…and what else is WOW for????

deb barrett profile pic WOW…. Yes, it is first and foremost for the honor I have of securing Deb Barrett, whose self proclaimed mission is to “inspire and energize her fellow design peers by sharing her knowledge and experience about her two passions- couture window coverings and trendspotting and Design.”   for my Lunch n Learn on Sunday April 19th at ZAAR Design Center….specifically as she is hpmkt logo 2leading, with Jackie Von Tobel, their inaugural VIP High Point Buyers Tour/ in cooperation with the High Point Market Authority, during this Market….she also leads a tour to Paris each year around the Maison & Objet show.in case you are interested. YES!

read more about Deb here....as her list of accomplishments and what she has to offer is VAST!

deb wowWOW…is for  the award, yes it is called the “WOW AWARD”, she was honored to receive in January, in Las Vegas, and wow award logopresented/awarded by WITHIT, for her commitment and work in the area of Education in the Home Furnishings Industry. CONGRATULATIONS!

WOW….is for the wonderful women that were nominated for the award alongside her….that being Katy Garrett of Connexion Software and Maria Killam of Maria Killam Colour & Design.  (Yes color is spelled correctly. Maria is a fellow Canadian and that is how we spell color/colour.) 

WOW….is for the fact that both Katy and Maria have spoken at ZAAR in the past. YES! And now, 3 for 3 eh? HONORED!

2013-10-20 02.27.09  ruth and maria

WOW….is how I feel when I recall my first connections with each of them (@ WITHIT Conferences) and how it evolved to the place where they respectively agreed to speak at ZAAR….Katy’s topic “How to Think Like a Million Dollar Designer” and Maria’s topic “Deconstructing Whites For Interiors I The Essentials Every Designer Must Know…. were smashing hits and I know  Deb’s seminar will round this all out nicely taking us on a World Tour: Smart Designs From the World’s Top Markets. AMAZING!

WOW…is for their energy, their expertise, the way they so warmly communicate so much knowledge to their audiences… SMART WOMEN SHARING!

WOW…is for the many WITHIT Members that turn out for these seminars….THANK YOU!

ruth and maria and withit gals

WOW….is for what you will feel after hearing Deb speak. Having had the pleasure of hearing her present in September at high point dc resizedthe High Point Design Center’s Designer Appreciation Day I can vouch for the fact that you will not only learn a lot but you will enjoy the process.

WOW…is how I am going to feel as I welcome YOU  to ZAAR Design Center, filling our showroom with an engaged audience, excited to learn what Deb has to share….GRATEFUL!

Won’t you join us for this WOW event????

Ooops, almost forgot to mention…this is an IDCEC CEU Accredited Course AND it is FREE!

 Sunday April 19th

12:00- 1:30

           Lunch n Learn with Deb Barrett

       ZAAR Design Center

741 West Ward Ave, High Point NC

ZAAR flag(note we are in the former Drexel Heritage Factory/entrance is on Green. Look for the yellow flags.)

Go Anywhere Shuttle Available to Transport  PH: 336.887.RIDE (7433)

FYI, have been advised that they now have GPS units installed, so no problem locating us 

RSVP Appreciated/not Required.

ruth@zaardesigncenter.com  207-838-2675

Dusting. Not a fan. And yesterday afternoon as I donned the duster and spray I moaned the fact that this had to simply be the epitome of working IN my business, not ON my business. What was up? Was I not making any kind of headway? Anyone can do this. How did I manage end up with duster in hand, doing THIS job? I was supposed to be concentrating on “big picture” stuff, not dusting!

But, there was no one else available…..at least not during the time I had allocated to do it. …and, per below, it appeared that I NEEDED this job, at this time, to put things into perspective, for that “big picture.”

NOTE: with the help I did have yesterday we, together, did the “heavy” ,thoughtful and relevant work of setting up the showroom, placing the new load of chesterfields and chairs that greeted me on my loading dock yesterday. Yes, we were looking pretty, but, still, sadly, dusty .

