Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bon Voyage!

I'm mixing
languages here, I know . . .  

Will return to my virtual home soon.

In the meantime, Happy Canada Day!  And a Happy July 4!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Reading

Today I would like very much to sit back with a glass of apple-mint tea and a stack of books.

Selvedge offers a beautifully curated selection of colorful books on textiles, art, and fashion.  Here are a few that I could devour today. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hollyhocks at Home

I may not have a tiny jewel of a gingerbread cottage of my own (see this post), but I do have hollyhocks!

These tall, graceful, yet rather blowsy flowers have been one of my favorites for years.  Shortly after we moved into this old (1874) house, I planted hollyhocks by the back door.  And they have taken off.

As I've been out of state during this time for the past two years, I haven't been home to enjoy them. 

So: voila!  Some amateur photos of my hollyhocks.  Now I want to plant more poppies: both California poppies and peony/carnation poppies.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rooms of One's Own

Long, long ago, I spent a weekend at the summer home of a Famous Canadian Novelist.  There, his lovely wife kept a little nook, beside a beautiful, large window, for herself.  In it, she placed a tiny, round table, with a pretty tablecloth, set for two.  This was her space.

As I was in my early twenties and had a whole apartment to myself, I wondered about this small separate space within a large, handsome lakehome. And then of course, I remembered Virginia Woolf.

I thought of Woolf again today when reading the New York Times.  The story about a married couple who share a trailer but keep separate sanctuaries--hers a very feminine one-room cottage that she renovated herself (the carpentry!  the purchasing of supplies!  the books inside!)--seemed a contemporary version of the Woolf narrative.

And although the NYT seems to be pushing a childhood theme (the gingerbread! the woods!), there is no Big Bad Woolf here, just a very resourceful woman who built her own house.  And it won't be blown down by huffing and puffing.

Reembroidery: Float Like a Butterfly

One of my favorite textile applications is reembroidery.

This detail, from a piece in a recent Liberty of London Arts & Crafts display, lets my imagination soar.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eat Prey Love Liberty

Utterly by chance, while searching the web for a photo of the winning quilt from the Liberty of London contest, I came across Liberty's Facebook Feed.

Do not ask me for directions, instructions, or explanations, because I do not have answers.  But if you find this Feed, you will encounter lovely photos and information from Liberty.

Consider this Merci for Liberty suitcase, for instance.  I first learned of it a month or so ago, when Privilege tweeted about it.

Just looking at this valise makes me feel like I am on a trip, en route to a small bowl of gelato. 

(And I would not cast a secret-smile look toward gelato-eating nuns sharing my bench, as Julia Roberts does in a trailer for Eat Prey Love.*

But back to happy things: like Liberty print cases, and perhaps my own Liberty print quilt. It is almost fully quilted (well, the border is next) and then I can bind it.  The front is a riot of Liberty squares and rectangles; the back a blue Hera peacock print. I had dreams of entering it in the above contest, but couldn't begin to make the deadline.  And as I have been in a Liberty zone, perhaps my blog will reflect that in the coming days (weeks?).  Fair warning!

*Not a typo.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sweet Deserts

These Balenciaga booties have a hint of urban desert boot about them that I like.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cher (and Marc Anthony!) in Black and White

What, pray tell, is this photo of Marc Anthony doing gracing these virtual pages?

When I saw this image on the front page of the NYT Arts section today (in the music section online), I was immediately transported back to 1971, with my Cher "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" LP in hand. 

Back in the day, you may know, photos of singers were rare, especially to a lass on PEI, and I anticipated a new Cher album for its cover art (this was before I knew about Rona Barrett's Hollywood).

This album art was shot by Richard Avedon, and I found the cover to be particularly disappointing to a six-year-old in search of glamour.  (What?  Was I really six? The numbers match, but I'm rather shocked.)

above: two Avedon photos of Cher. 
The one on the left recalls the album cover; the one on the right recalls my childhood ambition. 
Yes, I did conscript my best friend into playing Sonny to my Cher on stage.  (Sorry, Susan.)

For this was no Bob Mackie Cher on the cover, but an edgy, Cher-via-Patti-Smith, stringy-hair-in-face Cher that I utterly appreciate now, but didn't get then.

Fortunately, the back cover had a glamour pose of Cher, which I recall to be a large head shot, with the singer's posture tilting attractively.  It was also in black and white, and I remember tracing it so I could make a poster for my room.

And here I return to Marc Anthony.  His lips, in this NYT photo, remind me of Cher's, in that Avedon black-and-white image, with lips of various values (artist jargon).

Can't locate a photo of the back cover on the Web, so if there are any Cher collectors out there with an image, do let me know!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Marion Cotillard on July Vogue

Such an elegant visage, with intelligence radiating from her dream-like gaze.

This is one time (the only time?) I'm pleased to see an actress on the cover of Vogue.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fringe Appeal

The convergence of two sightings in the last two days has sparked this post.

Item One: reading Patti Smith's memoir and gathering the details of how she gave herself her iconic Keith Richards haircut. With short fringe. (Smith's fringe is not so super short in this image, but trust me.)

Item Two: Watching Work of Art again, and taking note (again) that Jeanne has a 2010-inspired Patti/Keith do, with short fringe.

