Thursday, December 28, 2017


For the past two days our kitchen and family room floor has been undergoing a complete redo. Today, the initial workman was accompanied by a second man. As I listened to them this morning, I was puzzled. Both the initial and second workmen were obviously Hispanic and I had been speaking with them in Spanish; when they spoke to each other, they were not speaking Spanish. The language was soft and beautiful and definitely tonal. I spoke to them and asked where they were from. It turns out that they were from Yucatan. (Although I was raised in Mexico, I have never been to Yucatan) and were speaking Maya. I was truly humbled, although I speak (poorly) a couple of other languages and am bi-lingual in Spanish, these men were truly trilingual moving easily between English and Spanish and Mayan. Mayan was, by far, the most melodious and beautiful of the three.

The Mayan civilization of Southern Mexico and Guatemala reached its peak around AD 800-900, with its astounding scientific knowledge and city states fading into the tropical rainforests shortly after 900. Yet, 1300 years later these men were speaking Mayan in my home. 
(Don't know how to link sites, etc.--I know I'm technologically very challenged.)
Anyway, I went to trusty Wiki and U-tube and discovered the most hauntingly beautiful Mayan music. If you have a moment, it's worth the time to listen to some Mayan music to close out 2017 and bring in a more mindful, loving and just 2018.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Today, I finally remembered to take a couple of shots of the Zuber wall paper screen that I bought at auction a couple of week ago.
As you can see, it's a French country scene in which hunters and their dogs predominate. I wish this were a chinoiserie theme...but I'll settle for the French countryside. Judging by the border pattern, construction (with paper laid to a roughly woven canvas) and the hand painted paper on the reverse, I'm dating the screen to about 1825-40. Most of the screen is in super condition, however, the screen must have been stored in a leaky attic as the upper corners all show water damage and the black of the border has bled onto the stunning blue sky. I'm going to try to have the screen restored, but only the sky portion and slightly into the black border section, as any thing further would involve beaucoup bucks!

I'm taking a few days off from my long commute. We'll see how that goes.......I'm not very good at resting.

Blessings for 2018--politically it appears to be headed for a ride........

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, December 22, 2017


I'm finally in the mood.

Here is our big tree anxiously awaiting its presents. I know he seems a little lonely at the moment, but the good stuff is coming.

And here is one of our little trees

This is my Noah's Ark tree--laden with animals collected over the years. He's awaiting his red candles--seem to be hard to find this year.
And we spent a chunk of change at Costco last night--we're expecting about 18 for Christmas Eve and are having standing rib roast and my special salmon Florentine. With other stuff. Now to think about baking. I'm a bit on strike this year.

I have retreated from watching the news. No MSNBC or CNN until after Christmas. The trump (small t) melodrama/disaster/disgrace will still be around.

Wishing ya'll (from my many years living in the South) a blessed Christmas and Chanukah surrounded by those that you love.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Last week, while watching the BBC, I discovered Grayson Perry. Perry is on England's list of 100 most influential people--(not surprisingly)  I had never heard of him or seen anything equal to his stunning pottery. I became mesmerized by the level of craft, artistry and uniqueness expressed in his work. (I pulled all images from Google)

Perry's art is, to large part, autobiographical. He combines ancient pot forms with current self expression. He labels himself a transvestite (whose alter ego is Claire) and has been married since 1990 to his wife Philippa. Words are insufficient to describe this creative, I'll refer you to Google....

I took away a huge inspiration from the BBC interview (I'm paraphrasing) Perry spoke of integrating all facets of himself or oneself to be present as a whole to everyone at all times. 2018 will be my attempt to be more in the now, to be increasingly authentically present. Quite a chore for a true introvert.

Serendipity and  Gut Buying
While I was researching a French wall paper screen that I bought on Thursday--I was pretty sure that is was antique Zuber--I discovered these French grisaille early 19th c. wall paper screens and panels.

About 12-13 years ago I bought a 6 panel folded early 19th c. screen. I only caught a glimpse of what the front side of the screen looked like, but wanted the 6 antique frames for a project that I was planning. When I got the screen home, I inspected the front decorated panels--they are another of **Dufour's Views of French Ports series. Plus my four Dufour panels are framed by hand printed Japanese paper panels which might be used on Japanese screens of the same time frame. I loved the screen and decided not to sell it and it hung in my living room until it went into storage with my last move. I made no effort to research the panels. My screen is not in great condition, but it definitely compares well to this one. This screen is pricey--so I might just restore my screen this year.
The morale: "Train your mind and follow your gut"

**Dufour was a very prominent French manufacturer of hand painted wall papers of the early 19th c. He  wood block printed the outlines, hand painting the grisaille tones.

And finally,
A friend and I went to the LACMA on Friday to see the 18th c. Mexican paintings exposition. It was phenomenal. Having been raised in Mexico and then living in Spain for 7 years, my heart was humming. Miguel Cabrera was the most famous artist of the 18th c. and there were several of his paintings in the show. A few years ago I purchased an 18th c. Mexican painting--I just had to have it.

