Another Place-Another Time:: Lake Garda

Arriving by helicopter is always such fun.
Not exactly subtle or understated - but always a giggle.
The waiter on the terrace seems
to have noticed .... . these birds aren't noted for being quiet.

The trip from Milan was rather quick and oh so beautiful cruising
over the mountains to the western shore of Lake Garda. I'm delighted you've
decided to continue our little trek through a few of my favorite very
special spots in Italy.

I'm told this villa , built in 1892, underwent a 4 year renovation and opened
in 2001 as a small (15 rooms + 3 cottages) hotel which oozes rustic elegance.

Such sumptuous yet cozy details . Love the feel of these reception areas ... .
before we head up to our rooms - let's stroll the gardens and see what we can find.

Acres of gardens with numerous paths to all kinds of enchantment.
This looks interesting ... . let's take a peek.

What fun ! Looks a bit like Alice in Wonderland's choice for
tea with the Mad Hatter.
Shall we reserve a table with a view of the lake for dinner?
For now, I'm feeling a small afternoon treat is in order.

Perfection .. . A Gelato cart waiting on the lawn under the trees by the pool.

And a very special pool it is. Don't you just adore the vast manicured lawn
which reaches from lakeside to poolside,
broken only by a shaded canopy of ancient trees ?
I hope you'll find your room as delicious as I find mine ... . the balcony with
it's own Lemon tree and canvas cushioned stone balustrade is such a lovely detail.

An octagonal room with an octagonal bath .. . . those are hard to find.
But, well worth the trip - whether by land, air or sea.


FYI: This week we've found the Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli
in the village of Gargnano on Lake Garda.
As if the gardens, the views, and the exquisite service
weren't enough ... . it has quite a bit of history. Benito Mussolini spent his
last years in seclusion here. Winston Churchill and D.H. Lawrence considered
it to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Current amenities include silk lined bath robes, Aqua di Parma toiletries,
and laptops on request. All well and good ... . but the fact that they gladly
unpack and repack your luggage adds just the perfect touch of heaven -
along with their laundry service: each article of clothing is folded, wrapped
in tissue and secured with a ribbon and a sprig of fresh lavender.

Big sigh.

Be still my heart -
I think I shall never leave.


Bespoke Gloves :: Paris

I'm swooning again.
Isn't it always uplifting to come across someone doing something
which is almost a lost art .. . . and doing it with great style ?

Mary Beyer opened her handcrafted glove boutique in Paris just a year ago.

I have a particular fondness for gauntlets and fingerless gloves,
so I was thrilled to see these examples.
Natty little spats for the wrist ! LOVE .. . .
Sculptural elegance, indeed.


Visit her online boutique / gallery HERE.


A Small Sojourn in Tuscany

I need an adventure.
Would you like to play?

Let's hop in my sweet little '59 Bentley convertible and
wander the backroads of Tuscany - just beyond Florence.

This looks promising ... . . let's explore.

Love the expansive garden and the solid simplicity of the house.

I wonder what's just around that corner .
So much for simplicity .. . . this looks enchanting!
I like.

Let's have lunch while they find just the perfect rooms for us.

Since I requested a suite with a ridiculously fabulous bath .. . .
I'd say this is perfection.

Can't wait to dive into that tub and investigate the frescos . . .

Let's plan on a swim in that divine pool in the garden at sunset.

This is just the weekend sojourn I needed -
I'm thrilled you could join me.

We've found the Villa Le Rose,
a 15th century Medici villa nestled in the Florentine hills
and recently renovated by the Ferragamo family.
All six bedrooms and vast gardens can be ours for
around 4,000 euros a night.

Chef & Butler included.


Crumbling Cuban Color

These images speak of the Latin love of vibrant color , along with
a determination to bring a dose of cheer into obvious decay.

Once again, Michael Eastmans' photography speaks eloquently of
Another Place & Another Time .... . . and changing realities.


Delicious Decay

Please, please .. . . nothing too slick or perfect.
Give me ripped, frayed, faded & crumbling.
Yesterdays pretensions give way to today's reality.
Allow well worn textures to speak of times past
and footsteps etched upon stone.

Michael Eastman's photography captures all this and more.
Stories shared and secrets unspoken.
These are some of his best known images from the Cuba series.
Stay tuned for more from Cuba, as well as his Vanishing America photos.


Visual Poetry :: Inspiration from Maine

I'm always intrigued by personal collections of odd little objects
of no singular consequence .. .. . especially those with a hi-low
mix, such as these from a Maine antique dealer .

He obviously takes great pleasure in creating visual poetry with his unique
blend of found objects and treasures. Love the floor with row upon row of
hand painted white dots. Great attention to detail, mixed with large doses
of elegance and purity.

Each artful composition creates its own poetic moment .
Few words needed.

Photos by Stacy Camp . Visual Poetry by Corey Daniels - Drakes Island, Maine.


Not Your Mothers' Easter Bonnet

Tis the season for spring bonnets . Tis also the season of renewal, rebirth
and hatching a few new ideas. Tristan at Enchanted Revelry is always the
place to go for remarkable vintage photos ( where does he find so much
Wacky Stuff ??!) along with his ever clever commentary.
A recent post featured the photo above
of this rather startling headgear. It seemed to bounce around my brain
for a few days, until I finally decided I needed to play with it a bit.

I hope you're all enjoying a creative Easter weekend .. . . with lots of
friends, family and chocolate bunnies !


Photo Alterations by moi