Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Celebration of Spring - The most beautiful blog

If you have a favorite blog or website that you can't get enough of because of it's beauty, I'd love to hear about it.  Please, put a link on the comments.

This post is for my dear friends in Tulsa... They will totally get my adoration for these pictures. I am sure that any gardener, or anyone that appreciates beauty of any kind, will fall in love with this work as well.  All pictures are taken by Swedish blogger (Blomsterverkstad), stylist and published photographer (Blomstrand ideer), Minna Mercke Schmidt.  Her book just came out in Europe... and I'm hoping it will be getting to the States soon.


I can't really make justice of her work, because her presentation is much 'cleaner' than mine, so go check out her blog.  And please, let me know your favorite blog or site in the comments.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Allie in Underland?

Hurry... I only have less than a week to come up and produce a good enough bribe to get Mr. Darcy to keep the kid so I can go see the 3-D version of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland".

I couldn't care less about the storyline or the fact that the heroine is less of a ditz and more of a rebel... yawn!  But I am ready to be enchanted and taken away by the sets, makeup, and wardrobe artistry.

It will be dark and gloomy, but I heard that it won't be gruesome.  Good.  I'm in.  Bring it on...

Mia Wasikowska as Alice

But until then... check out these breathtaking images.  Some of them are even more enjoyable if you click them to see every detail up close. 

Johny Depp as The Mad Hatter
Anne Hathaway as The White Queen
Wow! - click on these two
Tweedledee and Tweedledum played by Matt Lucas (from Little Britain)
Remind me to redo the driveway
Love the dress... I think I noticed several versions of it in the trailer
 Love the layered rugs.
At the risk of aggravating my tennis elbow (thanks Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix!), I might just have to splurge on the $39.99 wii game...

And now... a sneak peek:

I would be remiss if I didn't share this extravagant, and gorgeous bouquet from the Mad Hatter inspired wedding from Veranda.

And of course, the Fashion World wouldn't let this one pass...

" For autumn 2010, Zac Posen created a pre-collection themed “Lewis Carroll meets Paloma Picasso”, and Donatella Versace cited Alice as inspiration for her spring/summer 2010 range of whimsical pastel gowns. In Paris, the Printemps department store has created a suitably fantastical Alice in Wonderland window display: rabbits made from white roses and books as big as buses form the backdrop, while dresses replicating the fairy-tale world and designed specifically for the store by Christopher Kane, Haider Ackermann and, poignantly, Alexander McQueen, hang on rabbit-faced mannequins."
exerpt from

Walter Van Beirendonck Fall 2010 Collection

Polyvore has this huge selection, including this goth-lollita Nubia dress for $120 (No, thank you)

Go ck out their official blog here for more inspiration.
How about this kooky sold out $1,395 ring from Browns Fashion

Stella McCartney limited edition for Disney

and how cute is this from flowersnbutterflies at Etsy

Urban Decay Book of Shadows - I don't think these are available yet...

OPI's new Alice in Wonderland line: Off with Her Red! , Absolutely Alice, Mad as a Hatter, Thanks Very Muchness!

Lots to think about... Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Williams-Sonoma Home Synonymous with Poor Quality, Worse Customer Service

I have an issue with Williams-Sonoma and its sister companies that you might want to hear about and please feel free to share your own experiences.  Like many of you, in the past few years I have done much of my shopping online.  Williams-Sonoma, WS Home, Pottery Barn, PB Kids are all online stores I have bought from and I have had issues with the delivery of each and every purchase of their products... from damaged merchandize, to missing parts, to wrong selections... the spectrum of their inability to provide quality has no limits.  

Of all of these, WS Home has the highest price point.  One would assume the company would be interested in providing the best product and service to their high end customers.  This has NOT been my experience. 

For Christmas 2007, I put together a home office for my husband.  I envisioned a dark room with metal tile ceilings, gorgeous leathers, layers of rugs, black crystal, a photographer's lamp, and a beautiful desk with just the right amount of reflection to pop out of its surroundings.  I was inspired by this room from Ralph Lauren Home, which for some reason I can no longer find online. I found the perfect Mason desk at WS Home. 
At about two grand, I thought about it twice and decided it would be perfect.  I called them, they took my credit card, and I sat and waited for my beautiful new desk.  When it arrived a few days later, I couldn't help but notice to my dismay these stress fractures...

I called them right away and explained the deffect.  They apologized and scheduled a new delivery... Weeks went by, I got another desk, WITH THE SAME DEFFECTS.  Called them back, they set up new delivery... A couple of months went by and here is the third version of the same deffect.  Another phone call followed by an email with the above pictures requesting a fix or a deep discount.  They suggested someone would stop by and PATCH IT UP.  Hello...?!  This is obviously a stress problem with the wood that no amount of patching up would fix if I had to move the desk again. 

Here is the tops:  when asked to reduce the price of the product to reflect its discount store quality, they told me that WS didn't  want a reputation of doing that.  Well, I guess they'd rather be known for poor quality and worse customer service?

They were nice enough to keep me informed via a monthly phone call that they were looking into it and trying to fix the problem.  It is now August of 2008.  They have had my money for a good 8 months.  And I had a broken desk to show for it.  Then I get a phone call:  "Sorry Mrs. Hopkins, WS has decided that we won't be doing more replacements for your desk .  Here is your money back."  It has been a while, and I never got anything in writing, but I hung up that phone thinking oh ok they couldn't fix it and are pulling the desk out.

September came along, and my son was born.  Williams-Sonoma who?  Someone came picked up the desk, I got the credit on my Amex.  All is good UNTIL I noticed the new catalogue in my pile of unread mail...  You know it.  There it was in all of its glory, the now hated mason desk.  I was too busy to do anything about it.  And what was there to do really?

But now I feel it is time.  This blog has given me a voice.  And even if it is a very soft, often unheard voice, it is here.  Black on white, or whatever color scheme I might be fancifully writing in at the moment.   I doubt I am the only one who has had this kind of experience with WS and its sister companies.  It is really a loss for me, because I do love their design.  But just like avoiding "made in China" products, I have been steadily and unwaveringly avoiding Williams-Sonoma's.  Besides, Restoration Hardware is all but a click away.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where oh Where...

A friend of mine is moving to the Netherlands with her two girls and husband for a few months and we have been talking about expat life for a while today...  I reviewed my pics and wanted to share as well as wonder if people can spot the locations.  They are not very obvious...






















What do you think?


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