Saturday, November 22, 2008

A weekend in the country or: A reminder that reality can sometimes be sweet...

In the end of october I, my best friend, her boyfriend, brother and his girlfriend spent a wonderful weekend at the most incredible hostel. It was in a former distillery, built in 1800. It was on the grounds of the country estate Nynäs, about an hour drive from Stockholm.the distillery

It's an amazing building with thick walls and old wooden floors, recently refurbished into this lovely hostel, with reproductions of 19th century wallpaper and furnished with beautiful rustic 18th and 19th century furniture.The house had the most beautiful and well equipped kitchen; and an equally beautiful diningroom where we had our fabulous dinner of toast Skagen, Cœur de filet provençal and a french apple tart with homemade vanilla custard and great wines!

We had an amazing time there. Immediately upon our arrival, just as we had settled in our rooms, we took a walk around the estate. We got up on a cliff with a spectacular view over the lake and the dense woods around it and the echo was incredible!
We discovered the hostel when we visited Nynäs house in september, We had a tour of the absolutely beautiful house - built in the 1640's; it's been rebuilt over the years - lastly in the 1860's and it was a private home until 1984 - and since there was just the four of us, except for the amazing guide, we got to go behind the ropes and have a closer look at the most amazing bed curtains from the early 1600's, in yellow silk and black velvet in an intricate pattern with gold thread embroidery, a fantastic 400-years old silk and velvet marquetry!Nynäs house, the countess' antechamberAn engraving of the house (right) and the distillery (left) from about 1815.

How i've been waiting!

It's finally snowing! I hope for more of that this winter.
Last year it snowed for like two days or so, and this is Sweden!
Last year my dog got a tick in December - that's how warm it was, and the fiew times that it was cheek-pinchingly cold outside i hoped for more but was always let down. Now we've had quite a cold autumn here and i feel slightly more at ease. And now this!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A weekend, or a fortnight, in the country.

I am about to undertake a rather huge project i have been thinking about for a long time.
A beautiful diningroom in a beautiful Château or Hôtel particulier; with an oblong table and some of my, mainly 17th and 18th century, favorite personages around it.

It is completely superficial and unimaginative, just for my own pleasure and hopefully your's... people like Marie-Antoinette, the Duchess of Devonshire and her sister... (NO Bess! In my story she dies early on from smallpox and G gets over it all in no time!) Duchesse de Polignac, Madame de Pompadour, de Sévigné, Voltaire, Emilie du Châtelet, Sophie Arnould, Gustaf III of Sweden, Sarah Siddons and Diana Vreeland are the ones who have been invited so far. I suppose i should have some composers/musicians as well...even though most of the guests excelled in at least one instrument, perhaps they could take turns...Marie-Antoinette at the harp, Arnould singing a fiew airs, Camargo delighting us with a fiew turns about the room and so on...the Queen of France would of course help in carving and handing out the various dishes around the table - as she did at Trianon that summer of 1784 when Gustaf III visited...My late mother will naturally have to be there, and mainly dead people - they always tend to be more interesting, just like past is more interesting than present...and not to mention the future, wich i dread to even think about.
Maybe even a series of pictures; A weekend or a fortnight spent in the country with all these distinguished guests...

It will be all about details - the rooms filled with beautiful furniture and artefacts, porcelaine, silver, silly little figurines taken from all my books on 18th century art and fashion as well as from my huge library of images on my laptop, taken from the collections of various museums.
I have made a first draft - a sketch of the diningroom in question, and i really look forward to begin!

I haven't really drawn for years, i've been far to stressed and worried...i'm not cut out for this life. I just scribble and never make any finished drawings, even though i really have all the time in the world - i'm off sick; have been for years and lord knows for how much longer, i just can't seem to get back on my feet.