Haunting in South Philly

This week, I started watching the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. I read the book when I was barely into my teens  and it made quite an impression on me.  Later on, I saw a film adaptation, The Haunting, which is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.  Black and white and not a bit of gore or violence in it.  I wasn’t as fond of the remake which seemed  formulaic, and more funny than scary.

South Philadelphia has some haunted history too, although you won’t find a lot of information on tourist sites.  Serial killer H.H. Holmes met his demise at Moyamensing Prison which is now the site of the Acme Market at 10th and Reed Streets.   I don’t know whether he wanders the store after it closes for the night, nor do I want to know.

On the brighter side, South Philadelphians take any occasion as an excuse to decorate their front windows and Halloween is no exception.  From pumpkin painting festivals to pots of chrysanthemums sprouting up in curbside planters, South Philly is ablaze with the colors of  Autumn this time of year- just in time for Halloween.  Here are some pictures.

 

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Fireworks!

The fireworks got rained out last night but we still had a good time at The Sparkle Lounge where I watched lightning bugs dance on the lawn and eased the pain of a gimpy knee with a potent Sangria

Here is a film of the fireworks from a few years back.  Enjoy  and have a happy Fourth of July.

 

Happy New Year

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Boris Looks For His Easter Basket

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Here’s hoping you find whatever it is you’re looking for this Spring!

Holiday Time in Fairmount Park

It’s holiday time and if you are trolling the Internet, it is probably to do last minute shopping or find recipes.  If you want to take a break, I invite you to have a look at some pictures I took on a tour of three of the Fairmont Park Mansions.

Strawberry Mansion15-smoutside

 

Lemon Hill Mansion

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Woodford Mansion

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A couple of years ago,  Liberty Place hosted a delightful holiday exhibit of the Fairmount Park Mansions interpreted in gingerbread.  If you would like to read about the exhibit, click here.  And if you want to compare the gingerbread mansions with the real mansions, click on the links below.

Strawberry Mansion in Gingerbread

Lemon Hill in Gingerbread

Woodford Mansion in Gingerbread

Learn more about the Fairmont Park Mansions here.

Thank you to  the East Passyunk Community Recreation Center  and Councilperson Mark Squilla for organizing and sponsoring the tour.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving in Philadelphia

What else could provide a better example of the bounty and abundance that we should all be so thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year?  Reading Terminal Market.    Here are some pictures of the hustle and bustle on the day before the turkey lands.

Franklin Flea Holiday Market and More

If you come to Philadelphia to do Holiday Shopping this year, be sure to check out the Franklin Flea. They’ve set up on the first floor of the old Strawbridge and Clothier store at 8th and Market and the vendors offer a great selection of eclectic funk.

Six Saturdays, 10am – 5pm
Nov. 15, 22, 29
Dec. 6, 13, 20

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Shopping under the chandeliers

 

wpid-img_20141122_141753blog_wm.jpgThe Picasso repro is in needle point.  How ’70s can you get?

 wpid-img_20141122_173908blog_wm.jpgLots of re purposed items including clothes

 

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Vintage belts and look at those Coach bags

 

wpid-img_20141122_142211blog_wm.jpgThere’s some older stuff too

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If you can’t come in person, most of the  ever changing selection of  vendors sell on line

 

Reclaimed Crafts
 

Found RW

 

Earth and Iron

 

This Pretty Life

 

Hoof and Antler


For more information on the Franklin Flea Holiday Market press here.

But wait!  There’s more.  If you’re in town during the week, check out Christmas Village (also open on weekends) which pops up in Love Park  every year after Thanksgiving and stays open until the last Sunday in December.    You can go ice skating at Dilworth Park after you’ve finished shopping.


 

New Years in Philadelphia Means Mummers

Here is a video I took at last years’ winning champion in the Fancy Brigades, the South Philly Vikings performing Ka “Light” Oscope: Harness the Power of the Spectrum

Want to learn more about the Mummers and see some cool archival footage?  Press here and here.

Felt Birdy Holiday Ornaments

I decided to make felted flying Birdie holiday ornaments this year for Toni, Terri and Sarah. Why birds?  I like birds.

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Three Birds-a-flying

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Roving, Fiber and Feathers

Auditioning Feathers

Ms. Bluebird  nearly complete

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I like to needle felt with a leather glove on my left hand.  I  stab myself less often.

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Carding the roving to blend colors for Ms. Pink

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 Ms. Pink  takes a break after completion

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Yet more carding and color mixing for Ms. Green

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Ms. Green  with her pins still in; I glued and felted in the feathers and embellishments.

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As I was  making the Birdies,  I realized that the glamorous Ms. Pink bore a slight resemblance to Toni.  Bluebirds have a special meaning for Sarah who also loves glitter.  (Ms. Bluebird took a dip in the glitter when I wasn’t looking and Ms. Pink made a hat for her.)  Ms. Green wanted a skull charm necklace so she would look good with Terri. I did not have one, but she let Ms. Bluebird and Ms. Pink do her hair like Terri’s, complete with red bangs.  Ms Green thought she looked Sqwaksome!

I left the Birdies resting on their communal perch.  They are now in their new homes.

Darleen Bellan’s Unique Ornaments and Mementos

I met Darleen Bellan this summer at Clay ConneCTion, the semi-annual retreat of the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild and  fell in love with her quirky and inspired polymer clay figurines and ornaments. When she agreed to do an interview with fellow sculptor Sherman Oberson for the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s YouTube Channel, I grabbed my equipment, met them in a quiet hallway and we did the interview on the spot.

Darleen’s an animal lover and her ornaments are lots of fun (Chicken ala King anyone?) But Darleen doesn’t restrict herself to ornaments and figurines; she crafts made-to-order pieces memorializing  departed pets and gives each one a unique twist  that gives it  personal meaning.  So what’s the unique twist?   Go to the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s Blog and watch  the video to  find out.

Most of Darleen’s  work is  one of a kind and she welcomes commissions.  If you are interested in buying or commissioning her work, go to her web site or her etsy shop.    Here are some pictures.

Sherman also has some great ornaments for sale in his etsy shop.  His style is different from Darleen’s but

his work is charming and will make you laugh.

Here’s one I bought

and here are some more!

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