Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a SPOOKY and fun Halloween! Be safe!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Show Will Go On! Update on the Alameda Flea

Yesterday I posted about the Alameda Collectible & Antiques Faire aka Alameda Flea Market being canceled. Their website offered no details. They simply posted a banner with the following statement: Proceedings have been commenced for the voluntary dissolution of Antiques By The Bay, Inc. As a result the show scheduled for Nov 1, 2009 will not take place.

Since yesterday, it's been a whirlwind of emails, Tweets and phone calls between myself and vendors, dealers & bloggers. What a great network we have. If we want to get the word out, it spreads like wildfire. It appears as if Sunday's show will go on and hopefully continue into the future. Oh, thank heavens.

This very informative article in The Island confirms that this Sunday's flea market will be happening. Evidently there is a legal dispute among the partners who run the Antiques By the Bay corporation, but the President of the company, Allen Michaan, confirms to The Island that the vendors will indeed be setting up at Alameda Point on Sunday morning.

So, for all of you attending, set your clocks back an hour, sleep in a little longer, bring your warm coat, coffee and flashlight, and I'll see you out at the Point!

Want to Really Scare Your Trick-or-Treaters?

If gory-looking things upset you, look no further...

These spooky finger cookies were made by Jamilyn at Living it at Home. Jamilyn bakes them for her daughter's friends and they hesitate to eat them. But, she says they are quite yummy. Take one if you dare!!

Scary Finger Cookie Recipe

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup almonds, whole blanched (not sure what blanched means, I just bought "slivered" almonds for the nails)
1 tube red decorator gel
Preheat oven to 325

Cream the butter with powdered sugar. Mix in egg, and extracts until creamy. Sift and add the dry ingredients. Blend to make a soft dough. Wrap and refrigerate dough until it is easy to work with (about 15-20 minutes). Roll into a finger shape about 3" long and 1/2" thick (They will rise when baked so make them smaller than you'd like the finished finger to be). Place finger on lined cookie sheet. Using a butter knife, lightly press a flat nail bed shape at the end of the finger and cut 3 lines in the middle of the finger to form knuckles. Press lightly above and below knuckle to make finger more realistic (give it shape). Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Put a bit of red gel in the nail bed and press the almond fingernails into the end of the finger.

*Arrange fingers on a nice platter, add some spiders to crawl over fingers.


photo & recipe from Living it at Home

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Important Announcement re: Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire

For all of you that attend or sell at the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire in Alameda, California, this news was just released today. "Proceedings have been commenced for the voluntary dissolution of Antiques By The Bay, Inc. As a result the show scheduled for Nov 1, 2009 will not take place."

I am not sure exactly what this means, but I just spoke with a monthly vendor and apparently the partners are in some sort of litigation. Will there be another Alameda Antiques Faire? None of us know. I feel so badly, as hundreds of people make a living from this show; the sellers, food stands, even the City of Alameda. And as a buyer, it is one of my best sources for antiques.

The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire is Northern California's largest antiques and collectibles faire with over 800 booths and a growing attendance that recently topped out at over 10,000 customers. Let's hope this situation can be rectified soon.


UPDATE: Word has it that the show may be back on. Will keep you posted with any updates...sorry for the confusion...

photo from here

Hauntingly Haunted Hotels & Houses

Sacramento's Stanford House

We all love a good ghost story now and then, and what a better time than Halloween Week! CasaSugar posted a tour of some of the most famous haunted hotels and homes in the state of California. Here are a few of my favorites...don't be scared!!!

Hollywood's Hotel Roosevelt

"The Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood is said to house one very famous ghost — Montgomery Clift, who stayed in room 928 for three months while filming From Here to Eternity. Stories note that his ghost has been seen pacing the ninth floor, and maids have felt a cold presence brush by them or watch them."

Jean Harlow's Westwood Home

"Film legend Jean Harlow rented a Westwood home in the early '30s. After new owners moved in, their dogs would follow them through the house, growling and barking at something in the upstairs bedrooms. The woman who lived in the home also said that she heard someone whisper "Please help me" outside the master bedroom. The owners also reported hearing a woman sobbing, smelling phantom perfume, and experiencing other ghostly manifestations."

San Francisco's Queen Anne Hotel

"Built by Senator James Fair in 1889, the hotel is said to be delightfully and benignly haunted by the general's mistress, Mary Lake. Common occurrences include sightings of Mary Lake, unexplained cold spots, and clothes and belongings tidied and hung without explanation."

