Friday, August 28, 2009

Under the weather, in a ditch

Abby the Tabby AKA: Abracadabra, or AB TAB

Inky: AKA: The Hippo
Why must mom decorate me? Well it's attention, so I will go with it.
Oh my god I love boxes. All boxes. I love paper, and boxes. Big boxes, little boxes, and I love all paper!! And by the way, you cannot see me, Im in stealth mode. Highly secretive operation here.

Im feeling under the weather and in a ditch today. I was under the bridge yesterday too. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING hurts. And to make matters worse my stomach feels like it is on fire, a volcano with built up frustration and anger bubbling further into aggravation. I cant decide if I want to sit, stand, or lay down. It is too hard to make such a decision in this state. Im agitated, and irritable, and then five seconds later I want to cry in defeat. Maybe my husband is right. It would be much easier to go out back and just shoot me. At least all of this would be over.

I missed work yesterday. My girls do not come in on Thursdays. So the shop was closed. I made the mistake of leaving my cell number on the door. I swear to heaven on earth if I received one more call from a damn delivery truck, irate and cranky, wanting to deliver goods I was going to shoot THEM! Despite my dissatisfaction I made the decision to come in today. Pointless. Im sitting here at the computer practically drooling in irritation and discomfort. I can barely move. My girls will be here in an hour. I cannot wait. Although I don't know why. I will just go home and be irritated in discomfort and all ALONE at home. In a universe that is so complex and organized why must we get illness? Couldn't GOD just skip over this part? At any rate if you haven't caught my drift, Im miserable. So I guess I will take my irritable, cranky pants home and sulk. Oh and one more thing. Why is it when you feel this way the worst, and I mean the WORST television is on? I already feel crappy. Do I really need to flip through infomercials of the snuggie, Billy Mayes, and Tony Robbins? To make us all feel better Im posting three of my favorite things, abby the tabby, inky AKA: the hippo, and Nike, A.K.A: big bear/big kitty/Nike no toes (no toes comes from the fact that he has NEVER been able to jump because his toes don't work) But I love him anyways! Awww dont these make you smile? They make me feel a weee bit better.
Nike AKA: Big bear/ Big kitty/ Nike no toes (he weighs 20 lbs!! Isn't he C-U-T-E!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Off to Babylon where the pie don't taste so sweet..

About a month ago the lovely and wonderful Vicente Wolf wrote a post about client behavior. Clients tend to have high expectations from their designers. However, they don't always want to pay for the work required to get from point A to point B. Thus clients are prone to unrealistic, impractical, and often times unfeasible assumptions. They anticipate a storyboard of ideas and a jaw dropping presentation and soon drop their eagerness to move forward when the bill comes in the mail. "what! You want me to PAY for the time you spend to put together a presentation?" After awhile I got used to the response, but I have also become callous in my own expectations.

For those of you new to the design block, the bulk of a design project happens in the beginning stages of a project. Countless hours go into research, space-planning, color analysis, furniture, fabrics, lighting, and sifting through hundreds of books, materials and samples. I have personally invested over 30 hours doing research just to redo one room. I want the space to be perfect in design, concept and function. And like any research it is about experimentation and discovery. Once the materials and ideas are pulled, it needs to be structured and organized in an efficient and methodical order to best show the client the "vision". Countless hours!

Despite years of presentations, it still surprises me when I get the client that refuses to pay for this. They want to meet with two or three designers, to choose the BEST one. That is fine by me, but you will pay me for my TIME. I often try to put it in perspective for them. "Would you go into work an hour early and stay an hour late every day, without pay, because your boss wants to SEE if you are the best one?" Funny enough they always have an answer that favors their point over mine.

I will never understand why people do not respect this profession. I have a college education, in DESIGN, and I earn a living on my TIME. How do you suppose I pay my girls, my rent, my electric bill, my phone bill....?? By giving it away?? Afraid not. In order for me to pay my overhead, and carry the products I carry it takes money. The magical green paper that solves all the world problems. So the next time you want to drag me to Babylon and back, where the pie don't taste so sweet, think twice, because I have grown very weary of travel and Im real tired of bad pie. Remember dear clients, we live in the south where EVERYTHING takes butter, sugar and love to taste better.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Half assed TARGET Tuesday!

Im sure ALL of you have noticed I have been on Hi-A-tus. (That's just fun to say!) I wish I could say I was on hiatus doing something fun, entertaining and full of jolly saint nick. But to everyone's disappointment, including my own, it has simply been repetitive, monotony I call life and work. Throw in a little visit from the family and I catch the garden variety "momentary" insanity that pushes it's way front and center. Such insanity contributes to jarring side effects that eliminate any good F-U-N like blogging, sleeping, or eating. Have I mentioned how much I love eating and sleeping? Have I mentioned how much I LOVE butter and sugar?Did you know that when you mix them they taste EVEN better!!??

Ok, so we are severely off track. I suppose it is to be expected when I haven't blogged in a week and my mind is racing in a hamster wheel at warp speed. Im going to attempt to stay on track, as best I can, and focus on my beloved Target. This week I would like to work on Vases. Now Target generally has a fairly good selection of vases. BUT not all year round. And they are typically all clear. Can we say BORING? I like anything in glass to have personality, style, and color. Clear glass can be attractive if the style has a screaming personality. I love vases that have a combination of colors that are tastefully done and decorative. Some vases get a little crazy with the confetti glass and make me turn the other way in the isle and RUN!

My vases will be contemporary and tastefully done. I will offer a range of sizes, styles, and colors. I will have vases that are purely decorative and I will offer vases that are functional. My vases will work with any style decor and they will be very easy to decorate with. The best part will be the flowers your significant other brings home to put in the new vase! Or you can streak the neighborhood in a wild rampage, grabbing flowers along the way, ripping them from trees, bushes and gardens to fill in your perfect and stylish Target vase.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Can you believe this is our 8th Target Tuesday! Wow, who knew there were so many Tuesday's over the Summer? I suppose I could have counted them ahead of time, plotted and mapped out a plan, been organized and prepared and projected accordingly. But details such as those are the reason I am a DESIGNER. The inferior designator. Arranging such plans are way out of league, my hemisphere of thought patterns range in "Ooooo pretty, and OMG! that's gorgeous! Does chartreuse work in are design theme?" Outside of that, air traffic control pipes in my ear DANGER, DANGER, if you choose to proceed you will explode. That's about as technical and complex as I get. Trust me I have the best of intentions. I have impeccable taste, but pondering ideas much past the notion of "p-r-e-t-t-y! does it work?," are reflection of a true creative musing. And besides I think Barbie had it right all along. Anything past pink poodles, the dream house, furnishing the dream house, and dressing the pink corvette with more fabulous finds, is just a waste of time. Do we really NEED to hear more dreadful, gory details about the decline of healthcare, our turbulent, unrecognizable economy and the repulsive job market? Insufferable. This is not an excerpt from a Jane Austin book, so lets not focus on despair, lets focus on things that are pleasant, and agreeable!

Pleasant and agreeable. Check here for YES! Now I know that it is summer and most of us are doing everything we can to keep our clothes on for the sake of being decent. (Who came up with that rule anyways? Why cant we just peel off our clothes like a two year old and run, screeching at the top of our lungs, down the hall without a strange peculiar "Lord have mercy what is she doing stare?") Rules, too many rules! Today my attention will be on blankets. Yes, yes, I know that it is in fact summer, and it is hard to imagine anything more than our underthings on in this miserable, steamy heat. Keep in mind that Fall is just a few short weeks away. Can you believe it?

Blankets play many roles in a household. They instantly add a punch of color and pizazz to a sofa or chair. They add warmth and comfort on a cold rainy day. They are ideal cuddle havens with the kids or hubby, and who doesn't have a pet that instantly gravitates to a fluffy blanket for comfort? Blankets are also perfect for that afternoon Sunday nap to recharge from the previous hectic work week. Blankets are soft, comforting, cozy and instantly SHOUT relaxation, and tranquility. It's as if when you walk in the door and see it there on the sofa, the wave of "AHHHHHHHHH" melts onto you.

Blankets add luxury, comfort and warmth to a home. They are welcoming, create a sense of security and who doesn't love to be 'snug as a bug in a rug?' They bring togetherness, in an otherwise hectic household. My blankets from Target will have a down home, southern handmade feel. They will recharge, relax and best of all be simple. They will add that much needed punch to your decor, but they will be what I call the "wild card." They will be in very FUN prints, and patterns, and as a wild card item that means it will easily work into any decor. They will bring a smile to your face and encourage you to strip off your clothes to your underthings, run around the house like a screeching two year old, and rush like an idiot to the sofa to get under the blanket for warmth, comfort, and "AHHHHHHH".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What's your color personality? by Interior designer Amanda Burdge

So the delightful and charismatic Maria Killam, over at Color Me Happy, has jogged me into a corner with crayola crayon's, scented markers, some candy, and spongebob squarepants stickers (with a cheerful, and delighted merriment knowing darn well I don't have the strength to turn down SPONGEBOB, or candy, it has SUGAR in it!) bribing me to take the "What's your color Personality" challenge. Now I don't know about ya'll, but when I see a a hand full of snazzy spongebob squarepants stickers dancing with glitter in combination with a box of 96 count crayola crayons WITH BUILT-IN sharpener, I turn into a screeching, elated, over the moon two year old running around the house trying to find my Cinderella coloring book. DAMN her! She knows my weaknesses!! And with that I accepted the bribe and said YES! What can I say, with my lute in hand I spent the afternoon, sniffing markers, blanketing the Tabby cat in Spongebob stickers,(hehe, look the spongebob dances when tabby's butt moves) and chewing on red crayons all with a psychedelic orange and blue cinderella reverie. Good Times! So here ya go Maria, this is for you!!

1) What's the first color you see in the morning? A grey striped Tabby butt (now covered in stickers) molesting me at 5am.

2)What color are your eyes? Depends, on a good day they are suppose to be green. But after sniffing markers, they have a tendency to get a little bloodshot.
3)What color do you wear the most? Im pretty blurry eyed when I step into the closet in the morning. The fact that I get to work clothed is a miracle in it self. But I think I manage to wear a lot of green and pink.
4) What color do I never wear? Yellow. Hate it. Makes me think of bananas. Who wants to look like a chiquita? But the stickers are fun to wear on your forehead!

5)What color do you wear when you want to feel sexy? Red Valentino heels, do you need anything else?

6)What color gets you the most compliments? Black. It's a serious take no prisoners color, especially with the red heels. Although the red crayon in the teeth and the blue marker on the nose probably takes the seriousness down a notch.
7)What color is your lipstick? Bubble gum chapstick from Dr Harr. When you chew on crayons, the whole lipstick thing kinda becomes a problem
8)What color was your living room growing up? Dead body beige. It was the 80's. Color was SO passe (no wonder Im addicted to paint and crayons, I was deprived as a child!)
9)What color was your bedroom when you were growing up? Beige. BUT I had vibrant purple colored carpet. The kind that blinds you to stupidity!
10)What color are your sheets? Blue, green, beige, and brown paisley. They feel slimy they are so soft!
11) What color was your favorite crayon as a child? Pink! Thus the reason I have moved on to red's more grown up of me.
12) What color is your car? Hippo grey with a side of awesome

13)What color was your prom dress? Unfortunately I skipped on prom and went straight to the after party. Jeans, a white tank top, and ZIMA cooler in hand. God we were so cool it was wicked!

14)What's your favorite gemstone? Dare I say, not big on the jewelry. But Grandma always put down the law and forced me to wear pearls. Thus, I have two strands of them.


15)What is your favorite flower? Anything that my husband brings to me. (As long as he doesn't first go to the cemetery) I will take anything he brings to me.

16)What color makes you happiest? Red because it always seems to lead to something naughty.
17)What color depresses you? Yellow.
18)What color calms you? Abby the Tabby. But she is a miserable ugly gray with a side of darker grey stripes. Hehe..( I heart my abby the tabby) but if you turn her around she has colorful stickers on her butt in blue and green. Those make me happy!

19)What color makes you grind your teeth? How about a blonde haired, 40 something, color specialist, that comes at you with a bag of crayons, markers, and stickers, threatening me to write a post about my color personality?

20) What color would you like to try but are scared to? Grey. I get enough of it at 5 am.

