By |2012-04-02T01:00:00-04:00April 2, 2012|Books|

Take a look on my sidebar and you will see I follow Deborah Lawrenson’s blog
Deborah is a British novelist and journalist living in the Luberon. And finally, finally I have read her novel: The Lantern!
Whether you read it in paperback (above) or
hardcover (below)
or on Kindle (as I did),
Buy it and read it here
It is superb, gripping, evocative, engrossing: all the things a novel should be!
Thank you Deborah.
and I look forward to the next one!!!

This from one of Deborah’s posts earlier this year: 

If you need further persuading, here’s an excerpt from Kathy Blumenstock’s review in the Washington Post:

“The Lantern…offers a vivid escape to an intriguing place… The split-screen tales unfolding in alternating voices than span half a century eventually converge, with disturbing and surprising answers to questions that haunt both narrators… Lawrenson embellishes her merging stories with description of the rich scents surrounding the hamlet: rosemary, ripe figs, and a breath of lavender so fresh that readers might close their eyes and inhale, expecting a faint whiff of the purple-flowering plant.”

And here is Deborah reading a short excerpt:

So… now I’m looking for something new to read. Any suggestions??


By |2011-03-07T22:34:00-05:00March 7, 2011|Books, Cooking|



 Yes, this is the very same Martha Stewart.

The year was 1983.


I bought this cookbook in 1984. As I remember it, I sort of knew who this Martha was…she had a name even then. She seemed, to me, to be one of those women who could do it all. She had a beautiful house in the ‘burbs of Connecticut,  a young family, a growing catering business, an editor and writer for House Beautiful, a published book already under her belt, time to experiment with new recipes, feed her chickens and still….manage to look so put together. How did she do it all, I wondered.

Skip ahead twenty years and it was a different story. But still, despite the negative stories, I admire her. I know, I know, there are those out there who will think I’m nuts. Give me a call and we’ll talk about it!

This cookbook has remained on my shelf and continues to be one of my “go to” books when I’m wondering just what are we going to have for dinner.  Below is her “Shrimp Chinoise”: very easy and oh so good. I do take liberties with the recipe, depending on what I have in my pantry. But basically, it’s the usual veggies i.e. carrots, bok choy, red pepper, broccoli mixed with shrimp (we had fresh, Carolina shrimp!), and […]


By |2011-02-09T21:00:00-05:00February 9, 2011|Books|



Is this gorgeous or what?

Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O’Neill


Just this morning I happened to see the Lonny Magazine blog :

“Watercolor Wednesdays: Florence Broadhurst”.

I have had this post ready to go for at least two months….so today is the perfect day, with the bonus that I can link it to the Lonny blog. You DO know Lonny Magazine, don’t you????? Shame on you if you don’t: take a look here.

Florence Broadhurst (1899-1977) was an extraordinarily prolific designer!  Her story is truly one of a kind: she wove tales about her past, some true, some not; she had boundless energy; she loved to be in the spotlight; she had a tragic death;  and yet her life was a mystery for many years. 

This “Chinese Floral” wallpaper was one of her most successful: 



Here she sits in front of another popular wallpaper, “Peacocks”:


 From geometrics “Honeycomb”:



to “Florentine Tapestry”:



and the very contemporary “Solar”:


And here, from an advertisement for her new shop at Bond Street, London in 1933 where she “became” Mme Pellier (!) aka Florence Broadhurst.


Aside from the captivating story, and, for all you designers out there, a very rich treasure trove […]


By |2010-04-22T21:02:00-04:00April 22, 2010|Books, Home Design, Inspiration|

I’m beginning slightly backwards… But eventually you will see it all!

We’re working on the living room in this project. Paint the walls; reupholster one chair; what to do with the mantel?; repaint inside a bookcase. That’s it for now.

I decided to tackle the back/inside of a bookcase today. Here is what it had been:

Bookcase Blue

Blue Bookcase far

1)You’ve seen my paint chip/color story(below)

2)You have also seen my finished living room (where this bookcase rests)

Paint Chips

The bright blue wasn’t quite…. right. I have used the Farrow & Ball “Blazer” red on various walls, but thought I would try something with a little more…umph:

Red Paint 1

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER and another and….

By |2010-04-13T21:40:00-04:00April 13, 2010|Books, Hand Crafted, Home Design|

New book favorite:

Yesterday Decor8 reviewed this new book, The Homemade Home, by Sania Pell. Crafting, diy projects, recycling, upcycyling, homemade fun: the book is gorgeous to look at, but it’s also got great ideas and projects! Holly says “This book makes me happy!” Well, I haven’t seen it in person, but I’m going to buy: partly on Holly’s recommendation, and partly from the wonderful images she shows. So go take a look on her site!


And of course, when I was on her site, I clicked the book’s title which then took me to Amazon. Then (you know the drill) just under this book’s facts, was the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”… so there is “The Vintage Table: Personal Favorites and Standout Treasures” by Jacqueline DeMontravel. A must buy!

Once again going to the “Customers Who Bought…” I came upon Kaari Meng’s book “French General: Treasured Notions“. Do you know Kaari Meng? She has a truly remarkable on-line store for anything French: French General.

How about some lavender laundry powder:


Or assorted labels:


Or cute notebooks:


Stone birds to scatter around your house and garden:



By |2009-11-01T18:21:00-05:00November 1, 2009|Books, Color, fashion|

    For anyone in the New York area: on Tuesday, November 10, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design is presenting:


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum presents Maria Pinto in
conversation with Mary Tomer, founder of and author of Mrs.
O: The Face of Fashion Democracy. Maria Pinto, the Chicago-based
designer, is known for her confident and sophisticated clothes,
produced in clean lines and luxurious fabrics. Pinto is also known for
providing many of First Lady Michelle Obama’s signature looks starting
with President Obama’s term as U.S. Senator. Maria Pinto is featured in
Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy , which builds on the success of – the Web site that chronicles Michelle Obama’s style and
takes a closer look at America’s modern style icon, featuring more than
120 photographs of the first lady and delving into the back story of
her clothes and accessories.

As you can see on the left column of this blog, I have a link to the site. I have been a follower since it started about a year ago. I have my ticket for the lecture and will let you know all about it!

And next from the Cooper-Hewitt is the video of Ellen Lupton talking about her book, written in collaboration with her sister Julia, “Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things“.

This video is really GOOD!  […]

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