Gramercy Park, This is an Emergency! Our Ellie is gone…

Where are you sweet Ellie?!!!!   You left without saying goodbye!!   What the heck?! This is not the way it was supposed to be!!  You fought so hard, for so long, you kept your cool and kicked ALS’s arse so many times that I thought you were going to be THE ONE, the freaking one to beat it! … You deserved it, You earned it !  What the bloody hell! …. YOU DID!  You know what I mean?!

I was waiting for your next stories… you said you had so much to tell us… you promised! …or did you?  I thought you did…  Your last post was so beautiful!  It took my breath away! “The Journey Home” … what a gift you gave us!  -perhaps you knew?  I’m sure you knew it wasn’t this home you were talking about, that’s why you had to come back so desperately… –  The post was magnificent,  just like you my dear, witty, naughty, irreverent you, incomparable and unique YOU, dearest Ellie…  THANK YOU!    God Bless you!!!-   I’m so glad you got to do that, I’m so glad you left France on a high note and I’m so glad you had that magic opportunity to reconciled with your beloved Provence… It couldn’t have been any other way!  You were able to have everything you always loved and enjoyed so passionately and fiercely, in one magic place for one last time … I’m grateful you made it home to your precious Santa Barbara, I’m grateful you made it to “Merica”, that’s all you wanted!

Are you running in Gramercy Park now Ellie?  Are you finally carefree, blissful, unafraid?!  Are you jumping up and down, and skipping over the cracks of the sidewalk, peering into the bottom windows of the brownstones you wanted so bad to be able to afford?  Are you doing all that like you said you would?!   Tell me you are spinning around in circles, hair floating, arms stretched as far as possible, head in the clouds like you always had, face lifted towards the sky staring into heaven with eyes wide open … Please… let us know you are!

I wonder….  If we were really careful, and would pay really close attention, and would keep really quiet … I wonder if we would we be able to hear your laughter mixed with the wind blowing through the treetops and among the roses…

I think you are in Gramercy Park right now…I can almost see you…now you don’t need to bargain with God for five more minutes of freedom anymore my dearest and bravest Ellie, YOU GOT IT … you are finally free, unbounded and limitless…You are finally Home.

Here is one of my favorite post of yours, “Don’t Mind if I Do, Gramercy Park” one that moved and touched every fiber of my soul. I want people to read it and get to know you, I want everybody to have that joy….

What are “We”, your “imaginary friends”  -like Gracie used to call us-   going to do without you?!   It seems like we were part of something special and magic that others won’t be able to understand…  I’m going to miss people I don’t even know!  I’ll especially miss   Penelope Bianchi,  Stephen Andrew,  Heather of Lost in Arles, La Contessa , Hollie of The silver Pen , so very dearly, and others I got to know over there in your brilliant, hysterical, smart, emotional, profound, refreshing, and freakingly honest BLOG  Have Some Decorum

I guess is time to say goodbye … but it seems I’m not able to do that just yet … I’m not ready…it’ll only have to be  à bientôt for now…   I LOVE YOU sweet Ellie O’Connell, and I’ll be seeing you in my dreams.

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And here you are, for those of you who don’t know you, with your husband David, the French guy.   Ashtonishingly  beautiful !

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And here You are with Gracie, Amazing Grace, like you liked to called her!

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…. and here you are with mom… “Look, I can walk!” That’s what you said about this picture!! You blew my mind !  You really never lost it….  you were the coolest chick in town, and still are,  your spirit keeps going on for ever ….

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Don’t mind if I do, Gramercy Park…

 

In Manhattan, New York there is a very special park called Gramercy Park. This park is so special that it’s private and can be only accessed by those #LuckyDucks who live on Gramercy Park. And they get a key. The golden key to Gramercy Park. Be jealous, be very jealous.

But, guess what? As part of an old New York charitable holiday tradition, the gates to Gramercy Park are open to us losers on Christmas Eve! The Gramercy Park church, Parish of Calvary St.George, will also be having carolers starting at 6 PM in the park. This is absolutely not to be missed!

You may be wondering why I am so excited about this. Well, it’s hard to even write this without crying, but Gramercy Park happens to be the last place I was before, minutes before, I was diagnosed with ALS. I thought that I would let you guys in on a chapter of my book about it. I should have my book finished by March but I thought you guys would like a preview of the Gramercy Park chapter.

