Archive for November, 2010

Little Libraries

Nov 14, 2010

This is one of the joys and complexities of living with lots of books:  It seems there’s never enough space to store them.  So every nook in our house doubles as a bookshelf.

little libraries

This is a little snapshot of what our living room looks like in our flat! 
(The girl in the photograph, above, is my daughter Isabella a few years back.)

Old stools find new life as tuffets and paperback props.
 (I should probably paint this one below, but I sort of like its rustic, workbench look)

Screen shot 2010-11-13 at 10.34.07 AM

I love that Cicero quote: 
A room without books is like a body without a soul.


Categories: Decor | 18 Comments »

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Hello everyone!

What do you have planned this weekend? I’m trying out a new yoga place tomorrow and on Sunday, I’m going to the Hollywood Farmers Market. In between I’m reading Mr. Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt, and a stack of fashion magazines.

So, here are my must-read weekend links:

The Telegraph’s review of the new Harry Potter movie, “Deathly Hallows, Part 1.”

It looks fantastic!

A New York Times’ story on fashion stylists as blogging icons.


One Brit’s take on Mark Twain, with the impending release of his autobiography (part 1),

 100 years after his death.

See you back here Sunday night!

PS: Don’t forget to enter the books giveaway. I’ll announce a winner on Monday!

(Photo via WishWishWish.)

Categories: Decor | 3 Comments »

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Lizzy & Darcy

Nov 12, 2010

I love these illustrations by Nan Lawson, a Los Angeles artist. She was recently featured on Etsy where she told the story of how she was able to give up her day job to sell her art!

She has even more lovely things in her store.

Categories: Decor | 10 Comments »

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I CAN’T WAIT to get a copy of this book! I LOVE Spade’s popular website series “Things We Love” and now, I want to weep with joy that it’s in book form. (Sorry, I’m catching my breath now.) I can’t find it yet on Amazon. So stay tuned for the release date….

(Via The NeoTraditionalist)

Categories: Decor | 13 Comments »

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Oh this looks good!

But we’ll have to wait till March 2011?

Categories: Decor | 13 Comments »

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Hello everyone! I’ve been running between assignments today, but I wanted to check in with some very interesting media links…
So here they are. Enjoy:

Zadie Smith reviews The Social Network for the New York Review of Books. As a Harvard grad (not much older than FB founder Mark Zuckerberg), she recalls the days of Facemash.

Free from printing costs and distribution woes, literary magazines are finding a new life on the Internet, according to The Guardian.

The Financial Times lunches with Rene Redzepi, owner of the famed Copenhagen restaurant, Noma. (The most fantastic restaurant in the world?)

Three great (armchair) travel books


Reasons to love Autumn.


Categories: Decor | 1 Comment »

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"Audrey 100"

Nov 10, 2010

There’s a new Audrey Hepurn book out: This one is a luxe compilation of the actress’ 100 best photographs, as chosen by her family!

Take a look:




The photos — which include snapshots, studio portraits and candids — were taken by such greats as Sir Cecil Beaton, Douglas Kirkland, Norman Parkinson, and Philippe Halsman. “Audrey 100” was written by Ellen Fontana with a forward by the actress’ son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

The details: Sterling, 192 pages, $40.

Another one for the Xmas list!

(Photos, above, from

Categories: Books, It Girls & Icons | 4 Comments »

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What is it about the young lovers that so inspires the cyber scribes?

(First Romeo & Juliet installment here!)

Categories: Decor | 9 Comments »

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New York Times’ T Magazine has an interview today with Birkin about music (two of her old albums are being released on CD) and about style (what it was like to be an Hermès muse.)

From the NYT story: “I was on an airplane,” Birkin said, explaining the bag’s genesis, “when a plastic bag holding all my things broke and everything fell out — my date book, papers, everything. Just as I was saying how I wish Hermès would make a bag that could fit all my things, the man sitting next to me happened to work for Hermès — it was Jean-Louis Dumas, the head designer! They already had the Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly, so he began work on the Birkin bag. I went down to the atelier, and he had made it in cardboard. And we talked about it, and I said they should make some changes, like making pockets bigger. And that’s how it was made.”

Just like that!

Categories: It Girls & Icons | 8 Comments »

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Happy Monday. I hope you had a relaxing weekend!

As usual I spent lots of time this weekend reading (finishing the Philip Roth book and starting the new biography of Cleopatra). During my Internet newspaper rounds, I found this wonderful story in the Irish Times Magazine.

The headline says: “Wearing vintage doesn’t have to make you feel like second-hand Rose.” Indeed! I LOVE this rose colored pettycoat!

Categories: Fashion, Vintage | 3 Comments »

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While HM Queen Elizabeth II is set to debut her official Facebook page this week, some of the Queen’s fans have been operating
another page on Facebook in honor of Her Majesty for about two years.

