At the time of my previous post I was still deep in the midst of Santa's workshop.
I baked many of these brown sugar star cookies and gave most of them away as gifts. All my knitted items and other gifts were completed and mailed or hand delivered. It was also a pleasure to get together with friends on various occasions, to receive lots of lovely cards and to have Christmas as a day off.
New Year's Eve and Day arrived very quickly, and NYC was treated to oddly warm weather. I did go to work on New Year's Day, and was astonished to discover how many people actually wanted to shop on January 1. I observed the Southern tradition of dining on black eyed peas on New Year's Day, insuring good luck for 2016. Time will tell.
One of my New Year's intentions is to get out and about a bit more. This past week I met a friend at Scandinavia House, on Park Avenue not too far from Grand Central Station and the iconic Chrysler Building. Surely these buildings provide splendid city views!
We wanted to see an exhibition of paintings by Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi. We particularly liked the portraits and interior scenes featuring sparsely-furnished rooms and one or two figures.
I did want to show you all one of his landscape paintings though, to show that every so often he did go outdoors.
Earlier today, I took my chances on a grey, drizzly morning, to walk across Central Park. The colors I saw were very soft and subdued.
There was something about the tangle of these branches that pleased my eyes.
My walk to the Upper East Side had two destinations. The first was The New York Society Library where I returned the copy of John Lewis-Stempel's Meadowland, that I first checked out last year. I kept renewing my loan, wishing to truly take my time in reading this account of a year in a particular meadow. I highly recommend the book.
The second destination was The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I wished to visit a particular exhibit, Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620. The exhibit will close tomorrow.
To reach this exhibit's area of the huge Met, I passed through the many Medieval Galleries where a crew was working behind screens to remove the amazing Neapolitan Baroque decorations from the huge tree. The idea was to keep the prying eyes of curious folks like me from seeing this process.
I did manage to spy a opening to give you all an idea of what was going on. Interestingly, the annual process of decorating the tree can be viewed by museum goers from a discreet roped-off distance.
As I'd expected, the light in the exhibit's rooms was quite dim to protect the precious textiles and old books on display. Since most everything in the exhibit was taken from the Met's own collections it was okay to take photographs, and I enjoyed taking some. I think that the following photograph of a young lady looking at a video of some exhibit information has the look of a painting.
I liked the quartet of illustrations on this informative poster. I think that you all will be able to click on the photograph to enlarge the image.
The items pictured below were gifts to the Met from a lady who'd made a great collection of samples of textiles that connected with very old pattern book pages. There were quite a few of these sheets on display, but I found some of them were hung too high on the wall for me to actually appreciate the designs or the actual textiles.
Here's another view of some folks taking advantage of a pleasant surrounding to have a rest. I think that these fellows' female companions were giving the exhibit a careful viewing.
A number of mannequin couples were on display to indicate how antique textiles influenced 20th century designers.
I apologize for the blurry quality of my photographs. The lighting was quite dim.
The next picture was designed by Giorgio Di Sant'Angelo. Perhaps some you all will remember his bright colors?
I would like to have slippers like the one in the foreground.
The mostly cross stitched embroidery on this outfit was quite lovely.
Wouldn't these lions make grand postage stamps?
Fabric and Virtue was located on the lower level of the Met's Robert Lehman Wing, reached via staircase. (I'm guessing there is an elevator, but have never used it.) On the main floor of the Lehman Wing one can always find an amazing collection of the late Mr. Lehman's Post Impressionist paintings. His gift to the Met demanded that his collection be shown as a group, not in galleries along with the Met's other extensive Post Impressionist works.
Another 2016 activity around here has been my preliminary de-cluttering attempts. One of the closets in my apartment is a deep recess with a high ceiling. Discovering what I might have long ago stored on its topmost shelf is always an adventure, requiring a careful climb up a step stool and a flashlight.
This week's adventure did result in my tossing out some things that I truly no longer wanted or needed. However, it also resulted in my discovering some hidden treasure, a lovely assortment of vintage Patricia Roberts genuine Shetland "Woolly Bear" yarn in neutral tones. Well, I have started a new hat, that should soon be finished. I've added some PR slate blue/grey mohair as horizontal definitions to the neutral herringbone mix.
Mind you, my major knitting opus, the blue/green/cream/rose fair isle shawl collared cardigan/jacket is still unfinished. I am very close to the final steps, and vow to have it completed well before the first signs of spring 2016 arrive in Central Park.
I think that it might still be permissible to send you all my wishes for a very Happy New Year. I am very much looking forward to keeping in touch via our blogs, and thank you again for your visits and comments.
I'm adding an addendum on January 11 to express my sadness in waking up this morning to learn that cancer has taken David Bowie away. I heard some vintage interview with him today in which he mentioned always feeling as if he was still in his twenties. I certainly understand and share that notion, even as golden years pile up memories I'd rather not have. Still, this new year might offer us all unexpected joys.