With all the snow and ice, I didn't expect to see many fresh camelias this season but several of my mom's actually bloomed.
Ngoc Minh Ngo's lovely photography in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living (for iPad) has also provided me with a camellia fix. Not wanting to sound like a product reviewer or gushing infomercial participant, and worried about boring everyone who -- like me up until a few weeks ago -- functions iPad-less, I haven't mentioned this app before. That said, it was one of the first apps I downloaded after finding a surprise iPad under the Christmas tree. And, bottom line, the app is super-cool.
Martha Stewart's magazine designed for the iPad is distinct from conventional digital mags in that the former is more interactive and tactile. For example, I've been tapping different blossoms to learn about various camellias and to become immersed in the beautifully shot video of Lin Backus' garden near Savannah. All of the content associated with traditional print -- well-researched and professionally-written stories, lush photography -- is there, it's just ramped up. The creative team really seems to be using the technology to its best advantage. (So, I do sound like a product reviewer but rest assured I received no freebees, perks or compensation from Apple or Martha.)
[Dish with design of camellias, first half of the 18th century, Japan, Edo period (1615–1868). The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.]
Here is one way camellias were appreciated in the 18th century: Japanese Nabeshima ware, painted in underglaze blue. This dish is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.