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Posts from the ‘muse’ Category

The Travels of an Enthusiast

September 14th, 2015

Daniel Pontius

These images are from a group of photos found with a group of recently purchased textiles.

The textiles are from the collection of Sue Goldberg of San Diego. (I also have a couple of her magazines). I was told that she used to go to China every summer to visit the Miao and to learn how to weave and embroider.  Some of her textiles along with her loom went to the Mingei Museum. Got to the Mingei in July and there is a great exhibit on American Carved and Whittled Walking Canes.


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Assisi Soujourn

December 8th, 2013

Daniel Pontius


Besides the nobel art of getting things done, there is the nobel art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the non essentials. –Lin Yutang


There is something about this quote of Lin Yutang’s  our  images of the convent of the Basilica of St Francis that work together.  Assisi left a wonderful reassurance in the goodness of life even with all of it’s extremes.


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Mina Loy

June 1st, 2013

Daniel Pontius


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The text is from Mina Loy’s Poem, There is No Life or Death. Read the complete poem and some of her others over hereThis pillow is from a group of text pillows–done free-hand on my sewing machine.  The fabric is dark oatmeal linen and the thread is this fantastic pink from my favorite embroidery shop, Des Fils et une Aiguille, in Paris.  The other pillows in the group, not shown, are similar and the quotes are at the very bottom of this page.

To see some of my past blogs on Mina Loy,  click one or both of those links. P1040918


The group of Grey Hmong Wedding Quilt Pillows— I just finished them this week– have  accent colors from a true pink to a pale peach.


Clouds — Paris

August 21st, 2012

Daniel Pontius

Clouds and moon like the Rococo in June — after dinner at the  Marché des Enfants Rouge –a favorite.

Dr. Says…

December 4th, 2010

Daniel Pontius

Earlier this week the Dr. said to me, “It happens because you are getting older.” I smile at him and nod uh huh. 

I go to lunch where my cute would-be-waiter-boyfriend works and he calls me “SIR” –several times. “Can I get you anything else, Sir?”

“Not now,” I say.

I go to a thrift store and an elderly man is closely inspecting a piece of fabric. He has silver hair & beard. He has a large scarf wrapped around his neck and is wearing baggy Levis & sweater & clogs with white socks.

“That’s going to be me.” I say to myself.

Sigh…41 is upon me. I better find a good tailor and start wearing pleats.

3 Days From a Life Made in France

September 24th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Gertrude Stein during her lecture tour in America, May 2, 1935.
Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein on the Terrace at Bilignin, June 13, 1934.
Gertrude Stein at the Abbey of Hautecombe (Luc du Bourget, Savoie, France), June 12, 1934.
Gertrude Stein with Pepe; Mark Lutz with Basket I on the Terrace of the Villa at Bilignin, June 13, 1934.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas at Les Charwelles, June 12, 1934.

Carl Saigon, in his Cosmos series says that human life exists as ten seconds on the time-line of the cosmos;
Isabella sent me links to images of Gertrude and Alice on the NYPL Digital Gallery. These are some of my favorites.

Pollyanna Pontius

September 15th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Call it having a critical eye, an aptness for selection, or an edited palate. Call it what you will, it is easy is to notice the things that need to be changed–swoop in after the fact and start pointing–it is a skill to start noticing and seeing and appreciating something just the way it is regardless of it’s differences from what we envision. My most recent experiment is to look for the pleasing and see it without exam. Plato might say that the source of beauty exists in perfect form and we know it when we see it.

Gilbert & George

September 3rd, 2009

Daniel Pontius


August 24th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Several mornings of late, I’ve been sleeping and I have come to realize that I’m being roused by a rooster crowing somewhere outside my window. Yes, as Webster’s defines it, crowing: to make the loud shrill sound characteristic of a cock.

The first time, I thought, Do my ears deceive me? But it seemed no. I had heard of a rooster siting, but I had not believed. Once I ran out the door when I heard him, but he was not there. But on this morning, last Thursday, he was in good form, loudly shrilling. I was leaving for a little holiday up the coast, and he was waiting for me to have his picture taken.

It is a great art to saunter.

July 22nd, 2009

Daniel Pontius

The narrative is evident. After a gap over the last summer months Isabella and I had a lovely conversation Thursday evening: Isabella tucked away in her high rise in NYC and I eagerly posed with a cocktail on my rooftop. Some of you may remember Isabella La Fitte from earlier posts: here, here & here. She has been roaming Manhattan–parties parties– and then back to the solitude of her Tribeca apartment aptly named Walden: it is far better than The Hamptons which she says is the East Coast’s answer to Brentwood.

But, Isabella has been so so sad lately, “SO SAD!” Not just because of a cold, due she says, to the rain which has caused everyone to be lingering tubercular. She is sad because I emailed her several weeks ago and told her I had finished with Bibelots. “Finished!” I said.

“Why?” She asked, “It is my favorite. What will I do?”

“Go back to the Classics.” I answered, “What else is there to do but follow me. I started something new: 1 car per green.”

“Dearest Pontius,” Isabella told me. “Los Angeles is not that inspiring.”

The narrative is evident. Inspiration left before the momentum built and 1 Car per Green ended almost before it began. I thought I’d give it all up until one day (like any other day) I came across a stack of World of Interiors from the 90’s where I was happily dropped into a Paris Apartment by Jean Dunand. Here it was photographed in it’s pristine original condition untouched–as they say– by time.

The gold leaf still bright, the rabbit fur sofa and bed spread pristine and white. The Living room was my favorite, silver and pale blue and gilt. Chairs exquisite turned into graceful serpentine curves. Sigh. Who says context is not decisive? Living in this kind of apartment, one would become a different person. It would inspire a sartorial lift! One would act on a new stage preparing lines for a new play.

One of my favorite design books is “Decorating is Fun!” In it, Mrs. Draper shares a charming story of the transformation of one of her clients.As I recall it, the client is a young single woman who has newly inherited a frumpy & plain apartment. She herself is frumpy and plain. She is without prospects and in comes to Mrs. Draper for a little help, and how. From the redecoration of the apartment, the young lady goes through her own personal redo. She starts going to the hairdresser. She starts to wear make up. She takes an interest in her clothing. People start to take an interest in her! Before you know it she tosses out her glasses and is engaged to be married.
It’s the intrigue of the environment which I have seen myself. In London I worked for the stylish decorator, Gillian Rogerson. There was a client coined, Miss Grey.

Miss Grey’s whole apartment was grey: the walls; the curtains; the carpet; the furniture. She wore grey clothes. She had grey hair and even grey eyes. At first, she only considered grey, but after about a month inspired by Ms. Rogerson’s own flair one day Miss Grey appeared with alacrity at the door to answer the bell in bright red lipstick a pale blue sweater and pearls, smiling.

Back to Paris. The narrative is evident, but with a surprising turn of events. The woman who owned the Art Deco Apartment lived not in the main rooms themselves but a rear bedroom. A converted maid’s room. The commissioned rooms; those works of art, were tightly shut up. Light never poured through the windows, cocktails must have hardly ever poured. She went to great lengths to maintain it. The shutters tightly closed — her servants ordered to put tissue paper in between the cracks so that no possibility of fading could occur. I imagine her admiring it all from a threshold.

Long sad sigh here for beauty should be enjoyed and assimilated. Certainly there is a carefree medium between an extreme preservation and utter decay. A place where if you spill, all does not end, because life will continue along it’s way regardless.