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Was going to start in the back, as it seemed to be the dustiest, but then determined better to start at the front, for, IF I didn’t get the job100_2739 done (which I pretty much did…yeah me!) then at least when people entered they would feel welcomed straight away, and that was the start of a change of attitude.

What was I whining about? I expected people to come by and I wanted them to feel that we had prepared for their arrival, that they felt welcomed. I should be excited to dust, to anticipate, and yes, to welcome.

And so, to the drone of the fluorescent lights  I made my way through each of the 3 rooms of my 12,000 square foot showroom, putting out the welcome mat with each spray and swish….all the while in a rather communal state as  I reconnected with my purpose.

zaarlogo2Antiques by Zaar, my now 13 year old business of providing customers with beautifully hand picked treasures from China.  Antiques by Zaar, that business that has opened up my world to a bevy of people that I otherwise would never have met. Antiques by Zaar, that entity that I’ve chosen as the vehicle to give me voice. Antiques by Zaar, that anchor for the newer ZAAR Design Center.

ZDC_topAh, ZAAR Design Center. That vision of creating a collaborative showroom. ZAAR Design Center, a venue for companies to showcase their product all year round in High Point, not only during Markets but also in between….supporting the mission of the High Point Design Center.  ZAAR Design Center, that “address” for those that appreciate the value of a High Point address, with or without another showroom.  ZAAR Design Center, a warm place to do business with more than a handful of companies that have great product, represented by people of great substance.  ZAAR Design Center,  a good place to do business from and a good place to grow….together.

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DSCN8193You might question is this for real? She went down this road while dusting?  I truly did and I felt so compelled to share this as it is simply yet another example of how an attitude change can altar your mindset for a job at hand.  Frankly, I think it surprised me that I got so reflective and full of “warm fuzzies” while dusting.  Yes, I hate dusting at the best of times (not quite as much as vacuuming and ironing though) and thus why I think it so relevant that I was able to Shift as I did. My mind was open to it and I allowed it, and it happened, and when I Ieft yesterday I did so with   knowing that when I opened the doors today that I, AND my guests, would most definitely feel WELCOMED, as I had prepared…and yes, dusted.

Ruth

…or, the Magic Penny Effect.

withit conf imageIn August I attended the annual WITHIT  (Women in the Home Furnishing Industry Today) conference, which had as it’s theme “The Vision of the Modern Renaissance Woman.)  My 4th time. It is ALWAYS a great great conference and I ALWAYS come away from it fired up and warmed up by the bonding that occurs during the conference. But for the first time I determined that I was ready to step it up a notch….not quietly  be present, taking it all in, but to work a little harder at putting myself out there.  This meant sucking in a deep breath (on more than one occasion) and yes, ASKING. As a result…. I had a place to rest my head the night before conference, and further fostered a budding friendship,  I have a new accountability partner, all because of a decaf Starbucks encounter,  I have a great speaker lined up for Market, because I approached her after hearing at a round table we both attended that she was already lined up/wondered if she’d be interested in adding a new venue to her schedule….and she said YES,  I have some great ideas that need to implemented into my social media outreach, because I thanked someone for encouraging me along in my forays on social media way back in 2008,  and  I have benefitted by reaching out and calling on women that I’ve come to know and respect, for advice and counsel, as I determine the next right step to take to grow my business. You know who you are. 🙂

Sara King, principal at Optimum Insights, led one of the break out sessions at above mentioned conference, offered a new perspective on “asking” when she put out to the room full of women….”who here felt  good doing things for other people,” To this  the room immediately filled with raised hands. She further put out to us…”when we don’t ask we rob the giver the ability to give/feel good…like we feel when we give”. Hmmmm.

