Monday, September 23, 2019

Some Time in Brooklyn

No Passport Needed:
A Trip to Brooklyn

On a crisp, fall day in September, I took the F train to Bergen Street to meet my friend, Elke, for a lunch date at a cafe called Bien Cuit, or in English, well baked. From my time in Paris, I remember that at la boulangerie you can ask for une baquette bien cuite if that is your preference.

Elke and I ordered a turkey and Swiss sandwich on a croissant, coffees and desserts. It was all delicious.

 At Bien Cuit, I tuck in to a chocolate gateau while
a grapefruit treat awaits.
My blouse is by the French label, A.P.C.
 After lunch we walked to a charming store
called Salter House.
The owner, Sandeep Salter, discovered a
trove of little-girl dresses
from a label called Pom' Flore in a
barn in Normandy.
 The company was founded by three French sisters in 1988.
One was a ballet dancer, one was a classical singer
 and one was a business woman.
 The fabrics are all from Liberty of London.
 Elke and Sandeep in the shop.
Elke is wearing a necklace that I designed
and made.
 Salter House carries a selection of items for the home.
 There are dolls.
 Elke and I enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey at 
Salter House.
 A view across Atlantic Avenue
looking toward the Long Island Restaurant.

A Bientot!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Some Hand-Painted Dresses by Carol

I designed some dresses
and here they are.
A few years ago, I got the idea that I wanted to design and hand-paint some dresses. I chose a simple a-line style and decided to airbrush geometric designs on the fabric.

My fabrics were cotton which I purchased from B & J in the garment district. B & J is a well-organized fabric store that makes choosing fabric easy because it's all displayed on large, hanging samples, and you do not have to sort through jumbled rolls of cloth like you do at Mood.

I did a lot of airbrushing in the 70's when I was making geometric, abstract paintings so I knew my way around an airbrush. For these dresses I had to set up a table, lay the fabric down, which had already been cut in to the a-line pattern, and tape off the shapes, being careful to cover the areas that I did not want to paint.
Grasshopper Green Dress with
beads and hat of my own design.
The hat is covered in vintage fabric and
hand-painted cotton.

A friend of mine asked me to supply some photos of my dresses for a book that she was writing on wearable art. I engaged a professional photographer to take photos of me in the dresses. The book never did get made, but I now have a record of my dresses.
Pappillon Dress with beads and hat
of my own design. The fedora is covered with
hand-painted cotton.
Cornflower Blue dress with beads
of my own design. The hat is store-bought 
and trimmed with a flower from La Sirena,
a Mexican folk-art store in the East Village.
Framboise Pink dress with beads and hat
of my own design. The hat is one of my
signature patchwork cloches.
 Beads ready to be paired with dresses.
 In the studio.

I was invited to pose in the Museum of Modern Art
garden for sketchers of all ages.
This is a drawing by a young girl of me
in one of my dresses.

The dresses are a size six and available for purchase.
Thank you to Paul Levitt who helped me for
the photo shoot.

A Bientot.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Vacation in Orient, Part 3

The Event of the Season
with Tout le Monde attending
(or anyone who is anyone in Orient).

The first Saturday is August, Orient turns out for a festive and stylish party in Poquatuck Park. The white tents are up, the seafood bar overflows with shrimp, clams and oysters and the wine flows.

It's the annual  Oysterponds Historical Society Benefit, with not only socializing, but also a wonderful auction of art produced by local artists. OHS, with seven historical buildings in the center of Orient village, is the repository of over 30,000 documents, photographs, art and archival objects with ties to Orient and East Marion. OHS has programs for families and youth, and also hosts community events throughout the year including unique exhibitions in the Schoolhouse gallery.

I am wearing a dress by Archerie in lawn cotton.
It is an absolute joy to wear. It's light and cool and
does not wrinkle. I stuck a flower from Jeanne's garden and
 a vintage feather in this old straw fedora and thought it perfect.
Photo by Carl Timpone
Jeanne and Chris arrive via bicylclette, the 
de rigueur mode of transportation.
Jeanne is wearing a floral frock 
which she acquired from the Marie Eiffel shop
on Shelter Island.
 Susan is lovely in a powder blue
dress with pink roses and a new hat
from a Greenport shop.
Jeanne had one of her ink drawings
on offer in the auction.
Jack Wedge with his beautiful girlfriend, Sophie.
The are both animators.
Three siblings together:
Dave, Carol and Susan.
Dave, just Dave.

A Bientot, mes amis.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Vacation in Orient Part 2

Les Trois Soeurs
We Bake and We Bake

As we continue our time in Orient this summer, we find Les Trois Soeurs, Carol, Susan and Jeanne, baking away, and I do not mean in the sun on a beach.

