Loving...On A Saturday

The perfect non-kitchen kitchen via The NY Times.

My crazy talented friend Christine's brilliant new online shop, Vee Caravan. (More on her new endeavor to come...stay tuned.)

Ceiling gorgeousness courtesy of designer Glenn Gissler's (via Brian Paquette's Pinterest). The Porter Teleo wallpaper, the rock crystal chandelier, the tailored curtains. All of it.

Karen Mordechai's new Sunday Suppers book. I had the pleasure of spending time with Karen on a shoot in New York several years ago, and can safely say that she is one of the most delightful people I've ever met. Can't wait to get my hands on her new tome. (Both images above via Sunday Suppers.)

Hilda Hellström's perfect side table spotted on Shayna's (awesome) Pinterest.


Some Scenes... From The Week

In keeping with the whole "what is luxury" conversation, whattya say I recap the past few days by sharing all the luxurious little chunks, starting with...

  1. The fact that it was 75 degrees last Friday. 75 degrees, friends! In July! In Texas!!! If I hadn't been so deliriously happy about whole enterprise, I probably would have been worried that the blissful weather was some sort of signal that the end was near. Alas, it was 100 today, so it appears we're safe.
  2. A long (wine and coffee-fueled) lunch with three of my favorite ladies.
  3. A late patio dinner with family friends, and sweaters(!).
  4. An inspiring Saturday spent styling a look book for my amazing, soulful friend Paula's genius non-profit, GAIA. Throw in the insanely talented (and immensely lovely) photographer Shayna Fontana (who also has the best. name. ever.), Paula's sweet assistant Lauren, my sweet assistant (a.k.a. Millie), and some sushi, and you have the ingredients for a perfect day.
  5. A second outside dinner (eating outside in July is not exactly the norm in Texas, for the record) involving, wait for it, a bonfire.
  6. Sunday brunch with Janet followed by a lazy day of margaritas and conversation by the pool day with Christine and her girlies.

It was a luxury overload. Luxury-o-rama. Luxe town USA. Luxury central. And I couldn't be happier about the whole situation.


Some Thoughts on Luxury

Quietly luxurious trays by ceramicist Richard Carter via Nickey Kehoe. Carter is currently collaborating with Kostow on a new line of dinnerware Carter|Kostow.

At the studio (and in my everyday life), I spend an awful lot of time thinking about how to make things feel special, memorable, luxurious even. It almost feels like old news to call this out, but with the world around us feeling increasingly mass produced, encountering something unique somehow feels like the ultimate luxury, yes?

The fact that a "luxury" item doesn't have to be expensive or emblazoned with an expensive label to be luxurious is also a given, but I'm still astounded by how many people I encounter who still believe otherwise.

So I love coming across someone who seems to have the concept of a subtle understated luxury down to a science, like, say, Christopher Kostow, the wunderkind, totally badass, Napa Valley chef profiled by writer Chris Ying in the June Bon Appetit.

To wit:

"... throughout the menu, Kostow downplays his use of luxury ingredients, like how when you're a real baller you don't need to tell anyone how much you spent on your watch. The caviar is hidden under tiny succulent leaves, seasoning rather than gilding the lobster."

"There needs to be a perception of value, but I think our diners are extremely sophisticated, he says." I want them to experience luxury, but it's more our definition of luxury." Kostow describes it as "concern and care. I don't think anyone leaves feeling like they weren't incredibly cared for."

Seasoning rather than gilding. Concern and care. So key, yet so often completely overlooked. Luxury as a touch --  a whisper rather than a shout; putting down your device to look someone in the eye and really listen; abundant generosity -- of your time, your resources; taking deep care, when you make something -- a meal, a gift. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Well played Ying and Kostow. Well played.


Speaking of The Macrame

I spotted this bag made of macrame string when I was checking out the pillows at Calypso today and was instantly smitten. It's a roomy, functional, groovy little work of wearable art.

