Happy Holidays!

Oh, the holidays! Weather. We have had SNOW. Real snow. There is nothing like snow to take you back to childhood. All of a sudden, celebrating and decorating and present giving is fun again. The cold brisk air puts a spring in your step. And then there are the old holiday shows on TV. Oh, childhood comes rushing back and I am now 8 years old again. The Grinch! All of those old stop animation shows with the Heat Miser! Burger Meister Meister Burger! The Abominable Snowman! Rudolph! Oh….and my favorite cartoon of all time A Charlie Brown Christmas. The music is in my permanent collection of Christmas music, well it’s actually the only one. All of the Peanuts dancing to Vince Guaraldi’s music is just the most fun ever. And then, Christmas Time is Here is my all time favorite X-Mas song ever. Here’s the video, just for you dear readers. A little gift of simpler childish days, enjoy.

And don’t forget there are still 6 days to shop at Flutter!



Sofa is where the heart is….

There is nothing that makes the living room a home more than a comfy sofa. A sofa is the anchor. The place where you snuggle with your most loved people and animals. A place to read, dream, watch movies, and take the occasional nap (every day if you’re my husband). This beautiful little number Cindy found, is a beautiful light pistachio green. In the eighties it was called “sea foam”. I personally have never seen soft green colored sea foam, and I grew up by the ocean. Seam foam is always a scuzzy gray color. Anyway, whatever you want to call it, it is amazing paired with browns and pinks. Oh, and black and white kitty Rizzo.

Oh look at it sitting there, such pretty legs. All upholstered in velvet with down cushions. Down. Oh, there is nothing like sitting on a down filled sofa. Nothing. And what else do you need besides the sofa? Pretty pillows! Look at all of these birds and brown velvet. I don’t know if you knew this, but you can shop the pillows at Flutter too. Yes, Cindy makes it easy for you, doesn’t she! She has a gift…knack. She’s talented in sofas, velvet, feathers and birds. And light pistachio green, not sea foam.
Sofa, so good.


Thursday Comes Sooner Than You Think.

It’s my turn to post already! Oh, golly. On the mornings I post I generally start going over what my theme will be at around 5AM. In the dark. I just rummage around in the deep recesses of my mind, what I have been thinking about, what I have been working on, things that made me laugh, beauty that I have been in the presence of. This morning it was well, too busy in there. What is it about fall that makes me so crazy busy? I notice a lot of my women friends are the same at this time of year. Of course that includes Cindy who has become the queen of the hunt for sofa’s. Sofa’s! She’s had some swell couches in the shop of late, so swell they don’t seem to stay long enough to get acquainted with. I still long for the green velvet, but I did see a sweet dark beauty in there the other day. Nice legs, beautiful shape, dark….Sigh. So, pretty.

I have been waiting for this fabric to arrive so I can start on these pillows and panels which are due to be in the store for the big November change over at the shop.
Waiting to lay my eyes on these pretty fabrics is hard. I am not a very patient person. While I have been waiting the I have taken to reading home and fashion magazines voraciously. I’m starting to think that maybe this just makes me spin faster, but wow, there is some crazy beautiful stuff out there! Alexander McQueen! Oh, his fall collection is to die for. Feathers everywhere, and then I saw this feather chair and this dress with a whole bird on the front! Oh, how completely not practical, but such an amazing sight. I think I would prefer it in hot pink…Feathers, hmm. I always use them on the insides of the pillows but now this has got me thinking about using them on the outside…feathers, yum.


Expanding the Parameters

Seen in my mind as recently as this morning….GOLD! Yes, golden colored rods for the panels I am making for Flutter. Can you picture it in your mind too? Magenta panels with black peacock feather stencils, hanging from golden rods?! I am feeling it. A rustic old gold. It will be fantastic. I promise.

I used to paint everything gold. At one point my apartment in San Francisco had a gold toilet seat and claw foot tub. I even painted my TV gold and my phone. It all looked great until you like, sat on the toilet seat or used the phone. I had a golden ear and a golden rear. Yes, live and learn. This was around the same time I was breaking mirrors into pieces and gluing them to pretty much anything. That proved problematic also..can’t seem to ever get all the tiny little shards of glass off the floor. I was a budding designer then, I laugh pretty hard when I think about those days.

