Home from CAMP

I spent the weekend in the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Austin with a group of marvelously creative women. We were all attending CAMP: a Texas Style Council blogger's retreat. I was definitely one of the camp "elders", but their verve and vitality was really infectious. (Listen to me, I sound like an old rickety vampire sucking the youth juice from bypassing fashion bloggers).

The grounds were beautiful, although mostly cloaked in sheets of rain for the weekend. But we made the best of it and huddled around fireplaces, craft tables and iPhones. The camaraderie was certainly the highlight of this weekend of sisterhood, but the breakout sessions were also a nice bonus. I was also able to connect with my dear friend, Valerie, whose baby I helped deliver here in Dallas 3-plus years ago. She was my bunkmate, along with the extraordinary best-friend-team, Savannah and Jenny of Maiedae.

Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis

Every morning we were met with coffee, provided by TOMS and some sort of a social mixer or class. There was yoga, fireside chats and early morning lab sessions with the talented Angela Cruz from Squarespace. I've been hoping to unify my work, art, blog and art shop all in one place, and Squarespace is going to help me to do that! In the next few weeks, you'll see some big changes here at La Maison Boheme - and all for the better. Now I won't be spread across 5 separate platforms! No more bouncing between Blogger, Big Cartel, Tumblr, Paypal and Passionfruit Ads. Squarespace is a one-stop-shop and I couldn't be happier to be making the transition.

In addition to the social networking and crafting, we had a few wonderful keynote speakers who talked to us about thinking big, honoring your own voice, fearlessness and emotional breakdowns. The speakers were Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess, Bethany Joy Clark from TOMS, Caroline Recktor of Unfancy, Jess Lively of The Lively Show and Sophia Rossi of Hello Giggles.

We finished our time together with a really beautiful trust exercise. 
Sisterhood. It's so important.

Now I'm back home in Dallas with countless business cards, Instagram feeds to follow, all sorts of new inspiration and best of all, the creation of a cohesive blog and art website. (Sigh). Thank you to Indiana Adams, founder of the Texas Style Council, for one lovely last hurrah at CAMP. You and your team of volunteers did a beautiful job!

Me and Valerie

CAMP | Texas Style Council

This weekend, I'll be attending the Texas Style Coucil blogger's conference / retreat in central Texas. I only know one person attending and the rest are all cyber-personalities I "know" from the interwebs. I have to say that I'm more than a little nervous about attending. Most of these bloggers are well known and their blog is their job. They've networked, they've monetized and they've mastered the social media universe. I could learn a lot from these women. But I also think I have a lot to share. The CAMP acronym is, after all, Create a Meaningful Presence.

My hope is that I'll gain a greater understanding of what I want La Maison Boheme to be in the months and years ahead. I also hope to focus my writing in a way that brings my readership greater joy, inspiration and connection. If, like me, you're feeling a little bogged down lately by what you read and see on social media, I encourage you to read THIS post by Erin of Design for Mankind. It really spoke to me. I'm excited because Erin will be one of the keynote speakers at this weekend's CAMP retreat.

The other thing that this weekend away provides is time! I get to leave my home and family for three days and simply focus on me and my work. How brilliant! Now, I'm off to look at my packing list and prepare for my journey. Weather channel says there is supposed to be rain all weekend... so I guess the first thing to pack is a pair of Wellies.

Annapurna Living

I don't know Carrie-Anne Moss, but last week I happened onto her website launch at annapurnaliving.com. Carrie-Anne is a mama, wife, yogi and actress living in Los Angeles, CA. Her mission is to "see womanhood through the eyes of grace" and she hopes that her online offering will nourish creativity, intentional living and peace in the hearts of women everywhere. Carrie-Anne has gathered a spectacular group of wild, spirited contributors - all artists in their own right - to help her create the energy and aesthetic of Annapurna Living.

I've had a marvelous time browsing through the inspiration available on her new site and I thought I'd share here at La Maison Boheme. Perhaps you, like me, are on a spiritual journey of renewal and growth. Annapurna Living might be just the tribe you're looking for as you traverse the beautiful, heart-filled work of living an authentic life.

So when you have a half hour to yourself, pour a hot cup of tea and visit this new and transformative online space. Annapurna Living might be just what the doctor ordered.

From Carrie-Anne Moss:

FOUR Magazine - Jenny Andrews Anderson

I'm so excited for my blog-y friend, Jenny Andrews Anderson, whose artwork is featured this month in the spring issue of FOUR Magazine. You can read the digital copy HERE, but I'm still a paper girl when it comes to periodicals so I ordered a copy HERE. The photos are gorgeous and the articles are fascinating. Win win.


The interview that Jenny gave is honest and insightful. She, like so many artists, came to painting in a circuitous way and describes her journey as "falling into it". She is not the product of years of training at art school. She is not the child prodigy that knew she was going to be an artist since the zygote phase. Jenny simply began to paint. And I feel that this kind of haphazard inspiration is marvelous!

Jenny is first and foremost a color enthusiast. I think the thing that sets her apart is her healthy sense of play and her fantastic eye for composition. She's also an actor, which means she's connected to her instincts and possesses the kind of fearlessness it takes to approach the canvas. She openly admits that she does not have an art process, but rather "a plan". Again, she comes from an acting background where improvisation and saying "yes" to what is on offer are essential skills. A painter with this kind of approach doesn't necessarily need "a process". They are the process. Self use is the tool and the painting is the expression of that self use. Congrats to Jenny on the feature. Her work shines.

The rest of the magazine is just gorgeous! 
Take a look...

Friends Doing Great Things | EcoHappy Kickstarter

Do you remember my friend, designer, photographer and blogger Loretta Fontaine? She is the extraordinary force behind EcoHappy Style and I've written about her HERE before.  Today is Loretta's birthday! Yay! Happy birthday!!

Over the next few weeks, Loretta is riding the crowd-funding wave to see her new book ECOHAPPY: Three Steps Toward An Earth-Friendly Life published. Launching a Kickstarter project running from March 20 – April 26, Loretta is seeking the support of her community to bring her book to market. If fully funded, supporters of the project get the first copies. What?  That is awesome. Count me in!

Loretta sent me some excerpts of her book last week and I loved it. If you, like me, are overwhelmed by the declining state of mother earth and you're wondering how to respond in a resilient way to the depressing fact of climate change, then Loretta Fontaine's book needs to be in your hands. "EcoHappy" is a wonderful mix of actionable marching orders delivered with joyful compassion and beautiful photography. I can't wait to give copies of "EcoHappy" to everyone I know!

I love crowd funding because it puts the ball in our court - we get to decided what we want to create!
Help get Loretta's book published and be one of the first to receive a copy!
Go HERE to contribute.

“Study Of Two Trees, Portland”, 2012 and “Scaling Adirondacks”, 2013. Photograph by Loretta Fontaine Castagna.

New Banner Art

Hello dear ones. I've decided to adjust my blog header. Why the change? After over three years with the previous header, which I loved, I wanted something a bit simpler with a tag line that reflected the broad range of topics I write about. La Maison Boheme began as an interior design blog, but in the past seven years (can you believe its been almost seven years?), it has evolved into much much more.

First, I'd love to hear what you think about the new look of the banner. And I'd love to also hear suggestions if you have any. Secondly, I've moved the toolbar from the top of the page to the side bar. I'd love to hear what you think about the new navigation. Thanks, friends.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Meet Megan Charters | a Houzz Sneak Peek

This weekend I had the extreme pleasure of meeting librarian, blogger and self proclaimed shutterbug Megan Charters during a photo shoot for Houzz.com. Her home tour will publish in the following week or so, but first I wanted to give you a little look-see. Megan is a vintage enthusiast and has a variety of glorious collections in her home. Everything from Matryoshka dolls to cuckoo clocks to mid century cameras to plaid thermoses. I'm so excited for you to see the whole she-bang, but until then, this should tide you over.

The art pictured below is one of Megan's own pieces. Part collage and part graphic design, it depicts a raised plastic relief of a vintage car owned by Megan's former boyfriend. The map is cut out behind the plastic to match the drawing and the whole thing is mounted on a wood block. Isn't it the coolest?

