salons of paris

Marie Antoinette at hotel soubouise
leaving for paree in 10 days. it seems like a dream and i’m so tired i’m sleepwalking! no rest for the weary till i tie up the annoying loose ends that bind me! my friend carol k’s been helping make that happen. i see how important a brilliant team is, so thank you girl! now just putting final touches on the itinerary. i appreciate but can’t go to monuments in paris. what gets me are places that were homes, apartments, salons, or Hôtels (aka mansions). i did mention i was a voyeur…


one palace i love is Hôtel Carnavalet, a little palace in the Marais and former home of Madame de Sévigné who was famous for hosting parties in her Salon. she wrote hundreds of letters to her daughter during the reign of Louis XIV. they’re like a diary of life in 1600’s paris and tell about her life’s struggles.

l’Hôtel de Soubise



Soubise is another beautiful mansion in the same neighborhood. lots of the marie antoinette film was shot there. i love the turquoise ceilings.

i’m dreaming about staying longer, forgetting ny for awhile and drifting along the french countryside in october. in my fantasy i’d rent a car and jet down to provence and explore more. a blogging friend invited me and i’d love to take her up on a cup o tea down south. But my REsPoNsIbIliTieS!!

i fell in love with the countryside as a kid travelling with my family. after graduation i went back with Volunteers for Peace for something to do between college and the real world. i just came across the ran into the link yesterday from another cool site:


maybe i want to re-live the good times i had? it really was THE best time, restoring ancient chapels and living with such fun people. you choose your country and interests. france has 45 camps going on right now that you can live/work and and have a blast for like 2 weeks, $250. i’m gonna check out what’s happening now. (it was 20 years ago)!

i just found this one:

Project: The municipality of Montendre has already played host to several
international work camps. The restoration of the town’s castle, using traditional,
old-fashioned techniques is something many of the local people keep close to heart,
but currently, their castle is in need of a hand from the younger generation! The main
objective of this year’s work camp will be to repair and refill the joints of a section of the
wall, in order to keep it in good condition. The local community, now well accustomed to
the work camp dynamic, are present on a regular basis to meet and exchange with the
volunteers. ACCOMODATION: tents. LOCATION: 75 km from the sea and to the north of
Bordeaux .

wait tents? maybe when i was in college…now i want to sleep in the castle!

August 19, 2007. Uncategorized. 10 comments.

it’s a fine line


hi guys how’s it going?

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it’s a july monday evening,  for some kids it’s a great summer full of carefree days and not thinking of much more than fun in the sun.


i’m taking some of that energy tonight and doing the things i enjoy, one of which as you may know, is being here.


not just cause i love you, but also cause it’s a journal and a record of this life o’ mine.

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after all, it’s a web log, right?


lately it’s been fun to see posts on facebook from the past.  

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memories, events and feelings  would have been long forgotten.

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it let’s you in on where you were at any moment.


this blog is 10 years old now, hard to believe.

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funny it’s taken me this long to realize how powerful it can be to track yourself

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and what about that ol’ here and now?

Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay

well, today i wanted to share some images that have been piling up


i’m working on the new website and coming across what must be thousands of images.

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as i was about to empty the recycle bin and realized that they are too pretty not to share. and that trash can really be treasure.


so in no particular order, and with no rhyme or reason, here are a few.


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    as i go through them i just see them as soul food. 











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and delish.


well i hope you enjoyed this trip to nowhere.


as for me, i’m about to start the night shift and get to making sense of all this fodder.


have a beautiful night and sweet, full moon dreams!


July 19, 2016. art, Art Deco, Life. 5 comments.

ojects of desire


bonjour guys, happy friday! where do the days go? well, i can say that for the first time in awhile i know exactly where i’ve been cause my camera was with me for most of it.  i was invited by my friends to check out their new store in asheville, nc, also known as the ‘paris of the south’. who knew? maybe it’s cause of places like the biltmore estate, below?

