Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Italian Stone Fruit

I began collecting stone fruit many years ago. In the world of collectors, we refer to it as stone fruit, although some people call it alabaster or marble fruit.  Made in Italy as early as 1900,  it became a popular decorative in the 50s. The vintage pieces have a nice, aged patina to them. There is also new stone fruit from Italy that is great looking as well, and if you don't have an affinity for old things, you can make a handsome collection with the new fruit.

I hunt for unusual pieces now, have been known to throw in a new piece if it is interesting enough,  and am quite wild for little obscure pieces that I have found, like hazelnuts, peanuts and, technically it is not all fruit. There are even some vegetables out there to be found.......rare, though.

Joan, over at Anything Goes Here, has done a several posts on stone fruit and was featured in Country Living in 2001 here for her amazing collection.  I was a little late to the party and just commented on her stone fruit post today. She featured the collections of several other bloggers and I recognized this big, wonderful mound of grapes in an urn from Joan at for the love of a house. Check out her blog for lots of other beautiful antiques.


 Joan, of Anything Goes Here,  suggested that we combine our enthusiasm and link to each other. Great idea!

In fact, she is selling some stone fruit on her anything goes here marketplace and if you want to start collecting, here is a wonderful peach she has for sale!

Gather a few more and you can have a bowl full like I have on my coffee table!

Fredericksburg is known for our peaches, so it was only fitting that I gather a bowl full!

See the peaches hiding back there behind the bowl of mixed fruit?

My sweet daughter just went to the flea market at the Tennessee fairgrounds and surprised me with two more pieces of stone fruit. (I LOVE it that she has started hanging out at flea markets!) A girl just can't have too much fruit!

My friend, Barbara, whose home I featured here, has a marvelous collection of good, old fruit in muted, soft colors. When I am at her house, I covet her fruit. Sick. I know.

Barbara also has some incredible pear halves. Fruit slices or "splits" are harder to find and are desirable among serious stone fruit collectors. Many of them were originally made as bookends and finding a pair is really fun!
Here you can see my half pear and my half apple. Oh! and I spy a peanut.

Here are my grapes in one of my favorite tramp art pieces.

Last, but not least by any means, my blue grapes. Someone painted them long ago, and while that little bit of creativity could have been disastrous, they appealed to me in a weird way and over time I have grown to just love them for their worn and beautiful blue patina.

If you like stone fruit, visit Joan's etsy shop,  or look on eBay or at flea markets and antique shows. Some of the new pieces, like so many reproductions these days, will look like they are old. An honest dealer will tell you if the fruit is vintage or new,  and ultimately only buy what you love and want to live with, new or old.

The prices vary, so don't be discouraged if you run across a piece with a giant price on it - keep looking for what feels right for you. As with anything you collect, the more you look, the more discerning your eye will become. As you look more and more,  you will know which pieces of fruit appeal to you and what you are willing to pay.

Happy Hunting!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bedroom re-do and Hans Wegner look alike chairs

I have been working on redecorating my college daughter's room. I want it to still be her room, but with a more grown up feel, and a little more comfortable for guests when she is not at home and we need that extra bedroom.

Since our house is for sale, I am trying to keep costs at a minimum and not do things we couldn't take with us - meaning no custom window treatments, no painting, no expensive rugs or bedding, no fabulous and funky chandeliers, that kind of thing. Keeping it simple, but colorful and comfortable, and interesting,  that's the goal.

I am trying to use things that I have, some from other places in the house and some from my "stash". These chairs have been in my collection since I found them in a junk shop a few years ago. I was thrilled to discover them because they reminded me of the folding chairs designed by mid century Danish designer, Hans Wegner, in 1949. They are quite comfortable and in great shape, and one of my best finds!

I found the painting at a shop in town owned by a friend, where she found it at an estate sale. I hope to hang some more original art in her room rather than the posters and photo collages of high school. (Not that those are not precious - they will have a sacred space for safekeeping.)

Hans Wegner folding chair, designed in 1949

Coincidentally, Patricia of pve design just did a post on these chairs, as well as a few other designs. She, too, had the good fortune to acquire some look alikes! Rather than be redundant, read more here on her great blog.

