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Happy Easter!

April 7, 2012
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I’ve always loved Easter egg hunts. I have fond memories from childhood of my brother, sister and I rummaging the family backyard at dawn with our small wicker baskets looking for colorful eggs wrapped in shiny foil.
What an adventure that was!

Rainbow dyed Easter eggs
Via Etsy

Sadly there are no more Easter egg hunts for us grown ups, well not of that kind for sure! I can only imagine the face of my neighbors if they saw me running around the garden in my PJs picking up eggs, what a sight that would be!

Fortunately what I could do, was hunt for some nice Easter eggs on the Net and boy, did I find some neat ones! Take a look.



Sweet delicate ones…

Pink Bunny silhouette Easter egg Pink felted Easter Egg
Images left to right: Le Papier Studio, Etsy.

The Artistic type…

Pink Mustached Easter Egg Pink Easter egg with gold confetti
Images left to right: Etsy, Oh Happy Day.

The Rainbow inspired…

Colorful Easter eggs with messages Rainbow Eastern eggs with a heart shape
Images left to right: Lil’Luna, Lovely Indeed.

And these funky ones for they show some of my preferred cartoon characters.

Cartoon character Easter eggs
Via Etsy

Happy, Happy Easter to you all !


Musing of the Day

March 27, 2012


At the grocery store today, the lady at the cash register greeted me with the brightest smile ever. It cheered me up and reminded me that I for one should smile at strangers more often.

Graffiti on a pink wall in London
Picture by Stephanie Sadler via Etsy

Going Wild With Reptiles

March 21, 2012
I have never been big on all things reptile. I am actually petrified at the mere thought of a slithering creature creeping from under a rock or a pair of cold-blooded eyes starring in the dark, quietly waiting for a prey to come by. But despite these somewhat primal fears, I am totally smitten with the textures and patterns of reptilian skins. And truth is, animalistic styling when done right adds a touch of sexy sophistication to any room or wardrobe. So without further ado here are some exotic skins that can definitely make a design statement.
First on my list is the amazingly ornate skin of Reticulated Pythons. Originally from South-East Asia, Pythons are among the largest snakes on Earth. Did you know by the way that these super-sized creatures were named after the Greek god Apollo who according to ancient mythology killed with his arrows a great serpent that was eating people and cattle in the ancient city of Delphi.
As for the word “reticulated” it actually refers to the exquisite snakeskin pattern, which features large blotches of color surrounded by thin lines in another color. Once the skins are harvested –I know it sounds strange but that’s actually the right word, they undergo a fairly complex tanning process, which transforms them into supple leather that can be used to handcraft all sorts of exquisite fashion accessories or to upholster furniture and other home accent pieces. Python is frighteningly beautiful and expensive just see for yourself.
Python print pants Python snake
Python Ipad and Python print tray Python bed in home of Elton John in LA
Python Flooring in Prada Paris Store
Images (clockwise from top right): Ball Python, Python skin in Louis Vuitton workshop, Room by Designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Prada Paris store, Snakeskin tray via Pinterest, Python leather Ipad case by Raymond Hau, Snakeskin pants via The Sartorialist.
Second on the list is the ever luxurious, three-dimensional looking Crocodile skin. Well shame on me but honestly, I can’t make a difference between a Croc leather hide, an Alligator or a Caiman one. All three species belong to the Crocodilia family and have been around for more than 65 million years. These scary looking reptiles were already here when dinosaurs were roaming around and they have remained remarkably unchanged since then.
Croc skins have always been prized for their incredible quality, and texture. Not only are they thick and durable but they also show some exquisite symmetrical scale patterns. Rolling an agate stone over the skin creates the smooth shiny sheen historically associated with the finest croc and alligator leather. The tighter the scale pattern, the higher the pressure utilized and… the steeper the price! Traditionally big in the luxury fashion world, Croc is venturing now into the interior design arena too. Take a look.
Crocodile and Crocodile skin Black crocodile leather jacket
Ottoman in white crocodile leather White crocodile handbag by Victoria Beckham
Blue crocodile console table
White crocodile wall covering by Osborne and Little
Images (clockwise from top right): Crocodile leather jacket via Flickr, Handbag by Victoria Beckham, Crocodile console table via Pinterest, White crocodile wallcovering by Osborne & Little, Crocodile ottoman via decorating-trends.com, Crocodile skin in Louis Vuitton workshop, Saltwater crocodile via Google.
Last but not least: the mysterious and distinctive smooth pebbled texture of Shagreen (also called Galuchat in French). So what exactly is Shagreen? Well it’s the skin of a stingray from the Indo-Pacific Ocean. So technically it’s a fish rather than a reptile. But the skin is actually covered with millions of tiny round enamel beads (spicula), which combine to form an intricate pattern on the back of the fish with a sort of eye in the center, and that is very reptile-looking if you ask me.
Because of that super dense bead structure, Shagreen is watertight and durable but also very hard. A lengthy and labor-intensive tanning process –including stretching, drying, scrapping and finally dying the skin is needed to prepare the leather for future use. So now you get a better sense of why this exquisite material is only used in the luxury business and mostly to manufacture small fashion accessories: bags, cases, cuffs and the likes. Shagreen was huge during the Art Deco era and is now making a comeback, so what do you think? You like?
Chanel pink shagreen bag Stingray from Indo-Pacific Ocean
Pink Shagreen Iphone case by Galerie Galuchat
Pink shagreen cuff with grey shagreen eyeglasses and black shagreen ring Gray Shagreen Console Table by Atelier Viollet
Beige shagreen wall covering with close-up detail
Images (clockwise from top right): Stingray via Google, Pink shagreen Iphone case by Galerie Galuchat, Grey shagreen console table by Atelier Viollet, Shagreen upholstered walls by Designer Nancy Boszhardt, Ring by Damian by Mischelle, Shagreen eyeglasses via Google, Pink shagreen cuff by Fabio Salini, Chanel pink shagreen purse.
This is probably my longest Post ever! It feels like it went on….forever, just like my Jury duty this week.

