The Cottage at Cloudland Station

Last week Jill had the pleasure of visiting the north Georgia countryside, full of fall color, to tour the This Old House The Cottage at Cloudland Station in Chickamauga, Georgia. Not only is it set in a picturesque valley, this 1,998 square foot house packs a punch with refined colors, textures and design, thanks to the talented designer, and good friend, Yvonne McFadden.

IMG_5547Here are some highlights and notes:  Partial to these peacock blue cabinets combined with the Montclair Danby marble countertop.


Versatile seating in the family room, and that smart mahogany coffee table by Holland and Company with clever pull outs…must remember that…


Two inch thick stairs from homegrown wood on the property – conservation and recycling at its best!


Shot in the heart by this stunner!  Black penny tile on the walls and white penny tile in the bath, combined with the black tile border, black pearl marble countertop, blue cabinet color and then the arrow motif stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils.  Top it all off with a custom mirror, framed by the venerable Brooks & Black Fine Framing.

DSC_0024Outdoor living plays a huge part in this cozy cottage with a 10-foot-deep porch that accesses the family and dining rooms.  Yvonne and her team continued the relaxed feeling outside with the colors, textures and wrapped the spaces together with the Franklin Iron Works Hickory Point outdoor light collection by Lamps Plus.

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Make plans to visit this dreamy development this fall – pack a picnic to enjoy on the grounds, perhaps around the communal firepit, or the pool or the adult size tree house!  Thank you to Vicki Bolick (The Ace of Space) for joining me on this mountain adventure.  Happy Fall y’all!




Halloween Greetings from steve mckenzie’s!

Spooky wishes for a magical All Hallows Eve… We hope you enjoy all the spookiness surrounding this most mystical holiday!


If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in the steve mckenzie’s showroom – who knows?! You may find a trick or treat awaiting you!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Chris W. Joseph

Elegant sophistication has never been so apparent in a person as it is in our new friend – and Men’s Style ConciergeChris W. Joseph.


We’re so grateful to have recently been introduced to Chris, a definite trendsetter, and fellow Atlantan. We invited him to be a Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, and happily, he agreed.

Although Chris isn’t a participant in the interior design community, he has an appreciation for the arts, including interior design, and certainly recognizes the role design plays in personal style and vice versa. And we’re so thrilled to have this opportunity to share a bit about Chris with you today:

Chris W. Joseph
Chris W. Joseph

Chris W. Joseph has established himself as a trusted lifestyle resource for today’s discerning gentlemen. Chris has become a valued and indispensable wardrobe consultant to his clients by developing and facilitating strategies to refine their physical appearance & presentation. In addition, as the Men’s Style Concierge, Chris is a proven authority on men’s style; thousands have connected with him through various social media platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.  Both men and women follow his perspectives on luxury style trends found in popular culture within major US markets and around the world.

The Men’s Style Concierge offers image consulting services to individuals, corporate entities, and non-profit groups. All custom accessories created by the Men’s Style Concierge, such as pocket rounds (available at steve mckenzie’s), lapel pins & flowers, and cufflinks, are handcrafted using quality materials and fabrics. The ultimate purpose of the Men’s Style Concierge is to explore the best in men’s style tips, fashion advice, grooming techniques, contemporary etiquette, and much more to help you achieve the most from your personal look & brand.

Chris is Haitian-American. He was born and raised in Miami, FL, but currently lives in the Atlanta, GA area with his wife and two young children.

1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Cool, Confident, and Nonconforming

Emmanuel Wedding

2. Please share a bit about a favorite project, to date…

My favorite project to date was being able to style the guys in my fraternity brother’s wedding. The bride didn’t want the tuxedos to be too “out there,” so we opted for traditional black, with handsome accessories… and Jordan sneakers to add an element of fun for the guys.

3. What’s the source of your inspiration?

I’m inspired by a lot of different sources: nature, art, the old & new styles, music, and those feelings that come from deep inside of me that know one else would ever know.

4. Name three people – alive or dead – you’d invite to your dream dinner party.

Sam Cooke, Brad Pitt, and a young Muhammed Ali.

5. Please share with us a garment or accessory you couldn’t live without.

I couldn’t live without a white handkerchief… My father always carried a cotton hanky with him where ever he went. He used to either wipe sweat from his brow, blowing his nose, or cleaning a stain from his shirt or tie. Because I saw him do those things all throughout my childhood (and he still uses a hanky), it’s something I’ve done since college.


6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, colors, etc. – how do they work for you?

I don’t necessarily follow style rules when mixing textures or colors. However, I don’t follow the rule of when wearing multiple patterns, I try to wear those patterns in proportion to one another… And when I wear similar patterns, those patterns are in various sizes.

7. Trending… What’s something you’re currently “into” and something you’re “over?”

I’m currently into sport coats with elbow patches.

I’m completely over suit jackets with three or more buttons – guys please stop it!

8. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

If I were stranded on a deserted island, the one thin I would have is my trusty Swiss Army pocket knife. I think I could survive if I had that.

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into your industry.

I advise anyone looking to break into the image or styling/fashion industry is to be prepared to hear a lot  of “No’s” and to work hard. Also, I’ve found that because I love what I do, the hard work I put into my brand isn’t hard at all because I enjoy it!

We agree – all the hard work is worth it when you love what you do!

Doesn’t Chris seem like the nicest guy?? If you’re in the market for a stylist, or just looking for some friendly advice, we encourage you to reach out to the Men’s Style Concierge and see what they can do for you and your image.

And thank you again for Chris for sharing a bit about him and his business with us as this month’s Tastemaker!

High Point Market Highlights

Another successful and exciting High Point Market has wrapped up, with colorful new launches and additions.  Our hearts and eyes were dancing with this collaboration of Cotton + quill fabric on a Dunes and Duchess glossy bench, against the backdrop of the dramatic Copacabana Cotton + quill textile.

Cotton + quill on a Chappy Bench from Dunes and Duchess
Cotton + quill Pendant/Capri color way on a Chappy Bench in New England Oyster Roast from Dunes and Duchess
New Libeco Bedding
New Libeco Bedding – All the colors play well together, and Belgian linens are a delight for restful sleeping.
The Old Wood Co. does it again.
The Old Wood Co. does it again.  Our Asheville maker knocks it out of the park with this Iron Buff finish.
Kannoa outdoor furniture is well-designed and functional, plus offers a full range of fabric colors and patterns so you can customize your space.  This aquamarine Congo Side Table can be used for seating too.
This is outdoor? You bet it is, from Laurie Bell and Kannoa.
This is outdoor? You bet it is, from Laurie Bell and Kannoa.

We spent more time in the Antique & Design Center of High Point, scoring some terrific finds!  The dealers ranged from classic art to art deco to textiles to eclectic vendors like Box Road.

Box Road Antiques
Box Road Antiques – everything from delicate Flow Blue plates to a fascinating flashlight collection and face jug.  Made me very happy…

Box Road Antiques

Now it’s time to get our Halloween costumes pulled together, and then start the countdown to Christmas! To ease the stress, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite holiday tips on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.  Enjoy the warm fall colors!

Add it to Your Calendar: Iris van Herpen at the High!

We’re so excited for the upcoming “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” exhibit (November 7, 2015-May 15, 2016) at the High Museum, and thought many of our friends and followers would be as well, so we’ve gathered a bit of information to whet your appetite…

Iris van Herpen
Iris van Herpen

Here’s a bit about van Herpen:

Iris van Herpen stands for a reciprocity between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials. She creates a modern view on Haute  Couture that combines fine handwork techniques with digital technology .Van Herpen forces fashion to the extreme contradiction between beauty and regeneration. It is her unique way to reevaluate reality and so to express and underline individuality.



Info on the upcoming exhibit at the High:

In fall 2015, the High Museum of Art will become the first U.S. museum to present a major exhibition of work by visionary Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, a cutting-edge artist inspired by diverse influences in the arts, sciences, music and philosophy. Marking the High’s first presentation of fashion design, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion will feature one-of-a-kind haute couture – acclaimed for its combination of traditional craftsmanship and futuristic, innovative techniques – and include some of the world’s first examples of 3D-printed fashion. The exhibition is co-organized with the Groninger Museum (Netherlands) and will debut at the High before continuing on a North American tour.

Iris van Herpen Dutch, born 1984 Magnetic Motion, September 2014 In collaboration with Niccolò Casas and 3D Systems 3D printed transparent Photopolymer, SLA (stereolithography) resin High Museum of Art, Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust and through prior acquisitions, 2015.82
Iris van Herpen
Magnetic Motion, September 2014
In collaboration with Niccolò Casas and 3D Systems

Van Herpen has garnered international acclaim for her couture designs, which interweave traditional handwork with groundbreaking 3D-printing technology, computer modeling, and engraving constructed in collaboration with architects, engineers and digital design specialists. Her visually impressive, sculptural designs – often featuring unusual materials such as magnets, umbrella ribs and synthetic boat rigging – create silhouettes that appear both organic and futuristic. Her work has been worn by style icons such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Bjork and has graced the runways of Amsterdam, London and Paris. The exhibition will feature 45 outfits carefully selected from 15 of van Herpen’s collections designed from 2008 through 2015, offering a comprehensive visual survey of her design career.

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As we’ve shared before, our brand namesake, Steve McKenzie, pulls a lot of inspiration from current and past fashion trends, and the uniquely sculptural work of van Herpen is no exception. This upcoming exhibit should provide a feast for the eyes, as well as boatloads of inspiration! And how lucky are we to have this exhibit hit North America for the first time in our own backyard, right down Peachtree Street!!?

Who you NEED to Meet: Augusta Wilson

Augusta Wilson, of Augusta Wilson Studio, is an artistic force to be reckoned with. And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to her at an upcoming showcase of her fantastic artwork, as well as this “Who you NEED to Meet” blog post…

AW logo

Augusta is a southerner through and through – she currently resides in nearby Decatur with her husband and baby son. But don’t let that southern charm dissuade you. Her art is the epitome of modern sophistication. The textures, colors and imaginatively fun focus of her art leave you wanting more.

We hope you’ll join us and experience the art of Augusta Wilson for yourself at her show in the steve mckenzie’s showroom this Friday, October 23 from 5-8pm. Until then, please enjoy getting to know Augusta a bit better and in her own words:

Augusta Wilson

sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started Augusta Wilson Studio and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

AW: I was raised in a creative environment in Mobile, Alabama—birthplace of Hank Aaron, West Indies Salad, and all fourteen of my first cousins. My mother is a graphic designer, and as the oldest of her four children I took after her creative tendencies. Growing up my siblings and I were always involved in her projects, whether it was a photo shoot for a magazine ad or mural for the Junior League fundraiser. In hindsight this ultimately had a huge impact on my career choice—I’ve always known I wanted a creative career that allowed me to spend time with my children.

Being the oldest of my family also meant I became fiercely independent—which holds pretty true today. I chose to get my undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia for three reasons: their art school seemed credible, Athens, GA was a good distance from Mobile, AL, and they had a study abroad program that would let me live in Italy for a summer. I knew one person the day I arrived and didn’t even tour the campus until orientation.

Augusta mixing paint

The first reason, UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, is how I really got into painting. Painting had always come naturally to me, but I had never taken it seriously. It was pure hobby before college. I played around with different fields of study at Lamar Dodd—graphic design (you’re welcome, Mom), photography. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that my drawing instructor, Jen Bandini (who is an awesome painter in her own right—check our her blog, Escape to New York. So good), pointed out the gestural marks I was making. “You are such a painter”, she told me. At that moment it just clicked. I signed up for my first oil painting class the next quarter and never looked back.

I love a hypothetical question, especially at a dinner party (side note: I really just love a good dinner party!). My go-to hypotheticals are: “If money were no object, what would you do?” and the slightly more morbid, “If you could choose, what would you have for your last meal on Earth?” The answer to the first, for me, has always been that I would have my own painting studio at home and paint my days away.


