It's A Swell Group :: Do Join Us

Mr. T & I have determined we've been way too reclusive in
2009 .. . . and it's about time we have a few friends over to
bring in the New Year.

To set the tone for a more amusing 2010 we're sending out party hats
to a few old friends

and several adventurous souls whom we'd love to get to
know in the coming year.

They'll be an adorable group of costumed dancers ,
lots of festive food and libation.
Shall I save a hat for you ?


Altered Vintage Photographs by Judith Thibaut


My Christmas Card for You

Finding the perfect gift is always a great treat. To stumble upon
something that you think (hope ! ) will please a dear friend .

That's just what I felt when I came across this delightful
vintage Vogue cover. She's just the perfect moment of
elegant enchantment and holiday whimsy I wanted to send
to each of my dear and treasured bloggy friends ... . . from Brisbane
to Oia Santorini, St. Remy de Provence , Paris & Granada ,
as well as so many other glam spots
( New Haven !T E X A S ! Canada!).

Christmas wishes and great big hugs to each of you ... . .


Image from Finsbry Collection


Checking My List

There's a moment .. . just a day or two or three, before
Christmas, when we can finally look at our list and declare that
it's just about all done.

Today is that moment for me.
The packages were mailed and reassuring phone calls
have come in to let me know they arrived.

The last decorations went up yesterday.
( Confession .. . I didn't like the effect of my initial
efforts, so I found myself back on a ladder undoing
and redoing . What a Pathetic Perfectionist I am!)

Perhaps I should just exhale and
skate off into the sunset.


Shopping Deco Style

As you've all so astutely noted in your comments on my previous
post .... . they'll be no returning to Fur Muffs until we have
a return to personal valets & chauffeurs . I'm all for that concept,
but I shan't hold my breath.

This girl seems to have it all in
control , with a muff in one hand and a second hand holding
the leash to a rather bizarre looking dog. Her trusty turbaned
valet struggles to balance an armful of gifts AND a Christmas tree !
I feel pretty sure there's also a liveried chauffeur nearby ... .

Love those gauntlet gloves.

Thanks to Finsbry Collection for this marvelous image.


Deco Divas::Ready for the Holidays

What a stylish group of gals .. .. .
each and every one : Simply Swell!

Though a variety of stylish flappers are depicted in
these jazz age magazine covers - the common denominator
seems to be 'drench yourself in furs and jewels ( preferably pearls).'
This was clearly the Roaring Twenties.
No subtlety allowed.
And then, along came an end to the Roar ... . . in fall of 1929.

It's still fun to glimpse this glittering moment of time through
these beautiful images from Finbry Collection on flickr.
And , by the way, Whatever Happened to Muffs?
Don't you think it's about time they came back !


Karl & Coco :: Dreams of Shanghai

He's done it again . . .. Another dreamy film of
Another Place & Another Time
as done by the multi talented Karl Lagerfeld.
Last year his dreams of Russia were the base for the
Paris - Moscow Collection.
This year he takes us on a dream journey which begins with
the Dutchess of Windsor ascending the mirrored Rue Cambon staircase
for a cup of tea with Madame Coco.
After whisperings of secrets from her Chinese travels, Coco
proceeds to a small nap in the next room and the
dreams unfold.
First to exchange jackets .. . . authentic Mao
for authentic Chanel.
She finds it suits her very well
and leaves the linen handkerchief tucked at the wrist.
(But of course!)
On to the Imperial Palace, where the boy Emperor
and the Dowager Empress welcome her
and remind her ... . . "It's just a dream."

Alas, a very sweet dream
that M. Lagerfeld has shared with us.
Do visit www. chanel.com to see the Paris-Shanghai collection.
And you must see the complete short movie - HERE .

For a little reminder of my previous post of the Paris-Moscow
collection, go HERE.

Our dear Vicki at French Essence is also dreaming
of 31 Rue Cambon today.

(Simply because ... . . one can NEVER have too much Chanel !)


Another Place Another Time :: Winter Wonderland

Tis the Season ... .. .
for schussing down the slopes.
Ski resorts from Gstaad to Aspen are gearing up
for the arrival of the Christmas skiers.

I've always felt that Christmas in a small mountain village
was the ultimate storybook magic.
Snow + Sleigh Bells = Total Enchantment

One such journey, many years ago, so totally captured me
that I extended my visit and made Aspen my home
for 13 years.

Though skiing was a daily part of my life,
I can't say that I ever saw any visions on the slopes
quite as beautiful as these vintage magazine covers.
Having recently discovered the Finsbry collection of ephemera on flickr,
I just had to share these with you. The coming weeks will find more of her
delightful images ... . . stay tuned.


What Is It ? Take a Closer Look

It's a unique and special treat.
It was created this week,
but its origins are at least vintage, perhaps antique.

Do take a closer look, by clicking on these photos.

It was presented to me this morning, as a gift for my
6 year wedding anniversary. Mr. T is a guy who goes by the book.
The book (???) says the correct present for the 6th anniversary
is either steel or candy.

It's not steel.

It's deliciously edible ... . handmade chocolate,
brushed with sterling silver leaf - also edible.
Some of you many remember a Valentines post
which featured a 24 K Gold chocolate heart.

My favorite local chocolatier, Hayward Simoneaux
at Todos Santos, makes these small treasures
using his collection of old chocolate molds.
Click HERE to see more examples of his
wondrous talent.

