Using Furniture Transfers to Create a Special Look!

Yes, this is another blog about my love of refinishing furniture and what I have learned using designs known as “rub-on transfers”! I promise I’ll try to make it both instructional and funny…

A year ago I didn’t know a “furniture rub-on transfer” from a “train transfer ticket”. But now I am well versed (maybe) with creating art on furniture by using an assortment of furniture transfers and techniques. None of what I am about to show you is very costly or difficult. So, feel free to try it yourselves!


While I prefer to create a simple look with words and quotes interspersed among an interesting modern design, many of my “customers” like to have a virtual garden popping from their furniture. Below you will find examples of the most recent designs I have created – many by special request. Also, a few hints and links. Want a closer look? Just click on the images!

A simple 5 drawer dresser- painted blush pink with Benjamin Moore paint didn’t last long in the garage. I spotted it all tattered looking at a resell store. I knew I had to have it! The shape alone! The dresser is so unusual that I wanted to leave it without much “redo”. An uncomplicated “shabby chic” look. This piece sold to a family and was a gift for their daughter. Apparently, she likes everything “pink”.

A little deeper dive into this piece. The floral designs in the drawers and on the side were just enough to make it extra special and are becoming a “signature” of my refinished items. To create the floral design in the drawer I had to cut the flowers out from a much larger design on the transfer sheet that I purchased off Amazon – called Pressed Flowers by Thymeless Designs. Honestly, this set of transfers is one of my favorites and the ease with which they go on and stay embedded is fabulous! If we were giving scores this brand would easily be a 9 out of 10.

This is what the three panels of the THYMELESS DESIGNS look like when they arrive. Each panel is an individual sheet with a backing that needs to be removed or portions cut away.

Under the Sea!

Yellow, teal, and lots of sea creatures and sea shells make this look VERY popular. I have made chairs, two small dressers, a desk using this design available from Re-Design (again) found on Amazon. My only wish was that there was less “rope” in the package and more fish of different colors. I also mixed on one of the dressers a second design by PRIMA resulted in a rather interesting look and I think it will be a winner. My score would be a 8/10 for ease of applying but a 9/10 for the final look they help to create!

Let’s hear it for the color teal!

For as long as I can remember, teal and shades of aqua have been my favorite. Perhaps it is because I am a Pisces and my birthstone is aquamarine? Regardless, I find myself dipping into various shades of these colors over and over again (pictured Tropical Teal and Hummingbird). Oh- and items made with these colors usually sell like hotcakes! They are part of their Coastal Palate (and no I am not an ambassador for them – oh how I wish!) The transfers pictured are a mixture of some of my favorites. The “Cottontail Bunnies” on the child’s chair are paired with the Polish art designs. The picture frame’s art and some of the large expansive designs on the desk came from Maika Daughters via Etsy.

The floral transfers can be tricky to apply if not careful and the words also are a challenge from time to time. So, I give these transfers a 7.5/10 for ease but a 9/10 for the look and response from others!

Helpful Hints!

When using furniture transfers you need to be CAREFUL. I have yet to meet a design that doesn’t rip if not given lots of TLC during the transfer. Be sure that your surface is clean and dry. Do not transfer onto surfaces with gloss or semigloss unless the transfer is made for those finishes. Some are. Some are not.

Transfer with the support of a flat surface – so use a strong table or workshop bench when transferring to smaller objects (like boxes) or dresser drawers. If transferring directly to a piece of furniture make sure it is secure and kept steady.

Practice on something you don’t care about first so you can get used to how much pressure is needed and the type of instrument to use. The “sticks” they often send in the kit are in my humble opinion not very helpful with larger designs. I tend to improvise with other objects such as paint stirrers.

When I am working on a very large design I cut it into pieces. This helps to keep it manageable and also to create some interesting designs. You can overlap by completing one portion of the design and then cutting and laying on top of another portion. Be sure to complete the transfer of the first part before starting the second.

