Friday, December 4, 2015

Playtime with Blue - Capsule wardrobe #159

Autumn is still lingering in the South of France and Christmas seems oddly far away... until you take a glimpse at the calendar! At least I already made Christmas puddings and we brought the tree home yesterday. The upcoming weekend is dedicated to putting up decorations, and I hope nature will decide to play along and provide an adequate backdrop. At the moment, our outside still looks very much like the pictures I took in Paris three weeks ago, only that our temperatures have been so much warmer.





Occassionaly there has been a day cool enough to play with my new 'Cavalleria d'Etriers' shawl,  I've been so much looking forward to this! Although CW03 appears to be mainly blue, it has many different undertones, which makes it easy and versatile to wear.. it goes beautifully with black, grey, purple, taupe and brown, and of course, all shades of blue!



Capsule pieces: blue jeans, white shirt and taupe sweater
Accessories: Hermes Cavalleria d'Etriers cashmere/silk GM shawl, 'Chaine d'ancre' printed enamel bracelet and a 31 Bolide in Bleu de Prusse. MaiTai Collection tassel necklace in noir/argent.
Shoes: taupe ankle boots




Chestnut trees are always the first to give gracefully into winter,



inspiring a version with gold



Capsule pieces: blue jeans and dark blue sweater (my 10 EUR market find continues to give me a lot of joy!)
Accessories: Hermès Etriers della Cavalleria cashmere/silk GM shawl, Karla bracelet in caramel and a Picotin PM in Bleu Saphir. MaiTai Collection Double Anneau necklace in noir/or
Shoes: black ankle boots

Spring or autumn foliage... I can not decide which I love most



Etriers della Cavalleria with a Clic-Clac H bracelet in Bleu Indiens





and with a lacquered shawl ring in Bleu Canard (above in a vertical basic slide with the shawl wrapped once around the neck beforehand)







Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the festive season xx


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56 comments:

  1. Coucou Maitai
    Dimanche nous allumerons la deuxième bougie de l'avent déjà !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ton châle est magnifique il va aussi bien avec ton bolide que ton picotin très bel achat bravo!
    Bon weekend Plein de bises
    Myriam

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  2. What a lovely surprise to see the new shawl in action! I have to go back to the store- it is indeed very versatile and partcilarly nice with jeans - oh, and the Bolide:) enjoy decorating- a little snow would certainly give a more festive spirit...here it's just rain all along and that's not exactly perfect for drinking Glühwein at the Christmas market...cheers anyway!
    Have a lovely weekend - lighting the second candle,
    Katja

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  3. Dearest MaiTai,
    You are vision in blue, and the new additions to the collection are simply stunning. Every time I think that I do not need any more accessories - you conjure something that I was still missing...The thrill! Oh, I and I wholeheartedly recommend your Christmas pudding - tried last year for the first time, and this year made two... such a decadent treat, it tastes like Christmas.
    I hope that here in the South of Canada unseasonally warm weather continues to spoil us until Christmas Eve, but then surprises us with white Christmas. Let's wait and see.
    I will be checking your Instagram to see your Christmas decorations, please share your ideas with us, they are always such a great inspiration.
    With love,
    Aneta


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  4. Love the colours on your Etriers della Cavalleria! Do you handwash your cashmere/silk shawls too? Emily :-)

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  5. Beautiful, class as always dear Mai Tai. This blue colour suits you particularly and with your blue eyes you are stunning. And you are so thin... I am completely jealous...
    Unfortunately, we do not have this blue sky and warm weather here.... At least, I can wear my H shawls.....
    Amities

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  6. I noticed that you mix up silver/gold. I still do not arrive to do that.
    Amities

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  7. That's really lovely Maitai, beautiful colours. It's on the wish list! Decorating for me too this weekend, not cold but very blustery on the South Coast here this morning (UK)
    Have a good one.
    Kim x

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  8. Lovely pictures as always, I am a great fan of blue. I agree about the weather and Christmas here in the South East of England it's very mild, it needs to chill down with some frosty mornings to make it seem like Christmas time. Also like to add since discovering Kettlewell colours on your site I have invested in many key pieces, the hard part is deciding which lovely colour to buy first !

