Last week I had a Bee buzzing in my in-box, “Where is that Teddy Millington-Drake post?” There wasn’t one, isn’t one, really, though Miguel Flores-Vianna had mentioned M-D in his Enduring Style post.
After I searched the blog for the link I searched the bookshelf for An Island Sanctuary; A House in Greece. The book is the story of John Stefanidis’s home in Greece which he shared with the late Teddy Millington-Drake.
I pulled it out again, thinking of maybe sending it to Bee for her own hive. It’s a beautiful book, and I enjoyed it at first glance, but there is only so much room after all. When I looked through again, in a different place than last time I suppose, I was captivated by how much craft filled the house.
Millington-Drake was an artist and the canvases, top, are his work. But he also created those wonderful, graphic porcelain plates which seem quite happy to live in the same spot as the place settings of Flora Danica.
In nearly every room there are hand-embroidered pillows and linens, locally hand-made furniture and decoratively painted surfaces.
But certainly none of this seems kitch. While the interiors are spare they are rich in the details that have been hand crafted. Alas, poor Bee, not stung I hope to have to buy her own copy (she did.) I need this one close at hand.
If for nothing else, this post script. A small image, the last in the book, of chairs that Stefanidis’s sister stitched for his London home. Four scenes from his island idyll.
As Best You Can
Even if you cannot make your life the way you want,
try this, at least,
as best you can: do not demean it
by too much contact with the crowd
by too much movement and idle talk.
Do not demean it by dragging it along,
by wandering all the time and exposing it
to the daily foolishness
of social relations and encounters,
until it becomes an importunate stranger.
C.P. Cavafy (Translated by Evangelos Sachperoglous)
All images from An Island Sanctuary; A House in Greece, by John Stefanidis, published by Rizzoli. All images are by Fritz von der Schulenberg, but the last which is Graham Seager.