Friday, March 30, 2012

Needlepoint Rabbit Doorstop

For those of you who enjoyed seeing the fox rug a few days ago, you might enjoy this rabbit doorstop. It is made by the same designer.  As you can tell, I love animals and nature.

There are so many colors in this, I had to use a variety of thread types - cotton, silk, wool, etc.  But the background is in wool. Happy stitching!

Tory Burch Bats a Thousand

OK, I don't have places to go that would warrant these beautiful clothes.  But if I won that Mega-million jackpot, the UPS guy would be making a large delivery from TB.  She is beautiful, smart, looks great in every photo, and designs clothes that work for those of us over 40 who don't want to look like we are 25.  She really gets it. Her spring/summer clothes are just fabulous!

These have that "Roman" look going on but these are divine.  With a pair of shorts and orange t-shirt, ready to go!

Her wedges are not too high (although she has some that are higher than these) and very comfortable.

I love this cardigan and it's on sale!  This is made of wool but you could wear this three seasons.  Picture with a pair of white skinny jeans.

This is a great top for a ladies' lunch, graduation, for work if you dress up. 

This dress would also work well for a dinner, graduation, something more formal.  Love it!

Tory's tunics are the best. I have one from about 10 years ago that I still wear.  Where are those white jeans?

I have seen this suit on other blogs and it looks great on. Don't think they show this well on the TB site.  Channeling Chanel for sure.

This top is from an earlier collection but I still love it.  Half-price too!  Great piece for more formal events. 

Not sure where I would wear these, or with what, but I still love them!

Thanks Tory for making some great stuff for spring!  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Steven Gambrel Works His Magic in Middleburg

If I could hire any designer, certainly Steven Gambrel would be on my short list.  He established his New York-based design firm, S. R. Gambrel Incorporated, in 1995, only three years after earning an architecture degree at the University of Virginia. Whether he’s designing a polished uptown duplex, a rambling country house, or a weekend beach house, Steven serves the needs of each client with his passion for timeless, comfortable houses that improve with age. His fresh, innovative approach to color and form has been widely celebrated in magazines and newspapers, including House & Garden, Elle Décor, Interior Design, Departures, New York Times, and New York Magazine.

In a recent issue of Southern Living, a Gambrel masterpiece was highlighted in Middleburg, where he took an old barn and turned it into a showcase.  Take a look (all photos are from Southern Living).

The barn looks pretty ordinary on the outside.......

But there is nothing ordinary about the inside.  He used the owners' farm "colors" to add a bit of splash to the entire room. What a difference that makes!
Isn't the end product divine?
Here are a few clips of some of his other projects.   I think I like this powder room because it reminds me of nature.

And anything ikat, I just love.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Spring!

You know it's spring when the grass gets green, the tulips appear, the trees begin to bud, but also the fields are full of babies, mostly baby calves around here. But yesterday, a few miles from my house, I saw this lovely sight.  This baby donkey is just the cutest thing I have ever seen.  The photo is not great, but he is all ears!  He can't be more than a week old. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baby April Update

Well, it's going to be a very long spring here on the farm.  Baby April had an MRI this week and while I was still hoping that her original diagnosis of an abcess would hold, well, it didn't.  She has what is called a collateral ligament injury which is kinda like when a skier injures the liagaments on both sides of the knee but this injury is in the foot.  The good news is that it is a mild strain. The bad news is that the recovery period is long and arduous and if you don't follow the protocol, it will reoccur.  She should fully recover but she will be out regular work probably until the fall. 

She has to be in her stall for at least 60 days, followed by small periods of increased space, read small outdoor stalls, slowly enlarged until we get her back to normal.  And I also have to worry about her weight since she is a big girl who loves her food but lives on air. 

This whole scenario will probably go on for four months, maybe longer.  Time and patience are the only things that heal these.  So, in about four or five weeks if I am pulling my eyes out you'll know why.

I was grateful to get to the bottom of this as these symptoms started last summer. This is an old injury that has festered.  Thank goodness for technology and major medical.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Designer Duds

OK, seriously, would you pay outlandish prices just to have designer duds for you and your horse?

Take, for example, this Gucci riding helmet.  Only 50 were made.  This can be yours for about two grand on Ebay.

Or if you prefer to ride in Hermes try this on for size:

Consider this Hermes halter:

You can also buy an Hermes "stable bucket" for $750 on the Hermes web site.  Guess for the person who has everything this would make a great gift.

It is not surprising that you can buy this stuff.  Just imagine what an entire barn of Hermes everything would look like. Guess your stable colors would need to be orange.

Princess Diana Dresses Go on Display at Kensington Palace

Designer dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, have been unveiled at an exhibition preview at Kensington Palace. The collection of five outfits, called Diana: Glimpses Of A Modern Princess, is one of a number of exhibitions to open following a $19 million restoration of her former home.

Classic cocktail frocks, formal gowns and evening dresses will go on display when the west London palace reopens to the public on March 26th.

(Reuters photo)
(Rex Features)
The star of the show is a black taffeta floor-length gown worn by the Princess of Wales on her first official engagement at the Royal Opera House in 1981. 
The Elizabeth and David Emmanuel dress, which has never been shown in the UK before, sold at auction last year for £192,000.  A black silk shift evening dress by Versace, which she wore to the 1995 premiere of Apollo 13 is also on display.

Also included is a lively dress designed by Catherine Walker in 1988 for Diana's trip to Thailand.

(Rex Features)

A Belville Sassoon cocktail dress is also included in the exhibit.

(Getty Images)
The show is presented against a set created by interior designer Finola Inger, includes bespoke wallpaper designed by Julie Verhoeven.