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  9. First, let me reiterate my love for your Bleu de Prusse Bolide! It's so lovely to see your new GM in action....and such a brilliant CW. Pairing it with taupe is nothing short of genius. The weather here has been very fickle, as well. Every time the temperature dips, I get so excited to wear my fur collars and cashmere GMs...I'm sure I must look like I'm participating in an Iditerod race....but by the next day it's in the mid 70's. Pooh. On another note, can you please do a post that focuses on how you care for your scarves? Laundering, ironing, spot removal, etc. As one who has a penchant for dipping my scarves into my food (#!&?#) I would love to have a tutorial! Have a stellar week!

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    1. I'm chuckling at the "scarf dipping," haverfordgal. I'm not usually guilty of that exact sin, but if there happens to be a drop of salad dressing anywhere in the vicinity, it will inevitably fly over and land on my scarf.

      MT's always look pristine, so I'm sure she has some good tips. For what it's worth, I hand wash mine in either Le Blanc silk wash or The Laundress delicate wash and barely warm water.

      If there's a greasy (e.g. salad dressing) stain, I give it a quick spot treatment with a Q-tip, dipped in a concentrated amount of the cleaner before plunging it into the sink for its bath. It usually does the trick. If the stain is particularly greasy, I sometimes hit it with a little bit of Dawn before the bath.

      Someday I am going to design a very chic bib to wear over the scarves while dining!

      Best,
      Jerrine

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    2. Laughing while reading your comment, dear Jerrine. Merry Christmas to you and all the Ladies here, Manuela xx

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    3. ...and I'll be the first to order your designer bib:)) thanks for sharing your handwashing tips- anything in store for silk? I find it very hard to get rid of greasy stains...and dry cleaning is difficult once the care tag has been snipped off. Dry cleaner used a large safety pin right through the fabric...ahhh! That hurts really badly.
      To return the favour, dear Jerrine, I have some good advice for sticky kitchen floors: get a dog! Not a single food crumb will be left (I just won't mention the extra dirt at this point:)
      Have a wonderful time preparing for x-Mas, dear swans, and enjoy baking, decorating and don't forget to eat all these yummy biscuits, puddings and so on!
      Love,
      Katja

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    4. Just want to pop in swans re the cleaning of the silks question, regarding whenever I where mine anywhere and food or drink is involved I always remove my scarf or shawl, will not risk anything getting on them.
      wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas.

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    5. Manuela, Merry Christmas, sweetie. I'm betting that it's really starting to look like Christmas where you are.

      Enjoy,
      Jerrine

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    6. Katya,

      Yes, a dog is a great floor cleaner. My sister's Labrador would thoroughly vacuum and "mop" the kitchen floor when anything fell on it - even just a spec of flour sent her into a cleaning frenzy. But then we'd have a lot of dog fur and dog spit to deal with. There is no easy solution!

      I agree about the perils of handing over a scarf to the dry cleaners. They don't understand about the no pins in the silk rule, and it doesn't matter how many times you remind them - they insist on those deadly safety pins.

      And the dry cleaning solution, even the perc-free ones, is detrimental to the silk, as well. Eventually, it will yellow light colored silk and actually break down the fibers. Plus, the "fragrance" isn't particularly pleasant either.

      I guess I'd better get going on that bib!

      Cheers,
      Jerrine

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    7. I am tempted to take mine off, too, ladyjane, but I did that once, and the scarf slipped off my lap unbeknownst to me, and I ran the chair over it!

      Sometimes, I will turn the scarf around, so it hangs down my back, but usually I just chance it and hope for the best. I figure they're to be enjoyed, and I no longer get upset if there's a tiny spot or two. Heck, I have spots on me, too!

