Celebrating Ephemera by Creating Vignettes of Our Lives with Our Possessions: the Dresser, By Onna Carr

I believe in a similar way to photographs, we acquire and arrange our possessions as an ever-changing tableau that undergoes reformation with time and our turn of minds.  We constantly preserve our memories through our possessions, holding our memories close throughout our lives through our selection and display of ephemera.  For this post, I am going to discuss my dresser area.  I am going to show how I preserve the past, keep joy in the present, and move into the future with courage and grace through the use of ephemera.  Hopefully explaining why I believe the small things in life really do matter.

Ed Sheeran, the British musician, best known for his Grammy-winning song, “Thinking Out Loud,” has another song entitled “Photograph.”  Last year, “Photograph” seemed to be playing everywhere from the hair salon to the doctor’s office to the box store to the local grocery.  “Photograph” speaks of how we take pictures to record moments when we had both our eyes and our hearts open so that we could preserve these memories of good times and healthy innocence to hold them close throughout our lives.  The poignancy of “Photograph” lies in the fact that a such a young man understood so well certain aspects of life’s memories and could convey them so excellently in a song only four minutes long.

Every morning upon waking, I can look over at my dresser.  I am greeted by a 1920’s-1930’s dresser acquired at an estate sale and cleaned but left with its natural patina created over years of good, solid service to its previous owners.  To the side of the dresser is the wooden rocking chair I came home to as an infant and spent many hours being nursed or rocked to sleep in.  Over the rocker’s back is a hand-blocked, traditional, cotton scarf from Delhi, reminding me of my obsession with India. 

The dresser top is covered with a linen table scarf embroidered with red-worked teapots by my mother.  In the center of the dresser top is a piece of interesting and eclectic “book-art” completed at a class showcasing one of my favorite colors, verdant green.  Ear-cuffs with green accents are placed upon the “book-art” and a green travel necklace with a prayer box lies in front to accentuate the green motif further.  A bangle/bracelet black velvet, three-tier holder rests along one of the back corners of the dresser top and holds my extensive collection of beaded bracelets, bangles, and cuff bracelets that have been purchased or that I have created over the years.   In front of the bangle holder rests a wool swatch from my foray into graphed, color knitting that reminds me of the joys of a good instructor and the things he taught me.  Opposite the bracelet holder is a teal vase with irises and poppies to add a pop of color and to draw the eye to the large canvas of poppies hung above the dresser and the “Keep Calm and Carry On” wall art in the corner. 

In front of the vase is a vintage piece of ceramic that depicts a cottage in the countryside with bright color usage and a shiny finish, recalling the rolling hills and the rural locales that have been a part of my life since birth. To the side of the vase, is a ceramic ring holder, one of those vintage, hand-painted finds from the era when ceramic shops were a going concern.  This ring box was painted by “Flora” and reminds me of “Flora’s Secret,” by Enya, making me smile with the reminiscence of Enya’s work that brings to mind sparkling sunlight, gentle raindrops, and rippling water in musical form. 

On the dresser top, in the center, against its back, is an incorporated piece of lovely gingerbread work and beneath it, an antique plate entitled “Empress” by John Edwards and called a “Porecelaine Deterrl” piece.  I love the creamy background on this plate with the gold accents around the edges and in the center.  This plate is also a memory cloche:  holding an odd assortment of physical items that are touchstones of my times past.  The diminutive, plastic calf was a gift from my great-grandfather when I was four.  He was and remains the finest man I ever met, reminding me of the verse in the Book of Esther regarding Mordecai, “. . .accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.”  Esther 10:3 KJV.  Opposite the calf rests a tiny, ceramic bear that I lost when a toddler, and I was so disturbed by missing the miniscule figurine that my father and I spent an entire afternoon searching our back yard for the little object until we found it.  A marble reminds me of the Iowan toy shop that it was purchased at, and the good memory of that experience rolls around the center of the plate.  Meanwhile, a favorite fashion necklace in brass, red, and pearl accents with Bollywood style warmly shimmers beside the marble reminding me of beautiful Indian films with their exotic, bright colors.  Across from this item, another necklace lies quietly poised in gunmetal blue patiently waiting to take a shot at any given day of my choice in resounding volleys of quick silver and cold diamond accents. 

The ephemera on my dresser brings back to me valued memories of my family and my experiences.  These past memories build me up while I am firmly grounded in the present, adding not only beauty to my life, but additional touchstones of meaning that help me to move into the future with courage and grace.  I love how ephemera, like tangible photographs and Ed Sheeran’s song, can recall the moments, past and present, when our eyes and our hearts were/are open, preserving our memories so that we can hold them close throughout our lives.  Ephemera may appear small and insignificant to the casual observer, but the reflections that our possessions give us of our past and of our present allow us to better understand ourselves and to remember those we care about as we move into the future, carrying with us the only personal treasure that really matters in the end—love.

 

 

Onna is the owner/manager/blogger of www.thelittlegreenhouseonthecorner.com and the author of Lizzie Bennett:  Pride and Prejudice Revisited 1943-1946, a bestselling e-Book on Amazon.com.  Onna Carr is an Interior Design graduate of Rhodec International, and she is a graduate of Shaw Academy with Diplomas of Distinction in Blogging and Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing.  Onna lives with her family wherever she happens to be at the moment and can be followed via Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/LGHontheCorner/, LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/onna-carr-1444a811a, or at www.thelittlegreenhouseonthecorner.com, where you can join her and her family on their journey. 

Source: http://www.thelittlegreenhouseonthecorner....

Folk Couture : Fashion and Folk Art from the American Folk Art Museum in NYC

The Huntsville Museum of Art is the first museum outside of New York City to present the exhibit Folk Couture : Fashion and Folk Art.

The exhibit was organized by the American Folk Art Museum of NYC and is a collection of traditional folk art and expressions by self-taught artists.  Thirteen emerging designers including Fabio Costa a contestant of Project Runway, Catherine Malandrino, and Koos van der Akker were asked to create a fashion piece for the exhibit.  Live Models from the Black Ball Collection by DeLoain were also featured at the event.

The Premier Cocktail Event Folk Fusion : Where Fashion Meets Folk Art, was held in April at the HMA, and hosted by the Huntsville Museum of Art Guild.  The evening began with a silent auction and guests had the pleasure of listening to tunes by Southern Acoustic Artists Brad & Clint, and The Sweeplings while sipping wine offered by Church Street Wine Shoppe and enjoying local brews from Rocket Republic Brewing Company.   Guests also savored delicious food catered by Lyn's Gracious Goodness and Hamley Bake Shoppe. The evening came to a close with a spirited live auction. 

Folk Couture : Fashion and Folk Art exhibit will be available for viewing April 10 - June 26, 2016.  All of those who are fashion enthusists will not want to miss this dynamic display of couture and folk art.

Live Your Vision,

Sheila

 
 
 

My Favorite Picks From Lewis & Sharon Textiles Atlanta

 

I adore fabrics and can spend hours looking through bolts, swatches, and trims.  When in Atlanta, Lewis & Sharon Textiles in West Midtown is my top pick for fabrics.  They have a wide variety of design styles, outdoor fabrics, and upholstery.  If tassels and trims are what you are looking for, you will be amazed by their selection.  Furniture, you guessed it.  On the lower floor you will find a selection of furniture and upholstery services.  The showroom is organized, coordinated, and maintains an easy flow so you can find exactly what you are looking for in minimal time. The staff, of course, are a wealth of knowledge and are always ready to assist you.

 

Lewis & Sharon Textiles should definitely be on your must-see list for your next trip to Atlanta.

Live Your Vision,

   -Sheila

The Frick Collection Home of Henry Clay Frick

The house museum of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, located at 1 East 70th Street in Manhattan, was a delightful find my husband and I happened to stumble upon one rainy afternoon while in New York.  The Manison designed by Thomas Hastings, was built of Indiana limestone and is in part a study of architecture, and decorative arts. 

Henry Clay Frick was a patron and collector of original works of art including those of Vermeer and Rembrandt, as well as numerous works of eighteenth-century British portaiture. He also acquired many objects from J. Pierpont Morgan's personal collection that included paintings by Fragonard, Limoges enamels, Servres porcelains and eighteenth-century French furniture.

I have always enjoyed visiting house museums, going back in time and being surrouned by a families legacy. The home of Henry Clay Frick, his appreciation for the arts, as well as his interior environment continue to inspire generations. The website for the Frick Collection can be found at http://www.frick.org

Live Your Vision,

Sheila

Source: http://www.frick.org

Luncheon with Interior Designer Charlotte Moss

 

Interior designer Charlotte Moss was guest speaker during the Huntsville Museum of Art "Voices of Our Times" series in April of last year.  An inspiring and lovely southern lady who spoke about her new book, Garden Inspirations.  

My mother and I attended the luncheon and greatly enjoyed her presentation.  Her new book provides  beautiful photos of her property as well as many decorating and gardening ideas for the home.  

Enjoy,

   Sheila

https://charlottemoss.com/books/garden-inspirations/

 

Creekside Plantation

 

The height of Southern aristocracy, elegance, and grace.  Imagine your wedding or special event surrounded by beautiful lush greenery, a vineyard filled with gorgeous clutters of grapes, and a lovely pasture with horses rambling quietly nearby.  

For more information I encourage you to visit their website at http://creeksideatcolliersend.com/  

 

The Waldorf Astoria Manhattan

 

The perfect destination for celebrating the special moments in your life.  My husband and I chose the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan for celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  

While there, be sure to take a docent tour of the hotel.  The history of the hotel  promises to amaze and delight you.  

The hotel boasts wonderful resturants, the Bull and Bear and Peacock Alley, are sure to please the most discerning taste.  http://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com