Local Heart, Global Soul

November 17, 2016

Heraldic Detail That’s Right Up My Street…

During the summer, Himself, Little Mr and I enjoyed a Sunday trip to Gouda. During our visit I came across a beautiful door that had a detailed and colorful coat of arms above it. The decoration is superb, the detail… literally right up my street. Naturally I got out my camera and got a few photographs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

November 30, 2013

Little Mr’s Subconscious Is No Optical Illusion…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the Ibis Hotel in Charleville-Mézières France, I want to show you  some trickery in our room.

Our Singaporean friend “Velveteen” is travelling with us so we have adjoining rooms with a connecting door. Each of the room has a door… when both are open you can (naturally) , walk through the doorway. Logical, no? Well, sort of.

If you are on the window side of the connecting door then you are on the side of the actual doorway, so no problem there. However, if you exit the bathroom and are facing the reverse side of the connecting door, then a rather ill placed full length mirror on the wall leads you to believe that the connecting door is on the bathroom side of the door.

Velveteen played an optical illusion for the camera and took hold of the door in the same room that I am standing in… but as my photograph shows, the mirror on the wall makes it look like she’s greeting me from the room next door. The optical illusion is definitely deceptive as I tried more than once to enter the other room and only succeeded in walking into the mirror. I wasn’t the only one caught out, as mutterings and thuds attested.

Little Mr. was also having rather a bad day yesterday when we arrived and while the rest of us enjoyed our picnic dinner in the room. We hadn’t found a playground or any activity that he really liked that day,  he was in  a hard to please mood, and a pick-a-fight-with-my-sister frame of mind.

He sat sulking in the other room after abandoning dinner and didn’t appreciate Kiwi Daughter’s fit of giggles when she discovered what he had been drawing whilst he fumed.  His verdict on the day was abundantly clear “I hate everything, yes I do, everything!” On the reverse side of the paper was a drawing of three people in their beds…  and it seemed to me he was overdue for his bed and a good night’s sleep wouldn’t go amiss. Maybe on an unconscious level he knew it too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 18, 2013

…Do You Suppose They’d Notice If Their Door Bell Pull Went Missing?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I know, I know,  the detail fanatic in me has resurfaced.

It was going to happen some time or another, after all, the combination of historic stately home, metal and stone work decoration more than hinted that detail would be found lurking somewhere.

As usual for this sort of post it is dual purpose:  I’m using my blog as an archive place to store images that inspire me when I want to draw.

As well as the photos you see here, I do also have backup copies of all my work on a non-public account on Flickr and in two separate external hard disk drives.

The beautiful decorative wrought iron pull for the door bell definitely makes me wonder why on earth we can’t be more creative with this kind of thing these days… I’d love something like this for my door (in miniature somehow, obviously,  as my front door is rather a lot less   absolutely, positively, seriously less grandiose than this one).

Mind you, if this one was going begging I certainly wouldn’t say no either… not that I’d ever consider thieving it, but say there was a fire and everyone else was busy saving the old masters in the portrait gallery,  I could at least do my bit by saving this and keeping it safe for a few hours until the National Trust authorities came to sort out the mess. ( and Yes, I would give it back).. albeit with a parting sigh.

I have a question that maybe  you can help me with:  if decorative wrought iron,wood,  stone, stained glass and the like are considered too “old fashioned” to be put into prominent places in our homes and “modern”public buildings, and IKEA furniture features in an ever-increasing percentage of living rooms in the western world today, why on earth are websites like Pinterest crammed full of images in decorative wrought iron, stone, stained glass etc.  ?

I have a 1930’s house that has all it’s original features and we have a few small IKEA cabinets  (only because it was the only place we could find something the right size to fit the spaces) but nothing in the living area.  Everything else in our home is old, second hand, recycled, upcycled, made in wood by small(er) companies etc. We bought the second hand stuff first because it was all we could afford, we were given several other bits (rescued from the recycling compactor) and much later bought some 60-90 year old pieces that fit well with the features in our home.

Ever clicked on Pinterest and seen pages of IKEA furniture trending as favourites?  No, I don’t think so either. Do people love the “idea” of the “old fashioned” but not actually love it enough to live with it? Seriously, if someone please has an answer to this question, pray tell,  because I don’t understand why so little of this kind of beauty is in evidence in people’s homes today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Their Front door…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2013

The Fish Makes an Entrance … and an Exit.

Another archive photo from one of my past walking tours… I was glad I had my little point-and-shoot camera in my pocket the day I walked past this door. Someone clearly let loose their creative streak, has a sense of humour and loves colour…

With a grin on my face I took a photo and it made me smile every time I passed by from then on. Then about a year later I saw  a “for Sale”sign in the window… and later, the windows were covered up with newspapers as the new owners renovated completely inside.

Then after a few months I walked past the house again and the fish door was completely gone… and in it’s place the dullest and most featureless battleship- gray coloured door instead. Talk about going from one extreme to the other. Ok, if I am honest I don’t think I’d want the fish on my own front door either, but I did very much admire it on someone else’s!  I do hope this this (not so little) fishy found it’s way back into the ocean of art and found a new home somewhere where it can continue to make people smile.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 23, 2012

Reaching Maturity…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amazingly even after all these posts I still haven’t covered the whole museum… there is the history of the Boarding house, more machinery, an entire hallway on New Zealand rural life, but at a certain point I’m thinking we’ve covered so much that the rest?…

… you’ll just have to come and see for yourself one day if you can. Gotta leave some surprises right?

In the meantime there’s some amazing artwork on display at the Kauri Museum … and some beautiful pieces for sale in the shop too.

This place is easily one of the highlights of our trip so far and I could happily do this all again, and again and again.

The Kauri have me in awe,  the human race has the power to cut them down physically but they in turn have the power to cut us down in a sort of emotional  and intellectual sense as their sheer size and age is dominant and inspiring.   In seeing tree rings that span two thousand years we see our own lives as puny smudges of existence in the landscape of time, and I really hope that this humbles us into trying to use our limited time as wisely as we can.

It’s traditional in New Zealand to celebrate your 21st Birthday as a very special occasion to mark your “coming of age”. Often you might be given a large key…  in wood, cardboard or some other material, to signify that you now may have your own “key to the door” and 21st Birthday cards are often in the shape of keys.  I see a carved “21st” key in the display and think it’s funny in light of being in the presence of these ancient trees that human beings think twenty-one means reaching maturity… if Kauri could speak I wonder what age wood would they set adulthood at?

… and if they could speak, with all that they could have witnessed in the 2000 year lifespan, would they think that human beings ever grew up?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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