Thank you for following little me as I go about each day on my adventures!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am in the midst of trying to organize the bolts of fabrics, baskets of trim and overwhelming amount of vintage bits and bobs that I have's a treasure hunt and Christmas morning all rolled into one.
Trying to make sense of the mountains of stuff that has rendered my studio impossible to work in. Literally.
How could I have forgotten about that tablecloth or this bit of lace or....fill in the blank.

It's exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.

I am itching to sew, knit, crochet, sketch....DO SOMETHING.
Impossible until I organize and render this less a storage room and more an organized inspiration.

My renewed creative spirit needs parameters.
I will use all that I have stockpiled and collected over the years!
I promise that I will sort it as I go along!

Unearthing treasures long forgotten and with them, hopefully, my original idea of what they were intended for.

A crumbling children's book with letterpress pages just begging to be framed. Needlepoint napkins calling out for transformation (baby bibs perhaps? pockets on skirts?) and bags of vintage buttons....

Growing up I remember my mother saving the buttons from our old clothes. This was always the final step for any exhausted item of clothing - she could transform my fathers tired shirt into a little dress for me and the scraps added to an ongoing quilt.
I get a warm homey feeling just looking at old cards of buttons.
Like the heroine Amelie dipping her hands into sacks of grain - I get that same pleasure from handling my vintage tins of pearl buttons.
The unlimited possibilities gladden my heart.

Friday, January 9, 2009

juicy jewels

I adore Earl Grey tea. There is something so immensely satisfying about a steaming cup of fragrant bergamot tea, don't you think? Add a lavender shortbread biscuit and I am in heaven.
Honestly, nothing cheers me up as much as this combination...well, that and a pretty setting.

I had just that this afternoon, when I caught up with Tracey Wood, the designer of the gorgeous jewelry line Juicy Jewels. Sitting in her beautiful heritage home, catching up and doing the nearly impossible task of choosing pieces for the shops.
I am so thrilled and happy to say that Juicy Jewels are back at Barefoot Contessa!
This incredible line manages to be delicate, romantic and edgy all at the same time. Each piece is so lovely, so charming, so...must have!
Tracey casts most of the pendant pieces herself from vintage buttons or other bits of antique loveliness that she stumbles upon (trips to New York and the flea markets there have given her so much to work from) The attention to detail is fantastic - from the afterthought of a seed pearl to the off-centre drop of a faceted stone.
I may have to keep one of her necklaces made from an antique bit of handpainted floral porcelain for myself. It's incredible.
An extensive selection will be available in both shops next week.
I, for one, can't wait.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

new beginnings

It's an old photo.
Before the birth of my daughter Amalia Rose, before expanding my little shop to two locations, the death of my father and the downturn in the economy.
A simpler time.

My life has changed so much since this photo was taken for a newspaper article on my planting gardens in front of the shop. I've made mistakes (more than I'd care to admit to) and also had some success - the best being my little baby girl.
I have made a career of encouraging people to live with lovely things, use them, enjoy them, wear them.
Not for me the cupboard of 'good plates' to only see the light of day when a fancy occasion presents itself.
I adore living with my vintage china, clawfoot tub and chandeliers (in every room - even the nursery!) I hope to instill an appreciation of 'all things lovely' in my daughter, a love of the old, the worn, the meaningful.

I have always taken my New Year's Resolutions very seriously, I ponder and reflect and plan for the coming year what I would like to achieve, change and encourage. I think 2009 will be the year of re-invention. For myself personally and for my shops - a simplifying, a going back to the beginning and doing what I do best.
Barefoot Baby will launch this year, starting with an expansion of the baby section in the shops, a renewed dedication to designing for Barefoot Contessa, and the return of vintage treasures that I have collected over the years.
A simpler, prettier, and hopefully happier 2009 to everyone!