Just a few words (and no pictures) to say that I am traveling 'en famille' at the moment. New York, (Yipiiii!!) then Vermont and Canada.
If I find internet connection I might peek in, or should I say I sneak in some internet R&R, but that would be bad of me as I am making an attempt to disconnect from the virtual world and connect instead with the real world, a.k.a. my family and... gasp.... nature!
I wonder what it will be like to single task. I wonder if I can handle a slower pace. I wonder if the mosquitoes will devour me and me alone. (And I suddenly have a hunch mosquitoes are the very reason my family insist on bringing me along.)
I'll be back on the fourth of July. I love you guys!!!!!!
... with AT&T for the last hour and fifteen minutes. They were ripping me off, big time. Pay careful attention to your bills, guys! It pays. I will be saving $40 monthly and will receive a $50 coupon to reimburse me for charges they could not justify. All it took was persistence... and PMS. Actually, we're in the MS zone at the moment. It reminds me of the yellow 'police line' type tape i use to own, only it said "PMS LINE DO NOT CROSS." Hilarious.
And it feels so good to know I'm not the only wildly hormonal girl on the planet. (Though not so good to find out from some of you that menopause is no relief.)
But the sun is shining here in So.Cal. School ends today. I'm throwing a small pool party this afternoon for my nine year old's friends and their mothers. Life is overall good, with blessings big and small every day.
The rest is just noise.
Really, really LOUD noise.
Look what I found in the ever-gorgeous Purple Area. Love these.
I recognize most of the tableware on these pictures is from rice. Purple Area links to a company called Inreda. Something tells me it will require further exploration, but I got to get to work now.
Clue # 1 Friday: Got all chocked up watching a class of fifth graders
reuniting with their mothers …after a field trip.
Clue # 2. Saturday: Laughed hysterically during You don’t mess with the Zohan.
Clue #3 Saturday. Intense and unexplained burst(s!!) of libido (just in time for father’s day, though.)
Clue #4 Sunday. Wrote a very public bitter and angry post about my dead father.(Thanks for the support girls, it went straight to my heart.)
Clue #5 Monday. Three hours of frenetic and masterful writing.
Perhaps my life’s best work. Realized an hour later that it was, in fact, absolute crap.
Clue #6: Monday. Went
off on best friend for forgetting my birthday a month and a half ago
(note:turns out she hadn’t.I am the one who somehow forgot her card
and the rose bush she had brought me the week before.) Scene ended with sobs and professions undying love on my part.
Oh, wait… Could it be..?could it be..?
Funny how it always comes as a complete shock.
Now that I finally know, I better stock up on bonbons and put
a pillowcase over my head for the next few days.
The damage done so far: priceless.
Here: a picture that perfectly illustrate how I'm feeling at the moment:
But I must: I keep coming across such inspiring images. And you know, when you get your hands on some (eye) candy, you simply have to share with your friends. Thanks to someone (? can't remember, please tell me if it's you.) I discovered the photographer Sandra Lane, represented by Sarah Kaye. What a gorgeous, gorgeous world this woman inhabits!
It is so hard to chose just a few images.
What? Do you mean to say I don't have to chose?
Click in the images below and it will open onto the Sarah Kaye website. This is a typepad feature I just figured out. Slowly but surely, I am taming the Typepad beast.
I'm in awe of those who can not only make pretty things with their bare hands, but come up with entirely new ideas. One day I fell in love with this little guy I discovered about a year ago in Molly Chicken.
I adore Molly Chicken. Reading this blog makes crave a slower pace, and playing with yard, textiles and ribbons. It makes me want to hide away the pens, toss the keyboard and take out the old (rarely used) sewing machine.
What usually happens is that I will go to the fabric shop, get all excited, get a few yards of this and that, get home, start cutting twice, measuring once, ruin half the fabric, get disillusioned, put it all in a box, and rush back to the pen and the keyboard.
Leave it to the pros, I say:
Molly Chicken even gives you tutorials to some of her creations. I Really want to maker this Pom-pom today. I used to make them as a child. Not as cute as those, granted. The tutorial is right here. Pleeeease don't tempt me Molly Chicken: I've got deadlines.
From reading everyone's blogs, it seems that quite a few American 'bloggeuses' are planning a trip to Paris.
Good for you!-- for braving the the bad economy, the dismal dollar exchange rate, the preposperous requirements for passports to be still valid six months from your date of departure, (WTF?) and the extra charges for suitcases gas, and the right to go to the bathroom (maybe I exaggerate here, but barely) .
You are going to Paris even though everyone told you the Parisians were this way and that way... but you are bigger than that! (Plus you want to score macarons, so you don't have a choice do you?)
