Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Country Living Fair - March 2015, Part One of Three

I would have to say emphatically YES!  If you're planing a trip to England.....

why not plan it around the time of a Country Living (UK) Fair?

If you only have a little time to spend and think you'd enjoy a snapshot of U.K. life

and British tastes (beyond Burberry, in other words) a Country Living Fair is A SURE THING.

As much, methinks, as a zip around Liberty's which I have, in the past, been known to characterize as "HEAVEN FOR GIRLS".  (There are fewer stairs here at the Country Living Fair.)

The Country Living Fair will likely be HEAVEN for your tummy

if not your waistline

and ground ZERO for sourcing all

that the country lifestyle requires.  Whether you live in the country or

just like taking picnics out to it.  (with Toto, too!?)

The Country Living Spring Fair could set you up with sausages for that picnic.

Scarves in case of that brisk breeze blowing up.

Proper decoys for your picnic cloth

to frighten away marauding moochers.

Cuddly toys for any of the little ones you might like to picnic with.

And of course.....DESSERT!  ("Biscuits and pudding" if you want to be properly British.)

There are experts at the Country Living Fair, who will happily argue amongst themselves about the best way to rid your garden of annoying slugs.  (Have you EVER known any gardeners who actually agree on much?  I haven't!)

Did you expect yes, beautiful shoes at the Country Living Fair?  (No?  Neither was I!)  But you'll be having a little walk after your picnic, won't you?

Have you noticed I'm not really a committed shopping blogger but - beautiful arty dresses for walking in-style?  For this outfit, I can make an exception.

I was dying for this dress, and everyone else had their eyes and hands all over the necklace with the polkadot bobbles (that was made especially for the dress, I was told).

Have I shown you enough to get you interested?  Well come back soon because there WILL be Parts Two and Three.

Yes.  The Country Living Spring Fair was a bit of a shopper's extravaganza!  You'll see what I mean.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

La Douleur Exquise

A post about mystery


and a bit about

negative spaces.

if you think about it a minute

each of these pictures seems to speak

of what might be missing as much as the beauty

of what might be there.

It's been another tragic weekend in the world.  It's hard not to think about that which is lost.  And yet still require the comfort and reassurance of beauty.

All photos via La Douleur Exquise

Monday, April 20, 2015

Clifton Nurseries - More Tales of the Unexpected

It's the unlikeliness of the location.  Nestled within a block of Victorian

and Edwardian buildings...you pass through a black metal gate and down a planted alley into.......

an urban Paradise where all things "gardens" rule, and the best of them are a bit

out of the ordinary.  I mean, how many of the usual suburban garden centers will try to sell you twine in all the colors of the rainbow - for tieing up your sweetpeas and nasturtiums?  

Clifton Nurseries will supply you with the usual roses and daffodils

camellias, geraniums 

and primroses, but it's not everywhere

that will offer you the VERY LATEST in garden furniture in that distingue Hermes orange

to take home with your ancient olive tree for "instant Mediterranean" in your backyard.

Some people die for rhubarb pots (I do).  You might need to send a man to collect them for you, they won't fit in your tote bag......I know - you weren't expecting to find rhubarb pots on this trip to the shops - me either.

And in case you've been feeling left out of all of this season's Sakura viewing?  Clifton Nurseries can help you plant your whole neighborhood.

Surprise, surprise?  Those yellow orchids are fake!

But the garlanded amphorae and the stone sphinxes are 100% percent real.  Wait a minute - which of your suburban big box stores has one or two of those overseeing their sales floors?  None you say?  No, I didn't think so.  And if you are thirsty.  There is a cafe at Clifton Nurseries, inside a greenhouse, for a nice chat with the light pattering of raindrops overhead......

Or if you are like me, there is a nice pub around the corner!  The planting will wait.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Moving Miniatures

Sometimes a theme develops.

 (Photo by Artemis at Junkaholique)

Stars align.

 (handmade by hand in the traditional Chinese way presumably, by Paris' Petit Pan)

Great minds think alike.  That sort of thing.

As Nadine at Tiny Woolf* recently pointed out to me, Artemis at Junkaholique and I covered some of the same ground in London this past month.  Artemis got to Clifton Nurseries before me.  She cadged the tin caravan at a South Bank boot sale (methinks).  Me, I have saved Clifton Nurseries pics for you for later.  And I cadged pictures only of a little boat and an emergency van.  (The originals of which I encountered at the Conran Shop and in Camden Passage in Islington.  Pics 2 and 3 respectively.)  I think though, that all three share in common a very appealing simplicity of form and refreshing graphic qualities.  SO NICE!  I JUST HAD TO SHARE!

Yes, I'm giving you just another idea of some cool things you could become an avid collector of!  No need to thank me.  I know.  I get it.  

Anybody else have samples of similar miniatures?  Send me a pic and I'll add it/them to the post!  Wouldn't that be fun?  We could make a virtual-visual-cyber-collection.  I know, I know, someone's probably doing it already on Pinterest.  But wouldn't we rather be different and a bit retrograde?

*(So nice to have lunch with her in London!  We were enjoying chattering/eating together so much we forgot to take a picture!  I promise you, it was a happy lunch.)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

London in Full Flower

I get color and flowers

all year round now in Los Angeles.

But the English way with flowers 

still makes me say


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Camden Passage, Islington

This is still

what most non-Londoners

first think of

when you say


Now there are more

"up to date" boutiques like "Hexagone" (specializing in all things French).

But the "fripes" at Annie's

 (and the unbearable whiteness

 of being)

still rule at Camden Passage.

Now you know where the costumers

and set-dressers come for little details and inspiration...for all those gorgeous English costume dramas.*

Yes, you can take a break for frozen yogurt

and pick up dinner at a hipster fish monger's

But the low, or no overhead, vendors remain with their books and bric-a-brac.

Between the daily bread purveyors

and the natty head surveyors.  Bobo Islington

still retains the whiff of Downton* days.

Even if the toffs have traded their topcoats and tails

for buckskin and fringe.

At Camden Passage the past will live on.  And tea-time will always be NOW.