Friday, February 26, 2010

Just in Case...'re tuning in now, we have a Mega Birthday Giveaway going on. Lots of fun gifts! Click here to enter. Deadline is February 27th.

I'm off to celebrate my birthday with friends and family! Deepest thanks for your kind & thoughtful wishes. Hopefully 5o will be a breeze!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Magical World of Lisa Golightly

Designer. Artist. Creator. Mom. Friend. If you don't know Lisa, let me introduce her to you.

Lisa Vincent aka Lisa Golightly is one of the most talented gals I know. We met about 11 years ago, both selling on eBay. Lisa used to paint these amazing signs that stirred up massive bidding wars on eBay. I am more than sure that Lisa gets the credit for starting the "sign movement" that swept the nation! I swear that the reproductions you see in stores like Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs were the influence of Lisa.
Lisa's early work (above) from the eBay days...

I really don't know where to begin since Lisa has her hands in so many things. Whenever we talk, she is in the middle of some new, exciting creation.

Like these whimsical lady prints...

Or vintage ashtrays that Lisa adds her own design... (My spoiled little Vito uses a large one as a water bowl)

What inspires Lisa? Memories from her childhood travels. The ocean. The past. Dreamy glamorous things like fashion, old hotels, movies and music. "If I can't go somewhere or wear something, I will attempt painting it! I love living in my imagination and want to take others there with me." - Lisa

Lisa created this amazing cinema sign from scratch. Can you imagine? It was even featured in a room on Extreme Home Makeover.

She also sells at the Alameda Antiques Faire. Look at this photo she altered, alerting you of her booth number. Creative, huh?

Lisa creates lovely vintage-inspired jewelry...I actually received this necklace as a gift from a dear friend!

Lisa has a blog that is enchanting, and online shop that has many of her one-of-a-kind creations, including some vintage finds...

How about these vintage style portraits that Lisa painted? How does she do that?

So, I'm scratching the surface here. I'm thrilled to call Lisa a friend, and always look forward to chatting with her about what whimsical creation she's working on. And, she's very sweet as well!

You can find Lisa on her blog here, and her shop here. Lisa also sells some of her wares on The Paris Apartment's website here.

photos from Lisa Golightly

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Makes Me Smile

The work of Martine Roch is truly whimsical! Martine is an artist-illustrator-photographer, based in Dijon, France. Her work is a collaboration of antique photographs and photos she takes herself that are all digital.

The Elegant Nanny


Martine loves her animals as you can see. And playful stories accompany each photo.

Her muse is her famous female Labrador 'Boudi'.

Boudi is "pretty in pink"


If you want more fun, please visit Martine on Flickr, or on her website.
Her cards, notebooks and other products are available here.

All Photos: Martine Roch

Monday, February 22, 2010

Latest Obssession: Edison Bulbs

photo: rewire

Okay, I'm totally nuts over these Edison light bulbs. Just the bare beauty of them, with their warm nostalgic glow. Breathtaking. I'm trying to think of where I could put one (or more) in my house.

photo: From the Right Bank

They look fabulous in groupings, don't you think?

photo: From the Right Bank

or just a single, simple hanging bulb...

These 1890 antique replica bulbs can be found at, where else? Anthropologie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MEGA Birthday Giveaway!!

photo credit: Star Bakery

Oh my, I'm turning the big 5-0... yes, it's true. So...time for a


Fabulous gifts for 3 lucky winners...

Mindy Weiss's "The Ultimate Wedding Planner" & Kai Perfume Oil

Mindy Weiss is one of the most sought after event planners in the United States. With a top-selling book, a product line, a gourmet market and so much more, Mindy has planned some of the largest galas in Hollywood history.

You may have married years ago, but here's a great gift for a bride-to-be! Mindy is generously offering "The Ultimate Wedding Organizer." Such a pretty blue, isn't it? The planner (complete with handles) is designed to hold everything from paperwork to swatches, and is only available at Mindy's e-store. AND, that's not all. She's offering a bottle of the yummy, Kai perfume oil. Love it!

IOMOI's stationary gift set

IOMOI is one of the most coveted lines of stylish custom stationery, invitations and home accessories in the country. I'm a huge fan! Owners Irene Chen and Matthew Grenby's "timeless classics with a modern twist," have been featured in nearly 500 publications from Elle Decor to Vogue magazine.

They are generously offering one of my favorite items; The perfect gift set featuring "Ling the Elephant." The set consists of 10 (5x7 flat) cards, envelopes, and a bamboo pen. Packaged in twine, it's lovely in person!

And, from yours truly... I'm offering a $50 gift certificate toward any item at Paris Hotel Boutique. $50 for 50 years old!!

How Do You Enter?

• Simply leave a comment below, "What would be your dream birthday gift?" It doesn't have to be a physical item. Anything that you would wish for, even something impossible. Remember... it's a wish! Go crazy!

• Mindy, Irene and Matthew will randomly pick 3 numbers to determine the winners.

• Post this giveaway on your blog and you can enter a second time!

• The entries can be made until Saturday, February 27th (my birthday), and the winners will be announced on Monday, March 1st.

BIG THANKS to Mindy, Irene & Matthew for generously offering these goodies! And good luck to all!

photos from Mindy Weiss & Iomoi

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Such Pretty Things!