I've been receiving many e-mails asking me for my favorite addresses in Paris. Here is one. The lovely boutique Loulou Addict. It's also a blog. The boutique is situated in the 11th arrondissement, metro Bastille. Bastille is cool. Bastille is hip, so you must visit the quartier anyway. Cécile, the owner of Loulou Addict and I seem to have all the same tastes! I absolutely love the way she displays her merchandise.
Loulou Addict is also an online store, and maybe she'll ship to those of us who can't go to Paris this year.
I'm all over the place today again. At the moment, the insanity versus enjoyment of life quotient is high. Maybe when school ends, so will insanity. (Though it could get worse. What do you do with your children for two long months? Us: we argue. It's quite stimulating, really.)
But blogging is still fun. For one Apartment Therapy L.A. talked about my blog today. The sudden influx of traffic is baffling. But even more puzzling to me is that they know my blog exists at all.
We're traveling to New York a the end of June, then off to beautiful (and so unlike L.A.) Bennington Vermont where we have a house. (I'll blog about the house another time.)
I had a micro-tantrum, stomped my feet and expressed the desire to go somewhere new this year. So it is that we will be spending a few days in Montreal.
MONTREAL CANADA, BABY!!!!
Yikes! Montreal? Canada? What have i done? Now it's up to me to find a place to stay and i am absolutely hopeless at planning a trip of any sort. See, I'm a confident virtual traveler who dreams of faraway places and adventures, but the reality is that the non-virtual (also called actual) me is an utter and complete chicken.
And I get overwhelmed with choices. So far I must have looked a 10,000 website and blogs, and I'm no more enlightened as to where to go, what to do or where to stay. I'm afraid because I want to go everywhere, do everything and stay everywhere, but the way it's going I'll probably end up going nowhere, doing nothing and booking the most horrid room in the most undesirable location. Or such is the fear.
Can you help? Do you know what part of Montreal is best, do you know of a quaint bed an breakfast, or a small hotel? Where to eat? What website or blog to guide me through this?
Thank you How About Orange for being up as early as I was, because I had painstakingly emptied my google reader the night before and had nothing to feast my eyes on. And I was up, and cranky, and anxious.
Now I have a personal affection for children drawings. I can't trash my kids most mundane doodle. It's becoming a problem because my 9 year old is a heavy producer. At age two he went through an entire ream of paper and covered them with crisscrossed lines, in what we now believe were train tracks. (There was also the possibility that he was satan.)
There are many more of Yeondoo Jung's odd, whimsical worlds here. Some of the craziest and most interesting are the series Bewitched, which magically transform people into their deepest wish for themselves, is something between funny and heartbreaking, and the series Location transports you to an entirely new universe between reality and dream.
Only Fabienne does not want to leave. She has put down roots in California. Roots so massive that having to sever them might well break her heart.
See, Fabienne fell in love. With a house.
It was a terrible house a first, a raggedy, overly stuccoed, a jumble of rooms and successive additions that ran into each other without rime or reason. But the location was amazing, set right on Malibou Lake, a magical place that is also a well-kept secret. (Malibou and Malibu, are minutes from one another) Imagine a small lake in the mountains, but minutes from the beach, and a short driving distance from L.A. with unpretentious homes, small docks and boats, fishing and swimming, ocean air and mediterranean vegetation. Imagine this:
Fabienne, who went to Law school and translates books indifferently from French to German, Spanish or English, began to dream of a way to transform the dog of the neighborhood into something more compatible with her Shabby Chic taste, her fondness for Tudor architecture and into a proper vessel for her collection of over 10,000 books. She proceeded to collect hundreds of magazine clippings, then she dreamed, thought, planned, drew and dreamed some more. An architect was hired, plans were drawn.
Then disaster struck.
The worst kind of disaster.
Two years later, Fabienne picked herself up, and grabbed on to the momentous beast the house remodel would be. She threw herself into it with all her spirit, improvised herself as a contractor, hired capable hands and went to work. This was not a go to the spa and sign checks sort of remodel. It was the knukkle dragging, stone lifting, nail-wrecking sort. In a short (considering the extent of what was accomplished) 18 months, she poured all of her passion, imagination, love and talent into the creation of this amazing house right on Malibou Lake.
In case you think I might be exaggerating, here are some before and after pictures:
There is such soul in this house I was immediately awed when I stepped inside.
The house is brand new, yet it feels as though it has been lived in for hundreds of years. It smells of wood and patina and books. Visiting the house is an adventure. There are ancient doors, and stairs that lead to hidden rooms; there are corners and discoveries everywhere, whimsical details, odd collections.