Caviar: Love it or Hate it?

March 13, 2012


Caviar: you either love it or hate it. Likewise, you’ll either love this picture of Greek photographer Nikos Vasilakis or you’ll hate it. I absolutely adore it, what about you?

 

Caviar by Photographer Nikos Vasilakis
“Caviar” portrait by photographer Nikos Vasilakis

 

The Art of Collecting

March 9, 2012
As for me Collecting is not so much an art as it is a joy. I collect certain objects for pure enjoyment, merely because it’s fun. And truth is, hunting and gathering very specific objects one at a time is a real treat, a little adventure of sorts.
Multicolored folded paper boat candles by Designer Roman Ficek
Folded paper boat candles by Designer Roman Ficek via Candle Design

The ideas for my collections come from just about anywhere. I started collecting sterling silver tumblers for example when my mother gave me the one that she had bought for my Christening. I loved the shape and the engraving on it and it all started from there. After I had purchased my third tumbler at a flea market and arranged a little vignette on a side table, I actually realized that I had just started a collection.

I’ve collected all sorts of things over the years: wooden carved angels, sterling-silver tumblers, figurines –but only by pairs, and most recently colorful decorative candles. I don’t think of myself as a real collector though because once I am done with a collection I usually sell it or give it away to start a brand new one whereas a true collector would never part from his beloved possessions.

Anyways, my last whim as I mentioned are colorful decorative candles shaped into some sort of living being (people, animals, trees…). I haven’t quite figured out why candles. Truth is I hardly ever use candles myself and I certainly would never lit one that I have collected. I guess it’s mostly because I see them as fragile, and short-lived miniature sculptures that add unexpected pops of color around the house. And it’s not like I have thousands of them either because believe it or not, nice candles are actually very difficult to find. That said here are some of the highlights of my collection.

Bougie Trudon Bougie Bouddah Bougie Trudon Marie-Antoinette
Pillar candle and Marie-Antoinette bust by Cire Trudon, Buddha candle, unknown origin. Photography by XTalfu.

