Saturday, January 28, 2017
Winter Fun on the Sled; or in the Bed: Reading
Our parents took us sledding on a hill in Humboldt Park, which was one of many places named after Alexander Von Humboldt, German explorer and naturalist, 1769 to 1859. He influenced Charles Darwin, John Muir of the redwoods, and others with his web of life/global interconnectedness point of view. I've been reading an excellent book about his life and travels written by Andrea Wulf. https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Nature-Alexander-Humboldts-World/dp/038535066X
Winter is a time of reflection and reading for me. I thought I would gather up some more favorite books you might enjoy as well. I always liked reading a cross section of books by the same author if I really liked the first. I love fiction, but as I have increasing difficulty reading small or medium print, especially in the evenings. And so, I find myself appreciating books with pictures more and more. In no particular order, except for the pile up by the side of my bed:
*If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home and The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace by Lucy Worsley. I've seen British documentaries hosted by her and enjoyed the mix of history and juicy, gossipy presentation, endlessly compelling.
* Creative Space and Time: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-Zachery. I loved her voodoonotes blog, which sadly seems to be gone--why? There it showed her beautiful art quilts, embellished clothing, colorful, whimsical home. She has written other books, which I heartily recommend as well.
*The Secret Birds, The Wonder, and others by Tony Fitzpatrick. He is a Chicago-based artist and writer. I went to see (twice) his exhibit of bird collages at the DePaul Museum. Beautiful paintings/assemblage using ephemera like cigar wrappers and matchbook covers of nightclubs that no longer exist. I love Joseph Cornell's shadow boxes and Fitzpatrick's work is reminiscent in its dreaminess and ache for things you can't touch, places you can't go.
*How to Catch a Frog: And Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival, and DIY and Prints: 50+ Designs and 20 Projects to Get You Started by Heather Ross. The first is a combination, a memoir, and just when it becomes painful to read, interspersed with how-tos at the end of each chapter. The second, a project book with bonus gifts; with a golden chapter on how to create designs in photoshop; many of her sweet patterns of unicorns, toadstools, princesses, mermaids, etc, to photocopy & use for crafts; a dvd with cute, downloadable designs of hers.
*The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen Notes and From the Larder by Nigel Slater. I wish I could pull out the delicious foods photographed and eat them up. Barring that, I must resign myself to following the short, not too complicated recipes to satisfy my appetite. I like the spirit of improvisation, if not this then that, use what you have, thought process he presents. Lovely writer, several years ago, I read his memoir, Toast, spanning his childhood and adolescence. Tart, bitter, sweet, in turn, like many childhood memories are.
*Decorate Fearlessly: Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces and Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Inspiration and Cues From Today's Top Designers by Susanna Salk. Gorgeous, imaginative interiors to drink in. Two of my favorite picture books to savor. Our own living room is inspired by the Peacock Room. Cough, cough, inspired, if not realized. 😅 http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/peacock/4bdetail.htm
* The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How to Remodel Secondhand Clothes by Diana Funaro, published in 1976. I haven't read it yet, just looked at the photos and illustrations. Models have sexy Addicted to Love/Robert Palmer vibe. Not the black dresses, but the vamp makeup. I love that era of fashion!
The chapters headings include mending, decorating, recycling, remodeling dresses, transforming lingerie and loungewear into street clothes, refitting and redesigning sweaters, reworking coats and jackets, altering and updating jeans. Lots of hippie refashions like turning pants into skirts, patchwork, inserting flash of print onto sides of jeans.
Addicted to Love/Robert Palmer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcATvu5f9vE