Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What do you think of Twitter?

I thought I'd keep up with the social networking world, and recently joined Twitter. I'm slowly learning how to "Tweet," and all of the lingo that goes with it, such at RT's and Follow Fridays. I must say, it's a bit confusing at first, and there are so many tweets to read through. In fact, it's a bit annoying when there are so many tweets from one person that it takes over your Twitter page, and possibly, some posts you want to read, fall through the cracks. And then you can't "unfollow" a person without offending the person! What to do?

I'm wondering if any of you are on Twitter? If so, what do you think about it? Have you gained any useful info, or is it just too much information?

The jury's still out, but I think I prefer blogging and Facebook to Twitter. There are so many social networking sites that it's a bit overwhelming.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shoe Love: Chie Mihara

Time for some new shoes??

I'm kind of coveting a pair of 1940's inspired shoes by Chie Mihara... Chie Mihara is of Japanese ancestry, but was born and raised in Brazil, and is most noted for her comfortable high heel.
I'm loving the layered bows on these shoes. Just wondering if I could walk in those heels?

Great color combo!
Now these boots look really comfy...

Chie Mihara shoes can be purchased directly from her website here, or other locations including Anthropologie. Warning...I didn't mention the price tag, did I?

First photo: 1950's LIFE magazine - photo Walter Sanders
Shoe photos: chiemihara.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Curator, Please!

Want to see your loved ones on display in an art museum? Check out this fun site, Dumpr. Pick your favorite photos and download them in 'museum art.' Walla! Instant stardom. They also have a lot of other formats to play with.

Little Vito loves his new fame!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pamper Yourself This Weekend!

How about a relaxing day at the Polished Beauty Lounge in Atlanta? I realize that most of you are scattered around the globe, and I'm in California, but wouldn't it be fun to all meet up here for a mani and pedi?


Their "Sugar Treat" manicure sounds yummy...it includes your choice of dipped strawberries or white chocolate sugar soak, a chocolate Grand Marnier souffle exfoliating scrub, followed by an incredible moisturizing massage with Bavarian cream whipped body frosting.

Sounds fun to me! Enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Happened to the Gift Center?


Today I thought I'd take a drive to the San Francisco Gift Center & Jewelry Mart. Since 1912, the Gift Center has been San Francisco's wholesale gift & jewelry destination, with floors of showrooms to peruse. It has been the cornerstone of the San Francisco Design District. They used to have a lovely center court where tuxedoed waiters would serve you. A nice Caesar salad, some sourdough bread, and a glass of iced tea -- then off to the showrooms -- a great way to spend an afternoon!

Well, today the place was like a ghost town. I went up to the 5th floor that used to have some of the finest showrooms with top candle lines, books and accessories. Gone. Only about 3 of them are left. Thank heavens Mary Hada still is. The other floors were mostly empty showrooms with renovation signs, and only a couple of showrooms filled. Showrooms were actually being emptied out while I was there. And I thought the recession was winding down. You know things are bad when I can find free parking in front of the Gift Center.

I asked a woman passing by what was happening. She answered, "they're trying to run us out." I didn't know what that meant, so I came home and starting Googling about the Gift Center. Apparently it was purchased by a private equity firm for 94 million, and they are trying to reposition the property with 275,000 square feet of new office space and ground-floor retail.

Where does that leave the showrooms? Where did they go? Where do retail shop owners go to, say, smell a line of new candles or perfumes? Seeing the Gift Center today really saddened me. Times are a changin' for sure.

photo credit from here

Looking for Writers...

photo from here

My friend Martin Codina (Fine Estate Liquidation), is looking for regular contributors to his blog that have expertise in the "vintage world." Martin is an antiques aficionado & estate liquidator, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some of the subjects he is looking to cover are; costume or fine jewelry, vintage clothing, Mid Century, Taxco, sterling silver, Arts and Crafts, art pottery, vintage watches, antique furniture, Shabby Chic, old posters, fine art, outsider art, "Mantiques," Cottage Antiques, and you Paris aficionados.


photo from here

SO, if you're interested in contributing, here is a chance to drive traffic to your site, and above all, share your wonderful knowledge with others!

You'll need:
  • Some writing experience.

  • Have some sort of vintage, antiques, or collectibles expertise.
  • Want to inform or educate others.

If interested, please contact Martin at martin@finesf.com, or visit his blog here.

Did I mention that Martin is one of my favorite people?


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Look! They're Dancing!



WATCH IT SPIN!

Another fun find from Hollister Hovey's blog. Sorry Hollister, you just keep posting great stuff! This phenakistoscope gif animation was found at Morbid Anatomy.

