April 29, 2011

Weekend Happenings

After the Royal Wedding, everything else seems like a let-down! However, I’ve managed to find some highlights for you!

First, it’s our Tasteful Tag Sale at Housewerks, from 10 to 2 on Saturday. Hope to see you then!4-10 029It’s WSJ. Magazine weekend, and I got a special preview copy of it the other day. Once again, they’ve hit the ball out of the park, especially with the piece about the greatest buildings never built! Chanel Buttons There’s a fascinating piece about the ateliers that Chanel uses, and how they’ve purchased these workshops to ensure their continuation.  Don’t wait until Monday, or it will be gone. POOF!

I mentioned that my friend David’s house is on tour this weekend, and in anticipation, the Baltimore Sun wrote a great piece about the history of his house/shop/workshop. I just love this picture of David reflected in one of his creations, a multi-faceted mirror.sun1 It started as a Hupmobile showroom! sun2 There are 23 amazing images of the space which really show how talented David is.  That’s the kitchen, above.sun5 This is one view of the living room above, and below, another view.sun6 And David’s famous Moroccan room. Hookah, anyone?sun4 This man is so talented, I can hardly stand it! He created this room from NOTHING!!! Read the article here, and look at all 23 pictures, here.

Have a great weekend!

April 28, 2011

The Official Royal Wedding Program!

Just released by the Prince of Wales’ office, the official program and order of service for tomorrow’s Royal Wedding. will & kate by mario testino It’s very considerate of them to put it in PDF format, so that you can print it out and follow along… even along the route!map & route There are some interesting explanations of things associated with the wedding, including the bride’s family’s brand new coat of arms. W K Coats of ArmsI am delighted to see that they’re singing one of my all-time favourite hymns, Jerusalem. Cheers!

April 27, 2011

David’s House is Open!

As you may have realized, I adore my friend David, and think he’s one of the most talented people I know. I love that we’ve gotten to be great friends over the past years. pinky 007This coming weekend, David’s extraordinary house is going to be one of the homes on the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage on Sunday, May 1. For more than 80 years, MHGP has showcased some of the most incredible private homes in Maryland, and each year, they focus on several different areas of the state.

This year, a number of homes in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon neighbourhood will be open for viewing by the pilgrims. Here’s what they have to say about Mount Vernon:

This neighborhood, once home to the region’s wealthiest families, is named for the Washington Monument, a large pillar commemorating George Washington, and its four flanking formal parks. Baltimore_Washington_Monument The District is still home to many important cultural institutions such as the Walters Art Gallery and the Peabody Institute, as well as innumerable art galleries, craft workshops, studios and community theaters.

David’s house is filled with amazing furniture and finishes. Many pieces of the furniture are prototypes for pieces which David later put into production. Party 030 This amazing piece filled with china he’s collected over the years, is in his kitchen. Here’s another look at the kitchen and you can just see the cabinet on the left.kitchenHis living room is something that I aspire to… cool and elegant with spectacular pieces and long tall windows.livingroomDavid loves a good Moroccan influence, as evidenced by his legendary Arabian Nights party, and this spectacular lamp, which he designed and made. light I’ll be a tour guide at David’s house on the early shift, so be sure to say hi!

Tickets are available for purchase here and are $30 per person. I’d pay $30 for a tour of David’s house!

The Royal Wedding Dress

Dress Rehearsal, that is!

In the pre-dawn hours of this morning, a dress rehearsal was held on the streets of London. 

Timings were tested to the second and all armed forces taking part got the chance to practice their role in full ceremonial dress and ensure nothing is left to chance. The day began very early - about 2am for those involved. People are already camping out along the route to be sure they don’t miss a thing!royal feverForces left Westminster's Wellington Barracks shortly before 5am to begin their way along the route.  Some of the soldiers, sailors and airmen practising their duties were Prince William's colleagues.

First to arrive at the abbey were two of the royal fleet cars - Rolls-Royces which arrived at about 4.50am. Shortly after 5am the action began. It was audible only at first as the sounds of orders being barked out emerged from the final stretch of the route running down from the Houses of Parliament to the abbey.

The horses are used to the crowds and to the streets of London. If you’re up early enough, and in the right place, you can see the Blues and Royals from Buckingham Palace riding through the streets of London, exercising their horses. But they have to be back at the barracks before the witching hour, and you can sometimes see them galloping to get back in time!royal-wedding-cavalry The countdown is on!

