Monday, February 23, 2009

Pearls of Ice

The weekend has come and gone and Monday Night is back.
The last week of February.
which has got me wondering about the meaning behind the month.
It so happens it is fascinating lore, brought to us by wikipedia :

February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 in the old Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 700 BC.

Historical names for February include the Anglo-Saxon terms Solmonath (mud month) and Kale-monath (named for cabbage) as well as Charlemagne's designation Hornung. In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning "month of the pearl"; when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice.

Read more at Wikipedia

Sounds like purity and pearls are the way to go - which brings me to what I really want to talk about - the Artistic Luxury - Faberge/Tiffany/ Lalique show at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon wondering around, enthralled

The workmanship is exquisite and quite wonderful. The color and designs are incredible.

I found a book that has pictures and descriptions 16 eggs - none appear at the exhibit - they do reflect the beauty and ingenuity of the pieces in the show - check out the lovelies

They are miniature works of art and I was in love! My heart was beating so fast - I could have been the Becky Broomwood(?) in Confessions of a Shopaholic. I felt the surge of adrenalin to buy. Too bad none of these Objects of desire are in my budget.

People are crazy for clothes or shoes - but jewels for body and home are my raisin d'etre.

Lilies of the Valley egg

The amazing work of Rene Lalique - is beyond compare - the jewels, the glass the "dog collars"

the enamel work that somehow goes beyond human comprehension

I thought the dog collars really were dog collars - it turns out that it is the literal translation from the french for chokers. And here I was, totally impressed by the stylish dogs of yore.

After absorbing it all, we then enjoyed the view from the grounds,

before stopping in Clement st to check out Jane Consignment 2249 Clement St San Francisco CA (good mix )

Did you catch the Oscars ?(dont know why the prizes are always males - do you? )

so for us women lets call it Oscarina's and be done.

You know chokers are best when worn at a young age. I bring that up because I thought the choker that Sophia Loren wore made her look bad - and I hated that. Sophia Loren has always been a dazzling beauty with style, but that choker did choke her. It appears however that dog collars are in again.

I prefer to remember my fair lady in her finery at the ball - that elongated neck with the fabulous pearls -not. I guess that would have been too perfect - its something glittery - glass or rhinestones or perhaps diamonds.

I leave you to dream of pearls to fill a girls heart and diamonds to fill her treasure chest.

How can you turn these ideas into rooms? Translating treasures takes elbow grease, but the rewards are sweet.

Vanity mirror sets or even to frame a large mirror.

How about a curtain of pearls?

Which reminds me when I was a child, I was fascinated by the Pearly King and Queen, and here they are in all their glory : more images to look at and check out the Royal Pearlies history

what a room these outfits would make....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sheer Simplicity

Valentines day has come and gone.
I wanted to share my sweet dog Goldie's valentine look - she is ready for LOVE. She is singing the blues cos she has nowhere to hang her bag of bones, love is thataway.

and when I think about Love, I think about what is truly essential in life -its all about keeping things simple and focusing on friendships and feeling good.

Organizing your closets - giving away the excess for another person to enjoy.
Good vibrations all around when you shed the weight of all those possessions.
The unbearable LIGHTNESS of being.

Living clutter free and loving it Having space in the closet where nothing hangs, having drawers that are empty.
Space on the bookshelf and room in your garage to park a car.

a space in the garage to use with impunity.
a camping shelf or a ski area.
Perhaps creating a fantasy room within the garage for the family to play in.
an Art center at the ready.
A stage for shows. or a craft center.

Make room for life, and letting go of all those darn things.

When I was young I constantly foraged for items, longing to pack my life full, with the debris of living and shopping and collecting.

Now, now I long for peace. Expanses of empty spaces. Clean living. Bare cupboards.
I am loving that empty feeling now its gone, gone, gone.

Imagine a closet where you use everything at least once. Once a day, once a week once a year.
Buying a few good bold pieces you love.
Buying what you love, loving what you buy, and asking yourself - can I do be do without all this dough bought stuff.
What could I do with my time, if I didn't have to buy, clean, care, for all my things?

I would have time to create living moments. Moving memories.
I could write a song about being free - having nothing left to lose:
the blues that left me cos I went and threw it all out .....
dont need no more magic tools that dices and slices- just a good bed, a candle and a book.
Ok maybe a couple candles and a good light. The sweet luxuries that are fabulous.

If you had to make a list of what you couldn't live without, what would that list contain?

after all this rain is done I will head for the hills in my head.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beauty without CLUTTER

ceramic box by Corinna Mori

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

William Morris
Father of the arts & crafts movement
24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896

here is a William Morris chair -the true test is the test of time - it is exquisite still.

