Graceful Living – Alternative Vases

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Vintage French Copper Tea Kettle sold on “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™
Photo taken in my home office – The Antiques Diva™ Headquarters in Berlin

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Last year when I was profiled in a podcast interview by Ronda Carman on All the Best, I shared a little insight into my background growing up in Oklahoma. In Ronda’s typical Proustian interview style, she concluded the podcast by asking about my style icons – I had 3 answers to this question. First, I answered “Yves Saint Laurent.” When I lived in Paris I used to window peek into his apartment, oohing over the way he artfully combined the Baroque with Pop. Then I named Billy Haines – sadly no relation – one designer who, if he were still alive today, would totally “get” The Antiques Diva™ Tour motto of “antiquing with a champagne glass in one hand and a shopping bag in the other”. And lastly – and most importantly – I listed my mom.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, my parents didn’t have much money but my mom decorated our house with the simplest touches that always made our home warm and inviting. We certainly didn’t have the nicest house in town, and now as an adult who has grown up and moved around the world, seeing my family home I’m sometimes surprised by how humble it actually was. But my mom lived graciously. She always had a table cloth on the table and she always had flowers. From our back yard she picked iris, lilacs, roses and other blossoms or she’d wander into the pasture, picking long dry stems of wheat for fall décor. On sunny days we would take drives down country dirt roads and stop to clip branches off trees or gather wildflowers from the ditches.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />When she felt like splurging she’d pick up flowers at the grocery store, carefully counting her money – choosing a bouquet of blossoms often meant putting something else back on the shelf. Home we would go from the nearest big town – that thriving metropolis which was bulging with a population of 14,000 people– and after putting groceries away she’d pull out a tea kettle, one inherited from her mother, or perhaps one of her own flea market finds and she’d arrange displays that would make Paris’ Au Nom de la Rose weep with envy.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Sometimes my mother would sigh as she looked at decorating magazines… commenting how she’d love to be able to buy Baccarat vases or St Louis Crystal bowls to put her blooms. As an adult, I’ve grow up and I’ve moved away from my childhood home in Oklahoma. I’ve moved around the world, living in Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, and I own a few of those very things my mother coveted. I love my crystal vases –but crystal vases are not what make my house feel like a home. Instead, it’s the simple touches – flowers arranged in make-shift vases – that lend a home-grown personality and style that sets my home décor apart from the house next door.

On Mother’s Day, I’d like to wish my Mom (and Mothers everywhere) a very special Mother’s Day – thanks for all that you do.

May all your days be lived graciously.

The Antiques Diva™

A Podcast Interview with The Antiques Diva and All The Best

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Toma Haines & Ronda Carman, chez Antiques Diva, Berlin

Dearest Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>You’ve read my words, suffered through my comma splices & I fear that my high school English teachers (both of whom subscribe to this blog & to their credit have never once emailed me a page of red scribbles) cringe over my tendency for turning nouns into verbs and creating new words. What you might not know is that I speak with the same punctuation marks with which I write… and almost all my sentences end in an exclamation mark. I thought it might be fun if rather than reading diva details that, instead, I would let you LISTEN to me TALK in the first of a series of Podcast Interviews Ronda Carman, author of All the Best, is conducting on her sensational site!

I had an amazing opportunity last week to spend time tête-à-tête with Ronda Carman who happens to be one of the most successful design bloggers in the blogosphere. Google practically any mega name in design and you’ll find Ronda’s name paired in association with that person. A walk through her website finds an unparalled resource of “All the Best” designers, artists, entrepreneurs, movers & shakers and global taste makers. When I first started blogging, unbeknownst to Ronda, she became my hidden mentor. I stalked (er… I meant to say “studied”) her blog, the people that she profiled, and her way with the press, the personalities & paparazzi. This girl had style & as one who recognizes style I licked the crumbs of her site. And all along I had this secret fantasy that someday I might appear on her pages!

Flash forward 2 years and Ronda sends me a tweet saying “I’ll be in Berlin, can we meet up?” You would have thought I was meeting the Queen such was my excitement – I was meeting my Blog Hero in the flesh! And perhaps Queen isn’t so far off, for Ronda could easily be labeled “The Queen of Design” with the designers acting as her entourage! Needless to say, I was a little nervous. After sitting down face to face with Ronda & her darling husband for dinner chez moi, I was so amazed by what an approachable, kind, honest & utterly nice person Ronda was that I forgot how intimidated I had been to meet her and just started having fun! She has that way about her.

If I can say one thing, Ronda truly epitomizes “All the Best”.

Now, pop on over to Ronda’s site and eavesdrop on the conversation she & I had as we discussed my life story, revealing how the dreams of small-town girl growing up in rural Oklahoma lead to a life in Europe and starting a business abroad.

Listen Here:

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™
(seen with All the Best author Ronda Carman)