Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda
After posting Zelda Fitzgerald’s quote last week I was reminded of this beautiful and heartbreaking volume compiling over 300 of her letters to and from her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald – Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda. I think it was probably my first non-fiction read of this kind and I remember devouring it like I would a romance epistolary novel, having to constantly remind myself that these are real letters, that these people were truly alive about a century ago, and that I know how things will work out for them in the end…
After that, I also read Z, a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, which was later turned into a series I haven’t watched yet. This was also a brilliant read if you are left wanting more after devouring the letters.
Zelda and Scott were an absolutely iconic couple of their time and they still manage to be 100 years later. Theirs could easily be seen as a tragic story, but I think they lived full real lives and this is valid until the very end.
Making the Cut
I grew up with Project Runway, I can vividly remember watching episode after episode and marvelling at the creativity and craftsmanship of the contestants. Making the Cut is a new(ish) show by Amazon hosted by the iconic duo – Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn and I finally decided to give it a go.
Heidi Klum and the judges of Making The Cut, Season 1 – Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld, Nicole Richie, Naomi Campbell
I am almost halfway through the first season and I can say there are some big differences in concept and format. There are some big differences, but most relevant to me was that in this new show the contestants are all experienced designers with established brands that have even already shown at some Fashion Weeks, looking to go global and win 1 million dollars to help them do that. In Project Runway, they were all aspiring and passionate, some with formal training, others without, competing to put together their first runway show. It’s a completely different point of view.
The winning looks of the Haute Couture challenge in Season 1, by designer Esther Perbandt
I was reminded why I love this type of show – the challenges, the excitement and the beautiful and often completely unexpected results. I think it is safe to say I will watch the first two seasons already out, albeit at a much slower rate than I used to in high school, easily finishing one season in one day.
It goes without saying that if you have a passion for fashion and design and an interest in this industry and business, I think you will most likely enjoy it too!
Doctor Cooper – Florist, Doctor of Philosophy & Co.
How many florists can boast a PhD in fine art, and equally how many art PhD holders can confidently say they are also recognised artists? Not many, I believe. As the nerd that I am, I fell for Doctor Cooper’s identity before I fell for her flower arrangements. But her work as a florist has the element I never fail to be drawn to – the simplicity I love in all works of art, a simple twist that turns something banal into something exquisite.
I am late to the party in saying that rattan is back in fashion with a vengeance, and what I mean by the latter part is reflected in the mean price for some of the vintage pieces you can find online. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that it has ever fallen from grace actually, but in the last year at least I’ve been seeing it everywhere and I am loving it.
Reading a bit about it, I learned about the distinction between rattan (also spelt ratan) – the name of roughly 600 species of climbing palms, and wicker, the result of weaving the rattan, as well as many other materials, into beautiful pieces of furniture, decor, fashion accessories and more.
I also enjoyed this article that speculates its popularity is soaring because we associate this type of furniture with tropical climates and being on holiday, and we just want to bring a piece of that heaven into our homes. You can see here some images of the process of working with rattan to create furniture and you can read here about the history of rattan, from the ancient Egyptians to the Romans, the Chinese, the Victorian Europeans, the Americans and modern-day rattan.
I’ve also read great things about a book published last year by the founder of design company Soane Britain – Lulu Lytle – entitled Rattan: A World of Elegance and Charm and I am pretty sure it is a feast for the eyes!
Have you welcomed rattan into your home?
The Art of the Metaphor, Jane Hirshfield
I love words and playing with words (not that I am especially good at it!) Hence, I fully agree that metaphors are art, as Jane Hirshfield explains in this Ted Ed video. She goes on to say that metaphors are a way to talk about one thing but describe something else, not true or untrue in any ordinary way. In fact the paradox to metaphors is that they almost always say things that are not true.
This educational video reads more like a beautiful story and is full of insightful ways to describe and understand a metaphor. And ‘the lesson’ goes even further if you go on the Ted website, where you can think further, prompted by carefully designed questions based on the video. My favourite part though is the dig deeper section where they share many other resources to explore the topic further – books, articles and even a BBC programme on the history of metaphor which I am sure I will enjoy!
I will end with another quote from the video: Metaphors give words a way to go beyond their own meaning.
The History of Glamping
I will just start by saying I am not a fan of the word ‘glamping’ for some reason, but I have been thinking about the concept for a while to the point of creating in my mind the perfect set-up, down to the chandelier I would hang. I am not even sure the vision in my mind could still count as camping, albeit glamorous, but that is not the point. I was curious to learn how it all started, foolishly thinking the concept might have been inspired by the picnics and day trips of the Victorians, when they would set camp with all sorts of items of furniture and furnishings, to bring the indoors out.
Exploring the history of glamping, it turns out the roots go back to the 12th century, to the circular yurts (or gers) of the nomadic Mongolian tribes, a popular tent shape today. But what put the glam into glamping were the luxury camping sites set up by the kings and sultans of the 16th and 17th centuries, who would travel in style for military campaigns, ceremonies and celebrations or country excursions. Their tents were lavishly decorated and equipped with all the comforts and luxuries of their palaces.
Source – ‘The Turkish Ottomans were said to have such lavish tents for the Sultan whilst on campaign that it would take 600 camels to carry them! These tents were said to be exquisite with colourful cloth, floral patterns and various stitchwork in silk and metal thread.’
Source – A Turkish Ottoman Tent from 1729 elaborately embroidered in deep red, gold and blue on the inside, featured at Dresden’s Royal Palace, in the Turkish Chamber permanent exhibition.
Fast forward to modern times, not forgetting the African safaris of the early 1900s, there is plenty to choose from for a posh escape from the big cities. I myself am dreaming of an oriental infused interior, with Persian rugs, a terracotta indoor chimney, shelves of books, lots of cushions and drapes etc.
Nothing too fancy, huh?
Jon Foreman’s Stone and Sand Art
Imagine taking a lovely stroll on the beach and serendipitously stumbling upon one of Jon Foreman’s ‘mesmeric works’ of stones and sand. I think in the first instance it would feel like some sort of magical ritual has just happened or is about to happen there. Some of these almost look like portals into a different world.
I love that they are purely organic, and don’t really alter, just rearrange, the natural surroundings, enhancing the beauty and the experience. I also love the fact that creating these seems to me to be some sort of therapy in itself, rather than over-thought labour.
His ‘sand drawings’, as he calls them, remind me of Simon Beck’s snow art featured here before.
Follow the artist on Insta for numerous other examples of his hypnotising work!
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