-in-law snap an informal photo on Christmas eve (albeit in casual clothes). But I was so surprised at myself at how easily I let things go this year.

Like a fine wine (or an evening liquor), maybe I’m mellowing with age?? HA!

home decor, home accessories, jewelry, high end, luxury decorative pillows, luxury designer pillows, art, lighting, furniture, Deborah Main, Design, Interior Design, Handcrafted, Christmas, table top settings, silverware, vintage brooches, jewelry, holiday ornaments, Grand Marnier

Oranges soaked in Grand Marnier and vanilla bean in a Main family, gold-rimmed crystal champagne glass.

After we got home from sharing Christmas with my niece in Houston, I decided to stay up late on Christmas Eve and had a delightful time to myself making one of my favorite classic French recipes for dessert: oranges marinated in Grand Marnier and fresh vanilla bean.

“Grand Marnier has been an icon of authentic French “Joie de Vivre” for over 150 years”. GrandMarnier.com, 2013.

While slicing the oranges, I took that quote to heart and drank a tad of Grand Marnier, all the while listening to renditions of Silent Night by Ella Fitzgerald and Willie Nelson.

While the whole family was nestled in bed sound asleep, all was “right” in my world late that Christmas Eve. A magical moment!

Then after that, what’s a woman to do at 2 a.m.? I polished the silver! And here’s where the 2nd blog post comes in.

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Table set with beautiful “lay” dishes of my Grandmothers. Handed down to me from my father and stepmother, and arriving a week before Christmas, these gorgeous plates come in five pastel colors: green, pink, light blue, gold and off white.

Owner of Silver Magpies, Nancy Stuckwisch’s, blog post on Christmas Silverware: Setting Your Christmas Table really inspired me to do something creative that even I was surprised with what I came up with. At first I toyed with using the “lay” plates (see above) that were recently handed down to me, but then decided I needed to stick with tradition because I absolutely love the red, cream, and gold-leaf Lenox set of my mothers that we use every Christmas. (There’s a story with my mother’s tablecloth too. It went missing at Thanksgiving, but we were lucky to find it right where I left it in January of 2013 after last Christmas. Yup, you got it, the dry cleaners…11 months later!! Thank God!).

So instead of napkin rings (which I don’t own a single one anyways) I came up with a ribbon and then at the last minute I thought to myself, “Well, gee, one of our rhinestone vintage brooches we use for our Les Bijoux Collection would look beautiful too, why not?” (This is ONE advantage to having the Deborah Main studio in your home, so you don’t have to run out in your PJ’s for ribbon and a vintage brooch!). What do you think?  It was too late to get out the iron to be sure all the ribbons were smooth, but for an “in the middle of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning creative burst” I think it added a homemade, beautiful touch to our table setting, don’t you?

home decor, home accessories, jewelry, high end, luxury decorative pillows, luxury designer pillows, art, lighting, furniture, Deborah Main, Design, Interior Design, Handcrafted, Christmas, table top settings, silverware, vintage brooches, jewelry, holiday ornaments

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It was great fun!  Really, I had a blast!!  And to top off our Christmas day dinner with divine chocolate truffles from Delysia, on a pink gold-rimmed Depression glass plate, was icing on the cake.  I keep Delysia chocolates on hand in the refrigerator at all times for when guests pop by during the holidays or when I need the perfect last minute hostess gift.  (Ssssh, don’t tell anyone about my emergency stash!!).

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Delysia chocolate truffles (ready for family or guests) make the perfect finishing touch to a fine Christmas dinner.

I really wanted to share this post with you before the year ended. But before I say goodbye to 2013, we at Deborah Main Designs want to leave you with one family photo that takes the place of all the family photos I didn’t get this year.  For some reason this Christmas seemed extra special and this photo sums up all I loved about it – from decorating our tree, to setting a beautiful table, to the giant Xiong Mao (Panda Bear) that Santa surprised our girls with, to spending the holiday with my family.

As rich as the colors on our walls, being with family and friends (whether you have a table to set or not) is all that matters during the holidays. 

From our home to yours, we hope you had a magical Christmas! Till 2014, XOPG

home decor, home accessories, jewelry, high end, luxury decorative pillows, luxury designer pillows, art, lighting, furniture, Deborah Main, Design, Interior Design, Handcrafted, Christmas, table top settings, silverware, vintage brooches, jewelry, holiday ornaments