Friday, December 30, 2011

Construction Update - My Windows Are In!

 Big construction update - my windows for my future windowseat are in! What do you think? Still a construction zone here, but the wreathes cheer things up a bit. I am so happy with how the new windows look.

The addition and ceiling are getting ready for wiring and insulation. See the new wiring to the top of the photo? A gorgeous new Craftmade ceiling fan will be going in to replace the two old "eyeball" lights that were originally in the living room.

We've decided to do a big whole-house insulation project at the same time we insulate this little addition - that's why you see all the old fiberglass insulation pulled out of our living room ceiling! Icynene Spray Foam is coming soon...

{how to light this little space?}
Here's a shot looking up in the window seat space. It will have a vaulted ceiling. I'm still trying to decide what type of lighting to do up here. Any thoughts?

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas - Back From My Blogging Break!

{Evie, Son H and Rosie}
Merry Christmas!

Thanks you to everyone who sent well wishes after my bicycle accident the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm 99% recovered, just some soreness in my left shoulder.

I took a nice blogging break - it was too tough to blog and catch up on the holiday whirlwind and house construction. I was only trying to get things done that absolutely needed to get done. Let's just say I'll send out New Year's Cards instead of Christmas Cards this year. Ha ha!

Enjoy this wonderful day with your family and friends and feel thankful. I know I will!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 2, 2011

An Accident and A Good Book...

I hope everyone had a wonderful, unforgettable Thanksgiving with family and friends.

My Thanksgiving was, um, partially forgettable!

The day after Thanksgiving I supposedly took my brother-in-laws bike for a spin and ended up knocked out on the side of the road with a concussion. This happened at 2:00 in the afternoon, I spend 5 hours in the hospital with memory wiped out for most of what happened that entire day. I don't even remember riding the bike!

So thank goodness for the bike helmet, and for recovering over a nice holiday break hanging out with lots of cousins, nieces and nephews. I'm feeling much better and am nursing a separated shoulder, but expect to be in full swing, soon.

On my R&R list - finally sitting down to read through the pages of Brooke Gianetti and Steve Giannetti's new fabulous book Patina Style.  Now that's nice! Have you read it, what do you think?


p.s. Sadly, no fabulous out-of-body story, or enlightenment. (Just remembered vaguely eating a fruit cup in the hospital!) But nice to regroup and be really thankful for all those things we take for granted!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pics From My Holiday Delmar Open Studios

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry sterling silver Triple Maria necklace with natural turquoise place on a Liz Vigoda Pottery plate}
I've just posted some photos from Holiday Delmar Open Studios on the blog my friend Liz Vigoda and I write together:

We had a great day yesterday, and look forward to a great time today as well. Stop by if you are in our area - we are open from 10am - 5pm. More info: Holiday Delmar Open Studios


Friday, November 18, 2011

New Jewelry!

{sterling silver Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Mabel necklace with Plum Ballet Flower and natural turquoise}
I've posted some new work I'll be showing at Holiday Delmar Open Studios this weekend on the blog Liz Vigoda and I write for the sale.

See more of my jewelry at this post: 

(One of the pieces I posted is a custom ring I made with a photograph of a client's adorable dog. Please take a look!)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interview Printed: "A Trip To A Bad Part of Buffalo..."

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I was interviewed last weekend along with my potter friend Liz Vigoda for an article about  Holiday Delmar Open Studios for the local newspaper, The Spotlight.  Take a read of the first paragraph of the article published yesterday. Too funny!

The interviewer, Jackie Domin, was so nice. It's always interesting what questions you'll be asked - and what story comes out in print!

{Love the local news - my jewelry and construction news on the same page!}
It was so great that the Spotlight featured us. If I were more organized, I would have sent out a press release for our sale - but I didn't, so I forgot to ask Jackie how she found out about us!

{Photo of my friend, Liz. Where is my photo? I must not be as good looking!}
Here's the full article - "From Architect To Artist."  I'll try and see if it's published online and post a link, if not I'll write a post later on the ending to that "bad part of town" Buffalo story.
Thank you, Jackie!

If you are in the Albany, New York area here's more info on the sale: Holiday Delmar Open Studios.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday Delmar Open Studios Next Weekend

Next Saturday and Sunday I'll be here:
{Liz and I - photo taken at the sale last year}
at this adorable blue house with my friend Liz Vigoda for the 3rd Annual Holiday Delmar Open Studios.

