Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Morning Star Rising to a Dawn Chorus

Venus rising. 

From the eleventh floor, our kitchen, dining room and big balcony are oriented, thus we begin the day with a wonderful view down into the trees and to the sky above. 

This morning I saw Venus when the sky was translucently luminous but the sun had not yet risen and I had to go outside and just stand looking. The Dawn Chorus was at full force and to hear that before the city noise drowned it was a moment of pure peace. 

Such a simple, everyday thing at this time of year, if the great wheel of the heavens and the singing of the birds can be called simple. 

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

Pace, Max Ehrmann.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last reminiscence

When we lived in Amsterdam - for where, see bell-gable in photo above - the view from the window in the photograph below ...

... was the one on the postcard below.

Of course, we didn't live there as long ago as the clothes might suggest, and we had an oblique view of the statues in the niches as our house was two over on the left. The saplings had grown by our time to massive, stately copper beeches that in leaf ranged from olive/orange to deepest red in autumn, and in summer the head only of the right-hand statue was visible through a window in the leaves.

The first photo was taken from the Rietveld Cupola at the top of Metz & Co, the premier store for modern design in Amsterdam. 

The second, a polaroid, was taken in our breakfast room (no snickering about the skirted table, this was the early 90s) and the third image is a postcard bought at the Rijksmuseum because I recognized the view from our house. The painting "The Garden and Coach House of Keizersgracht 524, Amsterdam" is by Hendrik Keun (1738-1787). 

The walls of the room in the second photo had been washed twice in chrome yellow gouache and then varnished. Glorious, glorious, glorious! 

That's it as far as reminiscing is concerned. 

Tomorrow back to design after one last post (maybe) about Rex Whistler. The problem with Whistler, if I may express it so, is that he and his ilk are such a deep vein of creativity running through the first half of the 20th century and have so many connections that they just cry out to be explored. 

And explore I shall. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


When we lived in Amsterdam our house on the Keizersgracht was often filled with visitors, and we took them to the one of our useful places to visit, the Willet-Holthuysen Museum (above) on the Herengracht, which had been built about 1685. The facade was remodeled in 1739 in the Baroque style. In 1895 the house and all its contents were bequeathed to the city of Amsterdam and has been a museum since. 

The point I'm getting around to is that I have just discovered this photo of what was the most beautiful room, high-gloss blue with gilded molding, with a superb piece of grisaille by Jacob de Wit above the chimney piece. The blue is in my memory a wonderful cobalt, heavily varnished, and the gilding was bright - none of that aged, knocked back nonsense. It was stunning, and it links with my loosely connected themes of Baroque architecture and decorative painting, whether contemporary with that style or modern times. 

20th century decorative painting had a raucous and unseemly end in the 1980s, and many of us were grateful. Which is why it is such a relief to rediscover Rex Whistler, Martin Battersby et al - the Masters. I knew about them of, course, but one day, there they were right at the front of my mind wanting to be dealt with. 

In fact, its wrong of me to lump Rex Whistler, Martin Battersby, Frank Brangwyn, Etienne Drian, etc with the faux finishers of the 1980s, and not only in terms of era. Etienne Drian, by the way, painted panels for Elsie de Wolfe's Villa Trianon.  These men were artists. 

There was a time when what we know as faux finishes were simply part of the repertoire of the house painter and somehow after the 1960s migrated to the province of the "artist." Again, when living in Amsterdam I took a course of marbleizing. This was not the vague dabbing with a sponge or the flick of a brush, this was imitation of actual stone and there was no room for self-expression. The teacher was the owner of a painting company, all the other students were house painters, and they were so amused by me and at the same time proud that such a quotidian skill was being taken up by the likes of me - kunstenaaren and ontwerpers. They were also amazed that imitating marble in paint, was being part of a tradition and craft that certainly traced its roots to the ancient world.

Faux finishing didn't and doesn't quite cut it - the democracy of creativity is unfortunately not short-lived. Visit any craft show and see what I mean. Creativity is not just being awash in emotion and seeking-self expression: it is training; it is study; it is respecting the qualities inherent in self and material; it is knowing antecedents and one's place in the continuum. 

