Thursday, May 28, 2015

Morning Has Broken  

The beautiful, soft, glowing light of spring is slowly fading into the bright, vivacious light of summer, but before it goes I would like to pay homage to the exquisite light of spring mornings.  Mornings in May, when the fairies seem as near as the sunshine streaming and dancing through the trees, are the best time for an early morning cuppa plein aire.   

  Early one Saturday, my personal designer and I found a favorite canopy from her childhood and crept forth into the dewy grass.  We suspended the canopy from a majestic tree atop a hill where the morning light could shine through the boughs.  

With our favorite china and some fresh cut flowers 
the scene was set!

The light was so beautiful, and the company so sweet.  Drinking our favorite lavender tea and nibbling our favorite biscuits under a rosy canopy was truly a lovely celebration of the spring!

Claude Monet

Of course, all that lovely light made me think of art so here are some lovelies....

File:Frieseke, Frederick Carl - Afternoon - Yellow Room - Google Art Project.jpg
Fredrick Carl Frieseke

I have recently found two artists whom I believe captured sunlight and color beautifully, with their simple subjects.  Carl Frieseke and Louis Ritman were both American Impressionists who spent a great deal of time in France.  Although their styles were similar, their subject matter varied slightly from their French contemporaries.   Unlike many of the Impressionists, their focus centered around women in their daily lives instead of landscapes.  I adore the softness of light and color of Frieseke and Ritman's paintings and thought they were perfect to accompany this post about spring light, because after all Frieseke himself is believed to have said.....

 "It is sunshine, flowers in sunshine; girls in sunshine; the nude in sunshine which I have been principally interested in."

Louis Ritman

Louis Ritman

Louis Ritman

One of my favorite spring flowers is the sweet lilac of May, which is so beautifully depicted here by Mary Cassatt.   She seems to be able to capture the very nature of lilacs as they tumble out of the vase wishing to share their merriment with all they meet!

Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day.....

Valentine's Day--what a beautiful concept--a day to celebrate love and beauty, and a reminder to tell people that we love them!!  I love Valentine's Day and believe that it doesn't just have to be about couples.  When we were small, it wasn't about telling that "one special someone" that we loved them, it was about telling everyone that we loved them.  The fun was in giving everyone a valentine, still sticky with glue and glitter and getting a hug or a smile in return.  For me, that is the real beauty of Valentine's Day--taking time to remember to say I love you to everyone: your significant other, family, friends, coworkers, yourself, and LIFE!!!!  

Tasha Tudor

Here are some lovely pictures and a poem that remind me of what I love and why life is so delightful when I let it be!! 

Eugenio Zampighi

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height 
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use 
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Gustav Klimt

There is such a beautiful dreaminess about Klimt.....And it simply is never Valentine's Day without Tasha Tudor!!!! 

And of course, it is not Valentine's Day without a swing.....hmm? 

Jean Fragonard

As always, Renoir captures the beauty of human nature.  There is a beauty in his paintings that suggests looking past the ordinary into the playful wonder and stillness of the soul.

In the Garden - Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Auguste Renoir

What an utter pleasure to embrace the joy and 
surprise of unlikely friendships!

Elliott Erwitt - Photo 9
Elliot Erwitt

In my furry canine mind, it seems only logical to celebrate all of our loves and passions on Valentine's Day, especially the ones that define who we are!

Here is a passion for light, color and flowers.....

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1916, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Water Lilies is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings by French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840–1926). The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at Giverny and were the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life.
Claude Monet

and for friendly tea parties....

a 1906 tea party

and for creating...

Edward Fielding

and quiet moments...

Jean Fragonard

and especially beauty....

Archivo:Claude Monet, Saint-Georges majeur au crépuscule.jpg
Claude Monet

So this Valentine's Day I invite you to make that lopsided, sticky valentine, spread some glitter and smiles, and love Life!!  


Monday, January 26, 2015

Birthday Wonder!!

Aren't birthdays delightful?  They always give me that warm fuzzy feeling!  Not to mention, the abundance of lovely candlelight and childhood memories!

So, when my dear friend and Personal Designer's 18th birthday was drawing near, of course we decided we must have a party!!!  We decided to keep it a small and intimate gathering with pleasant conversation, classy Hors d'oeuvre, elegant napkin folding, pastel table decor and tea and cake.  I simply adore a Classic Tea Party!  

My Personal Designer's mother helped plan and orchestrate the lovely affair!  The invitations had been sent, everyone was coming, the food and decor had been planned so when the appointed day came we were ready!  We suited up, (I in my butterfly wings and she in her apron) and had a vigorous morning of 
cleaning and preparations!

We used some of our favorite Polish china which provided the initial color scheme, and then chose napkins, candles 
and flowers to match!

My Personal Designer loves to bake, so we allowed her to make her favorite cake!  

I, of course, supervised everything to make sure it all came off without a hitch!!  Above, you can see me supervising
 the food preparations.....

Aren't they lovely?

Then, I honored them with my opinions on the table
 setting and decor.....

Also quite lovely if I may say so!! Needless to say, my Personal Designer was tickled pink!!!

 We chose a whimsical arrangement for the table!

And a wonderful friend of ours in Vermont surprised her with this beautiful bouquet of 18 roses!!

At the end of the day I was happily drowsy (I doubled as the enthusiastic welcoming committee!  So you can imagine..), but it was such a lovely gathering and so well worth the effort!  I have known my Personal Designer since she was three and have enjoyed every moment of it!!  

Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who joined us in celebrating her birthday!  

***A note from Mom:  As Miss KD and her Personal Designer's biggest fan, I would like to thank them both for all the joy they have brought to my life and all the lessons they have taught me.  It was so much fun to help Miss KD celebrate this momentous birthday with such dear friends!  What a unique and extraordinary pair!  May you continue to bring joy to all you do!