The Calm Before the Storm

slimpaley.com

Finally.

There’s a decidedly nippy quality to the air in Santa Barbara. I won’t go so far as to say it’s cold, but it has that bell clear, cinnamony, tartan scarf, pumpkin latte feel to it.

These beautiful leaves were gathered from my garden just 2 weeks ago when the temperatures were still flirting around 80 degrees.

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The colours were stunning. The Instagram photos don’t even do them justice, but alas, I can’t lift my big camera just yet.

Patience, patience (limp noodle)…everyone warned me.

BTW, you know one thing I’ll add to the “Post-Shoulder-Surgery Tip List” from last week??

#11. A glass of red wine helps before physical therapy. It helps a lot.

I just learned that yesterday. My genius is a slow, steady affair. It doesn’t like to rush in all at once and cause a big spectacle.

and just in case there are any doctors reading this-I’m not condoning drinking wine while still taking pain-killers.

(anyway, those are like sooo gone)

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’m saving my very last one for the check up with my surgeon on Monday. He’ll be putting me through my paces to see how much progress I’ve made with my arm extensions :-( (hold me)

I’m down to only 2 Alleve a day, but let me just say-the physical therapy is no day at Butterfly Beach.

IMG_8055On the sweet side, meet ‘Leon’

He jumped up and gave me some tender, loving company yesterday afternoon while I was getting iced at the physio clinic.

Look at that face! He feels my pain.

May we also note it was the first day I wore trousers with no elastic at the waist. Hallelujah

So, basically, wine had to be served.

But, where were we?? Oh yes, we’re drawing very close to the holidays now.

Grab your helmets.

In just a few short days, the time between Thanksgiving, Hanukah & Christmas is going to pass so fast it’ll peel our faces off.

So, how about taking just a little time for yourself and curling up with a good read?

The calm before the storm as it were.

I finally finished “Empty Mansions” and would definitely recommend it.

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‘ “We are all a little peculiar” as she would say…’ a friend of Huguette Clark

Although it would be more than a stretch to write reclusive American heiress Huguette Clark’s eccentricities off as mere peculiarities, after reading this new biography by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. I don’t know that anyone would come to the conclusion that she was crazy either.  Sadly, many of her extended and long estranged family (all descendants of her father’s children with his first wife) tried to prove just that-or at least, that Huguette was not of sound mind towards the end of her (105 yr.!) life. After nearly two years of litigation concerning the $300million+ remaining fortune, the lawyers, family and various participants reached a settlement just two months ago.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but the story of Huguette, her immediate family and some of the people she chose to have in her life is indeed a head-shaker.

 Of particular interest to me, and no doubt many other locals, was Huguette’s stunning Santa Barbara mansion below.

Clark-Estate-3_t479“Bellosguardo” presides over the last ocean cliff separating Montecito from Santa Barbara, capturing panoramic views of both the mountains and the sea, to no doubt breathtaking effect. The estate was built by the preposterously rich, copper mining Clark family in the 1930′s as a summer residence and is “The House on the Hill” of our little hamlet.

Clark-Estate-1_t479It’s actually so close I can walk to it from my house. My doctor’s office is just to the left of the bird refuge/lagoon you see on the lower edge of the property. Huguette built the refuge as a tribute to her deceased sister.

The entire estate, as well as a large ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, passed to Huguette when her mother died in 1963.

Neither of them used the house in over 60 years.

Not once. Zero. I used it as much as they did.

Some years back, Ty Warner, owner of the Beanie Babies, Four Seasons Hotel NY, The Biltmore & San Ysidro Ranch and whose private residence is extremely close to Bellosguardo purportedly offered Ms. Clark $100 million for the property. She politely declined.

130909-hugette-clark-dolls-vmed-1p.photoblog600Huguette was a child-like woman who owned several vast homes yet chose to live in a small, spare hospital room (in very good health) for the last 20 years of her life.  Until the day she died she seemed to prefer the company of dolls to humans, but was unfailingly polite, charitable and kind to everyone she came in contact with.  She loved music, cartoons and everything Japanese, yet never visited Japan. She was an accomplished artist, loyal correspondent and friend, devoted daughter, loving sister, and generous patron of the arts.

huguette29n-1-webThis last known public photo was taken on her honeymoon in 1928 at the age of 22. I believe she was probably much prettier than the photo would suggest, but she was extremely uncomfortable being photographed. No Selfies for ‘Hugo’ .  Privacy was everything to her.

