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English Muse: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old...

Happy New Year, friends...Here's to a better year!

(Illustration by the fantastic Kelly Reemtsen.)

Kodachrome rolls into history...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snowflakes, stardust, dreams...

...New images on my Tumblr page...

(Photo, called "One Mississippi," by Anastasia Volkova.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So, what books did you get?


I didn't get any books for Xmas. None!  My husband said he thought about getting me a Kindle but then opted for a GPS device for my car. Sigh.

What about you? Did you get any books (and which ones!?)

Btw, at the moment I'm reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes. It's marvelous.

(illustration by Jason Cover.)


Monday, December 27, 2010

She started writing notes...

I love this little work of art -- on a pink pillowcase -- by Michaela Lynch.

A charm for happy dreams.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Paris yes or no?

paris polaroid
My friend Elaine wants me to housesit for her for 2 1/2 weeks next month in Paris. Normally, I would jump at the chance...but this year I have several job opportunities here in LA and I'm thinking that I should stay put...(Jobs are hard to come by in this economy!)...

Also, I'm not sure I'm up to doing Paris alone at the moment, especially now in the winter when it's dark there forever...

What do you think? Stay in (mostly) sunny LA and work?

UPDATE: I just looked at the fares. I could fly round-trip for $700 and stay at Elaine's for free...
what to do?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A chainsaw and an ax

I love these paintings by LA artist Kelly Reemtsen:

Women armed to bust through ceilings and walls...and clear out the brush in the front yard.
(more here!)


Winter Wonderland

...a little holiday cheer on my tumblr page....

(I'm procrastinating. I should be cleaning the house and wrapping presents...)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Which Book Do You Most Want for Xmas?

The other day I was in Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard. I saw Bob Willoughby's Audrey Hepburn Photographs: 1953-1966 in person. I know it's really expensive, but I have to say, it's so beautiful! (Although it might be too big to fit down the chimney.)

What's the book you most want to receive this xmas?

Photo, above, by Karin Elizabeth at Phantomato.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Some things aren't meant to be...

It's a very cold, rainy day here in LA and I'm very sad to tell you that we had to withdraw our bid on the little Victorian. After having it inspected and investigating further we discovered that it would have been far more expensive than we realized to deal with the removal of the peeling lead-based paint. There's a new law that requires painters to treat lead paint as if it were, well, asbestos.
(More on that here...)

So our search goes on....

(Photo by Pearled.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Redstone Diary

For me, this is one of the many joys of starting a new year: Flipping through the pages of a new Redstone Diary...
For years now I've been hooked on the colorful calendars produced by the UK publishing house Redstone Press.

Every year, they pick a different theme: this year it's The Artist's World.

Here's the site's explainer:

"Get to know: Louise Bourgeois, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, René
Magritte, Kazimir Malevich, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Kurt Schwitters, Varvara Stepanova and many others through remarkable photographs and revealing texts. The diary also contains a special year-planner illustrated with a rare and beautiful series of drawings made by Pierre Bonnard in his diaries."

I can't wait!

My previous Redstone favorite: Happiness.

Do you have a diary that you're hooked on, too?

(PS: Amazon has the 2011 Redstone Diary stocked here.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


New photos of books, mostly, on my tumblr page.

I'm having a very busy, stressful week trying to finish projects before the holidays.

But searching for beautiful images is so relaxing...

(Book stacks photo by Moa.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Which books are you giving as presents?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What are you reading this week?

I've been swamped with different work projects this week, plus trying to get everything set for the purchase of the little Victorian house. As a result, my reading materials are really stacking up...but, I did start The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. It's really wonderful!

What are you reading?

(Photo by Jessica Alena.)


The Bookshelves of Celeste Tumulte

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Art

Mixed media artist and author Lisa Occhipinti appreciates books for their graceful prose and aesthetic beauty. They serve as both material and muse in her art...

Perhaps that is why she is always looking for
 beautiful new ways to turn covers and pages into art.

Her book, The Repurposed Library, will be re-released next year.

Elizabeth Bennet's Email Inbox

Katie at Little Toil of Love tipped me off to this!
It was created by Mark Brownlow at Famous Inboxes blog.

I love how Charlotte Collins posted wedding photos on flickr and Darcy sent an email with the subject line: "The answer's still no, then?"  The apparent response: "Stop emailing me you stuck up prejudiced prig."

