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.

 

From my Window…. Desde mi Ventana. A Merry Christmas to All

Positano, Italia
From my window I saw summer go by…  from my window, I saw my thoughts go wild… I still wonder why I didn’t get to say goodbye
POSITANO, ITALIA
Oh Summer beautiful … liquid dreams and all…
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Can’t take away the beauty of Autumn or Fall, Winter and cold,  having their own memories their own soul.
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Fire cracking, book diving, dreaming begins again…
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Contemplating that all is possible… didn’t I feel before the same? .
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I find over and over that life repeats itself, I’m always starting over or at least it feels this way…
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…Despite all the beginnings … the decades we left back, some things  will never change, the language of silence, the feeling of touch, those arms and  legs intertwined like an abstract piece of art…
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..A tiny home is enough when your heart is in the right place…
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…waiting is a joy when you know who you are waiting for… When you have somebody else…
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Family oh family … we all have different walks but isn’t it just perfect, isn’t it the best when we can come together putting things to rest, when we can get together and stop?
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…and there they go again, leaving my soul all warm, but I love the sound of silence and I love my time alone…
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Warm wine, cossy feet, a good book …and somebody to share them with…
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I wish you all  tomorrow, along with a cup of JOY, to have someone to share, the birth of our LORD…

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m so grateful to be able to appreciate all the blessings we have; Sometimes I still catch myself bothered by minimal things that, under the light of the Paris tragedy , shouldn’t even face me, but I’m spoiled and impatient and need to be reminded how precious life is and how it all can change in a split second.

I’m so grateful for my family, they are my everything, it shouldn’t matter that we live in different places of the country and of the world, what matters is that we are alive and that we love each other and we have each other’s back.

I’m grateful for friends,  real ones, the ones that stay with you when you are down and cheer for you when you are up. They are rare and precious and we should treasure them for the blessing they are.

I’m grateful for the little moments and the little things, those that fill us with joy  and hope, making it all worth it; the moments we hold on to forever to remember anytime we want or need to. We only need to take the time to bring them back, pause for a while and accept them for what they are, presents from God, the opportunity to relive and experience the love again, perhaps not in the same way we would like to, but not less real for that so… We realize as we age, that we almost don’t know anything,  The more we live, the more we learn, the better we understand how little our grasp of the universe is, how minuscule our understanding of  the power of the brain… How limited our perception of the greatness  of the soul!

Today, after complaining for days about my computer’s wireless mouse freezing all the time, after being frustrated because even though I bought a new mouse I still can’t connect it to the computer because I can’t  sinc them!   Today I realized I still have an iPad and an  iPhone to THANK YOU for the more than 16,000 visits to my little blog…  More than 16,000  visits to my only 37 posts…. I’m humbled and grateful…. Even though for some bloggers that number might be small, it is not to me!  it means the world  to see people from all over the world in here, specially all the people from France these last days… I’m GRATEFUL for you all and I’m sending you my love.

I’m writing this on my phone and I’m not good at revising what I write, so forgive me for the mistakes, I just want you to know that I do feel you and I do appreciate you.

Finally and more importantly, I’m grateful for God, for His Love and teachings, for my faith, for always asking me to love and respect all, for asking me not to judge. For expecting me to help and serve others regardless. For asking me to be humble and for teaching me that joy is only found in love and compassion for all, for teaching me that there is no joy in a mean spirit who only looks up for its self and self gratification. For teaching us that we come from light and we come from love, that we are all one and that we need each other to connect with the source of it all. His love.  I’m grateful that my God never asked me to kill and hate others in order to be able to go to heaven and I’m grateful I was never taught otherwise.  Not everybody is that lucky.


 My Thanksgiving tablescape

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Luxemburg garden paris

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Fall Memories…

When my kids were little I use to drive my bicycle everywhere and sometimes I took them with me sitting behind directly on the grill… Oh, my … only the thought of it sends chills down my spine and through my whole body!… It was a time of no helmets and no bicycle paths… we didn’t overthink things as much back then, but some, we definitely should have!

The one who shared those rides with me the most was my little piggy, the youngest of them all, who at the time was going to a Preschool called  “Louis Pasteur”.

One day I arrived to pick him up and found him standing at the door with his little lunchbox waiting for me, very entertained in conversation with the watchman, the school’s security guard who stood there every day and at all times.

