See also The Jewelry Wardrobe
Sunday, March 28, 2010
See also The Jewelry Wardrobe
Thursday, March 25, 2010
There is an old fashioned elegance to a church rummage sale, quietly occurring decade after decade in churches throughout New England. Yet, they seem surprisingly contemporary with our new focus on re-using and recycling. And one need not even be a church go-er to partake in this tradition.
All parties win with this scenario: People who donate have a nice excuse for a clear out. Young families, or bargain hunters in general, are able to get high quality items. (People can be more willing to donate better items knowing that proceeds benefit the church's programs.) And the church itself benefits year after year with this more predictable stream of income.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
J. Barbour & Sons rightfully has the reputation of producing the best quilted jackets available. (See overview here.) Recently they introduced another that is worth highlighting - the Keeperwear Quilt.
While designed for shooting, as evidenced by the shoulder patches, it is a marvelously practical garment for everyday wear. All Barbour's quilted jackets are surprisingly good at blocking cold winds in general and this in no exception.
It features sizable front pockets, an interior cell phone pocket, as well as back map pockets. Its length gives adequate coverage, and its knit cuffs prevent chilly winds from blowing up the arms. As with all Barbour garments, the hardware and construction are first rate.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In the age of McMansions it is worth taking stock of what kind of shelter (and even aesthetic) works best on the human scale. Many of us might be happier in smaller houses rather than larger.
While one does not relish the idea of feeling cramped, there can be a sublime cleverness to space and how it is used. Many guests leave a house happy when inspired by great organization, as opposed to oppressed when surrounded by a deadness of unloved rooms and expanses of blank walls.
It is a satisfying parallel challenge to ask oneself what is the minimum needed to meet the requirements of living in a satisfying way, which should be different for everyone. By paring down possessions to the "need it or love it" categories, we drastically reduce our "need" for needless space.
This is not to imply in any way that one should sacrifice quality, beauty or truly important space. And it is also not to say that large is never good. The Stately Homes of Britain have their own cache. However, one might find the Vicarage next door having more appeal.
Finally, nothing can compare to the feeling of space given by nature. Therefore, one might easily conclude, despite the current philosophy, that "Large piece of land and small house" handily beats "Large house and small piece of land".
Sunday, March 14, 2010
If you want a solid Women's Rugby Shirt, I have found Ralph Lauren.to offer the best.
- Hefty cotton jersey
- Taped twill collar (just the right size)
- Rubber buttons
- Knit cuffs
- Tennis tails
- Awning stripes (in the proper width)
- Rich dyes
- Great stripe combinations
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Spodes Gloucester: One generation's daily dishes can become another's heirloom.Choosing the right china wardrobe is challenging. Different criteria conflict. The decisions are difficult to reverse. And family history is often involved.
This balancing act can seem impossible. Subverting quality and taste for disposability is depressing. Going too formal and overly high maintenance only serves to make all involved nervous.
However, at its core, the right wardrobe should be assembled and used by the same criteria as clothes, cars, accessories, and furniture. Most importantly, dishes give a feeling that needs to be appropriate for and aligned to the situation.
This means that it is critical, when one plans their dish wardrobe, to think in terms of four distinct categories.
- There are the informal everyday dishes which need not be unattractive, but should be somewhat easily replicable.
- There are the in between dishes, used at gatherings or other notable occasions, which can include old and or handed down dishes. (Hand washing may be required, which in and of itself, can be pleasurable.)
- There is the more formal china, in both materials and patterns.
- And there are holiday dishes.
I can't stand living with objects that I have to tiptoe around and hardly dare to touch. I like to be able to sit on chairs, eat at tables, drink from glasses and collapse onto beds without feeling that I am committing sacrilege or risking breakage and financial ruin. I now live with furniture and objects that are either virtually indestructible or easily replaceable. Old, perhaps, but sturdy. I avoid fragility.You should own your possessions. Your possessions should not own you.
A few chips can go a long way in eliminating tension around china. To quote Tasha Tudor, "I would rather use a thing and have it broken than hide it in a box and never see it."
Second, across all categories, with very few exceptions, old or new, the best dishes are made in England. The English excel in this category and manage to, like in so many other categories as well, effortlessly combine high quality and great taste with a low key feel. Limoges, from France, in contrast, is of very high quality, but mostly falls into formal and tense category.
Finally, tension ensues when one's goal is to impress, not share. Dishes are an expression of graciousness. They are there to make everyone feel comfortable and enjoy the gathering, not draw attention.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
|Some of My Older Lilly Skirts|
|My well-read first edition of A Wonderful Time|