Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Sunday Post, Vol. 29...

Warning, this is a long one! Better go grab another cup of coffee or tea and make yourself comfortable! :)

Oh how I needed this little break...

My lazy week is almost done and so it's back to work tomorrow... We didn't go anywhere and that was fine by me. It was a slow moving week during which I did a little house cleaning, a little blogging, a little makeup experimenting, went to the movies, to the museum and... we had haircuts!

Wednesday I took my girl to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a special treat! Fabergé*! This was her first visit to the museum where I spent so much time while at university and for the life of me I don't know why it took so long for me to take her. It was also her first viewing of a themed exhibit and what a delight!

Fabulous Fabergé Jeweller to the Czars**...

One quick note, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the museum aloud visitors to photograph these wonderful artworks. This was a first for me because back in the day it was strongly forbidden. I felt weird using my phone and took most of the pictures in haste, I almost felt like a thief.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fabergé and his workshop, know that it's history is intrinsically linked with that of the Russian Imperial family, notably tsar Alexander III and his son Nicholas II and as the Russian Revolution ended the Romanovs rule it also took possession of the Fabergé house. The eggs are its most famous creations but Fabergé also created fabulous jewellery as well as numerous every day items all worthy of any royal family. From silverware, glassware, playing cards boxes to cigarette cases all adorned with pearls, precious stones, gold and silver often deposited on a beautifully colored enamel support.

Here is a stunning example with a beautiful Compote...

Compote (about 1914-1917)
Fabergé workshop, Moscow
Silver, cut glass

The Tsarevich Egg was probably Catherine's favorite piece and notice on the background of the picture... That's her! This was not planned and when she saw it she was a little annoyed but she agreed to let me show it to you. Notice how her cheek is glued to the audio-guide. I love it!

The story behind this egg is quite touching. Alexei the young prince, was born with hemophilia and so was practically kept in a bubble preventing him from playing like any regular boy would and it was thought he would die from it. Once, everyone believed his final hour had come and so a death certificate was drawn. Fabergé who was one of the few aware of the tsarevich' condition, created the egg for Czarina Alexandra Fyodorovna to commemorate the miracle of her son's survival.

Each Fabergé Egg contains a surprise and below you can see the Tsarevich Egg's surprise, a miniature frame with a picture of the young Alexei at age 9.

Henrik Wigstorm (workmaster)
Lapis lazuli, gold, diamonds
Surprise: platinum, lapis lazuli, diamonds, rock crystal, watercolor, ivory

One of my favorite pieces, the Elephant Box which had such lovely details and notice the soft rounded lines. What struck me here is the trunk of the animal, it's down. This is something we rarely see since usually elephants are represented with their trunks up, to bring one good luck. Given the fate of the imperial family who was murdered in Yekaterinburg in 1919... I don't want to give objects special powers but it's what popped into my mind when I saw it.

Elephant Box, (before 1899)
Mikhail Perkhin (workmaster)
Nephrite, ivory, gold, silver, rubies and diamonds

Here is my ultimate favorite piece, the Pelican Egg. Most Fabergé eggs open to reveal a surprise which can be displayed next to it. Here the egg opens up to reveal a series of height miniature oval frames which can be seen below. Looking at the egg up close it's hard to see where it opens. The smoothness of the surface and the intricate details are so perfect that I just couldn't figure it out and believe me I looked at it and looked at it...

Pelican Egg (1898)
Mikhail Perkhin (workmaster)
Johannes Zehngraf (miniatures)
Gold, diamonds, enamel, pearls, ivory, watercolor, glass

Adorned with a beautiful miniature Pelican feeding it's young the surprise is these beautiful miniatures on ivory of the different orphanages or schools for which Dowager Impress Maria Fedorovna was a patroness.

Of course there was the mandatory exhibit related merchandise in a specially set up boutique with lovely offerings. Below is what I would have loved to get had there been a more affordable option...

 Beautiful Matryoshka dolls and yes, the price was $985.00! :(

I had a great evening with my girl and after our museum visit I took her to Dunn's a Montréal landmark for a smoked meat sandwish... She had a burger! Sacrilege! Oh well, maybe if I take her to Reuben's next time she'll cave in. :)

If ever you visit Montréal this is a must stop, really it is!

Catherine and I had haircuts on Thursday! We both went from mid back to shoulder length!

Cat looks absolutely gorgeous! I'd been wanting this style for her for the longest time (almost two years I think) and finally this week she agreed! No more crooked pony tails that in a way made her look bland. Now she looks like a beautiful polished 15 yrs old girl. I'm very proud of the fact that she's self assured and confident which shows in her walk. Quite surprising in a girl her age but I guess she gets that from her dad. He would have been so proud seeing her with what he would have called "les petits cheveux" (short hair).

As for me, I wanted a longish bob but it turned out shorter than I expected. I honestly feel a little lost without my long mane but since I had a lot of breakage it's all good and it will grow back. I was blessed with thick strong hair that grows fast (I do my hair color every three weeks!) so it should look the way I want by mid October. Since the weather was capricious on that day (rain, sun, rain...) I decided to embrace the curls and my hairdresser showed me how to go natural without the frizz. I loved it so I intend to repeat. I posted a selfie on Inatagram, here. When I showed the picture to Catherine she said I was becoming a selfie addict... I think not. It was just to give you an idea of the hair. :)

New hair, new makeup...

To go with the easy looking curly hair I've decided to try a "no makeup makeup look" that actually takes me five minutes to do!!! I had the hardest time yesterday taking pictures. I don't know what's wrong with me but I can't seem to be able to get the correct colors. Both the Bobbi Brown palette and Tarte blush are lighter in real life.

Base is with my Dior BB, Rimmel concealer, The Body Shop's Honey bronzer in 02, NARS Laguna bronzer and Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty. For the eyes from Bobby Brown Navy & Nude palette I use Twilight Pink on the lids define the outer corners with Slate and use Cement on upper lids (you can see this will likely be a repurchase) you can see these colors in a better light, here. Two coats of mascara, done! No liner!!!

I went from a thick line of black last week to no liner these past few days!!! I think I'm loosing my marbles but I like it, I really like it!

Oh and NARS Dolce Vita on the lips!

For your viewing enjoyment...

A better look at some of the Fabergé pieces Catherine and I were able to admire with a little historical background. I didn't post any pictures of it but we did get to see the Red Cross Egg with the miniatures of the grand duchesses. Catherine liked that one a lot once I made her notice the beauty of the finish. I also have more pictures on Instagram, posted just before the hair cut. :)

Tomorrow, back to work! *Le Sigh* Oh well, at least now I'll have a more normal schedule which will make a world of difference. 

Have a great week everyone! Hélène xoxo

*To know more, Fabergé.com and Wikipedia here and here.
**About the exhibit, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

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