Sunday, June 27, 2010

I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. ~Jack London

I have been using this to showcase some flea market purchases, but this week I want to feature some people who use their time well. On the way home from the flea market this week, I discovered a neat shop. It has been an interesting economy, to say the least, for the independent business owner, but the American dream fosters the entrepreneur. In that spirit, I bring you Shawn of Bittersweet Farm Etc in Salem, NJ.
I was drawn by the outside displays...every shop owner reading this understands that magnetic field!
But once inside the small shop, I was captured by her displays...the word that came to mind was "organic." As you look at the pictures, if you are into plants and nature, you cannot help but be charmed. Her primitive pieces are incorporated creatively as well...it is truly eye candy in a small space...every glance a treasure...

Some more from this tiny oasis in Salem, NJ...












It is the small store that has been overshadowed by the big boxes and the internet, but these represent the meteors of the retail world. And I have nothing against the internet...heaven knows it is how we communicate, and I used it to find a plumber this week. After several days of calling plumbers with no success...not even a call back...I went online to search...and found a plumber who actually answered the phone! Within a couple hours, he was outside my kitchen, and by the following day the kitchen sink was back in business.






And so, in tribute to someone who uses his time well, I give you Hunter Plumbing...www.hunterplumbingnj.com

Father and son discuss what to do...and voila`~the sink is working again...
So, if you are local and reading this...a plumber who actually shows up and does the work!!!

Another internet treasure is Erica...I have been carrying her silk and ribbon rose pins in my shop for over 2 years now, and she is featured in the new Romantic Home magazine (for sale in the shop~magazine & roses). Again, another small business owner surviving in this economy.

















So, if you have the opportunity to support a glowing meteor instead of a permanent planet, do so! The experience is amazingly rewarding!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What goes around

comes around. Even though some may think this is Justin Timberlake's creation, it is not. No specific source can be found for the phrase...perhaps a karma connection based on my research. But...it does connect me to today's post. I have been seeing ads for crocheted sweaters, dresses, and purses in fashion magazines and daily in the New York Times department store ads. Here are sandals from Saks 5th Avenue...a unique crochet item...Of course, you know this is related to something in the shop...and here they are...vintage...almost antique...crocheted purses...
The history of crochet is unknown. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Some believe that it originated in Arabia and spread eastward to Tibet and then westward to Spain, finally following the Arab trade routes to other Mediterranean countries. Alternatively, it's thought to have originated in South America, where a primitive tribe used crochet adornments in puberty rites. Another alternative stems from the fact that in China, early examples were known of dolls worked in crochet.

Crochet as we know it dates to the late 1700s. Based on my research, "crochet may have developed from Chinese needlework, an ancient form of embroidery known in Turkey, India, Persia and North Africa, which reached Europe in the eighteenth century, and was referred to as tambouring. The main theory behind the origin of crochet seems to be that it began when it was realized that chains worked in a pattern would hang together without background fabric. At the end of the eighteenth century, tambour evolved into what the French called crochet in the air, when the background fabric was discarded and the stitch worked on its own. Tambour hooks were as thin as sewing needles, and therefore the work must have been done with very fine thread."

The purses I found are from the 1930s. One has an NRA label (National Recovery Act~FDR tried to revive the economy after the Depression-sound familiar?)...the label also represents fair labor, working conditions, and wages with no child labor. Again...what goes around...

This one is so special from the clasp that lifts up...to the celluloid chain...to the amazing lining.

























The ivory one has the sticker and a matching change purse.Here is the NRA tag.
The third one has a carved ivorine handle and excellent condition silk lining.
So, if you want a special purse for a summer wedding or event, you can find these at the shop!


























And for the fathers today...this was mounted on a building at the Trade Center site...life indeed does go on, doesn't it?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Women are armed with fans as men with swords,

and sometimes do more execution with them.
If you have been reading this blog awhile, you know that a recent purchase will set me off on a research journey.

So it was with this week's purchase of some fans.
Fans date back to 2nd century China in Asia, with the Chinese character for "fan" (扇) derived from a picture of feathers under a roof. The Chinese fixed fan, pien-mien, means 'to agitate the air'. Fans were part of the social status for the Chinese people. A particular status and gender would accord a specific type of fan to an individual. During the Song Dynasty, famous artists would often be commissioned to paint picture on the surface of a fan.



Fans are depicted in ancient Greek pottery motifs.














I picture Cleopatra with the large fans keeping her cool.

The folding fan that most of us are familiar with dates to 8th century Japan. Fans were not common in Europe except in some religious ceremonies to keep the insects off the bread and wine, but in the 1600s the folding fan became popular with the aristocracy. Here is Queen Elizabeth with an elaborate feather fan.

