The Blood Moon

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Wait!

Don’t go to bed yet-please read this quick post first!

I was hoping to get it up earlier, but you know how that goes.

Hopefully you peeps on the East Coast haven’t called it a night yet…

Here’s the deal; set your alarm for 3:oo am (EST) this morning if you’d like to witness the “Blood Moon” that’s going to occur.

They say North America will have a front row seat so time your alarms accordingly.

“The phenomenon in which the moon is completely covered by the earth’s umbral shadow for four eclipses in a row, as opposed to only partial eclipses that fall in the outer penumbra. But rather than succumbing to complete darkness, the moon will glow red as it receives the refracted light that spills over the Earth’s circumference.” (NBC news)

I do believe I witnessed a “Blood Moon” a couple of years ago in Sun Valley, where one can view celestial  shenanigans like nobody’s business. The night skies of Idaho are a stargazer’s dream.

 Actually, Santa Barbara is not too shabby in that department either, especially here in Montecito where there are no street lights and night landscape lighting is frowned upon. :-(

Video explaining the “Blood Moon”

(or a “Tetrad” as those of us in the ‘lunar know’ , er, know)

red moon , slimpaley.com

This is the one I saw in Sun Valley. Not a great shot as I took it with my very old iPhone but you get the idea. It was so cool! I kept trying to get everyone to come out and look at it, but no one was biting. I think there was a good movie on or perhaps a heated ping-pong game.

Plus I had to run back in before I got eaten by a bear.

blood orange  slimpaley.com

Speaking of eating…(how’s that for a segue?) it’s also Blood Orange Season.

blood orange tree , slimpaley.com

Our trees are producing abundantly this year so we’ve been getting pretty creative with these babies.

blood oranges slimpaley.com

Fresh Blood Orange juice by itself, though gorgeous to look at, is much too tart for my liking.

It’s better mixed with regular orange juice or another fruit juice that will give it some natural sweetness. Or vodka.

Or gin.

Tequila in a pinch.

blood orange water  slimpaley.com

I’ve also been squeezing the juice of just one or two blood oranges into my carafe of water every day. It makes me feel like I’m at a spa. I add a splash of Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic Water-it’s delicious and makes the water swirl like antique glass.

blood oranges slimpaley.com

 

dried blood orange slices slimpaley.com

 I think I mentioned slicing and drying the blood oranges in the dehydrater relatively recently…or was that on Instagram? Do you follow me on Instagram?? It’s fun!

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They’re quite good and no doubt super good for you, but now we’ve discovered that they’re even waaaay better with the rinds cut off. Just little sweet & sour explosions of chewy flavour.

dried blood oranges, slimpaley.com

Eat your heart out Dale Chihuly!!

Chihuly-10 Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

dried sliced blood orange slimpaley.com

 Don’t look at my manicure

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Tomorrow night we are trying this recipe- I’ll let you know!

And this link will take you to many other fun ideas;

blood orange recipes

Bubbly Ginger Blood Orange Smoothie (recipe below)

20 Brightly Hued Ways to Eat Blood Oranges

blood orange tree  slimpaley.com

Happy Lunar gazing

xxSP

Post Script; later on tonight…

Blood Moon April 2014

It was very cool indeed!

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Black & Yellow

 

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 I can’t even…it’s April 10th already!

Who do I see about slowing things down a bit around here?! How come school never went this fast?

Occasionally I lose consistency with posting and lately has been one of those times

(uh d’yuh think?!)

It doesn’t mean we’re breaking up or I’m seeing other blogs, just that I’ve lost my gossamer thread of thought or inspiration or, more likely, real life got in the way.

Eventually I find my way back.

tumblr_ms2zvrLiCA1suw27to1_500via Pinterest

So here I am, taking a break from travel posts just for a moment to consider the colours Yellow & Black.

Not the most popular or likely colour combination to be sure, right?

