Reviving Charm Goes to Italy 

italy scrapbook Reviving CharmBuon Giorno! I am very happy to announce that Mr. B and I are hopping on a jet plane and flying off to Italy today. I am over the moon excited because we have a deep love affair with Italy. It must have something to do with the fact that it’s in our DNA. We will be staying in a total of five cities but our trip begins and ends in Milan, one of the great cities of the world. It’s a very chic, urban, and cosmopolitan city. And because of these reasons, I happen to actually love Milano. However, I am always intrigued to learn how others feel about this great city. I have found that most people either love it or hate it. There’s usually no middle ground.

Even now I miss Italy dearly, I dream about it every night – Eila Hiltunen

italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 3It’s hard for me to believe it’s been over ten years since I started creating the photo carousel project highlighted in this post. It is filled with nothing but pictures from our numerous trips to Italy dating back to 2004 and is still a work in progress. When Mr. B and I are back, rest assured that I will be adding more pages to it. But for now let’s flip through a few pages together, shall we…italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 2

So you can get a sense of scale, the smallest page is slightly little larger than a standard business card. I used a variety of items (glitter, stickers, ribbon, rubber stamps, rub-ons, etc.) to embellish each page. I pulled out all the stops by using metallic gold thread to sew a zig-zag stitch on one of the pages (see the first picture at the top of this post). italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 5There are pictures of Mr. B and I scattered among the pages, but the project really focuses on details that capture a slice of Italian life. Coins, train tickets, portions of maps, and ticket stubs are also things I managed to include. For example, the linen pocket below holds business cards picked up at just a few of the wonderful places we’ve had an opportunity to visit over the years.  italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 1grand hotel et de milan Reviving Charm

italy scrapbook Reviving Charm 7 gypsiesgelato favorites Reviving Charmlake como reviving charm scrapbookitaly travel ATC Reviving CharmYou may have noticed how I like incorporating inspirational quotes into many of my blog posts. However, it wasn’t until this particular post that I realized that this was something I was already doing some 10 years ago when I started this project. reviving charm in italyI hope you enjoyed this glimpse at of one of my most prized possessions. Every time I flip through the pages it brings back very happy memories of our travels to a place we love dearly. Even though we are away,  I have still have posts planned for the website so don’t forget to check in.  I will also be posting on Instagram so be sure to follow me around. Ciao!  

Finally….Camping Done Right

Summer is in full swing and many people I know are currently on vacation. An African safari is on my travel bucket list, but since I am not a camper I have a hard time convincing anyone to join me. I keep telling people that I’m not looking to “rough it” and there are several safari camps and lodges that really are quite luxurious by camping standards. In fact, I remember reading about one particular campsite that comes equipped with private bath facilities, including a clawfoot tub. I read about another site, which was described as “Hermes in a Hut”. It might be tough, but I think I can manage…

Several years ago I was trying to talk some family members into going with me on safari.  They weren’t convinced that I would enjoy myself so they suggested that we do a “trial run” by first signing up for the Roar and Snore program at San Diego Wild Animal Park to see how I could handle “roughing it”. Knowing that this was a prerequisite for any future real safari trip, I happily obliged. Three different sleeping arrangements were offered: a simple tent with sleeping bags, a tent with cots, or a premium tent with an actual bed. The decision was a no-brainer so naturally, we opted for the premium tent. It came furnished with a queen bed, nightstands, electrical outlets and even a wood floor. A nearby portable bathroom trailer was part of the premium tent package (a huge selling point) that provided sinks, flushable toilets, and shower facilities. It wasn’t ideal, but it was clean. I still haven’t experienced a real African safari. I lived up to my end of the bargain by being willing to participate in a “trial run”. I think it’s time my family members live up to their end of the bargain. Auntie, if you are reading this….what do you think? Care to join me someday?

This wasn’t really intended to be a post about Roar and Snore and I know it can’t be considered a true, authentic camping experience. But living without modern amenities and the comforts of home is something I am not interested in.  However, after recently learning about Maine’s new glamping site at Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport I might be willing to reconsider my position on the matter! 

The campground officially opened this month with elaborately furnished (for campground standards) spacious tents that include a mini refrigerator, small heater/fan, and bath amenities (a shared bathhouse). Twelve interior designers were called upon to decorate each rustic-luxe tent in high style. Let’s take a look at a few of the designer tents available for rental…Sandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, Maine.Blixen's Oasis, bysandy pines campground maineSandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, MaineSandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, MaineSandy Pines CampgroundSandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, MaineSandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, MaineSandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, MaineIt’s refreshing to see that campgrounds are starting to provide more and more glamping opportunities and a rough-luxe experience as an alternative to traditional tent camping for someone like me. Provide a few comforts of home and I just might be willing to reconsider the concept of camping…in style, of course.

To learn more about Sandy Pines Campground or to view additional detailed pictures of the tents, be sure to check their website.  

Images via Boston Home Magazine and Sandy Pines Campground.

Shop Highlight: Studio Veneto Provides Luxury Italian Decor

Every now and then you stumble across a shop that is truly a unique find. Studio Veneto located in The Village neighborhood of La Jolla, California is one such gem. I came across Studio Veneto several years ago but it wasn’t until last summer that I had a wonderful chat with the owner, Linda McCormick, who allowed me to take pictures of the shop (Thank you, Linda!). I paid a visit to the shop again last weekend and took a few new pictures.
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The exterior of the shop has an elegant quality to it with an old world Italian feel. When you walk up to the space you immediately realize that this shop is truly something special.  studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Studio Veneto is no ordinary antique shop. It is well known for specializing in Italian antiques and textiles sourced directly from Italy. However, you don’t need to be decorating an Italian villa to shop here. Studio Veneto is a great shop visit even if you just need to find a one-of-a-kind item that will make a statement in a room. The shop is not large but there is an abundance of inventory to choose from.

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As you walk into the shop you are immediately greeted with a treasure trove of items. The photo above was from my trip last year, with the photo below from last weekend. The shop is hard to photograph as it is fairly dark with lots of tight spaces and is packed with treasures tucked away in every corner. studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 1

Linda is a woman after my own heart. She has quite the affinity for textiles, particularly being a longtime fan of the prestigious Italian textile maker Fortuny. She sources her textiles directly from Italy and uses them to create pillows, tissue box covers, lampshades and her signature nightlights (shown below). While $175 may sound steep for a nightlight, remember that each shade is made by hand using antique Fortuny fabric. No two are identical. These would look stunning in a powder room although I have contemplated about putting one in the living room.

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Custom lampshades in a variety of shapes and sizes are a particular specialty of Studio Veneto. Tucked away in a small area at the back of the shop you can see a plethora of small shades ready to purchase off the shelf. However, if you are interested in having a custom lampshade crafted for you, there are a number of finials and other lamp parts to choose from (shown below along the right-hand side of the picture). No detail is overlooked. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Don’t forget to look up! Above the owner’s desk toward the back of the shop, you can see the wire lamp frames just waiting to be turned into a beautifully handcrafted lamp. The wire frames are custom made specifically for Studio Veneto. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

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If you are looking to incorporate a bit of Italy into your decor, be sure to pay a visit to Studio Veneto or check out the website.studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 5