Oh for the love of GOD, we are done! Yay!! So I hope all of you enjoy this. And just know, I was pinned against a chain linked fence, in a dark alley being bribed with desirable lute, and a little candy (GOD I love candy, it has sugar in it!) to bring this to you today. Don't get any ideas either, because I refuse to be abused and bribed in such a manner ever again. I quit crayons and spongebob with the help of Tabby anonymous.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do what you know!

Today I hired another assistant. New to the company, but I have known and worked along side her for four years. Now I know that those who follow the blog are aware of my love of all things "assistance". My company needs management but more than anything "I" need management. I am a force to be reckoned with. Like a turbulent tornado swallowed in paper paraphernalia, phone calls, sales calls, emails, minute details and posty notes. I race around claiming to juggle it all. But in actuality THEY juggle it all. I attempt a half assed version, throwing a half written, torn up, crumpled posty note at them with a laundry list of VERY important details, and miraculously they come out on the other side with a snazzy excel spreadsheet. Who knew there was a program with such nice lines, and columns? Does it come in color?

Somehow,someway, my girls take this holocaust of disorganization and come to me with a methodical ordered demeanor and supervise me. They are the gatekeepers. Im the front runner, chasing down the jobs, pursuing new jobs, making advances to get the job, producing smiles on the daunting client projects, conjuring up the best solutions and making promises that I KNOW my girls can keep. And at the end of the day I hope on a wing and a prayer that all those posty notes made some kind of sense and somehow ended up in one of those fancy spreadsheets with nice lines and columns. Yes Im sure the consistent lack of consistency with unhinged, loopy ways drives them nuts, with a side of bananas. BUT they always say to hire help that makes up for your inadequacies. I definitely fall short in the adequate, efficient, and organized column. Thus the reason I hire girls who are adequate, efficient, and organized for me.

So this post is for those who still think they cannot afford an assistant. You can not afford NOT TO. Without my girls, I would be a disheveled, inefficient windstorm with a barrage of pandemonium circling around me like pigpin from peanuts. Even with them by my side there is still a level of disorder (that I create, and it is totally all in my head) that surrounds me in overwhelming T-storms. But they come to me with a methodical ordered demeanor and supervise me. They are the gatekeepers. And somehow, someway they manage to manage me, crumbled, torn scribbled posty notes and all.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Well the good news is, no bar fight activity this week. But I have been very very busy. This week for Target Tuesday I am going to focus on small decorative dishes. I love little dishes. They are ideal little creatures that can be placed anywhere as a catch-all. Making your disorganization look collected, and planned.
Little porcelain dishes, with sweet what-not details, colorful edges, and fun artsy motifs are perfect for a side table, console, nightstand, end table, on their own or in a collection. They gather up keys, coins, and little stuff with ease. And when not in use consuming such little details of life, they serve as wonderful little decorative accessories. Little dishes are also quite functional as soap dishes, jewelry holders, and make wonderful gifts.

My dishes at Target will be colorful. They will have fun details, and fun pictures such as parrots, zebras, leaf motifs, old cars, and terrific raised edges with trellis or geometric patterns. My dishes will come in spiffy shapes like rectangles, ovals, squares and quatrefoils. My dishes will be made in porcelain and in acrylic. And as always they will be tailored, simple, fun and coordinate together with ease. Look forward to your comments, and thanks for visiting us on Target Tuesday!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A good business woman= A TRUE BITCH

SO yesterday was one of those, um (finding the right timing and tact) challenging days. Lucky for me, I have been in business for a whopping 2 minutes and don't know shit because of it. (apparently I did just fall off the bunny truck yesterday) Lets realign here and back up to the point. YES THERE'S A POINT!!

My day started out fairly normal. But at noon I had to leave the office for an appointment. When I returned at noon, I had two men on a ladder in the rafters fixing a broken air conditioner,(that for a third time flooded the pink bathroom) a malfunctioning phone system, no internet, and a credit card machine that couldn't do transactions with no phone lines. F.U.N.!! So good to be BOSS LADY! As luck would have it, I walked in the door at that very moment. To top off my frustrations we have been working on two very large client projects with reps that are thickheaded blockheads that make life difficult rather than making things easier. You do make commission on this

We placed an order through a vendor of ours that carries lamps. We placed this order two weeks ago. We have called, emailed, and faxed this order to them. To no avail we have not been able to get an acknowledgment that the order was in fact placed. Finally, today we discover the order was never acknowledged because it was never placed. Never mind the fact that we have been calling them about the order. So-I-was-pissed! I am trying to place an order for a product of which this company sells. Easy peesy right? Well apparently when you have been in business for a whopping 2 minutes it takes a wee bit longer to get things processed.