 Or so I thought…

Golden Mustard roses slimpaley.com

 Though I’m a fan of warm golds and even yellow verging on mustard in interiors, yellow in brighter hues is not the crayon I gravitate to. I make the exception for flowers, and even then it has to be just the right yellow, like these beautiful “Golden Mustard” roses from my garden. Turning to a caramel colour in their denouement makes them just about the chicest, most interesting rose around, but I don’t wish to get off track here…

b8f1c5cea800e17a1f27a4389201ff5aAlthough these two photos are examples of yellows in super warm, almost gold tones, make no mistake, black & yellow in all hues is having a moment.

The Dutch House, Galle, Sri Lanka slimpaley.com An Instagram photo of the parlour at the Dutch House hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka

01-LA-Ace-Hotel-Lobbyvia Voyage Vixen

Ace-Hotel-LA-Stained-Glass-Remodelista

The new Ace Hotel in downtown LA has used the combination to cool effect in their stained glass windows

a3d5d54993d4901511325fc4ff8ded8cAlexander McQueen bag

PaliHouse03-RemodelistaJust a touch of yellow can make a dark room really sing

Screen Shot 2012-09-01 at 12.32.40 AMRalph Lauren

magazine-kate-moss-08_155450590977 It certainly does something for Kate Moss

yellow/black

 As a person whose biggest design nod to black & yellow is the bunch of overripe bananas I toss out every week, I’m not asking you to love it…or even like it. I’m just asking you to consider it.

Ines-de-la-FressangeAfter all, how amazing is Ines de La Fressange here?

 Ines-de-la-Fressange-chez-Versace_portrait_w674and here.

and don’t we all want to be as chic as Ines when we grow up?

330Or taken in another direction

6fc221f60ed0a8c68c82e11df460a539You have to admit it’s a fresh pop for Spring

Gianvito Rossi

Gianvito Rossi

Cecil Beaton's New York book

Place a black & yellow book on your coffee table, step back and see what happens.

Ask your child to paint you a portrait with black & yellows and lean it on the mantle.

How about a few daffodils popping out of a dark wine bottle? Give it a try.

Go on! Don’t be yellow!! :-)

Iris ApfelOf course when Iris Apfel does it, she does it.

photo by Sarah Moon

Sarah Moon

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Kenzo

2b5841740f537654c33232d96752c973Christina D’Ornano

Add blue and get all primary with it.

Jason Wu  slimpaley.comJason Wu

The stores in Dubai were choc-a-blok with black & yellow.

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ChloeChloe

WP81388M-006-Scalamandre-ZebraScalamandre fabric & wallpaper

black & yellowAn interesting mix of textures, new & antique with a pop of chartreuse-y yellow

KOR_0145.450x675Michael Kors

yellow & black

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Dior lemon meringue heels.

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DIO_0198.450x675Dior Fall 2014

yellow & black

Louboutin for men slimpaley.com Christian Louboutin for men (btw-I’ve never seen anything like the selection of men’s shoes available in Dubai-what is that about?)

_D7Q0979.450x675 Celine Spring 2014

One of the most widely featured bags this Spring

fa65b063a57fffb0def179baca298f0cRalph Lauren

Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sril Lanka, slimpaley.comThe Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

gold & black

london edition hotel habituallychic 014 The London Hotel, NYC, photo via Habitually Chic

Moda Operandi

 JW Anderson via Moda Operandi

e7be31ace3d5d43f5dd05a2306569f28via Remodelista

black & yellow

ELLE Decoragain with blue for Elle Decor

Manolo Blahnik via Vogue InstagramOh so girly Manolo Blahnik grosgrain ribboned pumps

d2bca74088a615d9c96f5da509583f84So is it kinda sorta slightly starting to grow on you??

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Let the sun shine in!

xox SP

straws

Straws via Etsy

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 This time last year: Bedouin & Breakfast

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Please forgive or provide if possible, any missed credits

 

 

So Crafty

 

woman carving lacquer

We might as well start with this;

 I’m not ‘Crafty’.

A confession that might come as a surprise to some, as I’m a visual person who can draw and paint passably well, but you would be very, very wrong in assuming this translates to ‘craftiness’, at least in my case.

 Have you seen any photos of that hot pink antique lantern yet? Say no more.

When I do attempt something in the crafty vein it usually takes me about 974 hours to complete the task and I’m seldom happy with it.

I never even learned to sew or knit.

It’s all my mother’s fault.

slimpaley.com

 I was instantly reminded of this when taking photos (this one in particular) at the silk weaving centre we visited in Myanmar last week. A flashback to ‘Mom’s Sewing Kit’  growing up. It was small and oval shaped in green brocade-they used to be called a “Train Case”, complete with tiny mirror and 4 lipstick holders sewn under the lid. It ran a very sad popularity race against her infinitely more exciting ‘Manicure Case’ and housed a thread monster much like this one. More than anything though, the sewing kit was a repository for safety pins to hold the things begging to be sewn together and more importantly, as time moved on, pimple-popping needles. Sorry, but The Truth isn’t always pretty.

silk weaving Burma slimpaley.com

  I did, only because it was mandatory, study sewing in Home Eck.  in junior high. I might have mentioned this before (I’m like my mother in more ways than one :-) ) Our big project was to design and sew a stuffed animal-draw and cut the patterns and everything. I sewed a snake. I glued on spots, eyes and a long tongue and failed the class. Seriously-how long did she expect that tongue to stay on? Aren’t snakes supposed to shed their tongues anyway? Personally I thought my stuffed animal was pretty edgy. I don’t think I ever finished the second assignment; an apron ( micro mini of course) but I did learn to type, whipped up a ferocious Baked Alaska, achieved my future sun damage like nobody’s business leaning against the back wall of the building and sold one of my paintings to the Industrial Ed. teacher for $100.

A stellar scholastic year to be sure.

So, you can imagine my shock and awe when we visited a few of the Burmese craft houses I’m sharing with you here.

blue thread slimpaley.com

Did you know that thread has to be made??

Like the individual strands of thread are M-A-D-E ?

As in there’s no such thing as a Thread Forest.

Lotus plants for weaving slimpaley.comHere Lotus plants are harvested from Lake Inle

Lotus stem, slimpaley.com

Each individual stalk is cut several times and the fibres are gently pulled away by hand and rolled…

Check this out; (video might take a minute to load- but patience is everything, as this perfectly demonstrates)

After the lotus stalks are cut and the thread has been removed, the rest is fed to the pigs.

Of course there is also the controversial Mulberry tree silkworm spit method of creating silk but we did not see it being done here.

fabric dyes slimpaley.com

The threads are then dyed and the weaving process begins.

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Bags of dye waiting to be mixed. This part looked like fun to me but you can’t even imagine how hot these rooms were.

weaving loom in Burma slimpaley.com

Seeing the process from start to finish truly gives you a newfound appreciation for this timeless art.

If your travels ever take you to Burma, I think Lake Inle appears to be one of the best places to buy silks and lotus leaf fabric.

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lacquer bowl Slimpaley.com

Heretofore I would have picked up a lacquer bowl and said with all certainty it was made out of…lacquer.

With no irony. I’m not proud, but there it is. I expose my foibles for the sake of honest journalism.

bamboo being made into lacquer bowls slimpaley.com

It actually involves, oh, about infinity different stages and starts out as bamboo.

You probably knew that.

making lacquer slimpaley.comHere, starting from bottom left to top right and snaking back, you can see some of the stages that the bamboo passes through, each one by hand, before it becomes the finished product.

making lacquer slimpaley.comHere the bowls have received an initial coat of lacquer and are being sanded for the next coat.

men working on a lacquer tableThese gentlemen are working on the lacquer table in the following photo

lacquer & mother of pearl table slimpaley.c

After each coat of lacquer the pieces go down to a very hot, dark and dust-free cellar to dry.

lacquer slimpaley.comThe finishing touches being made to dinner chargers. We ordered some of these to be shipped back home. I was never really that attracted to lacquer before. Now I can barely stand to wait the 7 months it will take to receive our chargers and set a chic Burmese themed table!

(yes, 7 months)

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This particular lacquer maker ships to clients all over the world- including a very well known, upscale store in San Francisco which we won’t name, but starts with G.

and ends in umps.

Young man painting lacquer

I think this might be one of my favourite photos-even if I do say so myself.

carving lacquer, Burma, slimpaley.com

Ladies quietly carving and painting the lacquer bowls.

hands carving lacquer , slimpaley.com

This is just one of the reasons why I love traveling so much. It’s both inspiring and humbling…

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place You occupy in the world.” Gustave Flaubert

PS. I’ll add the name of the silk & lacquer makers as soon as I find the receipts!

