Our Online Store is Live!

Did you miss us at Smorgasburg LA last Sunday? No worries, we’ll be there again this Sunday from 10-6. Stop by, we’ll show you a magic trick.

But even bigger news: Our ONLINE STORE is live. Now you can shop our lovely wares anywhere, anytime.

Greeting cards by LA artist, Laura Plansker. Our line of Miss Havisham’s dinnerware. Antiques. All manner of tea related items.

red stab

xoxo

Well, WE Like You.

FullSizeRender (2).jpgCome find us at our booth this Sunday at Smorgasburg LA. Our custom line of teacups will get your point across.

A lady must always speak her mind.

Our Custom Line of Dinnerware is here!

FullSizeRender (6)

Food and dishwasher safe, our dinner plates have been known to cause more than a few dinner parties to go sideways.  Decorum, darling. Always maintain a modicum of decorum even when dining with the worst characters.

FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender

Come find us Sundays at Smorgasburg LA so we can teach you some manners.

746 Market Ct., Los Angeles (parking lot and entrance off Alameda Street).

Miss Havisham’s Curiosities Joins Smorgasburg LA

 

Very pleased to announce that Miss Havisham’s Curiosities will be at Smorgasburg LA every Sunday beginning June 19th at the Alameda Produce Market in Downtown LA.

Antiques, housewares, local artists, and tea!

product1product2

Come visit us and sample her fine wares, darling. Miss Havisham does not disappoint.

 

We’re Moving!

We have been remiss in our correspondence as of late but with good reason!

Darlings, Miss Havisham’s Tea is dipping our toe into new waters.

Firstly, we are moving our blog to www.MissHavishamsCuriosities.com.

Because we’re really more of a lifestyle movement after all, aren’t we dearies? Why limit ourselves to tea and gossip?

All of our content, social media, and discussion forums will now be in one lovely little hub.

Secondly, and this is a big one, we will be adding an online store in the near future.

So many of those trinkets we’ve showcased will eventually be available to you online. How else can a lady support her weekend flea market addiction?

And so it is out with the old and in with the new including our fancy new logo courtesy of Mr. Havisham (Thank you, Tim).

Miss Havishams

So please visit us at our new home, subscribe to our newsletter, and look out for more exciting announcements soon.

xoxo

Miss Havisham’s Curiosities

We’re getting curiouser and curiouser…

Miss Havisham’s April Appointments

Oh hi, April! Ever striving to approach the majesty of Martha Stewart herself, I humbly submit my own schedule for your eagle eyes. Here are the LA events I will be attending in the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll see you there, dearies. No foolin’.

Friday, April 1

April Fool’s Day! Avoid the internet, it is full of lies today. Fish don’t typically wear hats, for example.

33570bbc2d0e9550b15a9b58bf11e994

Friday, April 1

The Great Horror Movie Night: Watch Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining, under the stars in the Griffith Park old zoo. Bring your blankets, bring your snacks, bring a flashlight. We’ll all be there, will you?

ball-photo

Friday, April 1

First Fridays at the Natural History Museum? Movies and science? Yes.

Give me any excuse to spend time there, I will take it.

next_landing_slide_04

Friday, April 1

Don’t miss this book signing and a chance to meet the author of Deceptive Desserts: A Girls Guide to Baking Bad, Christine McConnell, at Barnes and Noble at The Grove.

I love her instagram. I love her vision. Apparently she is baking cookies for the event.

11143297_1133750609977895_1901655354322599191_o

Saturday, April 2

Missed her at The Grove? You get another chance. You can drive on down to Riverside and meet Christine McConnell and buy her book, Deceptive Desserts: A Girls Guide to Baking Bad.

12792246_1138724726147150_1672955709814899487_o

Saturday, April 2-3

Theodore Payne’s annual native garden tour.

This is a fantastic event. Tour gardens all over LA and see how drought tolerant, native gardens can rival even the most manicured lawns. I’ve gone every year since I moved to LA. One day showcases the coastal and mid-city gardens and the other day showcases the inland and valley gardens so whatever your micro climate, you’re set.

qh02

Saturday, April 2

Yet another great event by Atlas Obscura. Take a tour of a miniature and prop shop.

“LA-based artist Calder Greenwood is a prop-maker, set builder, model maker, director, writer, and production designer who creates larger than life installations and truly magical spaces, all from a single material—cardboard.”  Tour his studio in downtown LA.

RadPad_005

Saturday, April 2-April 3

A Current Affair Vintage Pop Up.

This beckons to me and will surely do damage to my bank account.

“A Current Affair is a major source of inspiration for designers with teams from Opening Ceremony, Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Band of Outsiders, Trina Turk, Ralph Lauren, Free People, and Mara Hoffman all regularly shopping the event. Prices range from $30-$3000, reflecting the vast array of goods on display- from heritage denim to estate jewelry.”

