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I know I am supposed to be working on my book and not blogging but this is just a quick little posting about the shop!

In 2008, when I first started collecting pieces for my antique shop in Santa Barbara named Circa, the second stop after Paris on our buying trip was the South of France. There is a little town in the middle of Provence that is known for its antiques. Luckily, it’s only 30 minutes from my house! The antique dealers always have charming pieces without the overinflated Parisian price tags.

Over the Christmas holidays, on a quiet Sunday, I had time to peruse each shop without the frenzy of the summer tourists. Truly, there were some remarkable pieces… Statues, chandeliers, mirrors, daybeds, and my favorite… Accessories.

I had my eye on and took home two pieces for the shop that I think you will love as much as I do! In my humble/not so humble opinion, I don’t think any home should be without a gilt mirror and a little chinoiserie no matter the style of the house. These pieces always work. So here we go…

The first piece is a Louis XVI style giltwood mirror. Circa 1890. I love everything about this mirror. It’s a perfect size, not too big, not too small. Would work over a chest of drawers, over a bar table, in the bathroom, over a dressing table, even in an entry hall. The musical cartouche gives it that little something special adding to its charm. Octagonal shaped with the perfect gilt. It is in mint condition for its 19th century age. Measures 33" tall and 19.5" wide. The interior mirror measures 16" tall and 14" wide. The price is $1200 which includes packaging, shipping, insurance and tracking number. Let’s take a  look…

The second piece that I have for you this week is a dropdead gorgeous gigantic antique chinoiserie tray. Napoleon III. Circa 1870. Papier-mâché. Gold trimmed. Mint condition. Beautiful scene of China men and women wearing traditional dress, enjoying themselves in the garden. The colors and details are what make this tray extraordinary. Birds, chrysanthemums, tea service, fans, pomegranates, Chinese lanterns, junk boat, beautiful dresses… Colors of black, gold, persimmon, ivory, reds and blues. This would be a great cocktail tray, appetizer tray and beautiful to display. Measures 22" tall and 28" wide. Because of its large size I assume that it was used as a tabletop as well. The price is $990 which includes packaging, shipping, insurance and tracking number. Let’s take a look…



Okay, let’s talk about price. The price of these pieces is indicative of its value. These are forever pieces and hopefully pieces to pass down. French antiques are not cheap… Never have been, never will be. However, the price for these pieces is considerably less than what you would typically find at antique stores or online. I have been selling antiques for half my life and I know a good piece for a good price when I see it. I have built good reputations with the vendors and I have learned to negotiate from the best. The prices include shipping so you don’t have to worry about anything… I will take care of the details.

Voilà! The shop is open. Click HERE to shop. These pieces are under the antiques category. Email me if you have any questions.

*I have been a busy bee working on my book. I hope to have it finished at the end of February but I will be back to blogging regularly mid-February.

Not that you asked but since we are friends I’m going to tell you…

I finished all seven seasons of The Good Wife.

I just started season one of Downton Abbey.

I’m going to a dog show on Saturday hopefully to find a little a little puppy because Teddy and I need something to cuddle.

I actually got a stomachache watching Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump but laughed out loud at one of the newspaper headlines that had a picture of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin that said, “I’m With Stupid.”

Because I am a lover of all things Real Housewives… I watched Real Housewives of Potomac and cringed because it was the worst reality television I’ve ever seen in my life short of 16 and Pregnant and Honey Boo-Boo.

My husband is going to make me the Barefoot Contessa’s beef bourguignon this weekend. Do you know it calls for an entire bottle of wine?

I am looking into a supercool new app called Share The Meal, that, through the World Food Program, supplies vouchers for food for pregnant and nursing mothers of Syria. Go HERE!

And that’s it! What have you guys been up to?




  1. Just a suggestion. Have your husband double the amount of the Beef Bourguignon sauce. You need it. It's superb!
    Sandra Sallin

  2. Hooray!!! Puppies are always good for the soul. Get two ! 😉

  3. Hi Ellie, Happy that you will continue to sneak us little blogs while finishing up your book. Your little blogs are just as much fun as your big ones! Now, you are going to hate me for this but I support Donald Trump. Hey, if you love "Real Housewives" shows, you HAVE to love The Donald! Used to like Sarah Palin but she slipped off the rails somewhere along the line. She is an intelligent woman, and up until the other night, most of the stupid things attributed to her were actually said by Tina Fey on SNL. Maybe she just needs more sleep!

    Glad to see that you have found so many things to keep you busy while Gracie and Bunny are up in Paris during the week. And, you are adding a puppy! Good grief! Your Caregivers are going to love that! Hope it doesn't ruin your grass cloth rugs. After having many dogs over the years, I would vote for a small, cuddly adult dog that is already house broken. A Cavalier Spaniel is very soft and cuddly. No matter what you get, try to find a neutered male or female. They don't "blow" their coats twice a year.

