Saturday, May 25, 2013

Giveaway of Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors by Leslie Sinclair

Introducing Leslie Sinclair of Segreto Fine Paint Finishes and More

Leslie is offering a Giveaway of one of her Beautiful Books, "Segreto, Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors!" Value is $85.

Leslie describes that The world of decorative painting is limitless, ever-changing and richly complex. Finishes for wallsceilingsfloors and cabinetry are crucial to the embodiment of a home's character. Segreto Finishes’ niche in the world of design motivates owner Leslie Sinclair to constantly explore new techniques and finishes that appeal to a vast multitude of styles and personal tastes.
Leslie lives by the philosophy that upon entering a room, your eyes should not draw a distinction to one element or finish but should see the surroundings as a whole. By developing a palette that complements a home’s architecture and design, surroundings are given a new perspective. Segreto Finishes specialize  in fine plasters, finishes on cabinets, furniture and walls , decorative painting and murals

I will let the Images speak for themselves
Plaster Groined Ceiling with decorative Flourish
As you will see from the following images, Leslie and her team of artisans which has grown to 40,
accomplish indoor Plaster Work, Paintings, Faux, Tromp l'Oeil and  much more.
Later I will show you her latest venture!

The Range Hood and Crest and Inlay
The Subtlety of Ancient Plaster Work Techniques

Custom Art panel within an Alcove

A Luscious Powder Room with Decoratively painted Walls so Elegant
A Room with a View Faux Painted  with Iron Rounded Shutters

Painted totally Flat to look like a Fabulous Window with Designs in Quatrefoil
An Exquisite Sideboard with much decorative painting,  Glazing and  a Marble Top

Beautiful Works of Art
Art by Leslie Sinclair "Sterling" What Talent!

Sherbet by Christina Gracci, Mesmerizing

Leslie has also opened a wonderful Boutique in her Studio and Gallery, She is located at 1414 Antoine, Houston TX 77055. You can reach her at 713 461 5210. In the near future she will have an online presence!

 Leslie has two sites,, also her blog site which is wonderful,

For an Opportunity to Win Leslie's book, "Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors" Value $75 and Open Worldwide;

1) Visit Leslie's site and tell us what works and finishes you like the best.
2) Please be a Follower of Art by Karena. You can see the several ways to befriend me in my right hand column at

That is it! A winner will be chosen on June 1st at Midnight EST!

Thank you to all of my wonderful Friends, Followers, and Family for supporting The Arts

Art by Karena

Thank you to Irina with Palomasea for choosing me to be the recipient of Jamie Cat Callan's new book, "Ooh La La" ! I am so excited. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes.

Images and some Text from Segreto Secrets

Friday, May 17, 2013

All Things French and Paris Oh Yes!

Please join me on an adventure I have dreamed of for a lifetime!

This sculpture of the Winged Victory in the Louvre symbolizes so much to me.
Yes, I am overcoming the difficult issues that have held me back for several years. Now is the time to move forward with goals, purposes, the opportunities of this next chapter in The Book of My Lifetime.

The Louvre with the Glass Pyramid 

I have had the good fortune in a past chapter to travel quite a bit, to Greece, the Greek Isles, Italy, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Maui, Mexico, Canada, and more. However, somehow I did not spend time in France; and my heritage is part French.
The Eiffel Tower with Fireworks!
Lavender Fields

I have dreamt of running through fields of lavender and taking in the heady scent. Making Herbs de Provence with bits of lavender and fennel mixed in.

I would gaze in awe at the magnificent sculpture atop The Garnier Opera House.

I take time with friends to visit Provence and stay where the Courtyard has a view of the sea and the groined ceiling the color goldenrod, as does the excellent wine!

Back in Paris bicycling to get fresh breads and sweet treats. The aroma coming right out of the ovens!

The Grand Lefour Cheese Cart

You will never ever find the many varieties of cheeses that France produces anywhere else in the world!.

Going with my friend Andrea of The French Basketeer to purchase a colorful variety of Market Baskets to ship home to California.

A must stop for me, the  American Tourist
We must take some treats back home from our travels!

Excerpt  below from the Author Vanessa Diffenbaugh

As it is springtime I am currently reading this  Book, and have it with me for evenings when it is difficult to unwind from so many pleasures of the day. The Author has this to say:

"The Victorian language of flowers began with the publication of Le Language des Fleurs, written by Charlotte de Latour and printed in Paris in 1819. To create the book--which was a list of flowers and their meanings--de Latour gathered references to flower symbolism throughout poetry, ancient mythology and even medicine. The book spawned the science known as floriography, and between 1830 and 1880, hundreds of similar floral dictionaries were printed in Europe and America. In The Language of Flowers, Victoria learns about this language as a young girl from her prospective adoptive mother Elizabeth. Elizabeth tells her that years ago, people communicated through flowers; and if a man gave a young lady a bouquet of flowers, she would race home and try to decode it like a secret message. So he would have to choose his flowers carefully."

