February 28, 2009


William Spratling Sterling Fish Box from Modest Designs on 1st dibs
Sometimes the tragedy of a place draws your compassion towards the goodness of it. Mexico is in a deep state of narcocultura. Violent drug-related killings have permeated Mexican life as drug traffickers embark on narco-terror and government corruption abounds. This is tragic for a society that is steeped in a culture of respect, religion, the arts, and indigenous communities. Mexico's fertile creativity struggles against these violent odds as well as the legacy of colonial violence which continues many years beyond the post-revolution era. From my safe New England haven, I hold the people of Mexico in my thoughts. I was first introduced to a bit of Mexican style through a boutique in Darien, Connecticut in the 1970s called The Mexican Room. The owner Mildred Morganstern had an eye for Huichol embroidered manta cotton dresses, Otomi textiles, and heavy Mexican silver jewelry. Thus began my teenage love affair with Mexican style. I am continually drawn to the elegant heart and colorful soul of Mexican style & decoration. Here is a collection of My Dog-Eared picks:

Casamidy Hacienda Headboard

Light Blue Papel Picado Banner

Vintage Mexican Bowl, Oaxaca

Embroidered Huichol Blouse

Handcrafted Talavera Tile

Margot de Taxco Sterling Bracelet

Casa San Miguel: Inspired Design and Decorations

Mexican Otomi Textiles

February 24, 2009


Magazines are having a tough time these days, and so are those of us who love them. There is still chatter and of course, a lot of tears over the demise of our favorite Domino. This is the first month that Domino will not appear in my mailbox, and I am determined to pick a new favorite to be as excited about. I do love receiving Elle Décor, Town & Country, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker - but I've selected "C" California Style as my new pick. It's a different genre than D but C is a fun read covering—style, beauty, home, food, culture, and travel. I'm an East Coast girl but love California style and appreciate its influence on all aspects of American design and culture. C magazine launched in September 2005 and is published 10x/year. An annual subscription is $16.00.

February 17, 2009

OSCAR WATCH | 2008 |

Photos: Penélope Cruz courtesy, NYT Style, Sophia Loren courtesy, Google Images
The spirited and complex performance by Penélope Cruz in the 2006 Almodovar film Volver solidified her standing as one of the best actors of our time. Her dramatic and comedic sensibilities radiate freely in her own native language and in characters of Spanish origin. Her Latin feistiness and sexiness in Volver and in this year's Vicky|Cristina|Barcelona [from director Woody Allen] are equal to that of a young Sophia Loren. Cruz deserves the Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and maybe even the Oscar, too.

February 16, 2009


Le Petit Calendar
Mrs. John L. Strong
12 months & easel

Canvas Market Bag
The Conran Shop
20"w x 6.5"d x 15.5"h

The Board Stiff Sunreader

The Total Wit Sunreader
EYEBOBS fashionable Readers
for guys & girls $65

Large Bali Grass & Sterling Basket
10" x 5.25" x 2.3"

Capri Block Printed Wool Shawl
by John Robshaw
30" x 80" wool

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton
Book of Portraits
224 pages [Hardcover]
11.9" x 9.6" x 1.2"

February 13, 2009


The Liz Claiborne Company's new fashion stimulus plan is Isaac Mizrahi. His first collection as creative director of the brand launches this month. The advertising (as seen in March issues) includes friends and acquaintances of people actually involved with the campaign--real women whose ages span 5 decades. What do they all have in common? A "perpetual 35-ness" says Mizrahi, the age when women are "perfectly ripe"... confident yet still young. By April, most of the collection will be ready to pick at lizclaiborne.com. Can Isaac save the languishing Liz brand? We wish him all best. But, our trips to Target will not be the same without him! (Mizrahi collections sold as much as $300 million per year at Target during the designers 5-year run).

February 10, 2009


Jazz chanteuse Blossom Dearie died on February 7th in her New York apartment. She was 84. Her interpretation and phrasing of a song can stay with you like a deeply personal memory. "An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself." The New York Times

February 7, 2009


There is a lot of good art around these days if you know where to look, like these wonderful monoprints by JSPRINTS on Etsy. NYC-based artist Jane Parkes sells a variety of sizes at extremely reasonable prices for one-of-a-kind colorful prints on top-quality archival paper. The current assortment ranges from $100-$300. Shipping is free within the United States. Grab a group of these monoprints before all the decorators in town beat you to it! www.jsprints.etsy.com

Some artistic groupings of art & photography:
Photo one courtesy of House Beautiful. Photo two and three courtesy of Domino (RIP).