In Colombia: We Did A Lot Of ...

pointing at things in the distance:

staying at charming houses:

gazing at mind-blowing ceilings:

exploring misty jungles:

pensive wandering on the high plains (Steven in blue):

(Nick in yellow):

admiring of hydrangeas (who knew? They always strike me as so completely New England, and there they were everywhere in Colombia):

moving of eucalyptus logs (well, only once):

and then more pointing.

More to follow.


28: The Decadence of Youth, Past

Dear readers, I turn 28 this week. Birthdays always bring out the solipsism and nostalgia in me, and to those ends I've unearthed some pictures a past birthday, 22, I think. The plan was to carpet the floor of our apartment in Burnside House with sod, open the windows to the bracing spring air, and build up the fire to a blaze. Picnic-meets-campfire-meets-cocktails. Reality set in at Home Depot, where the sod was less than appealing -- crestfallen, largely dead and smelling like ... dead grass. What to do? Well, I remembered from my days as a Home Depot slave that the return policy is insanely generous, so instead we bought dozens of enormous potted orchids, and created a forest of orchids:

Great time, and then people started stripping down (it was boiling, and I guess evoked better a forest of orchids). The tasty aftermath:

Yum. Lovely Keiko made me my first red velvet birthday cake (with frosting carefully matched to the color of flesh), starting a continuing desire for red velvet birthday cake. Keiko, won't you please come back from Japan and make me the cake I so desire?


Garden of Delight

"I've seen a young girl in a parking lot
preaching to a crowd
singing sacred songs and
reading from the Bible
Well I told her I was lost
and she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survi-val

Just later on the very same night
She crept to my tent with a flashlight
and my long years of innocence ended
She took me to the woods sayin'
"Here comes somethin' and it feels so good!"
And just like a dog I was befriended
I was befriended

Oh, oh, what a night
Oh what a garden of delight
Even now that sweet memory lingers
I was playin' my guitar
lying underneath the stars
Just thankin' the Lord for my fingers
For my fingers ... "

Geez, remember how that felt? Spring is all over the place here ... Sweet New England has blossomed in my absence.

Hola, I'm back. With lots of incredible things to show you, care of Colombia ... but in the meantime, I thought I'd show you two longtime loves.


Movie Night, Anyone? Ah, Fitzcarraldo ...

Trust me, you want to see it.

" ... otherwise, we would be cows in the field " .... Herzog speaks eloquently on dreams and the role of the arts to humanity:


Chair From Maison Chareau/de Verre/Dalsace

Violence is not in my nature, but I might be tempted to kill someone for this:

Wait for it ...

These are such wonderful reinterpretations of petit-point chairs, and almost discrete when viewed from the side or back. Perfection. Mermaids, red doves and ravens fall down the back and arms, and there's a little CB in the lower right ... Christian Berard?

If I ever, say, become an evil hedge fund manager, I think I'll acquire them both or have an exact replica made of one, and put on casters, and sit stroking a cat with my back to the door, only to slower turn, and ... bam! Cat, mermaid, evil-hedge-fund-manager, red doves! It packs a certain visual punch, no? And so much better than the expected tufted-leather chesterfield.


I Can't Help Myself

... these cottage-shaped mailboxes are totally dumb and I want one or three. If I were a mailman I'd look forward to slipping envelopes through a dormer or under the eaves of a petite roof, and maybe even be more careful with mail intended for a tiny house:

Personally, I'd take the fripperies off the roof of this one ... if there's one thing I want from my house-shaped-mailboxes it's simplicity:

I found these here, and just so you know, "Since 1950 the company started by Lorenzo Consonni in his cellar managed to grow into one of the major metal artwork suppliers in Italy and retain the values Lorenzo believed in - highest quality and attention to detail. All the products in Lorenz FerArt range are hand finished."

I expect nothing less. This one's almost like a little gypsies carravan:

But my real favorite is this chalet, with a mailslot concealed under the awning:

What is wrong with me that I find these so beguiling?


The Weasel Strikes Back

This photo is my favorite image right now, and not only because it so nicely relates to my threat to make Julius into an inkwell just like Madeleine Castaign's. It's titled Curious Kitty Spots A Phoney, Nov 25 1943:

Found (and cherished) here.


Nick Craves Pattern

--- in the form of antique encaustic tile, covering every flat surface in my home:

These are all from Spain, and hideously expensive, not to mention an ocean away.

These next ones are seizure-inducing they're so beautiful!

If you can't tell, I'm a big fan of pattern. Vuillard would be proud!

You can buy new examples very similar to these illustrate above here, here, here and here.


Wacked Philosophy: Imelda Marcos

I think I might designate a whole category of posts devoted to my favorite nutjobs. I can think of so many ...

I was reminded a few days ago of one of my all-time-favorite newspaper articles ever, in which Imelda Marcos' personal philosophy, complete with visuals, is discussed. Pearls of wisdom, recorded here by Seth Mydans:

"Imelda Marcos pointed a tiny pistol straight ahead of her and a red laser dot appeared on a screen in the middle of a heart-shaped face labeled 'Happy.' The dot moved sideways to a scowling upside-down heart marked 'Sad,' and then to a fractured circle called 'Pacman,' a symbol of aggressive consumption. The story of her life.

'You put it all together,' she said hopefully, aiming now at a shape that looked a bit like a flower, 'an upright heart, an upside-down heart, and what you get is peace. Peace and freedom.'

'I've had the best-best-best and the worst-worst-worst,' she said in an interview in her apartment, with its golden upholstery, its Masters paintings, its ranks of framed photographs and its buckets of artificial flowers.

In the 20 years since she and her husband, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, were driven into exile and disgrace by something called People Power, she has retrofitted her tangled philosophy of life into a truly incomprehensible Power Point presentation.

Her patter is so realistic that it gives the illusion of making sense.

'Beauty is God made real,' she said, and, 'The opposite of love is not hate, it is selfishness,' and, 'The only things we keep are those we give away,' and, 'Common sense is common to all.' She has run through it so often that it gives her relentless mind a chance to rest, and both she and her listener follow the peregrinations of the red dot half asleep. 'The Seven Pillars to Moral Regeneration — ecological order; human order; economic order; social order; moral order; cosmic order; peace and order.'

Her mind wandered and she touched her fingers to a very large yellow brooch pinned to what seemed to be a well-worn blue dress.

'Plastic,' she said.

She was met with surprise.

'I don't wear jewels anymore,' she announced. 'They stole all my jewels. These are recycled garbage that I make into jewels.'

'It's beautiful,' she said. 'Here, I have a plastic ring. I did it. I designed it. I have hundreds and hundreds. I have a room full of jewels made of plastic.' Servants began carrying in trays of plastic jewelry — tray after tray — and Mrs. Marcos hovered. It was a breathtaking re-enactment of the years when she had more of everything, from shoes to sunglasses, than she could ever wear.

'I have jewelry for every dress and for every shoe and for everything,' she said, inspecting an elaborate brooch. 'This is garbage.'

She stood tall and proud, as she always has, somehow alert and distracted at the same time: blue scarf, yellow shoes, her hair a little loose.

'I'm more bejeweled than before," she said. "Bejeweled with garbage.' "

Honestly, you should read the whole article. I find it a constant source of inspiration and guidance.



I can't help but notice that shortly after my Tolix (bleh) rant I lost one of my "followers" (what a weird thing to call you ... don't drink the Koolaid).

A Tolix owner, perhaps? I don't recant, but apologize if I offended; maybe I was too shrill. But someone had to say something. Don't despair -- I won't think less of you for owning Tolix-tsotchkes. I have too many embarrassing things of my own in the house to judge -- I hate the sin (Tolix), not the sinner (my Tolix-loving lost follower).

Cupboards, Cabinets, How I Love Thee

So months and months ago I saw this exquisitely beautiful and literally painfully expensive cabinet on Yatzer, from Pinch Studio:

It's called the Joyce Cabinet and costs close to 5,000 British pounds, which might as well be a billion dollars as far as I'm concerned. What gives? I loveLOVE love it, and each millimeter of carefully considered perfection (note the curve where the leg meet the carcass of the cabinet), but for about 5 of these cabinets I could buy a vast abandoned house with this built into its attic:

I also love this cupboard, and I see a certain kinship between the two. The house is also pretty extraordinary -- 1880s, slate mansard roof, pocket doors, the works. Craptastic neighborhood, though, and while exploring it with a friend I found a gun (unloaded) stashed above a doorframe (uh, yikes). But I might overlook all that for the cupboard in the attic.


If I See Another Tolix Chair I'm Going to ...


Where did they come from, and why are they here? I mean, I know they're from France, by why are they in every freaking house these days? We've reached saturation point, and I've decided to declare a ban on the importation of any Tolix (blehh ... even the name makes me retch) products, starting this second.

Lunch yesterday was entirely ruined by the presence of these things. What a patently uncomfortable contraption to sit in on a dreary, cold, overcast day.

I considered including an image to illustrate, but thought better of sullying my page. People, can't you see how much of a tool you're going to look like in a year when the craze is over? Remember the foo dogs? The Jonathon Adler crisis of 2006?

The worst part is, they invade otherwise beautiful spaces, and are as damaging to a respectable home as flat screen televisions over fireplaces and termites. If we must be invaded by foreign chairs, can we at least have some diversity? Or by nature are foreign chairs evil? An image search of "foreign chair" yielded this treasure, which really looks so much better wrapped, don't you think?

I'd be perfectly happy if Hans Wegner chairs took over (as indeed they almost have in the past), anything but this. TOLIX.


Danish Porcelain ...


Who needs to read the weather? I just look at the wall of my bathroom, or out the window:

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