GLASS VIGNETTES – PART 2 – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I love creating decorative vignettes with my glass pieces. I already posted a blog with photos of some of my favorite glass groupings in my house. Here is the second installment of glass vignettes.

UNUSUAL PAPERWEIGHTS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I have been lucky to find some very unusual paperweights over the years. I have made a point of collecting the unique ones and displaying them around my house.

Here are some of my favorites.

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE: CARVINGS AND SMALL BRONZES – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

Sculptures, statues, carvings

I haven’t been anywhere near “statues” recently, but I have a house full of art. Moreover, I have dozens of fetishes — all hand carvings by talented Native American artists. These are difficult to photograph because they are so small and the work so fine and detailed. The macro lens doesn’t quite do the job for these little finely carved items. It produces a great floral image. Not as great for other items.

As it turned out, the black & white setting on my new FZ-1000 camera worked quite well. There is much more for me to learn on that machine.

Three corn maidens, an eagle, a badger, and a healing bear
Another view of the carvings (square)
A bronze (painted) cowboy at a bar, somewhere in the west. He’s waiting for you
Ganeesh (manufactured during this century) and Vishnu riding Garuda – likely from the 16th century and probably Tibetan. And a cat.

UNUSUAL GLASS OBJECTS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I love finding unusual and unique decorative items for my house. I am particularly drawn to things made of glass. Some of my glass objects d’art have been custom-made for me, and some I have found online and in all kinds of shops and craft shows.

Here are some of the more interesting uses of glass that I have in my home.

Custom sea glass mobile for over the kitchen table
Glass clock from craft show
Glass clock
Thermometer
Hot Air Balloon sculpture. One of my favorites.
Closeup of glass Hot Air Balloon
Painted Glass
Glass on glass textured piece
Old fashioned seltzer bottle

COLORFUL WISHES ON THE TREE BY THE GATE: #WRITEPHOTO Marilyn Armstrong

Thursday photo prompt: Colorful Wishes #writephoto


Charlene was delighted with her tree. Everywhere else, when someone had a statement to make, it was always stupid toilet paper. All over the tree and then it would drizzle or rain and for weeks, the tree looked like it had some kind of hideous fungus on it.

She had done a much better job. Bright, colorful. It was a cheerful, happy tree and what started with anger, ended in art. She barely remembered why she started “fixing” the tree. She thought something had made her angry and she wanted to show the world, but before she was even a quarter of the way through it, the project had morphed into Art.

Brianna was going to be really surprised when she stepped out of the house that morning. Not a single sheet of toilet paper. Just bright colors swinging gaily from the little tree by the gate.

Charlene giggled all the way home. Surprise!

ART VERSUS LIFE? TRUTH? FICTION?

“For God’s Sake,” I shout at the giant naked bronze guy loping around my garden. “Put something on! You can’t go running around like that!”the thinker

It’s already too late. I can hear the sirens getting closer and I know those evil neighbors are getting me back for all the nights when my dogs barked and wouldn’t shut up. I glare at Bonnie. She grins.

“Quick, hurry,” I urge him. “Here, take this shirt. It should fit you.”

It doesn’t. The bronze guy is huge. The pants are hopelessly small for him, even though they are big enough for me and a couple of good friends. Finally, in near despair, I throw him a blanket. He harrumphs and plunks his butt down on the big rock by the garage.

“Just stay very still,” I tell him. “Pretend you’re a statue. Even better? Pretend you are thinking. I’ll deal with the cops.”

It turns out he is very good at thinking. He had many previous years of experience. He likes it so much, he is still there as I write. Sitting on the big rock.

Thinking.

THE WOODSTOVE – A BIT OF ECOLOGICAL FICTION

The woodstove had been in the family a long time. No one really knew how long, but a few of generations for sure. It had heated the family home for years.

Now the house had real central heating, so the woodstove had been relegated to a corner in the basement for a dozen years or more. It was unclear exactly when it was originally consigned to that odd dusty corner where unused but valued things end up.  The goodfers. Too good to throw away but maybe someday they’d have a new purpose.

For a while the family figured they’d put the stove in the parlor. Or maybe they’d get around to finishing the basement. It turned out the woodstove was too efficient to use like a fireplace. The amount of heat it pushed out its fat little belly was impressive. Log by log, it turned anything but a very large, open area into a sauna. It was much more efficient than oil heat and cheaper too, but oil heat was easy. No one had to split endless piles of logs, stack them in the woodshed, haul them into the house to feed the stove. It cost more money to heat with oil, but no one’s back got broken to keep the house warm.MaineCabinTXT

The woodshed still contained some wood. Enough to enjoy bright fires on cold evenings and keep the wood chopping skills of the men in the family up to snuff. But they didn’t need dozens of cords. It had taken a lot of wood to keep a family cozy through the long, bitter winter of northern Maine.

The year that Hank built the cabin, the woodstove found a new home and a purpose.

Hank built the cabin entirely by hand. It was to be a retreat, a place to get away from everything modern, from televisions and alarm clocks. Hank didn’t own the land, but the lumber company that owned it was willing to lease plots to families who wanted to build cabins by the lake. After the trees grew to maturity, the lumber companies would come and cut the trees, but it would be years before the trees were ready for harvesting.

The cabin was intended to be a warm weather retreat, just for the summer. It turned out to be so pleasant, despite it having no electricity or running water, family members and their friends liked going to it from early spring into the late autumn, sometimes even after the first snows had fallen.

The woodstove was ready and willing to keep the cabin toasty. It gave more than heat. The smell of the woodstove was friendly, familiar. The tang of smoke in the air reminded everyone how their houses used to smell of wood smoke. They recalled choosing wood for its scent. Apple, maple, sassafras, oak, even pine … each had special qualities.

It turned out you could cook on the stove too, though the technique of cooking on a woodstove was sufficiently different that each person who used it had to reinvent the process.

Over many years, many springs, summers and autumns spent by the lake, listening to the loons calling across the water, the woodstove came to symbolize a simple and peaceful life. It was the heart of a cabin deep in the woods, far from a paved road. Drinking water came directly from the lake, along with a goodly number of fresh water bass and trout, caught from the canoe and consumed with corn harvested from local farms, blueberries picked on nearby burns.

Even in cool weather, you could bathe in the lake, then warm your chilled body by the stove. It was where you hung your clothes to dry them after washing. The same place around which everyone gathered in the evening to tell stories. Once upon a special time, a quiet time, telling stories and laughing around a fire or an old woodstove was enough entertainment for any man or woman. Rowing on a crystal lake was fine. No one needed a speed boat. Friends were enough.

As the years rolled on, many people with cabins on the lake bought generators so they could have electricity. They installed washing machines. The lake water was no longer safe to drink. They brought televisions and at night, you couldn’t hear the calling loons. There were telephones, water pumps and plumbing.

It wasn’t the same and after a while, no one came to the little cabin. Hank passed away, the kids moved away. The cabin began to collapse.  Finally, it was gone, its contents including the woodstove, junk, rotting and rusting in the woods. It was as if it had never been.

It didn’t matter anyway, because enough years had passed. The trees were mature. The lumber companies came and clear-cut the woods. The rubble from the cutting washed into the lake and the fish died.  With the fish gone, the loons  didn’t have enough to eat and they flew off to nest on other lakes.

That world went away. Memories linger. I have pictures.