Meanwhile, I will post again when I get more of the new room pulled together. I am fooling around with cotton Indian print bedspreads as curtains and a sea grass rug. So far, it is coming together in a loose, ethnic and colorful way that should be quite fun when all is said and done.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Blog Friend and Favorite Artist, Jon Flaming

A while ago, I posted here about on of my favorite artists, Jon Flaming. Yesterday I received an email from Jon about someone else who is crazy for his work. Lucky girl, Brooke, of Pure and Noble ,  knows Jon and his cute wife, Kathy, on a much more personal basis than I. She gets to go to their home and hang out with them! She posted some wonderful photos, thanks to her helpful husband, and you should really visit here and read the whole story. You will not be disappointed!

Isn't this a wonderful banner for her blog? Guess what? Jon designed it. He is not only an very talented creator of fine art, but owner of his own multidisciplinary firm creating amazing graphics and brands for lots and lots of folks.........I'm talking big dogs like Pizza Hut, American Airlines, Neiman Marcus. This guy is good. Learn more about him here
and HERE.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

George Nelson Bubble Light - A Design Classic at RED in FRED

If you have read my blog for a while, you may know that some of my nearest and dearest are the brains and brawn behind the fabulous Main Street store, red. The shop has continued to evolve over the last four years and I couldn't be more proud of my friends. It truly rivals any big city design emporium!

red is an amazing mix of vintage and modern, and has recently moved to an even bigger space, in a most notable location, I might add. The old Buick building is perfect for such an interesting mix of the best of contemporary design mixed with the charm of vintage treasure.

The big news today is the contest they are holding for a George Nelson bubble light. Read all about it here.

What I love about these fixtures is their versatility. Of course, any one of them would look fabulous in a contemporary setting, but would also add some punch over an old farm table or  even in a bedroom.

The George Nelson bubble lamps are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. They are just a classic - that's all there is to it!

Go take a look here - go now, and be sure to leave a comment to win a chance at a classic in the design world!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Country Home......Wishful Thinking

Dashing through the Nashville airport, I caught a glimpse of this on a newsstand. I didn't even have time to check it out - just grabbed it and bought it with some other items. Hoping it was a "come back", but not knowing for sure until the total due was fifteen and some odd cents - whoops, not your ordinary magazine! Make that $12.99 for the magazine and the rest for gum and water!

Photo - Kim Cornelison

Upon closer inspection, I read "Meredith Specials" meaning a special edition put out by the Meredith Corporation. Oh well, it was a fun,  but fleeting thought.

Sometimes these special issues are redundant as I have usually read and re-read everything that interests me in prior issues and torn out all of my favorites..............

Photo - Maura McEvoy

This issue is really nicely done, though, with no ads and tons of personal stories about different folks and their personal decorating styles. I like it.

 Styled by Jody Kennedy, Photo - John Granen

Photo - Helen Norman

Photo - Edmund Barr

If you enjoyed Country Home magazine, you might pick up this special issue.  It is full of personal spaces designed by real people with great style.

I think it's a keeper.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kansas City - Great Art, Architecture, Antiques...What's not to Love?

It just feels like vacation when you arrive somewhere and the first thing you do is have a drink and a meal sitting along the sidewalk watching the people pass by. Our friends, Kelly and Steve, who began their marriage some twenty plus years ago in Kansas City,  told us to have lunch at the Classic Cup, "or at least go there for dessert while you are there!" Not listed on the latest or trendiest must go to places, still, it felt like an old KC institution that afternoon and did not disappoint.

Our hotel was across the street from the lovely Country Club Plaza and good restaurants and shopping were all within walking distance. Kansas City is proud of their shopping and entertainment center, and rightly so. Touted as the oldest shopping center in the United States, built in the twenties, the area has certainly stood the test of time. The Spanish architecture is charming and incredible European sculpture and fountains abound.

We stayed at the Raphael Hotel , across from Country Club Plaza, and I cannot say enough about how lovely this hotel is. From the crisp, new and beautifully decorated rooms to the friendly, accommodating staff, this is a perfect getaway spot!

So, while we did wander the streets of the plaza a bit, that was not the reason for the trip. We went to see a particular exhibit at one of several great museums in Kansas City.

The sky was just about to open up with a huge rainstorm when I snapped this photo from the side of the Gunnar Birkerts Building,  of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Jacques Lipchitz
Bellerophon Taming Pegasus: Large Version
I managed to snap a photo of the beautiful sculpture above before dashing inside to see the exhibit. The rain came pouring down and it was a most perfect afternoon to stroll leisurely through a wonderful exhibit of paintings by Dallas artist David Bates.

I have followed the work of David Bates for many years. Initially, I was attracted to the Southern folk art feel of his work, and I have always loved the texture of his paintings, thick with paint and brush strokes.

92nd Street Pier

This painting is in the museum's permanent collection and was painted in 1992. David's paintings are owned by museums and private collectors across the country. His work is recognized for it's realist style and it's emotional strength.

David Bates is known particularly for his love for and paintings of the people and landscapes of the Gulf Coast. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he was reminded of stories he had heard as a child of the Galveston hurricane of September 8, 1900, that destroyed the city.

As David watched the newscasts of the destruction in New Orleans, he was deeply moved and  began sketching the images he was seeing on television.  From these sketches, as well as following visits to New Orleans with dealer and friend, Arthur Roger, came The Katrina Paintings.
Some of these first sketches are available to see at the Kemper exhibition as well as some of the photographs taken of the destruction he witnessed.

I wish I could have taken photographs to share my favorite paintings. They show faces of fear, frustration, anger, sorrow and bewilderment. The landscapes show destruction and devastation.  One can't help but be moved by the emotion in the work. 
I can find some images on line and bought the wonderful exhibit catalog, David Bates, the Katrina Paintings, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, at the museum gift shop. 

Storm Triptych - 1

I would urge anyone to see this exhibit if at all possible. It will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee in the fall. The paintings are emotionally charged works of art, as well as social and political commentary. I can't possibly do the full story justice and wouldn't attempt to.

The book is chock full of information and a window into David's art, his heart, and his mind.

The Deluge V, 2007

This painting is quite large, (60 x 84 inches), as are many of the pieces. The Kemper is a perfect gallery space for the display, with lots of space between the paintings and room to stand back, or sit, and reflect.

I was disappointed that the other museums were closed due to the July 4th holiday, and sorry we did not get to visit the Nelson Adkins Museum of Art.  Next time!

With a little time left on our hands, I pulled out my guide to Kansas City from elle decor,  written by Patricia Shackelford, aka  Mrs. Blandings,  and headed to a few antique shops.

Time was short and I got to poke my head in just a few shops. I did manage to take a few photos of the lovely shop, Parrin and Co.

I had the nicest visit with owner Barbara Farmer and learned she had braved the Texas heat to travel and set up at the  Marburger  Farm Antique Show several times in the recent past.We agreed it is a fabulous show, huge with lots of really good antiques and a lot of hard work for dealers. I have tremendous respect for the dealers who set up at this show.

Barbara's shop is loaded with beautiful antiques, many French, all to covet.

Love the table, love the mirrors and ya gotta love the funny chalk dog,  happy as can be, sitting among all that elegance!

Crazy for this tiered, tole tray, but alas, it was sold! The tole flowers were tempting , too!

Love her - she was not tipping to the left  - I think I was!

So, as we were chatting and as I was about to walk out the door, my eye caught this little shell what not - a hand made treasure of sorts, maybe meant to be an inkwell. I have an affinity for shell things - my most favorite being the dress forms below that are my all time favorite find and sit front and center in my entry hall............

and so, Barbara wrote a sales ticket for my newest shell find, I bid her farewell and thanked her so much for the visit and off I went............. but not before...........

.....I spotted this treasure in the window. I had missed it when I first arrived. It is an old tin urn, weighted at the bottom, with a full bouquet of tin flowers. My guess, as well as Barbara's, is that it is Mexican and quite old. Oohhhh................just what I love

(I know, I know - I love a lot of things... it's a problem....)

So, back in the store for another sales ticket and discussion of how to get this baby back to Texas. Turns out it comes apart - the bouquet comes off the, the urn fit in my checked bag and the flowers got to fly in the cabin with me. 

It will come as no surprise to you that it fits in perfectly in my house, full of  an assortment of treasures collected here and there over the years. 

And about David Bates, I will be following him closely in the future. What a huge talent.


Related Posts with Thumbnails