April 25, 2011

A Final Journey

Baltimore lost a good friend last week. William Donald Schaefer was the Mayor of Baltimore, twice. He was the Governor of the State of Maryland, twice. He was the Comptroller of Maryland, twice.WDS RIPThis morning, his body was taken to lie in state at the Maryland State House, the oldest in continual use in the USA. Schaefer Annapolis From Annapolis, Schaefer’s body was driven back to Baltimore, the city he loved with all of his heart and soul. He was a true public servant. He was not interested in self-promotion or self-glorification, but the betterment of the city and its people. His “do it now” mandates ensured that pot holes were filled, trash was removed and lights were glowing. His Order of the Rose campaign rewarded home-owners who kept their lawns tidy and their gardens blooming, with a little certificate of appreciation. Schaefer salute What was especially poignant, and a fitting tribute, was the tour of Baltimore taken by the motorcade carrying his body and some of his close friends. There were stops at many of the places that now define Baltimore, but were his ideas, and at other places which he just loved. Schaefer AquariumAt the National Aquarium, where Schaefer once donned a Victorian-era swim suit and jumped in the seal pool, the staff came out and tipped their hats to him.

Schaefer OSPAt Old Saint Paul’s Church, where his funeral will take place on Wednesday, and where he and my father attended 8:00 a.m. services every Sunday for many, many years. Schaefer Mount Vernon In Mount Vernon, a neighbourhood filled with cultural institutions, which he supported both as Mayor and Governor, the motorcade passed sidewalks filled with people paying their respects. Schaefer in Fed Hill by Casey MerblerOn Federal Hill, with a view of the “new” city, with its vast changes in the past 30 years, many directly as a result of Mayor Schaefer’s broad thinking and vision.

Schaefer city hall And returning to City Hall, where it all began so many years ago, first as a city councilman, then as President of the City Council and finally as Mayor of the city he loved.  He will lie in state at City Hall, before being buried on Wednesday.

William Donald Schaefer, we all loved you…and you loved us. Rest in Peace, Your Honour.

April 24, 2011

A Little Teaser

We’re getting ready for our Tasteful Tag Sale this coming weekend, and Flip sent over a little teaser to add to the list of things.50s lucite necklace This is a 1950’s lucite necklace and earring set, just one of the many fun things that will be on offer on Saturday, April 30th!  Details here.

As for me, in addition to selling lots of china, silver, glassware, linens and more, I’ll be giving away some of the treasures that I’ve picked up at the Book Thing. Like these:

DV[3] DV2[4]

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me here.  So sorry that I can’t post pictures of everything we’re selling. I will be putting some more items on the Atelier Pigtown this week, so watch out for them.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

April 21, 2011

Want to Buy A Property in England?

Well, now’s your chance, as the von Essen Group of hotels went into bankruptcy earlier this week and has had to put a number of its properties up for sale. Not saying that they’re going to go at fire sale prices, but do take a look at what’s on offer.

First up, the historic Cliveden House. BH1M8JCliveden, once home to Nancy Astor and mired in the Profumo scandal in the 1960s, recently unveiled the world’s most expensive afternoon tea – £550 for two people. Queen Victoria, a frequent guest, was not amused in 1893 when the house was bought by William Waldorf Astor, America’s richest citizen. It soon became a social hub, with guests ranging from Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt to George Bernard Shaw. Harold Macmillan, another regular guest, when told that the house was eventually to become a hotel, remarked “My dear boy, it always has been”

Next up for your approval, one of my favourite places, The Royal Crescent in Bath.105659015 Royal Crescent, Bath: Staying at the Royal Crescent in Bath has been compared to stepping into the pages of a Jane Austen novel. Its architecture has remained unchanged since the 18th century when it was built as part of the Royal Crescent by John Wood the Younger

And here’s the lovely Ston Easton, a simple little place in the country.BTRRW4 Ston Easton Park luxury hotel, Midsomer Norton Somerset: Dates back to the mid-18th century and is set within gardens created by landscape gardener Humphry Repton. They include an ice house, a ruined grotto fountain, a sham castle, a plunge pool and Palladian bridges over the river.

Without a doubt, one of the more architecturally interesting buildings on offer is Ickworth.1149997m Ickworth Hall Hotel, the former home of the Marquis of Bristol, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Just a small sample of what you can pick up at the upcoming property auction.

April 20, 2011

Tasteful Tag Sale on Saturday, April 30th @ Housewerks!

I am DONE! Just done!

I am so sick of all of the things I have collected for the past five years, and now that I am starting a new phase in my life (details to come), I want to make a fresh start.