One day my friend Janet and I were on the phone doing our usual, "Have you seen this? Did you see that?" I wanted to show her a beautiful blog I had been following, Such Pretty Things. Janet was way ahead of me, and had been following this blog for some time now.

Jessica of Such Pretty Things is a designer, wife and mom, who loves an array of pretty vintage things. She loves to collect vintage textiles and wallpapers from the 1930's and 1940's. Reading her blog is the best eye-candy you can imagine, so come follow along...

Jessica is constantly cooking or baking up a storm...making such lovely things for her daughters' birthdays, such as these decorated sugar cubes...

Or a Princess Party for her daughter, with the best favors you've ever seen!

Custom "Juicy" invites for the party girls

How about this insanely fabulous Juicy Couture themed slumber party?

The party included a stay at a hotel and a trip to the Juicy Couture shop. Each girl was presented with a Juicy shopping bag filled with goodies that Jessica had amassed for months.

Jessica and her daughter made tiny edible fondant crowns and hearts embellished with edible pink pearls and placed them on pink cupcakes. Can I be one of your daughters Jessica?

Everything she does inspires me, such as her "Target Tuesdays." Jessica goes to Target and buys something ordinary and turns it into extraordinary, such as this floral corsage tank top.

Starting with a simple t-shirt for $7.99 and some other supplies, she adds, embellishes, cuts and sews, until walla! A creation is made. I love how Jessica walks you through visuals of the whole creating process, as well as a step-by-step guide to make it. Move over Martha Stewart!

Being the candy lover that I am, here is the part that I (and Janet) Flip Out! It's called "The Cabinet." It's a strictly off limits to all family members and holds Jessica's beloved collection of sprinkles, sugars, and candies from all over the world. They are reserved for only for her most special baking projects.

No snacking allowed!

From craft tutorials & baking, to party ideas & interior design, Simply Pretty Things is awe-inspiring! And, I must add that Jessica takes the most amazing photos.

Please do yourself a favor and go visit her blog here and her photos gallery on Flickr here. You will be in for a treat!

All photos from Such Pretty Things

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blog it Forward: What Inspires Me?

I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog it Forward mash-up started by Victoria of sfgirlbybay. A group of 300 participating bloggers are sharing “what inspires them”on their blogs, and then passing it on to the next blogger on the schedule. I've already discovered some lovely blogs I’d never seen, so definitely check out the other participating blogs! The previous blog in the chain is Paper and Thread, and I'm blogging it forward to Peanut Butter and Poetry, link here.
So, what inspires me?

That's a tough one, since so many things inspire me. But, the first thing that popped into my head was "yesteryear." definition; time gone by; especially : the recent past.

Selling vintage and antique goods is one of the most interesting things I've ever done. I'm constantly inspired by things I find and the history behind them.

Market Street, San Francisco, 1940's

I've always said that if I had to wish for one thing, (not that winning the lotto wouldn't be great...and good health, of course), my wish would be to travel back in time and spend one day in San Francisco, preferably the 1930's or 40's. I'd take a stroll down Market Street, all dressed up in my hat and gloves.

The Flood Building

I'd stop to admire beautiful buildings that have been untouched by modern architecture...

photo: Ed Brodzinsky
The Hearst Building on Market Street was designed by architect Julia Morgan and dates to 1937. Gorgeous!

The San Francisco City Hall dome, inspired by Mansart's dome of Les Invalides in Paris, is the fifth largest in the world. The building is a a Beaux-Arts monument. I love the garlands, cartouches, balustrades, arched doors and classical details of the Beaux-Arts style.

Ferry Building Clock Tower

Gazing at passersby dressed in their fine clothing...I'm going to have to buy some new clothes to fit in!

What's a day without shopping? A "must stop," the upscale City of Paris department store (Beaux-Arts style building) which reflected French culture in the store’s d├ęcor and merchandise...

photo: ecastro
Its opulent rotunda with an amazing stained glass dome...breathtaking...

I may be tempted to purchase one of the dresses in the window...

Okay, enough shopping. Time to grab a cable car...

Headed down to Bernstein's Fish Grotto on Powell Street where I'll have some delicious seafood...Can't believe the crab cocktail is only 75 cents!

I'm on my way to visit fine hotels like the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins atop Nob Hill, and gaze at their interiors...luscious carpets designed by Dorothy Draper, marble pillars, massive chandeliers...

It's getting late...I'm stopping off Bimbo's 365 Club to hear some Big Band music...fabulous Art Deco supper club...

Perhaps I'll sip on a cocktail like a Pink Lady or Sidecar...

But wait! I haven't even said hello to my relatives!! Okay, I'll grab the nearest streetcar and pay visits to all. My great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins galore! Can't wait to meet some of these people!

photo: cinderella

Uh oh! It's almost midnight. My day's up. I'm afraid it's time to return back to 2010...So sad to leave...I had the best time!

There is nothing like yesteryear. The beauty and elegance of a bygone era continues to inspire me to hunt and seek out vintages treasures to share with you. Perhaps we can all imagine a "time gone by" that in our minds, is more glamorous than it actually was. But, I doubt it. I think it was very glamorous indeed!

Thank you all for reading what inspires me. I hope your days are filled with your own endless inspiration!