Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Have a royally good time this weekend!

psst...and to all you Anglophiles...catch up on your beauty sleep!

image via Paper Garland

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here Comes the Bride...

The clock is ticking and we're just hours away from the Royal Wedding. It begins around 3:00 am my time, so it's going to be an early morning. I don't plan on missing anything!

I'll be huddled up with my little Vito enjoying some scones and tea...

How often do we get to attend a magnificent Royal Wedding? UK friends, please let us know what's going on across the pond!

How will everyone be celebrating if by chance you can't attend in person?

Happy Wedding!

image one: London Connection

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oops! Almost Forgot...



What if You Were Crowned Princess for a Day?

There has been much speculation regarding Kate Middleton wearing a tiara on her wedding day. Traditionally, tiaras are given to Royal brides as the "something borrowed" by the reigning Queen.

Russian Fringe Tiara 1919

Will it be the Russian Fringe diamond tiara worn by the Queen, the Queen Mother, Queen Mary and the Princess Royal? Will it be the Spencer family tiara worn by Princess Diana? Or will the Queen give Kate a tiara as a wedding gift, as she did her other daughters-in-law? Or will Kate just skip convention all together?

Here's a little "Royal Bling" to get you in the spirit!

The Spencer Family Tiara

The Oriental Circlet Tiara, made for Queen Victoria in 1853


Made for Florence, the wife of the second Baron Poltimore, treasurer to Queen Victoria's household 1872-1874. Later owned by HRH Princess Margaret.

diamond tiara, c. 1930

Sarah, Duchess of York tiara


If you were crowned Princess or Queen, which tiara would you want to wear, or would you?


tiara images from here & here & here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dining at the Palace?

Ever imagined dining with the Royal Household? Here are some rules of etiquette via Pat Stonehouse should you be one of the lucky to receive an invite. Or we can pretend, can't we?

1. Stand behind one's chair and wait for the Queen to sit down before being seated.

2. Wait for the Queen to start eating. When the Queen stops eating, so does everyone else at the dinner.

3. The Royal family eats Continental style. The knife is held in the right hand and the fork in the left. Food is conveyed to the mouth with the fork held tines down in the left hand; the fork is not transferred to the right hand the way it is in North America. When finished, the knife and fork are placed parallel on the plate.

4. Should one happen to drop something on the floor, pretend nothing has happened. Footmen will discretely attend to it.

5. Once seated, no one leaves the table until the Queen leaves. It is considered bad manners to leave the table and visit the restroom during the meal.

6. Personal belongings such as cell phones and purses should not be placed on the table.

7. Looking for salt and pepper shakers? They won't be found - instead, look for a salt cellar, which looks like a tiny bowl with a small spoon, and a pepper caster.

8. Don't ask for things not directly within reach. One needs not ask to have anything passed when dining with the Royals. All food is served by footmen, and each guest's place setting has its own individual salt cellar, pepper caster, mustard pot and butter dish.

9. Refrain from clinking glasses to have the newlyweds kiss, as the Queen wouldn't appreciate having her exquisite crystal chipped.

10. What traditionally is called "dessert" is called "pudding" in England. After the pudding course comes the dessert course, which is the fruit course. At this time, each dinner guest is presented with a finger bowl on a gilt plate with a knife, fork and spoon. Guests are to lift and position the finger bowl and napkin to the left of their place setting and lay out their own cutlery for the fruit course. After the fruit is eaten, guests use the finger bowls.

Here are some wonderful books available about dining at the Palace.

For the Royal Table - Dining at the Palace, by Kathryn Jones - "This book is filled with photos of the dining table all set, the silver gilt services, the Victorian goblets, and all the fabulous gilt serving pieces collected for the Royal Collection by King George IV the first 25 years of the 19th century. Can you imagine being a server carrying a large Sevres platter from the Louis XVI service dating to 1760?" -The Anglophile

Dinner at Buckingham Palace, by Charles Oliver --"When Queen Victoria dined-whether it was breakfast or a dinner party for hundreds of guests-it was no casual affair, and this elegant volume, based on the diaries of the son of a royal servant during the Victorian era, pays homage to the pomp, circumstance and food that came from the royal kitchen, and the dining habits of the present Queen and her family."-Publishers Weekly


Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Royal Inspiration

As we prepare for the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate, I thought I'd devote this week to The Royals.