Of course, starting my studio was not as ideal as money being no object for me (Far from it, in fact. I’m an artist, y’all!).  I’ve been painting on the side of my day job since college. When I was pregnant with my first child a couple of years ago, my creativity went through the roof. I had to paint everyday. I suddenly had so many more ideas for paintings and couldn’t wait to get them on the canvas. I started posting images of my daily (or really, nightly) paintings on Instagram, and my followers started buying them! There were some instances when I would get up early and finish a painting before going to my day job, post it on Instagram, and it would sell by lunchtime. It was incredible, and (obviously) a huge point of encouragement towards going full-time in my studio. I couldn’t help but think that if I were to put all of my efforts towards creating and marketing my work that this could be a viable source of income and creativity for my life.

The other point, unfortunately, was that my employer at the time was not encouraging of my pregnancy.  Of course, that’s a whole other story.  Nevertheless, I found myself thinking that (as naïve as it sounds) you do only live once. I wanted my child to be proud of the profession I had chosen, I wanted to be proud of the profession I had chosen, and I knew that my contentment with what I did for a living would translate towards his attitude in life.

I started my studio shortly after the birth of my son, and it’s been one of the most challenging and best decisions I’ve made. YOLO, y’all.

Paint Upclose

sm’s: What inspires you/your art?

I’m a painter’s painter. I love the texture of oil paint, the juiciness of it, the history of it.  I love the whole process of layering oil paint, finding the right medium to mix it with, finding ways to manipulate it. The paint in itself inspires me!

Painting too, of course, is also tightly entwined in history. I find that every mark I make or color I mix is reminiscent of those who have gone before me, and thus I’m constantly reminded of my own history. Inevitably, the South, my life, and the design world around me find their way into my paintings.

Augusta in Action_5

My current series for my Fall collection is inspired by approaching storms on Mobile Bay. Growing up in the hurricane target zone of Mobile, Alabama, the coming of Fall also meant the coming of storms. For those of us who grew up on the water, these storms hold tight to our memories. The salt in the air, the instantaneous dropping of temperature and sweeping of winds, were all a part of the sensory overload as we watched the horizon line disappear with the onslaught of rain. For me, these memories bring a sense of solitude, which I poured onto the canvases of this series.


sm’s: What is your vision, not only for Augusta Wilson Studio, but also the individual pieces you create?

I am interested in art that is both accessible and thought provoking. I want to bridge the gap between paintings that belong in MOMA and paintings that match your sofa. I believe you can have the best of both worlds.

Augusta starting canvas

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for Augusta Wilson Studio?

I’m currently working with a handbag designer in Indiana to create hand-painted leather clutches for the studio! I have a weakness for fashion, so this is a perfect blend of worlds for me. They’ll be ready in time for holiday season and available for purchase on my website as well as a handful of Atlanta retail locations. Stay tuned!

Augusta in Action_7

sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge?

Painting/Running a business is such a mental game, so I try to get in a daily long run or yoga session to get out of my head. Also, if you haven’t caught on already, I’m a huge nerd. I love to read. I’ve been trying to read a book a week, which is a total luxury. I’m currently reading ‘Fates and Furies’ by Lauren Groff. So far, so good.

All that being said, my favorite way to recharge is with a great meal and even better company. My husband and I love to cook, so a nice glass of wine (or two) as we make dinner and catch up is something I really look forward to during the week.

Underlayer painting upclose

Cheers to relaxing with the one(s) you love over a weeknight meal and nice glass of wine! Thank you for the candid responses, Augusta!

If you didn’t fall a little in love with this wonderful artist and her unique works, we assure you, viewing them up close and in person at her upcoming show will ensure your appreciation for Augusta and her paintings.

We look forward to seeing you in the showroom soon!


Support a great cause while saving this holiday season!

Once again, steve mckenzie’s is proud to support a great cause, while helping our customers save money this holiday season… We’re participating in the Camp Twin Lakes Partners Card, offering folks 20% savings at more than 400 shops and restaurants!

camp twin lakes

Cards are $60 and 100% of proceeds go straight back to Camp Twin Lakes, a fantastic network of camps in Georgia providing programs for children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges.

