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Christmas at John Derian

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In New York, it's never too soon to start celebrating the holidays. Last week, I went with Martha to one of our favorite stores, John Derian, to get a sneak peak of all the new decorations.

John Derian provides new, vintage and antique products chosen from all over the world. His shop evokes the feel of a flea market, but you know each piece is of the highest quality. The inventory is always changing, and holidays are a big deal. This year was no disappointment; I could hardly rule out any images for this–gallery they were all so enamoring.

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Welcome to John Derian at Christmastime, where glitter is king. My kind of place!

1 Welcome to John Derian at Christmastime, where glitter is king. My kind of place!

In case you wanted to swing by...

2 In case you wanted to swing by...

Martha and John Derian. This is one of our absolute favorite stores, and it was such a treat to preview the ornament-palooza for holidays.

3 Martha and John Derian. This is one of our absolute favorite stores, and it was such a treat to preview the ornament-palooza for holidays.

All over the store, trees were decorated by theme and ornament type. These glittered, glossy birds could be wonderful in year-round arrangements.

4 All over the store, trees were decorated by theme and ornament type. These glittered, glossy birds could be wonderful in year-round arrangements.

The selection at John Derian is anything but meager. From santas and igloos to foxes and beetles, every pile held a new discovery, whether holiday-themed or not!

5 The selection at John Derian is anything but meager. From santas and igloos to foxes and beetles, every pile held a new discovery, whether holiday-themed or not!

How incredible is this bubbled gloss whale ornament? I was so into the animal theme.

6 How incredible is this bubbled gloss whale ornament? I was so into the animal theme.

This tree contained owls and cats in dark grey wintery tones.

7 This tree contained owls and cats in dark grey wintery tones.

The walrus was such an incredible color.

8 The walrus was such an incredible color.

Dinosaurs! It is always smart to keep a sense of humor when decorating; what could be more fun than finding one of these monsters tucked away during a party?

9 Dinosaurs! It is always smart to keep a sense of humor when decorating; what could be more fun than finding one of these monsters tucked away during a party?

You'll never guess who broke an ornament...

10 You'll never guess who broke an ornament...

Not it!

11 Not it!

And guess who cleaned it up! Playing with beautiful ornaments can be a tricky business.

12 And guess who cleaned it up! Playing with beautiful ornaments can be a tricky business.

From a distance, these disks remind me of whirly-pops (that's just my sweet-tooth speaking), but up close you see that they're fruit slices. Amazing.

13 From a distance, these disks remind me of whirly-pops (that's just my sweet-tooth speaking), but up close you see that they're fruit slices. Amazing.

Tiny Santas! I love the fuzzy felt material used on so many of these.

14 Tiny Santas! I love the fuzzy felt material used on so many of these.

This tree is especially frozen, laden with creatures from the far ends of the snow-capped world.

15 This tree is especially frozen, laden with creatures from the far ends of the snow-capped world.

More fuzzy animals on this North Pole tree, from whales of all kinds to polar bears.

16 More fuzzy animals on this North Pole tree, from whales of all kinds to polar bears.

Though this tree looks extra frosty cool, it's donned with elephants and giraffes from warmer climates.

17 Though this tree looks extra frosty cool, it's donned with elephants and giraffes from warmer climates.

The paper maché ornaments were truly amazing. The orange and grey coloring was fittingly rustic, but their designs were so haute.

18 The paper maché ornaments were truly amazing. The orange and grey coloring was fittingly rustic, but their designs were so haute.

A fabulous, gleaming droplet.

19 A fabulous, gleaming droplet.

I can think of so many decorative uses for there strings of beads. Beyond the tree and mantle, there are always wreaths, table settings, and banisters to be made dazzling.

20 I can think of so many decorative uses for there strings of beads. Beyond the tree and mantle, there are always wreaths, table settings, and banisters to be made dazzling.

...and in other colors. I love to mix in surprising colors when decorating for the holidays.

21 ...and in other colors. I love to mix in surprising colors when decorating for the holidays.

A tiny bird with its eggs in a nest. Finding ornaments in any tree, especially the ones tucked way back, is part of the decorative fun.

22 A tiny bird with its eggs in a nest. Finding ornaments in any tree, especially the ones tucked way back, is part of the decorative fun.

These sturdier beaded start ornaments would work on top of a tree or poking through flower arrangements.

23 These sturdier beaded start ornaments would work on top of a tree or poking through flower arrangements.

Serious sunburst tree-toppers. At John Derian, treasures are already glittered for you and it's not necessary to spend hours in the craft room!

24 Serious sunburst tree-toppers. At John Derian, treasures are already glittered for you and it's not necessary to spend hours in the craft room!

The plethora of options was mind-boggling, in a good way. Holiday shopping is all about sensory overload.

25 The plethora of options was mind-boggling, in a good way. Holiday shopping is all about sensory overload.

I think these tiny glittered owls are incredible; so exquisite.

26 I think these tiny glittered owls are incredible; so exquisite.

The finish on this feather almost reminds me of weathered furniture. So fitting for the feather, and in such glamorous white/gold.

