Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Sashays On By

Hope your Summer has had just a little bit of.......





I hope

it had.  CAKE.

Because what would summer be without cake?


(Been busy with - still! - painting commissions and: that California garden.  I'm learning so much!)
Photos above mostly via SabonHome, Home&Garden

Friday, July 7, 2017


I just can't get over how gorgeous this collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri is.  

The fluidity and grace is just beyond.

The softness of the tones.

The timeless elegance.

The femininity.  But never frailty.

The harmonies of line and texture.

Coincidentally, I've been wearing dresses a lot lately

and having to wonder what a person could wear over a long dress

on a cool summer evening in L.A.  That is not a frumpy-making cardigan.  The answers to those wonderings are all here.  If I hurry up and get out my sewing machine.

I won't be throwing out any of my skinny little belts anytime soon.

I know these pieces are supposed to reference 70 years of Dior, but I'm thinking cashmere shawls, kimonos, spiders webs, smoke, riding habits, the odd flapper - and this romantic movie: Far From the Madding Crowd with Kerry Mulligan.

I need a little bit of romance just at the moment.  Don't know about you.  It feels a little like a necessary retreat.

Here's my version of that old expression:  Dressing Well is the BEST REVENGE.   (So there you winds of austerity and horrid old Donald Trump!)  And you don't need Dior Couture money to achieve it. 

Just a little inspiration.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Peek into a Spring NEST: Berkeley and San Francisco

Living Etc., the UK decorating magazine says that "Nest" is #19 of "the 50 hottest interior shops

in the world".  THE WORLD!!!!

I had only known the Berkeley store to date, and conveniently (says Mr. Paradis),  on past visits to 

the Bay area,  I had arrived at the Berkeley 4th St. store only after closing time.  The original, Fillmore St. store, I had never visited, and did not know at all.

HAPPILY.  Such was not the case on the occasion of my latest visits.......

TO BOTH THE STORES -  Berkeley on a Monday,  AND the

Fillmore St. store on a Tuesday.  (After a long and informative walk from the Union Square

neighborhood.  Through Nob Hill.)  If you were a woman after my own heart, you might have been

making mental negotiations like mine: "I DO need new car because after all, I live in L.A.!

(Where a car is a MUST. ) BUT,  if I DID NOT BUY A NEW CAR,  but I tried instead to keep the old one going and bought the entire contents of at least one, if not BOTH of these Nest stores......(with the money I'd "save")

could I make myself the HAPPIEST PERSON ON EARTH FOREVER  and 

never need to leave home????"  "It seems very possible", a person like me might persuade herself, "because the Nest stores would provide everything

I have ever, could ever, want or need?"

Would you feel like a Chinese person or an Egyptian, knowing that you could die happy

with everything you'd ever need in your afterlife as well?  The way I do in this magical place?

Is that what heaven would feel like?  That you'd been transported to somewhere utterly wonderful and not wish to ever leave again?  "They" say that heaven is as simple as that.  And through millennia we've been inclined to believe it.  

That there is a heaven.  So perfect, so pleasing, yes, small, perhaps but infinitely varied and pleasure-able.  That heaven for me must surely be NEST.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Diversionary Tactiles

Hello from your phantom blogger.

It is insanely gorgeous (and a little hot) in Los Angeles these days.

And I have been mostly silent and absent during a month of mostly bad news day after day.

It's a little bit of hyperbole for someone in such a comfortable situation as myself to say that I feel

sometimes like I'm living on a knife's edge.

But uncertainty and threat and change is on our doorsteps....which seems to make retreat frivolous

and shameful.  But let me suggest that the "thread", both fragile yet enduring, of the traditions and making all illustrated here provide profound comfort in their constancy.  We as humans persist in the activities illustrated here.  And meditating on the necessary mindfulness that goes into these makings

suggests solutions, resolution and solace if only in the day to day fabric of our lives.

All pics above variously happened upon via the following Facebook pages:

Other good textile pages:

It's a great year for creativity in fashion, I've been thinking.  

As the old Chinese proverb goes:  "In every crisis, opportunity".

This is what is also understood as "disruption."  I'm grabbing hold of the good bits.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Horse and Home: Sonoma Valley Break, Part One

Some of you may know, or remember, that the Paradis family has one or two attachments

 in San Francisco Bay area, which prompt us from time, to time to make a break

for the North.  Last weekend we were lucky to share our time with this little guy, named Eeyore (of course) at his home in Sonoma Valley.  A hop, skip and dawdle from lovely Petaluma.

What a difference four months of rain make, the hills were green(er) again.

And from the little house in which we stayed, known as "the Saddle House", 

at Cerro Pampa Cottages and Polo Field, there were views of them.

And views.

It is a rugged and rustic place.  So wear sturdy shoes.  Your car will get dusty.  Though inside,

very, very nicely appointed, with a perfectly blissful bed, utter silence at night, and stars.....

and in the morning, those views....views...views.

 (the above is not the Saddle House but another rental - link here)

There is a clay tennis court on the property, play-able - but at the time of our visit, suffering from a soupcon of benign neglect.  Cerro Pampa is not quite a 5-star resort, if that is your expectation....

But an other sort of haven.  For hares, ground squirrels, wild turkeys and other fascinating fauna.

A place to ride horses at the Polo field across the way (see Part Two to come).  Or to visit the coast and the wine country all around.

(To work on your marriage, in utter privacy and seclusion - judging by the book supply in the house.  There were also many cookbooks AND a Henry James reader at the time of our visit.  Sorry - had to introduce just a hint of dramatic tension to my happy history - wink wink.)

Or just a place to pass a sweet and pleasant moment if you are in the vicinity. 

Highly recommended.  IT WILL DO YOU GOOD.