23 April 2010

Helpful Critiquing

 

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A few months ago, I showed pictures from a  design job I had recently completed at my across–the-street neighbor’s house.  The project was a complete redesign of her formerly yellow and red decor which I updated in soft aquas and fabrics, mostly using Karvet’s Windsor Smith linens.  

 

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This view shows the fireplace.  We bought an antique mirror from Tara Shaw and flanked it with two white washed wood pieces from Pottery Barn.

 

 

image Along this side wall, I temporarily stacked three wicker baskets until the client finds a antique she likes, hopefully a Mora clock.   Looking at these photographs I realize that the only furniture we reused from the owner was her coffee table which I felt fit in with the new decor.  The remainder of her older furniture was divided between an upstairs playroom and the garage - to be sold.   

 

After I posted these pictures of the project, I received word that another blog had also posted these same pictures!!    This other blog The Artful Lifestyle used Photoshop to show how a painting would look on the fireplace instead of the Tara Shaw mirror.   Additionally, they photoshopped more art work above the trio of baskets.   Hmmm.   Was this helpful critiquing?   Constructive criticism?    The blog, it turned out,  is written by two women from Atlanta who own an art gallery – Huff Harrington Fine Art -  where they sell fine art.   Additionally, they have a prominent online website where they also sell the art. 

 

 

image The Photoshopped Picture

 

This  is one of the photoshopped pictures that The Artful Lifestyle created showing my client’s mantel with a painting from their stable of artists.   I particularly liked this painting by Doug Foltz that they chose!   The photoshopped picture looks so real -  it actually seems like the painting is really on the mantel instead of the Tara Shaw mirror!

 

 

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And here is another Photoshopped picture showing a painting by Lorraine Christie, which I also liked.  

 

I must really have a tough skin to find amusement in all of this.  After all, The Artful Lifestyle was basically saying they disliked the antique mirror I had chosen for my client and would have rather seen art work there!   Not only did they THINK this, they actually wrote an entire blog story about it and photoshopped all these pictures to prove their point!!!!!     Instead of crying over their constructive criticism, I put my fragile ego and insecurities aside and chose to see this in the true, fun spirit, in which it was written.     And, to be even more generous and jovial, I wanted to be sure that everyone would read their article so I advertised the story on the left hand side of my blog saying “NEW BLOG STORY WORTH READING” and linked it back to their blog.  That’s when all the real fun started – for them!

 

 

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Another photoshopped picture:  Here’s what The Artful Lifestyle recommended for the side wall.   I must say, I do love this painting by Angela Nesbit!

 

Apparently after I advertised their blog story, The Artful Lifestyle blog was flooded with readers from who had clicked on to read it.   The owners of Huff Harrington Fine Art, Meg Harrington and Ann Huff, were thrilled with their new blog traffic and tried to think of a way to say “thank you” for all their new readers.    Like I’ve said a million and one times, bloggers are some of  the nicest people in the world.   So, that is how it happened that last week, while I was just sitting outside on my porch, internet surfing, as usual, the doorbell rang.   There stood the sweaty UPS man struggling with  a HUGE package addressed to Cote de TexasPor moi?   Hmmm….  Unexpected HUGE packages tend to send a certain thrill down my spine and I got even more excited when I opened it:   a framed print from Huff Harrington Fine Art – along with a long, typed explanation.    The art work was their “thank you” for the blog link and extra traffic.  WOW!  

 

You know how the old saying goes, it’s not the gift itself, but the thought behind it?    Listen to how much thought Huff Harrington/The Artful Lifestyle put into their gift.  Amazing.   Get comfortable, it’s a long story.

 

The Story:

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Remember this cover of House Beautiful showing Jill Brinson’s home?  Remember how I fell in love this house – seriously in love, like enough to leave Mr. Slipper Socks Man for?   (Does anyone else understand leaving a man for a house?)    I was so crazy about this house that when we interviewed the editor in chief Stephen Drucker on The Skirted  Roundtable, I drilled him about the cover story, hungry for  more juicy details.    I was a goner, totally and irrevocably obsessed with this house.   But I wasn’t the only one.  Visual Vamp was also enthralled with it, enough so that  she redid her living room to emulate this cover.  Below is Valorie’s photoshopped picture of her living room reinterpreted as Jill Brinson’s.