This is her home/pottery studio. Liz also teaches adult and children's classes here, my girls Evie and Rosie have taken her "clay camp" and absolutely loved it!

I've posted a few pieces of Liz's work earlier, here's another:

{Liz Vigoda vase}
 Liz is SO talented! I can't wait to see what she brings next week. I'll try and post some photos of the jewelry I'll bring to the show in the next few days...

Holiday Delmar Open Studios
November 19 & 20, 2011
10am - 5pm
Liz Vigoda's home/studio at 9 Keith Road, Delmar, N.Y. 12054 (15 minutes south of Albany, N.Y.)
(518) 439-4457
Facebook page for event:!/event.php?eid=223424381057027

"See the latest handcrafted pottery of Liz Vigoda and artisinal jewelry of Loretta Fontaine at Liz Vigoda's home/studio in Delmar. New work will be debuted and special sales held. Drinks and snacks served. Wonderful shopping, please bring a friend!"


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lauren Liess Textiles Launch

I'm so happy to see the talented Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home launch her new textile line!
{so pretty! Wouldn't one make a great pillow for my new windowseat?}

{Lauren and her Queen Anne's Lace print}
So many beautiful fabrics, it hard to pick a favorite! (Hard pressed, I'll have to say Happikat - a "happy ikat" takes the cake). The evocative photography for the line (love it) was done by Helen Norman.

Learn more about the textiles (and a great giveaway) here.


More Construction Pics...

Getting closer to being finished!

{new windowseat - the silver on the outside is foam insulation}

{messy - and muddy, too!}

{Husband and Rosie on the deck}

Progress is being made, remember when it was a big hole in the wall?

I'm keeping my eye on the prize:
{my exterior elevation sketch}
Soon I will get this, right?


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Delmar Open Studios Postcard I Designed...

Here's the postcard I designed for the upcoming (in ten days!) Delmar Holiday Open Studios. Liz Vigoda designed that adorable red bird-in-a-tree design, and I drew the written logo (once again based on an Esher Font, like my blog header title!)

My talented brother Dave has been teaching me his Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop skills over the years, so I used those two programs to put the card together:
{postcard front}

{postcard back}
What do you think of the postcard?

More on our sale here:

We also set up a Facebook page for the event:!/event.php?eid=223424381057027t:


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Look At Liz Vigoda's Pottery!

{Liz's hands}
 My good friend and neighbor Liz Vigoda and I are planning our Holiday Delmar Open Studios sale this month - November 19 & 20. I'll be showing my jewelry, and Liz will be showing her amazing pottery. I'd love to share a few images of her work with you...

 Her work is so lyrical - and each piece is one of a kind.

We'll be using an image of this lovely vase for the postcard to advertise the sale - don't you just love it! The chickadee in flight is complements the shape of the piece so beautifully. I hope you'll be as big a fan of Liz Vigoda's work as I am! Every year I add a piece to my collection.

For more info on our sale (it's near Albany, New York) visit the blog we are writing:, or visit the sale's Facebook page here.

You can find out more about my friend Liz on her website:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Crafts On Madison This Weekend

I'll be exhibiting my jewelry at this show in Albany, New York this upcoming Friday and Saturday. Last year I volunteered to organize this show, read about that here, but this year I've passed that torch to someone else!

The Facebook page for the show is here.

I still volunteer to write the show's blog!

If you are in Albany, please stop in to this beautiful show and say hello!

Here's one of the pieces I'll be bringing:

{Theresa necklace in sterling silver with White Tulip and freshwater pearls}


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

{Evie and Son H}
{Rosie looking just like her pumpkin}
{ready for trick or treating}
 Can you guess Son H's costume?
My daughter Evie and he came up with it with stuff dug out of the costume bin, and she made the light saber pouch attached to the belt. (Hint! It's a purple light saber)

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Construction Pics

Sorry I haven't posted much this month...

You all know why!

{guys working in the background}
So I'll just do a quick post here with some more pictures. How crazy has it been here? See Son H in his special apple hat?

Yes, I missed his Kindergarten Apple Celebration... Sigh... He doesn't seem too upset about it!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why I've Been Stressed Lately...

{wide open!}
Nothing like a big hole in your house to make you a bit stressed out!

