Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Skeletor................gone glam at Deyrolle

I couldn't resist sharing these wallpapers on this fun and spooky day...........we ran across these new introductions at Deyrolle (the famed Parisian taxidermy shop) at the Maison et Objet show in September and I have been saving them ever since. They intrigued me and even though I have made the edges more spooky just for today, the papers were oddly beautiful and richly coloured. Wouldn't this make for a dramatic statement in a powder room? Spooky gone glam........bow tie and all. 

photo by Sande Chase

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

petite Paris stash

I rarely make the same shopping mistake twice. See it, like it, buy it, do not allow time to think about it and come back, it never happens. Especially at the bouguinistes (bookseller stalls) along the quais of the Seine. These petite books aren't that old actually (1973) and quite petite (4" x 3") but this 4-volume set titled Poemes Amoureux Et Galants are now stacked on my desk and their vivid pink colour catches my eye quite frequently throughout the day. When I am old and gray I shall consider spending time translating these poems of love but for now they provide me with visual pleasure. 

Of course, if I could part with even one volume they would be lovely, lovely as a petite cadeau tied with a beautiful satin ribbon............but I just can't seem to do so. I had such good intentions. Mind you, I could buy more, it appears these petite pink tomes are all over the place (Ebay, Amazon) not just along the Left Bank. And there is my little chuckle for the day.

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Instagram Photos by Sande Chase

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paris gift stash...........starting at Astier de Villatte

Silk Sachets with Provence Lavender 
& Ma Vie 2013 Agendas from Astier de Villatte

Probably the best thing to bring home from any trip besides your photos is a stash of gifts. Isn't that the best part? My Paris gift stash is like the afterglow and every gift purchase has a story, a place, a person attached to it. I like to pick up things that will add some personality to any of my future gift presentations, things that add a certain joie de vivre. There is always one shop that sticks with me long after I come home, a spot that has me regretting I didn't stock up on more of their merchandise. This Paris trip I find myself remembering Astier de Villatte for a number of reasons (two years ago I was all gaga for  Cire Trudon). We had already been impressed at the trade-only showroom at the Maison show and now we were ready to "shop-shop" in the retail store. Based on their "cool" factor, I did purchase a number of the 2013 Agendas (Ma Vie 2013 ~ My Life 2013) as a gift for a few special friends and one for myself. How could I resist? Besides that, you-know-who was stylishly nudging me on as she was already a convert to Ma Vie in 2012. Maybe sooner.

There was a line-up at the Rue Saint-Honoré shop the day we were there, many buying up these popular agendas and the smaller companion notebooks. Each notebook/agenda is silk-screened by the last existing master printer in Paris resulting in each agenda having it's own unique colour palette which explains the unique imperfections I noticed upon closer inspection when I returned home. I intend to use Ma Vie 2013 (My Life 2013) as a thought-of-the day type journal, a New Year exercise intended to have me writing instead of clicking at the end of the day. It is almost the size of an ipad so it will most likely sit bedside in my case. That the agenda/diary/journal includes a Paris and New York telephone directory at the back is just part of it's continental charm. After all......... you never know when you will need the number to Harry's Bar.

Astier de Villatte is best known for their highly-collectible, remarkably delicate, handmade earthenware. Their 2011 collaboration with NY decoupage artist John Derian is breathing graphic life into their all-white collection and judging by new products that we saw at the trade-only showroom, it is the perfect pairing of talent. By price and nature, these are the type of delicate pieces that you carry home on the plane like precious cargo, on your lap, the whole way home. Maybe something smaller to fit into your luggage? The perfect hostess gift for the upcoming holiday season? Each Astier de Villatte candle is designed to evoke the scent of a particular place, all the way from Paris, Monte Carlo, to Delhi to Jerusalem. I would select Opéra just based on it's description........bonus points to you if you already know why a candle named after the Palais Garnier has honey as one of it's fragrance notes? If not, go here to read this fascinating fact. There are two boutique locations in Paris and and if you visit, you must ask to see the delicate cuff links, mother of pearl I think, with subtle monogram exquisite gift for a woman who adores cuffing a beautiful shirt. Another sweet little french gift? Perfumed pencil erasers, the old-school isn't that just fabulous? Candles, cufflinks, and perfumed erasers............the gifts I left behind at Astier de Villatte.

There is something so sweet and innocent about the toys in France that always gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling............the purchase of this enchanting keychain was inexplicable. Well not really, I think I was missing Daisy and this sweet face reminded me of her and I really do need a keychain, all the better if it makes me smile. More gift stash to come and some gift wrapping too.

Instagram photos by A Gift Wrapped Life

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crazy Posh Gifting............with a story

Neiman Marcus Christmas 2012 ~ Poetic Wish

Would you buy a gift for $1,090,000 if you had millions and millions? Of course, after  you have  already given a huge portion to charity and family and want to just spoil yourself? Would you turn the pages of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and pick one of their nine 2012 Fantasy Gifts? Each one does include a worthwhile donation as well. And if you could indulge in a very posh gift for yourself, which one would it be? 

 "It all begins with a classic story: Boy meets girl. A romance is sparked. They share a kiss at midnight on Paris's Pont des Arts. But fate intervenes, and they are separated. Each night, they send wishes—he upon a star, she upon a kite—that, one day, they will reunite. This tale of love found and lost inspired the "Poetic Wish" watches from Van Cleef & Arpels. Mini works of art on the outside and exemplary displays of technical watchmaking behind the dial, these masterpieces are in need of their own happily ever after". from the Neiman Marcus Poetic Wish description.

Would it be the exclusive His & Hers watches inspired by the romance of the story above? It does include a weekend trip to Paris and Geneva. And it goes without saying that you will be wined and dined, sleeping in luxury accommodations, and touring the Van Cleef & Arpels shop in Paris and it's workshop in Geneva where you will that a watch chime that sound like the bells of Notre Dome? Is that shooting star on the watch face in diamonds?  Yes, it all part of the visual and audio beauty of these watches which are touted as a marvel of technology and craft and which took over three years to design and develop.

~ Beau Coop ~

Maybe you are more of a practical person, the one who enjoys farm fresh eggs each and every morning? This $100,000.00 gift choice may make you hop out of the bed bright and early each morning and head right outside for some hen talk. Yes, to your own yard where your pampered heritage-breed hens, expertly and specifically selected for your region, will live is a very posh mini-farm of their own. Not just any hen house but a custom-built one named Beau Coop, a bespoke Versailles-inspired Le Petit Trianon multi-level hen house that really does have a chandelier, a broody room, a nesting area, a living room for nighttime roosting, and even a library for humans (with planting books), and 2 custom-designed raised garden beds. You may be practical but no one can say you don't have style. You certainly won't be hearing it from the hens.

Tailgate Trailer

Want to see a grown man giddy with excitement? The kind that he last displayed on his 5th Christmas when he still thought Santa Claus was real? Want to see him that way each and every time there is a game on? Any kind of game, it doesn't matter. Park this designer Tailgate Trailer anywhere, for any time of game or event, this is a party waiting to happen on a moment's notice. Comes with crystal, state of the art sound system, flat screen and a fair portion of alcohol to get the party started. The trailer might be an old-school idea but this fantasy gift for $150,000 is so groovy that he might not be the only one giddy with excitement. 

View all nine of the Neiman Marcus 2012 Fantasy Gift here.

Photos via Neiman Marcus

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pretty iphone Photos.............and keeping it safe

These were the first photos I took with an iphone over three years ago. Since then I am still surprised at the ever-increasing quality at my fingertips.............which brings me to a travel reminder. My iphone 4S was stolen in Paris about 5 days before I left. It was so fast and so slick that it took me minutes to realize it was missing and only because I was going to take another photo. Travel reminder #1, do not ever leave your iphone (or any phone) on the restaurant or cafe table even while you are sitting there and think you are guarding it. In my case, two strange girls shoved a white paper over our cafe table to distract us (I had just sat down and had not put the iphone away yet) for a few seconds and then it was gone and so were they. The second thing I learned is that I was really happy that I had downloaded my daily photos each and every night. All I lost was that morning's photos, my new Kate Spade iphone case (which I loved), and my What's App free non-stop texting ability with the guys at home. It can always be worse but iphones are an easy target these days from what I hear so don't leave them on the table...........anywhere. It is way too easy for them and you don't want to lose your phone or those pretty pictures. 

