Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sapphire in Mustique

Teak housefronts from the Javanese village of Kudus were used to create the facade for the kitchen area.

On his 66th birthday in January, David Bowie emerged from a decade long recording silence with the release of a new single {Where Are We Now}. Bowie's 30th album {The Next Day} which released this month, was recorded in complete secrecy over a two year period with the collaborative efforts of long-time producer Tony Visconti.

When you are a rock legend and you need to rejuvenate your creative juices, the hide away has to be as an oasis of tranquility. For Bowie and wife Iman, the island of Mustique offers the seclusion and beauty they required.  Here is a brief look at the 'Sapphire in Mustique', as Bowie himself referred to the Indonesian styled home.

The guest pavilion was constructed in Bali by designer Michael White and was reconstructed on site. The octagon shaped pavilion is made with palm tree trunks and features an ornamental bamboo ceiling. The 19th century planters chairs offer a relaxing place to sit and drink in the view.

The teak dining pavilion is free-standing and features an English glass lantern - circa 1825. The carved balustrade depicts the Naga, the symbol of immortality.

The formal 'British retreat in the tropics' style evokes a calming elegance. Antique beveled glass was used to create the interior window shutters. The crystal oil chandelier that hangs center point in the room is circa 1850 and was a find in London.

Floors in the guest room feature South American greenheart to deter from termites. Bedding and mosquito netting was silk screened with a palm pattern bringing the subtle wisp of nature to the crisp white cotton.

Two tranquil koi pools spill towards the edge of the swimming pool giving the illusion that they flow into the pool and then the sea.

The 19th century teak carved wall that sits adjacent to the stone entrance gives visitors a glimpse of the beauty that is beyond the welcome mat.

images : Derry Moore for AD

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You say goodbye, I say HELLO

It's time to say goodbye ............enough........ no more. 
 'Old man winter, it's time for you to retire'

We are moving out of the house of Old Man Winter.........

My Psychic friend tells me not to ask the universe 'what else can go wrong', or 'how much more winter {or whatever} can we possibly stand'. Apparently the universe answers by showing us that we can take more. Hmmm. 
By the volume of snow we have received this season, it hasn't been a favourable answer. 
So it's time to speak your mind and put your requests up on the table.

I think I'll join in the chorus of the chirpy little song that my Granddaughter sings;

'Mr. Sun, Mr. Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.' 

Welcome Spring

come on in................ stay for awhile.

With spring on the horizon, what is the number one thing you are looking forward to doing?


Friday, March 15, 2013

Angelic Cloud

A beautiful cloud that formed into the image of an Angel in the Southern Florida sky was captured by many photographers. There is no doubt that anyone seeing the cloud at sunset on Wednesday would say it held a special meaning. Was it coincidence or apparition that the fluffy pink hued Angel would appear the same day that the new Pope, Pope Francis, was announced.

It is just too pretty and special not to share.


brandon stockwell

Give a girl a break

I've resisted writing about this subject for a few days, really I have. But since the latest scientific report from Duke University was released indicating that women are more grumpy in the morning than men ............ well, all I can say is hrumph !

Oh Holly Golightly, I can relate to your pain.

Let me start by saying loud and proud that I am not a morning person {Richard's is reading this saying 'whew, that's for sure}. I don't apologize for that, any more than I would expect Richard to apologize for the fact that he is not a night owl. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, sleep deprivation can make you grumpy.

But I am a night owl. So that means while my partner is wandering towards the bedroom in a trance like state, I am settling in on a project that didn't get my attention during the day, or have some quiet time to myself.
I fall asleep easily, but have trouble staying asleep after a few hours and I've learned that going to bed too early means I'll lay awake for most of the night.

 All the coffee beans in Columbia won't make me a morning person!

via getty images
Some of the factors that contribute to sleep deprivation in women are obvious:

Hormonal - the life long cycle of hormone issues that plagues women's physical and physiological well being. {and this could be an entirely different blog post - but gentlemen, unless you are a Doctor do not ever utter the phrase PMS - ever!}.

Responsibility overload - life can be too much for women who have full-time employment outside of the home, take care of a home and are generally the primary caregiver of children and for some, the needs of family elders. For women who stay at home taking care of children, family and home, the demands are just as great and compounded by the pressure to work outside of the home.
Motherhood - add to the stress of the day from working outside of the home or from caring for a children all day long, there are nights tending to a child's needs or illness. Sleepless nights walking the floor watching the clock.
It is important to note that while men fill the role of caregiver for their children and homes as well, the bulk of responsibility is traditionally fulfilled by women. We tend to try and squeeze just one more thing into the day from the to-do-list even if it means we reduce our amount of sleep.

