unfinished business: done is better than perfect

jenny

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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?

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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.

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

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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…

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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.

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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. 6 comments.

all things bright and beautiful

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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).

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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~

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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!

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November 24, 2015. Giveaway, Life. 20 comments.

expectation vs reality: what to wear in paris

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good evening guys, well i guess it’s officially morning now since it’s about 2:30am. i’m leaving for paris in the morning and have been tying up all the endless loose ends. i’ll be away for about 3 weeks so there’s a lot to do and packing has been something i postponed till the last minute, thinking i had that, at least, down pat. normally i’m a pretty goood packer but for some reason this trip i seem to be suffering from over-packing syndrome and can’t seem to get it together. my bag must be 60 lbs already! i’ll be in the city and then down south so that means a really varied wardrobe from casual to chic. paris is a city that even in summer makes you want to represent as far as style. it asks you to bust out your sunday best and yet wear it as casually as possible. i’d love to be one of those great street style gals but now am thinking, what really makes the outfit? it’s not the quantity, that’s for sure. before i zip my bag i wanted to give it one last edit so i took a stroll thru my pinterest style board just now. heck, pinterest is practically my very own closet, since i’ve been saving dream looks to it for a year or more. thought i’d share a little of what i discovered just now about paring down some of the bulk in my suitcase, and going from aspirational to attainable. these first photos are sort of inspiration and the second set is what i may be able to pull off. should have done this days ago. sigh. well if you’re traveling, hope this helps!

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i’m not going to a ball. even if there is one i won’t be neededing a ballgown, or stillettos. not that i’m packing quite that crazy but i may have some fancy stuff i don’t need to bring…

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i do wish i had a super cool jacket from somewhere exotic and will keep my eye out for one.

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it would be great to have a perfect white shirt with frenchie details

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a little black dress with sleeves is chic. and the heels are great, but mine would have gotten stuck in that train track behind her. murphy’s law.

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blazers set a tone, like you’ve really got it all together, even with just a white tee underneath. i’d better pull out a couple even though it’s june…the forecast is pretty chilly and now that i think about it, didn’t even pack one

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she’s super chic and simple in a white tank and skirt with skinny belt

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and these airport looks are glam but i think flats and loose clothes are the way to go to relax, eat and sleep

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a white skirt is chic, whether it’s long or short and so is a long sleeve black shirt

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paris is the place to play with fashion and push design boundaries

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the perfect LBD is a must

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of course, so is being ready for anything which in this case means having the right accessories…glasses and a good bag

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it would be so much fun to be these glam girls but now reality is setting in…

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wait, actually yes i do have something to wear…in fact i probably have some version of all those things. and i didn’t pack any of them! where’s my black tank?

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i have a hat and glasses, i’ll restart with that.

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and pull out my long sleeve black top and stretchy skirt

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and long white skirt

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and ballet flats

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i have a khaki dress, that can stay

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and a clutch, watch, bracelet

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comfort is key, maybe i should pack my converse after all

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and i said no to my jean shorts but maybe one pair would  be oka39f0ea714030428baccea1e13aa0ba5

 

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do i have a black blouse? no but i can fudge that

 

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i do have white shorts, so easy to wear with white or a dark shirt. stick with solids.

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white tops

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a simple white tanks look great under anything

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and i do have a couple white tops of course

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a tank, a button down…funny that NoNe of this is what i packed.

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well i do have a boho bag like this

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white jeans, check

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dark blazer, wide belt, v neck tee

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colorful blazer

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and where is my LBD?

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neutrals!

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jackets…have them…didn’t pack em

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but…my mom sent me some vintage scarves she’s had since the 70s so i’m definitely bringing those. ok it’s official. i’m about to go unpack and hit the reset button.

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my new rule when i put anything in the suitcase now will be the kiss principle…keep it simple.

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and lighten up! thanks for letting me work it out…good night!

 

June 9, 2015. Fashion, France, Life, Paris, Paris Trip. 17 comments.

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