Shape, Color, Needlepoint and Trains of Thought…

I have been most neglectful of my blogs for a long time – mostly, I think, because of Instagram which doesn’t require any thought or tying anything together.

Themes/connections/symbolism….oh dear oh dear.

Anyway, some summer thoughts.

Lori’s garden on Long Island…

IMG_0158with round pom pom shapes of hydrangeas and the swirl of hostas.

IMG_0160The fall of shadow on the barn with the sail boats in the window heading….somewhere.

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Gone to seed dill and cilantro from the roof looking leggy.

This latest obsession with shape and color has to do with needlepoint which I have recently rediscovered – after a thirty year hiatus – since everyone has more than enough hand knitted  hats.

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These are my first two efforts  – but they are done from kits where they send you everything in a little bag. (Erhman Tapestry). So the next step is to design my own. Frances (Cityviews/CountryDreams), has lent me a super book of Bloomsbury needlepoints by Melinda Coss which are quirky and charming and enviable.

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So this is inspiration,

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as are Florine Stehttheimer’s paintings currently on show at the Jewish Museum

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What verve, what energy! How she has looked at Matisse and Chagall and Klimt and Gaugain – well, everyone really. How theatrical she is.

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So after all that looking at things and thinking about things, a break at the diner is called for.

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But, lo and behold there are the round pom pom shapes of the stools and spots of light scattered.

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Back to the drawing board – well, photographing board

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I go to Union Square and look at bouquets.

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I go to the roof and eat cherries.

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I contemplate the charming teacup sent me by Jo Paley andIMG_9699

a photo of some flowers in London which look like a painting.

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I look at flowers collected by my granddaughters

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and a photo of anemones taken earlier this summer…

So, I have a great deal of inspiration but absolutely no achievement so far – unless you count thinking about things…

Loving re-reading Evelyn Waugh and wallowing in Patti Smith’s M Train – the latter evocative of the late and very much lamented WG Sebald.

And now to stop babbling on the blog and back to designing.

Stories

Joseph Bayley, my great grandfather, went

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as a very young man, with or without his little dog,

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to be a surgeon to the navy during the Crimean War and witnessed the bombardment of Bomarsund.

On his return he married

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Sarah Jane Oliver, the daughter of the superintendent of the Salop Asylum. He then  was chosen from among forty seven candidates to be superintendent of St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton.

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He lived with his family

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in Priory Cottage in the grounds of the hospital. It looks more like a substantial villa than a cottage to me. Therefore my grandmother, like her mother before her,  grew up in a mental hospital. Though there is a great deal too much ivy about the place, I’m glad the windows of Priory Cottage are mostly open.

Bayley_Joseph&Sarah_photo_1893_Bayley Family portrait at St. Andrews Hospital

What quantities of children Sarah and Joseph had! (Ten actually). My grandmother, Gretchen, stands on the right. Their names were Eleanor, Joseph, Harold, Beatrice, Percival, Maude, Leslie, Gretchen and Claude.

Beatrice was the mother of the artist Cecily Peele.

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I especially like Lawrence of Arabia – whose childhood home at 2, Polstead Road, I lived in when I was an art student. (But that’s another story entirely).

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What a lovely detail.

Beatrice was also great friends with Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, another splendid artist.

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But I digress…

Gretchen was my mother’s mother.

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When they got quite old

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Joseph looks tired and Sarah has got rather fat. The poor cat (lower left) seems to be running away.

And that is quite enough storytelling for today.

 

A Day in the Country

A friend has a magic  house in the country near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

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Everything there delights the senses.

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We go up to the loggia to drink tea and coffee…

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and eat cakes.

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We look at the view

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then walk out into the garden.

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After that a lunch of treed – chicken and veggies on a bed of soft bread.

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Then time to reflect in mirrors

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and in water.

I’m nostalgic already.

 

Marrakesh 

So we are back in Marrakesh and it feels as if we ever left.

Sunset seen from Cafe France…..

A very odd, slightly terrifying stuffed creature in Gueliz in the gun shop where the window never changes -well hasn’t for the last 10 years at least.

And the light and the glass 

Not to mention the veggies

And reflections and patterns

And real orange juice

Straight from the trees

And doors to long to look behind

And our first chum on this trip in Casablanca airport…..

Lots more random images to come!

Oddments

Obviously things very gloomy in the US nowadays.

So, trying to make the best of things, I walk with a friend through Central Park

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where a very dead old white chap stands out in the cold. We go to The Metropolitan Museum where there are always guaranteed delights.img_6643

A Gaugain that was new to me. What lovely contrasts of light and shade! What nice sound shapes. How splendid to focus so specifically on mangoes and flowers.

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Ah, Matisse! Palm trees! Simplicity.

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What batty colorings. How absurd the uplooking eyes! When I was thirteen I thought this sort of look very splendid.

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Trees on Long Island

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a cat coolly observing our folly

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Good stuff to eat at Sarabeth’s bakery

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and love conquering all – we hope!

 

The Dark Alchemy of Black Radish

For some reason there was something darkly glamorous about the billowing green tarp cavern where the root vegetables dwell…

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what do you do with black radish except wonder at its spooky, strange

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glorious roots.

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Some green things

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and back to those roots like nerves spreading…

img_6551Last an overall view!

 

Hygge

 

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Apparently the Danish word ‘hygge’ – pronounced hoogah – was chosen one of the trending words of the ill-fated year 2016. It has to do with cosiness and comfort and how to survive a long cold winter. Candles – a soft, kind, romantic light. Chatting with friends.

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Chatting with friends about books. Finding faces in cookies…

Books – to escape into different worlds without the use of technology.

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Walking and bicycling – exercise and transportation rolled into one – no pollution either.

Knitting – most therapeutic and producing endless cosy wooly hats for which there may or may not be takers….

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It all sounds splendidly friendly and lazy and not striving at all…

Home made soup, perhaps and paper whites at the window.

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porridge

oatmeal

etc etc

I’m sure comfort also lies in having access to health care etc etc…

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I discover I am wonderfully in tune with the times and didn’t know it.

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Happy New Year!