There’s just one problem: the account administrators haven’t updated the page since June. And in their absence some very cheeky commoners have been leaving all sorts of messages and photos on The Royal Wall…

Some of their greetings include interesting art (show here)…

And other images not quite so nice. Where are the Facebook Beefeaters when you need them!?

Categories: Decor | 5 Comments »

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Happy weekend everyone! What do you have planned? I plan on watching movies on DVD while making jewelry for a show I have coming up in Silver Lake. I’m also looking forward to starting a new book, “Mr. Cartwell,” by Rebecca Hunt. It’s been sizzling hot here in Los Angeles and I’d really love to spend a little time at the beach!

Before I sign off for the weekend, here’s my link roundup…

First off: Holly Becker’s book, “Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home” is
on pre-sale on Amazon. I love Becker’s blog, decor8, and I can’t wait to get the book!

New York Times’ Cathy Horyn, one of my favorite fashion writers, reviews
the Chronicle reissue of Diana Vreeland’s 1980 book, “Allure.”

Here’s a very insightful report:
What your profile picture really says about you.

Ian Frazier’s take on people who write in the margins of their books.


A peek at the stuff inside Emma Watson’s Mulberry bag.

Have a great weekend!

(Photo, above, from here.)

Categories: Decor | 8 Comments »

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Hello everyone. I’ve been going through some of my old posts here on the English Muse, trying to streamline the categories. In the process, I revisited three of my most popular posts since I started my blog two years ago.

Each post poses a question The responses are very cool!

Here are the links:

Why did you start your blog?

Where are you and what time is it there?


What are you reading?

Take a look and leave an answer!

Categories: Decor | 6 Comments »

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Found on this fantastic blog!

Categories: Decor | 11 Comments »

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The University of Texas at Austin acquired a bevy of books, letters, manuscripts and random scraps of paper belonging to the late writer David Foster Wallace last spring. Now, the university is starting to post its scans of the author’s notes and scribblings on the Internet:

It’s a researcher’s paradise…


And a librarian’s nightmare.


I love to write in the margins of paperback books, but I usually can’t bring myself to mark up a new hardback. Last week, I almost bought a first-edition, autographed copy of Michael Cunningham’s new book, By Nightfall. I didn’t because I knew I would be too tempted to underline his beautiful prose. Now I’m waiting for the paperback.

One of my friends deals with the guilt factor by using post-it notes to mark important passages instead. Another friend marks at will, rereads the book later, and writes in the margins again.

What about you?

(Above scans of Wallace’s books from the University of Texas.)

Categories: Decor | 18 Comments »

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“Some remarks, like radioactive elements, have a lingering half-life that allows them to poison one generation after another. One that still contaminates our body-obsessed popular culture is the Duchess of Windsor’s notorious admonition that no woman can ever be ‘too rich or too thin.’

“As the age of anorexia has succeeded the age of anxiety — or perhaps simply compounded it — we’ve learned just how wrong the duchess really was….”

(Please read <a href=”,0,3237793.story””>the rest of my review of de Rossi’s book — a meditation on the pressures of Hollywood and working out one’s identity in the glare of celebrity — in the LA Times today!)

(Photo by Lori Shepler.)

Categories: Decor | 8 Comments »

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American Dior

Nov 02, 2010

“With the introduction of the New Look, Dior quickly became American fashion’s ultimate agent provocateur, playing on the country’s appetite for newness and for French savoir-faire,” according to a new book debuting this week from Assouline.


“Christian Dior lived the American dream. From the first time he set foot in New York, the legendary designer had a special relationship with the United States, and he may even be more important in America than in France.”


“In one gesture, he had given women a whole new shape. Dior’s long, voluminous skirts were more extravagant and feminine than anything seen in fashion for decades.”

Compared to the upcoming Taschen tomes, this one is a relative bargain at $70.


American Dior
By Kate Betts
Hardcover, Jacket / 11.5 x 14.5″

Categories: Decor | 3 Comments »

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Meal Reading

Nov 01, 2010

Happy Monday!

Samantha Bee, comedian and correspondent for the “Daily Show,” divulged in a New York Times Magazine article on Sunday that one of her life’s joys is “Meal Reading.” “I like to read cookbooks while I eat and fantasize about other meals,” she told reporter Edward Lewine. “I am a cookbook fanatic.”

And eating? She added: “I go to sleep at night thinking about what will be my breakfast. It is just a really big part of my day.”

I love reading with breakfast too. I usually read the morning papers and magazines. But I’ll read anything, even the backs of cereal boxes.

In celebration of this simple pleasure, I pulled together a small selection of photos taken by Jennifer Causey for her crisply elegant blog,
Simply Breakfast:

Have a lovely day. See you back here later this afternoon!

Categories: Decor | 7 Comments »

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