The Art of Living

Behind the Design: A Thousand Flowers - The Millefleur Collection

Behind the Design:  A Thousand Flowers - The Millefleur Collection

It is a no-brainer that Claire has an intense love for flowers.  Specifically, those she can see and grow herself.  Her time living on Nantucket inspired rugs filled with hydrangeas, beach roses, hollyhocks and forget-me-nots.  But when you are filled with a desired to include as many flowers as you can in a unique collection, Claire took inspiration from the French word Millefleur, literally translated "thousand flowers."  A tapestry of small, delicate, brightly colored posies adorn this collection of hand-hooked rugs in several different sizes ranging from small 2 x 3's to large 9 x 12's. (Shown R850BK 3 x...

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Behind the Design: The Nantucket Lightship Basket

Behind the Design:  The Nantucket Lightship Basket

In 1987, Claire designed the Nantucket Basket rug.  Inspired by these iconic baskets, this simple yet colorful rug shows a traditional basket overflowing with island roses.  But do you know the history of these sturdy, enduring containers?   In the mid-1850's, the baskets were so named because they were hand made by the sailor's living aboard the lightships in the harbor waters off Nantucket.  Made of rattan, the reeds are attached to a flat wooden bottom and then woven around the form of a mold.  Once the weaving is completed, the mold is removed and the basket is ready for trimming. ...

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Behind the Design: Women and the Sea

Behind the Design:  Women and the Sea

In 2004, Claire began publishing her award-winning magazine, La Vie Claire.  Filled with stunning photographs of gardens, destinations, lifestyle ideas,stories and inspiration, the magazine, over the years, also celebrated the lives of women who made their living on or around the water.  For Claire, it was a labor of love ... of the sea. In 2009, Claire gathered together many of those stores and compiled them into a book titled, Women and the Sea.  Again, as with all of Claire's visions, this book became an instant best-selling glimpse into the siren's call of these 16 women who answered that call by crafting careers...

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Behind the Design: The Button Rug Collection

Behind the Design:  The Button Rug Collection

In the early days, Claire made all her own rugs hooking them with wool strips - the more traditional or "primitive" method of hooking.  Wool strips were cut from old pieces of fabric, wool or clothing and were economical to make. Eventually, after transitioning to yarn, she created the Button and Circles rug collections that recall the "penny rug" designs of the early 1800's where scraps were used to make colorful rugs, blankets and bed coverings with three concentric cirles as the pattern. Some historians believe the origin of the name "penny" comes from the low cost of making the...

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Behind the Design: The Gray Lady

Behind the Design:  The Gray Lady

As the mariners would approach the small island of Nantucket, it would often be shrouded in fog.  Only 7 miles wide by 14 miles long, it was once the whaling capital of the northern hemisphere.  The early sailors referred to it as "The Gray Lady." In homage to those golden days of sailing, Claire designed this rug featuring the USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides" with its majestic sails unfurled and its homeward bound banner flying.  Built in 1797, the ship was retired from active service in 1881 and was designated a museum in 1907.  She returned to her home port...

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