As one of Camp Twin Lakes’ largest fundraisers, Partners Card supports Camp Twin Lakes’ year-round, medically supportive camp programs for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges.

Cards will be available at the steve mckenzie’s showroom and are good for 20% discounts from October 23 – November 1, 2015. This is the ideal motivation to get a jump start on your holiday shopping, while saving money and supporting a great cause at the same time!

Come in today to purchase your card and start taking advantage of some fabulous savings – while supporting Camp Twin Lakes!

Library Friday – Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited

Today, we’re reaching back out to steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner, for his selection of another book from our library for this week’s Library Friday post…

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

We’re especially excited for this selection, and how he compares the work of this great artist to Steve’s own works, and how it seems to have served as inspiration for him. Read below for Xavier’s latest Library Friday pick:


Today, I decided to discuss the Washington, D.C. based artist, Morris Louis

Morris Louis
Morris Louis

He is known for experimenting with Color Field painting, a style of abstract expressionism, characterized by large simplified compositions in which the use of color is independent of line and figuration. 

Morris Louis Alpha-Pi (67.232)
Morris Louis Alpha-Pi (67.232)

This art movement was a popular choice among the New York painters during the 1940’s -1950’s, but Louis separated himself from the New York group and kept to himself in D.C. with his work. He would dilute an oil-based acrylic, which was created for him, and brush it into an unprimed canvas.

Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility
Morris Lewis, Point of Tranquility

Eventually, Louis stopped using a paintbrush in order to get a more even and clean surface. I see resemblance with Steve’s walnut studies, which look watercolor-like.  It is obvious why Steve has this book in his library.  Inspiration can appear from the past or the present as we move forward in art and design.

Exactly our sentiment, Xavier – great selection! How do you feel about these abstract, colorful watercolor works? How do they speak to you??

Designers supporting artists, thanks to Serenbe’s Artist in Residence Program!

In partnership with our friends at KMH Interiors, McKenzie Design is excited to participate in Serenbe’s Artist In Residence (AIR) program by donating their time to design and install the interiors of the first two artist residence cottages. These cottages will serve as home base for two talented artists – one being designed with an eye toward painterly arts and the other with a focus on writing/composition.

AIR Serenbe 3

Steve and Marie Nygren (founders of Serenbe) have believed from the beginning art was important to the kind of sustainable community they wanted to create. Recently, a large 40+ parcel of land was acquired adjacent to Serenbe to found the Serenbe Art Farm. The Art Farm and the AIR program, conceived 7 years ago to bring artists to work and share their process and vision and work with the Serenbe community, are non-profit organizations. It is their vision to have a place where artists can live/work and find affordable housing. They have raised money via the showhouse, private donations and the art auction Steve McKenzie participated in, in conjunction with ASID, to fund the building of the first two artists cottages, with a goal of building them on a budget of only $20,000!

View of the picturesque site where the two initial artist cottages will sit.
View of the picturesque site where the two initial artist cottages will sit.

The Nygrens have joined forces with the The Rural Studio of  the University of Alabama to design the first two cottages. The Art Farm at Serenbe is the site for the first wave of 20K Houses built in collaboration with Auburn University’s award winning Rural Studio program, to be used as live-work artist cottages.

The relationship between The Art Farm at Serenbe and Auburn University’s Rural Studio is multifaceted. Serenbe’s institute for arts and culture, The Serenbe Institute, is limited in the number of artists it can bring and house each year and the collaboration with Rural Studio responds to this need. The Art Farm will be built out to house multiple artists and nurture the arts in the Atlanta region.

serenbe AIR cottage groundbreaking 2
Actual Ground Breaking at the site. Pictured from left to right: Rusty Smith, Associate Chair of the Auburn University Program of Architecture and Rural Studio Associate Director, Simon Shell, contractor who is building first cottage at Serenbe and Serenbe founder Steve Nygren.

Rural Studio is very excited about this program because these cottages will be the first two structures they have had built commercially, and not from within the program. The two cottages will serve as a place where artists can come and stay during their time in the AIR program to live and work for a period of time.