      Merry Christmas,
      Jerrine



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    8. That is the right attitude and I feel
      greatly relieved that I'm not the only one in the world who ends up with sauce on silk:) Thanks for the advice regarding dry cleaning- my trust in them is forever spoiled. Unfortunately, my skills at ironing hand-washed scarves are also limited...you'd better get that bib designed soon:)
      To spotless dining,
      Katja

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    9. The trick, Katja, is to press the scarf while it's still just barely damp to the touch. And, I find that the silk setting on your iron just won't do the job, so I use a sheer, white cotton handkerchief as a pressing cloth, so I can use a higher, hotter setting.

      The key is to find a handkerchief or cloth that is sheer enough so you can see the hems as you're approaching them. Afterall, we hate flat hems!

      I press the scarf first on the wrong side and then make the initial fold and then iron both of the front sides, pressing in a good crisp fold mark. Then I make the next fold and press that one in, etc.

      And, if the scarf is an older vintage without much body left, I spray the back side with a bit of Magic Spray Sizing to restore a bit of the crisp hand.

      I actually enjoy ironing the scarves and find it relaxing. But then, I'm odd . . . I like to iron my bed linens, too!

      Best,
      Jerrine

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    10. Thanks for the detailed explanation, dear Jerrine. I only washed a gavroche once but it lost its 'body' so I haven't tried it since. I usually use a very good dry cleaner but what you wrote about the product they use made me think...
      Hugs, Manuela

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    11. See, not everything is about grits...that is a very good instruction indeed and I'm going to print it out and pin it in my laundry room;-) THANKS! And by the way, I'm odd, too - I also iron bed linens...
      I just didn't have too much luck with a vintage 70 scarf - it had lost a bit of its shape after washing. Dread to think of ironing a 140 silk scarf...
      Will turn to you again after the next too-close-encounter with sauce (hopefully not from the X-mas goose;-)
      Enjoy your ironing,
      Katja

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    12. Katja, thank God, there's another bed linens nut out there! But, isn't it lovely to fall into bed with freshly ironed sheets? It's a little luxury I enjoy, and it doesn't cost anything other than a bit of time, and oddly, I find it relaxing.

      If you think your scarf is off kilter after washing it, let it dry for a bit and then fold it in half to see if everything lines up. If not, just hand block it back into shape with a few gentle tugs. That always works for me.

      As Hermes sets the scarves in a water bath after printing, I'm not at all afraid to wash them, knowing that it's better for the silk in the long run. One warning though - never soak them. A few minutes of swishing them in the bath is all they need, followed by a thorough rinse. I do put a Shout Color Caatcher in with them, which will catch any escaping dye, but I've never had that happen anyway.

      And, Manuela, don't worry too much about that finish. Hermes uses something to give them that stiff hand, but that will also diminish with dry cleaning and even with normal wear. They must vary the amount of whatever it is they use, as sometimes a new scarf is particularly stiff, and other times, they seem to be softer and more supple. Lately, they seem to be getting away from that really stiff finish.

      In any case, ladies, enjoy your scarves and your holidays. Katja, back away from the goose!

      Jerrine

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    13. Jerrine, you have a wealth of fantastic laundering tips. I already use products from the Laundress, but I will definitely add the Shout Color Catchall! Great ironing tips as well. I,too, am a fan of ironed bed linens. There's nothing better than the feel of crisply pressed sheets against freshly showered and powdered skin! Wishing all of the lovely swans an "ealthy", "appy", Hermes 2016!!

