Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mount

Today, Seth and I took a visit to The Mount, Edith Wharton's home in Lenox around the turn of the century.

She built the house between 1901 and 1902 with her architect-friend, Ogdon Codman Jr. In addition to being a famous writer, and first woman recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Wharton was considered an interior designer and architect of some merit during her epoch. The house in Lenox is the best representation of this side of Wharton and was also where she wrote The House of Mirth, her first major work (and my personal favorite of Wharton's.)

As you can see from the photo below, the house is very symmetrical. This symmetry is echoed inside the residence.

Entering from the front of the house, see above image, one is in a grotto like room, inspired by Wharton's time in Italy.

One has to go upstairs to the main house, as the ground level is mostly for service purposes.

Immediately upstairs, one enters the main Galley.

During Wharton's time in the house, guests who were admitted to the house, would likely be greeted by Wharton in the Galley. All the main rooms of the house for entertaining are on the second floor off the Galley.

First off the Gallery we saw Wharton's husband's study.

Off the study was the library.

The books in the library are from Wharton's original collection and were recently assembled in the house.

Next, we saw the sitting room.

The sitting room was the largest room of the house. Like all the other rooms on the second floor it opened onto a lovely outdoor terrace, which overlooked the Italian-inspired gardens.

Last on the second floor was the dining room, which seated six to eight for intimate dinners.

The bedrooms and Wharton's boudoir located on the third floor. Below is the boudoir, where Wharton would meet with guests to determine the plans for the day or consult with her accountant or service staff.

The rest of the rooms on the third floor were bedroom suites with matching bathrooms. Wharton and her husband each had their own and there were a couple other suites for visitors. Wharton's room, where she often wrote in bed, is featured below.

After the tour of the house, Seth and I went on a self-guided tour of the gardens.

There was a lovely crushed lime-stone walkway.

There was a garden to the left of the house that had a small fountain.

On the other side of the house there was a shaded, Italian-inspired walled-in garden.

The house was quite lovely and the tour engaging. Quite a fun time.

Unrelated to The Mount, I have started a new blanket. This one is for my Uncle Moe and Aunt Judi. It has lovely sweetheart cables.

Here is a close-up.

Also, Lily got a new collar. It is light blue with little flowers. While Lily posed for lots of pictures, it was a bit hard to see the collar because she's so fuzzy!

You can see it a little bit in this second shot.

Pretty kitty!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Various Genres

Some random updates from various genres.


The Carle is booked and the rental contract signed (and the money sent). Abbey Chapel is booked. This month I hope to organize (1) the caterer, (2) the officiants, and (3) the ceremony music. I am heading the effort to find the caterer. Seth is organizing the effort for the officiants and will be contacting the musician for Abbey Chapel who is affiliated with the college. I am also hoping to talk with the photograher this month, although finalizing the photography can wait.

I got my dress this weekend. It's by designer Sophia Tolli. I will provide no more details because this portion of the wedding should be a surprise.

For those who live far away, I finally got a picture taken of my engagement ring where you can actually see what it looks like.

Finally, the webpage for the wedding now contains some useful information. View it here.


I have taken two crafting classes at work this summer. The first class I took was in basket making. I made this small basket. Every time I finish spinning a roving I always give Seth the scrap yarn. Now he has a little basket to store it in.

I also took a class in button jewlery making and created these earring, which I gave to my mother. They are comprised of square opaque buttons. The button jewlery making class was far and away my favorite - what fun!


The bush was finally removed from our garden/patio area. I had a bunch of weeding to do. I also planted some flowers - a few impatiens. I dislike gardening and yard work (hence the condo), and it seemed silly to plant annuals this late in the season. That being said, after the weeding, the area looked completely blighted. I am not convinced it looks great, but it at least looks better. I will think of something more to do next year and probably plant more.

More updates to come later.