A Love Letter To Veterans…

Thank you for what you do.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  Thank you for defending my right to speak my mind.  Thank you, for being you.

My Grandfather

My Grandfather, Senator Robert Pentland, (Top Left), was an amazing human being.  Born in Scotland of good miner stock, he moved to Illinois in the early 1920’s.  He joined the Marines during WWII,  after Pearl Harbor.  He was at Iwo Jima.  As a senator for 24 years in Missouri, he fought for worker’s right’s diligently.  He was the first Teamsters’ supported candidate in the Missouri state senate, ever!   He also was very supportive of Civil Rights.  He believed that all that were worthy, had a right to vote.   In honor of his memory, I would like to dedicate this to all the heroes out there, fighting for what you believe in.  Thank you.

November 14, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

William Eggleston

While my lovely & talented Mom was visiting in May, we spent a day at The Art Institute of Chicago, exploring both the Matisse & the William Eggleston exhibits. I found the Matisse paintings, drawings & sculptures full of history, exuberance, life & color.  But, even weeks later, I can’t get the Eggleston photographs out of my mind.

I have always found beauty in everyday objects and people.  So does he.

His composition is second to none & his play on proportions is brilliant.

He also has a magical ability to catch amazing lighting.  I am never so lucky with my amateur candid photos.  But, I think we see beauty in most of the same things & I think that’s special.  This was my Mom’s favorite photo:

Beauty in a reflection.  Awesome!

June 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

“Some Folks are Born, Made to Wave the Flag…”

So sang John Fogerty in one of my favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, Fortunate Son.  Of course he was referring to our good ol’ red, white & blue.  And while I get a stirring of patriotism stirring in my heart every time I see the stars & stripes, the American flag is not my favorite.   Let me say that I would NEVER burn a flag unless it was severely old & weather damaged, I ALWAYS stand for the National Anthem, & I am very proud to be an American.  It’s just that other countries flags to me are so beautiful.  I get a little jealous during the Olympics or World Cup when I see some the designs these other nations are sporting on their patriotic symbols.  Let’s take a look at some of my favorites, shall we?


The Welsh flag has always been my favorite.  I love that red dragon, or as it’s known in Welsh, Y Ddraig Goch.  It’s a powerful image on the bands of green & white.


Kazakhstan, besides unwittingly inspiring a great character in Borat, also gives us this beautiful flag.  I am deeply enamored of the image of the bird flying in front of the sun, the ornate stripe on the left, & I just adore the colors of this flag.  I am thinking of using this color combination in a room someday.  I just love it!

Marshall Islands

This one, from the Marshall Islands is simple, but striking to me.  I am drawn to the widening diagonal stripe heading to the corner & the star on the opposite corner.  They chose a great blue for their flag!


Albania has a simple color combination, but a features a powerful image of a two-headed eagle in the center.


My final favorite is Argentina.  I don’t really know why, as I am usually not on board the powder blue train.  I think it has something to do with the combination of the stripes & that sun in the middle.  I have a thing for that sun.

At any rate, I find flags inspiring, not only in color & design, but what they represent.  I like thinking of someday seeing these flags in person, flying over a building in the home country they represent.

June 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm 4 comments

Stanley Cup!!!

Today, I couldn’t be happier that the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup!!!   I’m going to take a brief blogging break to celebrate, but will be back next week with all new design-themed stuff & a new pop culture round-up weekly feature that I’ve been working on.

June 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm 2 comments

Lucky Numbers…

Let’s start with the number 6, as in Sixx Design.  Then we have to add in the number 7, as in SEVEN children.  Finally, we get to John Lennon’s favorite number, the number 9.  And, more specifically, Bravo‘s wonderful design show, 9 by Design.

Novogratz Family-Michael Weschler for New York Times

Those who know me, know I am sucker for anything shown on Bravo, from those silly Real Housewives to Top Design (the latter mostly because I adore Jonathan Adler, Todd Oldham & seeing what the cukoo-crazy Kelly Wearstler will wear:

rather than it actually being a good show, which I think it isn’t!)

But, Bravo hit the mark for me with their study in numbers, 9 by Design.  I love the dynamic of self-taught designers Bob & Cortney Novogratz navigating the still-glum New York real estate market with their 7! children in tow.  Not only are they fun to watch as a family, but their eclectic design sensibilities are exactly my cup of tea.

Sixx Design-Image courtesy of Jubella (http://jubella.com/)

Photo via Designage (http://designage.wordpress.com/)

I am a huge fan of their mixing vintage with modern, and I am crazy for that menorah in the corner.  I am also a huge fan of that giant Ann Carrington piece in the lobby of the Bungalow Hotel.  I can only hope Bravo brings this back!!!

June 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm 3 comments

Always Inspired With Whimsy Press

I cannot get over the new line of green products at Whimsy Press!

Butterfly 100% Recycled

Mod Floral 100% Recycled

Mum's The Word 30% Recycled

Proud Peacock 100% Recycled

Earth's BFF Recycled Journals

Wildflowers Recycled Notecards

Green Is In Recycled Tote

I also love their other products, like this stunning wedding gift wrap:

Love Is Lovely

Indeed!  I fell in love with these bookplates:

Haiku Bookplates

As a notorious lender of books, I simply MUST have these.  I will strive to always have whimsy in my life & Whimsy Press on this blog!!!

May 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm 2 comments

We’ve Got to Get Ourselves Back to the Garden…

Of course, I mean my favorite store in the world: Jayson Home & Garden!!!  I stopped by my beloved shop with my visiting Mom & my husband in tow & both were amazed by all the beautiful things.  Here’s just a sample of my favorites:

Amalfi Sofa

Phillipe Dining Table

Faulkner Chest

That Faulkner chest is astonishing in person.  It has the lovely, faded shimmer of a formerly gleaming piece of furniture that has seen many days & could tell a roaring story. I love pieces like that!   (more…)

May 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm 4 comments


After a ridiculously long hiatus, I’m happy to announce that Big Daddy Seashell is again open for business!!!  I can’t wait to post in the coming weeks all the wonderful things I’ve been inspired by, loved, hated & experienced since I last posted over a YEAR ago.  I hope I haven’t alienated all my readers by my lack of new material & I hope you all will enjoy what’s to come!

Slightly blurry photo of the beautiful ceiling medallion at the John G. Shedd Aquarium!

May 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm 1 comment

The Kinks – Juke Box Music

I am extremely thankful that my dear friend Darby reminded me about how AWESOME this song is!

May 14, 2009 at 5:29 am 1 comment

From the New York Times today – Inspiration

Maira Kalman - The Inauguration-New York Times

I have posted about Maira Kalman’s work before, but I was really moved by her piece at the New York Times today.   I encourage everyone to go check it out today!  Have a great weekend.

January 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm 2 comments

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