5/31/2011

Classic Navy and White

I was going through my morning emails for work and this image popped up from Wisteria.  It felt so fresh and crisp, like wearing white shoes after Memorial Day. 

We've Gone Coastal! We have combed the beach for a collection that is as fresh as the sea air. Take a dip.>>

Happy Tuesday!

5/24/2011

Peacock & Beale

I was walking downtown Essex and stumbled upon this refreshing store.  What I mean by refreshing is… it reminded me of something you would see in LA or New York.   Essex never had a lot of home accessory or interior design boutiques but if it did, it was full of chachkies, a Yiddish word for what I call, dust collectors.  Peacock & Beale is the perfect combination of old and new, very eclectic and well merchandised. After doing more research (I thought I would make a good PI), I discovered the owner, Connie Beale was an interior designer, who began her career in Houston working for Bill Francis & Associates and later moved to Greenwich, CT where she started her own firm Connie Beale.  She has been featured in many publications such as Veranda, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, etc.  She has since expanded her business and it looks like she brought amazing her talent to Essex, lucky us.  Her store is so beautiful, it reminded me of a lovely, comfortable and well lived in home.  All it needed was a sofa and I would have curled up with a good book and never left.  Take a look for yourself.

Love how these containers for sale are displayed with Rosemary and Ranunculus.

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This was my favorite display in the store.  Filled with all kinds of fun vintage finds.

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Interior design books displayed beautifully on this lovely table.

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I’ve been on a bird kick lately.  Don’t know why but these made me happy!

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These  stain glass windows flanking the cashier table looked lovely with the sun streaming through them.  Great way to display them.

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I have a thing for tall ceramic or porcelain lamps.  I was drooling over this lamp. Unfortunately, I was so busy taking pictures of the store, I forgot to ask how much it was.P1030395

P1030404  My rival in college.  But it looked so cool hanging down from the cabinet.  It should say Northeastern University :)P1030406

Grain sack pillows.  Love the ones with the monograms.  I just bought five of these at the Long Beach Flea Market last month for my outdoor chairs.

P1030407All kinds of vintage finds sprinkled with lovely new pieces.               P1030400Make sure you stop in and look around.  Essex is a wonderful day trip if you live in New England.  Lots to see and do.  This is a definite don’t miss for anyone that loves design.

  

Peacock & Beale

21 Main Street

Essex, CT  06426

Phone:  (860) 767-1682

www.conniebeale.com

 

Photo Credits:  All photo’s taken by Peggy & Fritz. 

5/23/2011

The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook ~ Only in Connecticut

While sitting around my parents table eating homemade polenta, my mom tipped me off to a new cheese shop that opened in Centerbook, CT.  Apparently, my Uncle Peter frequents it daily, and told her about it.  Cheese shop in Centerbrook? WHAT??????????????  Why didn’t I know about this before I got to the house? I just picked up at bottle of wine at the wine shop in Centerbrook.  As everyone knows, I love cheese, especially paired with wine.

Friday morning, I decided to head to Essex to take some pictures for all of you. I was heading through Centerbrook (completely in my own little world), and caught The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook sign out of the corner of my eye.  I came a screeching halt, did a u-ey (slang for u-turn in New England) and pulled into the parking lot.  It was like walking into Cheese Heaven, if there was one.  Lot’s of yummy cheeses, everything you can imagine.  I met Paul, the owner and his lovely wife.  We started chatting and I told him I was home visiting and my mom told me about the shop and I wanted to pop in.  I asked him how he selected Centerbrook (we just don’t have things like this where I am from) and he said he lived in the area and had done this for a living and wanted to open something for the locals.  He got his start years ago, working for a cheese company in Greenwich, CT. Over they years he helped over 30 cheese stores open their business including the The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.  Boy, did Paul know his cheeses.

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Paul, the owner below.

P1030368 Look at all the yummy cheeses he carries!  He has one of the largest collections of cheeses in the state of Connecticut.  No matter what you fancy…he or his team will help you select something that suites your taste  He carries cheese from France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Norway, and the United States.  He also carries prosciutto, smoke salmon, and various cured meats.  He’s so gracious that he will open any cheese for you to try.  I didn’t want him to open anything for me but he insisted started opened several that interested me, what customer service.  They also provide you with a Product List Sheet of the current cheeses and meats they carry.  They will check off the cheeses you purchase so you can keep track of what you have had.  He carries some of my favorites like the La Tur, from Italy, Epoisses from France, and the Mt. Tam from The Cowgirl Creamery. 

