Friday, November 28, 2008

Mom & Pops

Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season. Please support your local shops and boutiques. During these tough economic times, they need our support. And, if you're like me, I much prefer the experience of shopping charming, unique shops, as opposed to large chains.

Mouche Packets from bellocchio

Today I'm off to one of my favorite little shops, Bell'occhio, here in San Francisco. It's a charming shop, full of curiosities. The owner Claudia has a keen eye. Each purchase is beautifully gift-wrapped and I never walk out empty-handed. After that, I'll mosey over to North Beach and visit some of my favorite boutiques. Tomorrow I'll head over to the San Francisco Antique & Design Mall to look for some one-of-a-kind items. It's much more fun than fighting crowds of shoppers downtown, and a way to find something unique for that special person.

Chocolate bars from bellocchio

Paris Map boxes from bellocchio

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, 1937, Pinocchio floating through Times Square with his 44-foot nose (photo from flickr)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Creative Gift Wrap

A vintage music-lesson card strikes a personal note paired with a costume jewelry brooch and a bright blue ribbon.

It's so much fun using vintage finds to dress up a package. And... it is a great way to recycle. Aren't these fun?

Recycle vintage boxes and tins, such as these French pastel chalk boxes, to hold gift cards, spa certificates, or concert tickets. Silk ribbon and tiny ornaments add festive flair.

Images from Country Home Magazine - December 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Cheer at PRIZE

I wanted to share some fun photos of my friend Jen's store, PRIZE, in Ashland, Oregon. All decorated for the holidays, PRIZE celebrates in style!

A "PRIZE" ribboned Christmas tree and cement reindeer dress up the store window

Fun ornaments to decorate your tree!

Charming vignette of framed vintage paintings

Vintage jewelry for some holiday "glitz"

John Derian decoupage

If you're visiting southern Oregon be sure and stop by PRIZE:

264 East Main Street
Ashland, Oregon 97520
(541) 482-0345

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dessert Bar Delight!

Now this brightens up my day! I just stumbled upon the website of event planner, Amy Atlas. Located in New York City, Amy specializes in high end dessert tables. She treats each endeavor as a unique, art project and designs each dessert table to fit the client. The photos of her work are mouth-watering. Take a look and check out her website here. Time to plan a party!!

Candy Shop Dessert Table filled with nostalgic candy, old-fashioned taffy, barber poles, Sweet Tarts and rock candy. {My favorite... I want to have a party now!!}

Birthday Dessert Table --{love the packaging}!

Bridal Brunch Dessert Table --all white with torrone nougat, coconut macaroons, and dusted truffles

Bridal Brunch Dessert Table --all white with torrone nougat, coconut macaroons, and dusted truffles. White lemonade with hand calligraphed "Best Wishes" {Oh my...this is lovely}

Mod Dessert Table with a graphic cake, custom yellow and black chocolates, licorice mints and lemon cupcakes. {So Hollywood Regency}!

Wedding Dessert Table. Fuschia cherry blossom tree cake inspired by the wedding invitation. Custom lollipop trees, raspberry truffles, chocolate and mini cupcakes.

Mother's Day Dessert Table with a cone-patterned cake, petit fours and macaroons. {Beautiful color, isn't it?}

Mother's Day Dessert Kid Table with Jordan almonds, malt balls, taffy and jelly beans, for the kids!

All photos courtesy of {visit her site!!}

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Collecting Cecil Beaton

Centenaire de Monte Carlo 1866 - 1966 (Beaton)
International Poster Gallery

I'm a huge fan of Cecil Beaton's work. Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton , 1904-80, was a designer, photographer, writer, painter, and diarist. After designing his first stage show in 1935, Beaton worked on numerous productions from Gigi to My Fair Lady. He is also recognized for his photography, particularly his glamorous portraits of the rich and famous, many of whom were either friends or acquaintances, and for the numerous books he wrote and illustrated.

Cecil Beaton's first edition books at Paris Hotel Boutique

At Paris Hotel Boutique, we sell first edition Beaton books. They are difficult to come by. The covers are exquisite, and the content, most entertaining. Beaton wrote over 20 biographies in his career.

During a buying trip in Southern California awhile back, I spotted an amazing Beaton poster behind the cash register of an antique shop. I went crazy for it. I don't remember the content except that it was a design I'd never seen before. Unfortunately it was not for sale. I begged and pleaded, but the shop owner didn't want to part with it.

