Fall Song

photo taken from a yoga photo shoot 2002
I just got back from my restorative yoga class. It was a great way to wrap up the Thanksgiving weekend and get ready for the new week. It is 2 days before the last month of the year . It will be 2011 before we know it. My yoga teacher, Vicki, shared the Fall Song in class. It was so appropriate for the moment, I felt compelled to share it here.                                  
Fall Song
Another year gone,
leaving everywhere its rich spiced residues 
 the uneaten fruits crumbling damply

in the shadows, 
 unmattering back from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, 
that now is nowhere except underfoot, 
 moldering in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries---
roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. 
This I try to remember when time's measure painfully chafes, 
for instance when autumn flares out at the last, 

boisterous and like us longing  to stay ---
 how everything lives, shifting from one bright vision to another, 
forever in these momentary pastures.

* personal photos of Central Park taken from Jumeirah Essex House, 2008
* personal photos of The Homestead-Hot Springs, Virginia, 2008
Fall is my favorite season next to Spring and I usually take a trip to New York to see friends and get my museum fix with the new exhibits. I didn't make it earlier this time but will be there in 2 weeks. Below is a photo with one of my best friends, Stephen Aznar.
 A gourmand and sommelier, he has left the city and moved back to Cebu to open Cafe Elysa in the historic neighborhood of Parian.
I miss our fall foodie ritual but I look forward to sharing a meal with him soon enough. We used to stop at Sherry Lehmann and he picks a variety of wines  at different price points but now he sends them via email.

 photo taken from Alsace, 2007

I deleted the recent email by mistake but here are  some I've served and can remember: Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine du Vieux Lazaret at $23.95 per bottle.  Lafite Reserve Speciale (Medoc) 2003 for just $17. The Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose at $14.99 is pretty fantastic. Sherry Lehmann ships anywhere too.

Trite it may seem---
just as some people await Beaujolais Nouveau
I look forward to the first day of Fall to open my
La Mer moisturizer.

It has served me well over the years. I started using it in 2002 around the time when this photo was taken for Zee Magazine's Style Issue. I dabbed it all year round for 3 years but stopped (esp. during hotter months in the tropics) when I started dating an avid fisherman  and stayed out in the sun a lot. 
*click to enlarge*
Upon moving to the US, it stayed as my Fall/Winter ritual and I use a lighter moisturizer w/ SPF (rotate different brands)  during Spring/Summer. Many people ask if it's worth the money and what the hoopla is all about. If you are interested to try this so called miracle cream, please ask for a sample and test it first. It's different for everyone. I've used the whole range and was told I didn't need to so now I just use the creme,  the eye cream, and recently the lip balm. It is amazing and would make an affordable luxe holiday gift. The regenerating serum works well for sun spots which my friend can attest to. Here's hoping my face will be holiday ready!
click photo to read article which ties in with 
yoga and yesterday's antique shopping post.


Fleasurable Finds

Many of you are probably still braving the stores with your shopping lists to ward off the tryptophan high. I seriously started Christmas shopping last August (the earliest ever) though it feels like I shop all year round especially when I see the right gift for a certain person. Last November 5th, I got one of the last available spots and joined  Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar on their Metrolina  jaunt for the Fall International  Collectibles and Antiques Show. Not even the descending Rothko-esque clouds threatened the afternoon of fun and learning. 
It was just the inspiring activity I needed after weeks doing High Point Market. I went with interior designer friends who are Metrolina vets, Wanda Horton and Davetta Moore---the perfect companions for this Metrolina newbie. Fashion of the day was flea/vintage inspired of course, so I wore my vintage abstract print top from a St. Augustine, FL shop which I got eleven years ago (it's one of my faves, I've kept it all along), shearling vest from Wellington , New Zealand from a trip 8 years ago and a pretzel necklace from the Spitalfields Market in London from 3 years ago. 
Eddie was brimming with clever and creative ideas for the home, holiday tabletop decor, and gifts that I will definitely be shopping more in flea/antique markets for future home needs and gifts. This also ties in with a recent conversation on Twitter about affordable luxe.
Here is Eddie talking about how we can update this sheet 
by cutting the fringe and lining it with a clean trim.
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
lovely bric-a-bracs that will individually
add character to any existing tableau
He talks about everyone's love for blue and white china 
and how we can update it by mixing patterns
 admiring the orange mixed into this blue and white pattern,
it reminded me of this store window display
along the West Palm Beach antique row.
for the numismatist 
Wedgwood black jasperware for the avid golfer
heavenly Wedgwood
Eddie emphasizes the importance of adding live greens 
into a space and jade plants are perfect for the more 
manicured than green thumbs out there (like me)
ceremonial gear
old photographs are enchanting but they creep me out a little
Davetta Moore, a Charlotte interior designer, 
with her favorite print.
brooches and jewelry that can be used as napkin rings
or curtain tie back accents
He stopped to say that the pair of 
 70's Rococo wheat sheaf tables are very "Elle Decor".
get the look for $250
The easiest way to update old lamps would be to 
change the finials aside from the shades.
Jaithan Kochar, Eddie's partner, rocking the military chic look.
Being a furniture girl, I have a fascination for old tools