Bessie Love's Canyon in Laurel Canyon

"In the early 1900s, silent film star Bessie Love bought a beautiful little cabin in Laurel Canyon. While living there, she experienced a number of ghostly manifestations, including seeing a transparent man in a cowboy hat, hearing low moans, having doors open and shut themselves without explanation, and experiencing odd electrical problems and lights turning on and off by themselves. The house is said to still be haunted today."

I've never had a "ghost" or paranormal experience. Thank heavens...I'd probably freak out! Do you have a haunted house or ghost story you want to share?

photos/stories from

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tricks & Treats

To celebrate spooky Halloween week, I thought I'd post these haunting photos from the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar. They feature characters from filmmaker Tim Burton's past movies; The Night Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands & Beetlejuice -- the models bedecked in designer clothing and accessories.

The spread is called, "Magical Fashion" and the photos were shot by the talented Tim Walker.

The spread is in anticipation of Tim Burton's career retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art from November 22, 2009–April 26, 2010.

To see all of the photos, visit Harper's Bazaar. And, thanks Lisa Golightly for turning me on to this eerie and fabulous spread!

photos from Harper's Bazaar

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy 100th Anniversary PALACE HOTEL!!

I think many of you know how much I love old hotels. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. I don't want to make this a lengthy history post, but wanted to share a few tidbits about this spectacular hotel, including some of my own fond memories.

photo of the Palace Hotel during the 1906 earthquake and fire

In December 1909, the Palace Hotel reopened, three years after the devastating San Francisco earthquake. More than 1000 people in fancy horse-drawn carriages and elegant autos, entered the Grand new hotel. One described it as a "fairyland of loveliness."

Early postcard-- exterior of the Palace Hotel

1923 - The Ballroom

The magnificent Grand Ballroom still exists with the same elaborate crystal chandeliers. Many of the daughters of the State's oldest families have made their debut with this beautiful ballroom as the setting.
Imagine these prices from 1922

Maxfield's in the Palace was named after the famous artist Maxfield Parrish who painted the iconic Pied Piper of Hamlin mural located in the adjacent Pied Piper Bar. Really beautiful to see in person.

Ahhh... the pièce de résistance... The Garden Court. I consider it the most elegant room in San Francisco. When you first walk into the hotel, you see the Garden Court and it takes your breath away. Magnificent marble columns and 700 pound chandeliers. The ceiling is crowned with an immense translucent skylight created with 25,000 individual panes of glass arranged in 692 geometric panels. Can you imagine?

I have some fond memories of the Palace. On a couple of very special occasions, my family went to their Sunday brunch. What a treat! Also, there were a few years we spoiled ourselves at their annual Christmas dinner buffet. What a magnificent setting!


The Palace Hotel is celebrating its 100 year anniversary with a very reasonably priced lunch menu and historic tour of the hotel. Lunch is served in the elegant Garden Court and runs $19.09 per person, as in 1909. This is available through December of 2009. Now, that's a great deal! You can get more info here.

High tea at the Garden Court - photo courtesy of The Tea Room

If any of you happen to go on the tour and for lunch, I'd love to hear about it!

Palace Hotel
New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California, 94105-3402

all photos except for the last from the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum, which I may add has a full history of the Palace Hotel

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Who Says You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover?

Jennifer at the Peak of Chic has a wonderful series on her blog where she features people's favorite books. I was thrilled when she contacted me about featuring mine. She had an inkling that I'm drawn to books by their cover art. She's right!

I'm delighted to be featured in her blog post today. You can check it out here. Thanks so much Jennifer. I so appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Behind the Scenes at PHB

Having an online shop is challenging, since you usually don't get to meet your customers face-to-face. I like to make each purchase extra-special & personalized by using pretty tissue, labels, ribbons, etc. You certainly wouldn't want to receive your package wrapped in newspaper!

Meet my assistant Dianna. Dianna has worked for Paris Hotel Boutique for 4 years now. Dianna is the gal behind the scenes who makes everything look pretty. And she's pretty cool too, but I'll get to that later...

Being surrounded by antiques sounds pretty glamorous. It's not. Our packing station is filled with ribbons and notions, but there are loads of boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap--you name it. Constantly a state of chaos. (not sharing those photos for sure).

Back to Dianna. She is a loyal, hard-working gal that I'm thrilled to work with. Not only does she help pack those pretty packages you receive, she's a multi-tasker and keeps things rolling along. Need ink refills? Dianna. Silver polished? Dianna. Post office runs? Dianna. You didn't actually think I did all of this myself, did you?

Dianna has an interesting background from working for Senator Dianne Feinstein & author, Danielle Steele, to being a mover and shaker in the music industry. Dianna manages one band and two artists. How does she balance being a Mom and having two jobs? Good question. I have trouble handling one job.

