Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Death Of A Blog

I think of bloggers as angels. They come into your life by chance, and then become a part of it by choice. Bloggers hover like angels just a click away waiting to fill a special space in your life. I depend on my daily reads as if checking in with old friends, tried and true and always there. Sometimes I'm a bad friend and I don't get back to a blog I love for weeks at a time, secure that it will be there when I have time to read it again.

Why does a blog die?

Who wants to kill off a blog?

You know how it's done. Cliques form. People are left out or ignored. Gossip girl (and boy) private e-mails are exchanged about a lesser "loser" blog. Friendly overtures are ignored. Anon comments that are mean are sent. Creepy anon stalkers emerge always watching, always ready to disparage. Personality cults emerge and if you don't gel, you're out. And if you have a popular blog, you poo poo all the high school hi jinks, just wanting to be left alone with your goodness.
The poor blogger who wants to be a part of the community, a part of the fun finally feels so left out and bad, he/she stops blogging.

Maybe the stronger ones keep blogging, and they usually find their own readers who appreciate them. But there is always that nagging sense of not being a part of the group of alleged super star bloggers, the ones who get the press, the adoration, the huge amount of hits of the site meter, the ones who get lots of comments, the ones who get featured on other blogs, or asked on radio shows, the ones who get a photo shoot of their work. Sure they work hard for it, but no less than anyone else really.
I'm not saying it's totally this mean girl/boy interaction going on in the blogging world. There's alot of good and generous souls out there too. But to negate the buzz kill bloggers is one way to be in denial.

What makes someone pull the plug on their own blog? So much work goes into a blog. Just go into an archive of any blogger and see the body of work that includes writing and image gathering. Why would someone not only kill their own blog, but wipe out their archive too? All that work gone in a click! It hurts me to think of it.

So now another blog is mysteriously gone. A really great one. A very original one.

It's Paul Pincus. His blog was one of an aesthete. It covered art, architecture, historical preservation, and photography, and all media, and home decor, and hunky guys, and glam woman, and all things interesting that you wouldn't see churned out on the "j'dore" girl blogs (and worst yet by the guys who write in sugary chatty third person), that massive circuit of chick lit decor writers.

So I saw this on my blog list yesterday, and my heart sank:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Paul Pincus Blog, R.I.P.

Paul Pincus who is Roddy Gonsalves who is Paul Pincus, where are you? My e-mail to you has gone unanswered.

Your second to last post says you are bound for Tokyo. Is that true? Did you find a great job? A new love? Are you off on a grand adventure? On the lam?

And why oh why won't you share it with us who love you?

Paul Pincus R.I.P. indeed! I'm calling the Psychic Friends Network, getting out the Ouija board, contacting a medium, gathering a posse, getting a search party together! Your blog may be gone, but your spirit hovers my friend.

We're missing an angel in the blogosphere. His name is Paul Pincus.

Celerie Kemble Guest Blogger - All About The Bedroom

Design A Bedroom
by Celerie Kemble

A bedroom is our most personal enclave where we are most bare, private, and sensual, or just plain hiding. The challenge is to create a physical comfort as well as a functional but aesthetically pleasing space. To make this room special, you must cater to many senses - sight, touch, sound, and smell. I can’t tell you how to decorate your room, as that is entirely personal, but I can pass on some advice.

Bed -
Please indulge yourself here! Fabulous sheets are a bonus but not a necessity. Some designers cry thread count as though it’s an anthem, but I believe that pillows, comforter, and mattress have more influence over the entire bed experience. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it so think of your bed in the same way. Go to the showroom and flop around on the mattresses, hug the pillows, and rub the sheets against your cheeks before you make a purchase.

Lighting -
- An over lighted bedroom lacks romance. Make use of dimmers, three-way, and full spectrum and dipped bulbs, which show a varying brightness and can direct light in specific directions. Or use lampshades with soft opacity.