Riding with boys...
Riding with boys…

As I approached them he started telling me everything about their conversation and introduced me to his friend – Mommy, this is my friend Louis Pasteur! – he said very proudly and excitedly, I smiled and said hi, but tried to correct him about the confusion. He wouldn’t have it. The watchman WAS Louis Pasteur to him. He had seen him every single day, at all hours standing there, guarding the School,  so he “knew” that was “his” school, Louis Pasteur’s School!   I had to live it alone. Not worth destroying such cuteness!

The best moments for me turned out to be not so good for him...
best moments in life

Many years later, he told me that he was actually terrified with traffic and the way I rode, sitting there on my bike, in the middle of that traffic and noise, completely exposed… while I thought he was enjoying it …. suddenly one of my sweetest memories was now a horrible one of child endangerment and child abuse!  … I wish I could go back in time, hold him so tight against my heart and change many, oh, so many things, so he would never have to be scared again… at least not because of me…

and now she's coming to pick me up!
…and on top of everything, now she’s coming to pick me up again in that bloody bicycle!
If I could go back in time...
If I could turn back time…

Memories that fall out of nowhere, like leaves in Autumn, surprising and delighting us, just not in this case anymore… and I thought, that maybe if I wrote about it, I could possibly…. I don’t know what I thought…  but we don’t get do-overs in life, do we?…

He grew up to be a US Marine ...
… but he grew up to be an awesomely brave, smart and strong US Marine, in spite of me… or MAYBE, just maybe, even a little bit, because of me! I wish I could know…
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It should be mandatory to go to school to be a parent, it amazes me there aren’t any laws about that yet…
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Moms and boys…
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Springing around the House! Chinoiserie Chic & 1st Dibs obsession !

Spring at home
Spring at home
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It’s been a few weeks since I’ve changed some things at home to make it feel more Spring like. I’m always happy to bring back any blue and white accents especially anything Chinoiserie. Such a classic that will never go out of style.  I wasn’t going to share my spring “decor” because it is really very simple, nothing special, and that is kind of how I like it.

We are going through some changes at home and there is not time or special desire to decorate, but it is specially during trying times that we need the most that our homes cheer us up every time we are in there. My mother in law is 96 years old and has Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  With the help of her medications she is doing remarkable well, especially now that she has moved home with us. We kept her at her home the longest time possible, first with some help and later on with permanent help.

One day we realized that we couldn’t postpone it any longer, she had to move to a home where she could be monitored at all times. It is heart wrenching to see all the people there that once had full lives and families and are now reduced to not only a room but to solitude and silence and in some cases total abandonment… My mother in law seemed to be the only one getting visits and when asked, the personnel confirmed that impression….no totally but in many cases that was the reality…. I won’t go any further with this subject, it’s not the purpose of this post and I don’t want to make anybody who is taking a break reading this, sad.  This is temporal and she will have to return to a home but the time she is spending with us now has made her blossom. Her skin is rosier and she has no bed sores anymore…. Her appetite is excellent, like it was before and she is enjoying her home cooked meals with pleasure. The red puffiness around her eyes has gone down greatly and she seems more alert and happy.

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It is not the fresh decor and colors what make home pretty and happy but the gorgeous light that comes through the windows, inundating the house with happiness and warmth. The fact that we can open windows and let fresh air in, is something we can’t buy with money!  It’s a celebration of life! grass grows a fresh carpet everywhere and trees are dressed in bright, greens and dewy leaves, flowers grow everywhere at ease and days start earlier and last longer and longer everyday!  -The best color palettes are found in nature, green covering everything against bright blue skies with some sprinkles of white…Perfection!

I'm learning to edit better with these dark pictures..
I’m learning to edit better with these dark pictures..

No, design or decor are not going to make home feel like HOME, but they sure help a lot!  Bringing some nature inside, like flowers and flowering branches, changing accent pillows, perhaps slipcovering sofas in cotton or linen… Moving things around the house -like my bedroom lamps are now spending Spring in the living room- The right color palette and furniture placement can work wonders in our spaces.  Furniture placement could be life altering, no kidding! and bring the biggest transformations in front of our eyes.

