bon anniversaire

Friday morning, sleepy mouse eyes. Tumbled out of bed and into the land of Crixa Cakes; chocolate mousse, teapots of the best chai in the world.

On a mission to find a white dresser, I found this charming solid oak vintage one, for $15.

Sure, it needs some love, but I have some to give it!

A tiny walk through an unknown grotto, where this koi pond held a secret house under it’s waters, and kittens ran underfoot as I walked cobblestone pathways.

To the city! Aquatic wonders & eyeless owls, waiting for animation. A wondrous world that will have to be explored again & again.

Miette Confiserie ~ tiny princesses wait for treats, and gifted with a box from the lovely Holly, exploding with cake and candies!!!

The plan was to skate, but a crowded rink and a sleepy me found a lovely Elly & we visited a palace, with icing villages and trees bigger than most houses. Tiny gnomes showed up with gifts & hugs, and we all went home cozy in the drizzling winter mist.

Early morning Saturday – an adventure! I zip north to gather my aunt from the airport, and we’re off for a night at her friend’s home / organic lavender farm. & what! a! home! From the moment I walk through the doors, I know I’m in for a treat. Plied with champagne and clam chowder, tiny cakes, and warm welcomes! Gifts of opal rings, crystals from Argentina, pretty scarves. Whisked to wine with bubbly ladies, good conversation, and more cakes…new friends, a crackling fire, egg nog and Crown Royal.

The house is monochromatic, creams and silvers, mirrored walls and a deep deep tub where I soaked in sea salts and lavender oils, watched over by the grandmother of this estate. Isn’t she beautiful? My charming hostess looks just like her!!

I woke Sunday morning in the most perfect princess bed, golden light streaming through the shutters, windows overlooking walled gardens. The other residents of the room include a tiny faerie & the grumpiest lot of children I’ve ever seen.

The only sun of the day, it quickly turns blustery as rain sweeps in across the lavender fields. We feast on mimosas, fresh fruit, yogurt, and strata in front of the fire; play dominoes & stay cozy as the rain pours down.

It’s time to go!! A tour of the grounds during a break in the rain, and then back back back home, where I find a HUGE parcel from Angel, and tear into it, revealing some of the most magical treasures ever! Tiny coral hands, hand forged spiral witch wands, perfect dresses, red shoes that just knock me over with their perfection, shards and butterfly bits & candles &&&&&& oh!!!

I feel so blessed, and so loved, and so held. 33, you WILL be the best year yet.

skeleton trees & skyscrapers

Christmas always makes me want to be in New York, though the last time I spent a Christmas in NY I was probably 10 years old. Every holiday of my childhood included visits to my grandparents, and my great grandfather. I even had chicken pox one year. I’d sleep in the car on the drive, and wake up to put my head out the window and soak in the skyline. FAO Schwartz, Rockefeller Plaza, the Library, ice skating, cups of cocoa, red corduroy knickers and matching sweaters.

Curiously, as today is the anniversary of her death (ghosts in the ether!) this morning I came across these fantastic images by Berenice Abbott. (Click link for full collection!)

Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991), born Bernice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her black-and-white photography of New York City architecture and urban design of the 1930s.

Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray, looking for somebody who knew nothing about photography and thus would do as he said, hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. Later she would write: “I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else.” Ray was impressed by her darkroom work and allowed her to use his studio to take her own photographs. In 1926, she had her first solo exhibition (in the gallery “Au Sacre du Printemps”) and started her own studio on the rue du Bac. After a short time studying photography in Berlin, she returned to Paris in 1927 and started a second studio, on the rue Servandoni.

In early 1929, Abbott visited New York City. Upon seeing the city again, Abbott immediately saw the photographic potential of the city. Accordingly, she went back to Paris, closed up her studio, and returned to New York in September. (Where she lived with her ladyfriend!)

Portrait of Berenice by Man Ray.

witchens tea

how how how much do i love my ladies? so much!!!

today was dressing up & feasting on so many tea treats! tiny sandwiches!
scones! clotted cream! homemade jams! cookies! macaroons! crumpets! crostini! champagne! eep!!

the darling and lovely mary ann was our host for the evening, and her home a delight ~

after much champagne and some mythical chinese firewater, our heroine retires ~

the stairs lead to heaven, I think ~

(&& so many beautiful prizes ~~ decadent milk bath from Coco de Mer, fancy feather treats, violet lip balm, art deco books, chocolates, a blossoming air plant (!!!) & a lovely framed fox print, thank you all so much! )