The windowseat project is marching along...


p.s. So much fun to escape the dust last Tuesday to catch a taping of The Nate Show in NYC! I'll post some pictures, soon...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best and Brightest For Nate

{which would Mr. Berkus like the best?}
I have tickets to see The Nate Show in New York City soon! I'll be going with good friends S and A and we need to arrive wearing our "best and brightest."
So excited! I've never seen a television show taped before - and I'm sure after this I'll appreciate what goes into these shows a lot more. And I can't WAIT to see Nate Berkus!

What outfit would you pick? Friend S is coming over soon to help me decide...


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Picking Pumpkins Way Too Early

 We buy our Christmas tree early and our pumpkins, too. A good chance these will rot out by Halloween, but like the needle-dropping tree, worth it to squeeze in as much fun as possible.

{Evie took the longest to find hers}
 We spend last Sunday visiting my Great-Grandma H. She's ninety-nine and in a nursing home, and the home was close to this pumpkin patch we stopped at on the way home.

When I was a kid Great-Grandma H lived on a lonely road called Laura Lane where few trick-or-treaters ventured and she gave out full size candy bars.

{I told Son H any pumpkin he wanted - as long as he could carry it!}
The full-size-candy-bars-houses were stuff of legend in my childhood neighborhood. But my kids have it better. A house on our block? KING SIZED candy bars! (He's a candy distributer!)

Happy October!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Paper Model - and Demo Is Done!

Here's my paper model completed with it's roof on! This shows the new windowseat and the larger roof overhang and a 18" roof extension over the deck. (The construction drawings done a year ago had shallower overhangs.) This past Spring a friend told me I needed heftier overhangs if I really wanted to change the style of my 70's "modern" house to something more traditional, and I have to agree. See the shallower roof overhand here.

Another project is on this paper model, too. Wouldn't this new french door and circular window look great to replace the existing ho-hum sliding patio door? I think so, and maybe it can be done in a year or two. Always dreaming! My budget calls for renovating in stages.

The demolition of the old fireplace chase is done and work building the windowseat should start this week, weather permitting. Here you can see the old steep staircase removed and the ladder up the chase...
{an octopus revealed!}
Always surprises during demo. I never knew the old fireplace had all these vents attached to it! We have four vents in the house that I though were HVAC, but were really a forced air complex heating system with this old fireplace we never used! Weird, and looks like an octopus!
Fianlly, all torn down and ready for the new construction. I am SO excited!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making A Paper Model of the Windowseat

{working it out}
Today I made a paper model of the windowseat addition we're building so I could take a better look at how the rooflines will work.  (I'm thinking I want a larger overhang then what's shown on the construction drawings.)

If you can remember from this post back in October 2010, this project was suppose to be completed almost one year ago! It should start this week. Everyone I know tells me contractors are always delayed.

Have you had a contractor complete a project on schedule?


p.s. Thanks all for voting on their favorite of my three master plans. The winner (and my favorite, too!) - plan #1!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Recycled Project - "Pop Can Trio"

"Pop Can Trio" - recycled aluminum cans, waxed cotton
I'm starting a "deep clean" of my studio and came across these aluminum "vessels" I made a while back.  If you're in a book store you can pick up a copy of the book "500 Metal Vessels" and find them published on page 154.

{the book you can find them in!}
I named my little group "Pop Can Trio" because at the time I was living in a house near kid's baseball fields. I'd pass them twice a week on my walks to the post office and became obsessed (as in digging in the trash cans!) with picking up and redeeming all the soda cans always lying around. 

When a call for entries for this book came out, I just had to use soda cans!

I saved my favorite cans for this little project (the tallest "vessel" is only 5 inches high!). The one complex shape is based on a project for a structural column I did in Architecture School with my friend Christine. She's still a good friend!

I hope you enjoyed this little creative project dug out of my past. I'm having fun going through lots of stuff. 


p.s. Funny reading that word "Pop"! When I was in school in Buffalo, New York that's what soda was called, and I also thought the vessels looked a bit like Pop Art.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Before Irene and After Irene

I finally found the battery charger for my camera, so now I can take a good picture of what our creek normally looks like.

{our backyard!}
So, here it was during Tropical Storm Irene.

..and here it is normally! You can see the water in the creek is still a little muddy.

The mosquitos have been fierce here after all this rain. Even in the middle of a sunny day a little swarm attacks you!