Sunday, March 22, 2015

  HIPPITY HOPPITY, EASTER'S ON ITS WAY

Get out your bonnets and white gloves, another Easter will be here before you know it. Since we love Easter so much at the Boutique, every corner of the shop has a bunny, lamb or Easter egg  waiting to go home with you.



                                                 

Of course, we have the cutest (and most delicious) chocolates for the Easter Bunny to leave at your house. There are milk chocolate eggs that open up to reveal little white, milk and dark chocolate carrots and chicks.




Little pastel foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies wait patiently in a basket while adorable bunnies from Maison Bouche are nestled in adorable printed boxes.  My personal favorites are the chocolate peas and carrots, picked in Farmer McGregor's garden, of course, that are sold singly and also in little farm-stand baskets. These make great table decorations !


            

                               
Don't forget your Surprise balls, in pastel colors, naturally.....or for a change, a Surprise cone or carrot.






In addition to Surprise Balls and chocolates, we've  collected all you need to build your own Easter baskets....the basket itself, Easter grass in assorted colors, stuffed bunnies and lambs, little books, paper Bunny dolls, and German nodders, and just in case you run out of time, we've put together some Easter baskets for you complete with a stuffed bunny, a surprise ball, and a few little toys. We will leave it to you to add the yummy edible items.











We've also made up two special giant German Easter Eggs (one for a boy baby and one for a girl baby) filled with a Porthault bunny, a bib and Santa Maria Novella baby shampoo and baby lotion for your favorite little lambie-kin.




Don't forget to pick up some striped Spring paper napkins and mini cones for your table. This year, we even found such cute bunny cards that can be enclosures or place cards.






For that oh so elegant Easter repast, please pick up these vintage Marghab appliquéd and embroidered placemats and napkins. The workmanship is so incredibly beautiful that you must see them up close to even believe how perfect they are !




Take a moment from your busy day and "Spring" on over (I know I'm corny) to get a little
Easter inspiration. You'll be glad you did.

XOXOXO
LETA








Saturday, February 28, 2015


SERENDIPITY—IN DECORATING






ONE DAY, I WAS IN ONE OF MY FAVOURITE VENDORS—THE BEAUTIFUL CHELSEA EDITIONS SHOWROOM IN THE FINE ARTS BUILDING IN NEW YORK—AND THERE, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIRST ROOM, WAS A HUGE PILE OF NAVY BLUE EMBROIDERED FABRIC LYING ON THE GROUND.  ALWAYS CURIOUS (I AM SUCH A SNOOP! ) , I ASKED WHY, AND IT TURNED OUT THAT IT WAS A SPECIAL ORDER FOR A JOB IN TEXAS WHERE, APPARENTLY, THE CLIENT CHANGED HER MIND.  THESE THINGS HAPPEN—THEY SHOULDN’T (I BELIEVE THIS IS USUALLY A CASE OF NOT REALLY CLEAR DECORATOR/CLIENT VISION), BUT THEY DO.  SO I JUMPED IN TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A BIT OF SERENDIPITY.






SINCE CHELSEA EDITIONS WAS GOING TO SOMEWHAT EAT THESE CURTAIN PANELS—THAT’S WHAT THEY WERE—I BEGGED FOR A FEW DAYS GRACE PERIOD TO SELL AN IDEA TO A CLIENT.  THAT DID HAPPEN, AND IT WAS SERENDIPITOUS.

NOW, THIS IS IMPORTANT—WHEN YOU COME ACROSS SOME AMAZING BARGAIN—(AND IF YOU ARE HONEST AND TRUE, YOU WILL PASS THESE SAVINGS ON TO YOUR CLIENT—SHARING IS PART OF SERENDIPITY)—YOU NEED TO PLAN.  BIG TIME. 

 I WAS DOING A GUEST HOUSE FOR CLIENTS, AND THESE PANELS WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THEIR BEDROOM/SITTING ROOM, BECAUSE I HAD ALREADY ORDERED ALL THE WALLS TO BE WHITE.  THE NAVY BLUE WOULD LOOK GREAT AGAINST THEM, BUT IN ORDER NOT TO BE TOO POWERFUL, I NEEDED TO MODERATE IT A BIT. 






I DECIDED TO USE RATTAN FURNITURE—PERFECT FOR US HERE IN THE TROPICS—YOU MIGHT NEED TO SUBSTITUTE PAINTED OR “BROWN” FURNITURE WHERE YOU LIVE—BECAUSE THE LIGHT TAN-NY BROWN COLOUR OF RATTAN LOOKS SO GOOD WITH NAVY.  ALSO, A BONUS: IT TENDS TO BE REASONABLY PRICED—EVEN IF YOU NEED TO RE-VARNISH IT, WHICH I DID.  NOTICE THE RATTAN SOFA AND END TABLE IN THE PICTURE BELOW.





THEN TO KEEP THIS NAVY-FADING-TO-LIGHT-BROWN-FADING-TO-NATURAL, I USED MY ALL-TIME FAVOURITE RUG FROM STARK CARPET, “NATURA” IN NATURAL. 



Stark Natura Caramel


THEN I NEEDED SOME MORE FABRICS AS THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH CURTAIN PANELS TO DO EVERYTHING.  SO KNOWING THAT I WAS GOING TO USE THE CURTAIN PANELS ON SOME OF THE WINDOWS, I ORDERED PLAIN NAVY FROM CHELSEA EDITIONS AND USED IT TO MAKE THE DUST RUFFLE, AND A WONDERFUL FABRIC FROM ROSE CUMMING TO DO THE RATTAN FURNITURE., “BIRD IN CIRCLE” IN NAVY ON CREAM.






WE USED A CREAMY WHITE TRIM FROM SAMUEL AND SONS AND USED SOME OF THE SMALLER PIECES OF EMBROIDERED FABRIC TO MAKE TWO STOOLS.  PLANNING WAS KEY—AND IMAGINATION,  BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO BOTH OF THOSE THINGS. 








GOOD LUCK—FOR THAT’S WHAT SERENDIPITY IS. 

XOXOXOX    
LETA

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

GUEST TOWELS

We are in the midst of our "season" in Palm Beach and everyone (and I mean everyone) is being invited to drinks or dinner or a special luncheon. And, of course, on the other side of the coin, everyone is also hosting their friends, old and new, to wonderful soirees at their own house.

When your guests arrive, you want everything to be just so and one of the best ways to show how welcome they are in your home is to share special touches to make their stay special. Having beautiful guest towels in the loo certainly is one of those niceties. Sometimes, we all revert to paper guest towels (quelle horreur !!), but nothing takes the place of embroidered, monogrammed or simply elegant hemstitched linen towels.

We keep a good assortment of guest towels on hand at the Boutique....newly made and vintage..... reasonably priced to decadently expensive. We try to find, or create for you, special designs that you may not find at any of your friends' houses , unless,  of course, they also shop at our Boutique !

For our sailing enthusiasts....and there are a lot of you....we added a Swiss-filled monogram inside the sails of these appliquéd sailboats.




Our wonderful Parisian company, Lin de Château, supplies us with these beautiful hand-
embroidered initial guest towels.....in their ever popular "Dots" design and in their new "Rope" initial and "1930 Medallion" initial.







I am always on the lookout for great vintage finds and recently I came across some wonderful pieces from the famous Marghab company (more on Marghab in a future post). We have a set of two beautiful appliqué and embroidered birds in a cage and a set of aqua and lemony yellow embroidered fish and coral fingertip-size towels.







Julia B of New York has several colored linen guest towels that you can order with contrast hemstitching and a monogram to match. These are custom orders, so you have to give this a bit of thought ahead of time.





We can always find some great classic designs from Sharyn Blond like these appliquéd swirls and the embroidered corals in both guest and fingertip sizes. You can custom color these as well if you would like colors other than the ones we created for you.






Speaking of creating for you....we also design a lot of our own guest towels that you can also customize with added monograms or by changing the colors of the designs.  Our wonderfully talented embroiderer, Fatima, turned our sketches of a Palm Beach Sandal and a Belgian Shoe into the most adorable guest towels with a "Classic Palm Beach" flair.





These scallop-edged towels were copied from a vintage guest towel of mine (guess that makes me vintage too ???). We stock them without initials, but can add your monogram to make them extra special.




Another of my finds was a vintage red and ecru appliquéd fingertip towel with the embroidered word  "lips" on it. What a perfect addition to any sink counter ! The lipstick will wind up on the red linen instead of smeared on your perfectly laundered WHITE linen towel. 





So the next time you need to spiff up your water closet, please think about a new set of
unique and beautiful guest towels.  By the way, they make GREAT hostess presents as well.

XOXOX
LETA


Thursday, February 5, 2015


THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Well, another Valentine's Day is fast approaching. According to Wikipedia, Saint Valentine is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.

In modern society, St. Valentine's Day has morphed into another excuse for card companies to sell love-proclaiming cards, jewelers to entice us with their baubles and chocolate companies to overload us with chocolate hearts. Well, I say.....BRING IT ON !!!!! 
I love receiving sentimental missives, 14 caret trinkets and luscious chocolate tidbits.





We try to stock the Boutique with unique cards, way-too delicious candy and lots of
LOVE-ly (sorry, I couldn't resist) Valentine's presents that won't add a smidgen of girth
to the ol' hips.




Who wouldn't like to receive a box of Letterpress note cards with pink or red hearts ? How about a frame or a cosmetic bag in Pink Coeurs by D. Porthault......better yet, hold out for the sheet set and surround yourself in hearts year round !




Pink and red Surprise Balls and, this year, even a Heart- shaped one, are plentiful. Don't forget, they make great favors for your V-Day party.





This year we have adorable little colored tins that hold 6 giant tea bags to brew pitchers of iced herbal tea. Each color holds a different exotic flavor and is named after a street in Palm Beach ! We have all the red, hot pink and pale pink ones on our Holiday table.






Other wonderful suggestions for a present "from the Heart" line our shelves. Pink satin lingerie bags, linen guest towels with lots of pink embroidery, cozy pink slippers, and red Rigaud candles are just a few  ideas we have for you.






 Let us wrap it all up in red and white striped paper with crisp grosgrain ribbon and tie on a pink Sucré purse with chocolate ganache candies......or a solid chocolate heart....or even better, red foil wrapped chocolate lips !!!









Don't let St. Valentine down.....celebrate all the LOVE in your life !


LETA

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

NOTEPAPERS

Quality stationery has become a staple at Leta Austin Foster Boutique.  In recent times, we all have been lured into a high-tech world of e-mails and texts, but nothing will EVER take the place of good, old-fashioned snail mail.  

Everyone enjoys receiving a personal note by post.  When the note is written on beautiful paper with a whimsical design or a classically engraved monogram which is then tucked inside a tissue-lined envelope, the receiver feels pampered.


Boxed Notecards from The Printery of Oyster Bay

Boxed Notecards from Dempsey & Carroll

Mrs. John L. Strong's Tulip Notecards 

Crown Notecards from Mrs. John L. Strong

Wonderful placecards are a good way to show our guests that they are special.  The Boutique offers a large selection of them including Bernard Maisner's hand-painted and engraved placecards that are truly works of art.      


Mrs. J.L. Strong has simple, but elegant placecard designs -- Gold Crown, Sit Here ! and Pig That Ate Roast Beef to name a few.


The Printery of Oyster Bay has little white foldover cards with colorful letterpress designs that are very popular.  Just as popular are their enclosure cards with designs printed on contrast-bordered colored  papers.  We sell these more for use as placecards than for enclosures.


Popular with the entertaining crowd are our Coaster sets. The Anchor and Seahorse sets are always perfect in our seaside community, but the humorous ones really were the biggest hit this year.





I think our most frequently purchased papers are our notepads. Our selection runs the gamut from cute to practical to irreverently funny.  The Printery has Zip Code and House pads (POOL HOUSE, BEACH HOUSE, CITY PAD). Palm Cottage Goods offers sea-life themed notepads that can be personalized upon request.  Mrs. John L. Strong has a blank-pages notepad enrobed in a cardboard jacket with an embossed Crown, Telephone or other design....very classy !


Monogrammed notepads can be printed in any color you can think of and our wooden holders can be color-coordinated to match.



Alexa Pulitzer makes notepads with images of crowned animals such as Royal Giraffe, Royal Seahorse, Royal Pelican and King Gator.


Last, but not least are our Jotter Papers. I wrote a post on jotters several months ago. These little leather holders can be fitted with cards sporting your monogram, a picture, or both. They fit in a purse or pocket and make fabulous hostess presents.



Did I mention that many of our personalized papers can be ready in a couple of days ? What better way to show you care than to take the time to customize a present of a notepad, jotter or notecard pack with your friend's name or initials. While you're at it, order one for you .



XOXOXOX
LETA