Here it is…

Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park on the lower East side of Manhattan has always held a special place in my heart. The name alone just sounds cool. Then there is the Gramercy Park Hotel designed in part by one of my favorite artists, Julian Schnabel, with its amazing color scheme of rosy reds, Fire King green and sapphire blues. Then there is the architecture of the brownstones around the park. A little village within a big city. And then there is the garden. The secret private garden to which only a lucky few hold the keys.

I always feel like a little part of me is still in Gramercy Park. Like a little bit of me is still wandering around the park… The part of me that doesn’t have ALS.

As I walked out of the offices of 1stdibs on my lunch break casually walking to the neurologist office for what I thought would be a quick appointment, I never imagined that this would be my last carefree walk. Physically it was not a carefree walk because I had a strange limp and I was worried that every crack in the sidewalk would cause me to fall flat on my face. Mentally, all I was thinking about was the beautiful park.

I walked past the church at the corner of the park and I remember saying to myself, “On my way back from the neurologist appointment, I need to stop at the church and check out their little thrift shop.” I was thinking that I needed to come back to the Gramercy Park Hotel for cocktails later that week with my girlfriends. I was thinking, “God, I wish I could afford one of these brownstones around the park.” My mind floated around thinking how beautiful and lush the little garden was and if the residents who held the coveted key to the garden could grow tomatoes in there.

What I was thinking about was just… Nothing. Now all I think about is… Everything. That five-minute walk in Gramercy Park was the last trace of who I used to be. That girl was like you… She had worries but they were just regular worries. Can I pay my rent this month? Is Gracie getting good grades in school? Does David love me more than his ex-wife? Why are my friends such bitches? Will I ever forgive my father? You know, regular worries. My days were normal…wake up, deal, go to bed. I walked around Gramercy Park that day with my head in the clouds and what I would give to go back to that day.

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to remember that moment in Gramercy Park before I walked into the doctor’s office. I can see it, feel it, smell it and almost taste it. I want to remind myself of who I was before and what it felt like to be carefree. I haven’t been carefree since that day. I want to cherish those few moments and have them emblazoned in my soul so I don’t ever forget what it was like… Before.

Sometimes I beg God to just let me have those few moments of liberty back. Let me just walk around the park again without knowing my fate. Let me be ignorant, let me be blissful, let me be unafraid. If I could just have back a few moments… I would run around that park smelling every flower letting myself get pricked by a rose thorn. I would pop into the hotel and grab a cappuccino. I would peer into the bottom windows of the brownstones. I would skip over the cracks of the sidewalk. I would walk down the tiny broken steps of the church thrift store and pick things up and put them down at my leisure. Hell, I might even stretch out my arms, lift my head to the clouds, start spinning around in circles and sing a little song. At the end of my allotted time, I imagine I would try to renege on my deal with God and I would ask for more time. Don’t make me go forward to my life with ALS. Let me just stay in this park without ALS. Just give me another few minutes… This time I will cherish it, I promise.

So I encourage all of you to get over to Gramercy Park on Christmas Eve…

 

Ellie xoxo

The colorful life of Eddie Ross, Here comes the sunshine take 2

Eddie Ross… where to start?!  The talented East Coast editor of Home and Gardens Magazine brightens any space he enters with his sweet personality, down to earth demeanor, boyish smile and tremendous talent.  He can bring light and color in a masterful way to any room using things we own in combination with family treasures and some very affordable Salvation Army or Goodwill pieces.  His spaces are definitely unique, bright and so darned positive that they can chase the blues away out of any heart in the world.

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And now, with his new book, written in collaboration with his handsome partner Jaithan Kochar, he is on a mission to help us do just that on our own.

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I find myself looking at old images of his work and realizing it has a certain timeless quality to it!

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There was no chance in hell I wasn’t going to include next picture, a tablescape he did in collaboration with Bunny Williams for Christmas!  People at this point might be sick of Christmas Decor, but this is so fresh and creative that nobody could tired of it, even after the holidays.  What an honor to work with Ms. Williams, she is one of the best and most respected decorators in the world and a wonderful and down to earth person as well. I can only imagine how Eddie must have felt working with her, I would have cried. Yes, right there and then, burst into tears!  Not just because of how talented she is but because she is a very real and classy lady who is unaffected and unimpressed with all the fluffies (is that even a word, or I just invented one?!) and pretentious stuff that comes often with the lifestyle of famous and top interior designers.   I could spend hours and hours listening and talking to her, it must have been a rare and delicious treat!  Nothing more on Bunny because of course, I’m going to have a post on her, and even if I try very hard,  I won’t be able to begin to scratch the surface of her contribution to the world of design and her fabulous work. These posts are such a treat to me, to revisit the work of all those incredible people… Priceless.

