Posts from January 2019

rising star

January 16, 2019

There’s a naivety and whimsy to Faye Weiwei‘s work that I am very much drawn to. The up and coming Anglo-Chinese artist draws from folklore and mythology in her paintings, and shows close ties with Cy Twombly, Francesco Clemente, Picasso and Edward Munch. Lions, snakes, stars, hearts and tulips appear throughout her work; this image of a lady with three white leopards under a Juniper tree is a favourite.


January 15, 2019

When I was small, we had a Great Dane, fittingly, named Magnus. He was black and white, gentle natured, and the size of a pony. We loved him. He loved us also. So much so, that once in a while, he used to escape through the side door of our Virginia Water house, and make a beeline for the schoolyard of our local country prep. It was a good ten minute drive away. He’d appear in the playground, and all the children would start screaming. All except my brother and I. Ten minutes later, my Mum would arrive in our white station wagon to take him home. This happened several times. If you have some time this week, watch Dogs. Its moving and inspiring and just the kind of television for cold, winter evenings.

the great sphinx

January 14, 2019

Sent M’ahesa (Else von Carlberg) was a Swedish dancer known for her ancient Egyptian temple dances. She wore elaborate Egyptian costumes, and was immortalized by many an artist –– Max BeckmannBernhard Hoetger  –– from her time. Here, Hanns Holdt portrays the dancer in what appears to be the pose of sphinx. The photo is from 1928, and it’s quite amazing.

layer cake

January 12, 2019

I adore the Gucci dress that Saoirse Ronan wore to the NYC premier of Mary Queen Of Scots. It’s so decadent and delicious. It looks like a wedding cake. I could do without the beaded heart and the writing on the hem, but that’s just me. But all the ivory ruffles and pleats are a bit of dream. There’s a theatricality to the dress, particularly the collar, that I found fitting for the part of a Queen.

After Picasso

January 10, 2019

I’ve written about Marrakech-based LRNCE before, specifically the company’s line of textiles. More recently, it’s their ceramics that I’m into. I love the jugs –– crude and quirky –– and the plates adorned with bold, irregular patterns. Each piece is made by hand on the outskirts of Marrakech. This vase is a bit of a dream; I see it filled with white Agapanthus.

flower power

January 10, 2019

I bought a large bunch of orange tulips today, which always feels a bit odd in the depths of January, but you know, small pick-me-ups. I mixed in some Irises, and the house immediately feels brighter and more cheery. And I keep coming back to this serene photo of lakeside peach tulips. You can just smell the freshness in the air. Oh, lowly tulip, you really are a jewel.

pastry chef

January 9, 2019

I do love a good pastry, and these spinach and artichoke stuffed soft pretzels look amazing. My neighbour, Jessica makes the earth’s best pastry, so here’s hoping she reads this post and is tempted to rustle them up. Will trade pottery for pastry. I bet they’d go great with a Greek salad and a bottle of red.

mixing and matching

January 9, 2019

I have a thing for scalloped edges, elaborate headboards, and (like everyone on Instagram) decorative tiles. This room brings all three together in a beautiful way. I like the contrast of fancy florals with the bold, geometric tile, and the worn green doors, and fading plaster add charm and character. I’m guessing we’re in Cuba. I’ve got no idea, but why not?


January 7, 2019

I admire a quilter’s patience, persistence — hours and hours poured into one piece of work. I came across this beautiful Gee’s Bend quilt and I thought immediately of my mother-in-law, Frida and my neighbour, Alison, who both bring such talent and passion to what they make. I went on to read that in the 1920s, the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, would sew quilts for their families from remnant fabrics. The designs were so original that in the 1960s, Civil Rights leaders decided to help the women sell their quilts by mail order for $25 a piece. Today, their collections are dispayed in major museums all over the U.S. with individual quilts selling for tens of thousands of dollars. 

let them eat cake

January 4, 2019

When I was a little girl, my parents had a cook named Christa. Her repertoire wasn’t varied, but she cooked what she cooked –– shepherd’s pie, dover sole, roast lamb –– very well. Christa was Danish and she wore her hair in a tight low ponytail. She always carried chapstick in the pocket of her uniform. I liked Christa, and although she didn’t smile much, she showed her love through food. For our birthdays, she used to make my brother and I an extravaganza of a cake. One year, he got a football pitch while I got a huge fairy princess castle slathered in candyfloss pink icing. We still have photos of the cakes, and our little faces, wired with sugar and glee.

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