Monday, September 20, 2010

My Nate Show Shoot

Photo: Todd Foster

Cabin before

My segment on The Nate Show will air Tuesday, 21 September!
Please click here to check your local listings.

Pour hot tea in your favorite porcelain cup and have a comfy seat, this is a long post!

Monday, 28 June 2010

I am showered with reactions from around the world in the wake of the New York Times feature on my studio.   There’s a voice mail message (and a Facebook message, email to all my accounts, even an email to my sister) from a producer from the Nate Berkus Show asking me if I’d consider appearing on the show.

As a humble federal employee that never dreamt anyone would be interested in reading my blog, I’m so stunned hottie Nate was interested my hands shake.

The following weeks are filled with phone calls and emails with Nette, the producer, and her kind assistant Margaux, often after 9 p.m., as we formulate the content of the segment.

Photo: Todd Foster

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Bryan’s storyboard sketches.

Bryan the field producer, Dean the videographer, and Kurran the sound man arrive at our farm for a day of ‘relaxed shooting’.   Professional and polite, (they even took their shoes off before treading on my white floor) the crew was a true delight to work with.   And patient.   I normally don’t speak more than three sentences in any given conversation, so I’d look down when I couldn’t think of what to say and you can’t do that on camera.   I was a good girl and clasped my hands in my lap because my mom says I gesture too expansively.

They said my segment was the first to be shot, and a few days later breathlessly relayed it set the standard for the sort of inspirational story they wanted.   That was too sweet.

Photo: Todd Foster
Kurran outfitting me with one of those little black microphone boxes wedged in the back of my dress with the long cord I had to weave up and around and get taped to my sterum with the special tape.

Photo: Todd Foster
Readying the camera and microphone for my interview.  Kurran would ask us to stop when the cicidas got too loud.

Photo: Todd Foster
Filming the chandelier.

The last shot was of me crossing the creek, and my dear husband placed extra stones in for me to cross after I stumbled.   We watched the blooper reel in slo mo, it was hysterical.

Afterward, I brought the crew iced tea as they tested the Skype unit I’d use for the question and answer portion following the video in the segment.   My dear King strung an RJ45 line up in the trees over the creek from our cabin below so the wireless modem could get closer to my studio.   This suited me fine.   Imagine having to actually speak to Nate in person before a live audience!

‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas on my mantle.

Zuzu finally gets her spot on the sofa back.

Fresh hydrangeas and hosta donated by my friend at “Gramma’s” in Brookhaven, NY;
roses were on sale $10/dozen at the supermarket.

Stuff unceremoniously shoved in my pantry during the taping.
There’s always a mess kicked in a corner during a shoot.

All swept up again; time to relax and reflect on the porch with my family and a little soy ice cream.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I was thinking I’d have waffles with wild blackberries for breakfast while rehearsing my talking points for the tomorrow’s 7 a.m.   Skype session when the urgent email came in: there were too many technical difficulties on another Skype.   I had to come to their studios in New York.   Now.

By 1 p.m., producer Sushupti would call with my hotel information, for taping would be first thing tomorrow morning at CBS studios and I had to have hair and makeup beforehand.   I suppose I looked so thunderstruck Todd said he would travel along, and I dashed around with my cell phone on my ear as I snapped my damp laundry off the clothesline and got the little dogs prepared for travel.   It was ridiculous to return to the farm afterward as I was going over half way back to Long Island where I was expected at work Tuesday morning, so I had to bag the garbage, pack the car, and drape my damp clothes along the back seat.   Todd ran up to my studio to get the Skype kit, got the hens set up, and made arrangements for our big dogs Ruffy and Mully while downloading directions.

