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Naples Florida

    Art, Florida, IMAGINATION, Naples, TRAVEL

    Save the Sea on Land at the Naples Zoo

    Washed Ashore at the Naples Zoo

    Exhibit: WASHED ASHORE: ART TO SAVE THE SEA
    Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Naples, Florida

     The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens here in Naples, Florida—a half mile from our house—is hosting an upcycled art installation throughout its’ walkways, Washed Ashore:  Art to Save the Sea until April 21, 2019.

    Founded by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, an artist and teacher from Oregon, Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea manifests her passion for protecting the oceans and educating a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways to spark positive changes in consumer habitats.

    Since the project began in 2010, thousands of pounds of trash have been removed from beaches. That trash was then processed into more than 70 works of art, which travel the country to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s oceans and marine life.

    This exhibit is extremely poignant here in Southwest Florida, as our waterways—mainly the Gulf of Mexico—continually fight red tide, blue-green algae blooms and runoff pollution created by man-made toxins.

    All of the sculptures are of animals affected by plastic pollution. The Naples Zoo has 11 pieces on display throughout the zoo’s walkways. Each one magnificent with tiny, fun touches you only see if you stop and study the details.

    CUT DOWN THE PLASTIC!
    What you can now do to help

    • NO PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS: Use a reusable shopping bag whenever possible.
    • SKIP THE STRAWS: Many states are banning plastic straws, but if offered—skip it!
    • AVOID SINGLE-SERVE CONTAINERS: Recycle it, don’t trash it.
    • USE A REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE: Skip the bottled water!

    You won’t find plastic bags, straws or lids at the Naples Zoo.
    The Zoo is keeping wildlife safe by not using these items!

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    DESIGN, Florida, Interior Design, Naples, Tips + Advice

    Simple Staging: Easy Elegance to Sell Your Home Fast

    The Golden Girls
    The easiest and fastest way to sell your home is to give potential buyers a canvas as blank — or as neutral — as possible.  Potential buyers need to be able to instantly envision where their stuff is going to go in your home.
    • De-Clutter. No, Really. Pack the Knick Knacks.

      Potential home buyers want to see the space. Not your collection of Princess Diana plates. Take this opportunity to start packing, sorting and purging your belongings. Give home buyers a clear view of wall, floor and shelving spaces. Make your home unforgettable — for all the right reasons.

    Read more

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    DIY, Interior Design

    DIY: How to Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    As a newlywed, I faced what many new brides must deal with after moving into their new husbands’ spaces — transforming a bachelor pad into a home. Without a pool table in the middle of the living room.

    As you can see, our starting point of the master bedroom bathroom had been handled with bachelor care, i.e., “Yeah…that’s easy to fix. Later.”  One of the towel rack handles had been broken off, electrical outlets needed to be updated into the 21st century and the mirrored medicine cabinet was literally falling out of the wall.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    I wanted to create a bold, luxurious master bedroom for us, making sure to carry the sexy undertones into our en suite.  To Pinterest I went! This gorgeous wall, pinned by DesignDazzle.com, would be my inspiration.

    Inspiration

    Step 1:  Map out your wall.

    Measure the entire wall. Look to your inspiration for a game plan. I wanted three major columns vertically, so I began my calculations on a sketch pad with each column being 12 inches wide. I then added additional inches inbetween each column to evenly space them, and added inches at the left- and right-hand ends to evenly center the pattern on the wall overall. Repeat the same process for the length. It doesn’t matter if you sketch is drawn perfectly to scale, in crazy freehand such as mine, or drawn over the photo, what matters most is your numbers.  As you start to mask out the pattern in painter’s tape, adjustments on the fly may be needed. Keep your calculator handy.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 2:  Tapping the pattern.

    First, prep your wall. Repair and fill any holes, dents, etc., as you can see, we totally removed the towel bar and kept the assistance handle. For one, any towel hanging on the rack would hang directly in the way of the assistance bar and, we plan to sell our condo in the next couple of years, living in the retirement hub of the world, Southwest Florida, an assistance bar would be considered a bathroom asset.

