I spent a little time this week taking still life photographs. Rob is giving me tips about lighting and operating my camera. Some of the photos show seasonal arrangements and others are permanent displays around the house. While looking for things to take pictures of, I noticed that almost every object in our house has been in Rob’s or my family for a long time. It’s an eclectic collection of stuff, from a 3 ft. high bronze Buddha my great grandfather bought from a missionary in Russia in the late 1900’s to tiny silver salt shakers Rob inherited. Very few items are new or were purchased by us. Both of our families are small and we have become the keepers of the past by default.
For the winter solstice, I’ve gathered some pictures from past blog entries that reflect on the colder months of winter. Here’s a list of links to see where the images came from:
Cheese Straws recipe
Mary Mavor’s cards
Woods Hole in winter
Pocketful of Posies
Salley’s childhood art
Mimi Kirchner’s ceramic ornaments
silk screen by Mary Mavor 1955
Family heirloom gnomes
Fishmonger’s Cafe ~ Woods Hole
view of Vineyard Sound from the bike path
detail from page 53 ~ Pocketful of Posies
Little Jack Horner ~ Pocketful of Posies
Polly’s Antarctic wardrobe
detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010
by Salley age 8
family heirloom glass ornaments
Mimi Kirchner’s clay ornament
from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010
Polly ready to go to Cuba
by Salley age 7
Pocketful of Posies tree
leaf crust pie
Little Bo-peep ornament
Last year, in a fit of organizing, I matted and framed a pile of my molas. They are from my mother’s collection and I’ve come to love and admire their meticulous and bold designs. A while ago, I wrote a post about other molas in my collection here. The black framed molas are now crowding the walls of our downstairs powder room. With no windows and damaging sunlight, it’s a good place to hang textiles. There isn’t a tub or shower, so humidity isn’t a problem, either.
Right now, the walls of the “Mola” room are white, but I plan on painting them a richer color to better compliment the frames. I could go wild, with borders and patterns, but right now I don’t have the time. It just feels good to have them all displayed together.
I found these charm bracelets while cleaning and organizing my studio. Some are passed down from my mother and grandmother and one is from my own childhood.
My idea of dressing up, was to wear a charm bracelet. For my 5th birthday party, I also wore turtles-in-a-row barretts.
I remember picking out these charms on our family’s trip to Europe in the summer of 1965. At ten years old, I was just old enough for our travels to make a lasting impression. We went to Greece, France and Switzerland.
The charms help me remember what we saw in Italy…
and Austria and Germany, too. Although my siblings and I spent hours in the back seat, cutting paper dolls from Archie comics, I remember the sights and experiences of this trip clearly. I think that I began to wake up to the world outside of my little village. I am thankful that my parents were willing to take us to Europe and caravan with another family for over a month. It made a difference in all of our lives.
I’ve been cleaning up and organizing my fabric stash, which includes some old familiar prints. My mother made a jumper out of this folksy blue fabric that my sister and I both wore.
I remember wearing a dress out of this red pattern in about 3rd grade. It was in the days when girls had to wear dresses to school. We would put shorts on underneath, so that we could climb the jungle jim!
This black fabric was a skirt.
We used a lot of Marimekko fabric in the 60’s. The memories are strong. It’s hard to choose what to keep and what to part with.
Decorating our Christmas tree is a trip down memory lane. We have some really old decorations and ornaments that I showed last year (here), but some of my favorites are ones we’ve added more recently, like 27 years ago, when I bought these ceramic ornaments by Mimi Kirchner.
I got this baby one in 1983, the year my son Peter was born. Mimi and I met each other about 30 years ago, when we were both members of the Christmas Store coop (now Sign of the Dove).
At this time, Mimi worked in ceramics, making wonderful hand painted bowls, dishes and ornaments. Years later, after her studio was destroyed by fire, she changed mediums and started making her distinctive dolls. I can see her style carrying through to her present work, which you see on her blog here. Also, see her Tiny World pin cushions on an earlier post here.
This alphabet book by the prince of nonsense verse, Edward Lear (1812-1888), seems timely, considering my broken arm, which is much improved, by the way. This 1944 edition was on a book shelf in my parents’ house. Here’s the title page and some pages from the book, which was illustrated by G. S. Sherwood. Note the unsentimental ending, with the zinc-lined coffin! This was a different age of children’s literature. Read more about Lear here.
This collection of sewing memorabilia has come my way via grandmothers and great aunts. Inside the Queen Marie needle book are several packs of gold and silver eyed sharps. Don’t you just love the idolized cover scene of 3 generations sewing together? I’ve used some of this rick rack and these hooks & eyes make hinges and door handles in my artwork. And, call me old-fashioned, but I always wear a thimble.
Queen Marie needle book
a selection of hook and eyes
buttons purchased at Gladding's for 10 cents
rick rack braid
From time to time, I’ll be posting a group of photographs of my favorite things. These Christmas decorations are from my husband’s family in Pennsylvania. My mother-in-law would set up scenes on the mantle piece and window sills around the house. I love the way one of the Santas has a kid leather beard, instead of the traditional cotton.
There are seven metal reindeer left in the set, some with bells and some so lame that they need help standing.
These glass ornaments are so delicate and are still stored in what looks to be their original box.
This wooden angel candle holder is about 3″ tall. I love her little head wreath.
And there’s a flock of sweet sheep and lambs, with their wooden legs worn and exposed.