30 June 2010

Still Life: Fork

Even though I consider myself quite the accomplished host, there are those (rare) moments when things don't quite go as planned which is when one must resort to a touch of razzle-dazzle....who knew my showbiz background as a tap dancer would prove so handy?  From experience, I've learned that the right serving pieces can make the most lackluster of meals appear quite shiny and bright.  If your guests are polite enough to warrent a return invite, they won't even notice the over-salted, mushy vegetables or beyond al dente pasta because they'll be dining with beautifully detailed forks on the finest intricately patterned china....razzle dazzle strikes again.

29 June 2010

If I Were A Girl: Sale Savvy

If I were a girl I would be a super-savvy shopper and twice yearly I would roll up my designer sleeves to take full advantage of end-of-season super-duper sales which is probably why my inner girl broke a (light) sweat when I saw these Alexander McQueen booties on sale....this is the type of sensible, everyday footwear I would wear, well, everyday...if I were a girl.   Available right here.

28 June 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Tin of Thread

Sometimes it is the most quiet thing that creates the most lovely sound.  This is why I fell for this humble display of thread that I spotted at POD, a beautifully curated shop just outside Boston proper...according to the talented proprietor, Julie, this tin of thread is presented just as it was found.  Enjoy more of Julie's eye here.    

27 June 2010

If I Were a Girl: Feathers & Rollerskates

If I were a girl I would wear feathers on my head to enhance my aerodynamics and my favored mode of transport would be rollerskates....as if you had any doubt.
Nellie Donegan (1912) via The NYPL.

26 June 2010

Favorites: Gay Literature

Now, just what you've been waiting for, part deux of the Wandering Eye Gay Primer: A completely random list of my favorite gay-ish books....also known as Ten (plus one) Books I've Kept on My Bookshelf Because I Could Read Them Over and Over and Over Again...
1. The Immoralist by Andre Gide
2. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
3. Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote
4. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
5. The Other Persuasion edited by Seymour Kleinberg
6. The Carnivorous Lamb by Agustin Gomez-Arcos
7. A Boy Named Phyllis by Frank Decaro
8. Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
9. Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
10. Hornito: My Lie Life by Mike Albo
11. Firebird by Mark Doty
And now a word from our sponsor: In revisiting these favorites, I realize that my good friend (and former college prof) John Garrett introduced me to both Gide and Genet....two authors whose books I had mad-intensive, mind altering love affairs with so I want to say a faraway THANK YOU to John Garrett!

25 June 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Bramble

All the plants in the neighborhood are boasting rich verdant foliage like shiny green coats of leaf shaped sequins...they have completely transformed from their somber winter look of brittle bare branches and now they stand their shadowed ground primped and proud.  All except this jumble of twigs...this non-conformist...the neighborhood rebel bramble without a cause. 

24 June 2010

My Future Home: Ceiling Ornament

Once upon a time this lovely ornament graced a soaring ceiling that I like to imagine touched the clouds.  Of course I discovered it much closer to earth, covered with soot and tossed on a folding table at the flea market in New York.  Someday, I will return my architectural remnant to its rightful place, front and center on a dramatic sky-high ceiling...in my future home.

23 June 2010

Crave: Shore Time

Now that we are officially ensconced in summer, I feel as if I should be decked out in horizontal navy/ white stripes....and a French sailor hat....and fetching white pants with all those buttons suggestively placed along the front...and I should be standing by the shore...sun-kissed and sailor-kissed and watching the whales go by.

22 June 2010

Distraction: Magazines

I have a serious problem.  I am hooked on magazines.  I'm not talking People or Star or National Enquirer. I'm a junkie for foreign magazines...those pricey, cello wrapped glossies that hold the promise of wonder and inspiration within their slick, shiny pages.  It doesn't matter that I'm not fluent in Russian or Japanese or German because, as usual, it's all about the visuals for me and these magazines are chock full of the good stuff.

21 June 2010

Favorites: Gordon Merrick

I was a junior in high school when I discovered this book at my favorite bookstore in the mall.  It took me weeks to build up the courage to buy it and once I had it in my sweaty pubescent palms I immediately concealed the cover art with a plain paper book cover which, in retrospect, was so obvious.  I don't recall the details of the story but I do remember some very descriptive s-e-x scenes which resulted in several dog-eared pages.  To my sheltered, hormone rattled teenage mind, this novel was my introduction to gay pornography minus the graphic images and bad soundtracks...instead, there were some titillatingly delicious well-chosen words and that was plenty fine for me.

20 June 2010

Happy Day Daddy-O

On this special day when we pay tribute to fathers everywhere I want to send a mega-large MERCI to all the dads, pops, papas, father figures and daddy-types out there who strive to make this world a better place for those they love...oh, and here's a tie and some aftershave as well.
Henry O. Studley Toolchest (1890's) via The Smithsonian Institute.

