Thursday, July 8, 2021

Lazy Girl: The Summer of '21 in Orient

 Bambi Lives in My Backyard

I hear it's 100 degrees in the city. But I am in the Paradise Village of Orient, New York on the North Fork of Long Island. Here in this capsule community, like Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon, the air is fragrant, birds rule the air waves and children ride their bikes one-handed down the middle of the street.

I've rented a charming cottage which is well appointed in tasteful decor. The walls are white and devoid of seaside-themed art. Lavender flowers frame the front steps. From the kitchen window I have a view of a woodland which is messy in a woodland way, in that trees have been allowed to split and fall where they may and thick vines intertwine the underbrush. There is a clearing where a fawn sometimes sleeps.

Outside my cottage I am wearing my Bon Bon bucket hat
and a bead necklace of my own design. Bon Bon is a Swedish
candy store in my Lower East Side, Manhattan neighborhood.
It is pretty and the candy is yum-yum.
On the Fourth of July a neighbor hung this flag  
across the street from my cottage. My sister, Jeanne,
invited me for dinner. My niece, Sarah, and nephew, Jack, 
were also there. We had two dogs in the house, Polly and Bird.
This is Sarah's dog, Polly. She gets very excited
when I walk in the door, so we have to try and calm her down. 
Photo by Sarah Wedge
I found this plaque on a tree by the Main Road.
The clam wreath around it was probably made by Joe from
Orient who worked for Burt's Reliable Oil in Southold
and who serviced our 50-year-old oil burner when we
owned a house in Greenport.
 The name "Clamalot" was spelled out in clam shells on the side
 of his mailbox at the end of his driveway on Young's Road. 
Latham's Farm Stand is an Orient icon.
I peddled here on my trusty, vermillion Electra Townie with pink tire rims.
I ride on Narrow River Road every morning listening
to meditative bird song as I go. 

A Bientôt!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hello from New York!

Mood Indigo

This week I had a message from a follower on Instagram, @rumygucci. Rumy, who lives in Japan, I believe, describes herself as a cool, funky, quirky old girl. That sounds like a description of me, especially the cool part. No wonder she follows my Instagram. She said that she checked my blog for a new post everyday because she missed it. 

Indeed, I have not been posting on my blog during this hibernation period. Time seems to have collapsed and a year seems like a day. But I am one of those annoying people who is using this time to be productive. I have been working on a large painting for the past 7 months. I am fully dosed with the Moderna vaccine, but now we have a worrisome variant here in New York City, and I fear it will be déja vu all over again. But not to worry, we will weather it.

By way of putting a blog toe back in the water, I want to show you and Rumy my new dress from a Japanese brand called 45R. For a shop hound like me it was a shock to learn that the 45R boutique has been at Mercer and Houston in Soho for 20 years. How the hell did I miss it? I may loose my shop-hound press credentials.

(Oh, did I tell you? I let my hair go au natural to silver!) I am wearing my new 45R indigo-dyed dress in cotton. It has a lovely, delicate trailing floral motif. Beads are from Madame Matovu vintage in the West Village. Blue tights by Fogal. 

45R makes comfortable, everyday clothes in natural materials and dyes. The yarn is hand dyed to achieve the deep color which will fade over time. 

This dress has pockets, the perfect sleeve length and a pretty neckline.
For a bit of je ne sais quoi, I have added my Parisian chapeau by Marie Mercie.
In this closeup you can see the subtle design in two colors of brown and light blue. The wooden bead necklace was purchased at an antique shop in Oakpark, Illinois.
Are you in the Mood Blue for a treat from MEL, an adorable and diminutive bakery poised on the point where Division and Ludlow Streets meet Canal Street in my secret Lower East Side.
All of these pastries were sold out when I got there, but the kind lady gave me a sample of their new vegan granola bar which was delicious.

Simply a spectacular Mood Blue Sky on a Mood Blue Day.
I thought the word "noir" on the building was mysterious. Perhaps someone working on a film noir.
Mood Blue graffiti with shadow of tree.

Thank you Rumy, for getting me back in the saddle!

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Last Lazy Girl in Manhattan

July Was Yesterday

Lazy Girl has one more snippet of summer in her kit bag. In these weeks before Christmas, it seems like a good time to pull out a memory of a humid day in July when my sister, Jeanne, and I travelled to Sagaponock, a beautiful village in the Hamptons, to visit Jeanne's friend.

Sagaponock is situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Perfectly manicured hedges surround and hide the estates and houses of the privileged few who live there.


Jeanne and me on that day in July.

We visited a private sculpture park on someone's lawn.

The property consists of the main house, a small guest house, a larger house which is rented, a renovated barn, a tennis court and pool and numerous garden sites.
An enormous weeping beech tree provides a sturdy limb for a swing.

A rustic fence surrounds the vegetable garden.
One of the lovely gardens on the property.
The barn which was renovated in a post-modern style.
The young folks doing some planting in the garden.
Jeanne packed this marvelous picnic lunch. There is lobster salad in that plastic container.

The end to a lovely visit: A walk to the ocean.

A Bientôt!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 5

 Paint Box Summer

In July I rented a house on the East End of Long Island. It was a small cottage on a quiet road where I could ride my bike every day. To keep myself busy for the other daylight hours, I created my notecard project. Before I left New York, I ordered Strathmore Writing notecards and Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors and tucked them in my suitcase. 

