Today will be somewhat of a break in Marrakesh. A break from visiting sources - including a trade show where we found a FANTASTIC source and a weavers' cooperative in a small village (at 9:00 PM yesterday evening).
Today we are going about 30 km from Marrakech to La Pause a "camp" for lunch. This is not what can be called "toughing it", you will agree...
This is the surroundings !!!
Can't wait!

au revoir.



image dar kawa

I am going to Morocco tomorrow. I will make a stop in Tangier for a few days and then meet my business partner in Marrakech. We are working on our new line for the August New York International Gift Fair and this trip will help put it all together- that part of the line anyway.
It is, however, slightly complicated to go from Tangier to Marrakesh. Flying is ridiculously expensive and you can very well end up going through Fes, Meknes or Rabat or all of the above...no warning nor reason given.
The last few times we needed to go south, we took the overnight train. 
(No, it is not the one above...How I wish!; that's the Orient Express.)
It leaves Tangier in the late evening and arrives in the morning in time to start the day there. 
It's bearable. Not luxurious, (slight understatement!) but relatively clean -if you decide to totally ignore the state of the "facilities". 
I don't love the idea of going on that ride alone -I have always traveled with 2 or 3 persons and that's fun. We talk, we read, we sleep and time goes by quickly. If I can get a "single" and be on my own in my compartment I'll be fine. (yes, I am at that stage in my life...) Sleeping pill, ear plugs and eye mask and I'll be at our destination in no time. 

image riad awa

We stay at the Riad Awa- and so should you if you go to Marrakesh some day- for its comfort, its perfect ambiance and warm welcome, its total gorgeousness and for the sumptuous breakfast on the terrace.

Ah, yes, the Riad Awa breakfast... an absolute necessity before going out to "raid" the medina.

But first, Tangier, to get all our weavers to be on board for the new line. No small feat as some would rather do their own thing. At their own pace. Their own way.

au revoir.




I am soon to REALLY start missing my morning breakfast outside in Larchmont, NY.
As soon as the weather cooperates I will be very happy to be here of course, but in the mean time, I would willingly trade gray for 50 shades of green...
I can't complain; soon it will be all the shades of brights!

au revoir.



I love going past Paris buildings and seeing those great brass door knobs most of them have. There are millions of styles and varying degrees of embellishment. Most of them are as shiny as a new penny, the "concierge" of the building surely taking great pride in the silent demonstration of her care that is evident to all who walk by.

Today I stopped dead in my tracks! 
A painter was applying a coat of black paint to one of those wonderful horizontal bars that are ubiquitous in Paris. (I could tell that it was brass as the one on the second door was yet to be MURDERED). 
The building does not have a "concierge" I told myself, to explain the unexplainable. 
No respectable Paris concierge would allow this, I thought. 
It is the end of an era I imagined, fearing the worst.
Nothing can be done. That beautiful ornament will soon look like the one below; 

Sad, sad.

au revoir.




The Artemide lamp is up in the dining area! Finally! I am satisfied. I wanted something very modern to contrast with my eclectic mix and this fits the bill perfectly for me.

au revoir.




The inspiration

The mock-up

The execution

The artist 

Breatrice Knoch17 rue Andre del Sarte  75018 Paris  

It is my sister Joëlle's birthday today and I wanted to present her with something very special. She, like me, loves creative jewelry. But what could possibly please her? she already has a lot.
A friend and I were walking down a Montmartre street a few weeks ago and we spotted a cute shop with delicate jewelry in the window. We went in; the designer was sitting at her table working on a ring. We looked at all her pieces and I spotted tiny vermeil pine cones. I asked her if she would make long custom earrings for me. She answered that custom pieces were the bulk of her work. We proceeded to choose beads to add to the mini gold plated silver pine cones and in no time she had laid out the mock-up for me. I was sold!
When my sister comes to Paris she will be able to wear them. In the mean-time she will have to be satisfied with this post... and an early morning e.mail and a Skype video call and...
I will have to keep my fingers crossed.
I am not really that worried, they are just exquisite and she did mention looooong earrings.

Joyeux Anniversaire Joëlle!

au revoir.



design_Toshiko_Horiuchi_MacAdam Sapporo knit playground

As all "creatives" know, a tiny little spark can light a fire under an idea. 
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the 19th century French chemist, said "rien ne se créé, rien ne se perd, tout se transforme". Loosely translated it's this: Nothing is created, nothing is lost, all is transformed. He was talking about matter in general not design, but imagination is "matter" also. It's in your mind, that's all. An idea is not "created", contrary to popular belief. The word "creative" alone is a misnomer. All ideas are borne of another idea.
Then there is that fine line between inspiration and copy. Who is copying whom? who started first? does it not all start with nature anyway? 

This post is not about all that.

I'll just need to keep on working along. 
"Creating" nothing, surely .

We need a few new items for our winter collection. Inspiration will lead us to that idea, and then to this one, and hopefully to: "this is much better!", "that's going to be great!", etc. etc.
All these images will lead us to something else. 
To our abanjá line
To something concrete to produce and sell. Really mundane stuff if you think about it. And we are having fun doing it.
So, the big fat wheel of design keeps on turning. 

Au revoir.