The big problem was clothing.   Instructed to avoid anything summery, white, black, or neutrals (which all my clothes are), I intended to wear my old pink car coat over sweats and flip flops since you only see from the waist up on Skype.   Now, I had to sport an ensemble chic enough to make a good first impression with a national audience, recalling some viewers can be terribly snobbish about what others wear.   I’d normally shop at a Macy’s clearance rack in low-tax New Jersey on the way down, but stores in Jersey are closed Sundays.   I grew insecure as a college student on her first big job interview, and frantically called my fashionista sister Sue who lived in Manahattan for over 10 years to tell me what to do.   I had no idea the poor thing was vacationing with her husband in Colorado and it was 6 a.m. there, but she graciously told me what to wear and where to buy.

Looking south toward NYC while crossing the George Washington Bridge.

The next big problem was getting to the city before the stores closed.  We had to hit the road before receiving the informational call, knowing our three-hour drive in weekend Thruway traffic doomed us to lose time.

Eventually we got a cell signal, got the information, parked in the designated garage, checked in to the Flathotel (one of those chic boutique hotels with moody lighting and where the bar seems closer than the front desk when you enter), and jogged two blocks to Anthropologie.  The guard declared they just closed.

I pleaded my case:  I was going to be on TV tomorrow morning, I raced here from 3 hours away, please help!  It worked.  In fact, every sales rep there and at Baker’s shoes proved enormously helpful with my situation.  The biggest help was my very dear husband, who toted Zuzu and Belle’s carrier and buoyed me with his cheerful spirit and patience.  He hates shopping, especially in crowded stores where the music is as loud as a club, but he never complained.  I treated him to a huge burrito at a take-out joint and he ate it back in the comfy hotel room.  We went over my talking points as I crashed into sleep.

 Exhausted, but a Duane Reade visit still needs to happen so I can get pantyhose and the toiletries I forgot.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The line for the live studio audience stretched down the street.

Our own little room on 'the green floor', with a TV showing the beehive of the set.

Zuzu greets staff member Rebecca.

Belle and Zuzu waiting for Mommy to appear on TV.

The hospitality of Nate’s producers and staff (all looked 30 and under and wore headphones) was as warm and fuzzy as my dogs, and it’s a great thing because I was anxious over hitting all the points they wanted.
My clothes were pressed while I got my hair (thanks Brigitte & Shelly!) and makeup done, and then I was informed Nate may not do it in the order we rehearsed.  I do not think well on my feet, and I started stammering and looking away in an effort to remember what to say, not showing ‘high energy’ like they needed me to do.  It unbalanced me when they’d talk (or listen) then press a button on their radios and seamlessly speak to someone else, apologize, then finish their sentence to me.

My King hugged me when it was time, and I scooped up Zuzu and carried her past the fascinating entry area hung with larger-than-life black and white photos of the early days at CBS, then tip-toed in my ultra high heels down a puzzle of hallways so narrow people had to flatten themselves against the wall to let us pass.
All the guests wait in a dark area behind the brightly lit studio with a single TV of the taping.  We can see the raw carpentry behind the high ‘walls’ of the set, a peek of the guests in the highest tiers, but nothing else. Robbie carries Zuzie back to Todd. Busted!  A sound tech fastens a microphone to my top, and asks me to count, laughing when I reply, “Eyns, Tsvey, Dray, Dupa!”   Someone goes out and involves the audience in trivia games while the sets are changed.   The backstage walls are draped in long black cables and electric lines, and perhaps a dozen producers and assistants in headphones stand or sit where they can, reviewing their clipboards and speaking in whispers.   They offer tiny bottles of water for guests’ dry mouths.

Nate’s taping a segment on yard sale finds, and I tell you the truth when I say this he is as sweet and funny off-camera as he is on.   The story before mine involves the tragedy of a young pregnant woman that lost her husband in the BP well explosion and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.   Now I know why they kept telling me to have more energy.

The hair and makeup team touches me up, a senior producer blazes a trail along the back of the set and its minefield of wires to a back corner, smiles like a mommy putting her child onstage, and instructs me to stand in a blind decorated like a fine hotel until Nate introduces me.   ‘Walk forward, there will be a pair of stools, can’t miss them, good luck!’ and she disappeared.

