Saturday, October 29, 2011

Le Jacquard Francais & Garnier Thiebaut
Tablecloth & Napkin Sale

Now through November 6, 2011, receive 20% off any French Tablecloths or Napkins from 

Shop online @,
or come to our lovely shop & gallery
in Little Washington, Va!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thomas Mullany: New Mural Project
for William Jeffrey's Tavern

 Thomas Mullany is my wonderfully talented artist/brother and I am excited to be writing about him on my blog today. We have represented him in our gallery for many years, and he is also included in many corporate and private collections throughout the United States. He not only does murals but also sculpture, decorative painting, and paintings on canvas and board. Click here to see the current selection of his work in our gallery.

This mural project is his biggest commission to date. Last night he had a little preview of his completed work for family and friends before the canvas was to be gently rolled up and transported to the soon-to-open William Jeffrey's Tavern in Arlington, VA.

Tom did lots of historical research on the 1920's Prohibition Era--clothing, architecture, interiors and exteriors--and also studied the history on the specific location of the restaurant. He included many details from the Arlington of the past, including streetcars, Model-T Fords, and delivery trucks of the time.

Here are a few sketches he did in preparation for the mural, and also the final painted sketch that he had on display at this gathering. 

Below are more detailed images of the completed mural.
The huge canvas was stretched onto a wooden frame and attached to the railing on the upper level of an old apple-packing building. Tom needed to rent a large space with high ceilings that would accommodate the canvas.

There are so many interesting vignettes of bootleggers, musicians, bartenders and a well-dressed crowd all imbibing what was then an "illegal substance" of the day, alcohol.

Notice Tom's signature carved into the wine carrier.

Love the not-so-hidden flask...


I've included some bonus images from his rented studio setup. Loved seeing his clothesline of paint rags, the ladders and lighting, his suitcase filled with paint tubes, the numerous paint-mixing bowls, and the paint-splattered tarp still on the floor.

 Clothesline filled with paint rags.

 There were many buckets of paint brushes.

He had a few much-needed ladders in the studio for reaching the higher parts of the mural.

This is the long tube which was going to be used to roll up the final canvas and transport it to it's final destination.  I am really looking forward to seeing this mural, and all of his paintings, which will be installed at William Jeffrey's Tavern in November 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just In @ R.H. Ballard

We've been busy little bees here at the shop & gallery.  I get really excited with all the new products coming in every day. Here are a few of my favorite items now in the shop!

Large Demi John surrounded by Mercury Votive Holders and Boule Glass Candle Holders

New HOBO Bags & Wallets: a beautiful architectural element (window frame) hangs from our French Tray ceiling ceiling and onto a vintage 1930's kitchen table.

A lovely, pear-scented "From the Garden Soap" sits upon a one-of-a-kind, hand-hone Rappahannock Granite Soap dish created by a local stone mason here in Washington, Va.

Pam Older Designs: some stunning necklaces and earrings created by American jewelery designer Pam Older, blends well with new metallic clutches from HOBO.

Long time favorite Hostess Gift: Robin's Egg Soaps and Nest Dish

Our towering display of Le Jacquard Francais Tea Towels: This towel display really sets then tone for the shop -  unique, colorful and inspiring! I found this enormous herb drying rack at a local business, The Copper Fox, located in Sperryville, VA.  We refurbished it (it was rusted and had decayed bolts) so that it now easily revolves and holds 48 different styles of my cherished French towels.

 My current favorite lamp find! A company located in North Carolina creates these unique lamps and tables by using truck and machine parts, old gates, discarded metal and other industrial materials. I am a big fan of industrial furnishings and I am always on the look-out for unusual designs that can be worked into traditional or modern settings.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Le Jacquard Francais Fall Towel Collections
Now @ R.H. Ballard Shop

Le Jacquard Francais, one of the oldest jacquard-looming mills in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, has designed yet another beautiful and artful tea towel collection this year. Tea towels, you say? What is so special about a tea towel? Well, many fans of LJF consider these towels a work of art.

Take the above example. This lovely design was inspired with France's obsession of "Macarons" in mind (consider the iconic Laduree shop as seen below). I have tasted these delectable little Laduree morsels and can say (without fainting) that they are divine. They are a sweet confection created with two meringue-style cakes and a frothy frosting filling,  light and airy and mouth watering. You can see in this towel design all of the favorite "Macarons" that Parisians enjoy the most: pistachio, licorice, rose, and it is best be served with hot green tea. Quite a nice little tea towel, no?
I am posting all of the new Fall 2011 tea towels currently available on our website. Keeping with French traditions, take a look below at the cool wine and champagne imagery -- drinking glasses, antique bottle openers. These would be a perfect gift for a wine aficionado or even for use at a special holiday celebration.  Some designs have the graphic feel of Andy Warhol. They are hip yet traditional, modern imagery designed in a traditional method and the color combinations are spot on. Very current and so beautiful.

Oh, and you can buy these stunning French Tea Towels in our shop or online.....I had to say it, you know. Please visit our website to learn more about what we offer and all of our Le Jacquard Francais offerings.

The new 2012 Tea Towel. Get one today!

All towel images: Copyright: Guillaume Grandin