Sunday, November 23, 2008


Kermit Berg's prints 

solid maple wood rocking chairs

This is a ceramic jar that is used in Colonial Williamsburg for the sides of buildings where some sorts of birds nest but we have not seen any use ours fully. Once or twice Mr. house wren added twigs but Ms. wren rejected it for family raising due to the large front door. She prefers small doors that keep out unwanted bigger birds and squirrels  

burning bush and gray dogwood branches, Manassas
I like this gazebo bird feeder that hangs there empty lately due to squirrel raids. 

This tall shrub has a maroon colored leaf during the growing season and it changed to these lovely colors in fall. Mom and I got this and planted it years ago. She used to love them in Roanoke, VA when she was a kid. In spring they have flowers that look like puffs of smoke, so this bush gives interest much of the year and doesn't need much attention.

Yesterday while out delivering my 29 new Coptic bound books to the Plan b Gallery on 14th Street, NW for the white box show that opens on Black Friday, I ran across a little shop that I hadn't seen before. It was a used furniture shop with lots of cool stuff laid out in an old auto parts store. After I dropped my books off at Plan b Gallery and took some photos of the installation of my San Francisco artist pal Kermit Berg's photos for Foto Week DC, I decided to go check out the old stuff in this store called Miss Pixie's. My first time in the place, I kept thinking of my Mother and all the great furniture she might use. Frist, there was a daybed type chair that looked very 1940's with pastel colored upholstery covering it and a ruffle falling to the floor, seemingly perfect to hoist your legs to rest upright. Then, I came upon these chairs (see photo) which match almost exactly the one she bought herself back in the 1970's when she and Dad went out and started buying new furniture for the living room in the "Mediterranean style" that was all the rage back then. I tried one out, the straight upright back reminded me how this was an uncomfortable chair for me, now more that back then. I could sit anywhere and get comfortable at 16 years old, however at 53 it is challenging to be comfortable in any position. After trying them I won't be recommending we replace the one that is now gone. Still, I loved seeing these chairs and I wonder if that is the original fabric covering them like Mom had on hers when she got it in the 1970's. It sure looked familiar.  
A little further into the store I fell in love with a solid maple wood rocking chair, they had two of  them but this one has a better finish. Only $110.00 sounded like a good price for a nearly new chair that was comfortable to rock in yesterday. Sadly there isn't much room in our one bedroom apt. for another chair. I think how important it is to save good wooden chairs and furniture because when you go look at the new stuff it is all veneered and much of it is particle boards covered with plastic! Not the sort of thing you can use for very long. So it seems to me that Ikea makes landfill not furniture from goodness knows how many trees every year. I know the initial low low price is what makes it sell but in the long run those cheap furniture resources will be used up and there won't be any good stuff left for Ikea or Chippendale. Just another example of ignoring the real cost of a product. I have a beautiful oak library table I use as a desk with a solid wood top and massive legs that needs the drawer repaired. I also have a great captain's style chair that is certainly hand made also of wood but all the rungs have worked loose and need to be taken apart and glued back together with a fresh pot of glue. I love them both and don't want to part with them but I don't know where I can go to have them fixed. Any suggestions are welcome. Having the good stuff really does pay off if you can keep it in useful repair. 
We are about to celebrate Thanksgiving and I will be going with Keith home to Manassas to share the traditional Turkey and trimmings with Mom and my brother David. It will be a bit sad without Dad this year but we will be  giving thanks for what we have now and remembering holidays past. I was out in Manassas a couple weeks ago and took some photos of the colorful trees which are sure to be gone by this week's visit.  As you can see I found a very odd moth in our house flying very awkwardly around our living room a couple nights ago and got his picture when it landed on the wall next to my chair. I hope it isn't munching on our woolen blanket and sweaters that reside in the living room too!

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