Sunday, April 26, 2015

"My garden is

my most beautiful masterpiece”
 ~Claude Monet

For those of us who garden and have survived the winter, the dirt beckons us.  Although my home does not rival Monet's, I do have flowers and garden statues.  I also have a few vintage pieces as well as some new ones in stock at the shop.
That brings me to today's show and tell...the garden statue.  Historically, the ancient Egyptians had sculptures of their gods in the temples and temple gardens.  The Romans and Greeks carried on the tradition for use in their gardens.  The Venus de Medici is thought to be a marble copy of a 4th century bronze.  (An early version of Victoria's Secret...but no secret here!)
The Renaissance in Italy fostered gardens and garden decoration.  It is said that statues were rotated to represent the seasons and the statues of the mythological characters changed also as the ancient past was explored.   Of course, once France and England discovered this trend (amazing how people were able to learn about things before social media!), the leaders began to create ornamental gardens. 
During the British Civil War, garden statues dropped into disrepute. Bronzes and metal statues were melted down for musket shot because they were considered as pagan photographs by proponents of Oliver Cromwell.

King Charles II revived gardens during his reign in the mid 1600s.
 He was a patron of the arts, and he and his court were largely responsible for the revival of public drama and music in what is known as the Restoration period.  Garden statues were reproduced, and garden design flourished again. Gods and mythological creatures were within every yard and patio as garden decorations.  In the early 1600s, Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, collected garden sculpture antiquities for his property in London.  The collection is now housed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
While the famous usage of garden statues lives on, today these lawn ornaments are far more than simply a status symbol. In most cases they are not a position symbol, but simply a means of ornamenting a backyard or garden to offer it the design and feel the homeowner is attempting to reach. 
From gnomes to angels, garden statuary provides a sense of whimsy as well as the past in your garden.
"A garden without its statue is like a sentence without its verb." 
~Joseph Beach

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Whenever you see a successful person you only see

the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.
Vaibhav Shah

This week I am giving a tour of a new antique co-op that has opened about a mile or so north of my shop.  Diane and Dennis are joining the entrepreneurs on Route 9 in our retail revival!  More about some private sacrifices they are making later, but now let us meet them and take a tour of their shop.

Officially, their address is 2045 Route 9 North, Clermont, can reach them at 609-486-5248, and they will be open 10-5 daily except closed Tuesdays and Sunday will be 11-4.  They currently have 12 dealers and already have a waiting list!  

Dennis loves the traditional antiques, and, when you walk in, you will be looking at some wonderful antique oak furniture.  Real wood is rare in modern furniture stores because so much of what you see in those places is pressed and glued sawdust furniture.  
  Then, there are treasures...the artistry in a sewing machine...
  The restroom decorated with sheet music and records!

 One of the rooms has two amazing mirrored photos are not the best...but one is NYC with the Twin Towers...and other is Paris...picture yourself in Paris...I did...down in the corner! 

 Each room is filled with variety.

 There are "mantiques" to occupy the significant other...

 If you have little ones in the crowd, here is a section for you...

 Missing Mom's Corning Ware or Pyrex?  Vintage accents on shelves and in cabinets throughout...

 Want to feature a special piece....check out the magnifying sconces!
Diane will be teaching craft classes once they are settled in...currently she has her cards for sale.
Dennis and Diane hope to one day live above the shop.  They currently live in Woodbine in a log cabin on 15 acres, and the property is for sale.  As I mentioned at the beginning, so many of the small business creators do make choices and sacrifices in order to follow their dreams.  If you are interested, you can get in touch with them!
I found it interesting that as I was wandering around, this book caught my eye...
Unlike the big box stores where corporate controls, the small shops across these "united" states feature the dreamers who want to do and think they can!  So, when you shop small, you support big!
 Small business isn't for the faint of heart.  It's for the brave, the patient and the persistent.  It's for the overcomer.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"A room without books is

 like a body without a soul.”  

Having spent my entire working career as either an English teacher or librarian you know that I love books and words and paper and pencil.  So, when I see a stash of old books, my immediate reaction is can I get them in my tote or how many trips to the car will this take?  So, when I saw this collection, I  was secretly doing the Snoopy happy dance in my head.
As much as I am environmentally conscious, I still do not picture the 22nd century with Kindles loaded with books at flea markets.  I love the title of the series - The World's Greatest Books.  When I initially googled the title, I saw the set on ebay for $299!  Because?  That is another discussion...just because something is old does not make it priceless!

The editor, Arthur Mee, had this series published in 1910.  A British writer, journalist, and educator, he was best known for children's encyclopedias and newspapers.  It appears he was very patriotic and published works on history and on the English countryside.
In 1908, he created The Children's Encyclopedia which was a fortnightly magazine, and it was later bound into 8-10 volumes.
 He also started a newspaper for children, and the Children's Newspaper stayed in print until 1965 (he died in 1943).   The Encyclopedia was even translated into Chinese, and it sold well in the United States under the title The Book of Knowledge.
Mee only had one child of his own, and he was not devoted to children, but, as a devout Baptist, he was attempting to create and influence a generation of patriotic and moral citizens.

His history books included London-Heart of the Empire and Wonder of the World and The King's England,  guides to English counties, which are in print and, yes, in Kindle versions.
What fascinated me about the set I found was how some of the volumes were worn. Volume XX has the index, so that makes some sense, but "Poetry and Drama" was faded more than any others, and that is actually appropriate since April is National Poetry Month.

I always love the stories behind my finds...this turned out to be a fun discovery.

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” 
~Fran Leibowitz

Sunday, April 5, 2015

"In your Easter bonnet,

with all the frills upon it, 
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade."
              ~Irving Berlin
Easter Parade is a 1948 musical film starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire with Irving Berlin's music.   It was the most successful picture for the actors and well as the highest grossing musical that year with a profit of $5,803,000. (Compare that to the newest film out- Fast and Furious 7-which did $15.8 million opening weekend!)
Anyway, what started me on the hat search was this stack of hat boxes that I picked up at the flea market.
So many times the hat boxes are from department stores that are Wanamaker's, the first department store in Philadelphia from 1877 until 1995...and Peck & Peck, a women's shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City from 1888 until 1970.
I tried to find the creator of the hat box, and I only found Charles Denton Able applied for a patent on a box in 1866 to carry a hat or bonnet with access to open by a separate cover.
Millinery has existed in Britain since 1700.  In English courts the term milliner was used, and this was derived from the term for travelling haberdashers from Milan in Italy.  These travelling sales people sold all the items necessary to dress and were called millaners.
In France hats were made by hatmakers called chapeliers.  Today the term modiste is used in France.  Today technically a hatmaker makes hats for men while a milliner makes hats for women. So, how did the Easter bonnet become popular?

New Easter outfits have been around since the 16th and 17th centuries in Great Britain.  In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio talks about "a new Doublet before Easter, " and in the famous Samuel Pepys Diary, we read, "Having my old black suit new furbished, I was pretty neat in clothes to-day, and my boy, has his old suit new trimmed, very handsome, 30 March(Easter Day) 1662.

An 18th century almanac writer, "Poor Robin" offered:
                           "At Easter let your clothes be new
                            Or else be sure you will it rue."

New York City still keeps the tradition of the song..."on the Avenue, 5th Avenue" as they close the Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets from 10 AM until 4 PM so that the informal parade can go on.

Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"