These days, I have resources and skills, but sometimes with those comes self limitation. A fear of failing and not being taken seriously can really hamper creativity. I am currently working on thinking outside of my own box that I have fashioned. Having Cindy around has really expanded my parameters. Just walking into her store two years ago changed the possibilities I saw for myself. I consider her my mentor. Just watching and seeing what she can take on is a huge inspiration to me, it has enabled me to take on bigger challenges and take risks. I am brewing another big project in the back on my mind, thinking forward to a place where I only get to do what I really want to do.

Anyhow, I am digressing here. I thought I would do a quick update on the status of that new line of pillows and panels and look what happens! So, the panels have been screened by Sari, and I must say they are more incredible than I imagined they could be. The fabric for the pillows is on the way and I am so excited to hand it over to her to work her magic on them. I would give us about two weeks to get them in to the shop, just in time for November! I can’t wait to see.

Oh and as my mind spins, and I just met a woman upholsterer with very funky style….am thinking of how to use her skills to their fullest potential! My mind is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get when you wake up on Thursday morning. That was said out loud in my best Forrest Gump voice..


A Very Few Of My Favorite Things….

Creativity is a funny thing. You gather inspiration(there’s that word again) from just about everywhere when the juices are flowing. Fall is the time of year when I really start getting excited and busy. The turn of the season always infuses me with 10 times the energy I have in the summer. I feel like I can do anything, be anyone. It’s like I had a creativity bail out, which is great since I’m not getting an economic one!

So things that I love this season! Peacocks! The blue and greens are so amazing. I dream of looking out my manor house window and watching my peacocks stroll around the grounds. I am wearing a black silk dress, with corsets and lots of petticoats it’s 1850….I watched Bleak House too many times. Lady Deadlock is my most favorite tragic character….
Sir Leicester Deadlock: “Is it still raining my love?”
Lady Deadlock: “Yes my love. And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place. Bored to death with my life. Bored to death with myself.”
Me: “That’s because you need peacocks Lady Deadlock!”
That last bit is not in the story, but I bet she would be less tragic is she had gotten some.
Anyhow! Jillian Anderson plays Lady Deadlock and has the most incredible wardrobe. Really you should watch all 12 episodes. Yes 12, Charles Dickens never wrote anything short now did he?

Ok, so you get the idea I’m a bit hung up on old things? I am still mourning the loss of Flutters green velvet sofa. Yes, still! Velvet and silk are heavy on my mind these days. I have found a beautiful rayon silk that I am still trying to figure out what to do with. The silk I have picked out three colors and we have all decided on the designs for the new fall pillows for Flutter.
Magenta, Flutter famous turquoise blue, and my favorite of all time black, all of them in Dupioni. Dupioni is a shimmering silk that is created by weaving silk threads of two different colors into a weave that changes colors as the silk is moved around in different lights. Beautiful stuff. Mmmm.

I said a very few of my favorite things….I’ll be posting more next week!



Inspirational Insistance

Oh, inspiration! It’s been a good week for it. Monday evening was spent with Cindy and other good friends at the Nick Cave show at the Crystal Ballroom. Doesn’t it just sound romantic? A dance floor beautiful chandeliers, murals, a balcony. I have to say it was a fabulous place, and that it’s still in it’s full glory is really something to be said for the owners. So many times old things get tossed out for the new. The idea that when something gets old and chipped up that it’s no longer attractive is just sad. I mean, look at Nick Cave. He said he was “disgracefully old” Monday night. It was his 51st birthday. I wouldn’t throw him out, no, no, no! I was not disappointed, and I don’t think many were. He rocked like he was 24. So see, when a thing seems old to one person, it can actually still hold a lot of joy and add fullness to another. So thank you Nick for reminding us that old stuff is way cool. Oh, and Flutter as always for helping old things get the respect and limelight they deserve!

How does this all tie in with my sewing and designing gig? Nick Cave You say? I thought you were supposed to write about interior stuff and what cool things your making, you say.
Well, how about next week. I just want to languish in the revelry that was Monday night. A night that made this old thing feel young again!


Fall too!

