I am flying to Tangier tomorrow. With a long list of to-do's for our artisans including ideas for new samples for our next collection; we are done with the summer line we are showing at the New York International Gift Fair end of January so we need to get our stock to the States in time for the show.
Here is a peak at our summer line inspiration, a bit of "the Hamptons" with a twist.

In my head, my notebook and laptop, a host of inspiration images for the August NYIGF are ready for explanations and directions -thank heaven for Hamid, our Moroccan agent/translator/savior-.
We are working well in advance to avoid too much nail biting later on.

We will definitely go bolder for August!
Stripes galore inspired by carpets hanging on a wall in Assilah.

Random pattern from the Bouchaourite rugs from the Atlas Mountains we love.

It will be cool, so no beach escape, and I am going alone this time; no problem: with some dear friends there -local residents or foreigners with secondary homes in Tangier who, happily, will be there at the same time as me (a surprise each time), time flies and discoveries are made on each trip.
Can't wait!
See you in 10 days.

au revoir.



I will always LOVE my toothpick Eiffel Tower!   

Such a very fragile Eiffel Tower was going to suffer one day, I had accepted that possibility a long time ago. No one was allowed to dust it, move it or even breathe next to it. 
Well, almost.
I packed it myself for the big trip across the ocean and wrote "FRAGILE!" all over the box. 
and YET.
It arrived last month, crushed. snapped, done in.

I have tried to glue it back together but like Humpty Dumpty,it could not be put it together again. 
It only manages to stand for 2 reasons:
- I dare not put the top... on top, as it too heavy now for the broken legs and they just spread apart and the whole thing crumbles.
- What is left of the legs (broken and missing toothpicks) are kept together with paper clips. There has not enough left to glue to. 
It will have to go to the trash.
But not yet...

au revoir...
ma Tour Eiffel.




I posted about this 50's Arteluce lamp a while ago here. I had bought it in the US and had always thought it should live in my son's home in Paris. It was right up his alley, I thought. Slim, colorful, quirky and somewhat classic.
It has crossed the Atlantic at last (shipping something that size was not an option...) and it is now shining in its rightful place after all these years of waiting patiently in our basement.
I find it is fits perfectly there in all its tall glory next to my son's art (sadly he has stopped painting) lighting up the corner, shining on the graphic black bike and the chocolate furniture on the chocolate floor.
It is indeed home now.
I believe my son agrees.

au revoir.



I hosted Thanksgiving only once in my life and I had the help of a very dear friend who is American and happens to be a Cordon Bleu cook; Does that allow me to say "I hosted"? probably not.
I am now in Paris for the first Thanksgiving Day in a very long time and, to make things more interesting, I am in fact actually hosting the feast this time. Well, technically I am getting a lot of help. 6 of my girls' American friends are coming and all are participating in the procedure. I love the idea! 
My brief: just sit back and relax, mom. 
Easier said than done.
I am the one in charge of the bird! You make a mess of THAT and you go down in history as the failure of all failures!  
Right off the bat a small detail adds a little excitement to the day: the oven in the apartment is Paris size. God, I am hoping that a turkey for 10 will fit...the boucher was not entirely clear as to the dimensions of a 6Kg fowl. Wish us luck!
As for the rest, you will understand why I am featuring an image of the shop above: finding cranberries and canned pumpkin in Paris is slightly more challenging than driving over to the local supermarket. However, with the help of Google and a few phone calls, both were found in the Marais rue St. Paul at Thanksgiving, the store, or should I say THE store for all culinary items American. 
And, by the way, if I am writing this at this hour, with not an apparent worry and no obvious epistolary handwringing, it's only because MY Thanksgiving is taking place on Saturday, everyone's "off day" over here...





I have made a discovery: If you move after a great number of years from a house full of nooks, crannies and other -initially of course- empty spaces, you make miraculous discoveries. You unearth things you had thought "lost", unexplainably misplaced.

