Friday, February 27, 2015

Caught My Eye

Happy Friday, all! Has it been a good week? Sorry to unexpectedly go quiet - there are all sorts of fun and exciting things happening around here and new projects and schedules to adjust to!

If you follow on Instagram, you know I've been painting a sketch a day of a photo that inspires me - it's been so much fun that I wanted to start something similar for the blog. There is so much out there in blogland that is interesting and lovely, so much that captures the gaze and the imagination...

Starting today, I'll be on the look out for something that catches my eye. Not every day or any particular theme - just every once in a while when something makes me stop and take a breath. When there's something that begs a question or that I just have to paint.

Let's start with Tina from The Enchanted Home who compiled a lovely homage to Carolyne Roehm earlier this week... no matter how often we see them, Ms. Roehm's tablescapes and flowers never fail to inspire. They always make me want to pull out my best china and throw a party.

But the photo that caught my eye over at Tina's was of a more simple table setting. Mostly white.... a few white tulips arranged in a tureen... not too fancy. No over-the-top burst of blooms. No priceless blue and white ginger jars lined up like soldiers at attention. Only a few plates set. Just something pretty enough for every day. For me it was a reminder that a little bit of beauty goes a long way, even if there are no guests coming to dine... that as fun as it is to pull out all the stops, sometimes the simplest things resonate then most. 

What do you think? Do you like to set a pretty table even if it's just for one or two? What are your thoughts on the idea that sometimes the simpler, the better? I'd love to know.

Hope you have a lovely weekend! XOXO

Friday, February 20, 2015

Blue Friday at The British Museum

Happy Friday, all! Did you do anything for Chinese New Year this week? We celebrated last month so that some friends who just moved to London could join the party. Speaking of London, for Throw Back Thursday yesterday, I posted a photo of The David Vases on Instagram yesterday...

Sadly these beauties are not in my living room, but in the collection of The British Museum. They are two of the most important and most famous examples of Chinese blue and white porcelain in the world. A dedication on their necks identifies them as a gift to a Daoist temple in 1351- they are known as The David Vases because they belonged to Sir Percival David, who built the most significant private collection of Chinese porcelain, which is now housed museum's Center for Ceramic Studies, which includes 1,700 pieces from the David collection.

Here's a peak of some of the rest of the museum's extraordinary blue and white treasures:

Wouldn't you like to have some of that on your mantel? I'm planning a trip to London next month, and a visit with these beauties is definitely on my list.

What do you collect at your house?

Happy Weekend! XOXO

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Signs of Spring

This Oscar de la Renta dress is sure a sign of spring. It makes me think of an April day in the Jardin du Luxembourg with the green chairs basking in the sun next to a border of purple and green, and the citrus trees dozing in planters just wheeled from the l'orangerie...

In Seattle, we've had a strangely spring-like week with magnolias and daffodils in bloom. And I know my friends from Nashville to New England can use as many signs of le printemps as possible.

Here's to spring - no matter how early or late it arrives this year, you know it must be right around the corner! XO

Monday, February 16, 2015

Have a Lovely Monday, Weather or Not!

Happy Holiday Monday, all. I'm enjoying the long President's Day Weekend, but wanted to pop in with little tulip love - in Seattle, signs of an early spring have arrived, and the bulbs will be blooming any time now. And I know those of you in New York and New England could use all the signs of spring you can get!

Whether the sun is shining or the snow is blowing, here's hoping you have a beautiful week! XO

Friday, February 13, 2015

Have A Rosy Weekend

Happy Friday, all! Did you have a good week? A little Valentine's Book club bash last night at our house was the perfect precursor to Valentine's Day...

It was all roses and champagne and hearts - perhaps not much talk about the book, but more importantly lots of catching up with dear friends who haven't been seen enough during these hibernating days of winter...

Hope your Valentine's Day and your weekend is exactly what you wish it to be! XOXO

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Invitation: To Live With What You Love

When decorating your home, do you follow trends? Or do you avoid them and favor classic styles? Do you tend to repeat a certain look or style element over and over? These are the questions posed by this month's BY INVITATION ONLY topic.

My answer: Yes! To all of the above. Classic - great. Trends - sure. As long they are in keeping with my favorite design philosophy: Live With What You Love. I'm definitely not an interior designer. But I have "design DNA" that I think came from both my grandmothers. And I'm extraordinarily lucky to have my girlfriend Dana who is a talented designer and helps me sort through all the clutter and zero in on what makes sense for my life and my home. That's her pretty blue and white bowl full of shells above...

Over the past few weeks of painting spaces and vignettes from some of my favorite design gurus as part of my Painting a Day project, I've noticed a few things.

They aren't afraid to be bold and use color...

They treasure things that have a story or patina...

The create beauty while creating order through muted tones and repetition... 

They can combine patterns in a way that makes perfect sense - for instance, a mix that is held together by a common color scheme (like my favorite blue and white)...

They never underestimate the power of the tiniest details - or of a well-placed vase of flowers.

But mostly, you can tell they love their homes and the spaces they create. They live beautifully and want to share the things they are crazy about, both with guests and with clients. 

They Live With What They Love.

What about you? What's your design philosophy? Yes to trends? Yes to the classics? Things you repeat over and over?  

I'd love to know! 

And please pop over to see what the rest of the By Invitation Only crew has to say on the topic. You'll find them all at Splenderosa...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Homemade Love: Valentine's Cookie Boxes

Happy Monday, all! It's going to be a sweet week with Valentine's Day on Saturday - and the perfect time to bake up a little homemade love. Here's a cute idea for packaging up some heart-felt treats...

Start with your favorite cookie recipe... You'll find mind here.

Add a heart-shaped tag, some red and white ribbon and pack them all up to go in a Chinese Food box.

And Chinese New Year falls just a few days after Valentine's so these sweet little boxes would be perfect party favors for celebrating the year of the Goat/Sheep, too.

Will you be cooking anything up this week? XO

Friday, February 6, 2015

Have A Sweet Weekend

Don't you just love Fridays? Seems like the perfect time for a little treat... or two, or three.


Any sweet plans this weekend? Hope yours is full of delicious moments and delightful people! 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Survival Guide Part 3: Some Couture Fantasy

It's gray, it's cold, it's rainy... or snowy. It's winter. And this time of year, a little color, a little beauty, and a bit of magic is very welcome. Which is why the January Couture shows are always such lovely fantasy. Of course, the chance that I'll ever wear couture is about the same as Queen Elizabeth inviting me to tea...

But sometimes dreams are just what we need... 

Giambattista Valli's frothy romance, Chanel's enchanted green house, Valentino's walking poetry were especially gorgeous. The craftsmanship, the detail, the theatricality of it all. In a world that moves so fast, it's nice to know that some things are still made by little hands.

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hope you find some time to come in from the cold and dream a bit today! XO

Photos from and Chanel... my illustration


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