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Over 35 vintage and antique French items, Chinese Blue and White and sale items!

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Blue and White: A Brief Tutorial

Ahhh, and the coveted blue-and-white Chinese porcelain. So beautiful and yet it can go so so wrong. I received a lot of emails this week in anticipation of my big fat blue and white sale on Friday asking me what the difference between good and bad blue-and-white is. I am so excited that all of you are excited and interested in blue and white! It’s always fun when someone shares your passions and I definitely have a passion for blue-and-white. I got it from my mother who got it from her mother. It’s a generational obsession.

Just like there are good gilt mirrors and there are bad gilt mirrors, the world of blue-and-white has its angels and devils as well. For a complete history of blue-and-white Chinese porcelain that goes back to the dynasties of China click HERE. Since the Yuan Dynasty, blue-and-white Chinese porcelain has been coveted by emperors, kings, Buddhists, Popes, Dutch captains, and the wealthy. These days it is also coveted by every designer from Mary McDonald to Mark D.Sikes.

We all want to get our hands on some blue-and-white but it’s not always easy. The antique pieces are few and far between and they are very, very expensive. However, they are gorgeous and you never have to worry about them. New blue-and-white? Not so much. However, if you have a trained eye and know what you are looking for, you can pull off new blue-and-white.

The trick is to choose pieces that look old. Simple as that. Here are a few guidelines:

Look for a warm glaze. You don’t want a crisp glaze. Remember, these pieces are supposed to look hundreds and hundreds of years old.

Look for blues that seem to flow. Again, nothing crisp.

Look for a little dirt. Yes, you want a little dirt.… Around the rim and on the bottom. Trust me.

Look for ancient Chinese scenes. Cherry blossoms, Phoenix birds, cranes, Chinese scholars, pagodas, chrysanthemums, Koi fish, landscape scenes and even dragons and warriors but easy on the warriors and I would skip the foo dogs.

Skip the double happiness jars and vases. Overdone.

Look for a loose painting. You don’t want anything to look tight. You want it to look hand-painted, not mass manufactured.

Look for a warm cobalt color.

Okay, let’s have a visual tutorial. Let's start with good blue and white...

Even though these blue and white vases are all small, they vary in size and shape and look like a collection. They also follow the odd number rule. Gorgeous!

 This little garden stool is perfect in this room. And don't you love the big pot in the background.
 Remember, pairs are golden.
 Two large scale jars and a single garden stool. Rule of 3 and unexpected placement makes this a perfect look.
 Overscaled drama. Fantastic!
 These two little fat pots are everything...faded cobalt color, warm ivory background, antiquated scene and look at that dirt!
 Perfect pair.
These two lamps are so perfect. Beyond.

 And now let's look at some examples of bad blue and white...
 These jars literally make me want to puke. New equals gross.
 Do I even have to explain this ugly jar?
 The only thing that looks good in this picture are the peonies.
For the love of God, too new, too crisp and just plain cheap looking. 
Trés Pottery Barn

Okay, now that we know what type of blue-and-white to look for we need to talk about size and scale. My mother taught me all of this. Her expert advice advises that you need to have different sizes and different shapes. It’s all about scale. It’s okay to go big if you’re trying to make a statement but you have to be careful. You don’t want to go too small because it looks choppy and tchotchke. You need tall vases for branches, medium vases for flowers and small jars just because they’re so cute. But not all tall, not all medium and not all small! It’s the collection of sizes and shapes that makes it work.

And remember, pairs are golden. There is nothing more beautiful than a pair of blue-and-white Chinese lamps or vases or jars. Nothing! And also remember to do sets in odd numbers… Three, five, seven.

Blue-and-white can literally be used in every single room of your house. Living room, family room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom! And the good news is that blue-and-white goes with every color scheme of your home. Blue-and-white works with red, green, gold, black, lavender, pink, brown, neutrals, animal prints, jewel tones… You name it, blue-and-white works. And don’t get me started with blue-and-white for all the holidays! Last year at the Ralph Lauren shop in Paris, they had huge pairs of blue-and-white vases filled with Christmas holly. So simple and yet so freaking gorgeous. Blue-and-white pots filled with delphiniums? To die for. Blue-and-white pots filled with peonies? Hello! Blue-and-white pots filled with sunflowers or olive branches? Hello Provence! And the ultimate, blue-and-white pots filled with cherry blossoms. Be still my heart.

So I hope this little tutorial will help you steer yourself in the right direction to blue-and-white heaven. If you buy your blue-and-white pots from Tuesday Morning, you have failed the tutorial. And remember, you can follow my Pinterest boards of good blue-and-white and bad blue-and-white HERE and HERE.

I am both excited and nervous for my blue-and-white sale on Friday. I think I have all the kinks worked out but offer some consideration and patience if something is sold out. For this first sale, I am offering eight different pieces. Three different lamps, three different sizes. Three vases/jars, three different sizes. One orchid pot and one garden stool. If something is sold out, I have backups, so don’t worry. It’s all about communication… Just email and tell me what you’re looking for. Jars for your console table? I have it. Lamps for your bedside table? Vases for your fireplace? I have it. All different sizes, shapes and patterns. Honestly, my goal is to be your one-stop shop for blue-and-white so whatever your heart fancies, I will get for you.

