Thursday, October 25, 2012

We Welcome the Hostess with the Mostess

We’re beyond excited that Atlanta’s own queen of fetes, Danielle Rollins, will be at the store next week to wow us with her new book, Soiree.   Hands down, this is a girl who knows how to throw a party.
Danielle Rollins' new book: Soiree
And, speaking of wow!, this book is a coffee table show-stopper, filled to the brim with creative and gorgeous ideas for effortless entertaining.  The photography is rich and elegant and we have all been drooling over the advance copy that Danielle was kind enough to drop off.

Leafing through it (we all snuck a couple minutes to peek at it in between rearranging vignettes and unpacking the fifth inventory arrival of the day), we were struck by Danielle's laser beam attention to detail...and especially her spontaneous sense of fun that includes not panicking at a sudden thunder storm opening up on her immaculately set table or biblical proportioned floods that hit Atlanta right before her over-the-top dinner for Oscar de la Renta.  We love the idea that Danielle is a Southern girl at heart and that means she's all about being gracious, kind, funny and creative.

And did we mention she's also blessed with tons of style?

We're loving many of Danielle's little words of wisdom which (surprise! surprise!) mirror our own philosophies at the gallery and at Huff Harrington Home:

Live the High/Low Mix:  we adore this smart kind of reasoning.  Spend your hard-saved pennies on a one-of-a-kind 19th century Louis XVI mirror or fabulous piece of art - but the accessories around it don't have to cost a fortune.  We had Emily take a picture of this with her Iphone:
High and Low at Huff Harrington Home. A gorgeous 19th century Louis XVI mirror that we found at Les Puces in Paris ($3,400.00 ) paired with eye-popping mercury glass spheres (from $42) and glass votives (from $12).  The wooden-based lamps are $390.00.
In fact, they're much more interesting if they have a little story behind them and didn't just come off a shop's shelf.  We do a lot of this everyday, even with clothing.  We'll mix a Target t-shirt (Mossimo is the best!) with a good (but not necessarily great) pair of jeans but throw on a pair of well-worn Chanel flats or a fabulous old belt.
We love a cute tee from Target with...
...classic ballet flats from Chanel that cost a fortune but will last a lifetime.
We love scouring markets in Paris and Provence and are constantly bragging about our little finds - which add the perfect pop of whimsey, humor and personality.
We found this image of flea market finds on Pinterest and fell in love with the whimsical mix of objets.  And of course, it's all off-white, which makes it even better.
Use What You Own: There's nothing lovelier than a little nod to the past when you use your grandmother’s china and silver on an everyday basis.  And, that crusty old painting you inherited from Aunt Betty will add an honest and tender touch to wherever you use it - especially if you mix it up with something edgy and contemporary. (Gallery tip:  does Aunt Betty's painting need a fresh lease on life? Try re-framing it.)
There's nothing sweeter than using pieces (or art or jewelery) inherited from your favorite Aunt Betty. From Soiree.
Look to your own garden and snip hydrangeas and roses galore.  We love them even more if they're a little less than florist-standard perfect.
Late summer hydrangeas are perfect just the way they are. From Pinterest.
Raid your cupboards for all kinds of inspiration:
The lowly mason jar never looked so chic.
Voila: instant centerpiece from the pantry.
Mix and Match: is there anything better than this?  We adore this rule and it's our favorite rule not to break.   Mix your precious stuff with some great flea market finds - and have fun with it.  Let your personality shine through.
Lots of mixing and matching going on here but it all works beautifully and doesn't take itself too seriously...
Mix and match at the table...and have fun. From Soiree.
(Here's a great example of the high/low mix-and-match:  vintage hotel silver wine buckets paired with Govino acrylic wine glasses and disposable cotton/linen cocktail napkins, all at Huff Harrington Home.)
The acrylic flutes are $13.00 for four, the cotton/linen blend disposable napkins are $28.00 for a roll of 50 and the vintage hotel silver ice bucket is $175.00.
One of the elements we kept coming back to in Soiree is Danielle's belief that entertaining should be fun - never stressful or fraught with anxiety.  We love the idea of living a rich and full life surrounded by family, friends and beauty (that doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg) Throw in some humor and a soupcon of graciousness and we believe that is the perfect recipe for life - not to mention a perfect Soiree!
The hostess with the mostess...
Danielle will be at Huff Harrington Home to sign her book, mingle and chat on Tuesday, October 30th from 7-9 p.m.  We can't wait!

Ta ta.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Huffington Hound Heads to Broadway

Lost Scurry is widely circulated on Facebook
Thank you to those of you who have inquired about and sent us good wishes for the return of Scurry, Ann’s peripatetic gallery dog, who spent a few hours last Thursday on an exciting escapade around Buckhead while several people went crazy trying to find her.   Based on the dramatic adventures of Scurry, we have decided to produce a Broadway play, with an all-star cast in an artistic setting:
Huff Harrington Fine Art
The setting:  Huff Harrington Fine Art, a charming little cottage in Buckhead, filled to the brim with a mix of contemporary art, an oasis of peace and tranquility except for this fateful, sunny October afternoon, when the door was left open to let the fresh air in, and a little white dog happened to wander outside, looking for her boyfriend, Johnny.
The characters:
Scurry  -- sometimes known as Scruffy, but for this show will be the impeccably groomed, perfectly behaved and deliciously adventurous bichon frisee, who hates to wear her collar and loves to wander out of the gallery, particularly after she is visited by:
Sam and her beloved charge, Queen Scurry
Sam – a wonder-woman jack of all trades, who, in addition to being Huff Harrington’s queen of design and merchandising, has been known to take care of Scurry when her owners are out of town, and whose only mistake on that Thursday afternoon, was driving her husband Johnny’s car to the gallery, which misled the intelligent puppy to deducing that her boyfriend was somewhere in the parking lot …
Scurry and le boyfriend
Johnny – Scurry’s all-time favorite person, married to Sam, who begs Ann to go out of town so that he and Sam can watch Scurry.  This sweet and thoughtful man will in no way be portrayed as a villain because his only flaw is that he loves Scurry very much (and is sometimes prone to spoiling her just a little … which only partly explains Scurry’s strong attachment to him, the rest being his sweet and loving personality …)
Rachel, The Guardian Angel
The Angel Rachel – An innocent by-stander who happened to be in the Publix parking lot on that sparkling October afternoon, and found Scurry wandering around, looking for Johnny’s car.   Immediately recognizing that this was not a stray dog but a beautifully groomed Buckhead Bichon , and not knowing that Scurry was on the hunt for her man Johnny, the Angel swooped her up and took her to the manicure salon where she assumed Scurry’s owner was having her nails done.
Ann, spinning in circles, calling "Scurry!"
Ann – Scurry’s harried and highly stressed  owner, whose only role in the play is to run around the parking lot frantically calling “Scurry!” at the top of her lungs, spinning in circles and scaring shop owners and patrons into thinking she is the obsessed and crazy shop owner that she is.
Sarah, aka Wonderwoman
Sarah, aka Wonder-woman.  She is played by a tall, beautiful Botticelli-like actress, who is calm under duress, has the presence of mind to take her crazy boss Ann’s cell phone and download a picture of Scurry from a screen shot, simultaneously posting it on Facebook and pasting it in a word document , printing 30 copies, which she calmly distributes around the Publix parking lot, learning from several shop owners that the Angel has taken Scurry to a local vet to have her claimed by an owner.
"Lost Dog" flyers appeared on every door and window within minutes
Drama unfolds as Scurry continues her adventure in the front seat of a white SUV, happily driving around Buckhead with the Angel, visiting different Veterinary offices, and blissfully oblivious that the microchip she is wearing is, for some reason, unregistered, and that nobody can identify her while Sarah and Ann have divided up the yellow pages  and are frantically calling every veterinarian in the Atlanta area hoping that one of them has recently seen their anonymous little fluff ball.
Scurry, riding around Buckhead
The scene ends happily a few hours later (we have a few more adventures to fill in …) with a positive identification at one of the vet’s offices, and the Angel kindly returning the princess to her castle, refusing any financial reward and happily contributing to the tearful reunion.