The hardest of all transfers for me to apply involves quotes or letters. These tend to be very delicate and need much patience. I tend not to have a lot of that – so I often goof. I have learned to be better – but again – patience, patience, patience!

If you goof, try adding a “surprise” element. It is amazing how handy a butterfly transfer can be when you goof! Or a fun flower! I buy packets of butterflies just for this reason!

Oh and buy a big container of baby wipes to get the “oops” of designs off your fingers. You will thank me later.

Keep unused portions clean and tucked away for another day! And lastly…just have fun and let your creativity flow!

Thanks for reading!


p.s. Feel free to pop a link to your furniture refinishing projects in the comments!


As a mental health provider, I am keenly aware that the mind needs to keep busy during times of global “crazy”. Let’s face it – collectively we all have been wading through nearly three years of a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on our lives. Everyone has had their own way to deal with stress, especially when we were “sheltering at home”. Some wrote books. Others explored beyond their backyards. My “stress reliever” was to learn how to refinish and refurbish furniture. So, with some paints and brushes that we had at home and a few extra cans I acquired from my local ACE Hardware store (double-masked, of course) – I started to de-stress with every paint stroke.

At first, I made hubby and me a small cabinet for cans to hold the endless amounts of plastic containers we accrued from take-out. Then I moved on to “estate sale finds” that I repainted and made space for in our home. A turn of events happened when neighbors would stop by asking me if they could purchase the piece I was working on.

This last week I gifted a little table to a hard-working woman who always helps me out at the local Goodwill. Now that stores are reopened and we are “free” to move about I find myself wandering the aisles looking for a few fun pieces.

This table below is a Goodwill find and it intrigued me. Small enough to be a desk, large enough to be a dining room table. I had to have it. So, for a mere $60 I took this home and started to work. My first vision was to make it all white-washed. I started to get rid of the old finish, sanding, and scrubbing. And then applied the white wash to it. Nope. I just didn’t like the effect. I then went and bought some grey wood stain. Nope. Didn’t love that either. Back to the store I went and this time I came home with a dark espresso stain for the base. Then I opened a can of soft blue paint. I discovered that “DIY accidents” sometimes happen with the best results as I dipped my grey-stained paintbrush into the bucket with my light blue paint. FINALLY, a color combo that seemed to work. Next step… I placed some flower furniture transfers on the leaves of the table. I didn’t even notice the leaves until I got the piece home. Below are photos of the steps from “love at first sight” to the finished product.

It is all about looking unique!

I have figured out in a short amount of time that people want unique pieces of furniture. “Statement” pieces. And, during these difficult times where stores can take months to deliver, people really are finding different avenues for their decorating needs. These few pieces – again from Goodwill, ReStore by Habitat for Humanity, Beacon House in Long Beach, and your neighborhood estate and yard sales finds – all flew out of my garage. Some before I could even put the finishing touches on them.

Let’s talk “embellishments”…

I have found that people like the little “extras” when I redo a piece of furniture. The furniture rub-on/in transfers (found on Etsy, for example) are super popular.

Next is the type of handles or drawer pulls you use. The one I have on the left and right side pieces is a sea turtle in a shabby chic motif.

Color is important, too. I use almost exclusively Benjamin Moore paint. I know that a lot of people love chalk or special order paints. I buy high-quality paints that last. Popular colors seem to be shades of teal, light sage greens, dark purple, greys, and basic cream. Using more than one color can lead to a dramatic effect.

Don’t forget that kid furniture is fun, too!

I LOVE creating fun furniture for kids! Especially if I can add an “educational lesson” to it, too!

How can something so labor-intensive be relaxing and help to lower stress?

I am not a runner. I don’t even like to run. But, I do like to give myself challenges, and learning to refinish furniture and play with power tools was exactly what I needed to do to help muddle through a pandemic. And guess what, I decided to keep it up even after the pandemic settles – although from the looks of things I may have dozens more pieces of furniture ahead of me.

I also decided to expand. Why stick with just furniture. I can make smaller items that will help channel some creativity differently.

