February 28, 2013

St. David’s Day

Today is St. David’s Day (Dydd Dewi Sant) in Wales. As you may know, St. David is the patron saint of Wales. Many Welsh people wear a leek on St. David’s day in his honour, although I never managed to do this.

In honour of this, I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures of Wales from my trip there this time last year.

Caerphilly Castle, the second largest castle in the UK. caerphilly castle4

Crossing the Severn Bridge from England into Wales.

The Victorian Pier at Penarth Cliffs.

The beach at Penarth

My old school: Atlantic College at St. Donat’s Castle

At St. Donat’s, looking over the Bristol Channel to England

Worst bus ad, ever. Cardiff

My three guys: what I miss most about Wales.

CardiffUK Day 7 (2)

The constantly changing and very dramatic skies.UK Day 7 (5)

This is my very favourite image from the trip: The dining room at St. Donat’s Castle.

Happy St. David’s Day!

February 27, 2013

A Palace at My Plate

I stumbled across these clever architectural dinnerware sets recently, and thought I’d share them with you. While this may just look like an architectural model of an Italian villa to you, imageit’s actually six dinner plates, plus a serving bowl! dinner1

This is one in a set of clever pieces by Seletti, designed by Alessandro Zambelli, which also makes a tower of six small bowls and a serving dishimage

and a palace which turns into a coffee set, with creamer and sugar, as well as a large server.
palace palace2

You can mix and match, imageand create a small renaissance Italian town on your table.image

There are a number of pieces in this collection, which all resemble historic Italian villas, palaces and other buildings. image

If you don’t want to do the traditional dinner table setting with these, you can use them for other purposes. image

For more information on these pieces, please click here.

February 26, 2013

Charlotte Moss Auction

"I have been collecting and decorating for a long time and the time has come to edit, do some redecorating, and make room for new purchases of my own," says Charlotte Moss of the auction of some of her possessions at Doyle Auctions, on March 7th. The Preview dates are March 2-5, 2013. More than 400 lots will be sold.Moss Auction

I had a chance to glance through the catalogue, and there are scores of great pieces. Here are some that caught my eye.

Japanese Style Gilt-Metal Pagoda
With a multi-tier roof, on a plinth. Height 16 inches. Provenance: The Estate of Tony Duquette

Set of De Gournay Hand-Painted Indian Tea Paper Wallpaper Panels
Each decorated with flowering trees in porcelain pots, lined with muslin.

Starfish Studies
Eight engravings.

Group of Coffee Table Books
Comprising photography, fashion and fine art examples, approximately sixty volumes (This is one of three large lots of books).
Have to laugh to see Bunny Williams’ book in the group!

French Painted Papier Mache Model of a Chateau image

Framed color digital print, 1998, signed, dated, titled and numbered 109/175 in pencil.

Group of eleven framed maps of France
From the Atlas Communal du Department de la Seine, dissected and laid to linen

Set of Three Photographs on Canvas: Le Vieux Logis


The prices at this auction seem very reasonable, although the provenance of the pieces, having been owned by Charlotte Moss, may drive them up a bit. The full catalogue is here.

February 25, 2013

I’ll Take This: Sir John Soane Carriage House

You might know Sir John Soane by some of the more extravagant buildings he designed, like the Bank of England, imageor the amazing Sir John Soane Museum, image

When I saw this two-bedroom carriage house, designed by Sir John Soane, I was enchanted. Even if living in a house in two parts might be difficult, I could manage, if I lived here.image

The carriage house is on a property called Lees Court, which although in private hands, still exists.imageHowever, there is scant information about the house, although the Lees Court estate does a booming business in agriculture and shooting.

It looks like the Carriage House could do with a bit of updating in its décor, imagebut I wouldn’t let things like ugly curtains, an odd green ceiling or a pawn-broker style light fixture deter me!

The house has been on the market for several months, imagebut the price is pretty good, £250,000, it’s in a village in Kent, and it comes with the use of the communal gardens, imageand even a garage! Plus, it’s designed by Sir John Soane, and most of his buildings have been demolished.imageI’ll take this! Would you?

Weekend BLAST!

I’d like to thank Ryan, my computer guy for fixing… oh, I forgot. This isn’t the Oscars! Sorry. It’s just like they’ve been going on for days now.

Speaking of the Oscars, there was much excitement in my house when it was announced that Searching for Sugar Man won for the best documentary. You might remember that I wrote about this a little while back. sugar manI am beyond thrilled for my friends who were involved with this film and in creating the whole story. Congratulations!

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I had the chance to attend the Maryland Antiques Show at Hunt Valley this weekend, including a lecture by Bobby McAlpine. Everything was just so gorgeous, and I saw a number of things that I coveted.

This is a early 1900’s salesman’s sample board for children’s socks.

Early 1800’s English Davenport china platter. This is part of my childhood, as we had a similar one at home.

Again this year, I was charmed by these simple glass lights, mounted on stands.

I think I would perch this wise old owl on the top of my book case.

I love these architectural artifacts.

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My friends from Halcyon House have just gotten some new jewelry in to the shop. I was particularly taken with several of the pieces, including some more by the amazing Angela Caputi.Check out the blog I am writing for Halcyon House, here.

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As I said, this weekend was a BLAST! Literally! There’s an old gas works tank about a half a mile from my house, and it was imploded just after the crack of dawn on Sunday morning. This tank was built in 1933, and was massive – 25 stories tall! It was no longer being used, and was getting too costly to maintain, so it was imploded by local company, Controlled Demolition, Inc.

I have seen about a dozen of these implosions, some of them more “up close and personal” than others, but each one is SO.MUCH.FUN!!!

How was your weekend?

February 21, 2013

Computer Bugs

My computer has some bugs, so no posting for a bit. Check my Facebook page if you want to know what I am up to!

February 20, 2013

Jane Austen Stamps Go on Sale… In the UK

To celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Royal Mail has issued a stamp for each of Austen’s six books. imageThis is not the first set of Jane Austen stamps issued by Royal Mail but I think the new ones are much better-looking. imageRoyal Mail said that letters posted in Chawton in Hampshire, where Austen spent her last years, and Steventon, near Basingstoke, where she was born, will have a special postmark for a week, featuring the Pride and Prejudice quote "Do anything rather than marry without affection".

February 18, 2013

Basilica Tour

If you don’t know, Baltimore is home to the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and it was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of much of Washington, DC, just 40 miles down the road, and America’s first professionally-trained architect.  The church is called the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is a bit of a mouthful, so everyone just calls it the Basilica.image

In 2006, a major restoration of the building was completed and it opened to rave reviews. It’s a stunning church, in the classical model, and the restoration won major historic preservation awards.image

Most unfortunately, during the very unexpected 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked our region during August of 2011, the building suffered some structural damage and has been closed since then. imageHowever, the work is nearly finished, and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation is offering a hard-hat tour of the work that’s been done. The tour is free, but it’s limited to ten people, so send an e-mail here, if you’re interested in attending the walk through.