Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spooky Plants

As Halloween approaches I've been remembering a window display I made some years ago. For about a year (1996) I had a plant store in Portland, Oregon, "The Window Garden" with a friend of mine. Since I'd been at the beginning of the house plant trend by opening a shop in Kent, Ohio in the early 70s, I'd always had dreams about doing it again. Literally. I still do - I discover an old greenhouse full of exotic plants on the edge of being alive. It is mine, I can have everything in it if I can bring them back to life. I have to do it. Or I discover that I've owned the store all along and I've forgotten about it, leaving it in the hands of assistants and forgetting how wonderful - and how much work - it all is.

So Cathy and I revived my dream and we were a few years, or maybe a decade, ahead of our time and it was not successful enough to make a go of it. I understand that now small garden stores are doing well leading big merchants like Target to close their garden centers.

At the Window Garden I had a great time creating window displays and my favorite was "Seven Spooky Plants." It featured mysterious plants like the Old Man Cactus, Pitcher Plants, Living Stones, and a Drunkard's Dream. The spooky title was written with white roll-on shoe polish on the glass. The most eerie moment of the month was when the sun reflecting on a car window caused a shadow image of "Spooky Plants" high on the interior wall of the store.

I'll present some other store displays when they become seasonally appropriate. Meanwhile, I'll just keep dreaming.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Match or Not?

I'm still struggling with the "new" fashion dictum that your clothes and accessories must never match. I grew up in the olden days when you would never dream of wearing black shoes with a brown belt. We even coordinated our gloves and hats! Now the idea of wearing off-white flats with a lacy black dress or carrying a yellow bag at the same time as wearing black shoes seems wrong. I know it's right, now, but it's a struggle.

This outfit that I wore to teach recently is an example of pushing the limits of the fashion rules, for me. I wore a brown/multicolored Fair Isle vest over charcoal gray pinstriped pants (brown and black together! prints and stripes together!). And instead of "pulling it all together" (a common phrase from those days and one I still find myself using) with a pair of brown boots, I went ahead and wore my off-white Keds wih red trim!

I recently recieved some 1965 McCall's magazines which I'll be posting about soon. You'll see what I mean about matching!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sardine Lunch

Once every few years throughout my adult life I get a craving for sardines with Ry-Krisp for lunch. It just happens. The day I bought these I also bought a can of salmon to make salmon cakes and a can of tuna. Must have been a nutritional need.

When I prepared to eat my sardine lunch (big sardines!) I realized how attractive the plate composition was so I got out the camera. I placed my vintage plate on the back of a Ouija board (masonite) for a neutral and contrasting background and shot it in natural patio light, using the flowers of an orchid as a flag to reduce glare. These three versions were only slightly different in fork placement but I rotated them to look at their layout appearance. What do you think?