Sunday, September 8, 2019

Brimfield Antiques Show, September 2019: Carnival Rides & Candlesticks

September means hurricane season, even in New England. Fortunately, we were spared from any severe winds and drenching rains, so this visit to the Brimfield Antiques Show went off without a hitch.

This time we ventured further afield than usual, exploring more of the outer dealers that we haven't visited for quite some time. It was almost like brand new territory, and the treasures I unearthed were fun and interesting, as always.

My first find was a black leather belt with silver buffalo nickels interspersed on the uniquely stitched outside.

For some reason, it looks brown in the photo, maybe because I shot it on a charcoal grey chair? In real life it is definitely black. Serendipitously, I already had the buffalo head belt buckle from the 1970s, so it complements this piece quite easily. This was a nice bargain at just $10.

The inside label says, "HANDMADE, Colorado Leather Goods, Colorado Springs."
My next bargain was a metal waste basket (just $6), probably from the 1970s, that is now in my bedroom in my "orange corner." I especially like the orange coral color, and the trellis and grapes pattern in black with purple accents. The back is solid orange with no design. The bottom of the piece has an embossed circle that says, "J.L. Clark, Rockford, Ill., USA. The yellow price sticker inside says, "$1.27."

One man's trash is this man's new vintage waste basket.
It's never too early to dream about Christmas, and sure enough, I encountered a few little finds to add to my display this year.

I found this group of children's Christmas 45rpm records for $1 each. I especially like the colorful sleeve graphics. I think I might prop these underneath my aluminum Christmas tree come December.

All five record sleeves have the same back. Three are copyrighted 1961 and two are 1959.
I also scooped up these snowman chimes out of a plastic bin of Christmas decorations – for just $2. They're probably from the 1960s or 1970s, in the original box. I'm planning to give these as a gift, though their tacky charm might only appeal to me, so I may end up keeping them.

My other cool find of the day was this wrought iron floor candlestick with a painted white distressed finish. I can't tell if the paint is recent or not, because the distressing looks too even and strategic to be that old, though the dealer told me it was very "old." In any case, I love the detailed curves of the piece, and it was just $30. It's a great space saver at 26" tall by 7" wide at its widest point.

The top will fit one pillar candle. I currently have it displayed in one corner of my hallway.

The elaborate base has an acorn finial in the center, and the piece stands evenly on three little round feet.


Every Brimfield show has its share of unusual oversized items, and I encountered quite a few this time, including a carnival kiddie Ferris Wheel.

And a "Step right up" circus bike...

And this cool sign, which once had light bulbs on portions of the front...

For your thoughts...

Hope I didn't get too lost in nostalgia.
Until next year's Brimfield shows, it's time to...

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Another Summer Highlight: Downton Abbey Visit Via Boston

In this age of TV binge watching, I don't often get hooked on many shows, but in the fairly recent past, I did fully indulge in watching Downton Abbey every Sunday night on PBS. It was the rare show that never sagged or became complacent after a few seasons. Each hour-plus episode went by so quickly, it felt as though maybe 15 minutes had passed. This show had it all: believable, nuanced, complex characters; highly detailed sets and costumes that surpassed your typical "period piece"; superb acting; and engrossing plot twists that made you eagerly anticipate the next episode.

Fortunately, I was able to relive events and moments from the show by visiting Downton Abbey The Exhibition, a limited-time engagement at the Park Plaza Castle in Boston. It's in Boston through the end of September, then scheduled to move to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

Herewith are a handful of highlights from my visit...


I was ushered into the estate with much pomp and circumstance - they were expecting me after all.

Caught Mary in a pensive, "Whatever will become of me" mood.
Saw a few more familiar faces (one, a ghost) as I wandered about.
Elaborate day wear on view in chocolate brown - dessert, anyone?
Elaborate evening wear on view - dinner and dancing, anyone?
Lace noir - close-up of skirt.
I dare say, NOT.
"Your table is ready, my lord."
Fine Dining upstairs
"Psst, waiter, my soup is getting cold."


I rang and rang for the servants but no one answered.
Must have missed the "Bell out of order, please knock" sign.

It was a long wait, but I tried not to lose my head about it.
Colonel Mustard did it in the Library?

Unfortunately, Carson was indisposed at the moment.
Actually, Carson and Mrs. Hughes were both indisposed at the moment. Hmm...
Not So Fine Dining downstairs.
They slice. They dice.
Mrs. Patmore - call me "Beryl" - needs you to stop chit-chatting and get to work!

Can't wait to see what develops when the movie comes out in September.
Expectations are undoubtedly high.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Summer Sights & Highlights

In addition to my usual Brimfield Antiques Show excursions, I enjoy attending other outdoor events during the summer months.

I don't go to many concerts, but I didn't want to miss this double bill with Blondie and Elvis Costello & The Impostors, two pop/punk/new wave legends. It was a beautiful July evening on Boston's waterfront, and both acts put on excellent performances.

Debbie, Clem & Co. performed all of their biggest hits, along with a few surprises.
They also performed Fade Away And Radiate from Parallel Lines, which I'd never heard live before.
Dreaming was the fitting encore, when Debbie declared, "You are free! Dreaming is free!"

I've seen Blondie many times over the years, the first time back in 1982 at the Providence Civic Center, and they never disappoint. Elvis Costello I saw back in the 1980s during his Spike tour, which stopped at Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT.

Rockin' out to the 80s

Elvis Costello performed many hits, including Every Day I Write The Book, which featured his hot backup duo.
Other highlights included Pump It Up, Accidents Will Happen, Watching The Detectives, and Clubland. Alison was the encore number.


Every summer, I go to vintage car shows in CT with my brother and sister. One of the biggest and best is the first Sunday in August on Main Street in Manchester, and this year's was super fun. This year, my brother and I also attended a show in East Hartford, where we saw a few cars we'd never come across before, including this 1950s Plymouth.

And, this 1950s red Oldsmobile with cool atomic star details.

In addition, we saw this 1976 Mercury Grand Marquis with a unique license plate.
Maybe Tony is living inside the trunk?


A New England summer wouldn't be complete without a visit to Cape Cod, and my annual August visit to Provincetown didn't disappoint. Despite more frequent shark attacks, I did go in the water, but kept very close to shore. The weather was mostly sunny and not extremely hot, so it was perfect for the beach, and for taking photos.
Shark warning flags were up at both beaches I went to, Nauset & Herring Cove.
Provincetown Watercolor Landscape Day

Cape Cod is Hydrangea Heaven, and here's proof...

And P-Town looks magical - even spooky - at night, too...

Enjoyed drinks with an old chum one night.
Sticking butts out the window?

Fun, timely tees
Miss Richfield's show is always hilarious, especially the audience interaction. Fun times!
(Note double handle on the "THEY" mug).