Patricia Gaye Tapp, creative dreamer of the design and style blog Little Augury, is a most fascinating Southern interior designer with a passion for handcrafted cards. Escape to North Carolina with me for a visit and meet a very fabulous and mysterious blogger
Patricia Gaye Tapp is a Southern interior designer who dreams up and crafts and creates the most enchanting stationery.
P. Gaye Tapp is also the dreamy, poetic, and somewhat elusive founder and writer of the highly original design and style blog, Little Augury.
Her blog—which covers everything from pre-Raphaelite decorating, long-lost art, early photography and Oscar Wilde, to African fashion designers, Gloria Swanson, French style, obscure poetry and rare books—first caught my eye when I began researching the world of blogs in advance of founding my design blog. She’s a big favorite of many of my favorite bloggers, including Emily Evans Eerdmans, Joni Webb, and Jennifer Boles.
Reading Little Augury, I discovered that her style blog could be poetic, elusive, a bit eccentric, on a trajectory from factual, wildly romantic, and with highly-detailed text that seemed written long after midnight.
Little Augury writes with candor and wit and a whiff of stream-of-consciousness. And who was this mysterious ‘Little Augury’ who had such a vivid and insightful eye? There was once a portrait of her on the blog. It’s blurry and seems to be of a cheerfully blonde young woman circa 1978.
When I launched my blog, THE STYLE SALONISTE, last summer, Little Augury was one of the first of the top bloggers to find me and send me very encouraging messages. I eventually sleuthed out that she was a designer, lived somewhere in the South, and that her blog posts captured an out-of-time sensibility.
Then a package arrived, filled with her Parthenia cards. In the box were cards ruffled with velvet trim, fluttering with blue feathers, framed with gilt-edged ribbons, scented with a thousand Southern summers, and mottled with the air of decades and oceans crossed.
Patricia sent me some missives.
“The notecards are a little project of mine, and I got into them when I stumbled on a very old set of fine fashion illustration at a junk shop,” said Little Augury, aka Patricia Gaye Tapp. “All of a sudden I had a collection of more than one hundred, and I kept them on their shelf in a bookcase. I kept finding antique postcards and old etchings, and adding to the collection.”
P. Gaye Tapp has her own design firm, P. Gaye Tapp Interior Design, so she was too busy to notice that eventually she had a superb collection of drawings, French postcards, Italian art postcards, and reproductions of fine old paintings.
“I decided to take the originals and do them up in detailed and framed statement cards,” she recalled. “I must say it was exacting work but I enjoyed it. Some of my favorites include such beauties as etchings of Marie Antoinette, more of Napoleon, Boucher paintings, birds, dogs, and some wonderful Italian paintings of madonnas.”
P. Gaye Tapp called her company Parthenia.
“Parthenia was my great-great-great-great-grandmother’s lovely name,” she said.
Each card is unique.
“I suppose I would sell more if I made multiples, but I don't think I would enjoy the copying, as something is missing,” said the designer. “The canine cards feature fine reproductions of old photographs of dogs and their masters. Those I could not part with. Some of the cards feature the same image-but they are all laid out and embellished with ribbons and adorned very differently.”
Interior design has been Little Augury’s life work for over twenty-five years.
“I am very much inspired by a creative and talented GranMa and my mother,” she said. “I grew up in a small Southern town in North Carolina, like my grandmother and my mother. It is the place I have returned to after being away for those twenty-five years. Back to my roots as it were. My family is very tightly knit, and the old Southern style, family first, still resonates for me.”
P. Gaye Tapp, rummaging through flea markets and estate sales and her own secret sources has collected and gathered and amassed more than five hundred vintage and antique post cards, all dating far beyond the 1930's.
“Most of the post cards on the Parthenia cards are the original. There is one and only one card,” she said.. “The delight is in the bit of time it takes to marry all the elements of the cards. I never know where they might take me.”
Little Augury also makes custom cards.
“I designed a wonderful card with an old photograph of my grandfather and his friends, on which he had inscribed " on the road to the asylum," she said. “I created a story inside the card with bits of related things dear to him, including photographs of my grandmother during their courtship just before 1920.”
“My photograph collection continues to grow and I would love some day to offer these as limited edition works. I have terrific photographs of animals of all sorts dating from the 1940's and some beautiful photographs of horse and rider. We will see what comes of it all, meanwhile.”
DDS: Next plan?
PGT: I will see where the wind takes me. I continue on with my design work, traveling back in to Raleigh, an hour's drive, once or twice a week, for long-time clients. I have the makings of some interesting original vintage photographs in a collection that I can have custom framed,” she said. “I have such beautiful collections and rare images. Somewhere there is always another project for another day.”
Prices range from $6 to $27.
For purchasing inquiries and all other information please contact: email@example.com
or write to:
209 Morgan Street
Roxboro, NC 27573