My love for design might have started when I got my Barbie's Dream House in 1962. This picture is from 1964, but I played with that thing for years! I remember my favorite part was rearranging the furniture, much more than playing with Barbie, herself! Funny, I have been preparing for an upcoming post on doll furniture and especially the "Ideal Petite Princess Dollhouse Furniture", which I adored! I wonder how many of you bloggers of my age had the same experience? I'll post more about it soon.
Next, I would say that I grew up in Kansas City, of which I am very proud! There is amazing architecture and I was lucky enough to spend most of my years in this house, which looks kind of scary in the winter, but it was pure heaven to me! It was definitely the biggest design influence in my life. It was built by one the the first female architects in this country - Mary Rockwell Hook. What she did inside and out of that home in the way of details and pure imagination, really sparked mine and I would spend years marveling at them. I was planning on doing a post about her in the near future because she was so amazing.
Now, for my true mentors and best friends for my entire adult life. They were the best parents, role models, characters and I miss them dearly, since their passing. They were stylish without even trying to be, generous to a fault and dear to all that knew them. I remember taking this picture like it was yesterday (1974) and I apologize for obscuring the gorgeous marble fireplace that was in our dining room. My Mom and Granny (she lived with us) sewed many of our clothes and would surprise me often with a "bedroom makeover" where they had made new bedspreads and curtains and re-decorated my room, just for fun! I started sewing myself at an early age and stayed with it through high school. In fact my senior projects were a winter coat and an elaborate quilt!
My precious children who I live for, who have brought so much joy into my life! I would not be who I am at all unless I were to introduce them to you. Eric is 25 and Anna is 21, I am so proud of both of them for they are the sweetest, brightest, funniest, most loving children that I could ever have hoped for. I just can't get a good shot of both of them in the same frame! What delights me to no end, is that they love each other and are so close, choosing to hang out together.
If you visited my post on dogs, you will have met my new baby "Vivi", here she is with my handsome husband - Max! This was two years ago, but isn't it amazing how their coloring is the same? Max is Belgian and a very talented man. I will blog about him someday, too! These two keep me laughing everyday, even when I am feeling my worst - they always can cheer me up. This goes for the rest of my family and friends of whom I could not live without.
What you might also not know about me (unless you read my press page on my website) is that I used to do many things before I owned this company. I did not go back to work until both kids were in school and then I started out of my home doing all kinds of design related things. My biggest accomplishments came when I owned The Chandler Collection (my namesake company). I was the very first to import new (as opposed to antique) whole cloth quilts, known as Boutis starting in the early 1990's. They were all of the rage at the time and still very popular. I designed the first "smocked curtain" that were sold in the wholesale market. Even today if you google them if they aren't by The Chandler Collection, then they are copies of my original design. I was thrilled and honored to be asked by The Museum of New Mexico to do thier first textile collection. That was probably the most fun in designing I have ever had. Lastly, I have done over 40 private label collections for stores and catalogs - in bedding. This is not something you can post on your press page! OK, enough about me. Now I get to invite seven of my favorite blogs to do the same. I've tried to choose some blogs that I know haven't done this yet, but some I'm sure already have.