Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Parade

Instead of a traditional easter post ( one of my favorite holidays! ) I thought instead I'd talk a little about a great movie, Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade" from 1948 ( and yes, it's in COLOR )Fred and Judy

This fantastic movie has a little bit of romance, a little comedy, singing & dancing, great costumes and sets and is a whole lot of fun! Starring Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Ann Miller ( who I met a few years ago! ), this movie has one of those 'showbiz' storylines which seems to help in a musical as it gives a REASON for all the singing and dancing -they're performing of course! Ann Miller doing what she does best!

Check out this movie sometime -you won't regret it :-) Read a full synopsis of the movie online at:

This room

Today I am loving this room - beautiful scale, high ceilings with beautiful moldings, large french doors to a garden, comfortable couch and cozy rug. Could it be more perfect?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rene Gruau

One of my favorite artists is Rene Gruau. He could depict a glamorous scene with just a few simple penstrokes. You could almost call his drawings 'high calligraphy' expanding on the victorian artform. Born in Rimini, Italy on February 4th 1909 to an aristroctratic father and legendary french beauty mother -he was christened Renato Conte de Savagli-Ricardelli. He had to support his mother after his father left them at age 15 and so abandoned his given name and took his mother's last name, Gruau as an act of revenge ( and also because it was shorter! ). Early in his career he came upon what would become a signature when in signing a piece a huge ink blot escaped his pen onto a finished drawing! He worked with it and called it his lucky star and kept it his entire life.

After a brief stint in fashion design in London in the 1930's -he soon started his career as a fashion illustrator in Paris for all the major magazines ( back when photography wasn't the staple it has become today ). He befriended Dior and actually encouraged him to start his own fashion house in 1947. He later became the primary illustrator for Dior and would do the illustrations for their perfume campaigns until the early 90s! After fashion magazines moved to photography for their fashion spreads, Gruau found his niche market in advertising -creating glamorous drawings that would leave readers lusting after the products they depicted!

Gruau passed away on March 31, in 2004 at the age of 95. While there have been several expositions of his work and many of his original drawings hang in prestigious museums, there is little published about his life or his work and he's not even on Wikipedia!!

Clutter or visually interesting?

I abhor clutter.......I also dislike stark minimalism - it's BORING. However, I think there is a fine line between a visually interesting space and a messy, clutter-filled room. Style isn't a factor here - modern vs. traditional -elle decor vs. traditional home - comfort is key!
Color, treasured possessions, books, scented candles, fresh flowers and comfortable furnishings with cushions are the life of a room! Presentation and organization are key! I realize a lot of this is personal taste. I prefer the visual warmth of personal belongings displayed to their best advantage - it lends an air of personality and charm.

I think you would say my own apartment is a well organized but full of PERSONALITY. Hopefully no one would call it clutter-filled! ya, these pics are not my apt! lol I WISH!Compare the charm of Miles Redd to Armani home -big difference, huh? Which would you rather spend time in?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I am embaressed to say this -but THIS chair from Brocade home is amazing! Don't ask how I came across it -sadly, there were a few things in the catalog ( these chairs and a few bed frames ) that weren't absolutely hideous. If I still had my old dining room table I would order these TODAY. Sadly, I have no use for them. Modern but traditional, interesting but clean lined, comfortable looking, good price!

Deal or no deal

Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE finding a hidden treasure or a deal. I also love to sell off posessions or things I find on the street or for a deal on amazon and ebay to make a buck! Well - my friend Casapinka recently got a treasure trove of the highly rare and collectible BLYTHE dolls for a mere fraction of their worth! I would be in HEAVEN and have them posted on ebay within MINUTES. Check out her post ( click on her name above ) and read all about how it happened! She tells amazing stories on her blog :-)

the queen's on top

This great Cecil Beaton photograph from the 40's of Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth is so funny because it's so thought through. The queen is higher than the princess! Is this like in the 'King and I' where no one's head can be above the king ( queen in this case?). Thought provoking, a little funny and just a beautiful photograph!!

And just as a side note -doesn't the queen look like a prettier version of the nanny from 'Mary Poppins' that leaves after loosing the children in the park just before Mary Poppins arrives?? I wish I knew that actresses name!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A little bit of green for you! Hope you're wearing green today!
The duchess of Bedford in 1959 at the palais royale

Sunday, March 16, 2008

weekend around town

Like I posted about last week, I live in a beautiful city :-) Because of the beautiful early spring weather, I got to take advantage of that and I went down to the mall and saw the sites and finally got to see the Native American museum! Beautiful building -i've included some photos of that as well - enjoy!

one of my favorite buildings in dc - the nat'l gallery of art by john russell pope

the williard hotel - love the little round windows on the top floor!

this is the rotunda at the native american museum and the front door - similar to the guggenheim in a way, isn't it?

view from the top floor of the museum of the nat'l mall

and view from the front door coming out! so impressive!this is nearby -the 'newseum' -opening soon -i love this staircase!

spring is here!