Friday, December 19, 2008

A Weekend's Dose of Glamour & Grace

This photo reminds me of glamour and grace at its ultimate. Below, I've gone on to list several more that have summoned similar sentiments, although none as perfect as the picture above:

One glamorous post.
And one glamorous blog.
Sumptuous conversation over drinks prepared by renowned barman Colin Field of the Hemingway Bar in Paris.
A literary tour of said Parisian city.
The Odeon three years ago, a glass of wine in hand, an English screening of Marie Antoinette, and the feeling of absolute contentment as one sinks into those plush velvet seats.
Find subtle glamour and grace at this Big Sur destination.
The book more than the movie, although I prefer the movie over most others.
Valentino makes tangible both glamour and grace via this classic design. 
Standard Florentine winter-wear
Newport's most fashionable and thus glamorous Christmas tree.
The Maltese Falcon, a yacht as graceful as it is revolutionary.

[photo via]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A French Escape

Another fantastic and colorful post from Danielle de Lange of The Style Files. But this time, she brings you a darling French weekend home. I am such the color addict.

[photos from Marie Claire Maison via The Style Files]

Such Color

I'm a huge fan of Danielle de Lange's blog, The Style Files. She's recently posted on the London home of painter/sculptor/designer Lisa Whatmough, the woman behind Squint Limited. I love everything about this colorful home, especially the curtains.

[photos from Marie Claire Maison via The Style Files]


Intrigued by a recent TRKFLD ad in the latest Nylon issue, I did a bit of online exploring. Their bags appear durable and functional, like each was designed with a specific purpose in mind. I love this Bob bag, above.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gum Tree on Pier

This afternoon I stopped by Gum Tree, a darling new eco-friendly shop on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach.  The store is an older home, airy and simple and very beachy in style, with a welcoming porch and equally as welcoming owners.

I loved it all (the delicate gold jewelry, a bold and colorful beaded necklace, the j'e t'aime throw pillow, Matisse: Dance For Joy by Susan Goldman Rubin, a cardboard playhouse perfect for the wildly creative and artistic kid), but ended up purchasing a Brazilian wish bracelet as a gift for my best friend.  The owner explained that the bracelet is tied to the wrist with three knots, and each after each knot, the wearer makes a wish.  The bracelet is worn until it falls off, and then the wishes are said to come true.  Hope is often a necessary gift to give, I think.

Gum Tree supports local merchants and carries a variety of eco-friendly design and lifestyle merchandise, children's products included.  It's a one-stop shop for gifts (and for you, of course). The owners, a husband and wife team, are as friendly & sweet as can be; the wife runs the shop and the husband runs the Gum Tree Cafe.  The cafe was closed when I stopped by, but you can be certain I will absolutely be back.  I've already scoured the darling menu I was handed on my way out.  

The cafe serves breakfast and lunch (open Tuesday - Sunday from 7am-4pm).  Everything looks so delicious it's all I can do to stop myself from typing out the entire menu.  I'll appease my mouth-watering by listing their menu categories instead: 

"at gum tree, we strive to use organic & locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.  we are committed to your health & the health of our environment."

toasties and spreads (vegemite, nutella, jam, or peanut butter)
croissants/scones/muffins assorted fresh daily
organic greek yogurt
breakfast sandwiches (think aged cheddar w/ vegemite & tomato on sourdough, or brie & apricot preserves on baguette, or grilled mushroom, egg, bacon, & feta on ciabatta)
fresh fruits/eggs
sandwiches (free range turkey, veggie, etc)
salads (roasted beet, melbourne greek, chopped, etc)
shared plates (Mediterranean dips, artisanal cheese plate)
seasonal soup of the day
lamington (sponge cake dipped in chocolate & rolled in coconut)
assorted cookies
Aussie candy bars
Tim Tams
imported coffee & teas
milo hot cocoa
fresh squeezed juices
bottled drinks

Can't wait to think up an excuse to go back.  

238 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Early Weekend Perspective

Sometimes I feel like this on the weekends:

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possibly in life.  And I am horribly limited. [Sylvia Plath]

Because I find myself: Stressed over not being able to do all of the un-stressful things I’d like to be doing.

So then I remind myself:

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. [Unknown]

And then I feel: Better about things.  

And I realize everything will get done, in addition to confetti-ing my mundane with my creative.  With that, I’m off to trend more to the productive side of life.

Ciao ciao and as ever,


Get In Here

[Found here, thank you le love.]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

COOKING with Cormac McCarthy as told to Craig Brown

I loved this article in last month's Vanity Fair enough to print on card stock and give as Christmas gifts to my culinary-loving counterparts:

But Good.