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What a joyful table…. I can’t stop staring.  Tabletop fabric by Bunny Williams for Lee Jofa, the inspiration for the whole tablescape.

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Eddie used his own antique English salad plates with  Bunny’s Gold Star collection  and his French Opaline Goblets. I love those who are not afraid of change and experimentation, opening new ways in any field and widening our horizons!

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Notice how nicely combined the flatware is with Eddie’s own vintage silver and Bunny’s Paris Flea Market collection

How gorgeous those salt cellars and shakers are as well as that pepper mill?!  It is in the little details, I’m telling you… I always say the same thing! Well, not just me, everybody. 

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I believe this is from the book and makes me just so happy to look at it, you must order the book!  After so many years of whites, browns and grays -which I ADORE-  we really need help to bring color back into our lives and this book will do it. Imagine this: Bunny Williams did the foreword. It means the book is smashing beautiful and perfectly illustrated! Every review I read is calling it: The BEST.   You can order it here:   eddieross.com/modern-mix

This is my first time including links!!! hooray !  Go me!  I hope they work because they make me feel so professional and stuff….  I apologize for any infringements with the authors of anything. If I need to remove something I sadly…not gladly… would do so!  I know, but I’m not going to lie, I love everything here and don’t want to take anything away…

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What a marvelous and happy combination! I hear Pharrel singing!

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The colors and textures, the patterns and all the eclectic goodness going on here is such a treat, it has that collected through time look, that natural and effortless feel, so hard to obtain and it’s so unassuming that will make anybody want to stay forever…

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I believe this is their guest room. I’m surprised of how restrained this room is in regards to color… that means they either compromised or Eddie can do neutrals with an accent color beautifully as well.  Of course he can!  I wouldn’t be surprised though if we find this room changed very soon, I can see orange curtains or at least the natural grasses roman shade painted orange or something like that!

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I am not a fan of the tablecloth colors and pattern but I can still enjoy the whole thing, I think the brass candleholders are lovely, and I am in love with that mirror!

That shows everybody that even things we think we don’t like can look beautiful with the right combination of elements. Very english garden and Art Deco vibes at the same time! Eddie Ross can make anything work but it takes an immense amount of skills and talent to do it so perfectly, and of course great taste and instincts.  I’m a big fan!

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I love the cutlery, those beautiful white, crisp, embroidered linen napkins and fabulous plates!

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I believe this an old photo but still, it’s so “Eddie talented”

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I absolutely adore this palette and the setting! Are those olive trees?! 

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Handsome treasure Hunter!

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Eddie’s vintage brass cart turned into a bar “fabuloso”!!!

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and a reminder that next on the list is Spring!  How can one avoid to fall in love with color with such a display of happiness and effervescent spirit?  Thank you Eddie Ross for taking the stiffness out of the Interior Design butt!

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Eddie and his partner Jaithan Kochar.  I think Eddie looks so much like Derek Hough, from “Dancing with the Stars”  What do you think?!

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Derek Hough…. WOW! right?!

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Eddie Ross … they look like twins separated at birth!

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And last but not least: Eddie and the fabulous and very smart Susanna Salk from quintessenceblog.com

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What do you think?  Are you loving all the color coming back in our lives? How do you feel about brass? Too much too soon or are you young enough that you never got sick of it?

Have a great rest of the week!

 

 

Here comes the Sunshine! Jonathan Adler and Eddie Ross, part I

All of us who are living in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to feel the winter blues… Yes, inevitably, when the Holiday’s lights start to disappear, those moody blues begin to show up! … And what is one to do when confronted with the harsh reality of a long winter ahead of you without any prospects of skiing in St. Moritz?!

Dream!  All we have to do is dream of a world full of colour and light, full of energie and happy thoughts … and to help you do just that I am sharing these wonderful pictures of the work of two amazing designers, masters of colour and pattern, who are not afraid of mixing anything… and I mean:  Anything!

Don’t judge, just enjoy, go with the flow, let yourself float and be invigorated, I won’t say anything because I can’t, design has that effect on me, makes me really, REALLY, emotional and sometimes it is hard to do anything else but soak it all in and wonder why Eddie Ross and I are not best friends yet.  We should be, we have so much in common!  I know if he knew me he would adore me … Ok, back to reality, here we go!  -Today is Jonathan the one bringing the sunshine and tomorrow  Eddie will be the chosen one!

