What a week.
Just when you think Italian politics couldn’t be more confusing or bizarre, they are. I have no idea what is going to happen now. Maybe we’ll have new elections.
The Pope said good-bye yesterday. The city is packed with tourists who came to see him for the last time. Cardinals are flying in for the conclave and there are journalists in town from all over the world.
Work-wise, things were hectic. I’m not sure how it’s Friday already.
Yesterday, Domenico and I drove up to Tuscany to visit the job site and to meet with our client who flew in from Germany. Normally, we would stay overnight but we decided to make it a day trip and left Rome at 6:30 a.m.
It was a very long day. At one point my brain said, “BASTA!” and refused to cooperate. It was around the time I was asking the contractor questions in Italian and then translating his answers into English.
On the drive back home, all I could think about was taking a long shower, getting in my PJs, and then watching Law and Order SVU reruns on Fox Crime (I have a thing for Detective Stabler).
I wish I had a shower like this:
Stunning. I hope to check it out sometime later this year.
In the meantime, Stabler and I will be relaxing this weekend.
In 2011 the Italian fashion label Miu Miu started Women’s Tales, a series of short films about women directed by female directors from all over the world.
Their most recent short was directed by Ava DuVernay. Ava won the best director award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Here is more information about Ava’s short from Miu Miu:
The Door, by Ava DuVernay, the fifth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds, and a symbolic story of life change. The symbolic centre of The Door is the front entrance of the protagonist’s home. As she opens it to greet a friend in the powerfully framed opening scenes, she is shrouded in an oblique sadness. “In the film, characters arrive at the door of a friend in need, bringing something of themselves,” explains director DuVernay. “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.” Clothing is also a symbol of renewal, each change of costume charting our heroine’s emergence from a chrysalis of sadness. In the final scenes, she takes off her ring, pulls on long, black leather gloves, and walks, transformed by the emotive power of the clothing, through the door.
Not a word was spoken, but Ava told a beautiful story. For some reason, I didn’t recognize Gabrielle Union at first!
The Door combines three things I’m passionate about, dècor, film, and fashion. Several of the pieces in the short need to be in my closet and hello, that house!
I’ve seen many films with “a glass house in L.A.” set design but this one really captured that L.A. loneliness vibe. I loved it.
I was recently hired by the very talented architect Domenico Minchilli to work on the interiors for a home in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy.
Words cannot adequately express how excited I am about this project.
We have a mid/late Spring deadline.
Early on, I started to pull images for an inspiration board on Pinterest. Some of the images came from books in my library, photos from my travels, or from my favorite websites. Originally, I had over sixty-five images. It was a great visual tool and helped me see the big picture. I kept that version of the board private so I could show Domenico what I was thinking.
Once I had a clearer idea of what the client wanted/needed for their home, I put together a mood board in Photoshop for each room. There has to be a separate post about Photoshop… DRAMA.
I had written a much longer post but deleted it. It was way too sappy.
However, I will say I’m thrilled to be working with such an incredible group of people and that 2013 is off to a great start.
I heard this song from one of my favorite artists over the weekend. I’m still in shock over the Newtown massacre. I hope a change is coming soon because these shootings (and the ones that happen every freaking day) have to stop. What kind of world are we living in?
Tonight (10/9c) is the premiere of Bravo’s hit decorating show (in the United States).
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about the international dates. Last season, it started to air in Italy a few months later on SKY’s Real Time channel.
It better air here this season. I’m still salty about the E! Channel being dropped. No more “Fashion Police”, “THS” or those great specials about murderous cheerleaders.
From what I’ve read and heard, there will be a greater focus on decorating/design this season.
Of course this is a reality program and there must be drama as well. A TV series where everything goes well and everyone gets along all the time would be boring.
I hope they show more of Kathryn M. Ireland’s beautiful home.
I asked Martin Lawrence Bullard if he had a new catchphrase for this season. He does!
For more info about the show and to see clips, check out Bravo’s page HERE.
Those of us outside the United States cannot see the clips. Sigh.
I will never forget that awful day.
For those who don’t watch NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, here are two clips explaining what the heck the title of this post is referring to.
Not having a steady paycheck is of course one of the major downsides of starting your own company and/or being a writer. Your landlord doesn’t care if your latest script is hilarious. If it doesn’t sell, you can’t pay your rent.
Another downside is the lack of structure. I work from home. My laptop is always around. I don’t take the weekends off. I feel guilty if I’m not working on novel number two, tweaking the AGD business plan, finishing a rewrite on a spec, working on my TV idea pitches, etc.
The thing is, I’m producing diminishing returns. I’m fried.
I finally hit the wall last week. While I do have a slew of pitches coming up, (which I have no control over), I have to get some kind of schedule in place.
I also need to treat myself once in a while. I have been so severe with my budget, it’s insane. I can account for every single euro I spend.