Lola, Megan's Pug-Boston Terrier mix pictured above, poses for my camera. Below, Megan peeks over the top of her handmade quilt. Friends, this quilt is beautifully made. Megan has some serious sewing skills. The appliqué reads "You're Weird I Like You". Well, we like you too, Megan!

More to come...

Studio Tour | Misty Spencer

I'm not usually an envious person. Sure, there are things I see out in the world and think, "Wouldn't it be nice". But usually I can simply admire and move on. Then last week, I met designer and entrepreneur, Misty Spencer, at her home in Fort Worth, Texas for a Houzz.com photo shoot. (See my full Houzz tour HERE.) And oh my, oh my, the envy kicked in big time. Spencer's home studio is a dream. 

Misty, who recently launched Objects Living out of her home, believes that good looks can come at any price. She says, “You don’t have to have money to create a beautiful design. Design isn’t about brand names; it’s about having things around you that make you happy.”

One need look no farther than Spencer's own studio to see that she speaks the truth. Black walls, layered rugs, vintage pieces, books galore, pink accents, bling-y bits of gold - it's a gorgeous mix. The best part about working from home? Spencer's adorable four-year-old daughter, Stella, can get be mama's design assistant! Take a look... 

Make sure you head over to Houzz.com to see the full tour of 
Misty's amazing Fort Worth Craftsman Bungalow. 

Find Misty elsewhere...

My Tastemaker Collection at Arcadian Home

Happy New Year all!

This week, Arcadian Home is featuring me as one of their tastemakers! Fun, right? My hand-picked collection of home goods, called "The Bohemian Home", will be on sale all week. Check it out HERE and if you like what you see, share it with friends. Happy shopping!

Click HERE to shop the entire collection.

Featured at Our Style Stories

In August, Hilary Walker of Our Style Stories visited my home to take photos and interview me for her ongoing series of lifestyle posts. I've written about Hilary before (HERE) and also highlighted her home on Houzz.com (HERE). It's been such a pleasure getting to know her this fall... so please head over to Our Style Stories and show Hilary a little love. Her blog is a gold mine of great design and unique perspectives.

Read the full article HERE

Thank you, Hilary, for the beautifully written feature! 
I'm so honored.  xo

Loretta Fontaine | Custom Necklace Giveaway

Today, I want to introduce you to my friend Loretta Fontaine. She is the brains and beauty behind EcoHappy Style. Loretta is a Renaissance woman of the highest order and makes her life as an architect, artist, photographer, silversmith, author, blogger and green design advocate. Seriously, she's my go-green-guru.

This has been a big year for Loretta. She launched EcoHappy Style, wrote a book, founded the Native Tree Project, and recently opened an online shop to sell her gorgeous hand-crafted jewelry. And to celebrate, she is giving away a custom necklace to one lucky La Maison Boheme reader! But before we get to that, take a look at Loretta's stunning creations.

And here is Loretta working in her studio...

The Necklace Giveaway

Loretta is will be making a custom sterling silver photo necklace for one La Maison Boheme reader. Your cropped and adjusted photograph will be printed at a Pro Lab and set in the bezel of the necklace. The photograph will be sealed and protected with a durable layer of clear resin. The jewelry is cast in sterling silver and given a matte finish with an eco-friendly process. Liver of sulfur is used to antique and oxidize the sterling silver, and the high areas of the design were burnished to a brilliant shine. The necklace is finished with a white freshwater pearl. The necklace is on a 16″- 18″ sterling silver cable chain, (there is a 2″ extender finished with a tiny freshwater pearl to extend the chain to 18″). The diameter of the square silver shape is 1/2″ x 1/2″.

Here is a photo of the necklace below.
Loretta made this one for me using a photo of my children.
Isn't it dreamy?

Learn more about this custom necklace HERE

Giveaway Now Closed

1. Be or become a follower of La Maison Boheme (see sidebar)
AND browse the EcoHappy Style Shop and leave a note in the comment section
 sharing with us your favorite piece of jewelry from the shop! 


2. BONUS ENTRY when you share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or on your own blog! 

3. BONUS ENTRY when you "like" the EcoHappy Style page on Facebook

Three entries = three chances to win. It's that easy. 
Make sure I have a way to contact you when you win!

The giveaway will end at midnight on Thursday, October 17th.
The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday the 18th.
This contest is open to everyone.

Best of luck!


I've been cranking out the home tours for Houzz.com lately. There's one in particular that I'm really excited to share with you, mostly because the home owner turned out to be a kindred sister. You know when you meet someone and you think, "Hey! You're part of my tribe!" That's what it was like meeting Camille Dickson, author of the blog Chez Moi, French teacher, designer, wife, mother of two and DIY Goddess. She even took me out for mid-day cocktails! Cool, right? Obviously she's way more chic than I am. Look at that adorable copped hair style and those fire engine red nails! As my mother likes to say, "Too cha-cha for words".

Here I am in my natural habitat, crouched in a small corner trying to get that perfect shot. This is why I have thighs like a race horse - I do eleventy-million squats when I'm on a photo shoot.

I'll definitely be posting again when her Houzz article publishes in a week or so, but until then, here are some sneak peek detail shots of this beautiful home from her blog.

I Won "Paris in Color"

Thank you to Milsters, author of the lovely blog Little Pieces of Light for hosting a great Christmas giveaway!  I won Paris in Color - a book of photos by the very talented Nichole Robertson of Little Brown Pen.  I couldn't be happier!  This book is a stunning collection of Nichole's Paris photos organized according to color.  It's breathtaking. Thank you Milsters - what a wonderful surprise!

Paris in Color reminds me of this quote about vitality, generosity and joy by Simone de Beauvoir:

"There is vitality only by means of free generosity... and sensitivity is nothing else but the presence which is attentive to the world and to itself. The reward for these spontaneous qualities issues from the fact that they make significances and goals appear in the world. They discover reasons for existing. They confirm us in the pride and joy of our destiny as man."

All photos by Nichole Robertson.

Me, Elsewhere

Dear readers - thank you for all of your comments and emails after this weekend's MELTDOWN. I'm still in a tough spot, trying to figure out what's next.  But I so appreciate your messages of solidarity and "been there, wrote the postcard."  You're all so lovely, you know.

This morning, my home is featured on Moon to Moon - one of my favorite blogs about bohemian interiors!  If you've never been to Moon to Moon, its a beautiful  treasure den of gypsy boho spaces.  Head over and take a look HERE.

Also, don't forget to enter our current giveaway!  Local Texas artist, Rachel Anderson from One Man's Trash, is giving away a beautiful multimedia cuff bracelet.  Click HERE to enter.

You need to WIN this gorgeous bracelet!

Creating Time

Hello dear readers!  Something really intriguing has come my way, and I want to share it with you here at La Maison Boheme.  In a few weeks, I'll be participating in a Virtual Blog Tour for the release of the new book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by ArtellaLand.com founder Marney K. Makridakis.

Marney is a friend of mine and we have a lot in common.  We're both artists, both writers, both bloggers and both mothers to two very special boys with special needs.  But most of all, we're both very busy ladies.  That's why I'm totally excited about The Creating Time Mega Event that Marney is hosting... three FREE weeks of inspiration as people all over the world will come together and welcome the ending of time as we know it - and the beginning of a new exhilarating way of living!  And it all starts tomorrow!

The Creating Time Mega Event starts April 2, and features 25 amazing luminaries inviting us to "time travel" as a collective community to create a new paradigm of time.

Have you noticed that time is moving faster than ever these days? That it's virtually impossible to engage in or observe any conversation that doesn't somehow bring up "time" in a negative context? That "time" is the one thing that seems to hold most of us back from living the lives we were born to live? I see this all the time in in my own life. I juggle a special needs baby and an on-the-go preschooler, while tending to my home, friendships, bills, errands, work and more.

The Creating Time Mega Event is FREE and it starts tomorrow, April 2, 2012, and runs for three weeks. You'll get inspiring live webinars, daily email inspiration, dynamic time-shifting games and challenges, a lively interactive community of fellow time-travelers, and so much more.

Sign up today and join me 
for this very cool opportunity.

Help Charlie Heal Giveaway

I can't believe it's been four months since Charlie's craniofacial surgery.  As you can imagine, these last few months have been a very important time for recovery, re-assessment and rest for my little guy.  In addition to healing from major skull surgery, Charlie is is making enormous strides to overcome the effects of his stroke.  He is babbling, cooing, reaching, expressing and growing stronger with each passing day.

In honor of his many triumphs and his continued journey towards a normal life, our family would like to show our deep gratitude by giving away a set of art cards created by Charlie's older brother to five La Maison Boheme readers.

Five winners will receive a set of Art Cards!

The art was hand painted by Charlie's 4-year-old brother, Walker.  Each set of cards has eight boldly painted prints, all titled by the artist. The Help Charlie Heal art cards giveaway is our way of saying thank you for your unconditional support, kind words and tender wisdom. Many of you have followed Charlie's journey through his blog and many of you have generously donated to his medical fund.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Help Charlie Heal Art Cards

To win one of the five sets of art cards, please leave a comment below.  It's that simple.  You are welcome to leave Charlie an inspirational quote or some words of encouragement.  But all I need is an email address so that I can contact you when you win.  The giveaway ends on Sunday, December 4th at midnight (central time).  The five winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Monday morning (December 5th).

Want more information about Help Charlie Heal?
Stay updated via Facebook or via the Blog.

All my love and gratitude,

Sarah Saw Something

Happy Saturday everyone!  It's time for another installment of Sarah Saw Something, where I share little odds and ends that I found interesting around the blogosphere this week. Have a beautiful weekend and remember to check back here on Monday for the reveal of Walker's new big boy room!

I was gobsmacked by Jill's incredible living room makeover at Live.Like.You.  You really must go there now - right now - and see it.  Click HERE to see the whole she-bang.

I fell in love with this Thanksgiving themed magazine cover in the Art Nouveau style from 1894.  Found it at the ever-inspiring Art & Lair.

If you haven't already done so, sign up for the Third Annual Handmade Holiday Gift Swap over at Flights Of Whimsy.  I did it last year and it was really fun!   Brandi has extended the deadline for participation so that everyone has a chance to sign up.  Click HERE for more information.

My mama has a blog about her home in Eastern Oregon and her life as the wife of a locum tenen doctor.  She just posted a very cute and funny story complete with blow-by-blow photos of her recent "shopping" trip to find a bathroom sink for her bathroom remodel.  (And when I say remodel, I mean that she's turning an old canning porch into a bathroom.)  Here's a photo, but to get the whole effect, you really must click HERE to read her post.

And finally, this gorgeous dress is up for grabs in our Shabby Apple giveaway.  It ends tomorrow night, so click HERE to enter if you haven't already done so!


Me, Elsewhere

Today, I'm guest posting over at Bright, Bold and Beautiful.  Laura asked me to join her "I'm thankful for..." series.  It was a bit tortuous narrowing the "grateful field" down to only three things, but I did it.  Here's a little hint:

Click HERE to visit Bright Bold and Beautiful and see my full post.

And just for fun...
Here is a little sneak peek at Walker's new big boy room.  We painted this past Saturday.
I'll post the full photos when the room is complete, but until then:

Three Year Blogiversary

I was reading THIS post yesterday, celebrating The Zhush's two year anniversary and I thought, "Hey, this sounds familiar."  I checked my first post and sure enough, it's dated November 3, 2008.  I'm like that neglectful husband who always forgets his anniversary.  Ah, who cares... so I'm celebrating a day late!


This blog started three years ago as a whim and has become one of my most treasured parts of the day.  I had no idea how important this blog would be to me when I began.  Thank you for being here, for reading, and for helping me create my own little bit of heavenly cloud in the cyber-sky.  Truly, thank you.

Don't forget to enter our current giveaway!  
Click HERE to enter.