Fireside Cocktails with Foxtail Books
Make Ours a Double: A bar stacked on beautiful books is as aesthetic as it is enticing (curvy glass tumbler, be merry cocktail napkin and leaf cocktail stirrer)
We sat down with local tastemaker Christy Smirl, the founder of Foxtail Books, to get the scoop on how to style our home library and what we should read this winter season. Offering services that include curation, installation, cataloging and limited-edition acquisition Christy is a national authority on custom residential library design. She is also the former Curator of Collections for the Teton County Library.
With autumn already on its way out and shorter days a reality, we were delighted to be invited up to her cozy, retro chic Wilson cabin for fresh gingerbread (make sure to scroll for her favorite recipe) and fireside cocktails. Read about our afternoon…
On the Rocks: Add color to any space by accessorizing with your book collection (curvy glass tumbler)
WHAT ARE THREE SURE-PROOF TIPS ON HOW TO STYLE YOUR HOME LIBRARY?
Consider scale. There is such a thing as too many books in a space. There is also such a thing as not enough. Consider the capacity of your shelves and whether the number of titles feels claustrophobic or sparse. Add or pare down as needed.
Consider how you use your books and how you use the room. What's most important: a mixture of books that feels eclectic and surprising, or that you can find everything? Are your books there for guests to enjoy, or for you to access?
Use your shelves as your creative canvas. This is one of the easier design pieces in your home to move around and be experimental! Try one object d'art atop a stack of books one day, move it up or down and angle the books differently the next. Feel it out with your shelving and the elements in the room.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT COLOR CODING AND THE RAINBOW TREND?
I love anything, trendy or not, that allows a book lover to enjoy the look and feel of their library. For some of us, that means having books organized by subject so we can find everything. For others, it's visual techniques like the rainbow trend that bring joy to a room. I have also had clients who are incredibly visual: they identify their books by color more than they do by title or author. In that case, color coding can be better than the Dewey Decimal System!
In the works: One of Christy’s current projects for a client who collects cook books
WHAT ABOUT DISPLAYING BOOKS ON THE FLOOR?
I would put books on the floor if the room calls for an eclectic feel, or if it seems sterile and needs to look more lived in. Stacks of hefty art books beneath a coffee table can change how the furniture works in that space. On the other hand, precious books need to be protected (and shown off). I love the most beautiful showpieces on display at eye level.
WINTER IS HERE, WHICH MEANS LONG AFTERNOONS AND NIGHTS IN FRONT OF A CRACKLING FIRE CURLED UP READING. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND…
For a modern admirer of Jane Austen and other classic authors?
To dive further into Austen, I recommend reading an annotated version of her novels. It's such fun to learn about the dances, food, carriages and language as you follow Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy around their plot twists and turns. Harvard University Press has come out with several beautifully illustrated editions in that vein.
For a good Austenish story?
Try Longbourn, in which write Jo Baker takes us back into the world of Pride and Prejudice from the servants' point of view. Unlike dozens of Austen adaptations that come out each year, this story maintains an Austenesque social intelligence and literary-caliber writing.
For the thrill seeker?
The Second Sister by Claire Kendal is about a women who, at the request of her young nephew, dives into the mystery of her sister's death 10 years ago by (perhaps?) a seductive serial killer, or perhaps someone less expected. Just out this fall, it's one of those that just twists and turns, confuses and confounds until it all pulls together as a good mystery should. Delectable.
For the historical fiction buff?
Our Man in Moscow by Amore Towles is the charming tale of a count under house arrest (for writing seditious poetry) in a luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in 1920s Moscow. Towles paints such a lovely picture of this place and time, and of his incredible cast of characters. His stories stick with you; I also highly recommend his first novel, Rules of Civility, set in 1930s Manhattan.
For little ones?
For the very littles: The Antlered Ship is the prettiest picture book I've seen out this year. Woodland animals (including a fox) who are friends traveling together on a seafaring adventure? That's charming enough, and the illustrations seal the deal.
And for the littles who aren't so small anymore: The Explorer by Katherine Rundell would suit kids in ages 8 through 12. Fred, Lila, Con and Max are stranded in the Amazon after a plane crash. A classic kids' adventure story (navigation, mystery, and adventure), this story is also about the wonders of the natural world, and about what kids are capable of without adults around.
Mistress of the Mix: First editions of The Cocktail Hour In Jackson Hole certainly do inspire off-season libations… Not only does Christy bake a wicked gingerbread but she is also a master at whipping up a Moscow Mule (vintage skies cocktail towel, copper moscow mule mug and king cube ice tray)
TAKE A TOUR OF CHRISTY’S ENCHANTED CABIN FOR A GLIMPSE OF HER FAVORITE BELLE COSE HOLIDAY FINDS:
Enchanted Staircase: Creative on all levels, Christy leads the way up a feathered, felt ladder to her cabin’s library loft
Warm Wishes: Christy’s idea of a perfect Sunday night? Taking advantage of cold weather and the holidays as a lovely excuse to put pen to paper and send snail mail (assorted holiday cards and silk faux flowers available at Town Square & Westbank)
Baby it’s cold outside: After a walk up Paintbrush with Christy and her pup, Bat Man, we were more than ready to enjoy a Hot Toddy… (papa noel mug and cheers my deers cocktail napkin)
FOXTAIL BOOKS HIGH ALTITUDE GINGERBREAD CAKE
Serves at least 8
1 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
Scant 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (scant means "just a bit less than" - take out 10% or so for altitude over 5000 ft like Jackson Hole)
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 large farm fresh eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (to pretend we're being healthy)
2 tsp ground dried ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Scant 2 tsp baking powder
Whipped cream or powdered sugar for topping gingerbread cake off
Heat oven to 375 degrees (350 if you're at altitude lower than 5000 ft).
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and/or butter and flour
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add baking soda (it should foam up). Remove pan immediately from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir in butter chunks until melted (you might need to warm it just a tiny bit for this to happen).
Whisk in brown sugar, molasses, fresh ginger, and then let mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
Transfer molasses mixture to a large mixing bowl, whisk in eggs until just combined (it's okay to do this in your saucepan if you have enough room).
Sift and mix flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder separately.
Put the dry into the wet and stir everything together until just combined (it will be a bit lumpy - do not over mix).
Pour batter into prepped pan and bake for about 30 minutes, using a knife or toothpick to check whether it's done.
Once your gingerbread cake has partially cooled, remove from pan to fully cook on a wire rack.
Cut into squares or use holiday cookie cutters for a more festive approach.
Top with whipped cream or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
This gingerbread lasts for a few days and holds. It even gets more flavorful as it sits!
We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce the opening of our new boutique in beautiful Vero Beach, Florida! A community close to our hearts, where Belle Cose owner Jane Carter-Getz has long vacationed, Vero Beach kept coming up in conversation as a potential place for another store for years. When a location in the popular Village Shops (visit their website here) became available, we knew our stars were aligned and counted our blessings from above. Fondly referred to as the “Hamptons of Florida” this little seaside village is now officially our second home!
Help us spread the word, and share our news with family and friends! With even more to be thankful for this year, we celebrate the holiday season with our first trunk show. Join us this Friday and Saturday to shop Tamara Comolli’s new collection.
In the meantime, enjoy a tour of the Belle Cose Vero Beach boutique!
Earthy & Feminine Found Objects
Hand-Cut and Painted Refashioned Vintage Belt Cuff Bracelets (left) 1940's Rhinestone Brooch (right) 1960's Leaf Brooch
Lone buttons, tarnished coins, vintage brooches, even antique compact mirrors, all inspire the creative spirit of Jackson Hole local Stefani Thompson. The jewelry designer explains her collection of found objects begs for a new life. “There is so much waste in the world. If I can make something old new again, well, that promise, and possibility inspires me.”
1930's Fur Clip with Tobacco Deer Tan Leather
Even as a young girl Stefani was drawn to anything and everything with a history or story. The character of old buildings, antique books, Victorian jewelry, the Art Deco period all intrigued her. Her strong desire to pay homage to antiquities inspired her to further explore her creative side.
Hand cut and painted leather belt cuff with 1950's earring
While staying keen to rising fashion trends, Stefani’s true passion is to repurpose. Modernizing each element with raw, rustic leathers, antlers and horns, the beauty of her collection lies within seamlessly uniting the old with the new.
1950's Collar Necklace with Leaf Detail and Antler Tip Drops
While many of her pieces demand a night on the town Stefani’s most valued rule when designing is that her jewelry be easily worn with a t-shirt and jeans. A genuine boutique artist, she continuously searches for one-of- a-kind treasures to make each piece truly unique.
1920's Fur Clip with Deer Tan Leather Cord
Stefani Thompson Originals is available at Belle Cose Westbank. Please call 307.732.2640 for inquiries on the collection.
Lindsey’s Fifteen Favorite Things
Our new contributing blog writer, Lindsey Jones Johnson, photographed by Julie Jay
I’m a designer, writer, baker, and lover of all things that happen in the kitchen. Especially those involving butter, sugar, flour… and frosting. With three rambunctious boys, one cat, ten chickens and a new life in Wyoming every day is an adventure that needs whisking into shape.
It was only a little over a year ago that I was deep in a career as an interior designer, working on beach houses, in sunny coastal southern California. My husband and I were given an opportunity to relocate, changing our lives on a grand (Teton) scale, to Jackson. We’d always envisioned raising our boys in wide open spaces with charming, mountain town living, so this was a long-awaited dream come true.
While I’m still learning to drive in the snow (while crossing fingers winter number two isn’t as big of a doozy), I’m delighted to share my stories of raising a family and favorite recipes as well as tips and picks for both the home and closet. In the meantime, enjoy fifteen of my absolute favorite Belle Cose things.
1. Vagabond House Concho Place Setting
Casually western with poncho inspired carvings, I’m obsessed with Vegabond House’s one-of-a-kind flatware.
2. Temple St. Clair Trio Earrings
A creative expression of Bohemian flair with moonstone and diamonds, these distinctive Temple St. Clair earrings inspire my wanderlust.
3. Etkie Cuff
With its soft, muted pattern this beaded leather cuff is an everyday statement piece. It also serves a cause, helping to preserve the Native American cultural heritage, which I love.
4. Simon Pearce Cake Dome
A classic piece like this will never leave my counter, beautifully showcasing baked goods and treats throughout every season.
5. Vince Raglan Oatmeal Sweater (please call our King Street boutique for inquiries at 307.733.0233)
Cozy and warm with subtle autumn hues, this pullover is my new go-to for fall.
6. Michael Stars Faux Fur Vest (please call our Westbank boutique for inquiries at 307.732.2640)
Both snuggle worthy and statement maker this vest is the ideal finish to any winter wardrobe.
7. Linda Richards Cable Knit Hat with Pom (please call our King Street boutique for inquiries at 307.733.0233)
Proof that you don’t have to sacrifice your playful sense of style to stay warm.
8. Heather B Moore At Last Charm
I added this whimsical charm to the top of my Christmas list for my husband as a sweet reminder to keep the romance alive each and every day.
9. Vintage Canisters
As a baker, these guys are essential to my kitchen running smoothly. Mine are currently filled with an assortment of chocolate chips.
10. Citizen of Humanity Emmanuelle Bootcut Jean (please call our King Street boutique for inquiries at 307.733.0233)
The color… The fit… this is THE perfect jean from day to night.
11. Brown Allen Poncho
Dinner party ready… You may not see me in anything else this holiday season.
12. Star Home Antler Platter
In Jackson, it’s all about the antlers and I adore this versatile serving piece for its handsome aesthetic. Last winter we had quite a few elk make daily visits so this platter is a tribute to our forest friends.
13. Armenta Diamond Stacking Rings
I’m a fan of connecting each uniquely designed ring to a person or memory and this particular band adds an edge to my collection with its oxidized metal.
14. Deborah Rhodes Linen Napkins
A timeless linen napkin with a touch of fringe can be easily dressed up or down depending on what dinnerware you choose to use.
15. Farm House Pottery Dining Collection
Rustic yet sophisticated, this collection is the perfect stage for our farm-to-table recipes.
Lindsey Thornburg Cloaks
In a true kaleidoscope of colors, Lindsey Thornburg pays homage to American heritage company Pendleton and her own upbringing in Montana and Colorado. Having the brilliant insight to turn her grandfather’s blanket collection into cloaks, the designer reflects, “It’s really comforting to have a blanket around you all the time. It feels good; it lifts your spirit.” Lindsey, we couldn’t agree more…
The designer, Lindsey Thornburg in New York
Now based out of Brooklyn the designer is never far from her original inspiration and makes frequent trips back west. Tried and true, her outerwear is tested for comfort and coziness making the collection a chic celebration of American style and spirit.
Explains the designer, "My cloaks don't have any seams so Pendleton's breathtaking fabrics aren't obstructed by any style lines or seams. My cloak is simply a canvas for the Pendleton textiles to drape and take form. Not only are the cloaks like a piece of art, they also will keep you warm throughout the coldest of winters."
Limited Selection Available:
Please call Belle Cose at the Four Seasons at 307.732.5612 for inquiries on the below collection.
Stella Maris Trench Cloak
Black Los Ojos Trench Cloak
Tamiami Trail Trench Cloak
White Los Ojos Trench Cloak
Designed by Jason Lenox in Dallas, Texas the collection is handmade in a small village in the Central Highlands of Mexico. Crafted entirely by one family of artisans the all-hand tooling process uses a combination of copper and nickel, known as Solid German Silver. Creating unique pieces with the look and feel of turn-of-the century Navajo work J. Alexander is known for a vintage finish that will will last throughout the years.
Jason Alexander at home in Dallas, Texas.
Adorned with turquoise, onyx and coral the line of southwestern and rustic home accessories includes all natural stones which are individually selected for their beauty and character. Each groove and etch is made using a traditional Navajo method from the 1900’s in which silversmiths use a stamping technique to a point of almost mathematical perfection. Creating beautifully intricate designs stamps were historically handmade from iron or steel and often passed down from generation to generation.
Perfect for Every Room
It’s no surprise we couldn’t keep them on our Town Square shelves. Neutral enough to compliment any décor color scheme, our Ankole Horn accessories immediately flew out the door. Now back in stock, we have an even larger selection to choose from.
Nothing says Wyoming like cattle horn.
With a belief that dignity is restored as a person’s work is appreciated these beautiful handmade accessories are created as part of a sustainable program to refurbish the discarded horns (they are byproducts of the East African beef industry) while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in Kampala, Uganda.
Making a sustainable statement.
Commanding a dramatic presence, the lucite based full horns make lovely focal pieces. Can you imagine walking into the above home?! The compliments would never stop coming.
Their organic shape has a wild, yet sophisticated feel easily taking any dining table center piece, foyer vignette or side table to an entirely new level. Use one, two or a grouping for even more fun!
We love these mix and match tumblers whether serving wine or water.
If looking for a subtler approach, the above tumblers and below platters make festive additions to fall tabletops and are completely food safe. Truth be told, we love them too much to save them for only one season. After all, we do live in the heart of ranching country and cattle horn fits so well with the Wyoming lifestyle.
Ankole horn makes a beautiful backdrop to seasonal vegetables.
And we all know that hard-to-shop for person who already has it all… Not to worry, a tumbler or cocktail napkin and tray set make perfect gifts for men and women. Belle Cose’s gift wrapping service make giving presents more effortless than ever!
F clearly stands for “fabulous”
A handsome addition to any room.
This Season’s Transitional Staples
Crisp mornings can mean only one thing... back-to-school shopping and we've decided not to let the kiddos have all the fun.