I can't see Nate, but his voice is strong and carries beautifully.  He’s telling the audience about me and my story.  My life flashes before my eyes.  He introduces me and I go out into the bright room while the audience claps enthusiastically.  Nate is what seems like a long ways away, holding his hands out.  I felt better.  He clasped my hands in his and told me how the Times story moved him with such candor it embarrassed me.  Even though he’s a handsome celebrity, I felt as safe and loved as I do with my family because he’s sincere.

The rest of the experience was the sort of blur that occurs during your wedding vows.  Nate made it easy.  I saw the “VT” (the producers’ abbreviation for “video tape”) for the first and only time before the air date.   I’m stunned with what Bryan and the whole team concocted.  My favorite part is when I cuddle Zuzu.

The weeks passed and I’m humbled and touched and giggly and in disbelief of the whole thing still.

Do support Nate and his new show!  He’s anointed as the next Oprah.  He celebrates enlightened content, and is always looking for hot tips from the blogging community!

Until next time, stay shabby!

Pin It


My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

What a wonderful experience for you! Loved your little house in the woods even before you got famous. Congrats on your well deserved attention.


elinAnita (eddaskreativiteter ) said...

So wonderful and so fun:)I have seen your litle house before...but it is so litle and so beautiful:)
Is it Okei for you if I borrow some pictures from your blog and introduce you for the Norwegian and the Swedish blogs???There is many Shabby Chic people her:):)I love your style because you put some color in the white...:)
Have a nice day...and enjoy everything....

* French Farmhouse 425 * said...

~*~Congrats Sandy!!I LOVE how Zuzu was able to be a part of the photo shoot and the taping!!So precious~*~ Rachel :)

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sandy! I am so excited for you!!! I knew the moment I saw your little place that it was just so amazing! You deserve all of this..I'm just so excited for you!!! Yay!!!! Hugs!!!

Linda said...

Congrats, Sandy! It was fun hearing all about your experience!!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sandy, I just mentioned this on my blog! I'm just so happy for you that I had to share!

Norma said...

What an ADVENTURE Sandy!! I'm so excited for you I could bust! (I'm sure we'll get the Nate show down here in Australia in the coming months - I'm waiting very impatiently!!)

The English Romantic said...

Hi Sandy,
Really interesting post.
I hadn't heard of this show but now I've found it i can watch online from here in England. Can't wait!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Sandy, this is exciting. I will never forget the day this summer that I discovered you while I was buying my iphone! The associate and I started talking and she said to me, "You gotta see this blog." I was smitten with your ingenuity and grace and I think you have captured the world with your endeavors. Thank you and this is so lovely! Anita

pounette rose said...

coucou je suis pounette rose et j'adoooooooooore le shabby !!! tro émerveillé par se doux romantisme !!!! votre blog une pure merveille que du bonheur !!! ça fait rêver tro c'est joli !! oh lalalalala merci pour toute cette tendresse !! j'adoooooooooooooore je suis sous le charme !! oh oui j'adooooooooooooooore !!
doux bibis !!
pounette rose

A Cottage Muse said...

Oh Sandy I am so happy for you! But, a little jealous, Nate is a hottie!!! I tape his show every day and enjoy his company every night (hee hee)! I must blog about this today!

Polly @ Make Mine Beautiful said...

Sandy, that is so fabulous for you. I remember the very first time I saw your little cottage (on the Yahoo front page), I told my husband "That charming little cottage is going to start showing up everywhere! It's an every-woman kind of dream.". I'm so glad I was right. I can't tell you how many times friends have sent it to me in email!

Your story encourages so many women who have a dream in their heart to actually persue it.

You deserve all the recognition! Congratulations!!

Amy W. said...

i so loved reading your post. what a wonderful experience. i hope to catch it on television. :)

have a creative day,


tina, theoldfrenchdoors... said...

Hi sandy, wow such amazing news you have shared, your head must be spinning, I no im excited for you. Your studio is a dream and you both deserve all the attention it brings well done.
Take care Tina


That's wonderful news about being featured on Nate's show. And you should be ... your little white haven is absolutely stunning. Can't wait to see the show.