- Lighting looks best when at a variety of heights. Aim for four levels of lighting: table, standing, ceiling, and wall mounted. This is gentle on the eyes and combats harsh and unflattering shadows. I recommend using wall mounted swing arms near the bed (a great trick for smaller bedrooms), a standing lamp, and table lamps on a chest of drawers or bedside tables.

Window Treatments -
It’s one of the only rooms in the house that beg management of darkness as well as light, so think carefully about your window treatments. In the absence of financial constraints, a perfectly dressed window has a few layers. I like to use hidden but inexpensive blackout shades, sheers, matchstick or wooden blinds, and outer panels or a pretty roman shade. The panels and roman shade are mostly decorative, but they soften a room dramatically and add the illusion of greater height. (I recommend setting the shade, valance, and curtain pole all the way up to the ceiling).

Walls -
- Wallpaper: Consider a good stripe, graphic patterns, and textures.

- Upholstered walls: Like living in a jewel box, this expensive option envelopes you in the fabric’s texture, pattern, and color.
-Paint finishes: The glossier the finish, the easier to clean (good for trim and doors). the more matted the finish, the easier to repaint over smudges. I usually do eggshell walls and semi-gloss or satin on the doors.

Floors -
Because there is less traffic here, you can use more delicate flooring.
- I prefer wall-to-wall carpet because of the blanketing, clean, calm effect and the delicious decadence of soft pile beneath bare feet.
- If you can choose an area rug, remember that your eye is naturally drawn to the perimeter line creating the perception that the room is only as large as the rug. If that doesn’t dissuade you, keep in mind that electric cords, dust bunnies, and general household junk tend to accumulate in what I think of as the ghetto between the rug and wall.

- If you don’t choose carpeting or rugs, paint wood floors white, or a soft color, then accent with throw rugs. Or use a dark stain and keep the furniture light for a high contrast.

Furniture -
While the selection process is personal, here is a list of items to consider: bed, side tables, desk, seating area, chest of drawers, storage, a mirror. I don’t like sets, but prefer that each piece of furniture relate but not match in a room. For instance, I like to use two coherent but differently styled and scaled bedside tables. One might be closed (to hide books, glasses, etc.) and one more leggy and open, or I’ll use a small table on one side, and put a writing desk or vanity as a side table on the other.
A secondary seating option is a necessity for a bedroom. It’s a matter of manners to make sure there is room somewhere for a non intimate person to sit as there will always be occasions when they are in the room with you. At a minimum, a pull-up chair or bench will do. If space and budget permit, place a small love seat at the foot of the bed, or a chaise in the corner of a room, or a comfy reading chair and ottoman in a corner.

Tips and Treats -
- A tray next to the bed is a pretty and practical way to keep mess minimal and easily portable.
- Treat yourself to an outrageously soft throw blanket at the foot of your bed.

- For storage, think big Tupperware under your bed. Put your stuff in the large, flat plastic containers. They keep everything from getting dusty and they are easy to access.
- Put a surge protector or extension cord under each side of the bed. This saves you from crawling under the bed and tugging the plug off the wall. Always tape cords down the back legs of furniture so they’re not snaking around in view.

Note from VV: All photos (lovingly scanned for you) are of the beautiful bedrooms designed by Celerie Kemble, from the book "Celerie Kemble to Your Taste", by Celerie Kemble.

It's a wonderful book. Buy it HERE

Celerie Kemble is an interior designer for Kemble Interiors Inc., a decorating design firm located in Palm Beach and New York. She also designs a self-named line of furniture for Lane Venture, fabric for Braemore, and wallpaper for Zoffany. She has been featured as one of House Beautiful magazine's Top 100 Designers for over five consecutive years, and was named one of the fifty taste makers for the future of design by the much missed House and Garden magazine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Open The Doors and Windows!

Finally Fall is making an appearance in New Orleans. This means the humidity is below 50% and the temperature will only go as high as 80 something during the day, and maybe drop to 60 something in the night. And it's not raining!

We live with the air conditioner on for at least eight months out of the year. And while we are grateful to have it, the house gets to be stuffy.