It is also knowing when to stop a rant! Click on the image below and appreciate the superb quality of the workmanship. Wallow for a while. 

To Luca and Jack, who only today reminded me that "grownups can never see what's right in front of them," a very big thank you! 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Blue remembered hills

Here's mine, seen from both sides - the Lancashire and the Yorkshire sides - Pendle Hill.

According to Wikipedia "The phrase Pendle Hill is unusual in that it combines the word for hill from three different languages. In the 13th century the hill was mentioned as Pennul or Penhul; apparently from Cumbric pen and Old English hyll, both meaning "hill". The Modern English hill was appended later, after the original meaning of Pendle had become opaque."

Fascinating stuff, don't you think? It gets better ...

The Pendle witch trials of 1612 are the best known examples of witchcraft in English history and Pendle is still associated with witchcraft. As a teenager I climbed it with friends every Hallowe'en "looking for witches". We never found any, that we knew of. 

If you are a Quaker, Pendle Hill will have special significance for you, for here it was that George Fox in 1652 had a vision whilst on top of Pendle. 

"As we travelled, we came near to a very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill, the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered."

Thanks be to Wikipedia. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Sitting this morning before breakfast listening to the not-quite dawn chorus and the hammering of the woodpeckers was like taking a long draught of the Balm of Gilead. 

"There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul."

Also, champagne at breakfast is very healing. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Could not resist ...

This wonderful, humorous Rex Whistler entitled, HRH The Prince of Wales Awakening the Spirit of Brighton that, if I remember aright, lurks in some hallway on the bedroom level of the building below, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton.

We're going to the mountains for the weekend. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Digressionary ...

... connections and a Friday Cocktail. 

This morning, whilst reading through Emily Eerdmans' Classic English Design and Antiques: Period Styles and Furniture, one of my latest acquisitions, I found the picture above. Interestingly, Ms. Eerdmans describes Charles Townley as the man in the middle sitting in a bergere by a pembroke table. I'd always thought he was the man on right with the dog at his feet.

Why do I care which of the men is Townley? Well, I'm from the same town as he and I went to school in what had been the grounds of his country house (see below, Townley Hall) and spent many a lunch hour, or late afternoon after school in the museum that had been his house. Still that place resonates with me and I visit every time I go back. 

Here Charles Townley was born in 1737, but in the Johan Zoffany painting above you see him surrounded by his collection of antiquities in his residence in Park Street, London, which had been built for the purpose of holding his collection. That collection still forms the core of what is the British Museum's Graeco-Roman collection.

I shouldn't be doing this as I'm on the wagon but in honor of times past here is a recipe for what possibly was the first cocktail. 

An Old Fashioned

In an old-fashioned glass, stir simple syrup to bitters and add about an ounce of whiskey and stir again. Add two cubes of cracked ice and top off with more whiskey. Twist lemon peel over the top and garnish with that lemon peel and a maraschino cherry. 

The older I get the more irritating that word garnish becomes. WTF would one want to add a maraschino cherry to anything? 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mirabile videre ....

... plate II, The Konigsmark Drawings by Rex Whistler. 

"These secret meetings, so treasured, so sacred, which made a long summer's day no more than an attribute of one wondrous hour." 

"It was the Summer of 1940, in a time of national crisis equalled only by Senlac and the Armada, that A. E. W. Mason asked Rex to do some illustrations for Konigsmark, a small gesture of the kind that civilisation must always make in the jutting face of barbarism. The towers topple, but the illuminating of manuscripts is to go on. Konigsmark had already been published in 1938, and had run into six impressions in the first five months. But it's author does not seem to have intended a fine illustrated edition of the novel: his first idea was to have the drawings bound up with the manuscript for his own enjoyment. It is easy to see how this romantic tale from the days of the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV, this tale of violence and love in a setting of German Baroque palaces and formal gardens, should seem to the writer a good subject to inspire my brother; for in writing it he had probably been influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by Rex's own revival of the period. Within the limits imposed by a novel of this kind, the description of the architecture and the decoration is accurate, and of a kind, I think, that was not familiar in fiction before the nineteen-thirties." 

