Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Time is Here

We are only a few days past Thanksgiving, but immediately everyone is getting in the holiday spirit. The florists in Corona del Mar market had the best pointsettias; see Hector's huge plant here; San Diego county seems to have the corner on the pointsettia growing-- there were few in Palisades. I bought a few little plants from the guy on the other side of me, who usually sells herbs. In Palisades today I met Jeanine, who embellishes wreaths each season with her team in the Della Robbia style; fabulous and nice inspiration for me as I am doing della Robbia for the stone arch. But my favorite photo of the weekend is from CdM, a user of my net bags who came on his bike with a stack of ten sets of lights on the back. Way to go!

My Mom accuses me of being too social; it was great today to see Ladan for a nice while, one of the dearest women I know. I saw Victoria the medium/psychic fresh from London; also met a new French contact and chatted with her for a long time; also ran into Catherine from Lavender Blue and met her husband. I met the owner of the adjacent gift shop and think we will do a custom order for her in the spring. Chat chat chat chat chat. Sell Sell Sell Sell. I'm not a chatterbug, but I love to see the dear people I have met at the markets. It makes the time fly! I have a handful of shows this week and a handful of private clients to meet. Meanwhile every day more decorating for the shoot.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cargo & Company

Today I went to see my friend Oma's fabulous showroom on Red Hill Ave near the airport; it was a great find for me, about a year ago; I feel like I should be in one of my favorite shops in Paris...everything is soothing and neutral and well-chosen. I'll add more photos later today....I came to hit her Black Friday sale; you can go to Target and WallMart, I'm going to Cargo & Company sale!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I ended last night late, making shadow boxes or whatever you call them, vignette boxes, out of wine crates for the Christmas shoot. I am still playing with what to put in them; here are my first efforts. I started the day early (4am) making mincemeat tarts, later planting the final amaryllis for Christmas, though I doubt these late ones will bloom by then.

Honey and Isabella played together non-stop all day, and we got back home around 6pm; it was an early dinner and a long I am home getting ready for tomorrow: will I hit the doorbuster sales? I am going to Cargo & Company at 10am for their sale too and to work on a project for Oma. I also have to go to downtown LA for ribbon. I hate to say, there is very little doorbuster sale stuff that interests me; I want real greenery (free from the garden), not much to store, and no knick-knack Christmas stuff. I need very little before the photo shoot.

Anyway, here are shots of the little mince tarts and shadow boxes and the homemade potpourri that I am making for my sachets for Christmas. It's too bad I will bag it; it's very pretty and smells great....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's two days before Thanksgiving, but I am not really focused on it. Whipping up a few mince pies and tarts will be easy; my sister will try to cook the bird, but it's usually burned up and dried out; I might go to help prevent that....

Mentally, I am past Thanksgiving already; I am on the run-up to Christmas, and specifically mid-December, which is when The Magazine will come to shoot our house for the 2010 issue. The Devil & the Joy are in the Details, and I am doing details details details. Tonight I polished a bunch of silver and copper and made a home-made potpourri that will be to die for; I will explain the packaging later. I got up at 430 this morning to do more organization and wrap presents for the shoot. It will be up to the Editor's expectations!
Anyway, I bought some great 'shrooms from Dirk this past weekend for the stuffing Thursday. Few photos here. I bought flowers for my sis today, she is hosting us. I will still do her house up for her a little more!

The baby basket has thyme and super baby arugula....come and get it at the Pacific Palisades Famers Market!

The Cat in a Basket

On Saturday we had a special visitor to the Corona del Mar market, a cat on a leash in a stroller. I can't remember if it was named Mandy or Dandy, but this was a big fat gorgeous Siamese kitty. He went along very well in his stroller, but when they came to the baskets he decided to get out and check things out. Mmmmm smell that Moroccan leather, Dandy! Pretty soon of course he had found a nice spot in the sun in an orange St. Tropez. Later in the morning, Kisses came by in his cart with his mistress. Way to go, get your people to drive you around!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrive!

In New York or major cities in France or certain cosmopolitan spots around the globe, you will see signs in early November heralding the arrival of the Beaujolais nouveau, the new wine from the most southern region of Burgundy, wine intended to be consumed within the first year. It is low in tanins and somewhat fruity. There is usually a pretty ad campaign by one of the leading producers, Georges deBoeuf. It has its fans, like my friend Kimberly, but I am not one of them. Give me an aged Burgundy any day, even a few years old. Someone commented that Beaujolais Nouveau is like eating cookie dough vs eating a cookie; that is perhaps not a bad analogy.

