Archive | August, 2011

Hurricane Irene, Please Be Careful!!!!!!

26 Aug

To my dear readers…..

To ensure everyone’s safety, please follow all rules and evacuation measures stated by your state’s officials.   If you know of someone who is alone, please convince them to stay out of harm’s way of Hurricane Irene; by staying at a relative’s home or outreach center.  Please take this seriously!!!!!

Be safe!

Letia 😮

Nate Berkus Show Today!

24 Aug

Having fun! Will fill everyone in later!

Letia 😉

Silk Tree Cafe at the Hammond Musuem, Westchester County

23 Aug

I had the wonderful opportunity to be invited to lunch with one of the most dearest people, Shirley Perry.  A spry 87 year-old woman, who is so intriguing; she is also an artist and innovator in her own rite!  I could talk with her for days ; for all the knowledge she has in her petite 5’2” frame. 

For months, we have tried to get our schedules together to have lunch at the Hammond Museum in North Salem NY (Westchester County); for Shirley was once on the Board of Trustees years ago!   We had a reservation for noon and I promptly picked her up at 11:30 am.  Only to get a history lesson about the museum.  “I want you to know all about Natalie”.

Born in 1904, she was the daughter and heiress of millionaire adventurer and philanthropist John Hays Hammond, the novel King Solomon’s Mines; well it’s about him.. Natalie  Hays Hammond was an artist, with various talents:  a costume set designer for Broadway, an accomplished painter and author

Her brother who was a famous inventor, John Hays Hammond Jr. founded the Hammond Museum, where Natalie’s home is also part of the museum which details this beautiful Japanese Garden.  So you know this family was very innovative, he built Hammond Castle, which is also now a museum in Gloucester, MA.  

The Hammond Museum, here in North Salem, at one time held all the collected and inherited Ms. Hammond had collected through her lifetime, over 100,000 antiques and a library with over 70,000 volumes.   Her cousin Elizabeth Hammond Taylor; known as Margo; they collaborated together and built the museum.   Natalie was known for her drawings of the Madonna and her needlepoint works, where she published a book showing her craft.

Natalie Hays Hammond died in 1985 where she bequeathed to her cousin the right to live in the estate’s mansion for the duration of her life. Taylor; however thought differently and chose to move; leaving the house unoccupied; with a museum left to fend on its own. In November 2005, the museum negotiated the rights to own it; giving the attention Ms. Natalie Hays Hammond had wanted – a center for the performing arts as well as the visual arts.

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Now it’s time for lunch, it’s a beautiful day and we were directed to the Silk Tree Cafe.   Greeted by a lovely waitress, we were given a menu.  For starters, tea of course!  An Iced brewed tea for Shirley and for me,  a lovely tea kettle filled with hot vanilla almond tea.  We enjoyed the following…..

  • Steamed vegetable dumplings brought in a bamboo steamer
  • A cheese frittata
  • pannini filled with tomato, mozzarella and basil, sides watermelon medallions
  • Golden crepe filled with Nutella and topped with whip cream and cinnamon.

“Let me tell you about Natalie”,  so I put my listening ears on while enjoying the vegetable dumplings….Shirley went on to tell me about Natalie Hammond.

This is  my first time returning since Natalie died and was inquisitive about how the museum was doing.  Natalie was a vibrant and vicarious woman.  We would go out to dinner and talk about everything, she was quite infectious.  She loved art,  was part of King Tut’s first viewing to the world as a little girl and would often at the home of President William Taft.  Her life was extraordinary and lived lavishly, which would often result in not knowing the meaning of a balancing budget!”

We were delightfully interrupted by Lucy, the head of Catering at the Silk Tree Cafe and she welcomed us both for dining here.  We took the time to meet the other staff members at the Musuem and were told the museum had lost most of its funding, due to the state of the economy and were desperately  trying to do the very best they could.  Most of Natalie Hammond’s artwork has been sold, very soon after her death and the property; well it still requires major renovation work.  The staff is very optimistic and try to have inviting events to lure people, artists and organizations to the Hammond museum.

I couldn’t get over the fact, the place was simply charming.  Yes, it was a museum, but very intimate.  Not like the large museums of New York City, it has the quietness, but appealing feel of not being rushed and the allowance to take you time. 

As we are talking, Japanese paper lanterns are being affixed to a large white tent!  “We are having our 45th Annual Moonviewing concert and Picnic this evening.  This has been a tradition, started by Natalie since 1966!”  We visited the gift shop and I brought a Japanese motif, little but a conversation starter!

Now, if you are ever in Westchester County NY, near North Salem, do make it a point to stop in and see the Hammond Museum.  If you are looking for a quaint place to have a intimate wedding, social party or bar mitzvah…this place should be one of your choices.  

Shirley and I had a wonderful afternoon!  I just love history.  There are so many intriguing places in Westchester County, the Hammond Museum is one of them!

Here is a listing of books authored by Natalie Hays Hammond:

  • New Adventures in Needlepoint Design  1973
  • Anthology of Patterns 1949
  • C Later 1920’s Collection of Fine Photography of Natalie Hays Hammond 1927

Have I made you curious?  View the website; to learn more and there’s a listing of their upcoming events.  If visting, perhaps you’ll be also interested in becoming a member at the Hammond Museum or give a donation, their email address is

Letia 🙂

I Wasn’t Invited to the Wedding!!

