Tag Archives: the united nations of bulldogs

waiting for paint dry

waiting room floors are never cheery

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter. – Malcolm Gladwell

I tend to make swift decisions. Not rash ones, but I’m pretty decisive. And I’m a visual person – paint colors, furniture, fabrics – I don’t spend much time choosing. Of course, I might wait to purchase something because of the cost, or shop around for options, maybe do some research, but most of the time, I know what I like and I go with it.

And yet.

I received a really fabulous gift for the holidays. A portrait to be done by Carter Kustera, whose silhouettes I’ve loved since I first saw them hanging in Barneys and at Jonathan Adler. He does a modern take on the classic profile with cheeky captions beneath.

I decided to have the piece done of Tru. (If you are not an animal person, you’re probably shaking your head.) But I happen to have a painting that was done of my late English bully that I adore, and what better face for a silhouette than a ginourmous-eared Frenchie?

After a really great phone call with Mr. Kustera, I gathered some photos to be sent to his studio, and then set about the business of writing a caption. They’re generally done with the name on the first line and a line or two to follow.

At one pointing my career I worked writing blurbs, tag lines, short bits of copy. This wouldn’t be hard. And I came up with a few pretty quickly:

TRUFFAUT is gonna jump, jump for your love.

TRUFFAUT is built on springs.

TRUFFAUT considers stay is an option rather than a command.

There were more. But I began to realize that most had to do with the fact my dog, however sweet and lovable, was totally untrained. He follows a few commands and is generally well behaved, but he’s a small-ish dog, the smallest I’ve ever had, and, well, I let him get away with things I never let bigger dogs do in the past. Like his Pointer Sisters-inspired jumping. The boy just needed a ruffled collar and he was ready for the circus.

And so it was, that a bespoke painting led Tru and me to puppy class.

I decided I wouldn’t order the portrait until I had a dog that was reasonably well trained. Because training is as much about the human as it is the dog, perhaps more so, and I guess in some way it kept me on my toes, doing my homework (yes, there was homework), the neverending drone of sit, down, up, down, stay, come, sit, good boy.

Tru was far older than most of the puppies, but he didn’t seem to care. For six weeks, he mingled, he got treats, he learned to understand foreign concepts like heel and down and, well, we’re still working on the concept of stay.

The Kustera portrait just arrived. I love it. Totally worth the wait. Even better because I waited, I think.

(he's totally got bette davis eyes)

Maybe I’ll have to frame Tru’s obedience class diploma beside it.  xo a.

stripe mania

Chic is where you find it.  – Bonnie Cashin

Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury. – Coco Chanel

In recent years, two of my lifelong fashion staples have become increasingly popular: ballet flats and striped tees.

Some people get annoyed when their signature pieces become trendy. I actually think it just makes for more fun stuff to buy. (Silver linings, right?) So, from top to toes, the things I love to wear can be found just about anywhere these days –  from Target to Barneys. (I find J. Crew satisfies both addictions very nicely.)

When I was a little girl, long before Repetto came stateside, I’d go to Capezio and get one pair of ballet shoes for ballet class, and another that went to the shoe repair and had rubber soles put on the bottoms to wear outside. I think the only thing that would have made me happier was if I could have worn my tap shoes outside, too.

As for the stripes, well, I suppose it must be genetic as my mother loves them, too. One of my favorite photos of her is on my parents’ wedding day as she’s having her makeup done. It’s actually a series of shots, in black and white lit by LA sunshine breaking through the curtains. There’s nothing posed, and she seems unaware of the camera for the most part. And along with her Dorothy Hamill hair cut, she’s wearing a navy and white striped bateau neck top. (Ironically, so is the makeup artist with her supercool Mary Quant makeup caddy.)

I’ve worn a lot of stripes in my time. Tops, tights, skirts – my favorite probably being a navy and white striped Christian Dior sweater dress I had when I was eight.

So, when Jules first mentioned that decor8 was doing a round-up of bloggers in their stripes for Pinterest, I decided to join in. I mean, I was wearing stripes then. I am wearing them as I type this. I didn’t have to do much.

Since Tru happens to have one item of clothing and it is striped, I wrangled him for a quick photo op. (Don’t judge. I will have children one day, and he’ll be lucky if I remember his name, let alone humiliate him with striped sweaters. It’s not like I bought him ballet slippers.)

In honor of #stripemania, “Only connect…” Breton-style. xo a.

(To join in the decor8 stripe mania photo project, go here for details.)