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Yes!   -Traditional elements mixed with modern furniture from the Jonathan Adler’s collection, totally inspired by  modern-mid century design and by the genius designers that created the best armchairs since the Klismos chair, all mixed together with my beloved dark, lacquered walls (well, these are not lacquered but they are paneled, so I love them so!) and those balloon things, so similar to Koons dogs. Jonathan is a gifted designer and an artist, he was a potter first before becoming an interior designer and now, apart from his furniture collection, he has a really cool accessory line made of brass, glass and lucite.


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Modern Pottery. Jonathan Adler malachite vases, what a bright bunch!

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We can’t deny how happy and fun this is and I love that they didn’t leave the ceiling unfinished … no idea what it is, could be tin, could be plaster, could be wood, I don’t know, but it sure is beautiful

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I’ll try to keep the comments to a minimum from this point on so I can share more pictures… (but please notice those gorgeous, colorful books inside the heart of the chimney, coolness!)

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So fresh and clean, still mid-century but with a contemporary air and refinement

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How about that?!  I love the J.A. Topanga sofa and I am finally coming to terms with the Brigitte chair. (I kind of love it. I don’t know, I need to see it in person to really know)… – It was hard for me at the beginning, when all the modern craziness started, to accept this trend.  Having grown-up  during the 70’s I got sick of seeing a lot of this period’s furniture and decor and not in it’s best versions, nothing to do with the refinement of what we see now!  On the other hand, no pun intended, I adore the lucite giant hand.

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Even the giant Sputnik chandelier has found a place in my heart. I also love all the movement and flow coming from the undulating brass base of the Scalinatella table, the Bacharach swivel chair, the sputnik chandelier, with its rays darting into space in every direction possible and the chevron pattern in the area rug…. and what about those gorgeous blue balloons that look like they are ready to fly?!

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The brass bird bowls are so cute and would look amazing anywhere, from the mantel to the bookcase, on the coffee table or in a tablescape!

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Now, I draw the line at those mongolian lamb benches! I always hated them and founded them ridiculous… but now I am so afraid one day I might find myself liking them! who knows.

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The Caracas dining table paired with his Goldfinger dining chairs, absolutely stunning!  – Check his website for details!

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The fabulous Jonathan Adler preparing a photoshoot for the 2016 catalog! Most of the last pictures I found at Jonathan’s Instagram.   instagram.com/jonathanadler

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Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, designed by Jonathan Adler

Well, that is all for today, I think I will share Eddie Ross fabulous style tomorrow so he can have all the attention he deserves and because I am absolutely tired!  One picture of Eddie’s awesomeness to enjoy next. Thank you for visiting, almost 21,000 hits or visits to my 40 posts!!!! Thanks again, I have no idea how that compares to anything or what that means but to me it’s a gianormous amount of visits and I am more than grateful.

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The magnificent collaboration between the sweet and talented Eddie with the amazing Bunny Williams… I fell in love the moment I saw this!

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So, what do you think?  What do you feel about the Mid Century Modern revival we’ve been experiencing for a while? Do you like it or not?

 

M.T.

 

Fifty Shades of What?!

MARSALA

Gorgeous
Gorgeous

Marsala is the color of the year… Well, even though I like this shade very much, to me it gets too close to Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s 2014 seleccion.  Too close but not enough to be able to reuse the accessories of last year with the new shades or tints of the new one. To me last years Radiant Orchid was more in the cooler side, with blue undertones, this years Marsala is more in the warmer side, with earthy undertones like the wine from which it takes it’s name that comes from the surroundings of the Sicilian city of Marsala in Italy . (By the way,  I don’t think there is anything in the colder side in Italy! Everything seems to be warm and intense!)

I love this, I've been a fan of lacquered walls and rich tones for ever and that light fixture is awesome
I love this, I’ve been a fan of lacquered walls and rich tones forever and that light fixture is awesome
Pretty Woman memories
Pretty Woman memories

I don’t follow fashion or trends at all, I enjoy them but they don’t dictate anything in my world, unless I happen to fall in love with one of them.  What I don’t understand is that they pick the colors too close to each other, in the same intensity…. I would rather have them pick something complementary or a tint or shade of the color, so regular people who follow these things can have a better opportunity to play with what they already have just adding the “new” color, creating richer environments with more layers and personality and cooler wardrobes . Well, I’m not color expert or anything close to that but for what is worth, this is my fifty cents in this matter 😉

Some hues are gorgeous like this one
Some hues are gorgeous like this Ives Saint Lauren clutch
Carnival
Carnival
The colors of 2015
The colors of 2015
I'm a little afraid.... it's still Marsala, right?
I’m a little afraid…. It’s still Marsala, right?

