Animal prints

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I have a confession to make: I really dislike animal printed anything. Sure, it may be 'fun'....but...I just think they're sort of Atlantic City; Plus they glorify the killing of exotic endangered animals. I know they've been trendy for awhile now and I've kept silent...but I couldn't keep it in any longer!
I'm LOVING this room by Palmer Weiss though! This color combination is just beautiful -what a cheerful room for winter! The white accents such as the lamp keep it from going over the top.

That printed cushion in the center of the sofa though.....ugh. Thats the best he could do?? What do you think? Like the pillow? Love animal prints? I'd love to hear!
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I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! I hope yours is as relaxing as mine :-)
Caption this photo, just for fun!
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Wall Mural

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The December 2008 issue of Metropolitan Home features the home of 2 architects in Portland, Oregon. A husband and wife effort, she sewed together fabric panels and he painted a scene of a traditional room as a sort of stage set for their master bedroom. I could see this done very easily straight on the wall for contrast in a modern home such as this. I love this idea! The more sketchy the mural the better! Note to self: file this away in 'things to consider'
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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I hope everyone in the USA is having a great Thanksgiving full of family, friends and good food! Enjoy the Thanksgiving joke!

A young man named Mike received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. Mike tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, Mike was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. Mike shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. Mike, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, Mike quickly open the door to the freezer, the parrot calmly stepped out into Mike's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

Mike was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"
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Fisherman's Bastion

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I've been working with stone a lot at work recently, which led me to randomly think of the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest.Located in the Castle district, it was originally designed by the architect Frigyes Shulek between 1901 and 1903 as an adjacent structure to the Church of our Lady or Matthais Church, out of remaining stones from the nearby old castle wall. It received its name from the neighborhood it rises above, Fisherman's Town.
This point is high above the city and offers spectacular views over all the surrounding neighborhoods - because of the stunning architecture and views, this is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Hopefully someday I'll get there to see it for myself!
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In front of the Indian Embassy, which I showed yesterday, is a small park with this beautiful statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi(1869-1948). I bring this up just because my favorite quote and one that is part of my username for blogger is by him:
'You must be the change you wish to see in the world'.
Gandhi was an important man in Indian and South African history, one for revolution through non-violence. He was for change (sound familiar to our recent election?).
I'm not going to get into politics here, but I think this is one of the most important affirmations I've ever read. I started my blog hoping to write about what was important to me. I wanted to be the change, albeit in a small way, that I wanted to see. I try to bring a bit of beauty to my blog everyday to share with whomever is interested in finding it. It may be a small goal, but it is the change I want to see in the world.
Everytime I've passed this statue, I've seen people relaxing and meditating in this small garden and wondered what changes they wish to see in the world. What changes would you like to see? Thanksgiving is a day set aside to think about things like this, so please don't forget while spending time with family and friends to also give some thought to small ways you can help attain your own goals. Thanks for letting me blab on here :-)
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Embassy Row

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While walking home from the Hillwood Museum last weekend, I stopped by my favorite section of Embassy row for a few pictures. spooky Embassy of Cameroon at the top, not sure which 2 these are above.
Embassy row is the nickname of a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue here in DC from where I live all the way west for a few miles to Ward Circle. This stretch of road was the premier address at the turn of the last century for the wealthiest families to build their mansions. Nowadays, these beautiful buildings are too large for private residences; many are apartments, foundation headquarters and embassies (from which the road derives its nickname) Now the Indonesian embassy, this was the former home of heiress Evelyn Walsh McLean, last private owner of the Hope Diamond.
Embassy of India - beautiful but in poor condition
Not an embassy, but one of my favorite buildings along Mass. Ave, The Cosmos Club, seen above and below. This became the location for the club in 1952 -before that it was the Townsend Mansion.

Embassy of Estonia - intersting placement on a sharp corner. I've always wondered how the odd building shape was dealt with inside.
Embassy of Luxembourg - I swear this embassy is larger than the country!
This embassy is small but majestic!
Embassy of Ireland above facing Sheridan circle.
Not sure if these are embassies, but aren't they pretty?
This newly remodeled and super luxurious embassy is breathtaking and in a primo location.
And I saved the best for last. This is a private home and is probably my favorite house in Washington. It faces Sheridan circle and the facade is rounded. I love that palladian porch on the 2nd floor!The neighboring house is really beautiful too :-)
I hope you enjoyed this small tour of embassy row! If you are ever in DC it's a great place to take a long walk and enjoy beautiful buildings. I've shown just a few of my favorites but there are 100s more beautiful houses to appreciate!
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Sarah Brightman Fug.

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Yes, I was at her concert Wednesday. Yes, she REALLY wore that....and it was awesome.
Whats not to love about a red satin bustle / corset with 20' long shimmery train with tiara and red high heeled gogo boots and laced-up leggings? Read the HILARIOUS commentary at one of my favorite websites Go Fug Yourself.
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Rainbows in DC

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Last weekend's weather brought us a beautiful rainbow! I snapped this while crossing the bridge from Woodley Park into Kalorama. I hope it brings a smile to your face! It was actually a double rainbow, you can almost see the 2nd one disappearing in this photo to the right over Kalorama.
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Thank you, Washington Post!

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I received a shout out today on the Washington Post Blog Watch. I'm honored and the other 2 blogs are so wonderful I hardly feel worthy! Thank you for all the congratulatory emails, everyone - this has made my day!
Check out the other 2 blogs, I think you will love them! Shelter and Velvet & linen
Image of my style icon, Fred Astaire, taken by Martin Munkacsi via Paul Pincus.
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The Federal Triangle

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Atop the Federal Triangle metro stop is...believe it or not - the Federal Triangle! This important group of federal offices is along the national mall and occupies 70 acres between the Capitol building and the white house. After the 1926 public building's act, the government was permitted to hire private architectcs to design federal buildings. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon (sound familiar? He is responsible for a lot of prominent buildings here in DC among other cities) and a board of architectural consultants headed by Edward H. Bennett (of the Chicago architectural firm of Bennett, Parsons, and Frost) developed design guidelines for the site. Each member of the board designed one building. The guidelines were meant to incoprorate all the seperate buildings into a dignified monumental whole. Limestone facades, red-tile hipped roofs and classically inspired colannades were just some of the features that linked all the buildings together.
My favorite is the one right on top of the metro seen in these pictures, the New Post Office (now the old post office!) also known as the Ariel Rios Federal Building. This was designed by one of my favorite firms, not surprisingly at all, Delano & Aldrich and was finished in 1935. This was built as the core feature of all the buildings and was modeled on the Place Vendome in Paris.
According to this informative website HERE, the central section of the building is comprised of two huge back to back, semi-circular units with side wings. The 1/2 circle formed by the building's curve was to be mirrored by a similarly curved fa├žade built across the Street on the site of the Old Post Office Building, seen below.

The Old Post Office, which has magnificent views of the city from the tower and is always full of tourists, was fortunately saved from the wrecking ball in 1970 and is now private offices. However, the rest of Delano and Aldrich's plan for a main circular court in the federal triangle was never completed because of this. Half of the court exists anyway for us to enjoy! I hope you enjoyed this tour and my photos!
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Have you seen this link to the color graduation chart on Mrs. Blandings? It's fantastic, I got a 7 - take THIS test and let me know how you did in the comments section! Thanks for letting us know about this, Mrs. Blandings and for the image!
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Hillwood greenhouse

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Tired of Hillwood yet? I promise this is the last post! The big draw at Hillwood are the gardens as I mentioned yesterday, but both outside AND indoors. I featured the Japanese garden yesterday, but the entire house is full of fresh flowers year round thanks to their very own greenhouse seen above! There are people preparing fresh arrangements everyday for each room of the house the same as when Marjorie was in residence. What a fun job!
While only the front portion of the greenhouse is open to the public, the rest of the greenhouse features 100s of varieties of flowers for cutting and placing in elaborate arrangements. The front of the greenhouse which I have pictured here had orchids of every shape, size and color. It features 3 large seperate rooms with many more closed to the public.
One way to fit in even more plants - hang them from the ceiling!
So many pretty colors!

They were categorized by type - I can appreciate the organization!
Those yellow frilly ones really remind me of an Easter bonnet!

Ok I promise that is the end of my pictures of Hillwood! Back to our regularly scheduled postings tomorrow :-)
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Hillwood: Japanese Garden

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The gardens are one of the real draws of the Hillwood estate. One of the most beautiful is the Japanese Garden. It lies just below the lawn on the back of the house. It basically is a large waterfall with pathways down the hillside into the lower garden. I think it looks best in the fall as seen here. The beautiful foliage was star!
This garden represents a hybrid of American and Japanese gardening traditions. Shogo Myaida was the landscape architect who combined native planting materials with authentic Japanese ones to achieve the desired affect. Mrs. Post was actively involved with Shogo in the 1950s and 60s in the design of this garden.

an interesting shot of the ground

From the garden you see up the hillside to the home

Join me tomorrow for a tour of the home's greenhouse!

All pictures are my own.

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