Monday, December 31, 2012

The Queen’s Diamonds

I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when the pace of life seems to slow down and I typically delve into the books that I received for Christmas.

I have mentioned that my favorite Christmas presents are always books.  I posted on my book ‘wish list’ in late November (post seen here), and received several books on the list under the tree. 

 The best book that I received was not on the list and was a huge surprise.  It is called The Queen’s Diamonds, by Hugh Roberts, and was published this year on the occasion of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

I am a lifelong Anglophile, and given that my mother was born and raised in England,  a love and appreciation for England and its history has always been a part of my life.  My sister and I are avid royal family watchers, and I always visit the Crown Jewels when I am in London – they have a unique fascination to me.

This is truly a gorgeous book inside and out, and is full of amazing photography of both the jewels themselves (many of the pictures were newly commissioned for the book), as well as the royalty who have worn the pieces through the years (each piece is discussed in depth, including the origins of the piece, and the times it has been worn in public by its various owners).  It is fascinating to see newer members of the royal family, including Camilla and Kate, wearing some of the pieces that have been in the family for generations.

The book is uniquely presented by placing the jewels in their historical context, starting with Queen Adelaide in the 1830s, going on to Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth II.  The story of each piece is detailed, including the changes to each piece through the years based on the personal taste of the owners and the fashions of the times.

I leave you with my favorite piece from the Queen’s Diamonds (which is also on the cover of the book), and one of her favorites too given the number of times she wears it – The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.  It was originally a gift to Princess May of Teck (the future Queen Mary) in 1893  as a gift for her wedding to King George V.  Interestingly, it has been altered several times through the years; it was originally topped with large pearls, and the base was removed for years before the current Queen Elizabeth reattached the tiara to the bandeau base.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

Were any good books under your Christmas tree, design oriented or otherwise? 
Best wishes for a happy and safe New Years!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

To see full blog post with large scale pictures, please visit

The tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung, the gifts are wrapped, the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals are planned, the table is set.  Today is full of joyous anticipation, the excitement of children, the tradition of the Christmas Eve candlelit service to celebrate the Holy Night that ushers in Christmas Day.

Here is a collection of my favorite Christmas images to provide a little seasonal inspiration (all images from Pinterest; I do not claim ownership of any of the images and do not know the sources).  


Yes, I have a little obsession with holly….

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas! I leave you with this Irish Christmas blessing that I found recently…

The light of the Christmas star to you,

The warmth of home and hearth to you,

The cheer and good will of friends to you,

The hope of a childlike heart to you,

The joy of a thousand angels to you,

The love of the Son,

And God’s peace to you.

holly sprig

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Visit my online store, Quatrefoil Design: www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

The gift of art

To see full blog post, including large scale pictures, please visit

I am passionate about original art, so no surprise that I think it makes a wonderful gift.

Year after year, small paintings always sell extremely well in the Quatrefoil Design store during the holiday times.  Art makes the perfect gift – each painting is an original, and is truly one of a kind. There are so many different ways to display small artwork in the home.

We are shipping until Wednesday, December 19th, so it is not too late to get that extra special piece of art for someone special on your list!

Melissa Payne Baker’s art has been in the Quatrefoil Design store for years.  I love how versatile small pieces of art can be, to make a special spot come alive. (Photo credit Emily Followill).

I particularly like using small pieces of art to balance out bookshelves.

Many of my customers display art on side tables or chests.

Angel in Gold, 8”x8”, $285

Nest in Gold and Blue, 8”x8”, $285
Butterfly in White, 8”x8”, $285

Tweet II, 6”x6”, $200

Angel in Yellow, 8”x8”, $285

Nest in Rust and Blue, 10”x10”, $305

Angel in Aqua, 8”x8”, $285

Dragonfly II, 10”x10”, $305

Abstraction in blue and gold, 10”x10”, $305

Angel in Pink, 6”x6” $200
Charming 3”x3” Itty Bitty paintings – can hang anywhere (on the bulletin board, on a knob, on a window latch). 

To see the entire collection of Melissa Payne Baker paintings available for sale, please visit:

We still have a good selection of the lovely Lisa Moore paintings available.

6”x6”, oil on board, $275
6”x6”, oil on board, $275
9”x12”, oil on canvas, $425
To see full selection of Lisa Moore paintings, please visit

We have a small selection of original Christina Baker paintings available.

Silver Key, 6”x6”, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, $250
Broken Lock, 6”x6”, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, $250
Washed Away, 8”x8”, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, $295
Set Free, 8”x8”, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, SOLD

New to the store in 2012 is a collection of whimsical and charming abstract pencil and watercolor sketches.  These paintings are favorites of top Atlanta designers and work so well as part of gallery walls or as striking collections.  I have some of these beautiful sketches in my library bookshelves, displayed in pairs. 

We still have some wonderful Jennifer Ferris paintings available.

In the Garden I, 5.5”x8.5” mixed media on wood, $95
Fashion Explosion, 5.5”x8.5” acylic, ink, collage on canvas,$95
Circles & Blue, 5”x7” acrylic on canvas, $65
Peace on the Horizon, 16”x20”,  acrylic on canvas, $375

We have a group of 7 beautiful custom framed intaglios, in our signature gilver finish frame, available for immediate shipment.  This is a special collection and will only be available this month.


These are specially priced at $325 each (regular price is $365), and measure 13”x16” each. To see items in store, click on intaglio image or visit: http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/category/intaglios

For future reference, we have a full selection of custom framed intaglio designs, but the typical lead time is 4-6 weeks.  To see full range of custom intaglios, please visit the intaglio section of the store - http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/category/intaglios

Finally, we have a gorgeous new set of 22 framed blue agates available for immediate shipment.  Since I first posted on these, I have not been able to keep them in the store – they sell immediately, even before I put them in the store.  

agate 1agate 2agate 3agate 4agate 5agate 6agate 7agate 8agate 9agate 10agate 11agate 12agate 13agate 14agate 15agate 16agate 17agate 18agate 19agate 20agate 21agate 22

This group of framed agates are particularly  beautiful – the blues are primarily sapphire, but given the nature of the agates, vary from sapphire to blue to teal, some with touches of taupe or beautifully crystaline structures. They are large size agates, so they we framed them larger, 14”x18”.  They are stunning!  Click on individual picture to go to store item, or visit http://quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com/category/agates  to see framed agates currently in stock.

Agates are creations of nature, and are one of a kind.  This is what makes them so special and unique.  As a natural stone with crystalline structure, it is often difficult to capture in a photograph the variety and richness of color and grain pattern that is evident to the naked eye.  Flash photographs capture the brilliance of color and the special way in which the agates interact with light, but at times make the colors appear more saturated than they appear to the naked eye.  Please carefully read the color description of the agate in each item listing, and do not hesitate to emailquatrefoildesign@gmail.com if you would like additional information and pictures.

holly sprig

Designers favorite books: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2010/12/designers-favorite-books-and-mine-too.html
2012 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2012/11/books-for-my-christmas-list.html
2011 books on my Christmas list: http://www.thingsthatinspire.net/2011/12/my-book-list-christmas-2011.html

To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store  (newly updated!).

To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
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Twitter: @TTIBlog Instagram: http://followgram.me/ttiblog/modal
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Visit my online store, Quatrefoil Design: www.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com


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