January 22, 2015

Wellcome Images

When I was in London last year, I frequently went by the Wellcome Collection’s building on Euston Road, and saw this massive sign hanging in front of their building advertising a year-long exhibition.image

The Wellcome Trust, the London-based global charitable organization which owns the Wellcome Collection, has just made more than 100,000 images from their collections available on-line in high resolution. imageWellcome Images is a medical picture library and the world's leading source of images on medicine and its history.Most of the images have been licensed under the Creative Commons act and are free to download and use.image

The images range from manuscripts, paintings and etchings, to early photography and advertisements, the oldest being a 2000 year old Egyptian prescription on papyrus! imageBecause the funds from the Wellcome Trust came from the pharmaceutical industry, their collection has a high concentration of medical images. image

Each image has full reference information included.image

It’s just fun to wander through the collection and see what’s available for your amusement! Click here to look! You’re welcome.

January 20, 2015

The One That Got Away…

Or maybe not.

When I was in Wales last month, we had a fun evening out at the local B&Q, which is the equivalent of Home Depot, right down to the garish orange logo. We were looking at wallpapers, ostensibly for Andy’s new house, but really for me. As we hunted around the wallpaper aisles, and who wouldn’t want to push this gorgeous kid around in a trolley hunting for wallpaper, IMG_6928we came across a print that I just fell in love with! And then we found it had been discontinued. Natch! IMG_6929

The ground was pale blue and it had metallic accents, but they’re very subtle. Andy bought a couple of the remaining rolls for his house, and I contemplated buying one roll for my house, but I kept thinking of my luggage allowance, all the things I’d gotten at auction and at some antique charity shops, including lots of cutlery, and I decided against it.


I’ve been thinking of it ever since, and I have also been wanting to do something with my bedroom. So I went onto Ebay.co.uk and found a couple of rolls of it, and am contemplating ordering it. Even with the shipping, it will still be less expensive than if I had purchased it in Wales.  wallpaper

Now the big question is do I want to get it in white, or pale blue, which they call teal?image




January 18, 2015

Portrait of a Pup

You might remember last summer, when Connor and I spent the afternoon with artist, Sam Robinson, so Connor could have his portrait painted. Sam and his wife, Barbara, took lots of photographs of Connor and captured some great poses – after we calmed Connor down a bit. I was given one of the portraits later in the summer and I loved it to bits! It captured Connor on his favourite patchwork quilt, which usually is in the back of the car to prevent him from sliding on the leather seats. IMG_2733

Well, just after the New Year, I was with the same friends, and they gave me the other painting of Connor – one I didn’t know had been painted. Apparently, Sam did a small study of Connor before he painted the picture above. It’s such a sweet picture, and really captures Connor’s big brown eyes, fuzzy head and funny ears.


As Connor’s time winds down, I know that I will treasure these pictures forever.

I am going to hang the study with three terrific sketches that were done by my friend Lady Rosie West. image

As I look at this sketch, it’s exactly the same position Connor was in this afternoon when I snapped a picture of him. IMG_8236He loves to tuck into the corner of the old wing chair, now covered with a large painter’s cloth. He sleeps there about 23.5 hours a day now.

Speaking of dogs, my friend Andrea’s daughter just got this adorable GoldenDoodle puppy over the weekend. IMG_8265I was so tickled to have the chance to meet little Natty this afternoon. IMG_8267

It almost makes me want to get a puppy!

January 16, 2015

I’ll Take This: Ogden Nash’s Old House in Baltimore

I have always loved this house, ever since I was a child. My best friend’s house over looked this one, and when we’d spend the summers playing poker cards on their screened in porch, I’d look out through the trees and admire this house, which like the others surrounding it, is about 110 years old. Its claim to fame is that the poet Ogden “Candy is Dandy” Nash lived here, although I can’t find any evidence of that. image

I loved the arched window with the detailing above it, and the Juliet balcony. I loved the quirky roofline and the odd assortment and arrangement of windows.


I loved the stone garages, the stone staircase with the terraces, the big stone terrace with the gated entrance built into it. We had friends who had a secret passage from their garage into the house, so I wonder what this is for!

Of course, I didn’t know the family who lived there, so I never saw the inside of the house. However, some of what I imagine are the original details remain, like the coffered ceiling and the board and batten walls in the front hall. I doubt it was painted white back then. imageCheck out that newel post!image

The house looks like it gets a lot of sunlight in the winter, and in the summer, it’s shaded by 100 year old trees. image

Fireplace with vaguely Tudor influences, which also makes me think that the wood was not originally white.image

As I suspected, the arched door is on the landing of the staircase. image

Several of the bedrooms look to have working fireplaces. How cozy!image

I wonder if this is the original tile? The other baths look like they’ve been redone.image

Some of the bedrooms, of which there are six, have angled ceilings, reflecting the rooflines.imageimageimageimage

I love the back of this house, too. It looks like they’ve enclosed a porch on the terrace. You can see how high this house is above the one to the left, but there are still houses that look over this one! It’s on a very steep hill. imageimageimage

All in all, a pretty great house. Six bedrooms, five baths, one acre, although much of it’s hilly. $1.17 million.

January 13, 2015

Bits & Pieces

I thought I’d do a wrap up of a couple of smaller stories today, instead of one longer one. Enjoy!

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My friends at Halcyon House Antiques are having a major sale this week. Sure they’ve done sales on this or that before, but they’ve never done a sale of everything in the store! IMG_5958HHA 9-13 (3)HHA 9-13 (17)IMG_4800They’ve cleaned out the closets, peeked under the stairs, searched the attic and brought everything they’d tucked away out in the open and now it’s on sale! Everything is 30-40% off – or make a reasonable offer and they might play along! Click on the link above for hours and location.

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In a case of six degrees of Baltimore, one of my friends sent me the link to a gorgeous chair, and asked if I knew the person who designed the fabric, because she’s from Baltimore, and then a little later, someone asked me to write an article about the very same person – Liza Hathaway Matthews. imageSome of the top blogs have written about her and here she is, in my own back garden, and I didn’t know about her. Shame on me! imageLiza is an artist whose work is now being made into fabric and wallpaper. Two of her paintings are in a piece by Celerie Kemble in February’s House Beautiful. imageI am looking forward to meeting her and writing a piece about her, too!

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A few months ago, I wrote about a project I was working on at my office. I showed you some of the before pictures of the room I was refreshing, but since that was one part of a six-part project, I never showed you the finished results!imageimage

Just to remind you what the room looked like before:image

I have filled the bookcases with antique leather-bound books and other ephemera from our vast collections, so the room finally looks like what it was designed to be – a reading room.image

The silver in the case above was found when we finally found the combination to an old safe and opened it one Friday afternoon. I have to tell you, my hands were shaking as I turned the dial for the final time and opened the massive door! I was pretty sure I’d find a skeleton in there!


The paint is Turtleback from C2 Paint, and it’s the most gorgeous paint! The painters told me a number of times how wonderful it was to work with and how beautifully it covered. imageAlthough these aren’t the best pictures, you can really see how the dark green paint really accentuates the beautiful millwork in the room. Before, it just disappeared.image

The Reading Room again has the gravitas that it had lost for so many years while it was swathed in pink.

The final part of the project is matching up all of the museum labels with the 110 paintings we have scattered around our offices. Some bright spark pulled all of the plaques and plates off a few years ago, and I’ve spent the past year and a half trying to match up who’s who! You can follow along with my adventures matching paintings here.

What projects are you working on in the New Year?