This “discovery” isn’t so new anymore and  has apparently been passed around from Facebook, to Apartment Therapy to soulpancake as well as most recently Messynessychic.com  I just saw it for the first time the other day so I thought I’d pass it on to you…hope you enjoy it as much as I did…


 A Parisian apartment left untouched for over 70 years was discovered in the quartier of Pigalle a few summers ago and I’ve been meaning to share the pictures with you. Time to unlock the vault …


The owner of this apartment, Mrs. De Florian left Paris just before the rumblings of World War II broke out in Europe. She closed up her shutters and left for the South of France, never to return to the city again. Seven decades later she passed away at the age of 91. It was only when her heirs enlisted professionals to make an inventory of the Parisian apartment she left behind, that this time capsule was finally unlocked.

The team that had the honor of opening what must have been a very stiff old lock for the first time in 70 years, likened the experience to ‘stumbling into the castle of sleeping beauty’. The smell of dust, the cobwebs, the silence, was overwhelming; a once in a lifetime experience.

There is a further twist to the story. In the apartment a painting of familiar style was discovered of a beautiful woman in pink. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece of treasure. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon.


With some expert historical opinion, the ribbon-bound love letters were quickly recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover. The art world went a bit nutty for the whole story and the painting was later sold for $3 million at auction.

What I find so intriguing about this story is not so much the discovered painting and the revelation of a love affair between a great Italian painter and the beautiful actress in an enchanting era, but more the story of Mrs. de Florian and why she stayed away from Paris for so long.

What kept her away even after the war? Was she running away from someone or something other than the Nazis? For all those decades, her rent on the elegant apartment in a flourishing city had been faithfully paid, but it was left to freeze in time. It all sounds like the perfect mystery…



the New York Gift Show

January 29, 2013

I got back late last night from the New York Gift Show. We’re talking acres and acres of home accessories, tabletop, jewelry & bags, and plenty of crazy randomness in between to keep it comical. There was much to see and I managed to see a lot ( enough ) in the one full day I was there. Buying for the store is like decorating for a dozen clients or more, all at once. You have to think about crafting a vision for merchandising when things arrive, buying “whats next” while buying what feels clients will be comfortable with and you have to cater those tastes to as many potential buyers as possible… After all selling your wares is the name of the game.


I expected to be buying hot bright colors for Spring/Summer, Dash & Albert rugs, indoor-outdoor ottomans, Sunbrella throws and the like but as you will see, my heart, my style and my gut all lead me back to rich and subtle tans, greys, aqua and navy. Always in my comfort zone and always in good taste.20130129-080618.jpg

We bought tables full of Chinese ceramics, blue and white pots, vases and bowls. Beautiful Tibetan rugs in pale heathered hues in (what else) tans greys and aquas. As well as deep colbalt table lamps, burnished brass decorotive mirrors and chandeliers made of hemp and beads of glass or stone… AMAZING!20130129-080627.jpg

So there are some of the Navy treasures, and here are some pretty aqua inspired finds I couldn’t live without…






This copy was “borrowed” from TheFoxIsBlack.com

North Carolina native Geoffrey Johnson has been working as a painter since 1995 after he completed a degree in Fine Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There’s something very impressive about his work and his images carry a sense of reflection and solemnness.

Most of what he paints is done with an amazing monochromatic palette and I’m instantly drawn to his use of sepia tones (not to mention the striking pale blue). His silhouetted figures are shrouded in an air of mystery and the way he manages to paint large groups within the landscape of the city while still presenting a sense of melancholy only enforces the sense of mystery throughout his work. These paintings are both alluring and haunting and I’ve a great fondness for them. Johnson doesn’t have his own site but more work can seen online here.

I couldn’t agree more, so why re-write?  (Thanks theblackfox.com) In fact I’m so smitten, I want to place one of these in a clients home.  Making the pitch next week, hope they like it.

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And now for something completely different.  I shop everywhere, the gift show in NYC, local antique stores, the showroom I work for as well as Ebay, 1st Dibs and ETSY.  Well I was scanning ESTY for cool things the other day and came across the amazing work of Mary Malley.  um, Hello! I am crazy for these beautiful pieces.  Mary is a ceramic artist creating out of a barn on the south shore of Long Island. Her ESTY store is a dedicated to the ceramic functional wares she loves to make!  Please click over and see more of her work www.etsy.com and for additional information you can visit her website at www.maryomalleyceramics.com. Mary makes custom cremation urns, I might have to get one for myself… Not that I’ll need it anytime soon!  For more information please visit http://www.youveurnedit.com  If you have any questions or are looking for something in particular feel free to contact her at: mary@maryomalleyceramics.com


Here is her artists statement:  After receiving my BFA from The University of the Arts and living In Philadelphia I recently returned to my home near the ocean on Long Island, NY. Using my skills as a potter trained in traditional English and Japanese techniques I began to create a series of formal functional pieces to which I applied small sea creatures. The images are inspired by memories from my childhood and new familiar surroundings. Covering formal ware in crustaceans – which in real life have an unforgiving ferocity – has interested me because it is a reminder that no matter how much we try to control the creation of what we think is beautiful, uncontrollable forces like nature usually end up taking over. What truly excites me (and keeps me needing to make more) is marrying my love of functional porcelain pottery and a whimsical (or ferocious?) underwater world that mars the formality of each piece. The journey I take in deciding how to incorporate and compose these underwater elements with the service ware it is enveloping is what makes each piece completely unique. In the end one type of beauty is made more beautiful by co-existing with its foil, resulting in two completely different aesthetics existing harmoniously as one piece. 

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Arabian coast. 1962

Vsevolod Andreevich Bazhenov was born February 18, 1909 in the town Serdobsk, Penza Province of Russian Empire into an artistic family.  His father was an artist and taught in a school. He become the first teacher of Vsevolod. Later he studied in Serdobsk art studio of artists A. Gofert and N. Kuzmin. Besides drawing and painting, Bazhenov was music lover: his mother Evgenia Nikovaevna was a pianist.800px-Bazhenov-Vsevolod-Danish_shore-_at-horizon-pol12bw

In 1928 Bazhenov graduated in high school and moved to Leningrad. In 1928–1930 he studied at the Tavricheskaya Art School, where he was a student of Mikhail Avilov, David Kiplyck, and Vladimir Fedorovich. In 1930 Bazhenov leaves the third-year college courses and arrives at the surveyors. According to some sources the reason care was difficult financial situation, on the other – the reorganization of the department of painting. After the course Bazhenov worked in the exploration, first as a surveyor, then the superintendent and chief of field parties. During the expedition he much painted sketches from the life of the Ural Region, Armenia, Khibiny, Karelia, the Caucasus and Kurdistan. From 1934 to 1941 Bazhenov worked at the Leningrad maping factory.

In 1940 he married Catherine Andreyevna Kuznetsova. June 24, 1941 was born the eldest son Alexander, who later became an artist of movies. After the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Bazhenov together with family was sent to Sverdlovsk city for specialty. In December 1942 he was drafted into the Red Army in the rank of lieutenant-technique as a senior cartographer. Discharged at the end of 1945. He was awarded the Medal “For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945”.

In late 1945 Bazhenov returned to Leningrad. Since the autumn of 1946 he worked as painter for order in LenIzo. In 1946 was born middle son Vladimir, in 1952 – junior Andrew. The first part Bazhenov in art exhibition refers to 1937. Since 1951 he is constantly involved in Leningrad, Republican, and All-Union exhibitions of soviet artists. He painted landscapes, genre scenes, seascapes, sketches from the life, works in oil and tempera paintings. In 1951 Bazhenov was admitted to the Leningrad Union of Artists.  In 1950s to gather material for paintings Bazhenov made some long-time trips around the country, having been in East and West Siberia, in Altai Province and Ural Region. The result of these visits were the lot of excellent in painting nature studies, nominated Bazhenov as a leading Leningrad master of this genre.

In the Ha Long Bay. 1962

In 1962 Bazhenov embarked on a working voyage on the ship “Eugene Nikishin”, from Leningrad to Vladivostok around Europe and Asia with stops in ports of Gibraltar, Suez, Singapore and Vietnam. In course of voyage through eleven seas and oceans, which lasted more than three months, Bazhenov created nearly two hundred sketches, paintings, and drawings.  Some of large works were conceived by the artist is finished too late in his Leningrad art studio on the base of nature sketches and direct impressions of the voyage.  For the first time about 120 works from this series were exhibited in Leningrad in 1963 after returning from a voyage. Then the exhibition was shown in other cities.

In 1960-1970s Bazhenov with a group of Leningrad artists painted pictures for the mess-room ocean-going ships and submarines. He create about 100 paintings for ships of various purposes, mostly landscapes of our country. Most of this works were on the warships of Pacific and Northern fleets. Also he take part in creation special technologies for protecting the picture from the high humidity in a long-time voyage. In 1976 the artist was awarded the command of the Navy of the USSR for this job.

A special place in the artist’s creative journeys belonged to Karelia. For the first time Bazhenov visited here in 1931. In 1981 he first visited Valaam island, which came at the invitation of the local museum. From then until death Valaam was one of the main themes of his work. In 1984 the Valaam museum held a solo exhibition of paintings by Vsevolod Bazhenov. Its funds are kept many paintings executed on impressions from visiting the island.

Vsevolod Andreevich Bazhenov died on August 2, 1986 in Leningrad at the seventy-eighth year of life. He is known mostly for his landscpes, seascapes, and small-format etudes done from nature. His personal exhibitions were in Leningrad (1963, 1982), and Saint Petersburg (1994, 2009). His paintings reside in State Russian Museum, in Art museums and private collections in Russia, Japan, France, England, in the U.S., China, and throughout the world.



Information from: wikipedia


January 12, 2013



One more addiction to add to the (growing) list: Facebook, Pinterest, BILLblog and now… INSTAGRAM.  I like the format because it’s creative and visual with very little text and very little Social Media advertising.  Sure there are folks peddling product but its all about the image, and no one is asking you to “like it”  you either do or you don’t.  There are fashionistas posting daily outfits, professional photographers posting beautiful images, there are puppy pictures, food pictures a little eye candy and yes a ton of self portraits (guilty).  These are just a small sampling of the folks I follow.  Some just post pretty pictures, others fitness achievements and others exotic trips or pets doing cute things.  If you’re not the type to play Words With Friends, Instagram is the ap for you.  It lets you play with exposure, focus, light, zoom and cropping plus there are borders and filters to change the mood of your shot.  I personally like posting food, my outfits and self portraits most.  I realize I’m not the first to discover Instagram, in fact I’m behind the ball on this one, but so what… Having a good time, enjoying the voyeurism and inviting you to come along for the ride.

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December 14, 2012

I just saw this on a friends Facebook page and had to repost ASAP on to BILLblog… At first I thought it was a light fixture, but no, It’s a real cloud.  crazy cool huh?  I would buy this ART!


Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde has developed a way to create clouds indoors by carefully regulating the space’s humidity, temperature and light. This intersection of science and art was recently named one of TIME magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”