The restoration and exhibitions are timed to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Georgina Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg's daugher, Georgina, is the real thing when it comes to horses.  And she must have an incredible publicist.  There have been articles in the past two weeks in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about her. 

Not only can she ride really well, but she appears to be well-rounded, down to earth and has made a concious effort to give back through a charity she started, The Riders' Closet.  She also penned two books recently, with a collaborator, that appeal to the teen market, about riding the "A Circuit" in the hunter-jumper world.

(Getty Images)

Here is her newest book:

The recent article about her in the New York Times demonstrates also that she is a frugal shopper who buys a lot of her clothes at Target.  Who knew?

And this article in the Wall Street Journal paints a portrait of her life in Wellington, Fl where she lives part of the year with a menagerie of animals and her boyfriend.   How refreshing is it to see the portrait of a rising young star who also appears to be well-grounded with a great work ethic?  Guess, that must be part of the Bloomberg DNA. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Shame About Sham

The Kentucky Derby will be here in about six weeks.  Horse racing history is so interesting and as you know with horses, nothing is predictable, so it was with the great racehorse, Sham.  Bet you never heard of him.  It is a shame you haven't.  In any other year in history, except 1973, he would have won the Triple Crown and would be part of history.  He would have been a great race horse in any other year

In 1973, at three, Sham won the Santa Catalina Stakes and was second in the Wood Memorial.  He beat Secretariat in that race, who ended up third.  At the Santa Anita Derby he scored a 2 1/2 length victory over the favorite Linda's Chief and equaled the race record which had been set in 1965.  Sham had not been expected to win that race. 

At the start of the 1973 Derby Sham ripped two teeth when he hit his head on the starting gate.  He still managed to finish second to Secretariat in what would have been record time in any other year.  Secretariat shattered the Derby record (which still stands today). In any other year other than 1973, Sham would have won the race based on his time, which was under two minutes!  Only Monarchos has had a time also under two minutes. He won the Derby in 2001. 
Secretariat defeated Sham a second time in Baltimore at the 98th running of the Preakness. Sham came in second again.

At the Belmont Stakes, Sham's jockey was instructed to keep up with Secretariat from the start and he was forced to be on the outside which cost him more endurance. Halfway through the race Secretariat pulled ahead and Sham began to tire and fell back.  Sham ultimately finished last as Secretariat went on to win the race by an incredible 31 lengths and break a world record that remains today.
Sham did not race again.  He was supposed to race at Saratoga later that year against Secretariat, but a hairline fracture was discovered in his leg.  He was sent to stud at Spendthrift Farm and later to Walmac International near Lexington, KY.  He died of a heart attack in April 1993 at the age of 23.  An autopsy was performed and his heart was found to weigh 18 pounds, about the twice the average size for a Thoroughbred (like Secretariat). He is buried on the Walmac Farm. 
A book was released in 2010 called Sham: Great Was Second Best written by Phil Dandrea.  I have not read it but it sounds intriguing.  Not only do you need have speed and endurance to be a great race horse but you also need to be born in the right year!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Equine Essentials

We all have favorite things that we use at home, while traveling, in the barn. As I have gotten older, I have become very opinionated about the products I used for the horses and when I ride.  There are just certain brands that I use, period.  Maybe I should be more open-minded but hey, if it works, why mess around with it?

For example, at home I only use Baker sheets for the horses.  These are classic, wear well, are a good weight and they look good on the horses. Sega, Alfie and April each have one. 

For linament, I use only two things:  just plain old alcohol and Sore No More. I am a firm believer in using simple products that are cheap but work (alcohol, witch hazel) but I also use Sore No More for the tough workouts, after a show, and just to mix things up a bit.

For wraps, I only use two brands, Back on Track and Wilkers. I have one set of Back on Track wraps so when I take two horses to shows, I have to switch off using them.  They are expensive but this tends to work.  The Back on Track brand uses magnetic therapy to increase blood flow and circulation.  So I use these mostly when I show.  I use Wilkers wraps with leg bandages for shipping and for use after workouts or any jumping at shows. 

I use only leather Walsh halters. I like the thinner ones.  They last forever. I just picked April's up from being repaired, again.

Rambo blankets are the only ones I buy. Yes, I stray every now and then but I always come back. Buy them on Ebay. 

Most of the year I ride in string gloves.  I just have learned to love using these. It is getting harder to find good ones, as I most be the only one outside the hunt field that rides in them.  I always wear gloves when I ride, no matter what.

At home and at shows where there is mud, I ride in Professional Choice girths.  These last forever, are relatively inexpensive and they look good on the horse. Use the brown ones.  At the A and AA shows, unless it is muddy, I use a leather fleece lined girth.

I ride in a light quilted saddle pad at home (mostly pads won at shows) with a fleece pad under my saddle, from Fleeceworks. I have two of them, Alfie won them both at shows, and one is thicker than the other but I like them and want extra support directly under the saddle.

I have one Jimmy's 20th Century Bridle for Sega, one with a thick stitched noseband.  The newer ones are not of the same quality as the older ones (at least that is what I am told) and they are very expensive.  It looks wonderful on Sega and it fits April so I am hoping that she will inherit it.  Other companies are now making ones that look just like these but at one time this was the gold standard.
I won't go into riding clothes too much as that is personal and depends so much on what fits. But I show in Ariat breeches, Grand Prix coats, and Vogel boots.  But I did buy a pair of Ariat boots this winter (and I love them) and I am thinking about venturing out beyond Grand Prix this year for coats.  The new microfibre fitted coats are all the rage now!  I feel like I am getting dated, like a house that has not been redecorated in a while (you must have granite!)
Enjoy your Friday. Lovely warm weather here in Virginia.  Now if I could just catch Sega so I could ride her!
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