Friday, January 30, 2015

Bubbles, Buzz and Blooms

Happy Friday, all. Any plans to watch the big game this weekend? Not sure who will deserve it and who will need it, but you can bet there will be champagne at our house on Superbowl Sunday in hopes that it will keep things sparkly and bubbly no matter who wins. (Mr. H and I are on opposite sides of the couch on this one - he's from Boston, I'm a Seattle girl - so this could get interesting.)

If you're more Legion of Bloom than Legion of Boom, something else to watch for this weekend is a giveaway over on The Buzz Blog. Earlier this month a gorgeous bouquet from the Diane James Home Spring/Summer 2015 collection popped up on my Instgram and inspired a sketch for day five of my Sketch-a-Day project (more about that here). The Buzz girls, Cynthia and Carolyn, requested a painting... 

I painted them a second sketch, which they plan to give away to their one of their readers.

So please pop over to The Buzz and say hi to Carolyn and Cynthia.

Here's hoping that you win the painting... and that the Seahawks win the Superbowl!

Cheers! XOXO

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Pop of Color in the Heart of Paris

Happy Wednesday, all. How about a little splash of color to boost us through the middle of the week? It's been so lovely to see the bright lanterns currently hanging in the Place de Furstemberg for Paris Deco Off pop into my Instagram feed this week. It reminded me that I never shared photos from last year when they danced over my head as I walked through the loveliest little square in Paris. 

Right around the corner from Ladurée Royal, the Place de Furstemberg measures just 20 by 22 meters, but the world's greatest fabric houses grace the tiny square. Pierre Frey, Rubelli, Manuel Canovas, Osborne & Little all share the place with the four flowering paulownia trees and 19th century lantern described by Henry Miller in Tropic of Cancer.  Delacroix lived and painted here the last years of his life and the Musée National Eugène Delacroix occupies his apartment and studio.

Even without the lovely, cheerful lanterns swaying in the tree branches, it's one of those spots in Paris where one can't help but be charmed. Grab a box of macarons from Ladurée or a choux or two from La Masion de la Chou, window shop, wander and soak up all the color.

Where do you wish you were wandering this week? XO

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Art of Travel: Going Solo

Happy Monday, all. Did you enjoy the weekend? I spent some time doing French garden chair studies in prep for a larger painting that's been on my mind. This guy above, spotted on a solitary walk through the Tuileries reminded me of how much I enjoyed being alone in Paris last year. Do you do much solo travel? Would you try a trip on your own?

Being alone in Paris surprised me - the expected loneliness never crept in. To be able to wander, to take photos until fingers turned blue, to set my own schedule, revealed a city never before seen. 
Of course, traveling in pairs brings different rewards. Another Paris altogether will be found the next time I visit with Mr. H. And it's always nice to be part of a pair. But there's something about solitude that paints an unexpectedly happy picture.

How about you? Do you enjoy traveling by yourself, or would you always prefer to have company?


Friday, January 23, 2015

Seeing Rouge

Ever since I spotted these brilliant Red Dior Shoes on The Cut, they've been dancing in my head. I'm a little obsessed. Perfect for pairing with a little black dress - or a favorite pair of jeans and a white T-shirt.

Wearing them might feel like zipping around Paris on a bright Red Vespa... 

Of course a new Red Lipstick may give you all the zoom you need - and would be a bit more practical than a pair of red suede heels... or a Parisian Vespa ride.

Which is your more your speed?

Happy Weekend, everyone. Whether you're putting on your dancing shoes or cozy-ing up in your favorite slippers, hope it's a lovely one! XO

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreaming Of... A Paris Project

This time last year, I was on a flight to Paris... have to say there is some regret that a repeat of that adventure is not on deck this week. Alone in the city, I got hooked on Instagram... started playing with a new fancy camera. Inspiration was everywhere.

Looking through the photos, I'm thinking of a starting a Paris series... I'd love to spend a few days... a week... a month... sketching there en plein air, but the next best thing would some time in the studio painting from the photos. There are a few ideas budding, let's see how they bloom!

Where in the world are you most inspired? XO

Monday, January 19, 2015

Table Inspiration: A Chinese New Year Celebration

Happy Monday, all! How was the weekend? Even with the excitement of a Seahawks victory (and the Patriots for Mr. H - things are going to be interesting at our house come Super Bowl Sunday), the true highlight was an early Chinese New Year's party at the home of my amazing friend Dana. We've been celebrating New Years - either the January 1 variety or Chinese New Year - with the same crew for a decade now. Two of them are about to move to London, so we had our bash a month early. As always, Dana set the most gorgeous table - please note the gilded fortune cookies

Willow Ware plates in a midnight shade, Grace Glassybabys, oranges and brightly hued roses, paper lanterns and her lovely collection of blue and white all added up to something extraordinarily beautiful.

Talk about good fortune. How lucky am I to have a friend with such great style? You can follow her on Instagram: @danamerrillstyle 

And isn't there something about a party in the middle of January when everyone has been hibernating for a few weeks? So wonderful to celebrate the company of dear friends.

What's your favorite reason to celebrate this time of year? XO

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Survival Guide Part 2: Cozy Up and Bloom

Don't you think that one of the best things about winter is cuddling up in cozy sweaters? Equipment makes the softest, chicest cashmere (never itchy!), and their Sloane sweater in a pretty floral print is just the right dose of happy for gray winter days. It's my new favorite! And when warmer weather comes along, pair it with white jeans and sandals and say hello to spring.

Hope your weekend is warm and cozy... XOXO


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