Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Diversionary Tactiles

Hello from your phantom blogger.

It is insanely gorgeous (and a little hot) in Los Angeles these days.

And I have been mostly silent and absent during a month of mostly bad news day after day.

It's a little bit of hyperbole for someone in such a comfortable situation as myself to say that I feel

sometimes like I'm living on a knife's edge.

But uncertainty and threat and change is on our doorsteps....which seems to make retreat frivolous

and shameful.  But let me suggest that the "thread", both fragile yet enduring, of the traditions and making all illustrated here provide profound comfort in their constancy.  We as humans persist in the activities illustrated here.  And meditating on the necessary mindfulness that goes into these makings

suggests solutions, resolution and solace if only in the day to day fabric of our lives.

All pics above variously happened upon via the following Facebook pages:

Other good textile pages:

It's a great year for creativity in fashion, I've been thinking.  

As the old Chinese proverb goes:  "In every crisis, opportunity".

This is what is also understood as "disruption."  I'm grabbing hold of the good bits.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Horse and Home: Sonoma Valley Break, Part One

Some of you may know, or remember, that the Paradis family has one or two attachments

 in San Francisco Bay area, which prompt us from time, to time to make a break

for the North.  Last weekend we were lucky to share our time with this little guy, named Eeyore (of course) at his home in Sonoma Valley.  A hop, skip and dawdle from lovely Petaluma.

What a difference four months of rain make, the hills were green(er) again.

And from the little house in which we stayed, known as "the Saddle House", 

at Cerro Pampa Cottages and Polo Field, there were views of them.

And views.

It is a rugged and rustic place.  So wear sturdy shoes.  Your car will get dusty.  Though inside,

very, very nicely appointed, with a perfectly blissful bed, utter silence at night, and stars.....

and in the morning, those views....views...views.

 (the above is not the Saddle House but another rental - link here)

There is a clay tennis court on the property, play-able - but at the time of our visit, suffering from a soupcon of benign neglect.  Cerro Pampa is not quite a 5-star resort, if that is your expectation....

But an other sort of haven.  For hares, ground squirrels, wild turkeys and other fascinating fauna.

A place to ride horses at the Polo field across the way (see Part Two to come).  Or to visit the coast and the wine country all around.

(To work on your marriage, in utter privacy and seclusion - judging by the book supply in the house.  There were also many cookbooks AND a Henry James reader at the time of our visit.  Sorry - had to introduce just a hint of dramatic tension to my happy history - wink wink.)

Or just a place to pass a sweet and pleasant moment if you are in the vicinity. 

Highly recommended.  IT WILL DO YOU GOOD.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Carrie Reichardt - Chiswick Renegade

On a quiet suburban byway, Carrie Reichardt

renegade mosaic artist, feminist, disrupter

makes serious statements

 using fabulously fun vernacular....of hippie flowers

Day of the Dead skulls.....

slogans of resistance

and Londoners' traditional favorite form of transport.

She was wearing the proverbial pink pussycat hat before it ever even became a "Thing".

She practices what she preaches.

And speaks not just for herself but for all of us.  Could we all be a little more like her?  Why not?

Website and pics of her other wonderful projects here and here .

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Further Flora - Ceramic Art in Blooming Form

Frequent visitors to this site may already know of my love of flowers.

 (Vanessa Hogge at Cockpit Arts Studio, London via This is Colossal)

How much more could I love them if they never died?

But persisted with me?

In a more robust form?  I first fell in love with ceramic flowers 

placed at French gravesites.  

What can be a more striking visual dialogue between fragility and durability

 (Zemer Peled here)

than this medium, in this form?  With these results?

And what about the wonderings that these manifestations of precision and consideration

of observation and complexity evoke?  Beyond the dream and romance

that has, and always has been, the lore and allure

(Molly Hatch also via This is Colossal)

of flowers?  Blooming Marvelous these pieces are!  Am I wrong?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Snapshots of the Season - My L.A. in Bloom

"Oh where, oh where, has that darn blogger gone now?"  

You might wonder as my absences from this page sometimes prolong themselves........

Well it does have something to do with the season, to which a gardener must always be subject.

After a harsh endless summer and drought of 2016.....followed by five months of almost

constant rain.  My recent cool stretch of L.A. spring has been very precious and demanding.

For planting and maintenance.   It's meant

a lot of work to replant, restore and reinvigorate much of my garden.

And there has been a fair amount of happy (or not) weed pulling, bug spraying, and leaf corralling.   

Oh yes, and then there's been this one, who has required a great deal of supervision.  Because her time outdoors always involve plans.  That seem to involve exits!  I have titled this post "My L.A. in Bloom" but it might just as well have been called:  "Elvis Has Left the Room."

And that's just nature.  And the season.  For better or worse.   So you'll excuse me?  I can make no promises about the little furry one.  But me, so far, I'll keep coming back.  


Thursday, April 27, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Josef Frank at London's Fashion and Textile Museum

This show continues until May 7, 2017 at London's Fashion and Textile Museum.

If you're close and you love color - and the voluptuousness of nature - don't miss it!

Some of you may know that I have lived in Hawaii part of my life.

In fact, I started my life there and this exuberant version of color and nature is actually a

necessity of life for me.  Like food and love and sunshine.

How though, I had to wonder, did a man whose life was spent in mostly cold and colorless places

develop such a happy affinity with vivid and vigorous forms and tones

and chromatic harmonies that have stood the test of time?   And who stands out - from arguably

thousands of other artists engaged in the textile and homewares industries - because of the liveliness of his designs.

The museum also showcases a series of watercolors - mostly still lifes - that Frank did during his

travels - summer holidays off from his work at Svenkst Tenn and gorgeous renderings in watercolor

of his fabric patterns.  In which you are able to see just that little bit more of the artist's hand.

It's a delightful show.  If you haven't, catch it if you can.  If you can't there's more about Frank and his work here, and here, here, here.