Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s been awhile. A titch over two years, if we want to be specific. I hope you’re all well. I’ve been pondering the many shifts in our methods and means of connecting with one another in this online ecosystem. In the past few years our lives have been transformed and, in some cases, taken over by social media. This may be a balm to some and a curse for others. I am deeply conflicted. On the one hand, it feels ridiculous to be sharing on the blog what is basically the equivalent of a novel. If it isn’t a single image, or confined to 140 characters, what’s the point. Oh, and the political climate has left so many of us reeling. Anything other than protest has seemed both trite and largely irrelevant. This is a partial answer as to why I stopped. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but something that happened more by slow attrition and inattention. Other reasons will be made clear over time. But I miss Mrs. Easton. It was a regular, self-imposed discipline, a personal diary of sorts, which forced me to look more closely at my surroundings, and to inquire about things that caught my attention, but of which I knew little. And, in many cases, almost nothing. I also miss the back and forth of the virtual community. It’s now been slightly more that 9 years since I started this endeavor. This here is an attempt to reestablish the routine. I hope you’ll join me.
The above post was one of my very first, and feels even more relevant now than before.
These beauties are courtesy of the artist Josh Blackwell. Thank you Josh! I will never again look at my plastic bags the same way.
A recent jaunt to Cooperstown, NY meant that I would finally get a chance to visit the Farmers’ Museum. I’ve been meaning to go there for ages, and was well rewarded for my patience. The museum is located on land that was, and still is, a working farm originally owned by the writer James Fenimore Cooper. Its history goes back to the beginning of the 19th century. The museum comprises a collection of pristine historic buildings, many of which have been relocated from other farms and towns in upstate NY. The architecture is astonishing. These images are taken in the Cornwallville Church which was originally built in 1795 in East Durham, NY. If you’re wondering, the numbers correspond to the church pews.
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.
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