texture

barbara barry on beauty

photo: Mark Edward Harris for Traditional Home

I had the great good fortune to be among a small group of people to hear Barbara Barry speak about design recently at the Kravet showroom in Toronto. It is a pleasure I have had a few times before and one I will never miss if given the opportunity. Barbara is a gem. She has a voice like silk velvet. It's refined and soft and luxurious. She could read the dictionary and make it sound chic. In fact, I'd love to hear her read the dictionary. That night she was plucking from the stories compiled in her recent book Around Beauty. I had just rushed to the event after wrapping work on the high-stress all-hands-on-deck Trends issue of House & Home. So I was very amused when Barbara shared this pearl:

PEOPLE ASK ME 'BARBARA WHAT'S IN, WHAT'S OUT?' I TELL THEM I HAVE NO IDEA. BEAUTY IS ALWAYS IN. SUBTLETY IS ALWAYS IN.

Beauty is always in. Ain't it the truth! An old tree, a peeling onion, a peony, pond scum (yes!) - these are some of the things Barbara finds beautiful. The evening inspired me to look back at my photo library to see those times when I have felt compelled to document a beautiful little moment with my iPhone.

This is a pile of coiled rope on the warf at Covehead, Prince Edward Island. That aqua colour is so pretty but I also love the mezmerizing pattern of swirls the rope makes. Layers and layers and layers.

Ferns ferns ferns. Always and forwever. I am so captivated by ferns. I snapped this pic on a bike ride between Morell and St. Peter's, also in PEI.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this guy while golfing last month at the course near our place in Tweed. He was pretty big - about 6inches long! Just look at that muddy green colour of his shell and the bits of red at the edges and some pale yellow too. And that pattern. Wow.

These are some stunning candycane beets I bought last week at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Can you believe how pretty!? My only disappointment with them is that the colour gets much more subtle when you cook them. But as Barbara says "Subtlety is always in."

This is a detail of an old fishing shack at Red Head harbour warf in PEI. I could stare for hours. I know, I'm weird.

Here's a little peek at one of my favourite secret spots. This is the wooded path behind our place in Tweed. It's where we walk the dog on Sunday mornings and I love watching the seasons change here. The colours and patterns and textures are magnificent: moss on rocks and a carpet fallen leaves (oak are my favourite) and pine needles. It's so peaceful here. Beautiful. 

red head harbour, prince edward island

I've been back about a week now and it has been day after day of challenges great and small  from lawn care to healthcare. What can one do but make a list, trudge forward, pray and hope for the best outcomes. That's the plan. Meanwhile, I was pulling together an edit of favourite photos from our recent escape and I was stuck by the incredible colours and textures in my shots of Red Head Harbour. It's a working fishing harbour at the mouth of St. Peter's Bay and is about a 10 minute bike ride from Whale Cottage. I took all the shots using my iPhone. Recently I'd been considering getting a better camera, but when I really think about it I'm just not that person. Heading out on a bike ride with Mr. A in shorts and a T I can slip my iPhone in my pocket, no probs. A big bulky camera and lenses -- fuggetaboutit. Could not deal. Please enjoy this little tour.

You know I have a thing for weathered cedar buildings. I wanted one of these fishing shacks as a bunkie at our cottage (oh, except they reek of low tide, whatevs).

Those are fins from blue fin tuna adorning this one. Amazing.

A billion barnacle-clad bouys.

Counting the days until our next visit.