Monday, May 25, 2009
I'm hunting for crowned heads...doll heads that is! My extensive collection of crowns and tiaras has been hidden away in cabinets, with some small crowns sitting atop the heads of stuffed animals and larger ones used as candle holders or vases. It is high time however, to give some of these frivolous ornamentations a resting place of honor. I have an eclectic taste for royalty; Marie Antoinette's opulence for example, has a special, private place in my decorating passion. I reserve her style for my work and resting space upstairs in our loft bedroom where I alone can sit and revel in the dream of ultra feminine swaths of textured fabrics, over-the-top jewels and satiny ribboned shoes.
Another favorite royal of mine that has influenced the rest of my decorating sensibilities is the great Eleanor of Aquitaine. The period in which she lived expressed a burnished gold hue that speaks of a chilling antiquity. I have chosen to dedicate the rest of my home decorating to this style and although most of the images we have of her are of cold stone sarcophagus, numerous artists' renditions of the controversial queen suggest otherwise.
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While I was on my wild head hunt, I came across two antique distressed replicas of wooden heads. They were perfect in that their dead stares are exactly what I was looking for to suggest the vintage appeal.
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The embellishments began with Marie when I stumbled across a shop in Minneapolis that was quite unusual; The Fiber Shop carries multitudes of yarn, both organic and synthetic and varieties of sheep and lamb's wool. I came across some curly wool that resembles the powdered wigs of Marie's era. I bought a small bag and frizzled a small mound leaving the natural curly locks intact for her curls, then I hot glued the wig in its place.
Then there was Eleanor; I preferred to keep her as stoic and basic as many an ancient sarcophagus depict her with just a crown and veil. I used a small French santos vintage crown.
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I love to embellish. The texture of Marie's wig is especially satisfying and the vintage santos crown fits Eleanor to a tee!
BUT ENOUGH OF THIS FRIVOLITY! I would like to give the Castles Crowns and Cottages ROYAL TREATMENT QUEEN FOR A WEEK to four lovely ladies worthy of a crown:
Barb from French Elements for awarding me with the "Queen of all things" award
KeKe from In My Sepia Studio for tagging me and adding me to her list of "six things that make her happy"!
Amy from Such a Wonderous Place this Fairy Space for writing me the most beautiful poem featured below
Grace from The Beautiful Necessity for sharing the vision of tea, cozy cottages and Waterhouse.
I dub thee all Queens for a week! You are beautiful.
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Yes, I shall flutter on the pink breeze of morning, to a world of Castles, Crowns, and Cottages. A fair Lady friend waits to greet. She is remarkable, a gift, and oh, so sweet.
No, I want to walk, said the Princess. If I go this way, then, I shall merrily walk, so that it is I can say,
"I breathed in with every step, the dew, and the light, I am going to a friend's castle in the pink calm, the gorgeous pink calm, after the night."
Merci à vous tous! Anita
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thanks to Tristan from Enchanted Revelry, Karen at Scrapbook of Inspiration and Beverly from How Sweet the Sound, I have been inspired to try something new. Every Saturday is a delight chez eux where you can bask in a little pink frivolity, fluff and fun. I am going to show you some of the things that I find enchanting, kissed by this sweet hue of the color palate. But first, click on the video below and let the wonderful Kay Thompson tell you what to think:
Now that we're in the right frame of mind , here are a couple of my favorite pink things:
The smooth texture of pink fondant for special occasions
the daintiness of tea accompaniments
and the cozy establishments where we can sit on the terrace or in the garden and enjoy our favorite tea
in dainty little heart-shaped tea cups.
Now let's go inside and sit down and feel the elegance of pink in the great salon
and maybe they will let us order a glass of pink champagne
and put on beautiful pink diamond tiaras and feel like queens.
Now let's go to the fashion show and see what delicious pink things we can wrap ourselves in. The beautiful Audrey Hepburn made pink even more lovely with her gentle spirit
and she wore it well. Whether it was a sporty look she was after,
a soft, flowing skirt
or a bright and elegant gown,
she wore pink with style and grace
like a queen.
Now it's time to get our bags
and get back to the castle
and dream of fairy tales in pink...
Have a peaceful, magical and uplifting weekend my friends and visit Tristan, Beverly and Karen to get a taste of pink in their neck of the woods!
