Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Tomorrow is Canada's 146th birthday, and I would like to wish my fellow Canadians a Happy Canada Day. The sunny and breezy weather this long weekend has been more than perfect.

I was intrigued by this scene from Rona's garden centre, so patriotic with our National Flag surrounded by the red and the white petunias.

At home I also baked up a storm for friends and neighbours - these delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing, so Canadian right (or shall I say eh)? I used President Choice's Red Velvet Cake Mix.

Fresh out of the oven.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Barcelona - Gaudi's Dragon

We started our two-week Mediterranean trip from Barcelona, a city known for its unique blend of Art Nouveau and historic Catalonian architecture. Among many architects that made Barcelona so vibrant, Antoni Gaudi is undoubtedly the prominent one. Barcelona is like an outgoing and lively cousin of Paris, so rich in culture, colours, shapes and textures; there are endless things to see and do. And for that, I like it very much. As a matter of fact, Barcelona has quickly become my Top 3 European cities.

Gaudi was a master of fusing Moorish, oriental and gothic styles into his works. This is the famous Dragon at Park Güell, Gaudi's utopia. Gaudi used the Trencadis (mosaic) technique to maximize the light reflection of the objects.

This is another "Dragon" of Gaudi's, at the same Park Güell, the Serpentine Bench.

Gaudi's Residence's at Parc Guell.

The rooftop of Casa Batlló is covered in Dragon scale-like tiles.

The other side of the Dragon covered in Trencadis on the roof terrace of Casa Batlló.

On each side of the Nativity Façade of Sagrada Familia there is a chameleon which symbolizes change.

The street light glass shades in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) have dragon scale crackles.

An Art Deco dragon outside of an old umbrella shop on La Rambla.

Last but not least, yours truly (I was born in a Dragon year) near Plaça Reial. I just realized I need to smile more for the camera.

So have you been to Barcelona? How do you like it? How many dragons did you spot throughout the city?

Gothic Quarter

Casa Mila La Pedrera

Wish my fellow Canadians a happy Canada Day long weekend. I am going to bake a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Broken Heart

And a broken vase...wah!

My recent obsession is to collect vintage Gold Imari porcelain jars and vases. Remember this gorgeous piece from last week? I really wanted the same peacock motif in emerald green, and I found just the perfect piece - this vase measuring about 10" in height.

I ordered it from the super helpful Phyllis from Gifts & Creation by Phyllis on Etsy. It took no time to arrive and I could hear my heart pounding as I took it out of the box.

And then this happened as I was unwrapping the bubble wrap - broken pieces of the vase fell into my hand. My heart sank! To say I was devastated is an understatement!  

It was damaged during transit and although Phyllis has refunded in full, a perfect collector piece is forever gone. It really didn't matter that Phyllis marked "Fragile" all over the box, I bet it still got tossed around and dropped like crazy. I guess that's the risk of having something so fragile travel such a long distance to get to me right?

I will have to keep my eyes and ears open again for another Imari piece. For now, my heart is as broken as the vase. :'o(

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Knobs for French Provincial Dresser Part II

Thanks for your input on the knobs to go on my dresser. I chose a most available one that also would also would with the style of the dresser and the mirror - the Anthropologie Glass Melon Knob-lookalike.

I like the size (2" in diameter) of the Anthropologie ones but not the antique brass finish. The ones I picked up are only 1.5" in diameter, a tad too small for my dresser; but I really like the matt gold/brass finish, which adds a bit glam and shimmery to my bedroom.

So what do you think? Do you think I should've gone for a larger knob?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In The Mail Today: Gold Imari Peacock Jar

You know I like to add some vintage and Chinoiserie touch to my décor here and there. Just before I left for our vacation I ordered this vintage jar by Gold Imari from Snug Snuggery on Etsy. Gold Imari exported a large quantity of Imari porcelain in Kinrande style in the early 1900's. Kinrande Imari is an ever-popular porcelain ware among vintage collectors, and fairly available in North America. However, it took me a while to find this particular piece - the phoenix lidded jar/urn in blue and gold over-glaze. The pattern is so intricate and vivid: a pair of phoenix/peacocks on one side, peonies & plum (or cherry) blossoms all around. And since every piece is 100% hand-painted, you are never going to find two identical pieces of the same design. That's why they make great collector items.

The same jar also comes in emerald green (which I really want to collect as well) and canary yellow.

I also found a vase in similar pattern in the same emerald green so I will post some photos when it arrives.

So, do you like to collect vintage décor accessories? Are you a fan of Chinoiserie design?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Am Back

We spent two weeks in the Mediterranean soaking up the sun. This wasn't our first trip to the area but I was stunned by how beautiful the Amalfi Coast is every time we were there. The weather was perfect every single day.

A villa by the Amalfi Coast near Sorrento, Italy

We also spent some time in Gaudi's Barcelona.
This is what we woke up to and finished our day with every day - the Mediterranean sunrise/sunset view from our suite.

I still have tons of photos I want to share but this is it for now. I can't wait to get back to my décor blogging routine. 

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