My DIL called last night and asked if the boys could stay at Grandma’s house this weekend when the family comes in town for the big wedding.
Since their sisters are flower girl and junior bridesmaid the others will be very busy.
I’ve pulled out the PLAYMOBIL and LEGO and the little indoor tent. Stocking some of their favorite things to eat. Gearing up for company.
Tomorrow at school three classes taking finals and then I have to read and grade them but at 2:44, I’ll be out the school door and headed to pick up my two grandsons for the weekend at my house. Very exciting.
Jack and MIchael share a chair while building LEGO®
Either Michael or Jack, one of my grandsons, took this photo of Star Wars figures.. I found it in my December Photo Stream in Aperture tonight.
I hadn’t seen it before, didn’t notice it. I know I didn’t take it. The kids love to use the electronic devices.
Any it was all set up and photographed (on the piano I’m fairly certain) and here’s their shot. Guest blog photo by one of them.
I’d left the mini Light Sabers in a gift box with a friend’s gift but she mailed them out from Pittsburgh in a card so they got to Ohio in time for Christmas. Need light sabers to do battle!! Thanks V.
Something about mini figures invites creative and imaginative play.
The first one is from my sister in NYC who sent this phone photo of a toy she saw in the street for two days. Thanks Mary.
And then last night after the 100th Bday party I saw this little bunny rabbit and I asked the receptionist and she said it was someone’s lost toy.
Two lost toys in one day.
I follow a blogger from South Africa at Sonel’s Corner and you may have read some of her lovely comments on my blog. She hosted Flat Ruthie and introduced FR to the Vervet Monkeys . You can see what a Vervet Monkey looks like at Sonel’s Corner blog post on B and W weekly challenge of Nature here.
She’s started a black and white challenge and I’ve been thinking about participating but kept missing the deadline. The Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge theme this week is TOYS. Here I am in Ohio, visiting the grandchildren and there are plenty of toys.
I shot these toys today specifically for Sonel’s challenge.
Then I converted them into black and white in Aperture and am posting a few from today’s effort. Shot with Canon 5D -50mm 1.2 L series lens. I used the cable remote to avoid camera shake.
My DIL Erika’s Grandmother Marion (Marlene’s mother) crocheted this doll dress, bonnet and undergarments for this doll I took down from the high shelf in Anna’s room.
Caught the afternoon light on her through the dining room window. I asked Erika if she had a name and she said no. Crocheted doll clothes were “in”.
Mark(from Aunt Bobbie) and Erika’s Teddy Bears. Mark’s Brownie on the left and Erika’s Teddy on the right. Presently residing in their daughter Anna’s room on the high shelf, not getting any “play time”.
This little doll was given to Anna in 2003 by my dear friend G. Anna’s first doll. Maura popped into the photo shoot. She is also in charge of tending this dolly now. I knit the old cotton dishcloth pattern extra large for a dolly blanket. They drape so nicely.
Found the missing puzzle piece today. Ooops, the puzzle was discarded a long time ago. (this one shot with the iPhone) Always liked those knob puzzles.
Thanks to Sonel’s Corner for the Black and White inspiration.
Anna set up the sock monkey clan in the family room and photographed them. The most cooperative subjects you would wish for. A couple sock monkeys must have been hiding but collecting four grandchildren’s monkeys is the challenging part. Trying to get the real family for a group shot is much more difficulty. I get a kick out of the kids trying out their photography skills. Anna(9) photographed this one with the iPad. Thanks Anna for the guest blog.
Woman on Cell Phone Carrying a Tulip
The Biggest Box of Chocolates I’ve Seen
Godiva Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Rockefeller Center Chocolates
Plantings About to Bloom on Fifth Avenue
Unusual Flavors at Gourmet Garage
Balloons and Toys
I stopped into the old fashioned/classic toy store in the neighborhood of Shadyside on Ivy Street. The cool toy store is around the corner from where we lived when we first moved to Pittsburgh. This is the same store my three kids would browse in for the longest time on the way home from school in 1989-1991.
Two floors of toy store! Filled with LEGO® and Playmobil®, knights, puppets, trucks and trains, dolls and puzzles. Everything you can wish for as a child. You might see some items you yearned for as a kid but never received.
I was buying a gift for a friend.
And while I was there, the young man came from behind the counter and started yo-yoing. I mean yo-yoing extraordinaire! His name is Ky.
There was nothing else but to stop my shopping and watch in amazement. All I had with me was the phone camera. With a phone memory too full, I had to delete pics to take a few shots. (too much phoneography for challenges?)
Wowee Wow. I don’t know how to describe it -but I was mesmerized. And then he put down the yo-yo and picked up a kendama. Yes, we have an old wooden one but I never knew what it was called. Or that it was of Japanese origin. He was smooth and skillful at both the yo-yo and kendama!