I don’t really believe in coincidences, but more in serendipity, and I think ASKING , either by you or by someone else, is what helps make such moments serendipitous and furthered to be times of connection. All this to say I guess my mind was open to this ASKING mentality when, shortly following the conference  I was ASKED for a unique request, which I responded to…well, read about it below…

Christian Cedras, the managing partner of the BHi Music Group,  is the epitome of being an  asking agent and he started a chain of asking that ended up in a photoshoot that I helped pull together….yes, by carrying on the ASKING.

ruth and jon and the jones

Jon and the Jones,  a newly formed NYC based band, which he represents, he felt NEEDED a traditional English chesterfield sofa as backdrop for the band’s marketing materials, as it spoke to their unique style.  So he went about the mission of securing a sofa for said shoot…unabashedly advising that he wanted to do this for as little cash outlay as possible.

Nuts and bolts he ends up calling me, for, as, in addition to having Antiques by Zaar,  I am the US Sales Rep for a company called Distinctive Chesterfields. He asked did we have a NY showroom. No.  We chatted for a bit as I tried to figure out how I could help him get what he needed. He then went on to ASK did I have a NY customer that might be ok to let the group use a sofa?  Brazen eh?  I delayed slightly and then said YES, and immediately thought of my customer  John Angier (also in the music business as an arranger) if he’d be up for this unusual request. He actually  was but there was a scheduling conflict and he couldn’t offer his sofa for a couple of weeks. Band was wanting to shoot the photos sooner rather than later. So, I ASKED yet another NY customer, Esther Budanitsky, a newly minted lawyer, that I thought just might be up for it. Go figure, admittedly an unusual request, but she thought it would be fun and so said YES.

End result. The band got the shots they needed, with the “perfect” backdrop….and within their budget.  Esther enjoyed opening up her home for this unique request and the lot of us all left the evening with a sense of kinship that was fostered in all the Giving that was Gifted in those ASKING moments.

jon and the jonesSide notes.  Christian and his fiance Krista and I share a connection to Haiti on many many levels…including fact that his aunt owned the house my parents rented and which has served as a guest house for missionaries for over 20 years.  In casual conversation found out that when Esther first moved to NYC she shared  an apartment, not only in the same building we currently have an apt, but on very same floor!

Esther and I grew our connection from customer -sales rep to new level of friendship and we both felt good about being part of this bands launching, taking a very keen interest in their path to success….and looking forward to hearing them in concert at B.B. King, headlining the Charity Concert for the 9/11 Memorial Foundation on September 17th.

Recalling this all simply gives me a warm fuzzy, and further makes me realize what my big takeaway was at the conference.

And so, I will continue to work on ASKING, and I will continue to see what opportunities come my way by saying yes to someone else ASKING. Nuts and bolts is, “it’s all good.”

Ruth

2013-02-21 16.59.02I have just returned home to Maryland for a few short days before hitting the road again next week. I would be remiss in not capsulizing what was an incredible trip that made most question my sanity when advised what my schedule was…. to be at Unity in NC and 2 days later in FL, prepping for my first 1/2 marathon. Frankly, it was empowering enough in and of itself…the fact that I actually made it work logistically.

But on a deeper level…

As a member of the High Point Design Center, since 2008, I have attended the February Unity in Design event each year.hpdc new logo bar

hpdc unity 2013

For a quick primer on what this event is all about, I akin it to a mini Market. Member showrooms are open for the 2 day event which is geared specifically to designers, who are also treated to breakfasts, lunches and networking cocktail parties, for the duration…not to mention a solid roster of educational events relevant to the industry.

 It is one of the 4 times/year that I KNOW I will be in High Point, the other 2 being the High Point Furniture Market and the 4th being the annual WITHIT Leadership Conference.  I  attend to promote both of my businesses, Antiques by Zaar and ZAAR Design Center, the former which serves as anchor for the latter.  And each time I leave High Point after said event, I do so with a warm glow, knowing I did right by my biz to be there.  For not only is it a good opportunity to draw in new customers, it is also a great opportunity Unity elvesfor me to connect at a deeper level with those that are working, as am I, to foster a year round business to the trade, in High Point. I am energized by this commitment we share and the way in which we serve to support each other AND the needs of our customers….more on this on ZAAR Design Center blog that will roll out following this missive.