27 The finish on this feather almost reminds me of weathered furniture. So fitting for the feather, and in such glamorous white/gold.

This one reminds me of a Christmas firework!

28 This one reminds me of a Christmas firework!

Christmas is here! I love this place.

29 Christmas is here! I love this place.

Regal blue elephants next to a mini-Eiffel Tower. Et voila!

30 Regal blue elephants next to a mini-Eiffel Tower. Et voila!

A cluster of glittery acorns; these would be great hung from a doorknob.

31 A cluster of glittery acorns; these would be great hung from a doorknob.

These little whale ornaments look like real silvery, slippery fish.

32 These little whale ornaments look like real silvery, slippery fish.

Tiny gilded pagodas.

33 Tiny gilded pagodas.

Back to reality: a range of cake-stands in more typical John Derian patterns. Can't wait for my birthday.

34 Back to reality: a range of cake-stands in more typical John Derian patterns. Can't wait for my birthday.

Fortune cookies. If we let Martha hold one maybe it will get cracked open.

35 Fortune cookies. If we let Martha hold one maybe it will get cracked open.

This is one stunning ornament, with its spindles and unique beading.

36 This is one stunning ornament, with its spindles and unique beading.

Saw this just as I was leaving; the Ace of Spaces on a little dish.

37 Saw this just as I was leaving; the Ace of Spaces on a little dish.

A lump of coal! Always clever at John Derian.

38 A lump of coal! Always clever at John Derian.

Il Papiro

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A recent visit to Il Papiro, a stationery shop on Lexington Avenue, reminded me of how I love the shop's fine selection. The shop owners, John and Marilyn Leon, have operated the United States branch of Il Papiro for decades, priding themselves on maintaining a century-old technique in paper-making.

Il Papiro is one of the only existing paper-makers today that utilizes the 'papier a cuve' method of decoration. Said to have been invented by the royal book binder of Louis XIII, 'papier a cuve' is a process of applying paper to colored liquid solutions for a permanent, marbleized finish.

Because the paper technique is liquid based, no two products come out exactly the same. Every gift item or personal treasure at Il Papiro is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind.

Have a look at the shop and some of its wonderful items!

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The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

1 The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

2 This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

3 Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

4 Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

5 One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

Such fun writing utensils!

6 Such fun writing utensils!

The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

7 The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

There are too many great items to choose from.

8 There are too many great items to choose from.

All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

9 All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

10 Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

11 Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

12 I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

They are so pretty, too.

13 They are so pretty, too.

Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

14 Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

15 I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

16 Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

17 I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

18 Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

19 This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

Start to finish, the process is amazing!

20 Start to finish, the process is amazing!

A great, daily agenda.

21 A great, daily agenda.

Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

22 Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

23 The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

Aside from the New York store, Il Papiro is located in Palm Beach, Florida, Venice, Rome, and several other locations in Italy (as well as online!). Their line of paper goods includes hardbound address books, photo albums, stationary, and a variety of desk accessories.

Promoting an important artisan-family tradition, Il Papiro crafts some of the most interesting and beautiful papers I have ever seen.

The Neue Galerie

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The number of exceptional galleries and museums located in New York City never ceases to amaze me. I'm sure you're all familiar with some of them: The Whitney, The Guggenheim, The Met, The Frick. But I would like to tell you a bit about a lesser known, equally sensational art institution here in New York, known as The Neue Galerie.

Located at 1048 Fifth Avenue in a gorgeous 1914 townhouse, the artwork on display in the Neue is just one of the many reasons to pay visit to the gallery. Designed by the renown duo Carrere and Hastings (architects of the New York Public Library), the building in which the gallery resides boasts grand staircases and beautifully molded-oak walls. It once belonged to Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III, and now features two fashionable cafes, and a fabulous design shop.

Here's a bit of history for you on the Neue. Art collectors Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky, in a concerted effort to attract interest in German and Austrian art, decided to open a gallery in the early 90's. However during their planning stages, Mr. Sabarsky died suddenly. Lauder, keen on realizing the pair's shared dream, founded the gallery himself in November, 2001. The space is dedicated to the memory of Lauder's dear friend, Mr. Sabarsky.

Currently on view is the exhibition "Selections from the Permanent Collection." Have a look at some of the photos I took while at the Neue.

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On the first floor of the gallery, there is a wonderful design shop.

1 On the first floor of the gallery, there is a wonderful design shop.

Inside, you can find a variety of fine and interesting glassware, jewelry, and gift items.

2 Inside, you can find a variety of fine and interesting glassware, jewelry, and gift items.

These light fixtures hang all around the gallery. They are so modern and elegant.

3 These light fixtures hang all around the gallery. They are so modern and elegant.

This photo gives you a sense of the stunning architecture and decor of the building.

4 This photo gives you a sense of the stunning architecture and decor of the building.

The staircase is marble and spiraling.

5 The staircase is marble and spiraling.

During my visit, a guide shared with me that the paint on the walls is touched up once a week!

6 During my visit, a guide shared with me that the paint on the walls is touched up once a week!

Another shot of the amazing second floor entrance hall.