21 Aug


Have you ever thought you would be invited to a wedding and wasn’t?   I am confident enough to know when I receive an invitation in the mail, that I have been extended an invitation! 

However, there are instances when you don’t receive an invitation, YOU think it is understood you are coming!  Right?   Well, this is not necessarily true!  Do we assume we are invited or mistakenly show up or get upset that no one has finally said “Hey you’re coming right?”

Debbie C. from Utah, CO sent me an e-mail, with this same dilemma, where she is very upset….

‘….each time I see her, she always picks my line and we talk;   I always ask how things are going.  I have given her places to go and even recommended a friend of mine to get some quotes.  I would think, when she comes to the store, she would have an invite, NOTHING……”‘

What do you think, how would you take it?  Is she right to expect to be invited? The reception? Better yet; have you ever thought you were invited to a wedding, party, etc. and come to find out you weren’t?  Upset? Or, you just understood?  Let me know your comments or any other advice to Debbie. 

Letia 🙂

What are They Talking About? Horse Hair for My Dress?

18 Aug

Received an e-mail from Debbie of Framingham, MA asking:  

“Someone told me to get horse hair for my dress, where do I get it and how do I use it; what are they talking about?”

Now there’s the hem found on many wedding gowns; which has been sewned with a horse hair braid. The braid is not actually made from horse hair, but is a just synthetic nylon or plastic braiding.  The horse hair braiding can be purchased in a variety of widths and is typically between 1″ or 2″.  

It is used to create a slightly stiff hemline, adding shape and movement to the skirt. Many wedding gowns use a horse hair braid hem to keep the long train of the gown in the proper shape and allows you to move more easily in the dress. 

Basically, allowing your train not to feel like your pulling another person!  You can go to any Sewing and Notions store; like a JoAnn’s and they should sell it by the yardage ($2-3 per yard).  Many couture gowns also have this; it’s essential – similar to boning in a dress to keep its form.

Now there’s a horsehair braid sash!   This sash can be used to change the dynamic of a wedding dress, cocktail dress or even add pizzazz to an old dress; making it just like new.  We have to be creative, you know!  

The picture shows  a 120′” sash that will create magic.  It’s by Vera Wang®  found at David’s Bridal.  Available in the colors of black and cream for $58.00     It’ has some stiffness to it, so we creating your look, it will stay in place!

See you thought that you would have to go to great extremes to get some horse hair!  NOT!  I hope this helps!   Good Luck!  😉

And Pssst…Vera Wang is designing Kim Kardashian’s wedding gown too!

 Letia 🙂

Picture from Vera Wang Collection at David Bridals ®

Jersey Shore! Abercrombie & Fitch Says…if you guys stop wearing our clothes, We’ll Pay You!!!

17 Aug

Are you kidding me!    The reason, our reputation!!!!  It’s all over the news!  

So, I guess cast member Michael Sorrentino, “The Situation” of MTV’s Jersey Shore has created a real situation!   LOL!! When you think it couldn’t get any better, The Jersey Shore series gets great publicity and attention.  

I’m not sure whether Abercrombie & Fitch Marketing team is using this as a way to bring more attention to their brand; bump up sales for the remaining quarter or………are they really serious? They want the clothes OFF!  I don’t know guys!!!!!!!!!!!

Whatever the reason is, people are talking and I had to blog about it; because it’s absolutely CRAZY!  People, is it that bad!!!   Next there will be a commercial, saying TAKE IT OFF!  Fashion is wonderful!!!   😉

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     Letia 😉

Photo provided by MTV Productions

Miss Piggy Is Back!!! Fashionable As Ever and a New Muppet Movie!

15 Aug

I miss Miss. Piggy!  Truly I do!   Do you remember how she would get all dressed up for her love of her life, Kermit!  She would karate chop anyone near him!  Haaaa Yaaaaa!

Looking at some old Sesame Street episodes and those Muppet specials, I can say that Miss. Piggy is truly a DIVA!

Jim Henson, would be truly proud – this character we can say she’s ALL fashion!  If given the opportunity, I wonder what should would wear at Mercedes Benz’s Fashion Week in NY this Sept!   Or has she been replaced with Smurf?    NOT!!!!

I could see her in a Michael Kors outfit, doing cartwheels with Betsey Johnson or even being quite regal  in a Givenchy gown!  How about a runway model?    Whatever she would wear, it would be just fabulous!   Miss Piggy; well  she never, never, never gets old!  Her and the Muppets are embossed in our DNA!

If you miss her; as much as I have…you will be happy to know this coming November,  a new movie called  The Muppets “Green with Envy” will be playing featuring the one and only fashion statement herself; Ms. Piggy!  The trailer is below!

Miss Piggy’s stylists really did their thing, for her outfits are fabulous!   What can I say! It’s the kid in me, reminding me of my childhood!  The Muppets and Miss Piggy!!!!! 🙂   So yes, I am writing a blog on a Muppet!  LOL  Who hasn’t!!!!  She has a fashionable lifestyle!



And so….you know that I am NOT the only one who loves Miss Piggy — OPI’s upcoming line of lacquers is all about her, Kermit, Gonzo and the gang, with hues like Warm & Fozzie (a shimmering gold) and Fresh Frog of Bel Air (a green glitter). Finally, Miss Piggy reaches fashion-icon status…So there!




More information on the movie:

Letia 🙂

Photo courtesy of  Disney Productions and YouTube video by the Muppets Studio Channel.

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