Thursday, November 22, 2012


Victorian china doll, with handmade Depression era dress, surrounded by vintage tins. I'm pretty sure this doll was "repurposed" during the Depression and updated with a bright new dress for perhaps the daughter of the original owner. I'd find a "proper" Victorian dress for it, or make something more suitable, but who's to say who loved their doll more, mother or daughter? The newer dress is now more than eighty years old, so it stays. And I'm always fascinated with once-bright colors as they age and these tin cases wear them well.

I just finished rewiring this ca 1947 Italian porcelain lamp. It's named Le Chanticleer, but I've always called it the chicken lamp. It was left to me by my mother's first cousin who died just a short time after my mom almost 13 years ago. Corinne bought it on a trip to Italy that year and of all her relatives, I'm the only one that cherished it, lol.

I guess even the wild beasts that roam around Pink Gardens' yard decided to have their own Thanksgiving. This was a cool brown pumpkin with pale gray highlights, but the interior is as orange as a regular pumpkin. I like the way the raccoons left the seeds nicely arrayed on the granite steps. Very Martha—"In-the-sticks-Martha," that is.

One Maple tree in the backyard clings to some of its golden leaves. 

Milkweed Pods—
They look like tangled, fluffy birds to me

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On This Day, November 21, 1864

Appearing in a 1930s Collier's magazine, this is a lithographed letter written by President Abraham Lincoln to a "Mrs. Bixby," the mother of five sons killed in the Civil War, dated November 21, 1864. There is some controversy today, though. Some people say Bixby lost "only" two sons, and others say that perhaps an assistant to the President actually wrote the text. Regardless, it's a great piece of history, and we can learn not only grace and dignity from it but also the extremely humbling nature of the Presidency at times. Lincoln dealt with human-crushing stress and soul-crushing responsibility and didn't take a second of it casually.
  • To read more about this letter, click over to its Wiki entry, here.
The text:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln

To all of my loyal artandcolour readers, and to all the new readers that may have just found it today, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Game of India, Milton Bradley, 1932

I've shown this eighty year-old Milton Bradley game before, in the backgrounds of photos of my collections. Today I'm featuring it front and center for the beautiful piece of art it is. The box cover has outstanding artwork, as does the game board. My fine art is greatly influenced by the colors in my vintage pieces, and these are great examples of those hues.

This game also is known by the name, Parcheesi, and originally dates to approximately 500AD.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Step Right Up, Read All About It!

This is a photo I shot one winter. It's now appearing in a Rhode Island news website.

Yesterday morning I woke up and checked my email, as I always do. I had a nice note from a writer in Rhode Island asking permission to use one of my photos in a news story. She writes for the GoLocal Providence website and was working on a story about winterizing historic homes. Of course, I said yes. I'm not sure how she came across the photo, I forgot to ask. I assume she used "Google" to find it. It always surprises me but I can't tell you how many times I've used Google for something and found my own photos appearing! And it's always fun to see my work make it's way in the world. I'm supportive of legitimate and ethical journalists that remember to ask permission, too! The photo not only appears in the story itself, but is also used on their front page running banner, and on the Real Estate first page teasing and linking to the story. A good time was had by all, lol!

This is how it appears on their page one running banner.
  • The link to GoLocal Providence, here. Click on Real Estate and then the "Winterizing" story.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SepiaColour, Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2012. I've posted many photos of my dad from both his Navy and his Army days. To honor today, I'm posting my maternal grandfather, Charles R. Sanborn. This photo is the day he left from the Leete's Island CT train station for the first world war, the "War to End All Wars." He was 29 years old when he enlisted in 1917 and came back from France in early 1920.

From his diary:

August 11, 1918, Front Line Trenches
Under artillery fire today, and me thought, 'twas like a blast of dear old Beattie's quarry, only I was thinking it seemed a terrible long and loud blast when a shell whistled by close to my good ear. I'd like to have changed places with Uncle John Wireless and done "my bit" in some other branch of the service.

Friday, November 9, 2012

MovingColours: Spine Chilling

Time for a musical interlude. This is "Miss Sarajevo" by U2, with guest, Luciano Pavarotti. This was an incredibly moving piece when recorded in 1995, but today, with Pavarotti gone, it takes on even more gravitas and splendor. We still have so much war and strife and sadness and tragedy in this world. Who would have thought the world's greatest opera tenor could work so well with one of the world's greatest rock bands? They did, seamlessly. If only we could all learn the greater lesson here: We CAN all work together, we ARE all in this world together, we ARE all brothers and sisters under the skin, we MUST put aside our differences and appreciate our similarities.

With thanks to Sean, a grade school chum I have become reacquainted with on Facebook. He posted a link to this amazing piece today. I have a nagging feeling I may have posted this on the blog before, but it's certainly time to hear it again if I did.