2013-02-20 16.27.37 UNITY 2013 was the perfect time for ZAAR  to launch the introduction of our newest Trade Partner, Sans Souci Sisters. With all the warm fuzzies about it seemed the perfect opportunity  to inaugurate the permanent presence of Christmas @ ZAAR. Yes, Sans Souci Sisters are your GO TO workshop to have one of a kind heritage and memory Santa Claus’s handcrafted to your specifications. Suffice it to say, we are ecstatic to have Kimberley and her heart warming Santa s as a permanent fixture at ZAAR.

Thank you to all that put out so much effort to make this entire event what it was….those that organized it and also those that came to take benefit of what was organized just for them. I truly feel it to be a  win win and why I tout it/support it/participate in it as I do.

So, fueled by all these positive juices I scurried out after the cocktail party/silent auction, that was organized to benefit the Sandbox organization, which by all counts was a smashing success, to make the 6 hour drive back to my new home in MD, just long enough to change suitcases, and catch a bus to NYC, where I would be meeting my daughter for what would be a “power up” of a different nature, in Orlando FL.

Yes, I would be changing up my business attire to a tutu, matching ones made by daughter Avery, and join over 25,000 others , over 22,000 of these being women, in the 5th annual Disney Princess 1/2 marathon, in support of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Foundation. Leave it up to my Disney Darling to add this to my bucket list… no, it wasn’t on it, but as a reasonably regular runner, not an unreasonable thing to ponder as something I would do….although the most I had ever done in the past was a 10 k. The prospect of doing it in a tu tu did take some of the seriousness out of the fact we were to complete 13.1 miles!

mom and aveThe energy of literally thousands of people, at 4:00 am, in the Disney Park, decked out in assorted costumes, yes,with a high preponderance of tu tus….including on several men, was something in and of itself amazing to be part of. So many people, EACH with their own goals, to meet by completing 13.1 miles, one way or the other. I could only vouch for what my goals were for this.

The obvious one was to simply complete it, and to that end I have been reminded that you really can do anything you set your mind to. Not going to lie, after doing a solid 8 miles without stopping, I did let my head start to get to me, and my attitude wasn’t the healthiest. Although I was determined NOT to walk over the finish line, my pace had pretty much deteriorated to what could be considered a fast shuffle.

And this  brings me to what was the greater goal of what participating in this meant to me, and that was to do something 2013-02-24 19.43.53big with my daughter, to create a memory for us to share. As such what puts the biggest smile on my face/warms my heart the most, as I recall this, is how my 22 year old, who was able to keep a clip faster than her old mother , remember, I had regressed to a fast shuffle. To her credit, for the best part of the run we were side by side,… during the last 1/4 mile, came back, urged me on, and as we crossed the finish line, reached over to grab my hand and raised our hands in united victory. THAT was the bomb!

On all counts it was  crazy to attempt to make it work logistically to be in NC Tues-Thurs, to meet in NYC to get to FL Sat for a Sunday event. But, each event was of import to me, and I felt merited the effort it would take to participate in both….and, at the other side of all of it, including the 3 hours it took to do 13.1 miles, I couldn’t be happier that I can say I DID IT!

I did what was right for me as a business owner, and then I did what was right for me as a mom.

So, yes, POWERED UP I am, and in the context of a UNITED Spirit…from my HPDC colleagues,  trade partners and customers in High Point, and by all those that determined to complete 13.1, but especially by my very own Disney Princess Avery.

Ruth

P.S. If you have a thirst for more Disney marathon photos, feel free to visit this facebook album. 🙂

Anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE opening my home for a party. Well, as  the heart and soul behind Antiques by Zaar and ZAAR Design Center, I am beyond thrilled to be opening my “business home” for it’s first annual Christmas party.

Yes, it is a bazaar, but it really is a party…a place for you to warmly invite in the Holiday Spirit, to be infused by the creativity of others, to be welcomed into a showroom that exudes excitement, as the collaborative Spirit of the 15 companies that show/sell product there, all culminate in a beautifully staged setting…of course, decorated for the Holiday Season.

I am so excited to welcome you in, and know that if you can’t make it in person that we shall know you are with us in Spirit, and perhaps will join us at another time. Whether you are able to join us or not, please Do read below for details of what is planned….

WHEN?  Oh my, it’s this Wednesday, November 14thwhich not so coincidentally is also Designer Wed,  starting at 9:00 and going through to 5:00 pm.

WHERE? In the former Drexel Heritage Factory @ 741 West Ward Ave, High Point, NC. Right on the corner of Ward and Green.

WHO’S INVITED? Anyone that wants to be infused with the Christmas Spirit, and while you’re at it get a jump start on Holiday Shopping…or just come along and join us for Hot Cider and Ginger Snaps, a visit and a good look around.

WHO’S GONNA BE THERE?

THE ARTISTS :

Kimberly Stone of Sans Souci Sisters…. appropriately being introduced @ ZAAR for the first time. Specializing in custom heirloom Santa Claus.

Kathleen Holterman of Holterman and Company…with her vibrant collection of oil paintings.

Dave and Barbara McGinnis of Wood n’ Clay Studio, a husband and wife team with talent to burn…or should I say turn wood and throw pottery.

…and of course all of above will have handiwork to sell, or you can special order.

THE ELVES:

Jeff, Sherry, Julia, Alice and yours truly.

…and lastly what is a Bazaar without asking, WHAT IS THERE TO BUY…in addition to above noted? Yes, there is So Much MORE!

SPECIAL GUESTS:

Aria: Jewelry, Scarves and Dresses

Cookie Lee: More jewelry

Designed to Heal: Monica Hodges with her new line of  home made soaps!

AND THEN THERE IS WHAT IS  THE HEART OF ZAAR….

Product from People that are Passionate about their businesses and are gathered together @ ZAAR to give YOU a Special Shopping Experience.

note: please excuse lack of photos below…computer glitch, but please check out this album on facebook for some wonderful product photos, to lure you in 🙂

Lamps Galore:

Flambeau  moved their entire Suites showroom into ZAAR and are JUST newly installed, chandeliers and all!  But we also have lamps from Lorna Dewey and Antiques by Zaar.

Artificial Plants and Trees:

New Growth Design are THE best at what they do, with a made in North Carolina product that can’t be beat. (Had the pleasure of touring their facility this past Sunday!)

Italian Pottery:

Fortunata has the corner on that one.

Other Home Accents:

pottery and wood pieces from Wood n Clay, iron work wall art and nick knacks  from Haiti and porcelain and wood stools from Antiques by Zaar.

More Artwork: 

Kathleen Holterman is joined by another local artist Katy Allgeyer, who is now on an amazing trip of a lifetime with her boyfriend Scott Morgan. She blogs about it regularly here…is worthy to follow this journey.

yet more distinctive  art by the Elizabeth Lucas Company.

….and gripping photography by Bruce Barone of Massachusetts and Sylvia Muller of East Hampton NY.

Sculptures:

Lorna Dewey and Antiques by Zaar present very different but equally appealing product.

Pillows and Throws:

The Oriole Mill, yes another made in North Carolina product, has a line exclusive to ZAAR available to purchase.

And then there is FURNITURE:

From the UK:

Touchwood, Lorna Dewey and Distinctive Chesterfields.

From the US:

Cabeen Originals, and Bellascenda.

…and from China, Antiques by Zaar.

