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Monday, June 25, 2012

Saint-Louis crystal

"La Céleste" bedside carafe

My family has loved Saint-Louis crystal for a very, very long time. When my aunt studied abroad in France, she brought back several pieces of Saint-Louis crystal in the "Thistle" pattern to forever remember her time abroad. (We tend to buy "keepers" not temporary things)

The "Thistle Gold" glassware dates back to 1913 and is one of the most exclusive lines produced by the Cristallerie Saint-Louis. Every glass is mouthblown and hand-engraved. The elegant, fine gold pattern is painted with a small brush, then fired and polished with agate stone. Each glass is a masterpiece of expert craftsmanship and takes 25 days to make; ten glassblowers are needed to create the shape and 15 other glass specialists focus on the cutting, engraving and decoration. [source]

My grandparents have multiple pieces of the colorful "Tommy" barware, which I love due to its fun, cheery colors which can coordinate with any kind of patterned wallpaper or dining room area.

Three of the company’s famous techniques have to be used to produce the “Tommy” series: facet cutting, ball cutting and diamond cutting. The attention given to detail in the cutting process is what makes this classic line from the year 1928 into one of the most coveted creations in crystal glass craftsmanship. The reputation of this best-seller is based on a legendary dinner in the year 1938 held in the Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau de Versailles on the occasion of a visit by King George VI; each of the places at the table for guests was set with eleven glasses from the “Tommy” series. The production of these glasses still goes on today and each glass takes ten days to make; ten glassblowers are needed to create the shape and five cutters are required to complete the decoration. [source]

Have you ever come across Saint-Louis crystal in your travels or while entertaining?


Do you have a special "brand" of something (anything!) that your family feels strong ties to, due to memories?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! I have a lot of lovely things on my wish list for my birthday in early August, but here are a few of my favorites! I have heard it is unusual, but in my family I am required to make a list of gift ideas!

Detour: a childhood friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I cracked up the entire time because it is my mother and I when we go on a shopping weekend together. We take over stores and it is a blast!

Okay, so here are some wishlist items of mine from Neiman Marcus which includes a few things from Pre-Fall 2012:

Jennifer Zeuner three-initial pendant necklace, $325 (with married monogram!) for post-wedding.

Ippolita lapis teardrop earrings, medium, $1,095.

Neiman Marcus Home "python" iPad case in indigo with initials, $145.

Christian Louboutin "Loubiposh" calf hair clutch, $895.

Jimmy Choo "Abel" croc-printed pump in tan, $595.

Wolf Designs "London" jewelry case, $275.

Ippolita Nine-Stone lapis bracelet, $3,795.

Agraria Nob Hill petite essence set, $95 perfect for my office!

Which are your favorites? Do you ever make wish lists for your birthday?

Some of my most recent articles:
Richmond edition:
Spring and summer 2012 trend: florals
Spring and summer 2012 trend: Art Deco

Charlottesville edition:
Spring and summer 2012 trend: blush and beige
Spring and summer 2012 trend: paisley
Spring 2012 trend: Over the top shoes

Monday, June 18, 2012

Puiforcat lovelies

Ahh, decorating the home. Is there anything as fun as owning a space and making it yours? I love dreaming and putting together something beautiful.

"Bouée" napkin ring by Puiforcat. Silverplate, red laquered, handmade. $236.93.

Puiforcat is one of my favorite French brands, and has been around since 1820 when it was founded by Emile Puiforcat. While it was bought out by Hermès in 1996, it still produces some of the finest silver in the world. While not as ornate as some brands (see Tiffany & Co.) it was incredibly influential to many brands that exist today. Some of the Puiforcat family's earliest designs in jewelry are on display at the Louvre.

The great-grandson of Emile, Jean Puiforcat (pictured above, source), is the one who brought a lot of attention to the family brand, particularly due to his Art Deco designs.

"Jeux de Cartes" playing cards designed by Jean Puiforcat in handmade sterling silver case. $3,500.

Today, some of the pieces from Puiforcat's archives are still made, but like many beautiful things from the past you will be lucky if they cross your path! Otherwise, you can just settle for some pretty incredible silverwear - what they currently focus on.

