Part 1: The Table

Here’s the promised Behind-the-Scenes Part 1 from my December 22 post APPLESandRUBIES: Pure Style Home Holiday Inspired Lunch. My inspiration for this lunch came from Lauren Liess’s Better Homes & Gardens article “Christmas Present,” click the link, as Lauren has just posted the full article on her fantastic blog Pure Style Home.

{My son’s little wooden animals were the first things I knew I wanted on the table}

 I’m not claiming to have an amazing home like Lauren’s, but it was fun to be inspired. For the table, to start, I dragged out all the items I could find in my house in shades of green, silver, copper, whites and warm woods. Now, note the bare windows, because…

{hanging to dry in the sun before they go up}

 Yes, I FINALLY hung curtains in the dining room! Why this took me almost three years astounds me.

{look at that face – so fun to help Mom!}

Son H and I foraged the back yard by the creek for evergreens and twigs, (wasn’t it neat how Lauren had them shoved in her Christmas tree?) We even foraged the Christmas tree limbs neighbors had put out on the curb!

{I like both sides of this fabric!}

In advance I bought some ribbon and fabric. I’ve always been intimidated by the variety and sheer number of fabric bolts in the upholstery section, but with my mantra “green and vintage-looking” I had just a few choices, and quickly bought a half yard of this pretty sage green damask. No time to sew, I just cut a straight edge and used it as a runner.

{Warming by the Jotul wood stove…}

 I just loved the images of buckets of voluptuous white flowers when Lauren showed us the prep for the BH&G article back in February 2010, so I bought a dozen white roses. The florist told me they would open up with some heat, so I put them near the wood stove. You can see where this is heading…


Yes – I burnt the roses. So sad! Only a half dozen were usable when I peeled off the outer petals!

{long stems became short stems}

A bit of a mess working on the arrangement in a squat double-walled glass vase that I wrapped with a simple band of white paper to hide the stems.

{I cut the overgrown part right off – ruthless!}

 What else to add? On the lookout for bright green things in the house I spied this aloe plant.

{Just a little gooey!}

So green spikes were added. Here’s the fabric runner down, with three candles and a silver mercury globe.

 I love a little unexpected touch to the table, and a vintage green spool of thread was perfect.

{Lots of little kids over for this lunch -and they played with the animals at the table!}

The spool of thread was so colorful keeping company with my wooden menagerie!

I officially have a serious crush on all colors of green now.

{a peek of our Christmas tree in the background}

Hope you enjoyed my behind-the-scenes of Part 1: The Table. Read my original December 22 post for this lunch at APPLESandRUBIES: Pure Style Home Inspired Lunch, and come back soon for Part 2: The Dessert!

Thank you again to Lauren Liess and her blog Pure Style Home for the inspiration!


sources: curtains: JCPenney, fabric:JoAnn’s, vase and silver globe: Pottery Barn

Remember I promised to post some of my elf gifts? One of the unique things about my business Loretta Fontaine Jewelry, is I can incorporate a custom image into any of my designs. So, last December I was busy making a lot of custom commissioned pieces for clients as special holiday gifts.

{My nephew is TOO cute!}

One gift I want to share was based on this awesome illustration my brother Dave did of my little Nephew B. His proud Mom, my dear Sister S, snapped an adorable photo of him with a chin full of carrots, and my brother, (a fantastic San Diego-based Art Director and Graphic Designer), made this Andy Warhol inspired image for her.

{Sterling silver Maria ring – it’s resting on tool called a ring sizer}

 …I used the .jpg file he emailed to create miniature original photographs, (they are printed at a local Pro Lab), and here’s the ring I made.

{Sterling silver Triple Maria necklace with lapis, peach agate and green agate beads}

 … and here’s the matching necklace. I chose my Maria design, and the sterling silver necklace reverses to show solid blocks of color to match the beads.

{McKenna travel jewelry box in porcelain blue}

As my sister’s Secret Santa, I packaged them all up in a new Pottery Barn jewelry box. Reindeers have relayed news to me that she loves the jewelry and wore it out on New Year’s Eve!