We spend time and money in coloring our hair every few weeks (well, not actually me…I’ve stopped and have been looking like hell for a while..I hope it pays off and I will look splendid in fifty shades of gray soon! 😉  )  -but neglect to invest in painting our rooms or even a single wall the right color, we run to the salon to have a well deserved pedicure and manicure and to the mall to get pretty sandals and outfits… but sometimes we forget to do the same for our homes. Maybe is doubt what stops us, not being able to make up our minds or maybe is that we are stuck in a route. We get help for the kids for math and music, why can’t we get help with decorating our homes? At the end it saves money and lots of time and frustration, and makes a huge difference in our everyday lives!

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We are moving to Florida in a few months, to be closer to family. I’ll be traveling in a week there and will stay two months so I won’t be around much … Still, now it feels like Spring in the house and it make me smile every time I arrive home or just walk around!  Winter is always too long.
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I think that Indian goddess is gesturing “call me” right?!!!
light
light will always be a problem here…
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Battling with bad light for these pictures….

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Yes she is.

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India, China and Iran, living in perfect harmony, like in Michael Jackson’s and Paul McCartney’s song, Ebony and Ivory
Blanc de Chine
Blanc de Chine
Dancing Queen!
Dancing Queen!
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I bought that table in an auction, a long, long time ago, it was a farm kitchen table all full of dirt and oil marks…. we had somebody cut the legs and clean it up and has kept me company for a while…
Better with a big tray?!
Better with a big tray?!
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Some pieces I would like to own now: Blank de Chine
Some pieces I would love to own in a far away la la land!  From First Dibs: Blanc de Chine, figure of Guanyin, Qing dynasty.  $9,500. It seems to be the dollar sign but I’m a little afraid they meant Euros. Not that it would make any difference, of course!
Large chinese blue and white porcelain bowl, qing dynasty, Kangxi period
Large chinese blue and white porcelain bowl, qing dynasty, Kangxi period “Of octagonal panelled form, vividly painted in underglaze-blue with alternating figural and landscape scenes, including pine, prunus, chrysanthemum and carp, the interior with a central roundel enclosing a figure of a scholar within a further panelled border containing millet, prunus, bamboo, lotus, birds and insects” onlinegalleries.com Price: GBP 16,000.00 (Pound Sterling)
Antique Japanese box in black lacquered wood. $4,800
Antique Japanese box in black lacquered wood. $4,800
Cabinet in the Wardrobe in the State Apartments at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. The eighteenth-century black and gold japanned cabinet has open shelves to display porcelain, and is attributed to John Linnell.
Cabinet in the Wardrobe in the State Apartments at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. The eighteenth-century black and gold japanned cabinet has open shelves to display porcelain, and is attributed to John Linnell. Founded in Theporcelainsleuth.com

Founded in   http://theporcelainsleuth.com/page/5/

light blue glazed porcelain bottle
Light blue glazed porcelain bottle vase, 1stdibs $9,000.  I love this one, such a pretty color and shape!

https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/asian-art-furniture/ceramics/light-blue-glazed-porcelain-bottle-vase/id-f_1232410/

View of green and gold lacquer chinoiserie furniture in the State Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. The view also shows the Chinese wallpaper decorated with birds and peacocks.
View of green and gold lacquer chinoiserie furniture in the State Bedchamber at Nostell Priory. The view also shows the Chinese wallpaper decorated with birds and peacocks.  https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/page/41/?archives-list

Isn’t that beautiful?!