Reve, Soon to be released A Four Volume E-Book
That will delight, educate, interest you greatly.
Written by Andrea of French Basketeer, Elizabeth of Elizabeth Eiffel, and Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore. These women have traveled to France many times, two have homes there, and you Must subscribe to this publication!

The architecture, here is The Musee d'Orsey with more priceless art treasures.

The Pantheon in Paris, so difficult to even imagine what went into this  stunning construction.

Renaissance Paris Vendome
Luxury 5 Star Accommodations
or stay at a friends flat!

Luxury Shopping Anyone? Elite Jewelers Van Cleef and Arpels

Now off  to Beune to have some time out of the city again and lets visit Andrea's 

Andrea's Beautiful home in Beaune during the Holidays!

Baking her Apple Tartre in Puff Pastry served with a dollop of Creme Freshe!
Enjoying the Good and Blessed Life we have.

Joining Anita of Castles Crowns and Cottages
and many others participating in this Dream Trip! Please visit their sites as well!
Simply Irresistible France!

Art by Karena

Thank you dear friends for supporting the Arts Worldwide!
A very special thank you to all who have been here to help me  during my time of healing!

Credits to Follow

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Introducing Mary Tinduski of MJH Design Arts

Please welcome Mary Tinduski of MJH Designs and her Blog Jones and Cole as a part of our Designer 2013 Features

Mary is an  antiques, art and decorative arts dealer located in Pasadena, California. She loves almost everything in the decorative arts arena from mid-20th c. furniture and abstract expressionism to the Old Masters and 16th century furniture. To her buying and selling is a serendipitous adventure. She  hopes to share some of these adventures, sharing information regarding the decorative arts and new/old trends, auctions and great dealers in the Los Angeles area. She  has been involved in the Interior Design Arena and loves the client interaction relationship. Jones (huge blue/gray poodle) is my sales associate and is usually able to help with many client requests.

She has a wide range of 17th c. through 18th c. antique furnishing, 20th c. furnishings, paintings, works on paper, lighting and decorative objects. Additionally, we design and create unique lighting elements many of which have been shipped throughout the United States and to Europe.She has  turned her love of textiles into a line of unique custom vintage Mariano Fortuny pillows; 17th c. and 18th c. tapestry pillows are in the works. Mary delights in the blending of disparate design elements into a cohesive whole. Please browse her on-line store and contact her for additional information or photos.

Staffordshire Dalmatians

1)      Welcome Mary as part of the 2013 Designer Series. Tell us how your love for antiques and design began?

I can remember being in an antiques store when I was about 3 or 4 and deciding that this was what I would do when "I got bigger"--I remember the huge (to my eyes) canopy bed that was in the room and the beautiful textiles. I think that the bed cover was I guess that I'm doing what I have always wanted to do. My mother would often take us to art museums as little children and she taught me to sew at a very early age--so I think a love of art and detail became part of me from childhood. Of course, growing up near Mexico City which was an amazing 20th century cultural center for modern design combined with being surrounded by the beautiful Spanish colonial buildings and art and Aztec ruins was a huge influence.

After college, Duke, I moved to New York and spent my week-ends at the Met and Frick museums (and walking pas Tiffany's windows). And finally my seven years in Spain (besides giving birth to 3 beautiful babies) were spent learning the trade (and buying from) from the Spanish antiques dealers who were so helpful in answering all of my many many questions.

 Carrera Marble Bust 

Louis XV and Turquoise Bronze Sconces
2)     What is some of your background in the Antiques Business?

As far as background-- I opened my first shop in 1993 and have been active in the trade ever since. I have taken many courses in interior design, as I feel that antiques must serve a practical purpose--all elements in a room must bring life to the space: the antique furniture (and new), art works and decorative "stuff" provide interest and light and beauty, but they must be in tune with current design aesthetics. Living in Southern California, I am surprised by the disproportionate scaling of interiors --scale is of supreme importance (but you must always have that element of surprise or dissonance for great energy).  I'm currently buying good 18th and early 19th century mahogany pieces as I feel we will sooner rather than later start to integrate mahogany back into current interior design--and what is well designed and well constructed, such as 17th, 18th or early 19th century antique pieces, will always be valuable.

American Sheraton Daybed

Venetian Bergere in Purple

3)     Where does your inspiration come from?

I guess I'm most inspired by keeping up to date by reading many shelter magazines, design and art blogs ---I love blogs and blogging!!, of course, I study the weekly 1st dibs postings. And I go to auctions. The best way to learn this trade is to go to auctions. I think that I have probably been to 1000+ auctions. You learn so much from simply watching and listening. I design some of my lighting and I love using antique fragments, bronzes (a pair of signed 18th century chenets are now lamps with modern lucite bases), architectural elements--my favorite design for lighting element is a pair of very large gilt bronze 20th c.Louis XV sconces that I reworked with rock crystal beading and large chunks of turquoise. I also beaded a pair of Chinoiserie lanterns in coral, rock crystal and black tourmaline--these made it to the first page of 1st dibs a few years ago. And we haven't even touched on Chinoiserie or Japanese art--I love it all.

4)     Do you have a special love in  your heart for certain genres in the antiques world

Louie Style XV Sofa

I'm a bit of a purest--I love neoclassical design and furniture; that love extends to Deco and mid- 20th century furniture that takes its inspiration from Regency or Louis XVI and early 19th century design. But I also love Spanish and Spanish Colonial Baroque pieces. Spanish antiques are not as froo-froo as English, French or Italian pieces. Spain ruled parts of the Netherlands and Italy in the 16th century so there is strong connection between Spanish and Flemish and some Italian antiques and art--it is more monastic and architectural without the grand flourishes and refinements of English or French furniture. It is this pared down aesthetic that mixes so perfectly with mid-20th century design elements.

Japanese Stacking Tables
5)     I have seen your interest in antique textiles growing, or so it seems. Is that a new passion?

You are spot on with this question! I have always loved textiles--the touch and smell and colors and textures. About 5 or 6 years ago I decided to specialize in vintage Mariano Fortuny pillows. At that time, there were only 3 or 4 other individuals (that I know of) who were devoted to vintage Fortuny textiles and especially pillows. (And I am so grateful to them for the information and help that they have provided me) Just one note: NEW FORTUNY FABRICS ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE VINTAGE FORTUNY textiles--the dyes are different, the type of cotton used in the past was different, the process is similar, but the depth and nuance of the coloration and stamping is just not the same.  I did have a learning curve--finding a fabricator and the supplier for just the right proportion of down to feather custom fillers has been a journey. I had to "eat" several pillows until I found Pam of Fine Details, Inc. who loves to work with top quality textiles and even helps me work out just the right backing and fabric placement for the pillows. Acquiring the vintage Fortuny is always an adventure and the price out seems to be going up every month. I love working with the Fortuny and silks and linens that I use for the backings. On very early Fortuny pieces, c. 1915-1930's, I sometimes trim the pillows in 19th or 18th century French metallic trim--it adds just a little more interest.

Lavender Fortuny Pillows & Alabaster Urns
6)     Who has been a mentor or has had influence on your own work in the design world?

I don't think that I have had any mentors--designers who inspire me? Plenty: No. 1 is John Saladino. I love his work as it is truly international in scope. Of course, Tony Duquette--a genius. The early 20th c. French designers. Bulgari jewels. Italian mid-century. And most of all the Giacometti Brothers ( I have a passion for beautiful forged iron).

Dorothy Draper Espana Tables

7)     Mary, what is the best way for our readers to reach you?

The best way to reach me is by email either directly through my website contact links at  or at --with Los  Angeles freeway congestion and my silly long commute--email is the best.

French Iron Finials

8)     Finally Mary, what advice would you give to someone starting out in your field of Antiques and Design?

My best advice to some starting out: read all that you can, go to museums, read auction catalogs, go to auctions decide what you are passionate about and most of all: Do Not Quit Your Day Job just yet. With the economic turmoil of the past few years, so many established and respected dealers have gone out of business and all of us have felt the effects to a greater or lesser degree. To survive in this business you have to be passionate about what you do--passion is the key to everything, isn't it?

Celenite Crystal Balls In Copper Pan

Thank you so much Mary and dear readers I would also encourage you to visit Mary's Blog "Jones and Cole" where she tells of her many adventures in the world of Antiques and Auctions. Many Before and After images which I know I love to see and you will too!

Watch for more exciting interviews to come as well as unique Giveaway!

Thank you so much for being here for me!
Your comments mean the world to both our guests and to me!

Art by Karena

Images and some text courtesy of MJH Design

The winner of "Paris Flea Market Style " is Anita of Castles Crowns and Cottages!

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