Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Everyone’s favorite style and design blogger struts her stuff at a fabulous, ironic and witty new art exhibit in Los Angeles

Sew and Sew

Come and meet writer/blogger/ artist Lisa Borgnes Giramonti and celebrate her style, her talent, and her great blog A Bloomsbury Life.

Los Angeles based Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, who is famous throughout the world for her fabulous blog A Bloomsbury Life, was one of the first bloggers I ‘friended’ and one of the very first on my favorites blog roll when I launched THE STYLE SALONISTE June 2009.

Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Piero Giramonti, a music executive, and their young son Luca. Lisa writes warmly and philosophically about their day-to-day life, their travels (Morocco, London) and Lisa’s adventures in design, reading, and musings on books and ideas.

Lisa and I often email back and forth, swap ideas and inspiration, and soon after we ‘met’ on our blogs we were exchanging and gifting favorite books. For the last few months, Lisa has been telling me, with great excitement (and fervor and impatience) about her upcoming show of her post-modern embroideries. Every moment of the day that she was not blogging or making Luca’s lunch, she was stitching and designing and embroidering.

Lisa’s embroideries are completed, they are about to be framed for the show, and any moment now (early May) friends will crowd into a Los Angeles gallery to celebrate her talent, charm, originality and humor.

Lisa in March 2010 with her newly completed (and not yet framed) samplers, ready for her show. Each will be carefully framed.

A Stitch In Time
Lisa, whose three-year-old blog ‘A Bloomsbury Life’ is read avidly by thousands of enthusiasts around the world, has a secret second life as an artist/embroiderer.

Lisa will be debuting her newest large-scale embroideries in her first solo exhibition, ‘Stitching up the Noughties’ at Acme gallery in Los Angeles this month.

In these wise and edgy framed post-modern art works, sewn artfully in silk embroidery floss on burlap, she comments in black cross stitch on celebrity, beauty, tabloids, Botox, plastic surgery, travel, literature, and modern life.

“I made them as a personal rebellion against a society that pressures women to be beautiful and perfect,” she said. “Living in Los Angeles is a vivid inspiration for my work.”

Exhibit open from May 1–29, Acme, 6150 Wilshire Boulevard., Los Angeles, 323-857-5842.

Lisa in her own words:
“I am a self-taught embroidery artist. My pieces consist of portraits of friends, vacations I've taken, places I've lived and important talismans in my life. I seek to illustrate my life through thread in the same way that the Bayeux Tapestry and 17th century English stumpwork provided a first-hand and immediate glimpse into the lives of the past.”
“I also create postmodern samplers which reflect my point of view on society today and offer an opportunity to explore feminist themes.”

“On Role Models”
‘Art, science, commerce, sense,
Were prior cultures’ influence.
Now Newton, Shakespeare, Freud and Milton,
Have been usurped by Paris Hilton.’
“For me, embroidery is a way to physically connect with traditional women's work and at the same time create an intimate and slightly subversive look at modern life today.”

“On The New Economy”
Gucci, Pucci, Kors and Prada
Turned my savings into nada.
Now what on my shoulder goes?
An eco bag from Trader Joe’s.

“I appreciate the slowness of the craft. My more complicated pieces can take up to three or four months to finish and in a world which seems to value rapidity over content, this medium signifies my small rebellion against cyberspeed and my commitment to the merits of slow art.”
        Artist’s Statement      
“I have always been fascinated with embroidery; my mother and grandmother were huge stitchers. What never appealed to me, however, was following a pattern. I wanted to sew my own life, my own obsessions and my own truths. I taught myself traditional methods of embroidery and then used them as the medium to bring my thoughts kicking and screaming to life.
“I stitch onto burlap instead of fine-weave linen or cotton because the coarseness of the fabric feels modern to me and I wanted to use a fabric that visually felt a bit confrontational. My samplers aren't dainty little creatures under glass; they're not shy or retiring. Plus, the loose weave of burlap gave me the freedom of scale I was looking for. I think of my pieces as being “exploded” in the sense that they're blown up in size and freed from the limitations of historical subject matter.
“As opposed to most of the work performed with a needle and thread in this town, my stitches show. They're black sutures which reveal inner truths.”

The Chic California Design Blogger
"I write from my eccentric Lilliputian manor in Los Angeles," says A Bloomsbury Life blogger

Los Feliz scriptwriter Lisa Borgnes Giramonti launched her deliciously eccentric and addictive design blog, A Bloomsbury Life, and it’s rapidly become a sensation on the design blog scene.

