I just posted a boatload on photos onto my flickr page.
That's right folks 230 never before seen photos for your browsing pleasure.
Now get on over there and take a looksy!
We were shootingng Trading Spaces in Austin, TX.
Today I sit at my desk listening to WXPN (our killer Public Radio station here in Philly that plays GREAT music) listening to reports out of SXSW. The same reporter that was there last year for NPR is reporting again and his voice keeps bringing me back in time...just like a song reminds me of a moment in the past.
If I close my eyes, I see myself driving down the highway toward set in the morning listening to the report of the days music.
We didn't mean to be in town for Austin's biggest Music Festival, it was very much a happy accident. At that time Austin was almost a mythical place. Crew after crew had spent their two weeks in town and come home with rave reviews. The people, the town, the additude all were given 5 stars by our very well traveled gang. So when my schedule finally read: Austin, TX I was thrilled.
It didn't dissapoint...we had a fabulous time and I would go back in a hearbeat. The sugar on top was the AWESOME homeowners that we had on the show....one of which has started a lovely little blog since our visit.
Noelle has been VERY busy sewing up a storm and booking all of the shows held at the famous Waterloo Records...but please take a moment and check out her lovely little corner of the world wide woods...Lucky Kitty.
I wish I could be in town for this years' fest....bummer...
In other news:
Do you know of any fabulous interior designers or carpenters who would love to compete on a TV reality design show? If you do...email me.
Please go check out sew green. I am loving this blog and can't wait to see what these talented women have to share with us. Go green!
My lovely, gorgeous, purrs like a kitten, Singer Overlock!
To be honest I've had this gal sitting around the casa for almost 1.5 years, (yikes) but have just not gotten her to the point where she is usable, until now.
Flashback to Spring, '05. I'm sitting on the set of Trading Spaces, hanging just outside the lovely garage that our team of sewing superstars have set up shop in. They sit inside, whirring away at machines, all in a mad rush to finish a heavy workload in just an hours time. All of sudeen I hear screaming followed by a LOooooooNG line of explitaves.
INSERT WAYNE'S WORLD STYLE FLASHBACK EFFECT
"The serger is acting up! Get Singer on the phone. STAT! This silly little gooble glabber! It never works! my goodness! (edited from what was actually said, which is too profain to state here)
Suddenly I see said Serger being hoisted over the head of one of our seamsters, about to be shattered into smithereens (sp?) on the concrete driveway.
"Wait!!! no!!" I scream, running over. "What's wrong with it?!"
"The first thread isn't passing correctly! I don't have time for this (insert explitave)," our seamster sighs/shouts. He then proceeds to lift the serger overhead once more, positioning it to be hurled across the yard .
Being tall, I throw my hands on it.
"No! Don't do it. How much does it cost to fix it?" I shout.
"I dunno, hundred bucks. But I don't have time to fix this f*er! We need to have these rooms done in 4 hours. It's going to take forever to finish these curtains. God damn designers! And when will I have time to take it to a repair shop? We leave town for another city tomorrow! GOD! We'll just have to call Singer and order a new one and have it delivered to the next town before we shoot the another show."
"I don't want you to fix this for the show silly. Fix it for me!!! You're just going to break the thing beyond repair anyways. Give it to me. I'll take it home, repair it, and use it. promise"
"Sure. I don't care. You deal with it...take this piece of S*#t off my hands."
I breathe a sigh of relief. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"
And that, my friends, is how I saved this Serger from certain death and gave it a happy home on my sewing table. Of course it took me over a year to get it repaired....but...she's all cleaned up and purrs like a kitten.
Talk about being at the right place at the right moment. geesh. It could've been ugly. Just another day at the office I suppose.
Dear Singer: your products are great. We (Trading Spaces) were honored to feature them on our show. This was an isolated incident, with a rather dramatic, yet extremely loveable sewing coordinator. thank you...I love my overlock.