See you on Friday at the sale! Follow me on Instagram HERE for sneak peeks of the sale all week.

Surprise! Surprise!

I can’t even tell you how much it makes me smile to hear from all of you dog lovers! I don’t think I’ve ever received so many comments. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes and your sweet stories about your own pets that provide you with comfort and love. Teddy definitely has a personality, going from chair to chair in our house. We started his own Instagram account because we are dorks but if you want to follow Teddy’s trail you can follow him on Instagram : @teddyinprovence.

We have been having some great adventures in Provence that I will write about this week but first…

I have received a lot of emails from readers asking me if I’m going to have a December sale. The answer is no but the good news is that I decided to have a Thanksgiving Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Who doesn’t love to shop the day after Thanksgiving! It would be un-American if I just ignored Black Friday! So, a sale we shall have!

This is going to be a very special sale. It is going to be threefold. Let’s talk about the first part of the sale…

I have been scouring the flea markets of Provence and I have to say they are F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.! Beyond fabulous. This sale is going to have over 35 items that I have found here in Provence. Let’s take a look…

The good news about Provence is that there is black lacquered chinoiserie here just like Paris. May be even more so none of us will have to go without!

I thought it was time we all recognize my majolica obsession. For those of you who don’t know what majolica is click HERE for a complete history. I did a little sleuthing myself and learned that artichoke and asparagus plates were in high demand and were a sign of wealth and prestige back in the day. King Louis XIV even had a special garden for asparagus alone at Versailles. Of course, one could not just serve beautiful artichoke and asparagus on a plain plate so these majolica plates were born. Take a look…

Look at this little well for sauce!


You all know how I feel about antique French gilt mirrors. #Love. I don’t offer too many on the shop because usually they are trés expensive but I met a charming gentleman in Provence who collects and sells antique French gilt mirrors that will not break the bank! Take a look.


With great happiness, I discovered that the flea markets of Provence share my love of antique French faux bamboo from the 1800s. Mirrors, coat racks and three very special items that I never saw in Paris… Take a look.

 A bamboo bathtub towel rack!
 Bamboo chairs!
 A bamboo kitchen towel rack!

Another one of my favorite items for the Thanksgiving sale was inspired by Carolyne Roehm. For years I have been lusting after a bronze planter that she showcased in her book. Take a look...

 Carolyne Roehm's bronze planter!
Isn't that the most gorgeous bronze planter for flowers that you've ever seen?
Guess what? I found an almost exact replica but without the million dollar price tag.
Your bronze planter!

And the linens down here in Provence are off the charts! Not fancy, just every day usable, with complete charm. Take a look…


And that is just the beginning of what I have found here in Provence. I really think you’re going to like this sale as there is something for everyone in every price point.

The second part of the sale is going to be a sale sale. Items from the previous sales will be ON SALE! How many times can I say sale in this paragraph? Sale sale sale! Take a look…

Remember that dropdead gorgeous mustard yellow soup tureen from the previous sale? Well, this month it is on sale! 30% off!


Remember that set of apothecary jars? 30% off!


Remember that antique French manifesto? 30% off #PrayersForParis


The third part of the Thanksgiving sale is the most exciting! For the past year I have been working with a company to offer you… THE GREATEST CHINOISERIE BLUE AND WHITE PIECES! I know better than anyone how hard and how expensive it is to collect antique blue-and-white Chinese porcelain and it’s getting harder year-by-year because there are some definite blue-and-white hogs out there, myself being one of them. Reproductions are usually horrible. But the good news is that I have working with a company that produces the most incredible blue-and-white you’ve ever seen. They are not antiques but these pieces are handcrafted, handcarved and hand-painted using a centuries-old technique. Each piece is fired in China’s oldest firing kiln using the same methods as those expensive antiques! The company goes the extra step as well to make these pieces “look” like antiques because who wants a brand-new looking blue-and-white vase! No one! We want the blue and white porcelain that looks old but doesn’t cost a fortune and that is exactly what will be on the Thanksgiving sale!

I am very particular about my blue-and-white. I like a bird and flower motif the best. And it’s got to be just right. I have two Pinterest boards titled: good blue-and-white and bad blue-and-white. You can check them out HERE and HERE. I have been collecting blue-and-white my entire life and it takes a certain eye to know the difference between good and bad blue-and-white. I have taken the guesswork out of it for you and am offering you the best blue-and-white. I have for you three lamps, three different sizes. You can do these as singles or pairs depending on the placement. Each of the lamps has a Lucite base because I love the juxtaposition of an antique lamp with a modern base. The lamps have a basic white shade that is easily replaceable with a custom shade which I recommend. A custom shade takes your lamp to a whole new level.


In addition to the lamps, I will be offering vases and jars! No one can live without a blue-and-white Chinese vase/jar! I have put together a great collection. These are great in sets of three. A tall one for branches like cherry blossoms or tall flowers like delphiniums and the smaller ones for flowers. In actuality, you can never have too many of these vases. I have also included an orchid planter. So excited I can barely stand it!



