Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck the Walls with Books

There is just something so beautiful about being surrounded by books -- lots and lots of them. Don't get me wrong. While I don't own one yet, I do appreciate the Nook and the Kindle and I've been told it has made everyone's life simpler and cleaner. But there is just something about books -- real, leather or paper bound, paper filled, colorful books. The more, the better.

What do you think?

I'm loving that chandelier amidst the library!

Ooooh, I could live here. That little alcove behind the drapes is perfect for curling up with a good book.

How neat would this be for a kids' study?

Hanging artwork on shelves adds drama and dimension to a bookshelf full of books.

Books add a vintage feel to this otherwise modern decor.

My next house must have a library like this with a courtyard in the middle!

How high can you go????

So very English....

So very New Orleans...but then again, this is my very own home (photos by New York Times).

We lost all our wonderful books as a result of the flooding in Hurricane Katrina, but we are slowly but surely rebuilding our library again.

Hope you are having a wonderful Monday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Newest Abstract

Mixes easy.... just add antiques or modern furniture ... or both....

Roma, my 6 year old, has her mother's insatiable creative gene.

Get Away -- Read a Book

Has reading a good book gone out of style in this hectic world we live in? I hope not.

I love this guy.....

When was the last time you sat and read a good, long book?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Alone at Last

It's been a long, busy, hectic week.

I just need to sit alone for a while and catch my breath....

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Get Mad!

Today we will all eat more than our share of food. I'm having a soon to become reality vision of my mother's turkey, and the Italian sausage stuffing, and potatoes (both sweet and not sweet), and the spinach souffle, and shrimp stuffed mirliton, and the french chocolate silk pie, and pecan pie .... The list goes on and on. We will all sit back and unbutton our pants and sigh....And then maybe go for a walk, wait an hour and go back for seconds. And I'm glad for this day. I so look forward to it!!! We all do.

But realize that not everyone is as lucky as you and I are. 1 billion people, both young and old, will go hungry this very day.

Please join me and actor Jeremy Irons in signing the Petition to End Hunger. Watch the video and sing the Petition. Do it today!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to All

However you celebrate Thanksgiving...

Wherever you are...

Whomever you are with...

I hope you have a good one and give thanks for everything you have.

Happy Thanksgiving to all wherever this post finds you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Home for Thanksgiving

So there I was, minding my own business, running errands to and from my restorer, thinking about all the things I need to do in preparation for Thanksgiving, when a little something crossed my path and totally turned my plans upside down. I was on Tchoupitoulas Street (the street that runs alongside the Mississippi River in Uptown New Orleans) traveling westbound when I see traffic on the eastbound lane stop and back up. I see this little dog trying to make its way across the busy street with his tail in between his legs and obviously confused and scared about which way to go. I held my breath as I didn't think he'd make it.

I immediately pulled over, parked my car somewhat illegally on the street, and jumped out of my car and waved traffic down. Yes, impulsivity took over. The little dog managed to cross the street and I ran after it. By the time I made it across Tchoupitoulas, he was nowhere to be found. Mind you, it was probably not the best or safest neighborhood to be wondering around alone, but I just couldn't leave this little creature on his own. I saw an elderly man working on a car and I asked him if he had seen the little dog. "Yeah, he is in there somewhere. I've seen him for a while looking in garbage. I think he is on the alley." Sure enough, I turn on a little alley between two buildings and I spotted him again. It was then I realized it was a Chihuahua. A very thin Chihuahua who seemed like he has not eaten in days. He was shaking from fear and when I tried to come near him, he growled from fear. I stood there for a while and talked to him. Slowly but surely, he started to approach me. He finally let me pet him and pick him up.

My first stop was to the nearest veterinary hospital to have him check for a chip. Sadly, he has none, but the vet confirmed that it looked like he had not eaten in days. I tried to feed him but he is still too nervous to eat. I asked the vet what my choices were. Many veterinary hospitals in New Orleans are no longer accepting stray animals for adoption as they are overcrowded. So they suggested I call the Louisiana SPCA which I did. I was informed that they have them for 5 days at which point they either try to adopt them out or euthanize them. There is no guarantee that they will put them on the adoption list. That was not good enough for me. I could not bear the thought of this dog or any other dog being put to sleep for being abandoned. I called the St. Tammany Humane Society (a no kill shelter across the Lake) and was told that they were no longer accepting animals as they were over their limit. I called ARNO (Animal Rescue of New Orleans) and got a recording to call the SPCA.

So, long story short, I felt like I had no choice but to bring "Tchoupitoulas" home. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to keep him as he seems like a wonderful, loving and very obedient dog, I can't as I have 3 dogs too many (one of which, as many of you know, is a 95 lbs. labrador named Satchmo whom I also rescued from the streets right after Katrina). The other two are wire-haired dashchunds who simply do not get along with any other animal, especially those who are smaller than they are and I'm afraid they will hurt Tchoupitoulas.

So I am trying to find a home for him. For this, I'm going to need everyone's help here. Please pass along this post to anyone you may know who may want a sweet, trained little dog from New Orleans. I will have him checked out tomorrow by a veterinarian to confirm that he is well and I will take care of whatever shots he may need.

Here are some photos of him riding on the back of my car this afternoon. He is a most loving, sweet little dog who loves to be pampered. He looks to be young as his teeth are clean with little plaque (can you tell I've been a dog lover and caregiver all my life?)

Let's find him a home for the holidays.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Newest Obsession: Poldark

How many of you ladies out there are hopeless romantics and love a good love story? Come on, raise your hands! I know who you are.