PPS. Does anyone on WordPress know how to make the new video format smaller?!

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This time last year… Opulence Moroccan Style

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A Mad Exuberance

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With the romantic pressure of Valentine’s Day well behind us

(but hopefully still a few chocolates left) we can move on to something truly important;

 FASHION!!

Between trying to keep up with the Winter Olympics, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘House of Cards’ (husband; finished, me; Fail) and, lest we forget, plain old Real Life, staying on top of all the shows during NY & London Fashion Week this season required a supremely valiant effort.

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

You strap on that (hand painted) helmet and forge ahead.

There were oh SO many heart-stopping collections but one of my favourites took place just a couple of days ago at “Burberry Prorsum”.

Burberry Fall 2014

Christopher Bailey knocked it out of the park for me with his “Bloomsbury Girls” Fall 2014 collection.

A couple of months ago I was asked to weigh in on what trends I was hoping to see prevail in terms of Fashion this Spring and my answer was;

“Keep an eye out for an exuberant abundance of colour, texture and pattern. Take a break from clean lines and mix…”

Of course for me it’s never just about one subject  :-)

I’ve also been feeling the same way about interiors. Now first, let me say that I appreciate the spare beauty of a mininalist room as much as anyone, except perhaps John Pawson, but I’m starting to fear we’ve become so focused on the ‘coolness’, dare I say safety of the almighty ‘clean line’ that the soul of interior spaces appears to be drifting away.

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 I’ve a sense of longing for the well layered space again.

Rooms that feel utterly lived in, proudly displaying the history and personality of their inhabitants.

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In other words, where’s your stuff, people?!!

I’m not by any means advocating the acquiring of Things for acquisition’s sake, I’m simply wondering how all of a sudden it became so déclassé for living spaces to actually look lived in?

Who amongst us doesn’t have a huge pile of unread books & magazines, an overly used and frayed chair, or items worth virtually nothing, yet priceless with memories?

slimpaley.comWho hasn’t had a puppy that’s left a little memory (or two)?!

Dan Marty Design hb7

Dan Marty

Burberry Fall 2014

But not to veer off track too much (well, it wouldn’t be me, would it?)

I simply loved the mad exuberance of Bailey’s collection. The mix of florals, lace & leather. The luxuriously  long scarves tucked into skinny  knotted belts. The whimsically hand painted oversized bags-impractical as their handles and heft may be…the baggie open-toed ankle boot reminiscent of vintage Vivienne Westwood’s Buffalo Girls again

( Viv IS having her moment, isn’t she?!)

Burberry Fall 2014

Lisa Fine's Paris apt. Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Burberry 2014 Fall

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Tamara Comolli

Tamara Comolli ocean jasper coconut bracelets and ring in sterling silver would be perfection with this collection.

Burberry Fall 2014

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.“Yvonne Printemps on the Sofa”: Edouard Vuillard – 1919-1921.

Loulou Falaise's living roomLou lou de la Falaise living room

Who doesn’t love a room that feels comfortable in its own fabric?

A ‘house’ is a roof over one’s head. A ‘home’ tells a story

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As does the way we dress

(although, speaking for myself these days, not exactly a bodice-ripper)

edouard Vuillard

Edouard Vuillard

NY Times slimpaley.comA cozy Sunday afternoon in front of the fire.

I don’t have to tell you why my ottoman has a Suzani over it.

Homes have their little secrets as well as stories :-)

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majolica plates

A wall of fine majolica.

Tamara Comolli

And in gold. Sigh.

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Burberry Fall 2014 finale lead by Cara Delevingne

Elledecor.com

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Burberry Prorsum Fall 2014

Mix, don’t match

Elle decorvia Elle Decor

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Viva la Exuberant Abundance!!

inspiration slimpaley.com

Inspired? Encouraged?

Exhausted?

Me too!

xoxSP

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One Year Ago: Heads Up

All uncredited photos via Pinterest or Tumblr. If you have a credit I will be happy to include it.

