Friday, October 9, 2009

Inspirations: Reverie, Pacha Design, and Wild Thyme

Sorry that I was away for longer than I'd planned! This week somehow escaped me, but I want to thank you for your amazing responses to my last post. Thanks, too, to friends who pay a visit without commenting or who send me an email. I feel as though blogging splits my world wide open like the proverbial oyster.

As promised, here's the first of my posts about people, places, and things that inspire me. I'm having so much fun that I might just get carried away . . .

One of my sweetest, most generous, and creative blogging friends is Melissa at Reverie. She is a daily inspiration to me through her blog posts, which are filled with gorgeous photographs and thoughtful prose; her comments, which never fail to warm my heart or make me laugh or both; and through her online store, Reverie Daydream Boutique. The great William Morris once said, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Well, not only are the treasures in Melissa's boutique beautiful and useful, they are made by talented artisans from around the world. Reverie Daydream Boutique supports the work of gifted craftspeople and small businesses. Melissa is a nature lover, so her company is environementally conscious, using recycled materials for all its packaging. Receiving a box in the post from Reverie is a treat for the senses.
Two of my favorite Reverie items are the ceramic sparrow vases by San Francisco Bay area artist J. Mendicino and the rose garden scented drawer liners by Hammocks and High tea. My birthday is coming soon. Think my husband will see this post?

Another small company that rocks my world is Pacha Design, a pair of designers located at the border of Devon and Cornwall who specialize in creating furniture from locally sourced reclaimed and natural materials. I love their clean, spare designs that draw attention to the beauty of the materials themselves. With its simple lines, their furniture would look great in a wide variety of interiors.
Pictured above is their blackened oak console table with drawer. Wouldn't it make a great front hall table? I'd love to hang a large antique mirror above it. Below are their ethereally beautiful leaf lanterns.

Last, but most definitely not least, Wild Thyme is a Toronto-based floral design business with a gorgeous website that makes me wish I lived in Toronto. They also have a beautiful blog that I visit for fresh ideas in flowers, fashion, and design. This past week I was especially inspired by two posts at Wild Thyme, both concerning books. The first is about a book that will be coming out in November from Yale University Press:

Mary Delany was an 18th-century British aristocrat and artist whose patrons included King George III and Queen Charlotte. Delany's paper mosaics of flowers, like the passionflower depicted above, are absolutely stunning, and even more remarkable when one learns that she began making them in her seventies. I can't wait for this book to come out!

The other post I want to mention stopped me in my tracks when I read it, and it has been haunting me ever since.
It's about a passage from a book by Christian Tortu called Sensational Bouquets. Monsieur Tortu wrote in response to a deadly forest fire that had been set by an arsonist in the South of France in 1999. I will quote just a small portion of the passage here. Head over to Wild Thyme for more:
We have scheduled our first photographs for this book (Sensational Bouquets) to be taken at this time. We of course feel the need to testify through a bouquet composed of plant life from the desolate area. We are not out to record final images of the site, for we know that the land will revive.

In the weeks and months following this apocalypse, the landscape is in mourning. Black predominated at all levels. The holiest of trees, one hundred year old olive trees, were but pantomimes barely standing out against a background of gray, brown and black.

I painfully remember a herd of boars, adults and little ones, wandering aimlessly along the road, bewildered of what they had seen of hell.......For miles and miles, it seemed like the end of the world.
The photograph above is of flowers taken from the burnt landscape and made into a bouquet. Tortu's words resonate painfully in the wake of devastating fires this year in California, the west coast of Canada, as well as those in Australia, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere--some started by arsonists as well.
Near the end of this passage, Tortu writes, "All our indignation is in vain if we are not deeply concious of our every act [. . .] nature belongs to a time that outlives our own existence."
Thank you to Reverie, Pacha Design, and Wild Thyme Flowers for your devotion to the natural world and to our own place within it. You bring beauty to the world every single day. Nothing inspires me more than that.


  1. I adore Wild Thyme as well. A wonderful new find for me. Thanks so much for bringing the others to my attention. I'm off to pay them a visit!
    Wishing you a lovely weekend!

  2. oh good morning dear gigi ~
    unquestionably the most inspiring inspirations!
    i can't remember if i met you through simply mel, or if i met her through you ... but you both are such incredibly genuine souls and it shines through in all you do ... xo xo
    and yes! i know that you also introduced me to pacha design ~ i especially love love the leaf lantern ...
    and now, i am most grateful to you again for introducing me to wild thyme ~ most lovely ... i have visited her blog and read more about the mary delaney book ... something i must seek out ...
    thank you for sharing, once again these true beauties ~
    prairiegirl xo

  3. Great post! Love Mel as well. I've been obsessed with her new soaps, have not yet tried, but hopefully soon. Cute cermaics. That book looks interesting.

    I picked up Charlotte Bronte book, very interested but want to read more of the Austen books first. Thanks for the movie suggestions, I'll have to check it out. Have a lovely weekend and week. Will try to pop in when I can!