I just love the British-inspired line by the talented Laura Tarrish. Laura began her career as a graphic designer and some years later became inspired by collage-based illustration. Some of her clients include Apple Computer, The Boston Globe and Travel & Leisure. She even designed the retirement card for news anchor, Tom Brokaw!

The 'Royals' Card' (above)

Bridgetown Papers showcases Laura's amazing work which includes wrapping paper, note cards, photo frames, custom invitations and more. Pure eye-candy.

For her custom work she uses her client’s memorabilia, providing a wish list for them after a conversation about their project, and augments with imagery she researches or finds in her archives.

'Kings & Queens' collection (above) includes wrapping paper, notebooks, folders, bookmarks and more.

Laura's an avid collector of vintage maps, postcards, old travel guides, ticket stubs and more. You can see these wonderful vintage objects in her work.

Take for instance this design made from objects she collected while living in London. Isn't it fabulous?

English file folders

There is so, so much more to share about Laura's amazing work. You should see her Paris series!

You must visit her site Bridgetown Papers to view all of her work, and then mosey on over to Felt & Wire Shop to purchase her available retail goods. It's truly spectacular!

Thanks Laura for the wonderful inspiration. I LOVE my goodies!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Greetings...

Wishing you a very Happy Easter!

Enjoy the long weekend and be safe!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thank You and...the Winners!

image: Hello, Friend

Thanks again to those of you who participated in our giveaway. I hope that some of you will have an opportunity to visit the San Francisco Legion of honor to see the amazing work of Isabelle de Borchgrave. It's truly breathtaking. If not, perhaps it will eventually work its way around the world.

The two winners selected randomly via Random.org are...

Brayton Homestead Interiors (Pulp Fashion Book)

Paris Atelier (Pulp Fashion exhibition poster)

Congrats! I will email you for your addresses...

Merci Beaucoup!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Parades

Are any of you going to an Easter Parade?

There is something so glamorous about Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in the movie "Easter Parade," 1948.

Look at the fancy ladies in their bonnets, 1964

Looks like this whole group is ready for a parade! How about you?

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
I'll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade.
On the avenue, Fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us,
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet,
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter parade.



images: randomly acquired w/ no sources

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where the Past Meets the Present

Have you had a chance to see the new shelter and lifestyle magazine, Anthology?

The talented editor Anh-Minh Le and creative director Meg Mateo Ilasco cover d├ęcor, travel, design, entertaining, and culture with wonderful narratives in this beautiful print, yes print, publication.

What a fabulous publication it is -- chock-filled with goodies. Anthology is printed on such quality paper stock that you don't want to ear-mark the pages!


The latest Winter issue, "Where the Past Meets the Present" is filled with such great nostalgia that you must pick up a copy. I especially loved the feature "Once & Again," where members of a Flickr group return to the scene of an old snapshot and align it to create a new photo. Very clever!


So, of course I had to scour through boxes of old photos to find one whose setting was close enough in proximity to visit. The sleuth that I am, I quietly snuck up to my childhood home (not too far away from where I live now) and tried to "match" the photo to the original scene. After the shots, I jetted off as fast as I could!

This is my Mom holding my childhood dog. Actually the grass looks greener now, doesn't it?

My cousin, friend and I (middle) in front of my house, 1972.

I didn't do too well aligning the above photo, but you get the overall feel, right?

You definitely may want to try this little snapshot idea. It's a lot of fun seeing what has changed about the old surroundings and melding the past with the present.

Also, be sure and check out Anthology magazine. It's printed quarterly. Visit their website here to subscribe and find out the stockists in your area. Issue 3 to be out any time now!


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Passover Seder

Jews Celebrating Passover. Ukrainian lubok, XIXth century.

This evening begins the first night of Passover, one of my favorite Jewish holidays.