KMH Interiors and McKenzie Design are currently working to procure donations from vendors for the furnishings, as they work up their plans for the cottage interiors.

serenbe AIR cottage groundbreaking
Steve Nygren, founder of Serenbe, addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking.

Steve shares that he is “really passionate about this project because as an artist I know how important programs like this are to push your creativity and let you get away from the day to day and focus on your art. As a designer it is thrilling to create a space I know will be used by other artists.”

Original log cabin on the Serenbe AIR property.
Original log cabin on the Serenbe AIR property.

We’re excited for Steve, Kerry Howard, of KMH Interiors, The Rural Studio of  the University of Alabama program, and the Serenbe/AIR teams, to see this wonderful project come to fruition!

Please keep an eye out for future posts, here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, detailing how these projects are progressing and hopefully, by the end of the year, what the finished cottages look like.

Alexander Girard – an Iconic Inspiration

The late Alexander Girard has been an inspiration to Steve since first seeing his iconic mid-century designs. When you think of mid-century design, chances are you envision a Girard design, whether you know it or not.

Girard 2

As a multi-platform designer, Girard is especially meaningful to Steve, as he continues to expand his own design platforms, from painting to textile and interior design… With style icons such as Alexander Girard, who knows what could come next for our own Steve McKenzie?!?

Alexander Girard (1907-1993)
Alexander Girard (1907-1993)

Here’s a bit more about Alexander Girard:

Alexander Girard was widely known for his textile design which introduced vibrant colors and playful patterns to mid century modern design.  Girard was born in New York City to an American mother and an Italian father, but raised in Florence, Italy. Girard studied architecture in Europe. He returned to the United States in 1932, and started a career as a designer. His career took off after designing “For Modern Living” exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1949. Three years later, he was offered a position as the head of the textile division at Herman Miller, Inc.


At Herman Miller, Girard successfully introduced a new concept in textile design with his vibrant color palette and playful patterns inspired by traditional folk art he cherished. In early 1950s, fabrics were merely functional, but they tended to be dull and plain.

Girard 3

His textile designs complemented the furniture designs of his fellow mid century modern designers, Charles Eames and George Nelson. Girard’s work at Herman Miller continued until 1975, designing hundreds of fabrics as a result. He also developed a seating collection for the company between 1967 and 1968. Originals from this collection are rare and highly desirable among many collectors today.


Apart from Herman Miller, Girard designed three restaurants in 1960’s: the La Fonda del Sol restaurant, in New York City; the L’Etoile Restaurant, also in New York City; and the Compound Restaurant, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also contributed in a design project of Braniff Airlines in mid 1960’s, totally redesigning everything from the condiment packets to the planes themselves.

Girard 4

During 1960’s, Girard and his wife Susan moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he founded the Girard Foundation to manage more than 100,000 pieces of his folk art collection. This enormous collection was donated to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe in 1978 and recognized as the world’s largest folk art collection today.

An iconic Knoll table by Alexander Girard
An iconic Knoll table by Alexander Girard
In addition to his work with Herman Miller, Girard also worked on the Saint Louis Arch with Eero Saarinen, designed furniture for Knoll, designed the Irwin Miller, Cummins Engine offices in Columbus, IN (Jill’s family’s hometown), and worked with Eero Saarinen and Dan Kiley to design the Irwin Miller Home, one of the greatest pieces of iconic modernist aesthetic.
Irwin Miller, Cummins Engine offices
Irwin Miller, Cummins Engine offices
Recently, Alexander Girard designs are back on the current design scene, thanks to a new Girard inspired collection now available through Paperless Post. They’ve taken some of Girard’s most memorable designs and transformed them into digital stationary – something we think the designer would’ve gotten a real kick out of!
An assortment of Girard inspired designs for Paperless Post
An assortment of Girard inspired designs for Paperless Post
We’re thinking this fabulous new collection may be just the encouragement Steve needs to explore the stationary he has always wanted to create :-))
How about you – are you an Alexander Girard fan??