Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Connecticut is hot. Nobody should have to work in this soupy, sloppy heat. We should all close down and take a 2-month long siesta, napping in a hammock and sipping something cool and quenching. Like they do in Europe. Tempting.

With all this humidity the garden is starting to resemble a Rousseau painting. Bigger than life. The fastidious grooming done in May and June has been replaced by Jungle-rama. Fancy perennials are slumming with weedy vines. Beautiful from a distance, but more than a little chaotic at close range.

In the south bed, partially shaded by a Beech tree, the Joe Pyeweed and Cimicifugas are conducting a race to see who can reach the sky first. So far the Cimi's are winning - their feathery white plumes must be 7 feet high by now. But the Joe Pye's will win. They always do, becoming obnoxiously huge, despite hard pruning,by the end of August.

The Casablanca lilies are coming up as well...they are towering this year, probably in desperation to survive...they are heavily budded, ready to explode with that pungent, mood-enhancing lily perfume of theirs. What a spectacle this is going to be. We like to cut braces of them for friends, and to put around the house. I can get drunk on their fragrance.

Work continues at SHOPSICLE.com. We are very excited about the enthusiastic response. Thank you. We are encouraged, and will continue to make the site better and better. SHOPSICLE is intended to be a service website. We, ourselves, have been feeling the need for some time-saving help in the search for the "great gift"... we love to give gifts, and want them to be the perfect choice for their recipients. Within our price range, but imaginative and thrilling for the person ripping open the box. Problem is, who has the time it usually takes to zero-in on the perfect gift? Enter SHOPSICLE. It's the website we've always wanted to find. Gifts centered around HOME, for others and for ourselves. After all, who deserves a gift more?

We are doing tons of research to find and update a glorious collection of ideas in every price range.

Talk about FUN.

And while we are at it, we are providing lots of free home decorating advice and tips, tapping our many, many years of experience as designers.

We have replaced our Discussion Board with this blog...much more user-friendly. You can chat with us, run decorating questions by us, and we'll make every attempt to answer them.

In addition, there is the FREE SHOPSICLE NEWSLETTER, containing tips and articles pertinent to home design, gift ideas, sometimes even recipes. The August newsletter is underway. You can sign up for it at: www.shopsicle.com.

We are jazzed about beginning our Holiday search for super hot gifts. Right now our resources are running incredible Summer Sales. It would be nice to have nothing to do during the holidays but give parties and go to parties, to have all the shopping done, and purchased at sale prices... I've already picked up a few things and stashed them in the closet...

Who knows if there will be time for a vacation this summer...so far the hammock is un-occupied...

Think I'll run my VHS of the 1935 "Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Max Reinhart.
A summer tradition, and a gorgeous flick. Black and white, yet more colorful than full color. Are any of you out there familiar with it?

Be back with more in a few days - Karen

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hi Friends!

Never done this before, but I'm really excited about being able to communicate with all of you.

As soon as I get comfortable with this format, I will write you all about some great new design finds and ideas. We think a blog is more fun than a forum, and certainly a lot easier.

I'm actually testing this "brand new blog".

Might even share with you some of what's going on in my studio. Yes, I'm a painter.

Hey, maybe, you'd even enjoy having a recipe or two. Karen and I are pretty good cooks. Learned from a master, our mom. She was a genius in the kitchen! I mean that.

Shopsicle has been occupying "center stage" and every free moment of our lives lately. We're trying to develop a great website and make it as much fun as we can.

A friend just invited me to dinner and a movie tonight. Wow, it's just what the doctor ordered.

The website has been a real hoot for Karen and me. As you probably already know, we are product designers. We love all things having to do with home and family. We want Shopsicle to reflect our passion.

Send us any requests or any questions you may have or ideas you would like to share with us, and we will be happy to respond. Looking forward to our next chat.

Best regards, Joan