I’ve slowly been getting reports from my clients of the responses (all very good!) to commissioned jewelry that was unwrapped over the holidays! It’s such a pleasure to make such special custom pieces, and I hope to share more of them in the future.


Welcome 2011!

{Yes, the dress did come from a thrift shop – Doors of Hope in West Sand Lake, N.Y.}

I’m wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year! Here’s a pic of husband and I heading to the “DECADES” party on New Years Day (thank you fab host Ann Marie!)

I’m attempting an aloof pose as I would suspect a 70s Diva to do, and my sweetheart is looking THRILLED to wear sideburns and a mustache of brown eyeshadow! With an old sportscoat and tie from my Dad, I though we were quite the 70s pair until he added the Irish fisherman’s cap, and then I felt as if I were dating the…

Lennox Air Conditioning pitchman from before the turn of the century!

Seriously, 2011 is so hard to wrap my head around. After the craziness of the holidays, the New Year always feel like a fresh start. I have so many things I want to try in the months to come, I feel as if my head could come undone!

Wishing you a Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year,

As this year comes to a close, I’m heading to a New Year’s Party where the theme is “DECADES.” Partygoers need to dress in any decade they choose. 
I’m a lucky girl – the host of the party sent me a dress to wear as well! I haven’t seen her yet to ask anything about this dress, but she volunteers at a thrift shop, so perhaps it came from there.
Now, here’s my question: What Decade is this Dress?
A small tag on the side seam tells me the dress was made in East Germany. Made of a knit fabric with the bold diagonal pattern printed on, the only fitted part is two simple tucks on the bodice. The colorful op-art design might place it in the 60s, but because it’s so unstructured, I’m guessing the 70s. What do you think?
{sterling silver Triple Lucy necklace with red, apple green and plum multi, with faceted tourmaline beads}

Congrats and a Happy New Year to the winner of the Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway – Adrienne!


{Naughty or Nice list? They find out today! Son H, Evie and Rosie}
Merry Christmas!

Hopefully this post will pop up on December 25, but no, I’m not hunched over my laptop today. I’ve scheduled this post a few days back (thank you Blogger scheduled post feature!) and today I’m by the tree with my family enjoying the day.

Why does December seem to fly by faster and faster each year? And why do I never get tired of all the preparations and fun? I’m counting my blessings (including the three above) and wishing everyone a Joyful and Merry day!

Are you the open-all-the-presents-at-once family, or a take-your-time-and-open-one-at-a-time family? …and did Santa get you what you wanted?


(p.s. – Don’t forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

{the awaited issue!}

Have you seen Lauren Liess’s home in the latest Better Homes & Gardens?

Everyone following Lauren’s blog Pure Style Home had been waiting patiently for the issue to come out. Her stylish house is featured in “Christmas Present” on page 66, written by Joanna Linberg, produced by Jessica Thomas, and with luminous photography by Helen Norman. Back in February Lauren gave us all a fantastic peek behind the scenes at the photoshoot. Now, we finally see the results!

{Santa, come on over! (photo: Helen Norman)}

Of course, her home looks GORGEOUS decked out for the holidays! Lauren’s interior design philosophy of “Pure Style” is based on keeping things simple, happy & beautiful. Her decorations are nature-inspired and kid-friendly – she has two little ones at home!

Lauren’s holiday palette inspired a lunch at my home last week… It’s not as gorgeous as her home, I know, but I had a great time putting it together:

{My dining room – real snow on the evergreens outside the window!}

I had some friends and a sweet bunch of preschoolers over on a Wednesday. My Pure Style Home inspiration was moss and citron greens, silver and copper, whites, spheres, vintage-look fabrics, warm brown woods, natural objects, and a touch of whimsy.

{my son’s toys}

How cute and whimsical are these little wooden toys at the table? Lauren had adorable white polar bears at the holiday place settings in her home.

{A wooden church carved by my great grandfather behind the buffet.}

Pears tied with citron green grosgrain ribbon sit at the buffet. I served kid-friendly food, but I still went with Lauren’s colors – coppery brown nuts and pears, bright green grapes and a snowy white coconut cake.

{centerpiece detail – white roses, aloe spears and evergreens}

Pulling off this lunch was so much fun. I started by gathering up all the objects around my house reminding me of Lauren’s holiday look. Her style is so natural, effortless and charming, you don’t worry about perfection. I know I’m not even close to how stunning Lauren’s decorations look – but it was a ball (bad pun- sorry!) trying!

{“…I’m running off to join the others!”}

I never did get the photo of my cute little guests and their parents around the table I envisioned. The kids and my son scarfed down their food then ran off to play with Legos before my camera came out. And they would not come back to pose!

{David, Lauren, and their adorable sons Christian and Justin (photo:Helen Norman)}

A Happy Holidays and huge Thank You to Lauren Liess and her blog Pure Style Home for all the inspiration! In the next few days I’ll post on how I pulled everything together: 1.The Table,  2.The Dessert, and 3.The Buffet, so stay tuned!


(p.s. – Don’t forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

{My new ornament on our blue spruce Christmas Tree}
 I was so excited to get my “Junk Girls” ornament in the mail! It’s a giveaway I won from the talented Brooke Giannetti on her lovely blog Velvet & Linen. It traveled from California to New York to find a new home on our Christmas tree. Yes, I squealed when I found out I won! Made from a recycled vintage spoon, I love it!

You can buy these ornaments as well as other gorgeous and unique home goods at Giannetti Home, Brooke’s shop in Los Angeles. Brooke and her architect husband Steve also offer Architectural, Interior Design and Landscape services. If you haven’t read Brooke’s fantastic blog Velvet & Linen, do yourself a favor and try it. Like me, I’m sure you’ll have it bookmarked to see what beautiful projects the Giannettis will dream up next!
And if you don’t live near Los Angeles? Look here, where you can purchase Giannetti Home furniture (many original Giannetti Home designs) and beautiful home goods online.
Thank you Brooke, and Happy Holidays to you, your husband, and your staff in L.A.! (And if you think the silk roses on my New York Christmas tree look nice, than take a look at the real roses in Brooke’s California garden)
(p.s. – Don’t forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

I haven’t been very good at showing what I’ve been working on in the jewelry studio recently. Truth is December is a time to finish up my custom holiday jewelry orders and I can’t give anything away! Imagine if someone saw their Christmas gift on my blog before they got it! So like Santa’s elves, I have to be very secretive!

After Christmas I hope to post a few pics of my elf work – but I’ve been so busy I haven’t taken many!


(p.s. – Don’t forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)

So many holiday mantles posted on the web. But aren’t they lacking something?

{Glamour and Sophistication from Centsational Girl}

Hmmm, manicured greenery, silvery spheres…

Robyn’s sweet take from The Pink Peony of le Jardin}

…the red and white candies everywhere…

{Can you believe Layla MADE the mirror – The Lettered Cottage reflects classic charm!}

…and let’s not forget adorable stockings pinned hopefully up…

{O Tale of Woe}

 Nice and all, BUT… How about something, well DIFFERENT. A little more original.
Like our holiday mantle! Luckily, our contractor just couldn’t finish the project he promised this October! A touch of rustic – weathered plywood, combined with festive white snowy trash bag and red duct tape…

{Can’t you just feel the drafts?}

What, you say? Can you believe this amazing project was DIY? Well, yes it was! My dear husband applied the duct tape ever so artfully.

And the bonus? Don’t you love wrapping yourself in a cozy sweater when winter winds blow? Yes – we have those icy drafts right here in our living room! Grab that sweater and hot cocoa!

(A big thank you to Layla’s Holiday Home Linky Party at The Lettered Cottage  for the great holiday mantle inspirations – and no, I didn’t add our mantle to her Linky Party!)


(p.s. – Don’t forget to enter my Fantastic Holiday Jewelry Giveaway  this month! Winner drawn on December 28!)