Sunday, December 30, 2012


Photo Credit:
This what I'll be doing tomorrow night. Celebrating all the blessings of the past year and setting my sights on 2013.
My usual New Year's Day is one of dedicating myself to the coming year--checking out my priorities and reordering them if necessary. I also spend quite a bit of time making a list of all of the things that I have to be grateful for. Without gratitude, we are truly sunk.

Sending love and blessing for the New Year.
Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Jones says "hi"--he was waaaay too hyper and naughty at work today and got into deep do-do with me. BUT I AM SO THANKFUL FOR MY CRAZY GUY.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Isn't she lovely? 

This is Kaia who is four and thinks that everything is wonderful. Thank goodness she recovered from a bad case of the flu in time for Christmas (and no one else caught it).

Of course, here's Jones making sure that he scored every last crumb. Jones had a great time, also. But I forgot to buy him a present.......


As you can see, there is a lot left to do, but we are slowly moving forward. Dennis came today and although we worked for 5 hours, it seems as if we didn't even make a dent.  I still have at least 15 boxes to unpack and then there is the second room at my old location. Patience, Patience, Patience....
Roberto is coming Jan. 2 and I will be unpacking boxes all day will happen.  I wish that I were further along as we will get quite a bit of ROSE BOWL traffic this week-end. Oh well, it is what it is.
Jones says "hi"---he has a new girl friend. Amore is white and almost as big as Jones, but more delicate.  Boy do they love spending time together.....Boys and girls!  And Jones really loves girls.
Have a wonderful week-end getting ready for the New Year or just antiques shopping--hopefully with me.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Sunday, December 23, 2012


This is a bit what my Christmas is like this year. All upside down and inside out.  But I'm getting there.
For me Christmas is all about cooking and that is what I'm doing today. I love the creative process: do I want to experiment? The tried and true? Do I want help (this year I need lots of help)? Do I want to do a traditional dinner? Cocktail party style?
This year I'm definitely getting lots of help, no traditional dinner, cocktail style and I'm doing something new and something old.

Christmas Eve Menu
       Extra Large Wild Shrimp w/ Cocktail Sauce
       Pate a Choux stuffed with Smoked Salmon
       Pate a Choux stuffed with Mushroom Pate
       Antipasto on Skewers
       Pecan Pie
       Famous Nut BAlls
       Deviled Eggs
       Lemon Bars
       Brownies (Grace and I make the best Brownies)
       Thee Quiches 

It looks like we will be having about 13 or 14 for Christmas Eve and "Open" timing:Starting at 6. There are just too many variables; too many children and a few crazy adults (I know, I've tried everything to get the ball rolling with a set time--not going to happen).

I'm getting excited.
Have a wonderful Christmas filled with Love.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)
I forgave Jones

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I think that it is fairly obvious that Mr. Jones is feeling very guilty. The problem is that I haven't decided whether to forgive him or not.........Just look at the mess (messes) scattered all over the house. I think he's trying to tell me that he hasn't had enough exercise, but yeeeeeeeeez. And he is almost 6.5 years young. Standards aren't for everyone......I wonder why?

OOOPS.  Forgot to mention that the above photo shows the remnants of my new slippers....See what I mean? Should I forgive him?
Well, after being about a week off schedule the Paneling finally came down........

It looks pretty empty....

THE PANELING was installed at new location (this was an adventure in and of itself).
AND............most everything was moved to the new location yesterday.  TODAY is "arrange" day. My wonderfully talented daughter-in-law is coming to help me visualize and move stuff.  It will take a while before things are really settled....but life is a process.
And darn......MY ROBERTO is booked until January 2!!! 

Jones has returned to Daycare and he will be getting tons of exercise. No more bad dogs. 

Wish me luck.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Tray and I packed quite a few boxes today......have to move everything out of the way to remove that then rehang the antique paneling...Roberto is scheduled.
I'm not toooooooo sure that Dennis is completely ready with the framework.
We'll see what arises tomorrow.
Wish us luck.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

I'll be taking a few days off. My heart is heavy and design and things just seem like so much fluff.
Sending prayers out to all parents. 
As a nation we need to consider what role we should play in assisting families that are dealing with children and loved one with mental illness. I am intimately familiar with the lack of assistance available to children with mental health issues. It is far too easy to assign a label such as autistic, aspergers, ADD, etc. which truly is only a label and does nothing towards meeting the needs of the individual child.

