Wingspread

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Designed in 1937, by Frank Lloyd Wright, Wingspread is the name of Herbert Fisk Johnson’s home. Shaped like a pinwheel, when seen from above, the home lays low in the landscape and gives one a sense of calm and harmony whether you’re inside or out. Wright had such a talent for beautiful architecture that makes you feel serene.

I got to go to a free tour of the home on Sunday. They offer two afternoon tours, which begin with a short talk providing background into the home’s history. Johnson commissioned Wright to design the home for his second wife and their blended family of six. However, she died before it was completed so only Johnson, his third wife and his two children lived in it.

 

 

The home has five fireplaces, a big common area which consists of a space for reading and listening to music, spaces for conversation and a dining area. There are lots of windows and several glass doors in the central part of the home.

After the talk, we saw a 20 minute video with the two people who grew up in the home, who were able to share some great stories. First Sam, the son, said that the 8 foot tall fireplace was designed to hold long birch logs that filled it till the top. They used this once. While it looked beautiful, as you might figure, after a time when the logs started to burn and crumble. The logs eventually gave way and started to fall into the room. The family and servants had to spring into action and throw the logs out of the house and over the balcony.

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Typical of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, the windows leaked a lot and the kids and servants had to run around with buckets whenever it rained. In the end Johnson hired a shipmaker to fix the windows they way they’d fix portholes.

Another feature that didn’t work was a retractible, rolling dinner table that moved into the kitchen via slots. The idea is the table could be rolled back and forth between the kitchen and the dining area so that the servants wouldn’t have to come into the dining area, they would change all the dishes back in the kitchen. In practice this didn’t work so well. At the second dinner they hosted, the grandmother was surprised to see her first course disappear when she didn’t finish at the same time as the others. She raised quite a fuss and they went back to having servants clear each course.

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One story I loved involved Mrs. Johnson #3. She realized that the home was designed for another woman so she replaced the paintings and added her own upholstered furnishings. When Wright came to visit, he was appalled to see the changes. In the middle of the night he got up and rummaged through the storage areas and replaced Mrs. Johnson #3’s art with the original and stored all her chairs, etc. At sunrise, Mrs. Johnson caught him and told him to leave at once and never return. He did and they never saw each other again.

Poem of the Week

La Belle Dame sans Merci

by John Keats

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Poem of the Week

Portrait by a Neighbor

By Edna Vincent Millay

Before she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight,
Her key’s in the lock,
And you’ll never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon,

She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,
She forgets she borrowed butter
And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s Lace!

Favorite Beauty Vloggers

After learning about the wonders of Korean skin care from the Wall Street Journal, I went to YouTube to learn more. There I discovered some vloggers who’re enjoyable and informative. I’ve been sharing these folks with my sister and friends so it seemed I should blog about them and have a one-stop spot for people to sample top beauty bloggers.

Joan Keem

Joan’s a Korean American who’s now living in Seoul where she creates upbeat, informative videos and works for a radio station, I think. In addition to beauty videos she’ll also upload videos about travel and fashion.

Gothamista

Urbanite and self-professed “long time product junkie” Renée has worked in the beauty industry for years. She puts together videos that show her insider know-how. Like Joan, she’s upbeat. I like how she’s willing to show herself without a drop of make up and that she’s closer to my age.

The Beauty Breakdown


Morgan, authentic and energetic, has a very down-to-earth approach to skin care and cosmetics. I like how she’s so real. If she doesn’t like something, she lets you know. So you can use her recommendations with confidence.

Sunnydahey

Sunny is a law school graduate, vlogger and friend of Joan’s. she’s down to eart and gives honest opinions. I like when vloggers honestly point out short coming’s of products.

Gothamista

Urbanite and self-professed “long time product junkie” Renée has worked in the beauty industry for years. She puts together videos that show her insider know-how. Like Joan, she’s upbeat. I like how she’s willing to show herself without a drop of make up and that she’s closer to my age.

Meej Muse

An Australian Korean make up artist, Jen Kim makes informative, fun videos on skin care, make up, life style, travel and woman-in-the-street interviews on social issues. She’s fun and smart and quite professional with her video and post-production skills.

Here’s one of her videos on Seoul.

The Chriselle Factor

Chriselle Lim is the most sophisticated of the bunch. I don’t watch her as often becaue she seems so out of my league. She’s worked hard to make a place in the fashion world of YouTube, but I can tell I don’t and won’t have her budget for clothes, makeup or anything. She does have a sense of humor and wit which she uses in her videos, but still I feel she’s more high fashion than I want to be. Her videos are well-made and she deserves kudos for the production values.

Do you have favorite vloggers on any subject? If so, share links and below and I’ll check them out. They can be on any topic.

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Sunscreens for the Summer

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That’s not me

My first job out of college was at the American Academy of Dermatology as a receptionist.  A big function of that organization was publicizing the bad side of getting too much sun and how that leads to skin cancer.

With an Irish and English heritage, I’m a prime target for skin cancer. Part of the problem was how I’d lay in the sun as a kid. My mother always promoted this as she believed a medium rare look was healthy. I think we’ve learned it isn’t.

Now it seems my father’s best friend is his dermatologist who he seems to be seeing every month to get yet another lesion removed. I do not want to live like that. So  I’ve been wearing sunscreen or make up with sunscreen quite faithfully. The trouble is the Neutrogenia 50 SPF cream I’m using feels rather tacky and heavier than I like.

Enter Japan

From the beauty vloggers I’ve seen, I’ve learned that Japan makes the best sunscreens. Not only do they have high SPFs, but they have better PA plus numbers. As Renee fro Gothamista explains above PA+++, etc. refers to the filters that eliminate the suns forces that cause aging.

Lisa of Beauty Bemused, below, gives very detailed run downs of a wide range of sunscreen products from Japan and Korea. What I like is that she mentions the price so when I hear “pricey” I can ignore that product.

Even if you can’t find these products easily, I’ve gotten Asian skincare products from Yesstyle. com and Memebox.com.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

The former King of Cambodia

The new King of Cambodia (center), his father on the side

In Zhujiayu, China

In Zhujiayu, China

In New Mexico

In New Mexico

Jizu at a temple in Nara, Japan

Jizu at a temple in Nara, Japan

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge. Other great photos:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Contrasting Colors

Contrasting Colors

Dark and Light

Dark and Light

Pretty, yet painful

Pretty, yet painful

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge. Other great photos: