June 29, 2009

More Alice

"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
The other day, I wrote about the upcoming film of Alice in Wonderland with Tim Burton directing. Yesterday, as I was scouring the books Coterie had brought to Baltimore to donate to the Book Thing, I found a book which just called out to me. It's called A Book of Books, by Abelardo Morell. It is mainly the photographs of Mr. Morell with various quotations about books as a counterpoint to the images.
Amongst the pages were three photo illustrations featuring the work of Sir John Tenniel, who provided the quintessential illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Morell has taken these illustrations and combined them with some books and other props to make a three-dimensional image.
Pretty clever, no?

June 28, 2009

David Hicks at Book Thing

Guess who I ran into at Book Thing this morning? David Hicks! He was sitting on one of the top shelves mingling with hoi polloi in the Hobbies section. I am sure he would have been mortified to have been there, rather than in the Gardening & Horticulture section which is just adjacent to the Design & Decorating section. He was partially hidden inside a copy of his Book of Flower Arranging, so it was a good thing I spotted him. He will join several of his siblings, now sitting on my shelves.

Actually, today was a special day at Book Thing. My Sunday morning buddy, Julie, my friend the Redhead, and I were joined by the authoress of Coterie blog and her beau. They met us for a couple of laps at the farmers' market (strawberries, raspberries and fresh cream) and then joined us for breakfast at local favourite Cafe Hon.
After a delicious breakfast, we headed over to Book Thing, but first, we had to scour the contents of Coterie's car trunk. You see, she used to work for a NY publisher and had brought bags and bags of books down to Baltimore to donate to Book Thing. She was exceedingly kind and let us grab what we wanted before she made her donation. Some will eventually make their way to BT, but some others are keepers.

June 27, 2009

Tag Sale Tales

I made it to the Tag Sale with coffee in hand by about 9:15 and was delighted with the things I saw.

JB does major flower installations at some of Baltimore's museums and top events, so the scale of his things is HUGE. JB also has a green thumb, as evidenced by the window boxes on his classic townhouse. He has a huge urn in front of his house where I noticed some white eggplants growing.
But I did manage to find a few things, including some julep cups, an etched vase and some silk peonies that I had to touch to find out whether they were real.
These acid green ceramic vases would be perfect for summer flower arrangements.

There were several of these huge paintings of starlets. They were probably used as props for a party.These cranberry glass vases could also be used to hold a pillar candle. A huge assortment of candlesticks of all heights and styles. I have several of these which were gifts from friends. Another candle holder... he bears the weight of a single candle on his shoulders. Are you sensing a theme here?
A chandelier for candles. If I had a big tree in my back garden, you can bet I would have purchased this. Tag sales, yard sales, antique and thrift shops are all good ways of being green.

Read about other great thrifty treasures on Southern Hospitality!

June 26, 2009

Tag Sale for the Locals

Last October, I went to the most amazing tag sale, given by JB, a local floral designer and decorator. It was held a few days before I left to go to the UK, and so I wasn't in the mood to spend lots of dosh. But I got word this morning that JB is having another sale featuring garden accessories, urns, votives, lanterns, crystal props and "a lot of other great stuff".
I am planning on arriving in Bolton Hill at the crack of 9:00 a.m., coffee in hand. Are you going to join me?

Maira Kalman & Thomas Jefferson

The new Maira Kalman post is now on the New York Times' website.
She is invited to Monticello in Virginia. Between her illustrations and the photographs of Monticello, this is one of her best!
Click here to see the whole post.

June 25, 2009

French Designer Showhouse @ Edith Wharton's The Mount

I just read on New York Social Diary that there's going to be a French Designer Showhouse at Edith Wharton's house, The Mount later this year. All of the designers participating have been selected by Andrée Putman. Leiko Oshima, Maxime D'Angeac, Nicolette Zaech, and Olivier Lempereur are among the participating designers.
This, and the fact that The Mount is now out of financial danger, is great news!

June 24, 2009

I'll Take This...Stately Home

A two bedroom apartment situated on the third floor of the West Wing of Thorndon Hall, a magnificent country house. The apartment offers 2 bedrooms, bathroom, separate wc, sitting room and kitchen, and also benefits from wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. There is a garage, communal parking area and beautiful communal grounds.

You and the neighbours share 16 acres of gardens laid out by “Capability” Brown set within 250 acres of parkland including a golf course. Yours for £250,000. Details here.

June 23, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

As a child, one of my favourite things to do was to curl up and listen to "Alice in Wonderland". Our parents had friends who owned Caedmon Records, which was one of the first companies to record notable writers reading their own works. We had a recording of Stanley Holloway reading "Alice in Wonderland" and before I could really read, I would listen to this.
Once I learned to read, I did read Alice, and loved the illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and remember them as the classic drawings. When I visited Oxford England many years later, we visited a friend who lived next door to the shop where the real Alice lived.
I recently heard that Tim Burton is remaking Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen and an unknown Australian actress as Alice.
Curiouser and curiouser... I am to see this!
What do you think about a new Alice in Wonderland?

June 22, 2009

Stained Glass Windows

I've loved stained glass windows since I was a child. Our house had three long windows on our landing that were originally a heavy stained glass, but my parents had them replaced with diamond-paned leaded glass windows that brightened up the area and made it easier for my mother to see what the four of us were doing in the back yard. There was a great window seat and it was the perfect place to sit and read.
When I was at Housewerks, I noticed all of the stained glass panels they have hanging from the rafters of their building. Many of the pieces have come out of old house that are being demolished, or from churches that have closed. This piece isn't very old, but the design with the opaque glass is wonderful. One of my favourite pictures of glass from Housewerks was taken at a Halloween party there two years ago. The building has a huge basement, which they'd flooded with a fog machine. The chandelier against the stained glass panel floating in the fog always appealed to me.

June 21, 2009

New @ Housewerks

I stopped by to see friends Ben & Tracey who are the owners of Housewerks, a local salvage company. I've written about Housewerks several times, but their inventory changes weekly and there's always something amazing and new to see. Today, it was Tracey's new baby boy, whom I'd not yet met!
Tracey dragged me out to the back to see an incredible treasure they'd just acquired... I know Tracey has always loved art glass, especially the glorious colours of Blenko glass, made in nearby West Virginia. But this glass came from a much closer source, Carr-Lowrey glass company, which is just around the corner from Housewerks. Housewerks has barrels of this glass, all separated by colour, of which there is a staggering array. The combinations of colours and swirls almost look like candy, or in the photo above, coffee with cream. Some of the pieces weigh several pounds and could be used in myriad ways.
Housewerks has also just gotten in some great vintage advertising signs, including ones for "chick n'ribs", trucks, liquor and ice cream. Sounds like dinner to me! They also have a selection of old carnival signs, including this one for the freak show. These canvas posters are massive and could be used in a double-height family room.There was the most extraordinary mirror that had just been removed from a local bar that was being renovated. It measures about 7' high by 10' wide. The detail work is really fascinating. I can always count on seeing a range of metal items, including railings,garden urns and benches,decorative cast iron arches,washbasin stands, and fountains.Housewerks and Second Chance, a salvage company which I helped found in 2000, were featured in Renovation Style Magazine's Spring 2009 issue. Unfortunately, the magazine's not on-line at all, except for subscription information.