19 June 2010

If I Were a Girl: Auntie Mame

If I were a girl, I would want to grow up to be someone's Auntie Mame.  I would revel in the role as the colorful, anything-goes, party throwing auntie with the penchant for decorating on a theme.  If I were a (cough) mature girl and I could be even a tiny bit like the amazing Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame, I'd be one very happy dame. 

18 June 2010

Covet: Boucherouite Rugs

I am always amazed and impressed when creative expression results purely from necessity like the primitive decorative detail on a piece of hand-built furniture or the graphic composition of a vintage quilt comprised of random fabric scraps. This image is from an exhibition showcasing rugs made from repurposed remnants and rags because these are the materials available to the makers...all women in rural Morocco...the results are painterly, free-form compositions....simply beautiful.
More eye candy here.

17 June 2010

Crave: Color

I can appreciate the subtlety of a  monochromatic palette just as much as the next person and there are moments when all I want to look at are moody muddy shades of gray....like a colorless winter sky before a rain or freshly poured cement.  Then there are times when I get a hankering for color....lots of color....a great big, mouth-watering heaping plateful of super-saturated color.  Yummeeeee!

16 June 2010

Distraction: La Belle Personne

At an hour of night when I should have been deep in sleep I was, instead, sitting in front of the television with a glass of red wine, scanning a multitude of channels hoping for some inspired programming when I chanced upon a scene that stopped my remote-pressing finger in mid-air.  The film was La Belle Personne and the actors were striking in that seemingly effortless Parisian way that makes me swoon....pale skin, disheveled hair, wonderful lips and rumpled clothes that actually fit....not too tight, not too loose.   I only caught the last half hour of the film so I was fairly lost trying to follow the story line but I didn't care because it was just what I needed: a beautiful visual escape in the stillness of a late night hour.

15 June 2010

Still Life: Silver

For a few years now I've been collecting beat up, tarnished silver serving pieces....the darker and beat up-er the better.  I'm attracted to the etched and raised details, the bits of shine still showing through and the shapely silhouettes.  I like to imagine the history of each piece....lush well-appointed sitting rooms where they might have been used....a tufted settee, hushed voices, the sweet scent of black tea and a gloved hand holding a perfectly balanced tray. 

14 June 2010

Favorites: Cher

There are icons and then there are ICONS.  Cher would go under that all cap heading.  When I was an impressionable wee Wanderer, Cher made quite an impression.  How could she not?  Look at that perfectly smooth hair, those bedroom eyes with the purple eyeshadow, the metallic tipped nails and the backless Bob Mackie dress dripping with bugle beads.  I remember watching Cher on TV and sitting so close to the screen that my Mom would reprimand me.  I couldn't help myself.  Cher was my version of a Fairy Godmother and I imagined that one day she would drive down our cul de sac in a sequin covered limousine to rescue me and together we would rollerskate, hand in hand, off into the sunset.  Dyn-oh-mite!

13 June 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Stump

I'm stumped as to why I was so taken with this but it caught my eye so here it is....

12 June 2010

Covet: Vintage Work Clothes Quilt

Every summer I sacrifice a pair of pants (usually jeans) to the Goddess of the Cutoff....it is a quick ceremony with little blood shed...perhaps a stray thread or two.  The cutoff short is my uniform of choice during the warmer months....mind you I snip at a respectable length for my Daisy Duke short short days are long past.  With every sacrificial offering, there is left the remaining part of the pant....in my case, a rather long section of leg and since I have a hard time parting with anything (or anyone for that matter) I have been collecting all these leg parts for years.  My wish is to pay homage to the loyal service of my old pants by stitching up a quilt...nothing fancy....no Windowpane or Log Cabin pattern for me.  When I finally get around to it, my quilt will be a reflection of its maker....rather hodge podge...slightly askew....imperfect but (hopefully) in a charming way.  In the meantime, I will covet this lovely specimen available here.

11 June 2010

Crave: Alair de Oliveira Gomes

Whenever I need a dose of superficial but delicious beachside beefcake, I peruse my volume of photographs by the Brazilian photographer Alair de Oliveira Gomes...Rio de Janeiro, beautiful men and skimpy swimwear....all rendered in black and white...need I say more?  
Available right here.