Brenda ~ Shabby Cats and Roses said...

Hello Sandy :) How wonderful, exciting and exhilirating!! I'll be sure to watch the show Tuesday! Love the article in the latest issue of Country Victorian :) Congratulations!!

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Jeanine Burkhardt said...

OMG!*!*! NATE BERKUS SHOW... ~ Your "Fairy Tale Cottage" Story continues... Sooooo HaPPy For YOU Sandy!!!
Jeanine, ChiPPy!-SHaBBy!

Creative Ambitions said...

Sandy... so happy and excited for you! Will try to be around to catch the show! How awesome!


Rose Garden Romantic said...

Oh Sandy!! How exiting!!! I cannot wait to see the episode!!

highstreetcottage said...

Hi Sandy, I love, love your cottage! It's one of my favorites as is the rest of the world. I hope it's alright but I've featured a link to the New York Times article on my blog (just getting started). As it's one of my all time favorites. I think the term "I love what you've done to the place" is an understatement when it comes to you;)
I love that your hubby supports you in your dream. Mine does as well, and indulges. I love the pink florals you added to the sofa. Congrats on your Nate shoot!xoxo tami from the highstreetcottage

stefanie said...

I bet it feels like a dream!!! how exciting and can't wait to see it!!!
congrats again!!! you deserve it!

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Wow what a post!! Loved every word! Congrats!!

elsamarianne said...

Hi Sandy!
Congrats, what an experience. You are so brave.
I really wish that we could watch the show here in Sweden.
Have a nice week

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oh Sandy,
I am over the Moon happy for you! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I enjoyed reading it so much. I'm off to see when Nate's show airs here in Northern California so I can TiVo it and watch it over & over. I am definitely dropping you a line after I view the show. This could not happen to a nicer soul, I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Deb said...

I am loving Nate's new show ... your little Shabby Streamside Studio airs tomorrow here in Canada & I will tape it so my daughter can see it :-)
Congratulations ♥

Fiona Designs said...

I am so happy for you - a huge congrats! I can't wait to watch your segment tomorrow!


cityfarmer said...

you must be pinching those little sweet cheeks of yours!

d.r.e.a.m.y. N.a.t.e.!!!

Bohemian said...

Oh I'm so happy for you and I'm sure this was a fabulous whirlwind experience. Congratulations, your Cottage as always looks so lovely... even your pantry out-of-sight stashing looks pretty! You should see my out-of-sight stashing... scary stuff! *wink* I just saw your feature in "Victorian Country"... it is a wonderful thing that you are inspiring so many on how to make a smaller space a fantasy-come-to- life... and that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to live large in a cozy environment!

Continued Blessings,
Dawn... The Bohemian

Victoria said...

Oh my goodness, this is so exciting and very well deserved too. I'm home all day so I'm going to check when the show comes on. Congratulations!!!

Isabelle said...

I'm so happy for you!
Your work and your skill are really worth it!
Congratulations and keep on enjoying all these good things!

From France,


NanaDiana said...

Wonderful post and I am looking forward to see Nate's show! Thanks for showing everyone your sweet little spot! Blessings- Diana

Sonia said...

Oh, Sandy!!
I am looking forward to tomorrow morning to see your segment in the show. That is just so awesome and exciting. Congratulations Sandy. Yu deserve it. Your studio is gorgeous and you are wonderful...

Allison said...

Congratulations, Sandy! How exciting I am excited to see you on Nate's show. Your cottage is gorgeous and you have done a dream job with it. You deserve the spotlight! Have fun!

CHERI said... so deserve all this. I don't know you but you seem such a sweet and humble person and I imagine all the spotlight has been both exciting and overwhelming. Can't wait to see you on the show...I know you did absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to see what else awaits you. You are truly blessed.

maría cecilia said...

