Busy and Beautiful Primavera

chia castelvecchio

Chia and I have been so busy, traveling to the Tuscan countryside, to Ravenna, getting more handbags from Fabio and taking people shopping here in Florence. The weeks to come will be even busier!

Here are a couple of the new bags Fabio has given me to show my shopping clients.IMG_2372IMG_2373IMG_2374 I have a dozen of them, but several have been spoken for already! Each is unique and I am having trouble deciding which one I want to keep for myselfIMG_2371IMG_2370

Will post photos of the other bags as soon as I catch my breath! And I must remember to take photos of the new leather jackets and spring scarves….

Easter in Florence

chia easter tree

Easter is huge here in Florence! The decorations have been up for weeks, and Chia likes the Easter egg trees in Mercato Centrale.

We were going to see the festivities in Piazza del Duomo, but the crowds are a bit too much for a small dog! And even though she only weighs 8.5 pounds, she gets heavy for me to carry.

On Easter Sunday every year, Florence celebrates the religious holiday in a very special way. The Scoppio del Carro, or the “Explosion of the Cart”, dates back over 350 years. An elaborate wagon built in 1622 and standing two to three stories high is pulled by a pair of oxen decorated in garlands through the streets of Florence to the square between the Baptistry and Cathedral.

The Cart, properly rigged with a suitable arsenal of fireworks, then awaits in front of the cathedral. From the cathedral’s altar, at around 11 am, when the “Gloria” is sung inside the church, the Archbishop uses the fire to light a dove–shaped rocket (called the “Colombina” and symbolizing the Holy Spirit) and this in turns flies out down a wire to the outside of the church and collides with the Cart in the square, setting off a spectacular firework display to the cheers of all, the Explosion of the Cart ensues! If the complex ritual proceeds smoothly and all of the fireworks go off, good luck is ensured for a good harvest for this year as well as for the city and its citizens – so we hope for a wonderful explosion of the cart every Easter!
And YES! I am wearing my Easter earrings, designed by the goldsmith last year.

Weekend in Tuscan Countryside

Gorgeous weather here in Tuscany, where Chia and I spent the weekend with our friends who live in Castelvecchio. Agatha and Chia Chia had fun playing with her friend, Agatha!

Love the small towns throughout Tuscany. This weekend it was Bolgheri, San Vincento, Poppiano and Livorno.Poppiano

We met a group of Vespa enthusiasts outside the castle in Poppiano, which overlooks the sea. Vespa club

Gearing up for a busy shopping season here in Florence, and planning a trip to Elba Island next month!

Springtime in Florence

IMG_4016 Chia and I have made the trip back to Florence, and had our first shopping tour the day after we arrived. It was a long seven hour day of shopping, but lots of fun with a darling Canadian family.

orange:brown sandals Sandals galore! I love the small wedge heel which is so comfortable and lovely with dresses. Ricardo has beautiful new patterns of scarves in silk and wool combined- incredibly soft! The fashion, the soft leather jackets, the handbags…..shopper’s paradise!

Cross for Donna A lovely lady from Austin, who was shopping with me last spring, has asked for a cross pendant. She sent some gorgeous diamonds with me and the goldsmith has made a preliminary drawing for us. It will be in yellow gold classic Florentine filagree work with tiny diamonds added in the empty spaces on the drawing. Wow!!!

With the dollar growing stronger each week, I think we will have a very busy shopping season!

Rain, Rain, Won’t Go Away!

Chia and I are at my adult ballet studio a couple days a week while we are here in Seattle. Rainy weather is great for dancing, and The Ballet Studio is full of students this winter. Gary and Chia Chia has a new favorite place to observe classes.

We are just back from a few days in Tucson at the Gem and Jewelry Show. This is the largest gem show in the States, and absolutely overwhelming. I came away with a watermelon tourmaline, which I will have the Florentine goldsmith make into a pendant for me this spring. cactus

My spring calendar in Florence is filling up quickly with shopping clients mostly from Australia, UK, the States and Canada. My two daughters are making requests for themselves: short leather jackets to wear with jeans or over dresses, earrings from the goldsmith and some bright silk scarves so far…

As lovely as the sun and landscape was in Arizona, nothing can compare to Tuscany in my opinion. Raining there too right now, but spring is right around the corner!

Weather forecast is for 90%- 100% chance of rain for the next five days here in Seattle…

Whoo Hoo! Euro vs. Dollar….

euros and dollars
As much as I have pretended that the dollar and euro were equal when I was making purchases in Europe, my credit card bill knocked that fantasy right out of my head. But as of today, the euro is $1.18, and there is talk that it will be equal by spring. What fabulous news for the spring shopping season!

We are here in rainy Seattle for a bit longer, but looking forward to seeing the sun in Florence again soon.IMG_1781 This is the view from my deck. So misty that visibility is very poor.

But this does not deter Chia, who dons her raincoat and goes walking with me every day. We have to stay in good shape for shopping! And with the currency situation so positive, I envision LOTS of shopping! chia raincoat

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy