Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year!

Just a quick post to wish you a *happy new year* full of champagne kisses! (P.S. Drop a couple red currants in your bubbly and watch them dance ~ hee!)

I want to thank all of you who have read my blog this year ~ especially those of you who have commented and emailed. It has been a delight to mark the passing of the months through photographs and words ~ and to share the little inspirations that one collects along the way. I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to 2008...cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

twinkle!'s over! It all goes by so quickly. I hope your holiday was as lovely as mine. Lots of snow, lots of laughter, twinkling lights, and goodies under the tree. I have missed blogging though, and look forward to posting more in the next few days. Cheers for now...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

time to celebrate...

The presents are wrapped, the cards are written, and I am finally off to join my family. Wishes to all of you for a peaceful and lovely holiday ~ from me (and cousin Harold!!).

See you in the new year...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

christmas at the white house

Yesterday I had the thrill of attending the annual holiday open house at the White House. The theme this year was "Holiday in the National Parks" ~ with lovely natural-themed decorations. Simple evergreens decorated with bright red cardinals and soft nests. Golden pine cones and glittering leaves tied up with lime green bows. 33 trees, 232 wreaths, and 862 feet of garland ~ and as you can imagine it smells divine. I took a million photographs, but it is just so hard to capture the elegance of it all. Here's a little peek...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

december sky

The pochoir endpaper from a 1920s pattern book book ~ and the sky (with ginko branches) on the way to work this morning.

(top image: endpaper from Jean Saudé's Traité d'enluminure d'art au pochoir, 1925, New York Public Library Digital Library)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

what to wear?

Dressing for holiday parties is always such an issue for me. It's cold and I want to be warm. I also want room to expand while eating all those goodies. So, black pants and a ___? Too bad I can't raid the storerooms at the V&A ~ love this silk jacket.

(image: Silk jacket with sequins, Chinese, c. 1922, Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Finally ~ at last ~ my holiday book list! Just a few things to inspire the mind or delight the eye:

* new fiction: People of the Book (by Geraldine Brooks)
* new non-fiction: Beatrix Potter (fascinating woman!)
* pure eye candy: Lanvin (proves why Paris never goes out of style)
* photo obsessed: Photobooth (by Babette Hines)
* more photo obsessed: The Art of the American Snapshot (winner of the 2007 Barr Award)
* creature comforts: The Private House
* inspired meals: Abel & Cole cookbook (full of great recipes and gorgeous photos ~ ever wonder what to do with all those strange things at the farmers' market?)

I will try to add to this as the week goes by ~ and would of course love to hear your suggestions as well.

Happy reading! Cheers!

Friday, December 14, 2007

trouvée: the sled

This is one of my recent finds from Maine. It is not inscribed, but it is probably from the area. Do you see the ghost?!

Here are a couple of wonderful photo-ephemera links I recently came across:

* superfulous (truly found photographs!)
* object not found (be careful of what falls out of your pocket)

It sounds like snow is headed to most of the east coast in the next few days ~ Washington included. Maybe not enough for us to go sledding, but just enough to put us all in the mood for a white Christmas. I had hoped to get my holiday book list together this week (oops!) ~ will try to get it up in the next few days. Wishing you all a safe and lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

another winter thing

A friend just sent this to me in response to yesterday's post ~ I love seeing what you all come up with! A fresco from Augustus' palace in Rome (see more here). Thank you GP ~ xx!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

winter things

These two lovelies are putting me in the mood for the holidays! Other wintery inspirations:

* Rowan's Highlander Collection (lichen, leaves, and berries)
* Snowflakes ~ here and here

Happy Wednesday!

(images, top: Charles Francis Annesley Voysey, wallpaper or textile design, 1891; and bottom: William Morris, Bird and Anemone, furnishing fabric, 1881, both Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

wisteria in winter

Went for a walk at lunch time ~ and loved the wisteria ~ elegant in every season. The soundtrack for my wanders ~ A Winter Garden.

the classics

A little Greco-Roman inspiration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love this color! Also love port2port's holiday book list. What fun! Will try to get my own book list together in the next couple days. I like looking at other people's bookshelves ~ don't you?

(image: Cup signed by Ennion, mold-blown glass, Roman, 1st half of the 1st century AD, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917)

Monday, December 10, 2007

paperwhites and other rituals

One of my holiday rituals is an annual trip to Strosnider's Hardware in Bethesda for paperwhite bulbs (KW ~ I miss you!). Strosnider's is one of those old-fashioned hardware stores, which carries everything from wrenches to wrapping paper (and all sorts of things you didn't know you needed, but can't live without). Anyway, what I love is that the paperwhite bulbs are loose in a large wooden crate, and you have to count out however many you want and put them in a paper bag. Usually I go right after Thanksgiving, but this year I didn't make it there until this past weekend, and I was seriously scraping the bottom of the crate. But I got my usual dozen ~ soon to be planted in a random assortment of vintage bulb dishes. This photo is from the farmers' market yesterday ~ a sneak peek at what I have to look forward to! Funny, these little holiday rituals...would love to know some of yours!

Here are a couple other things I enjoyed this past weekend:

* Séguy textile designs (more needlework inspiration!)
* Wintersong (so peaceful and lovely, sigh...)

Friday, December 7, 2007

trouvée: the window

A Kodak "round" ~ early 20th century ~ photograph of a store window. What I love most about this image is the mundane subject and direct composition. Completely odd, and just a little experimental. I found it so long ago that I can't remember where (!!).

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ~ perhaps peering into storefronts? I'll be wrapping gifts and singing Hallelujah! Cheers...xx!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

winter wonderland

Rock Creek, last night, 6:15 pm ~ with just the light from the snow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

simple patterns

I have been thinking about new needlepoint designs, and find myself drawn to simple geometric patterns. Am so inspired by the simplicity of these two pieces ~ top: an Anni Albers fabric, and bottom: a detail from an 18th-century sampler.

(images, top: Anni Albers, Untitled, n.d., The Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation; and bottom: Gerarda Gerritsen, Sampler, embroidery on cotton, 1963, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, T.186-1921)

first snow

It snowed this morning ~ a little. Like a dusting of powdered sugar. More expected later!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I am finally stitching again. This is a sneak peek at a needlepoint canvas I designed (and started working on) ages ago ~ part of a series of three. I have the hardest time finding interesting canvases, so decided to make my own. Inspiration? Anni Albers, whose wonderful textile work is so much about color and design.

Little snow flurries this morning...hopefully more tomrrow! Cheers!

Monday, December 3, 2007


The leaves are all but gone, but the pears are still clinging to the branches of the tree in my parents' yard, looking an awful lot like nature's Christmas ornaments.

So much of the northeast is getting snow (and I am loving all the snow pictures out there in blog land). But here in Washington we are getting wind. And ~ wow ~ what a wind it is!

Here are a few bits of inspiration for a Monday evening:

* Angela Lorenz's wonderful artist books ~ love her creative website too!
* Liliana Gelman's Library portfolio ~ who knew books could look so sexy?
* Marco Ventura's illustrations for the Royal Mail Christmas stamps ~ and Bernardo Luini's beautiful Madonna of the Carnation, gracing the USPS Christmas stamp (the actual painting is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art!).