We are following in the footsteps of Mary Berry, one of the judges on The Great British Baking Show.  Have you watched it on Netflix? On each episode, amateur bakers vie for the top prize of Best Baker in the U.K by baking cakes, breads, pastries and desserts.

Mary Berry, a cookbook author, and Paul Hollywood, an artisan baker, were judges for a season or two. Jeanne, Susan and I were quite captivated by the show.

Susan borrowed Mary Berry's cookbook, Simple Cakes, from her library and brought it with her to Orient. Thank goodness the cakes were simple, because I was in no mood to work hard baking a cake. In Britain they call the goodies "bakes" as in "that's quite a good bake." If something goes wrong with bake, the contestants throw it in the "bin."

We are making the Simple Chocolate Cake with Fudge Icing. It did not go in the bin. We served it for dessert at our supper after the Oysterponds Historical Society Benefit. The cake turned out to be delicious although Jeanne and Susan proclaimed it too dry. I had no such complaint and happily gobbled up my portion.

Les Trois Soeurs (The Three Sisters) sporting the red
aprons I had customized with our names for the baking event.

I begin the sifting process. 
More baking was going on in Jeanne's kitchen.
Here Jack and Sophie make a Pavlova -- a
meringue with fruit.
No day in Orient is complete without a Scrabble
game with Dave and Sue.
Dave's scorecard with drawings.
I believe he was winning.
 Taking a break from the hot kitchen, we took the
ferry to Shelter Island and had lunch at
Marie Eiffel.
It was my pleasure to meet Marie after our fabulous lunch
on the deck overlooking the bay.

A Bientot

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Dedication to Fern

Fern Markel Wedge
Fern Markel Wedge, my sister Jeanne's dog, died peacefully today in Orient, New York. She was 12. Fern, a Labrador, was lovable and sweet and compassionate and empathetic.

Fern loved to take long walks on the beach in Orient. Jeanne would sometimes throw a stick in the water, and Fern would happily splash into the bay to retrieve it. She loved to take dips in the water and swim with you. She would wend her way along the sand with the sea grass swaying near the marsh and daintily walk on the pebbles at the shoreline at low tide.

Fern notoriously had a mind of her own and, on walks, she would dictate which direction she wanted to go and make it hard for an unseasoned dog walker, like her Aunt Carol, to get her home again.

Fern's sweet face and soulful eyes.

Fern had a job. Jeanne trained her to go to the end of the driveway and get the paper. Jeanne would say, "go on, pup," and after a few looks back, Fern would trot down the hill and pick up the paper. You could not watch her do this because she would not go if you did. She would bring the paper in the house and drop it near her food bowl. Fern's salary was paid in biscuits. If you put both hands behind your back with the biscuit in one hand, Fern would lift a paw and choose the correct hand.

Fern's favorite section of the Times was Sunday Styles.

Everyone in the Markel Wedge family loved Fern. I loved her too, and she loved me. When I visited Jeanne's house, Jeanne would tell her, "Carol is coming." Fern would go to the door to see if I was there. The last time I saw Fern was a few weeks ago in Orient. Fern was up in studio when I arrived. My nephew, Jack, told Fern that I was there, and she came bounding out to find me. She was ill then.

When we were all sitting at Jeanne's long dining table, Fern would lie under the table. Sometimes she made the rounds of people at the table. You would feel a soft touch and took down, and see Fern's face on your lap looking up at you. Then you told her that you loved her.

Au revoir, my dear one.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Have you missed me? I missed you. Part 1

Hello, Again. 

I just looked at the last time I posted on my blog. It was seven months ago. My life has been taken over by care giving. Richard, who will be 87 next week, has dementia and needs full-time care. I do have help, but not enough. I am in the process of getting more help.

When you have to care for someone, it is exhausting and depressing. My creative life has suffered, as has this blog. You have to fight your way back. I want to do that.

So this post is a celebration of a renewed creative life that I want to kick-start. I had the chance to get away last weekend to a wonderful place called Orient, New York on the tip of the North Fork of Long Island. I was able to do this because Richard's daughter, Dianna, and her husband, Michael, came from Chicago to stay with Richard. They are two terrific people. Am I not lucky to have them in my life?

So it was knowing that R.C. was well cared for, that I got away as a guest of my sister, Jeanne. Joining us were sister Sue, brother David, nephew Jack, and his girlfriend, Sophie. A full house and a happy house.
Getting Ready To Go
First, a hair cut at Fringe, my Lower East Side go-to
salon on Broome Street. This is my stylist, Chenoh Maia,
who gave me the perfect bob.
Next -- nails at Blair, a stylish nail
salon on Orchard Street.
Bordeaux on the toes.
Magenta on the fingers.

