In Praise of Paper!

One of the things that Florence is famous for is handmade paper. Early on in my travels to Florence, I purchased some paper from the market. Now that I know better, I buy it only from select shops! People often ask me how to tell the difference between the real deal and the fakes. florentine paper

So here is a test for you! Which of these is the fake? If you guessed the paper on the upper right, you are correct. I love the little tablets of note paper to give as hostess gifts with a bottle of wine, or as stocking stuffers this time of year. I always come back to Seattle with a big stack of them, and they are always gone by March!

One of my dear friends here in Seattle, Bruce, makes personalized note cards, invitations, etc. He gave me a set of 12 different cards, some of which have Florentine paper incorporated into them. bruce cardsThese make beautiful and unique gifts- my daughters are getting some for Christmas! If you want to have your own personalized cards, you can email me for details. If you click on the photo, you can see them better.

Now I must get on with another paper project: wrapping the Christmas gifts! Happy Holidays to all of you from Chia and me!chi tree

Wintertime in Seattle…

chia comment
This is Chia’s comment on the weather in Seattle’s winter – I agree! It is still mostly sunny and in the mid-50’s in Florence…

I celebrated Thanksgiving by having sinus surgery, which did get me out of making the turkey dinner at least! Chia has been with me on the big bed recuperating for several weeks now. chia on bed

The ladies from Houston received their beautiful gold necklaces and matching bracelets. It was a long waiting time, but I think worth it!necklace

Fabio’s son tells me that he is making more bags, and I am excited to see what he has come up with this time. Here in Seattle shopping at the flagship Nordstrom store, I have so many sales people and customers alike compliment me on my Fabio bag. Santa is bringing one to each of my daughters, who will be thrilled!

Must get the energy to put up the Christmas tree, but it is so cold and rainy outside that all I want to do is stay in bed…view Did see a bit of sun the other day between downpours…

Time for Me to Go Back to Seattle…

My time here in Florence is drawing to a close for the fall. Need to get back to Seattle for Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. And just in the nick of time! I was going to forego the tall version of these navy suede and leather boots, but succumbed today. IMG_0014 I plan to wear these with black skinny jeans or leggings and tights paired with a dress. All was good until I thought about which bag I would carry!

chia (Chia never gets tired of shopping for handbags)

Sure my black cavallino and leather bag would be fine, but Fabio just made some more unbelievable bags! The 3 reversible bags he made a few weeks ago were sold in a matter of days. And now he has a navy/black bag and several other colors too!reversible 1 This bag works 4 ways: as a bucket bag, as a tote, and in the reverse side as a bucket and tote too. Inside is a little leather bag.reversible 2reversible 3reversible 4 The leather is very, very soft and supple. Other combinations of color are brown/chocolate brown, beige/black, chocolate brown/ terracotta and the green one in the photos.

And speaking of green, I tried on some Pomellato Nudo earrings in green…. See what I mean? I need to get out of here and back to Seattle….

Tough Choices!

The only down side of taking people shopping here in Florence is that I see all the beautiful things, and want them all! Choices must be made. necklace This is what I chose! It is rose gold with Australian pearls in white, yellow and black. It can be made with Chinese pearls, but I had to have the Australian…..chia in pearlsEven Chia looks good in them! The other thing I had made is actually a recycling effort, so hardly counts as a purchase at all….I took a ring my mother gave me and had the emeralds put into a new ring. emerald ring

So, goodbye navy suede boots (am wanting these but tall version)…..IMG_0014 Arrivederci fabulous woven bag… black woven I must leave you both here in Florence for someone else! But I think I can get a few new scarves at least…..And I am thinking that we should instate a gift giving policy for the one who makes Thanksgiving dinner!!! Comfy suede boots maybe….

Fabio Does It Again!

laser cut bag

Just saw this new handbag and it was love at first sight! A medium sized bag that is so different from anything else I have seen here. It is laser cut with one comfy shoulder strap and incredible detail. The combination of black and brown is perfect! laser cut detail
I also saw some smaller bags. Not everyone wants a large one! These are gorgeous and have the cross body style that so many women love. small bag 2small bag 1

Chia and I met our friend for lunch on Via Tornabuoni, and popped into the entryway to a bank for a photo op! stained glass I entitle this, “Small Dog with Stained Glass.”

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy