A fresh lick of paint is a great way to give cracked and scuffed up floorboards a face lift, and it’s a lot less expensive than replacing them all together. At least, that was our thought, as we decided that we would whitewash the entire ground floor in the Spring. I would love to add some fancy patterns à la Pauline de Rothschild, but I think we’ll stick with the white of a traditional Swedish home. As the paint starts to ware away, I predict a positively French country feel. And that’s just fine, too.
I wrote an essay for Mamalode about the wonderful community of women who buoyed me through my third pregnancy.
“…We talked about politics and hairdos and where to buy good challah bread. I heard stories about their children’s births, about their careers, travels, struggling with illness. And unlike the young mothers groups that discuss pregnancy symptoms, birthing plans and breastfeeding ad nauseam, these women rarely asked me anything about my pregnancy and upcoming birth. To them, you carried a baby and gave birth to a baby. God willing, all went well.”
It’s only fitting that jewels like these find a home that is as fanciful and decadent as they are. The new Gem Palace boutique in Mumbai, designed by Marie-Anne Oudejeans, is nothing short of exquisite. Think painted ceilings, exotic murals and rich, jewel-tone fabrics that evoke the opulence of India in the most modern, fresh manner. I just cannot imagine a more exciting shopping experience, than sitting on a marigold yellow daybed, admiring the moon stones, fire opals and tourmalines wrapped around my wrist.
As Grace Coddington, the 74-year-old creative director of American Vogue steps down to pursue other opportunities, I am reminded of this wonderfully bizarre interpretation of the Met’s 2009 production of Hansel and Gretel. “For me, one of the most important aspects of my work is to give people something to dream about, just as I used to dream all those years ago as a child looking at beautiful photographs. I still weave dreams, finding inspiration wherever I can and looking for romance in the real, not the digital, world.”
I came across some antique moccasins today, intricately decorated with beadwork in geometric patterns and floral clusters. They were in a book on the Arts and Crafts of the Native American Tribes alongside a pair of heavily beaded moosehide powwow moccasin boots. It’s amazing to see such exquisite craftsmanship, such artistry displayed on something as functional as a shoe. Walking works of art is what they are.
My love of colour tends toward the jewel tones versus the sugary, candy ones. Think lapis lazuli and rubies over rainbow drops. But I am drawn to the colour-rich world of Emily Green, even if her online shop does feel a bit like a candy store. Her jewellery –– clay beads in tones of fondant pink, duck egg and buttercup yellow on leather cords –– reminds me of the candy necklaces we wore home from parties when we were little. And I can imagine her colourful ‘clouds’ print looking so pretty above a child’s bed or crib. Her lights are pretty cool, too. Funnily enough, here I’m drawn to black.
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It’s refreshing to see a city as iconic as Venice photographed from a different perspective. There is a quiet, and an everydayness to Claudia Corrent’s images of the city that I find quite attractive. The grandeur is there, but it feels understated, and the colours –– dusty rose and stone gray –– are more muted than usual. Take a look at her other series, too. I’m still trying to figure out which Cycladic island this is.
When I was three or four, our cook Crista made me a fairy-princess castle of a cake, with turrets and a moat, and covered in thick swathes of the pinkest frosting she could whip up. The Kurfürstliches in Germany –– a pink and white confection of a palace –– reminds me of that birthday cake. Perhaps my memories paint it grander than it actually was, but through the eyes of a little girl, it simply was the fanciest thing.
Big wall, small budget? Engineer prints are cheap as chips (about $3 at Staples or Kinkos) and they pack a punch. They’re called engineer prints because they’re made on industrial printers usually used for architectural and engineering work. They’re black and white and grainy, and at four-feet-wide, pretty damn striking, I’d say. The folks at Parabo Press will print up a life size whopper (the size of an average six-year-old) for about $25. Larger than life Luma, here we come. I’ll try it, and let you all know how it works out.
At prep school, I had friend named Sara Kutchesfahani, an Iranian girl who was very bright and very funny. Occasionally, I was invited to play at her home, and if I was lucky, I’d be invited for dinner. Her mother, Marzieh was a warm host and a wonderful cook. Put her tahdig in front of me, and I’d happily eat every last grain of rice. This was my introduction to Persian food, and Persian hospitality –– my visits to the Kutchesfahani home. I’ve since known and developed a fondness for many Iranians, but it’s been years since I’ve had a good Iranian meal. I’ve read good things about the restaurants in Toronto. It’s not Marzieh’s kitchen, but no doubt, many are well worth travelling north for.