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  10. That blue shawl is beautiful. Wonderful with denim. And with gold accessories. Including the last of the leaves:)

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  11. Your play date with your beautiful new shawl looks like so much fun!
    I love the color saturation and depth in this cw and it looks beautiful on you! Styling always spot on:)
    Wishing you a fun weekend as you you begin to decorate for Xmas! I am sure it will be beautiful when done<3 Mwahs!
    Wishing all of the swans gathered at the pond a joyful,stress free Holiday prep, T xx

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    1. Thank you, dearest Trudye!
      The same to you! <3 Manuela xx

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    2. Truyde, and fellow swans...I wish you the same!

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  12. What a beauty your Etriers de la Cavalleria!!!You look fabulous wearing it! <3 I can see its versatility due to its many undertones and look very much forward to seeing it as a part of different outfits.
    We have been having lots of wind and rain lately in Denmark. Hope the weather is better in Provence and you had a lovely day decorating your home for Christmas! Warmest hugs, Manuela xx

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  13. Such a lovely post-am enjoying it very much! Especially inspiring-today I am buying a bracelet (my first H bracelet) and have it narrowed down to 2 possible ones in Behapi Double Tour-both are blue! One is more "neutral" with a navy shade-will likely be the one. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration! Cathy W
    Here in Atlantic Canada we've been having some snow, we are putting up the tree and decorating this weekend too :)

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  14. Wow, do you look beautiful! Blue is definitely your color - makes those eyes look even bluer, if that's possible.

    I love the E della C shawl. I bought it too, in the red/white/black, and I love it, but now I love yours more. Can we swap?

    I bet that your house looks most festive at this point. I wish I could say the same for mine, but I've spent the entire day baking, and when I last checked, my feet were sticking to the kitchen floor!

    At least it's cooler here now, and I can almost imagine that Christmas is right around the corner.

    Love to all the swans,
    Jerrine

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  15. How lovely to read your blog, a weekend treat when I have a little more time, as the festive season begins. Your new shawl is particularly lovely, and great with jeans, love how you have styled it.Our weekend too, is dedicated to decoration of our home ready for Christmas, which I love. We collected our tree in the most awful storm yesterday - we are in UK - yet today is glorious sunshine and very mild - confusing! I used your pumpkin soup recipe yesterday and last week - a great success - many thanks - I customised it slightly by adding a teaspoon of cumin to the onions which was deliciously fragrant. A home-style and recipe book from you perhaps! The beautiful sequinned stoles I ordered from you in charcoal and the pale grey have arrived, beautifully packaged, and are super items, I am very pleased, have already worn the charcoal. Lovely, also a great gift - if we can part with them. Enjoy your Christmas preparations and thank you! s

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  16. Love your new shawl! The colors are so beautiful on you and all your outfits are just lovely.

    We finally have some cooler weather in North Carolina so it's beginning to feel more like Christmas. Our tree went up Thanksgiving weekend ...now I have to get baking!

    Warm hugs to all, Simone xx

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  17. gorgeous. I have that clic clac, such a great colour x

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  18. Ho MaiTai!
    Your shawl is beautiful. I love colours combination od this shawl. It looks amazing with jeans and sweater. And the Picotin is georgeous. I would like to own one.
    I bought Cavaliers du Caucase on blue/grey/parma this october, Ír is also vety nice colours combination.
    MH is in Lyon, he said there is sunny and 10. We have 4,5 deg. But I miss snow.
    J.

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  19. :-) Blue really is a very good color for you, dear MaiTai!
    The design of the scarf is wonderful and as always I like the way you combine casual and classic pieces.
    Now I think I should go shopping… ;-)
    Have a very HAPPY week :-)

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  20. Already made your Christmas puddings? You are so far ahead of me! I haven't even pulled the Christmas cards out, much less started addressing them! But I'm intrigued by your puddings--and will check out the recipe. Maybe I can start a new tradition in South Alabama! Merry, merry and thanks for sharing your lovely new blue accessory!
    Greta

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    1. Greta, as long as you include some grits in that recipe, you should be okay!:-)

      Now, I expect we'll have to explain grits and the South's love affair with them to the Swans. (Since I'm a Yankee, I've never developed a taste for them. I say that very quietly, though, as those are "fightn' words" here in the South!)

