Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes (Redux)

I like the theme of this week’s challenge so much that I want to share some other “threes” with you: images of sculpture.

In late August of 2012, I took a solo road trip from Richmond on up to Maine.  My first stop was in Tarrytown, NY.  While there, I visited the Rockefeller estate, “Kykuit.”  If you ever have a chance to go there, don’t think twice.  It is a visual feast.

Here are some “threes” featuring a few of the many garden sculptures there.

Magnificent fountain:

DSC_0086 - Version 2 DSC_0089 - Version 2 DSC_0158 - Version 2A beautiful 3-dimensional frieze in a majestic setting:

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DSC_0172 - Version 2Stone maidens in a shady garden:DSC_0182 - Version 2 DSC_0185 - Version 2 DSC_0188 - Version 2

And now sculpture of a different sort.  A graceful staircase in an old Federal house in Maine:

DSC_0460 - Version 2 DSC_0270 - Version 2 SpiralThanks for visiting!

To see what others have shared, please be sure to visit here.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This one is for my Christmas peeps!

This week’s challenge asks us to use three images; it’s up to us as to how we want to use those images but they should bear some relationship to one another.

These are three images of my “mostly” vintage tree that I put up in my new garden room this past Christmas.  In prior years it was in the dining room.  I like it better out here because I can really sit and enjoy looking at all the old ornaments (with some newer ones mixed in, too).  So here you go.

With each shot, you get a little closer.

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DSC_0171 - Version 2See any particular ornaments that you like?

If you would like to see what others have shared, go here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Christmas) Treasure

I love this week’s topic, Treasure, not the least because there are about a gazillion ways to interpret the word.  And, honestly, I have about a gazillion treasures, both literal and figurative, and so much to be grateful for.  I had to think about what I wanted to share this week.  I shared some treasure of an entirely different sort in a post on my Garden Reverie blog.

This being a (mostly) “Vintage Christmas” blog, I decided to share my very most precious ornament: The Little Ballerina.

The Little Ballerina

The Little Ballerina

I have lots and lots of wonderful ornaments that have been collected over a long period of time.  Many are precious because of who the giver was and the memories attached.  Some are loved simply by dint of their unusual nature or their beauty.  Or the time and place where I found it.

But this one trumps all of the others in the treasure department.

The little ballerina was made in the year I was born by my mother’s cousin, Fran Vilas, who lived in Madison, Wisconsin.  Cousin Fran, whom I never had the good fortune to meet, sent her to my mother for my first Christmas. I’m not going to spill what year that was but, trust me, my little ballerina is vintage.

Her limbs are made from pipe cleaners and her head is a little wooden ball with curly gold metallic locks on top.  Her tutu is made of crisp tulle in a beautiful shade of blue and she holds a tiny silver orb in her little pipe cleaner hands.  Her toes are encased in gold.  She is petite and slim just as a ballerina should be.  And she is precious beyond compare.

Every year she got hung on our family Christmas tree.  Front and center.  I adored her.

She was a constant.  When I came home for Christmas, there she was, greeting me from her spot on the tree.

A few years ago, my mother wrapped her up and gave her to me on Christmas morning.

Now I hang her on my own tree every Christmas.  Front and center.  Just like all those years at home.

I can’t bear to wrap her up and put her away once I take the tree down so she patiently hangs in a special place the rest of the year where her forever cheerful countenance greets me.  She’s my little talisman; a life full of happy memories wrapped up in the tiniest of packages, smiling at me even though she hasn’t lips.  A constant reminder of just how lucky I am.  And that is treasure indeed.

To see what other’s treasures are click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

Personally, I’m not much into taking “selfies.”  Really, for every halfway decent image of myself there would probably be a thousand that would stop a bear in its tracks.

So this week’s challenge slowed me down a bit.  But then I got to thinking about something a bit less obvious than snapping an impulsive moment with my cellphone camera.  

One of my favorite posts on this blog was one about self-portraits.  I end up taking my own selfies, though inadvertently, every time I photograph one of my vintage Christmas designs.

