Glowing Gold Leaf….

I recently discovered this amazing boutique Stella Cadente, located in Paris . It caught my eye, partly because of the clothing and displays but mostly because of the amazing gold leaf…the entire boutique appears to be clad in gold leaf! What a job….gold leaf is a difficult product to handle and even more difficult to execute well. so to see this scope of work done well, was good to see…I can only imagine the challenges which the decorative artists faced!

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I find the curved walls and display units rather unique too…

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The rich gold sets off the clothing and accessories very well.

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Even the walls have been gold leafed as you are able to see on the right in this image.

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Viewed from the outside, the boutique really does glow..such a contrast to the grey buildings on either side.Very stylish, but then what else does one expect from Paris?

I am currently sourcing some inspiration for a gold leaf project I am working on ….it seems that I have a few projects lately involving gold leaf and one which requires 23.75 k gold leaf…basically pure gold. This is one I am really excited about as it is a prestigious penthouse in an amazing property in Dubai and using pure gold always makes for a spectacular finish which literally does glow like a piece of jewellery.

I hope to be able to post some images of that soon!

A Visit to Sharjah……

American University Sharjah

I recently spent some time with good friends who have lived in the UAE even longer than I have and they took me and a few other friends to the old Sharjah Souq or market where there are serious bargains to be had…especially carpets…in fact my friend picked up the most gorgeous Persian carpet (silk and wool) for an amazing price! While I was not interested in buying a carpet, I was intrigued by the show put on by the carpet trader who unrolled at least 30 carpets for us to look at, spreading each one out on the floor with a flourish, while we sat on wooden benches sipping sweet tea and Arabic coffee.                                                                                Then the hard work started while my friend and her husband bargained with Mr Mohammad, the carpet seller! After much moaning and comaplaining about how he was being robbed, they settled on a price and the carpet was rolled up and loaded into their car….I should add that this is the 6th or 7th carpet my friend has bought from Mr Mohammad and she assures me that each time, the show is exactly the same…including the moaning about how she is taking food from his many children!!! They always part friends and each party ends up very happy…the joys of bargaining….

Here are a few images I took while wandering around….

shopping in the souq
another interesting store with a myriad of items for sale
amazing traditional dress with incredible embroidery
newly renovated traditional home

I must say that I enjoyed my visit immensely and found it refreshing to be among traditional buildings and a slightly slower pace  of life for a change………

Shopping in Satwa…..

A couple of weeks ago I was helping a friend(C) source products for a commercial shoot she was working on…her job is to source and find items which the producer needs to set up the shoot  ……I sometimes help her when she has a tight deadline.

Dubai is a large and very sprawling city and two people can obviously cover the city a lot better and faster than one…we meet in the morning and she gives me a list of items I need to collect , some cash and off I go…I really enjoy it and it is not unlike sourcing items for a decorating project….just a LOT more rushed!

The last time I was sourcing, I had to pick up some Shisha (sheesha) pipes for my friend C. I took these pictures to show her what I had found and to allow her to decide if she liked them or not…this incredible shop is in a suburb called Satwa, and is filled with the most amazing little stores….like a bustling market place in Mumbai or somewhere in Hong Kong. I love shopping there and finding little treasure troves like the Sheesha shop….there are also a lot of fabric shops, tailors, upholsterers, general stores, car detailing stores, electronics, mobile phone stores….I am sure you get the picture!

Shisha pipes are used for smoking different flavoured tobaccos…..the smoke is cooled and filtered by being passed through water. The name comes from the Persian word shishe , meaning glass and this practice is enjoyed by the majority of Arabs in this part of the world and a lot of expats too…..I personally don’t enjoy it (I also don’t smoke ) but many of my friends love relaxing after a tough day with a Sheesha…’s a very sociable way to unwind with friends at a cafe or restaurant and most restaurants with outdoor facilities offer Sheesha. I must admit that even though I don’t enjoy the Sheesha, I do love the smell of the different tobaccos… is a scent I will always associate with the Middle East and my time here.

Shisha pipes

I think they are so pretty with the jewel colours against the light. This shop in Satwa was amazing…full of the most interesting things…I will definitely be going back to have another look around.