Wednesday, May 21, 2008

HollyWood Icon Ladies!

Two of HollyWoods most famous sexual Icons in the 1950's and 60's :

Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield

Blonde Bomshells



Marilyn Monroe...

The most famous sex symbol and leading lady of the silver screen was Marilyn Monroe. She epitomized the glamour and celebrity of the golden age of Hollywood. Marilyn's born name was Norma Jeane Mortenson and she was born on June 1 1926 in Los Angeles, CA. She started using the name Marilyn Monroe in 1946, but did not legally change it until Feb. 23rd, 1956. The first time she signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she had to ask how to spell it. She didn't know where to put the "i" in "Marilyn". After filming The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn was awarded a new contract with Twentieth Century Fox. She was allowed director and cinematographer approval, a personal maid, and was to paid no less that $100,000 a picture with an additional $500 per week for incidental expenses. Also, she would only be given class "A" movies.

Marilyn was brought up by the same foster parents until the age of seven. But in total she had 12 sets of foster parents. Marilyn wasn't afraid of taking risks- she wore plunging necklines and posed nude for the camera. In 1953 Hugh Hefner purchased her nude photos for $500 for his 1st edition of playboy. Marilyn was married 3 times and then divorced, and cavorted with some of the most famous and influentical men of the century- married or not. She now stands a symbol- the reigning goddess in a mythical city- not so much of what hollywood actually was, but of our perception of how it must have been. Perhaps she is still so popular because this illusion is so important to us.- she remains forever unchanged - eternally glamorous, beautiful, and forever young!

At the age of 36, Marilyn's dead body was found in her bedroom by her live-in housekeeper. Her death was ruled as "acute barbiturate poisioning" and listed as "possibly suicide." There was speculation surrounding her death and many believed that she was murdered. Her death was on August 5 1962.

Eight months before her death Marilyn Monroe discovered a Spanish-style house in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. She traveled to Mexico in February 1962, enthusiastically searching shops in Cuernavaca, Taxco, Toluca and Acapulco for fabrics, furniture and tiles for her new home.

~A Scarlet is born~

" I used to think as I looked out on hollywood Night, 'There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.'" - Marilyn Monroe

Jayne Mansfield...

Jayne was an American Actress and sexual icon. She became known as the 50's pinup model and was featured in playboy magazine. Jayne's original name was Vera Jayne Palmer and was born on april 19 1933 in Bryn, Pennsylvania.

Jayne became sort of a poor man's version of Marilyn Monroe because her roles were played as dumb blonde bimbos or a pure sex kitten. Her career declined into cheesy sexploitation, honkey, and somewhat embarassing guest appearances. Jayne was always 2an to Marilyn Monroe in their Blonde Bombshell era of the 50's and 60's. The public began losing interest in the curvaceous gals somewhat annoying, in your face, ditzy persona. She was obessed with becoming famous that she would consistently chase publicity of all kinds even if it damaged her career. She was not interested in becoming successful only famous. Jayne died in a terrible car accident on June 29 1967.The car she died in was sold at auction in 1999 for $8000.

The outside of Jayne's Home

The staircase of Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay’s home. Her collection of hundreds of magazine covers adorned the staircase—she appeared in Life as well as in Playboy.

Mansfield on the balcony overlooking the living room.The lettering in the arabesque above the living room fireplace commemorated her marriage to Hargitay, who did much of the handiwork in the house. Her favored heart motif was quilted into the purple sofas.

Mansfield in her bath.
Mansfield announced her ambition to have a house in Beverly Hills and a million dollars—and to be a star. She traded promotional appearances for an estimated $150,000 worth of merchandise for the house, including the pink shag for the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling treatment in the bath.

The office

Mansfield in her pool.
Mansfield relaxes in the couple’s forty-foot-wide pool surrounded by dozens of Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottles, a novelty item introduced in 1957. She demanded “a heart-shaped house with a heart-shaped pool” as a precondition for her marriage to Mickey Hargitay.

Jayne's Fireplace by the BBQ and Swimming pool

It seemed like she was always sucking in her gut in a lot of the pictures she took. I actually had not ever heard anything about Jayne Mansfield until recently. She reminds me so much of Marilyn Monroe. I love the heart-shaped pool, but I hear her home and the pool have been torn down.

Photos Via: Arch Digest
Book- Marilyn by Diana Karanikas Harvey

Saturday, May 17, 2008

FiFi Flowers Blog!

I've discovered a fabulous new blog by Laura named FiFi Flowers. Based on some pictures which inspired her she decided to do some charming and whimsical art pieces.
The 1st picture was inspired by Sex and the City- Carrie's front apartment door. This hip Chick Bookmark/notecard design can be seen on Laura's blog by clicking
here. The 2an picture is inspired by Carmel, California's Hugh Comstock's Charming cottages and the original post can be seen also by clicking here. Thank you Laura for the lovely mention on your blog and keep those paintings coming because they are great!