So, I started decorating boxes, picture frames, and just about anything that can be morphed into art and/or a gift. Here are some of the early designs. Oh – in case you haven’t figured it out – blues and purples are my fave colors.

You are never too old…

Perhaps the lesson to be learned here – you are never too old to try something new. It may at first seem impossible … but you will never know until you try. For me, “challenge accepted!”

You can find many of the products used on my designs via ETSY. Links below:*

Fairy Designs on the chairs, etc. can be found here

Several of the designs were using products from this Etsy store – MaikaDaughters

* I am not a brand ambassador for these stores at the time of writing this blog.

The Decided Heart Effect with Natasha Sattler (author of Shit Adults Never Taught Us) and Louise Sattler.

This past Friday, my daughter and myself were guests on the syndicated podcast The Decided Heart Effect) with hosts Hilary Bilbrey and Sonja Montiel. So, in lieu of a written blog I would like to invite you to watch our interview.

We covered a multitude of topics from parenting to mental health issues. And, we discussed Natasha’s newest book – Shit Adults Never Taught Us. Would love to know your thoughts on what we discussed?!

To order the book referenced: Shit Adults Never Taught Us CLICK here>>> ORDER

“SHIT ADULTS NEVER TAUGHT US” – What I LEARNED from my daughter’s self-help / mini-memoir.

One of the opening lines of her first journal from kindergarten read, “When I grw up I want to be a dwkter.” And, with a single affirmation began the career path for our daughter, Natasha Sattler. Yes, after honing her craft she now is an accomplished filmmaker, producer, and most recently author of a new book – SHIT ADULTS NEVER TAUGHT US.

Did the title take your breath away? It did mine, just for a second, the first time I read it. But, if you know anything about Natasha you know this – she does not hold anything back. She speaks her mind. She will talk and write with candor and a generous amount of humor. But, she will tell it like it is. Her journey is chronicled in this book – “no holds barred.” I for one am glad she didn’t try to be polite and politically correct. (I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree?)

SHIT ADULTS NEVER TAUGHT US (to be shortened by me as SANTU) is best described in one short quote:


But for those who are seeking a wee bit more context about the book, try this longer explanation that Natasha wrote for her book jacket and promotional materials:

We’ve made it this far, but after countless conversations with friends, it became obvious to me that our childhood education had a ton of gaps. Sure, we learned linear equations and got to dissect frogs for some reason, but no one taught us what the difference between an HMO and a PPO was and why it’s important. I took several years of Algebra but not once was a Mutual Funds class offered. 

That’s where Shit Adults Never Taught Us comes in. This book picks up where the adults left off and helps fill in all our insufficient knowledge by going beyond the Google search bar. 

Disguised as a self-help book, this mini-memoir uses personal experiences, including some epic failures, to guide you through the most perplexing moments in life. Shit Adults Never Taught Us covers a lot of topics: including career strategies, mental health, emotional quandaries, and navigating all of the WTF moments of adulthood.

Now the “Mom” perspective. I read the first and second draft of SANTU. First time I read it as if there was a disconnect – trying to put on my “objective hat”. Looking at the grammar and flow of the book. Yep, it seemed to check all the technical boxes.

The second time, I laughed, I cried, I had a few “aha moments”, and I reminisced. Here are a few of my personal favorites from the book:

And… I will read it again – the final polished version and this time I will wait for the phone to ring. You see, SANTU is raw. It is honest. It is FULL of profanity. It is Natasha’s truth and I am beaming with pride that she had the courage to tell it. It also may not sit well with people who may recognize the “cast of characters”. Too bad, I say. No one is mentioned by name. So, let the guessing begin.

What I truly am hoping is that the readers will learn more about the practical things in their life that may be missing. Perhaps a few lessons for all on how to deal with money, career choices, and buying “stuff” – like a car. Then there is the more heavy weighted material to digest and this is where the road gets a little uncomfortable. Natasha talks candidly about relationships, mental health (including her own), and grief. She has experienced her share of all of them from the end of long – term partnership to losing close friends way before their time. The book is written about her life juxtaposed with lessons to be learned – the sh*t that this parental unit may have forgotten to teach, school didn’t cover, or simply she found out (or didn’t) from “Mr.Google”. (Perhaps the desire to educate is genetic?)



