---Alice Abrams

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Gray Day Downtown

I have no idea what this building is - I need to go back and find out.  I love the little niche in the middle of the turret.  Linda - I'm a big disappointment because I'm posting w/o checking.  I love that the leaves here and below echo the colors of the building, and I love the burgundy trim on the windows below.

I'm nuts about this clock.  I like the lines and style, especially the way it pops against the more modern lines of the building behind it. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Return of the Jam Jar

 "The Little Chapel by the Lake"  When I was little, I would sit 
in the little booth with Florence and help her take tickets and sell 
the transfiguration picture of Jesus that was shown in the chapel.
She's the lady in the photo, dressed in period clothing.

My Little Jam Jar, come home to roost....

Most of you know of my connections to Knott's Berry Farm.  I started the saga with my parents meeting way back in the last 30's and marrying in 1941.  After the war, my dad, mother and my mother's sister started a business.  It was called Art Glow Studio.  They had the shop where they created items on our home property, and they employed maybe 5-6 women.  (Why can I remember most of their names but I can't remember the name of the book I'm reading????)  They had two concepts:  One was the "Art Glow Studio," which my aunt operated.  It was at Knott's, across from the Little Chapel on the Lake, where the Inspiration House would be in later years.  They made plaster figurines and painted them with phosphorescent paint.  You held the item up under direct lamp light, turned off the light and the object would "glow in the dark!"

The second aspect of the Art Glow Studio was jam jars and creamers.  You know that the "berry" in the farm was the boysenberry, which was developed locally by Luther Burbank. Walter Knott grew boysenberries and they sold pies at the original berry market (where my mom, aunt and dad all worked)As Knott's became more popular, along with the restaurant (Chicken Dinner Restaurant), they started selling souvenir items, one of which was the jam jars.

My folks had three or four huge commercial kilns at the shop and they made a lot of different ceramic decorative pieces.  I remember plates, figurines, lamp bases, vases, things of that sort.  And the jam jars.  The jars were baked in the kilns, then they were painted, baked again, then the decals were baked on.  I can see my mom using a sponge dipped in (I think) gold leaf in liquid form and dabbing the gold around the edge of  the lid and the bottom of the jar.  The leaves and berry were hand-painted.  (After my folks started the Inspiration House, Knott's bought the jam jars and "outsourced" them and they all carry the stamp "Knott's Berry Farm." I have seen a couple of those...)

It's a shame that we aren't blessed with foresight because I had no idea that one day I would wish that I had kept one of  those little jars.  I started looking for one years ago when I would find myself in an antique shop or second hand store.  I have found a lot of our everyday dishes that came from Kresses Department store, and some of them are actually stamped "Made in Occupied Japan."  But I never found a jam jar.  One night a couple of weeks ago I checked out ebay.  Guess what?  I found three of them!  All with the "Art Glow Studio" stamp!  I can't tell you how I felt!  One for me and two left over for my girls!  I love looking at the gold lettering and realize that my mother wrote that...  Little joys in life and heartfelt pleasures mean all the world to me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Greetings from Fogville...

Well, we're kinda socked in with Tulle ("toolie") Fog.  Nasty stuff, really, as it causes major accidents, and the air quality control folks have your neighbors rat you out if you dare light a fire.  Since our air quality is so bad, I do kinda get that, but what's a cold, drippy, foggy night without the option of a roaring fire?  Okay, I don't even have a fireplace...but wouldn't it be nice?

I made some nice hot chai tea and munched on some cinnamon crisps.  Totally decadent woman that I am, I even chewed off a bit of dark chocolate, consoling myself that it's all for my health.

I took off yesterday for my second venture to Costco because they didn't have my meds Friday.  On the way home, I meandered through downtown B-town with my trusty little camera.  It was grey and drippy - a perfect day for some architectural shots.  We have some lovely old buildings here.  There were no people to speak of so I didn't care if I looked foolish hopping out here and there, but, as luck would have it, my battery went dead.  I did get a couple of really neat shots I'll post later.

I know you all back east, except for you Floridians, are suffering with all of the really cold stuff, so I'll quit my bellyaching.  But you all know how I prefer the cold to the heat (sorry, Sandee and Bee!!!). 

I hope the week ahead treats all of you well and may blessings abound!

(Reading a very good book:  "Just Do Something, a Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will, or How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc." ---Kevin De Young)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Resolutions and Other Stuff

I don't usually make resolutions but I figured most of these
would be easy for me, especially the next-to-last one!

This is my very favorite picture of my great-grand, Ryleigh!

Do people not own mirrors anymore???   
Or is her head on backwards?

After all those years working at Knott's I didn't think anything
could shock me when it comes to people's personal appearance.
But this one got me.  That black stuff you see on the lady's head 
and hanging down her back?  IT'S HAIR!  (Or a reasonable facsimile).
Wait - what's reasonable about this mess?

We're off to a good start for the new year.  At least Madame Pelosi had her gavel 
taken away from her.  I just wish Boehner had whacked her with it.  And he kissed
her!  YACK!  That would mean some serious mouth washing with some Jack Daniels!!!