Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Love Maine, Especially in September

Very few tourists, moderate temperatures, period houses, galleries, harbors, islands, rocks, lobster rolls, blueberries, and good friends - all of this I experienced last week.  Hence the tardiness of my post.  So, even though Maine is out of my planned sequence, it's my topic today.  Come with me while I enjoy it all over again with you.

The view my friends and I awoke to every morning when the tide was in.  Wish I could remember the names of those distant islands.

Knowing my interest in Andrew Wyeth and all the Wyeths' art, we first visited the Olson house where Andrew Wyeth painted Christina's World.  Here, the docent explained how Christina Olson's slow crippling illness limited her life to this house and its surroundings.

A glimpse of my host on the right.

Rear of the house.  Owned by the Farnsworth Museum, there is discussion concerning how much to renovate the structure which Andrew knew so well and painted so often.

The view from this upstairs window...

before the trees grew and blocked the view, inspired this painting.

The famous Christina's World.  Betsy Wyeth was often the actual model for much of this painting, but it was exactly how Christina Olson actually navigated her limited world.

Andrew's grave just down the road from the Olson house.  The site is peaceful with ocean views through the trees.  The fact that this graveyard is where he wished to be buried speaks to the connectedness he felt with the Olsons.

Moving on, we took in more ocean views and more amazing boulders that make up much of Maine's shoreline.

Years ago, I read of a couple who retired to an island, Swans Island, in Maine.  Here they raised sheep without fences, spun their wool and wove wonderful wool blankets.  Their work won many awards, but when the wife developed Alzheimer's disease, the couple sold the business to an onshore company.   This company still weaves the blankets on hand looms and has kept the original name.  This was a really interesting stop in Northport, Maine.

Part of the showroom.  The insignia above the name is woven onto all their goods.

Looms with organically dyed wool.  Peeping over the loom is the other half of my host couple.

Sample of a Swans Island blanket and assorted pillows.

Just down the road, our next stop was Windsor Chairmakers in Lincolnville, Maine.

Beautiful furniture made to the buyer's specifications.  I took lots of photos here because the furniture was so lovely, but am restraining myself and posting only a few, like this tiger-maple highboy...

or the built-in cupboards and drawers unit custom made to the specifications of your room...

or a tiger-maple chest of drawers...

or just a simple candle or pipe box.  It was all beautiful.

Another day in Camden, Maine we visited Leslie Curtis Designs.   Her shop is full of all things Maine, but her design specializes in wicker.

Here we see Leslie talking about a wicker piece once belonging to Bette Davis.  (I believe Leslie was once married to film star, Tony Curtis.  Not to drop any names.)

Such pretty things.

Of course, everyday required a lobster roll and, for me, cole slaw so crucial to the eating of lobster rolls.


Preferably eaten while overlooking a harbor.  (Thought this photo really came out well.)

Or this one.   My friend says, "Everywhere you look in Maine is a painting."  And it's true.

Knowing I admire the design of Hugh Newell Jacobsen, we drove by one of his designs in Maine.  How great is this - a Hugh Newell Jacobsen house in Maine!

And note the view they have.

So pure, so Maine, so Jacobsen.

Their harbor view at dusk.

A sweet little Maine house we saw at the end of our day all ready for autumn.

While on the subject of Mid-Coastal Maine, I thought now might be an appropriate time to include a house and shop I have always loved in Wiscasset, Maine.  All the photos have come from  the website  Every time I pass this shop and home, people like me are taking photos of it.  If you have not seen it, enjoy these images.  If you are in Wiscasset, stop in the shop or at least take a photo.  Living room below.  (The painting on the mantel is a Jamie Wyeth; he traded the painting for a Marston House antique.)

Sharon and Paul Mrozinski, owners of the Marston House.

Dining area.

Another view.

Another view of living room.

Their kitchen is one that fits the title of my blog - it is one "I have loved" for years.

Their home which is atop their shop is full of great Maine antiques, like the blue cupboard on the left.  And note the wide plank floors.

Master bedroom.

Master bath on left and bedroom again on right.

Bedroom mantel detail.

Views of shop's antiques.

You can even stay in the Mrozinskis' bed and breakfast, or rent a cottage, or their flat in Paris.  Famous people have been in the Marston House - Jamie Wyeth and his painting and Martha Stewart had lunch with the Mrozinskis in their wonderful dining room.  She said it was like being in a Vermeer painting - high praise indeed.

Well, it's getting to be bedtime for this blogger.  Before I end, I thank my friends for a most delightful visit, and I  leave you, my faithful reader, with two more images of Maine.  Blueberries, of course.

And now, good night.  Till the next time in the Hamptons.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hellooo Martha's Vineyard

Yes, it's true, I have indeed left Nantucket (at least until next summer).  It seems appropriate to visit Martha's vineyard today because this morning, I finished a book by Richard North Patterson entitled Fall from Grace which was set entirely on Martha's Vineyard.  In the Afterword, the author explains that he has always wanted to set one of his novels here because "for almost two decades" it has been his summer home.  He sort of got me in a Martha's Vineyard mood, but Patterson is not alone in spending time there.  It has been the summer home to many people, one of them being a dear friend who always speaks of it fondly.  Never having been there myself (always passed it on the way to Nantucket), I listened to my friend and know how people feel about their Vineyard homes - loving and loyal.  So today, let's look at this pretty island just off the coast of Cape Cod.

via Content in a Cottage 
The following images are from Catherine Fallin and Elizabeth Talbot's book Martha's Vineyard with photos by Taylor Lewis.  It was borrowed by me for this post from my friend, the "Vineyard"-lover.  Though published in 1992, 20 years ago, the owner's love and pride in the island show through just like my friend's do and just as my author's did.
Built in 1752, Tide Bells "was moved from Tea Lane in Chilmark around 1923.  The house was dismantled, and all its pieces numbered, moved by truck and then reassembled" here above Nantucket Sound.