Audrey Hepburn photographed by Cecil Beaton

One of these days I'd love to purchase the "Centenaire Monte Carlo" poster, photo above. Do any of you collect Beatons' work? Books? Magazines? Photos? I'd love to hear!

Cecil Beaton's living room in his suite at the Plaza Hotel, New York, 1946
Photographed by Dmitri Kessel, Life Magazine

'Beaton Beauties'

Award-winning design from the 'Sketchbook Collection'
{click on image to enlarge!}

I recently posted about the Cecil Beaton fabric collection. The other day I was contacted by someone at Beaudesert about their newest line, "The Sketchbook Collection." The line is inspired by Beatons' fashion sketches from his book 'The Glass of Fashion', featuring Dior's 1950's Couture Collection. Lovely color-tinted sketches.

'Glass of Fashion' from

This print will be available on silk, linen and wallpaper, and was named "Winner-Best New Fabric Print" in the 'Best of the Best' Focus 2008 Awards, London. There will be more designs out the first of next year so check out, Cecil Beaton Fabrics. Can't wait to see the new designs!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Work of Shepard Fairey

I hadn't heard of Shepard Fairey until I saw the iconic poster of Barack Obama that has become a cultural phenomenon. Los Angeles-based street artist, graphic designer, and illustrator, Shepard Fairey's "Hope" and "Progess" signed/numbered posters are selling for thousands of dollars on eBay.

His work has a very vintage feel to me, using beautiful colors and graphics. "Utilizing currency motifs and a Norman Rockwell aesthetic, Fairey employs the graphic language of the subjects they critique. Blending Art Nouveau, hippie, and revolutionary propaganda styles, he celebrates subjects advocating peace."- Kellis Landrum

You can read an interview with the artist here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How about this cover?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reservations, please...

I've never been to Buenos Aires, but after looking at photos of the Faena Hotel + Universe, it's time to start saving my pennies...

The 110-room hotel and residential complex is the brainchild of local iconoclast Alen Faena, a fashion designer turned real estate entrepreneur. He tapped fellow visionary Philippe Starck to drape the spacious interiors with a decadent decor rich in velvets, reds and golds, plus contemporary, all-white touches; imagine Belle Époque-meets-21st-century.

Upon arrival, I think I'd check in and head straight to the spa for some relaxation and pampering after a long plane flight. Perhaps the 5-star treatment massage and a facial treatment with La Prairie products. Oh, I'm relaxed now.

Now I'm off to "The Cellar" for a glass of wine. The Cellar has the largest collection of wines in Argentina. Love this sophisticated room!

A gal's gotta shop! La Boutique offers some exquisite items and I love the decor. I think I'll pick up a couple of things.

Pretty pooped now. I think it's time for sleep in one of the Executive Rooms, with wonderful views of the sunset.

Wake up time and I'm off to the Library Lounge to people watch, have a light breakfast and read the paper. Such a comfortable setting.

After a long day of sightseeing through lovely Buenos Aires, it's time for a bite at "El Mercado." They have an excellent menu with Argentinian cuisine. The decor is amazing with vintage and antique pieces throughout.

Loving this room.

What's a night in a swanky hotel without a show. El Cabaret has great live shows and you can't help but love the gold Chiavari chairs against the red backdrop. Wow.

After a full day, it's off to zzzzz.....

A girl can dream, right? Thanks for joining me at the Faena!

All photos courtesy of Faena Hotel + Universe

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Airspace... Brilliant!

I just stumbled upon the fabulous website, Airspace , via Anna at Villa Anna and Di at Designer's Block. I think I'm going to be spending countless hours on the computer perusing their site!

Airspace, based in the UK, is an inspiring website filled with magnificent locations for film and photographic industries. Their selection of locations are broken down into categories of every style imaginable from French, feminine and grandeur, to quirky, retro and eclectic. You must visit the site. Whatever 'look' inspires you, you'll find it there. I just spent time looking at their "quirky" & "grandeur" locations. Here are some of my favorite photos...

This home is called "Mile End" and is 'Napoleonic chic meets opium den'!

"Mile End" is a four story Georgian house in East London...beautiful wooden floors!

Many antique props and furniture...{I love the juxtaposition of periods and colors}

Elements of whimsy...

This house is under "grandeur" and is called "Richmond Road." It is a spacious home in London. I LOVE this bathroom!

Stunning feminine, antique and romantic interior--love the portraits!

Beautiful French boudoir furniture and mirrors...

Great display of apothecary bottles...

And how cute is this room? Look at the two black poodles!

All photos from airspace.. have fun!