And salt.
And water.
And Fire.

Place the pasta in the water and the salt in the water and the water in the pot and the pot on the fire.
In the pot? The fire in the pot?
No. The water in the pot. The pot on the fire.
The pasta in the water?
Yes, in the water.
And the salt in the fire?
No. The salt in the water.
And the water on the fire?
No. The water in the pot and the pot on the fire. Not the water on the fire. For then the fire will die and dying be dead.
Nor will the water boil and the pasta will drain dry and not cooked and hard to the teeth.

The salt falls nor does it cease to fall.
The water boils. So be it.
Cease from placing your hand in the boiling water. Place your hand in the boiling water and it will cause you pain.
Much pain?
Very much pain.

the pot the bubbles bubble up and bubble some more. The bubbles are
bubbly. Never more bubbly bubbles bubbling bubbliest. And having
bubbled the bubbles still bubbly.
Or bubblier?
Or bubblier.
Across the kitchen a board intended for chopping. Here. Take it. Chop.
What will I chop? There are no ingredients to chop.
Just chop. Don't cease from chopping. To chop is to become a man.

After 10 minutes. The pasta stiff and dry and upright no more. The pasta lank and wet and soft. In the eternal damp of water.
Pour water free like some ancient anointing. The pasta left alone in the pot. Alone and naked.
The salt? Where's the salt?
The salt is gone. Lost to the water and gone forever.
I grieve for the salt.
It is the salt for which I grieve.

Tip the pasta out.
The pasta?
Yes. Tip it out. Onto.
A plate?
Yes. And stop.
Finishing your sentences?
Because it's so.

in your memory anywhere of anything so good. Now the pasta is eaten.
Disappeared. The pasta disappeared as everything disappeared. As the
comma disappears and the semicolon disappears and the inverted comma
disappears and the apostrophe disappears and the adjectives and the
pronouns all disappear.
Leaving just full stops and And.
And And?
And And.
And And.

[See page 268 in the December 2008 issue of Vanity Fair.]

And yes.

[Found here.]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quote D'Jour

At the side of the everlasting Why! there is a yes!  And a yes!  And a yes!

A Room With A View by E.M. Forrester 
...because I am desperately missing Florence.

Idée Fixe

Mmm sigh.

The Vega by Nixon
I like to splatter my life with a startling of pink on occasion.

John Derian's plates
I'm just dying to start my own collection.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quote D'Jour

I am seeking, I am striving. I am in it with all my heart. [Vincent van Gogh]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Write This Sitting in the Kitchen Sink

This is my first creative piece I'd like to share.  I figure, once I share them all, maybe I'll start writing again.  Because I'll have nothing more to share unless I do.  We shall see.  So, here goes!

Ole Blue Eyes by Genevieve
Spring Sale at Bendel's, 1921 by Florine Stettheimer

Poof. Purple firecrackers dance about, all swirly-whirly above my head. I’m not sure who is celebrating what, but I decide it would be nice to join in. I’m especially glad I’ve brought along extra scuba masks to thank the hosts for their kindness. The party room is a marble checkerboard, and it shines like the booty inside of a treasure chest. There are no pirates about though, all stringy and sour-looking. Instead, giggly people sit on giant arm chairs and golden beanbags. Others tumble past me, turning cartwheels and walking on their hands, flipping this way and that. A silk knapsack as big as a cheese wheel sits in a wagon by the door. The sign says Take One Already! and I do. I reach in and pull out a kazoo. It is new and it is blue. The blue happens to be my favorite kind of blue – the kind I catch the ocean mixing when he thinks I’m not looking. I play my kazoo heartily and my “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” tune draws a crowd. They skip around me and I feel alive. Waiters in emerald cummerbunds appear with snickerdoodles and star-fruit and banana hot chocolate. I plop down on a golden beanbag and the fireworks above fade. Instead, the stars become electric, like small flashy buttons, and I rearrange the Little Dipper with my pointer finger. A red velvet cape drapes around me and the chill disappears. I stand up and bow because that is what I do when I wear a red velvet cape. Such decadence, I think. Eternal bubbles and Tupperware drums and wooden spoons bumble around in the shiny marble room. I pick up a bubble as big as a fishbowl. I shake it and it jingles, and I draw it in my mind so I don’t forget its beauty. The bubble reminds me of my zebra, and I realize that I’ve left his cinnamon toast in my fort under the stairs. I thank my hosts. “I had a wonderful time. My favorite part was everything.” They smile and look beautiful in their scuba masks. And before the fiddlers have fled, I return home while I still have got that shine.