Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ornate Orb Society

In the mid-1840s, glass paper weights emerged and were immediately popular and desired. They had decorative appeal, and served, along with other glass accessories, the growing Victorian pastime of letter writing well. At the time, you could purchase your paper weight inexpensively at stationary stores and novelty shops.

The Patriarchs:

Antique paper weights were made between 1845 and 1860 in three french factories; Baccarat, St.Louis, and Clichy.

The Highbrows:

Weights by Touchstone Glass

Weights by artist Paul Stankard, via

Weights, mostly of lesser quality, were also made in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere. However, Bacchus (UK), and New England Glass Company (USA) produced beautiful weights that rivaled that of their French counterparts.
Modern weights have been made from 1950 to the present, and along with glass, can be made from clear acrylic or other materials.

The Nonconformists:

 is a UK concern, and is the perfect site to visit if you are entertaining the thought of purchasing a custom paper weight.

They can design, or alter any in-house design to suit your specifications and needs, with prices ranging from $75 to $500US.

Paper weights make thoughtful gifts. They can beautifully commemorate births, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions and events in our lives.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Real Birkin Bag

I spied this image several months ago. It's Jane Birkin, and she is 64 years old!
And yes, it's that Birkin, as in the inspiration for this:

The Birkin is a much coveted and beautifully designed handbag, that can be priced in the thousands. In an auction several years ago, a crocodile skin version went for $65,000.00 !

Ms. Birkin is my style icon, and design inspiration. I believe that inspiration for the home and garden can come from a multitude of varied sources. I personally love her simple pared down style, with a dash of elan.

Just take a look at her in 1969...

...and with her mentor and creative collaborator, Serge Gainsbourg

It's the original Birkin Bag that I'm interested in:

She carried it so beautifully. I've always wanted to find one similar. offers a great version, and at $85.00, it is a much better bargain (and is perhaps cooler?) than the Hermes one.

The basket is 11" x 17" and handmade of natural willow in Portugal. These types of baskets were originally used for rinsing shellfish. The lid is attached. You might use this as a handbag, beach tote, or market basket. It would also be lovely sitting on a shelf, staircase, or hearth.

An accomplished actress, singer, designer, and philanthropist, Ms. Birkin personifies a modern woman.