The lyrics to Miss Sarajevo:

Is there a time for keeping your distance
A time to turn your eyes away
Is there a time for keeping your head down
For getting on with your day

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for curling hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colours
Different names you find it hard to spell

Is there a time for first communion
A time for East Seventeen
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen

Here she comes
Beauty plays the clown
Here she comes
Surreal in her crown

Dici che il fiume
Trova la via al mare
E come il fiume
Giungerai a me
Oltre i confini
E le terre assetate
Dici che come il fiume
Come il fiume...
L'amore giungerà
E non so più pregare
E nell'amore non so più sperare
E quell'amore non so più aspettare

[Translation of the above]
You say that the river
finds the way to the sea
and like the river
you will come to me
beyond the borders
and the dry lands
You say that like a river
like a river...
the love will come
the love...
And i don't know how to pray anymore
and in love i don't know how to hope anymore
and for that love i don't know how to wait anymore
[End of Translation]

Is there a time for tying ribbons
A time for Christmas trees
Is there a time for laying tables
And the night is set to freeze

O lijepa, o draga, o slatka slobodo,
[dar u kom sva blaga višnji nam bog je do...]

WinterColour—In November : (

Standing under the cedar tree next to the porch during our recent snowy Nor'easter. The winds were not as strong as forecast. no trees came down, but we had snowy skies for more than 12 hours. Luckily, the ground was too warm for much accumulation, but as I look outside today, two days later, there is still quite a bit of the wintery white stuff on the edges of the yard and drive. It's supposed to hit 60 degrees today, though! New England weather, gotta love it or it will drive you crazy!
Last week I cleaned up the porch from the summer's flowers. I stacked the ceramic containers, pruned back all the perennials, tossed the annuals, and generally tidied it up to make the eventual winter shoveling easier. Well, "eventual" occurred three days later, lol. I also made an evergreen arrangement in one of my vintage milkcans, with pine and cedar boughs, bittersweet and red rosehips. When I was done, I realized I had skipped autumn entirely, lol. Most people still have pumpkins, chrysanthemums and those odd ornamental cabbages, but I went straight to red and green winter colors. Well, in just a day or two, my winter arrangement looked right at home—with fluffy white snow covering it. Since I emphasize colors here on my blog, I've painted this nearly 100 year old milkcan with a dark red exterior paint for protection, covered with a slightly metallic copper glaze. It really catches the light on sunny days.

At first, I didn't go outside when it was snowing. I shot these two photos from inside my livingroom, looking at the cedar tree outside my window. I changed the camera settings a few times to see what I could pick up. I didn't realize the glass was reflecting back some of the livingroom decor, but I like the end results.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DarkColours: Making Lemonade as They Say

To amuse myself one night during the post-Sandy power outage, which lasted four days for me, I walked around my apartment with a flashlight and my camera. I wanted to see how different my collections looked without clear, bright, lighting. In some cases, objects appeared quite eerie, and in other cases, a bit evil, lol. Above, a 33rpm LP album of the Dean Martin TV show, reveals Dino to be just as handsome as he ever was.

I've had Alien Boy for more than twenty years. He lives in a glass vase in a far corner of the livingroom. He will bring me back to my home planet when it's time. The book is "Japan Unbuttoned" and is an early 1950s book for Army dependents living in that country.

My circa 1920s baby clothes hanger and pair of baby shoes take on a decidedly non-cherubic look in the glare of a flashlight.

I have German brass sleigh bells hanging from my ceiling fan. The CFL bulbs add a decidedly modern touch to this 1980s light fixture.

My favored 1920s Roly-Poly glows in the light of a candle. He looks like he's about to roast some marshmallows, doesn't he? I think he was actually about to roast Sandy. He doesn't like the dark anymore than I do.

Dolly is resting eternally in my upstairs foyer. She never gives me any trouble.

These two are precocious and I must keep my eye on them at all times! Here, they are plotting their next move in the dark. They never go very far though. We all live small lives.

They watch me as I age. And I watch them slowly deteriorate, too. We are growing old together. They've now seen three generations of my family grow old.

I don't know who will care for them when I'm gone. Most people will just see their flaws. I see their hearts.

The Doughboy is always happy, even when there is a mystical blue lady creeping up behind him. His giggling is incessant but was a nice addition to the cold, electricity-less nights earlier this week.

This 1950s German angel loves to play dress-up with my mother's pearls. As soon as I take them off of her and put them away, she takes them out again. I think she's going to win this skermish.

Vintage poster for a concert in San Francisco, 1966, featuring among others, Alan Ginsberg, the Grateful Dead and Ken Kesey as the Emcee. Location: Fisherman's Wharf. Cost: $2.00 Dress: Estatic (sic)

My grandfather's large 4-color framed release from the first World War. This was the "war to end all wars." He died in early 1941, never knowing he hadn't fought the very last war the United States would be involved in.

Circa 1948 glamor portrait by Harold Haliday Costain seems to be separating from its backing in this light. It's not noticeable at all during the day. I think she may have led a fast life, hence the mid 1960s Chevy SS wheel center cap at the bottom.

"Sleepy" is always, well, you know. He NEVER moves as the cobwebs attest to.

Even Tinky Winky was a bit off his game without heat and light. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

ZeroColour Post Sandy

An entire summer's worth of gardening, cooking and freezing, I hardly knew ye! This is the state of my refrigerator and freezer, post Hurricane Sandy. I can't believe how much work it was growing my tomatoes and peppers this year and then making all sorts of tasty dishes for the winter, now all for nothing. I guess this is when it pays to be a long-suffering New York Mets fan—I'm used to saying, "There's always next year!"