This Little Piggy

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Winston Churchill

For my friend Mackay. xo

Marni for H&M

The big Marni debut for H&M will be next week on March 8th.  I'm not one to be excited about fashion's high-end brands coming to the main stream but this collaboration I am excited about.  I love Marni's bold colors, amazing patterns, and straight forward silhouettes.  I'm loving the broccade and leather in some of the pieces and the accessories are fun and chic.  I'm not going to be standing in line at 5 am (or whenever they open) but will stop by at some point in the morning.  And if these pieces are still there I will go for them.  I think any of these would look great with regular or white jeans. You can see their entire collection here.

Will you be stopping by? What are your favorite pieces?


Chinoiserie Dinner Table

My favorite way to get together with friends is over a home cooked dinner. It gives you a real opportunity to visit without the distractions of a restaurant. I have been collecting china and things for the table for as long as I can remember. Here was a table from a couple of weeks ago. Forgive my photography.

I am ready for spring to arrive, so I added a few yellow flowers. I think I love creating a new table as much as I love to cook the meal. 

Happy Monday!


Stripes and Leopard

My four and a half year old's outfit this morning to go to school.  Ummm??  Hmmm????  I pick my battles and this wasn't going to be one of them....especially when I have been seeing this combination since the fall.

Ok.  You get it.  Fashion is kid heaven lately.  Anyway...  Happy Friday!  I hope you have a marvelous weekend.  xx

Killer Color Combo

What is not to love about neon yellow, white, fuschia and black? Love, Love, Love.  What came first as inspiration for this post anyway? The painting or the outfit?  Not sure really.  I've had that painting in the back of my mind for a while.  Its Nicole Cohen's.  Her blog, Sketch 42, is one of my favorites. In my opinion, it is one of the most original ones out there.  I think its the combination of her voice, taste, and insight that I most admire.  Plus I love her art.  I own three of her paintings.  You could say I am a fan.

Then, yesterday I saw these neon yellow pants and I fell in love with them.  They immediately brought to mind the beautiful necklace I have had my eye on from Noble House (I already have two of her necklaces) and the shoes, which I already own....and one thing led to another..... and voila! An art to outfit post.  

You are probably thinking....What? She owns hot pink ballerinas? I have actually had them for almost three years and I wear them all the time in the spring.  They seem like they don't match with anything right?  But they do.  

Would you wear an outfit like this? or is it to loud? Will someone please buy this cool painting?! 

Painting. Nicole Cohen. Necklace. Noble House. Jeans. Calypso St. Barth. Ballerina's. Ferragamo. Shirt. Vince


I Can See Clearly Now

Today's reveal is my obsession with glasses.
Square, round, large, small.... I love them. They are the easiest way to express your mood. Why not make something utilitarian a style statement.  
A tortoise box next to my bed holds collection of glasses large enough for a small village of farsighted folks. 
From Persols that I have modified from sun glasses to readers, to Prada bifocals that I spent way too much on, to a rainbow of Eye Bobs, to my latest must have, my Warby Parkers that I bought last summer. I can't live without them (or their price).

An innocent looking bed side table
But, come closer...

Well now you know, I have a thing for glasses.

All photographs courtesy of Albertina Cisneros


Fabulous Friends- Sonali Khatti

(Clockwise from top to bottom) Monsoon (my personal favorite), Sonali (the artist), her amazing bangles, one of her wooden blocks used for fabric printing, and a close-up of one of her paintings that includes a piece of fabric from her collection.
Harbor (Huntington Prize finalist)
Torn Asunder

This is the first of a series we will be doing on fabulous people we know or we want to know. They will all have something in common, our admiration. To launch our series we have interviewed Sonali Khatti, a wonderful artist and painter. I love her work. It's so dreamy and ethereal. When I see her paintings I feel like I'm in a state of reverie. Do you agree? And just today she received the news that she is one of the finalists of the prestigious Huntington Art Prize (read more about the prize here). If you don't want to click over to read about it, I will tell you this- it is the most generous award in North America for painting and drawing. I told you she was worthy of admiration!

What can you not live without?
My photographs and collection of vintage textiles. I love photography and have amassed a ton of pictures that I've taken on my travels. I often use them as a starting point for my abstracts. Having a background in textile design, I have a beautiful collection of saris that I treasure and plan to pass down to my daughter. I also have other interesting textiles that I've gathered from my time spent in India. Some have been incorporated into my paintings, some have been made into various things, such as pillows for our home.

What is your favorite place in the world?
Kutch, India. I spent some time there many years ago and fell in love with the culture of the people that live there, especially the exquisite handicrafts created by them. The area is known for it's beautiful embroideries and Kutch is where my collection of textiles began. I would love to go back and revisit it.
What drives you crazy?
Being late makes me crazy.

What inspires you?
My children, my travels and the world around me.

Sonali has the most amazing jewelry collection as well (did you love her bangles above?) I had to take some photos to share with you. I think I was drooling looking at these wonderful works of art. And the little Ganesha figurine, well, I just had to post. He is too cute. He is revered as the Remover of Obstacles (I think I need one of these in my life too!).

