Archive for September, 2009

September 3rd

How To Buy and Care For Pearls



How To Buy Pearls

It is often difficult to know the value of pearls when you are looking to buy.

Lustre is the most important factor in determining the pearl’s quality. It is the brightness of a pearl in terms of how much light reflects from it’s surface. This gives them their ethereal quality.

Color depends on the type of pearl. Most unusual colors are more expensive. Tahitian or black pearls are from the Pacific Islands particularly French Polynesia. South Sea pearls come from Indonesia and Philippines for white colors. Color is a matter of preference.

Size the larger sizes are usually more expensive.

Shape is important. An ideal pearl is perfectly round.

Surface Condition The pearl should be smooth and free of pits, holes, scratches and imperfections. Some are acceptable though in natural and larger pearls.


Storing Pearls

Pearls are extremely delicate, organic pieces. They require proper care. Store them separately in cloth lined boxes or jewelry bags.

Never wear your pearls in a swimming pool. And keep hair products, cosmetics and perfume away. Put your pearls on last after your products have dried. Wipe any residue off with a soft dry cloth.

Restring your pearls every five years. More often if you wear them regularly.


Caring For Pearls

September 3rd

Introducing the Girls

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My pets Murray and Gracie. Get to know more about them in coming posts.

IMG_1779IMG_1795Murray is my 12 year old kitty and Gracie is her little beast sister. Both are rescued.

September 3rd




September signals the beginning of fall.

Fall may be my favorite season. Especially when I am in Michigan visiting my family and dearest friends. Living in Los Angeles, I long for seasonal changes that we don’t have here. The change of attitude that goes along with the cooler air and warmer colors. A cozying up and winding down from the activities of summer.

A more serious tone sets. A back to school attitude for everyone. More serious fashion. Boots and rich hair color.

My fall is a time of  going home, nature walks, apple crisp, bird watching, and layering cashmere. Wool blankets, heirloom quilts and tea by a fireplace. A time when I reflect on the year and look at my goals for the coming months. Nature helps me center myself.

What does fall mean to you?

September 3rd


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JS9_4433Since my birthday is on the first day of spring I am partial to the fresh and light fragrances that evoke the season.

Diorissimo is the perfume that I wear when I want to feel like I’m home in the springtime, with all of the delicate blooms filling the damp air. My absolute favorite being lily of the valley. Growing like weeds in my home state of Michigan, this flower  always inspires me to stop and smell and breathe. Sigh.

This classic perfume debuted in 1956. A classic worn by Princess Grace of Monaco.  Heavy on the lily of the valley and other white flowers it has a clean fresh note that keeps it from being too sweet.

More than 50 years later Diorissimo is reinventing itself. Well, Francois Demanchy (Dior’s in house nose) is.

I can’t imagine my beloved scent needs an upgrade or reinvention. By adding black currant, neroli, Turkish rose and Egyptian jasmine, it it supposed to be a sexier version.

In my opinion, it was sexy enough as an innocent, elegant fragrance.


September 3rd

Serge Normant

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The creative director of the the salon I call home is Serge Normant. It is completely inspiring to work with him. He is famous for his editorial work including almost every memorable magazine cover imaginable. His work with celebrities like Julia Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker is legendary, as well as his work with many, many other A-list beauties.  Check out Serge’s books here.

Segre Normant Salon

Serge Normant Salon

Here are a few pics from my iphone of Serge explaining his technique for creating beachy waves on me.



September 2nd

Leaving town

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JS7_5771I can not wait to leave for Paris this month and on to the south of France. I plan to over pack for my tour of Provence.

I know we should be more practical with our packing. But my suitcases have wheels and are ultra light. I will be sure to leave room for shopping. But I will also over load on dresses, I never regret those.

Keys to over packing include, bringing every outfit you ever dreamed of wearing but never found the courage to wear in your hometown. If it looks fab you can pull it off on vacation.

