April 26, 2010, 3:21 pm
Filed under: frocks + finery, inspiration, london lovin'

I went to see the Grace Kelly exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum on Friday, and came away inspired never to leave the house without makeup again.

Well, ok, not really, but what an extraordinarily beautiful woman, with, appropriately for her position, such an acute sense of image, and of how to wear clothes so that she is noticed well before and beyond what she is wearing.

And, she could wear white like no other.  By far my favourite image from the exhibit wasn’t from a display but rather a bit of silent film footage from a montage of Princess Grace and Prince Albert attending various balls, fancy dress events, etc.  The image was from Princess Grace at Le Bal de Petits Lits Blancs in the Ballroom of Powerscourt House, Co, Wicklow, July 1965.  She shimmered and sparkled in the subtlest, prettiest of ways, even on the grainy black and white footage.  You’ll have to imagine from the yellowed newspaper coverage…

A reasonable consolation for their only having her civil wedding dress and not the cathedral gown was that the exhibit did feature her real live Hermes handbag — the Kelly bag before it was a Kelly bag.  Sigh.

Speaking of namesakes, the friend that attended with me wondered if this suit — worn to the White House for lunch with Jack and Jackie and my favourite piece of daywear on display — inspired “Kelly Green”?


January 13, 2010, 4:20 pm
Filed under: inspiration, yummy in the tummy

So, silly me, I’ve decided to try a detox to ring in the new year.  It’s not that bad, really, lots and lots of veggies and fruit.  And then more veggies and fruit — and no dairy, sugar, wheat or caffeine.  Thank goodness it’s only a week — deprivation is not really my style.  What I really really miss, though, is my morning coffee.  I don’t know if it’s the caffeine or the ritual (ok, ok, it’s probably the caffeine, says the raging headache I get every afternoon, but I do so love the scent of brewing coffee in the morning…).  An ode…

a long-ago morning chez moi

November 25, 2009, 6:08 pm
Filed under: home base, inspiration, somewhere out there, yummy in the tummy

top photos:  100 layer cake | smitten kitchen | flickr: lynchburgvirginia | sunday suppers

bottom photos:  flickr: wdwbarber | flickr: alreadygrace | flickr: ambadale | 100 layer cake

October 23, 2009, 10:39 am
Filed under: inspiration, london lovin'

YAO Event Invitation_JG_Hiatus

I’ve been busy lately, and only a small part of it has been about making beautiful stationery…sigh.  But it’s all for a good cause.

Thursday next week will be the official launch of a new volunteer group that I’ve been helping to develop, at an event I’ve been at the helm of planning.  The group is called Young Ambassadors for Opportunity, a really diverse (culturally, personally, professionally) group of young Londoners committed to transforming the lives of the poor through microfinance.  As you may know, microfinance enables poor people to work their way out of poverty by providing small loans and other basic financial services that make a lasting difference — it helps people help themselves. In particular YAO supports the work of Opportunity International, the largest charity in the UK specialising solely in microfinance in the developing world.

This cause resonated me as a new entrepreneur, and it feels good to both use my design skills as well as the marketing and event planning skills I have from my previous life as a PR, for such a “higher” purpose.  I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to pursue a dream and do work that I love.  I find microfinance such a compelling and satisfying cause to support because it takes so little, in Western world terms, to offer a similar kind of entrepreneurial opportunity to someone in need in a developing region.  The results are tangible, and often profound.

Next week’s event will be at a very cool space in Shoreditch, Blackall Studios, for a microfinance fundraiser.  There will be a photography exhibit by Giles Duley — he is sponsored by various patrons and travels around developing regions like Africa and Bangladesh capturing their struggles and triumphs and the results are gorgeous, poignant and moving.  The music will be courtesy of Hiatus, a DJ whose work I highly recommend checking out (warning, clicking on the link plays music straight away!).  Plus yummy snacks, and drinks donated by Spier Wines and Diageo.  And a raffle that offers a chance to win some bespoke stationery by yours truly, or a host of other prizes (wine, gift certificates, photography).

The entrance fee is about what you might spend on this kind of night out anyway, but it goes to a wonderful, worthwhile cause.  And the people I’ve been working on this with are interesting, engaging and fun.  It’s going to be a great night.  Click here for tickets and more details.

Stay tuned next week for my take on comfort food, a new online magazine I’m thrilled about (shades of Domino, hallelujah!), a London launch I’m also thrilled about, and news of where to find me in person in London next month, with holiday cards and gifts galore on offer.

September 9, 2009, 10:07 am
Filed under: inspiration

A minor injury has me sidelined from my usual yoga and pilates classes and has plopped me right into the swimming pool for the only sort of exercise my doctor says I can do at the moment.  Though the lingering scent of chlorine on my skin, even post-shower, has me wishing for a natural pool in my backyard (um, I suppose the backyard would be nice too), I love the meditative rhythm and solo-ness of it, and the loose, energized feeling it earns me.

Though my Speedo kit suits me well for everyday, I’ve found myself fantasizing about the days when swimming was oh-so-glamorous, girly swimming attire, and the now-bygone lazy, hazy days of summer…