Thursday, 31 December 2009

Beginings and endings

Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, past and future.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

A very happy New Year to all.

Now playing: ABC - By Default by Design
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Something had to give

What with one thing and another, there just wasn't time enough to do it it all.

One thing being an office revamp for a client. From this...

To this...

Seemingly simple enough, but rife with delays on every front. Even the one and only lampshade proved to be problematic. And, it all still has as yet to be photographed properly.

Another thing being - the home invasion. Anne Bass was lucky. At least she didn't have to make her intruders endless cups of tea or spend a dime. Two local characters, and an assortment of their cronies, came into my house (already in a precarious state of organised chaos) and not only wreaked havoc, but also completely emptied my pockets (which are also always in an equally precarious state).

Though nowhere near done, the house is all the better for it.

And nothing gets in the way of Christmas.

Now playing: Annie Lennox - The Gift
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Love will come

Sade's new album Soldier of Love due for release Febuary 8, 2010.

Pre-order available here and here.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The lost language of crones

Those humble and honest objects that WASPy old dears pressed into service with great aplomb.

Terracotta pots and saucers instead of cachepot.

Wicker baskets, used for everything from bread to wastepaper.

A colourful 19th century American hooked rug with a geometric design.

A cushion faced with a floral needlepoint panel.

Bright, purposeful handiwork pieces: hooked rugs, needlepoint (in all its mutations), patchwork quilts, etc.
Both the cushion and the hooked rug are from Sybil Colefax & John Fowler Antiques.

Tole ware, whether decorated or plain, fashioned into absolutely anything useful.

Now playing: Richard Wagner - Die Walküre
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Copper vessels once the property of the late Ingmar Bergman, whose estate was auctioned by Bukowskis in September.

Ingmar Bergman photographed by Irving Penn, 1964

Now playing: Benjamin Britten - Cello Suite No. 2, Op. 80 - II. Fuga
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 24 October 2009


At Longleat, in this very room:

A little girl pleadingly to her mother, Mummy why don't we have things like these?

The mother scornfully to her daughter, Because this is not our taste.


Now playing: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Teach Your Children
via FoxyTunes

Now playing: Katey Sagal - Daddy's Girl
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Monday, 19 October 2009

The curious made extraordinary

All Visual Arts presents The Age of the Marvellous

Inspired by the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities, popular in the late Renaissance through the Baroque period (ca. 1550–ca. 1700). An era characterized by a revival of learning, the sum of all of man’s knowledge could be represented in rooms filled with natural wonders, artificial exotica and relics or art works concerned with the supernatural.

The Wunderkammer‘s particular ability to evoke the marvellous, to incite the emotions of awe, wonder, surprise and astonishment leading to curiosity and then learning was based on its ability to draw parallels and unify seemingly unrelated fields of human knowledge like Science and Art. The brilliant evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson considered the unification of knowledge – or what he labeled ‘Consilience’ in his eponymous book published in 1998 - nothing short of imperative for the survival of the human species

Adam Fuss’s photograms
Alastair Mackie's Metamorphoses

Polly Morgan's At the Beginning, inspired by a Victorian proposal for a flying machine.

Kate MccGwire's sculptural works made from crow and jackdaw feathers.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - World in my Eyes
via FoxyTunes

Looking forward to...



and reading,

Mia Mask's Divas on Screen - Black Women in American Film

Now playing: Mary J. Blige - No more drama
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Fash. Ed. Supreme.

That was how Joanna Lumley's fashion editor character, Patsy Stone, in Absolutely Fabulous described her idol Grace Coddington.

Vogue's Grace Coddington
More from

With the release of The September Issue Coddington finds a new audience and confirms what those of a certain age already knew - she is genius.

Her 2002 opus Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue

Now playing: Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Random bits of fabulous

Taken from the November issue of The World of Interiors.

The courtyard of Cranbrook's Saarinen House photographed by Richard Powers.

A covered patio in Tangier photographed by Roland Beaufre.

Recently, I read somewhere (and it wasn't over the rainbow) that there are people who actually believe that designers create a WOI look just to be published in those hallowed pages.

Mind boggling.

Now playing: Toni Childs - Blind
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Larger than life

The maquette for the eventual bronze statue to honour the legend that was Nina Simone. It only seems fitting that it be, like the lady herself, larger than life. The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project has commissioned the Philadelphia based sculptor Zenos Frudakis to execute the work.

Participation in The Eunice Waymon—Nina Simone Memorial Project supports the recognition of an international musical legend and an icon of human potential realized.

Now playing: Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 12 October 2009

Tryon, North Carolina

If known for nothing else, it should be known for being the birthplace of one Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003). Who was better known as Nina Simone.

Screen shots from the documentary Nina Simone: The Legend; the last being of the house she grew up in.

Nina Simone performing Four Women at the Antibes Jazz Festival, 1965.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I don't get it

Is the financial gain so significant it justifies the bastardisation of the esoteric?

Four from Oly:

swan oil painting

sunda ornament
cast resin ornament w/ metal base (sold individually)

saw bills
cast resin with black wood base

albert and fiona busts
resin busts with hand-appled green verdi-gris finish
albert (right), fiona (left)

Four from life:

Trumpeter Swan, plate 406 from Birds of America, 1827-1835
by John James Audubon

Early 19th Century whale's vertebra

Collection of mounted 19th Century sawfish blades

Bust of Dame Edith Sitwell
by Maurice Lambert

You decide.

Now playing: Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco (radio edit)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 9 October 2009

Come and gone

The last vestiges of summer.

Now playing: Frank Sinatra - Summer Wind
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Le Dix

CIRCA 1825

With two columns of seven gilt-tooled red leather boxes numbered 1-14, with side locking flaps, on bun feet, with paper label inscribed '1101', inscribed to the back

CIRCA 1825-35

Line-inlaid, with gilt-tooled red leather writing surface, the shaped kneehole with drawer flanked by two drawers to left and a deep drawer simulated as two drawers to right with coffre-fort, with a slide to each end, on scroll legs joined by stretchers

CIRCA 1825-30

With scrolled back and large scroll arms on lotus-leaf headed scroll legs, upholstered in black patterned horsehair, with pencil inscription; together with a side chair with ladder back and green cotton upholstered drop-in seat, with pencil inscription 'Martin' and branded '8'

Christie's Sale 7746

Le autre Le Dix

Now playing: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Boléro
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


A 19th-century depiction of Charon ferrying newly departed souls across the River Styx.