Sunday, April 25, 2010
Today in Palisades we had a few celebrities I haven't seen before. Believe me, if you see Kate Capshaw (in a beret and sunglasses) with Steven Spielberg (in a cap and glasses), you know it's them; this is a stock photo, I would never ever dare to photograph a celeb at the market:
I had to ask Ronnie the Granola Guy to confirm, yes, it was "them."It's a real tip-off when two people are wearing a hat and sunglasses; they looked just about like this; Kate had a ready smile for me though they didn't stop; wonderful to see her so friendly, and even more wonderful that no one bothered them; in Brentwood, some A*hole would have tried to stalk them.
One of my Gardenia totes went by today, lovely as it was a year ago after regular use; she uses it as a tote and sometimes at the market; the chard was so lovely and crisp...
Giada deLaurentiis was also shopping today with her husband and little baby; same thing as the Spielbergs, she had on big Jackie-O style glasses, but no missing her; she really is tiny, 5'2"? Later in the day, the bookstore put out a sandwich board for a book signing with her. I don't know where she buys her produce, but she was empty-handed today as far as I could see, save the all-natural dishwasher products.
I saw one of my other regulars, who is "in the industry" and buys a lot of stuff every week. Does she cook it all herself? No, she has someone who prepares most of the meals for the week, all healthy. She does a little herself. It's a good life at this level on the Westside; to her credit, she is a lovely down to earth classy lady.
We also had a few other celebs today, including the Fire Department; always popular with the vendors. Here they are sitting on the wall in front of the cafe. Even the F.D. likes organic!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Fred Campos started the first portable X-ray business in Southern California, and my Dad has always read his films. Fred was enterprising, industrious, and thought big; he emigrated from Mexico, was a huge car fan, had a wonderful sense of humor and was full of life, always. He sold his business several years ago and moved to Oregon, where he had a massive heart attack a few days ago while driving, then his car wandered off the road and into a tree; he was 68 years of age.
As quickly as everything is happening, it is so humbling to remind ourselves that everything can, and will one day for each of us, stop in an instant.
The entire service this evening was in Spanish. I can understand everything in Spanish, just don't ask me to respond, because French will come out. I was touched that my Dad sat through 2 hours of the service: songs, liturgy, eulogies...all in Spanish, though he can not understand a word of it. Didn't matter; he and Fred spoke X-Ray, and that is all they needed for their own special bond.
Biscuit, meanwhile, did great too. I left her in the "Mothers Room" at the church for an hour while I sat with Dad in the church; Biscuit and 20 kids effectively babysat each other, with a few supervising parents I knew. I have no worries about this little dog, and it was great socialization for her.
Enjoy your days, every busy one of them....
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sometimes, a shopper is really happy to hear that the handles and trim aren't leather. That was the case on Sunday, when Alexandra Paul and her husband stopped by my booth at Palisades market; here she is, presumably with her dog:
Alexandra is probably best known for her Baywatch role, where she was known as "the smart one" (she did go to Stanford, after all!) and "the only one without fake boobs." Sometimes it is so sad to be in SoCal...you see people like Alexandra Paul on one end of the spectrum, and scary nit-wits like Heidi Montag on the other.
She is in her mid 40's now, but she would put most 18 year olds to shame; she is one of those people you see in person and you say WOW; she is tall and thin, perfectly toned, and still very feminine; much more striking in person than in photos. She also seems to be happy: always with a smile on her face, frequently strolling holding hands with her hubby; they are a really cute couple! She has been an environmental "activist" for many years, and is very committed to reducing excess consumption across the board. She has also competed as a triathlete, and I admit every time I see her at the market, it makes me feel like I need to work out more! Her husband coaches triathletes, so they are definitely committed to fitness and health.
She bought a small Cannes tote, and both she and her hubby were very interested to hear that the baskets are perfectly sustainable, vegan, fair trade and made by women in Madagascar. I continue to be amazed at the quality construction of my merchandise, down to the handles: they are filled with grass, not with cotton twine or metal or plastic; here is one of the handles opened up:
Sunday, April 18, 2010
To start the day, I never tire of seeing my baskets go by filled with lovelies; note her matching pink shoes; she was in a pink mood today though she is a redhead: My elusive chic shopper was back, this time in a pair of metallic flats, a pale blue sweater (cashmere no doubt) and a dark blue skirt. She is pure effortless class, always looks fabulous, a whiff of Europe, always a little mysterious, but she's not an aloof snob. She is my ideal French Basketeer client. She had her large Eze tote with her again; love it!!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Biscuit and Honey love baskets; when they are in the car or at home, they love to curl up in one of my baskets; smart dogs! Biscuit is just now starting to grow some wooly eyebrows, and her rough coat is starting to come in. She is a sweet, sensitive little girl, but when it comes to eating food or getting through a door, she is a real terrier.
The 40th Earth Day is this week, on the 22nd, but there is unfortunately little awareness here in Orange County. I mentioned it to several people today, but seems folks are more interested in the new Nordstrom store in Fashion Island. I have a crew at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival this weekend, as I did last year; it was lots of fun and awareness; I will wait to hear the report.
This morning I went to a garage sale; it was advertised as "French antiques, French Books, French Baskets" on and on. The seller, as it happens, has been to Greece once but has never been to France, but she is crazy about all things French. She has shopped for many years at one of the best French furniture shops in Orange County, Lyman Drake. Does this happen with any other country in the world? Does someone become passionate about England or Spain or Peru to this extent? It's fascinating, really. The "baskets" she had advertised where not market baskets, they were the oversized industrial ones, but she sold them yesterday pre-sale for $40, though she bought them for $250 many years ago. I have no idea what this lady was thinking, but I was sure unhappy to have missed those baskets...no mind, I will pick some up elsewhere, maybe in France; I am going in June for Anne's wedding!! More tomorrow.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I missed a few shots of rolling carts, mostly immitations of the French ones, but I got a few others and will keep getting samples to show you.
It was cool and dreary today all day, not basket buying weather, so I marked a bunch of discontinued and samples down, and did fine. A pair of girls came by late morning with cooler packs on their backs full of free Red Bull; I admit, I have never even tried a Red Bull, but I chose the Sugar Free, which has 10 calories. Here are the girls with their packs on their backs, like the French "hottes" or gathering baskets: A moment after I had opened the Red Bull, the Ice cream Dude went for a quick break, and while I tended a sale for him, a swarm of ladies were in my sale baskets and knocked over the Red Bull, all over my awning stripe tablecloth...this is a violation on my part, I never leave open beverages on the front tables for this reason! Time for a cleaning!
On the way home I went to see a friend, who had a French "hotte" at her sale; this one is not terribly new, but has a great look; it's about 2ft tall and is $65. I have someone who wanted these a few months ago so I will email him; if he does not want it I will have this piece at the Olivenhain Grove sale end of this month:
Thursday, April 8, 2010
What is Anna's secret? We would all like to know! Besides good genetics, she plays a lot of golf, and does two sun-salutation-like stretches at the foot of the bed every day; she says she "hates to see those crumpled-up old people," so she stretches to keep her back in shape. She keeps her weight down, has never smoked, drinks white wine, plays bridge, is very social with groups like her nursing school friends and Daughters of the American Revolution, and does crossword puzzles. She also laughs plenty, plays the harmonica and the "mouth organ" (mouth harp), and will sing and dance a jig any time she can.
Anna insisted that I stay overnight and go to happy hour with the gang, which of course I did. I wish I had more time to spend with my relatives, most of whom live in Alberta! So off we went to happy hour at the Hog's Breath Inn in La Quinta, which is owned by Clint Eastwood. They had an upright piano being played by the keyboardist from the 60's band The Turtles (1967's "Happy Together"); he was rattling off song after song, with no sheet music. Anna wanted him to play something Scottish or maybe Irish, and so here she is singing and dancing to the "Bonnie Banks" song, the keyboardist watching her while he plays:
Ann's long genes come from the Orkney Islands off the far north of Scotland; she's like a little Scottish sprite, full of good humor and smiles and fun; Anna goes to Westray Island there (population 550) to see our relatives there every few years; one of these years I want to go with her... fascinating corner of the world.