Dianna with Thriving Ivory at Alice Radio Station

You may have heard of Dianna's artists; Thriving Ivory, a piano-driven pop rock band that has topped the charts with their single, "Angels on the Moon." Rykarda Parasol plays "rock noir" that evokes moody atmospheres and gin-drenched romanticism. Elliot Randall, a country-rock troubadour, known for his unique songwriting.

D, thanks for being my savior for the last 4 years. Couldn't do it without you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Latest Celebrity Scandal...

(Sent to me by a friend and had to share...giggle, giggle...)

"I was afraid something like this might happen! These temperamental Hollywood-types have very fragile egos! Poor little Vito was obviously disgruntled over not making the 'Romantic Homes' cover and now look... he's been 'moonlighting' and who could blame him!!!" Vito here...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ruffles... are you loving them or all ruffled out?

photo credit:

Have you noticed that ruffles are appearing everywhere? Shirts, dresses, shoes, jewelry, home decor...the list goes on. I must say, I'm fond of ruffles in moderation.

photo credit: ruffled bedding; Anthropologie

The bedding above is from Anthropologie. You like?

photo credit: left to right: dress; Anthropologie, cardigan; Anthropologie, brown ruffled jacket; Anthropologie, skirt; Anthropologie.

I actually purchased the grey cardigan above. It's fun to wear with jeans. I like wearing it over a black or white top and pinning it together with a large vintage brooch. Adds a little glamour and pizazz.

photo credit: left to right: scarf; Anthropologie, handbag; Urban Outfitters, glass and pearl necklace by Lanvin; Net-A-Porter, gloves; Anthropologie, pillow; Pier One Imports, boots; Anthropologie

Ruffles on gloves, pillows, handbags, boots. Is the trend going too far?

photo credit: With This Nest

There is always room for a ruffled cake, don't you think?

How do you feel about ruffles? For those of you who don't live in the US, are ruffled items a hot trend in your neck of the woods as well?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Antiquing in NorCal

Today I thought I'd take the day off (well, sort of) and do a little "hunting" in my neck of the woods. A glorious day in San Francisco with temperatures in the 70's, and up north in the 80's. After a little trip over the Golden Gate Bridge, (yes, I took this photo with my cell phone while I was driving...perhaps not too smart...) I was on my way...

Of course Little Vito was my shopping partner. Vito hates antiquing. He'd much rather be in a park, but he was a good sport as we hit the shops.

I fell in love with these vintage Italian chairs...there was a set of 4, but a little high for my budget...

Such a gorgeous French Art Deco jewelry store sign...lights up too...

This massive Asian lamp was from a San Francisco restaurant. Quite lovely in person!

Nice grouping of vintage paintings...

So, what did I purchase? Some odds & ends, and these vintage French style dining chairs. I loved their nice detail, turned arms and black leather upholstery. A set of 6 packed into my van, and I was on my way home. A fun day for sure. Good to get away from the computer once in awhile! And don't be fooled, the weather here is rarely this nice. We got lucky!!

Thanks for joining me (& Vito) antiquing and wishing you all a spectacular weekend!

Welcome Back Polaroid!

School, 10th street + 6th avenue, New York, NY photo credit: Porter Hovey Polaroid Project

Polaroid photos are hip, don't you think? They're like nothing else. Do you remember taking those fuzzy-looking prom photos with your Polaroid? Waiting for that white film to pop out and turn to color, only to see your date in his powder blue polyester leisure suit looking a little faded. So nostalgic. So not-digital.

The Everett, Middletown, Delaware - photo credit: Porter Hovey Polaroid Project

Well in 2008 the Polaroid company discontinued production of their instant film. This left a lot Polaroid enthusiasts without a place to acquire the film. Where to buy? eBay? The film was gold and was selling for the price of gold!

The Impossible Project, formed by a group of European Polaroid fans and ex-employees, worked hard as a labor of love to bring back the film. The results? They will start producing film and some Polaroid Instant Cameras in 2010! A new digital Polaroid will also be on the market.

Prada birthday shoes, N. 3rd & Bedford, Williamsburg, Brooklyn photo credit: Porter Hovey Polaroid Project

Their die-hard fans are thrilled. Take Porter Hovey for example. Porter is a photographer and has a fabulous blog, the Porter Hovey Polaroid Project , where she shares Polaroid photos that she's been shooting for 4 years. She's a young hipster on the east coast and has a love for the good old Polaroid.

40 5th ave, 11th street , 5th ave, New York, NY photo credit: Porter Hovey Polaroid Project

I'm thrilled that the Polaroid is coming back. Just shows that we still crave nostalgia in spite of these digital times!