Design Read: Sarah Style

Today marks the day that one of my favorite designers, Sarah Richardson (for us in the U.S. of HGTV fame) launches her book Sarah Style now available on Amazon.  I love her use of color and up-cycled pieces, which creates an interesting texture and layers .

Sarah has had quite the run of success in the last few years.  Beyond her multiple series on HGTV, including her current one called Sarah Sees Potential, she recently launched a line of fabric with Kravat,  was recently named Good Housekeeping’s style editor, and has a collaboration with Target Canada in the works for 2015.

It’s great to see such a talent succeed so tremendously.  Congrats, Sarah!

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Monday Blues: A Burst of Sunshine

If you could wear sunshine, particularly on a gray day, wouldn’t you want to? I know I would.

Over the last decade I’ve been intermittently obsessed with the starburst necklace that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw wears in season 3 of SATC.  I’ve always wondered if it was just a vintage, one-of-a-kind find that stylist Patricia Field found in some quirky, tucked-away shop in the East Village or if it was widely available.

Crop Sarah Jessica Parker wearing tondo sole

All these years later I finally grew curious enough to research online and found that it is actually the Bulgari Tondo pendant.  Just a reminder to apply the old suspension of disbelief rule to SATC since it’s highly unlikely a freelance writer living solo in a one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan could afford such a bauble.

I did find a lovely alternative that fits the bill.  Check out this House of Harlow1960 starburst necklace.hohcobalt houseof harlow.starburst

You can always be spreading sunshine with affordable style.  My cure for the Monday Blues.

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MONDAY BLUES: “False Start”

I’m baaaaack. After a silence punctuated by a post here and there, I’m finding more beautiful things to write about. Life gets busy, so now that it’s settled down and the children are happily ensconced in the school routine I find myself trawling magazines and the web for beautiful images. Why? For me they, quite simply, make me happy. So why not?

This image is my cure for the Monday Blues. Titled “False Start” it is so poignant  on so many levels. The simple beauty of an artistic black and white image, the many ‘false starts’ I’ve made in creative projects, and feeling out in the cold, somewhat, when not aligned with my passions.  The sometimes arduous task of an uphill climb to achieving one’s goal.

This is for sale on www.saatchiart.com and is by photographer Romanian photographer Dan Lavric.

Lovely, isn’t it?

FALSESTART

Ideas for a Royal Nursery

With yesterday’s news that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second baby, I thought it would be fun to explore nursery ideas for baby number two.

Since we won’t know the gender of the baby until the day he or she arrives (I think it’s a girl, by the way) a nice neutral space would fit the bill.

The royal couple have a modern outlook, so a contemporary space wouldn’t be out of the question.  I love this one from HoneyandFitz.com, especially the campaign chest you can just see in the lower right hand corner in the second image.

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Most retailers show navy for boys-but I think navy and yellow make it a nice, neutral space.  I think the juxtaposition of the modern art and the traditional crib is fun. The sofa is a nice touch so big brother George could read some board books while visiting baby. The shelves add a nice contrast to the grey walls and offer key storage for all those books.  I found this on www.saffroniabaldwin.com

 

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The coral and mint theme of the the nursery below posted by charmingincharlotte.blogspot.com could be just the colors to offset a gray London day and keep baby cheery. The brass accents warm up the space nicely.

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Who doesn’t love the Tiffany blue and green? Fabfatal.com posted this image and demonstrates the combination of cold with new can creates a bright, contemporary room.

 

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Which is your favorite for the new royal baby?

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY BLUES: Colourful Living

 

After a summer respite, I am B2B. (Back to the Blog).  The weather is hinting at the waning of summer and of crisp autumn days ahead with bright blue skies-which means it’s time to resume my writing and photography.

One of the prettiest autumns I’ve ever experienced was in South Africa (which, opposite of our autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, is in June).  Not only were the hillsides dotted with brilliant colour-the seaside villages and Cape Town neighborhoods burst with delightful visuals, too.

This image from National Geographic captures the essence of Cape Town.  The bright colors and ornate architecture on Long Street-a boulevard known for shopping and dining – makes this image one that takes me back to my honeymoon travels through a magnificent country.

 

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MONDAY BLUES: I STILL HOPE

 

After a summer respite I had planned to resume my “Monday Blues” weekly post about beautiful things that can help cure those Monday Blues. These posts have typically been light with an aim of bringing a bit of beauty to the beginning of the week.

Today, I am experiencing the “Monday Blues” in the truest sense as I receive news that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called in the National Guard into Ferguson, the suburb of my beloved city of St. Louis. Gov. Nixon has done so to help restore order to this beleaguered city that has experienced unrest, police brutality, the pitfalls of poverty, racism and now the destruction through looting and rioting by an unruly crowd.

The family of Michael Brown, who must be experiencing unspeakable grief, are unable to bury their son and grieve privately as they wait for a third autopsy ordered by US Attorney General Eric Holder to be performed on his body. Instead, they have had to put their grief aside and call on their community to restore peace.

Federal and local leaders are at odds on the legal process and seem to not be cooperating. The local St. Louis County police against the counsel of the federal authorities released video of Michael Brown seemingly roughing up a smaller sales clerk. The community distrust of the St. Louis County police is now at an all-time high and could take years to restore and that video is only a piece of the story.

The Ferguson school district has postponed the beginning of the 2014-15 school year citing safety concerns for area children thus tasking parents with finding decent childcare while they try to go to work.

In social media, #Ferguson has spread to remote parts of the globe and less insightful posters have created further division, polarization with ignorant and sometimes blatantly racist posts and tweets with no accountability. Media organizations, both social and traditional have at times forgotten their mission of fair and balanced reporting of the facts and creating misperceptions based on their bias.

Images of violence, grief and human behavior at its worst have been flashed around the world catalyzing vigils and demonstrations from New York to Los Angeles and London.

All of this has left me blue and with a heavy heart.

But it’s not about me.

It’s about social justice, racial divides, socioeconomic disparity and weak leadership.

Can these events inspire greater, rational discourse on issues such as education, quality childcare, police brutality, racial harmony and the qualities of a great leader?

It is my deepest wish that they will.

I hope…..

We can find the best of our selves to be inspiring, rational, mindful and kind to our fellow human beings,

That those who are destroying their community will stop and direct their rage to constructive actions,

That legal due process and justice prevail,

That Michael Brown’s family can grieve and find peace,

And that the children of Ferguson can go to school and find inspiration through education and become strong leaders.

Our city of Saint Louis is named for King Louis IX of France who was a canonized saint and French King.

He was known for his humanitarian acts and for reforming the French legal system, introducing the presumption of innocence into the legal process and banned trials of ordeal.

I hope that King Louis IX/St. Louis’ example of fairness and benevolence can be followed by the citizen of the city named in his honor.

I also hope that once and for all, the St. Louis Blues will be only a music genre and a stellar hockey team rather than a euphemism for civil discord and racial riots.