Friday, May 27, 2011

A Camping We Will Go!

So I am off to camping -- ahem, primitive camping -- with my husband for a few days. The camping was actually my idea. The primitive part? Definitely his. So I am bringing six books in order to endure his marathon fishing sessions. 
Speaking of books ... for a fabulous book about camping, albeit among the lions and elephants of turn-of-the-century Africa, I highly recommend "Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton." He was the lover of Baroness Karen von Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen) of "Out of Africa" fame. But oh, he was so much more. Fans of wayfaring British aristocrats will swoon. 
Another tome, about the same time, place, and social set, "The Bolter." If you've read Nancy Mitford's "The Puruit of Love" or "Love in a Cold Climate," you will recognize "The Bolter" as Fanny's mother. However, she had a real-life inspiration in Idina Sackville, a beautiful mess of a seductress who scandalized British society in both London and Kenya. A truly decadent read.
Then of course, there are any of Peter Beard's diaries. How I would love a campsite like his in Hog Ranch, Kenya (photo by Alexandre Bailhache). 
 Ours won't be anything like his, I feel certain. 

Okay, I'm heading off now for this big adventure. Until we visit again, after the holiday, have a great weekend! 
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pillows, the Cocktail Rings of the Home

I recently got a Singer sewing machine as a gift from my darling husband. So what does a novice seamstress dream of, since the last thing she made was an all-white, Southern belle sundress in high school? Pillows and drapes, naturally. But what is so aggravating is there are so many ready-made pillows, how can one top them? 
One of my favorite pillows of all time, "Disco Lady," by genius potter/interior designer/marketer Jonathan Adler. But at $165, it ranks up there with my "delusions of grandeur" purchases. In Adler's manifesto, he says, "We believe tassels are the earrings of the home." But I believe that pillows belong in the jewelry box, too. Maybe they are the cocktail rings of the home?
Another gem from Adler is the St. Tropez pillow for $98. He also has Capri, Cuba, Acapulco, Monte Carlo and Ipanema. (Reminds me that I need so many more stamps on my passport.) 
These "Love" pillows from Marlo Lorenz are awfully cute. 
  This bird pillow from Sukan Art on, at $49.95, is kind of darling, no?
I just love some pom-pom trim. This matryoshka doll fabric has been trimmed in butter yellow pom-poms for a sweet style that would be perfect for a nursery. How-to instructions are at  I hope something similar mysteriously materializes from my Singer ...
Friday, May 20, 2011

Simply Smitten by Janet Hill's Paintings

I am smitten by the vintage glamour that pours out (in fairy dust, I'm sure) from Janet Hill's oil paintings. This Canadian painter works in oil, and her subjects include chic women, objects, food, and interiors. I especially love that one can have a more affordable version of these through Hill's Esty shop, where she offers copies as giclee prints. 
This one is called "The Ship Sinker," and I think it's obvious why. 
Love "Paige Reads Peter Pan." Makes me wish I was going to a summer dance, circa 1947. There would be punch, and some Kennedy-esque youth would spike it with bourbon. And you'd quick-step until dawn, upon which time there would be a breakfast buffet. I've heard about such affairs ... only wish I had been there. 
"Saturday Morning at Pemberley Flat" details a pug, Bloody Marys, and a room straight out of Dorothy Draper's sketchbook ... I'll take it. 
I wish I was invited to this "Sunday Picnic." 
And "Francine and her Frenchie" makes me want to don sparkly ballet flats and put Bunny in a  bicycle basket.

Have a great weekend!!!
Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dare I Attempt Le Macaron?

I've been away for several weeks, working on personal projects. One is a catered baked goods biz called Lemondrop Bakeshop. I'm going to start out small, selling old-fashioned Southern recipes at the local farmer's market. Banana pudding, buttermilk pie, cupcakes with buttercream frosting ... my childhood favorites. But I'm already plotting my next move...
Yes, I think I'll attempt macarons. 
Clearly I will need a copy of this.
And if I can master the Religieuse Rose somehow, I'll think I died and went to heaven ... or at least to Notre Dame. This is supposed to look like a nun's habit. Do you see it? I wonder. 
And while we're on the topic of Parisian pastries, I must mention this fabulous New York painter, Carol Gillott. She has a watercolor portrait business called "Take Your Pet To Paris." She sets your pet in some Parisian scene, often in front of the LadurĂ©e shop. I love this little kitty. 
I'm thinking a certain Bunny Parr-Moody would look awfully cute in front of LadurĂ©e ... but I digress.