Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cute, cute, cute...

My dogs were full of cuteness this weekend, so I thought I'd share. Nick was outside lounging under one of the succulents, while Emily thought a dining room chair provided just the right amount of cover. Aren't they adorable?

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin love...


Pumpkins are beautiful on their own, but I'm always interested to see any new ideas people have for decorating with them. I came across these adorable pumpkins in The Cottage Journal newsletter from Victoria magazine and just loved them, so I thought I'd share. I've seen a couple of pumpkins with that engraved look, but I wasn't sure how they did it. Turns out, it's pretty simple. You just print out the letter in the desired font at the desired size, then trace it onto the pumpkin and carve it out. I'm assuming you would need a special carving knife to do this ~ anyone know?
The pink daisy mum pumpkin is inspired. You just gather whatever flowers you're going to use ~ mums are probably easiest ~ and poke holes into the pumpkin wherever you want the blooms placed. I'm thinking you'd just poke a bunch of holes in to start and then fill in the gaps; cut the stems of the flowers short and put them in the holes. It looks like it would take a little bit of time, but it seems easy and you end up with a gorgeous centerpiece. I'm thinking it's a great way to add a little seasonal beauty to a holiday table. If we end up hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, I'm going to try this. (And I may try it anyway, just for fun.)
By the way, if you're thinking something is different, you're right. I decided to change the look of my blog. I know I just changed everything a month or two ago, and I don't usually change it that often, but it just didn't feel quite right to me and I couldn't figure out why. It finally dawned on me that it looked too much like my other blog, The Pink Home. I decided I'm going to change the look of this blog seasonally, since that's how I like to live and tend to focus on here anyway, while my other blog will continue to be pink and focus on the creations for my shop and living The Pink Home lifestyle. What do you think of my new look?

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Stop by Beverly's place for more autumn and pink loveliness.

Photos from The Cottage Journal

Monday, October 24, 2011

Seasonal touches...

I love these fall tables from Victoria magazine. Just small, easy touches that provide a little seasonal beauty. The place cards are inspired, and what's simpler a little gourd at each place setting or a bowl of seasonal fruit for a centerpiece? Perfect autumn inspiration.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A pink dream house...

As I mentioned in my last post, there is a pink house on Rodeo Drive that I absolutely fell in love with. This is it. I love the recessed front door, the second floor balcony, and (of course) the color. It has a wonderful feeling about it and looks to me like a home a starlet would have lived in back in the 40s or 50s. Isn't it fabulous? I can just imagine throwing wonderful parties in a home like this.
I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. As always, thanks to Beverly for hosting this weekly tribute to pink.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lovely old houses...

Most people associate Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles with expensive, fabulous shopping ~ Chanel, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., etc. And while it's true that you'll find luxury beyond your wildest dreams there, if you drive down the road a little, away from all the craziness, you'll find a wonderful old neighborhood, full of great houses. My favorite is an early 1900s pink home (shocking, huh?) that looks like it belongs in old Hollywood. I'm keeping photos of that one to share for Pink Saturday later this week, but I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the other lovely old homes on Rodeo Drive in the meantime.
Hope all of you are having a lovely week...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, October 17, 2011

A stunning collection...

I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can't possess radiance, you can only admire it.
~ Elizabeth Taylor

After viewing The Elizabeth Taylor Collection in Los Angeles this past weekend, I have to say it was incredible to see so much unbelievably stunning jewelry in one place. I took many photos, which I'm sharing with you as promised, but trust me when I say the photographs won't do these exquisite pieces justice. To see them catch the fire of the light was magical; their sheer beauty and allure are breathtaking in person. Their enormous value is unmistakable, underscored by the many watchful guards stationed throughout the exhibit (classily attired in black suits so as not to call attention to the fact they were armed). I suspect Christie's is right when they say the auction in December will set records. It's unlikely we will ever see the likes of such a collection again, outside of royalty. I am so glad I got to see some of it with my own eyes before it is broken up and sold.

The Elizabeth Taylor diamond ~ more than 33 carats of stunning perfection, given to her by Richard Burton. This is the ring she always wore.

Beautiful emeralds from Bulgari. Another gift from Richard Burton.

A lovely Art Nouveau brooch, by Boucheron.

One of several gold charm bracelets. We were able to see that some of the charms were engraved on the back.

La Peregrina, the famous 16th century pearl, dangles from the bottom of this pearl, ruby and diamond necklance. La Peregrina was another gift from Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor designed the necklace with the help of Cartier to give the pearl the perfect display.

A gorgeous diamond and ruby set from Cartier, a gift from Mike Todd. Sorry about the photo; my flash was acting up.

