Wednesday, January 05, 2011

{NEW}...

People tell me I'm difficult to buy gifts for. Apparently I have extremely particular taste that no one can ever pin down and I'm an aesthetically sensitive flower. Sue me. Anyway, it is generally considered sensible by those who must give me a gift at Christmas to just silently pass me some cash in an unmarked brown envelope. In the past few years this has ended up going towards my tax bill or buildings insurance or something equally thrilling; but this year I made sure I actually did buy some things I needed, er wanted, having all but banished consumerism from my life during 2010. Actually it was just an excuse for me to buy myself a bunch of things during December.


This rug has survived over eighty years of use, has traversed at least three continents and has recently been the subject of a frantic ebay bidding war. But until it met my living room floor, it had not been up against...Lola's claws. I thought I'd better take a picture of it before she destroys it completely. I will make her wear dainty little booties if it comes to it. This rug is the first thing I have ever bought on ebay. I sold things, of course, but I think I always knew bidding would be a slippery slope. One minute I was nonchalantly browsing antique rugs, the next I found myself staying up until 2 am so I could swoop in like a seasoned pro and outbid everyone at the last minute. Antique rug addiction firmly established. And it was a STEAL, even taking into account shipping from the U.S., import tax etc. I felt sure it wouldn't turn up, wouldn't be as described, would smell of camels(?!), would be infested with something - but no, it arrived in four days, it's clean, it's perfect (though anything vintage that comes into this house goes into moth quarantine - two days in a sealed box with moth killing strips - just in case.) I love it.


Anabela had three of these There Is Thunder In Our Hearts totes left when I ordered one. She sent it in a beautiful package with an extra surprise and a lovely note, which is about the best way you could ever hope to receive a tote bag in the mail. It's great and sturdy and gave me an odd feeling when I walked into a shop carrying it and Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill immediately came on the sound system.

Downstairs at Merci in Paris they have all these cool lights that look like the sort of thing you'd find in an old local independent hardware store, when independent local hardware stores still existed. I kept going back to look at this Muuto E27 pendant light and ended up making a detour to buy it on my way to the Gare du Nord and my train back to London. I probably could have got it in London but they had the colour I wanted, so I got it. It's basically an enormous lightbulb with a 4 meter long dark grey cord. I'll show you when I've coerced someone into helping me suspend it above my dining table.



The next best thing to an independent hardware store is the bricolage department in the basement of B.H.V. (or bayachevaye). It's all hardware, all the time down there. There's a bit where they sell all the proper signs that you see in restaurants and public places telling you not to enter or smoke or whatever (in French! obviously), and those blue and white enamel house numbers. It's my favourite place to buy gifts. I bought myself an enamel Privé sign as well, for vhen I vant to be alone. ( And it kind of reminds me of Coco Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé sign).


Uniqlo heattech jeans: These are the jeans I normally wear (skinny straight) but they're like, thermal! The only thing that could improve them would be a bit of stretch - other than that they're literally a dream come true for my once frozen legs.

Anna Sheffield rose gold studs - half price in the Liberty sale!


Sometimes we all judge a book by its cover, and why shouldn't you when faced with these achingly beautiful new covers of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith for Penguin Classics. I got the Flappers and Philosophers collection of stories, some of which I've read before, some I haven't. I've also always loved the journals they sell at Astier de Villatte but they're so expensive I'd feel nervous about whether what I was writing in them was worthy enough. Luckily I found a gorgeous one on sale at Fenwick's for £6 (on right). I've been having fun writing hopes and plans for 2011 in it.

9 comments:

Bombay Beauty said...

such fantastic purchases all! well done! it's true, sometimes it's very tricky buying gifts for oneself, but you've done great. xo bb

anabela / fieldguided said...

Oh, how amazing! I get chills every time I hear Kate Bush come on. I'm so glad you like the tote!

I would say your taste is exquisite. The rug? Amazing. The studs are also beautiful. And books are something of a necessity, I think.

Madelene said...

This post has so much to look at and discover.. I love how Lola is sitting on the rug in the first photo. The rug is gorgeous -- but the cat owns the picture ;) I must look at Anabela's stuff.. lovely tote.

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

BB - it was hard work, but I made it through!

Anabela - thank you, and I love the tote! I just noticed the rug has some sand in it at one end, which is only making me imagine more romantic Arabian desert campfire scenarios about where it originally came from.

Madelene - she gets into every picture if she can. Yes, have a look - they're in stock again and she has other lovely stuff too.

E.Wall said...

Beautiful treasures! The rug is so magical. Amazing to think of the places it has been and many feet that have passed over it.

P.S. Love your blog. Please check out mine : www.GeorgiaEliza.blogspot.com I'm learning how to do this blogging and getting a lot of inspiration from Lola is Beauty!

If Jane said...

oh claire...you really do have great taste! (this post was a fun read!)
love love the rug...
(and my heart just skipped a beat when you mentioned BHV...ah! sans blague the first place i always go when i am in paris...)

ephemerette said...

That is a simply glorious haul. Coveting all of it, including the tantilizing glimpse of your pink chair in the rug shot.

Rose said...

beautiful treats, especially love the bag and the rug story

Wardrobe Dreaming said...

That is exactly the rug I wish I had! What a lucky find!