If you want to learn how to yo-yo like Ky you can head on over to Shadyside on Sunday at noon and practice how to put your yo-yo into a “sleep” so you can attempt the tricks like Ky was demonstrating. Learn “looping”. Ky will be there teaching in the Yo-Yo/Skill Toy Club at S.W. Randall’s. I think I need to return with a video camera and you can understand how you had to keep your eye on Ky and the yo-yo or Ky and the kendama. Do you have any yo-yo tricks?
Never used nowadays lately but had to look it up to be sure I spelled it correctly.
While in Ohio this past weekend, I was helping sort through some toys in the playroom. Matchbox cars here, a duffel bag of puppets, strollers and baby dolls and a whole tub of action figures like Batman and Star Wars light sabers. A box of wooden blocks.
The grandchildren are growing up and many of the younger toys aren’t being played with and room needs to be made for new ventures.
These Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were gifts from Great Aunt Bobbie when Anna(9) was born. They looked exactly the same way they have smiled at me for all these years. No change in expression. Just grinning. They looked almost brand new.
I took them upstairs and set them up in my father’s old oak rocker which is now in Mark’s office. They didn’t object to being photographed. I started thinking about rag dolls and how they aren’t trendy and I wondered if people are still buying them. These are lovingly handmade in Kansas City and I think of them as classics. Nostalgia sets in. (more…)
Sunday afternoon, Michael, 7, asked me if I would photograph his LEGO® vehicle and put it on the blog.
Now how can any grandma resist that invitation? Michael loves to create, construct and play with LEGO®. We just don’t like stepping on them.
(I pronounced him the “master” LEGO® builder although there might be an official designation with a credential he’d have to earn from LEGO® U)
The close-up of the vehicle. In the background? When I looked at the photo on the computer screen I noticed my father’s rocking chair in my son Mark’s office.
Here is the first photo, when Michael called down to me and asked me if I would photograph his STAR WARS LEGO® vehicle and put it on the blog.
I said, sure.
Then he came down the stairs and put on the finishing touches so I could shoot it. It tickles me how the grandchildren know all about the blog.
Friday night, four year old Maura told me I could bring my computer to her room and blog before bed. (That’s Maura on the bottom right with a hockey stick, climbing up the stairs.)
Trolls have a really bad name these days. The internet troll is the first to come up with a google search. UGH. The word conjures visions of creeps on the internet doing extremely negative things.
But there was a time when the word trolls meant little plastic doll with crazy hair sticking up and beady eyes-
and before that they were written about in Norse Mythology and Scandinavian Folklore.
The trolls of the rubbery type, a protruding belly with navel, glassy eyes and colorful hair were around when I was in grade school in the late 60’s.
Did a search for the origin of the troll dolls and they were created in 1959 by a Danish man, Thomas Dam. They are also called Dam dolls.
Chicago John noticed the Christmas troll, dressed as a caroler, on my Sunday breakfast table. The wikipedia post says that some people collect THOUSANDS of them. No kidding. I have a few of the Christmas ones that have been around for years and I brought them out for the grandkids who had fun with them last summer.
When I was with the family in Virginia over the Thanksgiving Holiday, my son’s in-laws had this pair of Pilgrim Trolls on the mantle. They made me laugh when I saw them.
I did turn these two so they were looking at the camera cause initially they just had eyes for one another. (scroll down)
Sounds like they are having a bit of a comeback these days with a new generation. Any troll collectors out there?
Sunday morning. Breakfast at Joan’s. A cadre of colorful windup toys in her kitchen… I asked if I could photograph them. I can’t remember a specific windup toy I had as a child but these all felt familiar and provided a relaxing and fun time as she wound them up and they executed their motion while I tried to photograph them.
Guess they are making a big comeback. I am going to get some for
me the grandkids so I they can play with these adorable windup toys.
It was the color that attracted me. Not that the colors are particularly attractive but definitely made me turn my head to get a better look and see why so purple? Complementary colors collide.
or What Love Looks Like-
It’s been almost two years since I posted Baby Doll (the loved doll) and her “sister” who was bought as a replacement but never really played with or looked at as far as I know.
Baby Doll (b. 1979) belonged to Erika when she was little and now Anna has loved her for 8 more years. I just stitched her arms up as they were coming off. And since I’m visiting the family and not driving around the city today I am showing the effects of two more years of loving. Maybe someone who reads this post will send a photo of the same doll in a similar condition.
One thing I know is they are most cooperative when I set them up to pose for the shooting!
