Jewels

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Fashion

Jewels

“Jewelry is the perfect spice. It always complements what’s already there.” Diane Von Furstenberg   Beyond hats,  gloves, shoes , perfume, and other accessories that make a woman feel feminine, jewelry is at the apex of desired adornments. Whether a gold hammered collar inlaid with lapis found in an Egyptian tomb, or a gold filigree necklace and pearls casually tossed on the dresser of a Park Avenue maven…   Whether simple, understated and classic…or flashy, flamboyant and wild…     From the timeless gold chain, to over the top baubles and pendants   Jewels have...

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Wine

Posted on Dec 21, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Food

Wine

“Great wine works wonders and is itself one.” Edward Steinberg, Making of a Great Wine ‘Tis is the season for sumptuous food and memorable meals, complemented by scintillating wine and sparkling champagne. In the past, we’ve explored exotic cocktails, but herewith we pay tribute to wine – the nectar of the gods. For millennia, man has labored to perfect and preserve the ambrosia of the glorious grape. The love affair is unending, and the history of the handkerchief records this passion. A Merry Christmas/Happy New Year greeting features celebratory champagne.   A nascent tower of...

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Menus and Recipes

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Food

Menus and Recipes

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” Ruth Reichl When it comes to food, it appears we’re coming full circle, back to the basics, but with a touch of flair. In the past, succulent home-cooked meals which satisfied both palette and spirit,took hours to prepare, and were eventually replaced with time-saving microwaved fare, minute rice, and take out. Harried income earners working 50-60 hrs. a week often gulped dinner, only to leave the table feeling full, but also empty – of satisfaction. Along came Alice Waters and California Cuisine prepared with...

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Kitchen

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Food

Kitchen

Whether you love to cook, or employ the Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid only during the holidays, now is the season for sauce sorcerers, celestial bakers, and cuisine virtuosos. Who among us hasn’t relished rushing home through sleet, snow, rain or wind to savor a stovetop simmering with delectable delights? I recall one frigid evening I was caught in a Denver snowstorm with a flat tire! I had assembled spaghetti sauce the night before, and left it to simmer in a crock pot while I was at work. I arrived home – freezing, exhausted, and very late to find neighbors from across the hall outside my...

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Shoes

Posted on Nov 20, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Fashion

Shoes

“One shoe can change your life.” Cinderella From Manolo Blahnik to Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin To Bruno Magli, Salvatore Ferragamo to Roger  Vivier, Stuart Weitzman to Edward Rayne…just the mention of their names can prompt hearts to palpitate and eyes to sparkle in anticipation. Just as the fluttering fan, delicate glove, and winsome hat, can draw attention to a lady, so too, one accessory that towers above the rest (pun intended) that when deftly employed, can capture the roving male eye like no other – the fabulous, flirtatious shoe. For centuries, ladies have understood that a rosy...

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Gloves

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Fashion

Gloves

“Like most little girls, I found the lure of grown-up accessories astonishing – lipstick,  perfume, hats, and gloves. When I write female characters in my historical novels, getting these details right is vital.” Sara Sheridan Winter is slipping through the cracks in frosty gusts, as we rush to retrieve scarves, hats and gloves to keep us warm and snuggly. Nothing feels quite as sensuous as slipping into a pair of leather gloves lined in cashmere. Yum! An exquisite pair of gloves peeping from a Christmas stocking will surely be welcomed, and often the first gift put to good use. Over...

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Pan Pacific International Exposition

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 in All Blog Posts, History

Pan Pacific International Exposition

While working on Castles & Heraldry I visited the deYoung Museum to view “Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915.”1 So with my mind still focused on lords and ladies, knights and valor, I was drawn to this image of a crusading knight in armor dragging his heraldic flag behind him in “The Vanquished”, by George Hitchcock (1898). Both horse and rider convey the feeling of exhaustion and surrender.  It was one of 200 works of art on exhibition, painstakingly researched and recovered from more than 11,000 works originally at the Exhibition....

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Antiques

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 in All Blog Posts, History

Antiques

“Collectors are happy people.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe A cursory glance at the September/October issue of Antiques Magazine confirms that fall heralds good hunting for antique lovers. Heirloom treasures abound at the International Show at Park Avenue Armory, Fall Antiques at Rhinebeck, Boston International Fine Art Show, Deerfield Antiques Show, Delaware Antiques Show, Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show, Shenandoah Antique Expo, Natchez Antique Forum, Louisiana Purchase Auction, Houston Antiques & Art & Design, San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, and that’s just the tip of the...