If I am bringing a checked bag, I usually include my full size toiletries too. This depends on the item. But mostly it is comforting to set up the bathroom like I like.

Paris will be amazing! I can’t wait to share my pics!!

September 2nd


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Candlewick Glass

Oh boy! Where do I start?

My Grandmother was so fierce. I didn’t begin to get it until she passed away in 97.

She was an Elizabeth Taylor type. Dark hair, beautiful and sexy. Yes she was sexy. I get it now. Many years later.

When she was getting older, she packed up her treasured belongings and moved in with us. An estate sale got rid of the rest.

This estate sale changed my life forever.

I was about 15 when this happened. My mother needed to liquidate the house asap.

Among the items for sale…. 5 candlewick cordial glasses. $1.00. Oh yeah, I bought them.

They were dirty and covered with basement film. After one wash  was hooked.

These cordials were the base of my entire collection and enduring passion for this pattern of depression glass.

The delicate beaded edge still drives me crazy. I can’t stop buying it! I recently found myself with 3 punch bowls! I sold the extra two….

I love the utility and delicacy of this pattern. Meant to be used everyday, I challenge you to find a modern tableware for everyday that matches the elegance and glamour of these simple  pieces.

September 2nd

Setting The Table with Art Deco China

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This is one of my favorite tables, set with one of my favorite sets of china; my Art Deco Shelley china from 1920’s England.

And of course my Fostoria buttercup elegant glassware from the depression. The best part of this photo is that the table is set incorrectly!


“Try doing as I say, not as I do.” -  that was my Mother’s motto anyway. Even with all of my many sets of tableware, I too, suffer from stage fright and table setting jitters.

But setting a table is simple.

Bread plate/knife to the left of the dinner plate.

Salad knife first then dinner knife to the left of the dinner plate.

Dinner plate in center with the salad/appetizer plate on top.

Napkin can rest on top of the plate as I never seem to have room on the table to the left of the forks.

Then knife to the right of the plate followed by the spoon.

Dessert spoon and fork can also go above the dinner plate.

Coffee cup and saucer above the dessert spoon and fork.

Water and wine glasses to the right of the dinner plate. Water glass above knife’s tip.

Wine glass lower right of water glass.

Dessert plates are arranged after the main course is over.

September 2nd

Tea Time

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Taking a break to dish with a friend or just unwind from the day, try actually using your pretty tea set. You will be amazed at how much better your tea or coffee tastes in a china cup and saucer. It is not much effort to use your pretty things and feel pampered.

My friend at Hermes always remembers me saying how everything tastes better in fine china. He loves to tell that to his clients in the home department! It makes me laugh because it is something I honestly believe that everyone should be doing!

These are the little rituals that get me through the day. The small private moments that nurture my soul. It is worth washing by hand. I even love that chore if it is an object of beauty. Care about the little things. They are the moments that gradually add up to a life well lived.

September 2nd

Fabric by the Yard

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Yesterday I visited my dear friend Holly Chamness in her work room. She runs a custom drapery business catering to the top interior designers in California. She is one of the last artisan workrooms around, hand finishing draperies with the touch of the finest couture houses in Paris. She made all of the white linen drapes in my home and the gorgeous silk taffeta heart stoppers in my bedroom and dining room.

Yesterday, I popped in to see about luggage covers. An unusual request for sure. But I know Holly is the only one who understands. She pulled out her Gucci Rolls Royce luggage from the 80’s and showed me the exquisite covers made for it.

She insists I need leather corners.

With her signature auburn locks and southern charm, Holly is the epitome of grace. Her style is at once modern and old world.

Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest among other publications.

About Jessica

Jessica Tingley is no stranger to beauty and fashion. She regularly appears on television spotting trends and showing how to recreate them at home. Jessica has been featured in numerous publications including Allure, InStyle and Cosmopolitan. Currently, she is the spokeswoman for Aveeno including its ads, public relations efforts & product development.



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Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon
8440 Melrose Place
Los Angeles CA


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