I’ve had many people asking me along the years why a particular color, even white, didn’t work with what they had at home or in their closet, when it seemed perfect at the store… Undertones!  I won’t get into that, there are too many blogs and too many experts that already do that brilliantly, just trying to give one more reason why the experts at Pantone should pick something complementary or analogous, with the same or compatible undertones, that will work together and in that way make life simpler for people that don’t know much about the intricacies of color but they do know something is not working and they don’t know why!   Probably I’m wrong but it’s just my humble opinion… Still, I think they should do that at least two years in a row…

These are gorgeous! They would make any woman feel like a queen.
These are gorgeous! They would make any woman feel like a queen.
Marsala, how much I love thee!  Seriously, I absolutely adore this colours here!
Marsala, how much I love thee! Seriously, I absolutely adore these colours here!

The title in this post is Fifty shades of … because I wrote another one called  “The color Purple and it’s fifty shades” talking about last year’s pick.  I’d like to put a link here but I have no idea how… it seems to me that I could reuse some of the images I used there… confusing!

How sweet is this?!
How sweet is this?!
Soft and intense at the same time
Soft and intense at the same time
Vera Wang
Vera Wang
Marsala shoes
Marsala shoes
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothco
Mark Rothko
Lacquered walls!
Lacquered walls!
Very rich
Very rich
Accent
Accent
Without the shadow of a doubt..
Without the shadow of a doubt..
Burberry love
Burberry love
Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs
Just like drops of wine in the snow...
Just like drops of wine in the snow…
Lovelies !
Lovelies !
You prepare a table before me...
You prepare a table before me…
Silence is golden! this is perfect.
Silence is golden and this is perfect!
More Marsala with gold
More Marsala with gold
Starting with wine, ending in rose powder..
Starting with wine, ending in rose powder..
O.P.
O.P.
The new palette
The new palette
A vase full of colour
A vase full of colour
So many dreams and hopes in a bundle...
So many dreams and hopes in a bundle… (Let’s assume the flowers are in some marsala shades and tones 😉 … we just can’t see!)
Definitely warm undertones
Definitely warm undertones
Olivia
Olivia …  must be so fun to dress like her!  Not particularly this one….
More like this one!
More like this one!
There will be cake!
There will be cake!
Scheherazade!
Scheherazade!
One thousand and One nights!
One thousand and One nights!
Rich wines tones
Rich wines tones,Valentino.  I love the booties.
There is something special about winter weddings... I think
There is something special about winter weddings… I think
And there will be more cake !!!!
And there will be more cake !!!!
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Nothing can compete with nature. It's perfect!
Nothing can compete with nature. It’s perfect!
Talking about warmth!
Talking about warmth!
Delicioso!
Delicioso!
Say YES! to this dress!!!
Say YES! to this dress!!!
A magic carpet
A magic carpet
Pinch me to know I'm not dreaming!
Pinch me to know I’m not dreaming!
Candlelight, the best light after the sun!
Candlelight, the best light after the sun!
Very pretty
Very pretty
Shoes.... No woman is immune to that!
Shoes…. No woman is immune to that!
There is a time for everything
There is a time for everything, Marc Jacobs
Elegance
Elegance, Lucy in the sky, with diamonds…Thinking about

Emma… Thinking about “The Help” one of my favorite books!

Too much of a good thing is still too much! I needed a break of solid Marsala!
Too much of a good thing is still too much! I needed a break of solid Marsala!
I needed a glass of wine!
… and I needed a glass of Marsala wine!
I love this photo, I needed the change so bad!
In love with this photo, my eyes were looking for a change..
There is not arguing with this one, beautiful! Is this cheating?  If we combine the red of the roses with the brown of the branches we get MARSALA!  Right?
There is not arguing with this one, beautiful!  Would this be cheating? If we combine the red of the roses with the brown of the branches we get MARSALA! Right?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Mercedes Marsala!....  sounds like a good name for an italian heiress !
Mercedes Marsala!…. Humm …sounds like a good name for an italian heiress!    Update 3-6-16  The author of this photo just contacted me and asked me to include the credit due to his work. It is my pleasure and I am grateful to be able to use his beautiful work.  Photographie 230SL ©Boris VOLCK   Website:  http://photo.borisvolck.fr  