For this Thanksgiving sale, I will be offering 10 of each but if they are sold out and you still want one or two or three or four, just email me and I will make it happen for you. The delivery for the blue-and-white Chinese porcelain will be approximately three weeks. They are shipped within the United States so no overseas shipping charges or customs. Yay!

So how’s that for a surprise! I have kept all of the prices very reasonable because I’m cool like that. I know times are tough for a lot of us, me included, but I know that we all still want pretty pieces for our house and I hope I can offer that to you. Is it weird that I love you guys?

The sale starts Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, at exactly 9 AM Pacific Standard Time. I will be giving lots of sneak peeks on Instagram this week to whet your whistle! Follow me HERE!

And Then There Were Four...

November is always a difficult month for me. It’s the month that I got ALS. If you want the boring details, read my November blog posting from last year HERE. This November will be the start of my 6th year with ALS. I have been sick for five years. Five freaking years. Can you imagine! I still can’t even believe it.

Not to be all dramatic but it has been a difficult five years. On every level. With ALS, nothing happens suddenly, it is a slow demise so you don't really know how to wrap your head around it. Sometimes I look back and think about the year 2011 with nostalgia and think, "Oh, the good old days when I only had a walker." Sometimes I look back and think about the year 2012 with nostalgia and think, "Oh, the good old days when I could use my arms (but not my legs)." Sometimes I look back and think about the year 2013 with nostalgia and think, "Oh, the good old days when I could go outside without a breathing machine."

Then there are the days when I look back with fear and remember when my lungs collapsed during my diaphragm Pacer surgery.freaky years Then there are days when I look back with fear and remember when my feeding tube exploded. There are days when I look back with fear and remember last Christmas when I had a respiratory illness and literally could not breathe. There are days when I look back with fear and remember such sadness that I could literally feel my heart bursting with despair.

ALS is ugly. It’s so ugly that you almost cannot give it energy because the human being is not equipped to handle what is coming at you. No matter how much faith you have there is nothing that can take away the ugliness.

There are two people that know what I’m talking about. My husband, David, and my daughter, Grace. No one else knows. Not anyone else in my family or any of my friends. My two best friends, Jenny and Yolanda, kind of know but not really because I don’t want to scare them. David, Gracie and I have been in the trenches together through this. We don’t really let anyone else in. We don’t because we have been let down by friends and family before and we have learned our lesson. It’s best if we just keep this between the three of us. I share with all of you but only about 10%. Not to be rude, but y’all couldn’t handle it. So, it’s been the David, Grace and Ellie show… Until now.

Meet Teddy.


We decided that Teddy could join our gang. Teddy already had a hard knock life so we felt like he was seasoned enough.

But let me back up…

Normally, because I am a fucking snob and horrible person, I only buy dogs from breeders. But something told me to go to the rescue center this time to find a dog. My friend Heather told me about a no kill shelter in Provence named S.P.A. Refuge de Baux de Provence that had loads of dogs that needed homes. So off we went. David, Gracie and I and my caregiver, Wilson, started our adventure to the rescue center. Gracie was so excited and was practically skipping through the parking lot to go find her new dog. She wanted all of them. Truth be told, I did not want all of them because I am mostly afraid of dogs. I was worried that I wouldn’t find a dog that understood me. This dog was coming to a girl who was broken. I can’t hug a dog, I can’t throw a dog a ball, I can’t feed a dog and worse, the dog cannot hug me because I am too delicate. I needed to find a dog that understood this which was probably impossible.

We started our journey down the aisles, dog after dog after dog. My caregiver was pushing me in my wheelchair. The dogs were terrified of me, my wheelchair and my breathing machine. They were probably thinking, “What kind of monster is this.” Their only recourse was to bark and bark and bark and bark. They were going crazy. I was getting scared… Until. Way up on the top of the rescue center, near the end, I passed by a large kennel and the dog in the kennel looked at me. He didn’t bark once. He looked into my eyes and followed my wheelchair along the entire length of his kennel just looking at me not making a peep. I looked this dog in the eyes and said to myself, “You know me.” I honestly just felt that this dog and I had known each other before. We were already friends and he already knew everything about me. I didn’t have to explain anything.

Gracie and David knew he was the one as well. There was no question. This dog had a bit of a history. Like me. He was born on my birthday month in 2011, three months before I was diagnosed with ALS. He was brought to the shelter when he was three weeks old and had never left. I thought to myself, “This guy has had it rough, just like me.”

We adopted him immediately. He had another name but Gracie decided that he looked like a giant teddy bear so we named him Teddy. He took to his name immediately and left his past at the shelter. He loves us and we love him. To prove our love we gave him a McDonald’s cheeseburger and let him sleep on the bed. He sleeps in the sunshine during the day and sleeps by the fireplace during the night.


Teddy knows not to jump on me and that he needs to be gentle towards me. He does. Teddy needs to know that I cannot pet him, but I love him. He does. Teddy told us that he understands us and understands that it might not always be roses around here. He said he is up for the job and ready to join the circus. I believe him So now we are four.