Ode to Crazy Glue (Part One)

Quite a few posts ago, I wrote about how my house was starting to look like a storage warehouse.  I happened to take this photo of our large collection of a particular brand of china that we collect.

100_8969This is the very first piece of the collection that was given to me by my grandmother. It is a hand painted  cup and saucer.$(KGrHqJ,!hIFCv!2uSeWBQ0eBSn45w~~60_12 $(KGrHqZHJCYE8flq+WNsBPOGVTBUGg~~60_12

One piece turned into two, then three and four, and as most collectors can say, “you know the rest of the story.”

Over the years, we have added many pieces to our collection. Some of our sources have included antique shows, auctions, and Ebay. As a surprise, a friend of mine even brought back a piece from her vacation in London, as she knew what I liked.

Recently, we saw a piece on Ebay that we knew was an important piece, but did have damage to it. We decide to buy it and paid $75.00.

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You can imagine my happiness when we saw these a week later listed for $7000.00 for the pair!

170982919246_1_0_1The ad says they are in pristine condition but have been repaired. In my opinion, “pristine” and “repaired” do not belong in the same sentence. The item is either new and in “mint condition”, or it is repaired. Very simple, no?

So this is what arrived…DSC00306DSC00309The seller didn’t think to use something a little more than newspaper to pack and ship. I was upset, but I loved the piece so much I decided to keep it. The breaks were clean and I knew I could redo the pieces that were originally broken.

Enter the bag of tricks!

Crazy Glue, self hardening clay and sculpting tools.

DSC00307First, the easy part….DSC00308Attach the head…DSC00310Next , was an arm…

DSC00312went on perfectly!

DSC00313After attaching everything I salvaged from the packing, this is all I was left with…DSC00318These pieces were not worth keeping because I am going to fill in those places with the clay. Finding the photo of the $7000.00 piece was great because it shows me what the missing pieces should look like once I sculpt them. That will be Part Two of my restoration post. I am hoping to begin this week and I am anxious to see the finished product. Stay tuned!!!!

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PINK!!!

Today, I had a revelation. I realized I really love the color pink. I have always LIKED  it, but now I LOVE it. I mean really LOVE!!  In fact, I even realized in my last entry – I must really love pink because I have just stayed in a pink hotel!

a1f50243a9fc42cecd314c84204e3308Even as I walked around my house today, I realized how many pink possessions I actually have.

My slippers are pink.

DSC00288I recently bought this painting of pink flowers at an auction

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In my handbag is a pink notebook, camera cover and change purse.

DSC00287My favorite scarves are pink.

DSC00290My polo shirts for the barn are pink.

DSC00289A few of my favorite antique pieces are pink.

DSC00291Lipsticks galore, jewelery, accessories…all pink!

DSC00292Even an old Barbie that sits on a shelf is rockin’ some knee high pink boots.

DSC00293I then realized when I turned on my laptop and looked at my Pinterest account…

What’s the only color you see?

37f743c75fa7b780e91d732112b180bfWhat about this room?

a2e98eb7eec98ffef39570dfec1adc64What about this gorgeous wallpaper vignette?

e006764ecf09922d786e988f98318af8Are you seeing a pattern here? I am….

Recently,  I joined an interactive website for Designers and this is the first room I managed to create

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So without trying to analyze this too much, I just did some reflecting and figured out the following;

DSC00286In January, 1987 I gave birth to my first child, a boy. Five years later, I gave birth to my daughter. As a working designer, I immediately had visions of the most incredibly feminine, ruffled, sweet and pretty PINK room for this precious little girl to grow up in. I purchased yards of every pattern of Laura Ashley fabric that I could find in pink. I could envision the patchwork quilt, drapery to match, wallpaper, pillows;  EVERYTHING would be drenched in pink flowers.

laura-ashleyLittle did I know that by the time I got around to finally making all these things, that my little girl was able to speak and express her hatred of all things pink. I believe her words were “It’s not cool”. She ended up with tie dye, batik, four different color walls and hanging beads instead of a door. So much for that idea!

So here I am, 21 years later and still craving an all pink room. Fortunately, we are in the process of building a new smaller home and instead of having two guestrooms, I decided I needed an office all to myself. The planning started from day one.

Remember this?

DSC00091I got out the gilding and new fabric and now I have this…

DSC00294And certainly you must remember this?

