Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Lady in White

Many of you may be very familiar with long time blogger and talented self taught designer, Sandy Foster, from My Shabby Streamside Studio. If not, let me refresh your memory....

Sandy singlehandedly renovated this cottage in the Catskills of Upstate NY. Her talent and beauty caught the attention of The New York Times, The Nate Berkus Show, and most recently, Elle Decor Germany, to name a few. Sandy is one of those people who walks right into your heart and takes a hold of it.

Sandy visited my family and me in New Orleans a couple of months ago and stayed at my house where she almost died (okay, so I'm being a little dramatic, but I'm sure she felt like dying at the time) from a severe allergy to shellfish which she didn't know about. But that's another story for another day....

When I flew alone to New York for the grand opening of my showroom at the 1stdibs floor of the New York Design Center (200 Lex), I must admit I was nervous and overwhelmed by the enormity of this huge step for me. I had been to NY to set up my showroom two weeks before that and much to my surprise, I ended up having such an acute panic attack on my way back to the airport, that they almost did not let me on board. I had never had one of those before and felt that I was having a heart attack. I was told that the combination of the stress, anxiety and lack of food (from running around and not stopping for even water) caused the panic attack.

So imagine my nerves when 2 weeks later I hopped on a plane again to go face a multitude of Whos-Who at the biggest party in Manhattan? I had already planned on taking the subway to Midtown from the airport (why not a taxi, you ask???? well, part of my panic attack had to do with the taxi driver's driving, if you know what I mean), changing trains at Jamaica from the green line to the Number 6 that would take me downtown and then getting off at Lexington and walking the few blocks to my hotel. From there, I had 1 hour to go from sweat pants to cocktail attire.

So just as my plane was landing at JFK and I turned on my cell phone, who should call but Sandy, telling me that she is outside by baggage claim with her car ready to take me to the city. That's so Sandy!!!! There she was, cute as a button in her black leather high heeled boots and little black dress and within 30 minutes, I was infront of my hotel. As she went on to do some shopping in the garment district before the party, I changed into a little black dress that I had bought for $100 at a sidewalk sale in Covington, LA, where we evacuated and lived post-Katrina for 3 years. I figured, "they don't know and I'm not telling." I also stepped into some fabulous Christian Louboutin black patent leather peep toe pumps that turned that dress into a million dollars. Okay, so I'm lying. The shoes look just like Christian Louboutin pumps but they are BCBGeneration that I bought the day before at Marshalls for $39. Shhhhhh! No one needs to know that either.

So dressed in my $139 outfit, I went to face the beautiful people at the New York Design Center. I cannot tell you how many people wanted to know who designed that dress! Perhaps it was because it was Fashion Week in New York and everyone had designers on the brain. I don't think anyone would have believed my story. I am, afterall, a frugalista when it comes to fashion. The way I look at it, you just have to feel beautiful and confident and no one will ever know that you are wearing anything but Prada or Gucci. A good lipstick doesn't hurt either. But I digress.

So still having all those nerves in my stomach (after all, I was going to be meeting Michael Bruno and Mario Buatta and Alexa Hampton, et al), I walked on over to my space and there was Sandy, with her camera, shooting photos of my showroom. People thought she was with the press and just fixated on my showroom. They don't need to know otherwise, do they? So dear Sandy, the only familiar face amidst this sea of designers and fashionistas and socialites. Thank goodness for Sandy!!!

So when Sandy called me up just last week and asked to borrow a pair of little french 19th century tufted chairs that are in my showroom in NY to shoot in her studio over the weekend for a project she is working on, I called the NYDC and had them waiting for her.

In addition to being a dedicated blogger, Sandy has taught herself the art of photography. She is taking classes and seriously studying the ins and outs of photography as that is one of her passions. So I wanted to share with you some of the photos she took this weekend of a little pair of chairs (there was actually a pair of them when she picked them up but one sold a few days ago in New York, leaving only this one).

First, the chair on 1stdibs as it appears in every day life:

This chair was completely renovated by me. It was originally black and with a yellow upholstery. Blah! But I had a vision in white....

Now, here is Sandy's own vision in white of this little chair:

My little chair earned those angel wings!

Thank you, Sandy, for taking such good care of my little angels and thank you for being such a good friend. It is one of the true joys of blogging for me -- meeting wonderful people who end up actually becoming friends and helping each other out. Afterall, aren't we all in this together?

Oh, almost forgot, if you were wondering about my little black dress.... Sandy took a photo of that too.

Now, if I could only work on Sandy to take photos when I'm not in the middle of talking....

Michael Bruno and me. Do you think he can tell they are not Christian Louboutins????


  1. OMG! I'm all teary eyed! Danke, Karina, for the gaaaaaanz feature!

    You're going to be very big very shortly, good thing you have the dress & shoes to go with it.

    I'll call you as soon as I leave the library in about 15 minutes.

    Liebste Gruesse,
    Deine Sandy

  2. What a great story. And what a wonderful CHAIR! It looks beautiful in your photographs, Sandy

  3. That chair is to die for Beverley xx

  4. Wonderful story. Beautiful friendship.
    xoxo deborah

  5. Thank you, Linda, Beverley, and Deborah. Linda and Deborah, thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments. I love to read them! Often I feel silly posting some of my stories as they are personal anecdotes of my every day life. Thanks for the support and validation!

  6. So when can we expect the book!? This is all too amazing!! Stylish, classic designs from the lady of stylish, classic design!! Congratulations on all of your success and hard work!!!

  7. Karina,
    What a great story and a great friend you have in Sandy! And the little black dress is to die for- I can see why people thought it was designer.

    I emailed you a while back asking about down filling for reupholstering cushions and was thrilled when you actually responded! I am trying to convince my husband to make a trip to New Orleans as we have never been and of course, to visit your shop. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the beautiful work.

  8. Dear Alicia, so good to hear from you and thank you for your kind words. Of course I always respond to anyone who writes me!!!! I love hearing from everyone and try to help with any questions or inquiries. If I don't have the answer, I can always find them.



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