Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Frida Kahlo

This is a beautiful book about the finding and restoration of Frida Kahlo's Clothes.She was  unique and not only was her work both stunning and horrifying but her personal appearance was an work of art in itself.
Here is a little taste of the look she created for herself. She lived with the artist Diego Rivera in The Casa Azul in Mexico.She sustained terrible injuries in a road accident and suffered horribly all her life from the aftermath of this . However she was a determined and courageous woman who left her mark in art and fashion. She and Diego were commited Communists at a time when it seemed the only hope for the poor and suffering of the world.
She was desperate to have a child but her injuries caused her to miscarry.
 This lace dress is exquisite
These are small bags in Mexican designs.

She used delicate enbroidery and bold  contrasting colours and fabrics to create her own style.

Frida suffered from her injururies and had to wear some horrific corsets and trappings.

 She was confined to her bed for long periods and her bedroom was therefore a special place for her.She woul entertain her friends there and read.

Here are some more images , the skill and  fine needle craft that went into these creations is astounding.

I hope this post will  inspire you to look at Frida Kahlo's work and perhaps visit her Casa Azul in Mexico which is open to the public and where you can see these wonderfully restored clothes.The use of folk art is especially fascinating and tied in with Frida's politics because the skill is that of the people and an expression of the Mexican identity.
 Another one of the inspiring women that will crop up on my blog!!!!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

One of the good things about the nights drawing in is the excuse to make comfort food.Stews and casseroles slow cooked and waiting when you come home.  Also an excuse for a good glass of red wine to wash it down! In this picture Cassoulet bubbling away and some daffodils to remind me spring will return.

Fungi  in Montmartre last year,more joys of Autumn,an omlette and a glass of wine pure magic! I think I shall have to start a foodie blog soon!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

I love reading probably more than any other activity although I do many other  things I like too! I just want to do a short post this evening before I make the supper so can I ask other bloggers to tell me which book has had the most influence in their lives,not an easy one is it!
 I suppose I would have to say that the first book to influence me was Little Women by Louisa M Alcott but then their have been many that helped shape my views and delighted or informed me.The list would be endless and of course it is an ongoing process.I have worked among books since I was 16 and the first library I worked in was my university,I just spent my lunch breaks pouring through the stock.Biographies,art books,poetry travel,natural history it was all there to be had free! Being read to as a child and then again as an adult has been an intimate experience.Every Autumn I  yearn for Lord Of The Rings,it is the setting out  into the unkown landscape of the imagination that draws me.! Well if I go on we shall all starve here so I am away to the kitchen!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Walk to Dartington

The start of our walk in the rain to Dartington hall.
These periwinkles were so vibrant and blooming at the beginning  of the walk along  the banks of the Dart to the Hall.
Dartington Hall was established in 1925 by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst,visionaries, as an experiment in
rural regeneration. The gardens are serene and inspiring and the Hall is home to many exciting courses and of  the Literary Festival.

It was drizzling with Autumn rain when we walked beside the river which was high . Little whirlpools sucked in the fallen leaves and the water was rising.We saw coots and swans and heard skenes of geese as they flew
The colour of the trees , gold, red and yellow was stunning .

As we walked we heard the old steam train that runs from Totnes to Buckfastliegh puffing out steam and the shrill whistle as it made its way along the banks of the Dart.It was like something out of Agatha Christie's novels.She lived near Dartmouth and it is possible to visit her house.
The oak leaves were changing colour .

The ancient trees reminded me so much of Tolkien with their gnarled bark and  and branches.

The sloes were abundant and ready for a good bottle of gin!

The cyclamen,.so delicate and marvellous blooming at this time of the year when other plants are drawing back to wait for next spring blossomed at the foot of a gnarled tree.
We had coffee at the White Hart Pub in front of a smoky wood fire and talked about the exhibition of Kurt Jackson  I had recently seen in Truro  where he had explored the banks of the Dart in  paint . Then we retraced our steps  to our friends house for one of Brenda's legendary Sunday lunches,her roast potatoes are the ambrosia of the potato world!!!