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Bonjour! I’m Erin.
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Monthly Archives: January 2013
Today is one of those “pardon my brevity days” where I’m more content posting a small moodboard that sums up how I’m feeling, rather than inundating you with words. I’ve been reading voraciously, and last night I finished “The Disappearance at Pere-Lachaise” (from this amazing series) and started “Haussmann, or The Distinction.” So far, it’s amazing. There are jobs where you just read books all day, right? Publishing houses need people to do that, don’t they? I would be content with that. Also, a nice soak in a floral bath.
How are you today?
January 31, 2013 / art / photo /
In this week’s edition of Dumb Thieves Bungling Art Heists, today we have a story all the way out of South Africa, where last November a group of three art enthusiasts, posing as a teacher guiding around two students, stole five pieces from the Pretoria Museum. The art was estimated at around $2 million dollars, with works by prominent South African artists including Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, Maggie Laubser, and Hugo Naude. They initially stole a 6th, more valuable painting, “Two Malay Musicians” by Stern, only to THROW IT ON THE CURB out front of the museum when it didn’t fit in their car. I can’t even. If you are committed enough to holding a museum at gunpoint to make off with stolen art, at least have the common sense to measure the backseat of your hooptie before absconding with the goods. Amateurs! Also, who throws art on the ground?!
Four out of the five paintings were recovered in (get this) a cemetery 700 miles away in Port Elizabeth just a few days later. Because obviously. I hope police can fingerprint the paintings now that they’ve been recovered because I’d really love to know who tried to pull this off. Also I want to ridicule them a little bit.
I’ve been obsessed with this interior from the moment I laid eyes on it.
It’s perfect. It’s all of my favorite things: white floors, ornate fireplace, lots of light, white & black furnishings, dominant art, the right mix of soft and modern. I go back and forth all the time between wanting stark Scandinavian modern and romantic French country chic. If those two aesthetics got married and had a baby, I’m pretty sure it would look a little something like this (maybe with more wicker baskets and burlap?). The image is from Maxalto, an Italian furniture design company, and is one of my favorite interiors of all time. Check out the stack of art books in the (hopefully only decorative) fireplace! It’s even what I pictured My Inner French Girl’s living room to be. So I’ve been eyeing it for, according to my Pinterest board, 46 weeks (!!) and finally decided to put all that drooling to good use and make a “Get the Look” moodboard:
If flokati rugs weren’t a) impossible to clean, b) a magnet for black dog hair, and c) guaranteed to make Boyfriend’s blood run cold whenever he came in contact with it, I’d totally have one by now. How fabulous are both of those pieces of art? I could curl up in that chair with a Robert Frank photo book and never leave.
What’s your favorite element of the room? Or is it not your taste at all?
January 29, 2013 / home design /
Have you guys seen these? A treasure trove of rare, color photographs from turn of the century Paris. My friend Sabina sent the link to me on Friday and I honestly wanted to post it right then; it felt like torture to wait until today. There aren’t enough “o’s” in the world to describe how much I swooooned.
Can you even? They are so spectacular and mesmerizing. I could have posted 20 more, but you should see them for yourself. I adore the way people dressed back then. But to quote ‘Midnight in Paris’: “These people don’t have any antibiotics.” If somehow the world could still look like this but retain all the modern advances and comforts we’re used to…I’d be in heaven. Style is cyclical, right? Bell bottoms came and went and came back again. Any chance crinoline skirts and boater hats will make a come back in my lifetime?
Everyone and their mother is complaining about the cold weather here on the east coast, with good reason, so let me add my name to the list: IT’S COLD. The high the last few days has been in the teens, which I know will garner absolutely no sympathy from Süsk, who’s currently holed up in the negative temps of Helsinki and still managing to look fabulous in spite of it. Not all of us are so lucky, and I end up looking like a burrito of sadness most of the time.
This week’s Friday Five is looking ahead a few months to, what else, my next trip to Paris!
