What's it like to be famous, to hit the big time in the world of design?
A little chunk of fame has come lately to four Marylanders in the form of articles in two of the top shelter magazines.
The Friends, two artists from Frederick, made the cover of last month's Elle Decor. Towson landscape designer Wolfgang Oehme -- along with his partner Jim van Sweden -- was written up for a new book in the latest Elle Decor. And Baltimore faux finish artist Janet Pope is featured in House Beautiful.
The splashiest display went to the Friends. Their painted Shaker boxes were dramatically portrayed on the cover of the March issue of Elle Decor. The same photograph then appeared inside, part of a four-page spread on folk-art reproductions.
But because the boxes were supplied to the magazine by one of their customers -- a shop in New York City -- the Friends weren't mentioned by name. Only the people who recognized their work knew the boxes were theirs.
Still, partners Karen Lindquist and Irene Kirilloff were thrilled. "I don't think we've seen such a beautiful picture of our product," Ms. Lindquist said.
Many of their customers called to say they had seen the issue, she added. And the publicity department of the magazine called and ordered some custom-made boxes to use as corporate thank-you gifts.
The Friends -- they can be reached at (301) 695-6126 or (800) 695-0065 -- started out nine years ago painting the handmade boxes, but now have expanded to do paintings with painted-finish frames, original prints, cards and painted frames. They wholesale their works to small gift shops, catalogs and museum shops.
The design philosophy of Wolfgang Oehme and Jim van Sweden -- of Oehme, van Sweden and Associates in Washington -- is the focus of the article in April's Elle Decor -- which makes mention of their new book "Bold, Romantic Gardens."
"A lot of people noticed it," Mr. Oehme said. "One of our clients in Annapolis said, 'Whenever I open a magazine, there you are.' "
It's not much of an exaggeration. They've been featured in national publications, including Metropolitan Home and Landscape Architecture, several times before, but with the publication of the book, things are heating up. They will be featured in Garden Design in May, in Landscape Architecture again in both June and July and in Architectural Digest in August.
In the April issue of House Beautiful, Marylander Dee Hardie -- who writes a regular column for the magazine -- did a first-person story on her experiences as a student at the J. Pope Studio School of Decorative Painting and Faux Finishes, which Janet Pope runs with partner Stuart Rodgers.
Because the school's address and telephone number were printed, Ms. Pope has been able to get direct feedback from readers.
"We've gotten an awful lot of calls, about 300. We've been called from all over the United States. It's amazing. Everyone wants information and quite a few have enrolled," she said, then added, "I hope all of them do."
There have been letters and phone calls from old friends, acquaintances and even former teachers, she added. "And that's nice. It's like, 'I told you I could amount to a hill of beans.' "
So far she's not been stopped on the street, she says. "There's no fame because of it. But it's gratifying, when you work hard for a long time, to get recognition for it."
If you missed the article and want to find out more about the school, write to P.O. Box 623, Brooklandville, Md. 21022, or call 486-0041.
Around the first of the year -- less than six months after it opened -- the windows of Traditions on Maryland Avenue showed an empty shop. There was nothing but an artificial Christmas tree standing in the middle of the floor.
I thought the worst: another victim of the economy. But it wasn't so. Traditions has just moved down the street. And instead of suffering financial distress, the shop has expanded.
Owner Ted Orphan took over the space at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Lafayette Street, a space that was vacated last year by Jones Antiques. He painted and fixed up the place and brought his things in on Jan. 1.
"It's much larger, airier and brighter. And there's more visibility," he said. "I've been able to bring in more things and upgrade the merchandise."
When asked for the new hours, he said, "I'm trying to figure out a day of the week to take off." Then he added, "Why don't you just put down Wednesday."
The hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays except Wednesdays (except that he's still sometimes there on Wednesdays by chance) and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays.
Another shop that moved and expanded is the Consignment Collection, which used to be on Harford Road just south of Northern Parkway and has now found a new home on York Road in Govans.
The new shop, owned by Tom and Cindy Ayd, is several times larger than the old one was. And now the owners are concentrating more on antique furniture, reproduction furniture, accessories and collectibles.
The store is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The new location is 5604 York Road. The telephone number is 435-0335.