Friday, December 31, 2010


It feels strange to say this, but 2010 was a good year. What am I saying, good? 2010 was a sterling year. (*I'm excluding the first 3 months of it which thankfully turned out to be just a hangover from the previous Years of Bleakness.) It might sound funny to say that here, as you would barely know it from reading my posts, but trust me. So thank you 2010 - you made me feel like myself again. It's weird to think how this blog is to thank for much of the goodness that's come my way this year. (I think it might have secret magic powers...) And thank you, everyone who visits this little corner - those who've been there from the start, those who I now count as friends, those who are here every day and those who are just peeking. Happy New Year!

{photos: Li Hui}

Friday, December 24, 2010


I'm here to tell you that the Toujours Toi Dark Side of the Moon necklace is on sale today and it's 50% off, but just for today!

Oh, I had ideas, I had great plans to shoot this necklace but...

I had to fire my model for insubordination and move onto using inanimate objects as a model. (A lampshade. No claws.)

{The other photos I took of Lola attacking with the necklace were too disturbing to post.}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


{Muuto E27 pendant lamp, The White Company velvet bathrobe, Brvtvs double chain ring, Marni bra, Trasparenze Gennifer merino hold ups, F.Scott Fitzgerald beautiful cover hardbacks.}

Monday, December 20, 2010

SNOW ♡...

I'm so glad I went outside, or I wouldn't have noticed that someone tagged my car with snow hearts. Curious...

{my pics}

Friday, December 17, 2010


The second in my series (yes I can call it that now that I've managed a second one) on friends around the world. The first is here. Ester Pastel is my lovely friend from Barcelona. Her name isn't really Pastel, but then my name isn't really Petrolia either. Ester is my magical friend who I can go into a bonkers crazy creative zone with and we always perfectly understand each other. She is a fantastic illustrator, cocktail maker, pre-party youtube dance routine choreographer/costumier, cat maman and heel wearing cyclist.

I asked her to do this feature for me but she didn't have a camera to use; then I hit upon the idea of trawling her facebook pictures like a creepy stalker - et voila! As you can see, her facebook photos are thankfully not as boring or crap as those of the general populace - or I would not be posting them here. Every day I've ever seen her in the past 10 years Ester looks both amazing and 100% herself, even when she looks completely different from the day before. She is genuinely someone who expresses their inner self through their style - and on top of that she's a total sweetheart - and I miss her! 

{top photo taken by me, the rest belong to Ester}

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A friend recently told me I'm "a meeter", which sat a little strangely with me at first. But somehow, in the past few months - it's true - I've turned into a meeter. I couldn't tell you how this happened or how to go about it, because I don't know. All I know is that I've made more friends in the past six months than I did in the previous few years. On trips to Paris I used to spend most of the time alone; now I rarely am. Even if I think I will be, someone interesting will usually strike up a conversation with me.

That perhaps explains how I got chatting to Tito - my companion on the Eurostar. I have actually never had a conversation with the person sitting next to me on the Eurostar before - it's just not that kind of train. I'm usually a pretty disinterested plane or train neighbour. I have been known to put headphones on (without pressing play) or fall into an instant faux sleep to avoid making conversation. But for some reason I didn't this time.

Tito started talking to me in French - I thought he was French until I got a bit stuck and he switched seamlessly to English with an American accent. We got chatting - he told me why his French is so good and some other very interesting stories. He said he had lunch and dinner at La Rotonde every day when he was in Paris - and never went far from Montparnasse. We talked about this and that, he showed me the website about his father, which I couldn't look at too closely on my iPhone with the train going in and out of tunnels. By the time we reached Paris I felt like I had a new friend. I think I invited myself to have lunch at La Rotonde. I had been to Le Select once, but never Le Dome, La Coupole or La Rotonde. It seemed perfectly normal to stroll along the side of the Jardin du Luxembourg on a bright winter's day, past the street where I mistakenly put myself in the absolute beginners class at the Alliance Francaise and wasted two weeks and a couple of hundred euros re-learning how to say the alphabet in French. Up to the junction of boulevards Raspail and Montparnasse and into the dark, cosy confines of La Rotonde. Here - pictures will explain better than words...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


{top - my photo, taken out of my window, middle - Catherine Deneuve by Mary Ellen Mark, bottom - my photo, taken in my street}

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The hearts are up. Now it's officially Christmas. I haven't bought a single card or present yet. I only need to get around ten presents oh so, so, many thanks to sensible family present buying amnesty negotiations.

I plan to spend most of today collecting pine cones and branches and I need to buy some metallic paint. My sewing fingers are twitching at the ready for some craftastic Christmas decorating. Be warned, step by step pictures will be forthcoming - you know how I go all Martha.

{my photo - papercut hearts bought from Shelf in Cheshire Street a few years ago}

Friday, December 10, 2010


Snow butterfly scarf by Mungo Gurney for The Creative Archives.
From No.6 {image 1} and Browns Focus


Yes, Mayle. Are you people trying to bankrupt me?


Tuesday, December 07, 2010


The lady crossing the street is one of those bad pictures that I secretly think is a good picture - even down to the badly dressed tourists in the background (sorry badly dressed tourists but you're in Paris - at least make an effort - honestly.)  The sky kept looking like it was about to snow, like that. But then when it actually did, as A and I were drinking hot chocolate sitting outside, it felt completely magical -  like being in a snowglobe that someone had just shaken - and I didn't take a picture. Then we went to Le Bon Marche and looked at amazing Christmas tree ornaments (owls are in this year.) I took myself for an apero at Le Fumoir (seule) and was thoroughly enjoying sitting at the bar solo, until the unnerving suspicion dawned that the bartenders thought I was a hooker. I'm sure the overknee socks I was wearing over my tights didn't help much.

p.s. more Paris stories to come. 

{my photos}

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Many, MANY years ago before the internet, every season I would await the arrival of the postman with the A.P.C. catalogue all the way from France at my parents' house. I would flip through it, noting with a dot of pen my favourite things, then fill in the order form in neat capital letters, post it to the address in Ivry-sur-Seine just outside Paris, and wait. A few weeks later my package would arrive from Ivry and I would get all excited and be well dressed for the remainder of the season. I found this entire process weirdly thrilling, and I still sometimes miss the ol' paper catalogues - most of which I've kept.

Last weekend when I was in Paris, E (who was staying at my place in London and I at her's in Paris) casually forwarded me her invite to the Paris A.P.C. sample sale, saying something along the lines of, "I don't know if you want to trek all the way out to this, but it might be good." I looked at the address where the sample sale was being held and instantly recognised it. Mecca.

So that was how I found myself almost at the end of metro line 7, then striding purposefully down a nondescript street, the name of which I know so well, notable only for the other couple of hundred pea coat clad pilgrims walking in the same direction down it at roughly triple the usual Parisian strolling speed.