Congrats Sandy, wish I could watch the show here in Chile!!!!
Your wonderful studio has pass over the continents if your would like to know, and from southamerica, the very south of it I´m admiring your work on the studio!!!!
maria cecilia

Debby - Romancing the Bling said... wonderful for you! I have set my DVR and I can't wait to see the segment! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I came to your blog while visiting Cindy of My Romantic Home.
I've had a bit of attention to my jewelry line as it was featured on a bridal segment on the Today Show a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited for my wedding accessories to be seen and mentioned. I just cant imagine who you must feel from your appearance tomorrow!
I am now off to look at your beautiful blog and plan to visit often.


Mariette said...

Dearest Sandy,

What an experience for you! It is quite a thrill all the way. Your furry babies probably helped you more than anything else! Enjoy it and try to relax and rest after this special show!

Sunny greetings from Georgia,


Edie Marie's Attic said...

I LOVE Nate's new show and I'll be watching your episode today!! Can hardly wait!

Hugs, Sherry

Haverford House said...

Congratulations, everything you have done is so beautiful and inspiring! I can't wait to watch the show today! ~Marcy

Annie said...

Can't wait to see the show, especially your segment! CONGRATS!!!!!

Wendy said...

I am waiting for the show to get to you!!!!!! Watching now, So exciting!!! ;)

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Sandy, you must be so pleased at the end result..I think they captured a story of a modern day Cinderalla.. You were beautful, humble and gracious..
Enjoy the bliss sweetheart! You deserve it!

Nicole Tadgell said...

Huzzah!! I can't wait to see it when I get home!

Bella said...

Hi Sandy... Amazing!! I am so excited for you!! I like where you said it's like "when you say your wedding vows" that completely explained the moment... dazed and in a dream!
I am so proud of you!!! I can't wait to watch:-)

Eileen @ Cottage Beach House said...

Wow! congratulations on your shoot with Nate. I can't wait to see it. i love your adorable little cottage by the creek. Have fun!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

3:10 PM - Sept. 21st...
I am waiting for you to come on the Nate Show, Sandy! You will be on in a little while. Can't wait and I will write again after you are on!!! So exciting!

High Street Cottage said...

Hi Sandy, just wanted to stop back by to comment on your appearance on the Nate show. My husband and I watched it this morning. It was wonderful to see your little studio on t.v. The Chandies look amazing! Everything is stunning and you looked lovely as well. Your story is inspiring and I just loved your ideas. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. tami from high street cottage

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

3:40 PM -- You were fantastic!! I wished that you were on longer! They did such a nice job of showing your little house. I liked how they showed your stream, and the before and after photos also. You looked so happy and serene to be on the show! And you looked very relaxed and natural. You should be so proud of yourself. Great job, Sandy! Congatulations!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

Hi Sandy! I just watched you on Nate's show and you did such a great job! You spoke and acted like a t.v. pro! And your cottage looked so fabulous, of course!

gail said...

Sandy-It looks and sound wonderful-I'm sure a little unnerving at times but definately worth it and your little home deserves the attention it is getting!

Sue said...

Yay Sandy! Great job on Nate today. You were so relaxed & gracious and looked lovely. The film crew did a great job showing off your little studio too. Just wish it had been longer! Hugs...

Shell said...

I just saw you today on Nate. I loved the segment and you were great on camera.

Victorian1885 said...

Wow Sandy! The show was fantastic and your little piece of Heaven showed beautifully! Great job..loved your boots!

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Sandy ~
It was awesome awesome !! I loved the show and have it taped so I can watch it again ~
You did so good and your cottage looked so beautiful !!


Bella said...

Hi Sandy... I just watch your segment!!! It was fabulous!! You and your cottage looked just as darling as can be, Big Congrats to you it was AMAZING!! You made me grin from ear to ear!

Allison said...

Sandy - You were delightful on Nate today and did a fabulous job! You looked beautiful! It was fun to see your before and after shots of your beautiful cottage. It is just gorgeous. I also enjoyed hearing a little more about you growing up. I wish your segmnent was longer. Great job!!

Pam in Indiana said...

