unfinished business: done is better than perfect


bonjour toute le monde, ça va? we’re officially in the throes of the holiday season which means we should basically be enjoying ourselves during this time of cozy appreciation. i don’t know about you but for me it also comes with the pressure of feeling there’s so much to do before the end of the year (but then again most of the excitement usually happens in the last quarter of any good game). have you ever had the feeling that no matter how much you work that it’s never enough? me too. in fact i’ve been living in that headspace for quite a while. i’ve been working on my website as well as other platforms, and no matter how much i add, it’s just never enough to impress me. well as of today, i’m turning that thought around to instead understand it’s more important to keep going and allow ‘what is’ to be good enough. not much in life is ever truly finished anyway, most of it’s a work in progress. oh sure you can finish a book or a movie but we as people are never quite done and neither if you’re in business, is the business of business. with that said, instead of waiting to unveil some great new website or send out a vip holiday sale email blast, i figured why not just post what we’ve been up to over at TPA for the past few weeks and survey the situation.

paris boxes


truth is i enjoy buying and selling and love the pieces that are curated on my site. i got these little boxes last time i was in paris. they’re just small hinged cardboard but the details are truly exquisite with papered edges, embossed labels and gold edges. they were packaging for metal tips for ink pens. such a simple thing that someone preserved and something we’d no doubt toss without a second thought today when we buy a packaged pen. funny how for 100 years, these passed through hands that knew they were more than just packaging to be discarded and were in fact, kind something to cherish.



this little jewel box is one i picked up in paris and carried it carefully from that moment on. i love old mirrored frames, trays, boxes and dresser accessories. this one is lined with pink silk and is from the 1940s. it’s absolutely perfect (i don’t think it was ever used) and i would love to keep it for myself. but then again, i only buy the things i love and would want to own. for the time that they’re mine i am super respectful of them which is why it’s so heartbreaking if something old breaks in my care.



and that’s one of the reasons i always look for artists’ sketchbooks and albums. the one above belonged to mademoiselle jenny martin. they’re not breakable although i must say they’re incredbily delicate. jenny’s book has the most beautiful sketches and paintings of what must have been daily life for her. the drawing of the saucer in the first photo is also hers. i think she may have been a designer as well as a dreamer…




this little beauty is actually in english although i found it in italy. the author writes witty phrases and dates the book around 1831. he also sketches and cuts out colored images like this one of the milkmaid pining for her far away lover. some things never change…





i vowed to update my site in a way that’s managable instead of trying to cram it all in a once and getting burned out. but even inanimate objects take a lot of zhushing as you know to be picture perfect. these are linens are freshly washed and pressed, straight from paris. they’re really a peek into history and have been waiting to get to their rightful new owner for way too long. each is monogrammed with initials fom BF (best friend)? to slightly iinterpretive and each has a unique weight and feel from silky to rough. they were probably made for someone’s hopeful trousseau although, they seem to almost have never been used. another case of preserving the finer things for the next generation?




as i mentioned all inanimate objects need love which means polishing silver, brass, chrome when pulling out the holiday table top decor that’s been waiting in the wings. but we have lots of bling to make a subtle statement. i decided not to be so hard on myself since cleaning and restoring each item can be a big job. this champagne bucket is silver on copper which took a lot of patience and elbow grease to restore.


malkiy-louge-sofa-modern-contemporary-furniture-8creme chaise


these chaises are part of a project i’m collaborating on with companies like koket and boco de lobo. i wanted to introduce them but hey, guess i just did, n’es pas? more on that soon…


so as you can see, not everything is centered around the holidays and gifting, we’re always adding to the line and taking on new designers to grow the brand. this is acrylic and brass pull is super chic on a new or vintage piece for a quick update.




but of course i’ll continue to add so that we have the perfect hostess gift and will keep up the pace over the next few weeks. but i actually just breathed a sigh of relief. maybe it was all in my head, the self imposed deadlines and countdowns. maybe there really is no finish line, no big cyber monday or small business saturday. for me it’s all day every day, and that means doing the things i enjoy, taking something old and refubishing it, or stewarding old items and preserving heirlooms. the good news is that i just finished my goal for the day which means i can head out to a holiday soirée without guilt. et alors, off i go to get ready. happy saturday to you!