A la prochaine, Anita
Labels: Pink Fairytales
Monday, May 18, 2009
Pink Saturday is just around the corner!
I am at my computer sick with laryngitis, writing a 15 page paper and wanting to come up for some air to let you all know how much I cherish all of you beautiful, creative and kind people! We all need some rest and relaxation, so come on over this weekend and GET IN THE PINK. And while you're at it, crank up your volume and listen to some Pink Martini to get you in the mood!
A la prochaine, Anita
Friday, May 15, 2009
School is almost out and summer vacation is tugging at everyone's attention! That means my students are finishing up their final projects and I am grading papers, entering grades, finishing up my second to last course in my masters program and trying to keep my harp in tune! Alors mes amies, I will be back next week. I will however, take a break to visit you to see what wonderful things you are up to!
Labels: Summer vacation is coming
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Creative hands give birth to the hidden treasures of the heart. Some people just have a knack for using their hands and my dear friend Julie from Gilded Moons is one of them. She is a lovely young woman that I met last summer as a result of stepping into one of the most elegant vintage shops in our city. I learned quickly that Julie not only has the ability to rescue an old button, a scrap of vintage ribbon or a swath of fabric and turn it into a "must have" piece, but has a heart for authenticity in life. Her shop was filled with items that she selected during her numerous trips to Europe along with handmade treasures that she and her friends carefully created using ribbons, vintage jewelry pieces and paper. Here are just some of the lovely things that she has made that I was fortunate enough to get from her; unfortunately, the lighting is not suitable to show the detail of a frame made from two vintage buckles, an invitation to a recent elegant soirée/sale with champagne and handmade earrings that I wear frequently. Please click on the photos. Wouldn't you just feel special receiving such an invitation in the mail? I was at the party with bells on, some change in my pocket and a smile for my friend!
Julie is also an exceptional seamstress. The detail on this chaise lounge is astounding; my mother, who sewed quite well, would have worshiped Julie for her attention to the detail in the back...I was never that neat!
Another person with gifted hands is my husband. He plays guitar beautifully, but also takes pleasure in building and creating the fairytale look. He is a talented gardener and with the exception of several attempts I made to help move some dirt, he single-handily landscaped our entire property. He maintains the pruning of the trees every year and enjoys applying the art of bonsai to the outdoor plants.
His gardening skills and woodwork are show stoppers. The uniqueness of our overhangs, shutters and gate draw the curiosity of walkers. We have made many an acquaintance transforming our home! My husband's talents don't stop outside, however. The entire kitchen and newly remodeled bath are the product of his attention to detail.
Then there are my hands; I write, I draw, I make books, I have sewn costumes on occasion, I play the harp and I make whatever I think is beautiful. However, there is one more person that I want to honor on this day: my mama, mi madre, ma mère.
I regret that I no longer have the hundreds of Barbie doll clothes, prom dresses, and dance costumes that she sewed for me in my youth. All that I have left is something that she made for me while she was dying of cancer 21 years ago and I was 3000 miles away. When I arrived in Los Angeles to see her, I was sick to my stomach from worry. When I got to the house, I apprehensively walked into her bedroom for fear of seeing her in her condition, however, what I saw instead was a beautiful soul, drowning out the stain of illness and beaming with the love of a mother. Never complaining but always thinking of others, the first thing she said to me was, "Hello mijha! (a term of endearment in Spanish). I made something for you and it's in the closet." I took the package out and freed the surprise from its rumpled wrapper. This is what was inside:
I wept. I still do. I have no words to express why everytime I see this little 25 cent plastic doll I totally loose it. Perhaps it is the thoughtfulness of my mother that comes to mind; she had no money and was seldom able to buy me things, so she would make me a toy out of whatever was available. Or maybe it's the thought of her being driven to the closest five and dime and use what little money she did have to buy it just for me, her mijha. I don't know. But what I do know is that sometimes, non-verbal communication is much more powerful than words and the memories stay with you for a lifetime.
My dear friends, for those of you who are mothers, I wish you a happy celebration tomorrow and never forget that the gentleness of your actions and the work of your hands will bless your children for a lifetime.
I love you mama. Anita
Labels: Mothers Day