I for one absolutely adore a good love story with a handsome, strong leading man and a feisty, beautiful leading lady. Story of my life! Did you read my post on my infatuation with Gone With the Wind and how I came to marry my husband? If not, click here. Perhaps it was that in my own life, I had my parents' own love story to live by which seemed to span countries, continents and a lifetime of struggle.

As a young girl, I loved to watch classic movies. Maybe it was an escape from the reality that was happening outside my own door, living in Buenos Aires during the terrible dirty war where young so called "subversives" (those who may oppose the military dictatorship) were kidnapped, tortured, and never heard from again. Movies offered me a way to escape to another world when my own seemed so fragile and terrifying.

I cannot tell you how many times during my girlhood I fell head over heels in love with such dashing and memorable actors as Clark Gable, Rock Hudson, Errol Flynn and even some of those handsome Argentine actors of my youth such as Claudio Levrino ("Un Mundo de Veinte Asientos") and Rodolfo Beban ("El Gato").

My passion for a good love story followed me into adulthood. Now that my husband works nights as a Sommelier at a restaurant in the French Quarter, I find myself watching some wonderful English classics after I put the kids to bed. Call me nostalgic, I'm guilty.

My most recent love affair has been with the newly re-released "Poldark," a BBC television series based on the novels written by Winston Graham which was first transmitted in the UK between 1975 and 1977.

Hailed as a British Gone with the Wind, Poldark created a sensation on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre with its dashing, romantic hero and his infamous exploits. This classic miniseries demonstrates the enduring appeal of a gripping storyline and unforgettable characters.

Returning to Cornwall after the American Revolution, Capt. Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) finds his life at home has fallen apart. His estate is in disarray. His former flame, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend), is engaged to his cousin. And his family's copper mines have become targets for the Poldarks' bitter rivals. Duels, smuggling, and attempted murders unfold as Ross strives to resurrect his fortunes and find true love, which he does in the feisty but beautiful, head strong Delmeza (Angharad Rees). This spellbinding saga dramatizes the deep rifts in British society on the brink of industrialization, played out against the rocky, ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast.

At first, I had to adjust to the whole 1970s Masterpiece Theatre style. I'll admit, as movies and filming have become more and more sophisticated and filled with special effects, you watch the first few episodes and feel that you are watching a home video of a live English play. But then you fall in love with all of it -- the filming, the sets, the costumes, the story, the characters, the actors, especially Robin Ellis -- the dashingly handsome Ross Poldark.

Trust me on this one, you will fall in love with Robin Ellis aka Ross Poldark.

And, as the episodes have rolled on (there are 29 episodes in this saga and I'm on 25!), I have become attached to them. Curious as a cat, I googled to see what happened to some of the actors. I'm sad to say that coincidentally, Richard Morant who played Dr. Dwight Enys in the first series of Poldark died suddenly in London on November 9, 2011 (just over a week ago). Angharad Rees lives in London and has a successful and beautiful jewelry collection that has been widely featured in movies and the press.

And my beloved Robin Ellis, well, he is well and every bit as handsome and fit and living in the South of France with his American wife, Meredith Wheeler (some women get all the luck, I tell you).

His life-long passion for cooking plus a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes led to writing his first cook book, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics: A Mediterranean Way of Eating, recently published by Constable & Robinson on 4th August 2011 in the UK and by Skyhorse in the United States just this month (November 2011). It is available at local bookstores or online at or

Robin maintains a blog where he writes about his travels and cooking and can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter. How is it I know all this? Well, I'm his newest groupie! :)

And I'm certain you'll be too once you watch him in "Poldark" (now available for instant streaming on Netflix).

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend wherever this post finds you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hollywood Regency Glamour

When designers from Hollywood's Golden Age, like William Haines, Dorothy Draper and Syrie Maugham started decorating the homes of the silver screen stars and other West Coast socialites with overtones of glitz and glamour, a new design style emerged. The 1930s Hollywood Regency style was a favorite of celebrities ranging from actresses Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow to the future First Lady, Nancy Reagan.

Hollywood Regency design, however, is not a relic of the past. The over-the-top style is not just for the rich and famous; a modern version is surging in popularity, fueled by designers like Kelly Wearstler.

In honor of this beautiful style, I unveil my gorgeous, newly restored Hollywood Regency Secretary (c. 1930s) soon to be featured on my 1stdibs storefront.

A gorgeous marriage between the art deco and Louis XV styles, this secretary is reminiscent of the glamour of the golden age of Hollywood.

Made of solid french walnut with burled walnut doors and inlay marquetry on the drawers. Heavily hand carved cabriole legs...

And take a look at the inside!

The inside is made of bird's eye maple with a diamond patterned back mirror.

A flat wooden surface with black glass slides out to convert this piece into a glamorous writing desk.

Can't you just see Coco Chanel writing a thank you note while sitting at this desk?

Stay tuned for more pieces soon to be finished.

To view my complete inventory, please visit

Friday, November 11, 2011

Timeless Beauty

Rare 19th c. Serpentine Back Louis XV Walnut Sofa
c. 1850

This sofa or settee has a bench style seat that is solid and sturdy and a rare serpentine back that follows the soft curves of the wooden walnut frame. Completely restored down to the 8 way hand tied springs and newly upholstered in a simple white cotton canvas fabric. Handcarved walnut frame with shell carvings on cabriole legs and front. Exquisite detail and patina. Deep, comfortable sofa that can easily accommodate 3 adults.


To view this piece and others in my inventory, please visit my 1stdibs storefront.