      Merry Christmas,
      Jerrine

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    2. HI Jerrine, I know exactly what your talking about regarding grits. Here in North Carolina they love their grits as well, but like you, I haven't acquired a taste for them. It must be the Yankee in us!

      Merry Christmas,
      Simone

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    3. Simone, I forgot to add that even the name is unappetizing. Grits? Really?

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    4. Have you tried adding cheese to your grits? It can be something as simple as the South's beloved Velveeta, or you can be fancier and add some nice Gouda. It really adds a great flavor and smooth texture, and I serve it with shrimp. In fact, when I host Thanksgiving, my entree is shrimp and grits! (That said, I'm not asked to host it often...)
      Merry, Merry!
      Greta

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    5. That's the key, Greta - cheese and lots of it. But, really, cheese makes even cardboard taste good!

      I'll bet your shrimp and grits is delicious, and it doesn't get any more southern than that.

      Best,
      Jerrine

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  21. That's got to be it, Simone. We're Yankee's, for shame. But, I do find that if enough cheese is added to the dreaded grits, I can actually swallow them!

    Have a very merry, grit-less Christmas,
    Jerrine

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  22. Please help me...what on Earth are grits?? Dictionary isn't helpful at all- I don't suppose you're having tiny pebble stones with your cheese...?!? And then- in a pudding?
    Curious greetings,
    Katja

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    1. Okay, Katya, I have the answer as to how this corn mixture became known as grits. One source claims that the word "grits" is derived from the Old English word "grytt," meaning coarse meal. But, another source states that it may have come from either the German word "grutze" or the Italian word, "gruzzi," both of which mean crushed or coarsely ground corn.

      It is the first truly "American" food. When the pilgrims first came ashore at what is known as Jamestown, Virginia, their first experience with Native Americans probably involved discovering a traditional dish the natives called "rockahominie." The steaming porridge was made of softened ground corn, seasoned with salt and animal fat.

      It was one of the great gifts from the Native Americans to the pilgrims and was responsible for sustaining much of the population through the first difficult years in the new land.

      Gee, I have a new found respect for grits. Still don't like them, though.

      MT, Katya and I are sorry for highjacking the post and veering away from lovely scarves and shawls to a discussion of the lowly grits (it can be either singular or plural.) We will try to behave ourselves in the future.

      Katya, I'm going to send you a big ole bag of grits!

      Cheers,
      Jerrine

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    2. Very very interesting indeed. I'm enthraled by your talent of writing about grits Jerrine!.
      Greetings.
      Catherine

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    3. Hi Catherine. I'm so glad you enjoyed my grits story. Wow, if I can enthral you by writing about the lowly grits, maybe I should aspire to a loftier subject, lol.

      I hope you have a lovely Christmas. Are you all ready for it? Should I send grits?

      With all best wishes,
      Jerrine

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    4. Hi très Chère ! Not ready at all as usual ! Concerning the famous grits I have to decline your offer, I'm far too traditional for Christmas certainly due to a mix of French, Swiss, Italian roots…. but bring some when you’ll come for the book ;-)
      This year I finally found some time to prepare MaiTai’ super recipe of Christmas pudding, I’ll have a cheers for her and all the swans when tasting on dec 24th!

      Wishing you and all the ladies around good luck for the last sprint before this festive season (maybe Fifi would give us a tip concerning endurance?)

      Amitiés,
      Catherine

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  23. Y'all are so funny! I didn't care for them when I first moved to New Orleans, but now I enjoy them--especially with plenty of cheese! It is one of my go-to entertaining recipes--so simple and so delicious!

    Katja, grits are coarsely ground corn kernels that are boiled with water or milk. They are usually served at breakfast (similar to Cream of Wheat, which is SO GROSS), but have become haute cuisine here in the Southern US. I'm linking to some delicious grits recipes so as to spread the love! Check out http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cheesy-shrimp-grits and http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/shrimp-and-grits-biscuits.