“I write to capture my passions and life’s beautiful moments,“ said Lisa. “ I embrace perfection in design and style, but I love the charm of disorder.”

Lisa and Piero’s house in Los Angeles. Readers of A Bloomsbury Life know every book, every chair, each nook, and every shaft of sunshine that streaks into the rooms. They also know the garden, pool, cat, breakfast rituals and dinner parties.

Style fanatics check three times weekly. They avidly follow her musings and peregrinations on décor, happy domesticity, art, interiors, rare books, exotic travel, Bloomsbury life, and the joyous process of discovering style inspirations from the past.

After living in London, Lisa and her husband moved to Los Angeles six years ago. Lisa worked on scripts for Will & Grace, then wanted to fall in love with writing all over again.

“I wanted to discuss life in Los Angeles, Cecil Beaton, Edith Sitwell and Dora Carrington with like-minded fans,” said Lisa.

Lisa and her life-long friend, Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Gos at their annual Christmas lunch in London, 2010.

Highgate Cemetery in London—the scene of a snowy trip for Lisa and Belinda last Christmas.

How to Live Like Lisa
Lisa’s Bloomsbury Picks

For Modern Antiquarians:
Empiric, 7918 Beverly
Boulevard, Los Angeles, www.empiricstudio.com, 323-634-7323.
Superchic owners, antiques, quirky and eccentric pieces, vintage industrial sensibility.

Channel Your Inner Talitha Getty:
Govinda's Imports, 3764 Watseka Avenue, Culver City, 310-836-1269, www.harekrishna.com. Indian textiles for decorating, incense, glorious summer tops, vibrant silk embroidered kurtas.

Genius Bookseller:
Ivanhoe Books, 1618 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-660-1500. www.ivanhoebooks.com. Lucy Spriggs’ hidden gem, rare books, a lovely hidden place for browsing and discovery.

British Style Fix:
Rose Tree Cottage,
801 S. Pasadena Avenue, Pasadena, 626-793-3337. www.rosetreecottage.com. Classic Brown Betty teapots, Aga stoves, books on English style.

Favorite entertaining:
Children's playdate for my son Luca, 7, and his friends. In the miniature Narnia of our garden: teacakes, mint tea and lemonade, mini sandwiches, and toasted banana bread with Nutella, followed by croquet and badminton.

Photo credits:
Exclusive photographs of Lisa with her (about to be framed) new art works, by Olga Roth.

All other photographs courtesy of the Borgnes Giramonti family.

Thank you to Lisa and to Piero (who took the fabulous photo of Lisa and Belinda Carlisle enjoying Christmas lunch in London, 2009. Bravissimo.

A Bloomsbury Life:  www.abloomsburylife.blogspot.com/


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I just love Lisa!!

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Hope I am one of the first to say-She is a force, and yes an inspiration. I am taken by the size of the works and love the idea of working in a medium that is outside of the established art form. What better than the woman's age old art of the needle? So very layered with meaning beyond her words. It's rebellious and steeped in traditions of old -perfect for a Bloomsbury life.xo, pgt

*Chic Provence* said...

How enchanting! Lisa is beautiful, talented, witty, wise, engaging...thanks for the insight into A Bloomsbury Life! The embroideries are priceless!

a bientot!


TSL said...

She is so fierce! I wish she could bottle that, I'd be the first in line.

Pigtown*Design said...

She's just such an incredible gal!

Silent Storyteller said...

Love Lisa, her blog and her embroidery!!!

Unknown said...

smart, pretty and talented- love that lisa! looking forward to her show @acme!

katiedid said...

Thank you Diane! I am one of the many fans you are talking about here! Lisa is such a talent in so many arenas...not the least of which is her warm ability to befriend on sight a visitor from the North. I had the very good luck to meet her a couple of weeks ago, and she is as charming in person as she is on her fab blog!

JMW said...

Whenever I read her blog, I feel like I have my nose pressed up against the window of a magical scene, a vivid painting or play, not quite real, almost a fantasy of sorts. It's wonderful!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Hooray! A wonderful profile - wish I could see the show in person.

Debra said...

I've been wanting to see more of Lisa's work and you have done a good job with this preview. Oh to be on the west coast to see it in full and in person. What a delightful profile. Lisa's posts are infused with humor and whimsical everyday life along with her fabulous sense of style. And thanks to her- my book list is growing weekly.

Helen James said...

Lisa is certainly an inspiration and an incredible talent , The blogosphere is a richer and more enchanting place with her in it. I wish her all the best with the exhibition I am sure it will be a phenomenal success x

pve design said...