Happy weekend and welcome to new followers.
And as always, thank you to readers who comment, 
reading them is such a lovely part of my day.

iphone photos by Sande Chase

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Page Flowers.........from garland to gift wrap embellishment

Isn't this the sweetest idea? My head leaped over using old book pages as a flower garland and right towards using these "page flowers" as a gift wrap embellishment. I am going to try my hand at this little tutorial here and thought you might enjoy it too. Maybe make a lovely assortment as gift wrap embellishments and get slightly ahead of the busy holiday season? Maybe see what I can come up with to inspire their use as a gift wrap embellishment? That said, they will look just about perfect if you picture using them on a brown kraft paper or plain white paper, both being the popular gift wrap choice of the moment. Gift wrap success with either of these practical choices becomes all about the embellishment whether it be simple twine, a satin ribbon, or something sparkly and bright. You will see what I mean over the next few months..........yes, my scissors are sharpened and my ribbons all lined up. Bet you thought those gift wrapping ideas were never coming back to this blog didn't you?

                          See my Inspiration for Gift Wrapping on Pinterest here  

photos via BHG

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A summer read..............for autumn

Apparently, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty was on the NY Times bestseller list this summer and also listed as #1 for summer reads on various lists. Truthfully, it doesn't happen often but occasionally a really, really good book will escape my notice. And occasionally that lapse can be timed perfectly, landing in my laptop exactly when I need a fabulous read. Such was the case this weekend. As you will see..........things are never what they seem.

NY Times review here but spoiler alert.

Photo via Amazon

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pascale Paluns...... and the enchanting world of Vox Populi

I remember the showroom being crowded, very crowded so that usually propels you out fairly quickly. The busyness of this trade-only booth at the Maison & Objet in Paris should have tipped me off to the popularity and influence of this french designer, as it is I am only now understanding what I was seeing and why I should have slowed down, absorbed more, studied those captivating french wire sculptures. I have deliberately left my photos slightly grainy, slightly unfocused, they seem to capture this dreamy world of bygone beauty, using re-purposed brocante finds to tell a story. Pascale Paluns of the Vox Populi Atelier in Avignon is known for her uncanny eye in creating lighting, wire sculptures, fabric objects, her work is carried by Anthropologie and ABC Carpet and Home in NYC to name just a few. She is often commissioned by large retailers to imbue their merchandise and retailing with that indefinable french mix of whimsical and chic. There is a bit of mystery to the creator herself, few are allowed into her 18th century atelier in Avignon and that's not to say I can't share a peek of a few who did enter her enchanting world, just click here and here. Website clicks led to nowhere but I will keep searching and update when successful. Some say Pascale leads the way and the rest follow when it comes to the enchanting world of  french persuasion, if that is so............then watch for these oversized vintage silk scarves that I first noticed in her booth. They were fabulously huge. Fabulously chic.

iphone photos by Sande Chase

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pink Paris Velvet.........

I almost expected Marlene Dietrich to come around the corner with a cigarette holder, wearing mule slippers  and holding a pink martini saying "Good morning Darlings" when we entered the Bluemarine showroom in the late afternoon. Movie star glamour in varying shades of rosey pink put Bluemarine's opulent booth at the Maison & Objet show in Paris as my absolute favorite for a number or reasons.

The luxury brand is big on sumptuous details such as pillows with feathers, sparkling crystals and pearls forming letters and patterns, beautifully finished edges, exquisite silks, satins and all the luxurious details you would expect to find in a movie star's bedroom, real or otherwise. But what also caught my eye was the velvet, the rosey pink velvet used to "dress" the armoire doors, the shelves and even the applied moulding. As I used to say to our design clients (ones with a sense of humour) "a detail to die for darling".

I placed this fashionable pink feathered pillow into view of the most remarkable feature in the room........ pink velvet floor tiles! Can you imagine? It was divine!  I fell in love with this concept. Might be something to consider for some major glamour in a dressing room/closet. My experience after 25 years a a designer tells me that the velvet used on the armoire, doors, shelves, and floor tiles was applied with adhesive spray glue, allowing the velvet to adhere quickly and smoothly to moulding elevations and tight corners. 

Velvet floor tiles.

Divine Pink Pillows

One last wouldn't be that hard to make this display armoire if you fancy yourself a bit of Hollywood glamour. Isn't it divine?

See the glamorous Blumarine collection here

iphone photos by Sande Chase


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