Friday, May 16, 2008


We all know who she is and her deservable recognition has made a bold and lasting impression on many.The French Fashion Designer's full name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel and she was born in Samur, Southern France in 1883. Gabrielle adopted "CoCo" during a brief career as a singer in cafe's and concert halls between 1905-1908.

CoCo Chanel 1937

Despite the fact that Chanel did not have the breeding of the upper class, in 1912 she met the wealthy socialite, Arthur "Boy" Capel who helped her open her first hat shop in 1913. But her real break came in the early '20s during the Great Depression when Chanel, with the financial help of Capel, opened her first and now legendary shop at 31 rue Cambon. Her elegant designs revolutionalized fashion replacing the corset with comfort and casual elegance.

In 1922, she launched the fragrance Chanel No. 5, which remains popular to this day. Two years later Pierre Wertheiner became her partner (taking on 70% of the fragrance business), and reputedly her lover.Coco launched her signature cardigan jacket in 1925, and the following year matched its success with her little black dress. Both items continue to be a staple part of every Chanel collection.During World War II, Coco was a nurse, although her post-war popularity was greatly diminished by her affair with a Nazi officer during the conflict. However, she made her comeback in 1954, her style much unchanged, apart from the introduction of pea jackets and bell-bottoms for women.Coco Chanel worked until her death in 1971 at the age of 88.

A peek inside her Glamorous Paris Apartment:

Above: The exterior of Chanel’s Rue Cambon apartment

CoCo's Entrance to her apartment

The famous faceted mirrored spiral staircase that Chanel designed. It connected all four levels of her apartment and made it possible for her to stand in one spot and see what was happening on every floor.

Some interesting Facts about CoCo Chanel:

  • She was a Leo and collected lions.

  • Whenever she went to her apartment on Rue Cambon, there were orders to spray Chanel No. 5 around the stairway so her signature scent would greet her.

  • She decorated the sitting room with a suede beige sofa in a time when both suede and beige upholstery were unheard of. She was selective about who could actually sit on it.

  • After a fortune-teller told her that 5 was her lucky number, she named her perfume Chanel No. 5, and it made her millions.

  • She was the first designer to put her own name on a fragrance

  • The original No. 5 bottle was supposedly designed to mimic the shape of Place Vendome. Check out NotCot’s clever photoshopping that matches the dimensions of the bottle to the plaza.

  • When she pasted away, they found only three complete outfits in the closet of her Paris apartment.

Back to 2008:

Chanel Fall/Winter Fashion Show at Grand Palais:

The revolving Carousel - How great is this? This fashion show looks absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could of been there or any of them and I would've been happy. For more info about the
show click here- Karen Kooper.

photos Courtesy of:
Designer's Block
hooked on houses
Karen Kooper

Also, for more on CoCo please visit
Material Girls website by clicking on their name and visit the April 2008 post.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dreaming White!

A Classic White palette will never go out of style! I love the look, feel and design of all of these Pictures!

Via: Architectural Digest
Designer: Cullman

Via: Architectural Digest
Designer: Robert A.M. Stern

Via: Cottage Living

Via: Homes and Garden

Via: Chic Shack

Via: Architectural Digest Designer: Annabelle Selldorf

Via: Architectural Digest
Designer: Victoria Hagan

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Fairytales Of Carmel Cottages

Once upon a time a young woman asked her beloved husband to build her a small cottage by the sea. The husband dreamed up and built a teeny-tiny house with a sloping roof of hand-cut shingles and a stone chimney that wasn't quite straight. He named the house "Hansel" and his fairy tale began . . . .

Gretel House

This whimiscal and fantasy world homes located in Carmel, California is the work of the late Hugh Comstock. He built his first house for his wife in 1924-1925. It was interesting to know that Comstock had no previous building/architechural experience and used no regualr tools while building the cottage. Soon after, locals began to ask Comstock to build their homes and he obliged. The lots sold for $100- a piece and now to this present day are selling for millions.He built dozens of charming houses around Carmel that created a magic that people from around the world come to see.

The idea was to build a little village in a forest kinda feel. To this day there are no stoplights and no fast-food chains in the location. The magic still remains down the narrow, sidewalk-less streets covered in pines and low cypresses that hide tiny cottages. The fairytale lives on, happily ever after!

Rapenzuel House

The Mushroom Home

The original "Hansel" house built in 1924-1925 and now has been restored.

Via: Linda Hartong flickr Fairytale cottages by the sea set
I visited Carmel when I was about 18-19 years old and did not really appreciate the cottage and the town. I just thought thats cool, I mean I still do think that but now I look at the little cottages completely different- I have interest in them. They are so beautiful and unique. I would love to go back oneday! The place really is an enchanting storybook fairytale come true!

Also here are some interesting books to check out if you are interested in more unique homes:

Storybook Stlye by Arrol Gellner

Cottage by the sea by Linda Leigh Paul

Cottages on the coast by Linda Leigh Paul

500 Cottage by Doug Keister