Saturday, June 27, 2009

the caravan kind

photo by dave miller, found @ redbubble

photo by mike angelo, found @ eden online news

photo by dave holden, @ blutopia

photo by debra freeman, found @ flickr

photo by arnhel de serra, found @ the saatchi gallery

the appleby horse fair takes place every june in the town of appleby-in-westmorland, england and has existed as a fair for horse trading since 1685. it is a huge gathering for the romany, gypsy and traveller communities who come with their horses and ponies and caravans. apparently during the fair, horses are everywhere—in the river eden and along its banks, along roadsides, and tethered outside of shops and hotels. the gypsies favor "colored' horses, and so black and white, and brown and white horses seem to dominate the landscape. there is a tradition of washing the horses in the river and swimming them through very deep areas, and making sure to dunk their heads before they are allowed to swim back to the banks to reach land. there is controversy regarding how some treat their horses, in 2007 a horse drowned during a deep swim. the town's population swells form 2,500 to 40, 000 during the week of the fair. because i've never been i can't imagine what it must be like or how i might feel about it. and i would never want to witness cruelty or irresponsible horsemanship, but my guess would be that most people at the fair love horses and that's why they are there. and i do think there is something thrilling and fantastic about this horse fair—the crowds, and the overwhelming number of horses, and the possibilities of which one you might end up making your own, and the river and green fields and grey-blue skies, and people from everywhere who are at once strange and familiar.

Friday, June 26, 2009

in no end of trouble

i love characters prone to misadventure and blunders, accidental errors and comic catastrophe. and i love them even more if, despite their propensity for trouble-making, they are really proper, polite, and innocent fellows who just want to please. i love paddington bear because he is known to "try so hard to get things right", but he just can't seem to stop getting into trouble. i love him because he likes marmalade sandwiches and cocoa, and he always addresses someone as "mr." or "mrs." or "miss", and he is an immigrant stowaway who arrives in london from "darkest peru". i think paddington is such a charming bear, so adorable and silly in his hat and jacket and wellington boots (which unfortunately he is not wearing in this image!) i want to invite him over for tea and help him unpack that old battered suitcase and get into trouble with him.

Monday, June 22, 2009

cars that go boom

1964 plymouth barracuda
photo from cardomain

1971 ford torino cobra

1971 holden monaro hq
photo from histomobile

i like the look of "muscle" cars. i like the term too. i think they look like small sharks, tough and scrappy and whip-quick. they have an underdog quality to them, a rough and ready feel, an almost bandit persona. they look like good times and adventure and close calls and moment-to-moment living.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

floral elements

maybe because it's summertime, maybe it's because i've been reading about flowers and re-potting houseplants and imaging how nice it would be to have a proper garden, maybe it's because it's hard to walk past the farmer's market stands and not want to buy every single cut flower– all those tulips, peonies, irises, dahlias, and cala lilies just waiting for my hands to reach for them...but whatever the reason is, i can't get enough of floral prints. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

flapper style

these girls were the bee's knees...they smoked and drank. their skirts were short and their faces full of makeup. they stayed up too late and danced too long. they kissed and swore and cut their hair off. and they didn't give a damn. they were irreverent and boyish and bold and they completely changed what being a woman meant. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

cuts of cloth






i love the names of textile patterns– their oddness, the sound of their syllables ringing together, the stories behind their names, their definitions and parameters.

bruises & scrapes

in a small town in france i learned how to ride a bicycle that looked very much like this bike. it was a town in the middle of nowhere— surrounded by forest, it was a place of thin roads, vegetable gardens, and quaint cottages. we lived there for about four months. my mother's boyfriend grew up in this town. we lived with his parents— always in an apron, his mother cooked rabbit stews and his father spent all day with his back bent in the garden. i was 7 years old, or maybe 8. it was summertime and my brother quickly made friends with the other children that lived on that same road, and together they wildly roamed through the forest— picking blackberries, lighting firecrackers, chasing after deer and foxes and squirrels. they would come back with berry-juice stained lips and tired limbs and secret smiles. we didn't speak french and they knew very little english, but somehow that didn't matter with my brother and his friends. and because i hadn't made my own friends, sometimes i would follow them, and they would let me. the only girl, and younger— they let me struggle to keep up and laughed when i stumbled and took turns jumping out from behind trees and bushes to scare me. if i wasn't panting after them, i walked the quiet roads with my mother or followed my almost-grandfather around his garden, helping him pick snails off his lettuce. and then one day i found that bicycle in the shed in the back of the garden. it belonged to my almost-grandmother, it was much too big, a bit battered and rusty. but i thought it was magnificent. i didn't ask anyone, i didn't tell anyone. i just took it out of the garden and wheeled it to the road. our road wasn't flat, there was a slight incline and so once i figured out how to balance and pedal (without sitting on the seat), i would just let the bike coast down the little hill (now sitting down on the seat) and stick my legs out and up to avoid the spinning pedals. then i would walk the bicycle up the hill and do it over and over again. i spent days and days like this. nobody asked me to stop or be careful. but when my mother saw the bruises and scrapes up and down my shins and knees from the banging pedals that were somtimes just too fast, she ran her hands down my legs and laughed and said—"i hope they don't leave scars, because some day that will matter. some day, you will care about that."