Rain Drops on the Tulip

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
It was a damp morning and by the time we arrived at the garden the flowers were covered with rain drops.  Descanco Gardens in La Canada, CA is always beautiful rain or shine.

"Rain Drops on the Tulip"      © Kathy Dunham 2011


Monday, May 30, 2011
European Art glass balls for holiday decoration are still commonly referred to in Austria and Germany as Kugels. Kugels range in shape and styles, according to the artist that made them and the season they are displayed. It is quite common to display egg shaped kugels at Easter and Heart shapes at Valentines day. Quality kugels are hand blown or mouth blown art glass. Most are blown into an apple wood mold to retain shape and consistency. Some artists free blow their kugel designs, thus ending up in an irregular shape. Air bubbles are common, and expected by the collector.

You can read more about antique kugels at http://www.goldenglow.org/kugels.htm.

More info and 40 items which are very pricey-http://www.ornament.ch/rubrik.php?rubnum=BK

The two images below are from my favorite...Martha Stewart Holidays.
Timeless Ornaments:Antique Kugels.  More info on kugels also.


These antique ornaments range in price anywhere from $40 to $1,000 depending on their size and shape. Lovely ornaments from Christmas past.

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2011
Today we need to remember all those men and women who have given so much to keep our country free.

"Memorial Day"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Night Time in Vernazza

Thursday, May 26, 2011
The small towns on the Cinque Terre in Italy are quaint and charming but at night they take on a different feel after the tourists are gone.  Quiet and peaceful, it's a pleasure to stroll the streets, stop at an outdoor cafe for a drink or coffee and enjoy the ambiance.

"Night Time in Vernazza"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Knock, Knock

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Even though there's a door bell, I think you're going to have to use the door knocker.  It's apparent the bell has been painted over a time or two.

"Knock, Knock"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Rain Drops

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Oriental Poppies are so dramatic and after they've been rained on they take on another look.  But it's the centers I love.  Especially the dark colors.

"Rain Drops"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Roman Amphitheater

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Roman amphitheaters can be found all over Italy and in many European countries but this little treasure sits just below the hilltop town of Volterra in Tuscany.  Known for it's alabaster, the small town of Volterra has this hidden treasure that many tourists miss. In fact, many tourists miss seeing the town as it's quite small and a bit out of the way.  But I assure you that it is worth the visit.

"Roman Amphitheater"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Largest Gingerbread City in Bergen, Norway

In my previous post on gingerbread houses, I mentioned about the largest gingerbread city in Bergen, Norway. Assa, from Nissas Juleblogg sent me this link The-Worlds-largest-Ginger-snap-City. When I went to the website and saw the picture of the gingerbread city, which is free for children under the age of 12 to make their own house with the help of their parents, I was amazed in how much work must have gone into making this large miniature city! It's so beautiful. I would enjoy seeing this!  I went looking for images of it and found these on Google. Here are a few:

I also found a video on You Tube:

Hope you enjoyed watching. Have a great week!

Sunny Sunflowers

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I know why Van Gogh liked to paint sunflowers.  At least I know why he should.  They are cheery, bright, make you smile and feel good.  And I bet you could come up with more reasons.  When I see sunflowers they always brighten my day.  I hope they have the same affect on you.

"Sunny Sunflowers"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Monday, May 16, 2011
This is one of 26 beautiful Gingerbread Houses you can view in a photo gallery at Martha Stewart's Website. I can't imagine the time that goes into making one! Very creative!

The harder German-style Gingerbread is often used to build gingerbread houses similar to the "witch's house" encountered by Hansel and Gretel. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations, often built by children with the help of their parents.
Since 1991, the people of Bergen, Norway, have built a city of gingerbread houses each year before Christmas. Named Pepperkakebyen (Norwegian for "gingerbread city"), it is claimed to be the world's largest such city. It's free for every child under the age of 12 to make their own house with the help of their parents. In 2009, the people of Bergen were shocked when the gingerbread city was destroyed in an act of vandalism.
Another type of model-making with gingerbread uses a boiled dough that can be molded like clay to form inedible statuettes or other decorations. Medieval bakers used carved boards to create elaborate designs.
A significant form of popular art in Europe, major centers of gingerbread mold carvings included Lyon, Nürnberg, Pest, Prague, Pardubice, Pulsnitz, Ulm, and Toruń. Gingerbread molds often displayed the "news", showing carved portraits of new kings, emperors, and queens, for example. Substantial mold collections are held at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń, Poland and the Bread Museum in Ulm, Germany.

http://www.bhg.com,  Victorian Gingerbread House

http://www.bhg.com, Noah's Gingerbread Ark

You can read more about the different varieties and the history of gingerbread at Wikipedia. You can also see a video on building a gingerbread house HERE. Read about the largest gingerbread city in Bergen, Norway HERE.

