Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Friday, 30 March 2012

GARDENS: Bird Life

IN THE LAST WEEK, Paul Clements, who looks after my house ....and me, has seen 15 different bird species in my London garden: a pair of loving Wood Pigeons nesting in the bay tree: Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Sparrow, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Jay, Magpie, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch..... ornithologists please note! 

Thursday, 29 March 2012

ARCHITECTURE: Santiago Calatrava

Santiago CALATRAVA - A Spanish architect who sweeps the heavens and spans water with the airiest and most beautiful bridges the world has ever seen...
 
Alameda Bridge, Valencia, Spain






His bridges soar with great, exuberant elegance 






Alamillo Bridge, Seville Spain


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Dictum

One of my favourite dictums...  'LIFE IS NOT A REHEARSAL'

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

SELFRIDGES: Christian Louboutin


SELFRIDGES IS LONDON'S TOP STORE AND I LIKE AND ADMIRE CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN - TALENTED AND UTTERLY CHARMING.  

A window advertising his pop-up shop. 

Friday, 23 March 2012

GARDENS:Middleton Place, South Carolina

Middleton Place includes what may be the oldest landscaped garden in the United States, created by an English landscape architect brought to South Carolina by Henry Middleton.  In 1741, Middleton moved into the house with his bride and immediately began the transformation of the garden.    It took 100 slaves ten years to complete Middleton's grand design of terraces, twin lakes and a canal.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

FABRICS: Batik


BATIK of Javanese [Indonesian] origin is melted wax applied to cotton cloth.



In Yogyakarta, I watched fascinated as traditional designs were traced with great skill and fluidity - wherever the wax seeps through, the dye does not penetrate.  The cloth is dipped in dye several times then is submerged in a solvent that dissolves the wax. 



Traditional dyes are Black walnut, Bloodroot, Brazilin, Cochineal, Cudbear, Cutch, Fustic, Henna, Indigo, Madder, Saffron, Turmeric and Tyrian purple.
Young noblemen from Solo and Yogyakarta, some of whom are wearing parang rusak designs [Photo: 1934]

Some motifs denote rank and were exclusive to royal houses or sultanates, many patterns have been influenced by European or Japanese designs, the colours are ravishing – sometimes bright red, delicate pinks or blues. 


My favourites are the browns and dark blue patterns with flowers, leaves, sometimes butterflies – these have no equal.
                                          








Batik began to be used for tailored garments in the 19th century, notably for pyjama trousers for European men, and less commonly, sleeping trousers for boys. These three pairs date from the early 20th century.




A batik background was inspiration for my Rice fabric [see blog post of Dec 28, 2011] 
The Developed Eye: John Stefanidis Fabrics: RICE

This bedroom was planned around a collection of batiks:


           


Thursday, 15 March 2012

POETRY: May He Protect You

My great friend, the author, Susanna Moore [My Old Sweetheart, In the Cut, One Last Look are three of her books] - one of her favourite poems reminiscent of the great underlying spirituality of the Indian subcontinent.


Dedicated to John Stefanidis
Krishna went out to play

Mother and he ate dirt
Is that true Krishna
No
who said it

Your brother Balarama
Not true
Look at my face

Open your mouth
he opened it and she stood speechless
inside was the universe


 may he protect you

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1

The courtyard of Burlington House is home to some very distinguished bodies. To the left and right: Society of Antiquaries of London,
The Linnean Society,
The Geological Society, 
The Royal Society of Chemistry, 
The Royal Astronomical Society and at its end, spanning both sides:
The Royal Academy of Arts  - exhibition after exhibition - always educating, pleasurable and remarkable...not least [and only to April 9] David Hockney RA; A Bigger Picture, of which so much has been said elsewhere....innovation with Ipad drawings, energy, optimism and raw talent.
David Hockney - Woldgate Woods 

Monday, 12 March 2012

FABRICS: John Stefanidis - Puccini

An eye-catching design featuring Chinese vases/urns superimposed with oriental-style flower arrangements.


Puccini in Ming/Terracotta 

Puccini in Moss/Mulberry.

Puccini in Terracotta/Blue.

Available from:

London, UK - Tissus d'Helene
Showroom: Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

Miami, USA - Monica James
Showroom: 40 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222
Website: monicajames.com

Los Angeles, USA – Harbinger
Showroom: 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884
Website: harbingerla.com

Melbourne, Australia – Tigger Hall
Showroom: 720 High Street Armadale Vic 3143
Phone: +61 (0) 3 9509 6456
Website: tigger hall.com

John Stefanidis Fabrics Website

Friday, 9 March 2012

TRAVEL: Genoa Part III


Diana and the Satyr
Overlooking this town of piazzas, alleyways and vistas is Villa delle Peschiere [above], built outside the city wall by
 Galeazo Alessi [1512-72] commissioned by Tobia Pallavicino, whose wife Maria Serra is an old friend  of mine as her portrait by Rubens hangs – resplendent – at Kingston Lacey in Dorset  - a National Trust house near my old cow sheds 
[see Living by Design 1997]. 



Left - The extraordinary Nymphaeum , also by Galeazzo Alessi, is sadly in need of attention – you tread on turquoise and emerald coloured ceramic pebbles  fallen from the walls and ceilings.



Glorious frescoes are by Giovanni Battista Castello [Il Bergamasco]
 whose work abounds in Genova.



















Phaeton lost control of his chariot and Jove [Zeus] killed him and prevented a disastrous collision with the Earth.
Villa Paradiso, designed by Andrea Ceresola [Il Vannone] 1575-1619
Ristorante Rosa - very good Ligurian dishes-overlooks Camoglio on the Ligurian coast towards Santa Margherita...    


Thursday, 8 March 2012

POETRY: Steve Smith - Not Waving But Drowning


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

DESIGN: 'Tablescape'

These show what David Hicks called a ‘tablescape’: there is an Indian ivory carving of palanquin with figures in a glass box; a British Colonel’s fly whisk with a Sphinx’s head; four ivory and inlay ‘mahout’ sticks used to prod elephants behind their giant, floppy ears; two tortoise shells of great antiquity and, next to them, an Etruscan eye;  a mother-of-pearl gunpowder casket and, behind, a pink and cream fan with a tortoiseshell centre – a treasured gift from the South Pacific.   A Japanese Art deco lamp lights the scene that often makes me smile and remember my travels.

Friday, 2 March 2012

FABRICS: John Stefanidis Chinese Clouds




A traditional oriental design featuring a 'megamendung' or cloud motif of repeated curvilinear bands of colour. 

Available in Standard and Small Size Clouds. 
Le Richemond Hotel in Geneva

Special order 'Emerald' on veranda furniture in Florida

















Available from:

London, UK - Tissus d'Helene
Showroom: Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

Miami, USA - Monica James
Showroom: 40 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222
Website: monicajames.com

Los Angeles, USA – Harbinger
Showroom: 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884
Website: harbingerla.com

Melbourne, Australia – Tigger Hall
Showroom: 720 High Street Armadale Vic 3143
Phone: +61 (0) 3 9509 6456
Website: tigger hall.com

John Stefanidis Fabrics Website

BOOKS: The Looming Tower