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My Mid Century Christmas

9 Dec

One would think that after a month of doing Christmas for others there would be little energy for doing it for myself…You are wrong, two factors made it easy for me this year, 1. I emptied my car of everything that did not make the cut in some one elses store and 2. We were hit with a snow storm yesterday.

Pre-dawn shot

Pre-dawn shot

A few cups of coffee and I was ready. Ready to deplete the amount of “stuff” I had to put away in my basement. On went Bing Crosby and I set to decorating the house. The snow falling outside the window was the perfect accompaniment to my labors. Yes even an old Scrooge like me does [at times] get struck with the spirit. take a look at my retro decor.

xmas2

A long shot

A long shot

My favorite Kitsch

My favorite Kitsch

The 40's Window Candles

The 40’s Window Candles

A brass Gazelle becomes a  Reindeer  this time of year

A brass Gazelle becomes a Reindeer this time of year

My heirloom Nativity

My heirloom Nativity

60's brass candle sticks, found 2 sets..lucky me

60’s brass candle sticks, found 2 sets..lucky me

A plastic Santa Boot..like it a lot..

A plastic Santa Boot..like it a lot..

My Christmas tea pots

My Christmas tea pots

Cocktails? of course!

Cocktails? of course!

Just can't get over mirror balls..

Just can’t get over the 70’s mirror balls..

All dressed up and Christmas is near.

All dressed up and Christmas is near.

Fake is OK in a Mid Century display

Fake is OK in a Mid Century display

My skinny tree with bubble lights...OF COURSE! and lots of tinsel

My skinny tree with bubble lights…OF COURSE! and lots of tinsel

The Parting shot a very Merry Mid Century Christmas to All!

The Parting shot a very Merry Mid Century Christmas to All!

My blinking tree…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB8zlAaYAVU

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A Parisienne Christmas

8 Dec

 

Christmas Display

25 Nov
Everyone has memories lingering of the small details of Christmas past. My obsession with miniature architecture is rooted in the traditions of my paternal grandmother. She was a master of display. Every Christmas Eve after we were sent to bed [the tree never went up until Christmas eve] she would set up her Christmas village under her tree. A veritable extravaganza of her wonderful lit cardboard houses ( putz as they are refered to) and a beautiful 20’s vintage German dollhouse that belonged to my father. She also owned a model of a Russian Orthodox church, crafted by a cousin, complete with its “onion dome” a tribute to her Slovak  roots in the rural Pennsylvania coal mining regions.
My Granny had great Christmas decor, in her window she would display a home-made wooden electrified cross, a rarity these days, but for her Christ was the reason for the season, and of course us, her grand children. Christmas morning was always a thrill at my Granny’s due to she celebrated Russian Christmas [the Epiphany] on January 6th. We were excused from school to celebrate a second Christmas, an event much envied by my schoolmates.
Christmas the way it used to feel
All the wonderful little houses
All her Christmas suburban sprawl surrounded “the big show” the nativity, a stable brightly lit by a bulb surrounded with a tin star, she would place the figures, pre war hand-painted paper mache effigies all staring lovingly at the baby Jesus, including the livestock, a cow, a donkey a few sheep. The stable is lost, but I still have the figures which I rescued years ago, after her passing [a good move on my part] I have set up the nativity every year since, to continue her tradition and remember my Granny, the woman who passed her talents for display on to me.
Go to Papa’s site for a look at Christmas past. good stuff http://cardboardchristmas.com/papateds/Main.html

 

35 Years of Collecting…Now what?

4 Nov
What came first the chicken or the egg? I’ve always had a penchant for collecting even as a child. I have also been a “display man” my entire adult life. At this point I ask myself, How did I get all this stuff? Was it a genetic inclination or was it just being on the front line of retail endeavors. If I had been an accountant would I have still have been a collector? probably, but display certainly contributed, the constant need for “things” to do a display. I have created a museum of “stories” all of which have been in a window at one time or another. Now the question is what do you do with all of it?..Ironically its time to open a shop,
My favorite Liners
The SS United States is docked here in Philly
This is my shrine to the Ship
Various Mid Century Items and stainless backsplash from a diner
The Painted Lady a 30 year project
A miniature hotel
Radios another collection
Models and Toys
The Predicta, yes that’s King Kong playing
This is the “Constantinople” collection East meets West at the Golden Horn . My objects of Eastern origin, arranged to replicate the Byzantine style.
The perfect Bedroom decor, at least for me. It’s on the “Dark” side.
Dark with lots of gold leaf
I have a huge number of exotic throws. I love them thrown on everything.
Moroccan dresser scarf and pierced brass tray
I’ve been collecting hanging lanterns and liturgical incense burners as well.
It’s my Greek and Russian background that started me on the icons
This is a fabulous huge hanging Turkish lantern.
A Syrian pierced lamp with beaded fringe.
My galley kitchen is mid-century all the way. that and that from countless flea markets and garage sales
Pyrex beakers arranged chronologically
Neon cocktail sign and Seal lamps
Kitcshy Commemorative plates are fun.
Raymond Loewy for Rosenthal China. Great coffee set.
An ice cream condiment set, now for tea bags
The Living Dining Space a little of everything.

Steampunk to the Max

7 Oct

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My own Constantinople

29 Sep

The mystic East, the land of legends,Theodora, the Byzantines, the seat of Holy Roman Empire, Sulieman the Magnificent, Saint Sophia the heart of eastern Orthodoxy. I am inescapably drawn to all things related to the Golden Horn where Western Europe and Orient meet.

I was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith, the most distant memories as a child are those of dark incense laden rituals spoken in ancient Greek, they made quite an impression on a child’s mind. My grandmothers absolute adherence to the faith are the basis of my continuing fascination. My Yaiya ( Greek for grandmother) kept her home shrine Icons lit with an oil lamp that she would relight once a year with the flame she very carefully carried home from Easter services, it was essential that that flame was not extinguished before her relighting ritual. I remember well she would burn incense to make sure her prayers were carried skyward. Ask any Greek, the influence our Yaiya’s exerted over us as children, its something you never forget, ever.

Byzantine Icons and a few others

Although my adult religious practices are less than devout, I still carry the memories of my yaiya’s beliefs and practices. In my own way I have carried on the traditions. Over the years I’ve collected pieces that reinforce my memories and the beliefs I experienced as a child. The atmosphere of my yaiya’s house.

I didn’t exclude the Turkish influence,, the Incense burner is Greek.

My candelie is electric not oil

I was lucky to find a huge Saracenic latern.

A few wooden Mexican saints.

A plaster carnival prize from the 1920’s stares into her incense burner.

I have a number of Eastern dresser scarves and piano shawls.

I love it dark..and slightly scary, like religion.

Gold leaf is an essential

A salvaged kneeling rail. A gothic touch.

These embroideries were in every Greek home a few generations ago. A happy greeting for all occasions .

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