Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Original Barefoot Contessa & Summer Reading

Elements of Ava Gardner's London Apt. inspired me during my recent renovation. Color, touches of Chinoiserie & the comfort of fussy were a definite draw.
Ava Gardner's Dining Room ~ London Apartment

Minton's Cockatrice available on ebay
I have a beautiful collection of Minton's Green Cockatrice; one of many that Ava collected. Beautiful & oh so British. I will be using it soon @ a Whodunit Dinner Party ala Agatha Christie. Ah, the Butler does not do it!

Ava's London Living Room

Ava's London Bedroom

Coming out just in time for summer reading is a book I am giddy is finally being published. Originally begun in 1988 when the author; Peter James, spent time in London interviewing the provocative North Carolina native Ava Gardner. Overwhelmed with the scandals that would become public knowledge if the memoirs were published Ava pulled the plug on the project. With permission from the Ava Gardner Trust the book Ava Gardner, The Secret Conversations is now being published & released July 2, 2013. Oh boy howdy I am heading to the beach next week & plan to stop by the gift shop @ the Ava Garner Museum & pick up a copy. If you're driving through North Carolina on I-95 look for signs for Smithfield & stop by Ava's Museum; it is chocked full of all things Ava, gossip & memorabilia.

“I EITHER WRITE THE BOOK OR SELL THE JEWELS,” Ava Gardner told her coauthor, Peter Evans, “and I’m kinda sentimental about the jewels.” So began the collaboration that led to this remarkably candid, wickedly sardonic memoir. 

Buy A Copy

Ava Gardner was one of Hollywood’s great stars during the 1940s and 1950s, an Oscar-nominated lead­ing lady who co-starred with Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, and Humphrey Bogart, among others. Her films included Show Boat, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Barefoot Contessa, and On the Beach. But her life off the screen was every bit as fabulous as her film roles.

"Born poor in rural North Carolina, Gardner was given a Hollywood tryout thanks to a stunning photo of her displayed in a shop window. Not long after arriving in Hollywood, she caught the eye of Mickey Rooney, then America’s #1 box-office draw. Rooney was a womanizer so notorious that even his mother warned Gardner about him. They married, but the marriage lasted only a year (“my shortest husband and my biggest mistake”). Ava then married band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, who would eventually marry eight times, but that marriage, too, lasted only about a year (“he was a dominating son of a . . . always putting me down”). She carried on a passionate affair with Howard Hughes but didn’t love him, she said. Her third marriage was a tempestuous one to Frank Sinatra (“We were fighting all the time. Fighting and boozing. It was madness. . . . But he was good in the feathers”).

Faithfully recording Ava’s reminiscences in this book, Peter Evans describes their late-night conver­sations when Ava, having had something to drink and unable to sleep, was at her most candid. So candid, in fact, that when she read her own words, she backed out and halted the book. Only now, years after her death, could this frank and revealing memoir be published. 

“If I get into this stuff, oh, honey, have you got something coming,” Ava told Evans. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations is the stunning story of a legendary star’s public and private lives."

Below is a crummy picture of a picture that I took... It was from Ava'a apt. that her niece gave my sister. She included these in responses to her fan mail. I think this is a Barefoot Contessa publicity shot.
Fan Photo

While I lie in my chaise digging my toes into the sand & clutch my sweet tea I will def have Siriusly Sinatra playing as I enjoy every morsel of this long awaited biography. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

I've Got the Blues....

I have taken a huge leap; well huge for me. Have begun introducing blue to my decor repertoire that up until now has always/only included orange, pink & green. Being the chicken that I am began in a quiet corner in my breezeway as this was not easy for moi to embrace. Fast approaching 60 had decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone & decided that adding blue into my decor was on my Bucket List. Now or never....  Not sure whatheheck took me so long as I am so digging the over sized blue porcelain temple jardiniere against the lily pad painting.  Combo of blues & black go snap, crackle, pop against the perky Thibaut wallpaper; Thai Ikat in Apple Green.

Got so carried away I painted my ceilings in a pretty pale blue called Jack Frost. That is it peeking out above the wallpaper. It works from room to room going from a soft blue, green in some parts of the house to a gray blue in rooms where there is less light. I gotta' tell you  ~ I LOVE IT!!!

Being limited in the blue department my sister who is a true blue aficionado came to my rescue & lent me some porcelain pieces from her vast collection. I am quickly becoming a convert ~ how cute is that elephant??? These are perched in front of a painting I had commissioned of my hometown by the amazing Kyle Highsmith. More on Kyle to come!

Jennifer @ The Pink Pagoda is the driving force for drawing me into the blue movement. Once I started following her gorgeous blog I became captivated with how blue works so effortlessly with my tried & true fav colors orange, pink & green.
The Pink Pagoda Navy Walls
Pop over & see what Jennifer is up to; she is one busy lady with her prints, porcelain & so much more! I am busy working on my porch which really makes a navy statement. Hope to have the reveal done by the end of the month.