 

 

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Visual Vamp’s Fake House Beautiful Cover

 

This is the fake cover story that Valorie of Visual Vamp did on her blog, imitating the House Beautiful story.   I think that Valorie’s faux cover truly captures the original cover story.  When I saw what Valorie had done,   I was deep green with envy, to say the least.  I wanted to copy the House Beautiful cover too!  Before I started, I asked Valorie if she would mind if I blatantly stole her blog idea.   Of course she didn’t so I stayed up the night redecorating my own family room ala Jill Brinson.   Interestingly, neither Valorie nor I thought to ask Jill if she minded!!!!!      Here’s what I came up with:`

 

 

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This is my faux cover story of House Beautiful showing  my own family room – trying to look like Jill Brnison’s.   Of course, I wrote all about my folly on the blog HERE.       So, you are probably asking yourself, exactly what does THIS have to do with the Huff Harrington Fine Art’s gift to me?    I told you this was a long story!!!   Relax, I’m getting to the punch line, I promise!!!

 

 

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Here is the point:   If you look closely at the cover, next to the sofa, there is a small framed print of a horse.   The horse print is the work of one of Huff Harrington’s artists:  Georges Nasri.   The two owners of Huff Harrington Fine Art, Meg and Ann,  knew how much I adored Jill Brinson’s house, so they thought I would probably love to own something that Jill Brinson loved too – like, for example, her Georges Nasri print.  But, as they explained,   instead of a horse, they thought I would appreciate something more feminine, more ME, so they chose  another Nasri piece.     I TOLD you how much thought they put into this gift!   Wouldn’t you just love to have such thoughtful and considerate friends as Meg and Anne?????    As their long, typed message said, they chose a print for me from one of Nasri’s works of “fashionable women who are sophisticated and oozing with a certain je ne sais quoi.”    Apparently, Nasri’s works sell quickly, so they held onto this particular print and then had it framed.   They said I should hang it in my dressing room (a new room that they think I should create after I kick Mr. Slipper Socks Man out to the guest room!)   Are they mind readers too?????    Instead of that, I hung the charming and utterly delightful print over my jewelry cabinet in my bathroom.   It’s perfect for that spot! 

 

 

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And, here is the framed Georges Nasri print from Huff Harrington Fine Art.   I absolutely love it  - it’s perfect for this spot!   I think Meg and Ann were completely right in choosing this print for me instead of one from the equine series like Jill’s.    This is more “me” than a horse!    I actually had to fight Elisabeth for it though.   I must say, this is probably even more my daughter than me!     She was drooling over this!!!

 

 

 

 image And here’s a close up.  Sorry about the glare.  The space is so small, it was impossible to take a shot from farther back. 

 

As I am now starting my fourth year in blogging, I must say, the experience has been nothing but fabulous.   I never imagined all the fun I would have – meeting people from all over the world, online and in person.   Everyone - the readers, the bloggers, the vendors, the designers – everyone has been so supportive, thoughtful, loyal and kind.   I could never express in words how truly satisfying all these experiences have been.    Sometimes it takes the sincerity of someone like Meg and Ann of Huff Harrington Fine Art to make you stop and relish it all.     I only hope I’ve been worthy.

 

To visit the website of Huff Harrington Fine Art, go HERE.

To visit their blog, The Artful Lifestyle, and read the original story about my client’s art work, go HERE

 

Reminder:  the new Skirted Roundtable is now up with Lee Stanton, noted antiquarian.  To listen, go HERE.

116 comments:

  1. Gorgeous artwork -- and a truly wonderful story!! What a gift (in SO many ways!) And it looks like you -- but the "tres belle femme" does need darker hair! LOL!

    Four years later -- and here I sit -- still tapping my foot -- waiting for my copy of Joni Webb's first decor book: "Slips, Sisal and Style" LOL! And I'll be waiting in line for my signed copy -- clutching a Starbucks (for you) and a martini (for me!)

    Congratulations and MANY thanks for your blog -- I treasure every posting!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  2. What a great story Joni....and that print it to die for, I LOVE it !!!

    I say it all the time...there are some nuts lurking around in blogland but the vast majority are such NICE people...and they let little ole ANON me into their worlds...

    Thanks for another great story...

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

    ps I needed something like this today...my baby girl had her wisdom teeth out she is resting right now...but Mamma has been a wreck and hasn't slept much !!!

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  3. I do too! I love it! And I love your completely collegial attitude too. Wonderful things happen.

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  4. What a great piece of artwork - even though I don't know you in person, I feel it really goes with your style!!

    Am so glad that you took their comments and critiques in a positive way! :)

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  5. what a fun ending to this story joni! i did click on your side link and peruse their site for awhile and read their post about your makeover :) :)

    what a very thoughtful thank you. the piece you received is gorgeous!!!

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  6. Great story. Photoshop would be a great designer's tool in selecting artwork. I must say the mirror was a bit under scaled for the mantle,and the paintings add a richness to the rest of the decor.

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  7. Hi Joni, I really like the Georges Nasri print they gifted to you.

    Back to the original story of them using your rooms to make a point... I didn't see it as an assault on your selection, but I could be missing some of the story. To my way of thinking, they were doing what they are in business to do... sell art. They obviously have a great deal of respect and admiration for you. Your room was a vehicle for them to portray options using their product. Had the art work been tasteless... then that would have been "fight'en words"!

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  8. That Angela Nesbit floral painting is lovely - what a compliment, I think, that these art dealers fancied your rooms as much as we all do!

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  9. I admire your tough skin and patience. I remembered reading their post and wondering...

    And what a fabulous piece of art!
    We love a happy ending!

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  10. There is so much to comment on I don't know where to begin...but I'll start at the beginning. The art work they chose for over the mantle was beautiful but I think the pieces are too similar in scale as the television and don't work for that space. If the TV wasn't there...different story. Your mirror idea is wonderful but maybe a larger one with a detailed top...just a thought.
    You handled the whole situation graciously and so did they. Their gift was very thoughtful and had appreciation written all over it (and it was beautiful to boot!).

    The blogging community truly is a blessing and this post shows just how much!

    xo Jessica~

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  11. Joni, your beautiful blog is one of my favorite reads and I think this post is my favorite yet! I LOVED how you spun the story out in a way that only a southern lady can, and the print you received is (from my perspective) so YOU! The spot you chose looks perfect! Wonderful ending to a fun and fabulous story. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  12. It just goes to show what happens when you take the high road. My mantra is "Good things happen to good people." I will have to admit, it's amazing at the different looks each of those paintings creates in your original room (which by the way is gorgeous!)

    Debbie from Vintage Scout Interiors

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  13. What a wonderful story! I was hanging on your every word. The print is perfect for you and also for where you displayed it. Yes, you are worthy! Congratulations on 4 years of blogging. You are as always my inspiration.

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  14. The print is fabulous and so is this post, Joni. Yes, you are worthy!

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  15. Wow. You are such a good person. By being positive about the other post, look what it got you! I hope you realize that such a pretty room was the perfect way for the other bloggers to showcase their artwork.

    Also, it's successful people that are always open to new ideas. It's how they continue to grow and improve (not that you need to change at all!!). But, it explains why you're so good now because you've probably always been open to other people's perspectives. Thanks for showing those rooms again, I just love what you did for that client.

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  16. what a lovely surprise and lovelier gift! Perfect for you -such a charming drawing :-)

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  18. It's a good thing for the other blog that you have a good sense of humor. You are truly a wonderful lady and what a great work of art to prove it.
    Cindy S

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  19. Take 2, minus spelling mistakes!
    Now THAT is a great story Joni.
    You deserve good things. Your beautiful, gracious personality shines through your blog and captivates many.... even us down here in 'the colonies'! A-M xx

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  20. Joni,

    I am so thrilled for you! I love this story, all of it. I adore mirrors, however I have had some of the very top designer in the world say that only using mirrors is a cop out. (not meant in any way critisism from me!)

    It does take a lot to find the perfect art, and to have the client budget for it upfront. Heck sometimes the custom framing is more than the cost of fine art.

    I suppose like Meg and Ann, I have reason for believing in art, didn't you just love to see the difference though!?