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I love this one but couldn’t find it’s origin
Ralph Lauren, Chinoiserie table
Ralph Lauren, Chinoiserie table.  Absolutely perfect!
French gilt-bronze clock with putti on a lacquer cabinet in the Black and White Hall at Mount Stewart House, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
French gilt-bronze clock with putti on a lacquer cabinet in the Black and White Hall at Mount Stewart House, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Pair of large Sang de Boeuf glazed vases. You always need something red ;)
Pair of large Sang de Boeuf glazed vases. Early 20th century. 1stdibs, $4,500
You always need something red 😉
What's the edge: With a chic Champs-Elysées setting and Chinoiserie style, the Relais and Chateaux Hotel Daniel is an exotic escape in the heart of Paris.
With a chic Champs-Elysées setting and Chinoiserie style, the Relais and Chateaux Hotel Daniel is an exotic escape in the heart of Paris.
Pair of chinese
Pair of chinese “Pate sur Pate” blue and white porcelain garden seats $8,500. Also from 1stdibs.
Early 18th century chinese porcelain five piece blue and white garniture set.  Price $35,000. 1stdibs
Early 18th century chinese porcelain five piece blue and white garniture set. Price $35,000. 1stdibs
Pair of Imari vases
Pair of Imari vases, 1stdibs $12,890.07 Period: Loui XVI. I love the .07 cents… What the Heck?!
Pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain jardinieres on stands 19th century. $7,500
Pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain jardinieres on stands 19th century. $7,500. These are lovely!
Foo Dogs in Blanc de Chine porcelain $8,380, 1stdibs
Foo Dogs in Blanc de Chine porcelain $8,380, 1stdibs
Pair massive Phyllis Morris bronze dragons holding female nudes $18,500.  1stdibs.
Pair massive Phyllis Morris bronze dragons holding female nudes $18,500. 1stdibs.The colors are magnificent!
Pair of famille rose baluster vases. Price Upon Request...  1stdibs, seller William R. Eubanks.
Pair of famille rose baluster vases. Price Upon Request… 1stdibs, seller William R. Eubanks. Can you imagine?! Price upon request… yeah right, like the other prices  weren’t scary enough!

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English japanned cabinet of about 1690, at Saltram, Devon. John Hammond.

https://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/desperately-seeking-symmetry/

Chinise export reverse blue and white baluster
Chinese export reverse blue and white baluster jar, $2,000
Carved Chinese coffee table, mahogany, SOLD
I love this table I found SOLD already in an auction…. Carved Chinese coffee table, mahogany, handcrafted with mortise and tenon construction.
Pair of Chinese turquoise glazed foo dogs on Ormolu mounts, 1stdibs, $7,517.47
Pair of Chinese turquoise glazed foo dogs on Ormolu mounts, 1stdibs, $7,517.47
Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren, I’ve been in love with this table for a few years!  Cannes Gueridon Table and  porcelain table lamp. The coffee cup and saucer and roses are beyond! just BEYOND!

And that’s it!  I had fun “shopping” at 1stdibs! What an amazing place… and it was free.  Like Coco Chanel said, “The best things in life are free, the second best are very, very expensive”!!!  I agree. That’s why I always choose the best, it is free.  Have a very good Friday and weekend and pay it forward. Always.

Darkness, the absence of Light

Darkness, the absence of Light

The absence of Light
The absence of Light

My father loved poetry, he used to recite poems all the time as he walked around the house. “To Christ crucified”  was one of my favorites, it always managed to move me to unspoken tears … In spite of being too young to comprehend how deep those words were, I always had a profound feeling of respect and sadness at the same time every time I heard them.  The tone of his voice, the intensity and the feeling he had behind those words were powerful…  My father was an agnostic or so he said… I think he wanted to be and tried hard to make others believe he was. There were some moments like those ones when he recited this poem that lead me to believe later on that he was just trying, as strange as it might sound, to protect himself of hope.  Many of us try hard to stop believing so we can’t be hurt anymore. We try to stop believing in real love and decency, in human integrity and character, we try to stop believing in fairness and possibilities, even in God.  We feel all grown up and too smart to believe…even though there is something inside of us that needs desperately to do so and never, ever stops searching, even in all the wrong places, for that light that seems to start inside of us and needs to connect to it’s source, a much bigger and powerful light, in order to continue to exist. It is then, when we cease to believe, that we become broken, empty lanterns without a fire, without a purpose… It saddens me to accept that I, as well, had walked away from the light inadvertently, not completely, not that far, still far enough to experience such darkness… I love little Albert Einstein’s explanation to his teacher about darkness not existing and been impossible to be proven scientifically, he said it is only the absence of light. Researching the story a while ago I found out it was an urban legend… I was heart broken and refused to believe it wasn’t real so I decided right there and then to hold on to it, for as long as I could… too much beauty and truth in it to let go.