I particularly like the Marie-Antoinette bust candle and the pillar candle with the Roman Cameo from Cire Trudon. Talk about the “Rolls Royce” of all candles! A Trudon candle is pretty much the equivalent of an Hermes bag but with an additional heavenly scent! The company has been around without interruption since 1643 and they had among other famous clients Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon himself. Story says by the way, that the only gift the Emperor Napoleon gave to his own son when he was born was a Trudon candle encrusted with three pieces of gold featuring his head. Whether it’s true or not the fact remains that Trudon candles are second to none. Because they are made with all–vegetal materials (soy and copra for the wax and pure cotton for the wicks) blended with perfume they smell incredibly good and burn like forever. If you are in New York sometime soon, I strongly recommend you go visit their new shop on 54 Bond Street near Bowery Street in the East Village, it’s well-worth it!

There are many other interesting candle makers out there though. Actually, I am having a hard time choosing the next piece for my collection. Should I select a new bust to complement the one that I already have or should I pick a candle based on a color instead?

Bright pink owl shaped clandle by Topshop.com Memento Mori Pink skull-shaped candle by DL & Company
Citron Bulldog-shaped candle by Bougie la Francaise Citron Buddha candle by Blisslivinghome.com
Images (clockwise from top left): Owl candle via Topshop.com, Memento Mori Pink skull candle by DL & Company, Buddha candle by Blisslivinghome and Bulldog candle by Bougie la Francaise.

And what if I did something totally different and picked a candle shaped as a man-made object instead like these wonderful little matchboxes?

Matchbox candles via Designmag.com
Matchbox candles via Designmag.com

So what say you, any suggestions?

Spring is coming early this year

March 6, 2012
And I am definitely in the mood for some flowery days like the ones that inspired the new Collection “Les Jardins” (gardens in French) of Macaron Extraordinaire Pierre Hermé.
Pink Macaron in the new collection "Les Jardins" by Pierre Herme
Image via Pierre Hermé Paris

Fabulous Frenchie

March 2, 2012

I am sorry to disappoint you but by Fabulous Frenchie, I don’t mean Jean Dujardin recipient of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Artist –even though his achievement is well worth a Post: first French actor ever to win an Oscar for Best Actor, that’s no small accomplishment especially considering that the likes of Maurice Chevalier (1929 and 1930) and Gerard Depardieu (1990) never got one but no, by Frenchie I just mean my French Bulldog.

And really there is nothing like the sight and noise of my snoring Frenchie sleeping in a frog-like position on the living room carpet to brighten up a gloomy rainy day, like today. “Pinup”, my adorable French bulldog is the highlight of the neighborhood’s canine club and a class act of her own. She is more often than not licking her own paws and making outrageously loud throat-clearing noises but despite these unfortunate flaws, my sweet little Gremlin is the cutest companion.

French bulldog in frog-like position
Via Tumblr

They say hidden dark secrets run in the best families but it’s hard to imagine that such happy and Oh so cute! Pooches would have as ancestors some English bloodthirsty dogs that were bred and trained during the Victorian era for bull baiting, thus the name: Bulldog.

When blood sports including the infamous bull baiting –where a bull is fastened to a hook and attacked by a dog, which tries to pin its nose were finally outlawed in England, bulldogs became a companion breed. During the industrial revolution small bulldogs emigrated to France with displaced workers and were later cross-bred with local pugs and terriers to become gradually a new breed, significantly smaller and more mellow than their English counterpart.

Frenchies have always been extremely popular with the rich and famous.

Portrait of Prince Yusupov with his French bulldog by Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov, 1903 Leonardo DiCaprio with his French bulldog Django
Portrait of Prince Yusupov by Serov, 1903 Leonardo DiCaprio with his French bulldog

French bulldogs were a favorite of European aristocrats back then and they still are a popular lot among Hollywood superstars today. I guess it’s their unique physique with wrinkled face, pushed-in nose and bat ears that truly make them unforgettable. That and their easy-going attitude and darling personality!

So for all flat-faced dog lovers out there, here is a selection of fashionable bulldog-inspired treats. Enjoy!

Pink Nicholas dog chair by UK Design Firm Jimmie Martin Pink French bulldog pillow by Teo Jasmin
Pink Frenchie iPhone case

Images (clockwise from left): the regal Nicholas Dog chair by Jimmie Martin, a cute little pillow from Teo Jasmin and the pink Uniea Frenchie iPhone case.

And this, just for the fun:

Self-portrait with French bulldog by photographer Retales Botijero
Photography by Retales Botijero via Flickr