To learn more straight from the author – check out recent podcast interviews and the SANTU website here.

Or click the images below to go straight to each podcast that has aired at the time of this blog being uploaded.

In closing, I welcome respectful comments and thank you for reading this blog.

Be well. Be safe. And if you bought the book- thank you!

THE SALON – an indie digital series completed during the pandemic

Back in the 1980’s I watched a very fun film that starred some of my favorites – Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Written and directed by Carl Reiner, this mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, chronicled a band and the film became a “cult classic”. I never in my wildest dreams would have predicted in those years that down the road I would work with one of the stars of this film in a series about a hair salon.

But, I did. And, I am.

A year ago, Roxanne Messina Captor enlisted me to help her “frame” an idea- a sequel to her 10 year old, Oscar qualified film – A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser. After a few months of her storyboarding, writing and honing her script- THE SALON a digital series – was born!

Louise with (L-R) Roxanne Messina Captor, Anthony Nex and Lori Glasgow

THE SALON is a new digital series that has a diverse and abundantly talented cast, including the very demure and zen, Harry Shearer.

One of the most fun, but challenging parts of working as a co-producer in the role of media marketing strategist, was helping to find locations and casting ten roles or more. Plus let the worldwide audience know through media updates.

Diversity and tackling contemporary issues in this series were key elements that Roxanne was laser focused on weaving in to THE SALON. As she unfolded the story, I could vision it in my head – and counted down the day to actually see it all come together for filming.

But first you need a cast and a crew!

Early in the casting was Kate Linder – who joined her Couple of White Chicks co-star Harry Shearer to reprise her role as Marsha Flagg.

Sam Rubin from KTLA agreed to join the cast, playing a cameo role. (And, bringing much humor to the set.)

Luis Jose Lopez and I met during the San Pedro Film Festival. He was part of a short film called Life Interrupted (Written and Directed by Steve Wishnoff, cast photo below). For The Salon Luis was cast as one of the leads, Ricardo, the new salon owner and boyfriend to Eddie (played by the very popular Deaf actor, Eddie Buck).

Candy Washington and I had met through the Celebrity Connected Gifting Suites. After several years of hanging out together at these events, we became friends. I recommended she meet Roxanne. Candy as “Nicole” proved to be a solid actress. (Pictured below)

The women in this cast all are very dynamic with great delivery of the script by the “GOSSIP LADIES”- played by Jeanette O’Connor, Jennifer Lee Weaver and Gail Bearden. They are very, very funny and are included in some of my favorite scenes.

On the left- Jeanette O’Connor with Candy Washington.

Chala Savino and Vanessa Garcia (below) are two very gifted actors who gave performances that brought me to tears. (Oops – should have said spoiler alert first.) One of the strongest themes involves their relationship and unlikely friendship.

Of all the roles, the hardest for Roxanne to fill was for the salon’s resident make-up artist, Abimbola. Akende Munalula was the perfect person casted for this part. Teamed with Derek Warburton in many scenes – the two of them ping-pong between the comedic and the dramatic throughout the series.

Lastly, the ingenue was played by Mason Grammer in her debut film role. She was perfect as Judy – the receptionist and Mason has a bright future in acting. Derek, Mason and Akende are pictured above from a photo taken on the set.

After a few months of assembling a cast, finding a perfect location (thank you to Anthony Nex Studios), and asking more than one favor from friends to help as crew – THE SALON was filmed and on time. The bonus came when the series’ music was set to the amazing tunes of Judith Owen. She is incredible!

What a year it has been!

Now it is a year later from when Roxanne “birthed” THE SALON proposal. Much has transpired – including a world that is topsy-turvey. Despite a Covid 19 pandemic, social unrest and much heartbreak – THE SALON’s team managed to finish with post – production and preview to audiences. Collectively all of us associated with this grassroots series have hoped to bring a bit of levity to a world that so needs to find a reason to laugh.

And guess what? – The series is on the track to the world of the Emmy® with step one done – being submitted for consideration! Working as the media producer for the film, I find myself on a very steep, albeit exciting, learning curve.

So, I invite you to enjoy getting to know THE SALON by watching the trailer below or if you are a television academy member viewing it on their For Your Consideration (FYC) OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM SERIES COMEDY OR DRAMA – CATEGORY 93

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If you are a member in niche categories – please also consider the following:

Roxanne Messina Captor for Director

Harry Shearer and Luis Jose Lopez for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Series- Comedy or Drama (Category 81)

Jeanette O’Connor for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series- Comedy or Drama (Category 82)

Judith Owen for music. (Category 63)

THE SALON is from Executive Producers – Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo. Learn more on IMDB.


Which Candidate will I “SWIPE RIGHT” if they match my political wishlist?

Unless you are in hiding with no digital or printed news – then you know this is an election year in the United States. I have been waiting for this “season” since the last election.

I don’t want to start a political firestorm or radical debate. But, I will say this election is odd as NONE of the candidates seem to represent ME.

What to do? Super Tuesday is right around the corner! How will I decide? Can I decide?

I thought of writing a pros and cons list of each candidate. That simply will take much more time than I wish to dedicate to this quest. So, I will write a list of qualities I am looking for in the leader of the United States. I understand that I won’t find my perfect leader who will tick off all the boxes. But… I hope that I will find someone who will be the Presidential candidate who best aligns with my ” Preferred Quality List”. In other words I am seeking my political “swipe right” match.

What I want in the President of the United States is someone who ….

Exhibits rational behavior with a history of no pathology of doing harm emotionally or physically to others or him/herself

Has read and studied the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and all other important documents related to our country.

Has read and studied US HISTORY, WORLD HISTORY, and ECONOMICS.

Has read and studied about military history and the complexity of international relations during times of peace and war.

Has great family relationships

Kind to animals, children and the elderly,

More likely to give a compliment than wait for one.

Believes in the value of a great education for all people. Whether at a university or preschool.

Believes in the value of teachers, and all who mentor, guide or help others.

Believes that everyone has the right to excellent health care.

Will accept responsiblity to care for our environment

***Will represent the United States of America with integrity, dignity and humility on the world stage***.

Speaks more than one language (preference, but not a deal breaker)

Understands that there are cultural differences in this world.

Accepts people that are different.

Believes that the drug crisis is due to mental health issues and much more – That it is complicated. The same for homelessness.

Values our active military and veterans. Believes that those who have served deserve the very best in job placement, educational opportunities, health care and much more.

Uses the word WE much more than I

Is honest.

Has integrity.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Is physically healthy.’

Likes children

Accepts responsibly

Accepts collaboration.


Knows right from wrong.

Broad thinker and accepts opinions that are divergent.

Believes laughter is a good medicine.

Has a thick skin but is exceptionally kind to others.

Would risk his/her own life to save another.

Has a dog, cat, goldfish, or other pet.

Realizes that social media is for social conversation not political policy

Able to speak in a regular tone and not yell, screech or badger

and most of all HAS A MORAL COMPASS

What I don’t care about in our next president…

Gender – If the potential leader is a man/ woman or does not identify .

Religion of the potential leader

Race. I don’t care what color is their skin, eyes, or hair. I truly don’t.

What state they come from (other than their state of mind)

What political party they represent (or don’t)

If they are straight or a member of the LGBTQ… community

If they are pro or anti gun.

If they went to a top university

If they are married

If they have children

If they drive a fancy car

Their worth in dollars instead of “sense”.

As I am typing this article I have received more than one text or email from political candidates asking if I am voting for “their person”. My answer is the same- I am undecided and also I am profoundly disappointed by the behavior of all candidates. I hope that I will find a person who matches my wishlist of qualities. I hope that we will find a common sense leader who I can respect.

I have a lot of homework to do before Super Tuesday – March 3rd.


