Thursday, February 26, 2015


Today was move-in day at my new (small) location in West Hollywood. I was a dealer at "Little Paris" for several years before I moved to Pasadena in 2009. And I am happy to be back. I have so many friends in this area of Los Angeles and they are welcoming me with open arms--I'm very grateful. One of my best buddies is Carlos (Carlos Castaneda Antiques) who also co-designs my lighting-- and he came running in when he heard that I had arrived with Roberto.
It was a busy day as some of my inventory went to Little Paris and some went to Pasadena. Here are just a couple of shots of my initial set up at Little Paris--still have to bring art, the Chinese horseshoes chairs, etc.

It's looking rather bare--but it will soon fill up with details--art makes a huge difference. I took the Fortuny Pillows to Pasadena; perhaps I'll bring some over here next week.

I'm trying to come up with a point of view for today, but my brain is a little slow at the moment. But if I really dwell on the gifts of today, my point of view would be simple amazement at how easy life is becoming as I allow myself to let go of controlling all of the details. If you were to have told me a month ago that I would be returning to my old haunt, I would have said you were absolutely out of your mind!!--But here I am and almost all settled in without even a care in the world.
It's time to put the lights out--busy day and another one tomorrow.

Blessing for the day. Jones is going to a new groomer tomorrow--I think he'll feel better once he is all handsome again.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, February 23, 2015

LEAP FIRST----Seth Godin's New Book

I've mentioned Seth Godin's Blog several (many?) times. Today's post is entitled "Ruckusmaker Day". Seth's position is that each and every one of us is intended to have a point of view. A point of view that we articulate clearly each and every day.
I was raised by older upper-middle class parents and in a strict convent boarding school where the Victorian principal of children should be seen and not heard had not been forgotten. I basically did what I was told; thought what I was taught (brain washed (?) to think; tried with all my being to live up to the expectation of being a perfect person.
Obviously, that HAS NOT worked for me in a long time. But I kept trying to be that "seen and not heard" perfect little girl. 
It is impossible to create; it is impossible to connect; it is impossible to grow; it is impossible to be receptive and adaptable; it is impossible to be open to the gift of being present when you are a "seen and not heard" perfect person and it is definitely impossible to thrive in the 21st century with that antiquated Victorian mantra.

We are in a period of constant and rapid change--which, of course, means perfection (which implies permanence) is impossible. We need to adapt to envision and to survive; to connect in order to be heard and inspired; to be receptive of the present. Fear of failure and playing safe have lost their attraction. (Just look at the Crash of 2008-2009)
(I could go on for hours about the last sentence)
I admit I was dragged into the 21st century and iphone-hood (my daughter gave me one for Mother's Day) and I bless the moment it came into my life. Who knew that texting could be an amazing vehicle to connect so easily (a lot of the time I think it also is used as a substitute for true communication--but that's for another tirade). And about Istagram--a phenomenal waste of time or the best marketing tool ever? (Don't even mention Twitter with 100 ft. of me)

Today I received the ultimate compliment via text. My friend David helped me organize most of Saturday. David is a character; loving, generous, opinionated; an extremely skilled restoration specialist with encyclopedic knowledge; he is definitely old-school East Coast and an "old soul". One of a kind in so many ways. David texted: "we are both outsiders". I texted back: "Yep, I'm finally embracing it". David texted back: "I see myself in you".
What an amazing compliment to have received. To have some one acknowledge oneness and unity in the face of so many superficial differences (and to feel safe enough to express his thought). Isn't that what Christ taught? Oneness? Isn't that the way forward in the midst of immense geo-political turmoil; socio-economic imbalances that are seemingly worsening; continued attacks on women's (and all other minorities') freedom and equality... and so many other examples of injustice, discrimination and hatred.
(I know that the period is supposed to be inside the quotation mark--but I don't like it that way)

So, anyway, I'm ordering Seth's new book "Leap First" tonight. You can go to to order a copy (either in book form or as a down load). I think I'll get the real book, as much as I like my Kindle (another tech present from my AMAZING DAUGHTER--and I love it after first bitching a bit) I want to underline this book and be able to access favorite pages in my old school brain (real books are very sexy,too).  RAISE A RUCKUS.

