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Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

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I am experimenting taking pictures with my brand new cell phone.

What do you think of these beauties?

Don’t they look like “fake fotos?”

I mean, they remind me of the old paint-by-number kits I used to love when I was a little girl.

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Staying in the lines and making the colors pop were my goals.

Oh, the hours and the plans I made for framing and display.

I thought they were truly magnificent “originals.”

But then, here are my latest creations.

They were generated by nature and enhanced by “edit,” which can be just as much fun

as painting-by-numbers!

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Was the Wicked Witch Texting?

This is my annual Halloween post.

wandering-witch-off-course

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Someone is very artistic at Herman’s Produce right here in Lexington, Virginia!

These pumpkins made me smile until I came down with Sciatica!

Time out from blogging until further notice.

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Receiving flowers from a friend’s garden.

Thank you Amy!

Zinnias from Amy

Entertaining the perfect guest.

Pichu stayed with us for four whole days!

Pichu 2

Finding a pony at Herman’s Produce.

Was he in a parade?

Horse of Hay

 

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Downtown Bikers

Downtown Bikers at Lexington, VA Sidewalk Sale April 30, 2016

This weekend was chock full of fun opportunities in and around little old/ historic Lexington (Virginia that is).   It was a great place to escape reality, see, meet and watch people, and participate in exciting adventures.

Three of my pals and I decided to participate in the 83rd Historic Garden Week, a “County Roads and Vines” Lexington House and Garden Tour.  Wow!  That sounded so interesting because it covered homes from the 1800’s and gardens that would surely inspire us to get busy on our own properties this spring.  And finally we would enjoy a fitting ending to the day at the Rockbridge Vineyard for wine tasting!

Shrouded Mtn

But, morning brought clouds and drizzle with a 60% chance of heavy rain.  Adding Dor’s bad foot to the foreboding weather with the danger of slipping on wet grass in a historic garden’s uneven terrain, we cancelled original plans in favor of lunch.  Then maybe we would take a walk around town, weather permitting.

Did I mention that some small towns offer more than the mundane?

There was a sidewalk sale in Lexington!  And after a chatty lunch at the Sheridan Livery Inn we four wandered around with umbrellas in tow and began to catch some local excitement.  I was trying to ignore my stupid foot (with “plantar fasciitis”) which would not be ignored.

My friends in the lead checking out the sidewalk sale.

My friends in the lead checking out sidewalk sale.

Finally there was an art show at Hopkins’ Green where two of us sat down and gazed upon artful displays while the other two retrieved the car.  My foot was grateful for the respite.

Today was for luxuriating at home, enjoying icing the complaining foot, stretching, and resting.

But yesterday was a grand day with great friends experiencing wonderful events all in one small American town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

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I hate to admit it but I love to shop.  And even when the trend in my family and among friends is to stop the gift giving mania, I still operate as if I am on a diligent search for the elusive perfect gift.

This week I went to Clifton Forge and was smitten with the local Arts and Crafts Center.  Some of you have asked, “What did you buy?”

Sparkly Pin

Art Deco Shiny Pin for Dor

Well, I kept things under some control of course and bought the perfect gift of a stunning bejeweled pin, but wound up giving it to myself!

Then I saw the perfect gift (just for love) for Bill – a Four Way Screwdriver that sounds pretty mundane but the handle is of handcarved wood, and the tool actually does convert to four different size “heads” (I think that’s what you call them).   Bill seemed to like it a lot and it now has an honored place in a kitchen drawer to be used for those I-need-a-Phillipshead-moments.

4Way Screwdriver 2

Four Way Screwdriver With a Handcarved Wood Handle

Art Glass Nail File

Art Glass Nail File in a Velvet Pouch

Finally, even though this last item was not made locally, I knew it would bring me great joy.  You see, I had bought a tiny purse size version of  the Art Glass Nail File some time ago and loved it.  Always regretted not getting the standard size.  These files are produced in the famous Bohemian glass region of the Czech Republic and should last a lifetime with proper care (don’t drop it on a tile floor!).  They are also supposed to be good for your nails too and are beautiful to look at (the files, not my nails).

I’m ready to go back to the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge.

It is the perfect place for dreaming, shopping, buying, and maybe finding the perfect gift.

 

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Brochure Arts CntrThere are things happening in the small town of Clifton Forge, Virginia.  I didn’t realize how many things.

My friend and I stopped there because it’s only 45 minutes from “home” and we heard the little town was morphing into something special.

We stopped right in the center of town to begin our visit at the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.  Taking in the regular storefront facade.  I was thinking, “Ah well.  Just another ho-hum artsy craftsy place. But let’s take a look.”

What surprises were inside!

Quilt at Art Cntr

Handmade Honeysuckle Basket Centerpiece

Handmade Honeysuckle Centerpiece Really Made of Honeysuckle!

Art Cntr Display

Look! Look! Look!