I contacted my rep immediately. (NO SURPRISE he didn't answer his phone!) I explained that this is unacceptable. I refuse to run in circles to order a product that I can get elsewhere. I also refuse to PAY my staff to run around re-faxing, re-emailing and calling six times over with no answer. I advised my rep to provide a SOLUTION to my woes immediately, or I would place my order through another vendor. Apparently, the union was instructed to strike because he called me back immediately. Not to FIX the problem, but rather to tell me that he did not appreciate my CONDESCENDING tone, and that his lines are of utmost QUALITY and they do not operate a leaky vessel. He also informed me that I should learn a thing or two about business because I seemingly know nothing other than being a BITCH.

Again, may I remind you I called asking for a SOLUTION. Somehow that question resulted in a discussion about, CONDESCENDING behavior, QUALITY, and A LEAKING VESSEL. Gosh, that really solves my problems with getting my order placed. I find it funny that Im the one that needs business manners 101 when he himself doesn't know how to understand and interpret a message. So here is my business tip for today!

I have been running my own business for 5 years. I have been in the business of design for 12 years. When a man is outwardly demanding, aggressive, assertive, and to all intents and purposes superior in behavior, they are considered the impeccable business man. Good at what they do. When a woman is demanding, aggressive, and assertive she is to all intents and purposes considered a BITCH. I am very good at what I do. I am surrounded by an impeccable, sharp-witted, shrewd and supportive staff, OF WOMEN. Every week, and I mean EVERY week we run up against some good ol' boy, conservative, yahoo hick that tells us otherwise.

When I first started in this business it scared the hell out of me. THEY scared the hell out of me. But when you open your own business you have to remember that you wouldn't be doing it if you were not GOOD at what you do. Remember to have thick skin, be clever, perceptive and most of all be shrewd. It takes great strength and courage to open up your own business. It also takes a lot of savvy minded individuals to make it successful. I have been called every damn thing in the book. Unfortunately, the good adjectives generally come from other WOMEN! I don't care if you sling mud at me. I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I am good at what I do. I KNOW that my staff is good at what they do. And if that amounts or equals to being a BITCH, then I will say it loud and wear it proud!! Because that is being GOOD at what you do!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Amanda Burdge Nashville Designer on her favorite bedrooms

Im sure my devout followers have noticed a slight absence in my blogging habits these days. My summer has been very atypical, and as a result I have become a slacker. Not by choice I may add. I have been going into the office everyday and forced to accept that business and money take precedence to blogging. Actually money takes precedence to everything these days! And this may seem insincere, but I have had a very SLOW winter. So it is nice to be BUSY! Aside from slacking off and ignoring all my friends in bloggy land, I am also lacking in shut eye. Like a zombie I parade into work and thank the lord for this atypical summer. So in honor of my sleepy state of mind, wistfully dreaming away the day wishing I was in a big fluffy bed, here are some of my dreamy choices of the ideal daytime napping beds!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Target Tuesday will be on hiatus today...I know ya'll look forward to my fabulous posts about how great I am, and why I should have my own line. I really am great aren't I? Oh wait getting sidetracked....But I did not have time to write it in advance and Im headed to Dr Harr this morning to get my teeth fixed. Long story, but I look like Ive been in a bar fight. SO TT will be on raincheck until next week. Have a fabulous, fruitful IMPORTANT day and we will meet again next tuesday!

Monday, August 3, 2009

AB HOME Interiors Art by Paragon

Ok so exciting things on the home front. I apologize for the absence, but running a business, two blogs and trying to make clients happy (they pay me) is becoming a daunting task!! BUT I have been approached, cross your fingers, with an idea that looks like it may actually stick! One of my favorite art lines, Paragon, recently saw my article in Nashville Home and Garden. They want to use my photos to promote their product. Well I think that is a GREAT idea but what is even better is ME teaming up with Paragon to create MY OWN art line. Ok, so its not Target, but you all know how much I love artwork and this could be the answer!! SO put that prayer chain together and lets get an art line!!