I have no desire to have credit card debt or to be irresponsible. But I cannot continue to live the way I’m living. Something has to change.
So, I’m going to loosen the reins a little.
Treat. Yo. Self. 2012 has begun.
I’ve written about Wonderfool the spa and concept store before. One thing I really like about Wonderfool is how they highlight Iocal artisans.
A few weeks ago there was an aperitivi at the store and several of the designers were there.
I had a chance to speak with the très chic Daria Reina the Creative Director of Chez Dédé, a French-Italian label. She and her partner Andrea Ferolla started the company a few years ago. Inspiration struck the luxury goods communications consultant and the art director while they were on the island of St. Barths.
At Wonderfool they sell only their bags, but Chez Dédé also makes scarves and bracelets. Their scarves for men, Les New Yorkaises, would be perfect for my boyfriend, if I had one. The colors are striking and I hope they start to design some for us ladies as well.
Each bag is name for an island or a beach they have visited. One of the newest editions is their Grand Tour bag. It’s sporty and sophisticated. I LOVE it. It’s a perfect bag for a longer trip. You can fill with mementos of your journey.
Another addition to the collection is the Taormina bag. Made with a stunning Sicilian red, this bag inspires me to book a trip to Sicily pronto.
The craftsmanship is remarkable. Not only are these bags gorgeous, they are well made. Daria said it was important to her and her partner to make the bags in Italy. I’m sure Chez Dédé would make a lot more money producing the bags elsewhere. I appreciate their commitment to pay artisans well.
I’m not completely anti-fast fashion, but I’m doing my best to avoid it. I’d rather own a few things of excellent quality than buy a bunch of things from Zara/H&M/Top Shop that fall apart after two washings. Also, I have the worst figure for fast fashion. What looks cool on my thin and/or tall friends looks, well, cheap on me.
I adore these bags and not just because I’m an Island Girl myself. They are very “Stylish Simplicity”.
I was telling one of my friends that I couldn’t decide which one to get. One of the bigger totes (Ciao Portofino! Bonjour Cap Ferrat!) or the cute smaller Salina one? I will decide after my birthday next month.
I receive a lot of e-mails asking me where to eat in Rome. I love to cook and have my favorite restaurants, but I’m by no means an expert. Instead, I suggest people buy apps by Gillian McGuire, Katie Parla and Elizabeth Minchilli. I’ve asked them why they decided to create their apps (which is a lot of work). Thanks for responding, ladies!
Why buy an app? For one, they are updated frequently. Some guidebooks become outdated the moment they are published. Also, these apps are written by people who really know this city. They live here. They see the vendors they write about, know the chef/cooks at the restaurants, and capture the city in a way that someone on short term assignment cannot do.
I think they are an invaluable resource. There are a lot of restaurants, gelato places, coffee shops, etc. here and yes, it is possible to have a bad meal in Rome. With these apps, the chances of that happening are greatly reduced.
EAT ROME by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli. When Elizabeth was twelve her family moved to Rome. She returned for good while studying in Florence for her dissertation. Elizabeth has written books on design and has been writing about food, design, and travel for various publications for twenty years. One of my favorite features of her app is the comment section. It’s great to read everyone’s experiences at various restaurants. Elizabeth does respond to feedback which helps keep the app up to date.
“I’m a big believer in embracing all of the technical innovations that are happening in publishing. While I’ve always been happy to write for magazines, newspapers and book publishers (and continue to do so) I love the possibility that blogs and apps present. They give me not only much more control over the content, but allow exciting and extremely helpful direct contact with my readers.”
ROME FOR FOODIES by Katie Parla. Katie grew up in the Garden State (aka New Jersey). She started working in restaurants from a young age and moved to Rome in 2003 after graduating from college. Since her move, Katie has earned a sommelier certificate (FISAR) and an MA in the Cultura Gastronomica Italiana (Universita’ degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”). Katie has has written several guide books and writes about food and travel for a number of publications. The Katie’s Picks section is great. She has a very specific POV when it comes to food and doesn’t hold back her opinions.
“I decided to develop and app for a few reasons. I wanted to experiment with new media, find a new way to connect with readers, and monetize blog content. I had the app re-developed in order to introduce concepts of branding and improve user interface.”
ROME FOR EXPATS by Gillian McGuire. Gillian has lived in Rome for seven years. Prior to her move, she and her family lived in several African countries. Her expats friends call her “The Source” for a reason. I’ve included an expat app because there are people who travel to Rome and rent apartments and/or stay for an extended period. If you need to know where to find an English speaking dentist, or a hairdresser, cilantro, or maybe you’re dying for a bagel, or looking for a personal trainer (to help burn off that bagel), this is the app for you.
“First, I love an assignment, so I found I was often asked the question “where can I find… x?