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Flying Saucers

Sunday, May 15, 2011
We've been having some extremely strong winds off and on for the past couple of weeks and sometimes we get these weird looking clouds. 

"Flying Saucers"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Let's Go this Way

Friday, May 13, 2011
Sarlat, France is known for it's Fois Gras, or as we Americans call it, goose liver pate.  But the French version is awesome.  In recognition of their fame, the town has erected these bronze geese in the heart of the old medevial section.  But they look a bit confused don't they?. 

"Let's Go This Way"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Birds or Orchids

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I found these tiny (slightly bigger than my thumb) orchids on a country road in France.  Because of their size, I almost missed them.  And it wasn't until I reviewed my photos that I discovered the resemblance to a pair of flying birds. 

"Birds or Orchids"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Purple Clematis

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Another harbinger of spring, the clematis comes in various colors and shapes.  Singles, doubles, white, pinks and purples.  The intricate centers present an unusual texture and start to turn brown as they age.

"Purple Clematis"     © Kathy Dunham 2011


Monday, May 9, 2011
The small town of Issiageac in the Dordogne region of France holds their "market" on Sundays and there's lots of things to see and buy.  But I like to take to the side streets when I find neat things like this letter drop. 

"Lettres"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Not Derby Material

Friday, May 6, 2011
He may be beautiful but this not Kentucky Derby material.  He's a cow pony pure and simple and enjoys the finer things in life out in the country.

"Not Derby Material"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Looking Down the Forum

Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Roman Forum reeks of history.  From Julius Caesar to the Vestal Virgins this was where it was happening in the old days of Rome.  And every time I walk down these streets I feel as if I'm transported back in time and can feel the energy of those who walked before me.

"Looking Down the Forum"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

White Lilacs

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Most of think of purples and lavenders when lilacs are mentioned. However, there are white ones and they are stunning. I have to get up close and smell their wonderful fragrance to know they're lilacs. It just takes a little getting used to the idea of white flowers when I think about these fragrant beauties.

"White Lilacs"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Gondoliers at Night

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Day or night, you can always find a gondola in Venice.  These are wearing the traditional outfit, black and white striped shirt and straw hat with ribbon trip.  Only problem is they usually take their hats off once they have a fare and are out in the canals.  Guess they don't want to lose it in the water.

"Gondoliers at Night"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

More on Antique Christmas Stands

I decided to check out more antique christmas tree stands and found a few Google Images. I love to look at the old tree stands. It's just nostalgic! If you missed my very first post on Christmas tree stands you can read about it Here.

This is a vintage 1950's Coloramic Christmas tree stand Snowman lithography, boxed, that sold for $99.00 at Vintage Toys.  It's beautiful!

This beauty was found at Khlmolds. There are several other beautiful cast iron or poured metal tree stands here and ways to use them.

Now I really don't know that this one is an antique, but I just thought it was beautiful! It too is made of cast iron and I found it at  The Christmas Cabin LTD.

Another cast iron tree stand found at Christmas in the Country. There are four pages of vintage Christmas items for sale at this website. http://www.gonecountryantiques.com/

This is an antique one being sold on Ebay for $50.00. Found it Here. Love the poinsettia design.

I think someone brought this one to my attention in my other post on antique Christmas tree stands. I can't say that I like it, but it is rare. The hole for a tree trunk doesn't look very big, so maybe it could have been used for say...one of those aluminum foil Christmas trees to light them up and make them shiny and reflective...  It sold for $20.49 on Ebay.  I looked up the comment on my other post on tree stands and the person who commented and his tree stand that is just like this one...only his looks like it's in much better shape...can be found on Blog Utopia. His was found on Craigslist.

I really love this one!! Vintage 1950's. Found at Flickr. and Google Images.

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Christmas Holiday Window Painting by Kim Cooper

Monday, May 2, 2011
Kim Cooper, the world's greatest window artist, demonstrates a holiday snowman character in Las Vegas, NV. at Budget Suites on Thanksgiving Day in "2009." She made this snowman come to life. What a gift to have! She's been painting windows for twenty years and uses Dayglo paints.

Kim will also paint on static window cling and ship directly to you for $49.00.


Sunday, May 1, 2011
If you don't have a green thumb, then this is the plant for you.  One of the easiest growing flowers, the amaryllis can actually be grown in water.  There are special containers for growing them this way or you can plant them in soil and do it the old fashioned way.  I personally think that doing it in water is easiest.  And they are so dramatic when in bloom.  Ranging from whites to reds with a few pinks thrown in for good measure, amaryllis are strikingly beautiful.

"Amaryllis"        © Kathy Dunham 2011