Gina, my partner and I just did a talk about eliminating clutter from your lives. It was totally fun, with a receptive and engaged audience.
In putting together the talk and slides we used the quote above.

The arts and crafts movement is one of my favorite and I enjoy William Morris' aesthetic.
William Morris wallpaper

In fact, when I read the quote, people in the audience gasped -
as if in response to something so profound; suddenly letting go makes sense.

Permission to be tough on what you have in your home.
Real estate is precious, life is hard.
Let go of some of the stuff, and make way for quality.
Quality of life, and quality of objects.

Every object, every moment.

above Pimpernel Wallpaper design of William Morris, still available today, I believe - the beauty of which almost makes me cry.

Funny thing about how when life becomes too complicated, we want to return to a pared down, clutter less existence, as if we are in rebellion from the curlicues of life.
And the simple is so much harder to achieve.

My friend Corinna Mori is a true artist. Every item in her home is simple, and exquisite.
She is a potter.
and her work is sheer poetry.

This container below sings to me:

I want to share some of her pieces because each piece reflects the rule:
Object Beauty

here is another fabulous little pot - they are also so delicate looking, yet rough and bold,
like a skin on the outside, with the soft inner sheen of the interior.
Each piece employing both the natural handmade look as well as a function.

here is a bowl Corinna has in her garden, put to use - as the Arts and Craft philosophy intended - beauty and function at play:

Next Saturday February 21 will be the reception Mainly Clay, at The Main Gallery in Redwood City, California 6-8 pm Show will run February 18- March 22, 2009
if you are around, do yourself a favor and stop by.
Its a group show, so lots of interesting pieces to be seen.

To wrap up
another William Morris paper- simple yet stunning and totally sophisticated
definitely a great foil for Corinna's work.

We use items in our daily lives, to create and do, why not pick the items that please us?
Ordinary is really what is extraordinary about life, after all.

on that note, a spoon -
to leave you with
by carol boyes

Hands, hearts and heads make sense together.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Decorating with love

How sweet it is! a pink frozen milkshake with the cherry on top. We captured this at Sun City in South Africa on a visit a couple years ago, sitting at an outdoor bar, with a huge dome ceiling overlooking a pool that appeared to be a ruin. Magic, absolute magic. and doesn't this confection look good enough to eat?

Its Tuesday night and I am back pounding the keyboard.
Goldie is up on daughter's bed, queen of all she surveys. Although the witching hour is approaching and Goldie's eyes are very heavy. Not much to do but sleep at this point.
And suddenly the world seems ROSY.

and full of promise.
there is an opportunity to re purpose the gifts and colors of the world around us. Opportunity and Adventure await. in cans of paint or in moving items around.
Decorating is fun. Especially when we reinvent those ideas from the world around us.
Like these outdoor pink cement bowls at Taliesin west in Scottsdale Arizona, - I took some pictures on our visit there a couple of years ago - I was fascinated by the shapes, the colors and the textural contrasts. I love to mix and match not only pattern, but texture too, to create a rich story. Not only when I decorate, or design but also when I dress or create things.

Below is a pink styled quick art piece I created from some found objects and paint to enhance my red pink brick fireplace.

Those red bricks abound all over this area. So many clients' homes have one of these brick fireplaces.....crying out to be saved, enhanced or remade.
Creating items for my foliage and frame piece and put this together. I was entranced by the idea open space and stylized framing.

and here the complete opposite - real art from nature - Peonies in a gorgeous glass vase spied in a shop in Toronto on our trip in July 2008.
My absolute favorite flower. The color, the texture, the naturalness, capture my heart.

on the same trip we visited Montreal - another fabulous city and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity of experiencing the battle of fireworks - countries from the around the world get a night to explode their firecracker power. We witnessed the Australian show. It was thirty minutes of absolute magic. The picture below evokes the drama and amazing color range found in the pink of it all - brilliant!

Wouldn't these colors make a sweet combination in a room?
In fact we did work on a client's dinning room that has those very colors. The colors were there, we changed the accessories to enhance the space:

we used the green and cream artwork to bring out the green in the upholstery, and some modern pieces our client had to create more balance. The only items the client bought were new candles and a stand for the one plate, and three small pieces of green and pink art on the wall across.
Can you spot the differences? Our client could, and she loved how we changed every room in her house, using what she already owned. The three little pieces of artwork were the only purchases she made for the entire home. Think how you can change you home in small ways.
Its all in a flick of the wrist !

Well, I have so many more pink thoughts, and ideas but I will leave you with this clever idea I spotted at Ralph Lauren store in San Francisco

they cleverly combined pieces of rugs to create one big one - it shouldn't work, but it does.
It gave the store a warm inviting feel. Old stuff is still good stuff.