Everything. Howard Hughes was Kanye compared to Huguette.

She and her husband would be separated only 9 months later and divorced within two years., yet they remained friends until he died.

STOP  me before I tell you any more of the story! gawd.

Those who knew her best said she was shy but not at all unhappy.

Personally, I think she just wanted to live in the world completely and utterly on her own terms and had the limitless resources to do so.

Apparently a recipe for a very, very long life indeed.

Is that so crazy??

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PS. I imagine this would make a great Book Club read. (even though I’ve never been in a book club)

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So, speaking of having an appreciation for the Older, Finer things in life…

Style Mavens Dawn Moore and Holly Palance have recently combined their considerable aesthetic forces to create a fun online shop for strictly vintage and antique home decor; MixxCentury.com

Mixxcentury Both long time lovers of antiques, Holly and Dawn define their Mixx concept;

“By having Museum Bound (beautiful high-end pieces) and Recently Found (funky flea market finds on up…) and ONLY focusing on decorative arts and furnishings, we are for passionate home aficionados and trade professionals who don’t want to rifle thru jewelry, wine and real estate.”

Mixxcentury.com

“We are literally a one-stop for all vintage and antique home decor. AND we have our own point of view, both in theory and actual product-The Point of View Collection”

Visit & shop (all industry pricing 25-60% all year round) here:  MixxCentury.com

I was thrilled and flattered to be featured as one of MixxCentury’s first “MiXXMasters” this week, along side such design luminaries as Timothy Corrigan and Jamie Bush!

For my short musings on Design and Mixxing it up click;  HERE 

I know, right?? Shuhhup-Just act cool, like…oh me & Tim & Jamie, yeah. We cruised over to Vincente Wolfe’s place, there was a small party. Bunny W. and Newel Turner were there, natch…Peter Marino was in full Village People, but I was kinda tired so I left early…

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leaves.slimpaleyEnjoy the rest of your weekend and remember…

Don’t stress!! It’ll get done, it will all get done.

It will all get done, won’t it?!!

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Flash from the past; One year ago today; The Day After

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Vintage English Garden Party

vintage garden party

Happy Monday All!

I hope you enjoyed another lovely summer weekend,

and may I be so bold as to remind everyone that it IS in fact still summer?

So all you folks pinning Halloween ideas and Fall decor on Pinterest

just STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!

It’s only the 19th of August-The “F” word is still many weeks away!

Let’s make the most of these precious last days of warm weather, shall we?

Get thee to the beach, lake, park, garden, the roof of your apartment building (talking to my Older Son :)) tout de suite.

As long time readers of Slim Paley well know,  I’ll still be posting about my favourite time of year ’til I’m dragged away by the edge of my cover-up, clutching that last salt-rimmed Margarita to my heavily sun-screened/damaged bosom.

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I shot the above photo in my garden, as well as the ones to follow,

for my first

“One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale”

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Inspired by my recent trip to London, the excitement surrounding the arrival of Prince George, and yes, the last languid days of summer,

I chose a “Vintage English Garden Party” as my theme.

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Who amongst us doesn’t enjoy at least the idea of a lovely English picnic (paging Merchant Ivory fans) complete with vintage silver, the “family china” and tinkling crystal glasses of Pimms brimming with fresh fruit?

Downton Abbey

And who, like me, simply can’t wait for the new season of “Downton Abbey” to begin?!

slim paley garden

An Instagram of my garden

Fortnum & Mason window

The windows of Fortnum & Mason in London were bursting with the delightful components of an English countryside picnic.

London window shopping

I love how I caught the double decker going by on Piccadilly (even if I do say so myself)

Fortnum & Mason

Just look at that gorgeous giant Melton Mowbray pie!

F & M will fill a picnic basket that will positively make your toes curl and they ship all over the world.