The happy, tearful reunion
 The final act brandishes one more important character:
The benefactress (with her prized possession)
 Melissa – the beautiful benefactress (also known as one of Huff Harrington’s tremendously talented artists), who,  realizing that  Scurry wasn’t wearing her collar because it wasn’t pretty enough for her, produces a magnificent, diamond studded collar that is befitting of a princess and personalized with the unique and highly distinguished  dog tag that says it all: “Scurry.  #1 Huffington.”
The evil owner, trying to steal Scurry's new necklace
 The plot thickens a little when Ann, the evil owner, thinks that she may want to keep the beautiful collar for herself, modeling it as both a choker and bracelet.  But in the end, bowing to peer pressure and under Melissa’s magical sweet spell, gives the collar to Scurry and promises to keep a better eye on her wandering puppy happily ever after.

Facebook Friends – The final characters are the dozens of Facebook friends who followed Scurry’s scurrilous adventures and will hopefully help us come up with an appropriate name for our Broadway debut.  Will it be a clever, fast paced, high drama filled with double ententes and innuendos, called  “The Importance of Being Scurry”?  Or a theatrical version of the classic, “The adventures of Huffleberry Hound”?  Or an upbeat musical called, “Hello Scurry!”  Or, in the spirit of the new trend for single-word Broadway shows like “Rent” and “Once,” be a powerful, one-word hit called, “Scurry”?

Thank  you, Facebook friends for your friendship during duress.  And remember, we are actually fading out our old Huff Harrington Facebook page, so if you haven’t done so already, please LIKE our new business page for Huff Harrington Fine Art.

Otherwise, you may not follow the continued adventures of our Scurrilous Scruffy Scourge, aka the adorable little fluff ball, Miss Scurry!
Scurry and friend, plotting another performance

Woof woof!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fifty Shades of Color on Our Gallery Walls

We open a new show, Fifty Shades, at the gallery this coming Friday (October 12th) from  6 - 8 p.m. and we hope you'll join us if you're in town.  The Atlantan is co-hosting the party with us and we're expecting a full house.

Of course, we had some fun coming up with the theme for this one and it all started earlier this year when we were chatting about repainting the gallery.  If you had been a little fly on the wall, you would have heard something like this:
Fifty shades of white, off-white and gray. How to make a decision?
Meg: we really need to figure out what colors we're going to repaint the gallery.

Ann: hmmmm, you're right. I really like those whites we were looking at.

Sarah (coming into the office): are you finally deciding on the paint colors? The painter is on the phone and needs to know.

Meg: well, of course, we love all the whites...

Ann: doesn't that figure? There are about fifty shades of white to choose from...

Ann and Meg (together): hey! That would be a good title for a show, don't you think, Sarah?

Sarah: you DO know there's an immensely popular book out there right now, don't you?  Fifty Shades of Gray?

Ann and Meg: Really?  What's it about? (they proceed to giggle at themselves while Sarah tries not to roll  her eyes.)

We all had a laugh about the vast potential of double entendres we could use to promote the show  (like: "We're Tied Up On October 12th"..and some other really bad ones) but after some serious deliberation, we decided we really liked the title for the show.

As always, our good-spirited and ever-obliging artists have humored us and presented us with a really outstanding body of new work that takes its cue from all the ambiguities of the title.  There's a literal adaptation with the paintings that are saturated in color or that explore hues and shades. There's a sassy little nod to the book with Amy Dixon's take on a classic white button down.  And, there are some gorgeous and evocative figures that are downright elegant and sexy.

Take a peek:
Alice McNeely's "Forbearance" (mixed media on canvas, 40 x 40)
We love Amy Dixon's playful "Stacked" (16 x 16, mixed media.)
Christina Doelling's "Dancing In the Rain." (mixed media on canvas 48 x 48)
"The Dark Side" by Angela Nesbit (oil on canvas, 40 x 30")

We're loving the drippy texture and layers upon layers of pigment on these. A new artist for us, Judie Jacobs, manipulates photography with an encaustic process. We were immediately drawn to her version of Piedmont Park:
Judie Jacobs "Sunday Afternoon at Piedmont Park" 36 x 36
Our friendly UPS and FedEx drivers have been delivering enormous boxes all week and each one contains delicious surprises.  Here's a little taste of what else we'll have hanging:
Jill Peckelun's clean and spare "Leap of Faith" (14 x 11)
Laurie Adams' "Lovers Found" (oil on canvas, 24 x 30)
Another new photo encaustic of the Louvre's Pyramid by Judie Jacobs. "Streets of Paris",  30 x 30.
Heidi Kirschner's abstracted landscape, "Awaken" (48 x 60)
So, we hope you'll come by and feast your eyes on all this wonderful wall candy.  Many of the artists will be here to chat about their work and we all look forward to welcoming you to the gallery.  (And, If you're wondering, we did finally find the perfect color for the gallery walls - and in our case, we'd have to list our fave as "Fifty Shades of Gray Mixed with Just a Little White.")