I have to confess that I haven't been around for the change of seasons for quite a while. In fact, for the past 3 years I have spent most of my time following the weather. I certainly feel lucky to have such good fortune. But I must admit, it's been nice to be around enough to notice the subtle changes.
Being home for the transition from warmth, to crisp, to cool has been incredibly gratifying. The thing I love of about the weather here on the east coast is how it eases you into the harshness of the winter.
In the past few weeks during my new commute to work, quite often I have exclaimed "my goodness...this reminds me of Scotland!"
I traveled accross the pond two years ago to shoot a special castle edition of Trading Spaces. It was my first trip to Europe and beyond memorable. (I talk more about it here) We were there during the heart of fall and most days were bright and cheery with a clean sky.
What I have recently realized is: it's not South Jersey that reminds me of Scotland, it's the weather that does!
Since that incredible trip I haven't been in the Northeast for those sweet weeks of Autumn. What a lovely reminder of a grand adventure the recent weeks have been. Each day brings back a cherished memory.
What makes you think of your travels?
Sometimes things just aren't meant to be.
Like yesterday for instance, my computer wasn't meant to work perfectly for me. In fact there must have been a memo circulating to all computers stating that they shall not work compliantly for a certain Miss Mary Beth...Don't you love when your computers freeze up on you and you have to reboot and start all your work all over again. Isn't that the most fun?
I thought so.
My sewing machine, while compliant, wasn't exactly helping me make the most perfect things last week...
I was to look fabulous! Um, except I didn't. I knew my body wasn't the best frame for this new "just cinch it!" look that is oh so everywhere. I mean, come on, my torso is all of 5 inches long. That didn't stop me from spending 3 hours working on this bad boy.
But isn't it cute (sigh)? I had to wear another outfit to the party while the belt waited patiently at home.
(yes it's based off the pattern in Blueprint)
With that said....I would love for this cute little thing to have a happy home.
Anyone want to do a little swap? (it's housebroken and never been worn, promise....)
Season 6 blessedly started with me spending quite a bit of time at home editing episodes and prepping specials, after a whirwind two years traveling, I was ready to settle in a bit. In fact Season 6 has brought me more time at home then ever before. But a gal has to travel every once in a while.
-Being so nervous to work with the military for our "Trading Spaces: Operation Home Base" special on McGuire AFB. It was quite the challenge, but if it wasn't for that I never would have been able to travel to the middle east:
-Heading to Boston early and seeing North Mississippi Allstars the weekend before our shoot started. Playing that shows' recording over and over till my travel mates got quite annoyed.
-Being in Austin, TX during SXSW. Whoa. So many scenesters...so little time. Some of my favorite Homeowners lived here. That is one town I could really live in, now if only it was 104 in the summer most days.
-Going to the Austin rodeo with Todd and Chris, eating fall off the bone ribs, bull riding, and watching Lynryd Skynryd whip that stadium into a frenzy.
Seeing 7 different acts perform in one days:
2 shows in the parking lot of the eco friendly hardware store.
3 bands at the main stage in the park downtown
Watching Willie Nelson from backstage at the Backyard. ((Standing in line for the bathroom in Paula Nelson's(what a peach she is) dressing room waiting for Norah Jones to get out of the can so I can take a leak already!))
Going to the Willie afterparty at Poodies (out in the boonies) and hearing this chick RIP out some blues.
- Going to Santa Cruz, CA. Shot a special and still had time to hike in the woods and go surfing.
-Shooting in Philly and having little visitors.
This is Addie...she turned one the day after this pic was taken.
-Being a homeowner on the show. What an experience. It certainly was interesting to see how the other half lives...
I just love my new room...especially my sewing table (which you can iron on!!)
-Going to Providence and being pleasantly surprised....and loving Castle Hill, water fire, and the Madeline. Fun stuff.
That's the boat we sailed on, shot from the lawn at the Castle Hill Inn.
-Going to Asheville and staying an extra night to play with our Homeowners. It was a blast!!!
-Shooting in Charlotte...watching my last "live" reveal, watching our trailer pull away from, finishing the earliest we have ever finished! Not a bad way to leave the road at all.