I loved seeing you on Nate's show and I especially loved seeing your babies in today's blog entry about taping the show. Thank you for sharing your adventure in NYC with all of us! I felt like we were all there with you. You did a magnificent job in your interview!!! Congratulations again and thank you for inspiring all of us and so generously sharing your techniques and teaching us how to make our little pink Victorian nests!!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

You were awesome Sandy!! I absolutely loved your segment on Nate's show! Your story was beyond impressive & inspiring... we never know what shoes, or pink boots, someone else has walked in! I have loved your darling place from the first time I found you and now it all means so much more. You are so beautiful and graceful and so deserving to have such a wonderful blessing!

Big hugs, Sherry

Fiona Designs said...

Congratulations on such a wonderful segment on The Nate Show! Absolutely fantastic!

Wish on a Whisker said...

Hi Sandy~ Just a little note to tell you how much I loved your segment on Nate's show! You and your little house looked so beautiful! Everything you have done is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful place! Love ~Mandy

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Sandy, Congratulations to you! What an amazing story !!! I love it!
Have a pretty day!

Debi said...

Hi Sandy,
How wonderful! I was so excited when I stunbled upon your blog!
I am so happy for you! Wishing tons of success! I only wish I culd turn my house into your gorgeous cabin!

wendy said...

I saw the show!!!!!!!! Love Nate
right from the first moment the show started, and they showed just a "titch" of your place
I knew right away it was you
I giggled
very very cool opportunity for you

Jacqueline said...

I'm beyond proud of you, and flooding with emotions ... and on top of all that, could ANYONE possibly look sexier in pink boots?

I've actually never regretted having gotten rid of TV 'til now. I will find a way to view this on-line, you know I will!! Thanks so much for the post, in all its glorious detail. You had me hanging on every word, my stomach flipping with nerves and excitement. So relieved that NB soothed all rough edges. You found (yet again!) a way to overcome your uncertainties and braved your way through all of this. You are my favourite crusader in pink boots! xxx

Anonymous said...

Saw your little dollhouse on French Blue blog. Totally love it!!! I told my husband I want to live in a little house like that and wear red rainboots!

Watched your segment on the Nate show--you did a great job and looked very pretty.

What are the white poufs at the top of your curtains--are they just poufs of the lace or are they big paper flowers? Just wondering.

Anyway, your little house is the prettiest one I've seen in a long time. I bought the Country Victorian magazine your house is in, too.

Anyway, thank you, it made me happy to see your little house!

Normita said...

Hi Sandy, I saw you on Nate's show and your story was encouraging and hopeful for other women, believe me, many are going to make dreams come true on building their own hiding place. I love the view from the porch, I can imagen a sunny sunrise or sunset during these coming days of fall, if you ever do that, take a deep breath and enjoy it for me, or maybe you can take a picture and show it to us, nature lovers, of what do you see when you are standing looking away, Norma.

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hi Sandy! Saw you on Nate's new show! Congratulations on all your success! Your deserve it because you are an inspiration to all! LOVE your little Victorian home! I about fainted the first time I saw it!


Dreams and Decor said...

Hi, Sandy: I have seen your amazing studio all over blogland & am so glad to finally find your blog & have become a follower! I believe your story is such an inspiration and an example to everyone of how to never give up on a dream no matter what the obstacles but to take steps to make it happen! And now you will be reaching even more people with the story of how your hard work, determination, creativity, imagination & vision have made your gorgeous dream studio a reality! Patti

Anonymous said...

Adore, adore, adore.


Jillian said...

Wow, Sandy! What a great experience!!! I am sorry I see I just missed the airing of the show! Maybe I can catch a re-run.

I enjoyed your play by play of being backstage (And on) because I worked in TV for so many years. It was fun living vicariously through you again!

(Jillian of Bella Rosa Antiques)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...


diana shae decor said...

I LOVE this!!!! I want one! Congrats - happy to find your blog! :)

diana @ diana shae decor

TheGildedGypsies said...

Reading your story is truly an inspiration to those of us just starting out! It's wonderful to know that nice things happen to nice people! Hugs, Anne


Related Posts with Thumbnails