    XOXO

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  21. Joni,

    When you posted the "blog story to read" that showed the Huff Harrington photoshopped art, I never saw their suggestions as constructive criticism. I saw it as a melding of two facets of design...a beautifully decorated room enhanced by beautiful art. And knowing how you appreciate beauty, it never occurred to me that you wouldn't profile their piece. But, in hindsight, yes, it was VERY generous of you. I love, love, love the print they sent you. And I'm so glad someone showed that kind of appreciation towards you. You have given so many of us so much...I have learned so much from your blog and love how you tell a story. Your blog is like a delicious dessert I get to enjoy on a regular basis (without the weight gain!).

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  22. Congratulations, dear, you deserve it.

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  23. I have long admired the work of this artist at Huff Harrington, and it looks beautiful in your home! I like to see a bit of original art mixed in with your gorgeous mirrors.

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  24. Joni, as always, you show such class and this story proves it yet again!

    Love your gift!!! She is absolutely lovely!

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  25. just a clarification - I KNOW they weren't trying to be mean, just trying to sell art. I appreciate that. I had no problem with their post, I actually loved it, but I still was hoping my client wouldn't see it!! hehe!!! I know they did it in fun and to sell art too. why not? they have gorgeous art work to sell. Meg and Ann have been gracious and kind. They know I know it was done in fun.

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  26. Wonderful Joni! Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. You deserve your "good luck". Karma. Its a gorgeous print...and what lovely people Meg and Ann are! Trish

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  27. Talk about “grace under pressure” – I’m so glad you took their virtual mantle re-design in the humorous and cheeky way it was offered. Not that I expected otherwise – you are the quintessential Southern Lady!

    Don’t know about you, but I have bookmarked them as a design resource. Think of all the hours of going from gallery to gallery in the humid Houston summer heat looking for just the right artwork to finalize a project. The fact that they can Photoshop these images into your room designs is a wonderful time saver! As for clients – “A ‘picture’ is worth a thousand words”.

    Enjoy your gorgeous new fashion print – you definitely deserve it!

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  28. What fun! Good of you to take their post in the spirit, I'm sure, it was intended. I mean they are an art gallery after all, so I'm sure they'd rather see art, as opposed to a mirror, over a mantel. Your framed print is lovely and I think it is very fitting where you put it.

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  29. Joni, I see your story as an example of "What goes around, comes around"...that is, you were open and congenial about the art sellers using your interiors to seel their art.

    Wouldn't it have been nicer to ask you first? Just saying...

    And I have to add that if this were MY home (your client) I would expect to be asked as well.

    Am I a crab??

    Let me also just add that I refer clients ALL THE TIME to your blog for this and that...window treatment tutorials, seagrass done right, mixing old with new, high with low. I really appreciate what you do!

    Wendy @ Flying Carrot Designs

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  30. Joni you are a great sport, Most designers would have take offense.
    Cudos to you for not taking all of this so serious. By the way I adore your husbands name - shows your sense of humor.

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  31. Joni, you are the heroine of the story. Your gracious spirit chose to respond with kindness, instead of take offense. In return, you reaped a harvest of goodwill! I love the elegant woman in the painting...no wonder your daughter covets it! Kudos to you for creating a win-win situation!

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  32. Joni,

    Both you and the owners of Huff Harrington showed both class and graciousness. So refreshing this day and age.

    Thank you for a lovely post with great pictures once again. And enjoy that beautiful piece of art it is FABULOUS!!

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  33. Ahhh we all get our inspiration from somewhere and it appears your work was the muse on this occasion.

    Would you have felt differently if your client was the one to select the art for their home and blog about it?

    As designers its hard to accept that our concepts/ babies change and evolve (not alway in a positive way) long after installation.

    You have created a gorgeousl foundation for this home to evolve even further. For what its worth I would keep the first pic over the mantle and rest the beautiful Tara Shaw mirror against it.

    Thought provoking Joni as always. Thank you.

    x Lyn (Lini)

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  34. What a great story! Congratulations on starting your fourth year of blogging. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Your the best!

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  35. hmmm... maybe i should start blogging again & try to score some free art! : )
    that's a fabulous story, and a truly beautiful picture. thanks for sharing!

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  36. * J~ Loved this blog... your neighbor's home looks sooooo pretty, warm, cozy ANNND stylishly comfy all at once~~~ now that's what I'D call a SUCCESS!!! (& LOVED your last blog pics/stories, too!~~~ Just TERRIFFIC!)!