My father lost his mother when he was a little boy, I can only imagine how hard it must have been…  I think that had a big influence on him trying to live his life without faith or hope. He never said it but it makes sense to me now… it’s made sense to me for a while actually, specially since he died in September of 2011.  It’s helped me greatly to believe that he actually, deep, deep down, in a dark, quiet corner of his heart, believed… the way he recited this poem with such sorrow and passion…   There were a few things and moments during his life where we were able to see signs of his lost faith since he went to Catholic school. Those moments had given me hope that he has finally reunited with his Mother and that I will see him again, joyful and in peace, without pain, the way it was intended to be… and he will hold me and comb my hair and tell me how pretty and smart I am again…

Father and daughter
Father and daughter

Here is the translated poem and the original.

 Sonnet to Jesus Crucified

I am not moved, my God, to love You
by the heaven that You have promised me
and I am not moved either by hell so feared
as the reason to stop offending You.

You move me, my Lord, it moves me to see You
nailed to a cross and your flesh destroyed,
what moves me is to see your body so injured,
what moves me is your suffering and your death.

What moves me, finally, is your love, and in such way,
that even if there was no heaven, I would love You,
and even if there was no hell, I would fear You.

You don’t have to give me for me to love You,
so even if what I hope for I did not hope,
the same that I love You, I would love You.

—Translated by José Leo O S

A Cristo crucificado

No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte
el cielo que me tienes prometido,
ni me mueve el infierno tan temido
para dejar por eso de ofenderte.

Tú me mueves, Señor, muéveme el verte
clavado en una cruz y escarnecido,
muéveme ver tu cuerpo tan herido,
muévenme tus afrentas y tu muerte.

Muéveme, en fin, tu amor, y en tal manera,
que aunque no hubiera cielo, yo te amara,
y aunque no hubiera infierno, te temiera.

No me tienes que dar porque te quiera,
pues aunque lo que espero no esperara,
lo mismo que te quiero te quisiera.

This week, as we remember Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, I better realize what happens when we extinguish the light.  We are surrounded by what we perceived as darkness, we are surrounded by the absence of THE LIGHT.

Is done
It is finished…
The beginning... Vierge Aux Anges, William Adolphe Bouguereau.
The beginning… Vierge Aux Anges, William Adolphe Bouguereau.
The Joy..
The Joy..
The Light
The Light, William Adolphe Bouguereau’s The Virgin of  the Lilies
Bouguereau's Pietà
The darkness, William Adolphe Bouguereau’s Pietà
Michelangelo
The hope, Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child. Church of our Lady, Bruges, Belgium.
The sorrow
The sorrow, Michelangelo’s Pietà.  St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.
L'Innocence, William Auguste Bouguereau
L’Innocence, William Auguste Bouguereau…. The world making sense !
Caravaggio
Betrayal: To deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty. The taking of Christ by Caravaggio, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
Madonna della Seggiola
Madonna della Seggiola, detail. I am totally captivated with this painting, Mary’s face and expression are beyond beautiful, the look in her eyes mesmerize me !…. I’m at a loss for words
Raffaello's Madonna della Seggiola
Raffaello Sanzio, Madonna della Seggiola, Florence, Italy
The world gone mad...
The world gone mad…
The beauty of colors
The beauty of colors.  The Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England.
The Pasion
The Pasion
Of love and family
Of love and family
The teachings
The teachings and examples
Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri
About hypocrisy and cowardly…. Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri
A child ... a Teacher, Jesus in the Temple
A child … a Teacher, Jesus in the Temple
Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.  Van Dyck
Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Van Dyck.  Hosanna!
The last Supper
The last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci.  Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan
Madness...
Madness… The Elevation of The Cross, Triptych by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens.  Cathedral of our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium
Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens, The Elevation of the Cross, I find confusing that both versions are different, no idea which one is the original…
The Beginning
The Beginning
The end
The end
The world as it is supposed to be
The world as it is supposed to be.  Christ in the House of his Parents by John Everett Millais,  Tate Britain, London
Fisher of men
Fisher of men
Jesus with fishermen
Jesus with fishermen by Jean van Orley, in Sint Salvador, Brugge, Belgium.
The Light, the Hope
The Light, the Hope, Leonardo da Vinci
The road
The road less traveled…
We all carry our cross
We all carry our cross
And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time
And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time
King of kings, Lord of lords
King of kings, Lord of lords
Christ crucified
Christ crucified by Diego Velázquez.  Museo del Prado, Spain

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…