    Next, paint the entire wall the color you wish the pattern itself to be; I used Pantone in Mood Indigo in Valspar Signature with an eggshell finish. Make sure this layer has a even and full coverage; let dry overnight. Using a ruler, pencil and Scotch Blue 1.5-inch Painter’s Tape, start applying your pattern. This the most tedious part of the project, as you MUST measure from every point to ensure the pattern is even vertically and horizontally. Believe me, if you are off even the slightest bit, it will be noticeable. Slow and steady wins the race here in taping out the pattern. I would tape out a square…take a break…stape out a square…take a break. I won’t lie, this took about four hours over the course of one evening to complete.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 3:  Top coat.

    After painstakingly applying the pattern, paint the entire wall your top coat color. And, yes, completely cover your pattern. I used Pantone in White Aparagus in Valspar Signature paint in an eggshell finish. Make sure to coat with full and even coverage, perhaps two coats, and let dry for two to three days. Yes, two to three DAYS.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 4:  Peel and fix.

    After letting your top coat completely dry, test the waters by gently peeling back the edge of one section of tape. When completely dry, the tape will peel off easily without smearing any paint, leaving a clean, crisp line.  Continue to gently remove the tape, one piece at a time. After the whole pattern is revealed, some touch up will be necessary.  I completed our wall by adding a contrasting decorative leaves I painted a burnt orange, which ties our accent wall and colors into our master bedroom rug.

    Wall la! Le pattern!

    How to Paint an Accent Wall



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    DIY

    My Father’s Sweater: A DIY Upcycled Forget-Him-Not

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    My father passed away many years ago. So many so, sometimes my memory of him feels like swirling dust – the fine, tiny particles of the image of his face, disappearing as the air carries them in all different directions.

    As I packed up my life last summer for my big move south, I came across my big, blue Tiffany & Co. box I keep of all my fondest mementos of him in.  One of which was his gray, cardigan sweater.

    Dad-at-work-001

    As I sat holding his sweater and remembering him in it, his memory, image and spirit were so strong.  As I held the sweater, I could feel him all around me. I didn’t want that feeling to slip away once I returned the sweater to its box.

    DADSsweater

    What could I do with his sweater? I thought of draping it across my sofa or living room accent chair, but it only ended up looking like a misplaced piece of laundry.  I thought of repurposing it as a pillow cover, but that only ended in looking super awkward.  To really figure out what to do, to Pinterest I went!

    As I searched for some DIY sweater upcycling ideas, my solution hit me. I would craft my dad’s sweater into some sort of sock monkey, I mean sweater monkey, for which I had an extensive collection. As I refined my search, I discovered one step better – an upcycled sweater cat. Perfect, or rather, purr-fect.

    il_570xN.401864719_nwme

    Pinterest find! // Cashmere sweater cat by sweetpoppycat found on Etsy

    STEP 1:

    I created my own pattern using an 11×17 piece of paper.

    pattern

    STEP 2:

    For the accent pieces used for the face, eyes, tail and heart detail, I used different parts of the sweater (pocket lining) and remnants from my own fabric supply.

    steps

    STEP 3:

    I hand sewed my creation together using its tag and buttons for small little “dad” details on the back.

    back

    THE FINISHED PRODUCT:

    20130718_121954

    A tactile, physical forget-dad-not creation that sits in my bedroom which brings a smile to my face daily, allowing me to feel, touch and keep ever present, my dad’s memory.

    How do you remember your loved ones?



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    Florida, Naples, TRAVEL

    WEEKEND IN: Naples, Florida

    DREAMPORT Naples Florida

    WEEKEND EXCURSION


     Naples, Florida

    Amy shares her off-duty local favorites

    Seaside Excursion :: My Weekend :: Naples, Florida

     

     

     

    • WHAT I LOVE ABOUT WEEKENDS IN NAPLES

      Sleeping late (late means 8:00AM to us), drinking coffee in bed with my love watching the morning news, and cocktails on the lanai watching the sunset. We also do a lot of napping, reading, working out at the North Collier Regional Park Rec-Plex and rounds of golf at our home, High Point Country Club. We also love to walk to one of our favorite spots, the 12st Pier, at least once a weekend.

    • FAVE FOOD

      With tacos in Joe’s blood {no, really, his dad founded and created Taco Joe’s, a chain of Mexican restaurants in the Northeast}, we love to cook homemade tacos and burritos for lunch on the weekends – complete with the family secret spice recipe.
      We eat out at one of our favorite local spots, which are put on rotation. We absolutely crave Campiello’s on Third Street, Rosedale Pizza on Pine Ridge Road, Harold’s Burgers on 41 and cocktails at Dusk in the Ritz-Carlton on Vanderbilt Beach Road.

    • SHOPPING

      Little known fact about shopping in Naples beyond the luxurious hot spots of Waterside Shops, The Village on Venetian Bay and the Coastline Mall are its’ fabulous and many times close to divine consignment, second-hand and thrift stores. Some of my favorites include Home and Salvage Consignment on Taylor Street, Salvation Army Family Store on Davis Boulevard, Avow Hospice Treasures & Books on 41, and Options Thrift Shoppe on 2nd Avenue. What’s better than a great deal on designer treasures – helping phenomenal charities at the same time.

    • BEAUTY BASICS

      Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock {Burt’s Bees Sunblock}. I am hooked on Nerium for face and body, mascara and lipgloss frame my face for daytimes Saturdays and Sundays. Other weekend rituals include some sort of graphic tee, my Tory Burch flip flops and an assortment of beach shopper totes.

    • WEEKEND READING

      Begins Thursday with Naples Florida Weekly hot off the presses; if something is going on in Naples during the weekend, it will be in this paper. Gulfshore Life magazine and endless interior design books on my Nook.



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    DESIGN, Interior Design

    AERIN’s Effortless Style. Literally.

    I had the pleasure of attending a personal appearance by Aerin Lauder, founder of AERIN,  a global luxury lifestyle sub-brand of the esteemed Estee Lauder powerhouse, last week at Clive Daniel HOME, here in Naples.

    I must admit, on the drive there I was still crossing my fingers this appearance wouldn’t be some strange rendition of Avenue Q  – where someone’s hand is up Aerin’s derrière, making her lips move with all the right brand-speak, proving she is nothing more than a mere placard for a super brand trying to cash in on its heir.

    Aerin Lauder

    Immediate left:  Aerin Lauder, Founder of AERIN | Photo Courtesy of Clive Daniel HOME, via Zee Anna Photography

    In researching the World of AERIN’s design philosophy before attending, I became drunk with consuming in access all “effortless beautiful living” has to offer – stunning photographs of modelesque homes, men and women, $3,735 golden side tables, lavish musks, costume jewelry and eyewear – I could barely keep from slurring my words.

    As I kept drinking it all in, the veteran marketer in me started to step in, throw me in a cold shower and sober me up. As I surfed from page to page, I saw AERIN the brand in literal physical form, but where was Aerin the interior designer, fashion trend setter, entrepreneur, creator? That part of AERIN the brand and Aerin the founder, was – in all efforts – missing.

    I wanted to learn her thought processes when curating her furniture pieces, her inspirations when creating her different product lines, where she studied design, and the details of each furniture piece. There was nothing. There was no effort given in telling AERIN’s story as an artist, overall brand or history-rich heir.  To be a successful marketer, it’s all about storytelling – creating narrative around your products to give them life, appeal and status; AERIN’s strive for effortless living has indeed created an air of lack of effort.

    It was disappointing to me as a designer, marketer and consumer to realize I had had beer goggles on while falling in love with the World of AERIN.  Unfortunately, my disappointment grew worse.  As I viewed each product under Furnishings, I was astonished to discover there was no information listed about the origin, details or designer. How can AERIN expect consumers to pay in upwards of $10,000 for a single piece without knowing any sort of provenance?

    AERIN Home Furnishings

    AERIN showroom floor | Clive Daniel HOME, Naples, Florida

    What was even more disappointing you may ask? To hear her unable to answer the question, “Where is your furniture manufactured?” at the event.  Aerin, in true lack-of-effort style, had to refer to another AERIN executive next to her for the information. Heavy sigh.

    Don’t get me wrong, Aerin seemed lovely, gracious and kind; after my research and attendance, I simply lack respect for her position at AERIN. For me, especially as both a business owner and professor, do your homework, know your product, and at least pretend to be the driving force behind the company you allegedly founded.  Whether you are indeed the roll-up-your-sleeves, hands-on founder or mere 16-million-share-holder marionette – make the effort – be professional.

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