Archive for April, 2009

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Inspiration

April 30, 2009

made-in-italy

[Made in Italy from Pepperminte‘s Etsy store]

I desperately want to know what her backstory is. She possesses the same kind of stern bourgeois Italian beauty Monica Vitti shows off so well in L’Eclisse. Off to spin tall tales of how exactly she obtained those roses, and to try to find an in-real-life version of that deliciously prim blouse.

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Blue and White

April 29, 2009

I grew up in a house simply filled with blue and white porcelain. My mother collects it, and there’s at least one piece in every room, as far as I can recall. As a result, I find the combination particularly pleasing. Here below are some examples I have found while poking around the web:

blue-white-1[link] I seriously love Japanese textiles. The jacket I’m wearing as I write this is made of a fabric with a similar colour scheme/feel. I just love going to Kinokuniya and drooling over the prints on the paper and the textiles. Gorgeous.

blue-white-21[link] Old wood, decay, and blue and white. What’s not to like?

blue-white-3[link] I love the colours and the simple style of this Cornishware… I’m inspired to start a collection of my very own! Now if I only had the room for it. And the means to start collecting random things.

blue-white-4[link] In the meantime, I’m sustained by my lust for Cathrineholm enamelware. The lotus pattern is so very cool. I actually have this teapot, in orange and white. It’s currently hiding out with the rest of my stuff in storage, but someday it shall be allowed out to frolic with the other pretty retro housewares I shall have collected in the meantime.

blue-white-5[link] This is taken somewhere in a subway station in Stockholm. I wonder if it’s another sign I ought to move to Sweden? I love subway station art! It actually deeply saddens me that stations in the US don’t put as much effort into their metros. But that is another topic for another time.

blue-white-6[link] The colour of the doors here is about the most perfect shade of blue I can imagine. Rich, warm, with just the right amount of saturation. I want to go to Portugal just so I can track them down. Taking a trip abroad will just be the tiniest of bonuses in my quest to find them.

Anyway, dearies, I’m off. I’ve had a long day (woke up at 6 am to go to Bikram… eek!) and so must buckle down for the last half hour at the office. Quick dinner and then… flamenco lessons with my friend! So very excited.

A final picture to tide you over…

blue-white-7[link] Ahhhh… wish I were there right now. For the blue and white occurring in nature! Of course! My sole reasoning behind wanting to go to the Maldives. No desire to tan and escape the city. Not at all!

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Anna Akhmatova

April 24, 2009

akhmatova-photo[Why Poetry Matters]

I woke up this morning with one of Anna Akhmatova‘s poems cycling through my head.

altman-akhmatova1

[Portrait of Anna Akhmatova, by Nathan Altman] [link]

Throughout the course of the day, I haven’t been able to shake this poem, nor the mental image of her that accompanies it. There’s something completely intriguing about her very essence. Years after her death, after much dissection and analysis of her life and works, she continues to retain her mystery. I’m fascinated by her unusual beauty, by her beautiful words, and by the tragedy of her life.

modigliani-akhmatovaAnna Akhmatova by Amedeo Modigliani [link]

Ok. Enough faffing about on my part… on to the poem I’ve been stuck on!

The Guest

Nothing is changes: against the dining room windows
hard grains of whirling snow still beat.
I am what I was
But a man came to me.

“What do you want?” I asked.
“To be with you in hell,” he said.
I laughed. “It’s plain you mean
to have us both destroyed.”

He lifted his thin hand
and lightly stroked the flowers:
“Tell me how men kiss you,
tell me how you kiss.”

His torpid eyes were fixed
unblinking on my ring.
Not a single muscle stirred
in his clear, sardonic face.

Oh, I see: his game is that he knows
intimately, ardently,
there’s nothing from me he wants,
I have nothing to refuse.

– 1 January 1914
(trans. Max Hayward and Stanley Kunits)

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Hello, Lover

April 22, 2009

ysl-arty-enamel-ring[link]

turquoise-arty-oval-ring[link]

painting_sofia_a_ringsysl-rings[The Selby]

Sigh….

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Ballerinas

April 22, 2009

I periodically obsess over the Life Photo Archive. There are so many treasures to be found in there! Today, I had the theme to Swan Lake stuck in my head, for whatever reason, so I decided to take a little time during my lunch break and search for pictures of ballerinas.

I fell in love with these images from the thirties of rehearsals at the School of American Ballet.

ballerinas[link]

ballerinas-21[link]

ballerinas-3[link]

ballerinas-4[link]

ballerinas-5[link]

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Glove Map of London

April 22, 2009

Today is a busy day, so I’ll only have time for quick snippets. Anyway, I couldn’t resist sharing this glove map of London, made for the Great Exhibition in 1851. I discovered it on the website of the Field Museum. It’s a perfect, imaginative merger of two of my favourite areas– cartography and fashion.

glove-map-of-london-1[link]

I think the hand-drawn element of these is one of the best part, adding a touch of whimsy. I’ve seen other leather-goods with cartographic prints, but those all carried a taint of old lady about them, for whatever reason. These on the other hand seem fresh and innovative. This might have to be another DIY project for next winter.

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Synaesthesia, Illustrated.

April 21, 2009

I am charmed by Lauren DiCioccio‘s Color Codification Dot Drawings.

synaesthesia-3

VanityFair MAY08:pg128 (such was the
urge to engineer the weather)

Her process is simple but ingenious. She took a page from a magazine, assigned a colour to every letter, and then re-did the page, making the appropriate substitutions.

I absolutely adore the result. As a visual object, it’s beautiful, but the added element of the meaning behind the colours ramps it up to a whole new level. It becomes a code, with infinite potential meanings, to be solved only by those in the know of the key. We can only dream of what it was about this page that captured the artist’s imagination so, and compelled her to translate it into colours. She provides hints with the titles, but ultimately deciphering would entail a fairly substantial effort on the part of the viewer.

synaesthesiaW SEP08.pg288 (for me there is no
compromise)

I particularly love how the layout of the page is underscored through this technique, with all the paragraphs and columns acting as distinct zones, broken up by the margins. The imprecision of the dots of colour also make the dots seem slightly out of focus, as though if you stared at it long enough, you just might be able to make sense of it. Most of all, I love that it ends up being a sort of illustration of synaesthesia. So few people have a way of understanding this condition, but here at last is a demonstration of the effect. The only difference is that people possessing this trait also know the key to decode it.

Prints of DiCiocco’s works are available at 20×200.