I really love that she is self-taught and has such a way with words as well as the needle. I have admired Lisa from a distance and do hope to have the honor of meeting in person before she is a celebrity in her own time and place.

froogal said...

I have been waiting for these embroideries! You did a wonderful job of highlighting Lisa's many talents and made me admire her even more. Thanks!

mermaid gallery said...

She is very inspirational for her energy especially.......Her talent and wonderful taste are also pretty amazing....

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Dearest Diane,

I don't know what to say. I'm touched, tickled and overwhelmed...! Thank you for this lovely, lovely post.

I will do my best to try to live up to it! xx

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Friends of Lisa--Known from now on as FOL...
That could also be Followers of Lisa and Fans of Lisa--

We know who we are!
We all love Lisa--and I'm so glad we met.
Thank you for heartfelt and intensely wonderful comments.
Lisa's was one of my most admired blogs from the early days--even before I knew what I was going to do in the blog world.
I launched THE STYLE SALONISTE and before a minute had passed, she and I were exchanging books.
We all followed her to London and Morocco.
The thing is--Lisa and I have not yet met, through we've tried and chatted about that. We will.
So==I am thrilled to bits to hear from all of you.
Stay in touch--and Lisa will be getting all kinds of great press (LA Times etc) and she will sell all of her samplers, and she will do something even more brilliant.
Cheers to all of you--all my favorites and all the bloggers I love to read and see what is on your mind.
Note that everyone said 'Lisa has great energy'.
Agrees...and lots more.
cheers to you all, and a million thanks for your wonderful comments.

Tereann said...

Bravo! Thank you for saluting this uniquely talented voice. I'm a devoted fan of A Bloomsbury Life, and echo the sentiments posted.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I too became addicted with the very first post I read! I was mesmerized by her writing and insights. And, that would have been enough...but to hear and see the artistic talent is nothing but a very happy surprise!!! Oh, to own one of those works!

Marija said...

This is an unbelievably wonderful post. Well written, informative, sincere. Perfect. Marija

Leslee said...

I have been following Lisa's blog for just 2 months now.
What I really like about her writing is that it is so thoughtful.
It is very clear she is a reader and that she processes carefully
with great insight.
I am blown away by these samplers today.. first time understanding
this is what she was doing other than writing. They are elegant,
savvy, terse and well crafted. I love the nod to history and hand made is this digital age. That she uses her mind
to say something with them as well as making then harmoniously decorative, makes them all the more alluring.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Acanthus & Acorn, and Hi Marija-

Hi Leslee-

Thank you so much for your wonderful and vivid comments. Love them.

I like Leslee's comment that Lisa's poems are 'savvy and terse'...and they are.

I like the irony of her work--which is rather in contrast to the warm and charming and lovely 'reports from the homefront'...of her weekly stories.

Cheers to Lisa--and I and I know all of you wish her great, great amazing success with her upcoming show. I wish her every happiness. Onward and upward!

cheers, DIANE

Scott Waterman said...

Absolutely Adorable

Brainy Bargello

Chic Chick

Angie Muresan said...

Thanks, Diane, for featuring Lisa. She is indeed one of a kind. Her style, her personality, her talents, and her mind are incredible. I wish her much success!

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Hooked on Lisa from my first glance. Another commenter mentioned having her face pressed against the window. So true! When I get an update alert...I get giddy. It's a ritual I treasure-thanks Diane for such a TERRIFIC post on my FAVORITE blog(ger)!

Karena said...

Diane, This is so fascinating what an exciting talented and unique woman. I absolutely love her Samplers, thank you so much for sharing with us!

Art by Karena

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Diane,
What a marvelous post on Lisa, she has such a great sense a style! Love her embroidery. Just found your beautiful blog and will be following along.
Wishing you a good day,

Courtney said...

I loved this post so very much! Lisa is such an inspiration and what I'd give to see that exhibit in person --- let alone own a piece of her work! She's incredible and such a talent. Great, great profile of such a spectacular woman.

Errant Aesthete said...

What an astonishingly wonderful profile and richly deserved. Lisa encapsulates all that has been lost in modern life -- dedication, patience, resourcefulness, ingenuity, aesthetics, originality and soulfulness -- all from her magical Lilliputian wonderland.

While her loveliness as a spirit and artist are evident, I am most drawn to her insurgency. It is her philosophy that sets her apart. How can you not help but embrace someone who works in burlap, lovingly rendering it with style and subversiveness?

