Nail Files

Nail Files

Now that it has finally cooled off and the leaves are changing, I feel like fall is officially here. I am starting to break out my boots and sweaters and think about autumnal colors. This extends to my minimal beauty rituals also and I thought today we could indulge in a bit of frivolity . When I have time, I love getting pedicures and I try to continue, though not as frequently, throughout the year. In the cooler months it becomes almost a necessity so that my dry heels don’t snag my socks or run my stockings. But as long as I am getting the restorative treatment, I also enjoy putting a little color on my toes.…

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Try It, You’ll Like It

Try It, You’ll Like It

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page – you’ll find all sorts of links, fascinating information and great finds!

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The Heritage of Houdini

The Heritage of Houdini

Houdini Upside Down in the Water Torture Cell, c. 1913; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Collection

There are so many terrific ongoing and upcoming exhibits at the museums in New York this fall that it’s hard to keep up. One of the more unusual shows opens next week at the Jewish Museum. Houdini: Art and Magic is the first major American museum exhibition about the famous magician and the impact he has had on visual media. The exhibit includes magic apparatus, posters, period photographs, archival films, and contemporary art work, all disclosing how Houdini inspired his audiences and continues to influence contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Petah Coyne, Jane Hammond, Vik Muniz, Deborah Oropallo, and Raymond Pettibon and Tim Lee, whose work is shown below.…

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Passing Portraits

Passing Portraits

Philip Scott Johnson is a digital artist from St. Louis. His favorite quote, from Picasso, is “everything you can imagine is real” and once you see this clip you’ll understand why. His amazing video art has been viewed by millions and shown everywhere from the Kawaguchi Art Gallery in Tokyo to the White Square Gallery in Las Vegas. He has produced many pieces, including more commercial ones, but this is one of my favorites. You can try and guess all the portraits – I’ll post the answers at the end. Have fun!!

Artists in order of appearance:
0:08 – Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
0:15 – Francisco Goya 1746-1828
0:22 – Albrecht Dürer 1471-1528
0:29 – Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723-1792
0:35 – Rembrandt 1606-1669
0:42 – Andy Warhol 1928-1987
0:48 – William-Adolphe Bouguereau 1825-1905
0:55 – Henri Matisse 1869-1954
1:02 – Eugène Delacroix 1798-1863
1:09 – Jean-François Millet 1814-1875
1:15 – Jan van Eyck 1395-1441
1:22 – Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640
1:28 – James McNeill Whistler 1834-1903
1:35 – John Singer Sargent 1856-1925
1:42 – Kazimir Malevich 1878-1935
1:49 – Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665
1:55 – Paul Cézanne 1839-1906
2:02 – Paul Gauguin 1848-1903
2:08 – Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890
2:15 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882
2:22 – Diego Velázquez 1599-1660
2:28 – Nicholas Hilliard 1547-1619
2:35 – Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641
2:41 – Titian 1485-1576
2:48 – Paolo Veronese 1528-1588
2:55 – Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472-1553
3:01 – Édouard Manet 1832-1883
3:08 – Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

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Magnificent Monograms

Magnificent Monograms

Unfortunately, since I wrote this post several years ago, the owner, Caroline Breckenridge, has passed away. Please continue on to read about her work and for monogram design inspiration.

I don’t remember how I found Monogram Inc. but I’m certainly glad I did. Founded by owner Caroline Breckenridge in 1999, Monogram Inc. is a fabulous source for custom monograms. Caroline is a delight to work with and produces the most exquisite designs which can then be used for a variety of projects.

The history of monograms is fascinating and Caroline explains a bit about it on her lovely site. Markings on linens were originally used solely for identification purposes.  …

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On the Same Wavelength

On the Same Wavelength

I just received my new Town & Country this weekend. It’s a terrific issue and I couldn’t help but notice that we clearly were on the same wavelength this month. If you enjoyed my Christie’s Cache post about the upcoming jewelry sale at the auction house, then you should definitely read Carol Prisant’s informative profile of Rahul Kadakia, the debonair head of the jewelry department at Christie’s, who was quoted in my post and discusses some of the pieces I featured.

And if you liked reading my profile of Victoire de Castellane and her designs in my Dazzled at Dior piece, then be sure to check out J’adore Dior, a little write up produced by Heather Bracher Severs and Claudia Mata, of de Castellane’s LA D DE DIOR watch.…

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Interior Portraits

Interior Portraits

There are so many wonderful design books making their debut this fall. I have already covered David Easton’s beautiful Timeless Elegance and will certainly be looking at several more. Most of these are compendiums of the designers’ projects, executed to focus on their work with beautiful photographs and text. And that is the way it should be – I am always excited to read them and have them in my bookcase (or more accurately, in the growing pile next to my bed) available to review for pleasure or research. But sometimes, there is a book that has clearly been given that extra care in terms of book design, layout and typography that sets it apart in terms of packaging.…

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Thank you Dominique Browning

Thank you Dominique Browning

A big thank you to Dominique Browning who, on her blog slowlovelife, cites Quintessence as one of the four blogs she has been following lately. I didn’t even realize until one of my readers congratulated me on the mention. Coming from such a highly respected, experienced editor, I consider this high praise indeed. Dominique, as I imagine most of you know, was, among her many other accomplishments, the editor-in-chief of House & Garden for thirteen years and the author of three books including the recent Slow Love: How I Lost my Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness, which if you haven’t already read, I highly recommend.…

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Game Day

Game Day

I am not a big online game player – I have very few apps on my iphone and the only two games I have are both free: Wordwarp and Hangman (for my daughter). I am, however, totally hooked on Wordwarp – it is a fun, challenging word game that is great for when you are waiting at the doctor or orthodontist’s office, in line at school pick up or on the train. But be warned, it is highly addictive! I have been known to chastise the kids if they start to play a game I have going with a very high point total accumulated.…

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Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

I was so focussed on all the design books coming out this fall that I somehow missed this wonderful gem. The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights looks to be a total delight. The author, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, was formerly the European editor of W, a senior editor at Women’s Wear Daily and currently writes for Vogue from her home in Maine. Scheduled for a November 2 publication date by Nan Talese books at Random House, the book has already garnered quotes from several inner circle fashionistas including Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Kors and this from Tory Burch, “Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’ Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is a beautifully researched and written book.…

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