These two elixirs come courtesy of my friend David Driver: multi-talented designer, musician, performer, writer, etc. They were some of the finest, most welcome presents from Christmas. A homemade gift stands out from the rest, and, with this magnificent packaging, I bet you’d be hard-pressed to dispute it. David is a genius at re-purposing nearly everything (he alone gives the term “Frugal Yankee” a good name!). I would never have guessed that these containers are actually Schweppe’s tonic water bottles. He insists that they are cheaper than Seagram’s. I haven’t yet sampled the vinegar, but I do know that it’s a concoction from the apple trees on his property. I also know, from experience, that his flu tonic will banish even the most tenacious germ. For a similar recipe, click here.
Violet lives in Nice with my dear friend Kate and her husband Michele. She may reside in France but, make no mistake, this feline was born in Italy. Kate and Michele rescued her from a feral existence when she was a kitten. Violet now fully embraces the beauty and luxury of her surroundings. And she adores flowers. (Please note that she does not eat them!) Kate started sending me photos of Violet among the weekly bouquets, and I kept asking for more. Not only is Violet photogenic, but the setting is romantic and mysterious. No surprise there: Kate is a fabulously talented artist with a unique eye. One which always delights me!! Plus, we share a deep and abiding love of enamelware. And Michele is the proprietor of Danda Productions (among other ventures), a twenty year old antiques business where you’ll find a consistently excellent collection of landscape, portrait and still life drawings and paintings.
How about that wacky Serge Gainsbourg head?
Hansel and Gretel immediately comes to mind. Or, perhaps a dacha in Russia, after the Bolshevik Revolution. So does Tiny, A Story About Living Small. This house is magical, set back among the white pines. The color scheme is obviously not for everyone, including myself, but it catches me off guard every time I pass it by. It’s the insulation (called “chinking”) between the logs that ultimately draws me in. The bold white lines appeal to my graphic self. Yesterday, as we sped by and I let out my now predictable gasp, P. kindly turned around and pulled off the road so I could traipse onto the property for a few close-ups.
I mentioned recently that I had taken a bookbinding class. It was held at Mildred’s Complexity, which, in loose terms, is the studio portion of Mildred’s Lane. I can’t fully define the place, because it is so many things. A breeding ground for art, design, thinking, and anything else you wish to add. All of that aside, when I walked into the 2nd floor space I couldn’t believe my good luck. It is a visual feast. From the white padded floor (was it covered in felt or linen or some other material?) to the hanging clothing patterns, to the piles of stacked packages and papers and fabrics. And that just touches the surface. Anyway, I took a few quick photos of the orderly piles. Here they are. To learn more about this very unusual place, click here.
I would attribute my weakness for pink and green to those formative years spent in ultra-preppy New England. These brilliant leaves are being shed by a maple tree that is, tragically, on its way out. Regardless, I can’t stop picking them up off the ground.
I did a walkabout at the ICFF yesterday. As usual, I didn’t leave myself enough nearly enough time to take a leisurely stroll through the aisles. But, even at an accelerated pace, certain booths stood out far more than others. Oddly enough, this go around I ended up being most drawn to the textiles and rugs. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other designs, and designers, that caught my attention. Alicia Adams Alpaca, by virtue of her color palette alone, was enough to stop me in my tracks. After looking at their site, I think it might be time for a little road trip.
Finally, Spring is here!! With it, comes my favorite part…the birdsong. It is thought that the human ear can recognize at least 1000 different voices. Experienced birders, and novices alike, often identify birds initially from their song. All of the above phrasing is taken from Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds. It makes for excellent and quite humorous reading. Each line is a phonetic description of a different birdsong. If you want to hear extensive recordings of different birds singing, might I suggest going to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.