"Gump's, San Francisco, is a California---no---an American legend. It has survived the Gold Rush, earthquakes and fires...
...Hardly your average gift and decorative accessories store, it is a combination art museum, fine antique shop, super gift and decorative accessories shop, furniture and interior design store whose decorators design the homes of the famous and/or the not so famous, just very rich."
A Ch'ing Dynasty gilded wood Buddha, carved for a summer palace in Northern China, still gazes serenely over the store's first floor. It was carved in the Northern Manchurian Province of Jehol, the summer capital of the Ch'ing Emperors in the early 19th Century. The piece, the largest of its kind outside a museum, is the only item in the store that is not for sale.
And now, the highly anticipated, After Christmas Sale...
I couldn't afford anything at Gump's, but across the back alley, on Maiden Lane, there is a wonderful little shop by the name of Candelier, which was having a 70% off Christmas Sale, where I was able to add a few items to my Christmas decorations.
Thanks to my friend, Michelle, who got us there early, I was able to get this beautiful Santos angel by Wendy Addison, along with a few unusual ornaments to add to my collection.
I also picked up this tree and several black, flocked balls, which look great in my toile den.
I got a tweet from Paris Boutique Hotel asking, "what was your favorite vintage Christmas gift"?
I replied, a vintage, french, seaweed soap display from French Blue & Co.
I emailed Janet at French Blue and asked if there was a story behind my unusual seaweed soap display. She emailed me back with this story...
"Walking the streets of Paris, tired and needing my vintage fix, I spotted this crazy wonderful piece in a window of a beautiful little old soap boutique. I went in through the charming doors greeted by an amazing strong scent of french soap. I dove to the window. To my disappointment, the nice lady would not sell it to me, she shook her head..."non".
It was not for sale. I begged and begged. She called the owner who came to the shop who also told me, "non". I don't speak any french and it is difficult buying items that are for sale much less begging for an item that they would not sell. I would not leave. It was about an hour later that I walked out with it as they watched a crazy American woman smiling from ear to ear.
So, now it is yours! Enjoy it".
Thank you Janet for finding this amazing treasure for me!! It's definitely my favorite Christmas gift, made even more special by the lengths you went to bring it to me!
One of my very favorite things about the holidays is getting Christmas cards in the mail.
I must be honest...when I get one without a photo, I'm disappointed.
I eagerly anticipate a new photo each Christmas from my friends and loved ones.
They have become my favorite gifts.
I've been saving them in albums for years, and put them out on display along with the rest of my holiday decorations. I love to sit, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate, and go through them every Christmas. It's pretty amazing, when you don't get to see most of these people day in and day out, how an annual photo really captures and documents their lives, especially when you save them from year to year.
Here it is, December 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve, usually my favorite day of the Christmas Season.
It feels a little like a blue Christmas since last evening, when our son called to inform us that the car had conked out and he was stuck in the middle of the road... and just after I spent most of last week getting our broken refrigerator repaired and re-stocked.
So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share some blue Christmas with you.
Don't worry, it's all good!
A few days ago, I found myself in Walmart buying the ingredients to make "doo-dads", you know that healthy, nutritious snack food that incorporates all the chex cereals. It was something that, as kids, we eagerly anticipated at Christmas. Christmas wasn't official until the reindeer appeared in the window of the Mulvaney house and the box of "doo-dads" had arrived from my Grama Maud, in Colorado. Anyway, while shopping in Walmart, my eye caught sight of a blue Christmas tree..not just blue, but purple and pink ones too! At first, I was appalled and disgusted, but that quickly changed as I began to open my mind to the possibilities of multi colored Christmas trees!
I took a leap of faith, trusted my gut, and coughed up the $15 to buy the blue one.
I really didn't do much decorating this Christmas and have been feeling bad about not going all out this year because it is the last Christmas before our son (and only child) goes off to college.
I've always decorated his room at Christmas and put up a tree, but this year, I was off my game.
So, this morning, when I put the blue Christmas tree in his room...
the poignancy of the moment did not pass me by. I realized that it was symbolic of the emotions that I've been feeling about this particular Christmas, and how it is the last Christmas that we will celebrate as a family that has been living and growing together for the past 18 years.
Next Christmas, the first in the new decade, my husband and I will be decorating our home in anticipation of our son coming home from college for Christmas!!
I've learned, at the ripe age of 51, to connect the dots of life. I'm not sure how I'll make it to this point next year, but one thing I can count on is my faith.
I will cherish this special Christmas, and try to live it in the present moment, with the realization that happiness is in moments.
I hope you enjoy these photos of our son, Christopher's bedroom, and his blue Christmas tree!
I think I'll call it, "a coastal Christmas".
It's just a start. I'll need to pull out more white starfish and maybe some vintage silver balls.
I picked up this blue and white container at an estate sale last weekend for $2.
I think it would be perfect to place the tree in, with the burlap scrap wrapped around the trunk.
Speaking of that estate sale, the owner had a thing for blue!
Here are some of the other blue treasures I brought home with me...
I know I've been bad about getting my items in my etsy store...
In fact, my New Year's Resolution for 2010 is...
that I will be consistent in getting my treasures into my etsy store
where you will be able to buy them if your heart desires.
"All of life is about energy. It's about the energy that you're putting out; energy that you're drawing to yourself, every day, based on the way you think about your life & the actions that you take. Everybody is an energy field. And because of your attitude, your thinking, your actions; who you choose to be in the world, forms your own field. You are drawing into your field people who are like you... to remind you, to show you, to reflect back to you- who you are. Believe that or not, that is what is happening all the time... and it does not require your belief. It just is. It. Just. Is." -Oprah