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Lady Lotus

Crazy for Cocktail Rings

Antiques Diva Berlin

Friends La Reine & Lady Lotus shopping & drinking Champagne with me in Berlin

Dear Diva Readers,

My friend “La Reine”, author of  She’s Shopping Now (and social media guru of Hire Catherine) just sent me a note saying, “This article on tory-cocktail-ring/?cm_mmc=Social+Media-_-Twitter-_-cocktail%20ring-_-02052013 ” target=”_blank”>RueLaLa reminds me so much of our girls trip in NYC a few years ago.  Remember the cocktail ring you bought at the Green Market?”

Cocktail Ring

Remember the ring?? It’s my Favorite!  I paid a mere $12 dollars for the ring and didn’t even have the heart to negotiate as I liked the piece so much.  Years later I still get compliments on the stunning bauble and when I confess what I paid (I can’t help myself but to share the news that I got such a good deal) people gasp, “NO!! I would have thought that you paid a few extra zero’s than that!”

Costume cocktail rings can be shockingly good values when picked up at flea markets – and they are usually available in abundance.

Following La Reine’s lead I popped over to RueLaLa to read about the tory-cocktail-ring/?cm_mmc=Social+Media-_-Twitter-_-cocktail%20ring-_-02052013″ target=”_blank”>Cocktail Rings Storied Past and loved these tips so much I had to share a few details

The cocktail ring actually originated in the 1920’s during Prohibition.  Flapper Girls would wear oversized rings on the hand with which they held their illegal cocktails!

Later on during the women’s equality movement, the cocktail ring defined the modern-day “independent woman”.  Wearing a ring you bought yourself (instead of a ring purchased by a man) was a sign of autonomy! (note to my husband, I won’t feel you are hampering my rights if you want to buy me a ring.)

By the 1950’s the cocktail ring was no longer controversial… merely chic! Ideal for playing dress up and wearing to the now-more-mainstream cocktail parties!

DIVA TIP:
Today – the Cocktail Ring is the PERFECT SOUVENIR to buy at the flea markets when you’re traveling.  It’s small, easily packable, and always a conversation starter, not to mention inexpensive and readily available at almost any flea market.


Flea Market Shopping for Cocktail Rings

 

Where I bought mine?
Green Flea Market NYC

Where?
A great location on the Upper West Side. Columbus Avenue between W. 76 & 77 Streets

When to Go?
Sundays 10 AM to 5:30 PM (Nov.-Mar.) and 10 AM to 6 PM (Apr.-Oct.)

All this talk of cocktails has me thirsty… Cocktail anyone?

The Antiques Diva®

Guest Blog – Souvenirs de la Reine

While The Antiques Diva’s away scoring Italian souvenirs of her own, la Reine is behind the blog today in this special

Guest Blog – Souvenirs de la Reine!

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Dear Diva Readers,
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One of the shopping strategies of our cher Antiques Diva is that we must buy only what we truly love: it need not be expensive, or even antique, but it must be meaningful to us. Most of us shoppers are also collectors. And as with most collectors, la Reine and the Antique Diva’s space and budget are limited, yet our need to keep treasured souvenirs is not. We forget that the word souvenir is actually French for remembrance; thus our souvenirs are in fact, our memories. And we must always find space for our memories.

The Antiques Diva, Lady Lotus, The Tampa Gal, English Rose and I, la Reine, have shared many treasured holidays together and have accumulated an abundant supply of souvenirs. But our most treasured souvenirs are those we look at daily, cost us almost nothing, and make us pause and smile, and remember. As you’ve learned in our Antiques Diva’s blog posts, South Florida is one of our regular reunion destinations, enjoying the sun, sand, seashells, and friendship renewal.

A daily activity is gathering up seashells to admire and cart home. But what to do with these shells once they are sorted, cleaned and carefully carried to our homes in the 4 corners?

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Et Voila – Our Souvenirs de la Mer:

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6_Mks3MI/AAAAAAAADFo/c2ZQTGU0ZZQ/s320/photo1.jpg” border=”0″ />Many days of wandering the beaches yielded bagfuls of shells, picked up for their color, their size, or simply because they caught our eye. Mounded in a crystal bowl, centered with a tall white pillar candle, this makes a welcoming centerpiece for a beach house dining table.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH7MMWrIyI/AAAAAAAADFw/XMvkp43QGqk/s320/photo2.jpg” border=”0″ />One morning was spent collecting shells of all kinds and shapes at Ocean Park in Boynton Beach. These shells were glued to a simple wooden frame, which displays a photo taken on this trip.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6-5L5_wI/AAAAAAAADFg/grco8_-N0V4/s320/photo.jpg” border=”0″ />Another shelling excursion on Captiva Island yielded an assortment of augers and cats’ paws and cockles, all tiny enough to fit into a decorative bottle that was filled with clear scented oil, reeds were added, and a fragrance dispenser was created!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH7MEIHlKI/AAAAAAAADF4/UpycOoWiyMA/s320/souvenirs+de+la+reine2.jpg” border=”0″ />A morning walk on a quiet beach resulted in a few handfuls of sand, some pretty shells and tiny driftwood and coral. A quick trip to an accessories store yielded a beautiful sea-green clear glass plate, and produced a decorative bathroom display.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SjH6-4ItYJI/AAAAAAAADFY/exf7Ljom3eM/s320/IMG_2983.JPG” border=”0″ />Captiva Island also was a treasure chest of capiz shells, small clear circles from the insides of mollusks that are coveted for decorative household items and jewelry for their luminous and pearlescent qualities. Lady Lotus spent several mornings selecting dozens of tiny capiz, and glued these to a beige linen lampshade, thus fashioning a shimmering souvenir of our holiday!

Seashells have resulted in bookends, soap dishes, mantle displays: almost anything you can hot-glue a seashell to! Et voila, les souvenirs!

a bientot,

la Reine

(seen right, La Reine, The Diva, English Rose and Lady Lotus)

A Tip From Lady Lotus: Summer Road Trips

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sg1XSs-aXGI/AAAAAAAADB8/1jxu6HjBP40/s320/044.JPG” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Are you planning a summer getaway? Interested in taking a summer driving tour from your home in St Louis, USA, London, England or Berlin, Germany but don’t know where to go or how long it will take to get there?? Diva Reader and Regular Diva Contributor Lady Lotus recently emailed, sharing an excellent tool for helping plan summer getaways!

Lady Lotus writes: “To help brainstorm for places to visit within driving distance of your home, use a great website called tools.com/radius-around-point.htm” target=”_blank”>Free Map Tools. You simply type in the city from which you’ll be starting your journey (skipping over unnecessary details such as Latitude and Longitude) and see what locations come up within a particular radius of your starting point! A four hour drive is about 300 miles, but you could put in to drive less or travel further! Free Map Tools charts all the places you could go within a pre-designated amount of driving!”

Now that’s a great resource for planning all your driving vacations travel! Thanks Lady Lotus!

Happy Travels,

The Antiques Diva™
(with a little help from her friend Lady Lotus)

Photo opposite – Antiques Diva and Lady Lotus enjoy a lunch break while on a Road Trip with The Tampa Gal and La Reine on a Florida driving trip last December!

Lady Lotus Does Des Moines

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!

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Dear Antiques Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>After living eight years abroad, I was used to my husband whisking me away to Italy, Australia or Japan whenever he had a business trip. So imagine my surprise when two months ago he told me his next business adventure would be a little closer to home. I realize we no longer live in Paris or Tokyo and as we currently reside in the Midwestern part of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa is only five hours away by car, but still I found I missed those international days when a business trip meant someplace tres exotic and foreign. I had to be wooed with talk of room service, steak dinners and great antique shopping.

In all honesty, I think he made up the latter, thinking I’d be interested in joining him for the conference if he told me there was antique shopping to be found. But somehow he got lucky and I felt your readers should be informed that not only is Des Moines a great place to visit but there is also a lovely place in West Des Moines for antique shopping. It’s called Historic Valley Junction.

When I first drove up to the outdoor shopping area, I was a bit hesitant. Although it was positively reviewed in my guidebook and two city newspapers, it looked more like an unloved construction zone with workers ripping up the main artery at the end of the street. But I drove around the mess, parked and started walking behind some ladies chatting about finding the best cake shop ever. Well, there was no way I was going to miss out on such a treasure, so I lurked behind as they entered “Let Them Eat Cake”. This small wedding cake business features personal-sized creations for you to eat there or take for later. I was swooning in butter cream, marzipan and edible wedding flowers!

Since I didn’t want to shop with frosting on my fingers, I took note of the place for later and made my way to the main shopping area along 5th Street. I didn’t walk far before my eye was caught by the gorgeous scrapbooking window displays of Heirlooms by Design. It had been eons since I browsed a dedicated scrapbooking store, so I did some damage to my credit card, then headed back to the car to drop off two groaning bags and check out the cake store again (mmm … still looks divine!)

This time I made it at least two more shops down 5th street before stopping. The tofiowamarketplace.com/” target=”_blank”>Heart of Iowa features souvenirs, funny gifts and gourmet foods. I picked up a little espresso cup ($5) featuring the state logo for my husband, Dr. Mr. T’s travel collection, but left the gorgeous local pottery, John Deere toy tractors and tasty jars of jelly.

The next place I found was Porch Light. This shop specializes in antiques and gifts complete with a cute little outdoor area of flowers and garden items. Chairs were hanging from the ceiling, shelves were laden with glassware and pottery … they even had a huge trunk filled with my favorite things – old glass windows and doors! I couldn’t resist a galvanized metal laundry tub from the 1940s which would be perfect to hold my fireplace tinder back home, so I scooped it up for only $25.

I spent the rest of the afternoon zigzagging across the street and through the many antique shops. The Paris Flea Market had gorgeous groupings of both old and new French items, like their cute, cute, cute wall of tea towels. A-Ok Antiques specialized in fun looking games. I was captivated by the Fortune Teller gumball machine, but at $945 I left it in the shop. And did I need a chandelier? David Meshek’s display in 5th Street Finds must have had over 500 pieces of antique lighting.

In addition to antiques, there are numerous art galleries, clothing stores and specialty boutiques. One of my favorite spots was Sisters by Especially Lace. My eyes feasted on the gorgeous bed coverings and little nothings scattered about, but I especially liked a ribbon-bedecked straw hat. The shopkeeper helped show me how it was “crushable”, so I walked out with this $33 treasure, w
hich helped keep the sun out of my eyes as I meandered back to the car (via the cake shop, of course!) with bags a plenty and a pink champagne cake ($5) for dessert back in the hotel.

Don’t tell my husband, please, but I actually hope his next meeting takes place in Des Moines just so I can visit Historic Valley Junction again- sooner rather than later!

Bonne Shopping Diva Readers!

Lady Lotus

Reader Question: Eiffel Tower Collection

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!

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Antiques Diva,

In the photo showing the raspberry lining of your husband’s suit in the ton.html” target=”_blank”>Mangas & Café Coton blog, there is a tray of what looks to be Eiffel Towers in various sizes to the left. I could never convince my husband to be bold enough to wear that bright suit lining, but I think I could convince him to go for the tray of towers. As a Paris expat, I would love to have something like this in my own home. Can you show me a better picture of the Eiffel Tower Tray?

Love,

“Forever in France”

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Forever in France,

Bien Sur! You happened to hone in on my favorite “We’ll always have Paris moment”.

This is only part of the original collection – you’d be surprised how many forms of Eiffel Towers there are!

tower+collection.jpg”>tower+collection.jpg” />Just before moving from Paris to Amsterdam, my friend Lady Lotus hosted a killer going away party, allowing me to bid adieu to “tout mes amies”. In lieu of collecting money for a more traditional going away present, she asked each of my Parisian pals to bring an Eiffel Tower statue to the party so that when all was said and done I’d have a collection to remember my friends by.

I’ve taken the coordinating towers and placed them on a tea trolley that I bought for a dime at the dearly-departed Depot Vente de Paris. The memory of the day purchasing that trolley while out with “tres bonne amies”, then lugging it across the city on the metro, carrying it up the stairs at Louvre Rivoli, and then finally dragging it, with a loose & wobbly wheel, across the pedestrian bridge towards my home on the Rue de Seine — all the while wearing a vintage, ankle-length fur coat brings me to fits of tears at what was one of my favorite Paris moments. I apparently looked so urban eclectic, crossing the Pont des Arts, that I was photographed repeatedly en route by a rogue photographer who asked me to sign a waiver releasing the pics for his use. Though I’ve never actually seen this photograph in circulation, I’m convinced one of my dear readers will run across it, labeled as “unidentified Parisian”, on the pages of Vogue, Elle or Madame Figaro and I trust you’ll email that magazine with the proper nomenclature – The Antiques Diva™.

When Lady Lotus moved away from Paris, she decided that she loved my Eiffel Tower collection so much that she wanted one just like it! Although after seeing all the varieties of towers I received, she decided against asking for the collection as a farewell present (fearing she’d end up with a few elephant or giraffe-shaped Tour Eiffels) and she hand selected her own chic collection. Because she was buying in bulk, she had major bargaining power.

toma+with+tour+eiffels.jpg”>toma+with+tour+eiffels.jpg” border=”0″ />Another friend who loved the idea of an Eiffel Tower collection now buys one tower trinket every time she is in Paris as her “bonne souvenir”, building her collection as swiftly as she builds Parisian memories.

I’d be curious to know how you’re using your Tour Eiffels….

Until next time, Gros Bisous et Au Revoir!

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!

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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
Mix:

  • 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=”http://bp3.blogger.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SHYsh3LQynI/AAAAAAAABMI/Uia5G9tS6sI/s320/178.JPG” 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™

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