The Passover seder of retelling & reliving the story of the liberation of the Israelites from the slavery in Egypt is a ritual that has been conducted annually by the Jewish people for over 3,300 years.

Tiered seder plate that holds symbolic foods; Eastern Galicia or Western Ukraine, 18th-19th century; The Jewish Museum, New York

The many rituals and symbols of Passover make this such a special holiday. During the seder I always imagine people all over the world doing the exact same prayers, eating the same foods, the children singing the same songs. I love tradition.

19th century matzah covers from The Magnes Museum Collection

Passover textiles include specially designed covers for the matzah, the unleavened bread eaten during the Passover seder. Not very tasty, but you get used to it and like it. It's sort of like a big cracker.

Last year I was in Round Top, Texas for an antiques show. It just so happened that it fell during Passover and the owners of the Bed & Breakfast that we were staying at invited us to their seder. It was so much fun experiencing a seder in another home with the same traditions, but some different things, such as this Schmura matzah (above).

I wondered, what is Schmura matzoh? I always had the regular square-shaped matzah. Shmura matzah is carefully supervised by a rabbi from the moment the grain is harvested until the finished matzahs are packaged. So, basically, the closest to the matzah that they ate thousands of years ago. Apparently you can only find this matzah in select stores on the East Coast. It wasn't my favorite.

But, who doesn't love homemade matzah ball soup any time of year?

my matzah cover, c. 1900

We will be having our seder at my mother-in-law's house, but thought I'd share this old matzah cover (above) that was passed down to me from my great-grandparents, or perhaps great, great-grandparents. It must date around the turn of the 20th century. I just love its detail and hand embroidery, and cherish it as a part of my people's history.

Wishing all who celebrate a Happy Passover!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Weekend + Find the Photo!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

I've just been playing the "endless loop game" as I like to call it. You know, you find a photo on say, Tumblr, with no image credit which leads you to another Tumblr post and so on and so on...There so many photos I love on my Pinterest boards, but I won't use them on this blog, cause no photo credit!

So.... the way the game works is you tell me the photographer or source of the above image and I send you a little prize. First one to find the credit wins!

Bonne Weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gasp + Giveaway!

I'm still floating on air from my recent visit to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Legion of Honor exhibit Pulp Fashion, showcasing the works of master paper artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave.

I just had to share some of the exhibit with you and then we'll get to the giveaway details at the end of the post!

Inspired by many sources, including museum costume collections, paintings and her own extensive travels, Belgium based de Borchgrave and her assistants recreate iconic and historic gowns out of paper. Yes, paper.

I would have been stunned enough had these detailed pieces been made out of fabric, but paper? I was speechless...

Tears literally came to my eyes when I saw the gowns in the "white room." Absolutely spectacular!

The exhibit includes an array of reproductions of Fortuny, Poiret, and Chanel as well as Dior, Marie Antoinnette, and the Medici’s. This photo above is an installation of Palazzo Fortuny. All paper. Breathtaking in person.

"Imagine: filmy lens paper painted to look like lace, so expertly rendered that you have to take a second and third look to be sure it was not made from the finest cotton threads … paper convincingly painted to mimic linen, silk, embroidery, damask … buttons, jewelry, feathers, edgings, ribbons, even “straw” hats … all made from exquisitely manipulated paper." -Laura Tarrish

Okay, now we get to the GIVEAWAY!! I was so overwhelmed by this exhibit that I wanted to share it with you all. I thought, if you can't make it to San Francisco, I'm going to share it with you some way. So...

First place winner receives this book, "Pulp Fashion" by Jill D'Alessandro, the curator of textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. This book highlights three of de Borchgrave's most beloved series: Papiers a la Mode and the Fortuny and Medici collections.

Second Place winner receives this Pulp Fashion exhibition poster of Marie de Medici. Measures 18" by 24."

  • To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below on this blog.
  • Deadline to enter the giveaway is Wednesday, April 20th. Two winners will be randomly selected and contacted by e-mail after the 20th.
  • Please include a link to your blog or email address in your comment for notification. Open to all readers!

Bonne Chance!

images: Legion of Honor, Felt & Wire