Part of Laurence Whistler's Introduction to the limited edition book of The Konigsmark Drawings by his brother Rex. There is more, but this seemed the most pertinent to the task at hand.

Don't forget, its about the architecture. 

Self portrait

Rex Whistler. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Lady Louis Mountbatten's boudoir walls painted grisaille on canvas by Rex Whistler. The panels survive but the ceiling does not. To see the modern incarnation click here. See, too, how without the ceiling and original crown molding the murals seem incomplete. The chic of the original interior somehow has been domesticated, even in the hands of David Hicks, the son-in-law of Lady Louis Mountbatten. 

According to John Cornforth in London Interiors "one of its themes is houses that Lady Louis knew: Broadlands, which she inherited from her father, Lord Mount Temple, over the chimney-piece; Asdean over the door, balanced by old Brook House. "

Laurence Whistler of his brother's work, said "it was near as mural painting could be brought to book illustration, and being drawn with such finish - twice over in some areas, for his preliminary drawings are not rough - must have been laborious." 

Where do the borders between so-called fine art, illustration and decorative art lie? In these works by Rex Whistler?  It is hard to say. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shining plain

Enchanting, don't you think? This country house in its dramatically romantic setting painted by Rex Whistler in the 1930s. For me, the silvery quality of the black and white photo only adds to the magical, lost-world feeling "borne like a vapor on the sweet summer air." 
Truly ...  

"This is the land of lost content, 
I see it shining plain.
The happy highways where I went, 
And cannot come again."

One of a set of eight pictures painted to fit the varyingly sized plaster panels on the 18th century staircase of 36 Hill Street, London. The client in 1927 was Mrs Ernest Porcelli originally from Long Island, New York. Rex Whistler's brother Laurence in his book The Laughter and the Urn "it was like opening eight windows into one romantic landscape, conceived as flowing around the room." After the Second World War the paintings were removed from Hill Street and hung at Parbold Hall, Lancashire. 

If you wish to read more about the pictures and, indeed, the house refer to London Interiors by John Cornforth. This book is one of series from the archives of Country Life - a wonderful resource for any decorator, designer and architect. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mirabile videre

From The Konigsmark Drawings, Rex Whistler, The Richards Press, MCMII.

These drawings, beautiful tipped-in facsimiles in sepia with subtle hints of color illustrating the story of Konigsmark, the artist Rex Whistler, and Baroque architecture will be the theme this week. For a visual introduction to Baroque architecture see The Oyster Lunch in Friday's post.

N.B. There could be a digression or two.

Friday, April 17, 2009

If you are ...

... laughing and dancing your way to your particular precipice, do it with a glass or two of fizz!

So this Friday's cocktail isn't as I despise the whole tribe severally called Mimosa, Goodnight Kiss, Bolli Stolli, Blushing Bride, and I especially loathe the abomination usually referred to as Champagne Cocktail, that mix of sparkling wine, sugar and bitters. 

Here, in all its glorious purity, is the Friday nontail: a flute of well-chilled Bollinger, followed by another to be sipped at the stove whilst you are preparing breakfast for last night's adventure. 

The painting above is The Oyster Lunch by Jean Francois de Troy. Painted in 1735 it is apparently the first depiction of champagne in art.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laughing and Dancing Our way to the Precipice ...

... the title of Madame de la Tour du Pin's memoirs is the connection between the previous three posts. 

The first precipice is the French Revolution, the second precipice old age and death, the third precipice is the First World War. 

Just in case you were wondering where I was going with all this. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


... and chosen environment is a theme threading through my blog and one I hope will continue to give insight to the reader. I recognize the limitations of the construct in literature but it serves my purposes well: I posit, more to myself than anyone else, that one can read rooms and derive knowledge of character as clearly as one can derive knowledge by observing body language. 

This isn't a new idea but it's one I find very interesting as for me blogging is much about looking inwards, backwards and forwards. I'm not too interested in product and neither am I overly moved by the seemingly endless parade of vanity and aspiration. What moves me is the hidden, the past, the old, the unregarded - that which intends to be discovered. 

Home is the subject of this blog and when I quoted the blog's title from A.E Houseman's A Shropshire Lad I knew that despite the meanderings and digressions around the basic theme I would remain true to my original intent which was to go home again but yet where I "cannot come again." 

So, again, from Michael by E.F. Benson, published as a serial in The Quiver in 1916.

"Her presence in a room counted for about as much as a rather powerful shadow on the wall, unexplained by any solid object which could have made it appear there. But most of the day she spent in her own room, which was furnished exactly in accordance with her twilight existence. There was a writing-table there, which she never used, several low arm-chairs (one of which she was always using), by each of which was a small table on to which she could put the book that was at the moment engaged on. Lace hangings, of the sort that prevent anybody either seeing in or out, obscured the windows; and for decoration there were china figures on the chimney-piece, plush-rimmed plates on the walls, and a couple of easels, draped with chiffon, on which stood enlarged photographs of her husband and her children.

There was, it may be added, nothing in the least pathetic about her, for, as far as could be ascertained, she had everything she wanted. In fact, from the standpoint of common sense, hers was the most successful existence; for, knowing what she liked, she passed her entire life in its accomplishment."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mise en scène

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do no go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, 1952.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dinner was a formal occasion

"We had to be formally dressed, even wearing jewels, by exactly three o'clock, in time for dinner. We would go up to the drawing-room where, except on Fridays, we always found fifty guests ... 

... In those days, everyone with a decently dressed servant was waited on by him at table. There were no decanters or wine glasses on the table itself but, at big dinners, silver buckets were set on a sideboard with wines for the various courses. There were also stands of a dozen glasses and anyone wishing for a glass of one of the wines sent his servant to fetch it. The servant always stood behind his master's chair, holding a plate and cutlery ready for the next course. I had a servant of my own who also dressed my hair. He wore my livery which, since our braidings were exactly the same as those of the Bourbon liveries, had to be in red. The dark blue used by my family in England would have made our livery resemble that of the king, which was not allowed.

After dinner, which did not last longer than a hour, we returned to the drawing-room where there would be a gathering of members of the States come to drink coffee with us. Everyone remained standing and, after half-an-hour, my grandmother and I would go downstairs to our own apartments. Afterwards, we often went visiting, carried in sedan chairs, which were the only means of transportation used in Montpelier." 

Escape from the Terror: The Journal of Madame de la Tour du Pin. Folio Society, London 1979. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Neutral ...

... I stop fighting and love it. 

I referred in a previous post to how we fight only over decorating - we have such dissimilar tastes - and each time it is compromise, egotistically speaking, always on my part. Well, thanks to medication, therapy and a Friday cocktail I finally worked out that compromise is not too bad a thing when that compromise pushes the result into areas I normally would not go - in this case a strong, graphic print. Guess what? I love it.

The photo above shows the choices we made - the large graphic Kelly Wearstler print from Lee Jofa for a wing chair, the Kravet velvet upper left for the sofa and the David Hicks velvet upper right for the pillows. The small swatch of inky-blue linen velvet from Silk Trading Company is the alternative choice for the sofa and probably a tone lighter than that would be the best. If I cannot find that tomorrow then the ink-dark blue linen velvet it is. 

The surprise and the sorrow is that these fabrics look great with the green-blue shown below, yet it cannot be. The problem with that room is not the color, which is admittedly intense, but the relationship between the spines of the book-jackets and the color of the paneling and the shelves. When the books are back in, as they are now, the whole room shouts and that has to change. 

I don't like disposing of book-jackets - after all the design that goes into them they should not be discarded just so a library can look serious. OK, I'm being judgmental but how else does one form taste?

If I had time and inclination to wrap my books in ivory watercolor paper, each hand-labeled, the green blue could stay. Imagine how beautiful that would be: cream or ivory Arches paper, roughly textured, with hand lettered title cartouches on the spines, all glowing against the green-blue. Imagine! 

The color chosen to replace the green-blue and work with the other rooms off the library is "Clunch" from Farrow and Ball. A color described by Farrow and Ball as "Neutral. As in the chalk stone building blocks used in East Anglia. A very versatile off-white." For those of you, like me, who have never been to East Anglia and maybe never intend to please click here to view.

It will be a crying shame to lose the green-blue and if there were enough space in these 2000 square feet for empty beautiful rooms I would keep it. But, there ain't. But it is glorious!

That weasel word "neutral" - it isn't as if life came with a job description! 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Character and chosen environment ...

... from Michael by E.F. Benson, published as a serial in The Quiver, 1916.

"The room where they sat was in Michael's flat in Half Moon Street, and high up in one of those tall, discreet-looking houses. The windows were wide open on this hot July afternoon, and the bourdon hum of London, where Piccadilly poured by at the street end, came in blended and blunted by distance, but with the suggestion of heat, of movement, of hurrying affairs. The room was very empty of furniture; there were a rug or two on the parquet floor, a long, low bookcase taking up the end near the door, a table, a sofa, three or four chairs and a piano. Everything was plain, but equally obvious, everything was expensive, and the general impression given was that the  owner had no desire to be surrounded by things he did not want, but insisted on the superlative quality of the things he did. The rugs, for instance, happened to be of silk, the bookcase happened to be Hepplewhite, the piano bore the most eminent of makers' names. There were three mezzotints on the walls, a dragon's-blood vase on the high carved chimney-piece; the whole bore the unmistakable stamp of a fine individual taste."

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good Friday ...

... to make some final connections and look forward to this Friday cocktail.

What you see above is a close-up of the shoes, clogs in fact, that weaving women  wore at work. the two images below are of a child's clog I've owned for years and it's so old the leather is friable and beginning to turn to dust.

You can see that the sole and heel are one piece of wood, hand hewn, the leather upper is nailed to the sole and perhaps really, really interesting is that the clog is shod in the same way that a horse is shod with metal. If you compare it with the girls' clogs in the detail of The Dinner Hour you can see that the closure of mine is different. The weavers are wearing women's clogs with a strap and mine has a metal closure with a high tongue - a man's clog.

Imagine the noise early in the morning and late afternoon when crowds of cotton workers went to and from the mill - the clatter of steel on millstone grit cobbled streets, and you could strike sparks with those clogs if you kicked the stone in the right way. 

Weavers living in the same neighborhood paid a retired man, known as the "knocker upper," to knock on door knockers each morning to wake them. Then you'd see and hear them going to the mill, the older women clad in shawls for warmth (as you see in the previous post about this), shortly after, once the looms were running smoothly, they'd be back home, if they lived around the mill, for breakfast and then back again to work. The number of looms a woman ran was a much admired sign of hard work and female prowess. 

And they also raised families. 

At the end of every Saturday night in the working mens clubs the women would say when asked if they wanted a final drink - and I can hear it still - "I'll 'ave a benny, cock." ("Cock" being the local version of "honey".)

So, in honor of those women, the looms they ran, the families they raised and the raucous sense of humor they shared with me I give today's cocktail - which isn't in fact a cocktail at all but ....

... a glass of Benedictine. 

A few years back I read that almost the total production of Benedictine went to my home town, so popular was the drink with those women. Men did not and still do not drink it and neither do they carry umbrellas. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009


began yesterday. Today is Maundy Thursday followed by ..... well, you know the rest. 

Its time to fry, give and bake. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Connections ...

... with the past and with the previous post.

Above, The Dinner Hour, by Eyre Crowe, 1874. 