After talking to the friendly volunteers in the Arts Center and marvelling at all the locally made treasures, we realized there was not enough time.  Clifton Forge is becoming a true art center.

First there is exciting rennovation going on at the Masonic Theatre (just down the street from the artsy craftsy place).  Work is in progress to create the most modern facility for theater, music, and community events.  There was mention of a sophisticated Art School too which is already populated with students from around the world..

And we noticed enticing shops – like a grand looking antique store and a hardware store that is supposed to be fabulous.  Now I know “fabulous” is a strange word for a hardware store but we were told not to miss it.  This particular place is so unique it even has a section devoted exclusively to WOMEN!

And of course, Clifton Forge was once a booming railroad town for over 100 years until the 1960’s.   I have to return there to visit the Railroad Museum where visitors can go through a 1940’s vintage train!

There are several restaurants, including Michel’s of authentic French cuisine, and the Club Car (where we had lunch) featuring the freshest of fresh everything.  I have to go back just to try the restaurants!

The sad thing is we simply did not have enough time to cover the charming town of Clifton Forge.

And as I put together this blog post, I realize there is not enough time to tell you all about it either because if we had just two more hours we would still be in the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center browsing buying.PinWheel Quilt Art Cntr

Horse Eye View

 

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In case you were hoping for an end to Dor’s Shawl Saga, this is it folks.  This is it!

The first real shawl ever made with these two hands and nimble fingers is complete!  Hurrah!

The shawl pin has been added too.  Look closely and I promise you will see it.

And at the risk of scaring anyone who expected to see a star-like beauty, here is the poster child sporting her new shawl creation.  Don’t run off yet!  There is just a little bit more……….

Dor in First Hand Crocheted Shawl

The pin does  get lost in all that glowing prideful beauty and in the middle of all those holy holes though doesn’t it?

I therefore took the liberty of pinning it to another handmade item at The Stitchin’ Post, so you can see how lovely the pin really is.  I am calling this photo of the pin an “off-body experience.”  If you are interested, Shawl Pins and other magnificent silver jewelry can be found at Jen Letter, Silversmith.

A CloseUp of the Shawl Pin

Then I added the pin to another completed shawl (not mine), done by Pat Egan, an obvious knitting expert.  That shawl (not including the pin of course) is for sale at The Stitchin’ Post for $130.  There are often amazing things offered at this exciting little shop at 117 South Main Street in Downtown Lexington, Virginia.  There are one of a kind cerations that get genuine oooohs and aaaahs and disappear fast.   If you are interested in purchasing the shawl below, call Erin at 540 462-2931. Another Shawl with Dor's Pin

Handmade Shawl by Pat Egan - $130 - Not Including pin

Handmade Shawl by Pat Egan – $130 – Not Including pin

But I hope you like the rather primitive (holey) first shawl “made by Dor” – the one in the scary selfie.

I am inordinately proud of creating something pretty and usable out of a little bitty string.  And who knows, you may be seeing future “Dor Shawls” on the cover of Vogue!  And as I promised this is truly the place where everyone will live happily ever after.

~THE  END ~

 

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Next Project Waiting

Dor’s Next Project Waiting

 

There is more to being a crochet wizard than learning the ropes yarns!

For one thing, one has to figure out how to wind a thousand miles of string into a ball.  Evidently this has been done for centuries.  I suppose you could make someone stand there (someone you wish to punish) and hold the skein for hours, while someone else who needs punishment winds the ball – but not too tightly mind you – in different directions, with three fingers in between to make sure nothing is stretched.

This morning I was the punished winder and two chairs served as the holder-uppers.  Lucky chairs.

But that’s not all.

I thought I finished my first shawl!

But it was not really finished.

It needed to be BLOCKED.

Forgetting to look up “how to block things” on the internet, I winged it and steam ironed the darned thing.

It grew.

Actually that may have been fortunate because it was too short to begin with.

But it grew to an appropriate shawl length.

“HURRAH!  IT IS FINISHED,” I thought.

Nope.

The shawl needs just one more thing.  A SHAWL PIN!

Have you ever heard of a shawl pin?

Well, it’s a sort of clasp thing to hold your buns together.  No, that is not meant to sound the way it sounds.

But, it’s a stick that goes through a nice cover piece.

Anyway, the final stick and cover thing are supposed to hold things together

like hair or shawls.

As you may know, I have a new network of lovely knitter friends at the Stitchin’ Post in Lexington, Virginia “WhereFiber Artists Come to Play.”  They told me about a lady who makes the most gorgeous sterling silver jewelry and some stunningly beautiful shawl pins.  Jen Letter, Silversmith is a talented Virginia artist who makes things with a twist!  That means she hand casts pieces that stand out as uniquely special.  The fact is, they are absolutely beautiful!

I am smitten with her work and after the shawl pin purchase I will finally take a photo of my first finished shawl plus Jen’s pin, even though her pin may take the limelight.

Stay tuned!

To be continued………..

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