We're here!
Deep Roots Farm Stand 
Friday arrival...I'm fresh off the Hampton Jitney.
 Jeanne, Susan and I head to Jeanne's 
favorite new farm stand, Deep Roots.
My bag, from London's Muzungu sisters, 
is taking over my body.
Nice radish.
   It's the honor system, and
 Jeanne is paying for her tomatoes. 
Have you ever not been satisfied with your melon,
and wished you could return it?
The Yard Sale
 It's impossible to pass up a good yard sale.
Susan, who just moved into a mid-century modern house,
contemplated a snack server that might be ideal
for serving mid-century snacks.
Better get a fondue set, Sue.
 Jeanne makes a call on an ornate phone. 
We are all going to a fancy party on Saturday night,
so we consider this belle-of- the-ball frilly frock,
mold included.
A Someday Rental
 But first a word about peaches!
There were no good peaches on the North Fork.
Come clean, farm stands, where did you get these mealy peaches?
 This sweet little house is a rental in Orient.
It's the stuff of dreams.
 A screened-in porch in the back for
morning coffee or evening wine.
The back yard with a view toward the bay.
A girl can dream, can't she?

A Bientot mes amis.
See you soon with Part 2
of the Orient Getaway!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Advanced Love by Ari Seth Cohen

Keep a-goin'!
It was on my mother's kitchen wall in her condo in Southold, New York. The little, framed picture with the motto keep a-goin'! I, my brother, David, and my sisters, Jeanne and Susan, took care of our mother, Mary, for many years as she went through the stages of Alzheimer's. At the end, we had to move her to a nursing home where she died on my birthday, January 11, 2008.  It took a lot of stamina and patience to take care of her, but we did, especially David, who lived with her and took her for a walk to the "post office" (actually the mailbox a short distance from her home) every day.

Now keep a-goin'! is my motto as I care for my husband, Richard. It's the theme of an essay I wrote for a new book,  Advanced Love, by Ari Seth Cohen. Ari's photographs and text celebrate the beauty and creativity of older couples who he has met in New York City, California and around the world.
Ari is the creator of the blog, Advanced Style. He has two previous books of photographs to his credit and a documentary film. He has enriched the lives of those he has met and made older women and men more visible in the world. Recently, three of the ladies in his documentary were featured in an H&M campaign and seen in a giant image in Times Square.
 "...the art we made, the lives that he, as a teacher, changed. Now it's different. One of us is eighty-five, uses a walker, needs lots of help, and can't remember things. What are you going to do? Make the best of it, confront the daily challenges, renew your spirt. Keep a-goin'.    
from the essay by Carol Markel in Advanced Love 
The cover of Advanced Love, published by Abrams Books.
Richard and I were honored and thrilled to be included in Advanced Love.
 Ari took this photo some years ago in front of the
Donut Plant on Grand Street next to our apartment.
Richard has that rakish look that captivated legions of
women, and especially me.
Ari took the photo on the left last Spring. 
I am wearing a hat and beads of my own design.
The photos on the right were taken at our wedding in 1970.
The book signing party at The Strand Bookstore in their rare book room was held last week. I picked up this silvery sequined jumpsuit before New Year's at H&M. After a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the exhibit, Jewelry, The Body Transformed, a friend and I stopped at Roundabout, a resale shop on Madison Avenue. That is where I found the Yves St. Laurent necklace that I am wearing. I made the headpiece using a velvet rose from the artificial flower maker, Dulken and Derrick. Two people who worked for me at The Guardian, bought the flower for me back in the 90s and gave it to me in a white florist box as a corsage. The bag is a gift from my sister, Jeanne. I embellished it with the velvet patch that says "Love".
Jeanne accompanied me to the book signing. We dined at Il Cantinori before the party. It had been pouring all day, but the sun came out just in time to walk from the restaurant to The Strand. Jeanne was able to put on her adorable red suede shoes without fear of ruination by rain. She is wearing a delightful dress with silvery polka dots and a fun sleeve treatment. Her dangly white and black earrings are a thrift shop find. We had a great time at the party chatting with a lot of the folks featured in Advanced Love. I would have loved to have had Richard with me as well, but these days he is inclined to want to stay at home, especially at night.
I made these earrings for the book signing, and
I had my ears pierced as well, so I could wear them!
However, my ears would not cooperate, and I could not wear them!
So I am showing you now.

On January 26, Ari was interviewed, along with Barbara Flood and Stanley Dorfman,
on the WNYC program, All of It. I was a wonderful interview and Ari quoted my essay. 
Here is the link to the episode.
A Bientot!