The Whiplash Curve
Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Path of a Thing
I was recently communicating with someone on a message board about the idea of the hidden history of old objects... imagining the original owners and how the tide of life brought cherished possessions from their keeping to ours.
Then last night a very curious thing happened. I've been considering going to a decorative arts auction next week and was searching through a few years worth of past auction results to see what might be expected, when I found this:
photo credit: Lunds Auction House In April 2005 the top jewellery casket was being auctioned locally in a lot that expected to fetch $200 - $300. But I bought it for $15 in the summer of 2009 at a little antique store 80km north of here in a town called Chemainus.
It's hard to believe it's the same one, but see that little stain? It's less noticeable now because I cleaned it when I brought it home. This is just a hint at its travels, not its story... but it does remind me that this little jewellery case does have one and I love the mystery of it.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I hadn't realized a few days ago when I posted the lovely video with the Debussy piece, that the montage was actually the opening to the film Cheri with different music set to it. Such a different mood with the slow sweetness of that Reverie.
I had been meaning to see Cheri for a while and I'm so happy I finally did for a number of reasons. The narration starts with the introduction of a courtesan named Emilienne D'Alencon. You'll find her photo in the titlebar of this blog. I've had an old postcard of her framed and at my desk for years and every so often I uncover just another little bit of her story. It's always a thrill when I do.
But back to the film... if any of you out there are fans of Art Nouveau, Lea (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) has the most amazing home set in Belle Epoque Paris. The iron balcony! The Gallé glass! The Mucha print! The set is extraordinary.
I've fallen deeply in love with the bed featured in this film. I've since been searching for something similar online to little luck. The best I've come up with is an Elliot's Designs bronze bed with a hint of a whiplash curve. Not nearly as stunning, but perhaps better suited to my slightly more humble boudoir!
Besides all my swooning over sets and costumes, I loved the story too. It's based on novels written by Colette in the 1920s. I'm by no means a reviewer and I don't want to give too much of the film away for those of you who may not have seen it. A synopsis can be found here.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I made this set the other day, inspired by a deep red velvet handbag with the keyhole so suggestive of things that should not be seen. It made me think of a certain Evelyn Nesbit, known as the girl in the red velvet swing, and all the secrets the swirled around her.
I knew so little about this infamous beauty until I read American Eve a few months ago. I had seen photos of her for years and years, never realizing it was Evelyn. A Gibson Girl whose photos where used for all sorts of advertising purposes, chances are you've seen her too. (A strange bit of trivia: Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables with a photo of Evelyn up on the wall as inspiration.) Evelyn's is a riveting story of an underage beauty and the powerful, obsessive men around her.
A couple of links for you...
Evelyn's former environs. (You'll need to scroll halfway down the page.)
A fading beauty in 1914.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Although I love buying vintage in most respects, I just can't do it with shoes. I have picky feet after years of abuse. (Ask me about the time I traumatized my metatarsals dancing barefoot with a man in cowboy boots at an Orange Hall on St. Patrick's Day.) And I'm tall with feet to match... vintage sizing rarely works for me.
I despair to this day the loss of the perfect pair of pearly mary janes that were my grandmere's. We had the same sized feet even though she was about 6 inches shorter than me. I remember she kept them in a rose covered box in her closet. They were the last pair of vintage shoes that truly fit both foot and spirit. I turned down puddle jumping with a minor rockstar because I was wearing Grandma's shoes but they mysteriously disappeared over the years. Maybe the rockstar would have been the better choice after all.
Trouble is, modern fashion and shoe styles just don't do it for me at all. Not even a bit. Does not compute. I can stretch my appreciation to contemporary design in many areas, just not shoes.
So this is why I get a little over excited when I find nouveau vintage footware. I know, womanly shoe lust... how very common, but look at my new beauties!
Now I'm eyeing up these lovelies. Be still my beating Pearl Hart
Someday I'll Even Use the Good China
There's so much I do with my days that's habitual. It seems that one-time interests became hobbies, which became habits and now finally are ruts. I go about my dailiness as much asleep as awake. I fill my days with a lot of consistent action which makes the weeks bleed together somehow.
I need to shake things up, not considerably. I don't need a move or a new husband or a hair-chop. I just need to be present in the activities that were once pursuits.
I will try to use a teapot more often and not pop sad little bags directly into the mug. And I'll vary the types of tea I drink... I have a collection of loose leaf teas that may need replacing, they've been in the cupboard so long.
Baths have become another auto-pilot ritual. Fill tub, jump in, jump out, drain, repeat. What about the fancy bubbles I save for a special occasion? Really, one of these days I'm going to have my very last bath. I'd hope the good soap would get used. Seriously... if I die unexpectedly what's going to happen to the soap collection? Can you imagine that dusty inheritance?
This could be said for the wardrobe as well. I'm sure we've all heard reports that most people wear a small percentage of the clothes they own. It's true for me too and I don't have that big a closet. I get so much pleasure from textures and colours. I should play with my own outfits more... not just the sets on polyvore.
I suppose I'm a little behind in making new years resolutions, but you know that thing they say about 'late' and 'never'. Yes, that.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I've moved here to start fresh and write about more than personal finance. It became a limiting subject for me. I felt myself needing to express things that had very little to do with the confines of subject matter I chose to focus on. And so I'm here hoping to give myself a clean slate and some "scope for the imagination", as Anne Shirley would say.
Why 'Faded Beauty'? By no means is meant as a personal critique! It's simply a way to describe the things that I'm attracted to... well-loved objects, vintage clothing, the scent of old books and fallen leaves... tarnished silver, dim light, sepia-toned photographs. I want this to be a place of creative expression and I hope to explore the colours and textures of such faded beauty here.
I want to cultivate my sensory pleasures and I want to reach out and communicate them. I want to embrace my personal style and feel more settled about that. And I'd like to find some like-minded souls out there in the world, making beauty where they stand. It would be good to know you as I get to know more about me.
I'm a little late to get on the polyvore bandwagon, but I understand the addiction now! Here are some vintage-y fashion sets from me and a song I've been listening to repeatedly this week. (I get a little obsessive like that!)