Afternoon Patterns

This is what I see, from my desk looking to the left. The sheer curtain only screens half the view, the building across, leaving me an edited view of the sky and the gingko tree. Its a view that shifts with the season and also with the shift of fabric choices I make from time to time - see the gingko tree here in fall beyond a beaded voile fabric from the year before.

Currently I have a white silk charmeuse half panel- leftover from a print project and a pair of vintage chintz curtains bought from the flea market. The curtains are a much treasured find that I bought as part of a trio of fabrics, all exquisite floral prints in unusually muted colors. I've tried theses chintz curtains a few times and thought they don't look quite right - a little too much like my grandmothers house.

But then, I love my grandmother's house. I spent a lot of time there as a child. In the last post I described a moment that sparked a fire of enthusiasm for gardening. The kindling for that must surely have been laid here watching my grandmothers daily evening ritual of tending to her garden - watering her plants, deadheading flowers and fussing over her collection of ferns. The curtains are staying for now.

Its in spring when this window comes alive, afternoons are suddenly animated by abstract shadows and slabs of light shift that spotlight random vignettes. I'm particularly liking this choice of crinkled white charmeuse, the shadows from the plants cast a more pronounced almost living botanic print that contrasts with the static vintage flowers on the panels on either side.

One thing I've learnt about prints and patterns, they become more subdued, the more you add to the mix. Think of a Victorian parlor with lace, brocade, damask, chintz, porcelain, scrolls- all those patterns and textures, instead of increasing the visual noise actually seem to muffle it. Not that I want a busy victorian aesthetic, although there's a tearsheet I've kept in my inspiration folders which has a beautiful, earthy arts & craft take on pattern mixing. Maybe thats what I like about the image I posted - its resemblance to this tear sheet. I think this is the beginning of a project- more prints for the dining room.

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