Quite Continental Charm School: Day 11 – Craft Your Written Signature

21/02/2013 § 2 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Craft Your Written SignatureSophia Loren signing autographs in Italy, 1961.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker! Christine Mitchell is an exceptionally talented artist and the founder of the blog N’East Style, where she explores an aesthetic that is modern, yet rustic, with a deep admiration of all things New England, independent and handmade.  But aside from all the cool stuff Christine introduces me to on her blog, and her amazing talent as an artist, the main reason I asked her to participate is because she is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  I knew whatever she chose to share would be heartfelt and charming, just like she is, and I was right.  If you are not yet familiar with Christine or N’East Style, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Christine’s tip for a charmed life.

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Day 11: Craft Your Written Signature
I remember watching my mum doing bills and accounts on our dining room table. As a little girl I saw that as being the height of sophistication, almost more so than a fancy new bag or shoes. She would sit there with stacks of paperwork, a mug of piping hot Earl Grey tea, and a black ink pen handy for signing checks etc. And her signature was perfection. Loopy cursive with the ideal slant. Mature without being too feminine, it was exactly what I thought a real lady’s signature should be. I remember signing my own name over and over again on lined pads of paper as she helped me to develop my own John Hancock. It was like a coming of age ritual for me. So since I was about 12, I’ve signed my name exactly the same way. It’s a mix of traditional cursive and hurried scribble (the FedEx delivery guy actually complimented me on it the other day). We live in an age where you don’t have to use your John Hancock as much, most everything is online now. But I think perfecting a signature is a true sign of being an adult and it’s an important attribute to your identity. And to ensure that your signature doesn’t go to waste, be sure to keep good paper and an excellent pen on hand.

QC Charm School: Craft Your Written Signature

by Christine Mitchell, of N’East Style

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The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
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Capote on Ice

28/01/2013 § 5 Comments

Truman Capote

Admission: I’ve never been ice skating.  I suppose I could blame it on growing up in Los Angeles, and my parents’ extreme aversion to a vacation spent anywhere other than a tropical climate — but since I am (technically?) an adult now, I really can only blame myself.  Especially when New York City has so many beautiful places to tie on a pair of skates (see: Bryant Park, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Piers, the Standard Hotel).  Perhaps I should make it a mini winter resolution of sorts to finally get myself on the ice.

Providing a bit of sartorial inspiration for my skating kit, Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured a 35 year-old Truman Capote skating at Rockefeller Center in 1959 — perhaps giving new dimension to his very famous bon mot, “New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.”  I couldn’t find the article they correspond to, but I have to believe that Truman in his Fair Isle sweater is reason enough to call your attention to them.

Truman Capote Truman Capote Truman Capote  Truman Capote Truman Capote Truman Capote Truman Capote Truman CapoteAll images via the Life Archive.

Where Do Santas Come From?

11/12/2012 § Leave a comment

Santa.

In the early 60s, America’s “No.1 Santa” (of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade fame) set up shop in Albion, New York and created the country’s only school of its kind, to certify Santas for department stores.  These photos, taken for Life Magazine by Alfred Eisenstaedt of the graduating class of 1961, were too good not to share.  After paying $75 and attending a five-day course, newly-minted Kris Kringles received a Santa’s Helper degree, well-armed with the history of Santa Claus, practice applying makeup and selecting costumes, and how to be properly jolly — even if they found a crier or a beard-puller on their lap.  If you’d like to read the original article the photos were shot for, you can find it here.

Santa.

Santa.

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Santa.

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Santa.

Santa.All photos via the Life Archive.

Words || Richard Avedon

13/08/2012 § 2 Comments

Too good to not share.
Let’s promise to not wait for our Mondays anymore.

“I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends.

If you’re headed for a life that’s only involved with making money and that you hope for satisfaction somewhere else, you’re headed for a lot of trouble. And whatever replaces vodka when you’re 45 is what you’re going to be doing.”

Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004)
Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt in New York, 1963.
Image via the Life Archives.

Summer on the Cape

03/08/2012 § 1 Comment

For a perfect summer on the Cape, you’ll need some pretty sailboats, a few rainy bike rides, wavy fields of tall grass, a clambake on the beach, and an overloaded jalopy.  For best results, serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a gaggle of Kennedys.

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine, 1940.  Via the Life Archive.

LIFE Archives: New Hampshire Girls’ ROTC, 1942

07/11/2011 § 1 Comment

From an article in LIFE Magazine, January 11, 1943, entitled:
Great photographs taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in December 1942 of coeds at the University of New Hampshire performing military drills in freezing weather. They were the first organized college group in US to undergo pre-graduation training like men’s ROTC.

All images via LIFE Archive.

Auction: Doyle New York: Books, Photographs & Prints: Eisenstaedt Selections

27/10/2011 § 3 Comments

Coming to auction at Doyle New York is a varied group of books, photographs and prints.  I was perusing the catalog and noticed a few photographs taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt that I definitely wouldn’t mind gracing my walls with.  Who wants to go halfsies with me?

Dancers of the Opera de Paris Ballet at intermission, 1930

President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, 1961

West Virginia: Greenbrier Hotel, 1938

Season’s Gala at La Scala in Milan, 1934

Road near Genoa.

Main Street Los Angeles, 1936

Books, Photographs & Prints
Auctioned by Doyle New York on November 7, 2011
View the full catalog here

LIFE Archives: Farewell at Penn Station

31/05/2011 § 2 Comments

Searching the LIFE Archives with Memorial Day at the front of my mind, I discovered these poignant images taken by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.  Taken in 1943 and 1944 at the original Penn Station, these photographs capture servicemen saying goodbye to their wives, girlfriends and lady friends prior to shipping off for WWII.  These kisses were meant to last until that happy day of reunion, but for some, they were destined to be a final farewell.

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