The School of Flaunt Handbook

If you are not familiar with Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke, co-authors of “The School of Flaunt Handbook” and of their web site (www.schoolofflaunt.com), you should be.  Described as The Divas of Good Taste, Alexandra and Cate have dreamed up a tome in which they promise to navigate you safely through the snakepits and landmines of money, moda and manners.

With such interesting chapter titles as “Wardrobe – From Runway to Reality”, “Votre Maison – All Gated Communities Are Not Created Equal” and “Amour or Affair de Coeure – We Want to Light Your Fire!”, their Handbook is filled with tips and quizzes and a bevy of helpful hints to guide you safely into their “Flaunt Fabulous World.”  (Full disclosure:  I was very honored when the duo asked me to do the black and white illustrations for the Handbook.  Thanks so much Alexandra and Cate!)

So before you even think about accepting that next dinner party invitation or stepping foot into Bergdorf’s again, spend a few hours with Alexandra and Cate and The Handbook, available through amazon.com.  You’ll be glad you did and as the authors proudly state, “why go through life as ordinary, when it is just as easy to be extraordinary!”

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“Black & White (and a bit in between)” by Celerie Kemble

When my friend and fellow interior designer, Celerie Kemble, told me a year or so ago that she was writing a book about decorating in black and white, I thought “What a great, graphic idea!”  And Celerie’s new book, entitled “Black & White (and a bit in between) – Timeless Interiors, Dramatic Accents,, and Stylish Collections” delivers the goods in spades.  It is one of the most beautifully assembled and written books I’ve read in a long time and one that will have pride of place in my library.

Celerie is a principal of Kemble Interiors which was founded by her mother, Mimi McMakin.  Celerie’s interiors have been published in almost every major design magazine and she has been listed for more than ten years in House Beautiful’s “Top Designers” list.  She is a most talented designer indeed.

“Black & White” is jam-packed with more than 350 color photos showcasing the endless possibilities of using a limited color palette.  And Celerie includes not only some of her own work, but also generously uses that of her peers, including Bunny Williams, Mary McDonald, Thomas O’Brien, Mark Hampton, Brad Ford and Miles Redd, among others.  She even shows a few Rustic Chic examples by yours truly.

Be sure to get a copy of “Black & White.”  You’ll never look at black and white quite the same way again!  Congratulations and kudos galore, Sweet Celerie!!

 

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Tag It!

I had been wanting a tassel for the key of this painted chest for quite a while but just couldn’t find anything that was not trite.  But over the weekend, while in a small junk store, I came across this ogee-shaped, galvanized tag on a jute string.  I was instantly charmed by its unexpectedness and rather formal shape while being executed in such a humble material.  The $1.50 price also helped seal the deal.

 

Photos by Joel Woodard

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I Can’t Give You a Turkey Dinner. . .

. . . but maybe a few feathers will do.  Sorry for the silence as of late.  Will pick up the pace after the holiday.  Have a good one!

 Sketches by Joel Woodard

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Old Paint

This was such a quintessentially bucolic and autumnal scene.  Old Paint standing and looking over his fence and, like the rest of us, enjoying a beautifully crisp weekend day.

Photo by Joel Woodard

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Dish It Up!

Admit it, washing dishes is just not much fun.  Reading about the history of dinner plates and their myriad of styles and colors is terrific fun, however!  And so is the new book entitled “Dish – 813 Colorful, Wonderful Dinner Plates” written by Shax Riegler, the features editor at House Beautiful magazine.  In “Dish”, Shax explores centuries of dinner plates from olden days to the present and, with beautifully simple photography by Robert Bean, showcases rarified and humble examples.  They’re all pieces of gustatory history, items that we usually take for granted.  But you’ll never look at your plates in the same way after reading this entertaining volume.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Look Up!

A grey day but lo!  A tree is ablaze dressed in all its variations of red and orange on this fall day.  This showy specimen was so intense it just wouldn’t or couldn’t be ignored.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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