What is a phenakistoscope?
It was an early animation device, the predecessor of the zoetrope, invented in 1832 by by Joseph Plateau of Belgium. Plateau devoted his life to the study of optics, the science of light and vision.



Images on a disc when spun gives the illusion of couples dancing. I love this!!

Here is an antique style phenakistoscope found here.


How about these boxers?

Animated images from Hollister Hovey, Morbid Anatomy & Wikipedia

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Seasonal SALE at Paris Hotel Boutique!


We're making room for our Fall/Winter inventory, and offering several selected items that have been reduced, from accessories to furniture. You'll have to browse around a bit to see the selected markdowns. Click here to visit the site...

What do you CRAVE?

I just purchased the latest issue of "CRAVE San Francisco." CRAVE guidebooks celebrate stylish entrepreneurs by showcasing the most creative and interesting proprietors from cities all over the world. They are awesome. So fun to see some of my friends shops so beautifully showcased!



I love the fact that CRAVE focuses on local businesses, no chains. You'll find everything from top boutiques, cafes, spas and more. CRAVE showcases the dedicated women behind these enterprises.



Also, just released this Fall are guides from Portland, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Boston and Toronto.

These make great gifts as well! To find out where to purchase, visit CRAVE's website here.

photos from CRAVE

Thursday, September 17, 2009

L 'Shana Tova ~ Happy Jewish New Year

Many of my friends have asked me what the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is. Tomorrow evening begins the holiest days of the year for the Jewish people. The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah is widely known and celebrated as the New Years Day of the Jewish calendar, but actually Rosh Hashanah has a fourfold meaning.



  • It is the Day of Judgment as Jews worldwide examine their past deeds and ask for forgiveness for their sins.

  • It is the Day of Shofar blowing as the Shofar (the ram's horn) is blown in temple to herald the beginning of the 10 day period known as the High Holy Days.

  • It is the Day of Remembrance as Jews review the history of their people.

  • And of course, it is celebrated with its special prayers, and festive and sweet foods such as apples and honey, to ensure sweetness in the New Year.

  • To all of you who celebrate, L'Shana Tova. May you have a wonderful and sweet year ahead!

    Glamour Dogs

    Joan Collins with dyed pink poodle: photo credit: Slim Aarons

    I chuckled when I saw these vintage photos of Joan Collins and Doris Day with their dyed poodles! We adorn our dogs more than ever now with fancy clothes and jewelry. Well... some do.


    Doris Day and her Poodles, Paris, 1950, photo credit: John Florea

    This is my toy poodle, Vito. How do you think he would look dyed? I don't think he'd be a happy camper.


    If you want to see some great dog glamour shots, Catherine Ledner's book, "Glamour Dogs" is due out his week and I can't wait to see it. Ledner is a California-based photographer who has a love for animals. "Catherine Ledner brilliantly captures these doggie doyenes in all their glamorous glory as they strut their stuff on the catwalk, recline on sumptuous furniture and pose on the latest of floor and wall fashions." -Chronicle Books.

    Your can purchase Glamour Dogs here. You can also purchase Catherine's whimsical animal prints on her website here.

    Woof Woof!

    Glamour Dogs book cover image from Chronicle books

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    New Discovery: Toby McFarlan Pond

    photo credit: Toby McFarlan Pond from WSJ. Magazine

    Hollister Hovey always comes up with the most interesting finds! She recently blogged about English photographer, Toby McFarlan Pond, and I had to share.


    photo credit: Toby McFarlan Pond from WSJ. Magazine

    McFarland Pond shoots gorgeous Dutch-inspired still lives, like these photos from WSJ magazine. I didn't even know that there was a Wall Street Journal magazine! Thanks again Hollister. Yet another discovery from you.

    photo credit: Toby McFarlan Pond from WSJ. Magazine

    These still lives are from a series of articles from the WSJ, called "The State of Luxury," talking about the economic downturn. Sad topic, but aren't they stunning?


    I did a little more research on Toby McFarlan Pond and found some of his work here on M.A.P.'s site. They feature several artist's portfolios on illustration, styling and photography.


    How wonderful are these photos?


    For more of McFarlan Pond's work, visit here.

    Photo credits: Toby McFarlan Pond

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Is This a Compliment??


    I received this email (below) and thought I'd share it. Hmmm...

    "I saw your living room on the cover of the magazine. What happen to the beautiful yellow sofa and that coffee table you had cut the legs off? I think that room was much prettier the other way. As a matter of fact, I think that was the best room in a magazine I have ever seen. Thanks."

