Friday, April 30, 2010

Los Angeles Modernism Show & Sale

Santa Monica's Barker Hanger is hosting the Los Angeles Modernism Show & Sale this weekend. This much anticipated annual event draws collectors from across Southern California and features sixty-five noted national and international decorative and fine arts dealers representing all design movements of the 20th Century. The modernism show will highlight the works of celebrated 20th Century designers including Wright, Sullivan, Le Corbusier, Van der Rohe, Rohde, Eames, Noguchi, and many others. All merchandise offered for sale at the show is authentic; with no reproductions permitted.

The exhibition and sale will feature furnishings, decorative arts, and fine arts in room-setting vignettes including furniture, lighting, paintings, prints, silver, porcelain, art glass, pottery, rugs, textiles, bronzes, vintage clothing, and more. Come celebrate iconic 20th century design.

Weekend show hours are: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15; good for return all weekend. Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Air Center, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica 90405.
Saarinen Tulip Table
Charles & Ray Eames DCW-Dining Chair

Noguchi Coffee Table

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Jazz Bird

Blossom Dearie (1928-2009) was a singer, pianist and songwriter best known for her eponymous platinum pageboy and her halting little-girl voice. She's best known for the 6 albums she made for Verve Records in the late 1950's and early 1960's. I've had Blossom's version of Rhode Island is Famous For You running around in my head since I first heard it about a 100 years ago.

Even if you think you've never heard Blossom Dearie, you've heard her. Remember Schoolhouse Rock!? She was the voice of Unpack Your Adjectives and Figure Eight. Her New York Times Obituary states that Ms. Dearie didn’t suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn’t like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve. How could you not love her?
Below is a link to Blossom singing The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April is the cruelest month

It's also National Poetry Month. Let's celebrate with some poems that celebrate April...

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers."

- from 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot

Always Marry An April Girl by Ogden Nash

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you.

April Is The Saddest Month by William Carlos Williams

There they were
dog and bitch
halving the compass
Then when with his yip
they parted
oh how frolicsome
she grew before him
dancing and
how disconsolate
he retreated
she following
through the shrubbery

Absent Place -- an April Day -- by Emily Dickinson

Absent Place -- an April Day --
Daffodils a-blow
Homesick curiosity
To the Souls that snow --

Drift may block within it
Deeper than without --
Daffodil delight but
Him it duplicate --

Song Of A Second April by Edna St. Vincent Millay

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God Save the Queen!

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II. Born April 21, 1926, Elizabeth has been the queen regnant of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms including Canada, Australia, the Bahamas and Grenada since the death of her Father George VI in 1952. Her official title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. Visit her official website at it includes lots of interesting trivia and you can even follow the Queen on Twitter! It's good to be Queen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's your signature scent?

Every woman should have a signature scent.

Mine is Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey. Introduced in 1992 L'Eau d'Issey (Issey's water) is a light, fresh, water floral with hints of lotus, cyclamen, freesia, and white lilies. The base notes are sandalwood, moss and cedar which keep the fragrance from being too feminine and sweet. The bottle, designed by Miyake himself, is based on the view of the moon behind the Eiffel Tower from his Paris apartment. I occasionally wear his men's fragrance L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme when I'm wearing a tie.

I adore Robert Piguet's Fracas, Hanae Mori Magical Moon is divine and one of the best presents I ever received was a bottle of Chanel No. 5 on my 40th birthday along with a note that said "you're finally old enough to wear this". But my go to bottle will always be Issey Miyake. What's your signature scent?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What I Want Now - Shagreen

Shagreen is the prepared skin of sea skates like the pearled sting ray. The skins are naturally covered with round, closely set scales, whose size is chiefly dependent on the age and size of the animal. These scales are ground down to give a roughened surface of rounded pale protrusions, between which dye (originally green was typically used but today anything goes) shows when the material is coloured from the other side. This latter form of shagreen was first popularized in Europe by Jean-Claude Galluchat a master leatherworker in the court of Louis XV. Those clever clever French. Today shagreen is on everything from small luxury goods to console tables, mirrors, even wallpaper.

 Close-up of Shagreen

Vintage English green Shagreen box available on 1st Dibs

Gold Shagreen and ebony table by Lamont

Shagreen cuffs by Charlotte Moss

Monday, April 5, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

It's finally raining in sunny Southern California!  Time to parade your raingear.  Or, if you're anything like me, spend 15 minutes furiously searching through closets, behind doors and under the bed before finally remembering I left my umbrella in the trunk of the car last time it rained and getting completely soaked in the mad dash to my car to retrieve it.  Looks like it's time to invest in another umbrella, one for the car and one for my apartment.  I'm considering these...

Louis Vuitton - luxurious and practical!

Paul Smith - very Brittish.

Lulu Guiness - waterproof trompe l'oeil

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Don’t let April's rainy days get you down. May flowers are just around the corner and besides, rain is the perfect opportunity to look cute and trendy in your Hunter Wellingtons.  Legendary for comfort, style and fit, the Hunter Wellington is a fashionable rainboot, perfect for wearing with everything from your favorite raincoat to a ball gown. Its design has won it iconic status and made it a must have fashion statement. Paddington Bear, Kate Moss and the Queen all wear Hunter wellies!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Rhubarb Fool

The fool originated in England in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. It is a dish sublime in it's simplicity, combining tart fruit with whipped cream. The British traditionally made this dessert with gooseberries, but in spring rhubarb is the perfect choice, with its bright, tart flavor. A very simple dessert to prepare, any fool could make it!

Rhubarb Fool

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 4 cups or 1 pound prepped)
1/2 cup honey
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 vanilla bean, split
Pinch of fine sea salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar


To make the fool, put the rhubarb, honey, orange zest and juice, candied ginger, vanilla bean, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, then cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 10 minutes, until the mixture has come to a boil and the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then remove the vanilla bean. Transfer the compote to a bowl, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, until very cold.

Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, either by hand or using an electric mixer on medium speed. Set aside 1/3 cup of the compote to garnish the dessert, then fold the remaining compote into the whipped cream. Spoon the fool into six 1/2-cup glasses or dishes and chill for 1 hour before serving topped with the remaining compote.