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Debra Quartermain Design
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 the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog 
Monday, August 31 2009

Fall is right around the corner and in Atlantic Canada the air has a crisp chill already. Fall is beautiful time of year here, bright mums flourish in the gardens and the leaves turn to the most gorgeous color palette of deep russets, copper and rich gold. The turning of the maple leaves inspired my latest Make it Green column for Creative Homearts Magazine. While I was away my daughters consumed a whole case of root beer, the colors of the cans got me thinking about fall leaves (a stretch perhaps but in the crafty world not!) The beautiful GREEN (no VOCs paints) from EarthSafe Finishes cover anything so I cut up the cans and turned them into fall maple leaves. A recycled vase from a Valentine past and some covered wire remnants were transformed with Shimmer paints and Crackle finish from Earth Safe Finishes. The company founder Nancy Burkhart believes strongly in protecting the environment and at the same time providing quality products that are easy to work with. Voc's (Volatile Organic Compounds) are toxins in many paints and other products which vaporize into the air when drying and affect air quality. I am so fortunate to be able to write a column that lets me meet companies that are committed to the environment and creativity. Thank you to Nancy and her daughter Jessica, co-founders of Earth Safe Finishes!  Follow the JOY! Keep Creating! Debra, CEO!

Photo courtesy of Creative Homearts.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, August 28 2009

It is Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda, they of course were very annoyed they could not go on the trip to BC, their wire legs were a security issue. So....they remained behind at home with some simple requests like water the plants and rules like no roosters allowed after 9pm. their own words!

Fran & Freda here, we were devastated at not making the trip to BC, left home to wilt in the heat and humidity. So what are a pair of chicks going to do, make lemonade (and other yummy drinks :) lounge on the patio. Of course we used the watering can diligently as can be seen in this garden shot. Who took the photo, well Freda's been having some success with and this cute rooster from Mactaquac happened to be in town. So he came over for the afternoon, the rules being out by 9, am or pm we were a little fuzzy on and he did make a mean omelet!

The watering can made a great patio accessory filled with flowers. Cousin Flora dropped by and it was party time on the patio. A lot of lemonade was consumed :), it seems to make everything delightfully fuzzy. Consequently we may have missed a pot or two when watering. Not such a big deal in our books, apparently though it was when Ms. Debra returned from her travels to discover empty bottles, an extra houseguest or two and....

Well the pot does look a little dry, dead was her verdict along with four more almost in the same shape. We pleaded our case of heat prostration and despair over being abandoned. The littered patio with empty glasses and Flora wandering unsteadily around singing "Oh what a Night" did not help our case. Next trip we are being cooped up with a sitter, sigh and we are grounded as if we could fly anywhere anyways, big deal! Keep flappin' Feathery Friends! Fran & Freda

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 After three trips in one month, all great but you know you have travelled a lot when you wake up and aren't sure where you are! Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my last couple of days away so I celebrate my first day at home with a final look at Granville Island in Vancouver and the wonderful people, places and surroundings who flavor it with creative flair and energy!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 After three trips in one month, all great but you know you have travelled a lot when you wake up and aren't sure where you are! Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my last couple of days away so I celebrate my first day at home with a final look at Granville Island in Vancouver and the wonderful people, places and surroundings who flavor it with creative flair and energy!

Duane with his first children's book about animals who live in Stanley Park and their adventures and publisher right in Granville Island!

Lovely couple and their children have a beautiful shop with painted stone floors in pristine white that complement the white flowing fashions and colorful wraps and shawls. Edgar performs for an enthusiastic crowd in the street while his son sells his CD's off to the side. The hauntingly sweet sound filled the air and drifted over the sparkling water.

There is always music in the streets and where there is music there is ...dancing!!!