Champagne stopper from Puiforcat. Silverplate, handmade. $315.90.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baltimore... via Esquire magazine

... is America's next great underdog city, now that New Orleans is (sort of) back on track. They feel weirdly the same as you walk around them today, these twin objects of David Simon's obsession: pockets of vibrancy surrounded by stretches of ruin; an overarching sense of police and political corruption; humid enough in the summer to melt your pants; a delicious selection of seafood pulled from polluted waters. Whether you prefer Baltimore or New Orleans really comes down to whether you prefer crab dip or crawfish, The Wire or Treme.
The difference is nobody talks about Baltimore and its particular brand of suffering. It has absorbed slight after slight for years, taking them like gut punches, because what else was it going to do? Its current mayor took over after the last one resigned in the wake of embezzlement and perjury charges. Local police statistics have been cast repeatedly into doubt, so no one knows if violent crime is down or up or by how much. It is indisputably three hundred thousand citizens smaller than its peak. It does not have professional basketball or hockey teams, and its baseball team is only marginally professional.

But because its death spiral has been slow — unlike Katrina's short, sharp leveling of New Orleans — it has continued virtually unnoticed by the rest of the country. Even Newark gets more attention. Which Baltimoreans might actually prefer. This city, even in its decay, has a sweat-soaked, beer-stained, grim-faced cool to it; you get the sense that even if it were possible to snap your fingers and make all of Baltimore look like its rejuvenated harbor, like beautiful Camden Yards — still the best ballpark in the majors — Baltimoreans might actually resist it. The people who are still in this city, who are still of this city, like the people who remained in New Orleans, are here because they chose to stay. Together, they've decided to make their homes in Baltimore, a city without sentiment, without much left of its ego, deserving of our love precisely because it has never asked for it.
—Chris Jones

Read more

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Klout Perk: essie 2012 Summer Collection

Hey y'all! So I just recieved another wonderful fashion-related Perk from Klout!
It came in another slightly over-sized box, and I will be honest, I did think I was getting multiple items (mini bottles), not just one regularly-sized item, but that is okay.
It was an essie 2012 Summer Collection color! The color name is "bikini so teeny" which essie describes as a "provocative lustrous sky blue."
The campaign is heavily geared towards swimsuit season - "dive into gorgeous color" - and essie founder/creative director Essie Weingarten wants you to buy fun colors that will give you courage and confidance this summer!
Are you on Klout? You are seeing once again what benefits I get as a Klout participant with style, fashion and shopping experience! I think as of 2012 Q2 I will have been given about $75 in free products and/or promotions. You should check it out!
Isn't 'bikini so teeny' a cute lavender blue? Other colors available are: cascade cool ("frosty, shimmery carnation pink"), all tied up ("naughty molten bronze"), off the shoulder ("daring, scorching hot pink"), fear or desire ("obsession-worthy bright orange"), and mojito madness ("fun-loving party lime"). They are $8.00 per bottle like normal essie colors.

What color would you wear this summer?

Disclosure: I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: shoes

Well, I finally bit the bullet and got my wedding day shoes! I honestly cannot believe how long it has taken for me to find the perfect pair of shoes for my wedding! As a bride, I know we sometimes get OCD but my dress has so many particular and intricate details that I needed to find a very specific shoe. When my Mom told me she thought they would be perfect that was what settled the matter. I am so happy! The shoes are the Badgley Mischka "Salsa" Pump in vanilla satin. The 3" heel is the perfect height and the vanilla color is perfect for my dress. The jewel detail goes with the wedding theme and my dress. I am excited to see how the dress looks with the shoe but know I will be happy!

I did almost get one of several Manolo Blahnik shoes - however, when compared to my dress, the silver was always too dark and the white was too white! They also are rarely less than 3.5-4" tall and then I could not wear them all night. So, Badgley Mischka's were my next bet!

How long did it take you all to find your perfect shoe?

Previous entries about my wedding shoe hunt here (Nov 2010!) and here (Aug 2010!). Also, if you are looking for these shoes in a different size, Bloomingdales has them. I ordered them from Endless as they had my size in stock (ONE pair of them was left! Yikes!) and because Endless is on Ebates - so I got them for almost $20 off! If you're a bride-to-be and online shopper like me, going with Ebates can save you money way faster than I ever thought - it adds up quickly.