June 21, 2018

Ascot Opening Day + Ladies Day

One of my favourite scenes in “My Fair Lady” is the one at the Ascot Races. The costumes are by Cecil Beaton and they are entirely black and white. image

This year’s Ascot races are taking place this week, and on the first day, new fashion icon, Meghan Markle channeled the classic movie in a black and white outfit.


imageThere were also other elegant black and white outfits at the first few days of the races. All of these images have been collected on my Pinterest page: What to Wear to the Races… Or Not where you can see several seasons of races and what people wear.image






imageIt is always so much fun to Google “Ascot Hats” and see what amazing creations the guests are wearing!













Which hat do you like the most?

June 18, 2018

Vacation Snaps!

Well, it’s been a whirlwind past two weeks. I put more than 900 miles on the car, traveled from Lyme Regis to York, attended a wedding, went to the theatre, stayed in eight places over fourteen nights, took planes, trains and automobiles, drank more in the past two weeks than I have in the past five months, saw loads of friends and family, never used my umbrella, and overall had a ball! And so, I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures from the trip with you.

The view from my room in Somerset. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the house which was stone with a thatched roof!image

The town of Lyme Regis on the south coast of England. A prime place for fossil hunting. The fog rolled in and I couldn’t capture a picture of the cliffs.image

The Mini Cooper Clubman that I drove. This was after an accidental foray down what appeared to be a donkey cart track, via my GPS!image

Incoming tide at Southerndown Beach in Wales. The tides have a 30-foot range!image

One of my favourite churches – the Norman-era Sts. Mary & David in Herefordshire.image

The corbels below the eaves are just charming. image

This was about a 40 minute detour, but worth every minute!image

The knights used to stop at this pub in Nottingham before the left for the Crusades.image

Yorkminster. Simply amazing.image

Absolutely enormous!image

I love touring stately homes. This is Beningbrough Hall outside of York.image

The family couldn’t afford plasterwork, so everything was carved in wood, and then painted. In the early 1900’s, the owner stripped all of the paint, and left the bare wood.image

This is what it would have looked like. I love the two lamps on either side of the fireplace.image

I love old country churches! This was in Sheriff Hutton, which is a great name for a village.image

There was a LOT of drinking.image

The Wedgwood Museum was gorgeous, but the layout was awful. image

It’s always fun to see something you owned in a museum!image

I spotted Barlaston Hall from a distance and then managed to find my way to see it up close. Look at those amazing windows!!image

It was a disaster for many years, but is now used as an event space.image

Twekesbury Abbey, circa 1200. It boggles my mind how these places were built.image

We spent part of a summer in the town where this church is located, and I’ve been back a few times.image

I couldn’t resist this country auction with my cousin, but had to sit on my hands so I wouldn’t bid. image

The flat where I stayed in London had a massive private garden.image

From the top of Parliament Hill, looking out over London.image

I missed the Chelsea Flower Show by a few days, but many of the shops in Chelsea were still decorated.image


All in all, a great trip that went seamlessly!image

But honestly, I was glad to get home!

May 29, 2018

For Sale: My Favourite Baltimore Building

My favourite building in Baltimore is on the market. It has no bedrooms and one sketchy bathroom, no kitchen, but a great fireplace and a wood-burning stove. image

This building, which has been home to Housewerks Salvage for the past dozen or so years, started its life as a gas pumping station in the late 1800’s. imageMore than 100 years later, the building is still solid as a rock, and you can still see the arched vaults where the pipes for the gas came through.image

The classic architecture of this building has always enchanted me.image I still remember the first time I saw this building, probably in 2000 or so. We were looking for a space for another architectural salvage business that I helped found. We knew the area where we wanted to locate, so I took myself down to see what was there. I came around a corner and saw this building and almost crashed my car. I took pictures, and immediatly went to have them developed (!).

Buildings of this period were so beautifully built – whether they were industrial buildings or gracious homes. You can still see the remains of the tracery in the plaster walls.image

The woodwork is still intact and just enhances the classic elegance of the space.image

Before it became Housewerks, the building was used as a photography studio, and in its new life, I am sure it will be equally interesting. imageI’ve spent countless hours in this building at parties and wedding receptions, poking through the dusty wares and fascinating objects, and just hanging out in front of the roaring fire on a cold morning, catching up with the owners, both of whom are good friends. image

While I am sad to see the building being sold, I know that the next iteration of it will be amazing, and the two owners will go on to new and exiting ventures. Here is the listing for the building.

Photos from MLIS Listing.