I did manage to have the painting authenticated by the Denver Museum of Art as most probably painted by Miguel Cabrera or at the very least, his studio. I love this painting--it makes me happy. 

I can't believe its just a week before Christmas and I really haven't done much shopping.....oh well, it always does come together. We are having the usual 16 for Christmas Eve.

Wishing the Spirit of The Christ Child embrace us all.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Wednesday, December 13, 2017



mr. small t
republicans who lost their consciences

Thank you to all who prayed
Thank you to all who called
Thank you to all who canvassed
Thank you to all who donated
Thank you to all who hoped
Thank you to all who took a stand against hate
Thank you to all who saw behind the mask
Thank you to all who voted their consciences
Thank you to all who were brave to speak out
Our Nation thanks you!!

And now back to the business of citizenship.

Mary & Jones & Cole

Friday, December 8, 2017


Last year at this time I was in deep mourning over the election of "mr. small t". I though this grief would pass--it hasn't. Now I've settled into a deep melancholy.
This is a man who has filled our nation with destruction. 
Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.
This is a man who is about to be banned from entering The United Kingdom. Yet the Republicans have not cried out in anger at his reprehensible behavior.
This is a man who wants to sell our National Parks and Monuments to the highest bidder.
This is a man who colluded with our enemy and bows down to Putin.
This is a man who is deeply involved in money laundering.
This is a man who has assaulted numerous women and who defends a pedophile.
And on and on and on--one lie after another.
This a man who deserves to be brought before the American People to be impeached. And then tried as a traitor.

We will not go silently into this dark night. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017


See those gorgeous Alabaster Pyramid Lamps on the Italian Console?? I sold them to Nate and Jeremiah about 6 months ago and certainly didn't expect to see them published....but there they are. Nate and Jeremiah are two of my favorite designers--always considerate and positive. Best of all, they sometimes bring Poppy with them as the next generation of designer in training.

Auction Update
I arrived super early before the auction started to make sure not to miss "Minerva"

And she did come home with me--this Wedgwood Basalt bust is in nearly mint condition. I bought her for a friend, but could easily be enticed to keep her. She was pricey, but still a very good buy.
I also brought home a box lot of Minton bouillon cups and saucers with heavy gilt decoration

I didn't count the cups, but there are a lot of them.
Also in the box lot was a set of French, Paris Porcelain (?)  small plates

with gold decoration, didn't count these either, but I think there must be quite a few. (I probably paid too much for the porcelain, but just couldn't let it go.
And finally, I bought the most adorable and old--at least early 19th c. Regency (?) Library Steps.

The two bottom steps fold up, turning the steps into a small console. This was a give-away, as it didn't get any bids; so it was mine for a song.
I got a couple of other minor things, but really don't have an inch to spare in the shop......need to move some furniture out!! (If you spot any furniture on my site and love it, it is now almost at a bargain basement price point)

Well, it's getting late and Jones is giving me sad eyes--he's the one that really wants to go to bed.
The fires seem a little calmer, but we desperately need rain and calm winds. Please keep praying.

Now for the Grand Finale

The boys really love each other.

Blessing for the day,
Mary & Jones & Cole


It has been a long and arduous journey........finally the set of 4 Regency Open Arm Chairs are ready. (Drum roll, please)

Sometimes you buy an item that you think is beyond doubt super rare (which doesn't equate to easy-to-sell) and a great buy....only to discover that there is a tortuous path of restoration to bring it to the point of sale. This set of 4 period Regency open arm chairs took the prize for being a huge pain in the butt. I'm a purest and I hate restorations that are simply not right! 
Here's what the chairs looked like when we bought them....not too bad, right?? I thought it was just a matter of reupholstery.........and a bit of tightening.

Here's what they looked like at Camilo's without the upholstery...again, not too bad

What I thought would be a simple tightening job, turned into replacing several seat rails; totally replacing the natural rush seats; reattaching all arms that were removed in order to redo rush seats; taking chairs back to Camilo because he did a messy job putting the arms back on; worrying and fretting about who would be able to match the paint without damaging the original painted details. At least 5 or 6 trips back and forth to Camilo and rush seat person (both in Los Angeles proper).....and on and on and on for 7 long months (thank goodness, I'm a patient person). And guess who did the final touches on the paint matching, etc.? Yep, my faithful Roberto finished the touch ups last week and the chairs hit the floor. In case you are wondering, the chairs are a very dark green.........
I really wouldn't have bothered with these chairs except that a set of 4 period Regency painted arm chairs is quite rare and these chairs had great bones and the painted surface was wonderful. The chairs date to c. 1810-1820, are comfortable and sturdy and now are ready for another 100 years of use. And there is still a good profit margin--I'm supposed to be making money here!!

It's getting late and I need to get up bright and early tomorrow...this 'Wedgwood 19th c. Basalt figure is coming up early on at auction

It's "Minerva" and she dates to c. 1870-80. Wish me luck.

Please pray for the fire situation here in Southern California. We need the killer winds to subside and we need a lot of rain.

Mary & Jones & Cole