Sleep disturbances - whether you sleep alone or with a partner, noise, light, air, and temperature all play a factor in the quality of your sleep.

If I've had a bad night of not sleeping Richard will always ask me 'was I snoring?' {sorry Honey for revealing that - but really very sweet that you take on the responsibility for my lack of sleep so willingly}. The truth is it doesn't really matter if he snores or not ........... I'm most likely not sleeping anyway.

If people were meant to pop out of bed, we would sleep in a toaster.

Behind all of the she-versus-he kind of chattering that the media has embraced regarding the study, there are health issues with serious consequences. The headline 'women wake up grumpier' certainly got the attention of men and fire under women. But the point that Duke University scientist make is that there are serious health concerns and risks for women related to the lack of sleep.

via :

Scientists have discovered that women suffer both physically and mentally if they do not receive enough sleep.  As a matter of fact, 'women need 20 minutes more sleep per day than men require. That is because of the female multi-tasking brain'; according to one of Britain's leading authorities on sleep.

In another study Professor Jim Horne, Director of the Sleep Research Centre in Loughborough University in England, remarks that 'one of the major functions of sleep is allow the brain to recover and repair itself'.

             'During deep sleep, the cortex - the part of the brain responsible for thought,  memory, language and so on - disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode. The more of your brain you use during the day, the more of it that needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need.'
           'Women tend to multi-task - they do lots at once and are flexible - and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.'
           'A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male - though probably still not as much as a woman'.

via bhg

According to Duke University Dr. Michael Breus; 
                'Women suffer more than men, both mentally and physically, if they are forced to skimp on their sleep'.
                'Women are at higher risk heart disease, depression and psychological problems, sleep-deprived women have extra clotting factors in their blood, which can lead to stroke. They also have higher inflammation markers, which indicate developing health problems. As inflammation markers are also linked to pain, women can literally be in more pain when they wake up.'

Women with sleep deprivation are at a higher cardiovascular risk. Emerging evidence also suggests a potential role for sleep deprivation as a predictor or risk factor for conditions like obesity and diabetes {per}.

So when life's demands take over and you are feeling sleep deprived, what is a grumpy girl to do?  According to the experts ................

Maintain a regular sleep and wake time.
Exercise regularly, but avoid exercising three hours before bedtime.
Do not eat two to three hours before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine and chocolate six to eight hours before bedtime
Restrict fluids, especially alcohol, close to bedtime
Spend 30 minutes before bedtime to turn off the TV and computer.
Instead take a warm bubble bath or snuggle down with a book.
Take a short nap during the day.

My sleep deprived self is guilty not doing any of this! 

Sleeping ..... like a baby.      {my Granddaughter}

It is much more than waking up feeling groggy or grumpy, it is about your good health.

                                        Are you a night owl or a morning person?  
                                                   What is your sleep routine?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Parisian Design

Paris.... oh, she is lovely at every glance. 

Designer Jean-Paul Beaujard brings the graceful qualities and romantic inspiration of Paris into his penthouse apartment located in the seventh arrondissement. Although images of this luxurious apartment was first shared via Architectural Digest back in 2006, the elegance and simple beauty is worth revisiting.

The daybed is Jansen, while the rug and chandelier are vintage pieces from the 1950's.  Beaujard, who is both an antiques dealer and a designer, draws inspiration from the romance of the pieces surrounding him.

The upper level balcony overlooks the living space {in the first image} and takes full advantage of the 25-foot high ceilings, not to mention the top floor view of Paris from this 1910 circa building. I love the herringbone wood floors and detailed iron railing.

The bedroom {and main living area} doors open to a terrace offering the perfect view of Paris. Can you imagine having breakfast on the terrace outside of your bedroom or catching a glimpse of the twinkling lights at night. Beaujard captured the beauty of the blue sky with the colours used in the room, while the reflection in the mirror doors brings the beauty of Paris inside. The well thought out combination is sure to aid in the sweetest of dreams.

* images via AD

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Old World Charm

Five year old Athena faces the camera with the look of authority and wisdom. As she posses for her photographer father, Bill Gekas, the words 'say cheese' never enter the equation.
Bill, a multi award winning photographer from Melbourne, churns a unique old world charm quality to the images he creates. Sweet faced Athena has the perfect heart shaped lips and round eyes that draw you in for the journey back in time.