Four sock monkeys I made, set up, waiting for the kids to come home and find them (from Easter visit to grandchildren)
When I looked at the photo, I thought of meetings, meetings, meetings…….table the motion and I move to adjourn-
Do I hear a second?
second part for my blogging friends who experienced a deluge of email in their box. See Chicago John’s public service announcement
or it could be a WordPress meeting!
Monkey 1″Hey, let’s flood people’s inboxes with a ton of emails, every time they write a comment or reply on a post”
Monkey 2 “Yes, let’s check the box for them without their realizing it so they get emails and more emails and more emails. Imagine if a blogger gets twenty comments. And then a commenter replies, or the blogger replies, too. YIKES
Multiply that cause each commenter will now receive an email. Wow, it is like a math problem. Can even get almost to infinity in an inbox!”
Monkey 3 “We might get a ton a email ourselves over in support!”
Monkey 4 ” We had better fix this problem at WordPress NOW as our loyal bloggers and their readers are not happy!!” : – (
You can check out fellow bloggers responses to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects
I never played with Fisher-Price Little People® as a child but I used to love to play with the FP garage with Mark in 1977. I can still hear that ding as he would crank the elevator. The wooden figure on the left is from the 70’s and belonged to my DIL. The one on the right is 2011. No one is going to choke on that girl!. Was in the basement playing with the grandchildren and saw these three figures in a bin. Stood them up on top of the toy shelf. Just a compare and contrast photo. With the good old iPhone. By the way I was at the Apple store and it was hopping, people outside in a queue with precious tickets to get a new iPhone. Just crazy. And I am not going to write about my excessive data and computer crash and some loss of photographs. Instead I will shoot more and be grateful I have the weddings I need to work -safe on the original cards, Phew. Trying to keep what is important in perspective. So you lose about 16,000 images? The backup on the external hard-drive did not do what it was supposed to do. It is not bad news from a doctor. I am sure there are many of you who can relate to loss of data. Or the simple playing with little toy figurines and using one’s imagination.
All three are manufactured in the USA!!
Two in Pennsylvania, and one in Connecticut (Wiffle® Ball)
Learned how to make a ® symbol on the Mac keyboard so thought I would use (overuse) it for this post.
These names are familiar I know. And to people my age, a host of memories will resurface after you view these images.
Silly Putty® is now owned by Binney and Smith and is more than fifty years old. Tons of this pliable stuff has been manufactured and sold in the past fifty + years.
Slinky® has an interesting history, too, and About.com lists this memorable jingle but be careful cause it might stick in your head all day and you’ll remember the tune, too. They are manufactured in Holidaysburg PA.
“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, it’s fun for a girl and a boy
– Advertising Jingle for Slinky
You can always buy a new Slinky cause who hasn’t gotten one stretched out and tangled up irreversibly?
And I remember when Wiffle® Balls came out ! Do you? They are still selling strong. Especially to college kids.
I was in Shadyside Variety Store, picking up a few items for the grandchildren. I remember when Mark, Matthew and Laura used to shop here in the early nineties. We lived around the corner for two years and they could walk there to shop.
So many nostalgic favorites- and the latest inventive toys from the Toy Fair, like Spot It which Sharon the proprietor demonstrated for me so I can play it with Anna and Michael when I visit. Keeping my brain sharp. I am fairly certain they’ll beat me.
See the rubber chicken dangling inside the colorful hula hoops at the store entrance? Next time the grandchildren come I am going to take them to the Shadyside Variety Store, give them each some money and see what they decide to buy after extensive browsing!
The nicest guy from Texas,who just finished up a Robotics Conference at CMU, was shopping – he held the Etch-a-Sketch up for me when I was exploring the store for classics!
When your shopping list says birthday gift, jumprope, jacks, sidwalk chalk, art supplies, Dots, Pinky Balls, and Silly Putty, Slinky and Wiffle Ball….. Shadyside Variety Store 5421 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh – (412) 681-1716 (Cash or check!)
Someone asked me the other day if I were a reporter. No, a blogger. Self-assigned!
Another Art Car spotted in Columbus OH at the Touch-a-Truck Day. Artist wearing blue shirt in vertical photo. This is his ONLY car. He glues the items on with silicone glue. He donated his Art Car #1 to Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft. Check out more photos at his site. Saw my first Art Car on July 4th. Let me know when you spot one where you live.
Purchased in 1977 in New York City at Creative Playthings. Rubbery farm animals. Nice to clutch and carry around when you’re almost two. I bought them for baby Mark who’s 34 now. Maybe the paint is unsafe for the grandchildren, plus they have a hole in their stomach so whatever dirt and mold in the basement the past 20 years is living inside them. I put them in the contractor bag to drag to the curb and I swear the cow’s eyes looked at me. I took them out. Photographed them.