Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a walk in georgetown

Last weekend in Georgetown ~ cherry trees and brick houses. Doesn't this duplex look like something out of a Miss Marple mystery?

Currently loving (a few random things):
* white asparagus
* green tea with honey (good for the allergies)

Happy tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

ivy tracks and other things

It was hot (too hot!) this weekend in Washington and I am yearning for cool, quiet things ~ wishing I was back in the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.

Happy birthday Mr. Audubon! (and little bro)

Friday, April 24, 2009

trouvée: the blue dress

Dated: "36." There is a later notation identifying the car as a 1934 Plymouth. Funny what we all find interesting.

Lots of goodies today:

* People I Don't Know
* Small Wonders
* Storefronts
* Colin Blakely (you must look at "Somewhere in Middle America")

A beautiful weekend is forecast for Washington ~ they say sunday will be the hottest April day we have had in a decade (hmmm...time for a pedicure). Cheers all ~ have a good one!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a few drinks

Have I lost you all yet with the gratuitous flower shots? I can't help it people! It is a disease. In fact, I believe they call it spring fever.

I also have beverages on the mind today:

* tea: loving this cup
* sauvignon blanc: my current favorite is Barefoot (you will stop laughing when you hear it's only $6.99 a bottle! As Thomas Jefferson once remarked: "no nation is drunken where wine is cheap...")
* absinthe: have you tried it? (Gourmet has me curious)

What are you all drinking? And may I join you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

bits & pieces

I have been revisiting some old favorites lately:

* Rita Maas (click on "recent work" and then "at home")
* Edmund de Waal: the Blackwell project (download the pdf !!)
* and Cy Twombly (opening next month)

More bits & pieces from Dumbarton Oaks above (and on my flickr). Cheers!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

historic house tour: dumbarton oaks

Honestly. Really. We could not have picked a more perfect day to see Dumbarton Oaks. The weather was divine and the gardens bursting forth with loveliness. It was all we could do to drag ourselves indoors for a house tour. But, as we had managed to get ourselves on the list for the elusive once-a-week tour, we were determined not to miss it!

The house and property were purchased in 1920 by Mildred and Robert Bliss. The original 1801 Federal-style house was greatly altered in the late 19th-century, and while the Blisses undertook an extensive renovation to bring it back to the spirit of its original form, it is really more of an early 20th-century construct. The interior is an interesting mish-mash of styles, incorporating the Bliss's collection of art, furniture, textiles and historic interiors (including a massive 16th-century stone mantelpiece from France, and Jacobean wood paneling from England, among other things). They worked with Armand-Albert Rateau, a Parisian designer, to meld everything together into a modern living space. Beatrix Farrand was enlisted to help design the extensive gardens, a combination of formal and informal, each flowing easily into the other. And then there is the orangery, which was built in the early 19th century, and was likely inspired by the one at Wye House. The Blisses also amassed an extraordinary collection of Byzantine and pre-Columbian art, which is now housed in a museum on the property (including a small wing designed by Philip Johnson).

Monday, April 20, 2009

apple blossoms

Oh, glorious spring! Saturday was one of those days that you dream about all winter ~ bright blue skies, warm air, gentle showers of pale pink petals. And the most heavenly scent of apple blossoms.

More tomorrow about where these were taken.

Friday, April 17, 2009

trouvée: the bench

Found recently on eBay. No inscriptions, no date. Just lovely.

Some things making me happy:

* two sisters (from the series: in almost every picture)
* after the dance
* this amazing snapshot
* this scrapbook

...and I really wish I could bid on this! Have a great weekend ~ xo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

...and jefferson's house

Spring at Monticello! More here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

madison's garden

A few bits from the gardens at Montpelier (yes, we got around this weekend!). Lots more to come about all the houses we saw, but right now, my taxes are due....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

easter weekend

Just back from a long weekend in Charlottesville, where Easter day found us reveling in the sun and the wonders of spring. The morning was spent visiting Mr. Jefferson's house, where the tulips are in full bloom and the garden is beginning to stir with little green sprouts. And afterwards, a simple meal of bread and cheese at a local winery. It wasn't fancy, but it was oh-so-good.

