Saturday, January 23, 2016

Vraiment, je ne regrette rien.

Edith and my New Hat
On this Saturday night in January, the governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, has ordered drivers in New York City off the road. We are in the midst of a snow storm with a total of 28 inches forecast by tomorrow.

We are nice and cosy in our apartment, having stocked up on provisions yesterday. And since we live in a cooperative apartment building, we have people to shovel and clear our sidewalks for us.

Amid this swirling maelstrom of white stuff, I would like to show you a hat that I just finished.
 The Edith Piaf doll is by
Hayley McCulloch.
I purchased it in 2012 from Hayley
as she and Abby Goodman were posted
outside of the New Museum with their
Hayley (on left) and Abby.
I thought it apt to quote from
Edith's signature song,
"Non, je ne regrette rien."
No regrets.
 I am happy to have found a way to
showcase Hayley's dolly for
everyone to see.

Stay warm mes amis.

Listen to Edith, ici.

À Bientôt!




Sunday, January 3, 2016

Color It 2016

Let's Remember Color
This year, let's remember color.

"Don't forget mink comes in bright green, bright yellow etc.

Also chinchilla comes in many colors."

Memo from Mrs. Vreeland to Mrs. Mellen
April 17, 1969
 Mrs. Vreeland, how is this for color?
Richard Cramer and I at the
Textile Study Group of New York event.
The incredible Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
gave a lecture this evening to the group.
Sue Kreitzman, who never forgets color,
Valerie of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, et moi.
I am wearing the Neo Geo print tunic of my
own design and a hat by Lola.
Color on Elke and Jean.
Elke Kuhn with Jean of The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
at our B Bar brunch.
 Color at brunch on New Year's Day.
The inimitable Jean and Valerie aka The
Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, organized this
fabulous brunch at B Bar.
Richard and I coordinated our colors.
On Richard, shirt from Coton Doux.
On me, dress by Madame Matovu and hat by Matta.
With us: Antonia and Elke.
What a great way to start 2016.
Let us bring more color to our lives.
And P.S., the buttermilk pancakes were fantastic.
Thanks to Denton Taylor for these photos.
B Bar on the Bowery Blowout!
L to R: Front Row: Charlotte, Jean, Valerie, Judy, Elke & Richard.
Second Row: Robin, Christine (X), Denton, Sue, Antonia, Carol, Diana & Teresa.
Bonne Année!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Inspiring

Anatomy of an 
Inspiration Board
I have not been blogging at Femme et Fleur as much as I would have wanted to of late. Perhaps, like Diana Nyad, when she swam from Cuba to Miami in 2013, I have been in the Doldrums. Of course, Diana needed the Doldrums -- a calm sea that is -- in order to complete her swim. I think artists need the Doldrums once in awhile too.

To get out of the Doldrums it's a good idea to get inspired. I create an Inspiration Board on my studio wall. When we moved to our apartment, I asked our architect to create a wall using sanded homasote. It creates a lovely gray background for tacking things up.

My pins of choice are map pins and lovely hat pins that my step-daughter, Dianna, found for me.
My lifetime supply of beautiful,
vintage pins.
Here is my current Inspiration Board
image by image.
 I have a collection of postcards which I keep
in a plastic bag with a note that says:
Collection -- Not for Sending Out.
I asked Richard to go through them and
pick out ones that he liked for my Inspiration Board.
Audrey turned up quite a lot.
 From a vintage Vogue.
I am so happy that they found the pink.
Choosing images for the board is intuitive.
Usually a color and image theme develops.
 From The New York Times.
I love the dangling contraption hanging
off her glasses. It's a new accessory.
The color palette of sherbet hues is delightful.
I collect images
from magazines and newspapers and keep 
them in a box labeled "Images."
 Two of Richard's postcard choices.
Left: a hat by Marie Louise (French, 1912) 
in the collection of
the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On the right, a painting by Christian Schad (1894-1982).
 Icons and terrific actresses, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Have you seen their show Grace and Frankie on Netflix?
It's funny and sophisticated.
Jane is sooo slim and put together,
Lily is the hippie of the two.
 An "Audrey" from Richard's selection, and 
a collage drawing I did 7 years ago.
Oy vey, where do the years go?
 One of my favorite movies of all time.
Saw it in London in 1965.
The whole movie is sung like an opera.
I was with my boyfriend and when we left the
theater, he started singing instead of talking.
 A design by Dagobert Peche (1887-1923) and
a photo of George Balanchine with
Tanaquil Le Clercq.
 Clockwise from top: A Sonia Delaunay design, 
a painting by the Lebanese artist, Saloua Raouda Choucair,
and a picture of a dress by Issey Miyake
sent to me by a national treasure by the
name of Inge Brown.
 Clockwise from top left: a Liberty of London design,
a dress by Ossie Clark with fabric by Celia Birtwell
and a drawing by me.
 A drawing by me.
 A drawing by me and a feathered figure from the 20s.
When I lived in Philadelphia, I found a group of these
place cards in a thrift shop. They are
handmade, and look like they were
used on New Year's Eve.
I think I paid $2 for the lot of them.
 The perfect specimen of manhood,
Gregory Peck.
 A page from Vogue with a painting by Niki de Saint Phalle.
I believe the model is Marisa Berenson
 Top, a painting by Joseph Stella.
Bottom, a birthday greeting from old friends,
Dyan and Michael.
 A page from a vintage Vogue.
 Carey Mulligan with an actor who I do
not know. I love her hat, dress and popsicle.
Anyone know the movie? Looks like South America.
The first one to give me the right answer 
will receive a prize.
 A brick-pattern body suit with denim
jumper by Patrick Kelly.
From Life Magazine.
Jackie Kennedy visiting the Temple of Bayon in Cambodia. 
The gentleman on the far left is Lord Harlech,
British Ambassador to the U.S.
How nice to have a handsome Brit on your arm.
Jackie's pants look custom made. They do
not have a waistband. What do you call that in dressmaking?
 Anyone know? Tell me, and I will send you a prize.
This was her customary way of standing with
hands behind her back.
 A paper doll I made at the
Carla Fernandez workshop
at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
 Jackie with Prince Sihanouk in Cambodia
and a royal umbrella bearer.
The little-girl bedraggled look in fashion.
A kind of Pitiful Pearl for the ultra-hip set.
My Inspiration, all put together!