The Taj Mahal diamond. Another gift from Richard Burton.

A stunning set in lavender, her favorite color. By Van Cleef & Arpels.

The gorgeous Mike Todd Antique Diamond Tiara.

The Windsor Brooch. This once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor, the former Wallis Simpson. Taylor and Burton, who were friends of the Duchess and the former king, purchased it after her death.

The Mike Todd Diamond Ear Pendants are in this set, along with other diamond pieces.

A stunning set of diamonds and sapphires. The necklace was another gift from Richard Burton. If you have not read Furious Love, a recent book about their love affair, do. It's a fabulous read.

There was more than jewelry on display, though it was without a doubt the star of the show. Gowns by Chanel and Dior and Andy Warhol's Liz ~ inscribed to the actress ~ were worth seeing all on their own. Elizabeth Taylor's three Oscars were on display as well (never thought I'd see an Oscar up close and personal), as were scripts of movies she starred in and many, many photographs. I know this is a long post, but I didn't want to leave anything out. Hope you enjoy.

A Chanel ballgown and cape, worn to the premiere of Taming of the Shrew.

  A couple of Christian Dior gowns.

The famous Scorpio evening cape worn to Princess Grace's 40th birthday party, to which only Scorpio's were invited. Richard Burton was a Scorpio, hence the invite, but Elizabeth Taylor was not, hence the cape.

Andy Warhol's Liz. It is inscribed to the actress at the bottom.

Elizabeth Taylor's three Oscars. The photo is of her getting up to receive her first Oscar, for Butterfield 8. She won a second Oscar for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The third was a humanitarian award.

Photos from her films, with various memorabilia.

I've been through it all, baby. I'm Mother Courage. I'll be dragging my sable coat behind me in old age.
~ Elizabeth Taylor

All photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The beauty of a life well-lived...

Consider this a detour from my usual blog topics, but I’m so excited I wanted to share. You’ll never guess where I’m off to today. (OK, so the photograph might be a little bit of a hint.) I’m off to Los Angeles to see The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor. As some of you have probably heard, Christie’s is auctioning off Elizabeth Taylor's art, clothes, movie memorabilia and those fabulous jewels in New York City in December. But before they do, they have sent the collection on a world tour of a few select cities.
The collection is only making two stops in the United States ~ LA and New York. Since I live in southern California, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see in person all those amazing jewels, the dress she married Richard Burton in the first time (and the one she married him in the second time) and even her amazing art collection. She lived such a remarkable life; I can't wait to actually see some of the famous touchstones of it.
Since it will be hard for most people to see all this beauty up close and personal (the Los Angeles stop is already sold out), I thought I’d share it with you. I’ll take as many photos as allowed and report back so all of you can enjoy it, too.
Wish me luck with the constant traffic nightmare that is LA.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The beauty of (e)books and magazines...

I have a confession: I'm in love with my new NOOK Color from Barnes & Noble. I am a huge book lover (as my regular readers know), but at first I was quite skeptical of e-readers. It's not just reading I love, it's books ~ I love their beauty, their solidness, flipping through the pages, everything. The Kindle just never appealed to me because it seemed so bland, even though I know lots of people who love it. But then along came the iPad (which I'm saving my pennies for) and suddenly I began to think that reading books and magazines on a tablet might not be so bad or boring after all. My love gave me a NOOK Color for my birthday and six weeks later, I'm hooked. It's easy, useful, fun ~ and everything is beautiful to read on it.
While I'll never give up physical books or magazines completely ~ I just love them too much ~ the NOOK has found a niche in my life. In particular, I'm loving my magazines on it. I had stopped subscribing to several magazines simply because I knew I would end up throwing them away and it seemed like a waste (but if I don't have a clear-out every once in a while, we'd drown in magazines and books). But now, with my NOOK, I can keep my magazines forever without them taking up space. Love it. So now I've got subscriptions to RealSimple, Food Network Magazine and Martha Stewart Living again, all on my NOOK.
I have even bought a couple of cookbooks to see how I liked the experience of reading and using a cookbook on an e-reader, and so far, so good. I purchased one of Giada's cookbooks (which is fabulous, by the way) and Paul Deen's new cookbook. Very easy to read, navigate, everything. I'm quite happy and thinking that I may shift to buying some of my cookbooks on the NOOK, since my cookbook collection is threatening to take over as well.
As I said to a friend of mine, my e-reader is a wonderful enabler: It helps feed my reading habit while also somewhat stemming the tide of physical books and magazines into my home (i.e., fewer clear-outs). Now that is a beautiful thing.