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    1. Those recipes do sound very tasty, Greta. I focused right in on "cheesy." But, as I said before, you can never go wrong with cheese.

      Now, you had better explain "Y'all." I think there may be only three Southern swans on the pond.

      Best,
      Jerrine

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  24. Okay, Katja, this should be good - a Yankee girl attempts to explain Southern grits. Here goes.

    Grits are basically ground corn - yellow corn, white corn, blue corn; it doesn't matter. They'll turn it all into grits down here. The corn is removed from the cob (I think it has to be dried first), and it can be ground between two large grinding stones, but there are also modern machines that do it faster. The purists still prefer stone ground grits, though. Basically, I can't tell the difference - they're still grits to me.

    Once it's ground, the meal is put through a series of sifting screens to get the right consistency. To cook it, you boil it much as you would rice or oatmeal. Before the chefs took grits under their wing, they were primarily a breakfast side dish, served with a large dollop of butter (yes, the South loves its butter, too!) Children like it with sugar sprinkled on top (Southern cooking is far from a healthy cuisine.) Now, they add all kinds of things to grits, and shrimp and grits are one of the most favorite renditions. You can make them into a cheese/grits souffle; you can do most anything with them. They're very versatile as a neutral base for all kinds of ingredients and flavorings. But, I still don't like them. I think your description of "pebble stones" just about hits the mark, but people raised on grits from childhood would skin me alive. They love them, and they bring back all kinds of good childhood memories.

    I guess a close cousin is Italian polenta. For the life of me, though, I don't know how or why they became known as grits. I'll do a little research and see if I can find out. I'm sure it involves some profound Southern lore, though.

    Now, aren't you sorry you asked?

    Gritty greetings,
    Jerrine

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    1. You really make me laugh, dear Jerrine and Greta- no, I'm not at all sorry to have asked! I just learned another culinary lesson:) Thanks so much for your elaborate answers- I'm sure there were more swans in complete darkness when it comes to grits. Sounds very interesting and will go in my list of things I have to try once - maybe it will only be once, but hey...
      Just for the record: in Germany there is a dish called "milk rice" - round rice boiled in milk, sugar and cinnamon and a dollop of butter on top...not in the least more healthy, but tastes good (if you grow up on it:)...
      Sweet greetings,
      Katja

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    2. We have the same in Portugal and in Denmark, where I live. It's delicious!!!!
      Manuela xx

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  25. I'm losing track on the comments- so I just answer at the bottom...
    I think that Jerrine's care instructions are excellent and it would be worthwhile to save them in an extra entry for easier access later on...such as "all about washing silk" with Jerrine :))) Maybe our dearest MaiTai can help us with that:)
    Have a wonderful time running towards x-Mas - yes, Fifi, endurance sounds great, it certainly feels like a 5k race...enjoy, dear swans! 10 days to go...
    Katja

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  26. Dearest beautiful Swans,- I am so sad not to have joined the merry banter this time, but reading everyones comments brought many fun, happy and lovely moments into a very hectic week...big hugs and mwahs to you all! I am so thrilled the swan lake is rocking with laughter and friendship, and also that it has become a place of great advice for almost everything... from how to get to grips with grits on to how to wash scarves. Thanks so much everyone for making this place so special and so much fun <3

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  27. Who is the designer of the denim jeans? They are perfection! I recently discovered your site and really like it! Thank you.

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    1. A warm welcome to my site! Re your question, I wear jeans across the board.. the ones pictured here are by 'Paige', my most comfortable pair yet!

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  28. MaiTai, could you comment on the quality and durability of the new GM blend? Are they holding up well after a season of use? I've heard the quality is not as it used to be and it's scaring me away from investing in one.
    Kindest thanks!

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