Such was the case of my beloved, precious, very much missed "knitting" picture. 
A very dear, very talented friend of mine made the picture when she was still in the Paris School of Applied Arts, l'Ecole des Arts Appliqués. She kindly offered it to me and I, stunned by her ability and very happy to receive such a treasure, accepted it with pleasure and treated it with all the respect due to such a merveille
Sadly, it went missing for years after we moved for the 4th time in the US. As luck and circumstances would have it, 21 years later, it reappeared from behind a long discarded headboard when we emptied our large and, needless to say, very full "Ali-Baba-cavern" of an attic, to move to Paris this summer. 

I have tried to figure out one thing: how on earth does one manage to make such a piece? look at it closely, each row is indeed knitted to the next.
You may even be able to notice on the upper right side of the 1st image that there are even "dropped" stitches in the knitting. So clever.
I'll confess that having misplaced this extraordinary work of art, I tried to replicate it. IMPOSSIBLE! -for me at least: after all, SHE did it! 
Her answer: it was just one of the projects we had to do. No big deal...
I guess I would have failed the course.

Merci ma très chère amie. It will not disappear this time around. 
For one, we don't have an attic...

au revoir.



I cannot resist telling you the news: Our great abanjá scarf is in the December 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living!

We are an exclusively to the trade company, but exceptionally, we are selling this scarf from Morocco to the retail public from our website www.abanja.com. I urge you to visit us there and take advantage of our first abanjá Special
Our hand woven cotton/acrylic Barek scarf is striped in 2 colorways on a soft ivory background. 
A big plus: It can be machine washed and it will get softer and softer as it is washed.
We wear similar ones all the time and have found that they can be worn almost year-round. 
The holidays are here...

au revoir.




I thought the square card table would fit nowhere in the apartment. I really tried to figure out what to do with it. It has stayed in the entrance hall ever since it was delivered covered with all the "orphans" of the move, pieces orphaned by the lack of a proper place to live.
As I was reconsidering my options I suddenly realized that it did fit perfectly in the corner: right size and a great place for keys and stuff as you walk in. Its size is in fact a plus. It gives stature to the small hall.
I then tried to decide on what to do in terms of design. 
My original plan for an "African" look was my office. In fact, there is no real possibility for going wild with a vignette there as it needs to be all function! Not like a corporate office, no, far from it, but no "free" space for a design "delirium"...
The "African" vignette has, somewhat by default, moved to the entry.
I am satisfied. 
Very satisfied.
Now for the rest of the space.

au revoir.



Today, shelving in the living room and in the hall to the master bedroom and office were installed. 
I immediately opened the boxes of books and started distributing not only books but CD's and DVD's (yes, we still have some of those...) on the proper shelves in the LR; well, more or less the proper shelves. 
Some fine tuning will have to take place.
Some other day.
In the hall I will use the shelving as a laundry closet as my wonderful landlords have offered to install a set of glass doors back where they had been. 
Let me explain:
Our place is part of a large apartment that has been divided in 2. The recesses where I have installed the shelvings, both in the living room and the hall were deep doorways leading to rooms in the "other side" through glass paned doors (just like the one currently leading from the entry hall to the living room). It will make for a very elegant laundry closet, albeit a slightly shallow laundry closet, but my "mock up" worked perfectly well; We'll just have to fold the laundry a little smaller...

If all the boxes are gone, why do I grace my post with the picture of a wardrobe moving box?
There are, in fact, 2 left awaiting the delivery of 2 armoires, one for our bedroom and one to sit in the office. (aghhh, the lack of closets in Paris apartments drives me nuts!!!) 
So the much dreaded armoire route I will have to go. I did find 2 in the "colonial" style-as in the French colonies I guess- that will be fine. 

I have chosen an off-white version for the bedroom as I find it softer looking  and the "exotic wood" version for the office as I want to give the office just that, a "colonial" feeling. I'll hang my father's black and white photos of his rally from Tunisia through all of Africa to Capetown in the 1950's and I'll add a few African statues I have collected during our family's various sojourns there. 

Now if missing cabinets, bath and kitchen accessories and lighting would just hurry up and get here I would be in heaven. 

Patience? not a big forte with me...

au revoir.