In my cottage I set up a studio in a room with large windows overlooking the backyard. There were trees, a bird bath and many Robins, Goldfinches and sometimes a Painted Bunting. 

I found an old card table in the closet and set it up in my studio. 

My first design was inspired by the abundant Hydrangea in the village. I found an orange vase and put it on a coffee table in the living room. 

There is a field of Milkweed in Orient next to the Monarch Butterfly waystation. This is where the Milkweed Girl resides.

I walked upon the beach collecting Scallop Shells and voilà, The Scallop Princess.
"Your Royal Highness, the Prime Minister is here to see you."
The Princess replied, "Show him in." 
Prime Minister Seaweed bowed. "May I say your gown is lovely? Is it Dior?"

Before the Pandemic, my neighbor, Renata, and I went to Blair, an exquisite nail salon on the Lower East Side. When  restraints were lifted, and the salon opened again in July, Renata went back. I sent her this card. Her dog Paolo rests on the floor.

Is there anything more perfect than a light and loose-fitting caftan in a yummy color and pattern? Direct from Morocco I bring you, "The Caftans of Summer."

Wild rose by the sea
Beckons to me as I pass -
Love song of summer.

Tropical Storm Fay came sneaking up the coast. We battened down the shutters and put the garden chairs in the shed. The Goldfinches and Red-winged Blackbirds hid in the bushes and when the winds came,  the girl floated out over the bay.

Lazy Girl Hand Painted Cotton Poplin Dresses.

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There's something fishy about the fish hat, on that we can agree.

So take a dive in the sea and return it to its habitat.

(Faux poem by Emily Dickinson.)

The Summer Wind came blowin' in across the sea. 

It lingered there to touch your hair and walk with me.

Lyrics by Johnny Mercer 

Custom Stamps feature artist Richard Cramer.
I used these on my envelopes.

My postcard design for the Oysterponds Historical Society
 Secret Postcard Project Online Auction.

À Bientôt!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 4

In the Garden of the Magnolias

There's an 18th century barn-turned-house on Village Lane in Orient, New York. It's a modest house mostly hidden by high hedges.  But beyond the hedges lies a lush, secret garden tended by Charles Dean.

On a warm afternoon in July, my sister, Jeanne, her husband, Chris, and I attended a vernissage consisting of one painting in the pristine studio next to the garden. There we saw the work of Charles' partner, Sinan Karabas.  His large, abstract painting evokes different feelings in everyone, as Sinan said, but in it I saw a large heart perhaps encompassing the foliage in the garden next to the studio. 

Sinan Karabas with his painting.

Charles in his garden pointing to a rare specimen.

Charles first came to Orient when he met his then-partner Skip Wachsberger, who was a watercolor artist and trompe d'oeil painter. The garden was started and nurtured by Skip, and gradually Charles came to know about the plants too. When Skip died in 2011, Charles took over tending the garden.

A rare Silver Parasol Magnolia, one of two in the garden.

There are only 12 in the world because they are hard to propagate.

The garden holds other exotic specimens from far-flung parts of the globe.

Jeanne with Daylilies

Lilies provide vibrant color.

Skip was fortunate to choose a parcel of land in Orient

that was fertile and devoid of rocks and well protected from the

salt spray and winds of Long Island Sound.

Verdant greens of mature trees and shrubs

underplanted with perennials.

Carol in the garden.

I got a new phone and started playing with mark up in edit.

After the garden we went to Latham's Farm Stand.

The have unusual flowers for sale.

À Bientôt!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 3

 Sunset, Cocktails and Seals

It was perhaps four-ish when we set off for the nets near the end of Orient State Beach. The waters of Peconic Bay were smooth and smiling and the cooler was well stocked with the fixings for delicious cocktails.

Chris was at the helm of the Wild Goose, a 25-foot Surfhunter motor boat. Jack was First Mate with simple duties like hoisting the anchor which he did with aplomb, occasionally breaking into a Buster Keaton routine as he pranced about the bow in bare feet. Jeanne was the Mistress of the Cooler which contained not only libations, but also small nibbles of cheese and other savories. I was the lucky passenger with no duties but to enjoy the surf and sky.

Boarding the Wild Goose at the Orient Yacht Club, we motored out of the slip and rounded Chris' 39-foot Concordia Yawl, the KeeNeeNoh. Jack snapped a picture of a tern resting on the bow.

Our destination was the Long Beach Bar "Bug" Lighthouse and the "nets" where we hoped to see the Harbor Seals.

Jeanne Markel sips a cocktail in a chic and sea-worthy Martini glass.

The "Bug" Lighthouse, so-called because it looks like a water bug when the rocks are covered at high tide. It helps mariners navigate around the hazardous sandbar between Orient Harbor and Gardiner's Bay. It was destroyed by arsonists in 1963 and rebuilt in 1990 with contributions from locals under the auspices of the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation. The U. S. Coast Guard maintains the 10-inch solar-powered light which is 63 feet above the water.

The day's heat melted away. As the sun touched the horizon and its pink and orange hues debuted, we were lucky to catch a glimpse of a Harbor Seal. He nudged his nose from beneath the sea and snorted in his peculiar way, staying only for a few seconds before sinking back under the water in search of a fish or crab which might have wandered unawares in to the fishermen's nets.

Thank you to Jack Wedge for the photographs.

A Bientot!