Anyway, the Beaujolais Nouveau is released for sale on the third Thursday of November each year, and last evening there was a party in mid-Wilshire LA for the new wine. It was fabulous to see 98% French speaking people setting up for food and other sales. I was there with baskets and sold very little, but I traded for some awesome Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla paste and sweet little Tahitian pearl bracelet, and met some very lovely French-speaking people. In other words, the company was great, the wine was ok, and I also got to bring home a bunch of little glasses for Tina that are marked by one of the sponsors, Mercedes of Beverly Hills. Cute! Look at the program cover here; it is fabulous; merci Pascale.....!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Post-Party Recovery

I've been recovering for the last two days from the Puppy Party. Not that I have been able to rest; it's still been non-stop. The party was photographed by a well-known national magazine, and I gave them lots of pretty things to shoot; I have only a few shots here and we'll all have to wait for the magazine to come out, sometime next year. I have no idea when they will do the layout.
Smartly-dressed guests started to arrive promptly at 2pm, so much for fashionably late! I was still in my robe. Leah helped me all morning with a few tweaks, and Susie worked all morning on the food.
The run up to the party was a 3-day sprint. On Saturday I had a little meltdown at my cleaners because I thought my lifetime collection of damask linen tablecloths had been lost. Fortunately, they were only lost in the house, but it was just about enough to put me over the edge!
The honey jars were a total hit; I didn't get any good shots of the tags, but there were 2 friends and 1 pro taking lots of photos so surely someome will have recorded it all for me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Puppy Shower

We had a great party tonight! I will post tomorrow, I am tres fatiguee tonight....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Votives & the Vet

Honey had her first trip to the vet today. Dr. A is also from South Carolina and of course everyone thought she was too was sad for me because I was thinking about Napoleon and my last trip there with him, but I am trying to move forward. Having the party and so much other work to do has helped me not think about the loss as much, but I still miss my little boy so much. Honey is filling the void, and it's just like a little baby, watching her change and do her "firsts." Last night she was in the dining room and gave her first woofs, which actually sound more like little clucks. She heard something strange outside and was letting me know. This morning she saw herself in a tall mirror, and was wide-eyed that there was another dog in the room. A few more little clucks and a slow move towards the was a very good laugh! She is doing the terrier shake with her toys, and is showing signs of being very dexterous, and I love to watch her little personality come out.

I did some candles up for the party; since I'm doing a sort of a natural theme I wrapped glass candles with soft bark sheets I pulled from a tree at the office. The candles are from Farmers Market Candles (Robert) and they are only $10 for a wide selection of wonderful candles. They are clean-burning soy and they have a very high (12%) fragrance content and are very "true" to their fragrance; nothing artificial or yucky-smelling about these....
I did a vase up too in this bark, and I sure hope I can get the glue and bark off later!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Standing Behind the Merch

My days are very, very full right now. Between the baskets and my family, little Honey, orders, markets, events and all, there is always a lot going on. I am up before 5am every day, and my brain and hands are working non-stop on all these projects and to-do's.

I generally don't take a chair to the markets, but today I brought one to Palisades Market, where I sat and made notes and got organized for most of the morning. A shopper I recognized came up and was musing over the sturdiness of the Moroccan baskets. They are well-made baskets I told her, finishing my note, "I stand behind my merchandise" I added. "Do you also sit behind your merchandise?" she said, dryly. In the movie, this is where I flash a dirty look at the camera.
In the end she bought the small Moroccan basket she liked, and gave me her card to send her some followup info. I finished the market then made a few stops on the drive home for party materials, then went to Max's 40th birthday party then got home and filled and labeled all the party favor jars. You'll have to wait until the weekend, to hear what I am doing.
Honey is about the same color as the coco mat at the front door!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Love to be an Earlybird

Little Honey is quickly becoming the light and the love of our lives; she is SO sweet, so affectionate, and so little! She slept with me the first night, then with my parents last night, until Honey woke Mom up with puppy kisses around 3am. Honey took a peep break after Mom took her to the kitchen, then Mom went back to sleep. I got up before 5am and had some playtime and with Honey (we play fetch a lot), and got started on all my day's work, which began with coffee and making a bark-rimmed vase (intended pun!) and addressing invites for Honey's party next weekend.
I took my Mom with me at 7am to a "Designer Flea Market" at the RedHill Design center. I love to be an earlybird, because you DO get the deals. I got some great stuff from Cargo & Company, one of my favorite stores, then spied something over the top at a neighboring shop: a dog house made of braided basket materials; perfect for the French Basketeer! Honey is so small, this is like a Villa for her, a 3 bedroom 3 bath house, or at least a house that she could spread out all of her toys, install a small sofa and invite 5 of her best friends over for a cuddle!
Of course I bought it, though as a retailer I'll not reveal the price; did I mention that I love to be an earlybird!? I am going to figure out how to decorate it for the party, then if I'll keep it or not. My brain is working hard on the party. Today I got party favors for the guests, and it will be a lovely lovely event.....!
Later in the morning I set up at Corona del Mar market, and Honey was there for a few hours; she made lots of friends, and began her socialization here; she was fabulous; this is the best-bred dog I have seen in a long time; I will post on that later. Merci mille fois Donna!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cool 'n Foggy

We've had heavy fog overnight the last few days, then getting into the mid 70's during the day here at the beach. It's the perfect weather if you are a wild mushroom, ivy on the wall or freshly-planted cyclamen and kale, don't you think? I like the cyclamen for fall, and it reminds my Mom of being in Germany, where my Dad was in the Army many years ago. She said every butcher shop had a basket of cyclamen in the refrigerated store.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shopping Downtown

This afternoon I drove my sister to downtown LA, which I know quite well, so that she could go to a meeting. In the meantime, I went to the garment district to look for trims and fabrics for the party for Honey. I like Levine's; it's a good place to start. They had few natural ribbons, but it was enough to get me started. I have not finalized things, so it is good to have a variety on hand; buy quality and you will eventually use it, that's my philosophy!
Downtown LA has a definite vibe; every 10th car is a cop; there is lots of activity. Doesn't bother me, but it sure is a change from Orange County!! I don't understand the wierd kids mannequins but they were all around...

Honey is Coming!

Honey is getting ready to make her way from South Carolina to California later this week, hopefully Thursday. We are so excited!! We hope it will be a good flight for her; I am sure she will be as happy in the Southern California sunshine as the rest of the dogs here!

I have started to plan a party for her, a doggie shower of sorts, in the next 2 weeks. This morning I got up at 5am and did my invites online, and last night called to see if Susie the Super Chef can help me with the food. She can, and would love to do so; now we are brainstorming over what to serve. Duck is a must, she says; thinking too of cranberries and wild rice and other hearty kinds of foods. Here is another shot of all the pups; there is our little girl on the far left.... I think this is one of Honey's aunties, also from the Czech Republic, since this dog has a long tail (it is illegal to dock puppy tails in Europe).

I am still woefully behind in everything in my life. Why am I planning a party when my voicemail is still full? I am taking delivery of a new order from Madagascar today and getting ready to place a small order from Morocco for Christmas. And of course I am constantly thinking of how to make the party super special!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Last Thursday was a complete and total, unmitigated disaster. I was booked for an event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the pink landmark hotel with all the bungalows. This is a VERY nice hotel! I had hired someone to work the show for me, but she somehow did not understand that she would be there working by herself (she thought that I would be there with her all day). Now why would I hire YOU to work the show if I could do it by myself? Anyway, she also brought along her little Chihuahua Buttercup, who was appropriately dressed in a pink jacket with a turned collar, a la Legally Blonde. Little Buttercup made a lot of new friends for us that day, but unfortunately it was not reflected in sales. My salesperson also managed to lose her purse and the bag with Buttercup's food on the way to the event, so there was a lot of drama. There were about 50 other headaches that day but I'm going to save the rest for later and let you enjoy the photos of Buttercup in a basket.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Shows

I was at an event today at the Century Plaza in Century City today; this is one of my parents' favorite hotels over the years. It's still quite grand. It was called the West Coast White House for many years, and the site of Bobby Kennedy's assassination. It was a very good show for me, good sales, good connections.
On the way home, coming down Santa Monica Boulvard, I got stopped at a light and my window was down. A homeless man there with a sign (one side a smiley face and "SMILE" the other side "Homeless vet") said to me "you sure got a lot of purses in there, don't 'cha." Yep, I said, and gave him $1. Wish I had taken his picture for that $1 but the light was green and I had to go.
Further down the road, there were two accidents on the 405; when will people understand that the center divider is not a skateboard ramp? A turned over car and a good smash up facing the opposite direction.; later a motorcycle down. Slow down, folks.