Monday, August 31, 2009

Back from Upstate...again

doesn't he look somehow regal despite his gobbles?
This weekend we went to my parents place upstate again. This time for four days instead of the usual three. So much more relaxing that way. The weather was beautiful on the way up, but fairly soggy once we were up there. Friday morning, before it started raining we went to the Farmer's Museum which was a lot of fun. I hadn't been there in years and Chris had never been. It's one of those recreated villages with historic buildings from around the county like Old Bethpage here on Long Island, but this one has much more going on. Almost every photo I took was either of the farm animals or of the architecture. I'll spare you most of the architecture shots. I think I took half a dozen shots of door hardware. Yikes!

I call it "Portrait of a Goat"
There was a childrens petting zoo, which of course we went to. There was a calf who had no interest in us, a few goats and a couple sheep who were very cute. They also had chickens that you could feed out of your hand. (see below) I don't recommend this, even though I had my hand completely flat, they still pecked the hell out of it. I don't even think they were eating half of the time, just pecking my hand for the fun of it. Ouch!

We did visit other parts of the museum, not just the childrens part. The photo below is from the vestible of the church. It had really nice light which I think I was able to capture in this shot. There's an apothocary, a doctor's office, a lawyer's office a broom shop, a blacksmith's shop (he was out to lunch) plus a tavern and a few houses. The main building, which I believe is the barn from the Fenimore Cooper Estate, has an exhibit about the history and animals of different regions of New York State, plus the Cardiff Giant- which is worth checking out if for no other reason that seeing how gullible people are.

Saturday was pretty much a wash out, but we did go visit the Farmer's Market (an awesome one by the way) and Hyde Hall. You cant take pictures inside of Hyde Hall (not sure why), but I did get a few of the outside. It's a neoclassical mansion from 1817-1834 and you feel like you are in a Jane Austen novel. The guy who built it was an Englishman and he had it designed with a particularly English look to it. It is still under restoration, many of the rooms still have plaster falling off the ceiling, but it's interesting to check out. Even though the builder of the house's name was Clarke, his grandmother was a Hyde and she was cousins with Queen Anne and another queen that I can't remember. Definitely the more prestigious name in the family - Clarke was merely a governor of New York province.

Isn't his window cool? They wanted the symmetrical look of the windows on either side of the house, but he wanted to use is as a door so his tenant farmers could pay their rent without coming in the front door. Never seen that before. They had the same detail upstairs over the front entrance. Pretty cool. The inside had some incredible rooms for impressing guests, and some more modest rooms for the family. There was a central courtyard which is unusual in this country, but allows the inner rooms to have some natural daylight. It's worth checking out if you're ever in the area. The admission is a bit steep ($10) but you're paying for the salary of the guy who is painstakingly restoring this house and there is a long way to go.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yard Sale Success, Plate Hanging Fail

Well apparently it's been a month since my last post. I don't have an excuse really, just the usual combination of laziness and busy-ness. I have found lots of goodies at yard sales that past few weekends, though.When I got this plate I almost ran out of the yard sale screaming "start the car!" like in that IKEA commercial. The plate is hand painted in a sort of Mackintosh style and the back is signed and dated.Not only is it hand painted, but it's Limoges as well. The guy was only asking a dollar for it (surprisingly since most of his other stuff was expensive) and he told me that the plate hanger (one of those cheap fake brass ones) was worth at least that. I happily paid him then left before he had a chance to realize what just happened. I tried contacting the Art Institute to see if they have any idea who M.E.Murphy was, but haven't heard back from them. Hey, even if they never painted another thing, I think I still got a good deal.

(Apologies for the crappy photo)
I made a wire plate hanger for the plate and decided to try to hang it in the dining room. since I thought it would look lost all by itself, I decided to hang it with the wild rose cross stitch that I found at another sale. Since I have picture hanging rails in most of our house and since I hate putting holes into plaster walls, I went the route of hanging them from a bit of cable. Now, I'm pretty sure I've seen pictures stacked two or three high hanging from cords before. When I try, the poor little plate keeps leaning to the right because the cable is stopping it from laying against the wall. It looks stupider (if that's a word) in real life than in this picture. I don't know what to do with it. I could hang it by itself and have it look pretty lonely and if I try to switch them and put the plate at the bottom, the picture will tilt to the side the same way. Grrr.
I did get some other goodies as well like these handmade (they seem to be at least) gardenia candle holders and this Portuguese lace tablecloth. It helps lighten up the dining room which was looking a bit dreary for the summer. I also managed to score a kitchen aid mixer for $20 (yes $20!). It's missing the regular mixing paddle, but I looked online and it looks like you can get a new one for $12 or so. No pictures because it's currently living in a pile of clutter on my kitchen counter. Once I've tidied up, I'll show pictures. That's all for now. I've noticed that I have a bunch of unfinished posts that never went up. Maybe I'll do a condensed posting of them tomorrow.
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