30 December 2012

Tammis Keefe website - cocktail napkins added!

Linen cocktail napkins, in original gift box.
If you are looking for gifts that will make things a little brighter, more liveable, more usable and more sympathetic to human beings, then look for the name of Designer Tammis Keefe.
 - Dallas Morning News, December 15, 1957
The holiday season, full of festive food and drink, in is full swing as we approach New Year's Eve.  Throughout the land, revelers are performing a two-handed juggling routine - balancing plates of tidbits in one hand while manuvering a cup of punch or a cocktail in the other.  Napkins are involved, for wiping a stray bit of onion dip, or to place beneath the mug of mulled wine, saving the party giver's nice furniture from tell-tale waterspot rings.

The career of Tammis Keefe (1913-1960) paralled the resurgence of post-war cocktail party culture, when Prohibition and rationing were distant memories. Thanks to my patient DH, examples of Keefe's artistry can be seen on my website, http://www.tammiskeefe.com/collections.html She did many sets of cocktail napkins, and her designs often have an element of humor, putting everyone in a party mood.
"Out to lunch" cocktail napkin set.
The set in the image above tells a sad tale - start in the upper left corner, and move clockwise to follow the narrative.  Other napkin sets celebrate the manufacture of hospitality, especially the sharing of food and drink.

Mixed drinks.

Don't overdo it, lest you see elephants!

Party music, Persian-style.

Antique images repurposed for 1950's living.

We'll skip the "one for the road" and use a designated driver or taxi-cab for a safe start to 2013.
Thanks to everyone for reading my blog this year and best wishes for the New Year!

28 December 2012

The Stones of Japan

World's most famous stone garden, at Ryoan-ji temple, Kyoto.
In May of 2012, my husband and I had the privilege to travel to Japan with a textile study tour. We saw and did many wonderful things and, of course, took lots of pictures. That's the cliche of the American tourist, isn't it? - too casually dressed, guidebook sticking out of travel bag, both hands around a camera, viewing the world through a lens, literally and perhaps figuratively, too.  The American traveler in Japan is weighed down by much historic baggage, however light the carry-on in the overhead bin.

Well, I do like to take pictures, and to buy postcards, too.  My studio is lined with pictures and printouts, sources of much inspiration, not to mention memories.

It took some time to process my 2,000+ images, but here's a small sampling, with more to come in the next year - don't worry, there will be plenty of textiles!

While Japan's big cities are full of glass and steel skyscrapers,  my Japan blog posts begin with something of an ode to an old material, stone.

As always, click on any image to enlarge it.

Stone can hold up massive buildings.  
Nagoya Castle; stone base survived WWII fires.

The stone base of the main donjon of Nagoya Castle, finished in 1612, survived World War II, scorched but intact. The upper part of the castle was rebuilt in 1959.

Stone can support small structures, too.
Garden porch, House of Takeda, Arimatsu (near Nagoya).

Stone can be massive... 
No, not Cuzco. Nagoya Castle, stone base.
Or delicate.
Detail, bridge at Tokugawa Museum, Nagoya.

Stone can have polished manners...
Furukawa Museum, Nagoya.

 Or be rough and ready.
Nagoya castle stones, with marks of donor clan.

Stone likes water, outdoors...
Garden, Tokugawa Museum, Nagoya.
Garden detail, Tamesaburo Hall, Nagoya.
And indoors too.
Bathroom with shower seats, Jinzenji residence, Kyoto.

 Stone also likes flowers.
Hedge wall, Miyama village.

 Stone welcomes us to sacred space.
Torii gate, shrine entrance, Kiryu.

Stone holds our prayers...
Votive shrines, with paper prayers, Kiryu.

And our words.
Inscription stone, Mount Hiei (near Kyoto).

Spirits live in stone...
Spirit stones, with offerings, Ryoan-ji garden, Kyoto.

As do memories.
Jizo memorial statues at Zojo-ji temple, Tokyo.

Stone paths show us the way,
Restaurant entrance, Tokugawa Museum, Nagoya.

Wherever our journey takes us.
Garden path, Seifu-en ryokan (inn) near Kiryu.