Then there is the walk home along the sea wall where stone and rock are softened by the sea on one side and the lush green garden landscape on the other. Like a fairy tale floral decked stairs wind here and there around trees and through quiet spaces into flowery bowers. 
Thank you Granville for the JOY! Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, August 20 2009
I spent another afternoon at Granville Island with a dear friend of mine. We took the mini Aquabus from the pier below my brother's place down to Granville Island, a ten minute ride in what resembles a mini tugboat at an amusement park. Water sparkling in the warm sun, it was a delightful way to get to the island. The aquabus runs every 15 minutes and for the daily walking commuters is their regular way home. Have your bike, there is a special cyquabus and on all pets are welcome as the dog population in downtown Vancouver is large. There are many beautiful and interesting artists shops where you can see the artists at work, glass blowers, clay and fabric artists. Each shop has a striking window display, a couple of them I photographed. The colors and textures are in contrast creating a striking balanced harmony. One clay artist Jasna Sokolovic has a delicate collage style combining color washed characters and words. She shares her studio space with a wonderful felt artist and their combined work makes for a unique shopping experience. A highlight of the day was to be able to chat to the artists along the way, Jasna, a sweet young woman spoke of the creative journey, of each piece taking on a life of its own and her original idea metamorphoses through the process to a distinctive finished piece. Birds, nature as in branches, trees, organic shapes, meaningful words and messages were a recurring theme in much of the art pieces throughout the shops.

Granville Island is my favorite place in Vancouver. The energy is always lively, food healthy and local, people of all ages wandering through the shops, galleries where almost everything is created or made right there. The artists share their vision, each purchase I made there had a meaningful story. I loved the organic clothing shop HALFMOON. Their locally designed and handmade t's and other pieces all come with their tag which is like a mini piece of art "reach high...dig deep and featured on many of their t's. On the back of the card "may you flourish and evolve", I picked up a t for myself with the Flourish design. Planning to do a lot of creative "Flourishing" over the next few years! 

Go forth & flourish friends! Debra CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 02:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, August 17 2009
I have had the luxury of a couple solitary days to experience Granville Island in beautiful Vancouver, BC. It is home of the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and a mecca of artists and craft studios and shops. A market serves up fresh organic produce, flowers and various delectable treats. I spent two inspiring days just wandering, met artists, musicians in a lively friendly atmosphere. Kids run and splash in the mini water park along the edge, tango dancing, buskers performing, the energy is lively, a sense of friendly community. The downtown area of Vancouver which runs along the water is home to 80,000 plus where walking the seawall, seabus and the sky train are the favored modes of travel.?

Watching artists at work, immersed in the creative process is around every corner at Granville. Catching Master Carver Rick Harry at work on a native totem piece was part of Sunday's wonderful wanderings! More from Granville all this week! 

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 13 2009

It is Fowl Friday and what a fowl day it is! Fran here, Freda is just too upset to speak let alone squawk or blog! Well we were all packed ready to head off to the West Coast with Debra. New bikinis, sunhats and dos all in our bags, passports up to date and off we went to the airport. Then the "fowl" ups began, first of all we were not allowed to travel in our own seat, we had to bear the humiliation of a "pet" carrier under the seat. Two with it chicks stuck under the seat like a common household pet, did they not notice our designer luggage!? Security next and the nightmare continued, I guess wire legs are not a good thing when going through a metal detector, removal of legs not an option so....we had to remain behind as the three of them with non metal legs whisked off in style in the cool new executive pod seats. They were as happy as three peas in a pod and not at all sad to see us left behind. They said they were but ...they lied. sniff sniff! So Freda and I are left behind with the cats at home, such stimulating conversation awaits us, I can hardly wait, umm like which litter box did you use today or how many balls did you chase under the couch? There had better be some great souvenirs coming our way at the end of this trip! Freda promises to be back next week once she has stopped blowing her beak and crying. Poor chick she is bathing in despair literally, her feathers are soggy, the new do is done! So off to console Freda with some popcorn and a good chick flick, maybe ask a few close peeps to join us for a pity party. Next trip thick leg warmers and stowing away in the baggage compartment, these chicks were meant to travel, if a garden gnome can do it then look out world here we come! Fran & Freda!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 11:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, August 12 2009

I am getting ready for two days of travel, flying out of this small part of Canada often entails a bus or car ride before the actual plane which is often three connections. It is always interesting and leads to an adventure often. Sometimes my luggage has a more exciting trip than I do ending up in a city I have not even visited! Travelling the web is a much easier trip however where you end up often has nothing to do with where you thought you were going! After being at CHA in Orlando I got a chance to meet up with some favorite web connections and some new ones. My first Facebook application in spring 2006 was Scrapblog, their first month in existence. How they have grown and what a wonderful group of people! You can create a beautiful scrapbook on line and have it printed into an actual book using the most current and popular designers papers, stickers like Claudine Hellmuth. In fact the whole Scrapblog team were featured as a group of Claudine's Poppits in the books they had printed especially for CHA.

