Thursday, January 31, 2008

elephant house

I was at a friend's house recently, perusing her bookshelves, and noticed a book about Edward Gorey's home in Massachusetts ~ Elephant House. I loved, loved it. Not only are the photographs wonderful (taken by Kevin McDermott shortly after Gorey's death), but the book is an insight into the inner workings of this clever and brilliant illustrator. The house is chock full of the most amazing collections of things. Here's a little excerpt:

"Edward loved to "arrange" things. He liked to bestow relationships on a group of objects, raising juxtaposition to a new level of insight and eccentricity. From the moment you entered his property you might find yourself standing "in" one of his arrangements. A "family" of miscellaneous flatirons marched around the corner of the house. A bird's nest rested on the treadle of an antique sewing machine. Rocks of various sizes and shapes could resemble frogs if viewed at a certain angle, or for a brief time of the day with the appropriate light and shadow... Birds had built a nest over the light at the front porch door. Edward would never think of removing the nest; he simply did not use that door. The nest remained for the last years of Edward's life. Mysteriously, it fell to the ground soon after his death."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the commons

Those of you who browse Flickr regularly may have seen or heard of a project called The Commons ~ a collaboration between Flickr and the Library of Congress. The project aims to make the Library's collection of over a million publically-held photographs more widely accessible (eventhough many of its collections have been available online for years). The first two collections include: 1930s-1940s in Color and News in the 1910s. There are some amazing, amazing things!

(image: Unidentified shelf of kitchen utensils and jars of spices, color transparency, 1941-1945, Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

design 104

A friend was saying recently that he thought Frank Lloyd Wright could be a little too formulaic ~ and at the time I agreed. Then, I came across this fabric swatch, and was suprised and delighted to see it was designed by Wright ~ something out of the ordinary for sure. Wishing you a happy tuesday that is anything but formulaic...cheers!

(image: Printed silk and saponified rayon, textile "design 104" by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1955, manufactured by Schumacher & Company, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Charles L. and Jane D. Kaufmann Gift, 1991.131)

Monday, January 28, 2008


It's a grey January day in Washington, and I am wishing either for a big snow (which never seems to come)...or a spring that is still a ways off. But...I have lots of inspiration to share this week, so after today I will give you a break from my photographs. And, as the one-year anniversary of this blog approaches, I have been thinking of ways to celebrate...but more on that later this week too.

I hope you all had a good weekend. Did you see this article in The New York Times on Sunday? Just goes to prove that there are still treasures out there to be found. Cheers! And happy Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

winter whites IV

Ending the week on a soft note. My paperwhites have bloomed ~ little glimpses of spring. I can't be without flowers whatever the season ~ they are one of life's sweetest indulgences. Several years ago I came across a rather beat-up old copy of On Baholyodin's Being with Flowers at a second-hand book store ~ and it has been well worth the $7! Anyway, the photographs in that book inspired today's photo (which incidentally almost made me late for work this morning, waiting for the sun to rise!).

I have had such a good time with this week of winter whites ~ searching for inspiration and finding new blogs (there are so many amazing, talented people out there). Those of you new to my blog ~ welcome ~ I hope you will stay a while. Wishing all of you a weekend full of calm...xo.

P.S. Found Photo Friday will be back next week!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

winter whites III

I thought I would warm the whites up a little (with the view from my window through an old etched glass). But, snow is on the way! So, here are a few cool things to enjoy:

* Wilson Bentley's snowflake photographs
* Rachel Hovnanian's Preservation of the Narcissus
* Helen Humphreys' The Frozen Thames (via The Overdecorated Bookcase ~ can't wait for it to come out in the States)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

winter whites II

As a friend of mine pointed out, white is never truly white, but gradations of grey, and pale reflections of others colors. Winter whites are so interesting ~ I love the warm creams, cool blues, and slate greys. I am so inspired by all those great photographs out there (for a list of participants, see here)! Those of you who know me well, know of my love affair with white (yes, that is my white couch in yesterday's post). Two well-worn books on my shelf include Stephanie Hoppen's White on White and At Home with White (to be perused while sipping a hot cup of tea and listening to this).

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

winter whites I

A whole week of white over at The Glass Doorknob. This is my first submission ~ trying to keep cozy on a cold winter day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

trouvée: by the sea

A tiny, lovely thing that looks like it was just barely blown onto the paper (click to enlarge). Quite romantic really!

Speaking of romance, I am enjoying the Complete Jane Austen. And if I may say, the British Museum is brillant ~ you can now turn the pages and leaf through Austen's History of England from the comfort of your own desk!

Wishing you a weekend full of day dreams!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

patterns: thorny rose

The New York Times Home & Garden section recently mentioned a new textile company based in Charleston, South Carolina ~ Of the Young and the Restless. Well, I fell in love with their designs and their fabulous web site!

Here are more textile favorites:

* Neisha Crosland (her web site is so gorgeously styled)
* Lotta Jansdotter (her new fabric line debuts in February!)
* design your own at the V&A (click on "design a textile")

(image: Of the Young and the Restless, "Thorny Rose" pattern, via The New York Times)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

patterns: on the inside

Sometimes pattern can be found in the most unexpected places. I love this Flickr group of "security patterns" (found via Lena Corwin). Take a look inside the envelope! Happy wednesday!

patterns: a flower garden

I love these gorgeous patterns from the Leman Album at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which contains 97 watercolor designs for woven silk textiles.

(image courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

patterns: viennese waltz

Loveliness from Textiles of the Wiener Werkstatte: 1910-1932. Such gorgeous patterns ~ many of which I could see adapting into a needlepoint canvas. Hmmm...

I have been thinking a lot about pattern lately, and find inspiration in from so many places ~ how about you? Anyway, I thought I would share some of my favorites this week, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 14, 2008

a quiet corner

Just stopping by quickly to say I hope you all a wonderful weekend. I did ~ an antiques fair, a belated birthday celebration (at this fabulous new place), and a sleep over at a friend's house ~ don't you love her begonia?!? It was rooted from only a few small cuttings.

Friday, January 11, 2008

jessie & lillian

"Jessie & Lillian Macarthy" ~ found ages ago (I can't even remember where!). Sisters I think. A gorgeous Kodak Round. It makes me think a little bit of Julia Margaret Cameron.

Here are a few bits of fun for friday:

* updates to Ampersand Vintage (I particularly love the bugs & butterflies)
* BibliOdessey (an online adventure!)
* the new blogs over at NYPL (divided into various catagories including: fashion, the hand-made, art, cooking, and more)

Enjoy! And have a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

wild tulips

William Morris "Wild Tulip" wallpaper (1884), from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (published for framing!). More gorgeous Morris papers, along with all sorts of other wonderful patterns, can be found on the Historic New England online wallpaper database (such an amazing resource!).

Oh, and I love this story (found via 2 or 3 Things). Wishing you all a wonderful Thursday...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

winter light

From my walk on sunday ~ late afternoon light ~ in the garden at the Textile Museum. It is quiet in the winter, but still lovely. And from there, is the most wonderful view over the rooftops of Dupont Circle to the Washington monument.

For more winter walks, see here, here, and here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

food for thought

So, here's a confession ~ I LOVE fruit cake. I have for as long as I can remember. And the Christmas stollen was on sale at the store. I couldn't help myself! A cup of tea and a piece of stollen ~ a perfect compliment to a day spent browsing books. Here are some things I enjoyed sunday afternoon:

* Selvedge (a treat from the Textile Museum bookstore)
* The Overdecorated Bookcase (for the most brilliant book recommendations)
* The Brooklyn Rail (the complete issue is available online!)

And remember ~ your life is beautiful! Happy tuesday. xo.

Monday, January 7, 2008

a winter walk

A late afternoon walk in my neighborhood ~ with lots of cool blues and greys. For more lovely winter inspiration see "all things white and beautiful" over on Cally's blog. Hope you all had a good weekend!

Friday, January 4, 2008

trouvée: a woman

I found this tintype up in Maine over Thanksgiving. An unidentified woman. Lovely and serene. I wonder what she was thinking, having her photograph taken? Hmmmmm. Well, here are a few recent and upcoming photography things I am looking forward to:

* Impressed by Light (at the National Gallery of Art, opens February 3rd)
* Mutter Museum: Historical Medical Photographs (a morbid, poignant, and unexpectedly beautiful publication)
* A Ramble in Olmstead Parks (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opens January 22nd)
* The Collections of Barbara Bloom (at the International Center for Photography, opens January 18th)

Wishing you all a warm, cozy weekend ~ time to curl up with a couple of those new books from Christmas...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

a new year's walk

Have you missed those historic house tours? I have! Well, January 1st was a gorgeous sunny day in Virginia ~ and just perfect for a winter's stroll through the grounds of Stratford Hall. It was closed to the public (but I know some people who know some people), and so our little group could enjoy the estate undisturbed (except for the occasional gunshot of a hunter's rifle). The official house tour was back in March, and we all fell in love then ~ seriously, just look at those chimney clusters! I am now officially smitten. (G and P you are doing a great job ~ I can't wait for the next visit!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

winter delights

There was more snow in Maine yesterday...oh how I wish I was still there. But, it was bright sunny day here in Washington ~ perfect for a new year's drive (more about that tomorrow). I haven't shared much inspiration lately, so here are a few winter delights:

* these lovely, moody photographs (via Bluebird)
* blog.mode: adressing fashion (the Metropolitan Museum of Art enters the blog world in a most wonderful way!)
* the Andy Goldsworthy digital catalogue (love this snowball and the ice on ice!)

Welcome 2008!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

in the morning

Just home from the evening's festivities, and here is what I long for ~ the view from my room in Maine through a frost-covered window ~ the quiet of a fresh snow fall ~ the blue light of the early morning ~ and kisses from little ones in flannel pjs. Wishing you a lovely, peaceful new year's day. xo.