Sunday, June 26, 2011


…..had a champagne reception for their tea designer, the incomparable Lissi Kaplan.  Her exquisite hand painted porcelain high tea settings are also at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel.  They are so incredibly beautiful and each piece is such a work of art that you scarcely want to use them but go ahead and treat yourself …as using them is like a mini vacation to a precious world.  Another must have for yourself and as the perfect friendship gift is Lissi’s book…’The Power of a Teacup’.  This charmingly illustrated little book is about art, love and sacred gardens. Lissi’s pieces can be purchased in either hotel’s gift shop.  You can also contact Lissi directly at 



Here we are in the Montage gift shop. Carol Soucek King, Lissi and dear Carol O’Toole.


Can you tell I don’t want to let go of the teacup?



I first heard Lissi when she was a guest speaker at Carol Soucek King’s Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life…..her empowering ‘Institute of Philosophy and the Arts.



Stephen McGolden the delightful manager of the Montage gift shop.



Linda just finished wrapping my purchase!



O.K. foodies, let’s get real. Isn’t the French Laundry in Yountville absolutely the most incredible dining experience ever?  If you haven’t been, while they say they accept reservations two months in advance, all I can say is…...lot’s of luck!  The same is true for Thomas Keller’s Per Se in the Time Warner Center inside Columbus Circle.

However Bouchon, also in the Time Warner Center, is accessible and the duck pate is just about worth a trip to New York!  (Sorry vegans.) When I heard that there would be a Bouchon opening in Beverly Hills my foodie heart went pitty pat but I never got there until……………………………

………….there it was, right across the courtyard from the Montage.  I was ecstatic!



Oh my gosh.the bar, the Bouchon bar!!!!




The two Carol’s and Lissi


Happy, happy me, the two Carol’s and Lissi

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1 comment:

Carol O'T said...

That was such a fun and adventurous day! What fun to be with all three of you kindred spirits. I did love it. Thank you Nan Rae, Carol King and Lissi.

Carol O'T


There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.