My Mother: An Inspiration

My mother is someone very special in my life: a strong and creative woman, a nurturing figure, a source of inspiration and laughter.

My mother and IMy mother and I

These past few months have been difficult for me on a personal level. Raising a son who has special needs can be exhausting, and I can thank my mother for being there for me as my husband and I battle the system to help our son reach his full potential and be happy. Some of you may wonder why I have not blogged as much: I have been focusing on my youngest son and my design business. I put the blog on the backburner…

As long as I can remember, I lived in a creative home. In fact, I learned to sew and draw at a very young age, modeling after my mother’s creative energy. I remember falling asleep to the sound of the sharp blade of a pair of sewing scissors, gliding along confidently on the hardwood floor, as my mom cut large slabs of fabric pinned to patterns to make dresses for us (at midnight!).

Fabric was a soothing and happy word in my household.

As a little girl, I saw my mother become a Montessori student and then a teacher. I would go to her classroom to help on my days off school, and hold the colorful beads, cherishing the colors and shapes. I would position the pink tower blocks carefully one above the other or arrange the little trays with the small pitcher and cup on their shelves.

Our house accumulated oriental rugs my parents shopped for; I remember we could spend a whole weekend driving around the country searching for the perfect antique corner cupboard. My mother would take an antique quilt and repurpose it as a curtain between two rooms, or she would make a patch work art piece for my younger sister’s bedroom, using scraps of fabric.

Color, texture, beauty, in infinite details of objects or in a carefully cared for garden, continue to inspire my mother to this day:

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s collection of antique chess pieces. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s assortiment of little boxes and “chinoiseiries”. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza Books and picture in my mother’s living room and below, her wingchair- Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

GH-wingchair

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother’s glass menagerie Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaHer silver cups…

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaA fun vignette, I love the stool with the embroidered seat under the English table…Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMy mother has style everywhere, including in her garden! Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaDid I mention she is a painter nowadays? Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAnd to top things off, my mother takes me to strange and totally cool stores when I visit, like this escapade we made to Vermont, just to check out this quirky shop, The Owl’s Nest. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 I’d say my passion for interior design and the creative process was inspired, day in and day out, by my mother.

Interior Design, after all, is about the loving juxtaposition of items, gathered together to create beauty and comfort.

 

Travels to the Famous Brimfield Show (A Neophyte’s Telling) – Part 2

And now for Part 2 of my exhilarating adventure at the Brimfield Show!

I saw a lot of Americana or Folk Antiques, such as these quality pieces by Quiet Corner Antiques:

Early 18th Century American Chair in excellent condition. As seen at Quiet Corner Antiques‘s tent.
Antique wooden utensiles and containers offered by Quiet Corner Antiques
Early 19th Century Plates

Other vendors offered every day items which have now entered the vintage realm:

Oil Bottles
Milk jugs…Remember those?
Old signs and cycles. Signs were hot and selling like baguettes in a French bakery!
Metal furniture and anything industrial was coveted, such as this little crisscross table.

I enjoyed this iron twin bed at Ornament Home‘s tent:

A sweet iron bed.

 

Reclaimed grain sacks make fun decorative elements at Ornament Home.

Then I visited Pascal’s tent. A Frenchman based in GA, his furniture offers very appealing lines:

I fell hard for this beautifully designed bed by Pascal Home.
Lovely sofa in lush grape colored velvet.
These white plastic chairs were already tagged “SOLD” on Friday.

Then there was the Waltham, MA Darby Road vendor who had a nice selection of items:

Beautiful vignette showing a slice of wood on stand and a glimpse of a great carved sign with gold lettering in background.
I thought the painted lozenges contrasted nicely with the rounded body of this armoire piece.

I leave for Blogfest2012 this weekend and will be back with the final chapter of this Brimfield Series next week!

Have a r-el-a-x-i-n-g weekend!

 

Travels to the Famous Brimfield Show (A Neophyte’s Telling) – Part 1

I had the immense pleasure of traveling to the Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show these past few days. The outdoors show first launched in the 1950’s, and has grown to  be known as a “must-see” by all Antique aficionados, a gigantic spread of dealers over about a 1/2 mile strip along Route 20 in Brimfield, MA. If you add to that description the fact that the dealers extend back from the highway about a good 500 foot stretch, well, you do the math!

As an interior designer who blogs and has a strong social media presence on Twitter, I was lucky to be invited to a Brimfield “tweet-up” and meet my colleagues IRL (In Real Life) in an inviting tent, decorated by the talented and very kind Shane Inman, designer at The Inman Company with the help of a lovely young woman named Jen.

The Brimfield tweet-up was hosted by two hard working and very talented women, Gretchen Aubuchon, founder and editor in chief of Fashion and Decor, and Cynthia Bogart, creator and editor of The Daily Basics, an online “magazine” reuniting a community of lifestyle bloggers. They hosted a fabulous event!

Without further ado, I take you on my journey, inside the tent and on the field, as I push my shopping cart on gravel and stop to take some photos.

Brimfield Tent decorated by Interior Designer Shane Inman. Bar constructed with Benjamin Moore paint cans! Benjamin Moore, along with Robert Allen Design, Aubuchon Hardware and Company C were some of the event’s sponsors. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Designers Laurie Gorelick and Elizabeth Benedict eager to start shopping with the Brimfield Tweet Up Cart! 
Brimfield Tweet Up Cart TAG detail. Note the clever ribbons and lost and found ID info!!!

 

Paintings at Brimfield. I really enjoyed these. Unfortunately the vendor could not tell me the name of artist. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Van Briggle Vase. A superb specimen for collectors. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
European Linen sold by the yard at Brimfield. The vendor is Austrian and travels all over Europe to bring these back. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
European Linens by the same vendor. I just loved how she organized her cutting area with all the mini bolts. The fabric can be used to make runners, cover chairs, dishtowels, etc. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.

Fabrics were in and I saw lovely vintage fabrics:

Vintage Table Linens at Brimfield. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
More vintage linens.

I found myself drawn to groupings of objects:

Collection of Tartan napkin rings and other small objects sold by vendor Craig Ringstad. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Colored glass containers artfully displayed by Cobalt Turtle Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Sand dollars on a silver platter arranged by the talented South Porch Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
South Porch Antiques interesting arrangement of little treasures. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Another favorite: collection of wooden dumbbells offered by South Porch Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Stunning Swedish antique clocks by Lone Ranger Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Gorgeous Swedish secrétaire by Lone Ranger antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Detail of the same piece. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.

I could resist the humor of this shot:

Swedish chairs wearing red plastic cup booties in lieu of rain boots!

More armoires and secrétaires by the same vendor:

Swedish Antique Armoire. Lone Ranger Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.

 

Swedish Antique Secrétaire. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.

 

Rolling Pins at Lone Ranger Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Detail of rolling pins texture. Loved these! Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.
Dried pressed flower art at Lone Ranger Antiques. Photo Elza B. Design, Inc.

More to come, but it is time for me to go to bed!!!! Take this in, and the next batch will be ready before you know it :-) Enjoy a fabulous weekend!