Monthly Archives: September 2011

Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #16- Toile de Jouy

One of my favorite fabrics is traditional Toile de Jouy. This is the type of print that can do it all- from walls to bed to furniture. For this display I even made a Toile mantel skirt highlighted by black ribbon.

1. Classic Toile de Jouy fabric from Joann’s

2. Eighteenth century print in the original frame

3. Glass urns filled to the brim with hydrangea

4. Staffordshire ceramic spaniels c. 1880-90 (these are my grandmother’s)

5. Book

6. This is the very same chair that appeared in my first mantel idea…only now it’s hidden beneath a Toile slipcover.

The hatbox is antique whereas the hat is a reproduction.

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs Series

~candid spaces~

A series of photographs showing home interiors and gardens as I found them. No effort was made in styling.

Note- The Little Falls, N.Y. library was originally built as a private home. It was later acquired by the town. Other parts of the old house were altered to fit book shelves, etc. however this space was left pretty much alone and serves as a reading room.

(Photo- Martha B.)

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~candid spaces~

Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

StyleFile #13: Fun Fireplaces

My Imaginary Magazine Cover- Saveur

My parents had an old apple tree on their farm in upstate New York. It was misshapen…almost ugly. And the apples from it weren’t that great looking either. But boy were they delicious. Mom would make the best applesauce or pies from them. The apples pictured here for my imaginary ‘Saveur‘ magazine cover come from a similar gnarled tree a few miles from our house. No one bothers picking them…except for me and the occasional deer.

(Photo- Martha B.)

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My Imaginary Magazine Covers – British Vogue, The World Of Interiors, This Old House, Marie Claire Maison

Garden Note #58: “An Apple A Day...”

Saturday Baking- Apple Crumble

Garden Note #71: Garden At Hick’s Farm

Scott and I visited the Hick’s eighteenth century farm in mid April of 2009. The trees were still bare that day and the air cold enough for us to wear our jackets. But that didn’t stop the local volunteers who were busy weeding and planting the beds in an enclosed garden.

Note- I’m hoping to make another trip out to the farm this fall.

(Photo- Martha B.)

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Garden Notes Series

The English Woman


Looking back at Fall/Winter 1984- British Vogue dedicates an issue to the English woman’s past and future. Most notable in the introduction is the mention of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister (quite a leap forward from the suffragettes of 1911), Queen Elizabeth (regarded as the “accessible queen” when compared to Queen Victoria) and the new royal to watch- a young Princess Diana.

Looking back at Fall/Winter 1984- Many English actresses look across the pond at Hollywood hoping to make an impact with American audiences. Twenty seven years ago three confident women did just that- Jane Seymour, Lesley Anne Down & Victoria Tennant (above).

Looking back at Fall/Winter 1984- Grace Coddington, working as fashion editor for the magazine, and photographer Bruce Weber use the classic English garden as an inspirational backdrop to some beguiling images.

Looking back at Fall/Winter 1984- Model wears a flecked brown tweed suit by Cerruti and…

a creamy yellow cashmere sweater set with plaid wool skirt by GorRay.

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011- British Vogue reexamines the English woman and what makes her “wonderfully inscrutable” and “utterly unique.”

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011- Vogue mentions again Margaret Thatcher (now the “no-nonsense English matriarch“), Princess Elizabeth (her roll not as queen but as an ambulance driver during WWll) and a new royal to watch- Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge.

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011-  Many Actresses like Sienna Miller, Emma Watson & Felicity Jones (above) think nothing of searching in both England and abroad for films and television work.

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011- This season’s clothing is all about  nostalgia (peter pan collar shirts, printed dresses and cosy knits) modeled by  British woman Lily Donaldson. The backdrop is not an English garden but a tiny island off the coast of Sweden.

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011- Lily wears a Bottega Veneta  mohair/gabardine coat, Alberta Perretti sleeveless coat and Cos poloneck.