Slim Paley Picnic

But back to me :-)

Everything in these photos will be in my sale (except the white table cloth & hat)

majolica & chintz

There are lots of my vintage goodies to choose from as well many items curated from One Kings Lane’s “Vintage & Market Finds”

vintage glass goblet

go ahead, have one.

English Country garden

Flowers in my friend’s English country garden

Wedgwood Majolica

A collection of vintage Wedgwood Majolica

vintage roses oil painting

A lovely & bright vintage oil of garden roses with an antique desert plate, part of a set, in the foreground.

Garden Wall vase & enamel coffee pot

“Garden Wall” vase and old enamel coffee pot

Hull vase

A Hull vase

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Note to Self;  notch back on the Pimms…

rooster basket

My sale starts tomorrow,  August 20th, 8:am PST

Please DO stop by and leave your calling card :-)

One Kings Lane Link

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PS. On a more somber note, thank you to the many readers  who have been checking in concerning the ferocious fire in Idaho. We are grateful to be back home safe & sound in Santa Barbara, but our hearts and prayers are still with all the amazing firefighters in Sun Valley and Hailey who are battling SO bravely to protect our beautiful town. Please keep them in your thoughts & prayers too.

XX S.P.

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Slim Paley Daily #5

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Cest Cheese” (says she, sheepishly inching into the room two and 1/2 days later)

You see the thing I think I failed to mention is that “Slim Paley Daily” isn’t actually, necessarily daily.

Dang :-(

 I had such good intentions too (not to mention house guests that led me astray! )

L1020085In any case, I’m really making it up to you for dallying with the ‘daily’s

by sharing a GREAT selection of delicious cheeses.

Oh Yee of little faith-I told you these were coming eventually!

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Ossau Iraty

Ossau-Iraty is complex and includes an edible slightly white-moldy tart rind which adds considerably to the experience. This is a creamy, not bitter, not overly sweet, slightly nutty cheese. A producer of Ossau-Iraty won the World Cheese Awards in 2011, in Birmingham, England (Wikipedia)

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Red Hawk

You had me at “triple cream”, washed in a brine solution with sunset red rind. A real stinker, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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Midnight Moon

“Aged six months or more, this blushing ivory colored cheese is dense and smooth with a slight crunch of protein crystals that form naturally with aging. Nutty and brown buttery up front with a long caramel finish.”

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Pittig Gouda

An intense gouda, Himalyan rock salt-hard, with a rich caramel colour and flavour. Crystalized shards of lactic acid in-bedded in each bite are like little gifts of wonderfulness.

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Brillat-Savarin

Created in 1930 and named after the famous 18th century gourmet, this is another triple cream extravaganza of a cheese. gorgeous with champagne & dates.

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Parrano

Technically a gouda, Parrano is an Italian style cheese, with the flavour of aged  parmesan, but a mushier texture.

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Naked Goat

 6-month-aged goat cheese from Spain is produced with raw Murciana goat’s milk. Naked Goat® is mild and creamy with a tangy, sweet finish. The cheese is perfect for melting. Pair with almonds in honey and a crisp white wine.

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 Cheese plate with netting cover from Summerill & Bishop  London

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Because, really, is there anything better than cheese?!

and reading about cheese

cheese

.

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 7.51.24 PMFulvio Bonavia photo

So grab your bag and get shopping

Feel free to leave your cheese recommendations in a comment

and if you’re ever in Santa Barbara, Please C’est Cheese !

(PS. They also have an online store)

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photo of girl in cheese frock  Tim Walker

 (et merci Benedicte et Kendall! xx)

Slim Paley Daily #4

IMG_4308“Cecil Brunner” climber outside my office window this week.

 Thank you so much for all your kind words and wishes on our 25th  anniversary yesterday, both here and on the FB page.

I was truly touched.

Happy Thursday night!

Now, back to the daily share, before it’s Friday…

If you’re anything like me (and you know you are because you’re here) you have about 50 million photos saved on your computer but aren’t printing any of them. Am I right? Sure, digital photography is utterly awesome and we’re taking TONS  more pics than we used to, but other than on a computer screen, they’re not tangible…

One of my Spring resolutions is to change that.