All the gowns and glitter you need from times gone by. However will I show restraint?

Friday, April 1-April 3

For those of you who want to dance dance dance, check out The Roaring Twenties Street Jam.

Dance classes and events all over the city all weekend ranging from speakeasies to carousal rides with music accompaniment.  I’m going to try to squeeze in an event.

3ceae2_cf12c2f482c24d0dab618dd6a3ae97ca

Thursday, April 7th

Pop-Up Magazine on tour.

“PopUp Magazine returns to The Theatre for an evening of storytelling, documentary film, radio, photography and performance. Some of our favorite writers and storytellers will perform never-before-seen work on stage, accompanied by visuals, recorded audio and live music. Nothing filmed, nothing recorded.”

PopUp_Spring_ACE_1

Saturday, April 9-10

Wanna relive your troubled teens? Like to cry? Then head to this.

0409-0410_smiths

Sunday, April 10

The one, the only…Rose Bowl Flea.

web2rb1

Tuesday, April 12-14

Dita Von Teese Burlesque: Strip, Strip, Hooray! Variety Show.

Fashion and burlesque icon and poster girl for an alabaster complexion, Dita Von Teese performs.

0412-0414_dita_von_teese

Friday, April 15th

Odd Nights at the Autry.

Flea markets abound! Crafts, food vendors, live music. And who doesn’t love a cowboy museum? Select galleries will be open as well.

162

Saturday, April 16th

Obscura Day.

If you do one thing this month, make it an event through Atlas Obscura. Atlas Obscura hosts events across the globe today.

More than 150 events in 35 states and 25 countries. All in one day. 

There’s something for everyone. I’m really looking forward to a visit to LA’s ethical taxidermist Allis Markham of Prey Taxidermy.

12132677_480044998846784_132325563_n

I’m also going to the LA closing party and so should you. Check it out here. It’s taking place at Valley Relics.

c3633f53-d60f-4d16-8b97-931d7a0ba9ea

Sunday, April 17

Long Beach Antique Market.

By now you all know this is my favorite flea in the city. You can read about some of my favorite finds here. I actually just bought a sun hat and a collapsible wagon. It’s on.

r1

Thursday, April 21

25 to 5’s Anniversary Party

“A sophisticated cocktail lounge with a Mediterranean-style menu that caters to L.A.’s most discerning clientele, Riviera 31’s stunning and thought-provoking decor takes visitors on a visual journey through the evocative history of the French Riviera with photography by the legendary Edward Quinn. A unique mixology program includes masterfully crafted cocktails prepared table-side and the menu takes visitors on an epicurean journey through French coastal cuisine.”

All benefits are a donation to City of Hope.

1380043785

 

Friday, April 29-30

Bob’s Burgers Live. I’m going to let that just sit there for a minute.

I love this show so yes, I want to see what the hell a live version of it is.

Pretty much anything Loren Bouchard creates is pure gold so sign me up.

BobsBurgers_5ASA13_1800_1280x720_546897987521

Saturday, April 30th-May 1

Tired of flea markets yet? Me either. Head up to Paso Robles for the Three Speckled Hens Antique fair. Tickets are on sale now. Make a weekend of it.

Have a lovely April and remember, make time for a calming cup of tea. xoxo

 

Bootleggers and Poison Rings

When I was a kid we lived for a short time in the house my great-grandparents bought when they immigrated from Lebanon. It was a dark and foreboding structure at the end of dead end street with woods on two sides of it. The street actually doesn’t even exist anymore. The house looked a little bit like this one though not as beaten up.

25189675_BG6

That house was full of mysteries. Trunks in the attic were full of tintype photos and old glass perfume bottles. There were giant wooden wardrobes to hide in and a basement so terrifying I used to run by the door to it as quickly as I could for fear something unearthly would reach out and grab me. In truth, it was just a creepy turn of the century cellar filled with old tools. That house imprinted on me. It has influenced most of my design choices as an adult. Thanks, great-grandparents.

During Prohibition my great-grandparents supplemented their income by being bootleggers, though neither of them drank. Apparently the neighbors did the same and soon enough they became competitors. I’m told the competition escalated to a full on Lebanese Hatfields-McCoys rivalry.

Lips-that-touch-liquor

You can read all about it in my memoir once it’s finally finished, but for now dearies that’s all you get. I only bring this up to explain the existence of a secret door in the floor of the house’s dining room. Under the rug there was a small door with a metal ring for a handle. The door led to a series of tunnels out into the backyard where the original copper still was stored along with 60 year old bottles of hooch. So that’s where all the magic moonshine happened.  From the day I learned of its existence I was hooked on secret hiding places, convinced it was my sole responsibility to safeguard our family jewels (I was 4 and there were no jewels).

Most of my childhood you could find me hiding inside a wardrobe or closet with a flashlight and a book or “spying.” Other days I was in the backyard with the dog digging holes to hide our valuables from potential jewel thieves (always up against those pesky jewel thieves). I left crayon maps around the house with secret codes on them, left trails of clues, and I watched way too much Fantasy Island. I also read too many Nancy Drew mysteries after I learned to read, of course.

(Note: That last cover may not be a legit Nancy Drew book title but it made me laugh)

My love of secret lairs, hidden doors, and decoder rings grew strong during the years we lived in the creepy ancestral home and hasn’t really died out yet. Just recently, I took my car in to be serviced and the mechanic asked if I knew about the secret compartment in my Mini Cooper. I did not. I’m not ashamed to say I cried a little. It now holds bandaids. I like secrets. Here are a few of my favorite hiding places.

An antique wardrobe as a portal to a workshop from House Beautiful. Apparently this is the home of designer couple who couldn’t agree on how to deal with the husband’s workshop. Brilliant.

54c0bab7bce4c_-_08-hbx-fake-armoire-door-weisman-fisher-0513-s2

And more.

I’d prefer it if it were a secret laboratory behind these bookshelves instead of a conference room but alas.

mrmrsfox52x

More secret doors in antique wardrobes hiding private rooms.I think Tim needs a secret evil magician’s lair.

I would have loved this wardrobe/secret play room as a kid, very Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, another childhood obsession I might add. Found on  Odee.com.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Secret staircases? V.C. Andrews would be so proud.

a0e4672f3e2c4865697ba73da8a334bf

d8ebd-04064-8aa45-57809-476e7

The Hidden Passageway Company will actually build you a secret room or a safe behind a painting. I think their bookcases are the best option. I imagine, with a little design nudge in the right direction, they could create some really unique pieces.

Tangent! Download this video on how to make a portrait that appears to follow you with its eyes then line your hallway with them or hang one in your guest room.

FH1ZJMDGSI523F6.LARGE.jpg

Before there were safety deposit boxes, there was trick furniture. Valuables were stashed away in secret drawers. The most famous of which can be viewed in all its mechanical clockwork splendor here. You have to see it to believe it.

berlin-secretary-cabinet-david-roentgen-germany

The most brilliant pieces of secret compartment furniture ever made were created by the Roentgens, father and son, who engineered pieces for Europe’s royal families. They’re who Marie Antoinette went to when she wanted a desk. Several of their pieces were on display at the Met and one sold at Sotheby’s recently for 133,000 pounds.

JPFURNITURE-popup

 

0d7fe13e1de3484e65511a47287be108

 

After I read this article from Collector’s Weekly on how to find secret compartments in antique furniture, I went home and inspected all my furniture. My lips are sealed, but let’s just say if you have the choice between buying an antique and a new piece of furniture, always go antique. You may find a surprise.

Traveling was especially dangerous in ye olde days so a lady needed to hide her valuables. This vanity case with a secret drawer sure is pretty, if impractical by today’s standards. It recently sold on Ebay which has quite a few antique boxes with secret drawers for sale.

You can always hide your goodies in your expansive library of first editions. Easy enough to carve out the pages or purchase one pre-made like this ca. 1889 copy of Montaigne on etsy.

 

Poison Rings: I loooooove these. Want to poison your enemy but remain stylish? Are you worried you might need to take state secrets to your premature grave? I’ll never talk! Poison rings became popular in Europe around the 16th century when just about everyone poisoned everyone. It was all the rage.

A triple compartment enamel poison ring ca. 1840 found on Antiquejewel.com.

This ring found on Collectors Weekly is actually a series of interlocking rings or a Gimmel ring that hides a secret message, albeit a sweet one.

unnamed1

Sometimes the message isn’t so sweet as in this ring which bears occult symbols and has a poison chamber. No one sends a nice message with a ram’s head.

PoisonRing

Another interlocking Gimmel ring, this one with a message that life is short. Gather ye daisies, friends.

Rothschild-Diamond-Ring-2-1024x682Rothschild-Diamond-Ring-4-1024x682

More poison, more!

And this one belonged to Queen Elizabeth I. A sassy gal she was.

Jewelry with secret compartments was the precursor to mourning jewelry where pieces of hair were kept in lockets, pins, rings etc. Read all about it in my former post on mourning, “Death Becomes Her.”

And here’s more gold from Collector’s Weekly. These sure are clever, consider them day-to-evening-wear earrings. The covers come off to reveal the diamonds inside. Also handy for fooling jewel thieves!

CoachCovers

This intricately carved ball from the 16th century holds layers of biblical scenes and was used for prayer.

Last, but certainly not least, the nineteenth century invented pocket watches, clocks, compacts and, even cane handles with secret compartments to hide pornographic paintings. Early erotica at its most clever. Check out this recent auction for examples that will make you blush. Definitely not for the shy or prim. Here’s a fairly tame one.

365_1

May all your jewels be safe and all your secrets well kept. xoxo