    Lots of love,

  4. I absolutely adore Reverie also...will check out the other places you recommended...wonderful wonderful post as usual, are so inspiring to me! Have a wonderful weekend! I can't wait to see what you write next....XXOO

  5. Wow! That is inspirational, gorgeous and poignant...and how beautiful is that bouquet? Really powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Gigi,

    This was a lovely post to wake up to. I am thrilled to hear of Wild Thyme. When I was an antiquarian bookselller I had several older books on Mrs. Delany. She was quite a woman. I will look forward to seeing the new book.

    Thank you for these gifts of inspiration.


  7. I adore Mel's lovely taste as well, that lady certainly does celebrate a charmed life! That leaf votive is so delicate & dreamy...almost like the wing of a dragonfly! Happy Friday Gigi!

  8. I love it when I get to read a great post and open a few links to check out other wonderful things while doing so. I love the little vases, so I know I will find fun treasures at Reverie. Thanks!


  9. So glad you found my blog! That leaf lantern is so pretty!!

  10. Oh Gigi you continue to awe and inspire! I can't wait to explore Reverie and I, too, love Pacha Design! I loved reading about your three inspirations, but it was the second part of the post, however, that truly inspired me. Specifically A) that Mrs. Delaney was in her 70s when she made those flowers and B) the imagery of a drove of wild boars wandering, stupefied, panicked, lost in the wasteland of their own burnt forest. Thank you for teaching me about these two sumptuous books- I'm adding them to my Amazing wish-list pronto.

    You're amazing! Have a wonderful weekend. Now off to the studio...
    xo your admiring new pal from the desert;)

  11. What a lovely post, Gigi....such inspirational blogs and wonderful items....I love the delicate leaf lantern. You too are an inspiration to us all, Gigi. I always look forward to your posts. XXXX

  12. Dearest Gigi,
    It is a bit hard for me to type through the tears that are flowing. You are such an incredible and wonderful person, and I am deeply touched and honored to be included in your list of inspirations. 'Meeting' people with warm, deep, beautiful souls like yours has made this journey of blogging and beginning a business that I believe in worth its weight in gold. I am a firm believer in surrounding yourself with those who you wish to be like, find inspiration from, or share the same passions, interests and joys, so it is no surprise that from the moment we crossed paths, there was a very special connection. Thank you from the depths of my heart for these incredibly written words and including me within a circle of two phenomenal artists. The poignant words of Tortue render me speechless....
    Gigi, merci beaucoup for warming my heart and soul on this special day and every day.

  13. The bouquet is a beautiful but chilling reminder of the enormity of nature and how little control we actually have over it. Lovely post - I'm off to look at all your wonderful links. Have a lovely weekend. Leigh

  14. Oh what a wonderful post. I adore Mel and her beautiful spirit, loved everything you said about her.

    Pacha Designs look amazing, I just cannot get over the leaf lantern, just ethereal.

    The last is one I relate to sadly. The fires that devastated Victora came very close to us. It does look like the end of the world - still, quite heartbreaking.

    Thank you for the wonderful links my friend and for your encouraging comments at mine.

  15. HI Gigi
    I'm new to your blog by way of Jacqueline and Carole and am delighted to be here. Such gorgeous images you have throughout your posts I will need to come back with more time to savour them all..

    Love this post.. Mel is such a sweetheart and has a both beautiful and inspiring blog, and the others are new to me so I will enjoy looking through these links. The book image for 'Mrs Delaney' is simply gorgeous and the next image is also strangely haunting as you say.. I think most Australian's are fearing this coming summer and still feel sadness over the bushfires in Victoria recently..

  16. I love finding new places to visit to find inspiration ...I especially love Mel's Reverie and will be visiting frequently...and those illustrations of Mrs. Delany's book...lucious!
    Thanks Gigi!

  17. Hi Gigi,
    I'm glad to see that Julie stopped by to visit. She like you writes beautifully and I believe you'll have much in common!

  18. ooh those leaf lanterns are beautiful!

  19. the pacha design furniture looks amazing - i love when furniture is created with reclaimed wood, gives it a whole new life!

  20. what a beautiful, beautiful post.
    are you going to share with me, your born day? : )

  21. The furniture was particularly lovely.
    But the burnt flowers touched me somehow.......
    such a lovely blog.

  22. I particularly liked Christian Tortu's words in describing the landscape touched by fire. And that photo of the burnt flowers is incredible in the emotion it evokes.

  23. Such variety, visual beaut and pleasure in this post, Gigi...I loved this style focus, very fun! Wild Thyme is a gem... Happy Days ((HUGS))

  24. I love that it stopped you in your tracks. Love it. And, now. I'm off to learn more about M. Tortu.

  25. wow, thankyou so much Gigi, we are very flattered indeed. And in such good company too, thankyou.

    sammy & glenn


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