Thursday, March 27, 2014

HuffPost Live with Actor, Author, and Family Equality Activist Dan Bucatinsky

I was so excited to be a part of a HuffPost Live segment today with one of my favorites, Dan Bucatinsky. Up until last week (when his character was heartbreakingly killed off) Dan portrayed James Novak on ABC's hit drama Scandal, for which he won an Emmy.

Pre-production screen shot. I'm on bottom right.

Thank you to Dan for his heartfelt answer to the one question I was permitted to ask, and to Associate Producer Francina Morel for reaching out to me.  Today is one for the memory book! 

Check out Dan's website  All of his links appear there, along with his hilarious blog and excerpts from his laugh-out-loud funny book Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?

And for all of you Gladiators out there, enter for your chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to have brunch with Dan, fellow Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn, and other cast members, at All proceeds benefit Family Equality Council.

P.S.  My weird face when I first appear onscreen is due to the fact that my screen went blank right before I was to speak and my microphone seemingly was not working. Thank goodness for small miracles!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Q & A | Artist Anna Corba

It was my absolute honor to spend some time recently with artist and author Anna Corba at her Found Cat Studio in Northern California. Anna is the artist behind some of my most treasured artful objects, purchased at my favorite spot, Chateau Sonoma.  After meeting Anna at Chateau Sonoma's French Flea Market last spring, imagine my gratitude when she granted my wish to be interviewed for Lovely Inspirations.

What inspires you?
Being out in the world. When I see things that are beautiful, I want to create them anew. I'm not looking for materialistic things to collect, I'm medium driven and want to recreate humble, simple, functional objects that are slightly embellished.

As an artist, do you have a method while in your creative zone? Does it depend on the project? 
Both. For an artist, I'm actually very organized. For my product lines (Anthropologie, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic) it was structured. But now, creating, living a creative life and doing what I love, it's meditative.

What is your dream project?  Has it happened yet?
Teaching in France. (Anna hosts two week-long workshops, Bonne Fete: Crafting in the French Countryside in October each year.) It is the joy in teaching combined with my love of France. I love the scale. Everything is smaller, and simple. Reconnecting with it each year for the past four years - it's a gift. And making it be about something bigger than myself.

What do your students take away from the experience?
I think they really appreciate how slowed down, simple, and calm it is. There is a lot to be found in that. There is a richness to the rural area, yet we are in gorgeous Chateau Dumas!

Chateau Dumas in the tiny village of Auty, Southern France
You've spoken about the importance of creating an inspiring environment. How do you go about that?
I need a beautiful, calm space to tap into the well. And yet, so much is just showing up. You can't wait around for the inspiration, and sometimes it is just plain, hard work. Things come to me as much as I go to them. 

Tell me about how you came to write your book Doodling in French: How to Draw with Joie De Vivre.
I am not a doodler and it really just fell into my lap. I was approached with the idea at a gift show by a colleague, Jo Packham, Creator and Founder of Where Women Create. I didn't overthink it and Chronicle Books loved the name. It was serendipity. Sometimes you have to stay out of your own way.

For more about Anna's projects, classes, and workshops, please visit