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Friday, May 30, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw Gets a New Apartment

Many SATC fans recognize this brownstone stoop as the entry way into the apartment of ultimate N.Y. single girl, Carrie Bradshaw. I was invited to attend the premiere of the new movie this past Tuesday here in Phoenix. Wanting to be kind, I have since somehow managed to reign myself in and keep the decor gushing to myself. But now that the movie has opened worldwide, let the games begin!

The costume design and sets of the film had received tremendous hype and neither disappointed. Carrie and Big finally got engaged after 10 years and moved into a penthouse apartment that is absolutely breathtaking.

The wedding is set to take place in the New York public library. A location perfect for our literary heroine.

Alas, there is a glitch and the wedding does not take place.

Carrie moves back into her old brownstone and finally gives up the folding table "desk" that she has used to write numerous columns and three best sellers on. She actually hires a decorator and the result is still Carrie but 100% delicious. The "Love Too" carpet used as art hanging near Carrie's entryway inspired the new glorious blue wall color. Sigh~ love. It is by Paul Smith and is available from The Rug Company. It's colors inspired the apartments new palette. Sigh~ love.

Still roomy enough to seat all her friends.

It is those friends that make it possible for Carrie to carry on with her life.

The ever sweet Charlotte remains in her lovely Park Avenue apartment with husband Harry. When someone finds out where the lamps next to their couch come from, let me know. Pure metallic circular loveliness.

Samantha has moved to Southern California with Smith and her oceanfront home is all modern west coast sleekness.

Miranda's home in Brooklyn continues to be the red headed stepchild and receives no attention.

Mr. Big stoically continues residing in the penthouse pining away for his lost love.

Carrie once again epitomizes successful singledom while looking fairly fabulous.

But never fear, this is Hollywood, where dreams come true.

The hostesses of the premiere encouraged attendees to dress up. My daughter, the Fashionista rose to the occasion in her own design.

I received inspiration from SJP's London premiere ensemble.

My dress was one I had hanging in the closet that I accessorized with a vintage brooch. I embellished my handbag and dyed-to-match shoes with rhinestones and peacock feathers.

Here is a closeup of the hat I created that featured a peacock and of course Carrie's signature rose motif. The construction involved a small wood base and lots of love from my trusty glue gun.

Still by the end of the night, the weight of it had me feeling like this.

Yet the pain was ultimately worth the pleasure of winning first prize in the "Ultimate Carrie" contest. I received a cute wicker suitcase filled with Philosophy products, and gift certificates for cupcakes and spa treatments. (Not that they will necessarily be redeemed in that order.)

All movie photo stills are courtesy of Craig Blankenhorn/ New Line Cinema.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, part two (give away)

Memorial Day is the kick off of summer. Now is the time to dust off your white shoes and dine al fresco. Cath Kidston is one designer who delights me with colorful glories for the season.

Isn't this a charming picnic basket? I see that there is even a spot to store the fried chicken.

Perhaps you'll need a few cushions to scatter about for soft seating.

What a stylish way to keep the lemonade cool.

Lounging by the pool has never looked so sweet.

Happy star towels to dry off with.

I love the smell of sheets that are line dried. This peg bag makes the job of locating a clothespin not quite such a chore.

The bird print melamine plate just sings summer.

Happy cutlery in a garden palette.

Enjoy summer evenings with a pretty lantern.

This strawberry patterned china brings the outdoors in. Perfect for places like Phoenix where entertaining is relegated to the indoors.

These goblets are pastel perfection, punch anyone?
Create an indoor garden in a bedroom or bath with this floral wallpaper.

Fabulous fashionista's would look fetching in this floral frock.

A cute skirt made for rounding up the kiddos on summer break.

For the crafter, a cheery sewing box. My heart pines for such cuteness.

Now for the best part of the post, a Cath Kidston giveaway.

Last week I found "Vintage Style" at a second hand shop. Although the cover is a bit worn the book inside is just perfect. It is accompanied by a new "Dream Home Journal". As a designer I often recommend that clients start a journal of their favorite magazine photo's and article ideas. This organizer fits the bill perfectly. Of course I always send little extras in all my giveaways and this one is no exception. Leave me a comment on your summertime favorites and a random entry will be selected to win on Wednesday, May the 28th. As for the time I never know the time of when I will be able to blog~kids~ I am sure that explains it all. So get it in by Wednesday morning to be safe.