And ALL of this is so beautifully positioned that each persons product accents the other.

Do come and enjoy what we have prepared for you to experience, and no better time than to do so then now.

So very much look forward to welcoming you!

Ruth, for all!

866 868 9227/ZAAR

ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

…OR Change, Change, Change, OR Ending a Chapter/Starting a Chapter, OR to Uplifting and Being Uplifted, OR We Women Rock….or simply Thank YOU!

Yes, this blog has been mulling about in my head for weeks now….feeling the need to acknowledge not only what has been a very clear change in my life, central to this being the recent sale and move from what was our home in Maine for the past 13 years….to starting a new life in Maryland, address yet to be confirmed, but to also acknowledge the forces that have contributed to getting me from “there to here” and which I count on getting me from “here to there”

Yes, I am very well aware that it is all “up to me” but I cannot deny the “forces’ of which I speak of, which come in the form of  that growing bevy of womankind which have come into my Life, and which I can call my friends.

To my Maine based gals….

I thank you for sending me off so well. For those that attended my pre launch of yard sale party, to those that similarly attended the lovely soiree at Connemara Farm, by Anne, my neighbor and friend… to the  many that I was able to connect with for a farewell lunch or dinner.  I felt so incredibly embraced and loved.

For you, Nancy Morin, YOU were by my side for almost an entire year as we moved from one stage to another in making the move happen….moving forward when I felt stalled, assuring me of your calm presence and assistance right to the day the movers showed up.  You kept me from going over the edge, and I felt there often, and quite simply pressed on. I purged and you packed. You organized my barn into a full fledged Good Will Store for 2 two day yard sales and posted items on Craig’s List so I could do my part and sell sell sell.

To Nancy Strojny, my SCORE mentor and Carol Emerson of Custom House Business Services, I thank you for giving me latitude as I allowed this move to consume me emotionally, BUT did your jobs and brought me back, reminding me of the business that is mine/dependent on me to breathe life into it and spurring me to the next step knowing when this move was behind me that I would return to  nurture and grow this Gift I have in my business.

To my daughter Avery, who upon graduation from college, yup, last one!  and after being away at school for the last 4 years… spent a full 3 months with me. What a delight!

To my team in North Carolina, Jeff Moore and Sherry Mitchell, who, over the summer did a phenomenal job keeping all in a forward moving motion, initiating a complete revamp of the ZAAR Design Center, managing Designer Wednesdays and more. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. check out pix of the fine work here…and plan to come have dessert with us 9/12/12 and see for yourself! I’ll be there.

These forces, these women, all helped get me from There to Here, and I know that they remain with me as I continue to move on.

Further to this I add as a collective, the fine Women I find myself connected to through my membership in Withit.

How great it was to attend the recent WITHIT conference which was themed Pathways to Success: Strategies, Connections & Meaning.  A conference I touted I knew I couldn’t afford to miss, and as I shared on Leslie Carouther’s facebook….

I went to the conference this year, as I have past 2 years, KNOWING what I was needing/expecting…not only from the exceptional speakers I knew would be lined up, but also from the opportunity to meet/get to know better, the wonderful array of professional women that run and attend this conference. I was not to be disappointed in the least. If there was to be a big takeaway it is that simple reminder that it is indeed all up to me and it is indeed possible…to do/be all that I vision for myself. The conference itself is such a great venue for exceptional giving and getting.

Nuts and bolts is that were it not for the exceptional women that I’ve allowed into my life, and I’ve just scratched the surface here, my life would be so “without”. What I love is that there is as much giving as getting that goes on….that as I have been uplifted I know I have uplifted others, that as I have been mentored, that I can also offer mentoring. There is no base line here. It is a kinship of Kindred Souls….each of us reaching, each of us relating, each of us caring and each of sharing.

It is by doing all of this that we can indeed get from there to here, and move from here to there…each finding our way to do what we can to Elevate ourselves,  Be our Best Selves, and Shine Shine Shine.