I, like Sarah, adore the fall! The leaves changing color, the smell of the air, warm days and cool nights. Halloween is just around the corner. Days spent inside. What’s not to like?
Oh yeah, the rain. Most folks don’t care for the eight months of rain we get here in the great northwest. I truly happily anticipate the rain. I do. It means it’s time for me to get going on projects without any regret for a lost sunny day! Summers great, but I don’t get much work done. In the fall, I get out all my new old favorite music( I have a feeling it’s Nick Cave!) and sit in my sewing room pouring over magazines and fabrics. FABRICS. MMMMmmm. Magazines. Mmmmm.

A collaborator and I recently met over a drink to talk about our newest project for Cindy’s shop. Sari, my partner in fabric crimes who is not Sarah my partner in blogging, is a very talented silk screen artist.

Publish Post

We talked about teal and black silk with lanterns printed on them. We talked about chrysanthemums and peacock feathers on hot pink silk. We also talked about Gossip Girl, but that’s a discussion for another day! We are getting this project off the ground very soon. Have to get her that pink silk so she can print it up for drapery panels!
I can’t wait to share…


I have just finished up these beautiful pillows for Flutter. Cindy had given me some amazing old Suzanis that she picked up. The colors are amazing on these, as well as the embroidery. Reds, turquoise, green, magentas. Fantastic. A little fringe here, a tassel there. Not much I needed to do to these elaborate fabrics, they speak for themselves. My favorite is the green silk, which is about 50 years old.

“Suzani” means needlework. These embroideries are traditional handwork done by Uzbekistan women. A piece is generally started with the birth of a girl child, and then work continues until she is married and given as part of her dowry. It’s cool to see how these pieces are put together of many strips of cloths and the crazy stitches. Can you imagine sitting and sewing thousands of perfect little rows? I can’t! I’m glad women are still keeping this tradition alive for the rest of us to enjoy.

The pillows are going to be put out for todays grand fall re-opening of Flutter. I can’t wait to see where Cindy has put them. I went to deliver them to her yesterday during her big change over, and she is the hardest working shop owner I have ever met, and one of the most creative. The store is going to be a sight today! The change from summer to fall, the light to dark is great. I was having a hard time looking at her while talking there were so many new things to look at. Last night I was even dreaming of that green velvet, tufted sofa with the green bullion fringe! Oh! And the orange chandelier! Ahh! Dangerous place for me!

Oh! Come if you can, but if you can’t make it, we’ll have pictures for you!

There’s no place like home!

Hello, I am Susan Hashem, your host of the home and decorating department of Flutter! To start out I’ll give you a little background on how I ended up working with Cindy the owner of this fabulous place called Flutter.

This is shall we say a sort of 6 degrees of separation story… After moving here (about 2 years ago), I was shopping on Mississippi with my family and good friend. Walking around the neighborhood we happened into this fantastic store, Flutter. The woman manning shop asks if she knows my friend, and then my husband says “hey I used to sell you stuff when you were at Dirty Jane’s!”. We had been living parallel lives of sorts in Seattle, moving out of there about the same time to pursue other avenues of existence and now again are living in Portland working on creative pursuits. I started bringing in pillows that I was making a few weeks later and the rest is history. It has been nothing but fun ever since. And I need fun.

After working in home design for 10 years, I mainly deal with beige. You know, stodgy home design projects. Most people are afraid of color, afraid of crazy patterns. I am not. I love nothing more than throwing together some wild combinations that in the end work out beautifully. Working with Cindy on projects really refreshes me and allows me to use my crazy talents. She throws some mishmash vintage fabrics she’s collected and I put them together to make beautiful one off pillows and bedding. The past year and a half has been great, using old kimonos to make some amazing pillows, to the funky flower fabric that was used in Cindy’s childhood bedroom made into a lovely coverlet.

We are starting to get fall together now with bright bold patterns and colors. Vintage embroidered pieces that are amazing, I am just trying to figure out what they will be when they grow up. I am also excited about a big project that we have brewing too. Custom iron drapery rods, custom drapery panels made of fabulous shantung silk with screened images on the edges, all of this work done locally. Also a line of silk pillows with fanciful images printed on them. These will be amazing when they are finished. I can’t wait to see what happens….so stay tuned!