Click on the tag under each image : Bill Gekas to be directed to the photographers website and see more beautiful works of creative art.

image : Bill Gekas

“It's not about imitating any of the known past works, but more about re-creating the atmosphere the old masters' works were known for,” said Bill. {source}

image : Bill Gekas

The kindergarten age subject is patient when her father aims the camera towards her pretty face. Bill and his wife set up to take pictures of Athena about every two weeks. Dad says the trick is to work quickly to complete the entire photo shoot in approximately ten minutes.... just the right amount of time for a five year old to stay interested. 

image : Bill Gekas

image : Bill Gekas

These are not your average 'sit-still-for-daddy-and-look-over-here' images. The creative idea's, planning and lighting techniques develop a successful combination that brings an aura of the Old Masters to each image. 

image : Bill Gekas

Athena by Bill Gekas

Turning the camera on Dad.  image: Bill Gekas

To visit the website and gallery of photographer Bill Gekas, visit HERE.  For Bill's blog with features on photography tips and suggestions visit HERE.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Movie House

The lake house featured in The Big Wedding

While at the theatre recently, we watched the trailer for the upcoming film The Big Wedding. The light comedy directed by Justin Zackham the cast includes Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, and Topher Grace ........ and many more.
The thing that captured my attention when I watched the trailer was the house. Yes - the lake house in the picture above. During the quick two-and-a-half minute trailer you are teased by the opportunity to wander through the house as the film plays out.

There are a bevy of movies that have captured our attention with soft comedic content that were filmed in a truly dreamy house.

Something's Gotta Give - this is likely the most popular movie set house. The transom windows at each archway, the creamy white and pale blue palette, white kitchen cabinets with dark soapstone counter tops {they were painted to look like soapstone} and dark wood floors bring a tranquility to an already great design. This look was not a trend in 2003 when the movie was released, but it has developed into a favoured look since then and continues to be a welcome combination in current  palette choices for many homes.

Living room on movie set Something's Gotta Give.

kitchen - Something's Gotta Give

The kitchen in the movie It's Complicated makes me want to run out and take chef lessons just to be able to play there. The kitchen is simple with open shelves, various carts serving as additional counter/storage space and an open island topped with light toned marble. Maybe it is the simplicity of the kitchen that draws us in. Then again Meryl's character Jane baked and cooked throughout the entire movie, to the point that you could almost smell the pie baking. The whole house had a welcoming feel to it.

There is nothing complicated about this great little kitchen. From the movie It's Complicated.

The view from the casual dining area into the open kitchen - It's Complicated. image: hookedonhouses

The Spanish style bungalow features plaster curved archways giving the house a soft look. image: hookedonhouses

The main character Jane has her own bakery and like the house, it is a dreamy design.

OK, so back to the soon to be released film The Big Wedding............

It's images like these in the movie trailer that make it droll worthy. The long windows feature transom style tops in the main room and kitchen. Notice the lines on the veranda railing - same lines of the windows. The built-in cabinets pop with a subtle shade of Tiffany blue painted in the back.

Ellie {Diane Keaton} arrives at the lake house of her ex-husband.

Typical of most family gatherings the central point is the kitchen. The classic white cabinets with glass fronts, soapstone counters on the mains and wood counter top on the island give a classic welcoming feel.

Katherine Heigl and Robert De Niro  play Daughter and Father in the movie.

Pre-wedding luncheons and family discussions happen on the romantic veranda. I'm hoping that they have utilized the veranda and show scene's there in the evening.

Glimpses of the surrounding lake and gardens tease throughout the movie trailer. The property for the movie was reportedly in the Greenwich, Connecticut area; which a romantic and pretty spot.

A glimpse of the lush gardens in the background.

The film's light comedy offers a glimpse at the chaos that happens when families and ex's get together for a happy event........ like a wedding. If your going to experience a bit of drama and wedding jitters, I can't think of a prettier setting than this one.

The Big Wedding - in theatres April 26th.

Curves worth repeating

Celine Boston Bag

I'm loving the sexy curvy lines of these handbags. Different labels but all in the same pretty outline.
Colourful handbags are great for every season and I'm starting to think spring. 

Christian Louboutin

Valentino in red

Reed Krakoff

Marc by Marc Jacobs
Celine print

Jill Sander in vivid green

Valentino in butter {same sexy lines with long slim handles}

Celine in classic black

Do you wear classic white or cream for summer, or do you wear a handbag with colour? Tell me about your favourite bag.