Oh Suzani!
 Antlers and other natural curiosities intrigue me 
and  I'll fill up a roomful of it if I could. 
Yes, perhaps quite cringe worthy for some of you but I love it!
It brings back memories of our trip to 

I wanted to get this duffel bag and dreamily fill it up with a few good finds. Metrolina is definitely worth coming back to and I will, once I've stop gypsetting. I left with nothing (which was quite a feat) but frabjous tips from Eddie Ross. He was amazing, totally in his element, and oozed with warmth and charm. Follow them to a flea market near you!
me, Wanda HortonEddie Ross, Jaithan Kochar, Davetta Moore 

On another note, yet similar thread.... Allow me to introduce one of my best friends, Zeb Grant, from Atlanta. We met in France the summer of 2007 and knew from the start that we were kindred spirits. He can wield a scalpel very well (in a CSI-ish way ;-)) and uses the same precision with his interior design and floral design talents. I was so thankful that he came to help us with SNUG last High Point Market. We love to eat and shop and can swing a foodie/flea market/high street/high fashion roadshow anywhere any day! 
I got these woodworking tools for Alex in St. Ouen
Zeb helped me search and carried them back to our hotel.
It was a great small assortment of tools for the 
SNUG partner who really enjoys crafting furniture.
He crafted this amazing chest which was his signature piece and came in different finishes.  It was hand painted and distressed by Dyan Lowery who is also a SNUG artist, among other hats. The artwork on the chest was inspired by an antique chest that was almost falling apart brought back from France. On a side note, Alex and I grew up surrounded by and making traditional furniture. SNUG is quite a departure from that but we believe and understand  the value of the old to make and appreciate the new.

Zeb got these beautiful architectural etchings
 and had them framed when he got home.

I think it's safe to say that his baby, Gracie, approves of them too.
This painting was also a great find and works well 
in the corner of Zeb's pad.
While I was trying on fab fur coats, 
Zeb got this magnifying glass from the
 Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

He just put up his tree the other night before going  off to the woods of Kentucky to experience new delights which includes skeet shooting---(don't worry Zeb-I did it too, once, with the beau in the Virginia hinterlands at The Homestead) 
I got this purportedly Balmain dress from Porte de VanvesZeb is right next to me in his signature color wielding a wood tool but I cropped him. He made me swear that I wouldn't post any of our photos with our lardon  laden cheeks from this trip.
Old keys hold some kind of mystery and I got these from P de V too. Check out The Antiques Diva report on Portes de Vanves and  make an appointment before you head to Paris. When I am back for a serious shopping trip, I will definitely call Toma Clark Haines, I am a fan of her blog. I will also download The Paris Apartment's cool IPhone app Keys to the Fleas, perfectionnez n'est-ce pas? 

Here are some fleasurable finds from my stash:
aside from exploring the temples of Angkor and precious gem shopping, 
make sure you check out the markets of
 Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

a miniature tole set from Wellington, New Zealand
a picture perfect scene I captured 
at a Greenville, South Carolina antique market

To read more about elegant thrifting, check out 
The Find by Stan Williams,
the @elegantthrifter no less