….and so onward we go, individually, yet collectively, to make a difference for ourselves and to those whose lives we touch and whose lives subsequently touch us.

Yes, thank you for Being a Friend.

Ruth

A month ago today I packed my bags for what would be a month long road trip…..the impetus of said trip being a combination of personal and business matters, and which would add 5,000 miles onto my KIA and take me from my Maine home base to New York (3 stops), High Point NC, Ottawa Ontario and Montreal Quebec….and alot of places in between getting from here to there and back again.

So, here I am on the other side of what was a great trip, and am enjoying the “look back” as I share with my world some highlights below….and more specifically, at later dates….just  getting myself  back into the “blogosphere” here ….

Super Bowl Sunday @ Graybarn Cottage

…hosted by proprietors Gary and Sylvia Muller, customers/friends of Antiques by Zaar for almost 10 years now, was great.  How delightful to be invited to take in the Super Bowl, admitting here not a huge follower, just like to be part of the “event” that capsulates the season, with the Mullers and their friends…and see first hand how wonderful our altar works in their well appointed “cottage”.

  If you want to see more photos of Graybarn Cottage or the Mill House Inn…or look into either place as a venue for your next pampered getaway, simply go to www.millhouseinn.com .

Unity in Design Event: High Point NC

This was my 3rd year participating in the HPDC’s   “winter event” and ironically enough, each year the weather seems to be colder and colder AND definitely progressively more snow than one would expect to deal with in North Carolina. Thankfully the cold temperatures/tenuous road conditions didn’t get in the way of this event being the success it is each year.

ZAAR (Design Centre/Antiques by…)  took particular pleasure in hosting lunch/presentation in our chilly warehouse/showroom Thursday Feb 10th.  Hot dishes from Emerywood warmed our insides and Bobbie Cox of Dragonfly Designs enraptured her audience with her presentation.

Thank you ALL!  Bobbie, for offering such insight and having such an engaging presentation that was relevant  to those currently in the business and to those prospectives… yes, we were graced by presence of a lovely group of design students from Western Carolina University, and to the  gathering we had to take it all in. Also to members of the ZAAR Design Center for their help and participation, namely Vanderveer Imports, Kat Burki, Bellescenda, and Touchwood. Click here for luncheon photos, just a few…was too busy chatting up….

                                                                                                                      

After a busy and uplifting 3.5 days in North Carolina, it was back to New York for a few days…with one of the highlights of my time working from there being a visit with Antiques by Zaar customer/friends Catherine Kovins and Thom Januaz .  I love it when “lunch” becomes an event that takes you right to dinner…yes, that is how the time flowed visiting, talking and simply enjoying the face to face interaction as catylst to recent years communicating on the phone/via email.  I very much look forward to our next meeting, which we are hoping to do during Asia Week in NYC.

Black lacquered sideboard and mirror, purchased from AbyZaar, worked too perfectly in the Master Suite of Catherine and Thom’s home. Click here to view other photos of how they mixed Asian in their gorgeous home.

The wedding of my nephew Casey Wall to Cheryl Grossman, was the impetus for my trip taking me to Ottawa Ontario.  As I am the only sibling that is “away”, it is great to have such an oppotunity to catch up and celebrate…in some cases reconnecting with people I hadn’t seen in over 2 decades! Cheryl was the consumate blushing bride, could her smile have been any wider?, the service touching and the reception, held at the War Museum…well, a great party. Click here to view photos of the event.

Montreal and final trip to NY was for my family…returning one college daughter to McGill after a brief visit to Maine during her winter break, and 2nd daughter to NY to catch a plane to get back to finish her last semester at University of Western Ontario…2nd college graduation in 2 years, and 3rd one following next year. Oh my!

This but scratches the surface of the most recent run about and you’ll read about more in months to follow as Antiques by Zaar moves forward and my family moves around. Yes, Life is Good.