Scented candles help, and changing the air conditioner filters is a must. But still one longs for a breath of fresh air.

There a few days every year during the change of seasons, once in the Spring and the other in the Fall. The humidity and temperature drop, and the bugs are somewhere else.

The air conditioner clicks off, and that constant hum stops. The silence, a quiet house in the early morning, awakes us.

The dog feels frisky. In fact we feel it too. It actually feels naturally chilly, and I reach for a sweater to let the dog out.

Stepping on the porch is glorious! The whole city seems to be taking a deep breath.

I prop the front door open.

I open all the windows on the way to the kitchen at the back of our shotgun house.

The gentle breeze ruffles the curtains, and the cross ventilation is delicious.

Before I make coffee, I open the massive old cypress door in the kitchen at the very back off the house.

There's a view of the back garden I seldom see, and it draws me outside.

Our garden is hugely overgrown. Our yard man is sick, and I fear the worst for him. Years of being overwieght and coping with diabetis has taken its toll. I've been asking around the neighborhood for him, but no one knows anything. The sprouting wildflowers call his name.

I kind of like the wild meadow effect. I pull a few weeds, touch a few plants, marvel at the size of everything, espeically the banana trees, after a late Summer of plentiful rain.

Our dog Cholo is so happy. He brings me a soccer ball to kick or throw, and we enjoy the fine morning together.

Back in the house, everything is fresh again. Dust bunnies are tumbleweeds flying out the doors.
The scent of fresh brewed coffee, and fresh air should be bottled for those long eight months when the house is shut up like a crypt.

Even our dispositions get an airing out.

We talk about so many things that have be festering all Summer long, simmering and fermenting.

Airing out ones heart and soul is good to do once in awhile.

Blowing out the cobwebs and dust bunnies from the mind feels wonderful.

Soon it will get cold enough to shut up the house nice and tight again, and turn on the heat.

In the meantime open the windows and doors!

Hope you enjoyed the collection of images I gathered for you from Google Images.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Know You Love To Make Vignettes! Enter This Contest at Old World Charm

All decor addicts love to make vignettes, and also thrive on lovingly photographing those detail shots. So now you can go through your archive and enter a contest and maybe win something nice for your next vignette.

All the above vignettes were photographed by moi!
All except one - the one with the two blue chairs.
I love vignettes! Making them and photographing them.
Enter the Grand Opening Content for a chance to win a $150 Online Gift Certificate

Old World Charm invites aspiring and professional decorators to submit a photo of their best original vignette design -- table, fireplace, bookcases or anything else -- for a chance to win. So let your creative juices flow. Get busy accessorizing. Snap a picture. Then email your entry, being sure to specify if you're an amateur or pro designer (prizes will be awarded in each category) to:
The Judge: Winners will be determined by Virginia-based interior designer Judith Minoff, who has more than two decades of' experience in the United States and Europe (she speaks French and Turkish). Over the years, she has counted top executives at L'Oreal, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Citibank, Procter and Gamble and Purina among her clients. A lifelong penchant for design, architecture and all things international influences her work. While her personal style is eclectic and comfortable -- combining old with new, domestic with foreign -- in planning clients' designs, she creates spaces that reflect their style and interests while striking a balance between classic good taste and a modern way of life.
Entries will be accepted between October 1, 2009, and December 31, 2009. The names of prize winners in "amateur" and "professional" categories will be published here on January 15, 2010 (along with a bio and links to the winners' Web site or blog, if any).

Official Rules: To enter, please submit your photograph(s) along with your name, mailing address, e-mail address and entry category. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 PM on 12/31/09. Not responsible for lost, late, misdirected or garbled e-mail transmissions. Winning submissions will be selected on the basis of talent, originality, style and creativity. Prizes: 1st place: $150, 2nd place: $100, 3rd place: $50. Winners will be notified by e-mail. NO PURCHASE REQUIRED. WORLDWIDE ENTRIES WELCOME.