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La Reine

Last Minute Diva! Merchandise Mart International Antiques in Chicago

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Flash Update from La Reine, the Roving Reporter!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I have the fabulous luck to be in Chicago this weekend for The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Show, October 3-6. In addition to the antiques, art and collectibles being offered at this semi-annual show, the Mart is also host this weekend to Design Chicago showing all that is hot and new in design. The show features speakers such as designer Celerie Kemble and Margaret Russell of Elle Decor, and includes open houses at several of their showrooms such as Grange and Niedermaier. Luxe Home is celebrating National Kitchen and Bath Month with an Open House of their own on October 4, featuring HGTV’s Monica Pederson. Of course, being La Reine, I’ve already previewed the Luxe Home show with Monica on HGTV this month! Luxe Home features over 8000 square feet of kitchen and bath designs and products. While looking for kitchen cabinet knobs recently, I needed a coffee half way through just to keep everything straight the options were so many!

If you’re not already a bit overwhelmed by all the offerings, The Merchandise Mart debuted the new Dream Home 2008 on September 25, which will be open until December 20.

Talk about one-stop shopping…it will take me two days just to go through it all! Tickets for the Antiques Show are $15, a donation of $5 towards University of Chicago Cancer Research is suggested at the Dream Home. Gourmet food and beverages are available (I think I’ll need to rent a chair!)

See you at The Mart!
La Reine

Roving Reporter La Reine’s Hungarian Bathtub Herb Garden

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER While my tour guides are taking a much needed holiday and I’m away for the month of August sipping champagne at sunset on a Mediterranean Cruise (after taking a driving tour of Italy), I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, in my absence. August 2008 you’ll enjoy a multitude of guest blogs, pre-posted light blogs and miscellaneous reader questions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more great addresses and shopping tips this fall! All email inquiries or posted comments will be responded to come September!


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Roving Reporter La Reine emailed a few weeks ago with a sensational idea! She’d recently moved into a penthouse apartment in Manhattan and was looking for ways to decorate her huge wrap-around balcony. While surfing the net, La Reine discovered a vintage Hungarian Baby Bath Tub at Garnet Hill and decided that it would make the perfect home for an herb garden! Apparently it was a limited item as I can’t find this item for sale on the Garnet Hill website anymore, but regardless of where you buy your baby bath tub – the idea is a sensational one! As I have a roof-top terrace as my back yard, I am always searching for planters and this photo has me rethinking how I will go forward with planning my plantings this fall!

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Repurposing antique and vintage unique objects such as bath tubs, or lobster pots, or any number of things, are an excellent way to make a diva-worthy eye catching display
! Do you have a diva-worthy idea that you would like to share with Antiques Diva readers? If so, email me at”>

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

August Special Edition: The Great 2008 Coleslaw Cook-Off

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER While my tour guides are taking a much needed holiday and I’m away for the month of August sipping champagne at sunset on a Mediterranean Cruise (after taking a driving tour of Italy), I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, in my absence. August 2008 you’ll enjoy a multitude of guest blogs, pre-posted light blogs and miscellaneous reader questions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more great addresses and shopping tips this fall! All email inquiries or posted comments will be responded to come September!


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While The Antiques Diva is lounging on deck aboard Holland America’s Noordam enjoying her 20 day Mediterranean Cruise, two American At Home Chefs, La Reine & Lady Lotus, take hold of the reigns for today’s blog, going head-to-head in The Great 2008 Coleslaw Cook-Off. In one court, we have La Reine with her soon to be famous mayonnaise-free coleslaw recipe. In the other court, Lady Lotus brings forth a very diva-colored pink coleslaw designed to impress friends and foes alike. Both Home Cooks claim their non-traditional coleslaw recipes make them “The Coleslaw Queen”. Only you can decide which contender takes home the tiara!