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Antique Signs and Weathervanes

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 in All Blog Posts, History

Antique Signs and Weathervanes

The short but succulent season of fall is upon us, and as we head to the country to sip sparkling cider pressed at the mill, we invariably pass a barn or village “shoppe” brimming with antiques. With a nip in the air and a skip in our step we’re ready for adventure and a little sly sleuthing. (I know someone who wears a fanny pack equipped with jeweler’s loupe, tiny flashlight, black light, bic lighter & needle for the hot pin test, thin plastic gloves, baby wipes, cotton balls and more.) Collecting seems to bring out that primitive instinct for the hunt in some of its devotees, who...

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Castles & Heraldry

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 in All Blog Posts, History

Castles & Heraldry

“The very purpose of a knight is to fight on behalf of a lady.” Thomas Malory Fall hastens her steps in a leafy swirl of gold and crimson, as the scents of cider and cinnamon, wood smoke and pumpkins signal it’s harvest time. With a skip and a smile we saunter forth to enjoy the pleasures proffered at Reaissance Faires across the country. In pseudo-Medieval villages and hamlets, we encounter blacksmiths and barkeeps, constables and country maids. Everyone from Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake and Shakespeare, to knaves, knights, and troubadours stroll the streets to delight and...

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Space Travel

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Travel

Space Travel

HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969, A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND (Plaque left on the Moon by Apollo 11 astronauts) Since time began, man has looked to the heavens in wonder, attempting to master the secrets of the universe.  As we discovered in Take Flight, once man mastered the rudiments of air travel, he forevermore strove to fly higher, further, faster. Few could conceptualize what lay beyond the Milky Way, but imaginations soared, assisted by sci-fi writers – Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, etc., television shows – the Outer...

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Taking Flight

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Travel

Taking Flight

“Nothing will ever equal that moment of joyous excitement which filled my whole being when I felt myself flying away from the earth. It was not mere pleasure; it was perfect bliss.” Jacques Charles (Said after making man’s first ascent by hydrogen balloon in 1783)     These delightful dirigibles evoke the action adventure movie Around the World in 80 Days. Winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it piqued the imagination of all who have ever dreamt of flying. In the film, Londoner Pileas Fogg wagers £20,000 (£1.6 million today) that he can circumnavigate the...

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Tennis Anyone?

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Sports

Tennis Anyone?

“I love winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.” Boris Becker The 2015 U.S. Open has the media abuzz, with fans rooting for the incomparable Serena Williams to perhaps win five consecutive grand slams. To date, she has already won the 2014 U.S. Open, 2015 Australian Open, 2015 French Open, and Wimbledon, 2015. The oldest player to win a major, she’s like the energizer bunny, and just keeps going and going. Win or lose, this #1 ranked player is a champion in every sense, so here’s twirl of the racket and well deserved kudos to Spectacular Serena.   “I’m a...

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Parasols & Summer Sun

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Calendar, Fashion, Seasons

Parasols & Summer Sun

Ah, the ubiquitous umbrella – from British Bumbershoot to Parisian Parasol – one shelters from the rain; one shields from the sun. We reviewed their rainy day renditions in April Showers. It’s now time for the sunny side of summer with its plethora of parasols. Rather than ducking and dodging sleet and showers, we flirt and flutter with carousels of color. Just being in the sun evokes smiles and happiness. A parasol seems less of a shield, and more of a sidekick, protecting us while joining in the fun. The Latin word umbra means “shade” and historians claim the cooling canopy formed by...

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Emilio Pucci – the Prince of Prints

Posted on Jul 21, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Calendar, Fashion, Seasons

Emilio Pucci – the Prince of Prints

        When the swinging 60’s ushered in a world of psychedelic graphics, one artist’s images stood head and shoulders above the rest – Emilio Pucci. It’s not surprising, however, since Pucci’s dazzling originality predated the Summer of Love  by two decades. His seminal ideas and epochal images were forever ahead of convention, and stand today as timeless classics. “Color directly influences the soul.” Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art     1969 2015 worn by Kendall Jenner   Born Marquis Emilio Pucci di Barsento to an aristocratic family in Florence, Italy,...

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