Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ode to Rust

I told you it's rained and rained and rained around here , so why not throw the spotlight on RUST!!! These tables at Architectural Heritage on Birmingham's southside are beautiful examples of rust at its best. Rust and peely paint.... sometimes a good thing.

Dusty Lens, this one's for you since you're the king of rusty ummmm....stuff!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So Long Sweet Thing........

Sadly it's about time to bid a fond farewell to watermelon and all the other fine things summer has to offer down here in Alabama. But these little guys below, and their giant size relatives are starting to appear around town, especially at the Pepper Place Market last Saturday. It's beginning to look a little like autumn, but we are still waiting for it to FEEL like it. The thought of a sweater still makes me swoon. Rumor has it that we might get some relief from the heat tomorrow... oh happy day! Stay tuned, that could change on a dime!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Les Lumières

Richard Tubb Interiors at the Pepper Place was a nice place to explore on a rainy Saturday. I was fascinated with these wonderful paper lanterns suspended from the ceiling. The reflection was just too good to pass up.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bar Fly???

My friend Chuckeroon at Richmond Upon Thames Daily Photo does photos from time to time that he has titled "Bar Fly". I always enjoy the bars/taverns he surreptitiously ( or maybe not) photographs. He was my inspiration for this shot. Last Friday night I went back to the Bottle Tree with my friends Sis and Bill. Bill's a photographer too. Unlike 'roon, we blatantly whipped out our cameras and had a mini photo shoot right there. The younger set tolerates us, and we do appreciate that! You know from previous photos here, that the Bottle Tree is a fun and funky place. Today...... more proof!

Yes, Satan has a painless way for you to pay your bar tab

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lonnie Holley - The Sandman

You've already met Birmingham folk artist Lonnie Holley here and here . Lonnie has a story to tell. Raised 7th of 27 children Lonnie, known as The Sandman, began his artistic life when he carved headstones for his sister's two children who died in a house fire. He used the soft sandstone like material that is a by-product of metal castings he found at a nearby foundary. The rest is history. These days Lonnie continues to carve, but he also paints, and makes some mighty interesting sculpture from found objects like the one above. And when I say he has a story to tell, indeed he does. He held an audience spellbound this day at the Lite Box Gallery at the Pepper Place Market. But in case you think he's just a local artist, think again. Lonnie's work has been exhibited at Atlanta's High Museum, the Smithsonian, New York's American Folk Art Museum and.......the White House! For more about Lonnie's remarkable life go here.

I am pleased to announce that two of my Paris street portraits are being featured on Parisien This is a terrific site and I hope you will give it a look!

Friday, September 25, 2009

O Kafés!

Earlier this week we visited The Cantina. Well step right next door and visit O Kafés! Coffee House. Also housed in the old Martin Biscuit Building on 2nd Avenue South, this was the perfect spot to spend a very rainy morning with friends. I've been buying coffee from their stand at the Pepper Place Market for years, but this was my first visit to their new coffee house. Oh, I'll be back!

Pleasel check out their website for info concerning live music, coffee beans and a lot more!

Breaking News! I am pleased to announce that two of my Paris portraits are being featured on Parisien!! This is a beautiful site and I hope you will give it a look.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Rained a Lot Lately!

It has rained buckets for what seems like weeks around here. Monday, I got really desperate. Then I had a brainstorm .......mushrooms or toadstools....whatever! I cruised my neighborhood until I found some nice specimens. It didn't take long believe me. They are everywhere and in every imaginable shape and color. I made a quick turn around, jumped out of the car (in the rain), and popped off a few quick shots. Having a daily photo blog one has to be very creative, especially in inclimate weather.

Homegrown, Chez Virginia

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birmingham Rouge IV - The Warehouse

Spotted in a warehouse under renovation in downtown Birmingham. Of course the red caught my eye! May I just say how satisfying it is to find places such as this that I find visually appealing as a photographer and yet highlight the wonderful work going on here in downtown Birmingham to bring it back to life!

UPDATE: Well welcome back to my Followers who have been MIA in Bloggerworld since yesterday. I see some new faces! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Portraits From My Heart - The High Fives

Go ahead and say it. I'm guilty as charged for dragging my little darlings on my blog again. Well the "babies" have turned five within a day of each other, and we need to celebrate, right?? For those of you who think that being their Mumsie makes it easier to get photos, think again. I'll let you decide which one is the ham and which one would rather clean up his room than smile for the camera! A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY my Davis and Laura Kate. It seems like only yesterday that both of you were born, a day apart, in the same hospital, and your moms were on different floors at St. Vincent's Hospital. Whew, that was a trip!