So, on Saturday, April 30th at Housewerks in Baltimore, a few friends and I will be hosting a Tasteful Tag Sale!  Tasteful Tag Sale April 30 @ Housewerks! Last time we did a tag sale, I had Nate Berkus’s camera crew following me around, so I didn’t get much selling done.Nelle at Stone Hill Farm But this time, I plan to sell loads of things!

Among the things that I will be selling… all at very reasonable prices… are china, silverware, glassware, fabrics, books, linens, and much more!

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My friend Flip, who I’ve written about several times, will also be selling her wares that day, and we hope to have a couple more vendors.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. We’re starting at the crack of 10:00 a.m. You can get directions to Housewerks, here.

April 19, 2011

I am in the Wrong Business!

I do love One King’s Lane, but every so often, their offerings just make me shake my head in wonderment… or horror!

For example, let’s look at this listing from their Tastemaker’s Tag Sale… It’s a jar of old wooden spools. Why yes, there is some lovely stripey string around the top of the jar, but is it really worth this price?  OKL 1Or how about these two ratty old French books, tied together with about 50¢ worth of grosgrain ribbon. I could just hustle up to the Book Thing and pick up some of these and charge this price!OKL 2But wait, I could be really clever and add an old measuring tape. I know I’ve got one or two around here somewhere…  And these don’t even have to be French books!OKL 3Oh dear, I think someone ought to tell these people that this is really a toast rack! Of course, I use mine to sort letters, but it’s really for toast. OKL 4Now, I don’t mean to be totally snarky, but these prices are pretty outlandish for what you’re getting. Or maybe I am just frugal, and clever enough to either make these pieces, or find and sell them for a song!

April 18, 2011

Drive By Tulips

There’s an amazing garden in Baltimore that is spectacular at this time of year. Sherwood Gardens is abloom with thousands of tulips, and today on my way home from work, I took a spin around the block where the gardens are located. guilford 002 It was a joy to see so many people walking through the gardens, pushing children in carriages, or walking dogs.  guilford 003 Each year, more than 80,000 bulbs are planted, and at the end of the growing season, residents are invited to come dig up the bulbs. guilford 004Sherwood Gardens is unique in that it has no walls or fences, and charges no admission. guilford 006 It’s free to anyone who wants to stroll though, sit on the benches or have a picnic or a cocktail on the lawn. guilford 005 It’s what’s good about Baltimore.

April 17, 2011


As the East Coast was being hammered by hurricane-like weather, I thought I could use a little spring cheer in my day, so I braved the high winds and driving rain and went to see what was new at Halcyon House Antiques

As I mentioned the other day, Halcyon’s website is up and running, but what I didn’t realize was that it had only been launched last week! Jonathan, Stiles and Eric put a tireless effort into making it a great site, and so easy to navigate, with lots of eye candy (including these two handsome gentlemen!).jonathanstilesThe colours at Halcyon went a long way to bringing a bright spot into a very rainy day, and cheered me up immensely, as did the company! I saw scores of new things on offer there, and thought I’d share them with you.

First up, lots of bamboo accessories, including these great hand-painted plates,halcyon 048 and platters,halcyon 049 these great dining room chairs in a Chinese Chippendale pattern,halcyon 041 and these fabulous porch chairs with their wonderful green and brown stripes.halcyon 004Halcyon House has recently expanded their collection to include a special selection of things For Her! These handbags come in a range of sizes and will be perfect for the summer. halcyon 019 Halcyon also has a great selection of unusual and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, all at excellent price points. I loved this necklace and thought it would look wonderful with my black cashmere sweater (yes, it was that cold!).halcyon 016 Love this little raffia and shell clutch! It makes me long for summer days…halcyon 021 I loved the selection of brightly coloured glasses and table-top pieces. I can just picture a pitcher of mojitos in these beautiful blue glasses. halcyon 046 And these swirled green glasses would be great with a light white wine spritzer.halcyon 036 This spring has been very cool, so we’re still awaiting the arrival of local asparagus, but in the meantime, these clever salt and pepper shakers will have to suffice.halcyon 040 Jonathan is an amazing gardener, so it didn’t surprise me that they had the most gorgeous pots! Love that these are pre-mossed for you!halcyon 002 And these garden cloches could either encourage some seedlings to grow, or show off a special piece from your collection.

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I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to check out the new Halcyon House Antiques website, and then sign their guestbook and tell’em I sent you over!