021Once again, gilding and new fabric….DSC00301I LOVE IT!!!!!

I just wish construction on the house was this fun. To keep me motivated, in spite of all the aggravation, frustration, and delays, I put a pretend office together. I am so happy with the result!!

DSC00298So far, it has been almost two years since the house project started. I know that we will finish, as hard as it is to stay positive. But one thing is for sure….. Someday soon, I will be writing my blog surrounded by pink and enjoying every minute of it!

LIFE IS GOOD!

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Design Boca Style- Addison Mizner

f8f2865023f7a10f00e70a714600ebe7Addison Mizner (1872-1933) was a self taught architect who is most famous for the Spanish Colonial Revival Style structures of Palm Beach and Boca Raton Florida. He also had a love of monkeys which he liked to incorporate into his designs. Statuary, wrought iron, and plaster monkeys are found everywhere in the detailing of his creations. Boca_Monkey_Bar 002481_IMG_4614I have just returned from the Boca Raton Resort, which is a legendary hotel designed by Mr. Mizner and was opened to the public in 1926. (My apologies to all my Northeastern friends who had to endure the storm. Think of it as me being on assignment to bring you some entertainment?)  Below is the original Guest Registry which is displayed in the lobby of the hotel.

DSC00261The resort is very typical of the Spanish style; stucco in a fun shade of pink, red tile roofing, wrought iron rails and balconies, and some of the most elaborate stone and plaster work you will ever see. The entry gate is a very small version of what to expect visually.DSC00225The back of the entry has a full size tile mosaic.

DSC00228And then there is the resort in it’s full pink glory.

DSC00227The detailing becomes more evident once you approach the entry.

DSC00234Halls of arches..f0036d12fd70b38dc1bb3ad203056ad3Wrought iron chandeliers…DSC00217Custom doors with hand forged iron strap hinges and “speakeasys”….

DSC00229DSC00218Hand hewn beams and carved corbels are everywhere.

DSC00235Entering into the lobby, the custom hand sculpted plaster work is the main attraction. (Note: the sculpture to the left is by the well know artist Fernando Botero)DSC00238 The entire lobby is almost completely covered in the most intricately designed plaster relief I have ever seen. Look up to the ceiling for this..

DSC00240One of the many details of the walls…DSC00242A closeup of a corbel at the top of a column..

DSC00241stairways, windows and rails… Notice the sculpture on the newel post at the base of the stairway.

DSC00245A Coat of arms..

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And of course, I couldn’t resist the knight on his horse!

DSC00246The Resort also serves as a catering facility and conference center. There are many rooms with different themes to accommodate large parties, but they are not off limits to guests. My favorite is the Palm Court. It is a very large room in the style of a conservatory with a beautifully designed configuration of steel beams and glass. The beams take on the shape of the palm trees that open to the sky.

DSC00265Next to this room is a bar that is the complete opposite in feeling. It is dark with beautiful woodwork and a very large fireplace. Unfortunately it is no longer used.DSC00266The most interesting part of the bar is the arched doorways. Around the arches are recessed nooks that have been filled with wine bottles. The bottles are lit from behind, forming a glowing rainbow on all four walls. I love this detail!

DSC00267The room called “The Family Room”  houses a lot of comfortable seating and large screen televisions. In true Mizner style, large iron chandeliers, plaster work and even a fountain can be found.

DSC00271The ceiling and truss system in this room are a great example of engineering genius.

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Even the ladies room is worth a look. Before entering into the actual stall area, is a lounge that has all the great detail of the rest of the resort. Custom wood paneling, Venetian plaster walls, marble floors and sinks, and upholstered seating allow you to go in and sit and relax or freshen up in complete privacy.DSC00257The ceilings are especially interesting. Throughout the resort, “pecky cypress” is used on a lot of the ceilings. It is very similar to wormword  in that it has a lot of distressing, variation in color, and lots of holes. This is a detail from the ladies lounge.

DSC00258Outside of the lounge is a very pretty iron chandelier in front of a balcony.

DSC00252Again, notice the ceiling and especially the hand carved and painted detailing under the balcony.

DSC00255Many pieces are original hand made antiques such as this bench.

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Next to the resort is what is called “The Mizner Center” which is where all the conference and banquet halls are. This part of the resort is done on a much larger scale because of all the people that can be accommodated. Still, no detail is left undone, it is just presented in a grander way.

