Friday, December 2, 2016

{Sight} Being more feminine blog series






I love to feel feminine, and am always creating my own inspiration.  I find that introducing little pockets of femininity into my day helps everything run smoother.  I feel more ladylike and life is enjoyable – even when I’m doing mundane tasks.

The second post in this series is on using the sense of sight to be more feminine.

Appreciating art

I was reading UK Hello Magazine the other day (I love it!), and there was an interview with Terry Gunzberg, former YSL employee (she invented the iconic Touche Eclat) and founder of her bespoke makeup brand By Terry.  She lives in a divine, rather nice home in Paris and I loved what she had to say about art.  She has been collecting for years, a piece at a time, and she bought a small artwork with her first paycheck.

She said her mother took her to galleries when she was young, and that she gained an appreciation from that.  I don’t often go to galleries, but when I do, I enjoy viewing the paintings, particularly older ones.  At high school I studied art history for a year and I can still remember details of the renaissance paintings we studied.

The study of art seems like such a feminine pursuit to me.  There are many ways to be cultured and I choose art as one of mine (it makes up for the fact that I don’t enjoy live theatre and am so-so about ballet).

Viewing beautiful images

I've mentioned Victoria magazine a million times, but leafing through a copy (I declutter most other magazines but not Victoria) is like a feast for the eyes.  My own personal and decor style is much simpler than those pictured, but I am always inspired to be more ladylike and refined afterwards.

Glossy picture books are the same - Vicki Archer's 'My French Life' and 'French Essence' transport me to Paris via stunning large-scale images, and her writing style allows me to dream.  I adore them both, but if I had to pick a favourite, I'd choose My French Life by a pip.

There are blogs that delight the eyes also - Mrs Shockley's A Home for Elegance has gorgeously curated images, and Margaret Powling's Devon Dreaming is lovely also - I particularly love the latest two posts on fashion and perfume.  From what I've seen of both of these ladies homes, they take a great deal of care in making them elegant and feminine in their own style.


Do you have a femininity with sight tip to add?  Please share in the comments below, I’d really love to hear.
 
fiona
PS.  If you're stressing about Christmas, I invite you to read my book 'A Chic and Simple Christmas'.  You can view a sample on Amazon to see if it's your cup of tea (click on the cover image to 'look inside').  'A Chic and Simple Christmas' is my take on creating your perfect holiday season, and I share with you a bit about mine.

44 comments:

  1. Flowers, for sure. Grocery store bouquets aren't that expensive, and they add a delightful feminine touch to my home. Teacups also...I have a lovely collection of porcelain teacups, and the sight of them screams "femininity" to me.

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  2. I didn't visit art galleries or listen to classical music as a child but I find that an appreciation of the arts enriches life. I don't buy any other magazine but Victoria which still seems like a fantasyland. Flowers are a great addition to create a "feminine feel".

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  3. I'm learning how to frugally enjoy art. For instance, our local museum has neighborhood nights, where entry into the museum is free. I've planned to attend this evening. I also buy a flower bouquet from Trader Joe's every week. I never spend more than $10, and it not only adds to my home, but it inspires other people as I face my bouquets every week on my Facebook page. I'm learning how to enjoy the simple luxuries of life on a budget and inspiring others to do the same.

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  4. How about making your food look beautiful on your plate. Adding a pretty garnish for instance. they say you eat with your eyes first.

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    1. So true, Carla. I love sprinkling chopped fresh herbs on a colourful salad :)

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  5. I appreciate fine art and antiques too...while I do not regularly listen to classical music or attend the opera I do love those aspects of our culture.
    I like to arrange flowers and grow roses...wearing a scent feels feminine as does a pretty pair of earrings or a necklace but I feel most feminine when I am wearing pretty lingerie.

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    1. Lovely :) Flower arranging is tres feminine.

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  6. I've not really thought about art appreciation before as being either feminine or masculine, but I guess you're right really as it's an appreciation of something beautiful for beauty's sake. I do love the theatre, and the ballet but am ashamed to say my appreciation of art could be far better. Even more ashamed given that my husband is an artist.

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    1. 'an appreciation of something beautiful for beauty's sake' - I love the way you've said this, Louise :)

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  7. Hi Fiona, Most museums are free admission - another bonus!

    I made sure I listened to mostly classical music when I was pregnant with my daughter. Supposedly, doing so somehow affects the child in utero in a positive way. Regardless, I've always loved classical music, even as a teenager (but not exclusively ... I was a teen in the 80's, and I was obsessed with Duran Duran!). Since a teen, I've loved to visit museums as well, but always alone. That's my introverted personality speaking, but it allowed me to focus more on the ancient artifacts (my favorite - I almost majored in Archaeology in college, but changed it later), and art I was viewing in my introspective way.

    Sight really is almost the first sensation one experiences, isn't it? There are so many messages drawn instantaneously.

    It's funny you mention not enjoying live theatre, or ballet as much. I'm the same way, although I do like ballet and opera more. I've really tried to like musicals and live theatre like Broadway, but to be brutally honest, I can't stand it! Especially the music and the style of singing (show tunes style), drives me crazy. It sounds like yelling or screaming to me. Funny how opera doesn't affect me that way though.

    D.

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    1. I was more of a Culture Club girl myself, but all my friends were nuts for Duran Duran :)

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  8. I love looking at black and white photographs, similar to the ones you include on your blog. There's just something so chic about them!

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    1. You're right! I so agree. I love viewing black and white photographs too.

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  9. Now I feel quite terrible that I just automatically assumed that By Terry was created by a man. (A makeup line, created by women, who knew!)

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  10. Hi Fiona, to inject more beauty visually to my surroundings, I surround myself with very pretty (exquisite lace and crotchet) linens which I bought from my Europe holidays,around the home. The beautiful sight just makes me happy.

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    1. Beautiful, K. And I am lucky enough to have a tiny piece of Versaille hanging in my wardrobe :)

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  11. Fiona, just to say thanks for giving us the option of receiving your blog posts directly in our email inboxes. There are so many good blogs out there but in all honesty, it's so much easier to just get everything in one place (my inbox) - and then I can go to the blog posts from there!

    Anyway, I'm really liking this femininity series you have going on - it reminds me to take pleasure in being a woman! Thank you!

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    1. My pleasure! I agree, we all have more things to look at so I wanted to make it easy.

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  12. I love flowering plants more than cut flowers for some reason so I always try to have those in my home. As far as visual arts I do enjoy ballet more than any other art form - maybe because I studied it for so many years. I find it transporting!

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  13. One cannot rave enough about Victoria magazine. It is so feminine! Every time I see a picture with a dainty teacup or other beautiful image, it warms my soul.

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  14. Thank you, so much, Fiona, for mentioning my blog and in the same breath as the lovely blog by Mrs Shockley. I am enjoying writing it.
    As to feeling feminine, arranging flowers for our home, enjoying my monthly style magazines such as Period Ideas, The English Home, and Homes & Antiques. Also wearing a dress rather than jeans/trousers/leggings, spritzing with perfume, and also reading your lovely blog! What could be more feminine than reading How to be Chic?
    Also, bought a black silk and lace camisole style 'vest' (a vest in England isn't the same thing as a vest in America) which is deliciously feminine and so much nicer than the usual cotton ones I wear at this time of the year! Soft and silky, and keeps me warm!
    Margaret P

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    1. A black silk and lace camisole sounds like the best upgrade from a more pedestrian model ever! How divine :)

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  15. Thank you also Fiona for mentioning my blog. It is always a joy to see other women enjoy your work or your blog. And I think it is wonderful how each of us celebrate and enjoy our worlds. Everyone is different and it is great to share our beauty with each other. I do enjoy being apart of this world. Thank you again!!!

    And thank you Galant for the compliment. It is very much appreciated!

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    1. Visiting your blog always make me feel more elegant and it slows me down too, Mrs Shockley. I prefer to live in a slow manner but I do get myself wound up too fast at times :)

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  16. Oh dear Fiona. 'Hello' magazine?? Surely not much 'chic-ness' going on in there? I am only teasing but it does surprise me a little. Which goes to show it's good to surprise people sometimes!

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    1. Yes, Julie, perhaps it is good to surprise people, but what I wish to show in my blog and books is that you can enjoy being your own style of chic without having to be hemmed in to an ideal. I like to share many facets of myself as an example because I know lots of women can feel 'less than' if they like certain things that aren't traditionally 'chic'.

