Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time for Tea

Though I've had this old Sheffield silver plate and ebony tea pot for about a year now, today was its first time for tea. When I found it at the flea market it was black and yellow-orange. At first I thought the silver had been worn away. Not so. The yellow-orange was nicotine. Lifting the lid, I saw that the pot had never been used. How strange! It must have sat on a shelf while someone smoked away for years. A steal for twenty bucks, I brought it home and started cleaning it up. There is still more to do if you look closely at the hard to reach ridges that are canyons of darkness. But goodness! They knew what they were doing when they made these pots: the tea stays hot for a very long time. The tea for its maiden voyage? Darjeeling with cherry tarts from Soutine

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pile of tile & failing shelf

You've seen them before: emerald green tile piled up on my fireplace hearth waiting to be installed as a backsplash in the alcove kitchen. I have about five square feet of them, while the total space of the backsplash is about six square feet. What to do? Create a border with black tile. Why black? Because the Kohler sink is black enamel and the under-the-counter fridge is black as is the cabinet. The latter is sitting in my living room waiting for action.

I made a trip to Chelsea, visiting no less than seven tile providers and lucked out with the first (needless to say, no writing was done that afternoon). They had exactly what I wanted- simple black tile of the same thickness and pleasing dimensions. It should come in the next day or two. Ill be installing it myself. Not hard really. Just tedious and time consuming. I've already done some tile work in the bathroom so know what I am getting into.

Meanwhile, an eight foot long storage shelf that was installed in the bedroom about ten years ago failed a day ago, pulling away from it's support structure - a day into fighting off a cold which left me brain dead. After deciding to remove it, Mr. Husband and I found ourselves in the middle of a big Spring cleaning. The storage unit in the basement was reconfigured and multiple trips were made to Housing Works to donate clothes and housewares and hadn't been used in a year. So far so good. We won't need the shelf and the added space will be transforming. 

The photos of tiny kitchens? Snapped from a lovely book while standing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At this late hour, I can't for the life of me remember the book title, though, when I do, I'll insert the proper credit. It's the warm darkness that appeals to me as well as the elegant use of space. Kinda what I am hoping for our place. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Home through the Park

One the way back across town this morning, I snapped a few pictures of Spring. The flowering trees are pretty amazing too. Enjoy!

Pictures taken using the Camerabag app on my Iphone with the 'magazine' setting.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Artistans' Gate

Snapped on the way to a teach a lesson near Carnegie Hall, I passed Artisan's Gate which is located at Central Park & 7th Avenue. Horse drawn carriages line up here to take out-of-towners (mostly) for a spin around the Park. At $50 for 30 minutes, it's not exactly a bargain. But then, a taxi from the airport is gonna cost you 45 bucks before tolls and tips.

No top hat and tails for this driver who's texting before his next customer comes along. All part of the New York Experience.

Looking across the street at the New York Athletic Club and 7th avenue, the Artisans' Gate to my back.

The front entrance to the Club. 

Afternoon shadow encroaching on the Athletic Club which I captured on my way back uptown. Perhaps it's just me, but I see references to Venetian architecture. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

Gourmet jelly beans, Christopher Norman Chocolates, pink tulips and a bottle of Avanthia Tinto wine -  which is perfect for dark chocolate - await an Easter celebration. Yes, that's Steven Gambrel's new book on the old and weathered Chinoiserie serving try (I really like the smaller darker rooms: gloss and glam vying for attention). Yes, I use the magnifying glass. Yes, that is a pile of emerald green tile sitting on the hearth (No, I'm not going to retile the hearth). Yes, my mother gave me the small carpet that is draped over the back of the chair (spiriting it out of the house and please don't tell my father, ok?) while I found the other one at the flea market. Yes, I'm breaking my resolve to not post and take the time to write elsewhere. Ah me. It's only 10 minutes, right? Ok, 20 when you add it up. 

Posting, here, there, on weekends only, boys and bunnies having their day. Perhaps that's an equitable solution.

Have fun tomorrow!  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sleeping in Green

I am waiting for the cabinet maker to arrive as a write. I spied him delivering new kitchen cabinets for a neighbor upstairs this past summer, got his card and called him up a few weeks ago. Presto, chango, he is delivering a new sink cabinet to our tiny alcove kitchen today, the one that is to have a heavy cast iron Kohler sink. I dragged up up from the basement storage unit last night. God. It weighs a ton. Mr. Cabinet Man will undermount its blackness and then we will await the arrival of the Plumber.

Meanwhile, I talked things over with Mr. Husband and we both like idea of green in the bedroom. It's calm, peaceful and rather restful. It will also carry the green of living room into the rest of the apartment (with only 650 square feet there is only so much 'rest'), not that this is the most important thing. But the place being only so large, it will gather things together quite nicely (perhaps this post should have been titled 'Green House').

The inspiration for this green? A bedroom in Houghton Hall and the green velvet valance I blogged about here. I'll make a gilded half tester for it to hang from and pair it with green wool curtains. The head board will be green as well, but the space above it will be mirrored so as to create a sense of space in our shoebox of a bedroom. Yes, solid green curtains hanging from the Chinoiserie pelmets on the windows, but not of the same fabric or color. Too hotel-ish that. Alas- there is not enough room for a lovely green settee. The one below was in Houghton Hall's bedroom and now resides at the V & A in London. 

It's won't be all English though. I'm thinking of Jacque Grange's leopard print carpet for Yves Saint Laurent. 

Speaking of fangs, I had to bare mine for a moment. Mr. Cabinet Man just called and wanted to come tomorrow instead of today. Hello! I say. I cleared my schedule for you and am not taking another day off for this to happen. You need to get here. Suddenly changing his tune, he says he can make it but will need to be three hours late. No later than two, I say. Of course, it may be three or four. But then, I knew that when I got up this morning. That's how these things go. Mr. Plumber is more on the ball when I call him to reconfigure things. So far, his last name isn't Godot. 

Is it time for lunch yet? 

Last photo from Jacque Grange Interiors, Flammarion. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Imari Man

There it was, sitting on a table at the Flea this afternoon: a lovely piece of Imari style ironstone that I took to be about 1870-ish. With a Japanese vase figuring large in the pattern, I found through a few minutes googling that- indeed - the pattern is called 'Japanese Vase' and was made in England around 1875 by Ashworth - a company that bought Mason's in the 1860's.

It's a meat dish or serving platter, about 12 inches long and has been repaired with 4 staples - a peculiarity that only adds to the piece's patina. Someone valued it very much - or a least was thrifty enough - to keep using it. Perfect for scones at tea time.