10 June 2010

If I Were A Girl: Pearls & Peacock

If I were a girl, I would know how to wear pearls....lots of them and I would be quite comfortable donning a peacock shaped head-dress when the appropriate occasion presented itself.  Most importantly, if I were a girl, I would know when to play dead....and I would do so most convincingly.
 Gloria Swanson & furry friend from Cecil B. DeMille's Male and Female (1919)

09 June 2010

Favorites: Gay Cinema

Following is a completely random list representing a few of my favorite gay(ish) films....consider this a Wandering Eye Gay Primer in honor of our rainbow flag waving month.  Perhaps you've lost touch with your gayness or maybe you're straight but considering a wander on the glitter strewn wild side?  Whatever the reason, these films (in my humble opinion) are required viewing and the perfect starting point for this here W.E. Gay Primer chock full of all the tools to help you get in touch with your inner homosexual ...whether he likes it or not.
1. La Ley Del Deseo (1987) 
2. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
3. Auntie Mame (1958)
4. Beautiful Thing (1996)
5. Cabaret (1972)
6. Another Country (1984)
7. Maurice (1987)
8. Ma Vie En Rose (1997)
9. C.R.A.Z.Y (2005)
10. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

08 June 2010

Crave: Interior Inspiration

Just perused the June issue of American Elle Decor and nearly dozed off before the last page.  Why do so many American magazines pale in comparison to their foreign counterparts?  I found the entire issue completely uninspiring and disappointingly uptight....beach houses that appear to be unoccupied with nary an obsessively arranged flip flop out of place?  Yawn.  The actress Meg Ryan in her Martha's Vineyard getaway complete with oversized faux signage that reads 'Flowers'?   Blech.  Where is the surprise?  Where is the inspiration?  I could feel my eyes glazing over because there was nothing within those pages that sparkled or popped.  Sorry Margaret Russell but I'll stick to magazines that actually inspire like World of Interiors, Casa Vogue or Apartamento.
Image via Casa Vogue.

07 June 2010

Still Life: Happy

It's Monday.  The beginning of the work week for many and a day for sad sack sayings.  Back to the ol' grindstone.  Same shit different day.  Sigh.  My remedy for the Monday moody blues?  A small dose of happy.  Here you go.  Just what Doctor W. Eye ordered.  Now, swallow.

06 June 2010

Rhyme nor Reason: Rainbow Stairs

Now that we're a few days into June,   Gay Pride should be at a feverish pitch....when is the high-stepping in the streets going to commence?  Where are the clouds of glitter confetti?  When will the infectious thump thump of Lady Gaga permeate the air?  Yeah, not much happening here either although I did find this bit of rainbow-themed decor at the local paint supply store.  Who knew?

05 June 2010

Still Life: String

A ditty for the day: Even the most mundane thing like a jumble of twisted string can easily bring a photographic thrill to a life that is still. 

04 June 2010

Crave: Astaire and Rogers

Since I love to perpetuate a stereotype I have to admit that lately I've been craving a good ol' fashioned Hollywood musical and nothing satisfies that kind of craving more than a silver screen dose of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.   I don't recall which Astaire and Rogers musical I saw first when I was a child...it was a hot summer afternoon and I was watching forbidden daytime television at my friend Heather's house. While I don't recall the title of that film, I do remember that I was completely transfixed by the luminous black and white images flickering on the television screen.  I had never seen anything like it....the costumes, the music, the sets and the incredible dancing of Astaire and Rogers.....their fluid grace punctuated by the precise click, clack of tap shoes.  I ran home that afternoon and, with dramatic open arms and a big gap-toothed smile, announced to my Mother's noticeable dismay that I wanted to be "a tap dancer!" as I clicked and clacked around the dining table, my sandals slapping the hard tile floor.  My Mother, in a futile attempt to alter the inevitable, immediately signed me up for Little League Baseball.

03 June 2010

Still Life: Peonies

I have a soft spot for peonies.  I love their flouncy petals in girly colors like pale pink and deep berry...the oversized scale of a peony bloom reminds me of a full-figured gal who lets it all hang out....someone in the mold of Mae West with the saucy attitude but minus the restrictive underpinnings...a Rubenesque figure displaying all her corpulent beauty with unselfconscious abandon.

02 June 2010

Crave: Excess

When I am wearing my designer cap (that would be the one with the sequin trim) there are moments when I have a hard time with restraint.  Yes, though tis hard to imagine and you're shaking your head in disbelief, there are moments when even I have a hard time keeping my (design) urges under control...moments when I stomp my feet and say "I'm going to do whatever I want!" as I cross my arms like an obstinate child (in sequin trim cap).  This would explain why I love this 1920's French fabric design chock full of unexpected colors, patterns, flowers, butterflies, bees, branches, squiggles, dots...

01 June 2010

Still Life: My Little (Gay) Pony

In honor of Gay Pride Month, this here Diary of a Wandering Eye is going to be heavy on the love that dare not speak its name for the next 30 days.  We'll be serving it up thick and rich and (like this vintage chalk-ware pony) rainbow colored.  So, what else is new you might wonder?  Just wait and see my chickadee.