Build Around The Light

(Diane

I always record “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN every Sunday morning.  I love his knowing take on current events and his enlightened worldview. Last Sunday he did a segment on Diane Von Furstenberg.  She has an amazing story to tell that goes beyond just being a fashion icon and business woman extraordinaire.  She is pushing her new book, The Woman I Wanted to Be.

(Diane

When Diane and her first husband, Prince Egon Von Furstenberg, first arrived in New York it was obvious she had attitude and vision of what she wanted! Obviously it helped when Diana Vreeland, then editor-in-chief at Vogue, pushed her and helped with exposure.   She built a world-wide fashion empire to be reckoned with, but there were ups as well as downs.  When asked how she dealt with the downs she said, “First you accept it. OK this is reality. And then you deal with it. Something good will come out of it, even though it all started with something negative.”
Her mother told her, “Always look for the little bit of light, you know, go for the little bit of light and build around the light.”

(Diane

This is Diane’s quote, but it could have been mine! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

(Diane

(Diane

Diane’s home is also her design studio and office.  Her interiors are like her fashions; unique, colorful and full of passion!
For Diane Von Furstenberg, work is about hard work and discipline. “You have to have a good relationship with yourself.” The key is “being undelusional” and “Truth, truth is it. Truth is it.”

Shall I say it…."It’s a wrap."

***This is a wonderful video of Diane Von Furstenberg in her element of home and fashion.


If This Picture Could Talk


I looked at a faded photo of my great grandmother and wish it could talk to me. I am sure she would have many fascinating tales to tell about her journey in life, with all the joys and travails.  The past year I have been creating a family history book of pictures and text. I’m blessed to have boxes of old photographs going back to the late 19th century on both my mom and dad’s side of the family.  The process is slow as I’m scanning, editing and labeling each picture file. I have a ways to go before submitting for publishing, but I’ve had so much fun in doing the research.  The image above is my grandfather’s older sister and brothers aboard his father’s steamship in Scotland in the late 19th century.


Matilda Brown was the wife of my great grandfather, Captain William Brown. She is wearing a cameo with his likeness made from a photograph in Venice on one of his travels at sea.


This is a photograph of my grandmother as a child in San Francisco around 1895. I wish I could go back to that era for a quick visit in a time machine.


My dad loved visiting his grandfather, a country doctor in Missouri.  Life was a challenge for my dad growing up as his mother died in a TB sanatorium in Northern California when he was 12.

The creation of my family history book has been a personal adventure of discovery. I must admit I often get sidetracked when building my family tree on Ancestry.com! The process can really suck you in, but it’s a fabulous tool to find more information about your family. Family history is a blend of fact and fiction just like any history.  As I find more pieces to my family puzzle, it’s really a rewarding endeavor!