You saw my Moo cards-I’m on a roll…

Here are two more fun ideas to help get your memories off the screen and into the hands of someone you love ( that could just be yourself!)

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 9.30.23 PMI’m totally in love with the look of these photo books you can create at Artifact Uprising

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I’ve been following them for a little while on Instagram and I’m so inspired by their style and company ethos.

They also have a blog that might ignite some grand ideas for your photos-they attract a charming crowd.

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Have you ever thought of making tiles with your photographs?

These large slab tiles (12 x 12) at  Image Snap are only $35

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Or an 8 x 8 square for $27.  Dude. Seriously.

Great gift idea.

You can even make teeny 2 x 2 tiles for $4 each.

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I could do a bathroom wall of my roses!

Have I made anything with Artifact Uprising or Image Snap yet? No.

Am I sharing them with you to push myself? Kinda.

Great. Now I have so many ideas and images swirling in my head, I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.

Thanks a lot. Until Friday…

Good Night!

Fully Saturated

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Good Afternoon. Yes, we’re starting off the afternoon talking about vodka.

Tis The Season, after all…

Ever since  these bottles jumped out at me in a European magazine last year, I’ve had my eye out for them.

Try to convince me packaging isn’t everything

890A5264‘Unique Edition’ Absolut vodka $27.95 and Christmas decorations from Target

A twist on the candle or a bottle of wine as a hostess gift,  they’re fun at your cocktails station, especially this time of year.

You do have a cocktail station don’t you?!

 Naturally I had to get my little fluorescent shot beaker from Paris into the pic.  (filled with chartreuse, not vodka) Unfortunately the contents is looking decidedly more yellow than fluoro-green in these photos.

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194288171394143289_2letanpn_cYup, I stole this image from one of my posts last year. Can you believe I posted almost every day of December last year? Who was that masked Overachiever??!

Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 3.37.27 PMChristian Dior

I cannot tell a lie. This was originally going to be two posts; one on fluorescents and one on opalescents but just LOOK at the time- It’s the 20th already!

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Edmundo Castillo

1mb9I’m liking this artist Matthew Brandt

“‘taste tests in color’ in which the artist silk screened picturesque american landscapes
by using a food item in place of traditional ink such as ketchup or mole sauce. in this particular ‘taste test’, the artist recreates the image of vernal falls of
yosemite national park into several multi-layered prints made permanent by food or household objects such as toothpaste, kool-aid, airhead candies,
or pharmecutical pills”

I’m presuming the silk screened are sprayed with some sort of preservative. 

137359857356879807_6pv540Kd_cSomeone else has been dipping into the ‘pharmaceuticals’

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stella-mccartney-hologram-clutchStella McCartney bag

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Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 8.44.25 AMFestive Uggs

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 8.07.21 AMKate Spade iPad case

tumblr_m2gsm038Z91qax0bvo1_1280I know pink hair is getting old and so am I, but I’d like some. I really would.

20120903-063019I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Serendipity (I think…I couldn’t really read that word. It might say ‘sensuality’ but I prefer serendipity) … I am vivid colours.  etc.

I am tired of reading the tiny print.

63261569736941348_NZAtCnZl_fartist Kitty Janney

182888434838887877_sMeuDT2A_ffluorescent hair on model of the moment Cara Delevigne at Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013

AVF-Fearless-Neon-Acrylic-Tray-Stack-6x4I love these desk organisers but I’m way beyond help in that department. My husband always looks at my desk, shakes his head and says “I can’t believe you’re a Virgo”

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c8e36096e25f11e1818012313b012024_7A graffitied rug at my hair salon in LA

tumblr_ltk4hoatcI1r3syizo1_500Light my fire Baaaybeee!

tumblr_lllhnihc5t1qg8ng8o1_400this chair even has “Absolut Love”  written on it. Freaky man.

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Sophia Webster

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record it all on this extremely desirable Leica X2 designed by Sir Paul Smith.

Blumarine+Fall+2012+Details+oHgDzQARvanlBlumarine

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I still have lots to share in the next few days so I very well might be doubling down again.

Peace Out for now

xoxo

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