Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Can you forgive another detour?  This week’s photo challenge is just too tempting to pass up: juxtaposition.  One of my favorite things to photograph.

We are still in the throes of an amazingly cold (for us here in Central Virginia) winter spell.  I’m not complaining; we haven’t had a cold winter in ages.  I wrote a short post on the very subject in my Garden Reverie blog recently.  Anyway, I haven’t ventured out to take pictures this week so I went through my files and came up with some images that work for me with this week’s theme.  I hope you will click on them to enlarge; they look so much better that way.

And, by the way, this is how the dictionary defines the word:

juxtaposition |ˌjəkstəpəˈziSHən|

noun: the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect: the juxtaposition of these two images.



I titled this photograph “Heartfelt.”  It shows a portion of a vignette on a small table on my kitchen stoop.  The “OW” is a shard of a broken fl-OW-er pot that I could not bear to throw away; the marble heart a souvenir from Volterra, Italy.  Oddly, they both had been there for quite some time before I really noticed the meaning in their pairing.  Then one day I opened my eyes and the light bulb came on.  Duh.  Perhaps it was a subconscious arrangement.

Bottom of the Falls

“Bottom of the Falls”

Here, in “Bottom of the Falls,” the juxtaposition comes from the scale of the objects depicted.  I love this picture because it serves as a reminder of how tiny and frail we humans are when compared to the power and grandeur found in the natural world.  If you click on the image to enlarge it, you’ll get a better idea. I took this at Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side, shooting back towards the American side.  Something about it really speaks to me.

Falls Brink

“Falls Brink”

This is at Niagara Falls as well, at the very brink of the American Falls as it plunges hundreds of feet downwards.  Have you ever been to Niagara?  If you haven’t then you can only imagine the power of that water.  You can actually hear the roar of the Falls long before you ever see them.  It is an astonishing demonstration of immense and terrifying power.  What is striking in this image is, again, the pairing of something mighty against something delicate and fragile.  Of course, in reality, that plant is tough as nails growing up as it does from sheer rock.

"Live Life"

“Live Life”

OK, the irony of this one kind of makes me giggle.  Can you read the tattoo on the carnie worker’s arm?  It says: Live Life.  So look at his expression and body language.  And then look at that kid in the purple shirt who looks bored to death. They both seem to me to be doing anything but living life with even the slightest enthusiasm.

"A Study in Orange"

“A Study in Orange”

Those nattily dressed fellows are two of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican.  Aside from the wonderful colors in this image, the contrast between the large mass of the architecture and the smallness of these two soldiers once again brings we humans down to size.  I love that they appear to be tiny as Lilliputians when compared to the huge pilasters and windows of St. Peter’s.

"The Big O"

“The Big O”

This just may be the wildest juxtaposition of all.  I mean who would have thought that one would be driving through the beautiful Tuscan countryside and come around a bend only to find a GIANT metal “O” in the middle of nowhere?  It was incredibly startling.  This is one of the luckiest shots I have ever taken.  I was literally hanging out the car window as we whizzed past (thank God someone else was driving) .  In reality, the “O” is bright red (even odder in my book) but I got this shot as we were on the back side silhouetted against the sun.  It is one of my most favorite images ever.  People invariably think I photoshopped it…but, nope, it’s real.

I hope you aren’t getting too antsy for me to get back on the vintage Christmas bus.  I do have plenty to tell and show you (including the long-promised look at my Christmas tree) but I just have not been inspired to do so.  Perhaps even I need a bit of a break from Christmas.  Not to worry, though, one day (and probably quite soon) I’ll be back in the swing.  In the meantime, let me know what you think of a few detours.  Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

I guess we’ll count this post as a little detour from Vintage Christmas but I am thinking that I would like to take on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge every now and again.

As the spirit moves me.

These are a few of my favorite window pictures – taking the subject literally, that is.  Some are looking in, some are looking out, and some are just plain looking at. If I come up with a good “window to the soul” image this week, I’ll pass that along, too.

Let me know what you think!

Pink House Green Shutters

Pink House Green Shutters

One of my favorite images of all thanks to the fabulous textures and colors.

Checked Curtains

Checked Curtains

And talking about texture – here it is in spades.  For some reason, though, this image makes me a bit sad.

Sailor's Window

Sailor’s Window

More shingles, including a hanger-on.  Bright colors against the dark make me like this one.

Clam Shack

Clam Shack

Weather beaten and oh so graphic.

Tiny Garden

Tiny Garden

I loved this tiny window.  Could it be more delightful?

Artemisia Kitty

Artemisia Kitty

I love the graphic nature of this one, too.  Meow.

From Darkness into the Light

From Darkness into the Light

Peace and beauty in one.

Rooster & Shoe

Rooster & Shoe

Old finds in an old window.  Looking out onto verdure.  Lovely.

New Old Treasures!

IMG_1178 - Version 2I’m pretty darn lucky in my friends if for no other reason than they are on the lookout for great stuff for me to use in my projects.

Today I got an urgent text message from one of my spies pals: Xmas alert! Call me!!!

She was passing along yet another friend’s message about an estate sale with quite a lot of vintage Christmas.

Lucky me!  And lucky for me that I was able to hop in the car and head on over to the sale. It was a cold, nasty, rainy day today here in Richmond but that did not deter intrepid estate sale shoppers.  I ran into a bunch of folks who were our customers when I was working for a local antiques dealer who did estate sales.  Old home week as it were.