http://photo.borisvolck.fr

Wheels or wings? I pick wings..
Wheels or wings? I pick wings..
I love nature, makes everything feel obtainable!
Nature, makes everything feel obtainable!
Burberry, I love you!
Burberry, I love you!
Another one of my favorites! Hunter boots love.
Another one of my favorites! Hunter boots love.
Loving this dress
Loving this dress so much, I would only change the shoes
More about Marsala, it should come with wine samples!
More about Marsala, it should come with wine samples!
Gorgeous!
Gorgeous Peonies!
Now in the softer side
Weddings
What a great combination, the softness of the skirt with the structured jacket..
What a great combination, the softness of the skirt with the structured leather jacket..Perfect!
Shoe Confidential
Shoe Confidential… the power they hold…
Olivia Palermo, I love her closet ...
Olivia Palermo, in love with her closet …
Wine Dreams...
Wine Dreams…
Chains of life...
Chains of life…
Burberry
Burberry again
Sofas are the best
Sofas are the best, so inviting..
Très chic
Très chic
Green with marsala
With green?
Accents
Accents make a big difference! she is so beautiful..
 I find swimsuits and bigger bikinis more attractive than   tiny ones
I find swimsuits and two pieces sexier and more attractive than tiny bikinis

More Burberry

Subtle
Subtle and classy
more shoes!
Cinderella shoes
So fun!
So fun!
Marsala is the new black
Marsala is the new black
Sweet Carolyne (Roehm)
Sweet Carolyne (Roehm)
Like a romance novel
Like a romance novel
Marsala in a glance
Marsala in a glance
Warm palette
Warm palette in velvet and gold
Flower guide
Flower guide

A Very Simple Fall Mantel

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Decorating the mantel for each season has to be one of my favorite things. It is always unplanned, that is the way I like it, at least at home … grab a few things from around the house and put them together having a good time, enjoying the process and playing, the same way I used to play with barbies when I was a little girl and also later on, not so little. Decorating their houses, mostly made of cardboard boxes and dividers (I think evaporated milk came that way at the time, I think wine comes that way still now) was my favorite activity along with designing their wardrobe, and since we were eight brothers and sisters, there were always plenty empty boxes available to play with. Those dividers were a dream come true, I was able to change the rooms distribution any time I wanted! (designers dream!)

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This year I wanted to keep things simple, made a promise to myself about not over thinking so stuff gets actually done!  The problem was when I thought about making a post about decorating the Mantel for Fall, I felt the need to “finish” it, to make it better.  Moving things around I “discovered” I needed to purchase a few items … I don’t want to buy more stuff, I really want to spend more time living and enjoying than trying to make things perfect…good is good enough, right? or at least it should be, so…I didn’t buy anything! (Who am I?!   I don’t know this woman!)

These are some pictures of the mantel with a few variations…couldn’t stop myself from playing with the things and broke one of the candle-holders!  I would had liked the moss balls to be bigger and some of the pumpkins to be smaller… oh well, what a surprise!  Isn’t that the way it always goes for everybody?

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Taking pictures with my iPhone is not very professional, I know! the indoor photos look gloomy and colorless and the definition is not that good…This looks so greenish, yellowish, “horriblish”… it looks so much better in person. I promise! perhaps I should upgrade to an iphone 6, just never wanted to do it only because it came out, don’t understand the need to have the latest gadget when I know for sure I barely understand all I could do with the one I already have… that is at least my impression.

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The two windows flanking the fireplace are facing north and this particular area between the two of them is a bit gloomy… There is a big mirror on top of the fireplace to bounce the light coming from other places and a light above it, but for some reason it isn’t enough…very unnatural and cold light!   I know I could do better, but since we’ve been almost moving several times… it wasn’t worth the hustle, or so I thought … it is always worth the hustle!

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I’ve been in love with old silver forever and always have fun imagining where those old pieces could have been…I am a romantic, what can I say…the images in my head are pretty stunning… extremely handsome, elegant, well spoken gentlemen, walking around trying to capture the glance and imagination of  breathtakingly beautiful women exquisitely dressed and coiffed ….everybody is having a wonderful time, conversations are interesting, intelligent and passionate and ….nobody is texting!  The settings are old hotels with amazing architecture and furniture you only dream of  and old mansions full of history and romance, the kind we rarely see anymore …. and of course, All this VERY unlikely to have ANY relationship with my silver pieces found at second hand stores, flea markets or state sales!  No connection to reality whatsoever! … but hey! It is my imagination, right?! No need to be timid or frugal there… no budget restrains!

Coming back to reality I should say, I like freshly polished silver as well, occasionally I prepare a “special solution” to clean it, mostly around the holidays, you only have to line the sink with aluminum paper, fill it with hot water, add the non toxic ingredients I found on Pinterest and Voilà! Just submerge the pieces for a while and they all come out shining and reflecting light everywhere… brilliant!  (Specially when I didn’t have to polish it!)  Soon I will share the formula, it is like magic! I only want to make sure I know how to properly credit the source.  Did I mention that I have an obsession with light? I need it bad, I love spaces filled with natural light and a great lighting plan, that is a must ! You can lose almost everything you’ve accomplished, design wise if you don’t have the right illumination….