I had a chance at the show to meet Rebecca Peck of the Fiskateers, actually it was the evening Fran & Freda made fools of themselves. I believe they ended up in a shot involving several beverages and mouse ears! Rebecca interviews interesting crafty, creative types and of course Fiskars have the best products, 350 years in business! So Fran & Freda will have lots to talk about when they return from their travels when Rebecca interviews them (us, their vocabulary is sometimes limited)

So off to finish packing and round up two teens who would rather be travelling alone hopefully I will survive and as the Eternal Optimist win them over! If you roll your eyes too much will they get stuck?

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 11 2009

Welcome to Terrific Tuesday! It has been a rich full family weekend, reunion, Memorial and yesterday my brother Bob spoke at an event announcing a gift to the University of New Brunswick, UNB. The Quartermain Sports Medicine Center will be part of a marvellous new health and wellness complex, the Currie center at the University. My brother attended UNB getting his first degree here, the solid basis for his career in geology. His heart remains close to home as he travels the world and to see his first professor now in his nineties sitting in the large crowd that attended yesterday was very special. Bob spoke of our Dad and an injury he received in school which remained with him all his life. This new facility will enable anyone to receive the most up to date diagnostic and treatment available today. Fitness is imperative to life quality and injuries happen in everyday lives so this facility is part of a huge initiative in improving the health and fitness of the students, faculty and residents of our city. Both my daughters are attending UNB and are inspired and motivated by their uncle to make a difference in this world as they go forward in their lives. I am continually inspired by my brother and feel very grateful to call him also my best friend. I know both Mom and Dad are looking down so proud of this fine man they raised who never forgets where he came from, who he is and with a vision to make where he is going better for everyone he touches. He speaks genuinely from the heart and is the finest man I know, my brother Bob, Robert Quartermain.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:09 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, August 07 2009

Since Fran & Freda were so impatient this week following the CHA they already posted their marvellous interview (well it actually was their interview with the Marvellous Margot Potter!) I am taking today to post about the weekend coming up.


We are going to a Quartermain family reunion Saturday and then on Sunday is the Memorial for my Mom and Dad. My Mom passed away the end of March this year and my Dad in August in 1979. They had thirty wonderful loving years together. They met where the Memorial is taking place in St. Andrews by the sea on the east coast of Canada. They met sixty years ago, on August 5th, 1949 at a dance. It was love at first sight, the tall slender man with smiling eyes and the dark haired beauty. My Dad commented to his sister he was going to marry the prettiest girl in the town! On August 20th just 15 days later my Dad proposed to my Mom, she wrote in her journal it was the happiest day of her life! They married in December 1950 on a Friday afternoon following work and went a short distance away for their honeymoon.

We never had much, my Dad was in the hospital often as he was a haemophiliac (which ultimately took his life very early at age 51) but my parents were so much in love and so happy together that life was rich. My Dad was grateful for every day he was alive and his eyes were always smiling and full of love. I was conceived in love and JOY on Valentine's day and my brother a warm summer evening by the ocean they both loved. Who I am and what I believe began with roots of deep love and JOY, for those precious gifts I have been truly grateful!

To my Mom & Dad with love, now dancing together among the stars!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 08:58 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 04 2009

One of the highlights of the summer CHA show was catching up with some of my most favorite people. I got a chance to spend an evening with the very talented Margot Potter. She is both witty and wise, a creative dynamo with an energy that lights up the room. Fran & Freda were starstruck upon meeting her and when they heard she was a fowl lover they were over the moon or coop so to speak! She very graciously granted them an interview. She even posed for pics, thank goodness their feet were clean! (considering they insisted on being carried everywhere their feet should have sparkled!) They also tried to talk Margot into making tiny tiaras for them, so embarrassing.

