Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skaneatles, New York

While at the HSEAD meeting in Auburn, NY, we had the chance to tour around the area. This was the first time we had visited the village of Skaneatles. The weather was perfect that day, and all over central New York state tulips and other spring bulbs were out in full force.
Skaneatles is a charming 19th century town, with its business district right on the lakefront. Lots of wonderful Victorian and Greek revival houses to look at.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HSEAD Gold Leaf Work

I just got back from the annual meeting of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration. They have just released their new instructional DVD on "Gold Leaf". They had a display of this work, including items done by the organization's newest master craftsman (craftsperson?), Carol Heinz. Carol was the first member to reach this status in over 20 years - quite an accomplishment, as it requires winning "A" awards in almost all HSEAD disciplines. Her tray with the bright blue morning glory was easily the most photographed item in the exhibition this year.
You can find out more about the DVD from I bought mine, and as soon as school is over, plan to sit down and work on this technique (but I don't think the gold peacock tray shown will be my first project).
More posts to come on this meeting and our visit to historic central New York.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homage to Dale Chihuly

We have long been fans of Dale Chihuly (, and have seen many of his works in museums. Years ago you could actually find an example in the museum shops at a relatively reasonable price. Alas, his work is no longer in the casual purchase category.
So in a delightful piece of serendipity, I was preheating the oven before putting in a pan of chicken for roasting, and noticed a strange smell. I had been temporarily storing a plastic container of Trader Joe's Dunkers cookies in the oven, and it had been pushed far back out of sight. When I retrieved it, I saw that the heat had made the edges opalescent, and formed the container and lid into what resemble one of Chihuly's shell form pieces. Art is where you find it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Antique Grain Painted Frame for Exhibition

This is an antique "Theorem" painting on paper, contained in a grained and stenciled frame. Popular in the nineteenth century, theorem painting used stencils to allow people to create works of art, even if they had no art training. The frame is grain-painted to resemble mahogany or rosewood, and has bronze powder stenciling.
I have sent this to be exhibited among other antique decorative items a the annual meeting and exhibition of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD), being held April 23-25, 2010 in Auburn, New York (

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring comes to Connecticut

We went to visit someone in Farmington, CT on Sunday, and afterwards stopped in at the Hill-Stead Museum ( This is a wonderful colonial-revival country mansion filled with antiques and art, including works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, etc. This estate was created by the Pope family, after their daughter, Theodate Pope came to school in Farmington and became fond of the area. Theodate became an architect, and along with McKim, Mead and White designed this home. Her father collected art, and it is amazing to see the paintings in the rooms where they have always hung.
The weather was beautiful, and things are turning green here in New England.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Museum of Russian Icons

Another case of not going to things right in your own backyard, we finally checked out this museum in Clinton, Massachusetts:

A beautiful small museum, and interesting to see even if icons are not your thing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Wonderful weather in New England for Easter this year. I had people take home eggs, extra desserts, etc. so I won't be too tempted. Time to finish clearing the table and then to bed.