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Don’t you think silver pumpkins are gorgeous?! I do, they are just so pretty and elegant!  It’s like they decided they didn’t want to be “loud” like their lovely, more common orange sisters!  These grayish pumpkins are the snobs of the family along white ones! Orange ones are the happy eternal teenagers… Too bad the light didn’t help me here and the gorgeous gray pumpkin  looks almost a shade of one of Pantone’s pastels for 2015…. I had yet to put a candle inside the orange goblet and it was and is bothering me immensely!  Candlelight is so pretty, romantic and soft…. I find it flirty and happy!  Few things can claim they can do for ambiance and mood what these little wonders do!….Contained fire…Do we even realized what we have with candles?! It literally is Contained Fire!!! anywhere we want them, whenever we want them! Awesome! Genius! Priceless! Brilliant! yes, very bright indeed, CANDLES bring magic to every space and make the ordinary look extraordinary!

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That branch with the “caramel drops of Autumn” tilted the vase and went too low, wasn’t intentional… looks bad!

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This is a small space so I should keep it simple… but Fall makes me feel warm and cozy inside and sometimes has me longing for the cluttered look of lived in spaces… I think it’s the same feeling we experiment during Fall and winter when we wrapped ourselves in soft blankets and cuddle in our favorite chair, sofa or bed (yes, more likely a bed..) and lose ourselves in a book or a movie, even a cheese one, a “chick” movie my boys used to call it … and then they watched it with me and even liked it!   (Omg… those sweet memories … I’m not going to cry!)

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I took a couple of things out to create some breathing space, what it’s called negative space, it is as important as all the stuff you want to display, your eyes should be able to rest and travel from one thing to the other with ease, there should be a nice flow and harmony among all the pieces in the composition, here it works because your eyes can take all in without being overwhelmed with too much clutter… almost!

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– Not so much here though!

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So… this is my mantel for the season, sometimes you should go with your impulse and if you like the result, if it makes you happy, then that’s the right one for you at that particular moment,  if you get a pleasant feeling, go with it!

UPDATE -As the season progressed and the bright days of Fall got darker and bare, I felt the need to add color to the mantel and home to replace what we lost outside. Here are some pictures, that for some reason have better light than the previous ones that look so bad…

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That poor pumpkin is dying!…. Hold on baby! Only a couple of weeks to go! You don’t want to be called rotten… do you?…

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The leaves outside are almost gone… That makes me sad… everything is turning gray and dark so I needed to brighten up the mantel inside

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And that makes me happy!

My entrance table
My entrance table

That was it, I didn’t mean to talk forever about so many different things…hopefully it doesn’t read that way…

Decorating For Fall ~ Entrance Urn and backyard half Whiskey Barrels

It is hard to let go of Summer’s long, sunny days, specially when here, in Wisconsin,  Winters are so long and cold.  Spring and Autumn are my absolute favorite seasons, sadly they never last long enough!

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The flowers in my living room’s coffee table are still summer blooms and look as lovely as ever, but even though we are getting a few more beautiful sunny days here in this corner of the world, it is soon and almost suddenly going to change..

These come from my backyard

– These came from my backyard

For a peruvian girl like me, who gets the Winter Blues bad, it doesn’t help if those darker, colder, shorter days… would find me still with a few tired summer planters looking sad and old… this week I decided to take action and start my Autumn decorations even little by little so I won’t feel sad when the cold gloomier days arrive…

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This year I will keep it very simple, there are no kids at home any more and I still get emotional thinking about it.  It is a mixture of feelings, the sadness of letting go of spring’s fresh air, green grasses, soft rains and happy blooms … Summer’s long, bright, lazy days, full of bike rides, picnics, lake swims, bonfires, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores  … my kids’ childhoods and teenage years! … and the wonder and excitement of this new season to come with all the beauty and discovery it brings!  Gorgeous crisp, intensely colorful days full of magic, where you can walk endlessly admiring nature exploding on fire!  So much passion… so powerful … Just like summer’s colossal  thunderstorms!   New lives starting for my boys and myself… I have to work on Not letting the tears obstruct the view of all the blessings around me and all the fantastic things to come….

