Friday, June 19, 2009

weekly roundup

Welcome to another weekend! I know I'll be enjoying my new iphone (trying to make it work -no phone reception in my apartment, any helpful hints anyone?)
Also, I've found a new summer drink in St. Germain Elderflower liqueur. Not just a beautiful bottle but the most light and refreshingly sweet drink, perfect for summer! I can't get enough!
Also, I want to thank Little Augury for her interview on my summer book choices HERE! She is running a series of blogposts this summer with selections from a number of bloggers. Make sure to stay tuned!
Top photo taken last week at Sugarleaf Vineyards while in Virginia - great winery, especially their white and dessert wines.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Antique cars

While at Poplar Forest this past weekend, we were suprised by a group of antique cars in the parking lot as we left. I have to admit to not being a 'car' person, I don't even own one as I live in the city, but I do appreciate the design aspect.
2 seperate groups of cars from different time periodsMy favorite was this old blue Ford. They don't make them like this anymore...So elegantEven the interior!This 1920's chrysler roadster was next to it. I love the snappy yellow & green.
notice the decorative wheels.and a real 'trunk'! So thats where that term came from.....
A 1921 Model T sedanwood spoked wheels....even a wood steering wheel!
I can't imagine a better Saturday afternoon than motoring down the country lanes of bucolic Virginia, stopping at a winery or two and visiting Poplar Forest in my vintage convertible; can you?

This one reminded me a bit of 'chitty chitty bang bang' - love that horn!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

great packaging

I have to admit I buy a lot of products based on the packaging and I'm guessing that if you read my blog, you just might too! I recently discovered this new mouthwash that comes in this really chic bottle. The packaging just looks thoughtful and eye catching -love the shape of the bottle. It could almost be an exotic liqeuer or high end vodka.
Is rembrant the 'apple' of the oral healthcare industry with their well designed packaging?
What products do you use that seem well designed? I'd love to hear!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Poplar Forest

This past weekend I went with my friend Janet (of JCB fame) and some friends to Poplar Forest, the country retreat of Thomas Jefferson.
Everyone is familiar with Monticello, in Charlottesville, VA. but not everyone knows his country home & plantation some 90 miles away. The house was built after Monticello, beginning in 1806, as a way to escape the crowds which gathered to hear him speak. Many of his architectural ideals were able to crystalize and work themselves out here and he fondly called it his most valuable posesssion.front porch detail
The house is in the form of an octagon, a shape Jefferson was obsessed with. On a practical level, it was a way to have the most surface area and windows for ventilation.
The building is a simple country house, meant as a private retreat, based on Palladian ideals. The center of the octagon shape is a dining room, a 20 foot cube which is lit by a large skylight. A double bed chamber for Jefferson (with the bed built into a nook between them, similar to Monticello and a favorite detail of mine) and 2 bedrooms for grandchildren flank the dining room, as does the salon and the small entry hall. These are the main areas of the house.
The grounds have been sold off over the years, but the views from the house make it appear as if the original 4,800 acres are still intact. As the long journey took 3 days, Jefferson would retire here for long weeks at a time - his favorite activity was to study and read.Even the 2 outhouses, which symmetrically flank the main house, are octagons. This one below has some servants quarters which were built in the late 19th century which I believe are going to be removed.
The house is a fascinating place, not just for the history,but for what is being undertaken at the moment. Subsequent owners and fires have modified the house to the point where it was barely recognizable to its original form. The organization managing the property has gutted it down to its structural brick which make up the exterior and even interior walls. It is being rebuilt using the same tools and techniques available to Jefferson at the time.
A large portion of the tour is showing the layers of construction and what goes into the process. I would highly recomend this to any architecture student (or architect) as a really fascinating look into how building technology has changed. They really are doing an excellent job of portraying the construction: Trust me, it's not boring! I can't wait to go back in a few years and see the progress! These scuppers (or roof drains) got water off the service wing roof (known as the office) which housed the kitchens and allowed the surface to be a deck for Jefferson and his grandchildren to use as a promenade. An example of how it was constructed lays in the wing below.
Visit the main website to plan your visit HERE
I had to include this photo of the charming Janet photographing the lichen on the garden wall for her collection!