I took the photo above because I couldn't believe how red the pumpkins were this year, and I was equally enthralled with the pale ones.
Hello to my readers and pals, and to all the beauties of fall.
I also noticed the gourds were bird-shaped. I took a pic of this posing pair:
So far, this page is meant to be an inspiration journal, more than it’s meant to share my life story. The tricky part is that I'll feel incomplete if I only talk about pretty things and things owned, without telling you about me as a person. I do hope to share more and more of myself as this little blog progresses. Especially my hand made paintings and things I sew. This page is called My Summer of Love, so I should probably write more about love, too.
Since Grey Gardens has been a topic of conversation for some of my favorite artists, bloggers, and wonderful people I know this year, it's a good time to tell you some more about my life. I've spent some of my career in places that, you might say, echo the beauty of Grey Gardens. Some of these mansions were "homes away from home" for me. I was steeped in them. Metaphorically I became a heaping spoonful of tea leaves; the buildings were teapots I was poured into and left to brew in.
My blog is making me realize I'm interested in the concept of humans being understood by one another...on some level, I think blogs can be about that. I'm sure much of this stems from the fact that I'm communicating with new people on My Summer of Love. So I'm not only speaking to close friends but also to people who do not know me well. I shouldn't give much thought to being understood... I remind friends and family to re-read their Ralph Waldo Emerson when they have similar concerns. I should take my own Emersonian advice when it comes to blogging! Mr. E would want me to transcend those notions.
At one mansion, after our curatorial work, we'd peel off our thin white cotton curating gloves and go eat lunch in the rose garden. We'd play badminton in the grass under towering evergreens and dive into a very private swimming pool. Brrr. Historic in-ground diving pools are deep and cold as the Dickens. My teeth chattering commenced and goosebumps came, even on the HOTTEST days. My friend and I cooled off, got some exercise, and played. We were carefree. Looking back on it, it was like heaven.
18th - 20th century fine art, ancient artifacts, and a surprising amount of equestrian tack were all over. The properties contained a sort of patchwork of the past and the present. They were treasure troves.
My work places weren't like the Beales' residence, of Grey Gardens fame, had become in the late 1960s and early 70s. The ones I came to were neither filthy nor disturbing. But, they were similar in that they were buildings that told stories of "the life before." It's sad to hear about all the bizarreness and decay that descended upon the Edies. They were beautiful human beings, according to the stories.
When I spent time doing museum work in architectural jewel boxes, the buildings were clean and spacious. They had electricity, running water, and funding. Money and good people are the two most fundamental elements required to protect old buildings and make them shine.
I snapped this of a doe mother and her spotted baby fawn:
They had lovely "bones" and we were supposed to return them to their original luster. We were assigned to curate the collections. We had to transform homes into something that tourists and academics could drink up. They were going to be used as places of beauty and centers of learning.
At some places where I worked, things had been destroyed, vandalized, or left to the elements. Other places where I worked, the collections were intact- every painting, teacup, letter, silhouette.
I've had the good fortune of spending days upon days of my life in rural settings. Of course there is a city girl inside me and there always will be, but even when I lived in my apt up high in the sky, one of my many blessings was that I could travel to an oasis every week, down close to the earth or the sea.
In 1954, Irving Berlin wrote, "Count your blessings (instead of sheep)." I try to follow the philosophy. I think this blog is helping me to do it, even more than I did before.
Fashion shoots in old buildings are effortlessly romantic. We did fashion shoots a plenty.
An awesome effect comes through the camera whenever gorgeous models are photographed against the imperfection of distressed buildings.
The photos of the model were taken by a professional for a catalog.
Here's another photo I took- I've always loved fireplaces. This one was taller than I was.
The heat, the scents, the glowing embers of a fireplace are addictive in my opinion. I grew up with one and now I always want a house with one.
In the city I remember seeing so many fireplaces that weren't in use, and I always thought it was a shame. If you live in a building where logs aren't allowed, you may be able to put some smokeless dripless candles in your fireplace...pillar candles can look pretty.
Luxurious fabrics contrasted with chipped paint and old woodwork.
To work on projects like these, you had to be a "visionary," which I tried to be, and hope that I'll continue to be for the rest of my life. In my experience curating, you can only do the work if you are a person who cares about honoring the past and enjoying the future.
Some of these photos were taken by me, some by people I worked with. The fashion shoot scans are a bit grainy, but in person the models in the rooms were breathtaking.
One day I'd like to show you even more photos, if you enjoy these.
Here's wishing that you soak up the beauty all around you this week!
Currently listening to: "Feels Like Home" written by Randy Newman 1993, performed by Edwina Hayes 2009