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Fresh pastas, sauces, olive oils for dipping and cooking, and fine balsamic vinegars makes this a great destination spot.P1030369 Paul covers all the bases.  He carries blocks of gourmet chocolate and all the fixings.  Now I just want him to add wine.  Hint Hint Paul :)

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He covers all the bases.  I was going to my friend Nicole and Jeff’s on Friday evening.  I picked up a soft cheese which he recommended and Beemster Aged Gouda  that was to die for (so good I went back the next day for more), some dried apricots, a fresh baguette and some table crackers. I knew it went over well because Nicole’s husband, Jeff, ate it like it was his last supper.  Presto magic, now you see it now you don’t.  Love you Jeff!

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Fresh baked bread made daily.  The perfect place to pick up a baguette, some cheese, and spreads for a picnic down at the docks in Essex.

Here’s Paul and his team (see below).  The guy on the far left made me a yummy latte but only if I smiled.  Of course, I smiled.  It makes me happy knowing they also make latte’s and cappuccino’s.  I know longer have to drive to Old Saybrook to get a good cup of Joe.  Sorry folks, I outgrew Duncan Donuts.

Make sure if your visiting the shoreline of Connecticut that you pop in and tell them that Peggy & Fritz sent you.  The staff is friendly and welcomes you like an old friend.  The perfect place to pick up goodies for a dinner party, hostess gift, or a special treat for yourself.  I was so impressed with Paul and his team, it will be my first stop (after the vino) when I come for a visit.

The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook

33 Main Street

Centerbrook, CT 

Phone:  (860) 767-8500

MON – THURS, SAT 9 AM to 6 PM

FRI – 9 AM to 7 PM

 

PHOTO CREDITS:  Unless otherwise marked with Peggy and Fritz all photos are courtesy of The Centerbrook Cheese Shop website.

5/19/2011

Tour of the Town ~ Shoreline of Connecticut

One of the things I miss the most about New England,  is the architecture of the homes.  It’s no wonder that among the contemporary and Spanish style homes in LA that I gravitated towards an old beach cottage (from 1909). I know it’s not old by New England standards, where it’s common to see a home dating back to the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s but, for the record….it’s OLD by California standards. I do miss the character, crooked wood floors, ceilings, shutters, front porches, and beautiful moldings of New England homes.   I went to a few open houses to see what I could get for $500,000 vs. Manhattan Beach.  May I say, I was green with envy.   Enjoy the lovely tour of Chester, Essex, Old Saybrook, and Old Lyme.  
See below the lovely architecture and how lovely spring time is in Connecticut.  The house below is one of my all time favorite homes in Essex.  It sits at the end of a road and borders on a cove of the Connecticut River. 
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This is what the view would look like from the side of the house.  Gorgeous.
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This is the view coming into Essex Center.  The church sits high up on a hill.  I was trying to get this picture from my car before someone came and honked at me and shouted, “Get out of the way tourist!”.
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I love these horse heads. These were used back in the day to tie your horses up.  
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Downtown Essex and all the trees in full bloom.
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OMG! I’m dying over this house!  Why didn’t I ever notice it before. I already have myself moved in and the house decorated.P1030532
This house sits on the Connecticut River in Old Lyme.  To the left of the house is the river and also a helicopter pad.  I remember in high school when my old boyfriend worked at the marina across the river we would watch the helicopter take off and land.  We were always like, I wonder who lives in that house, they must be really rich.   LOL!P1030579
Dying over this house.  If I moved back to CT, this would be my home.  Wish I could see the inside.P1030582
            I just picture drinking my morning coffee on this porch or unwinding after a long day with a glass of wine on a pair of rocking chairs.  
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I was driving taking this picture.  This the Goodspeed Opera House and unfortunately, my camera doesn’t do this building justice.  Sitting on the edge of the Connecticut River (directly behind it), this spectacular building is home to the original productions of Manof La Mancha, Shenandoah, and Annie and the recipient of two Tony Awards.  The Goodspeed Opera House works in conjunction with the The Norma Terris Theatre (located in non other than Chester, CT) to develop new musicals and emerging artists.  It’s also a test location for many shows that go on to Broadway.   All the more reason why you need to visit.P1030573
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Down at the docks in Essex Center, where the ducks and swans are spoiled by tourists feeding them bread.  This swan was coping an attitude when he found out I didn’t have any bread.  Sue, remember when you got attacked by swans?  LOL!  P1030455
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I started to notice everyone’s doors were all decorated.  Now I wish I got more pics.
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         Loved these oars over the garage door!P1030541
The only daffodils I see in LA is at Trader Joes.  There is nothing that reminds me of springtime more than daffodils, tulips, lilacs, and forsythia. For you New Englanders, you will laugh.  We pay $15.99 at Whole Foods for three stems of Lilacs(that grow everywhere in CT) and $15.00 to $20.00 for forsythia, which, some consider a weed.  The first time I saw the price I said, “Are you kidding me?  For Real?”   See below my Aunts lovely garden.  I love how the daffodils randomly popped up between the rocks and border her garden, etc.  You can see the first sprouts of carrots popping up in her garden.  Makes me miss Peggy & Fritz.  How else would I know those are carrots sprouting?               P1030562 P1030563  P1030565P1030564   P1030568
Ok, I went a little overboard on the pictures but when you move away, it reminds you of all the things you loved and you took for granted.   For all of you New Englanders….I’m so jealous that you get to relish in the splendor of springtime, I’m green with envy.  However, I am pleasantly reminded during the winter months while wearing flip flops and your shoveling snow, why I live in Southern California.   Hope you enjoyed the tour!

5/11/2011

Small Town Designers with a Big City Designs

Who knew we had so much talent bottled up in one little town.  I met Ann Lightfoot while chatting the girls from Frock (yesterday's post).   They told me I really should go down and check out her jewelry.  I so was smitten with the two chunky necklaces she was wearing, I had to see for myself.  Her jewelry was being displayed at the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery which is host to a number artists and designers featuring jewelry, handbags, textiles, and art. Here’s a brief bio on Ann courtesy of www.loriwarner.com:

“Ann Lightfoot's simple yet elegant jewelry designs are inspired by the natural materials she works with. "The color, cut and shape of a stone dictates each design," says Ann, who creates each of her unique pieces by hand, using precious and semi-precious stones and the finest linen, silk or sterling silver.

Ann's jewelry also reflects her interest in other cultures. After graduating from Harvard College, where she earned a degree in History and Literature, Ann ran a teaching program in Bangkok, Thailand. She has also worked with Cambodian refugees in Thailand, for a non-profit organization in Paris and for a French cosmetics company in New York. Ann's first jewelry designs were created out of jade medallions and vintage glass stones found in a Shanghai antique market, and she continues to use fine Asian, South American and African beads and pendants in her designs.”

Her work has been featured and exhibited at museums and art galleries and as well as major publications such as Lucky Magazine and Bon App├ętit.  You can see below some samples of her designs. She has everything from dainty and simple to chunky and exotic.   They’re simple stunning and have a very organic quality to them.  You feel like you are wearing a piece of the earth.  No further explanation is needed by me, her pieces speak for themselves.

Handmade Collar of Sterling Rings and Moonstone on Silk

Fan of Natural Agate Slices on Billowy Silk

 

I tried the one below on and it was stunning.

I wanted the one to the far left (see below) but it was a little out of my budge.  They look great layered. 

She has a range colors. She has a lot of neutrals, pinks, and here are some of the soft blues featured below:

Her jewelry is being featured in DKNY in London and South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

To top it all off, while I was in viewing Ann’s pieces, I saw this tall brunette who looked familiar.  I haven’t been home in so long (keep in mind everyone knows everyone where I grew up) that I was blanking out on her name. I took a gamble and said, “Jackie?” She said, “Yes.”  I said, “It’s Ann Shumbo.”  We had an OMG, I haven’t seen you in years moment and then a chuckle. We both went to high school together, were cheerleaders, and haven’t seen each other since college.  Come to find out Jackie was living in Maui for a number of years and started making handbags (see below) and had made her way back to the East Coast after meeting her hubby. Little did I know, her bags have been featured in many small boutiques including Fred Segal.  A major score for a designer.  How cute are these bags?  Check out her adorable bags which you can see at Jacqueline Kangley's website.

Imagine a girls luncheon or night out on the town!

The perfect little black dress handbag.

 

Well it seems these designers know where Chester, CT is ~ they know an “IT” place when they see one!

 

CONTACT:

Lori Warner Studio/ Gallery is located at:

21 Main Street, Chester, CT  USA  06412  -  MAP

Phone:  860-322-4265

www.loriwarner.com

All photos credits are from www.loriwarner.com and Ann’s Face book page where you can see more of Ann’s jewelry designs and Jacqueline Kangley’s handbags.

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