This shag is different from, say, Jane Fonda's Klute look, though she is pushing it in this mug shot.

or Shane's L-Word do,

or Sally Hershberger's shags because of the garishly short fringe. 

And I mean that as a compliment.

In Grade 7, the night before the school's Junior Princess/Junior Prince competition (I was a nominee from my class), I cut my own hair. I was trying to make it even more Farrah Fawcett-y, but ended up a blonde Patti Smith clone. 

I haven't cared about courtly competitions since. (But I don't have fringe any more, either.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Of Orangeries and Tarts

Is it frightfully, embarassingly, touristy to say that I really do have fond memories of the Orangery at Kensington Palace?

 After all:

I had tea at the Orangery with my then-one-year-old, after visiting the Palace for an exhibit of Princess Diana's dresses, after wandering in the Gardens.

On a virtual visit to Liberty today, I saw this Orangery bookmark kit.  I am not a fan of kits, though this one looks charming. 

And I do quite like to embroider buildings (like my house), as evident from this detail of a fabric portrait I made for one of my daughters.  (Fear not: my other daughter has one too.)

As I prepare to make a strawberry tart tonight, I shall think of tea, cream, scones, and the Orangery, and raise my glass of homemade Sangria in a toast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Queen Tut

What do I know about L D Tuttle?

Not much, except that her website is a little blinding (tut, tut!),

she is an LA gal whose shoes are made in Italy,

and that I quite like many of her styles.

Consider this "moon-shoe boot," a little early for the Summer Solstice, but it may provoke a howl or two nevertheless. 

Qui Etes Vous, Christian Loubou?

What's that old adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?

Ferragamo, 1937:

Louboutin, 2010:

Christianatore Loubougamo?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Of Shoes and Flour

I am ogling this perfect summer shoe by YSL in a mysterious, unarticulated "fabric"--that's all that the Browns website says.

I'm imagining a burlap/linen combination.  Well. not burlap really, but that slightly rough feel that the linen mix then gentrifies.

The color is called "nude," which we all know by now is inappropriate, so I will rename this shoe as "wheat."

Alas, if only it didn't cost as much as $1000 bags of flour.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dali-esque Pocket Placement

A recent post by the lovely enc reminded me about a jeans issue I've been pondering on and off.

Here it is: what do you think about back pockets that slide down the leg instead of sitting jauntily on one's posterior?

I've noticed over the last few years a trend in these sliding pockets and I can't bring myself to say that they are flattering. 

When I was a tender lass in Grade 7, I remember Levis making a jean--for women and girls--that had slightly smaller and high back pockets, and they just looked silly.

My eye prefers a pocket that accentuates one's posterior, a pocket that doesn't add an artificial lift or contribute a Dali-esque melting pocket (remember the clocks?).

In other words, no surreal pocket-watches.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

et Cie

Some words look--and sound--so much prettier en francais.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Get Me To the Brooklyn Museum


Have any gentle readers ever visited?

This ensemble is by my countryman, Scaasi, who also had quite a way with oversized organza poppies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Madame Bovary: C'est Toi?

I am rereading Madame Bovary at the moment, and am always struck by how much Flaubert "gets" Emma, even as he critiques her.  (Madame Bovary: c'est lui, I know.)

Someone else who "got" Emma is Isabelle Huppert, pictured here in the title role. 

Although Flaubert's novel was a denunciation, in part, of the bourgeois attention to materialism, director Claude Chabrol knows how to implicate his audience in Emma's yearnings, as he photographs her beautifully in her increasing levels of finery.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal

Long before I lived in Montreal, on Crescent Street, one of the most bustling shopping/cafe streets in town, I visited with my mother and grandmother.

My grandmother was known for taking fabled trips to Montreal, setting up shop in Ogilvy, the gracious department store, energing only to return to her equally gracious hotel, the Queen Elizabeth.

When she returned to the Island, she always brought me a little box, from the wonderful fudge shop beneath the hotel.  And so it was that I associated the Queen E, as Granny called it, with food: first fudge, later with sliced-chicken sandwiches, which I ate in the hotel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I was also introduced to a pastry cart in the Queen E's dining room, and remember well the lemon tart I sampled, some 36 years ago.

I also saw "The World's Greatest Athlete," starring Jan Michael Vincent, as a reward for being good in the shops all morning while my mother and grandmother tried on coats (an utterly tedious experience for a 3rd-grader and perhaps why I still dislike shopping so very much).

But the Queen E is famous for more than food and its proximity to fashion, for in June 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" there, during their second bed-in (the first was in an Amsterdam Hilton).

I am not returning to Canada this summer, so I am extra wistful for my home.  Would that I could "give Queen E a chance" in person . . .

Friday, June 4, 2010

Miss America at the Beach

Although white swimsuits are traditionally best reserved for Miss America contestants (seriously), this Norma Kamali beauty might change my mind.

It would look lovely with a snug bathing cap (are there any other kinds?) or slick hair or Veronica Lake hair, or anything, really!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

American Woman Exhibit: Everything Old Is New Again

from American Woman, Metropolitan Museum of Art

from Ralph Lauren (in Vogue)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Gentle Readers, 

I have been immersed in final rehearsals for a play and will resurface after this weekend. 

In the meantime, here's a vintage postcard image of New York's Metropolitan Opera House to ponder . . .

xo Miss C