Jones is doing better--maybe back to work on Sunday? Wish me luck on my West Hollywood move--another "Leap First" adventure.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Do you think these guys are big enough--56" to socket? I think that I might paint the bases black?
And now for the real beauties....... I discovered the reason for the poor quality of the 1stdibs photos of the same is very hard to photograph alabaster! I need to get a good back drop and better lighting. But these pics give an indication of the unusual form of these c. 1950 Italian lamps. The photos don't scale the lamp properly; they actually measure a good 32".

(Please forgive my messy desk...still working on organizing)

I'm working on a project with a top international designer (shouldn't say his name) to fabricate copies of my Monteverdi-Young armed dining chairs

(Sorry for the storage photo)
--he wants between 30 and 40 of them!! I would love to expand into this area of design. Fortunately, I know a very good wood carver who has the capacity to carry out such a project. The trick is to make sure that he stays true to the Monteverdi-Young spirit which includes perfect wood working, mitered corners and great finishes.  We'll see if I can come up with a respectible price point.

Sweet David came today and we (David) accomplished so much. I am blessed to have great friends in the business. Now it's on to the West Hollywood move. Wish me luck.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, February 20, 2015


It's been too long! Last week's move went off perfectly. Naturally there were the usual imperfections, but Roberto came through (as always). There is still more than plenty of organizing to do........some walls need to be painted; paintings hung; boxes moved out; cases filled. BUT IT'S GETTING THERE.
Now I'm focusing on the next move to "Little Paris". I'm staying in West Hollywood--although much smaller in scope, it's a bit more complicated logistically. But things are all lined up.
Today some one asked me what my buying criteria was.  I really had to stop and think. This simple question made me go a little deeper. I guess that I'm becoming much more simplistic or maybe things are becoming clearer. I'm finally making choices--both in life and in business--based on only a couple of criteria: Does this choice give life and allow me the freedom to grow.  It sounds so easy. And it is. There just seems to be a certain light around the people and things that I'm drawn to (and love). And I'm finally paying attention.
I've been on a lighting binge. I think this is dovetailing with my desire to bring life forward and overcome some of my hesitation with adventuring into new territory.
Last week I bought the most amazing pair of mid-century white pottery lamps. Now when you think of "white pottery", adventurous isn't exactly a term that pops up.......but these guys are about 55" tall (that's almost as tall as I am). They are so sculptural--the form is a traditional Chinese vase form, but the size just screams.
And today I bought another pair of white lamps--white alabaster lamps. Doesn't sound too exciting right?? But just a moment.......they are carved in flame form and date to the late 1940s-50s. Lobel Modern in NYC lists an almost identical single lamp on their site on 1stdibs from where I stole this image (not a very good photo). I love the movement and power in the carved alabaster.

I think that my lamps might have a bit more movement than this example. I'll take good photos when I get to work on Saturday. My friend David is coming to help me get organized.....we'll see how far we get as we usually just end up talking and laughing.
Sales have picked up a bit--just need to hold it steady.
Jones is gradually getting better and his head is less tilted.
Mia and Grace are going to St. Jude's for a check up next week. There is always a bit of anxiety around these trips, but I'm sure that everything is just fine! Thanks for prayers and love.

Be well.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Saturday, February 7, 2015


This is one of those months where I get to practice my ability to trust and just walk, knowing that all is well even though totally out of my control.
Last year was one of those years you just want to close the door on.......The first of January I decided to exercise my option to return to The Pasadena Antique Center. The situation at my current location had become untenable for many many reasons (I won't go into melodramatic and energy-zapping details). I knew that I had one location move in the works for February---and a move down the street is just as detailed as a cross-country move minus the driving (and I still have Roberto as my wing man and angel). I did not anticipate moving both of my locations in February........And loosing my access to Little did I know that God had other plans and that everything was already in place for me to step into. The action of knocking on that next door is not always an easy one. Paul of Little Paris Antiques--the only other high-end collective in Los Angeles and also a 1stdibs dealer gave me the only available spot (actually there wasn't an available spot--but some way or another things came together). I did have to swallow my pride as Paul and I had a disagreement a few years back....Oh, yes! that damn EGO gets me in trouble every time.

You would think that I would not buy any more of anything with the moving issues, but a dealer's addiction is never really under control. AND I DID SUPER WELL THIS WEEK. My new motto is:
  "Assume the lion's heart so as to embrace
          the serpent's transformation"
(hint: Google the symbolic meanings) 

I had previewed "My Auction" on Wednesday so I suspected that there just might be a few "sleepers" even though I knew there would be a lot of buyers this particular week.
AND just look what happens when I put on courage

This is a pair of late 19th c. (perhaps early 20th c.) Chinese bamboo oxbow chairs and I think that they are to die for (not those pink silk velvet cushions). I picked them up today and Roberto put them in my new spot. I'm not open for business; so they were simply hiding in the back while Roberto installs the lighting and paints the floor. AND THEY ARE SOLD. A designer client called me and said that she wanted them--just like that!! As you can imagine these moves are gobbling up cash like binging termites and any sale is more than welcome. And a sale before the ink dries on the check.....
Next up, continuing my chair addiction.....and I have bought 14 chairs in the last two auctions.......

This is an amazing set of 6 French late 19th c. or early 20th c. bamboo and caned folding chairs. And they are all in super great condition. This particular style of French folding chair becomes fragile with time as the bamboo tends to split and loosen; so to find this many in very good condition is a once-in-a lifetime occurrence. Luckily for me, they were all folded up until they came to the block. There was only one person bidding against me and I brought them home!! Courtney might buy these guys also.

I guess that I was on a bamboo-roll.....

This charming late French Napoleon III bamboo and lacquer etagere with magazine/book rack appeared on my bill (I wonder how?). These guys used to go for lots of money, but they are out of favor right now. The condition of the French lacquer panel is exceptional and it is very sturdy. As with the bamboo chairs, these pieces usually become rickety. But not this petite gem.

Today Roberto and I (read: Roberto. Mary held the ladder and acted as assistant) installed track lighting and painted the floor. I did not want the usual floor (boring and it becomes so scratched when moving furniture about). Look what we did

Once this dried, I had Roberto make a few sweeping passes in abstract arcs and swipes. It's our graffiti floor...... I have some seagrass rugs to put on top.....not too sure what it will look like with the furniture on top. I'm sure that I will get a thousands comments. We'll see; at least it's not boring.

JONES UPDATE. The culture came back from the lab......this is a very very bad bacteria with no known antibiotics that will kill it. That said, iodine does work. So I get to squirt 1/2 teaspoon of Betadine into each ear twice a day. We are not happy campers. I think that there is some improvement, but not with the vertigo.....I'm taking it day by day and trusting that all will be well.

Blessings for the week-end.
Mary & Jones & Cole

Monday, February 2, 2015


I love just about everything that covers the basics of great design and fabrication. Those timeless pieces that you just can't seem to get out of your mind. 

Monteverdi-Young was a fine furniture manufacturer founded by Anglelo Monteverdi and originally located on Alameda Street in downtown Los Angeles (I blogged about this company in a previous post). Monteverdi-Young was recognized for its modernist designs and attention to detail. Additionally, the company received awards from the Institute of Architects, Pacific Design Center and the Design Journal, furnishing offices around the world for an international commercial clientelle that included Hilton Hotel Corp., Hughes Aircraft, GTC, MGM and Warner Bros. studios and the Coca-Cola Co. It's residential pieces can be found in many contemporary celebrity homes. 
That said......I bought a set of six of the above Monteverdi-Young chairs and the dining table and the side board that went with the chairs. I should have taken photos of the pieces, but here are similar pieces taken from 1stdibs----

My table is the same design as this baby, but much smaller. I love the "spider legs" and beautifully inlaid top. Unfortunately, the original leaves have taken a separate path, but my fabricator can create two new leaves which I will lacquer in black? dark chocolate?. I won't even try to match the original finish which is still in very good condition.
My chairs are in overall good condition but badly in need of reupholstery. The more momentous decision is whether to refinish the chairs??? They have acquired a slight greenish tinge (it could be intentional). Lime green/avocado green is still hot, right??
And finally, the sideboard (and my very awful pre-view photos)

Most of the original surface is in very good condition, but the top and side have some sun and water damage to only the finish. So I'll have my restorer refinish the top and sides only as the piece is originally multi-tonal and the partial restoration will not be a detraction. Maybe lacquer the top in black or dark chocolate like the new leaves??

Jones isn't much better. We're trying out some new things......But he loves being back at THE PARK with his friends.

February is going to be a super busy month......many changes and many returns. I'm curious as to how all this will work out.

Blessings for the week.

Mary & Jones & Cole