Sunday, May 29, 2011


We love our troops and want to show our appreciation. Please help spread the word abut our $10,000 designer nursery giveaway by my own, Jack and Jill Interiors and my dear friend, Mary of Bratt Decor. View the video and share it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter and call all your friends! Entries must be done by video and loaded onto Youtube. Then place a link on each of our facebook fan pages to enter. It's as simple as that!
Tell the story of why you or a loved one deserves this designer nursery. The entrant must be pregnant at the time of the contest and stationed here in the contiguous US.
Thank you to all who serve and protect our freedoms! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Huge SALE of Sherri Blum Art on Zulily!

Today and tomorrow only...find Sherri Blum Designs canvas art and wooden signs GREATLY REDUCED! These items are overstock inventory from my pre-licensing days. Once they're gone, they're gone forever.
Check it out at Zulily! (See just a few below...many more available!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Virtual Nursery Design by Carousel Designs

As a designer, I’m always working with clients to help develop the perfect space in their home, coordinating rooms using various colors, fabric, and furniture.  I recently came across a tool that makes this process easy and fun.  It’s from a company named Carousel Designs, and the tool is called the interactive Nursery Designer®.
I enjoy using the Nursery Designer® because it allows me to create a virtual nursery by choosing from a selection of fabrics, patterns and colors for the bedding.  Instead of imaging what a combination of the options might look like, I can visually create this on my computer.  This helps me explore new design possibilities, and visually express them to the parents I work with.  I even encourage my clients to get in on the fun with different design combinations and come up with their perfect custom crib bedding set to match whatever inspiration – color scheme, theme, sentimental pieces – they can imagine.  

A child’s nursery should be a very unique, personal, and special place for both the child and the parents, and can provide the foundation for wonderful memories for years to come.  Try this tool, and see how easy it can be to create a perfect crib bedding to match your child’s nursery!
What I love about Carousel Designs is not only their unique online design capability and amazing quality baby bedding, it’s also the tradition and spirit of the company. Carousel Designs was started more than 23 years ago and the company made a name for itself by manufacturing great quality products, all right here in the USA. The new owners have sustained that tradition of excellence; all of their bedding continues to be made right in their Douglasville, Georgia plant!  

Another thing that makes Carousel Designs unique to the industry is the owners’ backgrounds– they happen to be West Point classmates and former Army officers. I mean, who knew?! The company is a big supporter of U.S. military service members and their families … you can read more about their personal commitment to supporting military families here

Whether it’s for the beautiful baby bedding designs, the fun-to-play-with interactive Nursery Designer® tool, or to learn more about the company story, be sure to check Carousel Designs out at!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Artists view the details of their surroundings differently from others. Where some might just see a vase of flowers, artists will appreciate the composition of the arrangement. An artist will notice the slight changes in wall color when the sun goes down, or the way in which shadows and lighting will soften or harden a subject. People with an eye for such things can use that gift in various artistic ways to create beauty for the rest of us. I've always known I was an artist, but dabbled for a while in photography, pottery, cake decorating, sculpture and more before finding the way in which I was going to use my artistic gifts. I've often wished I'd taken lessons in photography, but never have. Anyone can take a picture, but a true artist's photograph will tell a story worth a thousand words. 
I've had the pleasure of working with a pair of very talented photographers twice now...first for my wedding and more recently for a photo shoot in the Valastro home to showcase the design work I've completed for TLC's Cake Boss stars, Buddy and Lisa. This wonderful husband and wife team have made me look good TWICE now, and so I thought it only fitting to share their talents and background with you.  I highly recommend them for any upcoming occasions you might have!

Sandy and Kevin Gardner, Gardner Photography

Please share your background experience. 
Sandy, from Colorado, has been involved in photography both in front of and behind the camera since 1998. Her interest in photography was sparked during a class in which she used a Pentax 35mm camera to learn the basics of film, composition, and darkroom techniques. After shooting her younger brother's senior pictures, she went on to increase her knowledge of photography by taking another photography class, taught by her now husband, Kevin.
Kevin from Pennsylvania, began his photography career shooting crime scenes during investigations as a police officer in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Later, after relocating out west as an outdoor writer in Colorado, Kevin began supporting his articles with photography to enhance his offering to the magazines he was associated with. He later went into business as a freelance photographer in Loveland, Colorado.
 With formal photography training through the New York Institute of Photography, Kevin focused on modeling portfolios and scenic and wildlife stock photography as his primary business model. He began teaching photography by conducting private lesson at his studio in Loveland and has continued to teach since relocating back home to Pennsylvania at Allegany College of Maryland’s Somerset and Bedford campuses. Aside from teaching, his photography work in Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde and Moab are some of his life-work highlights.

How did you meet and decide to work together?
We met while working together in 2002. Sandy took private lessons from me and a year or so later when we got together at a party celebrating a new modeling portfolio release my business partner Nickle and I threw, she challenged me to a game of pool. I let her have every shot that was easy and she changed from stripes to solids about a dozen times. She called it "easy ball", most guys don't have the ability to let a girl win like that but it paid off in a very big way!
Later, after relocating back to Pennsylvania we had several friends who insisted that we do their wedding photography for them, so we bit the bullet and started buying the equipment for wedding shoots and retiring most of the wildlife and modeling gear. Sandy really wanted to do the business, so I agreed to be her support, and it has really been fun.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?
For Sandy it is details. She really likes the small details, the things that matter later when a person has the time to breathe and take it all in, the things they saw during their special event but didn't really "see".

For Kevin it has always been modeling portfolios. Making a subject look like they came straight out of a Cosmopolitan magazine is a rush. "I love making a woman look beautiful. It is the hardest part of the wedding process, getting time alone with her to relax her and make her look beautiful". "But the shots I get during those moments alone are the shots that really matter". Wildlife was probably the staple "favorite", but they never pay their sitting fee invoices where the models do.

What is the strangest request or job you've had?
For Sandy it was a photo project for her class when she was taking private lessons from Kevin. She was assigned to shoot an image capturing motion. Usually a student shoots some moving object like water or a friend running, but Sandy chose a toilet flushing and spent hours in her college aprtment bathroom with camera equipment flushing repeatedly to get it right. She called the shot "John Falls". Her roomate thought she had lost it.

For Kevin it was pregnancy photos for a woman who was about to pop right there in the middle of the public park where the shoot was conducted.

As a couple though, the Cake Boss baby room shoot was certainly the most novel. 

What does your future hold?
We are just working to grow our wedding business. We have been fortunate to have such great clients and would like to be in a position that we can always have the "right client/right terms" approach. We think that makes the work fun. Pennsylvania is not a hot bed for modeling and modeling portfolios, but we get to do a little of that through the senior portraits, engagement and wedding shoots. "I just miss the half day sessions really working with a subject one on one and seeing the result".