Monday, March 31, 2014


Here is the abattant before going out for her facelift. Pretty, but a little boring...

And now just look at her. She still needs her escutcheons (lock back plates) and her toe caps, but she's almost done. Flavio didn't want to lacquer the case because in the 18th c. pieces would be "ebonized", a technique that involves staining the wood and then applying a French polish over the stain. The abattant will look much better once I find the appropriate bronze fittings.

Not too shabby. I think Flavio forgot that I had wanted an ivory interior?? But what's done is done and she's looking good.
The large panels have finally been installed across the back wall and the sconces are up

Our moving and shaking seems to have subsided and now we are left with the knowledge that the fault that runs from La Habra directly under Los Angeles has the potential to release a very large earthquake that would be even more devastating than a San Andreas quake........Oh well, I'll think about that tomorrow.

Sending blessings for the coming week.
Mary & Jones & Cole 

Friday, March 28, 2014


I was just sitting down to start this post and deciding which photos to upload...............and I think you can guess from the map above what hit.
I think that my house is about 2 to 3 miles from the this guy was quite a shaker (we had another strong aftershock just a couple of minutes ago). Jones is so brave--he barked at the quake for about 10 minutes and MiniBeast is probably under the bed for another 2 days.
This is just one of the pluses of living in California...fortunately, this 5.1 quake was relatively mild when compared to the Northridge earthquake of about 20 years ago.
And I needed a little shaking son's house is only about 1/2 mile from center, fortunately they weren't home--will have to wait to see if there was any damage.

Treasure Hunting and Life Goes On...............

I have been on the hunt. This week, Thursday proved to be quite an adventure. When I previewed, I spotted this mid-century Renzo Rutili credenza/sideboard


I know that it doesn't look like much now (but it was very pricey--there was another bidder who just wouldn't stop....he probably thought the same thing about me). The credenza measures over 100 inches and has two cabinet sections and a four drawer section. Flavio will pick it up in a couple of weeks--the case will be lacquered in a high gloss black and the doors/drawer fronts will be lacquered in ivory. It is a pity to lacquer over the book-matched veneers and curly birch, but at the moment and for the foreseeable future, plain wood is not in favor and the black and white contrast will make the piece really handsome. I do have the option of separating the three sections and creating new stands for each chest--we'll see what Flavio thinks. One of the items that I look for in mid-century furniture is the quality of the hardware and both the drawer pulls and cabinet pulls are top notch--they just need a bit of polish.

Here is a close-up of the ormolu on the period French Empire daybed that I bought a couple of weeks ago--so beautifully detailed with traces of the original gilding remaining.

Pillow Update

These are the pillow created from vintage c. 1950's Fortuny that I pulled off the back of a sofa. I love the how the Maori pattern textile has acquired a rich patina and mellowed into an almost ice-blue.

I've been trying to live in the moment...the earthquake has reminded me, once again, that so much in life in out of my control. Suspending expectations and assumptions sounds so easy...I wish!
I guess we need to be more like dolphins--going with the flow (and my guys are looking pretty spiffy, aren't they?)

Flavio is F I N A L L Y bringing back the Secretaire Abattant tomorrow and I am so excited to see her--I'll post photos tomorrow night.

Be well--

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, March 21, 2014


My heart almost burst for joy when these first photos of the new cubs at  German Zoo appeared on the internet. How different is this Mama from so many of us that love our children and their children to the depths of our being.

Mama saying "no" to video games........

Yes! to fresh air.

 YES! to exercise.

Loving affirmation.

No junk food!! And good table manners......

And here she is constantly vigilant for the safety of her young...
Reading time before bed.....

She's careful, vigilant, loving, strong, embrassive and patient. All of the qualities that make up the character of supposedly superior human mothers.

Do we remember to learn everyday, to stretch our wings, to take the time to nourish our children with proper food and love and commitment? What more could we wish for than happy little guys like these two.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I've been a little under our gorgeous California weather this week...just a bit of this or that.
I've also been busy getting new inventory ready for listing and just taking a bit of a break.
Tomorrow, I'm going to Jennifer Boles' "In With The Old" book signing at Hollyhock (which is just up the street from my La Cienega location) in West Hollywood. I have been following Jennifer's blog "The Peak of Chic" for at least 7 years and she just keeps getting better at nailing down everything about design.
I did score a few things last Thursday (and had a oops, also).  I think my favorite treasure is a small period French Empire daybed--perhaps a child's bed that needs quite a bit of work............but how could I resist (my shop in San Diego was called Daybeds & Roosters)?? It went for only $50!! I'm going to ebonize this piece, like the abattant. It has lost 3 of it's original bronze rondels; so I'll just do without them. I now have three early 19th c. French Daybeds--I hope this is not going in the same direction as my chair addiction.
Flavio is delivering the Secretaire Abattant tomorrow and I can't wait to see that she looks like all spiffed up. I'll post photos shortly.
Still nursing the remnants of a Santa Ana (LA's hot very dry winds) cold/ bronchitis; so I'm off to bed.
Be well.

Mary & Jones (and Cole)

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Today is gorgeous. Crisp and clear. It's a bit early for Spring (since we haven't had winter yet), but I will take this day and revel in it.
Tomorrow Dao (my gorgeous daughter) runs the LA Marathon for the first time. She has run many half-marathons, but never anything like what she is about to experience tomorrow. I am so proud of her! She has been training with one of her closest college friends (who now has 4 children)--both of them are tiny little things, but very tough. These races are so organized, with timing chips for each runner which means that I can watch her progress on my lap top and even send her messages that will be displayed along the route!! Yeah for technology!!!!
And about technology.......when Ebay first started up, I bemoaned the site and fought against it. Yes, those first few years saw a huge drop in my business and there was a lot of misrepresentation on the Ebay, with resultant buying insecurity. The good thing is that Ebay spawned a host of other sites that strove to improve the concept of on-line sales, and to improve internet buying and selling. I have had a website for about 10-11 years (with my first website I hardly knew how to email). I've been on many hosting sites and have had sales on all of them. Gradually, with improvements in technology and photography and a more trusting buying public, my internet sales have increased (not too much on my personal website) but on the hosting sites that I choose to be a part of.
Right now my inventory (some of it) is on (through The Collection) and on One King's Lane. When I first started with OKL about three years ago, it was not the perfect platform for my inventory as I was basically too high end for their target buyer. But in the last few months OKL has raised their sites to a higher level and they are indeed reaching the higher end buyer--and she/he is buying. Of course, 1stdibs is a fantastic platform--but more difficult to access.
I guess what I'm attempting to say is that CHANGE (as terrifying as it can be) is part of the fabric of our lives. Growth and expansion and newness are what life is based on. We have a choice every day--to either embrace the change that will occur whether we like it or not---or dig in our heels and stay stuck. (I have dug in my heels many times and still do). I'm learning to go with the flow--it's not always pretty, as you just don't know what's around the next jog in the road. But staying stuck is simply not an option.
And guess what--I'm so glad that I embraced the Internet, learned enough photography to take usually respectable photos, bought new cameras (yeah) and switched to MACs and despite being severely technologically challenged (my kids used to disparage my abilities) have managed to step up my game (still have a way to go)-----because most of my sales are happening online.
I miss the one-to-one contact with my clients tremendously. But there is really nothing I can do regarding this change in buying pattern....
Just like most of life--I'm embracing it.

Have a wonderfully glorious Saturday.
Be well.
Mary & Jones & Cole