And, yes, there was quite a nice lot of Christmas in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

I looked it all over, went downstairs to talk to the boss, and we made a deal.  I bought it all. Whoopee!

I’m happy with the price I paid. Having worked in the estate sale business myself, I believe in offering a fair price.  What people often don’t stop to think about is that the client (the family whose house it is) actually needs that money.  Most times, an estate sale is actually a transition for the person(s) from a larger home to a retirement community or some such.  And they need the proceeds generated from selling their possessions.  It troubles me when people forget that.  But I digress…

Here are some of my treasures.IMG_1179 - Version 2

IMG_1180 - Version 2

IMG_1181 - Version 2IMG_1182 - Version 2IMG_1183 - Version 2I am itching to get back in the workshop!

Sadly, first I need to take care of a bunch of other things on my plate.  Not the least of which is taking down my Christmas decorations; doing the bookkeeping that I neglected for the past few months because there were simply not enough hours in the day to get to it; and on… and on.  Blah, blah, blah.

The workshop is also so crammed with stuff right now that I can hardly get in the door.  I pretty much just dumped everything when I unpacked from the New York show back in December.  And since Christmas, I have been accumulating new inventory (boy, has that been fun!)  It, too, has been plunked down willy nilly.  I desperately need to get some order restored before I can do one thing in there.

Here’s how bad it is.  When I unloaded the rental van after New York, I put my pair of gloves down in there somewhere.  They seem to have vaporized.  I can’t find them anywhere.  How sad is that?

But, getting back to my friends, a couple of months ago one of them sent me a picture of this fellow whom she had spied in an antiques mall.  She thought I might like him.
IMG_1186 - Version 2I’ll say so!  Unfortunately, I felt he was priced beyond what I ought to pay for something to use in a wreath or topiary.  Plus, I was out of town at a show at the time so I could not see him in person.  I’m particular about Santa faces and I was concerned that he might be one of the creepy ones.  So she sent me this one:

IMG_1187 - Version 2Nothing creepy about this guy.

Lo and behold, a few days later she messaged me to let me know he was on sale!  So, guess who is now waiting his turn to adorn something wonderful?

I think he’s very cool.  Don’t you?

So thanks to all my friends for keeping their eyes peeled for me.  I surely do appreciate it.

A New Year, A New Look

IMG_0788All scrubbed up and ready for a new year!

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and decide it’s time for a new look.  Well today is that day.

It was past time to freshen up the blog’s look and so I did!

Hope you like the “new look.”

I do already.


Happy New Year From Home

DSC_0084 - Version 2This is home.

The place where I grew up.  It is on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.  My parents’ house is to the right, out of the picture.  I took this picture late in the afternoon as  I ventured out for a chilly New Year’s Day walk in the woods.  You are looking across our little creek down the Tred Avon River.

I grew up on a farm surrounded by the woods, water, and fields.  Pretty perfect if you ask me. My grandparents’ house is on the point which is on the upper left side of the picture.  It is named “Auburn.”   My grandfather named it for the color of my grandmother’s hair.  I always thought that was lovely.  He bought the place in 1920; the original house dates back in part to the 18th century.  It was built in 3 stages, the last one being in the late 19th century. It was practically falling down at the time he purchased it but he renovated and restored it.  My sister lives there now.

My Dad was born at Auburn and when he was a little boy, he would camp out on the point of land opposite from his parents’ house.  When he married my mother, they built their house, “Pintail Point,” right there.  It’s surrounded on three sides by water.

BHT ice skating 1958 - Version 2This is my father ice skating on the creek in 1958.  Mom knitted his sweater.

I’ve had a lovely ten days at home spending time with my mom who, if you have been following this blog for a while, you know will be 92 later this month.  After the intensity of the fall, it has been so nice to just chill.

I thought I would share some of what I saw on my walk.

DSC_0058 - Version 2

Reflections of a beautiful wintry sky and bare trees in the water.

DSC_0065 - Version 2A reflection that makes me pause for a moment and just be still.DSC_0096 - Version 2

Dreamy marsh grass in its winter color – or lack thereof.

DSC_0086 - Version 2Dead leaves and sticks, and patterns in the sand at water’s edge.DSC_0094 - Version 2A water-beaten tree stump and footprints made by my companion, Emma P. Buttercup.DSC_0085 - Version 2

She left her mark here, too.DSC_0051 - Version 2

Out of the woods and heading out the road toward the sun.  There’s Emma on the right in the shadows.

DSC_0098 - Version 2Canada geese winging it toward the water.

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And more of them, hundreds of them taking flight.

DSC_0053 - Version 2A peek up at the sky through the trees as we walk down the lane.

DSC_0106 - Version 2My Dad built this bench for the garden years ago.  At a certain point, he moved it midway down the lane so he could rest for a moment.  He used to walk out to the county road to get the paper every day; it’s about a half mile perhaps.  I still walk it every day when I am home, too.

My father died in June 2011.  He was the greatest guy in the world.  Every time I pass his bench, I say hi.  I believe his spirit is often there.  DSC_0110 - antique fadeBeautiful winter light in the woods.

DSC_0114 - B & W

Sun going down.

I came back to Richmond yesterday afternoon.  It is always so hard to leave.

Perhaps you can now understand why that is so.

IMG_1175 - Version 2A blanket of snow to see me off.

Happy New Year, everyone!  May 2014 bring you many joys. And a place to call home.