From every window, the awesome view of the lake and the mountain. Outside there is a bridge and even a moat! Not to mention a stream, stones steps and pathways, arches made of branches and twines, and an exquisite English garden.
There is a time when life insist that you must cut the cord, or leave a loved one behind. In his case, a loved house. Bonne Chance Fabienne.
Just a small break today between one kid's party and another. (My social life is that of my 9 year old.) A few minutes to check e-mails and my favorite blogs.
Purple Area wrote a post about the famous Light, Locations, which is based in England I think. I clicked immediately to this page: and like Borat would say "woa, woa wee wah." (I know the Borat reference is random, but my kids have been speaking like Borat these last few days and it's catching.)
The house is in Mallorca. Notice the spare use of pink and blue and the gorgeous stone, wood and natural textures. This is heaven.
This, by the way, is precisely the style I was going for when I designed my lansdcape.
Of course things went awry and budget dried up. It seems to me that the budget for this house did not dry up. If there is one thing I regret is chickening out of painting the woodwork in this aqua blue. I went for a greenish-gray instead.
I wonder what's going on with me? The more I read about architecture, design. The more I look at Etsy and drool, the less I actually want stuff in my house. The more my personal stuff feels like an tar-coated albatross around my neck. This morning I packed boxes and boxes of objects I could not separate from, could not live without, in an effort to create more visual space. It's a matter of sanity suddenly. And now I want to let go of it completely. I don't even want it in boxes. I don't want my former precious collectible--now junk--near me.
Is there a shrink in the house?
So these rooms, clean and pared down to the essential, yet warm and cozy. (Is this another way to say 'Swedish?' ) are like (mmm.. oh well...) a visual oasis to my parched corneas.
What do you do with your unwanted decor stuff? Do you sell it on e-bay? Give it away? Do you sell it on etsy or at garage sales. Or are you of the hoarder persuasion?
1- the issue I just received features yet another long-legged vixen with tanned skin, smooth long hair, hip wardrobe, minimalist waists, and a trendy decorator. Here is the deal, though: if I’m ever in the mood to feel lousy about my wrinkles and my ever-expanding derriere, I read Elle, or Vogue, thank you very much. I like decoration magazines precisely because they are guaranteed safe and nymphet-free.
2- haven’t we seen this cover before? I can’t tell your covers apart.
3- there is nothing in this issue I haven’t been introduced to months ago via Decor8.
4- and the layout? Looks like the same stuff thrown together in a very formulaic way. Bo-ring.
Must I really give up on you, D? Are you listening?
These photographs were borrowed from a magazine I can't get at home but would love to: the Danish Bolig.
Maybe the blogs I have been reading, but my attraction to color is, if not fading, at least substantially toned down by my new passion for white. This Bolig interior just might be the perfect combination of white and color, of modern and vintage, of clean lines and earthy textures. I think it’s in the air, wanting less, craving simplification, a low-tech life with only the things I need.
And speaking of things I don’t need; I don’t know about you, but when I dream of decorating my house, I can’t remember a time I considered including a nymphet. My husband and I might disagree on this, but I have veto power.
Back in April, Di Overton, my favorite Anglaise, the always fabulous entrepreneur, owner of Ghosts Furniture an author of Designers Block posted about this picture perfect bed and breakfast in France in the region of Bretagne, (Brittany). I rediscovered her post while looking for another one on Shabby chic knickers. (Here, by the way is the picture I was after:)
Aren't those something else? I was trying to prove a point at home (since I've had some complaints,) that it is absolutely hip and fashionable for me to hang on to my old undies-that-have-holes-in-them-but-are-so comfortable-to-wear. (The etheral panties above are from the French company Second Sexe. Beware, it's steamy!)
But I digress.
Back to the Di's original post about a French Bed and Breakfast (it's called Maison d'hôtes in France) petites maisons dans la prairie. Those are four little house that were lovingly remodeled while keeping the bones and the old stone intact, and darlingly decorated by the Lamour family (Their real name). Take a look.
Now this in Bretagne after all, so pack an Umbrella, especially in August. The rest of the year one of those yellow rain suits will suffice. (Yes, I'm bitter about Bretagne weather.)
Getting back to Designer's Block. This is truly a blog that will blow you away. Di finds amazing stuff and she is eclectic in her interests, and very funny. If you haven't experienced Designer's Block yet. you haven't lived!
Di, did you get the Shabby Chic panties in the end?
P.S: It's pretty obvious I still don't know how to post on the new and impaired.. I mean improved Typepad. Please bear with me as i heave.