Seeing Red (II)

Valentine's chocolates slimpaley.com

Here we are already, just a day before Valentine’s.

 A day that has everyone seeing red-whether they like it or not.  Many will partake of romance, roses & chocolates, while others will take issue with the overt commercialization of Cupid.  I agree the bloat of mylar hearts, pink bears on a stick and tightly bound fluorescent flowers invading the local markets can be off-putting.

Valentine’s may also strike a sensitive chord in those who are sweetheart-less on the day and truth be told, that’s a lot of folks, as the plethora of on-line dating sites will attest. Being forced to assess our romantic status whether we want to or not…just what we need-more pressure!

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the day could be quite an emotionally scarring affair as far back as elementary school (in the old, less sensitive days before everyone received a token Valentine) It was usually the girls with double hook bras that received the most cards. Single hook, or worse, training bra girls received a small stack (oh dear-no pun intended)  including a pity card from the teacher. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

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Funny the things we remember. NOT.

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But let’s kiss and make up.  All is forgiven if not forgotten!

And let us get back to RED, shall we?

Whatever you make of it, it’s certainly THE Colour of the Moment.

red hair slimpaley.com

There’s a chunk of it in my hair. You heard me.

Negroni slimpaley.com

and happens to be the colour of my new favourite cocktail, the Negroni Unknown

Go Red For WomenThe 11th annual “Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards” at Lincoln Centre in NY on Tuesday.

Most importantly, it’s the colour of the month to honour Heart Disease Awareness For Women.

Many of us still associate heart attacks with men, but heart disease is actually the #1 killer of women in this country.

Why not sport the colour red in whatever fashion or form you wish this month to help raise awareness?

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 Segueing back to a little lighter fare…

Le rouge, le rouge is everywhere!

roses slimpaley.com

roses slimpaley.com

I too was in the hunt for a red gown for a dear friend’s big birthday bash this month. Ladies in red, gentlemen black tie.

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I was slightly worried  (panicked) as red, as I’ve also mentioned, is definitely NOT my colour.

There isn’t a time after the age of 30 I’ve applied true red lipstick where I haven’t thought of Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and off it comes.

Plus it really interferes with my eating..

chocolates slimpaley.com

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 7.50.10 PMPaperFashion via Instagram

RED

 I’m neither light enough or dark enough to wear it well. It brings out the red in my chest, the white in my face and the mouse in my hair.

Did I mention I wear earth tones well?

Eventually, after my usual pre-party angst-ing  I found something.

655653 It wasn’t this.

It wasn’t even close to this.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.23.08 PMDennis Basso photo via Paperfashion

The runways were absolutely throbbing with red for Fall 2014/15 this month.

ed5164a0f062366bef89bb7dbb68635cPrabal Gurung Fall 2014/15

Zac Posen Fall 2014

Zac Posen Fall 2014

Roses slimpaley.com

Pink & red roses in the window of one of the most beautiful rose shops in the world in Paris

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Karlie Kloss being fierce in red. Donna Karan Fall 2014

Roses slimpaley.com

Sneaking back for another shot at night (The Hotel Costes Bar is next door!)

523a3d99c4d6142c562e2caabe5a172dPrabal Gurung

carolina herrera Fall 2014

Karlie again in Carolina Hererra Fall 2014

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Ralph Lauren Fall 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.24.41 PMmodaoperandi Instagram

Even Andre Leon Talley was wearing a red dress this week.

No wonder there was a scarcity.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.24.17 PMvia Vanity Fair

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2014. Wow.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab Fall 2014-15

slimpaley.com

And what a stunningly beautiful, magical birthday celebration it was.

In fact after this week there are two more things I’m adding to my list of

‘Things I’d Love to Do When I Grow Up’

1) Design male figure skater’s costumes

2) have a party planned by Colin Cowie.

Visualisation is the first step to realisation!

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Wishing everyone a Very Happy Valentine’s Day!

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(I mean, if you go in for that sort of thing…)

and remember…

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Mwah, Mwah

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Blasts from the past;

the last time I was Seeing Red

A Valentine post from 3 years ago today; Romance & Roses

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go-red-for-women-logo

GoRedforWomen.org

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