Friday, December 17, 2010
Am I the only one who passes abandoned houses on country roads and wonders what became of the families who once built a life there? Virginia creeper vines insistently twist themselves into any crevice or crack, filling the vacuum that nature abhors. Neatly trimmed yards fill with weeds and trees self seed in a haphazard way. An occasional faithful perennial planted long ago by a young wife in a feed sack dress lifts its face to the sun or twines along a sagging fence.
How did the ties to the community grow loose and finally disappear? Did elderly parents pass away and educated children move to greener pastures? Doors stand open and windows gape blankly. The house remains silent.
Abandoned houses are best captured in black and white or sepia tones. They have their own stark and sad beauty. Does the house still contain the echoes of little feet and the growth marks in pencil on the pantry door? Did Grandma rock gently on that porch? Did a mother peer down the road waiting for a son to come home from war? Did the rain beat a tattoo on the tin roof as a young couple made love underneath? Did a middle-aged farmer sit on those sagging steps, wearily pushing his sweat stained hat back on his head as he read a foreclosure notice?
We will never know, because the abandoned house along a country road keeps its own counsel and shelters its own secrets.
Posted by JPG at 10:25 AM
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Lately, I've been stumbling across globes for under $5 in my thrifting adventures. I love to search them out in junk stores and Goodwill. Vintage status is easily determined by looking at Africa and checking for Zimbabwe or Rhodesia. Rhodesia means vintage. Looking at Eastern Europe helps, too.
Posted by JPG at 9:36 AM
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Many years ago my mother graced our front porch with a vintage church pew. It was rather non-descript initially, but in my mother's own special way, she jazzed it up.
Mom once won a prize for having the most beautifully-decorated Christmas home in East Hartford, CT. She used a birdcage in her Christmas decor before shabby was even chic.
The house with the church pew was in a beach community in New York and had terracotta colored shutters. Mom painted the church pew to match. She placed two huge round terracotta planters on either end and planted orange impatiens that spilled over in rioteous color. The house was a not uncommon looking Cape Cod, but she made it look special.
Ever since then, I have wanted an antique church pew. Not long ago, I was able to barter some blog work for a business in exchange for the pew I'd had in mind since I was in my teens and a marvelous metal tray with a sepia-toned chippy landscape on it.
I thought the stairwell area needed a little something, so I made a wreath out of coffee filters. I also got a small third-degree burn on my thigh from dripped hot glue, but we won't talk about that.
I was on a vintage roll that week, when I stopped in Goodwill for a spotting operation and found Webster's Unabridged Dictionary from 1935.
Posted by JPG at 3:34 PM
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Someone really wonderful sent me this especially handsome and colorful rooster, which you can see on the left-hand side of the pic. I found the gray rooster at Goodwill. I was thrilled that he matched my gray counter (which I painted about six months ago), but the corner was just a little drab. Mr. Colorful Rooster punched things up, don't you think? The platter was $1 at Goodwill. I stole the idea from some magazine article and just wrote on it with a red Sharpie.
Here is the second part of the gift, a hand-made table runner wth a red, yellow, and blue rooster pattern. I love it!
Here's a close up:
Last year, this same kind person sent me a rooster calendar. I put Mr. February, Mr. November, and his other colorful companions in some inexpensive frames. I love how they look.
Posted by JPG at 10:36 AM