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anyway they wanted me to get the feel of it and maybe do some buying in the upcoming months as well as have a hand in working with the brand. both prospects are right up my alley so of course i had to take them up on a visit. even though i spent three days there getting to know the store, the staff and the stuff, checking out their photos on instagram made me appreciate them even more so i’m gonna use some of theirs (clock photo above by zach.alexander).

as formal as ‘frenchy’ can be, it’s a contrast to this low-key, easy going town that welcomes you with ‘good vibes’ on the water tower coming in from the airport.


as you can imagine i immediately felt at home and was welcomed by the wonderful gang who run the show. (photo above by Molly)


my friends put me up at their beautiful hotel, the Windsor, which is flanked by their shop, DÉSIRANT. between the authentic antiques, art, sferra linens in the rooms and the amount of entertainment and eye candy in the store, i didn’t want to leave. (not to mention the world class restaurants…) in fact it’s a place i could go back to pretty easily since there’s just so much to explore.


they have a great philosophy and everything in the store is special and has been chosen with care. what makes it even more unique is that they source their collection from paris of course, but also find artisans and designers who love what they do and understand the desirant style. many are local, but some are from miami, others from new jersey! the point is that this is a place where creativity is encouraged to thrive. it’s a kind modern french salon, like the ones we imagine, where artists and patrons came to gather, share ideas, discuss art, music and feast! oh yeah, there’s a coffee bar here too.

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in today’s world it’s hard to set yourself apart but when you understand what you want to provide it becomes easier. that’s one of the reasons desirant resonates with me i guess. the goals are simple: to live well. to collect what that you love,  design your life, and style your environment by surrounding yourself with things that are beautiful and have meaning.


i must have spent an hour just in this section alone. from this shot it looks like you just could cruise through but i wanted to absorb every detail.

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can i take you on a tour? the shot above is where you get in through the hotel lobby


these clocks are by a local artist who makes them out of spare parts and pieces she can repurpose. the second hands are playful fluttering feathers!

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other clock faces are mounted artfully under glass.


and so are lots of other goodies…


the cases are filled with eye candy, some of it again by local artisans

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like these necklaces and earrings by ‘my mother’s buttons’

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and these by another who brings old watches back to life. these artists are so creative!

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this curio was filled to the gills with one-of-a kind neckties and bowties made of feathers


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and these ties below are made of wood!

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these are repurposed chairs made by a local gal. each has a story to tell…

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like the peacock chair with real feathers on the back~



i fell in love with these candy  and coffee tins, they’re another pretty old relic being given new life…

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and how about this sculpture?

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and the art, don’t get me started!

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of course there’s new stuff too, like fornasetti candles


and one of a kind purses,

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robes and blankets you can’t stop touching

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and pillows you have to have


candles, lotions and potions

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some of those are one-of a-kind too

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there are handmade chandeliers that look like jewels

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and jewels that are well, drool worthy

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and the clothes, the clothes!

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i ended up spending a lot of time working from the cafe.


the barista makes a darn good latte and they open at the crack of dawn

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so i got myself a journal and hung out with the books

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i’m home now going through the photos. it reminds me how much i enjoyed being in a store. online is fun but there is something about the tactile element of a place like this. it’s a very special, almost lost art.

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the maison et objet is coming to miami again in may and we’ll meet again there. so i’ll keep you posted as things develop.  in the meantime, if you need a piece of paris, it’s nice to know that just a couple hours away in asheville, nc sits the paris of the south. if you’ve been there let us know what else earned it the title. if you can’t get there,  check out and follow desirant here, they’re keeping the tradition alive!

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ps: the winner of the boxes from the last post is lisa. congratulations and let me know your address at

i just realized that this is a perfect opportunity for desirant to host a giveaway so i’ll ask them tomorrow what they’d like offer. if you follow on one of their social media platforms, let me know which and we’ll draw a names from there. have a great weekend!

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April 30, 2016. Asheville, Desirant, Shopping. 17 comments.

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