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Though Egbert Dormer was a fictional painter with an entrancing home, the zeal of his followers was equaled by the followers of real-life artists whose work and homes became magnets to individuals hoping "to keep alive their art-feeling" and that found themselves equally bewitched by houses and home-lives that were works of art in themselves. The following recounts our modest armchair pilgrimage to the homes of Claude and Alice Monet, Pierre and Aline Renoir and Carl and Karin Larsson, with ideas to help any home become a jewel-like "bijou."
In eras when the environs of an art academy or atelier studio were not readily attained by the beauties of the ballrooms, daughters of artistic dynasties (like Trollope’s Dormer sisters) had the rarefied opportunity to "share the light" of their fathers’ studios—to listen with rapt attention to the "sermons" of their aesthetic homes; to "overflow with art up to [their] ears," to "keep alive art-feeling among them." An artist’s daughter herself, Elspeth describes things she absorbed from her own childhood home.
French, Italian and even Scottish cookery are traditionally less about costly ingredients than about coaxing any food—whether ritzy or reasonable, fabulous or fading, swank or stale—to be its very best. For that reason, we searched for period recipes that used the kind of ingredients that would have fitted Aunt Margaret’s careful budget while adding some Ayala-like charisma to elevate and enhance the dishes to make them fit for even the "gorgeous mansions" of the Victorian era. Recipes include: Cringles, Penny Egg Pudding, Winter Cake, Cullis, Blonde or Brown Roux, Sage and Potato Soup.
Seymore, Leornian, and their guide, Bonnie Duhg, arrive at Lincloudon Colledge, about a mile north of Dumfries, Scotland at the confluence of Cludin Water and the River Nith. They meet Grumley Stibble, the elderly caretaker of the lytfolc garden associated with the Wizard’s Knot. Grumley, the last survivor of the once thriving lytfolc societies that dwelt for centuries at the now ruined abbey, is the keeper of a treasure that once belonged to his father and grandfathers. In the treasure, Seymore discovers something that will change his life.
By Al R. Young
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By Al R. Young The Ayala's Angel issue of The Storybook Home Journal is now available from Al Young Studios. This issue features these regular sections:Decorating - At the Bijou (6 pages)Hearth - Sharing The Light (6 pages)Kitchen - Good Gifts and Pretty Ways (4 pages)Garden - And Primroses (2 pages)Workshops - The Loveliest Locks (2 pages)Garret - The Treasure of Lincloudon (3 pages)Ayala's Angel is the 98th issue of the Journal, published bi-monthly since November 2000... Read more »