A Family and a Home

I write about my family a lot.  We’re a bold, boisterous group and we spend an ample amount of time together, namely at our grandparents’ home.  My grandparents have lived in their colonial style house for three decades.  It’s cholk full of fond childhood memories.  Before family dinners we’d roam through trails in the state park behind the house or peek through Nannie’s illustrious closets.  My sister, cousins and I would have sleepovers on her floor and keep her up until ungodly hours.  You know, the good stuff!  As for Papa, he rules the roost from his jean-blue chair in the family room.  Every Christmas Eve about thirty of us gather around to steal food off each others plates and exchange gifts, always resulting in an inevitable wrapping paper explosion.  Papa hands the kids a stack of dollar bills.  Such endearing chaos.

A few weekends ago we delighted in the chaos once again, call it “summer edition.”  We had a wedding.

AH! What a classic.

My cousin Mark married his girlfriend of more than 7 years, Amanda.  And that day something really fantastic happened.  Winding through each doorway, you could find a relative in total game-day mode, attending to their ceremony duties.  My Aunt Susan, the Officiant a.k.a. Judge, my mom – the mistress of ceremonies, my Aunt Cathy – the florist, my sister Holly – music coordinator, my cousin Catherine and her husband Billy – overseers of the flower brigade (their kids and our cousin Addie), and the list goes on.

This home, more so now than ever, became a testament to what we’ve helped one another through and the good times we’ve celebrated.  It was as if each room was a living facet of the experience, tying together our intricately woven past with a new chapter:  Mark and Amanda’s ever-promising future.  Hint, the couple recently announced they are expecting!  The picture shown above is especially perfect, as it’s tradition on holidays for each family (we’ve got 5 of them and counting) to sit for a photograph on the living room sofa.  Here’s their first.


The girls got ready in my personal favorite, I call it the “toile room.”  One Christmas Nannie threw us younger girls a tea party in there, decorated by the largest ginger bread house ever.  Know Lee’s jealous she wasn’t in attendance!

I mean, c’mon!

Meet the flower brigade:  Matilda, Addie, and Liam, holding it down on the front step.  Catch a glimpse of Amanda and her sweet dad behind them!

In true Malbon fashion.

Here in the back yard we have the ceremony complete with some typical dysfunction.


“Markie” and I are two years apart and have always been close.  He’s happily fulfilled the role of obnoxious older brother, pinning me in painful wrestling moves during Thanksgiving dinners and such.  I gotta love him, especially when looking at these photos.

Photogenic spaces. Photogenic faces.

Speaking of photos, could these get ANY better?  Meet Kathryn Whitworth, former Interior Designer turned freelance photographer.  Our family is crazy about her and her work.  We like to bring ones like Kathryn around for keeps.  Initially, my cousin Patrick is in charge of laying down the charm and then it’s an utter whirlwind from there.

Aunty ‘Rude Sue’ as Officiant/Judge for the day

Smiles all around.  I’m a fan of the smaller wedding parties.  Mark chose his dad and brothers along with a best friend of his, Justin, to stand by him.  I think these pictures tell it all:  everything turned out perfectly!

The heart of it all.

Here’s one of the best moments of the evening.  During his toast, Mark thanked Nannie and Papa for their love, support, and hospitality.  I’m here adoring my grandmother as usual.  And look at Billy, smiling at her.  I wish I could tell you all of their great stories, but we’d be here forever.

In summary, I’d like to give a toast myself:  To a family and a home that have helped define my daily perspective, my goals, and my values.  Take credit for all of my redeeming qualities and none of my bad ones! ;-)  Simply, I love you!

In honor of our families, let’s reach out to those ones affected by the Colorado shooting.  Here’s a link if you want to find a way to help.

Love as always,



Flower Heads

Floral anything is in, and thankfully so,  as it’s pretty standard to find me in some kind of floral frenzy (view my latest arrangements here).  Hold them, wear them, spray them, drink them, and my new favorite – crown them on your head:


I wrote about Midsommar in my last post, but I didn’t do it any justice.  Here are a few more photos… Oh, and have I told you I love instagram?

That was nice.

So – here are some favorites of mine in the world of floral trending:

Options are endless…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  Floralize.

– L


November!? Already? These snapshots from my phone tell all . . . or most ;-) Things have been moving fast and I’m around the corner from my first year anniversary with lovely Colorado! I’ve realized that this state is anything but square. Between the music festivals, bike-tastic bliss, local brews, yellow aspens & flowing rivers, you simply start feeling the lightness. Blame it on the altitude, but people here just let loose. Maybe that explains the unkempt hair lately… slightly out of control. Lots of work, lots of play – wouldn’t have it any other way:

Inspiration & Execution

Inspiration & Execution

Progress is being made! And Instagram just makes it look better.

