My Own Private Charleston
April 12, 2005
Ever since I got back from California, I can’t stop thinking about Bloomsbury. Specifically, Bloomsbury Needlepoint. Specifically, these cushions:
My friend Ann (aka the ‘Other Ann’, aka ‘Ann B.”) of Berkeley, California, made these stunning things from Bloomsbury Needlepoint, an amazing book by Melinda Coss, sadly out of print, but happily available from Internet booksellers. The book provides charts for many of the needlepoint designs of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry for Vanessa’s country house, which can be visited in Sussex.
I mean, really. What can you say about these cushions? For me, the word is COVET. For the past 9 months the realization has dawned that the soothing neutrals of our old apartment look utterly washed out in the new space. I want color, but not ‘colorful’. I keep thinking about the 20s and 30s (our building was built in 1929). So I have a plan: I’m going to decorate the whole joint around these cushions and a couple of other things in Bloomsbury Needlepoint (such as this rug–yes, rug). Reupholster the chair, distribute needlepoint, and there ya go: Instant Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury to go. Oh, and don’t let me forget to paint the table!
Ann B. is an amazing knitter. She told me needlepoint is, and I quote, ‘super easy.’ HA! I’ve been to needlepoint shops,and I’ve run screaming out of needlepoint shops. Very scary, the ladies with the half-glasses and all this talk of Hessian and holes and double canvas. Not to mention the Tent and the Half-Cross. Plus, I hear it’s kind of time consuming. So I’m taking a reader poll (why should you have all the fun with the reader polls?).