Contender # 1 – La Reine

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“I was just asked AGAIN for my soon-to-be-famous coleslaw recipe. A couple weeks ago we had a guest marathon and I was cooking one healthy and one very unhealthy meal. The only thing on both menus was my coleslaw. I hate mayonnaise, but love coleslaw. So in almost any restaurant, when they say: ‘Would you like coleslaw?’ I say, ‘Is it made with mayo?’ They say, ‘Yes’ and I say ‘No.’ So, I’ve concocted my own recipe, which since it’s been asked for so many times recently, I will share with you too.

I always make a huge batch, I never make it just for The Big Guy & me, but I made enough so that I can keep some at home while taking the rest to potluck lunch or BBQ. This easy, fast & healthy recipe is also inexpensive to make and keeps for several days in the fridge. What more could you want? “

La Reine’s Coleslaw Recipe

  • 1 large bag shredded cabbage
  • 1 small bag shredded broccoli
  • 1 small bag shredded carrots
  • 3 chopped apples, I use Fuji but Granny Smith would be better except The Big Guy thinks they’re too tart
  • 4 chopped green onions

    Dressing Mix:

  • 1 large spoonful sour cream
  • 1/2 can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 4 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs poppy seeds

    Add dressing to greens. You can add additional vinegar or apple concentrate to make it sweeter or tarter, to taste. Add raisins, cranberries, or nuts as preferred. You can also add broccoli florets or other tiny vegetable to taste (and color). Let blend in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving, better over night. Serve cold. Keeps several days.

Contender # 2 – Lady Lotus

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />“Move over Coleslaw Queen … A new recipe is in town! That’s right, I actually cooked this past weekend and tried something new since a friend had given me some fresh horseradish root. The coleslaw seemed to impress my Mother-in-Law and her friends, but maybe they were just dazzled that I actually spent some time in the kitchen! We served it with corn on the cob, garlic bread, grilled chicken and T-bone steaks. My coleslaw may use mayo, but it also turns a bit pink once you mix the ingredients making it ‘A Coleslaw fit for a Diva’!”

Lady Lotus’ Horse-Power Slaw

  • 1/2 head shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 head shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions
  • 2 cups shredded broccoli stems (remove crowns first and save for another meal)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup nonfat mayo
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons creamy prepared horseradish (Or, better yet, do it yourself, a la Lady Lotus Style – Peel fresh horseradish root and cut into chunks. Toss in blender with a little water. Grind. Add half a lemon to neutralize).

Combine the cabbages, carrots, onions and broccoli stems in large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegars, sugar, and salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage mix and toss thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes. In small bowl, combine mayo, yogurt, and horseradish. Stir. Add to slaw mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate again 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

So, Diva Readers, what do you think? Is one better than the other? Have an alternative suggestion? Let me know!!

Until next time, keep enjoying this wonderful summer!

The Antiques Diva™

Roving Reporter La Reine Recommends Reading This Week

Dear Antiques Diva™,

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Your Roving Reporter is slowly recovering from the great NYC heat wave this weekend…we didn’t hit triple-digits, but with the high humidity, it certainly felt like it. I went to our west balcony overlooking the Hudson River and tried to catch some breeze on my chaise longue, while flipping through my growing pile of unopened magazines. I subscribe to Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Saveur (as well as another 5 or 10 other magazines.) When I lived in Europe I was used to paying around $10 per issue, so when I moved back to the USA, getting a whole year of issues for $10 was such a bargain I couldn’t help myself…now I just have to read them all!

On top of the pile of unread magazines was my first issue of Food and Wine Magazine, July 2008, which I am somehow getting for free. As I slowly flipped the pages, admiring the pictures of all the foods it is much too hot to cook, I came across an article on collecting French kitchen utensils. One of the authors’ favorites is copper pots, which I have spent hours evaluating in brocantes, puces and vide greniers throughout France. While reading the article, I quickly realized that the authors are the owners of one of my favorites web shops Objects Objects. Sadly their list of recommended shopping venues are all in Paris and none in NYC where they too live (I’ll have to ask them for some local shopping tips!), but the article, and the web shop, are a wonderful opportunity for your own armchair shopping or perfect if you’re planning a trip to Paris! I knew Antiques Diva™ readers would be interested to see this article!

If you can’t find the magazine, check the article out online! But note: there are 3 related articles…check them all out to find the full information.

Can’t talk now, have to go shopping!

La Reine

It’s Hermès, Darling…

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Last week, La Reine and her husband were shopping on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach when The Big Guy wandered into some boring boy’s boutique, leaving La Reine to her own devices. When he found her, mere minutes later, she was deep in discussion with a sales clerk at Hermès who was profusely apologizing that she couldn’t pack her purchase in the standard Hermès bag.

Store policy was that all sale items had to go home in a plain white sack. Not that La Reine cared… she was downright giddy that she had stumbled onto a mysteriously-legendary-Holy-Grail-alluding-type-of-designer-goods-sale that typically evades the average shopper. La Reine had found a pair of Hermès sandals (in the most perfect shade of neutral red) reduced from $485 to $190 – a discount that even my number-crunching, CFO husband (who is aghast at the idea of spending $200 on a pair of women’s sandals) can respect.

La Reine, wisely, didn’t show all her cards to the clerk. She contained her excitement until once outside the store and demurely accepted the clerks apologies with a disappointed nod of acknowledgement before happily accepting a peace offering of an extra Hermès ribbon tied around the signature orange shoebox.

I needed an Hermès education!

Listening to La Reine recount the tale of her conquest, I must admit I realized that my personal Hermès prowess was sadly lacking as I own only a few Hermès scarves – all of which were gifts from a dear friend. I realized that had I been in Palm Beach instead of La Reine, I might have missed out on this sale since my “luxury goods antennae” isn’t as finely tuned as hers.

I decided I was failing as a Diva. I had to rectify this at once. I needed an Hermès education!

Enter 2 Parisian pals. Jennifer B. is an all-around Hermès guru and has been wearing Hermès since she was a Boston teenager. She has that “classy New England look” perfected. After moving to France, she took Paris by storm, teaching expat wives and fellow American’s her Hermès scarf tying tricks and sharing shopping secrets in private workshops for the WOAC and AWG. Somewhere along her diva-dom days, she met and befriended Rebecca Magniant, the gorgeous founder of Chic Shopping Paris, and eventually went to work part time for Rebecca as one of her tour guides.

Rebecca is simply one of the most stylish people I’ve met in real life. We were once on the same flight from Paris to Atlanta and while the rest of the passengers climbed from the cabin through customs with bleary eyes and matted-down hair, Rebecca appeared perfectly pressed, fresh and energized looking like she just stepped out of an ad in Vogue. I don’t know how she does it, but I devour her hip shopping blog in hopes of learning at her knees how to be a true “Style Diva”. And while the blog is great, I am anxiously awaiting the release of her new book Chic Shopping Paris, an absolutely quintessential shopping guide to the 21 arrondisments, packed full of les plus bonnes adresses de Paris!

Rebecca and Jennifer have been friends for years and have let me scurry around in the dazzling peripherique of their lives. So when I realized I needed help, I went straight to the source – I present to you:

Exclusive Interview
Revealing Hermès Shopping Secrets
Jennifer Hermès Guru:

It’s kind of funny… since having a baby, my motto has changed from an attitude of “It’s not a good day without wearing an Hermès scarf” when I first moved to Paris five years ago to my present day, post-baby daily routine involving a spray of my favorite Hermès perfume and using the homemade Hermès burp cloth that a friend gave me to clean up after my daughter. By the way, shoppers, save that Hermès ribbon and use it to accessorize anything from a baby’s burp-cloth to a tres chic pelmet board!! And remember that your shopping bags can even be sold on Ebay, earning you money to buy more Hermès!

