Photography ~ Cooking ~ Life

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Freebie - Harve

In my own searches for pictures I've discovered there are by far fewer of men available than of women, so I decided to share this one from my collection.

I found this photo at a antique fair this past summer, folded away inside of an old cardboard photo holder. The only information on it is the name of the photography studio (Kennell Ellis - an Oregon studio), and in ink just underneath the photo, the name Harve.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas is a comin'

Retailers have been telling us that for weeks now. Isn't there supposed to be another holiday in there some place? Remember when the official kick-off of Christmas was the day after Thanksgiving, with Santa making his appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

I was in Kohl's yesterday afternoon, and for a brief moment I shared a connection with two other women. We were all equally irritated that Christmas music was blaring over the speaker system. One of the ladies even commented that Halloween had barely been swept up. I was glad to hear that I wasn't alone in my thinking.

I guess we're lucky that a few stores have waited this long. Some retailers had Christmas merchandise out in mid-June.

As a crafter and artist, I understand craft stores getting holiday merchandise in before other stores. Crafters need to get a jump on things, especially if doing the show circuit. However, when I see Christmas merchandise in department stores (of which I'm in so seldom these days you can not even imagine), thrift stores, even the local nurseries (at a nearby nursery the Christmas tree lane was up two weeks before Halloween), it does nothing to "warm my heart". The music just makes me angry. I do not want to hear about 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire' when it's still Halloween. Call me Scrooge, or the Great Pumpkin.

What has happened to Thanksgiving? Do those of us who celebrate it just do so quietly so as not to be noticed?

Do we need a reality check?

People have been talking about this subject for years. And it is getting worse. We can't all be imagining things. The Christmas season starts earlier each year, but there seems to be little we can do about it. Even sustaining from buying doesn't seem to do much. I ignore it as best as I can. I don't look at the merchandise, I don't buy the merchandise. I'm still shocked when I see it arrive, but I don't buy in to it. I actually saw Easter stuff the other day (one store did that last year too). Who the heck is thinking about Easter now?

Even as people cut back from spending, afraid of job loss, or simply working to try and keep their mortgages paid and food on the table, retailers are still hopeful. The merchandise is there, ready, waiting. Enticing us to spend.

And we wonder why people end up panicky and stressed during the holidays. We're hit early and hard by advertising, reminding us about finding the right gift (whatever that is), and about all the people we need to buy for (do we really need to buy something for our aunts husbands brother that we've met once?). We're mentally bombarded weeks in advance with music, decorations, commercials (I saw two Christmas commercials the day after Halloween), and ideas for having that perfect family holiday (just a note - there is no such thing).

People are starting to dig their heels in. Or so I've heard.

After listening to a local radio talk show a week or so back I was left wondering. At least about my own viewpoint. This very topic was discussed, but from listening to the callers I got the distinct feeling that I'm in the minority where women are concerned. Apparently most women view the earliness of the season as a time for nesting and making their homes warm and inviting. Men are labeled as Scrooges.

I'm all for warm and inviting, for hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies, but seeing Christmas in June doesn't do a thing for me. Actually, seeing Christmas in October doesn't do it for me either. I long for the days when holidays had their place. I like Thanksgiving.

For me, no matter how many decorations and things are put out there to help us make our house a home, it isn't the store bought items that do that, or that necessarily make it warm and inviting. It's the people, the pets, the life, the love, the heart inside those four walls. That's what really makes a home warm and inviting. That's what all of the holidays are about. But that's just my viewpoint.

A side note....There is one department store here in the NW that never puts up holiday decor or plays music until the day after Thanksgiving. Thank you Nordstrom. You get it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is it only Tuesday?

Some weeks seem incessantly long before they even start don't they?

My week began with a birthday (Monday). Not a big to-do. We were so busy over the weekend working on the barn that we postponed doing anything else. Hubby and I will probably go out to dinner on Saturday. We just don't have time during the week to do much besides survive the week.

On Sunday we were committed to driving to the inlaws house to spend a couple of hours. They gave me a sweet little camera for my collection, and also some money to put into my camera lens fund. Some time back I joked about starting a lens fund for the macro/wide angle lenses I want for my Canon digital. Someone actually took me up on it! I'm on my way! Only $550 left to go before I can buy the macro. lol

The gift camera is a Kodak Six-20, also called an Art Deco, or Deco by collectors. Originally made in Britain, this is a US model made between 1932-37. The anastigmat lens would have produced a very high quality image for that time period. The camera is in great condition.

They also gave me an ice cream cake, which was way too rich, but good (not a great quality picture as it was taken with someone else's camera in odd light). It was a pretty thing - dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate ice cream and icing - what more could a girl want?

A gift certificate to Amazon of course. And that's exactly what I got from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I've got so many books on my 'some day' list that it will take me forever to make up my mind what to spend the money on.

Today I put away Halloween decorations, photographed rubber stamps for future Etsy listings, and spent a good deal of time peeling and canning those apples we got a while back. I accomplished a lot even if I can't pinpoint everything I did.

All I can say is thank goodness for the apple peeler. Not a neat job, but easier on the hands and a lot quicker with this little gadget.

From start....

To finish....10 pints. There are still quite a few more apples left. The plan is to can those in slices, but if time gets away I'll do more applesauce.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Glittered Pumpkins

(If you read my art blog you may have seen this post already. If so I apologize.)

Who's bright idea was this? Mine you say? Hmmmm....I admit to nothing.

I finally finished glittering the artificial pumpkins. Don't they look fantastic? I did one large and two small and will use them to decorate with until Thanksgiving.

Let me tell you though...This is not a project I'll do again in this lifetime. Kind of like wrapping each and every branch of the Christmas tree a few years ago - Martha Stewart style. Gorgeous when finished - not worth the stress and irritation of hours of work (and being a perfectionist I can tell you it was hours).

I guarantee.....

1. This project is not for the faint of heart, or anyone who expects instant gratification. It takes time to brush the glue onto the pumpkin, and it takes patience working with the glitter and waiting for it to dry over the course of several hours, or days (as I did because of too many other projects). It's possible that spray adhesive might work to speed things up, but I have no experience so I can't really say.

2. If you have one table in your studio that you use for all of your work, it will be impossible to do anything without glitter attaching itself to you and every project you attempt. DO THIS PROJECT OUTSIDE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE! It will just make life easier. If you think you might want to attempt this project, start in June or July. It's warm, outside is inviting, and the glitter can be free to roam at will.

3. Doing this inside will result in serious use of the vacuum. If you try to mop up the glitter with a wet paper towel you'll only make it angry. Angry glitter is a very scary thing, especially at this time of year.

4. Attempting to bake cookies while doing this project is not a good idea. Trust me.

*Side note: This is not a project I would suggest doing with children (or pets).

Glitter already gets everywhere besides on the pumpkin. With a child (or pet) I imagine it would find it's way into even more remote areas.

Still, looks pretty doesn't it?
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