Tag: Architecture

Seven Things I Love (5-9-2022)

1. This Outfit for the Met Gala 2022 – People have a lot of strong opinions about the Met Gala. Some say it’s an ostentatious event full of self-absorbed, pretentious individuals who have too much money. (After all, tickets are $35,000* a piece.)

Others say it’s a pretentious event full of ostentatious, self-absorbed individuals who have too much money. (Just kidding.)

They see it as an opportunity to showcase creativity in the areas of fashion and the performing arts.

Whatever side you fall on, you can’t deny, it’s a spectacle.

My interest is dependent upon the theme. This year I was excited about the theme – Gilded Glamour – because I love Victorian and Edwardian era clothing. I expected people to use fashion of the “Gilded Age” as inspiration for their gowns/ensembles. There were a number of incredible designers of that period (Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Jeanne Paquin, Madeleine Chériut, and John Redfern to name a few) as well as a few modern designers who use fashion of the era for inspiration (Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix.)

For the most part I was disappointed.

But then I saw Emma Corrin, wearing this outfit by Miu Miu, and, well, at least the Met Gala gave us this. Corrin did her homework (or her designer did her homework) and IMHO she won the Met Gala.

Emma’s outfit is a modern take on one worn by Mr. Evander Berry, known as “The King of the Dudes,” in 1888. He was a Gilded Age fashion icon and once changed his clothes FORTY times between breakfast and lunch. (You can click on his photo below to read more.)

There were three other dresses that I think did the theme justice – Nicola Coughlan, Cardi B., and Billie Eilish.

*Did you know that the Met Gala is a benefit for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? The Costume Institute, which is self funded, will be receiving $17.4 million from the 2022 gala – a record amount.

[Seen at the Met Gala and found in Vogue]

2. This Barbie Doll – It’s sold out, but if you click on the photo below you’ll be sent to the Mattel page with all the close-up photos. The amount of detail is incredible. The original cost was $75. They’re already selling on eBay for $200-$500.

[Found by Jeannie and found on the Modern Met]

Also this Barbie Doll…

Part of a quartet of Star Wars Barbies. In addition to C-3PO Barbie I also love Stormtrooper Barbie but honestly, they’re all fabulous. They were released in 2020. At that time they cost $100 each. Amazingly you can actually still find them. C-3PO appears to be the one most available. It currently costs around $150. Stormtrooper Barbie is harder to find and is priced between $225 and $450. Chewbacca is running minimally for $500. And Rey is $200+.

3. This Guy, Perfectly Copying How Specific Actors Run – no words necessary.

[Found by my “little” bro, Chuck. Thanks Charlie!]

4. This Amazon Commercial – I abhor Jeff Bezos which means, by association, I hate all things Amazon. I stopped my Amazon Prime membership from renewing and I only order from Amazon when I absolutely have to. (I always try to buy from small, local businesses.)

Having said that, even greedy corporations can do good things once in a while. And I think that is the case with the all-female delivery services they have set up in South India. Giving women employment opportunities in Kerala, Chennai, Kadi, and Gujarat is a big deal.

One thing I’ve learned in my years of supporting charities that help women: when you help women there is a much higher chance for success (i.e personal growth & advancement, health & education of their children, safety & security, etc.)

(If the video isn’t showing above click on the image below to go to YouTube.)

5. This Shel Silverstein Stamp – I don’t think that there are many people in the U.S. under the age of 60 who aren’t, at the very least, familiar with Mr. Silverstein’s book The Giving Tree, or who haven’t chuckled while reading/hearing one of his poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends.

I, along with so many other GenXers, have been a huge fan, so when I saw these stamps I knew that I had to get some. And I did, three sheets.

Being a children’s librarian for twelve years (before becoming a library director for another dozen years) I’ve read more Silverstein than the average person.

One poem that I (and pretty much every other librarian in the world) really love is his poem “Overdues” from ‘A Light in the Attic.’ Course as most libraries are now eliminating fines, some day it will be completely “dated.” Still, probably not in my lifetime, so I’m not going to worry about it!

But it seems that more people are now seeing the message of ‘The Giving Tree’ as being negative. I sort of get that. As a kid ‘The Giving Tree’ wasn’t one of my favorite books. I didn’t like that the kid used up every little bit of the tree. I thought the kid should have let the tree thrive and grow. (My favorite book was actually Mrs. Twiggley’s Tree.)

Still, the majority of Silverstein’s iconic books were only in black and white. I’m sure they wanted a picture that everyone would recognize but that also had color.

[Found on USPS]

6. This Perfectly Aligned Telescope – If you click on the picture below you can get all the scientific details but ultimately you can see, the photo on the left is the normal shot they’ve gotten in the past, and the photo on the right is with the new perfectly aligned telescope. MAGNIFICENT!

[Found on Gizmodo]

7. This Frank Lloyd Wright “Preserve” – When FLW designed homes he took every little detail into consideration. This is why most of the homes he designed included FLW furniture made especially for the house. He also was very aware of environment, making sure that whatever he constructed blended well and since he often used nature for inspiration his homes were located in green, woodsy spaces.

A couple who were trying to sell their FLW house couldn’t find a buyer. Urban creep was threatening to overtaken one of FLW’s creations. So a very remarkable solution was found.

This story made me weepy (happy weepy.)

[Seen on Sunday Morning – obviously.]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week


What to Watch This Week

Seven Things I Love (7-12-2021)

  1. 1. These Japanese Pastries – Nobody makes more delicious looking pastries than the Japanese. These are from a patisserie in Iwakura, Japan. Aren’t they incredible? For more photos visit this Instagram.

2. This New Book by Architectural Writer John Ota – A friend of mine recommended this book and I must say, it wasn’t what I expected. It far exceeded my expectations!

Ota and his wife wanted to create the perfect kitchen so he decided to travel across North America visiting kitchens from various eras found in a baker’s dozen of renowned homes, several belonging to some rather famous people including Thomas Jefferson, Georgia O’Keefe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Child and Louis Armstrong.

Each chapter begins with a simple, hand-drawn sketch of a kitchen as well as a floor plan. Not surprisingly, Ota discusses the aesthetics, features, and functionality of the kitchens but he also covers the history and culture of the person, place and/or time associated with the room. He ends the chapters with a short letter to his wife Fanny, sharing with her what he learned and what he felt they could incorporate into their own space.

Link to WorldCat.org (to see if your local public library has a copy)
Link to the book at Bookshop.org

3. This Video of Alan Rickman Making Tea – as the title says, it’s epic. (It’s been around for a while but Alan was trending a week or so ago and whenever I think of him I think of this, among the dozens of other fantastic roles he’s done.)

4. These Bulldog Puppies – If you don’t want to rub those little bellies you aren’t human. (And those piggies!)

5. This Art Jeweler, Sarella Suarez – I bought the piece below (in silver) at an art festival this weekend. I LOVE IT so much! It’s about 30 inches long so it can be doubled and worn as two necklaces or worn as one long necklace. During festival season many artists have few pieces listed on their websites so at the moment Sarella only has a couple things in her online shop – you may want to check back again around October.

6. This Hydrangea Bush – I love hydrangeas but I had never seen this color, isn’t it gorgeous??? A friend of mine and I went to the Whitefish Bay Art Fest on Saturday and we parked on one of the side streets. As we were making our way toward the main road we saw these. It wowed us.

7. This Trailer for Season Two of Ted Lasso – There are a lot of shows I’m watching but this one brings me the greatest joy. Ted Lasso is Mr. Rogers for adults. If you haven’t watched it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. (Season two begins streaming on July 23rd!)

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (4-5-2021)

  1. 1. This Comedian’s Solution to Gun Control – So simple. I’ve only recently discovered Steve Hofstetter and he’s hilarious. I start watching his videos on YouTube and end up watching for hours.

By the way, I bought a small portable (annotated) version of the constitution which I carry with me. I’ve been surprised at how often I refer to it. Originally I got it because I wanted to be like RBG – but I never thought I’d actually use it. Turns out there’s a very practical reason for carrying one around and it’s no surprise that Justice Ginsburg would know that.

2. This Roundabout Mural in My Hometown of Dubuque – I’ve never seen this myself but then I’ve not been “home” for a few years because, well, you know why. I was curious to see if this was a thing, if maybe artists were doing this around the US or even around the world but I couldn’t find any others (admittedly I only did one search.) I did, however, find that public traffic sculptures are a thing.

3. This Video Clip from Sesame Street – most of you who grew up on Sesame Street will remember John John. Be sure to watch all the way through and see if you don’t have a big smile on your face when this is over.

4. This Video from 1949 about a “Step-Saving” Kitchen, from the Department of Agriculture – Created for farming families, the video is pure vintage delight. Set aside for the moment the whole housewives (only) do all the cooking thing, and focus on the design aspect. There are actually many things I wish were standard components in today’s kitchens. The cookbook holder on the inside of the cabinet and the garbage hatch were two things I was most impressed by.

I also loved the counter height analysis. I wonder if they still make “pull-out boards”. As a taller person I find most counters are usually too low for me.

A few last thoughts… the video made me miss the “olden” days, just a little bit. Things like having a landline in the kitchen and the little desk you’d sit at while taking a call. I also thought it was interesting that they chose to have a woman narrating the video even though it was about architectural design. It’s a little bit of a relief to know that in 1949 they didn’t feel it would be necessary to have a man present the plans. I realize it was for something considered a “woman’s world” but it would have been the man making the decisions and paying for it.

5. These Hand-Painted Wallpapers – Anyone who knows me knows that I’m wallpaper junkie. And chinoiserie wallpaper, especially hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, well, it makes my heart go pitter-patter. When I bought my current house (it’s my Golden Girls’ Dream House,) I knew I absolutely had to have wallpaper put up in a few of the rooms. And so I did and in my opinion, the wallpaper I chose is magnificent. But admittedly, none of it can compare to these.


Chinoiserie (or China Style) “is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music.”

From Wikipedia

The story of how de Gournay began could possibly be movie-worthy:

Started in 1986, founder Claud Cecil Gurney started de Gournay following an unsuccessful search for experts to restore the antique Chinoiserie wallpaper in his family home. His passion for art and Chinese history brought him to China where he investigated the possibility of working with local artists to replicate the pieces he longs for in his home.

Once in China, he quickly discovered the government’s preference for mass design, making traditional hand painting of wallpaper a dying art. In an effort to save the vanishing tradition, he widened his search and eventually located artists whose parents, grandparents and ancestors had been trained in these specific techniques and who shared his wish to continue the traditions.

De Gournay || The World’s Most Beautiful Hand-Painted Wallpapers; Pendulum Magazine; April 30, 2018

Swoon.

6. These Peeps Sandals – My friend Leann made these for Easter. I think they are adorable! Full disclosure, she said that it’s a bugger to work with marshmallow (even marshmallow that you’ve allowed to harden) and a glue gun.

7. This Training Video for Wendy’s Employees – Only in the 80s. It was a simpler time. MUCH simpler. (Still, this brought me much happines.)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


It’s….

Do you have a library card?

Seven Things I Love (1-4-2021)

1. This History of Chestnut Trees – this actually is something to both love and hate. I hate the story behind why we’ve lost the vast majority of the American Chestnut trees in North America (not surprisingly it had to do with some wanker deciding to import a dozen Chinese Chestnut trees to the US from Japan. Because there will always be people who have to have bigger, better, new.) There’s further details on the blight here.

But what I love is history, and the history of the Chestnut tree is fascinating and extensive. These were enormous trees, strong, hearty, and they provided for everyone and everything that lived around them. Another thing I love is that there are people working to bring back the American Chestnut. One organization in particular, the American Chestnut Foundation, leads the show and they are getting close. According to this article from 2019, the final stage/cut should take place this year and then they should be able to start repopulating the Appalachian Forests with blight-resistant American Chestnut trees. Hope!

2. This Article on the Regency Design of Bridgerton – Have you watched Bridgerton yet? If not, get thee to the television and start streaming thy Netflix!

My favorite era in British history has always been the Edwardian era (and I mean design-wise) with the Tudor era in a close second. BUT I must say, this show made me start to wonder if I should rethink that.

3. This Incredible Photograph of the Chicago Skyline – it really does look like flames are shooting up!

4. This Video of Robots Dancing to “Do You Love Me?”Boston Dynamics is one of the most advanced Robotics company in the world. They have a huge following on social media and for good reason – their robots are incredibly impressive. They created this video for their fans for a holiday treat. AMAZING! (full disclosure – I’m a robotics nerd.)

5. This Incredible Bridge – my friend Kathy sent me this photo. It’s the Golden Bridge in Vietnam. We were trying to decide whether we loved it or found it disturbing. Truthfully, it’s both but in the end we decided we loved it much more than we found it disturbing. I think it’s all a matter of your upbringing and how you look at it.

6. These Pandemic Words – Here’s an article that includes an interview with Ben Zimmer who is the chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. They discussed not only the winning words – COVID was the word of the year – but also some of the nominees. Here are a few that I liked:

gleethreshing (ph) the opposite of doomscrolling, reading some good news for a change.

oysgezoomt (ph), being Zoomed out. You’re fatigued by being overexposed to Zoom.

Very interesting too about the term BIPAC. Need to read more about that.

Here’s another article on how the newly developed pandemic words are helping people cope.

7. This Short Film ‘Opera Performed by Animals’ – it’s from a few years ago but it makes me as happy now as it did in 2019. And HEDGEHOGS!!!


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Have a MARVELOUS week!

Five Things I Love (7-27-2020)

1. Dr. Anthony Fauci on the cover of ‘In Style’ magazine. Yowzah! The article is an interview with Dr. Fauci and his wife, Dr. Christine Grady, and it’s super interesting. I think it’s amazing that we finally made a rock star out of a scientist!

2. This article calling for the return of Parasols – I am taking this on as a personal mission.

3. Home Movie: The Princess Bride – Damn you Quibi! I have been resisting subscribing to any more streaming services. Quibi isn’t even really like other streaming services, you can only watch it on your phone (or tablet) and the films/episodes are no more than ten minutes in length. Initially I saw a trailer for a series called “Dummy” with Anna Kendrick and I wanted to see it but not enough to subscribe but after I saw this video, well, that was it. The clip below is a compilation of the episodes telling an abridged version of the movie. If you want to see the entire thing you will need to subscribe and I tell you, it is WORTH IT! Not only can you download the episodes to watch anytime, but if you turn you phone sideways you can see the original film side-by-side with the “Home Movie” for comparison. It’s marvelous!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=3pfXZEPcEFg&feature=emb_title

4. The Moving of Booth Cottage – a Frank Lloyd Wright gem, Booth Cottage was purchased by a couple who wanted to tear it down to build a new house. W-T-F??? What kind of person tears down a Frank Lloyd Wright???? Anyway, a group of conservationists raised about $300,000 to help get the house moved to a new location in Glencoe and also worked out a long-term lease from the municipality. Once the foundation is laid and the house is put in place it will become a museum. Thank God there are still people in the world who value history and art. If you don’t want to watch the video here is an article from the Chicago Tribune with a few good photos.

5. Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me?’ – watched this documentary over the weekend and it was excellent. Whitney Huston was only two years older than me and I had pretty much grown up loving her, so like most people my age, her death was devastating. Seeing her in this movie was like bringing her back to life, even if it was just for a few hours. It’s difficult knowing that, had it been a different time, she might be alive today. And it’s frustrating knowing that so many people used her. Still, I will be watching it again.

6. Every player and coach on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee before the national anthem tonight in D.C. – this made my heart SOAR!

7. Charlie Berens & Alex Wehrley – I think I’ve included Charlie on my list before. I’m including him (and his wife Alex) again because he’s just so damned hilarious. It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true!

8. This “Remarkable ‘Reading Station’ by Charles Hindley & Co., London, с. 1890″ – the stuff that (librarian’s) dreams are made of!

9. Olivia de Havilland cussing up a storm – we lost a true star this weekend when Miss de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She has always been one of my favorite actresses from the Silver Screen. Not only was she beautiful but she was a woman who didn’t take shit from anyone and she stood up for things she believed in.

Have a
FANTASTIC WEEK!