Tuesday, October 23, 2012


There it was.  A forlorn, brown, paper package sitting in the rain.  The postman had kindly sealed it in clear plastic before leaving it on the steps.  It couldn't be helped, but my mind's film reel was rolling off Fräulein Maria, clad in white on a stormy night, singing,

"Brown, paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things."
                                     -- The Sound of Music

My older sister mailed me this Mask
after spending 2 weeks in Venice, Florence and Rome.
I was so thankful for the Postman's thoughtfulness
in protecting the package.

How can we possibly resist unexpected packages?  It's Magic in every mysterious box.  Can't blame Pandora for peeking into hers.

With this surprise, Halloween is now taking a Venetian slant as my costume ideas percolate ...  What do you plan to be for Halloween?


Late addition, to this post:

A delightful, little stop animation short for Halloween from film maker, Spike Jonze, and bag designer, Olympia Le Tan.  Enjoy!


  1. What a gorgeous mask! Is that for Halloween? Can't wait to see what you wear with it! I love Venetian masks, I bought a couple when I visited once which were just plaster and Mr V and I painted them ourselves to go to a masked ball.

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  3. How beautiful, Jenny! It's a lovely gift and its presence will definitely add a glamorous and mysterious uplift to any Halloween parties. Have you been to Venice and seen the little shops that sell these wonderful masks? There is something so strange about them, - they seem like something out of a story.

    But then, wearing masks is a slightly funny feeling too - to realise that nobody is truly sure who you are ...

  4. Hi Jenny!

    I was in Venice so long ago, as a teenager with my family, so I had too little pocket money to purchase these strange and wonderful masks! I think I managed to get a little porcelain Pierrot which reminded me so much of Petrouchka. Despite my generally buoyant personality, I do find it quite deliciously mysterious to hide behind masks! Then again, we all hide behind masks and keep our little secrets ...

  5. I can imagen you with a big skirt and pretty hat riding your bike, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  6. Oh I love this, what a beautiful mask! I adore masks and magical parcels showing up at my doorstep ... so happy that it arrived to you safely. Wishing you a wonderful weekend dear. xx

  7. Ah I have a red mask too - with feathers. Which I wore to a Valentines ball. Lots of fun was had I can tell you. I love the way Americans do Halloween. We don't make as much of an effort here. When I was little in Ireland we did then. The pumpkin carving is an old tradition brought over to America by the Irish. When I was growing up we used to carve our lanterns out of turnips. Pumpkins are much easier to carve! We also used to go door to door - but for us it wasn't trick or treat - which the English have adopted in recent years we had our own song
    "Halloween is coming an
    And the goose is getting fat
    Please put a penny
    In the old mans hat
    If you haven't got a penny
    A ha'penny will do
    If ya haven't got a ha'penny God bless you"
    Cold hard cash for us :-)
    Looking forward to seeing how you dress up your mask. Xxxx

    1. I didn't know about the turnips and pumpkins, Dvora! And your Halloween song was a Christmas ditty for us -- "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat ..." I love discovering the origins of all these traditions. -- J xxx

  8. Oh, this is such a delightful film! As to the mask... beautiful and mysterious. Unexpected parcels are definitely one of the nicest 'side effects' of being a blogger. xo

  9. first of all it's a lovely gift.and secondly it is just utterly amazing to receive gifts which are unexpected!

  10. Wonderful postman, wonderful sister for choosing and sending such a beautiful gift. Now I do hope that we are going to be treated to an image of your venetian-inspired costume for this evening. I can only imagine how very fabulous a dress-up inspired by this mask will be.

  11. Hey Jenny,

    I second Rosalind's comment! I hope we get treated to images of your lovely costume! At 7 months pregnant I'm more excited to see what other people are wearing than put anything but stretchy sweats or maternity jeans over my belly. Thank you for your incredibly thoughtful, insightful (as always) comment on my blog. I just read a book that made me think of you actually! "Paris In Love". The author wrote it based on her tweets and Facebook posts, each passage is a little exquisite or funny or thoughtful snapshot of her year in Paris with her family. I think you'd love it, and it made me think of your blog-- that's how you make California sound-- like Paris :)



Dear Fellow Aesthetes, I love hearing your thoughts. I think the other readers find them valuable too! Much love xxx

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