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.
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.
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!
hey guys, happy easter/passover! whatever you’re celebrating here’s hoping your day full of friends, family, food & fun. i’m at my parents’ house and we’re doing all the traditional stuff from cooking to dyeing eggs. it got me wondering why exactly we do these things and what they mean. a quick google search provided a little education, a lot from this site in particular, homecooking-foodhistory and here are some of their insights below:
the word ‘easter’ derives from a pagan fertility goddess named Eastre. a festival was held each spring to in northern europe to honor her. the rabbit was her animal spirit and was also a symbol of fertility and the abundance of spring.
Eastre by Jacques Reich
what’s with the egg? the egg is an ancient symbol for new life and has been associated with festivals celebrating spring since pagan times.
easter takes place the first sunday after the spring solstice. it’s considered the time of year for renewal after a cold, hard winter.
all around the globe, cultures use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth.
a notation in the household accounts of edward I of england showed an expenditure for eggs to be gold-leafed and colored as easter gifts.
the first book to mention easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for easter was a real treat.
many old cultures attributed the egg with great healing powers. somehow the bunny rabbit and the eggs have morphed into the traditional way we celebrate today.
i have a slight obsession with the creative, gorgeous, innovative ways people have come to celebrate this time of year and am in love with the many styles of egg dyeing, lace cutting
and traditions from all over the world. it would be easy to get lost in blogland going thru pretty pics but i’ve got to get to work helping get this party started!
if you still have time, here’s a cool dye chart:
ok gotta go…enjoy your day with the ones you love!
bonjour mon amour, it’s officially valentine’s day 2015. i’ve been doing some research on feng shui which is an ancient oriental philosophy about creating spaces that bring abundance in different areas of the home by incorporating the yin and yang of furniture placement and the four earthly elements of earth, air, fire and water.
a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account.
since i’ve always been passionate about le boudoir, i’m taking v-day to focus on what we can do to bring some supercharged ions in to activate it for love whether single or married
the bedroom is that one sacred place you can really unwind and check out. it has to be as comforting as it is comfortable for you as well as someone special enough to be invited in
there are lots of theories (some conflicting) on how to go about creating your haven, but then there are other theories that are de rigeur. one of the first things that we’re advised to do it to let fresh air in by airing the room out. throw open all the windows and hang curtains that move gently with the breeze.
i came across this image and thought why not incorporate some lacy accent that will play with the sunlight on your skin
you’re basically supposed to keep it simple so that masculine and feminine energy are both at home but hey, a tiny bit of lace couldn’t hurt if if casts beautiful shadows across your bed…and you
the second rule is to keep the room uncluttered to let the chi (energy) flow. next is to have nightstands on either side of the bed which symbolizes and welcomes partnerships
next and maybe one of the most important (to e anyway) is having fresh flowers beside the bed. the fragrance and color enhance the senses and this is the place to amp the ol’ olfactories up
artwork in the boudoir is a super personal choice and a very strong statement to the universe putting out a very distinct message
i love rooms that turn into galaxies…that’s when the stardust starts falling
if you love the beach or the mountains or the moon but can’t have the real thing, this philosophy recommends just using a reasonable fascimile like an image of the sky or beach
or both if you’re lucky
one of the recurring themes is to take note of the EMFs (elecrtomagnetic frequencies) that are floating around the room. they’re emitted from phone chargers, computers, cable boxes and tvs so it’s best to remove as many as possible. if you have a big empty wall, a way to compromise with having a tv in the bedroom could be to use a projector so when it’s off, it’s gone.
of course if you have to have a tv make it supercool
we’d probably all love to have a fireplace in our bedroom, but since that’s not possible, there are lots of ways to bring in fire without installing a chimney per se
a faux mantle and candles will work wonders
or a modern mini tabletop fireplace
or a few simple tapers will do the trick
light should be soft, so definitely ban the curly fluorescents and think about using a pink bulb here and there
for the details, crystals are recommended since they’re known to emanate certain vibrations and frequencies. rose quartz is specifically mentioned for an erotic charge
one of the most important practices of feng shui is to clear a space using incense or sage.
for some reason plants aren’t recommended in the bedroom but it seems that bamboo is ok if you have two stalks. they also don’t recommend water as one of the elements to bring into the lair so i thought it was pretty interesting that this one plant could make up for a couple things in the balance:
Bamboo plays an important role as a living example of the feng shui elements of water, wood and earth. When you place this plant in the correct pot, it can introduce fire and metal to complete a balance of the five elements.
essential oils are the pure essence extracted from plants. certain scents are inherently sensual such as rose and jasmine. you can even make your own
one of the debates i came across was over which colors to use but all signs seemed to say that pink was a good go to hue
and that blue was cold but gray was ok
personally i’m into white but there was even debate on that!
ultimately you’ll decide what works best to create the space that nurtures your heart and soul
enjoy your bedroom for the sanctuary it is and let it be a work of art that you relish and play with each day and night
well, happy valentine’s day to you all, my really dear friends. hope all your dreams of love come true! xoc