My Un-Holiday Holiday Movie List


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My Holiday Movie List is not necessarily movies that have a holiday or Christmas theme, but rather movies I watch this time of year because I LOVE them. December and January are a bit slower than Spring, summer and Fall with work, so I can take a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon or weeknights during the Re-run Season on TV to watch and enjoy.

Now, I must warn you that you will NOT find Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, or a Christmas Story on this list. Why? (many may find the next statement an act of blasphemy) but I dislike (borderline hate) those movies. If you love them, more power to you, fab. Me? No way. But you may hate my movies, so it all evens out.

You will notice certain themes: Classics, British, romantic, period piece, same actors/actress in multiple movies – can’t help it, just the way I love.

Perhaps you may have seen some or all of these, perhaps you have only heard of them, either way take a day or two and watch couple, you may end of up loving them as much as I do.



1. The Philadelphia Story: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart – whole lotta miscommunication, unrealized longing/love, drunken frivolity, and she sure is yar.

2. Home for the Holidays: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr. (pre-rehab, splendid), Geraldine Chaplin, Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Robinson is perfection), super young Claire Danes and fab Steve Guttenberg (seriously unrated actor).

3. Love Actually: Hugh Grant (sigh), Emma Thompson (bow), Alan Rickman (lovely), Liam Neeson (sad beautiful), Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy speaks Portuguese) and so many other fab actors.

4. This Property is Condemned: Natalie Wood, Robert Redford – the sky is sure white today.

5. Gone With the Wind: Vivien Leigh (adore), Clark Gable (mysterious), Olivia de Havilland (beauty), Butterfly McQueen (brilliantly annoying) – Love and the Civil War. Ashley!

6. Barefoot in the Park: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda – Newlyweds in the world’s smallest apartment and a Crazy Russian. Shama Shama!!

7. About a Boy: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz – Growing up for an adult is hard to do.

8. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman – so hot they almost burn the screen.

9. Pride and Prejudice: Matthew MacFadyen, Keira Knightly – love conquers class divisions, a determined mother, and a meddling aunt.

10. Elizabeth: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes – A Queen finds glory, unites a country, and perhaps a bit of love along the way.

11. Shakespeare in Love: Gwyneth Paltrow (luxe), Joseph Fiennes (lush), Ben Affleck (surprise), Colin Firth (sexy bastard)- Gorgeous from start to finish. And an Oscar for Dame Judi Dench for a mere 30 seconds on-screen.

12. Romeo + Juliet: Claire Danes, Leo DiCaprio – Bas Luhrman’s masterpiece. Guns instead of swords, tattoos, cars, fabulous visual references, gorgeous costumes and photography – just unbelievably original vision of Shakespeare.

14. Romeo and Juliet: Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting – Franco Zeffierelli’s lush, sensual adaptation. Olivia Hussey is Juliet.

15.Sleepless in Seattle: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, and the Empire State Building. Bill Pullman is spectacular.

16. When Harry Met Sally: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal: friends become lovers. And a brilliant Carrie Fischer.

17. Sliding Doors: Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah: What if?

18. Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean – trifecta of awesome.

19. Splendor in the Grass: Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty: First love can drive you crazy. Insane, in fact.

20. John Hughes Movies: 16 Candles (a crush, a nerd and a drunken Asian), Pretty in Pink (James Spader makes the movie), Breakfast Club (bull by the horns good)


Something Grand: Bus Roll Signs


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What a fantastic way to remember your honeymoon or fabulous trip — an eco-friendly wood sign featuring special places and dates of a well-taken excursion.

Tamara contacted me via Etsy asking me to create a sign in a Bus Roll in Vintage featuring the wineries of Traverse City. Located in Michigan, Traverse City is home to many wonderful things including award-winning wines and wineries. Who knew Michigan had a Wine Country?? Well, it was educational as well as a fab time working with Tamara.

Next up is Pam. Pam contacted me to create a Bus Roll style sign as gift to her son and daughter-in-law. It features all the places they traveled to on their honeymoon: Greece, Italy, Sicily, Turkey, and Crete. What I love about this sign is that Pam requested the places be in the languages of its location. That was fun to research and work with. Pam was fantastic to work with and hope the newlyweds love it as much as I do.





Left: 24×60″, bus roll style, Vintaged

Right: 24×60″, bus roll style, Black and White


For the Love of Travel: Caroline


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I love to travel. Right now I have the travel bug itch – big time. And I loved creating this sign for Caroline. Caroline contacted via Etsy and asked to create this fabulous house warming gift for a friend fr the holidays. I spent hours agonizing over which icons to use, placement, and all my hard work paid off because this is a fabulous sign and I hope Caroline’s friend loves it as much as I do.

Thanks, Caroline!!


Summer Cottage Antiques


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Last Spring RuPiper Designs was invited to do a lovely Barn Sale at the Feathered Nest in Novato. We had a fabulous time and we met such wonderful fellow vendors/dealers, everyone was super nice and helpful. Excellent time, indeed!!

One of the lovely women we met was Michelle McCauley, she has been dealing in vintage and collectibles for many years and has quite a rep for her knowledge and style. Yep, I asked around, plus I knew the minute I met Michelle, speaking with her and looking at her collection that she knew her stuff. That is why when she asked RuPiper Designs to join her shop, Summer Cottage Antiques in Downtown Petaluma we jumped on it. *clink the champagne glasses*

As makers and designers we do not always have or sell all the fabulous vintage finds that Michelle and others do, but we do take inspiration from vintage items, use vintage images on our house ware designs and upcycle everything from lamps to windows to mirrors, so we fit , but more like a small square peg in a large rectangular hole , but we fit.

We moved into Summer Cottage Antiques at the beginning of June and it was a whole new world to us. We had tried and conquered the large craft-selling circuit and got our toes wet in the smaller vintage/collectibles markets, but nothing prepared us for this.

We had an inkling of what to expect from our trial and error store front in Downtown Sonoma the previous summer, but this was completely different. Well, all of this is a learning experience, which is always a route to improvement, so when we finally got our act together in November with our space everything seemed to click. We decided the recipe for our success at the Cottage was 1/3 vintage, 1/3 pillows and 1/3 luck.*clink the champagne glasses*

It is now December and the team at RuPiper Designs (all 3 of us) decided in June to give this a go until January and see how things shaped up for us. Things are shaping up nicely, so we are going to stick around for a while.

You can find RUE Sonoma by RuPiper Designs at Summer Cottage Antiques at 153 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, CA 94952. 707.776.2873

RuPiper Designs is upstairs with the black and white curtain.


A few of our Refinished Lamps

Pillows and Bags


So much great stuff!

For Wendy: Custom Signs


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A few months back a lovely lady for the midwest contacted me to create custom signs from her wonderful trip to the California Wine Country. Wendy, was so great to work with and she was kind enough to send a picture of her signs hanging in her living room. Now, if only my living room was as clean and nice! Beauty!

Thanks, Wendy!

Signs: 2 @ 24×48″; Vintage Look

Looking Lovely in Wendy's Living Room


Close Up: Wendy's Signs

Vintage Maps


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San Francisco


Most people are shocked when they come into my home. My personal dress style always has been tinged with pink, large shiny, chandelier earrings and leopard print shoes. They think my home is a frilly, shabby chic mess; cluttered with tea cups and dried flowers and Laura Ashley-styled throws. Um, no. My home is white but that is where the comparison with Shabby chic ends. What surprises people the most and the items they love most in my home are my vintage maps.

I love the vintage maps I have scattered all over my home. Large ones in my staircase, medium size in bathrooms and small ones in my laundry room and kitchen. Each one is different and I love the clean, neutral aesthetic of maps. It was folding laundry looking my vintage map of San Francisco when the idea to reproduce these vintage maps occurred to me, because if I love them, I’m sure lots of other people will too!!



After the initial test maps sold in 3 seconds at Alameda (before we finished unloading the truck) we decided this was a new avenue in design for us. We are currently looking to add more vintage maps to our collection. We love suggestions! We make ours of salvaged wood, low VOC paint and they come ready hang. You can find all available sizes at our Etsy shop.


Maps are fab pieces:

1. They never go out of style

2. They are masculine, but not so much so that they would not fit in a more feminine styled home – great contrast/balancer to our French Script pillow covers and ruffle lamp shades.

3. Everyone loves to look at them, find their street or favorite place to eat

4. They are neutral in color – great for design

5. The bigger the better, they are statement pieces and instant classics

6. Learning tools

7. You can mix and match!!

8. Fab gift






Coming Up Rose


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If you read my blog regularly you know how much I love creating custom signs. Rose’s sign is one of the few signs that was a challenge to create simply because of time. None of it was Rose’s fault but my own – my grandmother right in the middle of creation suffered a major stroke.

For the month of October and most of November we found ourselves up in Oregon dealing with this sudden turn of events and all the while Rose’s sign was waiting for me to return to the studio to be finished. To make matters worse I had spelled one of Rose’s daughter’s names wrong and had to completely re-do the entire sign. Now the fingers-crossed Thanksgiving deadline was no longer viable and I was crushed. I hate delays, I hate not giving my customers what they want, I hate disappointment.

Luckily, VERY luckily, Rose was amazing during this whole entire ordeal and process and it turned out to be a gorgeous sign she and her family will love for a long, long time.

Rose’s custom sign is 36×60″, completely customized featuring places, family names, birthdays, and anniversary.

Thank you, Rose!!


Cranberry Adventure


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This Thanksgiving is the first Thanksgiving my family and I have had in 3 years. For the past 3 years we had a show the weekend following Thanksgiving with set up on Thanksgiving Day. We always had a great time with our friends from the Harvest Festival (Sue, Joann, Sally and Debbie) at Il Fornaio with a fab Thanksgiving Dinner of Minestrone Soup, foccacia, and a couple Cosmopolitans. We miss them, but this year we started a new tradition – Thanksgiving on the Farm!

My brother, Nick, and my sister-in-law Rebecca called last week and invited my mother, father and I over for dinner on the Farm. We were so excited; we knew it would be relaxed and easy breezy, so we were very happy to do this. My mother was worried about what type of turkey we would be eating. Not worried it was organic or anything, but more along the lines that Nick went out and hunted a wild turkey. She heard rumors that wild turkey had a tendency to be dry and stringy and she said that is not a Thanksgiving turkey. Luckily (unluckily?) my brother was unable to score a wild turkey despite his best efforts. I guess the stringy wild turkey will remain a mystery for next year. In all honesty, I think my mother was more worried with the thought of my brother using a gun. Had he wrestled the turkey and killed it with his bare hands it would not have been rumored to be stringy.

Anyway, now the reason this post is happening.

I give credit to my brother and sister-in-law for getting me to cook something I normally would have never thought to cook: cranberries. You see stacks and stacks of jellied sauce at the grocery store – watching it slide out retaining the shape properties of the can onto serving plates for years of Thanksgiving dinners is an American tradition, I never once thought of cooking my own.

First, I never thought of cooking my own cranberry sauce because as a kid I never saw my mother, aunts or grandmothers attempt this, so I assumed it was difficult task. The turkey is cooked at home and doesn’t seem too hard, but canned cranberry? Must be difficult. Secondly, i just never thought of it.

I went to Whole Foods in search of fresh, organic cranberries. Totally out of character I went to the market without researching the hell out of every ingredient and suggested prep technique. I stood in bewilderment as I read the back of the bag: 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1 package of french cranberries. Boil water and sugar, add cranberries, wait until they pop, stir occasionally. Cool overnight and serve. What? Wait? That’s it! There is something wrong. I looked around to share this discovery with someone, anyone – no one. Oh, well.

Now I head home to research the making of cranberries which has now become an obcession. I read every blog I can find: Martha, Paula, Bobby, Tyler, all of them have this simple recipe with personal and regional tweaks and flavorings. Why have I been eating canned jellied cranberry sauce for the last 33 years? It’s an abomination to the lovely, super-tart cranberry!!

Well, I made the cranberry sauce and after the berries popped, I threw in 2 pinches of cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and ginger, the zest and juice of half an orange. It was Christmas in a bowl. My mother tasted it and said: potpourri. Perfect. I made potpourri!!

I told my brother and sister-in-law about the Cranberry Adventures and they were not surprised how cranberry sauce was made, I think they were amused at my revelation. Cranberry sauce = Organic Farmers inside joke or something. They ate it and said they loved it, so I guess a new tradition has begun.

Happy Thanksgiving!


PS: Left over cranberry sauce is delicious over pancakes the next morning with the leftover whipped cream. Also, over vanilla ice cream. YUM!

A Present for Bridget


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I was so thrilled a few weeks ago when Bridget contacted me via Etsy requesting a custom sign to give to her husband as a surprise for their anniversary. Anytime the request has to do with a wedding anniversary I get super excited and immediately delve right into creation.

There is something really romantic about commissioning a sign that reflects your time together, your start together as husband and wife. No other couple in the world has this sign since they are one-of-a-kind. How perfect is that.

Bridget was kind enough to share her photos of their sign in their home.

Thank You, Bridget!!


24x48" Bus Roll Style

Golden Gate Bridge detail

New Bags for October


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We try very hard to always debut new bags on a regular basis, primarily because we look at them often and seeing new bags for sale makes us happy, plus, we try to create bags everyone will love.

The four bags are making their debut here, and will be listed on Etsy soon.



Grunged/Aged American Flag

Vintage Pug Advert

Vintage Coffee Advert with Bull Terrier

Grunged/Aged Union Jack Flag