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Just in at Paris Hotel Boutique...

    I can't believe that Fall starts next week! I've been busy, busy looking for new items for the website and wanted to share a few of my favorite finds...


    Love this portrait of an eccentric Jazz-Era lady bejeweled in Bakelite jewelry. How about her painted green fingernails? This was painted in 1926. What a character she was!



    This vintage hat box is from the Hotel Ritz in Paris. I can just imagine some fancy-dressed lady purchasing a new hat at the Ritz guest shop and sporting her way around Paris!

    I just adore vintage French maps. I was thrilled to find these old books with fold out maps. One is from the Hotel Plaza-Athenee in Paris!



    The prettiest pale pink tufted bench. Actually there are a pair of them. I love the bubble gum pink color, and the fact that they're leather!

    If you want to check out all of our new arrivals, please visit Paris Hotel Boutique here.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Just added...

    A couple of new items added to the website, and much more to follow next week. Above is a vintage silver leaf settee upholstered in a steel bluish-silver silk. I'm crazy over silver leaf!


    These Mid Century faux bamboo chairs have been reupholstered in a white linen. They have black lacquered frames.

    You can check them out here...

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    I Had a Face Lift

    Well, not exactly, but my blog did. After a couple of years with the same layout, it was time for a change. Thanks to fellow blogger Susannah (Petunia-Faced Girl), who recommended Ellie at Rainy Day Templates.

    An example of one of Ellie's templates...

    Ellie specializes in uniquely-styled, pre-designed templates for the Blogger platform (for which I may add, she is an expert). This girl can do everything! She has a keen eye and her templates can be purchased as they are, or made over in any colors you'd like. She also offers extra bells & whistles to add those fancy little gizmos we love. SO, rather than me going on about Ellie, go take a look for yourself at her website here. You'll see what I mean.

    And, may I add that she is an absolute delight to work with, her costs are extremely reasonable, and her turnaround time is speedy & fantastic! Thanks Ellie!

    template photo: Rainy Day Templates

    And the Winners Are...


    Sincere thanks to all of you for your participation in the Tim Irving Photography Giveaway.

    I enjoyed your wonderful comments and fav pics. And big thanks to Tim for generously offering his beautiful photographs!

    A click at random.org selected the winners...

    12. Linda Lou - African Kitchenalia

    14. Redness - French Landscape with Poppies

    Thanks to you all!

    Monday, September 07, 2009

    Do You Think I Have a Shopping Problem?

    Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 am to attend our monthly outdoor antiques faire. Thank heavens my friend Renee drove (thanks Renee), as we had to take a loooong route because the Bay Bridge was closed. A boat would have been much easier.


    After 6 hours of sprinting walking and hunting for treasures with not too many finds, extreme sweating from hauling furniture, we decided to stop by a local auction house to use their clean bathroom. The antique faire has outhouses, which are okay in the early am, but as the day progresses, well... The next thing I knew, I had a paddle in my hand and was bidding on this Victorian agate seal ring. Gosh did I want this ring. Needless to say, I was half comatosed and ended up losing to an online bidder. I'm still mad about not bidding higher.

    Wasn't 6 hours of antiquing enough for me? I sadly turned in my paddle, and off we went. I know my job is to buy things to resell, but when is enough enough? Such is the life of an antiques dealer...enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Happy Labor Day Weekend!

    For all of you in the states celebrating this holiday weekend, what do you have planned? Hopefully something fun!

    I just wanted to remind you that this Sunday is the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. When I was 15, I began volunteering for this great organization by working the midnight shift taking pledges over the phone. You know... those people you see on TV waiting for the phones to ring. In many cases, they never stopped ringing! I did this every Labor Day weekend into my late 20's. It was so fulfilling working toward a great cause helping adults and children fight Muscular Dystrophy. Although I haven't volunteered in many years, I still get teary-eyed watching the telethon, and always make a donation.

    So, during your busy holiday weekend, don't forget to tune in to the telethon Sept. 6-7, or check out the MDA website here. They take online donations. We'll sure miss Ed McMahon, but look forward to seeing Jerry and his kids. And hopefully one day they'll find a cure for this horrible disease and we won't have a telethon to watch.



    Have a fabulous, long weekend!!

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    Yes or No?

    French Style Dressmaker Form - $699

    Why is it that when the vintage/antique world starts a trend, it eventually shows up mass-produced in the retail world? And in several instances with higher price tags than their vintage counterparts.


    I'm wondering what you think of these new reproductions from here...


    Framed Paper Subways Signs $995 each

    French Style globe - $149

    Reproduction British Marine Light - $1,695

    photos from here