November 28, 2015. Holidays, Life. 1 comment.

all things bright and beautiful

Silver-serving dish-tpa

bon matin et happy tuesday. how’s your week going? this is kind of a random post, but i took this photo yesterday and it greeted me when i popped the top on my computer just now. i wasn’t sure exactly why i wanted to photograph this covered dish before it shipped but as i sit and write this morning i realize it’s not just cause i liked it, especially after polishing it up (although my hands look like a mechanic’s), but for a couple other reasons too. first of all i imagine it’s going to someone who will use it on their beautiful table settings throughout the holidays. i can see them lifting the cover and their guests gasping in delight over whatever family favorite delectable is underneath. next it was a reason to get my camera out. i’ve heard photographers should shoot something every day. it’s a chance be creative but i never seem to get around to enjoying that aspect of my work. i was happy the background was blurred as that’s a technique i’ve always loved but never seem to capture. yet here it is in one shot! not to keep droning on but actually that was another  yet minor-major revelation…i don’t need to take a thousand pictures. finally, there’s an end result and a bit of comfort in seeing something come full circle. i’m not saving the world but i am trying to build a business, curate products that will become heirlooms, keep up with the daily grind, take technical photos for the site etc. so seeing this simple picture this morning is a bit of a wakeup call. that it’s just as important to loop around and enjoy my business life. to take the pictures of the vignettes, even though my handwritng has become terrible, carefully handwrite thank you notes, wrap packages with bows and send each off with gratitude. take time to truly savor these items, their presence, history and new life. last but not least…i’m thinking of contacting the silver polish company to see how we can work together since i’ve been recommending them (just with gloves from now on :)!

ok by the by…what with the world events going on i never got the chance to announce the winner of the book giveaway, (the paris cocktail book). et alors…let’s take it to the random number generator, hold please….ok that was really random…it hit number one. so, ok! the winner is emma mitchell. congrats, it’s a wonderful book. (i’ll see if i can get the author, doni to send us another).

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.54.51 AM

in the meantime, since we’re here…i did happen to get yet another book by jennifer scott, a darling little number called ‘Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic’. she has with this one, officially created a series. very inspiring. so, we’re giving it away and if you’d like to enter to win it, you know what to do~


last but not least as i was thinking of a title for this post, came across this quote from mother teresa and thought it was apropos. have a great day cheres amis!


November 24, 2015. Giveaway, Life. 16 comments.

liberté, égalité, fraternité


bon soir et bon weekend. i hope you’re with the ones you love on this friday night. it’s already been a week since the paris attack and i wanted to touch base look at who was lost in the tragic events. i found photos of some of them, their names, ages and descriptions on the BBC website.  they’ll continue to add to it and invite their readers and viewers to do the same. the ages and careers of each individual are as varied as you’d expect but almost all were described in one way: kind, gentle and happy. it seems if there were any justice in this world, that the mean, angry and brutal would have been taken instead. but alas, ours is not to reason why…i certainly don’t have the answers but as i took a screenshot and was about to upload it, it occurred to me that it would be wrong to name the photo below victims.jpg and changed it to messengers.jpg. ‘kind, gentle and happy’ will be the message, and i’ll try to remember to be that each morning from now on.

i know many of us are thinking of these souls tonight, as they’re our sisters and brothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and children although we have never met. we feel the pain of losing any human life, especially unexpectedly, especially on a day that was bright and hopeful, just like any other we may have taken for granted. sadly this is happening on a daily basis around the world and in truth, probably always has. it will continue until we as see ourselves as a Human Race and believe that we are all created equal, and life is precious. til that day we can take solace in the unwavering unity and dedication to create a civilized world with those who pursue liberté, égalité, fraternité. oh, and happiness. 

bonne nuit mes amis. 



Charlotte & Emilie Meaud, 29

Twin sisters Charlotte and Emilie Meaud died at Le Carillon. Charlotte was in charge of investments in start-up firms at Scientipole, a venture capital firm. Emilie was an architect with Chartier Dalix.

Chloe Boissinot, 25

Chloe Boissinot was a student of land management who was dining at Le Petit Cambodge. She was originally from Château-Larcher in the Poitou-Charentes region, where 150 people held a silence in her honour. Neighbours there told France Bleu Poitou she came from a generous family.

Christophe Mutez, 48

Christophe Mutez was an employee of PROS France, a software firm. He died in the Bataclan attack. He is described as “kind and generous” in online tributes.

Christophe Lellouche, 33

Christophe Lellouche, was a fan of l’Olympique de Marseille football club and was a former online communications professional. He died at the Bataclan. A friend told La Provence newspaper how Christophe had helped him through a period of severe illness.

