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!).


Friday, November 30, 2007

with love

Back from the north country, after a little bit longer of a break than anticipated. I hope you all had a lovely holiday ~ ours was filled with lots of love and food. Being home was sooooo good, especially seeing family, and doing a little antiquing. I found a bunch of wonderful new photographs to share with you all over the winter months (and few other little goodies). For now...just a few scenes from our Thanksgiving.

Oh, and a quick thank you to Courtney at Style Court for her mention last week! Check out all of her wonderful holiday's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy thanksgiving

After a long day of travel yesterday (and many delays) I am finally in Maine with my family. I have been cooking all day with my mother ~ there is nothing more satisfying than making this meal, knowing it will be shared with family and friends. My thoughts go out in particular to those of you who are not with your loved ones this holiday, especially friends in Iraq and Afghanistan ~ be well and know we are thinking of you. And to all a happy and joyous Thanksgiving!

I will be taking a little blog break while I am home. In the mean time, here are a few things to enjoy:

* Keith Sharp's photographs (found while on a layover at the Philadelphia Airport!)
* Kashmir scarves
* and a little something "Out of the Ordinary"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I am off to join the hoards at the airport. Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels... Cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2007

monday mood

I guess I am into moody interiors these days. Perhaps channeling Uta Barth ~ this and this are on my Christmas wish list.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I went ice skating for the first time this season. Completely wiped out ~ yikes! But, there's nothing like sliding around the rink to the notes of "Silver Bells." Ahhh, busy more tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

trouvée: tête à tête

I found this tiny little cabinet card several months ago in Fredericksburg (click to view larger). I loved the casual nature of it ~ slightly unusual for the time period. I can imagine it tucked into a libri amicorum, perhaps threaded with a ribbon.

Here are a couple exhibitions not to be missed ~ inspiration for the week:

* Depth of Field: Modern Photography at the Metropolitan, through March 2008 (particularly love the Uta Barth).
* Let the World In: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg, at the National Gallery of Art, through March 2008.

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

on friendship

The other day I was reminded (thanks Fairfax!) of the digital archives at the New York Public Library, and realized it has been a while since I last explored them. And so to continue on the theme of friendship ~ this image is from a Libri Amicorum (or friendship book) of drawings, collages, autographs, poems and notes, compiled in the early 19th century by Anne Wagner, a friend of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. For more pages, see here. Enjoy ~ the book is full of such whimsy!

(image: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

food and friends

This time of year my thoughts tend to turn to food and friends ~ two things for which I am exceedingly thankful. In that vein, here some of my favorite food links (whose photographs, recipes, and words never fail to inspire):

* 101 Cookbooks
* Tea and Cookies
* Whipped
* Orangette

And of course, I couldn't live without epicurious!

For those of you who love vintage cookbooks, The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive at the University of Michigan is a wonderful resource. See also their online digital archive ~ Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Collection.

(P.S. Miss G ~ do recognize where these photographs were taken?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

holding on to autumn

I feel like I am desperately trying to hang onto Fall. It was so long in coming, and now ~ *poof* ~ Thanksgiving is almost here (and well, then...Christmas)!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend (a long one for some of you). A quick update on the historic house tours ~ we had hoped to get up to Philadelphia last weekend, but a combination of insane schedules and extreme fatigue led us to postpone. I feel terrible that we haven't been able to get around to very many houses this Fall, but I promise some good ones in the Spring. In the mean time, here is something fun to quench your "house tour" thrist. I bookmarked it several months ago, and just stumbled across it again (I forget where I learned about it, so forgive me for not crediting you).

Friday, November 9, 2007

trouvée: through the porthole

I found this on eBay a couple months ago. I never get into bidding wars, but for this photograph I did ~ it is just that fabulous! Here's a little more eye candy for a friday ~ Ampersand Vintage (coveting a few things there), and Belle Muse's Urban Alphabet. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend...


Need a little inspiration on rainy day? Go to the Louvre online database, and type in something random (mind you, it must be in French), and see what you find. I typed in "fleurs" and discovered these amazing terra cotta flowers, originally part of a crown (Cyrenaica, 4th-3rd centuries BC).

(image: Imitations de bijoux en terre cuite, Département des Antiquités grecques, étrusques et romaines, Musée du Louvre, Acquisition Vattier de Bourville, 1850, inv. MN 693-698, photograph by A. Dequier)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

happy birthday emma!

Happy birthday dear one! Here's a little inspiration for you. May you always dream of mobiles and castles in the sky. XX ~ Aunt Janet

(image: Alexander Calder, Little Spider, c. 1940, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

fall colors

Another quick post today ~ I feel like time has accelerated! I was up in New York on Monday (a quick trip) and had a chance to run through the Martin Puryear show at MoMA. Everyone should go see it! (And if you can't make it to New York, it is coming to Washington next summer). Really, really wonderful ~ I have long admired his work. The Georges Seurat drawings are fantastic too.

Well, I'll leave you with a little fall color from Pennsylvania...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Just stopping by quickly to say hello after a busy weekend. I'll be back with more tomorrow...

P.S. I think I was channeling Stieglitz when I took these photographs of a crab apple tree in Pennsylvania last weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2007

more mid-century modern

Since I seem to be on a mid-century kick these days, I thought I would continue the theme today with another great photograph (click to enlarge) from The Art of the American Snapshot exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. I wish this one was in my collection! Alas! Again, I am plugging the catalogue (hee!).

By the way, I just realized that my 200th post came and went this week without my taking note. It is funny how this blog has become such a part of my life ~ I really hate to miss a day. Thank you to everyone who stops by to read, and to all of you have commented and emailed. I LOVE hearing from you.

Have a great weekend! I'll see you all on Tuesday.

(image: Unknown Photographer, July 1965, chromogenic print, 3 1/8 x 3 1/8", Collection of Robert E. Jackson)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

modern angles

Having just visited Fallingwater, it was interesting to see in the news that the Kaufmann's winter house in Palm Springs, California, is up for sale. The house, designed by Richard Neutra, was built in 1946 as an escape from the harsh Pittsburgh winters. The sale raises interesting questions about preservation, which I will not even begin to delve into here. What an amazing place! Let's just hope that whoever buys it has the vision and inclination to preserve it properly.

(images via The New York Times)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Just stopping in quickly to wish you all a HAPPY (and safe) HALLOWEEN!

Photograph of shadows on a tombstone in Old Westminster Graveyard in Baltimore, the site of Edgar Allan Poe's grave. By the way, our little historic house group did venture up to pay our respects several weeks ago. After exploring the graveyard, we headed to the Poe House at 203 Amity Street, only to find its door locked tight, no caretaker in sight. Apparently, to quote Poe, "there are some secrets that do not permit themselves to be revealed."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

at kentuck knob

Early Saturday morning we made our way to Kentuck Knob ~ a late Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for I.N. and Bernardine Hagan in the 1950s, and now owned by Lord Peter Palumbo. The house and its collections of art and furniture really blew me away. The grounds too are amazing and dotted with outdoor sculptures. My favorites include two pieces by Andy Goldsworthy (see Floodstones Cairn, 1993, below) and several tonal sculptures by Harry Bertoia (see bottom image).

Monday, October 29, 2007

at fallingwater

Just home from the most wonderful, refreshing trip to Western Pennsylvania! The mountain air was cool and crisp, and the foliage a cacophony of bright red, yellow and green leaves. The highlight of the trip (hands down!) was drinking wine on the terrace at Fallingwater at sunset (a truly surreal moment for me ~ true bliss). Afterwards we scrambled around on the rocks below the house and reveled in the autumnal evening. There is much more to say, but no time to say it, so more tomorrow...