I'll be back in a few days.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I cannot think of a single thing to say except


My entire life I have opposed the notion that little boys (or girls) are just being "boys" when they played with toys guns. My little boys did not have any toy guns.

I have always opposed violent video games. We never had violent games in my house.

I have always opposed watching gratuitously violent TV shows and movies--we didn't watch them in my house.

New research is showing a causal relationship between violent video games, TV shows and movies played and viewed by our children and subsequent violence exhibited in their behavior and attitudes towards explicit violence.

NOW--IS THE MOMENT to voice our desire for very strict gun control--SCREAMING at all of our governmental entities until proper PERMANENT legislation is passed.

I am sick of being held hostage by the NRA and the like. HOW MANY MORE OF US WILL DIE BECAUSE OF FEARFUL LEGISLATORS???
Perhaps we cannot control violent video games except in our homes and the same can be said for TV shows and movies. (Freedom of Speech Issues)


This is not the time to go passive and complain that we do not have power-----we have all of the power that we choose to embrace. 



Thursday, December 13, 2012


Although I slept late this rainy Thursday morning and was dilly-dallying about going to my Thursday Auction, I did make it there in plenty of time to score some little tables. Neither set was there on Tuesday when I previewed the auction; so you just never know what is going to turn up. Thank goodness I followed the quiet little nudge of inspiration that was pushing me out the door. Besides, there was a film crew at the auction that was filming a pilot for a new National Geographic series---I'm going to be on TV? Well, since I don't own a TV (it was rotting my brain)--I guess I'll never know.

One of my good antiques dealer friends is going to have his own antique furniture and design show next season. Bill Gordean is the owner of Villa Melrose, a top fine antiques destination in Los Angeles and a super charismatic guy--perfect for TV. Bill is about 6'6", handsome, gracious and funny--what more would a TV show need? Perhaps this will be just the inspiration required to push the decorative arts field back towards fine and decorative period antiques--of course, always mixing with contemporary and great 20th c. pieces to bring life and positive energy to interior spaces.
Being raised in Mexico which is famous for its modern and mid-century architects designers and artists, I have always loved the mix of fine antiques with ethnic and mid-century pieces. And of course, my seven years in Europe deepened my passion for the "perfect mix". The French mastered "the mix" centuries ago--we are relatively new to this aesthetic. As multi-cultural based Americans, we have much to contribute to the future of design and I can't wait to see the next leap in American design innovation. Currently, we seem to be at a stage of relative insecurity where only named and signed 20th c. pieces are considered highly desirable and the prices are skyrocketing. Unfortunately, some of these pieces were not fabricated to the highest standards (some are even a bit shoddy). I would love to see the American decorative arts buyer reach a level of sophistication on a par with the French, where good design and quality of materials and fabrication is recognized and applauded no matter what the pedigree.

Well, on to my "new" little tables. I have been looking for mid-century French (or American) brass and glass nesting tables for about two years (they used to be much more accessible). Bagues and Jansen (and their imitators) made them in France and a couple of American companies made them here...I finally found a beautiful French set with beveled and banded eglomise tops and finely designed brass legs. And I paid for them--big time!! But........I also bought a pair of sleepers. John Widdicomb was the best of the best of 20th century American furniture manufacturers and I got a pair of small occasional tables (could be a coffee table if placed side-by-side) in an unusual form with great sexy legs. Pictures are coming in the next post as I needed to run up to the shop after the auction and didn't have time to pick up the lots.
I'm still not nearly ready for Christmas.......but am going to make pecan balls tonight. Christmas would not be Christmas for my family if I didn't make at least a few hundred pecan balls. And my daughter (Cole's Mom) is coming tomorrow to help me search my storage for my Noah's Ark animal tree (I collected at least 100 animal ornaments and hung them on a small iron tree--haven't it used in ages) will happen.

Be well.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Well, here are my newest chair "fixes"--These guys are definitely not my usual inventory items.....

But I love them. Once Roberto had cleaned and polished the frames, it became very clear that the entire surface of the frame was either gold or silver leafed. And the gilding is in very good original condition, of course there is the usual patination and a few losses here and there, but that is to be expected with chairs that are approximately 60+ years young. I still need to upholster the chairs and I am envisioning either a deep purple or raspberry velvet--any suggestions? 
These chairs are so full of life that they seem to want to dance. I see them in an amazing dressing room or bathroom. So decadent.

These guys even make Jones laugh (the photo was not posed--Jones just refused to move...such a ham).


Tomorrow is Auction Day. I previewed yesterday and there really isn't that much of interest. But I do always manage to find something.....wish me luck.

I hope that this Christmas season is running smoothly for everyone--as for me, well, I think that I'm backing into the spirit.

Be well,
Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

OH, NO, KAIA..........

This afternoon I had a text message from my son:
     "Bad news for Kaia's football season, she broke 
     her collar bone last night. Lauren is the assailant
     but her methods have yet to be determine."

I guess the girls were rough-housing?? Nothing like jamming your little sister to the ground. If feel bad for Kaia, but poor Lauren, I bet she thinks that Christmas is over this year (not!). 

Have a super week-end. Next week is the move.
Be well.
Mary & Jones (& Cole)  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

CHAIR UPDATES--(Addiction Updates)

This is Bob, a master upholsterer. I just picked up my Cockfighting/Reading Chair from Bob. And true to form, the workmanship is exquisite. If I want my antique chairs done right, I always take them to Bob. Yes, he is pricey, but I never have to worry, as Bob is always in top form.

I chose to upholster this chair in Edelman leather and "hammered" brass nail heads. Bob's seams, as well as his nail applications are always perfect. There are many, many nail heads and each one is perfectly positioned.
This Cockfighting chair dates to c. 1820-25 and is a wonderful example of this form, although  simple in style.


My pair of late 19th/early 20th c. French Chauffeuse. This charming pair of little chairs was a sleeper at the auction because they looked like this...... 

Very bedraggled, with damage to the caned back of one chair, etc. But Bob did a wonderful job on bringing them back to their original glory. To create perfect cushions, Bob makes a new pattern and stitches a dummy cushion to ensure that the curves perfectly match the shape of the chair. I chose a Beacon Hill green with gold silk strie and trimmed them in a 19th c. French green and gold metallic ribbon instead of gimp. Don't they look fantastic with the early 20th c. Fortuny pillows which are also trimmed in 19th c. gold and silver fringe?  (Roberto is coming next week to complete work on the finish) NOW:  to find a buyer.

Move Update:
Nothing much has happened this week--looks like next week the paneling will get installed and things will get crackin'.

Jones' leg is better, but he still can't exercise for another week or so......will my shoes survive? Jones is the master stealth shoe destroyer if he doesn't get enough exercise and he always picks the newest pair to work on.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mary and Jones (& Cole)

Monday, December 3, 2012


In the midst of moving, in the midst of an almost personal tragedy, in the midst of the usual, Patricia's post of today on arrived in my inbox. As always, Patricia's post reminded me to turn to my deeper side, to check out my heart and to be grateful.
Christmas can be the best or the worst of times: we bring so many expectations to the season, we make assumptions about what this season should mean. Assumptions about what we and others "should" be doing or planning or thinking.
What if we could just stop all of the musts and shoulds.
What if we made Christmas about giving ourselves a few moments every day to simply be. To be as fully present in the moment as possible. To treasure the moment, as we know it will never be repeated. To me, the greatest gift is to be with some one who can be present with me to share the moment of joy, of creativity, of love, of sadness without having to fix me or the moment.
What if we were able to give those we love and those we come in contact with just a few moments of our undivided and fully accepting attention, which equals love.
To suspended the internal chatter is not an easy task, but it is possible. This Christmas season I'm going to give myself the suspension of "me" so that I can be present in the moment with those that I love. Jesus came into the world to be the Light of the World, by being present, suspending judgments, plans, fears, etc., for even a few moments each day we bring the spirit of Jesus into our world. We bring light to even the darkest corner. Whenever I see Christmas lights, I will be reminded that my goal is to be a light in the true sense of the word, to suspend my internal chatter so that I can turn it to wonder.

Merry and Blessed Christmas Wishes
Mary & Jones (& Cole)