Christopher Neuet-Shalter, 39

Christopher Neuet-Shalter was a digital marketing consultant from Paris and father of an 11-year-old girl. “He was kind, sweet, bright, always there for those close to him,” his partner told Le Parisien newspaper. “If you mentioned his daughter’s name, his face lit up.”

David Perchirin, 41

David Perchirin, 41, was a journalist turned schoolteacher. He taught in Seine-Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. He died at the Bataclan. His contemporaries at university said he had been a “major figure in student life”.

Fanny Minot, 29

Fanny Minot was an editor at Le Petit Journal, a satirical TV news programme. Presenter Yann Barthes paid tribute to her at the start of Monday’s broadcast. She died at the Bataclan. “She was such a loving, compassionate person, with such an adventurous view on life,” a friend told the Associated Press news agency.

Franck Pitiot, 33

Franck Pitiot was an engineering graduate who studied at Nancy, in the east of France. He was at the Bataclan concert. His engineering school paid tribute to his kindness and warmth.

 Helene Muyal, 35

Helene Muyal, 35, died at the Bataclan and leaves behind a husband and son aged 17 months. She was a make-up artist who worked on fashion shoots. Her husband Antoine Leiris wrote a passionate piece on Facebook addressed to his wife’s killers after seeing her body. “I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know. You are dead souls. I won’t give you the gift of my hatred. It’s what you sought, but answering hate with anger would be to surrender to the same ignorance that has made you what you are.”

Hugo Sarrade, 23

Hugo Sarrade, 23, was killed at the Bataclan. He was studying at a university in Montpellier and was in Paris to spend the weekend with his father and to go to the concert. “Hugo played the guitar and loved rock music. He was loving and full of kindness, and so open to other cultures and ways of life,” his father Stephane said.

Jean-Jacques Amiot, 68

Jean-Jacques Amiot was a silkscreen printer who was at the Bataclan. “A pacifist, a gentle man,” his brother told French newspaper the Telegramme.

Kheireddine Sahbi, 29

Kheireddine Sahbi was a masters student in ethnomusicology caught up in the restaurant attacks. “He was an Algerian virtuoso violinist, who came to hone his skills in Paris, and was heavily involved in traditional musical groups at the university,” said the president of the Sorbonne.

Lamia Mondeguer, 30

Lamia Mondeguer was an agent for artists and a dual French-Egyptian citizen.

Lola Ouzounian, 17

Her father said: “May my little angel rest in peace, and may her smile remain ingrained in our memories forever.”

Lola Salines, 28

Lola Salines was an editor at Grund, a publishing company. According to Liberation newspaper, she was in a roller derby team and travelled widely as a child.

Lucie Dietrich, 37

Lucie Dietrich was a graphic designer at L’Etudiant (Student) magazine.

Mathias Dymarski, 22

Mathias Dymarski was a keen BMX rider and recent civil engineering graduate who studied in Metz, in north-east France, and was a project manager at a business in Paris. He was the boyfriend of Marie Lausch who also died at the Bataclan.

Matthieu de Rorthais, 32

Matthieu de Rorthais, 32, a music lover who had recovered from cancer. “He was kind, gentle and sensitive,” his cousin said.

Olivier Vernadal, 44

Olivier Vernadal, 44, was a tax officer from Ceyrat in the Auvergne region of France. A keen footballer, his home town decided to name its stadium after him to honour his memory.

Pierre Innocenti, 40

Pierre Innocenti, 40, was a manager at Chez Livio restaurant in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was killed alongside his cousin Stephane Albertini. They were the third generation of their family to run the famous restaurant.

Romain Dunet, 25

Romain Dunet was an English teacher. “He had a big heart, unwavering generosity, and was a fantastic teacher who helped me when I needed it most,” one pupil wrote in an online tribute.

Romain Didier, 32

Romain Didier was a former drama student and bar manager. His rugby team paid tribute on Facebook to his “unparalled joie de vivre”, adding: “It’s so hard to think that we will never again see your smile or hear your laugh.”

Thomas Ayad, 34

Thomas Ayad from Amiens, worked for Mercury Records, a division of Universal Music France, and was at the Bataclan with two colleagues. “He was the coolest guy on Earth; no enemies, everyone liked him,” a friend said.

Pierre-Antoine Henry, 36

Pierre-Antoine Henry, 36, was an engineer. His cousin said: “They killed the nicest guy in the world.”


November 21, 2015. France, Paris. 11 comments.

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