Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays

Buon Natale! Buone Feste!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season full of peace and joy,
and prosperity for all in the new year.
See you in 2012!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Auguri

Tanti auguri a me...happy birthday to me! 40...quaranta...a really big number. Thank goodness my birthday month started with drowning my sorrows in a big old Bloody Mary complete with all the fixin's and a Brunch of Eggs Benedict whipped up from scratch. Not to mention a whole gang of lovely old friends that joined me...from near and far. If you have not already guessed...I was Stateside for a quick indulgence of Thanksgiving and Birthday fun all wrapped up together, with a side of German Chocolate cake!

Grazie
to all of you who celebrated with me, who stick by me and support me daily, and who continue to check in with me. Today I celebrate all of you...what a blessed girl I am! I know I mention it often, but I am so appreciative to have friends and family that make me feel as if I am next door instead of 5,000 miles away.

Oooo...I can't wait to get my second celebration started in Italia...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn change

As the weather cools here...and having a few short minutes this morning...I did a little "autumn change". Would love to know what you all think about the new Laura Fair home page...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tendence

I journeyed recently to attend Tendence, the international trade show for home furnishings, decor, and gifts in Frankfurt, Germany. And I mean journeyed...planes, trains, automobiles, buses and trams for that matter to reach my destination, but all worth it. Having gone to scout for trends and fabulous new products from companies all over the world, it was also a great excuse to catch up with good friend, Tracy, of the magazine Home Accents Today. To give you an idea of what we saw...here is a copy of a 2007 article she penned on the show.

I am always struck by how I feel in different countries after living in Italy for the last 6 1/2 years. I was surprised to note that I felt no attachment to Germany...at least not in that way I feel for Italy. Of course, the bustling city of Frankfurt is the polar opposite to my little town in the Italian countryside, but nonetheless, European all the same. I will say that Frankfurt has some fabulous shopping, quaint streets and restaurants, a beautiful waterfront, and we even stumbled upon a street food fair. Not a bad way to spend a weekend...even if work was involved...and always better to step away with some inspiration to boot.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

After six

A walk in a sunflower field with girasoli bigger than my head; an international gathering of friends for a wine tasting...rose', syrah, sangiovese, merlot, cabernet; a sunset drive across the valley with fresh breezes in my hair; an extravagant festival dinner celebrating the frog...yes, I ate them again this year; playing a game simply to donate to children only to win a leather jacket and a turquoise blouse; the freshest pistachio gelato; a short visit with my puppies...who are not so much anymore after a year; fifteen cinghiale, wild boar...mamme bambini babbi; rounding the corner of our driveway to see yet another two little ones; a midnight snack with our two toddler falcons...yes, another story I have yet to tell you. Where I live...anything seems possible...just look at what can occur after 6:00 in the evening on a random Venerdi, Friday. Too good to be true. As my sister so wisely said to me...time to get out the gratitude journal...and oh how grateful I am to soak up every minute, be able to write about it, and savor the memories in low times.

Unbelievably...Sunday morning as I am writing this, a friend arrives at the door with more than a handful of truffles, tartufi. Irresistible...now I know I am having pasta for lunch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Market Time

My first official day at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market has come to an end. Oh what a day it was...packed to the gills with meetings, dreaming of new product, seeing old friends, catching up, and of course checking out the new Laura Fair product launches! These little message boards are from Lone Elm Studios and come in 3 styles complete with little silver birdie magnets...aren't they cute?

I also got some insider news that I cannot wait to share...Laura Fair Enamelware with Golden Rabbit is going to be selling on QVC! Yes, I know...how cool is that? The Red Damask and Beach House Collections will be featured and when I have more info on airtimes...I will be sure to tell you. All in all a great day...what more can a girl ask from her first day in Atlanta?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Al Mare

We stole away...for a very short trip to the seaside...al mare. It was everything I wanted in a little place that has not changed since the 1940's. A little place that had its heyday in the 1920's. Imagine cabana boys and cocktails and colorful umbrellas and bikinis and long lazy afternoons on the terrace and mellow nights full of sea breezes and huge plates of mussels. As if you could not tell...I cherished every minute of the sweet time away...however brief it was.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daily Life

I have been looking through my photos today and it dawned on me...some incredible images have been caught by my camera, but they are not making here for you all to see. For one reason or another, time, etc. I have not had the chance to post them. I decided some photos are just too beautiful to be kept to myself and don't even need an explanation. This has brought me to the idea to pledge to post an image every week with or without description just to give you an even better idea of the day to day life. Holding myself to posting weekly is going to be interesting...but here's to the start of "daily life".

Just a little commentary on this one...after a very long wine tasting led by Dino, these rings of scattering light had all of us absolutely entranced...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Papaveri

As I promised...here is a glimpse of those fields a fire in which I spoke earlier. Ohhh those papaveri, poppies, beauteous aren't they?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gli Etruschi

Hard to believe that we have reached my beloved Maggio...the month of May. The skies are stunning and the ground is a fire with poppies and wild orchids (photos to come, I swear). I took a little time this morning to gather myself and look back through my hundreds of photos, sometimes the only way I can remember all of the things I have seen. I happened upon some special images of a lovely February day...the day I tried to unlock the secrets of the Etruscans, gli Etruschi.

Fortunate enough to chaperone una gita, field trip, with my little ones from school, I was led by the fabulous MAEC: Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca in Cortona through the ancient Etruscan tombs that surround our town. Something a select few get to experience I must say.

The Etruscans lived here in Tuscany far before the Romans and have even been credited with building the foundations of Rome. Found in tombs and on city walls, the earliest inscriptions date back to 1000 B.C. I learned that much of the language has never been deciphered and texts were not left behind. Historians have gathered their knowledge of these ancient people through their discoveries of sacred burial tombs, strange melon shaped mounds that dot the landscape of the valley surrounding Cortona. The Etruscans are extremely well known for their cast jewelry and their pottery. In fact, the valley still to this day houses priceless treasures...farmers have been known to stumble upon a primitive shard of terra cotta while simply plowing a field. Enough about the history, let's get to the good stuff.

I got the chance to enter the super secret room where those very shards found are painstakingly piece together to make history. And the bronze cast jewelry. Absolutely fascinating, almost life changing, as I had brief dreams of throwing away the design career and becoming an archaeologist.

But you all know...that would never happen, but knowing the influence and inspiration is not very far away is great.
(For a tourist plug of Cortona, when you visit here (you know you will)...make sure you visit the MAEC, it is so well done and you will not be disappointed.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Secondo Anniversario

Over the past month or so, I have been very concentrated on growing and promoting Laura Fair by getting all LinkedIn and facebooked up that a short time ago, I truly felt the need to unplug...to take care of those bits of me that need to breathe fresh air, pick up a paint brush, live outdoors with the puppies, go for lazy drives, take pictures, all to be inspired to design even more. To top it off, we have been absolutely blessed with an unbelievable Spring...I should even say Summer as the temperatures are nearing heights we normally feel in June...so that I have done just that for a while...unplugged. Thus to indulge myself with a little computer time, and to celebrate my 2 year anniversary of sharing on this blog...here is a little glimpse into the last month...
March brought us a feeling of May...a blessing for my creativity I must say. I highly recommend a little unplug every once in a while and I promise I will be back soon, as I still have many things to share with you...but for now...it is time for me to get back out and play!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sogni d'Oro

I am absolutely elated to finally reveal the entire collection of Laura Fair bedding for Girls and Boys with Rizzy Home. I did a little sneak peek on the facebook page, but finally here they all are together:

Big Al already has "Surf's Up" (above) on order...cannot wait to see it in his little room. For those of you heading to the High Point Furniture Market this weekend...be sure to stop by the showroom for a look in person. They will be in Showplace space 3515.
Sweet dreams little ones...sogni d'oro!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grace

Do you ever get to the point where you cannot turn on the news for fear there will be yet another heartbreaking story to be heard? This past week has been a killer for me...so much devastation, so many tears, so much concern for the future, and wondering...what can I do about it? What an inspiration the people of Japan have been for me, for all of us. A deep and profound reminder to get out of my own head and start living with the compassion in my heart.

(This fresco is just one of the millions of things I have grateful to have in my home...this graceful angel hovers above me while I work every day.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ashbury Collection

I was so happy to be able to see the collections in person in Atlanta at the Golden Rabbit showroom and now I can officially unveil a new collection to you! A poppy mix of floral beaded designs debuting with Golden Rabbit enamelware this season...my Laura Fair Ashbury Collection...designed with the trendiest colors of the moment, turquoise and green with a touch of honeysuckle pink.

And as luck would have it...look how great the NEW Ashbury dinnerware harmoniously coordinates with the Blue and Green Spring Damask patterns. Look out for the Laura Fair dinnerware in specialty boutiques starting in April.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Marzo

Primavera is approaching...the almonds are blooming...the sky is clear...the birds are chirping (including the pheasant perched on the table in the front yard)....this happens every March, Marzo, here in Tuscany. We experience the most beautiful touch of glorious Spring.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
~ Charles Dickens

I only hope I can slow down enough to step outside and tilt my face to the sun for a bit on one of these short lived days. Will be back soon with many more updates...as I have so much to tell....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Facebook

If you know me, you know that I was completely against facebook when it was first launched. I had many friends asking me to join...I always said a very firm "no"...why would I want to put my life out on the internet? But then, slowly slowly, I found that my friends were not sending as many emails as before, or were not calling me as much. I was totally out of the loop and could not understand why...that is, until I joined facebook. Now I not only use it almost daily to find out the current gossip and even weather in Georgia and beyond, but it makes me feel closer to my roots. I love seeing faces from all parts of my life on a daily basis, learning what everyone is up to, and keeping abreast of all my favorite people and products out there in the world.

Thus the natural progression...Laura Fair is now on facebook! I know, I started feeling guilty about adding what seemed to be "business" to my personal page, the only solution was to open up the official "Laura Fair" page. Now I can update you without guilt on the goings on of my designs and new product launches. So come on over and "like" me if you are there...and invite some friends too! I am even planning some giveaways and special prizes for those of you who like me the most...yes, I am not above resorting to bribery!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fanciullezza

While I am oh so patiently waiting on the paint to dry for one of my newest Laura Fair projects...I thought I would learn a new word in Italian so that I might write a little update on the last weeks here...fanciullezza or infanzia...childhood...as in reliving one's.

So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.
~Gaston Bachelard

I seem to have found myself in this limbo state many many times over the past weeks. We all experience it from time to time on different levels...that nostalgic feeling of carelessness and wonder that washes over you...and the sensation of letting go and absorbing a childlike moment can be so freeing and so therapeutic. Of course, I did not quite think about this as I planned the activities...but the reward I unintentionally received was surely worth it!

Yes, I went to the circo, circus! And I saw camels, goats, yaks, horses, zebras, lasso toting cowboys, showgirls, magic, clowns, and even an elephant. I ate popcorn and cotton candy and laughed and clapped and whistled and sat in awe with my mouth open wide. And the dachshunds...just another of my adventures...to a dog show where you can only imagine the sounds of all the little yippee dogs and the smells of the big ones...hee hee.

I even had the opportunity to teach my precious students some painting and later on in the week we took una gita, a field trip. I will save that for another post, as I have so much to tell...but will leave you with this thought that has been so reinforced within me. Take advantage of the smallest things that are offered around you. Act silly...don't worry about the thoughts of the person next to you...let yourself go...or you might never know how much joy you could bring to yourself...or to others.

Friday, February 4, 2011

San Biagio

Yesterday was a fascinating day here in the Italian Catholic calendar. A day dedicated to San Biagio, or Saint Blaise in English, who became famous as a miraculous healer when after touching a child with a fish bone caught in his throat, the bone astonishingly melted.

We drove over the mountain to the tiny hamlet of Pierle to attend services honoring this former hermit made saint. The little church was packed to the gills with people who came from miles around to honor him. Even the high priest from La Cattedrale di San Donato in Arezzo was in attendance.

After the mass, we all waited our turn to be blessed by the priest. Holding two candles in a "V" against my throat, the priest quietly voiced in Italian,
"For the prayers and the merits of San Biagio, God will free you of throat ache and any other aches."
I walked away from the priest a little affected I must say...uneasy on my feet, but in a good way. I, luckily, have not had the pain of a sore throat or worse this season, and hopefully after this...I never will. We departed the church with two precious packages of blessed bread, apparently to be used throughout the year should such a problem arise, and a little book about the adored Chiesa di San Biagio a Pierle.

(A little comment...I did order roasted sea bass for lunch and had nary a problem with the bones...I had to giggle a bit when I thought about the coincidence, but note that I am a believer.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Casa

Home again. There is always a reentry I must go through when returning from the US to Italy. An adjustment of sorts. Language changes, weather changes, food changes, hour changes, you get the picture. I have no idea if this happens to others who share their lives between two different countries...but a metamorphosis of sorts must occur with me to get back on track.

I had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, trips, food, wine, art, a card game or two. I saw those I had not seen in many moons and shared lots of laughs and even a cry. To be a little melodramatic...it was filled with every emotion possible...and I loved every minute of it. To say that the trip was not long enough is an understatement, but then again, it is always like this...better for it to be too short than too long in my book.
Nephew Big Al is continuing to grow and now walk and even talk...is a one year old supposed to do this? My sister and her husband hosted our Christmas to perfection with family meal traditions and "Flo stockings"...thanks you two. I traveled around the Carolinas searching for mountains and snow...as you all may know, it was not all that hard to find. I rang in the new year with crostini, rose spumante, and a dance party. I swam with sharks and brightly colored things...or at least I had the sensation. I braved the cold for my special Laura Fair reception at one of my favorite places on the Savannah River, the Morris Museum of Art. I was so happy to see old friends and new faces and to meet some amazing children...I should say teenagers...who blew me away with their confidence and grace (and even called me ma'am!) I fell down...twice to be exact, in the treacherous ice storm of 2011 in Atlanta...and nervously drove through it to make client meetings. All worth it as good things are coming down the line amici...I am beyond happy with the results and will update you on new product soon. Now I am back to it...refreshed and revived with ideas and inspiration...of course some walks through the countryside did not hurt either.

Buon anno di nuovo a tutti...happy new year again to all of you. May you see all your dreams come true in 2011. I think it will happen...starting to feel it already...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Morris Museum of Art

I am so happy to tell you all about something really special. I have been meaning to mention it for a while now, but my holiday goodness got in the way. Now that the new year has begun, it is time to get back into the swing of things.

This Sunday, January 9, 2011 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, the Morris Museum of Art will be hosting a "Meet the Artist" for me at the museum in downtown Augusta, Georgia. This is especially touching to me, as I have loved the museum since in opened its doors in the early 1990's, and even contemplated working there right out of school. It hosts a stunning art collection specifically dedicated to Southern Art and Artists of the United States...isn't that great? I hope that anyone who will be in the area will come by to see me...and I will be sure to update here with pictures soon after the event. Thank you again to Kelly Catlett and the entire Morris crew...I am beyond appreciative for this opportunity!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Buon Anno

Happy New Year, Buon Anno a tutti...I hope that all of you had a very festive holiday! Just in time to assist me in my battle with writing 2011 instead of 2010, here is a little peek at our new Laura Fair Perpetual Calendars with matching Month and Day Patterned Glass Magnets debuting for January 2011! They are made of antiqued metal and come in a box set in two coordinating colors. Shown above is the celery green version, and there is also one in turquoise blue! Cannot wait to get my hands on one so I can get my studio life organized...

On my way to the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings market again where Lone Elm Studios will be selling these, along with all the other items in our Laura Fair collection, in their showroom in Building 2 #1363B. So, if you are attending the Atlanta market...be sure to stop by. Better yet, let me know so I can meet you there!
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