A Hat, an App and The Fab Four…

watercolours slimpaley.com

Newport RI. slimpaley.com

It’s Friday and

I’m in love…

with a new App that I must share, in case you haven’t discovered it yet.

 It takes your photos, like the one above

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and does this.

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Painted in Waterlogue slimpaley.com

and this. In like 10 seconds.

It’s called

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 Here’s the link;  WATERLOGUE

Amanwella, Sri Lanka slimpaley.com

The Amanwella hotel, Sri Lanka

Waterlogue slimpaley.com

The watercolour I did not paint when I was there.

The Ivy slimpaley.com

A very blurry and rushed iPhone photo

Painted in Waterlogue slimpaley.com

just became a little more interesting.

Here’s Waterlogue’s story;

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vintage ice machine slimpaley.com

Original iPhone photo

ice machine slimpaley.com Instagram

makes its way onto ‘Instagram’

Painted in Waterlogue Slimpaley.com

and then ‘Waterlogued’

I’ll admit it’s a bit of a cheat, and certainly doesn’t come close to a real hand-done watercolour (except, ya it does!) but it’s so much fun!

Perhaps it might even inspire one to really paint.

marble kitchen  counter slimpaley.com

Our kitchen counter

Painted in Waterlogue

becomes a sweet little vignette

slim palsy beach house

A bedroom at the beach house (photo via House Beautiful)
Painted in Waterlogue

Ta-fricking-da!

There are plenty of options to play with; depth of colours, brush strokes etc.

 for example,

Waterlogue info

but don’t let this scare you in any way- click 3 times Dorothy and bam, you’re an artist.

It’s THAT easy.

beach house slimpaley.com house beautiful

Another pic from the beach house (photo via House Beautiful)

Painted in Waterlogue

You can get as abstract as your little artistic heart desires

Waterlogues may be instantly emailed, tweeted, Tumblr-d, Instagramed, even sent as snail mail postcards directly from your account (for an additional $1.99)

The Front Porch, Sun Valley, slimpaley.com

  “The Front Porch” store in Sun Valley, Idaho

Painted in Waterlogue slimpaley.com

I really like this one, even if I do say so myself, but that’s part of the fun.  You never know how the pics will turn out. Some photos I think will be great don’t translate well and vice-versa. I’ve only just begun to play.

‘Waterlogue’ may very well have created their ultimate monster in me.

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Lastly, as my post title promised, a flashback…

Not sure how many of you caught the Grammy Awards last Sunday, but much ado was made of Pharrell’s choice of “chapeau”

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn ( except every possible chance I get :-) ) but the moment I spied that HAT I was transported right back to 1980′s London faster than you can say “Kajagoogoo”!

I couldn’t resist chiming in to the Twitter Universe immediately ( I believe I was the first to call it-cue horn) to inform all the haters that, in fact, Pharrell was sporting an uber cool vintage Vivienne Westwood/Malcom McLaren “Buffalo Girls” hat.

Yes, I’m that old and also apparently proud of it on occasion!

Pharrell's Vivienne Westwood hat

Pharrell's hat

These were early, East Coast feed tweets, People!!

BTW, Ronan never tweeted me back. Whatever…see if I watch his new show now.

Although I realise Malcolm McLaren & Vivs Westwood weren’t as well known Stateside, if you’re young and even vaguely interested or, um, perhaps just wish to ignite old memories too, you can click to view the original video HERE

As I hash-tagged in my tweet…nothing’s ever really new, just re-intrepeted.

Pharrell  Beatles special slimpaley.com

PS. Pharrell wore THE hat again the next night at the taping of ‘The Night That Changed America; A Grammy Salute to the The Beatles’  which I was most awesomely lucky enough to attend.

The Beatles 50th anniversary show , slimpaley.com

And what an brilliant show it was. I don’t want to spoil the surprises-just watch if you possibly can. It airs February 9th on CBS-50 years to the day The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

50 years.

George Harrison slimpaley.com

Have a FAB weekend and we’ll chat again…

in February!

xoxSP

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PS. I have no affiliation nor receive any free stuff from Waterlogue

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Happy Summer Solstice!

gingerbread cottage

Summer’s HERE!!

Even though I live in Southern California I still get so excited about its official arrival, don’t you?!

Would that it last as long as it did when we were children. An eternity, it seemed.

