Posts from August 2017


August 18, 2017

“Are we ready to go? Put your seat belt on!” This was Luma, our almost three-year-old, barking orders to our nanny, Marilyn just moments ago. It sounded like the two of them were rushing to a wedding. Marilyn was the bus driver, and Luma, was the bride. Of the many things this kind and consistent woman does for Luma, it’s the hours that she spends in her make believe world that I may appreciate most. Her patience for such games, and the conversations that ensue, is amazing. It’s Luma’s imagination that Marilyn follows, and off they go wherever her little mind takes them. What a gift. (For pretty dresses for girls with colourful imaginations, have a look at Nellystella.)

colour Mixer

August 16, 2017

I met a fellow colour lover the other day –– a sales guy at Home Hardware with a penchant for pink and turquoise and most colours in between. His name is Habib, he’s from Tangier, and he’s been mixing paint there for over 40 years. “I’m the best in the city,” he said, while preparing a gallon of cobalt blue for me. One of his favourite colours is marigold yellow. “Mine too,” I said. He showed me photos of his home –– dusty pink walls in the living room, a shade of red in the kitchen. The furnishings were all antique, re-upholstered in seafoams, peaches and clarets. You’d never think to find such style at your local hardware store….

Off the Block

August 15, 2017

I’ve admired the work of Hope and Lily Stockman for some time now. The California-based sisters run a textile company called Block Shop that creates stunning fabrics while providing gainful employment to a community of printers, dyers, carvers and weavers in Rajasthan. The designs are theirs –– they draw inspiration from life in both Los Angeles and Jaipur –– and everything is made by hand in India. Bock Shop donates five per cent of its profits to community healthcare initiatives. I like these bold prints a lot, and I think most meals would look better on a dolly runner. Have a look at the images in their gallery –– it’s all very inspiring.

Marjorelle Blue

August 14, 2017

The Marjorelle Garden in Marakkech is one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve visited. it was originally created in the 1920s by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later purchased in 1980 by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. Imagine jasmines, bougainvilleas, coconuts and banana trees against a backdrop of intense cobalt blue. Inspired by Marjorelle, we’re painting a wall in our rather tumbledown garden bright cobalt blue today. Throw some hot pink linens on the table and a few fairy lights among the hostas, and hey, we’re in Marrakech.


August 11, 2017

I love weddings; I love seeing how a couple’s style is reflected in their choice of outfits, music and cake. This summer, culinary artist, Leila Gohar married her magazine publisher love, Omar Sosa in the magical region of Andalusia. There were many dresses, including a dreamy Simone Rocha, a magnificent donkey ride, (complete with red fan and white lace parasol) fig tart (in place of wedding cake) and a beautiful dinner in a bull ring. One for the books. Olé!


August 10, 2017

Stark white, with pops of juicy colour, this rental property on the island of Capri is such a delight. There are just enough tchotchke –– flowers, vases, glass birds and gilded mirrors –– to make the place feel like a home. I adore the fuchsia/turquoise mix in the master, and the tiles in the kitchen pop beautifully against otherwise minimal surfaces. And the bougainvillea, the lemon trees, the views! I’d be your house guest any day.



August 9, 2017

Like many of us, I have a love/hate relationship with social media, with Instagram, more specifically. I’ve always loved to take pictures, and filters let me venture beyond my talents. They help capture a mood or a feeling that is otherwise lost in the raw image. For example, Gingham is mellow and nostalgic, and it suited the lazy, retro fishing town vibe that we discovered in the Catskills. I’ve been using Clarendon a lot lately, because it captures the intensity and brilliance of summer. Valencia is my go-to –– it’s real life with soft edges. And that pretty much sums up what Instagram is for me, real life with very soft edges. There’s none of the chaos and mess. No sullen faces and spilt milk. It’s the images I want to share. There are plenty more on the roll, the unedited B-sides, but they don’t make it on to Instagram. That’s the piece I tussle with. Why edit? Why post at all? And I always come back to the same place. Instagram is a creative outlet, a place to share, and show off fragments of every day life with friends and family. Sure, I’m going to pluck the prettiest, most artful ones. And why not remember a holiday though a Gingham filter? Anyone close to my world, knows that that is what these images are –– tiny fragments of the whole. The blurry, the imperfect –– the filter-less beauty –– that is elsewhere.


August 8, 2017

The only reason I have long hair is so I can wear it up. I love the idea of a pixie cut, but I’m too tied to my top knot to try it. Besides, I’ve had short hair before and it’s a bugger to grow out. But if I’m going to keep it long, I must resolve to wear it down at least once a week. Hell, I may even start getting a regular blow out. Wouldn’t that be grown up?


August 7, 2017

I keep meeting potters, women, who have come to a career in clay quite by accident, and turned a pastime into a profession. I mentioned Paula Greif the other day, a Hudson potter who found the wheel in her late 50s. Further along our Catskills trail, I came across the work of Carolyn Duke who started pinching pots as a way to relax while raising young children. “After they’d gone to bed, I used to sit at the kitchen table and play with clay,” says the Sullivan County transplant. She and her husband, a photographer, moved to the Catskills from New Jersey over a decade ago, and live in a beautiful farm house with an adjoining barn that serves as studio to both. Duke’s work is entirely hand built, and has a crude, earthy feel that I love. “You can’t take it all too seriously,” she says. “And you have to be prepared to chuck away a lot of pots.” The bowl I bought, reddish earthenware with an aqua interior, shows he signs of its maker, finger prints and other markings that give the piece more character. It’s really quite beautiful.



August 4, 2017

Every girl, little or big, should own a copy of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. From Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Maria Callas to Nina Simone and Cleopatra, there’s no shortage of formidable women to motivate and inspire. Artists from all over the world provide beautiful illustrations to accompany each fairytale, making this a visual feast of a book. We were given Rebel Girls by three of the most whimsical, daring sisters we know — our goal is to read every story by end of Summer.


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