Divertido. Necessito.

Also figured these shots would be a way to pass along some local highlights for another Auburn newcomer (what great news I received tonight!):

1. Linger, it’s a win-win: outdoor (roof top) & indoor (light bright!) bar

2. Tour de Fat, Fat Tire’s festival promoting, you guessed it, bike rides!

3. Botanical Gardens adjacent to one of my favorites, Cheesman Park

4. Margs at Armida’s, which turns into Karaoke at Armida’s. . .

5. Finding your neighborhood coffee shop (<3 St. Marks)

6. Shopping on Pearl St. in Boulder (gifted those bird prints above . . .need the Picasso quote tray next)

7. Warwick Rooftop Pool

BUT regardless of where you are, I wanted to leave you with this:

Hope you’re week is going well. For you locals, FIRST FRIDAY in two :-) Hope to see you at Chavez: An Art Show!



Follow the Pattern: Family & The Professional Pursuit

Had to post a lil’ diddy about the one and only. . .

What a Lovely Life!

Lee is a Textile Designer at Circa 1801 in Hickory, North Carolina.  She also happens to be my sister-cousin, i.e. a family member I adore so much I actually wish she was even more closely related (a rare phenomenon, I know).  Our creative roots come from our maternal grandmother, Matilda Lee Scarborough Malbon. We are both named after her and strive to emulate her graceful technique.  Matilda’s artistic vision remains strong at 80!  She used to dabble in watercolors, acrylics, pen & ink, and even pottery.  Both Lee & I took up painting early on.  She prefers water colors.  Acrylics for me!  Take a look at how Lee utilizes her intrinsic skill:

Bold Blues

Here are some of her original designs, both past and current – that can be seen all throughout our industry!  I was beyond excited to see the MGBW’s Zondra Chair, upholstered in Lee’s Bukhara fabric, on my employer’s showroom floor.  As a Design Consultant, I’ve got all of Lee’s patterns at my fingertips to specify for client’s homes, so very fun!  You may be asking:

Find her designs near you!

Manufacturers such as Baker Furniture, Duralee, Hancock & Moore, Hickory Chair, Kravet, LEE Industries (quite fitting!), Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, and Robert Allen (to name a few) have claimed her designs as their exclusives.  Then the prints trickle into retail stores like these ^!!  Bloomberg BusinessWeek named ABC Carpet & Home as #2 of “America’s Best Independent Stores.” http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/06/0619_best_independent_stores/2.htm

Larger corporations such as Crate & Barrel, Calico Corners, and Target have also carried Lee’s work.  Quite the resume if you ask me!  Major publications have taken note as well.

My go-to home decor mag!

Circa 1801 has been Lee’s employer for six years now.  She was recently appointed to conduct trend research for the company.  Frequenting FIT’s design library in NYC is just another day’s work!  Her time spent there helps to spearhead visual concepts for upcoming lines.  Trade Shows in Vegas and Paris are among past business adventures.  It’s always interesting to dig into designer deets. . . so I asked Lee to share some with us:

Serendipping >>> Name your favored –

Design Icons:  Jonathan Adler, Tricia Guild, Betsy Johnson, Anna Sui

Sources of Inspiration: Fashion, Nature

Vacation Spot: Carova Beach, North Carolina

Indulgences:  Travel,  Music, Jewelry

Bloom:  The blue hydrangeas in my back yard

>>> What advice remains important to you in your design approach? 

– “Walk to your own beat”

>>> What fall 2011 trend has you double-dipping? 


From the trend expert herself . . .

Lee’s professional pursuits continue to amaze me.  Some patterns are made; like Bukhara, Amite & Limba.  And some patterns are engrained; like creative instinct and perseverance towards a lofty goal.  I hope to follow Matilda’s pattern, as Lee has, and make my beautiful grandmother proud. In a “I’m smiling ear-to-ear” kind of way ;-)



It’s Official

The hair is going long again.  It’s time.  Ready for poolside loungin’, downtown bike rides, beach house afternoons, and maybe a lil’ trip back to LA ;-)  Got the Anthropologie Mag in the mail last week, and retreating back to my old “do” just seemed right.  So here it goes!  Wish me luck.  Props to the worker bees over in Philly putting together these beautiful ‘zines.  The power of advertising!!

HELLO Anthro!

Next – we have the frocks.  Look how fantastic these are!  How perfect would they be with my long, whispy locks (to be ;-))?  I’m a huge fan of the “Time to Shine” outfit featured on the website.  While you’re there, peruse the May ‘zine yourself!  You’ll like.

Happy Friday lover birds.


Hey Baby ;-)

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Can’t thank you enough for stopping by!  I promise to be short & sweet . . .with a touch of sass.

More soon!

<3 L