Pop-Art, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

What’s fresh at the Botanical Garden?  *Pop-Art orchids*  Pop-Art may not sound fresh after all these years, but it’ll always be impudent. Now, here’s an Orchid Daze tribute that looks at it in a new way…

Roy Lichtenstein in the Orchid House - Atlanta Botanical Garden

Homage to Roy Lichtenstein in the Orchid House – Atlanta Botanical Garden

Keith Haring and orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Keith Haring and orchids…

Keith Haring and orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

And of course, where would we be without Andy Warhol soup-can orchids…

Saturday was also the day of the Atlanta Bonsai Society’s Spring Show at the Garden. And yes, those tiny twisty trees are amazing, but what I loved most was the moss.  I entertained myself with the idea of growing a poison-ivy Bonsai (mostly kidding), but what I really want is a Bonsai-type container of just moss. This little tree trunk had my favorite groundcover:

Bonsai pot moss

Fresh moss: isn’t it blissful?

 What does this post have to do with downsizing? More than you think — it’s refreshing to get out and see beautiful green things, and it was a much needed break from my current project of clearing out papers and filing cabinets. Now I’m back on track to fill up another box (or more!) of paper for the shredding event coming up this weekend.

What do you think? Fresh enough for you?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

More on the Atlanta Botanical Garden


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

This is a lazy post. None of my recent clearing out is photogenic, so today I’ll just share some of my photos that fit the theme. An ancient wall comes first…

Lion from the Processional Way, Ishtar Gate, Pergamon, now in Oriental inst Chicago

This lion is from the Processional Way, Ishtar Gate, Pergamon. It’s now in Oriental Institute in Chicago.

Still wall art, but more modern…

Chagall mosaic, detail, Chicago

Detail from a Chagall mosaic, Chicago.   OK, no jokes about the lion lying down with the chicken (if the lamb needs to be replaced).

This is a wall in the restaurant Gobo, in Manhattan…

Gobo - wood wall

At the time, we wanted to remember this arresting wall-o-wood, but now the people at the tables seem more mysterious and interesting.

And here’s the wall around the stage at Matilda, when we went last year on Broadway…

Matilda Stage

We’re waiting for the performance to begin…

And here’s the wall of tributes to Steve Jobs after his death in 2011, just outside the 5th Avenue Apple Store.

Tribute to Steve Jobs: Wall at the 5th Ave Apple Store, May 2011

I don’t know about hungry, but I’m certainly staying foolish — how about you?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Hoarding vs Collecting, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

What looks orange, but is really “radioactive red”? It’s Fiestaware of course…

Radioactive Red Fiestaware

“Radioactive Red” Fiestaware – am I hoarding or collecting?

I imprinted on my mother’s Fiestaware, so when it came time to have dishes of my own, Fiesta is what I wanted. That was before the new issue Fiesta that’s now in stores. My dishes came from beloved friends and relatives who passed theirs on to me, and of course from thrift shops. When Fiesta got trendy, and thrift store prices went up, I quit buying. I still remember passing up a stack of my then-favorite cobalt blue dinner plates at a St Vincent DePaul’s shop because they were charging (gasp) $1.00 per plate.

The streamlined look, the vivid colors, and the connection to the past are what attract me, but do I use my Fiestaware often enough to justify keeping it?

Spending time in waiting rooms last week, I read this in the recent issue of Oprah Magazine:

“The truth is: real collectors focus on, say, vintage lustreware, know the value of the items they have, and are always on the hunt for new pieces. What they don’t do is stash them in a trash bag under the bed. ‘A true collection,’ says Gail Steketee, PhD, dean of Boston University School of Social Work and an expert on hoarding, ‘is one that is kept in some sort of logical order and that you can show off.’ If you love your things, don’t you want to see them?”

And a little art-reading, from Phillipe De Montebello and Martin Gayford’s Rendez-vous with Art:

“Not long ago Damien Hirst said ‘Collecting is like stuff washed up on a beach somewhere, and that somewhere is you. Then, when you die, it all gets washed away again.’ A collection is, then, an expression of a personal vision: in a way, a work of art in itself. But collecting is also — both for individuals and institutions — a compulsion.”

Now, evaluating what’s in my cupboards, I’m thinking about what to keep and what to let go.  If it’s my “collection” I need to get it out, to see and appreciate. Else, I’m hoarding, and I should let the stuff go to someone who’ll use or display it.

Dining Room with Fiestaware

Dining Room with Fiestaware (yes, it’s been a while)

But back to that orange, or rather “radioactive red” — it’s true. A small amount of uranium oxide was used in the glaze. That color was dropped from production during World War II, when “Fiesta red went to war.” (The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Fiesta, Sharon and Bob Huxford)

What are you collecting or hoarding? (and is it radioactive?)