See you Friday...

Ta Ta.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meet the Artist: Laura Lacambra Shubert

We are so fortunate to work with a wonderful group of talented artists who are all incredibly unique and different from each other. Some artists are know for their beautiful florals (Nancy Franke), some for their gorgeous landscapes (Doug Foltz), and one in particular, Laura Lacambra Shubert, is always recognized for her ability to capture and create an intimate moment, whether it be a gorgeous courtyard or a beautiful interior shot.

We were initially drawn to Laura's work because of her wonderful "painterly" style of painting. Her decisive brushstrokes make a strong statement, and you can tell she is a confident in her craft. Upon further review, we realized that many of the scenes Laura paints are places in Provence that we hold near and dear to our hearts! Her paintings are like travel souvenirs for us - you are immediately taken back to a lovely lunch in a garden or a stroll through a French village on a sunny day.
French Courtyard (Sold) - We've enjoyed lunches in many places like this one. Oh to be back in France!
Cote d'Azur - we love the climbing ivy, and those windows are begging to be opened on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon.
Provencal Blue Facade - We encounter many scenes like this one on our strolls through the villages in the Luberon. This one reminds us of Lourmarin.
French Facade - Laura's bold use of light in her pieces is even more stunning in person. The sun dappling catches your eye from across the room.
This particular painting, "Lunch at Bastide de la Marie," reminds me of one of our favorite bastides (like a B&B) in Provence: Bastide de Voulonne. Linda and Sarah stayed there in June, and we highly recommend this type of experience when you're traveling in France (of course, renting Ann's house in Gordes would be our #1 suggestion!).
Lunch at Bastide de la Marie - Meals at a bastide always take place in a lovely outdoor courtyard like this one.
These next few paintings of Laura's showcase her talent at painting from different perspectives to give a piece an intimate feel. Her points of view are unusual and unexpected, which we love! Instead of looking at a scene straight on, you feel as though you're peeking around a corner or catching a glimpse from a secret place. Her interiors feel cozy and her courtyards are intimate.
French Courtyard (Sold) - From this perspective you feel as though you're peeking into the garden from under the shaded portico.
French Courtyard II (Sold) - Another interesting perspective. You can see from the way the chairs come out into the foreground that Laura has mastered the art of manipulating the observer's point of view.
Chandelier & Stairs - We don't often see interior scenes like this one. We love how Laura has painted the feeling of sunlight streaming into the room, along with the low ceilings often found in older French homes. Doesn't it feel cozy?
This next painting is one that we just received from the artist, and it had us immediately doing a double take. It reminds us of one our favorite interior designer's homes...
A lovely, intimate interior scene.
If you guessed that this painting was inspired by the living room of Joni from Cote de Texas, you would be right! The resemblance is uncanny. After learning of the source of the photograph, Laura renamed the painting "Joni's Retreat" - a perfect title for this serene and elegant painting. Cote de Texas readers - this painting is still available if you're dying to have a little piece of Joni in your house!
Joni's sitting room

As much as we love champagne, we couldn't help but be drawn to Laura's party scenes. These would be perfect in a bar area!
La Fete (Sold)
Bartenders at Brunch (Sold)
A quality that we love to see in an artist is the ability to mix it up and do something completely different. Laura's lithe and elegant figure studies showcase her ability to really stretch herself as an artist. Her daughter Alexandra acts as her model, which makes these pieces even more special.
Alexandra Waking Up
Alexandra in the Living Room
We hope you'll stop by the gallery to see Laura's work in person. Photographs hardly do them justice - her bold bush strokes, strong highlighting, and vibrant colors are even more impressive when you're up close and personal.



P.S. - Don't forget that next Friday, October 12th is the opening of our fall show, "Fifty Shades." You don't want to miss it....6-8pm.