I have to ask myself, “Is any purse worth $10,000 or more?” Maybe if it is made-to-order and by hand in France. I don’t want to name names, but I can think of one famous French luxe brand that is mass produced and not even true leather…. Hmm, think I will hold out for that vintage to-buy-an-AUTHENTIC-Hermes-Birkin-or-Kelly-Bag
_W0QQugidZ10000000000110367″ target=”_blank”>brown crocodile Kelly bag
, named after Grace Kelly.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Believe it or not, but on one of my tours.htm” target=”_blank”>CHIC SHOPPING PARIS TOURS, I had someone buy a Kelly Bag at “the puce” for 5K – a bargain! Like La Reine found out, luxury goods bargains are out there. Last time I was in Vintage Expert Didier Ludot’s Palais Royale shop, he confided “” target=”_blank”>Kelly Bags are everywhere. Birkin’s are much harder to find.” You must check out his store — he does have some premium pieces.

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

Plus some US stores have special sales; you just have to ask when and if.

My favorite Hermès gift for the women on my shopping list is the luscious dark lipstick (matt or gloss), packaged in classic Hermès fashion. Selling for around 25€, it packs a lot of bang for the buck with great packaging.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Great gift idea, Jennifer – The Lipstick is Red and only available in Hermes stores.

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

tore.jpg”>tore.jpg” border=”0″ />Before having kids I used to spend hours in the Paris flagship store at tores/servlet/StoreMapView?storeId=10201&catalogId=10051&langId=-2&shopId=170″ target=”_blank”>24, rue Faubourg St Honoré. Paris’ Hermès does have bi-annual sales to coincide with the official Parisian “toral.html?NodeID=1&EditoID=18249″ target=”_blank”>soldes” periods one in the winter and another in the summer. Sale dates are set by the French government and are announced a few weeks before the sales start. Check the French newspapers or call the store to find out the date and location. The Secret Hermès Sale is always held off-site.

I was lucky enough to be given a map, complete with highlighted trail, by the doorman for my first sale. Be prepared to wait in line and declare on a little card anything Hermès you happen to be wearing or carrying, lest they think you shoplifted on your way out! Prices can be half to one third off regular Paris prices. My favorite part is the large scarf pit. Think hundreds of French women (and a few lucky tourists) grabbing scarves for review and throwing them back for another pick. Stockists throw out new merchandise as fast as you can grab them. Ties and enamel bracelets are another favorite and there is usually a decent selection at the sale. Purses, belts and shoes can be hit or miss, depending on size and taste.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Don’t forget about Duty Free Shopping – the airports also have good prices!

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

At the flagship store, there is a cool, private museum. Have Chic Shopping Paris arrange a private tour!

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Absolutely, this is a great idea. But remember, the museum is by appointment only.

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

Not only do you learn the history of Hermes at the museum, but you also see some of their former designs and if you fall in love with something, have patience!! Many popular designs that have been retired do come back into production! Even if you can’t find your favorite scarf or bracelet at the moment, it might reappear.

Rumor has it that if an Hermès product doesn’t sell, they destroy their own stock rather than sell it to you in a discount or outlet store! Great bargains and/or retired designs can be found at vintage (i.e. gently used) merchants at many of Paris’ famous depot ventes. Most Depot Vente’s specialize in high-end designer clothes and leather goods. You will mos
t often find scarves, ties and the occasional purse if you are lucky enough. Reciproque is the most famous, but their prices tend to be a bit higher.

The famous Parisian auction house Hôtel Drouot often has scarves to auction, so watch their sale calendar. But be prepared to bid in French. Our friend Bella Francesca, who is fluent, once bid against herself in the auction frenzy!

There is always Ebay, but buyer beware…fakes are out there. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Check out the Hermès chat room group on for insider tips to spot fakes. There is a yahoo e-group for die-hard fans.

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

When in Paris, don’t forget “les puce” – Paris’ famous flea markets occasionally have the odd scarf or purse.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

My favorite shop at “the Puce” for scarves and ties is Le Monde de Voyage – they also sell bags, bracelets, etc and their scarves run for only 140-150 Euros. It’s a good deal for vintage Hermès.

Jennifer Hermès Guru:

Of course, if you buy them new (or receive them as a gift), Hermès items such as scarves and ties can be exchanged at any store if in the original box. If your local store does not have the scarf you lust after, come to Paris and exchange it with no hassles! This is not usually a French policy… but Hermès is progressive!

Feel free to ask for the latest scarf book at the scarf counter while you are in the store, and if you purchase something they might even throw in a scarf-tying book. It never hurts to ask! But dress for success and you will be treated nicer. It also does not hurt to speak a few words of polite, basic French such as Bonjour Madame, Merci, etc.

The Hermès website gets better and better all the time for those not near an actual store.

Rebecca Author of Chic Shopping Paris:

Remember the Hermès chat group – these are serious fans who live all over the world. They discuss vintage & new scarves, how to wear them and how to spot fakes – a perfect tool in your Hermès education, regardless of where you live! And has an excellent “ series of scarf tying tips”! Lastly, if you’re looking for Hermès, you might just want an expert to hold your hand. Next time you’re in Paris, remember Chic Shopping Paris!!

An Hermes scarf is one of those quintessential French items that never go out of style. If you think you might age yourself by wearing the scarf around your neck, try one of the more modern ways of wearing a scarf – tied around the strap of your purse, or wrapped around your wrist like a bracelet. You can even wear the larger ones as a sexy summer halter top – for the bold only!

» » » Rebecca Magniant, author of Chic Shopping Paris « « «

A Birthday Blog and La Reine’s Favorite Blogs – All in One!

I’ve been prancing around my house all week singing Happy Birthday to myself with an enthusiasm rarely exhibited in one past the age of 29. Though I like to think that you might be fooled into believing I’m barely a day past that point, I know better than to kid myself. Most likely you’ve already aged me at least 5 years from my real age as people always think I’m older than I am. Perhaps that’s because I’m so darn mature and not because I look so darn old.

That said, I just celebrated my birthday… but this birthday celebration is about more than just my physical age. Yes, I am another year older – and I like to think that I just keep getting better each year. I hope and pray that my husband, The Wine Guy, has the same opinion on women as he does on wine – that age only improves a quality vintage! Before I go too far with these wine metaphors and fall into deep depression over the fear that I might have , lets talk about the celebration! WG indulged me lavishly on my special day. On this occassion, The Wine Guy became known around our house as The Chef Guy!

We’ve been so busy here lately that I’ve barely had time to enjoy my own home, so when The Wine Guy asked where I wanted to celebrate, I said “Right here at home, Honey Boy, and I want you to do the cooking!”

Ladies, believe it or not, he not only cooked me an extraordinary dinner but he cleaned up afterwards. We started with a , roasted garlic olives and German sausages served along-side a perfectly prepared which I sipped while lazing on the couch letting WG feed me olives one after another. With a puff of steam the first course came from the kitchen and was presented with such beauty I wanted to weep. My husband, a man who thought he couldn’t cook, had made my favorite – scallops and sea bass served on a bed of grilled spinach. True to his name, he poured me some liquid gold, a 2004 Chateau Jouvente Graves we’d purchased this summer in Bordeaux, and it immediately became my favorite white wine.

After languishing over the succulent morsels of fish, WG fired up the grill to sear me a side of Brazilian beef and to grill some vegetables. A trick WG has learned is that the Canon Fronsac (near St Emilion) can offer nearly equally divine wine as St Emilion but with a slightly lower price tag. WG served me a beautiful, red 1997 Chateau La Horse and I lingered over my wine letting it last in my glass until the perfectly appointed arrived. And just when I thought it was over, for surely WG wouldn’t make me a cake, I was surprised when a refreshingly light lemon tart (store bought, but who cares!?) arrived. Thinking it wasn’t possible for me to eat another bite, I forced myself to partake as WG serenaded me with the birthday song once again. I think I married a saint – and he’d have to be one in order to put up with me for so long! In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I can be a bit of a hand full.

But for as long as I’ve droned about my birthday, this isn’t the only thing we were celebrating on the weekend. We were also celebrating an anniversary of my blog! Dear readers, The Antiques Diva ™ Blog has passed that crucial juncture when most bloggers realize how much work goes into blogging and decide to do the humane thing and let their blog go to that place in the internet abyss where all the not-so-dedicated blogs go to die. I’ve passed the 2-month point most bloggers consider to be the “fail or succeed point” and let me tell you, I’m here for the long run!

You might wonder why I’ve titled this email “A Birthday Blog and La Reine’s Favorite Blogs”. The Birthday Part you get – but why “La Reine’s Favorite Blogs”? When I started writing The Antiques Diva ™ blog, I wasn’t actually a big blog reader. So I contacted “mes amies” and asked them which blogs they liked and why in order to help me with the genre. La Reine happened to be a Blog Reader Aficionado with a list a mile long of what she liked and what she didn’t. In these past few months I’ve turned to her for help, for ideas, when I had a question or hit a technical wall. Being friends with La Reine is like having your own personal life coach and as she is my most wired friend, she happens to be “on call” 24 hours a day.

Anyway, it occurred to me that if you like my blog (and I hope you do) that you would also probably like La Reine’s other favorite blogs as well… Before I link them to my blog site, I thought I’d give you a chanc
e to pick your favorites and to tell me which ones should be on The Antiques Divas Recommended Blog Reading List! The fact they’ve already made La Reine’s list speaks volumes, as she can be one tough audience. That said, La Reine’s list is a long one and is certainly not for the faint of heart…. It just goes to show that “A Diva’s work is never done.”

Yours Truly,

The Antiques Diva ™

La Reine’s Favorite Blogs:

Luxist — because its fun and tells me everything I need to know and buy. Today they have an outrageously expensive dog collar perfect for Mignette.

Traditional Home — because I like the magazine and their blog is a good supplement to the maggy.

— same as above plus good tips and recipes

ND Nation — because despite getting humiliated AGAIN in the game last weekend, I am a “domer” (plus there are a billion other ND blog sites if really you want to devote a whole section to S&M;).

Girls Gone Styled — has fun urban fashion tips. I like that it is sort of a video blog,

Chicago Mag — because some of the most current info on the housing market is in real estate blogs, and I am in the middle of buying a condo in Chicago.

Mom 2 My 6 Pack — this is really more our friend Tamara’s life than mine, but I think the author is hysterical even if I don’t have kids at home.

TMZ — I usually check this one 2 times daily because I’ve become a celebrity cyber stalker and they make stalking easy.

Chic Shopping Paris — because I can still vicariously shop in Paris and I like Rebecca’s taste.

Features Blog Chicago Tribute — because I need my tech info summarized and compartmentalized, and the two Erics have good information and an easy writing style.

Palm Blog — this is Palm Pilot’s official blog so you get good updates on their products, but also its a bit of a commercial.

Sling Community — because I can watch live TV any time, any where on my Palm thanks to slingbox.

BMW Blog — which is again an official company blog, and is full of typical BMW jargon and hype, so I’m looking for a good blog for Beamer owners that can help resolve some problems…any suggestions from an Antiques Diva™ BMW Driving Reader?

Some of my favorite pod casts are:

Epicurious — because since moving back to the USA two years ago after living the better part of a decade in Europe I find very few people who want to talk food, and I miss that! Somehow HGTV, Food Network and Fine Living, all of which I watch on the telly, have turned the foodie talkers into foodie observers…it’s so sad!

— because they are informative and smaller and lighter than dragging along a travel guide book. Even though they’re annoying, they have a lot of good content.

Jane Smart — good content, and again, smaller than a guide book.

Pod Cast Alley — when I’m searching for new pod casts in my free time!

And these don’t fit in either the blog or pod cast categories, but I’m a real fan of Facebook and You Tube! FYI, I recently purchased a , and it makes my computer time much better than my 5-year-old laptop did – but I’m not a fan of Windows Vista.

Happy Surfing !

La Reine

Saint Louis or Bust…

ate Breaking News from The Diva News Network: The Antiques Diva™ , a European Art & Antique Shopping Specialist, sends her friends and readers to do their art shopping this September 7 – 9, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Antiques Diva claims in a shocking admission that “sometimes shopping stateside is as much fun, perhaps even more, than shopping overseas, especially when you take into consideration the current dollar to euro exchange rate.”
This summer, as I’m on holiday being spa-ed and massaged in the antiquer’s bargain basement euphoria of Eastern Europe, it appears that I might ought to have considered looking stateside for my vacation instead of gallivanting east without nary a thought to traveling back in the good ole USA. Every time I pick up a magazine or newspaper it seems I’m reading about a particular event that is happening just a days drive away from where I grew up “home on the range” in Oklahoma.

Europe is agaggle talking about the Saint Louis Art Fair – calling it “America’s Art Fair of the Year” and you might imagine that more Europeans will be flocking to Missouri this fall than have since St Louis hosted the World Fair in 1904. Expectedto attract over 150,000 attendees from near and afar, the fair offers not only paintings, but also work from well-known and emerging glass, fiber and ceramics artists, original drawings and pastels, wood creations, hand made jewelry as well as mixed media and digital art works.

Of particular interest to me, as a collector of “found art”, is the work by mixed-media artist Madonna Phillips, who not only has an incredibly cool first name, but will mostly likely have the coolest stall at the show. Madonna’s methode du jour is to use “found objects” in her artwork. An artist after my own heart, she digs through estate sales, thrift shops, and yard sales to uncover random treasures (such as vintage photos,torn bits of clothing, printing press letters, shoe strings, and even kitchen spoons and tools) and then puts all these bits she buys to good use when she presses or sews them into her paintings and collages. She shares my personal home decorating strategy, stating that the vision for her artwork is “not only to reflect the passage of time, but alsoto present my life experience”.

Antiques Diva Roving Reporters, La Reine Russell and Mrs. Dr. Thompson, will be on the scene at The St Louis Art Fair this September to give us feedback and advice on whether we should pack our bags for next years event. While La Reine gallivants around the world almost more than anyone I know, she is currently stationed in Clayton, the chic suburb of St Louis where the event will be held in their town business center. While she is staying in her own St Louis style chateau, she recommends you stay at , (the hotel in which La Reine presided during the 5 months it took to finish building her home).

Dr and Mrs. Thompson (the only other people I know who travel as much as La Reine) add that you can’t go wrong with staying at the charming antiques filled boutique hotel, The Seven Gables, where they spent their wedding night. Of course, Mrs. Dr. Thompson adds that her stay there was before she spent almost a decade living in Europe and Asia and so she also remembers being just as impressed with the free cookies handed out at the nearby Doubletree Hotel as she was the antiques at The Seven Gables. Other hotels within walking distance of the fair are , The Crown Plaza and The Daniele.

While I haven’t been to any of these hotels, I’ve been assured that they are worthy of The Diva Seal of Approval. In fact, there are apparently a billion places in the Clayton area that would meet my approval. La Reine and The Thompsons are gushing about the Napoleon exhibit at the St Louis Museum of Art. And though both amies already have a house full of treasures purchased in Paris and all over Europe and Asia, they are currently stocking up on a plethora of great-priced, authentic, European antiques at Three French Hens Antique & Design.

According to La Reine, “the art on sale at The St Louis Art Fair is rumored to be a tad on the expensive side and the weather has been scorchingly hot in MO, so should you be planning a visit to the St. Louis Art Fair come with a few extra dollars in your pocket and be prepared to face the sweltering heat.” She continues to say that the best way she knows to beat the heat is to hit the Ted Dewes Frozen Custard stall at the fair. If I know Mrs. Dr. Thompson, she’ll be dead-set upon taste-testing every flavor under the sun. Ted Dewes is almost as popular with the tourists in this mid-western city as the St Louis Arch! Now the only thing you have to decide is one scoop or two. Heck, you’re on vacation… why not three?Should you know of an art show, flea market, fun fair or simply sensational shop that my readers needto know about, please email me at and tell me all a
bout it! Send photos and you could see your face & friends in the pages of The Antiques Diva™!

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva

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