The perfect foil to all my sensible black leather totes. Hmm...


Some Scenes... From The Weekend

The best. popsicles. ever.

Sam's envy-inducing new rug...

My string set up...

Millie hanging at the studio with her cookie doppelgänger...

We're in the midst of a string of installs at the studio that have had me racing around town, blowing through my days, wishing for a couple of extra hours (or even a clutch of extra minutes) to cross a few more things off the "to do" list. It's a bit of a frenetic scene friends.

Clearly some macramé is in order.

I mean really, what's more meditative than four hours of heads-down knotting? So, I channeled my Summer of Self Improvement days, and spent the better part of Saturday macraméing my way toward inner peace (or at least so focused on not creating a tangled mess that I, well, didn't think about anything else).

The not thinking about anything else... definitely a good thing. Full stop.


Loving... On A Wednesday

L'ATELIER d'exercices beautiful hand-held feather mobile.

Karina in her studio...

Kendall Conrad's gorgeous, minimal brass jewelry and leather bags... Perfection.

Also seriously digging her instagram.

Joanna's genius Kneeland Research Library (via Heather).

Beautiful glass vessels and serious rug goodness via Anthro.


Some Scenes...From Cajun Country

 Millie less than impressed with her sister's dance moves

 Cafe Du Monde crack...

And the aftereffects

We hightailed it out of town for the long holiday weekend and paid a visit to my folks at their new casa in Louisiana. It was a much needed trip friends, as after "broken-gate," we were in need of some serious R&R.

Turns out four days involving live street music, board games, slip and slides, sparklers, beignets, alligator sightings, copious amounts of fried seafood, and porch sitting was just the balm we needed to sooth our frazzled selves. Also turns out that listening to 16 hours of the TED Radio Hour while driving through verdant, pine-dotted landscapes to and from your destination also does the trick. (Damn, I love that TED Radio Hour.)

It was a good scene. Full stop.


Loving...On A Wednesday (Pinterest Edition)

I wish I could say that I start and finish each day with some thoughtful meditation ritual or journaling or whatnot, but the reality is I wake up and prep for snooze town by perusing Pinterest. Perhaps not so enlightened, but incredibly relaxing (not to mention inspiring). What can I say, I'm a addict. 

Herewith a loving list devoted to six of the prettiest/loveliest/most wicked cool things I've spotted on Pinterest of late.

The above (crazy gorgeous) Milan living space designed by Pietro Russo via Jamie Laubhan-Oliver.  (Photo by Filippo Bambhergi, from The Chamber of Curiosity, Copyright Gestalten 2014.)

MSGM's rad pineapple skirt via Arlene Matthews.

The incomparable Bryan Ferry at home, Holland Park, London, 1976 via Lauren Santo Domingo. (Photo by Mick Rock.)

Moroccan rug goodness via Rena Tom.

The stunning Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy via Sugarpie Project.

The immensely lovely St. Vincent via Natalie Holbrook


Things Are Breaking Left and Right Around Here, So We're Getting Our Make On

It appears that my weekend of chakra cleansing and hiking and sun salutationing (not a word, I realize) was perfectly timed, as in the week following my big recharge, the (for lack of a more eloquent phrase) shit hit the fan.

Said fan hitting matter included a broken car AC, a broken refrigerator, a broken (giant, in-wall) salt water aquarium, a sick kiddo, two days of work travel for the hubs, and the passing of our beloved 14-year old cat, Django. Oy vey, friends. It was a bad scene.

And, yet, I did not wig out. Not even once. (Well, maybe once, but it was a teeny, tiny wig out, barely noticeable even). Instead, I counted to ten. I took lots of really, really deep breaths, I prayed, I swore (but in a decidedly cheerful manner), and I made stuff with my girlies.

The counting/breathing/praying/swearing action helped a little, but the making stuff was the real game changer. Getting lost in paint and fabric and ribbon and feathers and what have you was just the salve we needed. Meditation through making. Better than drinking.