Growing up in Vancouver, where it stayed light until almost 10pm at night, we’d ride our bikes to the park to play softball, fluorescent ‘clackers’ spinning on tire spokes, streamers flying from our handle bars until the street lights signaled it was time to go home. Occasionally a friend would show up at our front door on a horse instead of a bike and we’d end up at ‘The Barn’ where I’d marvel (be jealous) at the girls who weren’t afraid of horses the way I was. I wanted my parents to have Avocado Green appliances more than I wanted a horse of my own. I think that was telling sign of what was coming down the pipeline, don’t you?!

 As we got older, we’d walk barefoot to the beach (OK, we often hitchhiked, swear to God, but never at night and never alone. What were we thinking?? It was a different world back then) our leather fringed purses (twice as big as our cut-offs) bulging with “Sun-In”, baby oil, cigarettes, Yardley “Pot-o-Gloss”, hairbrushes, Sweet Tarts and salted sunflower seeds. No sunscreen. No sunglasses. No phones or cameras.

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Like I said, a different world.

It was sweet.

Now that I’m a grown-up (most of the time) I no longer sit in the sun. I really miss it, as well as the tan, but I know it’s not worth it. I certainly don’t wear cut-offs the size of a hang-nail and pay a hell of a lot more  to colour my hair. Friends no longer show up at the door on horseback and I own my own car, so that takes care of the hitch-hiking issue.

But let’s not get all melancholy, there’s still plenty of fun to be had when summer arrives!

fdef4c7fb7a7b254ce428b28072f7ab9image via Pinterest

We’re so blessed here in Santa Barbara, with beautiful beaches and stunning mountains just a mile or so in from the water’s edge.

In less than 1/2 hour we can be over those mountains and into the wine regions of Los Olivos and Santa Ynez.

pink roses on my porch

Roses from my garden sit on the front porch.

My garden brings me pleasure I never would have predicted in my younger years. I wear a big hat, have my favourite wooden handled clippers… I’m half-way to wearing Liberty print gardening gloves truth be told.

My brother even bought me this so I could enjoy my evening glass of wine while I’m gardening (is this a brother gift, or what?!)

gardening glass with lid

In fact, I did a thorough walk around my property the other day and decided to buy myself another little gift to celebrate the first day of Summer;

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For the bigger jobs. and it’s cordless. So exciting! I really wanted the fluorescent green one (like my old clackers) but this one had the best rating.

Yes, times have changed.

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So what are your plans this summer?

ImageAre you looking forward to a long lazy one filled with languorous hours of reading?

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Will you stick close to home, do lots of grilling, making home made ice-creams, sorbets and popsicles with your kids?

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Mango Lassi Popsicle recipe

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Perhaps you’ll be boating like Kate? (you simply must have plenty of black & white in your summer wardrobe-but that’s another post!)

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Take a family holiday to Europe or go water-skiing on a chilly lake?

Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Beautiful Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Shasta trailerTake a road trip  (I saw this beauty in Los Olivos)

38325ab6556782aef43a2e84c94f3341Re-do a guest room in cool tones

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Update your draperies, white wash your kitchen (I’m thinking of it) or have some summer slip-covers made?

Slim Paley's car slipcoversPhoto of my car by David Tsay for House Beautiful

ha ha!  I still have the car, but I’m afraid the chintz slip covers, like my old cut-offs are way past their prime :-)

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 12.49.43 AMphoto Drew Jarrett via Elle Italia

Will you go biking, sailing, play tennis, swim your heart out, or run your first marathon

Or maybe just set a goal to read ten GREAT books?

that sounds wonderful to me!

tumblr_md1kj7Gn4s1rpx9bqo1_500And will you be looking for the “Super Moon” tonight?

(ps. I started this post on Friday night-Summer’s almost over for God’s sake)

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Me, at a friend’s home, taking a photo of a weird ring around the sun in Montecito

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See that’s the wonderful, fabulous, exciting thing about Summer

Your options are as numerous as the stars.

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*Wooden Popsicles by Johnny Hermann

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!

May it be long, fun and memorable in the best possible way.

xoxo

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“Johnny Hermann is the alter-ego of craftsman & designer Mauro Savoldi from Milan. He re-creates the vibrant, colorful magic of summer ices, recalling one of the sweetest and most nostalgic treasures of our past.”

FYI; The original “popsicle” was invented by an 11 year old boy in San Francisco in 1905.

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Constant Wickering

photophoto taken thru a gallery window on Bond St., London

It was gloriously hot in Santa Barbara yesterday and it appears we’ve broken through the “June Gloom” and woken to sunshine again this morning-Hurrah!

 Definitely time to start pulling out the summer slipcovers and accessories, storing winter’s garb and, yes, addressing the bathing suit drawer. Ugh. The horror. Forget that. Let’s go back to accessories.