Entry hall of Tide Bells.  On Pinterest I have lately been pinning many cool, funky, and industrial flavored rooms. When I see the purity of this room, it takes me back to my colonial roots as seen in my very first posts.

Originally called the parlor, this room is filled with "morning light" as attested to by the sea-filled views out the windows.

The cozier winter den.

The kitchen floors were painted red when the owners bought the house, but were stripped back to the "natural wood."  One board was 21" wide.

Love Canton china in this antique Welsh dresser or...

on the dining room table.

The nearby West Chop lighthouse.
(Now, Missy, I will return your lovely books.)

The Elle Decor below is from the summer of 1990.  I can't believe I saved it that long and really must 
be more of a discard-er, but see if you could have discarded these images.

In it, Charles Myer's does a make-over: "from sea shack to beach cottage."  Here we see the make-over in a sea of dune grass.

Next, the dining room, its deck and the glorious view of the sea beyond.

Because of the Vineyard's strict building code, Myer couldn't add rooms with any new uses "nor could he expand beyond the perimeters of the existing house."  Solution, he built upward.  Here we see the effect, the two-storied window space above the kitchen.  All  the white adds to a feeling of spaciousness.

A table scape below on white wicker table.

The exposed rafters "crown" the only bedroom.  The house is just under 850 square feet - a real beach cottage.

Another table scape, this time with vintage glass and dune grass.

Porcelain sink and tub of the only bathroom.

Side stairs leading to the living room which unfortunately is never shown.

Built-in storage in the only bedroom.
Because this beach cottage is so snug, it could never accommodate an entire Pollan family reunion.  Instead, the owners, including actress daughter Tracy Pollan and her husband Micheal J. Fox, take turns.  In 1990, I always thought this house charming with all its snug whiteness, and in 2012, I still do. 

Let's transition now, to Meg Ryan's home on Martha's Vineyard as seen in the June 2010 issue of Elle Decor.  She did not have the same problems as the Pollans.  As she explains it, on a visit to the island, she fell in love with a large cedar-shingled house on a seven-acre property. “It’s absolutely beautiful, just operatic,” she says. “It’s situated on a small rise and surrounded by water. The sun rises over a shallow bay on one side of the house and sets over a deep harbor on the other. And then the moon comes up over the bay.”  The house itself, however, was far less than perfect - a large, cavernous, dark, post and beam house that had been transported across the Atlantic.  According to Ryan, it needed walls and whiteness.  Do you remember reading about the changes she and her designer, Marsha Russell, made?  If not, here is a refresher course.

The island itself.

The actress herself.  She's so cute.  (Besides having my seven fantasy houses, could I also please look like Meg Ryan?)

Not a dark cavern now, but white and airy.  So island-y.

Her dining room with the vintage sign.

I absolutely love her kitchen.  A kitchen is my favorite room in any house and Ryan's has so much that I love.  Black cabinets below, white beamed ceiling above, a great vintage island, Wolf range and glass door refrigerator.  I could live in this room.

Let's make it bigger.

And a pantry!!  I would kill for a pantry.

And its own breakfast room.  It just gets better and better.

Remember the patio on the cover?  Also great.

Can't remember what this room is, but it has a great, huge mirror, and a sliding barn door.  Where is the magazine when I need it?  Does anyone remember where this entry room leads to or from?

Bedroom with a similar door.  I'm so embarrassed I don't know where the door in the above room leads.  This would never happen to Joni Webb. 

Very white, very pretty guest room.  The lighting everywhere is so easy-breezy.  It all suits the house perfectly, don't you think?

Again, I love the funky lighting here, and the cool sink and the large mirror and the crocks below.  And I bet the counters are concrete.  Love concrete counter tops.

Being a bath person, I also love this tub.  Hate to be so repetitious, but there is not a thing in this house I do not love.  (I even love the mystery room.)

Lucky Meg.

Beautiful Martha's Vineyard.

Now, apropos of nothing except that I stumbled across them, I'm going to end with images from one of the Cote Sud, Ouest, or Est magazines.  I tore these pages from one and do not know which it was.  (Hence, I seldom tear out pages.)  Thought these images were beautiful even though they are from France and not Martha's Vineyard.  It is a warm day today in upstate New York and these pics still say summer and summer food enjoyment.  

Delicious-looking eggplant, pepper and tomato tart.

Ragout of beans and carrots and mushrooms.

Summery dessert table.

Raspberries and panna cote.

Peach tart.    
Pictures from the Cote magazines are always so beautiful and scan so well when out of the binding.  They are not of Martha's Vineyard, but were irresistible.  Hope you liked them and hope you liked my brief dalliance on the Vineyard.  

It's off to Maine for a few days to visit friends.  Then some family visits when I return so it may be a bit longer before I post again.  Perhaps, by that time I will discover the origin of Meg's mystery room.

Be well-