Very funny!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tumblr Tuesday

...and more...

Over on my Tumblr page. So glad the site is back (at the moment.)

Did you miss it too?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shabby, Ultra Chic

I was in Venice, CA on Abbot Kinney Blvd yesterday.
 I couldn't resist taking a few photos at the home decor store, Bountiful:

Bountiful in Venice, CA

The store and all its back rooms are packed with treasures.
There are even couches, armoires and statues of saints (!) in the rafters:

Bountiful in Venice, CA
The front of the building still displays an old hardware store sign.
But it doesn't take long to figure out that this place isn't selling hammers and nails...

Bountiful in Venice CA
It's incredibly expensive. (You could spend $20,000 on a couple of columns...)

Bountiful in Venice, CA

But it's really a feast for the eyes...

Bountiful in Venice, CA

And great inspiration too...

Bountiful in Venice, CA

More about the store here.

Tumblr Outage

life without tumblr

Did Mark Zuckerberg hire away
all the Tumblr engineers
to work on the Facebook redesign?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dani Padgett's amazing SF apartment (and cat)

Dani Padgett writes on her flickr profile that she's in a creative slump, but you'd never know that by looking at her amazing photos...
My cat is cuter than yours

Hannah & Kitten

Hannah & Heather


The pictures of her cat and friends are lovely -- and so is her San Francisco apartment!

Elizabeth Bennet's Zombie Combat Kit

Are you a fan of Pride, Predjudice and Zombies?
Well...the book's very enterprising marketing team is rolling out a full-blow social media campaign this month that includes an Etsy shop for Ms. Bennet, where she's selling
a Zombie apothecary kit (for $100).

Take a look:

Ms. Bennet describes herself this way on her Etsy profile page:

"I, Elizabeth Bennet, lived a life of peace and propriety in the English countryside until a pustulent plague of unmentionables rose from the earth and began to wreak havoc on dear Hertfordshire. Thankfully, my sisters and I were trained in the most vicious defense techniques: swordplay, hand-to-hand combat, musketry, and sharp wit. Thus, my life has been devoted to fighting off the dreadfuls (as well as the attentions of a distasteful man named Mr. Darcy). 

I hope you will benefit from this zombie prevention kit, as well as a hardcover copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a tale inspired by my family’s struggle to defeat the unmentionables."

The kit includes "Bleed-Banishing Balm, Gnaw-be-Gone Purifying Poultice, Reanimate and Perambulate Smelling Salt."

What is it about Jane Austen that inspires such cleverness?

The Sweetest Little Cottage

I was searching the Internet today for information on renovating Victorian cottages when I came across a New York Times story on this fantastic little house in the Catskills:
It was an old hunting cabin that Sandra Foster
turned into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted.
You even have to use a ladder to get to the sleeping loft!
And look at the front porch:
So cute!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday Tumblr Update

I'm so addicted to Tumblr at the moment! Lots of new stuff on my page!

(Open photo by Abby Trys Again.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

"You're under the lucky star now"

Lucky Star
I keep a small lot of fortune cookie slips in an old silver locket.
The lucky star one is my favorite...

Top photo by Look Left and Look Right; bottom photo by me.

Some good news!

I'm very excited to tell you that we got the house!! (Not the one above, that belongs to Mr. Disney)... We got the little Victorian, equally as grand in our hearts!

(Photo by Tatini.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If we don't get the house...

Phillip Lim dress, Antique Chair
We could:
1. Keep looking.
2. Take a break from house hunting and clean the carpet in our flat.
3. Go to Paris for three weeks in January.


We still haven't heard any news. (The sellers have until tomorrow to decide.)
I'm trying to distract myself.

(Photo by Le Portillon.)

Polaroid Profile: Artist Tina Tarnoff in San Francisco

San Francisco Polaroid

I was recently in San Francisco where I had coffee with artist Tina Tarnoff...After becoming friends with her through blogging, it was really lovely to actually meet her in person!

San Francisco Polaroid

It was also great to explore her wonderful neighborhood: North Beach.

San Francisco Polaroid

With sloping streets of Victorian row houses and painted buildings...

San Francisco Polaroid

I could understand where she gets her inspiration for
her wonderful papercuts...

See more of Tina's art on Etsy.