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring breaks and every special occasion just aquired a new brighter feeling about them and became more exciting and joyful than ever! The promise of the boys coming home makes everything wonderful and special!  Now I can just enjoy them and NOT clean after them! at least I don’t mind it anymore!   When they were still living at home, it was an absolute joy when my daughter and my two older boys, who live in Pennsylvania and Florida respectively at the time (everybody is moving now a days!) came home for the holidays, birthdays and graduations !!!  We were crazy excited and overjoyed for days before it happened!  but, being so far away made it difficult to make it home more often, therefore there were many sad moments and endless hours spent on the phone trying to fill in the blanks that their presence would have filled otherwise….

CHANGE … life sometimes doesn’t prepare us for THAT kind of change…. it’s wonderful, it’s good, it’s right… and like the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives, IT’S ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN!  All seasons have their own beauty and purpose and definitely they bring their own JOY… It’s just taking me a little bit longer to adjust….

Oh, yes! I was writing this to share my attempts to start my Fall decorations with my entrance urn and the two half whiskey barrels I have in the backyard, even though they are not finish yet!  I still need to go find some branches to add!

I decided to spray paint my urn black, it was a cement color before and it was looking very bla, specially with the white outside my house
I decided to spray paint the urn black, it was a greyish cement color before and was looking rather bla, specially against all the white outside my house. There is no need to buy a new planter each time, sometimes a little bit of elbow grease is all you need and some paint  goes a long way! Ahhhhh! the joys of spray paint!
I bought a few plants, it was hard to decide among all the pretty kale available but it had to be done
I bought a few plants, it was hard to decide among all the pretty Kales available but it had to be done.   Doesn’t that grass look a lot like Cousin Itt in the Addam’s Family?!  Just buy something that makes you happy or all cozy and fluffy inside! Trust your instincts, doesn’t have to be perfect.

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It’s not even necessary to use flowers, sometimes a combination of plants with pretty leaves, grasses in different heights, colors and textures,( vegetables are a beautiful thing to use too!) and some gourds and pumpkins make a gorgeous combination for your planters.

I love the hint of purple in the grass playing with the deep purple of the Kale
I love the hint of purple in the grass playing with the deep purple of the Kale
It was kind of hard to move it to the front of the house but I managed! I need to clean so much around the house, I spent three months in Perú this summer and haven't catch up yet
It was kind of hard to move it to the front of the house but I managed!   I really need to clean a lot around the house after spending three months in Perú this summer! Haven’t been able to catch up yet… In this case I did use mums in my arrangement.

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My backyard half whiskey barrel
One of my backyard’s half whiskey barrels. This time no flowers! It doesn’t mean it’s not going to change… I am always adding and switching things around and it is OK.
I have yet to bring back throws and pillows and all the stuff we decorate with around these days, so I decided to grab anything to take this picture...
I have yet to bring back, throws and pillows and all the stuff we decorate with around these days, so I decided to grab anything to take this picture… Actually most of the books I read now are e-books and I haven’t read Killing Lincoln yet. I’ve read Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus in my e-reader, this is a  book my husband read recently. Bill O’Reilly did an AMAZING JOB with this series!  So easy to read, so many things to learn… I think it’s gorgeous the way it is! those leaves are as pretty as it gets, all the colors of the fall in one convenient plant!
I added another pumpkin to the container for more color and layers
I added another pumpkin to the container for more color and layers, this is the other side planter… see what I meant about the leaves?  I can’t remember the name of the plant but I know I saved the plastic tag with it somewhere.

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– Added another pumpkin to the right side planter too and it’s looking a little better each time.

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– Look at the subtle changes in colors and textures! Perfection! That Kale is beyond pretty, can’t get over the hues!

I just love how much those little pumpkins look like swans ! (Are those called pumpkins too? )
I just love how much those little pumpkins look like swans ! (Are those called pumpkins too? Are they gourds?) I’ll google it sometime…
Now I just need to add some birch branches or anything I can find and grabs my attention!
Now I just need to add some birch branches or anything I can find … that “Cousin Itt” grass is looking a bit out of place in this vignette I think. but I don’t want to let go! It’s so awesome looking in person and makes me smile everytime I see it
I guess it's not going to be as hard to let go... of my flowers or my children's childhoods and youth if I decide to start focusing in this new season of their lives and mine and concentrate in all the beauty it is going to bring.... like Autumn
Is it just me or those flowers are  really ridiculously pretty?!    – I guess it’s not going to be as hard to let go of my flowers… or my children’s childhoods and teenage years if I decide to start focusing on this new season of our lives and concentrate in all the beauty it is going to bring…. Just like Autumn!