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Something I spotted in a magazine recently reminded me of this great vintage wicker “picnic basket” bag I bought years ago. I can’t even remember where, that’s how long I’ve had it.

890A8612I love the way it hinges open, the tiny pearls, the hand painted variegated leaves and the rich golden hue of the old wicker.

227854062366869109_pb5vtvZc_fRaffia top hat, French, circa 1820

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Straw hats in the hall, Slim Paley

The growing collection of wicker and hats in my home is an ever changing tableau…just never the right one, and never where I left it!

Baseball hats (all 5,000 of them) are kept in a less visible area.

The tripod-y thing you see to the left in the wicker basket is a folding wicker seat with handles and a sharp metal end to stick in the grass.

IMG_5532May also be used to perch your Pimms in a pinch.

I believe they were made for cricket, or perhaps polo matches. Someone chime in if you know for sure, but let’s not wicker about it :-)

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 5.26.30 PMSo adorable

Can you believe I didn’t have any girls???

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Bridget Bardot

hm-summer-doutzen2Douzten Krouse.

Not sure if that’s how you spell her last name, but whatever…like she needs to care.

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It’s nice to gather hats for guests in a big wicker basket in your front hall for summer.

217087644508349302_Zt0gRw1T_fI think I used this image once before, but it bears repeating. So charming if not that easily accessible.

93309023500742051_QVYsV4Y4_fI like the random nature and hanging of this collection. One of the best things about wicker is that it is absolutely affordable for everyone.

You can make Pier One stuff look great with the right touch. If your wicker looks too new, set it outside for a few weeks-presto, instant old wicker.

_VIE0572.450x675At the other end of the spectrum, Dolce & Gabbana did some pretty artful things with wicker this season, including these madcap shoes

_VIE1110.450x675and wicker corset.

Talk about pride feeling no pain…

But really, who needs to sit down when you’ve invested this much into your look

_VIE1159.450x675I really loved the playfulness and Carmen Miranda vibe of this collection.

Wicker dress form, Slim Paley photoSnapped at the Marches aux Puces, Paris

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and don’t even get me started on how much I love these. They’re like Campaign furniture made into shoes.

So, basically, two of my favourite things.

Screen Shot 2012-05-22 at 2.28.04 PMphoto Cote Sud

and these. I’m fashion-dextrous don’t you know.

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Kate Spade proffered a wicker armadillo

Screen Shot 2012-04-20 at 7.37.07 PMRalph Lauren did a “Picnic basket-come-IT bag” last summer, but may I say that I like my vintage one much better

wicker wine carrying picnic basket, Slim PaleyYes, it’s lost a couple of pearls and a leaf or two but as it’s big enough to fit a bottle of wine, it could double as a picnic basket too!

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Of course

402it’s easy to pull just one piece of wicker into your abode for summer

224Or you could opt for a total blast of it

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.17.10 PMlike Anoushka Hempel did on her boat.  SO “Indochine”.  In fact, time to watch that movie again. by myself. The menfolk not at gunpoint.

403-1How pretty are the shadows cast by the “roof” in this room?

700_moon-lamp-one-jpeg“Jellyfish” wicker fixture. Sorry, lost the credit :-(

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 10.59.01 PMVintage fishing baskets repurposed as outdoor lights, Vogue.

amazing mid-century wicker chair, Paris, Slim PaleyIf I’d had the focus, time and the energy to organise a container at the Marches aux Puces in Paris last summer…

Oh, the damage I could have wrought. I mean how cool is this chair?!

L1140363And this turn of the century, pristine wicker conservatory seating? Also at the Marches aux Puces

Hotel Costes, ParisI fear we just spent too many evenings keeping the wicker chairs at Hotel Costes warm.

That’s some good people watching there.

Drum table Pottery Barn, Slim Paley photoI did manage to ship a couple of Toureg “wicker” rugs home from Marrakech though.

More on those when the room is finished. Metal drum table from Pottery Barn.

loquats, Slim Paley

And gathered a beautiful big ole wicker basket of loquats from my tree to make…jam? jelly? puree? The loquat remains an enigma. I washed them to make a puree and they started turning brown and rotten as fast as a peeled banana.

So, how about you? Do you have any great summer wicker design tips to share?

I’d love to hear.

xxSP

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Header photo from Dedon Outdoor Furniture

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#1 Address in the Indian Ocean

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With only one or two days left in January I’ve just realised it’s been a year since my  Sri Lankan sojourn and I never did get around to writing the posts I promised about all the incredible places and things we experienced there.

