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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Everyday Things

Everyday things can be arranged for happy glimpses of order and beauty.
Juxtaposing everyday objects is an ongoing habit of mine that never ceases to amuse me.
So here is a glimpse of my clutter and piles. I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs,
Here is my desk.
The lovely watercolor is painted by Phyllis Ray.

Book Pile.
One of my favorite books: Tokyo: A Certain Style.

Pristine....I knew when to leave it alone.

The long skinny dark box is a Leroy Lettering system.
I used this back in the day of Ink on Mylar Drafting.
Ancient History.
On top of that is a game of Go.
On top of that is a vessel used in the field and carved by
Ray's grandfather.

Neglected clutter, once arranged but, alas,
it has gotten away from
me. I delight in the colorful firework boxes from India.

Patron Saint of Architects and Buildings,
Saint Barbara, peeks out amongst the rubble.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Still Life

Seattle is glorious this time of year indoors and out. This is a snap of the afternoon light in the dining room. Note the eucalylptis leaves that give off scent, even when dried. Also, the blue French carpenter pencils purchased from a vendor at a Paris flea market. I bought 3 on a trip last October and my scout Wendy returned 10 months later and brought back more for my collection. Ray's collection of chemistry glassware is the perfect compliment to the Geoff Hunt print of Boston Harbor.

KOBO + MOMO: Field Trip

I've been pounding the pavement in Japan Town and the environs. I'm telling you, if you need a fix of NYC there is a fraction of downtown at KOBO and MOMO. Two different stores right next to each other on Jackson Street. This first snapshot is the historical side of KOBO. The Higo 5 and Dime Variety Store artifact shelves at the end of the store transport me back in time. I used to shop in this store for useful household items when it was owned and operated by the Murakami family. The original flooring and lighting is still in place but the owners, Mark and Binko Bisbie have lovingly taken over the space and created an experience of visiting a museum, gallery and boutique. They respectfully honor the Murakami family with a scrapbook history to look at in the store. The original KOBO on Capitol Hill is a jewel box of a boutique with gifts for all ages too.


What can I say, Leland is by far the most helpful, happy and laid back representative of a retail establishment that you can ever possibly hope for. I found clothes that I've seen in Takashamaya in NYC before they closed, so I am thrilled to have a source for unique, well designed apparel. In a nutshell here is MOMO's description on their FB page: Momo is a happy, lucky shop in Seattle's Japantown. We blend Asian style with European accents in a mix of men and women's clothing, home accessories and gifts, flavored with a bit of Hawaii. Hapa to it! I love MOMO. You will too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hats Off to Bill Cunningham! (we're on the same page...)

Well, as the sun is shining here in Seattle, Bill Cunningham notices a big trend on the streets of NYC. The Fedora. The cheaper the better! "'s throw away chic!" Listen to Bill enthusiastically describe what the latest trend is in the big city: Bill Cunningham: On the Street!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Do you have your hat? Anita O' Day does!

I have taken to wearing a hat this summer. I walk quite a bit and decided that I'm over 50 and I should get over the fact that I cannot wear hats and go for the shade. I can. I finally found one...some classic french straw number.

The little doodle of hats above was drawn from a snapshot I took in Athens, another hot spot where hats are necessary, especially on raven haired peeps such as myself.

Anita O'Day classes it up with a derby style hat at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1957. Check out the people listening...the hats are ON. I have always adored Anita O' Day. When I was a young impressionable teenager in jazz choir I would just groove on the Anita O'Day arranged tunes. They were always spot on. Then I saw the film documentary film of the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival and there she was. Hats and Jazz. Get your groove on.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

L'Aqua con Gassa

Look Up

I walk. I look. While walking I sometimes go into a trance and recall the memories of places I've travelled. I can feel the morning air in Firenze as I walk for my morning cafe and the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore is around every turn reminding us that God is in the details...In my neighborhood, the petite dome of Holy Names Academy peeks out...if you look for it. You must scan the horizon and there it will be, majestic silhouette against the sky...nothing else higher, symbolizing God as the King of kings.

Monday, July 5, 2010

French Delight: Dinette

Gadding about town, I decided to walk home to the leeward side of Capitol Hill from Pioneer Square. Yes. Ambitious. But ooh La La. Forever it seems I have been zooming up Olive Way via car or bus and I always have my neck jerked over to scrutinize the businesses in the base of this charming brick building between East Denny and Howell Streets at the base of Seattle's Capitol Hill. This block is a relief to the eyes on the No. 43 bus. I imagine myself walking the streets of Paris and looking at the shops and cafes that will stick into this growing envelope in my brain of an aesthetic that I'm always seeking for inspiration for my paintings. As I approach the building my wonder increases at the charm of it all. I stop for pause at the most charming of all, Dinette.

I was thinking that this would be my first Gad About Subject and decided to take a picture with my phone, but then the door was open and a woman was watching me. So I said, do you mind if I take a picture? She obliged. So I snapped. She came out and asked me what it was for. Loaded question. I told her I wanted to Blog it and also may do a watercolor. She thought that was great!

Oh, by the way, her name is Melissa and she is the chef and owner. I decided to go inside and couldn't leave. I decided to have a Manhattan. Delicious. The small plates listed on the blackboard were enticing but I needed to get home. I will return for cocktails and appetizers. While I was there, a wine rep came in with a six-pack of open wine for Melissa to try. The rep ordered several small plates and vowed that I would return. Stay tuned

The entry to Dinette.

Melissa concocting a potion at her quintessentially appointed bar.

Detail of Dinette bar. Note the trays surrounding the mirror reflecting in the mirror!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gad About Town

Bare Naked Blog. I have decided to add a blog to compliment my website, I see lots of cool things and meet lots of cool people in my daily travels around the world and town that I think would be very interesting there a verb for reading blogs?

One of my inspirations that I have read every week for years and then have listened to online every week for years is On the Street by Bill Cunningham of the New York Times. He takes pictures of people on the streets of New York and Paris and delivers a very charming narrative on fashion and trends.

Armed with his camera and bicycle, nimble Bill Cunningham has been taking pictures on the street for over 50 years. If he takes a picture of you and you're published in the New York Times it is an honor. He has an eye for trend and fashion. His take on fashion is fresh because he's passionate about it everyday. He is very well known among the ladies of society because he's been taking their pictures for years. I especially love his pictures of the charity tent shows where the ladies wear beautiful hats. Bill is there to take pictures of the most lovely and craziest! He was a milliner before he started snapping pictures. He doesn't just take pictures of society, he takes pictures of every day people going to work, walking in Central Park, you name it...if there is a trend of trench coats or scarves or even the color yellow, Bill is on it.