I believe that people love social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok. because they are a DISTRACTION. I don’t mean a physical distraction – such as when person interrupts you from doing your job. It is the distraction of social media has become the “excuse” to be passive about current events and even open the door for people to not care about “front page news”. We have become a world that just doesn’t know the difference between “REAL BREAKING NEWS” and “REALITY TV NEWS”. In my “humble opinion” this phenomenon happens because we are victims to the social media magnet that causes our brain to be DISTRACTED!

I invite you to dive in to this topic a bit deeper with me. Here are some examples from “news” items for the week of January 20, 2020.

News Item 1. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Harry and Megan) are now “out of the senior royal family” and have moved to Canada. Good for them. I wish them, and Canada – much success.

News Item 2. A new trending hashtag (#DollyPartonChallenge) is causing a frenzy. Yes, my friends are uploading FOUR QUAD photos of ourselves with the captions FACEBOOK/ INSTAGRAM/ LINKEDIN and TINDER. I was distracted. I made one. See below. (*Blushing*)

News Item 3. Betty White had a birthday and we all have to post our well-wishes to our favorite Golden Girl! (Newsflash- she won’t read them.)

News Item 4. Eli Manning is retiring from football. (Newsflash #2 – some of us thought he already did.)

By the way, there also were two OTHER ” little” stories that seemed to get a few mentions…

1) The Corona Virus from China is rapidly spreading and causing much concern among the travel and medical communities. There is NO CURE, NO VACCINE and this is SERIOUS. To read about this ACTUAL NEWS STORY go here

Compound this breaking news with another “minor” story….

2) The Senate is holding impeachment hearings and there is chaos happening in Washington DC. When Nixon, even Clinton had offenses that warranted Senate hearings – there was nothing but these proceedings on TV and the radio 24/7. This was NEWS. The person who held the highest office in the United States was being put on trial. This was a BIG DEAL. I think it is worthy of a mention and way for you to learn more. PBS has great non-biased coverage.

What if you don’t want ANY NEWS on your timeline. You just want “rainbows and unicorns”? (Or selfies, puppy photos and baby videos) Well.. you can be distracted by these “happy posts” –

Below you will find a popular post that has made the rounds for a few months (or more). Notice the key to this post is to end negativity. (Yes, I posted photos of Bayla… I buckled under peer pressure. But, I also balanced that photo with a tweet about current events and the earthquake LA area had last night.)

I’m asking people to join the challenge of posting a picture of their dog. Only one photo, no description. The goal is to flood FB with positive dog pictures instead of negativity. Please copy the text into your status, post one photo of your dog and watch for some great photos! (Dog friends, jump right in.) ❤️

Facebook January 2020

As promised, my shameless QUAD IMAGE for the silly and useless #DollyPartonChallenge

I close with these cautionary words… Don’t live in a social media cocoon. Learn about the world around you. Locally. Nationally. Globally. And learn the difference between “news” that is meant as a distraction and focusing on real “breaking news”.

Thank you for reading.

Why I am Not a Fan of “Labor Day” Weekend

I am not a fan of “Labor Day” weekend. First, similar to other holidays we celebrate in the United States – let’s face it – the use of “day” in the name is a misnomer. For some, “Labor Day” is an entire week of last minute vacation time or at the very least a four-day attempt to get the final moments of surf and sand!

Labor Day – 1960’s-1970’s

When I was young this weekend meant that summer was done and school was to begin. Yes, I liked the idea of going to the FIRST day of school. But, after that – I was not necessarily “in the mood”. I would have much rather been running around with friends until the “lights came on” and wait evenings for the ice-cream truck to stop at the nearby corner. Now, I was being relegated to sit in a row in a school – sans air conditioning – on what was predictably some of the hottest days of the year. Toss in the fact that I had a hefty dose of ADHD and sitting in a chair for HOURS after a couple of months of freedom, was for me – torture!

Labor Day 1977

Labor Day 1977 meant I was going to load a car up and drive the 7 hours from my house to the University of Delaware. While I was “all in” to enjoy living away from home and starting life as a collegiate – I was scared and second -guessing the distance. (Those feelings didn’t last more than a few days, by the way!)

Labor Day 1987 – 2007

When I had children my favorite part of their year (and mine) was indeed – Summer. We initiated the Adventurer’s Club – where each week one child would have the exciting “duty” to choose where we would explore in our local area. From museums to hiking state parks, we relished in the knowledge that we can come and go as we please. The lack of schedule and desire to explore on these mini-staycations were some of the most memorable moments of my parenting school-aged kids. Honestly, there were many times I “got” homeschooling.

Labor Day – My Mature Years

Now as a person with no children at home and my own business – Summer seems to roll in to Fall with nearly a blink. Except for a few notable changes. First, Labor Day weekend means that Hallmark stores (and others) seem to wave a magic wand and all their Christmas ‘stuff’ appears on shelves. Yes, we seem to bypass all other holidays and go straight to Christmas.

Positive Note: Fall also does bring one positive element- cheaper travel rates. Hubby and I often like to take advantage of this time of the year.

Back to my list… Labor Day also means that floral scents are replaced with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg spices. Good-bye fruit pies and say hello to pumpkin pie! Not to worry – I love fruit and pumpkin pies!

Lastly and my main “complaint” – This time of year means people become more serious. We wear our “school or work clothes” and put away the fun flip-flop sandals.. We accept, begrudgingly, a life with more regimental scheduling of our day and less time to sit and chat without rushing. And clearly many of us forget the care-free and relaxed feelings of summertime. UGH!

Now you know, my friends, why I am not a fan of Labor Day weekend.

In case you are curious – here is the history of Labor Day.

National Comedy Center – Destination Laughter!

Laughter IS the common language of our world. And, you will find much of it at the National Comedy Center!

From Vaudeville to the Family Guy and every genre of comedy in between – you will find them here in Jamestown, New York!

When you think of destination spots for vacations one usually doesn’t pick Jamestown – until now. The National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Museums are about to invigorate this sleepy hamlet located in Western New York the way that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revived Cleveland, Ohio.

Read more about other Western New York location gems here.

In order to truly appreciate this “cultural center” you really need to experience it first person. But, I will try my best to give you a close-up account my words and the images snapped from my trusty iPhone 8 plus.

More than 50 immersive exhibits take visitors on an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville acts to the latest viral memes.

National Comedy Center Website:

There is so much to see and “feel” at this center. I can’t stress enough how you need to experience it for yourself. AND EVERY ADULT can access this place. The accessibility factor is super!

To entice you to indeed visit I have devised a TOP 10 list of my favorite “things” about the National Comedy Center. I encourage you to add to my list in the comment section.

Tip 1. Come early and plan on staying several hours!

The center opens at ten. Arrive early to beat the crowds and be able to take in the exhibits without feeling rushed. If you have have all day opt for the pass that allows you entry to the Lucille Ball – Desi Arnaz museum AND the National Comedy Center. Both are amazing and you will be glad you did!

Note: Wear comfortable shoes and bring Kleenex. You will need it to wipe the tears from belly laughs throughout your stay.

TIP 2: Go all out – immerse yourself!

The first step of this experience is to get a wrist band that allows for digital engagement throughout the center. You can use the code to ‘vote” for favorite actors, comedy shows and more! Also, to receive content to your inbox that you generate – you will need to have this “techie wristband”.

Note: The first time I visited I was shy about sharing my personal info so I made a bogus email and name. Bad move. This didn’t allow me to get any of my saved content that I generated along my visit. The second time I was forthcoming and sure enough – when I got back to my hotel there were my interactive videos, etc. waiting for me in my inbox!

And… Don’t forget to wave to yourself when you walk through the entry way!

Above the entry way door you will spot your welcome message!

