Monthly Archives: July 2008

Lil’Pix #69: A Spring Pig

Fern couldn’t take her eyes off the tiny pig. “Oh,” she whispered. “Oh, look at him! He’s absolutely perfect.”

“Can I have a pig, too, Pop?” asked Avery.

“No, I only distribute pigs to early risers,” said Mr. Arable. “Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of a bed promptly. Let’s eat!”

Words from “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B.White. Tweed dress at Jil Sander.

(Photo by Tim Walker for British Vogue)

Vocabulary #9: Guest Room

guest room- a room in a home set aside for the use of visiting guests.

(Photo- House Beautiful)

Lil’Pix #68: 1970′s Hairstyle- Braids

As kids my sister and I both had long, straight hair, so we enjoyed trying out new hairstyles on each other. I recently picked up a fun little booklet on hairstyles from the early 70′s. Check this page from it- all braids!

(Photo- Seventeen Guide to Hair, 1969/70)

A Mexican Memory

I had been in the bus for over two hours and my legs began to cramp. I tried to move them but it didn’t help. I looked out the window smeared with dirt and wished I could open it for some fresh air. I watched the scenery go by like a slow movie. The terrain of Mexico was dry, but also quite beautiful. I could only guess the names of the many types of trees and shrubs.

The bus gave a jerk and I knew the driver had downshifted to stop at a small store and gas station. The bus rattled up to the one pump and stopped. From the broken door of the store came a woman. She had  native Indian features- red brown skin, jet black hair and deep dark eyes. She began to fill the tank but kept a watchful eye on those of us who left the bus to enter her small store. Since I didn’t want a Coke or chips, I waited outside. For a while I just watched her finish filling the tank. Behind the pump stood a small girl. I hadn’t seen her come up. She had the same Indian features. I also saw her dress- which was very dirty with holes in it the size of my hands. On her head was a bright orange scarf.

Our eyes met and I smiled. She didn’t smile back. I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out some candy. I called to her mother and asked  in my halting Spanish if I could give it to her child. The mother eyed me suspiciously. She looked at her daughter and saw the pleading eyes. She relented and told the girl to go get it. The little girl, though timid at first, accepted the gift. I talked to her briefly since I saw we were beginning to board the bus. I asked how old she was. “I’m ten,” she replied proudly and gave a smile. I smiled back. Then I made a blunder. I told her I liked her scarf on her head. Her smile left her face. Her dark eyes filled with tears. I asked what was wrong. “I have no hair. Mama cut it off because I have bugs.” I knelt down and looked into her sad face. We said nothing to each other. The bus driver started the engine. I looked at the girl and asked if I could take her picture. She smiled slightly. I only took one photograph and then got onto the bus. I sat down and continued to wonder about her. I still do.

In my early twenties I spent a summer doing volunteer work in and around Mexico City. While there I met two young girls- one at a remote country store; the other at a children’s center. After coming home, I took a writing class in college where I combined these two girls into the one character in the essay above.


The Mexican girl I met at the store.


And the little girl who wore the orange scarf is on the left.

(Roll film photos- Martha B.)

Related Nibs post-

Mexican Bag

Vocabulary #8: Night-Light

night-light: a light kept burning through out the night.

(Photo- habitat)

Lil’Pix #67: Mom, Where’s My Stuff?

An old wooden locker in the entryway of a home in Europe stores each family member’s belongings- hats, gloves, car keys, etc.

But whose is whose?

Each door is identified by the owner’s photo!

(Photo- Vogue Living)

Garden Note #24: Zucchini Centerpiece

Other gardeners warned me, but did I listen? No! I went ahead and planted a bed of zucchini and now we could stock Trader Joe’s with our harvest! My problem is what to do with those that are the size of baseball bats! One solution is to create a zucchini vase. I dug out a hole and placed florist foam that was soaked with water inside it. I picked some flowers from our side yard and…voila- a picnic table centerpiece! Now what to do with the rest of the zucchinis!

(Photo- Martha B.)

Vocabulary #7: Bathing Cap

bathing cap- a tight fitting cap of rubber, plastic, etc. worn to keep the hair from getting wet in swimming.

Jump in the pool today!

(Photo- Eliza magazine. Cap by Headcovers.)

StyleFile #41: Antique Marries Modern

Not too long ago the formula for decorating was: old house- antique furniture, contemporary house- modern furniture. Well, those days are gone. Today designers are putting mid-century modern in an eighteenth century farmhouse or wonderful antiques in a modern setting. If you plan to take the plunge, keep in mind the shapes, colors, textures, and patterns of the mix. Other than that, just have fun!

Dining room traditional- a 19th century table is tweaked with modern polypropylene Panton chairs from Design Within Reach.

Dining room modern- very contemporary Harvey Probber rosewood and steel table is warmed up with antique wooden mahogany George II styled chairs, metal Empire chandelier and the Samode rug.

Living room traditional – classics like the Jefferson bust and Regency chair loosen up when paired with the gray Dunbar chair, graphic pillow and glass-and-steel coffee table by Poul Kjaerholm.

Living room modern – colorful photographs by artist Jonathan Lewis blend beautifully with the paisley covered George Smith sofa, Hickory tray table and antique candle sticks.

Bedroom traditional- furnished with an antique Louis XVl fautieuil chair and converted oil lamp, the bedroom embraces a modern attitude with the queen size platform bed by Bo Concept, Maine Cottage Furniture quilt, lucite table and West Elm rug.

Bedroom modern- sleek white cabinets soften with an antique sleigh bed, Eleanor’s Ribbon bed linens and 19th century bronze Japanese vase.

Then&Now: Inspired By Dorian Leigh

Just recently “fire and ice” fashion model Dorian Leigh died at the age of 91. She graced numerous magazine covers with her elegance during the late 40′s and 50′s. Although she didn’t set out to become a model, she was a natural.  She was very deliberate in how she composed herself for each shot- carefully positioning her body and hands into exquisite and purposeful ways. Photographers were always amazed at this. This one beautiful photograph of Dorian appears to have inspired a recent article on wedding dresses by Elegant Bride. Take a look-

Then- The cool elegance of Dorian Leigh from the cover of Vogue, 1946. Keep in mind the muted colors and her pose in this picture compared to those that follow.

Now- Doesn’t this look like a picture from Dorian’s portfolio? The lovely model is wearing the soft colors of a chiffon strapless gown by Anne Barge. ( Courture Spring 2008, #11) Straw hat in cream from Eric Javits.

Now- A pose Dorian would approve of! The dress is a white organza ribbon folded gown with sweetheart neckline at Palazzo. Added to it is blue satin sash from Carmela Sutera. White organdy hat by Helen Kaminski.

Now- White pleated silk organza halter gown with dropped waist from St. Pucchi.( Sposa #Z243) Chiffon scarf at Echo.

Now- White, nude and blush hand draped silk gown with pleated tulle skirt by J. Mendel.

Now- Dramatic white silk satin organza and tulle overlay withlight gray ribbon from Angel Sanchez.

For more about Dorian Leigh, read her out-of-print autobiography called “The Girl Who Had Everything.” I found her views of the modeling world and her own life to be very interesting.