The Sister's Become Fashionably Chic!

We absolutely love blogging.  The very best thing about it is the daily inspiration from blog friends and the friendships that have developed.  It's a friendly community.  Most enjoy sharing knowledge and expertise and helping others along the way. I know I've received far more than I've given and am truly thankful to everyone. 

This has been a week where collaboration has abounded.  Debra Phillips with 5th and State is launching a new online landscape design business.  We worked together on a test pilot with my grounds and her work is amazing.  If you missed that post earlier in the week, click here.

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On Saturday Ann with Plum Siena, an expert at artisan wall and architectural finishes as well as event planning has put together a virtual Garden Soire in my back yard that you will not want to miss.

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Don't forget to come back Saturday for that one.

Today you are in for a huge treat.    Marsha with Splenderosa is the most fashionable person I have ever met.  Her taste is exquisite.  Her jewelry designs are fabulous and you will definitely want to hop over to her site to take a look around and browse her Etsy Shop.

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But don't leave just yet, because  Marsha has done a virtual fashion makeover on Sister and I that we're completely blown away with. 

Enjoy Marshas's talent...

"I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends

A chance to share old memories and play our songs again

When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name

No one recognized me, I didn't look the same"

And, so it goes when two beautiful blonde petite sisters,

who are both interior designers & live in Arkansas,

decided to host a garden party in their

newly envisioned home...

I decided they needed to push the envelope a little,

just as they would do if redecorating our homes,

by outfitting them in coordinating ensembles

with very fashion forward accessories.

After all, they want to be memorable, don't they?

And with these sumptuous dresses from

Alberta Ferretti

they look elegantly at-home casual,

just the right tone, I think.

love the crystal chunks around the neckline

whimsical shoes, either pair

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below, a coordinating 2-piece, we need to nip in the waist

because our girls are petite...love the white skirt with

appliques...add the turquoise jewelry & voila...casual dynamite.

Jewelry could be interchangeable between the 2 outfits.

And those calf-skin wedges!!

But either pair would do...

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Next pair of dresses, again

Alberta Ferretti

because she designs for small women.

Loving the chiffon print, billowing skirts & sleeves.

To keep the ensemble zippy the necklace which has

a tribal flavor with hammered gold hoops.

Sexy red wedges, perfect for the garden.

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Goddess dress in coordinating apricot silk chiffon

with appliques of lace in a dark tan...

again the billowing aspects...

lay on the gold & turquoise for a big pop of color

and making it look so new, not so formal...

with those turquoise wedges of summer.

Our ladies both have shorter blonde hair, so we won't be

seeing long strands hanging down so the jewelry becomes

even more important.

I've given them two choices for the enchanting evening.

I do hope they love them as much as I do.

Thank you, Mona, for inviting me to share in all the fun.

Now, let's all grab a glass of champagne and find

a great place to sit so we can see and be seen.

xx's

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Wow!  Two girls can dream...Sister and I hope we never wake up.  We can't pick a favorite.  We'll just have to beg for lot's of party invitations to wear all of these wonderful clothes.

  Thank-you Marsha for such a sweet friendship and the beautiful job you did on this post!

What do you think?  Is Marsha's eye for fashion and beauty not just incredible?  She needs to be dressing Hollywood stars. 

It's your turn.  Let's talk!

Garden Re-Design With Debra Phillips of Scentimental Gardens

When we're working on an interior design project we love to get involved with the outside of the home as well.  Trust me, we are not trying to take the place of a landscape architect.  That's an entirely different field that we have a huge amount of respect for.  However, blending the interior and exterior is extremely important so it's nice to work together to make this all happen.  The benefit of collaboration cannot be under estimated.

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You might recall that I posted a few weeks ago about changes I would like to make in my own garden.  Click here to see that post.

Our good friend Debra Phillips with 5th And State from Wayne Illinois just outside of Chicago jumped on the comments with all kinds of suggestions.  For those of you who don't know Debra she is an extremely talented lady. 

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Debra owns and operates Scentimental Gardens a Design/Build Landscape firm and Retail Shop in Geneva Illinois .  She is a Master Gardener, accomplished interior designer, exterior stylist, public speaker on these topics and Garden Tour Guide. 

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The shop is filled with antiques,furniture, garden accessories and unique finds. 

Debra recently opened another Retail shop in Chicago, South Grand.  Here she specializes in urban antiques and uncommon objects.

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Debra also writes one of our favorite blogs.  She's always up for some wonderful new adventure. It's a pure delight to follow her...

Debra recently returned from England where she spent several weeks writing a new book...

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Click here for more lovely images and for details on joining Debra for a future personal guided English Garden Tour.

Back to my garden...

Debra shared such great suggestions when I posted about the changes I'd liket to make in some areas of our garden that we decided to put our heads together and see what we could come up with.  She has plans to launch an online landscape border design service soon.  We thought this would be a fun exercise to work some kinks out and show just how easy it is to utilize the expertise of a professional online.  Again, collaboration is key.

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We've just started the process and it's been so much fun.  I sent Debra pictures, measurements and a very rough sketch of the beds to be worked on.   She then sent sent me a list of questions to answer so she would have good information to begin the design process.

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I told you it was rough...

Pictures are worth a thousand words...

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Our gardens have good bones.  They just need a little tweaking.  Debra's creativity and eye for detail will transform them to the next level.

To the Questions...

1.  Identify the architecture of your home...The home and garden should seamlessly compliment and enhance each other via style and colors.

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2.  What are your views from primary windows?...From the inside looking out is the way we view our gardens.  They should be perfectly "framed".

3.  Share inspirational photos.  Just as it is important for the inside of the home it allows me to seek patterns, and what you gravitate to.

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4.  What are your favorite plants; trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals.  Also your dislikes.

I love Boxwood, Arborvitae, Red Japanese Maple, Roses, Hydrangeas,Peonies, Lavender, Rosemary, Lambs Ear,Boston Ivy,Russian Sage. 

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5.  What colors do you like or dislike?

I want a combination of pinks, whites and blues with lots of lush green.  I don't like grasses and things that tend to look messy.

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Other questions and considerations...

How do you feel about variegated foliage, colored foliage?

Are there problems in the garden that need to be corrected?  Any drainage issues?  Often the biggest problem in the garden is wrongly sited plants.  Learn the requirements for individual plants. 

Additional inquiries will determine sun or shade, dimensions, willingness to transplant or move, minimal maintenance, etc.  Do you like to garden?

This entire exercise has been so much fun.  It's forcing me to really think about things and explore new options.  In my book, two heads are always better than one.  That's why Sister and I enjoy working together so much.  Between the two of us, we're never at a loss for ideas.  That's why you should consider hiring a designer if you haven't already.  Someone who has a vested interest in your project and can help you make good decisions so that your home can be the best that it can be.

Working with Debra has been amazing.  This is just the preliminary work.  Stay tuned for all the details and the beautiful final reveal. 

It's your turn.  Let's talk!