The connection between the previous post and of the painting above, which depicts a lunch hour at a Lancashire cotton mill, is that the company we know as Lee Jofa began in 1888 as Arthur H. Lee Textiles in the cotton mills of Lancashire (not, I think, the one depicted), before eventually merging with Johnson and Faulkner, later shortened to JOFA, established in New York City in 1823. 

(Dinner, by the way, is still how lunchtime is styled in that locality. What we in America know as dinner is there called tea. The order of meals, thus, is breakfast, dinner, tea.)

A further connection with American history is that the scene takes place after the Lancashire Cotton Famine of 1861 to 1865. Prosperity has been restored after what was a severe depression in North West England because of a cessation of baled cotton imports caused by the American Civil war. The Union blockade of Confederate ports caused the cotton workers of Lancashire to lose work and they began to starve. Despite their deprivations the cotton workers meeting in 1862 resolved to support the Union in its fight against slavery. 

The following year Abraham Lincoln sent an address thanking the cotton workers for their support.

" ... I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working people of Manchester and in all Europe are called to endure in this crisis. It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to overthrow this Government which was built on the foundation of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest exclusively on the basis of slavery, was unlikely to obtain the favor of Europe.

Through the action of disloyal citizens, the working people of Europe have been subjected to a severe trial for the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under the circumstances I cannot but regard your decisive utterances on the question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an energetic and re-inspiring assurance of the inherent truth and of the ultimate and universal triumph of justice, humanity and freedom. 

I hail this interchange of sentiments, therefore, as an augury that, whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country or my own, the peach and friendship that now exists between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual."

How did Socialism get a such a bad name? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Heartbreakingly beautiful ...

... the back of hand blocked cloth.

I wish I had a scanner large enough to show you the scale of this hand blocked linen, Tree of Life from Lee Jofa. The pattern repeat is a mighty 99" and it is majestic. Majesty, though, is not what this post is about. 

I love textiles: I was raised in a cotton weaving area in the north of England and even the dust, or dawn, as my grandfather in his dialect called it, is in my blood. The slightly sticky feel of cotton cloth straight from the shed, the local name for weaving mill, is still with me as is the smell of the mill, the noise, the way the weavers used a combination of gesture and mouth soundlessly to communicate both in the the shed and in the street when they saw each other. It was as if they were deaf, as they might well have been because of the noise in the shed. Today we call that means of communication Sign and it was universal but only in those cool damp valleys where cotton was woven and thee and thou were still used. I remember too the feel of hand-sewn cotton sheets made by my grandmother. Don't ask why she sewed them by hand, she just did. 

Above is Bradstock, another hand blocked heavy weight linen from Lee Jofa, as wonderful as the previous but of a much smaller scale - a 27 inch pattern repeat. What you see is a hint, merely a suggestion, of what the whole design back and front is like. Click on the images and see how delightful the other sides of these cloths are.

Below you see how the dye seeps differently through the delicate cotton cloth of Hollyhock. It is misted, frosty, tender and totally bewitching.

So yes, I love textiles and I love the unexpected effects of the hand blocking process. Please, if you are a student, a interior design instructor or a homeowner looking for inspiration, go to Lee Jofa and see for yourself the wonder of these hand blocks, and don't forget to look at the reverse. 

And, no, I don't work there. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Early one morning,

just as the sun was rising ...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Always a joy ...

... the stolen moments. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

After laying this ...

... a Cosmati floor, you'd need today's cocktail as an aperitif before a fortifying dinner of fettucini alfredo lightly dusted with freshly grated nutmeg. 

Yesterday evening, after laying my own cosmati floor, as it were, I drove to Pricci, my favorite close-to-home restaurant in Atlanta, sat at the bar awaiting my beloved and when at table ordered the fettucini alfredo. With a glass of syrah, absolute bliss. My three necessities: Pricci, fettucini alfredo and catching up after the day.

A Negroni

One part gin,
One part sweet vermouth,
One part Campari

Served on the rocks in an old fashioned glass. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Holbein carpet

as depicted in The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Lotto carpet

As depicted in The Alms of Saint Anthony by Lorenzo Lotto, 1542.