Vintage Doll Dishes, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

I just found my doll dishes. I knew they were here somewhere.

Doll Dishes - tea set

Tea time in the doll world…

I don’t remember how old I was when I played with these, or which dolls were tea-drinkers. Although the dishes don’t take up much space, I certainly don’t need to keep them.

Just to get the scale in perspective, I’ll throw in an apple…Doll dishes - tea set

As is appropriate for a future vegetarian, my dolls had salad bowls too.

Wooden salad bowls for dolls

Judging by the fork on the right, at least one of the dolls liked to chew on the tableware.

I hope there are hungry/thirsty dolls out there somewhere who would love a tea party with my vintage dishes.

What did your toys eat?

P.S.I just checked eBay and I see that my dolls won’t be financing my retirement, but they might buy me a few apples.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

Selling Used Books, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

In the future I will have fewer books. But meanwhile, isn’t there always time for books?

Time enough for books...

Time titles, and time enough for books, or werewolves –see volume 4th from the left.  These are not on the give-away list (yet).

I’ve been selling books on Amazon since 2012, but took stock last week and saw I had three bookcases full of books still waiting for their new homes. Now that I’ve unpacked the last box of books from the basement, I took a hard look at what I had listed on Amazon.

In some cases, as time passed, other sellers listed copies of books for much less than I had, so prices had fallen below my minimum. The time had come to downsize my books for sale.

  • The project — close the listings and donate books that are least likely to sell.
  • The goal — measure my progress by freeing up a bookshelf.

The result ? Here’s the “Fiction” case, after consolidation and two trips to the library with donations…

Empty book case

Empty book case!

Now that I have an empty bookshelf I have to hurry up and get it out of the house, so there’s no temptation to fill it up again. Next project: investigate consignment stores.

I’m still selling books, just with a lower inventory than before. Meanwhile, I’ve been so busy that my post on the category “Future” didn’t get written until it was “Past”…

I could never have imagined a future in which I’d have too many books — what about you?

5 Things I Didn’t Know about Illustrator Eric Carle, 2 Books, and 1 Week Late for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Half-Light

Thanks to the High Museum of Art (Atlanta) for a great tour of I See a Story, an exhibition of illustrations from Eric Carle’s picture books —

Eric Carle Moon

The Moon in Half-Light

If you’re not already familiar with him by name, I’ll bet you’ll recognize him as the collage artist and author/illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and many more picture books.

Eric Carle Sun and Moon quote

There are always lots of things I don’t know, but here are the first five things I learned from the exhibition —

1 – He paints his own tissue paper for the collages (after early experiences with commercial paper that was not archival).
Eric Carle - painted tissue paper
2 – His favorite animal is the cat.
Eric Carle cats
3 – He’s also great with chickens (I love cats too, but I have fun collecting pictures of chickens).

Eric Carle Chicken

4 – The Grouchy Ladybug started out a bit differently.

Early version of Eric Carle's Grouchy Ladybug

Early book dummies are in the exhibition.

5 – His parents moved the family to Germany when he was six years old. He left behind a real-life friend, and based this illustration for Friends on a photograph of the two of them as children.

Eric Carle - Friends All that and I haven’t even got to the “2 Books” part of my title yet. Maybe I should save them for another post. I’m still sorting out books so stay tuned, I may find more than 2 of these surprises.

Meanwhile, here’s the intro to the exhibition, with a portrait of that famous caterpillar —

Eric Carle I See a Story

If you’re anywhere near Atlanta, see it at the High Museum, April 2 2016 through January 8 2017. The exhibition won’t be traveling, except to go back home to the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst MA.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge Half-Light

I See a Story at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta GA

“Dead Treez” at the MAD Museum & one more for the Weekly Photo Challenge:Dance

Here’s a detail from the Ebony G.Patterson exhibit Dead Treez at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York City —

MAD museum Ebony Patterson - Root and Shrub, 2014 - detail

Detail with a dancing boot, from “Root and Shrub, 2014” –  (mixed media jacquard photo tapestry with embroidery, glitter, cup and saucer, toy gun, and other embellishments)

MAD museum, Ebony Patterson, Root and Shrub

Backing up for some perspective… it’s a floor tapestry.

If it looks like a murder scene, yes, it’s that too.  The busy and glittery surfaces are a takeoff on flamboyant clothing from dancehall culture in Jamaica, and “inspired by reports of violent fatalities she sees circulated on social media.”

MAD museum Ebony Patterson Knowing nothing about all this, I needed to read all the notes to get an appreciation of what was going on.  In this case it may just be culture clash and my own myopia, but without the posted explanations, I’m afraid I would have thought “Oh, shiny,” and walked on by.

Here’s what the artist had to say –

I’ve been thinking about visibility and the internet in terms of bee-and-flower syndrome. The bee is attracted to the flower because of its coloring, because of it’s beauty, and it isn’t until the bee gets in that he discovers that the flower has the nectar that he wants. So you are attracted to the work because of its shininess, because of its prettiness, but it’s not until you get into the work that you start to realize that there’s something more.      — Ebony G. Patterson, Dead Treez

For me, it was the words rather than the surface that drew me in…What do you think?

More on the exhibition at MAD

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

A Dancer in Central Park, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

Walking through the park one evening a couple of weeks ago, we happened to see this dancer performing —

Ballerina in Central Park

See that little pink jacket entering from the left?

Ballerina in Central Park

Little Pink Jacket joins in — I think we have a future ballerina here.

Backing up for a long view, just to put this in perspective —

Ballerina in Central Park

Early Spring evening…

As much as I loved taking a travel break, not to mention getting my yearly New York art-fix, at first I felt a little guilty about running away from my house-tasks. The great sorting-out of “stuff” weighs heavier as time goes by. But, backing up for a little perspective on that issue too — traveling helps me remember that life is not about the “stuff”.

I’m finally acknowledging that it’s taking me way too long to dig out, so I’m doing what I can to speed up passing out the stuff, and free up life for living.

I think that’s worth a happy-dance of my own, don’t you?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

The Whole Earth, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

Spring is coming, and I’m sorting out more books this week. What do those two statements have in common? — In the season when we love and appreciate our earth the most, I’ve found yet another copy of the Whole Earth Catalog. The back cover says it all —

Back cover: The Last Whole Earth Catalog

Back cover: The Last Whole Earth Catalog (I’ve already sold my copy, plus my Last (Updated) Whole Earth Catalog. This one was Bob’s. I’m ashamed to say how much I’m tempted to keep it.

Earth day will be here soon — lets’ get ready to show our planet some love.

And by the way, here’s another fine orb on view this week —

Moon and Pear Tree

Moon and pear tree — yesterday afternoon’s walk.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

A Walk in Central Park (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony)

Here’s what I was looking at this time yesterday –

Central Park - view toward Midtown

Harmony of design in New York City: Central Park, looking toward Midtown

We’re still drawn to parks for a quiet moment, even when we love busy cities. Central Park was designed in 1858, the first landscaped park in the U.S.

Landscape planning is design in 4D. It seems to me it would be impossible to visualize what that extra dimension — time — would add to the composition. I wonder what Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, architects of Central Park, would think if they could see it today, with the city grown up like crystals around it.

Here’s the evening before, Sam walks up to check out the view while I fumble with my camera –

Central Park toward West Midtown

Skaters and Central Park DSC02902

And a closer look —

Snowdrops in Central Park

Snowdrops – we had real snow a few days ago – it’s just beginning to be spring.

But now I’m home and back to improving my own harmony by getting some work done today. Maybe I’ll start with the back yard…

What’s your favorite park?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony