Friday, March 25, 2011

Review of ‘Belle Blanc: Aus Liebe zu Weiß’ by Mira Schnepf and Bianca Aurich

All content from Belle Blanc: Aus Liebe zu Weiss by Mira Schnepf and
Bianca Aurich, published by Busse Seewald, 2011

At long last, I can glue my bookplate in.  

Belle Blanc: Aus Liebe zu Weiß (Beautiful White: For the Love of White)
ISBN 978-3-512-03354-4

9 x 11”
High quality paper with the title embossed in zinc foil. Yummy.


“Why should I buy this book?   It’s $50, their blogs are free to view, and it’s in German.”


Just in case you’re thinking this, and I doubt you are, gentle reader, I will relay why you should.

The price is now $34 with free shipping from The Book Depository.

It’s the sort of book that never gets shelved.   It’ll stay on my dresser or in my tote bag.

If you love New England/Cape Cod, Cottage, and Jeanne d’Arc Living décor, this book is a must for those aspiring to perfect the ,,White and Worn” style.   Lastly, if you have a weakness for old roses you’re going to have a heart attack at the bounty of them throughout.

Pictures speak louder than words, and it’s obvious to see the book is organized by room and garden.   The experience was like those wordless illustrated books I enjoyed as a child.   If you must, type text into Google Translate and read to your heart’s content.

There are merely two pictures I recognize from their blogs: this is fresh material.   The layout is a dream.    Expanded font.   White space.   Edited palette.   Pictures evenly toned.   All imparts an atmosphere of blissful beauty.

What touched me the most was the level of elegance Mira and Bianca achieve in average suburban homes.    I’m the sort of person that swoons over homes with 14 foot ceilings, rinceau, and 19th century oak floors in a herringbone pattern.   However, these ladies made their spaces as special as can be without adding texture to the walls.   Their Nordic-influenced kitchens will have you ripping out your kitchen cabinets and installing shelving to display your ironstone and French wire kitchenware.   They expertly fuse new fixtures with vintage items in the bathrooms, softening the modernity without muddling the clean lines.   Tasty dishes and recipes round the content out.

Mira and Bianca spent a lot of money and time and it shows: Belle Blanc: Aus Liebe zu Weiß glows with heart.   These are the sort of shots acquired only by planning, waiting, and shooting over & over at different angles on different days.   Old roses bloom only for a few weeks, and they work full-time, so the dedication it took to race home from work when the light was still magic and prop & shoot is extraordinary.   Family, cats, and relaxation time surely were sacrificed for their art.


It’s the way I wanted to do my book, so now I have to think of something else.   It should be in linen with a zinc foil title, but publishers are cutting costs.   I have no idea where in the U.S. I’m going to find those old brass church candelabra now that I need them.   My copy was imported and it took 3 weeks to arrive, so every night I came home hoping to see it in the mail I deflated.

Get The Belle Blanc Look: French and German Grain Sack Pillows

Budget Reprints:

The Real Deal:

Mira (Belle Blanc) and Bianca (White Living) made the leap from blogger to print author and I’m very proud of these two, who have been in my top five favorite blogs since I started out.   I’ve contacted the lovely writer that did my German Elle Decoration article to inform her about this tome, and I haven’t heard back from her yet but I’m certain they’ll be featured in “Elle Deco” in short order.

So, hurry over to The Book Depository and serve yourself a slice of heaven.

Bis zum nächsten Mal, bleiben shabby!

I’m sharing this with:

I'd like to broadcast my gratitude to the following bloggers for featuring me recently:

disegno Karina Gentinetta
(This post got me teary eyed, thanks, my friend!) 

(My favorite blog.  Danke, Jade!)

And, as always, my gratitude for everyone's encouraging comments!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My German Elle Decoration Feature

What a big thank you I have to say today!  Liebe Lydia Schmid, you have kindly written a story about me, gaaaaaaaaanz mystified as I am to be in a glossy big-time mag like Elle sharing space with Tommy Hilfiger and Cher.

(Ganz means quite.   My favorite blogger, Jade of White & Shabby, uses this darling adjective often and I adore it.)

I received an invitation to lunch in New York a few days before Christmas for the interview.   She’s originally from Munich and has been living in a lovely Harlem brownstone for over ten years.   Elle’s offices are in the building right next to Radio City Music Hall, and we walked to the Le Pain Quotidien in Rockerfeller Center.   It was full, so she treated me to a steak place where I had lovely fries.   I told her all about the German blog White & Shabby, and how easy it is to find great stories if editors know where to look.   The atmosphere was vibrant with holiday cheer, the sidewalks so full of people, silver bells, smiling traffic cops preventing gridlock in Midtown.   Loved it.   Especially since no one noticed I snuck my Maltese Belle in.

Lydia graciously sent two copies to me, expressing her chagrin, “unfortunately they did not print the truth I had written about you, about your struggles and your chutzpa…I am really sorry as I so admire what you have achieved with so little funds.”   I’m sorry to hear she’s upset about that.   Nevertheless, she loves the story and of course the photos they bought from Trevor Tondro when he shot my studio for the Times are even better printed on glossy paper.   Except that he innocently included this ridiculous dollar store tiara I had lying around waiting for upcycling I never got to, and I didn’t realize (!) one of my books in the mantle vignette has too much color.   This could halt my aspirations as a photographer/stylist mid-stride.   Hopefully, everyone will be distracted by my portrait and remarking what horrible butch arms I have instead.

I should get used to translating German, for any day I’m expecting Mira Schnepf (Belle Blanc) and Bianca Aurich’s (White Living) book BELLE BLANC - Aus Liebe zu Weiß available on   It can be ordered here for about $50, delivery is close to a month.   I promise to do a review.

As always, thank you for your comments and visits, it means so much to me.

Bis zum nächsten Mal, bleiben shabby!

I’m sharing this with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Friday, March 4, 2011

My MaryJane’s Farm & The Bund Magazine Feature

My favorite parts are the pictures with Zuzu and my old Blue Wheaten Ameraucana rooster Alex Lifeson when he was a sleepy baby chick! 

Thank you, MaryJane’s Farm, for publishing such a delightful feature on my studio!   I was approached by Genny Charet in September for permission to do a story, and I confessed I’d never heard of the magazine.    As I often do, I scrambled to find and convert JPEGs to 300 dpi, email them along in small batches, and correct copy.   I wasn’t prepared for such a sophisticated periodical: it’s much like Victoria in the 1980s, only with a little Mother Earth News and Oprah mixed in.   There are ads I’m interested in for organic food, poultry farming, handmade jewelry, books, and more.   Here’s a peek:

MaryJane's Farmgirls Sisterhood members have the “can-do” attitude I find appealing.   They stress you needn’t live on a farm to qualify.   In fact, there’s a posse of contributors including an urban and a suburban writer.   I think I’ll join MaryJane’s Farm and make new friends!

Looks like they could use tutorials, garden tours, and recipes – why not submit something to them today at their Keeping In Touch portal?

The magazine is a little hard to find, but worth it.  The only place I've seen it is Tractor Supply.

Harder to find is my feature in The Bund, a popular Chinese news/lifestyle magazine similar to Time.   Thank you, Dakini Yan Lu, for the interview.    I'd love to share it with you, but I still haven't received my copy.    I made a screenshot of the first page of the PDF proof they sent during the holidays.    I guess it recites the fact I renovated for $3,000, the rest is no different from my Times feature.   A big European magazine bought the story, but I must keep it under wraps until it's published...stay tuned!

Until next time, stay shabby!


I’m sharing this post with Cindy at My Romantic Home – please come to the party!