Tip 3 – Meander among the history of comedy, famous quotes and more

One of the very first exhibits you will encounter is a homage to comedy writers. Plus, a whole section dedicated to the humor of George Carlin. I spent quite a bit of time in this first section not realizing how expansive the remainder of the place was. But, I loved George Carlin and I was thrilled to see such a large exhibit about his genius and tumultuous history of censorship.

Now move on to the the first truly interactive room allows you to see behind the camera- literally. You also can pull up a chair and pick one of your favorite comics to perform. Dana Carvey got us off to a great start!

There are quotes and jokes along the way for all to enjoy. On windows of a walkway between sections of the building you will find great quotes that give you just enough chuckle. They also lead you in to an exhibit of a timeline of comedy in the United States. And, when you are done here – stop as you shouldn’t bypass the writer’s library. This area has some hidden gems – so go enjoy them!

Tip 4: Sit and stay.

There are several places that offer you a place to sit and watch a show, movie, news reel or interactive exhibit. Sit and stay for a while in these areas. Lingering is encouraged as there is sooooo much to see and reminisce. One of the areas I spent the most time was a huge wall with an interactive board of comedy influence – called The Continuum. It was fascinating to literally connect the dots between one comedian to another.

(Shameless side note: I will be working with Harry Shearer this October… guess what I am going to show him?! See below.)

Tip 5. Get a drink and a snack.

This place may seem a bit overwhelming with hysteria. So you may need to refuel. Lucky for you there is a snack bar easily accessible to the exhibits. Prices are fairly standard and won’t break the budget.

Tip 6 – Play with toys.

There is a section that shows you how props were used in comedic scenes, such as Saturday Night Live. . I missed this section during my first visit but went purposely to see it during my second. It was so much fun! Again, playing with toy props is encouraged! Also, a good place for older kids to explore.


Tip 7 – Become part of the act!

There are several opportunities to become part of the show. You can do you own improv stand-up comedy routines. You also can sit in a booth an insert yourself in to several well known scenes from past comedies such as I Love Lucy. Hubby and I took a few photos as Ethel and Fred Mertz.

Tip 8: Go Blue… Go if you dare…

The Blue Room is “rude, crude and at times socially unacceptable”. It also highlights some of the most “on the edge ” comediennes during the past century. I loved this room. It wasn’t salacious but more educational, if comedy that makes you blush can be that. So, if you want to see Richard Pryor, James Carlin, Amy Schumer, Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and many more at their comedic best – take the elevator to the BLUE ROOM floor. No kids allowed. Read the caution below before entering. And, be prepared. The F-word is used liberally like salt is sprinkled on fries.

Tip 9: Keep going – there is so much more to do!

Just when you thought you were done with the exhibits here you will happen upon one of the most fun gift shops … anywhere. This place alone is a homage to comedy! Stay. Laugh. Purchase.

When you are done keep going and make your way to the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Museum a short walk away. If you find yourself hungry – stop for lunch at one of the several little cafes you will find along the streets.

Jamestown also is a stone’s throw to the famous Chautauqua Lake and institute.

Like some night life? Head east to the Seneca Nation Casino and Resort. They have a number of bands that play there, including Peter Frampton who packed the house!

Much to do here in Western New York!

Related: Places to eat and stay in Jamestown

Last Tip – #10 – Avail yourself of the events at the National Comedy Center and make plans to come back!

There is so much that happens at the National Comedy Center- especially in the summer months when the tourist season is at full peak. I am so bummed I won’t be there this week as August 7-11th is the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival with top comedians headlining.

Get your tickets here

And, just look at who contributed to this center and advises the programming, etc.!

Something to consider…

Our world is a bit topsy-turvy these days. In fact, there is so much dissension and violence that laughter gets lost in our collective worry and grief. We NEED a place like the National Comedy Center to help remind us about good times and good people. After all, laughter IS the best medicine.

Lastly, a special shout-out to the wonderful staff at the National Comedy Center. Gary Hahn and Adrienne (sorry forgot your last name) – both were super attentive and answered all my questions to help me prepare for this article. I hope our paths cross again – very soon! And, special thanks to all the staff – they were nice to every person who walked through their doors!