7 Another shot of the amazing second floor entrance hall.

Vienna 1900: Style and Identity was the name of the exhibition on display when I visited in early August.

8 Vienna 1900: Style and Identity was the name of the exhibition on display when I visited in early August.

Famous paintings by Gustav Klimt hang on the marble and gilded walls.

9 Famous paintings by Gustav Klimt hang on the marble and gilded walls.

I was in awe of the detail and beauty of Klimt's paintings up close.

10 I was in awe of the detail and beauty of Klimt's paintings up close.

Viennese fashions were also included in the exhibition.

11 Viennese fashions were also included in the exhibition.

Klimt's renown portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, completed in 1907.

12 Klimt's renown portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, completed in 1907.

Klimt's portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, completed in 1916.

13 Klimt's portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, completed in 1916.

A close-up of the marble molding, used to frame the works of art.

14 A close-up of the marble molding, used to frame the works of art.

Klimt's portrait of Serena Lederer, completed in 1899.

15 Klimt's portrait of Serena Lederer, completed in 1899.

Another gallery on the second floor houses books by Sigmund Freud, architectural models, and paintings by other German and Austrian artists.

16 Another gallery on the second floor houses books by Sigmund Freud, architectural models, and paintings by other German and Austrian artists.

A reproduction of Freud's famed psychoanalysis sofa.

17 A reproduction of Freud's famed psychoanalysis sofa.

The walls of the gallery are very elaborate.

18 The walls of the gallery are very elaborate.

There are many things to look at inside the building, besides the amazing artwork.

19 There are many things to look at inside the building, besides the amazing artwork.

Vienna 1900, the last exhibition, highlights a period of Modernist thought. The sanitarium was a popular development of the time — a reproduction of one is pictured here.

20 Vienna 1900, the last exhibition, highlights a period of Modernist thought. The sanitarium was a popular development of the time — a reproduction of one is pictured here.

These chairs are from a 1900's sanitarium.

21 These chairs are from a 1900's sanitarium.

I love how multimedia the exhibit is — paintings, books, and decor all help illustrate this important time frame in Vienna.

22 I love how multimedia the exhibit is — paintings, books, and decor all help illustrate this important time frame in Vienna.

What amazing floor to ceiling windows!

23 What amazing floor to ceiling windows!

A gorgeous, gilded mirror hangs over the marble fireplace of the gallery.

24 A gorgeous, gilded mirror hangs over the marble fireplace of the gallery.

The third gallery of the second floor shows provocative sketches by various artists.

25 The third gallery of the second floor shows provocative sketches by various artists.

Much thought went into curating the Vienna 1900 exhibit. Everything from the red paint of the walls to the layout of the art is really spectacular.

26 Much thought went into curating the Vienna 1900 exhibit. Everything from the red paint of the walls to the layout of the art is really spectacular.

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The German painting gallery.

28 The German painting gallery.

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Klimt landscapes are not as well known, but still brilliant works.

30 Klimt landscapes are not as well known, but still brilliant works.

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Expressionist painting is highlighted in the German gallery.

34 Expressionist painting is highlighted in the German gallery.

One of the galleries on the top floor of the Neue had different printed papers covering the wall. They lent the space a very graphic, timely design.

35 One of the galleries on the top floor of the Neue had different printed papers covering the wall. They lent the space a very graphic, timely design.

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Fine and decorative art were very closely related during this time in Vienna.

37 Fine and decorative art were very closely related during this time in Vienna.

Glassware by Otto Prutscher.

38 Glassware by Otto Prutscher.

A cutlery set by Josef Hoffman.

39 A cutlery set by Josef Hoffman.

A gallery on the third floor dedicated to modern, twentieth-century architecture.

40 A gallery on the third floor dedicated to modern, twentieth-century architecture.

This was my favorite gallery. I love seeing furniture from this era.

41 This was my favorite gallery. I love seeing furniture from this era.

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Furniture of the time was very detailed and ornate.

43 Furniture of the time was very detailed and ornate.

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Old advertising prints from the 1900's line one of the corridors between galleries.

46 Old advertising prints from the 1900's line one of the corridors between galleries.

At the end of the exhibition there is an interesting video installation.

47 At the end of the exhibition there is an interesting video installation.

This is a shot of the book store. I could spend hours here browsing the gallery's collection of art and design titles! And once again, the space is truly beautiful.

48 This is a shot of the book store. I could spend hours here browsing the gallery's collection of art and design titles! And once again, the space is truly beautiful.

There is a cafe, Cafe Sabarsky, on the ground floor of the building. The atmosphere is charming, the coffee, strong, and the Viennese pastries, delicious!

49 There is a cafe, Cafe Sabarsky, on the ground floor of the building. The atmosphere is charming, the coffee, strong, and the Viennese pastries, delicious!

With the ten year anniversary of the Neue coming up in November, I wanted to make sure you all were paying attention to this remarkable gallery. Communications Manager at the Neue, Leah Ammon, explained to me that in honor of the big birthday, there will be a phenomenal exhibition coming up soon.

Keep an eye out for this show. I am certain it will exciting.