67ba38be8b4a7a98836a212d5ce7dfd5Intricate tapestries, antique furnishes and custom carpets all reflect the Spanish style.

DSC00281DSC00277DSC00284Step outside to a connecting courtyard and be taken back in time to Old World Spain with the weathered marble tiles, fountains and wrought iron details.

DSC00273DSC00272DSC00275Detail of an outdoor tile bench

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Of course a good resort has to have a Spa and I was definitely not disappointed! Breathtaking is how I would describe the facility. Of course the detailing was some of the most intricately done, with so much use of tile and the sound of water in the background. I think the soaking tub is something that should be mandatory in every household!

0ddf11d612178b6e779950834087bacbStep outside the doors of the spa, and find another inviting pool.

a1f50243a9fc42cecd314c84204e3308Needless to say, four days here was not enough, especially knowing what I was going home to, but it was so nice to have the opportunity!  I am now home, looking at the snow through the window as I write. As beautiful and magical as it all was I still agree with Dorothy…”there’s no place like home”!

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Timeless Design; RALPH LAUREN

7bae3ad9ca1a0244f259e4cb7667a422In my opinion, Ralph Lauren is a genius. He has created an enduring fashion empire, a home products and accessories line, a major lifestyle brand, has a vintage car collection that has been showcased in his ads and major museums, and  is generously philanthropic. (One of his main charities is the “Pink Pony” collection which benefits cancer research.)  He also manufactures the only perfume that I can stand to use every day.

70827cf0fc723b04772e001094d088a9But the one thing that makes his entire product line so enticing is his use of Equestrian themes and the whole lifestyle that is shared by horse lovers world wide.33be5ffe74763c6de8db266f248ab80aHis clothing is made for riding.

82d16a691f23ec38bea58a1e559ee661And some is pure fantasy.

e418c035e3bbd99c2fd9ecc73f709e84His rooms have always been done with fine antiques, deep gem colors, rich textures of velvets and linens and always a sporting touch.

16ed4505a02bfc6d967ee624639cc2e75b80edc9e9da7840f798272f7e9b45f1094ac744cb19068cfe187ecb0085cd41

I’ve always imagined myself after a beautiful day of riding outdoors, arriving at my English country estate and being served a fine gourmet dinner.

3535335c0de00491bcab1391f3ea1991Maybe some billiards afterwards?

113187d37cf646e75a186c7c0020da6bThen retiring to my master suite for a good night’s sleep.

89958ee59f47649794262507ddf20f4eLast year, Ralph Lauren debuted a new collection called “Aspen Lodge”. It is a big departure from the traditional and formal look he has presented for so many years. The new look is all about relaxed fabrics, neutral colors, reclaimed woods and unfussy details.

bd5969257209c4423a3c19c2c247dc73Think “Log Cabin Chic” meets “Urban Cowboy”. b27e1297e2f2de691abb912ae434d9faStill just as beautiful and timeless as the older collections! The furniture has an aged look that feels like the pieces have been passed down through the generations.

49d00d794da55a5f1341bace62ab1751Reclaimed wood pieces have the look of priceless antiques with the benefit of modern craftsmanship.aff9e919b51a488ba5df0260dc91f3c3b99563550061e2c859d9460b75874563And of course this is a particular favorite of mine- an aged reproduction wood and gilded framed mirror….. SO ME!!!

295e64c4cba838da6ef48c45c23aa789If you didn’t already know, in true form to his brand “Polo”, Ralph Lauren actually sponsors a real Polo Team named “BlackWatch”.  The captain, and most famous member of the team is Nacho Figueras.

Nacho also happens to be the official face for Ralph Lauren’s men’s line and travels the world riding in polo matches to raise money for many charities while also promoting all things Ralph.

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30456_130764630289556_2189655_nFor the 2012 Olympics in London, Ralph Lauren was also given the honor of designing the official team uniform for the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

50a864e36561dcad2d790c9abf1c2ce8Although the uniforms met some criticism and controversy, Team USA proudly wore them as they entered the arena. Included in that crowd was my very dear friend, Donna Ponessa. Donna was representing our country by earning one of four spots on the United States Para Equestrian Dressage Team. Here she is as the ultimate Ralph Lauren Model and ultimate Role Model!

301113_3447689001013_1776302323_nThank you, Ralph Lauren for your inspiration and generosity. Especially from those of us in the Equestrian community.

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