World’s Most Sought After

This post is not about needlepoint.

Not directly , anyway.

I got the idea that I should make a pillow that was a simple tiger skin pattern, so I started searching for vintage or modern kits. Unfortunately, all I could come up with was hodgepodge designs of several  animal prints mooshed together onto a single canvas  or representations of tigers before they were skinned. So I googled “tiger skin pattern” and came up with a  wealth of images. The one I was drawn to was this one:

Scalmandre le tigre
Scalamandre silk velvet, Le Tigre

Naturally, it is the most sought after fabrics and retails for about $2,000.00 per yard. Williams-Sonoma and this other place offer a made up pillow that sells for $250-$500 depending on the size you want. And guess what fusion of style and garish pop culture is relevant to this topic? Bravo’s Real Housewives! Carole Radziwill of Real Housewives of New York has a sofa upholstered in the stuff.

tiger sofa
Sofa designed for Lee Radziwill upholstered in Scalamandre’s Le Tigre silk velvet fabric

The sofa was designed for Carole’s mother-in-law, Lee Radziwill  in the 1960s. Lee gave it to her son Anthony, who later married Carole. Anthony died and Carole has the sofa. It’s the only thing in her entire apartment that has any personality at all except for that long mirror between the windows. CArole said the sofa was worn and ripped in places but she loved it an would never give it up. Kudos to her for that; kudos to Lee Radziwill for investing in something so timeless and well made that it remains covetable 60 years later. (Carole recently did a minimal apartment makeover and the ripped fabric on the arms seems to have been replaced with new – a gutsy move indeed. Maybe the shredded piping as replaced as well?)

Carole’s pretty cool – definitely the best of the bunch, moral compass-wise – and has a  demeanor that is difficult to ruffle and is able to give measured responses that are not full of shouted curses, which is the norm for any RH franchise. Still, I have to think that Lee must be something less than approving of Carole’s involvement with this show. On the other hand,Lee is Jackie O’s sister so she is probably very adept at shutting out questionable choices and behaviors, thanks to close proximity to the Kennedy clan.

But back to me. I don’t know. Maybe I should drop the tiger skin idea and  stick to my original Scalmandre zebra obsession and do up a pillow in one of these colors?


How many years can that greasy duckling get washed with Dawn dish detergent? I mean, it’s the same duck since the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989,  isn’t it? One would think the feathers would have been worn clean off by now.

Disclaimer: I am neither pro-duck nor pro-oil spill but I can think to better things to do with my time than washing a duck. It might sound cruel but it’s a duck. Just get another duck.

UPDATE: Oh great. Now I’m trapped in googling uses for Dawn detergent. I think those ads would have broader appeal if they let the ducks alone and concentrated on making ice packs out of Dawn and a zip lock bag or unclogging toilets* by pouring in a quantity of Dawn. That would be useful to the GenPop**. After all, how many of us really are going to have occasion to wash a greasy duck? Far more individuals are going to involved in clogging up toilets or recovering from a bar fight than duck washing.

*There’s a huge portion of Etsy types around who devote themselves to making toilet bombs. Not what you think they are! They’re toilet bowl cleaning fizzing tablets made primarily of vinegar and baking soda.  Which I believe is the recipe for an elementary school volcano eruption. What could go wrong?

** hat tip: Two Nervous Dogs

Two Things About TV

1. Downton Abbey subtitled “Lady Mary ugh”There are not many episodes left for Downton Abbey and although I watch faithfully, frankly I’ve grown bored with most of the characters. I hope when this thing is over, somebody spins off “The Lady Edith Show” where every episode shows Edith happy and accomplished and reading a letter about the latest snit inhabited by her sister the bitch Lady Mary. It will give viewers the opportunity to reaffirm over and over again that no one really cares about the bitch lady.

2. I always knew that my smart tv was smarter than I am. This is the tv that Sami got me for Christmas. It’s in our bedroom so it hears our juicy pillow talk , things like  “How the hell do I get Netflix on this thing?” Or “No I didn’t – did YOU read the manual?”

I’m Beginning To Think That My TV Can Predict The Future

mjThis morning, Father Knows Best sat down on an open-faced peanut butter & jelly sandwich that Kitten had left on the seat of his chair in the kitchen. When he stood up to answer the phone, the piece of bread was stuck to his pants over the butt cheek area. Shortly thereafter, I I sat down on my iPhone which had slipped from behind my back to the seat of my desk chair and although it was not covered in sweet condiments*, it stuck to my pants over the butt cheek area.

This cannot be a coincidence. So if you have been wondering where I am, this is where: being spied on by my own TV. In reverse.

*There’s a very slight probability that hairspray residue was involved.

Thoughts Upon Watching The Great British Baking Show For The First Time

  1.  Love at first sight.
  2. Considering changing my name to Chetna.

Oh PBS. You and your dreary Downton Abbey. Shove over, there’s a new object of my affection  in town – the Great British Baking Show.  It’s a food competition/elimination format which is completely tarsome by now but this one is absolutely riveting.

Great-British-Baking-Show-Episode-1-Cake-602x338The bakers are amateurs, although accomplished ones. They all make the same thing at the same time from a limited set of instructions and identical sets of ingredients. The intros to each baker are warm and personal and you feel that you know them in very short order, and you root for every one of them to make a perfect creation. And they bake in a big outdoor tent with rain pouring all around it. That humidity has got to be a baking challenge. I especially love the atmosphere when the judges are delivering bad news to the bakers: “It’s not all we hoped for, now is it?” Or to a particular baker who bombed on all three challenges “Oh, she’s having a bad day.”

There’s a 17 year old who is a consistantly high performer and a sweet old guy from Scotland whose hobbies are baking and pottery, so he makes a  custom piece of pottery for things that he bakes. He’s not the only one though – one of the ladies had her husband whip up a wooden a cupcake guillotine to be sure her tea cakes were the same height. So if you haven’t seen this already, check your local listings, clear your schedule and prepare to enjoy yourself.

Yours truly, Chetna

p.s. You know how a hypnotist will give a trigger word to his subjects so that when they hear it, they begin clucking or singing off-key? The one thing I haven’t heard yet is my personal trigger “Gas Mark 4”. I swear to God if anyone says that on this series, I am going to faint.