Good luck!
Update on Wednesday, May 28.
Congratulations to the lovely Lidy at French Garden House. Please email me your information and I will ship your goodies out "toot sweet".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day, part one

For many Americans Memorial Day represents a day off that is celebrated with a picnic. Although I enjoy a picnic as much as the next person, for myself it is a day of reflection, to truly remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

While we were stationed overseas, I visited the WWII allied cemetery at Souda Bay, Crete. This was my first realization that unlike our soldiers today whose remains are sent home, in past wars soldiers were buried near the ground in which they died. While standing there, looking at the sea of headstones, my eyes filled with tears at the thought of a parent never being able to visit their child’s grave. It was at that moment I decided that every Memorial and Veteran’s day that I spent in Europe I would represent those family members and visit an American cemetery to pay my respects to their sons and daughters.

The next year found my family at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg France.
It contains the remains of 5, 076 American military members. The most famous of which is the General George S. Patton, Jr. gravesite.
My most memorable visit was to the American Cemetery in St. Avold, France on Veteran’s Day 2000. As my family walked up the gravel drive to the entrance of the cemetery we were greeted by very elderly (80’s and 90’s) French citizens dressed in their Sunday best. Some had walkers, but those who could saluted us and thanked us, as American’s, for their freedom.
That image will stay with me until the day I die.
The St. Avold memorial contains the largest number of graves (10,489) of our WWII dead in Europe. Due to its vast size I concentrated my efforts on the graves of unknown soldiers and visiting the section of family members who are buried together. The most heartbreaking headstone was of five brothers from the same family.

There are hundreds of American military cemeteries all over the world and I invite you to seek them out. At the very least, when the national anthem is played, take that time to observe these men and women in a manner befitting their sacrifice.

This post is dedicated to the following men:

TSgt Jeff Armour, father of three, laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, father of five, laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Courtney Edward Weissmueller, father of three, listed as Missing in Action while serving in the Vietnam War. An "In Memory" stone resides in Arlington National Cemetery and his name can also be found on the Vietnam Memorial, aka "the wall".

Thank you and may you rest in peace.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Divine Dressing Tables

I have always loved the idea of dressing tables. I am sure this stems from my love of old movies from the 1930's in which Hollywood embraced the Deco period to its fullest and always seemed to feature at least one starlet preparing for a night on the town.

This dressing table lives in the home of Annie Brahler. I wish it lived in mine. Don't you just love the Victorian bustle effect of the skirt?

Photo: Country Living

This is a simple, yet stunning look of a combination dressing table and desk. While the desk and chair are different finishes, it works because of their cool palette.

Photo: Country Living

This vanity is fit for the eclectic world traveler. I see an Asian influence that marries well with a stool reminiscent of a Greek Klismos chair.

Photo: Domino

I love mirrored furniture and this table is no exception. Yet as mom of a sticky 6 year old I am destined to admire it from afar. The owner has made the vanity all their own by additions of tassels, jewelry and flowers.

Photo: Domino

For many people, lack of space is an ongoing issue. I like the idea of a dressing table set up in a closet. I only wish my closet was half this size. Does anyone else wonder what is in the stacks of orange Hermes boxes?

Photo: Domino

This is pure electric happiness. I imagine this individual as a young lady new to the city. She's perhaps on a budget given that a subway map is her choice of art, but it shows creativity. Isn't the yellow lucite chair fun?

Photo: Domino

This area has my daughter written all over it. It is a small space, but full of character. The fun accents such as the kitchy cat, a border of photographs and a fantastic stool, by the brilliant Eero Saarinen, enliven the space.

Photo: Domino
Another yummy mirrored table. The mirror above the vanity is just beautiful and the striped wall further creates a special focal point.

Photo: Domino

This dressing table is currently featured at the 2008 DC Design House. The entire room, created by Kelley Proxmire, is classic cool excellence. Perhaps when I par down my lipstick collection I too can create this look.

Saving my personal favorite for last, is Catherine Golden's vanity. She was selected as Domino's 2008 amateur design winner. The Hollywood Regency vanity is one we often see at estate sales. By painting it white with silver accents, Ms. Golden modernized its appearance. Well done!

If you are interested in creating your own vanity, here is a source that will allow you to customize it to your own decor.

Stop by on Monday for a Memorial Day give away. __________________________________________________________

Last week's quote:

"Ah! There's nothing like staying home for real comfort." ~Jane Austin