In addition to having a list of things I need to wear/bring to Paris already planned out, I also have a list of things I want to buy while I’m there. That’s not weird. A new Diptyque from the flagship store (or maybe that macaron scented candle? Best of both worlds!), as well as an arsenal of beauty products from one of the incredible pharmacies around the city. I’ll be stocking up on Bioderma make-up remover, Roger & Gallet Rose body lotion, and this facial elixir magic spray by Caudalie. Sure, it’s available in the states now, but I’m still going to wait until I get there to buy it, because obviously. It’s inspired by the Queen of Hungary’s elixir of youth, or something, but I’m just excited to make my face smell pretty. Sorry, jolie.
And while it might be too cold in March to wear them, I’ve been eyeing a new pair of ballet flats in nude ever since seeing this photo from Paris in Four Months. Also, can we talk about that blog for a second? I have to limit my exposure to it for fear of passing out from joy. I love ballet flats, and Bloch really does them best. I can see myself putting my feet up on that adorable little footstool in my guest room. I just got a $10 off coupon for it, so that means I have to buy it, right?
Is it insane to spend $70 on a pouch to carry around your chapstick and cell phone? Perhaps, right? What if it was printed in my favorite Marc Jacobs pattern? Still no? SHUT UP, let me do what I want. I probably won’t buy it, because it’s insane, even for me. That little 5″ nylon pouch costs more than the ottoman, and only a little less than the shoes. Good grief.
Boyfriend is leaving for India tomorrow night (BOOOO), so we’ll be making the most of our short weekend and having dinner at our favorite Italian place tonight and going to the Academy of Natural Sciences tomorrow. I’m looking forward to giant, ugly sweatpants, cereal for dinner, and lots of trashy tv in his absence. And that’s where the list ends. Have a great weekend, kiddos! What are you up to?
I need to first thank Lauren for this post (again) because she sent me yet another email tipping me off to more art drama. I LOVE ART DRAMA, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet. My new favorite website? Art World Daily’s “Controversy” section. Sadly, it’s not all about heists, but there is plenty of juicy “scandal” on there to keep me occupied for days.
So, today’s order of business: Two people were sentenced in Miami after attempting to sell a stolen Matisse (why is it always a Matisse these days??), “Odalisque in Red Pants,” to undercover FBI agents. Rookie thief mistake. The painting, which is now valued at around $3 million, was stolen back in 2002 from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, Venezuela, and a forgery was hung in its place. I don’t know who they think they were fooling:
Matisse’s “Odalisque in Red Pants” (L) and the forgery (R)
Even though the “sting” happened last year (and the heist itself occurred over a decade ago), they weren’t formally sentenced until this week. Each of the suspects is serving over 2-3 years in jail and 3 years supervised probation after their release for transportation and possession of a stolen painting. FBI Officials seized the painting the operation, and have yet to give it back to the museum. Last summer, photographer Violette Bule staged a protest (though I don’t think you can call it a protest if it’s a bunch of topless women) out front of the museum in Venezuela, mimicking the woman in the painting, demanding its return to the museum.
Kudos to these women. I don’t think I would be so brazen, not even in the name of art.
Anyway, I don’t know why the painting hasn’t been returned yet. It’s not ours to keep and it certainly doesn’t make us look great if we do. I’m happy it’s been recovered, definitely, but I wouldn’t say this story is over.
I’ll come right out and say it, I am a huge medieval and Henry VIII-era history nerd. Maybe it’s my English ancestry? I’ve always been completely fascinated by the whole sensibility of King Arthur-era through medieval England, peasants living in the countryside with sheep and maybe a mythical dragon living in the forest (I know that’s not really how it worked but indulge me a little), and Renaissance England: Shakespeare, the monarchy, and the 6-course, rotating door of wives Henry had. I read Macbeth in 3rd grade, which might have had something to do with setting the whole obsession off (also likely responsible for my fear of all things blood-related)(ALSO, my mom kindly reminded me she had a string of Boxers with Shakespearean names, the last of which was Lady Macbeth, when I was a baby). In 5th grade we studied the Tudor family and learned the fun rhyme, “Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived” which, if you’re curious, chronicles the unfortunate fates of Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catharine Parr, respectively. And don’t even get me started on the masterpiece that was “The Tudors.” That show was phenomenal and I loved every second of it, even after they tried (unsuccessfully) to make Jonathan Rhys Meyers unattractive and fat.
So it’s no surprise that I basically devoured Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” an incredible (obviously fictional) account of the downfall of Anne Boleyn as told through Thomas Cromwell. He’s also her lead protagonist in “Wolf Hall,” which I also loved. My mom’s boyfriend gave them to me as Christmas gifts this year and last. Both are pretty dense behemoths; any book that starts with a family tree or list of characters for reference is going to be a commitment. But, if you’re like me and love that sort of thing, well, here you go. Two amazing books definitely worth reading.
What are you reading right now?
January 23, 2013 / read / watch /
Remember all of my amazing plans from yesterday? Never get too cocky about how awesome your day is going to be; the day turned into the ultimate comedy of errors. First, our French teacher was 45 minutes late for our class because she forgot we moved it up 9 hours (totally legit), but she’s promised to add on the missing hour to our next two classes in half-hour chunks. Then, I got a text from Herbie at around 12:30, saying he was outside the pho restaurant, which was confusing because he was 45 minutes early. Only I went back through our texts and realized I had our lunch time wrong by an hour (we had agreed to meet at 12:15 but somehow my brain registered 1:15. How this made sense with the movie at 1:50, I don’t know). Herbie ate lunch alone (I AM THE WORST FRIEND EVER) and Boyfriend and I took a cab to the theater, thinking we would save seats and hang out. Only the movie started at 1:15, not 1:50, so we ended up missing the first 10 minutes. It was insane. Herbie ran in right after we did, after I called him frantically. Oy.
“Lincoln” was great, though. It was well acted and Daniel Day Lewis deserves every award he’s won and will win for that role. Unless you’re a total history-nerd, the two and half hour running time will feel like a really long time. Your butt might even fall asleep. And you might or might not expect Daniel Day Lewis to burst out an, “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE” on more than one occasion.
Oh well. The best laid plans, right? The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging on the sofa watching Inauguration coverage and compiling today’s Two of a Kind post. CB2 has an impressive (and easily match-able) rug collection.
I am in love with that blouse from H&M. While the rugs really aren’t my style (color! patterns! bah!) they do work fabulously for the purposes of this post, no? I better calm down, don’t want to get too confident lest the Blog Gods decide to put me back in my place. Have you ever had a day like yesterday? Commiserate with me, tell me your biggest cluster-eff days.
My French class was moved up today, from 7:30pm to 10am, since all 7 of us in the class are off thanks to MLK Jr. Day. I’m heading off to Le Pain Quotidien in a bit, and you’ll be happy to know I finished my homework (beaucoup de devoirs, might I add. I spent about two hours yesterday slaving away. Oh, who am I kidding, I loved every second of it. I might as well have been wearing a beret and a neck scarf) early this time, instead of rushing it an hour before I have to be at class. Afterwards, Boyfriend and I are meeting Herbie for pho and to see “Lincoln,” finally.
While I’m off having the best Monday I’ve had in a long time (croissants! Obama’s inauguration! friends!), I leave you with this absolutely darling video, “Betty in Paris.” To answer your questions, non I didn’t cry while watching it, and oui, I totally want to pop out a Francophile baby one day (just like this girl).
“That Paris exists, and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.” – Midnight in Paris
The highlight of this otherwise bleak week (aside from spending a ton of time with friends) was hearing from someone in French class that our teacher told him I take “very good notes,” and that he should get a copy of mine from Monday since he missed class. Of course now I’m panicking that my handwriting is unclear or my notes aren’t complete, but I’m still more than a little, how do you say en Francais, chuffed. Le chuffed? Probably.
Today I give you five incroyable photos de Paris. I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll keep saying it: Paris is the most beautiful city in the world to me, and I am desperately in love with it. The next seven weeks will be tough to get through (Boyfriend is going back to India for two weeks, making this his 8th trip, and the 3rd in a year) but Paris will get me through.
What are you up to this weekend? I’m hoping to get back on the wagon and WRITE, it’s been weeks since I’ve given Mirette any attention. Take care of yourselves, kiddos. Pretty please.