Friday, February 6, 2009

The Martha Stewart Show
Okay so we went to a taping of the Martha show. Just like so many other creative people I have been a big fan of Martha Stewart for as long as I can remember. I have back issues of her magazines that go back almost twenty years. I LOVED seeing her in person - she is fabulous! I sat there with a silly grin on my face for the entire show - what can I say? I barely even remember anything she said, anything she cooked or any sparkly little bracelet thing she made during the show. In my mind she can do no wrong.

The audience is treated very well before the show with complimentary lunch/snacks if you are hungry. The set is so beautiful - what else would you expect? On the far left is her test kitchen, with busy little chefs in there creating perfect little nibbly things, or whatever, for the entire length of the show. On the far right is a wonderful greenhouse area full of beautiful and unusual plants and flowers - and there was someone in there gardening throughout the show too. Martha was friendly and warm to the audience and we all left with a wonderful Italian cookbook at the end of the show. 

Incidentally, I was chosen to ask Martha's guest a question during the taping but unfortunately(or fortunately I'm not sure which) I had the last question, out of six, and they ran out of time for mine. During the first 5 questions I had managed to work myself into a shaking, nervous wreck so it was probably best that I wasn't allowed to embarrass myself(and Doug) on live TV! I was a wee bit disappointed though :-( 

 All in all it was a great experience and I encourage anyone who has a few spare afternoon hours in New York to be part of the Martha Stewart audience!
Inspiration | Tinsel Trading Company.
I wanted to show you some pictures from the new Tinsel Trading Company. They have moved around the corner from their original location that they were in for, I think she said, 70 years. They still sell all the wonderful new and vintage trim, ribbon, fringes, buttons and bows that they are famous for. The store has less character than the original(it would be heard to recreate the atmosphere of the other store) but they still have great old fixtures, tables, cabinets etc. It is the vintage trim that catches my eye at Tinsel - some of the ribbon and trim that they have is as old as the dresses I posted yesterday from Sak's window - and indeed some of it could be the same trim used on those historical costumes. They are awfully kind and friendly in the store and they encourage you to take pictures and samples and open all the little drawers etc - love it. Enjoy . . . 

Next week I will have lots of street level pictures to show you - some of my favourite store fronts in the Village and Soho. So stay tuned.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Window Dressing | Saks Fifth Avenue
The window display at Saks right now is showcasing these amazing historical costumes from the Metropolitan Opera House. Some of them are almost 100 years old. I think you might love them as much as I do.

ABC Carpet and Home
I am feeling a bit under the weather today - all that walking around blustery Manhattan streets was bound to catch up to me sooner or later. So to cheer me up I am going to post some very pretty pictures from ABC Carpet and Home - makes me feel better just looking at them.

One of the designers that caught my eye at ABC was vermont designer, Laura Zindel. These creamy, porcelain vessels with the black engravings of flora and fauna are beautiful. The plates have a simple art nouveau edge on them so they have a slightly art and crafts feel to them - remembering that insects and birds were really popular during the arts and crafts movement. Of course this craft has a thoroughly modern feel to it.

These are the elevator doors at ABC (below) now didn't we just see something like this here . . 

Doug took lots of pictures at ABC(with big security guys following him around!) I'll show you more very soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Window Dressing
 I watched this fellow work for hours in the window of the J Crew store across the road from our hotel. He was carefully trimming all these pink file folders and attaching them to the wall to create a repeat pattern. I think it looks great. Isn't there an Orla Kiely pattern that uses file folders in a repeat - or is it someone else?

And while we are on the subject of store windows, I have some great shots of the Sak's window on 5th Ave for you in the next couple of days.
NY Gift Show | Raksha Bella
I loved Carrie Peter's booth for Raksha Bella it was so different from all the minimal, modern booths that seemed to be popular this year. The Raksha Bella booth really reflected the personality of their organic, hand printed textiles and soft furnishings. Actually the first thing that caught my eye was the 3 legged chair that Carrie was sitting in - apparently it is a mid-century piece - very Chinese influenced I would say.

For more information on Raksha Bella you can visit their web site right here!
NY Gift Show | Lazy Susan
For the best merchandising at the show the prize goes to Lazy Susan. walking into the their booth was like walking into one of your favourite stores. Everything was so perfectly staged and the lighting was fabulous, the products just glowed like museum pieces. I was not familiar to the Lazy Susan brand but I had such a great chat with the designer(Renee Wightman) who was so interesting to talk to. She designs everything in their collection and then sources the manufacturers and the materials to produce the line as she visions it. What I found remarkable was the materials used. What I thought was a collection of white porcelain vessels turned out to be white powder coated aluminum. The cloud like lampshades are made of corrugated plastic sheeting. The black mirror is made of coconut leaf and beads, though it looks like leather. The organic, ruffled lampshade is made of dried petals(can't remember now exactly what kind of petals she said it was.) This kind of imagination and craftsmanship impresses me so much - I was quite humbled by it all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Night shots of New York
Just thought I'd tease you with a few night shots of New York that Doug took out of the hotel room window. I have so many New York pictures to show you later this week - still sifting through them. People ask me all the time where we stay in New York - our hotel of choice is the Roosevelt Hotel near Grand Central Terminal. It's a grand old place with great service and decent sized rooms. I thoroughly recommend it.

Front of the Roosevelt Hotel.

NY Gift Show | Margo Selby
This booth stopped me in my tracks. Simple white walls draped with these amazing textiles. You have to touch them to understand their sumptuous quality. The 3 dimensionality of the patterns is fabulous and they have a tiny bit of stretch in them too which gives them a life of their own. You must go to Margo's site and check out the bags and accessories too.

Margo's business is based in England with all her production done at traditional English mills - brilliant!
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