Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy as a beaver and other tidbits

I am not be as regular with my blog postings as I had hoped to be. This last month's posts have been a little erratic. I have a ton of work to get ready for later on in the year. And as I mentioned before, that is all that I will say for now. On top of that we will be having company for about three weeks in July. I am looking forward to seeing our daughter as well as seeing our son Mike's girl friend. In the meantime the house has to be tidied, cleaned and a few areas painted.

Two weeks ago I sold some of my vintage items at a collectables and antiques show. I did well with my sales. I had my eyes on two pairs of Victorian walking boots and fortunately bought them at the end of the show. They are going to be used in two separate pieces.

This is the black pair. Resting on the boots are two spindles that I purchased from an antiques and collectables shop close by. I have plans for these beautiful spindles. I must be off. I will post when I can.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

This wooden plaque is dated 1960. On the back in pencil is written - Shirl Fathers Day 1960.


Happy Father's Day to my fellow Dad's out there.
Enjoy yourselves today.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wowie Zowie! Carters Steam Fair.


After my last two posts about fairground architecture and Midway rides I had to share this amazing group of working vintage and antique Midway rides, sideshow booths and transportation vehicles. All of the images are from the Carters Steam Fair website. I came across the Carters Steam Fair website by way of Chocolate Creative, a blog that I follow.

Can you imagine what it is like when the fair comes to town! Not only the rides but the trucks as well are vintage. Everything is in pristine condition. This family business loves what they do and it shows. When I went to their website I was gobsmacked! Please Dad, can I go to the fair?

An aerial view of the fairground.

Here is an aerial shot of the antique Swings. Fairground rides have progressed a lot from their unsophisticated origins.

I wanted to show you the Octopus from several angles so that you can see the beautiful painting that is on the fence and engine cover. At night the midway becomes a magical place of light and sound.

Carters Jubilee Steam Gallopers and all of the other rides are steam driven.

A look at the inside decoration of the Steam Gallopers. The term eco-friendly was coined many years after these rides were made. All of the lights on the rides are light bulbs. I wonder what wattage they are as well as what their electric bill is!

The Chair-O-Planes like so many of the round rides are done in sections of flat panels for ease of taking down and transporting the ride from town to town. This gives the architecture of the ride a jewel like quality as well as lots of flat surface to decorate.

The first time that I went on the Dive bombers I was terrified of falling out of the open window!

I have only been on the Dodgem Cars once when I was a kid. I ended stuck and hardly moving. It was a great disappointment.

In the first post that I did about fairground rides and architecture I referred to this ride as the Helter-Skelter, here they refer to it as a Slip. It is also known as a Glide or Mat Slide.

This ride is called the Lightning Skid. The lettering on the rounding boards at the top of the ride is quite marvellous. Minimalism is not a word that comes to mind when you think of fairground design. The lower picture is an interior shot showing the decoration.

A children's carousel called the Toy Town Ride with vintage cars, bikes and horses.

This ride is called Steam Yachts. Every inch of this ride as so many of the other rides is covered with decoration. I love it. The sights, the sounds, the smells are overwhelming, the fairground is bigger than life.

The Art Nouveau signs on the front of this tent filled with distorting fun house mirrors are superb.

Strolling entertainers. Who doesn't like fire eaters or are they in the same class as clowns for some people?

Impress your girl and ring the bell!

Games of chance and the booths surrounding the rides are referred to as the sideshows. I did not realize this; sideshow to me has always had a negative connotation as in "the freak sideshow".

I had always wanted to own a candy floss machine, I think that I have just upped my ante here, this vending cart is so beautiful.

Go to the Carter Steam Fair website. The are lots of photographs as well as videos.

If you are on holiday in London try to make it to one of the fairs that they are at. Carters Steam Fair travels around London and the Home Counties from April to October every year. To find out where they are during this time check their website for information or call their information line at - 01628-822221.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 21 - Midway Rides at Centreville Amusement Park

When we were in Toronto visiting our daughter before she was married we went to the Toronto Islands. On one of the islands is a small amusement park that caters mainly to kids called "Centreville Amusement Park".

I had to photograph as many of the rides as possible. These jolly "Bumble Bees" rise and fall as they go around.

This teacup ride was new at the park. I like the bright colours and that teapot would look great in the early evening lit up.

The bold simple forms of the teacups is very appealing. I understand why Michael Jackson wanted the midway rides in Neverland, they are beautiful sculptural forms as well as lots of fun.

This is an antique 1907 carousel. Horses are nice but that pig and the rabbit are much more interesting.

Here is a better look at the rabbit and yes, the pigs bottom!

The quality of the carving of the antique carousel animals is superb. The men that carved the carousel figures and the other areas on the rides at the factories were master craftsmen.

This horse is pulling a chariot that you can just see behind him, but those ostriches look more interesting.

This is the regal chariot that the previous horse is pulling.

In amongst the horses are two cats, a white one with black socks and a marmalade coloured cat, each with a fish in its mouth.

This grey cat has a tasty fish in his mouth as well.

Carousel animals are very diplomatic when it comes to size, not one animal is bigger or smaller than the other. They realize that they are there to carry and entertain their human passengers. Giraffes are the same size as a horse or a cat or a rabbit or a pig. All is happiness on the carousel.

A very happy boar. He knows that the tiger beside him is putting on a fierce show for his human riders.

Who would want to ride a horse when you can ride a fierce roaring tiger!

There were other rides but I did not get any pictures of them. We were on our way to the ferry back to downtown Toronto and I didn't want to annoy anyone with my obsessing over the rides. We had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 20 - Fairground Architecture and Midway Rides

Summer is on its way and that means that the county fair, the country fair, the State fair, the Exhibition or just "the fair" will be here soon.

The Art Deco structure of this airplane ride is beautiful. It is interesting to see how the styles of the rides and the decoration change changes over the years. The scene is of a 1950's British fairground. (Image from "Fairground Architecture" by David Braithwaite.)

Most people do not see this part of the fairground, setting up the midway. The aerial view is very interesting. The conical structure at the top of the photograph is a British ride called the "Helter Skelter". A staircase inside of the tower takes you to the top and your magic carpet, a coconut fibre mat, is ridden down the outside spiral slide to the bottom. This image is from the Nottingham Goose Fair in the 1950's. (Image from "Fairground Architecture" by David Braithwaite.)

 This painting "Fair on the Green" by Ronald Lampitt was on the back of the September 1982 issue of Readers Digest Magazine.

The "Dodg'em" car on the bottom is from the 1930's while the car on the top is based on the Fiat 1300. (Image from "Fairground Architecture" by David Braithwaite.)

This hand carved gondola is magnificent, can you imagine what the entire ride would have looked like? (Image from "Fairground Architecture" by David Braithwaite.)

A photograph of the entrance to the midway from the September 1954 issue of National Geographic Magazine.

"The Mad Mouse" miniature roller coaster from the same September 1954 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Times and clothes change but the fun of the midway doesn't.

I picked this postcard up in Thun, Switzerland when we were visiting our son and his beautiful wife. I love the colours. It is so cheerful and happy.

Our son Robin took this picture in Basil, Switzerland with his cell phone. "Mr. Mais" has been created to to sell corn on the cob, what a wonderful character. It reminds me of the post I did about giant fibreglass food that is used in Europe to advertise bakeries and other food shops.

This sculpture and the one to follow of fairground rides are by Jeff de Boer. They are based on vintage tin toys. Although it is not an actual fairground ride I couldn't resist putting it in this post about fairground architecture and midway rides. On the side at waist level on each sculpture is a giant key that anyone can wind up - I just noticed that young boy is turning the key - the airplanes then fly around and around with their propellers spinning, I love it!

I photographed both of these sculptures in the Edmonton airport.

This last image is of a booth for the Fraser Valley Milk Producers at the 1926 Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The serious columns and fencing around the top of the booth are definitely tamed down somewhat by those giant milk bottles, especially that electric milk bottle. This is one of my all time favourite booth designs. (Image from "The Pacific National Exhibition - an illustrated history" by David Breen and Kenneth Coates.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I have been tidying up the studio.

I do apologize for not doing any blog posts in the last week. My studio finally was a total disaster. I say "finally was a total disaster" because it has been heading that way for some time. Slowly but surely all of the little bits and pieces are being rerouted to their correct resting places. We are expecting some visitors during the summer and with a small home my studio becomes prime real estate for sleeping accommodations.

This picture of my work table from last year showed very little space to put anything down. Now take this image and put that mess completely covering my work table AND the floor! I can see the floor now. There is space on my table to work on several different projects.

It is very freeing to have this space to clutter up yet again! I can't help it, when I work I bring out several choices for textiles, papers and anything else that might be used in the current project. If I just painted the pieces it would be so much easier but that is not how I work and I make no apologies.

It is not all work and no play. I have started work on a group of items and that is all that I am going to say. Well, I will say that they are for some events later in the year. I will post information as the times for these events near.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Image from the 1963 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations".

It is my Birthday today! I thought that I would try and find a BIRTHDAY CAKE. I like pink but I don't know about the little dancing girls.
Image from the 1963 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations".

This is nice but I'm not to certain... that is an interesting plate that it is resting on though.
Image from the 1963 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations".

This is definitely looking promising. One candle that helps, no one knows how old you are and you can't get winded trying to blow the candles out.
Image from the 1963 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations".

Chocolate is always an excellent choice. One candle again, that is a plus.
Image from the 1963 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations".

This cake looks like a lot of fun. We could hang Chinese lanterns.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

A circus merry-go-round with three different kinds of icing on top. That would mean three pieces of cake. I'd better not.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

I like chocolate, we'll see. Oh, and it has a rocket ship!
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

The S.S. Billy will have to be the S.S. Lenny. I don't know peppermint is not my favourite, but I will eat it.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

I could have two cakes, not for me but to share. Some people have peanut allergies!
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

We could have parfaits instead or maybe to go with the cake.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

We could have a Birthday Sunday or a Birthday Sunday and cake. There are too many possibilities.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book".

An ice cream cake and floats and iced tea, no it is too cold here today.
Image from the 1959 edition of "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cook Book"

This looks like a fun table. We could have a CIRCUS PARTY!
"Perfect Tables" by William Yeoward 2006 Published by Cico Books

This would be so much fun. The table is groaning with goodies but a lot of the food is knitted!
"Perfect Tables" by William Yeoward 2006 Published by Cico Books

A lovely tiered cake stand filled with goodies.
"Perfect Tables" by William Yeoward 2006 Published by Cico Books

Tiny knitted toys and pompom napkin rings. I like it but would everyone else?
"Perfect Tables" by William Yeoward 2006 Published by Cico Books

Unfortunately the Licorice Allsorts aren't real. It does save calories, but it is my Birthday. I'm in a quandary I don't think I have come any closer to deciding.

Well it looks like Lori Rudolph of RetroRudolphs and Amelia Schaeffer of Sweet B Folk Art are celebrating my birthday today.

Lori Rudolph of RetroRudolphs baked me some cupcakes - yes Lori I stole this image from your blog! But alas I won't get a chance to taste them. Go to her blog to see her cupcake making, it's just like being there but without the tasting!

Amelia Schaeffer of Sweet B Folk Art baked me a lovely pie. This image was stolen from your blog as well! No tastes here either. Go to her blog to see her step by step pie making.
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