Aside from her paintings do you want some of her jewelry too? I do!! See more of Sonali's amazing work here.


Spring Finds at Etsy

I fell down the Etsy wormhole this afternoon. I planned to spend a few spare moments checking in, and 2 hours later I was still engrossed. Here are a few things that get me excited for spring.

Happiness in a handbag
AdgLaMode $25

 Tres chic
Elis Cook $135.
 This would be perfect with summer whites
Noble House $150.
 Wouldn't these be great in a little bowl
Sewn Natural $36
Simply elegant
Driftwood Interiors $25
My kid will be sporting these super hero wings!
Small Fly $24


Blast from the Past

Aren't these photos magnificent? Vintage photos are so inspiring. These are my favorite from my grandmother's collection. Don't you want to be one of these little girls draping in pearls and lace? Nowadays little girls are all about the little princesses and hello kitty. What? no pearl tiaras? And you know those were real!! I need to scan these and frame them. Do you have any fun, family vintage photos?

Flowers for the soul

"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a 
crowded day-like writing a poem, or saying a prayer."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (b. 1906)

Have a great start to your Monday.  I hope it will be a serene and inspiring week for all of you.


Truffle Edamame Lunch On The Go

This is one of my favorite quick bites when I am strapped for time. At the beginning of each week I make a spread of edamame. Its healthy and easy. Our 3 year old loves it too. Its a great alternative to peanut butter for her, not to mention its delicious! The best part is how simple it is to make. 

Yummy lunch

  • Steam a bag of frozen soy beans.
  • Blend with truffle oil, sea salt to taste. (a Vitamix or food processor will do the trick)
  • If its too thick add water until you get the desired consistancy. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 
  • Spread it on a slice of your favorite toast sprinkle a little pepper. I love rye bread with it.

If you prefer, olive oil is a perfectly good substitute for truffle oil. 

Let me know what you think. 

Happy Weekend, Julie


Escher's Appeal

I really like the designs of Prabal Gurung.  I think his pre-fall and fall collections for 2012 are a great mix of cool, edgy and feminine, all at the same time.  I'm very attracted to his prints especially.  If you know me you know the dress above looks just like me.  I love it.  I kept looking at the print trying to think of what it reminded me of - M.C. Escher, the graphic artist!  I love patterns so ever since I discovered Escher as a young girl I loved all his work and his play with positive and negative space.  I had a couple of his posters in my high school dorm.  I loved looking at his impossible constructions and trying and decipher where the technical error was.  You know, like this print.  

So I was inspired by the beautiful dress and Escher's aesthetic and decided to design a study area for Mr. Escher.  And here it is!  I figured he needed that beautiful antique desk (who wouldn't!) with a very comfortable yet good looking chair for his long hours of studying and some patterns around (hence the rug and the vase).  He, for sure, needed a mirror for his many self-portraits like this one:
And the horse statue probably would inspire him to do all the horse prints he did.  And the wooden cubes....well, he was a carpenter and a great woodcut artist and a lot of his designs are based on these shapes.  Perfect!  Anyone else want a study like this one?


One Cool Space- Yes, please

photo by Vassilis Skopelitis

This space feels so relaxing to me.  I want to take my shoes off and chill on that vintage chesterfield sofa.  The wall color is perfect.  Dark walls can make a room feel cozy and soothing while adding interest (see Julie's post on dark walls here).  Julie and I are advocates of the dark wall movement. The grey also makes everything that is hanging pop.  And even though the room has some trendy items like the ampersand (which is everywhere now and probably has the same 'brand' recognition as the '@' nowadays) and the deer with antlers,  it doesn't feel trendy to me. It actually feels timeless and classic. And the white sconce is genius. 

This room is Alketas Pazis', a Greek collector and prop house owner.  His store the Temporary Showroom, has an amazing collection of mid-century antiques.  They rent furniture for the filming industry.  To see more photos of his home visit here.

Valentine's Post Party Recap

Actually, a lot more happened.  But these are the parts I took photos of. I also had a beautiful and equally amazing Valentine's day lunch.  But I forgot my camera. What a perfect day.  I'm thankful for my family and all my wonderful and generous friends.  How was your Valentine's day?  Did you stay at home?  or go out?

I will be back later with another post. Stay tuned.

P.S. If you love the wine bags and want to order some, email my friend.  She can custom make them for you and tailor them to your specific event/situation.  Email her at stephanielessing@msn.com.


Valentines Dinner Party

Happy Valentines Day Everyone

Tonight we are entertaining a few friends at our house. So much nicer than fighting the crowds at a restaurant.
I set the table last night. The theme is "Love Birds". Looking forward to sipping pink bubbles with our friends.

Love Birds

Roses and Hydrangeas piled high
feathered nests adorn the table
candied hearts fill the crystal salt cellars
Silver branches hold twinkling tapers
each plate has its own unique bird
Buddha holds some speckled eggs
tapers in the sconces will add more romance

A gilded sparrow holds some posies

xoxo Julie

all photos courtesy of Albertina Cisneros
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