À Bientôt!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Musings on Paris


 The quiet square.
Delacroix was there.
Pom poms are always a good idea.
 An orange shoe
a dancer wore
before she tore
her ligaments.
 Perfect and still
she worked in a mill.
Now she minds the till.
 I say old chap,
will Coton Doux?
Would you like the poppyseed?
My last meal?
In a pink box, si vous plait.
 Sand on your shoes,
before you snooze.
 She saw me take this shot,
and I was not smoking pot.
So Me, the nose!

Au Revoir.
















Monday, November 2, 2015

Road Trip!

Leaf Peeping, A Cake and a Baby.
It's All in a Weekend's Journey to
Upstate New York
When there's a new baby in the family, everyone wants to meet her. She's little, chubby and cute as all get out. It's been about six months since my niece, Sara, and her husband Dan welcomed their new baby, Celia, and the Aunts were eager to see her.

It's a bit of a haul from New York City to upstate New York, where they live, so it took a while to put the trip together. But last weekend, my sister, Jeanne, Richard and I drove to Syracuse to my sister Susan's house. Susan is Sara's mother and baby Celia's grandmother.

Road Trip!
Jeanne's dog, Fern, came with us.
She doesn't like riding in the car, but she
had her nice, comfy bed in the back.
 We are underway.
An azure sky frames
a hillside of brilliant, autumnal colors along Route 17.
 Nearing Roscoe, New York, home
of the world-famous Roscoe Diner.
 The Roscoe Diner is legendary in our family
as a stop on our trips to visit Grandma Kate in
Tonawanda when we were kids.
 Located in Sullivan County, (The Catskills) The Roscoe Diner
 provides a convenient place to stop.
A scenic view of Route 17
from the Roscoe Diner webcam herel
 Jeanne poses next to a large bear.
Roscoe, situated at the convergence
of Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek,
 is the trout fishing capital of
New York State.
We arrive at Susan and Rick's house in Syracuse.
Susan had a lovely cheese plate and wine for us.
Soon Susan and Jeanne were in a game of Scrabble,
a Markel family addiction.
I do not play anymore. I don't like two-letter words.
 Richard and I stayed at a hotel while in Syracuse. 
It was homecoming weekend at Syracuse University.
Let's just say that
there was a lot of ORANGE around.
We Meet the Baby!
 Celia arrives!
Yup, cute as a button.
 Left to Right:
My niece, Sara, Celia, Susan and Jeanne.
 Sara was trying out banana as a new
food for Celia.
She didn't go bananas over it.
 Celia's dad, Dan, Fern, me,
Celia and Susan.
Celia was the cynosure* of all eyes.
*Do you believe I spelled this without spell check?
Of course there were presents.
Jeanne got Celia beautiful nesting blocks
and the classic Madeleine book.
Auntie Carol gave her a velvet party dress.
Let them eat cake!
We could not visit Syracuse without having a fabulous "Shadow" cake from the Geddes Bakery.
 Susan approaches Nirvana in the
form of a good bake.
If you are watching the Great
British Baking Show you will
get this reference.
There it sits -- the "Shadow" cake.
Black and white icing and black and white cake inside.
 Like the Swiss Alps of meringues.
Big Orange cookies for Homecoming.
 Ah....the cake.
 The cake holds together beautifully
for a perfect slice.
 Carol gets to hold the baby.
 Susan and Rick live in a beautiful neighborhood
in Syracuse. There are lots of wonderful houses.

 This is the Adelaide Robineau studio and home.
She was an important American painter, potter
and ceramist in the Arts and Crafts movement.
She also taught at Syracuse University for nine years.
 There are eclectic architectural styles on their street.
 This is Susan and Rick's craftsman-style house.
 Susan's beautiful collection of Fiestaware
found at yard sales.
 Susan's living room with Mission furniture.
 This painting of white tulips hangs over Susan's fireplace.
She inherited it from our mother, Mary.
It was painted by a Sea Cliff artist, Mary Holler.
Susan also has this painting by our grandmother,
Kate Keleher. We lived up the street from
 this house on Littleworth Lane in Sea Cliff.
 After an exhausting day with the Aunts and Grandma and Grandpa,
Celia, Dan and Sara head back to their home in a nearby town.
 Back at Jeanne's house I snap this picture of another
painting by Grandma Kate of
Jeanne's playhouse in Sea Cliff, built by our
father, Sam Markel.

À Bientôt!