Perhaps a teeny, weeny part of my resistance was self-serving-I don’t want toooo many people going there-just you guys :)

(Oh oh. Was I being a Holiday Destination Hoarder?!)

img-index Taprobane.com

But I think the main reason was I’m just so damn in love with the place that I wanted every post to be perfect.

Then I remembered my old resolution that “DONE is a whole lot better than perfect” (Was that it?? Something to that effect anyway)

So, with no further time to waste, let’s take a quick visit back to Taprobane Island.

L1090993Located in the Indian Ocean, just a stone’s throw off the southern tip of Sri Lanka in Weligama Bay.

Sri Lanka - from Galle Fort to 30km south.The famous stick fishermen of Weligama Bay

L1080726and yours truly, also in Weligama, waaay too many years ago to admit to.

Taprobane Island mimics the shape of Sri Lanka but measures a mere 2 1/2 acres. It was built in 1922 by the Count de Maunay-Talvande who grandly presided over this last, tiny tear-drop of land before the South Pole, for almost 30 years. After Maunay’s death in the late 40′s, the house fell into a state of neglect until the American writer Paul Bowles came upon it. It was love at first sight and it was here that he wrote “The Spider House”.

In reading a biography about Bowles and his wife Jane several years ago I learned that as enchanted as he was with his tiny slice of Sri Lankan heaven, Jane simply abhorred it. She was a woman blessed with neither good health nor disposition at this stage of her life and deeply feared the swarms of huge bats that routinely descended upon the island each dusk. While Paul enjoyed the peace and inspiration Taprobane offered him, Jane would be plotting her escapes.

Not to mention her girlfriend was back in Morocco waiting for her, but that’s another story.

jane-y-paul-bowlesI want to go back to Morocco now

L1090994The octagonal open air design allows the tropical breezes to flow through the house. The black doors you see flanking the terrace lead to bedrooms

L1100013This was Paul Bowle’s bedroom. Much of the original furnishings and paintings are still there. Don’t you just love the doors?!

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 8.40.00 AMMoi, in one of the other bedrooms enjoying a dreamy, sultry breeze on a very hot & humid day.

L1100017One of the things we loved about much of the architecture we encountered in Sri Lanka were the wonderful ways in which seating areas are incorporated into walls and floors.

L1100030Like this.

Note the gorgeous patina on the cool, smooth concrete floors- something we also saw a lot of and such a great choice in a hot climate.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 8.36.34 AMTaking late afternoon tea at Taprobane.Uh… no bats ’til dusk right???

(ps. I told you it was humid!)

L1100015The steps leading down to the ocean where the house staff told us the present owner and his mother had been swimming when the Tsunami struck.

Miraculously, they both survived but much of the lower part of the house was damaged and the swimming pool was completely swept away.

L1100018A new infinity pool has been built in a higher location on the property. Here you can see how close the beach of Weligama is to the island.

L1100044The tropical gardens surrounding the house are brimming with eye-popping bouganvilla

Yes, I did post this pic of us leaving the island last year…

L1000537Remember that the tide does rise in the afternoon in Weligama Bay!

For More information about  Taprobane read HERE

L1100012A photo hanging in the house.

(Please note, we did not stay on the island, we just visited and took tea and the tour one unforgettable afternoon)

Happy Travels!

xx

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WAIT!

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Vignette in Ralph Lauren, NYC by Slim Paley

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Hold on!

It simply can’t be Labour Day Weekend yet!

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To accompany your stroll

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Slim Paley photo

Poolside at The Coral Casino, Montecito, California.

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The weather in Santa Barbara is so GORGEOUS right now.

Hot.

Blue skies.

Nary a breeze.

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Eat your heart out down there in the S. of F. :)

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Fernanda Cameron for SIS magazine

Iriving & Fine top

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 I’ve hardly been to the beach

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There are still so many summer books to read (like, ALL of them :( )

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So many blue & white stripes yet to wear…

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Armani 2012

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Salvatore Ferragamo resort 2012

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Armani 2012

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photos to take…

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Footwear to consider…

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Accessories to splurge on

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Blue Rope Chairs from the “Melt Down” Series by Tom Price, U.K.  VIA

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Jean Paul Gaultier

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Slim Paley photo

and rooms to “phooff” up…

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Raoul Textiles

Slim Paley

The “Raoul Textiles” shop, Santa Barbara, CA

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Not to mention all the summer cocktails I was going to concoct…

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I’m just not READY.

I’m going to be like the party guest that won’t leave,

still banging on about summer & watermelons while every one else has moved on to pumpkins & cashmere

But isn’t that the beauty of writing my very own blog?

NO BOSS :)

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Cheers & Have a fabulous Holiday Weekend!

xoxo

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