And you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

trouvée: the egg hunt

Inscribed simply: "4/65."

Two things:

* Pure Country
* and Early Color

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! I hope the Bunny brings you something nice.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

in the garden

It seems fitting to round out the week with a little garden tour. The Paca House (which some of you may remember from a previous house tour two years ago) is extraordinary for its garden. A hybrid of classic Palladian symmetry and Repton-style "wilderness," the garden is reconstruction of the original. During the first half of the 20th century, the house was used as a hotel, and a 200-room addition and parking lot were built over the garden. In 1965 the Historic Annapolis Foundation saved the property from demolition, and returned the house to its original 18th-century appearance, removing the addition and painstakingly restoring the garden through archeological investigation (which you can read more about here). The upper garden is comprised of four terraced parterres, and a vegetable garden lined with espaliered fruit trees. The lower garden features a fish-shaped pond, Chinese Chippendale-style bridge, summerhouse, and spring house. For a few more images, please see my flickr: here (April 2009) and here (May 2007).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

interior details

The Chase-Lloyd House is a fabulously imposing three-story brick mansion on Maryland Avenue, in the heart of Annapolis. Built between 1769 and 1774, it boasts a truly impressive Palladian window and staircase, and elaborate Adams-style plaster and wood work. It was constructed for Samuel Chase, who sold it unfinished to Edward Lloyd (of Wye House). Lloyd completed the house, and it remained in the family until 1847 when it was acquired by descendants of Chase. In 1888, it became a home for elderly, "well-read" ladies, which it remains to this day. (I am already plotting my retirement.) Needless to say, the furnishings are not original, but the interior architectural details are beautifully preserved.

(image: detail of the dining room fireplace mantle)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

historic house tour: wye house

This past saturday I joined the Center for Palladian Studies in America for a tour of houses in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore. We focused on the architecture and gardens of four houses (more on all of these later this week), but for me, the highlight was a visit to Wye House in Talbot County. The house is privately owned, but the family has been very generous about allowing scholars and archaeologists to study the property. Amazingly, it has been in the same family for 11 generations, and is probably the most complete example of a southern plantation. The land was settled in the 1650s, but the magnificent seven-part Palladian-style house (pictured below) dates from 1781/1784. Even more extraordinary is the orangery (above), which was constructed c. 1750 (the wings were added in the 1790s). It is the only surviving orangery dating from this period in the United States, and to this day is used to grow citrus. For more images of the house and outbuildings, see here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

all pink

All the world is pink right now.

Just stopping by quickly with a couple bits from a weekend outing in Annapolis. Lots more tomorrow...!

Friday, April 3, 2009

trouvée: sunshine

It has been ages since the last found photo friday. Gosh. Well, this little gem just makes me smile. It is only 2 x 1 1/4 inches but has such joie de vivre (click to view larger). It is a perfect moment.

A few things:

* Helen Levitt
* Stefania Gurdowa
* and Katherine Wolkoff (I love the deer beds)

Have a wonderful weekend ~ here's wishing you a little "sunshine" !!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

spring obessions

As someone who lives in 500 square feet of space, is it any wonder that I am obsessed with gardens? Watching all the spring things pop up makes me long for one all the more. But for now, I shall make do with the little bits I collect through my camera lens.

Speaking of gardens, I am eager to read this new book.

And while it is time to leave winter behind, I am thrilled that The Frozen Thames is finally out in the states ~ I rushed to the bookstore yesterday to get a copy and have already devoured the first couple stories.

Oh, and cherry blossoms...well, I will let you see for yourself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

april food day

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I am enriched, nourished and inspired by food every day. And while I have the luxury to enjoy the bounty of the local market on a weekly basis, there are many for whom simply putting a meal on the table is a struggle. On this first day of April, I am joining with Meg at Pigtown*Design, and Chris at Easy & Elegant Life, to celebrate April Food Day and to encourage my readers to take a moment to help out. So, rather than leaving me a comment today, please make a contribution to Feeding America (or any other organization of your choice). Let your actions speak louder than your words.