We told our waiter she had a birthday coming up, so Anna was thrilled to be serenaded with Happy Birthday and get a little cake and ice cream; later we had a hard time getting out of the restaurant; everyone stopped her to either congratulate her on her 86th birthday or compliment her singing:Meanwhile, at every corner in our neighborhood, you could find fantastic country clubs and magnificent flowers and water features; these bouganvilla hedges were perfect and so vibrant; there are two matching waterfalls on either side of the car entrances here; impressive.... While it was 80 degrees and bone dry, you could still look up at the snow on top of Mt. San Gorgonio:At the entrance to the Palm Springs area, the windmill turbines keep multiplying; there are more than 4,000 of them now; they stand 150 ft tall, and each blade is half the length of a football field; these supply all of the power for the Palm Springs area and the Coachella valley; there is Mount Baldy in the background:Here is a shot I took while driving; you can see the density:
Sunday, April 4, 2010
When I make Easter dinner, I always think of my French teacher in Paris. We were going around the room, each student talking about how we celebrate Easter in our countries of origin. I said, "in the United States, we celebrate Easter with the Easter Bunny." "And how do you cook the Easter rabbit," my teacher asked me, "with a mustard sauce?" It took a little explanation that the Easter Bunny brings eggs and candies and chocolates, it is not to be eaten for dinner.
This year, the Easter Bunny brought us a puppy, Biscuit, who came from Fox Island Kennels in Palm Beach. Mom and I got her at LAX last evening, and Mom casually walked in the house with the puppy and told Dad "look what I found floating down the river." There was no protest; I think this is what you can get away with when you have been married for 51 years. Did I mention we did not tell Dad in advance? He grew up with little terriers exactly like this, so he can't resist them.
Here is a head shot of Biscuit; she really is little, I think she weights about 4 pounds; she is 8 1/2 weeks old:Biscuit is 3/4 pure Australian Russell Terrier lines; they have bred out the craziness; she's too new to the household to really tell, but she is indeed very calm, and cries when anyone leaves the room; "come back" she seems to say! Here is Biscuit with Honey, both held by my niece Gabrielle. This isn't a great shot of Honey, she looks like a real hairy beast, but it was tough to hold onto both dogs at once!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Check in tomorrow for more pics; we got Baby Biscuit tonight. I saw dear Charlie Chan today. There is lots to tell.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
If you have a boutique store with small items, nothing is nicer for your shoppers than a stack of baskets, for shoppers to gather their purchases, as opposed to, say, a metal or plastic wire stacking basket. Wire or plastic? Yuck! Are we in the grocery store, NO! Why does Anthropologie have Moroccan baskets instead of plastic for small purchases? Doesn't it look perfect in Anthropologie in Fashion Island/Newport Beach? Of course. I have no photos of that store, but I might dare. That is my Aix basket, unlined.
Darren, at Paris to the Moon in Costa Mesa, has this set of baskets at his door for client purchases; he has a lot of smalls and so these work perfectly for him. Darren would only have something nice and structured, to cradle the precious finds. I forgot to compliment him on the natural/no plastic look; he is so fabulous and ahead of the curve!!!!
One of my favorite stops in Paris is Mora. I know how to get there but not the address....so you have to go look it up. They have cook supplies with a focus on pastry; metal, glass, big, small etc etc. At the door, they have a rather goofy mannequin in chef's attire....
But on the other side of the doorway, they have this:
Though my website shows them with black simulated leather handles, I now carry them only with brown leather handles. There is a slight blue-green tint to the seagrass, and that has always made me think of my favorite Hermes scarf, here:
If you ask my Mom where she would live in France, she will quickly tell you: Saint Remy, formally called Saint Remy de Provence. I took her there several years ago on her Grand Tour of France, and it was her favorite, then and now. We stayed at the beautiful Chateau de Roussan, just outside the center of town; the property dates to the 16th century and Nostradamus once lived on the property. I would call Saint Remy understated but classic. There is nothing too flash or crazy about the place, but it completely in good taste. That's why this style became "St. Remy"...nothing flash about it, but well made and in good taste. Caroline of Monacco lived in Saint Remy for some time; more on the town later; just here to say we LOVE it!