Know that I'm sending you all a "cyber bite."


Evolution of the Angel of Hope

My love of vintage photography often leads
to some version of these questions:
Who is this?
What brought them to this small captured moment?
in posed images which
involve some costume ... . .

WHY were they dressed like that?

Several years ago I came across this enchanting image
of innocence personified. How adorable is this child?!

She has come to be
my own personal Christmas Fairy .
(It's officially December, so I don't believe I'm
jumping the season for Christmas Fairies!)

Her clear direct look , with her starry crown and wand
just seem to bestow very special blessings of
M A G I C & H O P E .

Our cups can always hold a bit more
of those rare essences ... . .

As you can see, I've had great fun playing with many versions
of my Angel of Hope .. . as I've come to call her.
She's found her way to both digital
and stitched/collaged pieces of my mixed media.
Today she takes her place as my Christmas blog banner,
so I thought you might enjoy a bit of her history.

I do so hope she'll lend a bit of inspiration
to your holiday, as well as be a reminder to
hold great Hope for the coming year.

With the way this world is playing out,
we'll need all the optimism we can muster ... . .


Current Enchantmets:: Arthur's Photos

So what else does the lens of the deeply talented Arthur Elgort focus on,
besides pretty girls perched on leopard spotted cars?
Many moods in many places.

Consider these images just an appetizer.
For a totally enchanting immersion,
treat yourself to a visit to the Arthur Elgort website . ...

The opening, filmed, ballet sequence is
guaranteed to transport you to another world.


The Leopard Returns

Last Spring ( April, actually) I noted that a sure sign of changing
seasons at my house is the retiring of the Leopard stole from the
back of a bench in my dining room to the coat closet.

Spring , Summer and Fall have passed and Winter is upon us.
It's time for the Leopard to resume its cozy position.

The first photo is a small tribute to my Leopard ... . .
just because I adore the concept of a Leopard car !
(With great thanks to the brilliant photography
of Arthur Elgort --- look for more of his work to
be featured soon )

Do you have small seasonal changes at your home?

Read more about my Leopard's story here.


Friday Crush :: Tiger Clutch

Be still my heart.

Mere words would fail to describe how much
I adore this vintage Carlos Falchi bag.

So, I'll not even attempt any clever notes.

Happy Weekend, dear friends . . .. . .


The Next Adventure Calls

It's time to fly away
To another place and another time.

The time has come to regroup
and get back to my creative roots.

I shall return.
Until then, I'll send postcards
from ... ... . ???



Yummy Runway :: Chocolats de Paris

Paris always has it ALL.
But, especially this week.

Crinolines & Hoop Skirts & Marie Antoinette inspired hats.
In my book, those are all reason to swoon.
Dip them all in Chocolate and I'll require a fainting couch.

These yummy creations are but a few of the chocolate inspired &
embellished moments from the opening night fashion show
at the 15th Annual Salon du Chocolat.

Dive in .. . roll around . . . & drown in Les Reves du Chocolat.

Need another bite? Go HERE to see the Daily Mail article.


Reflections on Fall

Looking back to the near (or far) past and reflecting on where
I've been seems to be an activity of the time between summer
and winter. Remembering other falls,
I've realized it's my favorite time to travel.

These images were all from a recent fall trip to Scotland / England /
Ireland & the Isle of Man. Sailing the quiet coasts of these neighboring
islands was a perfect fall adventure. Plenty of time for exploring, as well
as simply reclining on deck and watching the changing vistas.
Yes, there were many photos of those changing coastal views and
treks down country roads. Not surprising.

What I found surprising , upon editing my photos ... . . was the number
of photographs which focused on literal reflections.
Mirror, windows ... . .. even a large glass trampoline!

I snapped the image of the brilliant polka dot jacket as I exited the shop.
I loved it. I wanted to make it mine ! Alas, it was not to be.
(Those with bodies above a size 6 need not apply)

The only way it would come home with me was through this pic.
I hadn't realized I was in the photo until I enlarged it and
found my hand & bracelet shown in the lower left corner.

The bracelet and the jacket are perfect together.
Both share a bit of whimsy .
And .. . . because of closer inspection of this reflection,
I'm happy to report that we'll always be together.
Notes on the above photos:
Image 1 : the Prestonfield Hotel / Edinburgh, Scotland
Images 2 & 3 : Glasgow - Museum of Modern Art & Armani

Closer inspection of all these photos is suggested -
just click on each image to view LARGE.
*** I'll be taking off for a Fall adventure tomorrow.
See you next week , with a few current reflections.


A Suit of Lights .. . . for Two

My closet is full of nonsense. Those pieces pushed all the way to
the back, which I occasionally investigate and wonder :
WHY did I do that ?!!

There are even a few pieces which I occasionally dream of and wonder:
Why DIDN'T I do that ??!

The classic toreadors suit of lights is at the top of that list.
There were several I remember from El Rastro .. . . the wondrous
Sunday Flea Market in Madrid. I so regret caving in to my
husband as he rolled his eyes and reminded me of all the weight it
would add to my luggage. ( I should have at least picked up a
pair of the Perfect Pink tights )

This week brought two matador sightings - a stunning screen, from
artist Christian Gaillard and a lovely post from Lala at My Castle in Spain.
She writes , from Granada, about an article in the current AD /Spain
which features damask fabrics and a torero theme.

The extra weight in the suitcase would have been so worth it!

Have a dazzling weekend . . .. . .