Emily said...

What a beautiful tribute to such a talented lady. I love Lisa and her blog. Nothing else out there compares!

24 Corners said...

Diane, you've done a wonderfully fitting tribute to Lisa and have given us another glimse into her very special, charming world.

She imparts culture, beauty and wit to us all and now we know her just a wee bit more thanks to you!

I wish Lisa much success with her "slow art", she deserves it!


Susan Snippets said...

Thank you for giving Lisa the props that she so deserves!! I LOVE reading about her talented, wonderful life!!

lessens my strife

Dandy said...

Lisa's blog is one of my favorites--and she is kind and lovely in answering each and every comment left for her.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Angie, Vava, Karena, Bonjour, Romance, Scott- Courtney, Errant (you know who you are!), and Emily, Jessica, Susan and dear Dandy-

Your responses and thoughts are vivid, vibrant, generous, heart-felt, wonderful--and uplifting.
I am so thrilled to hear comments like those of Vava...that when you get an update...you feel 'giddy'. Love this.
I also like Errant's comments__'Lisa offers dedication, patience, resourcefulness, ingenuity, aesthetics, originality and soulfulness -- all from her magical Lilliputian wonderland." ..and these comments speak for all of us, I believe.
I like also dear readers who speak of Lisa's ability to take them out of the everyday, lift them from daily 'strife'. This is a fantastic tribute to Lisa, I feel.
I hope you will all cram into the gallery in Los Angeles for her opening party--and spill out into the sidewalk and the parking lot. At least...for those far away...come in your dreams and send Lisa your very best wishes and thoughts.
Thank you so much to all of our friends for such warm and witty and brilliant comments.
cheers, DIANE

Daniel Hale said...

Interesting work. Like the scale and graphic nature, but they are still warm. Cool juxtaposition.

Errant Aesthete said...


I am new to your blog (and habitually, always late to the party), nevertheless, I feel another tribute is due here. That would be to you for your incomparable generosity of spirit. It is small wonder that Lisa would feel "speechless."

Your enthusiasm, warmth and kindness is as exceptional as it is contagious. You inspire and commend without pretense or artiface, just pure uninhibited joy -- a rare gift, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Great profile and SO accurate. Im so lucky Lisa's a friend and completely inspiring

Beadboard UpCountry said...

How talented she is!! I would love to see them in the gallery....Thanks once again for the inspirational instruction and exposing another talented being... Always a pleasure. Maryanne :)

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Dear Errant-

Now I'm blushing. Thank you so much. I love all of the people I write about--and have great admiration and awe of their talent and spirit and desire to create beauty. Anyone who makes beauty--I admire.
Lisa happens to be witty as well and brilliant, a wonderful writer. Thank you, and do stay in touch.

ROYALAPOTHIC...wish I was in LA to see your toiletries and frgrances and smell them in person. Love your name and I am sure would love your products as well. Bravo to you.

Maryanne-I hope it is now spring were you are. Thanks so much for your kind and lovely message about Lisa...she is endlessly surprising and generous with her ideas and time.

Happy days to you all, DIANE

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Lisa appears to be a woman after my own heart. I adore her style, her wit and her way of getting out her message and passions. I will most definitely be following her incredible blog. Thank you as always Diane to introducing yet another fascinating individual.

Have a lovely Sunday ~ Deborah

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Lisa lifts the spirits of her readers--and I was struck by how many comments on this post noted that she 'lifts us out of the ordinary'. I think that is a fantastic achievement.
Thank you, Deborah, for the comment on Tatiana Sorokko. I just spoke to her a few days ago. Her show in Moscow was a great success--and she was totally hoarse from 12-hour days of interviews with the Russian press and tv and other media. Home town girl makes very good.
cheers, DIANE

Thank You For Asking said...

I loved reading about Lisa. After reading your post I feel I really know who she is. What an interesting woman.
Your blog is interesting and in-depth. I am a new fan.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi, Kim-

Wonderful to hear from you, thank you.

I love your blog--and as I live not too far from your address, and a hop and a skip from Alta Plaza Park...it is all rather wonderful and witty.

I'm looking forward to seeing you. very best, DIANE

Slim Paley said...

Love This!! What a singular and ingenious way to meld such a traditional art form with contemporary humour and whimsy. I love the huge scale, the use of burlap, and the artistry involved. A fabulously irreverent homage to both the past and present. I will make a point of stopping by Lisa's exhibition in LA and her blog!
Thanks so much Diane for the great post!