    My heart always soars whenever I hear of people doing nice things for others, ESPECIALLY "unexpectedly, and what they did was not only generous, but so beautiful in thought, too!!!

    "Wonderful" al the way around! A true "day brightener" to read!

    Thanks n' hugs,

    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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  37. What a wonderful story Joni, and testament to your generous nature and giving attitude. It just confirms for me that bloggers really are some of the nicest and most genuine people I've ever 'met', and your post is proof. In all fairness, you could have quite easily been offended by what they did, and I'm sure many others would have been. But I love the way you handled the situation and look how it turned out - a wonderful outcome for all concerned. Well done, and thanks for being so sweet and generous with your knowledge and expertise, it really helps new bloggers like myself and I'm sure many others would agree. Enjoy your beautiful artwork, you thoroughly deserve it! Kerri xx

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  38. Good for you for taking it all in stride - and look at what happened. That is so the way life is - what goes around, comes around. As a new blogger, I so appreciate the trail you've blazed...and if I can have an iota of the positive experience you've had....I know it will have been a risk worth taking. Hats off to you!!

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  39. The print is divine and I love the story! I also love the way you found it funny that they photoshopped the artwork into the room. It shows you have a great sense of humor along with confidence.

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  40. Joni, you are a generous and friendly person with enough expirience with people! It shows. I think it would have been right to ask you first, but all worked out well!
    Lovely gift!
    You derserve a lot of respect and as you can see your devoted readers agree on this one!
    Happy weekend to one of my favorite bloggers!

    Your are a giver!

    XX
    Victoria

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  41. You are a queen, Joni...we should all be bowing to you.

    really. No snickers.

    The art is oh so lovely...oh so you! Enjoy it...you SO deseve it!

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  42. How green is my envy??? oy. I didn't love their selections for the living room, but the Nasri is to die.

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  43. When I followed your link and read the art gallery post, I thought the art gallery post was off colour - somewhat rude and self-serving. I was annoyed by it, and I admire that you took the high road.

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  44. Joni, Huff Harrington is a wonderful gallery in Atlanta. I love all the artists they represent. I enjoyed reading about their first post, and their thoughts about their blog heros ~ you are justifiably at the top of their list. I recently did a post about the trips they host to Provence. If you haven't checked out their beautiful house in France, don't miss it! Their trips are my idea of the perfect way to visit France. You couldn't have found better new friends.

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  45. Joni you totally deserve such a beautiful gift. You are just too much fun and a genuine person. This was a great story.
    Hugs,
    Michelle

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  46. Happy endings!

    And would you please share the name of that beautiful paint color in your dressing room? It looks wonderful on my monitor.

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  47. Hi Joni,

    I loved the gift that you were sent. And yes, you do deserve it!! In my humble opinion, I still like the mirror better than the photoshop paintings, although they were beautiful in their own right.
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  48. Hello Joni,
    I must say, you hit it out of the ball park, with this one!!! I love happy endings...it seems as though just about everything is photoshoped these days?

    Wonderful, Wonderful story and gracious attitude. You are truly an inspiration!

    Laurie

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  49. Joni,
    Good deeds never go unnoticed! You did a good deed for them and they returned with amazing gratitude! I love the print! Beautiful job on the design work too Sistah!
    xx

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  50. In typical Joni fashion, that was a long story! But, a really good one. How fun, and lucky you.

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  51. At first I thought your post was traveling toward a parody of an unpleasant circumstance. (I felt defensive on your behalf as The Artful Lifestyle, albeit people who you might admire, would use your work without permission in order to fulfill their own promotional objectives.) But you delivered with sincerity! However, I can't help but wonder how long you had to think about this before responding. You've taught me a valuable lesson here about taking a much higher road than your "friends" took. You were gracious, and they were most fortunate that you were. Bravo and enjoy the stunning print (an excellent reminder of your grace under fire)!

    With admiration,

    Debi

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  52. oh how much fun!!! very sweet and so flattering
    xoxo

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  53. What a great story! And I love the Nasri print you were given.

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  54. Joni,
    I've quietly followed your blog for almost three years now - and have enjoyed every single post. I've never added a comment to any blog until this one. You are a true southern gal. Throughout your story, your wit tickled me and by the end of it, your graciousness impressed me. Kudos to you (and you Mother)- all of that talent can't be accrued in just one lifetime. Your daughter is a lucky girl.

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  55. oh my......this post was so witty! I for one, would never had thought of putting purple with green with the accents - but I totally love the look - especially that table - european farm style - love that!

    I too have really enjoyed this blogging thing -

    you are one of the best!

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  56. I love your new gift, and predictably, you found the perfect spot for it!

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  57. That was exactly what I meant in my comment on your last post, you´re such a nice, positive and loyal person towards your fellow bloggers and colleagues, and you´re showing it in this post too.
    I love to read your blog! Oh, and the print... to die for!!!

    Have a very nice weekend!

    Helle

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  58. i agree...the print is a great idea...but i would prefer a mirror. the room is gorgeous!

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  59. I know it's "better to give than to receive" but in this case I'd be more than happy to be the recipient! What a wonderful surprise for you.
    Angex

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  60. Nice -- all the way around! And I think you're right about the blogging community. A group of very lovely and sharing people.

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  61. You have been so generous to share your interior design thoughts and experiences with the blogging world and we thank you!

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  62. Oh Joni! Just one more example of "what you put out into this world comes back to you". The framed print was a well-deserved gift to you from the gals at Huff Harrington and completely sublime. There is absolutely no substitute for grace. All of this worked out very nicely for everyone involved. Such beautiful work on the re-design across the street.

    Congratulations on beginning your 4th year...you have been such a trailblazer.

    BTW: I never read the name of the most recent giveaway winner...where should I be looking?

    God bless! Can't wait for your next post!

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  63. Joni,
    You are a rarity in this Blog world. The real reason why blogs were started. You put yourself out there for the world to see, man you are a blessed woman. Love your approach, honest and real keep doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration to alot of us out there. You put a smile on our faces and bring laughter into our hearts. Now tell Mr. Slipper Socks to take This Amazing Lady out on the town tonight. You deserve to be pampered. Thank you.

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  64. Joni, This is why I love blogging and bloggers ! Your blog is one of my favorites, that house is gorgeous.

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  65. you are more than worthy.
    you are an original.
    adore your blogg.
    tuto

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  66. Dear Joni,

    I went through so many different emotions as I read your post ~ I couldn't believe it! You are one in a million!

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  67. Dear Joni: Congratulations on three incredible years of hard work. Our little token of appreciation is nothing compared to what you have brought us and so many others in the blogging community with the gracious style and humor of your beautifully written and researched blogs. We hang on every word and beg for more! Thank you.

    Ann and Meg
    Huff Harrington Fine Art

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  68. Your story brought tears to my eyes Joni....you chose to be gracious in a situation which Ann & Meg meant no harm at all....and see what happened....reminds me of the saying "you get what you give". You deserve that beautiful print....it's priceless!

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  69. I have always admired your blog and your stories, but this one is really something! I don't know that I would have taken so kindly to someone photo-shopping my original work and making suggestions, especially without asking. But you were clever and good-natured about it, and wow, it really worked out in your favor. You gained new friends and the gorgeous print! Fantastic story-loved it.

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  70. Joni, I started following your blog in January (via La Dolce Vita via Odi et Amo) and I remember all of these posts - the Jill Brinson house love affair post, the room inspiration throwdown, and the photoshopped artwork article by Ann and Meg. What a fine coda to a symphony of serendipitous blogs.

    On a somewhat related note, I read with much interest your "Stalking the Wheats" posts as Sally Wheat's adorable daughter is in my second grade class this year. In a moment of weakness, Sally said I was welcome to stop by anytime to see her house, which I did last Saturday. Of course, she was in the middle of changing up her front room and planning where to hang a suzani and some gorgeous butterfly wing artwork she had just bought and whether or not to recover her dining room chairs. I would never have known what a talented designer I had showing up at my classroom door every day if it weren't for your blog.

    You are sprinkling delicious Karma all over blogland. Kindly carry on!

    Kelly

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  71. Seldom have I read a story so full
    of "goodness!"
    Uplifting , indeed.

    Judith

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  72. I thought the original post from Hart Harrington Art was brilliant. And like other's I didn't see it as a criticism. I think they have used such a brilliant tool! As a painter I have thought about using photoshop the same way. It is so difficult for MOST people, including myself to look at art in a gallery or in an artists studio and know if you will like it in your home. More than a couple of times I have brought work home that I thought would be PERFECT and as much as I liked the piece, it just didn't work.
    Perhaps what would be even more helpful for designers, art consultants and artists is to get clients to consider art work they might otherwise reject.
    I think this would be such a useful tool for designers, art consultants, art dealers. If anyone has in insight on the extent to which professionals are using this kind of tool, I would love to hear.
    Great post Joni, provocative in a good way

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  73. How very sweet of them. I on the other hand used a photo (with credit) and got threatened with a $15,000 lawsuit!!!!!!!!!! But guess what? That photographer IS NOT a blogger, so that explains everything. I just went over to The Artful Lifestyle blog and also watched their TV segment. I immediately loved them both. Invite them over for wine and I'll fly down for a visit. xo

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  74. Great story. I am still waiting to find out what the little green things in the white bowl are on the cover of the House Beautiful January? copy?
    nancy

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  75. I am a big fan of Huff Harrington (and, of course, of Cote de Texas) and am lucky enough to have a George Nasri hanging in my home. Meg and Ann are great girls and I know you three would be fast friends and an indomitable decorating force if you all lived in the same city! I think I see a business opportunity out there for all three of you. Great story.

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  76. Joni, you are a class act. I still feel they should have let you know and asked permission to do the post. But you handled it with great tact and grace. I still liked the mirror you did better. Some of their things were too big. But, the gift was nice, (and well deserved, I might add.)

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  77. It turns out doing the right thing pays off!---in a BIG way this time, because I do LOVE your new art. I don't necessarily think it was a criticism (but I will go back and read their post). I just see it as two different interpretations of the same space. There is more than one way to skin a cat! :) You have set a good example for the blog world...and I am not surprised! Congrats on your gift!

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  78. Joni, I loved this story. I actually got a glass of ice tea and set back and enjoyed every word but to be honest that is kind of what I do when I read your post. I get one of my favorite drinks and just absorb it all. The art work is such a wonderful and thoughtful gift to a wonderful and thoughtful lady,YOU!! Thanks for sharing this amazing and fun story. Blogland is full of some really wonderful people, that is for sure, Have a great weekend, Kathysue

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  79. what a fun story...Jenny

    ps - i wanted to send you a few pics of a project i just did in Rosemary Beach but i can't figure out how to email you

    texasjennyj@comcast.net

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  80. How lovely....I am glad your gracious nature did not go unappreciated:)

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  81. I love this story. A life lesson for all of us.

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  82. So Cool! You deserve it! Do you know adobe photo shop? Who knew!
    Congrats!

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  83. Wow, that is a really beautiful story and a lovely circle of kindness. That print is just glorious - so very, very elegant. I love this sort of thing and wish it would happen to me!! : )
    Yes, that is definitely Elizabeth!!
    xo Terri

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  84. I have to admit, when I first saw that living room, I didn't love the mirror over the fireplace; I did feel that overall the rooms lacked artwork. But, like the antiques, I figured that the owners were still looking. I LOVE the first piece of art that was proposed. I think art takes the room up to another level- from beautiful to personal.

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  85. Oh my goodness, what an incredible and lovely gift! You lucky girl, Joni!!!!

    PS Posted a pic of our guesthouse - come take a little peek.

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  86. Joni, As I started to read this post, I got an "oh no" building up in my gut. I think gracious is not a big enough word for you. You handled it perfectly.
    I use Photoshop to pop in pieces (artwork, ebay chairs, things too big to move myself, whatever) in my own pictures of my own home (ok, I also do it for friends, it's a good tool).
    But, to be a wee bit priggish, I would think art dealers would know better than to use another artist's work without permission!
    I'm just sayin'.
    I guess they do now. And they were smart in their selection of art for you.
    All's well that ends well, I guess.
    Thanks for taking the high road and raising us all up with you.
    priscilla

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  87. Hi Joni: what a wonderful story of how connected everyone is in the blogosphere. You are truly worthy and that print is beautiful...with the right attitude, lots of things can be accomplished. Imagine if you had become angry and 'lashed out' at the writers? not that you would have, but, it would be a totally different outcome. The way you handled it, EVERYONE won!!! Kudos to you and your fab blog Joni!!! xx

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  88. I just love the room in the first few pics - so many features in that room I'd love to copy in my home!!!