Margot, what has being creative meant in your life?

Being creative is my life.  I have been creating it since I can remember!  I believe we are all of us crafting our own realities, successes, joys and also our challenges.  Having a tangible way to express the creative impulse is such a powerful thing for anyone, and I???m so glad I get to do that every day in my studio.  I like to think of myself as a LifeCrafter?.  I???m inventing every aspect of my reality and it???s a total blast.

What is your favorite crafting pursuit?

I am a restless creative type, so I love many crafting pursuits.  In fact, I can???t seem to stop expanding my repertoire, even though my studio has run out of room to store the supplies!  I was so happy when I first heard the term Mixed Media because it fit my creativity perfectly.  I love to add a dash of this and a smidgeon of that and see what might happen.


What inspires you?

Absolutely everything inspires me.  I find the world around me endlessly fascinating and infinitely interesting. 


What is your favorite food, book, craft tool, store?

My favorite food is cheese.  I also love filet mignon, crème brulee, dark chocolate with almonds, butter, cream and a variety of other terribly fattening and wonderfully delicious things. 

I love so many books; it???s really hard to pick a favorite. 

My brain is my favorite craft tool.  After that...I???m going to have to say my Flexible Shaft Drill.

I???m a thrift store/flea market kinda gal


Freda is dying to know, does a tiara make you more divine?

A tiara reminds me that I am is everyone.  I???m a big believer in tiaras...and in self confidence.  We can???t expect others to hand us our joy or our success, we have to make it happen.  So to me, a tiara is a symbol of our divinity and our fabulosity!


You always look stunning at the shows, how do you decide on the do and frocks before the show?

My hairdresser and I work out the do and the outfits I shop for a few weeks ahead.  Then I make jewelry and accessories to match.  I think it???s important for a designer who specializes in jewelry to be fashionable.  I think it???d be hard to instill confidence in people to hire me as a designer if I didn't???t look like I could even design my own outfit!


THANK YOU Margot! for taking the time to chat with Fran & Freda. Visit Margot, where this best selling author & celebrity designer inspires creativity with a mix of wit, wisdom & talent! Her blog The Impatient Crafter TM a must read and Fran & Freda are beside themselves with excitement you can purchase Margot's magnificent jewels in her own Etsy Shoppe!


Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 09:09 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, August 03 2009

Back from the CHA show! Well I ran into technical glitches and so could not post from show. Fran & Freda were not impressed, impatient and impervious those two are but the fowl duo had a blast at the show. We had three plane delays on the way down due to weather, they complained the whole time and of course were annoyed with what the Orlando humidity did to their feathery dos! Next time they get their own room, they both snore, hog the mirror and eat toothpaste. I was lucky to be sharing a room with the ever so sweet and patient Vicki Schreiner, HER Bazooples gang are well mannered and quiet. Gertrude giraffe even sat on Vicki's shoulder for a picture in the Expo booth. Check out my CHA coverage . Fran & Freda got to hang out one night with the famous ducks at the Peabody Hotel next door and the divine Ms. Margot Potter sat down with them for an interview up later this week.

Thank you to everyone associated with the CHA show, the Board, the staff, it was well run and although small in size was full of energy, activity and inspiration. Our Designer Section is the most active member section and it is due to the involvement of our members. I shared a room with Vicki Schreiner, the current Chair and she was gone early and late every day to meetings. So thank you to Vicki and everyone involved!

The nicest people are a part of the industry and I got to meet even more this trip. Mark Montano came by the booth, stopped to chat with Margot and me and posed for a pic! I had lots of fun manning the Homearts booth!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 02:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Debra Quartermain Design

 Magical Mimi to Grandlittles, I love to create, decorate & celebrate. Sharing  joy and inspiration from our 200 year old home, Quartermain House B&B on the east coast of Canada.

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