So here’s a little game of hide-and-seek for you all.  Can you spy me?

Detail of Angelic Moment

Detail of Angelic Moment


Detail of Scot's Topiary

Detail of Scot’s Topiary

How about here?  And more than once even!

Detail of Christmas Extravaganza

Detail of Christmas Extravaganza

It’s a quad selfie here (at least).  Maybe I ought to win a prize for this one!

Detail of Retro Magic

Detail of Retro Magic

It’s a selfie with an elfie!  Tee hee.

So then I got to thinking that my definition of a “selfie” is “a photo of self taken by said self.”  Right?

Portait of a girl

Portrait of a girl

I’ve been playing around with some digital watercolors.  This is an image of a tabletop arrangement that has a photo of me when I was 17 years old in it.  It’s in the back, behind the little round picture of my beloved Gussie Fink-Nottle (Greatest Cat That Ever Lived).  So there you are: photo of self taken by self.

The end.

Oh, except, if you would like a peek at others’ selfies, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

object noun |ˈäbjəkt|

1. a material thing that can be seen and touched: he was dragging a large object | small objects such as shells.• 

Philosophy: a thing external to the thinking mind or subject.

My brain is feeling a tad fatigued so these are pretty literal depictions of this week’s theme.  Still, I hope you like them.  Just a little reminder that if you click on them to enlarge they look sooooo much better!

Goggy's CookbookThis is my grandmother Trippe’s cookbook.  It contains her handwritten recipes.  It also has favorite ones she clipped from the newspaper and those that friends sent her.  It is zealously guarded as important family business.  To give you a little idea of its age, my grandmother was born in 1886.  She died in 1978 just shy of her 92nd birthday.

I like the textures here: the tattered composition book on top of the well-worn wooden cutting board.

Moving on, I notice that several of my images this week are garden themed.  Perhaps I am tiring of winter after all.

Olive JarA wonderful olive jar in the garden at Virginia House here in Richmond.

Garden MaidenThe lovely garden maiden in my secret garden.

Camellia Showers, Faun Dreams

This sleeping faun is in another part of the garden.  She dreams amidst fallen camellia blossoms.

The next one is for my Christmas people.

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Yes, you have seen this guy already this week but he cheers me so immensely that I had to bring him back.  He might actually have been perfect for the Juxtaposition theme of last week, positioned as he is in front of that harbinger of spring – the daffodil.

And finally, here is an object of my affection:

Emma PBMy sweet Emma P who loves the snow!

Be sure to check out others’ interpretations of this week’s theme here.

I also posted an entry on my Garden Reverie blog if you have any interest in popping over to it.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Trip to The Big Flea…and a little rambling, too

DSC_0311 - Version 2This past Saturday, my 2 antiquing girlfriends and I hopped in the car for the jaunt up I-95 to the Fredericksburg Big Flea.  The Expo Building itself is waaaaaay back inside the most twisty and turny mass of shopping development you have ever seen but at least it is right off the highway so you really can’t get lost getting there.  And if you are feeling hungry there must be 50 chain restaurants to stop at in about a quarter-mile area.  Not my cup of tea at all.  But that’s beside the point.

We did this show last year and had a lovely time so we had been looking forward to what this year would bring.  It was a beautifully warm day and after the past weeks of extreme cold I must have been feeling pretty giddy to get out because I never ever thought to take any pictures of the show for you.  What an eejit.

I will say that I think the name of the show is a bit misleading.  I tend of think of flea markets as bargain-land but not so, at least not here.  Still we had a good time.

Immediately upon entering the show, we went right and there was a booth with gorgeous antiques.  With crazy high prices.  He did, however, have the most beautiful Venetian mirror I think I have ever seen.  It was drop-dead gorgeous; a little distressed (but only slightly) and that, of course, makes it so much more appealing to me.  No price tag visible.  Never a good sign.