    Have a great week!

    Smiles from Charlotte

  4. Agree about RHOP; tried watching; it was awful. What planet are those women living on anyway? And I thought if I heard one of them say "Potomac" one more time and how things work there, I was going to puke.

  5. Just waiting for the walking dead to return.....pradictable

  6. Hi Ellie,

    24 inches of snow here in Princeton, NJ this weekend...and it is beautiful! I am of Norwegian and Swedish descent and grew up in Minnesota, so this weekend was full of childhood memories. Someone sent me this link and it sums up my feelings of winter...I think it also may sum up your beautiful outlook on life:

    Can't wait to hear if Teddy gets a new friend...we are considering the same for our four legged friend who could use a companion.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful week!


  7. I started watching HW of Potomac here in Australia (Happy Australia Day by the way!) and I wanted to look away but I could not.

    All this talk of etiquette, and legacies- is this a thing?

    My heart will always belong to the HW Franchise though.

    Luff your antiques, my 4 year old starts school tomorrow, good luck with the dog and I always add a bottle of wine to stews and braises, doesn't everyone?

  8. Want good binge watching? Ray Donovan and entourage! You won't be able to stop!

  9. Love the giraffe, love your french antiques, love your blog, love your humor and style. sarah Palin and RHOP are awful and hard to watch. A shocking reality of the trash that I get get sucked into watching. ThNks for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and being so honest. You are an inspiration. I learn something new each time I read your blog.

  10. Ellie, Ellie, Ellie. I love everything about you. I love that you are open and honest. I love that you are irreverent, opinionated and strong. I love that you share your talents and loves with us. I love especially that you have so many people in your life that love you. Oh....and I love that you have started Downton Abbey! hee hee xob

  11. I just watched several episodes of "I'll Have What Phil's Having" on Netflix. It's a foodie and travel show by TV producer Phil Rosenthal. I wish I had seen his Italy show before my trip last May. We got to one of the Florence eateries (Cibreo Cafe) on our trip, but we were clueless about the other places he visited. Alas...
    Sending you best wishes!!

  12. OK, I don't want to rain on your parade here, but puppies are *tons* of work. They poop and pee absolutely everywhere, just when you least expect it. There are definite tricks for making it easier (like keeping them confined at night and letting them in and out a lot) but its still awful. I have had various dogs for most of my life, and my mantra is: No Puppies! I currently have 3 rather badly behaved small dogs (all adult dog rescues), 2 chihuahuas and one much better behaved mix. I think Teddy is a male dog, so a female dog is your best choice. Anyway, not my business really but I couldn't help myself! Now, as to your mirror and your chinoiserie, they are both truly fabulous and unusual. I'm here in Provence, and I frequent brocantes, vide greniers and depot ventes, and those two are truly rare finds. They should fly out of your shop!
    bonnie in Vaucluse

  13. I truly love Ina Garten and her boeuf bourguignon recipe! I hope you enjoy it thoroughly. And a new furbaby? How exciting! The new shop pieces are to die for-so gorgeous. I dearly covet that mirror.
    I don't watch reality tv but that Sarah Palin endorsement was so upsetting it might as well be awful reality tv. My husband spotted that NYDN headline and emailed it to me and it did make me laugh, too.
    What I'm up to is nothing nearly as interesting or ambitious as you. I am supposed to be sewing curtains and a sink skirt but instead I'm taking care of my flu-struck husband.
    Best of luck with the rest of the book and choosing a new wee baby sister for Teddy!

  14. I love these pieces. The mirror is super well-priced and in great condition. Hmmm Beef Bourguignon sounds like its just what I'm craving. Happy puppy shopping. xoxo Mary

  15. I am so looking forward to your book. You have such an interesting perspective on things. I love those antiques. You have a terrific eye. And that giraffe photo is just too wonderful!

  16. Thank you for sharing the exquisite antique finds-I thought they were very reasonably priced actually. Can't wait to see what puppy you and Teddy end up with.
    Bon Appetit for boeuf!! LOVE you, happy writing!

  17. PS My favorite take on Sarah Palin's endorsement was that she was speaking in tongues. FB had a post of Sarah's latest speech and it was a bowl of alphabet soup. The woman makes no sense at all!!

  18. You are going to love Downton Abbey! VX

  19. Ellie, thanks for the shortened blog. Love your writing, it always lightens my spirit.
    Gentle hugs, Jill

  20. Ellie, thanks for the adding your shortened blog. Your writing always lightens my spirit.
    Gentle hug, Jill

  21. You have the BEST taste level in everything, Ellie…’The Good Wife’ is addictive, even beyond the loss of the Will and Kalinda characters. You will be C.R.A.Z.Y about Downton Abbey – the house is spectacular, of course; but even more than the house and decoration, you will absolutely adore the Dowager Countess of Grantham (portrayed by Maggie Smith). She has that wicked-smart sarcasm that makes you want to write down every line she speaks – I have the feeling that you will be exactly like her when you’re in your 80’s.

    The best drama now is the American Revolution Part Deux which you can see on every media source 24 hours a day. No muskets yet, but the brooms and pitchforks are out, and the peasants are storming the castle, led by…a billionaire! A really smart billionaire, who accepted Sarah Palin’s wince-worthy endorsement because she helps his numbers in middle America. For now it’s the greatest show on earth.

    P.S. If I had a place for that mirror, it would be mine. Gorgeous.

    XOXO / Nancy

  22. Hi! Ellie, I always am so happy to hear from you. Honestly, your activity level puts me to shame. When I visited Isle sur la sorgue (sp.?) it flat wore me out, and there were so many beautiful things I couldn't make a decision. Oh, to have had you along with me. You have such a great eye and I've learned lots from you...and not just about antiques!

    We drove down to southern Ca recently. Took the Los Olivios cut-off and over Cuchuma Pass; I thought of you the entire way,especially around our much loved Montecito.

    You are going to love Downton: the clothes, the furnishings as well as the story. I'm having withdrawal anxiety just knowing the series almost is over.

    Have fun choosing a puppy , and keep up the good work on the book - I know that facing that blank page can be daunting. xoxo. Emily

  23. Hi Ellie - Everything is gorgeous!! Now I have a question . . . on the first page of the shop, at the bottom of the page, are three antique hearts. The third heart - the small one - the shape is a bit different. At the tip end of the heart, it's tilted or slanted ever so slightly to one side. Is there a special significance to that shape? I have seen that shape before and have always wondered "why"? I just know you can tell me!

  24. Oh my goodness Ellie, I am so excited that you have started watching Downton Abbey. I think you may just love it!!! The design, the clothes, the architecture, the jewelry, perfection.
    Hope the new puppy isn't chewing any of your beautiful furniture and pillows!! xo from snowy Canada

  25. Love both pieces Ellie, especially the gilt mirror with the musical motif!
    I really will miss Downton Abbey. Thinking that the Barefoot Contessa's delish dish is just right for this weather!

    The Arts by Karena
    Dreams of Spring!

  26. Where is the dog show? Olivier and Juliette would love that. Stew sounds wonderful. Happy cooking.

  27. A gorgeous photo, love those doors! Teddy and you probably do need company, but beware! Hermes shoes, belts, scarves and beautiful rugs might be in danger from a teething and non trained puppy. Oh well, maybe you won't mind. :-)) I was happy to see your post. It is so nice to hear from your vibrant self.

  28. omg you're amazing. i love that mirror- it would look so good in my half bath. don't worry i'm working hard so i can afford that mirror (or another one you post soon??) and NYC pre school in the near future.

    i can't wait for your book- will you do signed copies?

  29. I love everything in your shop...and from someone who paid over $50.00 to ship ReynoldsWrap to France (4 rolls), I could never complain about shipping costs! Here are some of my tv favorites: Million Dollar Listing, New York (the LA version isn't as colorful); if you like Margo Martindale in TGW (the best thing on TV)...have you seen Justified? I'm waiting for Amazon to put the last season on free Prime. I was hooked on an Australian series called "A Place to Call Home"... And what's not to love about "miss Fishers Mystery Series". I binged on an HBO program...The Leftovers..I almost turned it off during the first 2 episodes but the 3rd one hooked me. My goddaughter loves Outlander, and now I'm hooked on life? Who me?

  30. Oh, and speaking of the Potomic crew...Potomic is where a lot of the professional ball players live....nuff said. For more trash, check out Southern Charm....

  31. Oh you will love the role of Maggie Smith! I have watched "Mr.Selfridge" too. Very good!
    I am waiting for your book! Kisses!

  32. Love it all, love it all, love it all. Especially, when you share the small moments, like watching Downton Abbey (fun to see, but never tempts me back for a second viewing) and The Good Wife. I'm dying to know she wears such a hideous wig (assuming all that went before were wigs) in the current season. OY. It's hideous! Tip: Watch Madame Secretary. It might be the smartest show on network tv—and Tea Leoni and Tim Day are very believable. So nice to see a team of equals. xxoo Deborah aka d2zen

  33. Donald Trump is the ONLY one who can get us out of the mess Obama created these past 8 years. I don't want Socialism, Hilary, Bernie Sanders or anymore dumb-o-crats. Any party that has a jackass as its logo says it all! GO DONALD!!