Since that episode I have been home, spending time with Otis, logging and editing episodes. It was special for me to do that so I could travel and see friends and family.
Gotta love him.
Tonight is our wrap party. It's time to say goodbye to the show as we know it.
After a marvelous year on the road and an amazing casting trip it was time to hit the road once more, this time for season 5. Little did we know the changes that the year would bring.
-Screening Days (we had them for the first 3 seaspns) where the entire company would get together at the movie theater down the street from our offices. We would watch an episode of every show and each program makes a funny video. They were always brilliant.
-The Trading Spaces vs. American Chopper World Poker Tour championship. This was taped for the Travel Channel and we kicked those American Chopper boys in the butt! First of all, 25 of us showed up to cheer on Joe, Wynn and Carter, compared to the OCC's measly 7 fans. We treated the event as if we were at the Super Bowl. They had never seen a crowd like us before. Carter won big time. We were a little scared cause those guys are huge (arms like pythons-no joke)
-Going to Scotland to "Trade Castles." This was my first trip to Europe and was the most amazing trip. On the last night we had a huge party in one of the castles. We had Brits, Scots, and Americans all present (not to mention bagpipers). Spontaneously the Brit recited a poem, the Scotsman barreled out a song, and Mindy our Associate Producer sang "Summertime." Until that point I thought moments like that only existed in the movies.
-Spending Quality time in Savannah, GA, one of the coolest cities in the country...go there, you'll love it. They know how to have a good time.
-Shooting "Through the Roof" we redecorated 2 houses in 2 days and all of our on-air personalities were there. Somehow I knew it would be one of the last times we would all be together.
Everything but the people are in focus for this shot. It was 15 degrees outside and everyone was shivering like crazy!
-Heading to Key West for an amazing shoot. I was able to bring my mom down for her 50th birthday during our 3 days off in Key West. The TLC show "In a Fix" was in town shooting a special too. We tore up that town...
This was the view from my hotel room.
-Shooting Paige's last episode which happened to be in Key West. She mentioned that our short vacation down there seemed like a special gift just for her. I agree, it did feel that way.
This was right after we shot her last "open." The first part of the show where she says where we are.
-Going to Traverse City, MI and meeting the Cherry Queen. Her entourage brought the most amazing Cherry Pie to set. They aren't effing around up there.
-Hanging out in Milwaukee and being so pleasantly surprised. It's a gem...shhhh don't tell anyone or you'll ruin it.
Here's audio extraordinaire Juan after eating a "slider" a cheeseburger topped with Wisconsin butter. BLEH...he didn't feel so good for days after this.
Ah relaxation!!! (although I don't recommend Jamaica in September)
During Season 4 the real fun began, I hit the road as an Associate Producer and began traveling all over the USA! What a blast...
-My first day on set wearing a knapsack, hiking boots, sunglasses with croakies, and having everything you could possibly imagine with me at all times. I also remember the funny looks that people gave me when I was stomping around set with all this stuff. That was the last time I was that OVER prepared. It's Trading Spaces, not Mt Everst.
-The crowds being so intense outside the houses that the cops needed to come. Laurie Smith being overwhelmed by a swarm of fans. People rushing the houses post-reveal and coming in and looking at the rooms before we were done shooting them. Needless to say we had security on set everyday after that.
"Paparazzi" - people would come with beach chairs and stay all day!
-Staying at the Westin in Pittsburgh with Ozzfest, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and the Sand Diego Padres. That's quite a crazy group under one roof. The hotel bar was the place to be that week.
-Going to the Grand Ole Opry to shoot our open and to watch a performance later that night from backstage. After having watched "Coal Miners Daughter" so many times I about freaked out. We got to walk around backstage and meet all the old timers. (there was a lot of OLD timers - average age: 76)
-Going to New Orleans and falling in love with the city.
-Going to Miami Beach and being dazzled by it. Somehow sipping champagne while laying on a bed next to the pool feels absolutely normal here.
-shooting in LA during Oscar season. Holy Moly they take it seriously out there. There was a Vanity Fair party at our hotel. Of course we decided to take red carpet pictures ourselves.
There I am strutting the red carpet sporting my hand knit poncho made of Alpaca...thankyouverymuch.
-Living on International Drive in Orlando, FL (tourist meca, traffic hell) for 3 months while we filmed a special called Trading Spaces: Home Free.
-Being promoted to producer and losing my voice the night before my first day. How do you direct a show when you can't talk?!
-Going to Utah and staying at the Hotel Park City in Park City (my favorite hotel of all time!!! I seriously think about it at least once a week)
-Going on a casting trip around the country for the month a July with my very good friend Mark looking for designers. 13 cities in 26 days. We did the entire west coast (Victoria, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Napa, LA, San Diego and had drinks in Tiajuana) in one week.
We ate our way accross America. It doesn't get much better than that and certainly is not a bad way to end a season.
LIFE IS GOOD
For Season 3 I got promoted from Intern to Researcher. YAY!
Basically I was hired to fined people to open up their homes and be on the show. By the loads of mail we got each day it was not a hard time to find people, just to pick out the right ones....
-Calling people who had applied and having them hang up on me cause they were so excited.
-Our Production meeting where we would laugh and laugh and laugh.
-Going to set for the first time and seeing where all the "magic" happened.
-Booking London and LA in the same week (in to the office at 5am and out at 8pm) all while trying to help Hildi order plastic flowers from Hong Kong (phone calls at 11pm)
-Throwing a big party at my apartment, having the cops come 5 times. Paige and Ty finally came out to try and get my neighbors to calm down...it kinda worked.
-Deciding last minute to fly to Las Vegas for our first special "Live Reveal from Las Vegas"
-Watching the first episode of Trading Spaces that I worked on, with my family, in my new apartment, in my new city, and weeping. I had reached that goal that I thougth was so far off.
One day our Executive Producer came to my desk and told me that I had been promoted to Casting Director. I was to start finding new designers for spin offs starting that day.
-During my first audition session getting sick and puking at lunch (yuck. I was soooo nervous)
-Flying into LA for the first time.
-Being overwhelmed with mail and phone calls.
-Creating my own system, department, and good reputation.
-Watching the tv show "The It Factor" in order to learn how to hold audition sessions.
-Dealing with NY and LA agents and their constant ass-kissing.
-Buying into the HYPE and loosing myself.
-Discovering myself again.
-Holding Audition sessions in Times Square. Every person on my crew randomly saw someone they knew. It truly is the crossroads of the world.
-Auditioning Carter Oosterhouse and not being able to look at him I was so nervous. He took my breath away, and then he opened his mouth and I realized he was "just a normal dude."
-Knowing that I wanted to produce television and I was hell bent to join the circus and travel with Trading Spaces.
Gary irons our "smocks"
Ice Cream truck! (one of the benefits of working in the burbs)
Me and Paige relax.
Going over plans
See what I mean?!
Sorry to all those blogliners...I remembered some more after I published.
-Being so excited to work someplace for free
-My first commute to Philadelphia and being shocked that the there was no traffic as I crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge. I barely had a chance to admire the view.
-Making business calls and saying "Hi, this is Mary Beth from the TV show 'Trading Spaces', we're from the same production company that produced 'A Wedding Story'"
-The week after an infamous episode aired hearing people from 'A Wedding Story' making calls and saying they were from the company that produced 'Trading Spaces.'"
-Calling the designers on the phone to arrange travel and being so nervous to talk to them.
-Doing paper work and not minding one bit.
-Working with our then Location Scout Harvey and realizing that he was the announcer "Harvey" from 'Double Dare' that I grew up watching on television. He is hilarious and still a good friend.
-Knowing for certain that I wanted to work for this show full time and having the understanding that this little TV show might just be a big hit.
Here are some photos that I've taken through the years.
Photos property of Mary Beth Anderson. please don't steal or distribute