Looking forward to Fall/Winter 2011- Cool weather layering with a cotton dress by Paul & Joe and handknit cardigan from Missoni.

(Portrait of Victoria Tennant by Paul Lange, 1984. Portrait of Felicity Jones by Jason Bell, 2011. Fashion photos with Lily Donaldson by Tom Criag & Fashion editor Bay Garnett, 2011)

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Chic Weekender

Women In Menswear

Laura Ashley Catalog- Autumn/Winter 1984

A Photo From…British Vogue, September 1977

IDEA- Wall Of Plates

I love the idea of filling a whole wall with a variety of ceramic plates. Many of the examples pictured above are by artist Hylton Nel and most likely out of my price range. Ahh…but there’s always Anthropologie.

(Photo- Simon Upton for The World of Interiors Magazine, 2011)

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IDEA- Painted Wainscot & Door

Grab Bag- Fine Art Plates

Based on classic paintings these plates are too display-worthy to keep hidden in a kitchen cupboard. Available at Whitbread And Wilkinson.

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Plate Collage

Get The Look #3: Artist’s Dining Room

Split Personality

Fall coat with contrasting fabrics in herringbone and dogstooth check.

Available at asos- Was £100. Now £80.

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Coat Ruling

Coat Tales- 2010

Woman Photographer- Dorothea Lange

A Brief Biography

1895 Dorothea Margartta Nutzhorn was born on May 25 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

1902 She contracts polio which leaves her with a withered right leg and noticeable limp.

1907- 1913 Dorothea’s father abandons the family forcing her to move in with a grandmother (until she is twenty-three.) She changes her surname Nutzhorn to Lange- her mother’s maiden name. Dorothea graduates from high school with a desire to study photography.

1918- 1920 She leaves on a whim to see the world only to have her money stolen in San Francisco. She’s forced to find work in photo finishing. This unexpected event sets the stage for a life in photography. Dorothea marries painter Maynard Dixon.

1930- 1939 The Depression hits. She decides to venture on to the streets to document the life around her. Dorothea divorces Maynard and marries Paul Taylor Schuster, professor of agricultural economics at the University of California.

1940 Her pictures are exhibited for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art.

1941- 1942 Dorothea is awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. At the outbreak of World War ll she photographs the internment camps of Japanese Americans.

1945-1950 Her work is interrupted due to illness.

1952 Life Magazine hires her and fellow photographer Ansel Adams to do ‘Three Mormon Towns.’

1955 She participates in the exhibition ‘The Family of Man‘ with nine of her images.

1956- 1964 Dorothea travels abroad to Europe and Asia working constantly.

1964 While preparing for a retrospective of her pictures, she dies of cancer on October 11.

Fashion- Blouse & pants from J.Crew, single buckle strap shoes at Urban Outfitters

(Portrait of Lange by Rondel Partridge, 1936. Camera- Ebay)

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Woman Photographer- Helen Johns Kirtland

Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #15- A Hippie Vibe

While shopping at Joann’s I came across their pre-cut fabric samples used for quilting. Before I knew it, I had collected a dozen or more floral prints with the idea of decorating the wall with them.

1. Most fabrics from Joann’s. Others are from my stash.

2. Antique framed needlework

3. Basket

4. Vase with baby’s breath

5. Butterfly is from my own collection.

6. Assorted bottles…(large one is from Anthropologie & the other two are from my dad)

7. Feathers were found on my parents’ old farm in upstate New York

8. House plants

9. I got this old wooden trunk at an Antiques store that’s now closed. The cost? $10.

10. Paperback books, yellow mug (ebay) and bird’s cage (local consignment shop)

11. & 12. Vintage record albums and c. 1969 guitar

The rag rug came from Ikea.

A peek at next week’s mantel!

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs Series

Design Dilemma- What Should I Do With A 1970’s Kitchen?

Then&Now: 1970’s Crafts

Vocabulary #2: Family Picnic

Lil’Pix #99: Quilts