The dealer apparently saw me gawping and came up to me.  He explained that it was a Venetian mirror (yes, I figured that) and that if one were to insure it, the replacement value would be around $15,000.  Ok, no surprise there.  So what are you asking for it, I say.  He’s willing to let it go for $3500 which is what he says he paid for it at an auction plus the buyer’s premium.  A fire sale.

Honestly, that was probably a fair price. If I thought I was in any danger of winning the lottery that baby would have been in the back of my car in about 15 seconds.  I’m still pining for it.

So, we start working our way around the show – it is quite large – and quickly get separated.  It’s crowded and we tend to go at different paces anyway, each of us has different things that appeal to us.  I got sidetracked by a cool small Victorian metal sculpture of an animal (a dog? wolf?) but the dealer’s best price is not quite good enough to make me get my wallet out.

I’m not seeing much in the way of Christmas yet either so I keep going.  Finally, I spy a couple of tiny trees in the bottom of a box.  The dealer gave me a nice price on them.  Now we’re cooking.

Two tiny little trees

Two tiny little trees

But as it turns out it was quite a long time later before I made any more purchases.  What I saw in the way of Christmas was way more expensive than I can afford to pay.  And I mean, WAY more.

There was a booth with a gazillion of old ornament boxes all filled with goodies plus other treasures as well.  I got all excited.  But even after offering to make a bulk purchase (like a couple of hundred bucks worth), she was not able to offer a discount that I felt would work for me.  Sadly, I had to pass it all by.

And that continued to be the story until I found this charming fellow.

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A snowman in need of some love

Yes, he is pretty distressed and he has a hole in his shoulder but I know I can still do something wonderful with him.  He was just too adorable to pass by.  Who could resist that expression?

Eventually, I came to another booth with quite a bit of ornaments but again they were out of my reach.  She did, however, have a nice selection of the jumbo Poland ornaments and they always make me stop in my tracks.  Fortunately for me, we were able to come to an agreement and I purchased a nice selection of large balls – both Polish and German.  These were by no means the bargain of a lifetime but I think they ended up being a pretty fair price for what they are.

DSC_0315 - Version 2Here’s a picture so you can see the scale of these large ornaments.  They are bigger than my hand.  I adore the large teardops like this one.

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A few more.IMG_1271 - Version 2Four beauties.

IMG_1273 - Version 2Make that five.  All will be sensational in something yet to come.

IMG_1276 - Version 2I also got these three West German ornaments from the same lady.  These are highly collectible and I am looking forward showing them off in something I make.  The gold foil angels float around in their little world inside the glass.

IMG_1282 - Version 2The sticker on the back should place it in the time frame between 1949 and 1990.  I’m guessing these are probably in the latter portion of that period.

IMG_1278 - Version 2I love German candy containers like this.  I have wonderful childhood memories of getting the spring-themed ones in my Easter basket.

This lady, who was as nice as can be, also had some cool pieces that she had made using pieces from old glass garlands.  I bought several of them from her thinking that they would look awesome on a wreath.

IMG_1283 - Version 2Don’t you agree?  I love them.

At the end of the day, we were pretty pooped from walking for hours on a concrete floor but we each had scored some things that we were quite happy with.  We had bumped into folks we knew and had a perfectly pleasant time.

I’m taking a bit of a left turn now but did you all get caught up on Downton Abbey last night?  I’m going to assume that if you are following this blog we probably have some things in common and Downton is likely one of them.

++++ Spoiler alert!  If you are not up to date, don’t read further! ++++ 

The preview for next’s week’s episode freaked me out.  Honestly, I woke up this morning worrying about the Dowager Countess!  Did you see that?!?!?!  If they kill Maggie Smith off, Julian Fellowes better start watching his back cuz someone is likely to put a fatwa on him. And what about poor Edith?  Can’t she ever catch a break?  Poor thing.  I hate to think that her man fooled her (and me) and is going to turn out to be a charlatan of the first order.  Geez.

What do you think?

IMG_1286 - Version 2I think this sweet fellow cheers me up on a gloomy Monday.  And I like that.