Friday, October 7, 2011


When you put on a pair of Amy Sachs frames there's a good chance you'll be transformed from that bland little milquetoast you into that person who's given free upgrades on that flight from New York to Bismarck, North Dakota. You become that sexy driver who gets pulled over doing 75 in a 35mph zone and walks away with only a warning. Amy's frames are both beautiful and unique.
Jill Watkins is Amy's local rep. Last Sunday, at the exact same time as the Packers were beating the crap out of the Broncos, Jill brought her cases of Amy's eyewear and spread them out over the backroom at Pleasant Living. She had everything from readers to prescription glasses available. Color was everywhere and shiny frames sparkled in the sunlight flooding through the windows.
There were fames to fit every face shape, from those broad-banded Leo's worn by New York models sipping non-fat lattes outside Soho's new hot spot
to those Diane's that make it's wearer appear to have the mark of Valdemort etched in their forehead in that charming Harry Potter nerdiness.
And if you want to be green with your eyewear Amy has a new line of bamboo frames that won't harm a blade of grass on our precious planet.
To get more information about the glasses you can contact Jill Watkins at Please feel free to buy a pair or two or three. They're reasonably priced and a portion of the profits goes to support animal rescue and adoption services through the Pixie Project, a charitable organization devoted to providing food, shelter and medical care to animals in need.
But glasses weren't the only attraction at 3:30 on last Sunday afternoon. Leslie Watkins had the whole event catered by the boys from Ethel Ann's Savories and Sweets. It was a feast of Georgia baking come North  and boy were we glad they made the trip.
Piled on tiered trays and laid out on ironstone platters were savories of sweet potato and cheddar, blue cheese and caramelized onion, and pimento cheese all wrapped in the flakiest phyllo crescents. Sennie Mae's garlic parmesan biscuits were sliced in half and layered with ham and a tart grainy mustard.
Pecan bars, nutter cookies and lemon chess bars sated the sweet tooth and we washed it all down with white wine and champagne punch. Now tell me you wouldn't miss the Packers-Bronco game for a taste of that heavenly spread. You could always TiVo the game.
John and Paul are available for local catering jobs. Ask anyone there and I'm sure you'd get a stunning recommendation. You can contact them through their website: or find them most Saturdays at the Westside Community Market.
Then there were the flowers. In an inspiration from Saturday's Dane County Farmer's Market Rick took purple centered kale, dahlias in variations of lavender and  a feathery lilac-like topping and arranged them in a vintage matte white ceramic bowl. It was the culminating tip-of-the-hat to the bounty of fall in Wisconsin.
For those of you who missed the event I feel very sorry. For all of those who came and bought I'll be looking for you on the pages of Vogue, high-styling your Amy Sacks eyewear.

It's our first photography opening. We've known Susan Johann for longer than we'd want to admit. We first saw her work in Santa Fe at John Stevenson's Platinum Gallery. Her "Cordia's Rose" was one of our first purchases. Since then Susan has worked on several important projects including a portrait collection of leading American playwrights. Her work has been hung at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Her collection of floral portraits shot in a Tiffany box will be the focus of our show, opening Friday, October 14, 2011. Please stop by to meet the Photographer and smell the beauty of Susan's work.


I have always contended that good design doesn’t depend on money, at least not money alone.   I’ve spent a career matching “the proverbial Gap T-shirts with Armani suits “or the decorating equivalent to that fashion trick employed by many even the ever stylish Sharon Stone in order to create beautiful spaces while trying to stay on budget.  The trick here is to watch the quality quotient.  Finish is usually the first give-away of a poor quality item.  Wood should look like wood, stone should look like stone, and you get the idea.  These days construction doesn’t have to be flimsy to make something for a lesser price and veneers are used throughout the industry whether high or low.  Just pay attention to how they are cut, glued up and used.  MDF is not a four-letter word but particleboard is.  Structure is important.  Chairs, sofas and benches should support people of substantial size and tables should never wobble.

This week’s finds:
More: The Highbridge Desk by Ralph Lauren starting at $8,997
Less: The Mason Glass Top Desk by William-Sonoma - $1,450

New York, 1940
Helen Levitt, Photographer
Represented by Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

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