A is For Accessories
Store those straw bags and replace them with easy, every day saddle and tote bags. We also recommend summer brights buckle up and take a backseat to transitional neutrals. We love the classic MC Wallace collection for its chic quilting and yet relaxed silhouette. The perfect carry-all, allowing style and function to seamlessly co-exist, the Sutton tote is available in an array of sizes and seasonal colors. Giving a chic nod to equestrian style, the saddle bag makes a sporty return this season. Its buttery, caramel color and edgy hardware create a delightful blend of country and city design.
MZ Wallace Medium Sutton Tote and Sorial Saddle Bag.
B is for Booties
Summer sandals aren’t much of a match for autumn in Wyoming. Not ready for fur, we want to take advantage of every single pre-snow, slush-free day by sporting booties. Short and sweet, our two favorites are suede in keeping with our neutrals mantra and look great with just about everything.
Eileen Fisher Leaf Bootie and Cole Haan Abbot Bootie.
Brown Allan Navajo Poncho and Christopher Fischer Cashmere Crew Sweater.
C is for Cashmere
If there were ever a seasonal staple we would bet the better half of our closet on it being cashmere. Known for its extensive selection, Belle Cose on King Street carries an assortment which can be a beautiful thing while we wait on Wyoming weather to make up its mind. Light weight and softer than soft, this Western inspired cashmere blend poncho gives just enough coverage when on the go. And by adding sweet little details like ruffled collar and sleeves, this camel colored cashmere pull-over is feminine without the fuss.
7 For All Mankind b(air) Ankle Skinny Jean and Vince Corduroy Skinny Cargo
Back-to-school wouldn't be any fun if we couldn't earn a few extra bonus points. Whether paired with cute flats, either of our above booties or a classic riding boot both 7 For All Mankind's b(air) frayed ankle skinny jeans and Vince's olive corduroy skinny cargo pants are absolute must-haves. They'll go with everything you already own while giving your current wardrobe a fresh fall pick-me-up.
This Season’s Transitional Staples
Please call Belle Cose on King Street at 307.733.0233 for clothing and accessory inquiries.
Are You Ready?
On August 21, 2017, Teton County, Wyoming residents and visitors will have the opportunity to watch as the moon moves fully in front of the sun. This extraordinary moment marks the first total eclipse of the sun visible from all 48 contiguous United States since 1979 and the first visible from coast to coast in the US since 1918.
As a dear friend of Belle Cose we would like to invite you to a complimentary eclipse "expose" presented by Teton Skies today, August 18, from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
Look through a special solar telescope and learn about Monday's upcoming phenomena from astronomer Ryan Hennessy. If interested please call 733-2640 for more information and last minute booking.
Make sure to stop by Belle Cose and check out our array of exclusive eclipse souvenirs. Artist Steven Beutler has custom designed Teton Eclipse posters which we have added to a few everyday essentials.
Beutler Design Posters come in multiple sizes.
Mary Lake Thompson Teton Eclipse Canvas Tote
Click here to view more custom eclipse favorites!
We are so excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity. If you would like more information about the eclipse in Jackson Hole please visit tetoneclipse.com.
Belle Cose Westbank | An Evening of Bar(re) Hopping & Shopping
After a little rebranding, spring cleaning and revamping, we’re delighted to debut our new Westbank lifestyle boutique. With the addition of clothing, accessory and gift collections including Tom Ford, Rails, Johnny Was, Michael Stars, Roberta Roller Rabbit and Tocca (just to name a few!) the store provides endless options making the it well worth the drive from town.
And if you haven’t been able to pop by, tonight is THE perfect evening to do it!
We’ve teamed up with friends, Kendra Butler of Alpen Beauty Bar and fitness aficionado Rachel Kantor of Ski Barre, to celebrate the Ski Barre’s Grand Opening soiree. With unique classes including Arms & Abs, Wilson’s newest fitness studio is not-to-be-missed!
So grab your girlfriends, because we’re all staying open late… enjoy personal shopping with Jenn at Belle Cose Westbank from 6:00-8:00pm, sips, light bites, music, massages, makeovers, eyebrow waxing and, of course, discounts for even more reasons to celebrate!