And that brings me to the quote that opened the essay..."Women are armed with fans as men with swords..." This was part of a letter written to The Spectator , a daily publication of 1711–12, founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England. The goal of The Spectator was "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality... to bring philosophy out of the closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffeehouses." One of the principal conceits of The Spectator is its fictional narrator, Mr. Spectator. Mr. Spectator speaks very little, communicating mainly through facial gestures. His unassuming profile enables him to circulate widely throughout society and fulfil his position as "spectator". Based on research "he comments on the habits, foibles and social faux pas of his fellow citizens. He also notes the irony of his volubility in prose compared to his taciturnity in daily life." The character received letters much like Dear Abby, and one dealt with ladies and their fans.

Mr. Spectator, To the end, therefore, that ladies may be entire mistresses of the weapon which they bear, I have erected an Academy for the training up of young women in the Exercise of the Fan, according to the most fashionable airs and motions that are now practised at court. The ladies who carry fans under me are drawn up twice a day in my great hall, where they are instructed in the use of their arms, and exercised by the following words of command :
Handle your Fans, Unfurl your Fans, Discharge your Fans, Ground your Fans. Recover your Fans, Flutter your Fans.


Despite the fact that fans were supposedly used for secret communications, it appears that it was just a marketing ploy. Actually fans turned into walking advertisement in America...interesting how we Americans can find a way to advertise on anything!!! I found a web site www.handfanpro.com dedicated to fans...it had a unique chart that pictured different types of fans.
This is another one of the fans I found...it is a souvenir piece.

This is a Japanese fan...hand painted...can you imagine the time it took to do this! The silk is worn in some parts, but it is still a wonderful piece of art.

So, as the summer heats up, we should be grateful for electricity and AC...

But...taking fan in another direction...actually fanatic, I have set up The Dutch Rose on Facebook, and if you are on FB, you can search for The Dutch Rose and become a Fan there! I will be posting shop pictures weekly as things come in, but I will still do the weekly show and tell here! As I often say to folks in my shop, if you don't buy something, maybe you learn something, and isn't that priceless?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I want to wake up in a city...

that doesn't sleep...New York, New York. Despite the idea that New York is 24/7, things do close; everything is not open constantly, but, when you are on Times Square at night, you feel the energy...and they do leave the lights on!


Last year, they blocked off Times Square and put in bleachers and tables and chairs.






But, you do have to chuckle at how we can be so amused by flashing lights and neon colors. Truly, we are easily amused!

Speaking of amusement, we bought a 2 day bus pass and headed out and about. Our daytime tour took us downtown. I had to chuckle at my Wall Street picture...only got the back of the bull...but then we were quite the "butt" of the Wall Street folks, were we not?
The Financial District is still recovering from 9/11. The infamous spot...

What is fascinating is the chapel that served as sanctuary for the 9/11 workers.


If you look in the distance in this picture, you can see the orange building frames where the Towers once stood.
Inside the chapel, memorials ring the sanctuary
Outside the Bell of Hope was given by The Lord Mayor of London, England to New York City just one year after the terrorist attacks on 9-11-01. The bell was created in the same foundry in East London where the original Liberty Bell was cast and is now rung once a year on the anniversary of 9-11. It was also rung following the bombings in London, Madrid and Moscow, as well as for the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. It is rung 20 times in four sets of five.

This is an emotional site for anyone as you can imagine. But, New Yorkers are strong~as are Americans~and can rise above, and, in that spirit, let us continue.

From the "Top of the Rock"--Rockefeller Plaza...70 stories up...

That green is the famous Central Park.





And, interestingly, there is vegetation in the city,
but indeed a tree does grown in Brooklyn, but here is the Brooklyn Bridge with said trees.

The Manhattan skyline at night from Brooklyn...gotta love the tacky tours!

The Twin Towers would have dwarfed that island corner. You can imagine the native New Yorker felt as though he or she lost a limb when they came down, and it was one of the few times the shows did not go on, but Broadway did rebound quickly, and nothing equals Broadway for the theatre goer. We saw Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in The Addams Family.
The cast except for Lane did sign autographs outside the stage door. Here is Bebe...tiny little thing...
We also saw American Idiot, a rock musical based on Green Day's music.

Uptown New York is an architect's dream world...churches, buildings, and brownstones occupy block after block. The Upper West side is more working class, where the Upper East side residences belong to the stars. This is The Dakota where John Lennon was killed; Yoko still lives here.
Also uptown is Harlem; the Apollo Theatre is down the street from Bill Clinton's office.

New York...a city of unique...
of world power...the United Nations...but, above all, where those we love share the moments of life in that big city......this was the "New York Minute" tour...hope you enjoyed!