      I take inspiration from many different places, and what I love about Hello magazine is that the stories show glamour and fun and often feature European royals and other stylish people. The article showing Terry Gunzberg at home is a prime example. I've often noted inspiring quotes from interviews like this.

      Honestly, life would be so boring if we all read the same 'chic' magazine. What I love about the chic ladies who read and comment on my blog is that they bring their influences from many different places and I love being inspired by that.

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    2. I couldn't agree more! It's fun and intriguing to have different, seemingly contradictory, parts to our personalities. I love the opera and ballet and season tickets to both when we lived in Chicago...but I also love watching football, both college and professional. I attended professional culinary school but also love making un-chic Midwestern casserole dishes when I want comfort food. As much as I love classic cinema there are some times I unabashedly watch the Real Housewives. Here's to multi-faceted women!

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  17. I would just like to add that I agree with Julia (teasingly, of course, not to cause offence!) that I'm surprised at your choice of Hello magazine! All those 'slebs, most of whom I've never heard of. I only catch glimpses of it when I visit my hair salon, and then I quickly turn to Elle Decorating instead! Also, I think, years ago I had a sub to Victoria magazine - I think it's an American one, am I right? It was filled with lots of over-filled rooms with acres of lace and frilly little dolls and teddy bears and rose-printed cups and saucers, or perhaps I have the wrong magazine?
    A magazine which was cutting-edge in its day was Nova, in the 1960s. They attempted a relaunch in 2000 but it never worked. I loved it and wish I had those 1960s copies now.
    My own favourite is The English House (and it's sister magazine, The English Garden.)
    PS Just ordered your Chic in Winter book!
    Margaret P

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    1. None taken, Margaret! Yes, that is the same Victoria magazine :) I have a soft spot for her, even in the frilly days. I love The English House too.

      Thank you for ordering my book, I hope you enjoy it!

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  18. Delights to my feminine eye this season are:

    my new Ansel Adams weekly desk calendar with his stunning black and white photography,

    the beautifully back lit silver or golden glow of delicate trees against a blue grey autumn sky,

    the lovely scarf that perfectly complements my autumn cardigan of warm cinnamon

    a Robert Bateman painting of a path of golden leaves through a woods that I noticed in a hospital corridor

    the sight of a sweet baby's smile

    sunshine, our wonderful Canadian sun, in all the seasons lifting spirits, releasing an inner joie de vivre

    my favourite grocery store, well lit, always clean, wide aisles, towers of luscious produce

    my bowls of prepped vegetables, neatly chopped, ready to make a hearty meal

    I do make an effort to put myself together before leaving home to make it "easy on the eyes" of those I encounter. I appreciate the beauty of serene women with a sense of style.

    This theme seems to spark joy and gratitude.

    My thanks to you.
    Honey Bee

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    1. Beautiful, Honey Bee, just beautiful. I just looked up Ansel Adams' images, and they are stunning. And Robert Bateman too - the detail!

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  19. Hello Fiona, What I love to do is observing other women wearing jewelry and accessories. It's such a feminine thing to look at :)

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    1. Great observation, Mireille! I love to notice others accessories and jewellery too. Doing this encourages me not to under-accessorise (but I still keep it pretty simple).

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  20. I've always loved classical music and I am an opera singer (regional, northern California productions). I'm not sure if enjoyment of those things makes me more feminine, but I certainly feel more chic when I listen to classical choral Christmas music rather than various renditions of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" or "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," lol.

    I adore trees, and to me a delicately falling leaf, the lacy tracery of bare branches, the frothiness of cherry or pear blossoms, and the whisper of leaves in a summer breeze are very feminine.

    I'm always inspired by your blog, Fiona. Thank you.

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  21. Bravo, Karen T. I dislike all those tacky Christmas songs, too, which are shouty and repetitive. I love classical choral Christmas music, too. Well said.
    Margaret P

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  22. Fresh flowers, artwork on the walls, and my new favorite - following beautiful landscape and travel photographers on Instagram. It's like a breath of fresh air anytime in my day, which I can rarely say for social media.

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  23. Just a PS but writing Christmas cards in a neatly laid-out orderly fashion, cards on the left, envelopes next to them, address labels already printed in front of me, stamps to the right, and a fountain pen (my trusty bright yellow Lamy Safari) with which to write - perfect! I find writing the cards (on behalf of my husband and myself) is a feminine thing to do.
    Margaret P

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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