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  89. I thought the artwork was too big. Your "underscaled" antique mirror made the room calmer. I preferred it! Love the article and your new print!!ann @ housefinally.blogspot

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  90. Joni, As you begin your fourth year of blogging, let me say how much I enjoy your Cote de Texas! You write so well and so naturally that I feel I know you. By the way, I'm writing from my sailboat in southern Turkey where I relax when not residing in Istanbul or Washington, D.C. I love your design for your neighbor's home. Will you come to Istanbul and do my apartment? We can then relax with a sailing adventure!

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  91. What a wonderful story!
    You do indeed inspire. I wish that I felt I could have responded to criticism in such a thoughtful, appropriate way. Maybe I should take lessons from you on gaining a "tough skin". smiles.....

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  92. First, Thanks for the shout out AGAIN!
    And I must say Jill Brinson took the faux HB homage with grace. She was so flattered that so many of us in blogland responded to her work.
    Second, the pie is big enough for everyone, so I never mind sharing.
    Third, glad some wonderful art is coming back into your beautiful home again.
    Gifts should be laid at your door on a regular basis for all you have to us your grateful readers.
    xo xo

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  93. ...for all you have GIVEN us

    xo xo

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  94. HI there. I was wondering if you have a favorite bamboo roman shade that you use over and over and that seem to work with many classic styles. If you have an affordable source, that would be great to know! I see you use the a lot...
    thank you!

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  95. you're so cute and talented- I'm happy you got a great print out of it! And they obviously love you, too, so I see it as high praise that they used your work. I love that house.

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  96. Are those real paintings? At least from a distance, they have the look of mass-produced "art" you see in Ramada Inns. A little Thomas Kincaide-y. I like the one they sent you, though.

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  97. How sweet of them to send you that beautiful print! I must admit that the living room/kitchen you made over for your friend is GORGEOUS, and is currently my favorite inspiration space!! I have spent so much time studying every little detail! Love love love!!! Just so you know! :)
    Blessings,
    Stacey

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  98. LOVE IT ALL!! The story, the gift, the generosity of it all --makes my cold black heart blush! ;-)

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  99. Hi Joni!

    First, a reply to Riviera Boardwalk: I think the little green things in the white bowl on the cover of the House Beautiful January may be Osage oranges. They are bumpy, green, inedible oranges used strictly for decorative purposes.

    And to Joni: I adore the work you did for your across-the-street neighbour! I much prefer the mirror to the Photoshopped artwork.

    You handled the situation with grace and tact, qualities that seem to frequently lacking in blogging these days.

    Thank you for your amazing blogs. Love ya!

    Squeak

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  100. Joni, what a great ending to the story and so well deserved for such a talented and gracious designer and blogger. Love it!

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  101. Your "house across the street" was prettier with your mirror, less "motel" art-like. They did a good job of showing off their artwork but you did a better job of showing off the house.

    Just a comment aside which you may delete if you want. Lose the ceiling fans. That looks like the day Lowe's had their sale - know what I mean.

    You are the best blogger I know of. You are interesting, informed, varied, accurate: Babe, you make my day. Ann

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  102. Wonderfully, wonderful post.

    Smiles ~ Ramona

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  103. amazing how many of us do something similar without thinking of the consequences to the original designer....so good of you to keep your wits about you and instead "make lemonade" and new friends....you took the high road and are more respected for it! and i love the print...great story and so glad you shared it....

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  104. Joni~ you are a fabulous mentor to many. In what could have been an ugly catfight you turned lemons into lemonade.
    Everyone can take a que from you.
    Continue being brilliant.

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  105. What a great story! It's amazing what a little generosity in the blog-world can bring about. Love it!

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  106. what comes around goes around...good for you not to get "huffy" about it and added a shot of humor into the whole mix...

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  107. Great story about blogging and they thought about every detail ...It is very touching

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