(The sentiments expressed on my grandson's shirt do not reflect those of the management!)

Boys will be boys!

Girls will be girls!


I was sure Biz Stone had a word for bloggers that shamelessly feature their grandchilden but couldn't find it . Maybe some of you clever readers ( Marley?) can come up with a suitable word. Go ahead, dish it out, I can take it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cantina

I'll just bet you saw this photo and thought I had found a really neat church here in Birmingham. Actually this is The Cantina, Tortilla Grill, located on 2nd Avenue South in the Martin Biscuit Building at the Pepper Place. ( They have another location on Cahaba Valley Road) Pardon the pun, but this place is dripping with character! It's also a really great place to have some good Mexican food and a beverage. We sat inside last week because of the heat and humidity. I'm so glad we did. Look what I found!
( Never leave home without your camera)




Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Kid on Our Block

Many of you will remember that I lost my sweet granddog Willie a while back. Well, we have a new baby boy in the family. Meet Einstein. We have high hopes that he will live up to his name. Eva and Davis adore him, and Ivy and Kittykins are warming up to him. I'm a proud grandmother!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toot Your Own Horn!

We're back at the Homewood High School Homecoming Parade again today. ( Scroll down if you missed yesterday's post) Today, the brass section gets to take a bow. The top photo I love, because if you look closely you can see the happy spectators, the flag and even yours truly boldly standing in the street to get these good shots! And the young lady below, played a mighty fine "Georgia On My Mind" solo!

Friday, September 18, 2009

March to the Beat of a Fine Drummer!

One very special thing about having a blog is that you get the chance to feature some people that are very close to your heart. Yesterday I photographed the Homecoming Parade for Homewood High School. Homewood is where my girls went through school, and actually I did as well. In addition, it's where I taught at Shades Cahaba Elementary for 19 years. We almost never missed a Homecoming Parade down the streets of Homewood. This is a special one today. Meet Jacob Helf. I've watched Jacob grow up and taught alongside his very special mom, Ellen. His dad Bill, is probably the best physics teacher anywhere! Yesterday I focused my camera on Jacob, as he showed his stuff in the fabulous Patriot Band Drum Line. Jacob, I knew a long time ago you were going to make us proud on those drums!!!!
Click here to see the drum line in action !

I have loaded more photos on my Flickr photostream here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Aw Shucks..........Pass the Butter!

PARDON!!!, I know that's so corny ( even worse!) Sometimes I can't help myself.

*** My niece Jenifer, ( from Iowa), is in Rome for a semester. She has a great little blog, and I think she would love to hear some kind words! Maybe you could give her a hello from time to time? Now that I think about it, this corn will probably make her homesick!

from Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out?

Meme: noun. A contagious idea.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Larry Gay, BADP Guest Photographer

Well meet my new friend Larry Gay. I met Larry at Art Walk last Saturday. Come to find out he's a Birmingham photographer AND a follower of my blog. We had a great time chatting, and I might add Larry has one very large, very fine lens! ( I'm a little jealous). He sent me some of his Art Walk photos and I decided to take the day off, prop my feet up, and let Larry take over today. Take it away......Larry!

Oh don't forget to check out his website!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All Lined Up

It's a simple thing really. Colored bottles lined up in a window on First Avenue North in Birmingham.

From Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out

Flame: Verb. To leave a hostile remark or blog post in an effort to start a conflict.

(No flaming on BADP! Merci)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creative Kids Show Their Stuff

This past weekend was Birmingham's Art Walk. Artists were tucked in every nook and cranny of the downtown loft district. At Space One Eleven, I fell in love with these colorful wind socks created by students that benefit from their terrific program for Birmingham's youth.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well I think I 'm on a roll here. This is my THIRD week in a row to join the Two Things Challenge crew. This week's theme is APPLE/EYE. I had bag full of apples to try and shoot, but I stopped by the Pepper Place Market yesterday for just a few minutes. Look at this little cutie EYEING the APPLES! Oh yes!!!

To see how the rest of the gang interpreted our theme this week click here.

From Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out

Linky Love - Noun. To link to another blogger or link to another blogger because they have linked to you.

Yeah, Biz is going to be linking to my blog any day now! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Monsieur Soleil

Oh I know what you're thinking, "Virginia's gotten her two blogs mixed up again!" While not unheard of , this photograph today is not from Paris, but right here in English Village at the oh so European , Continental Bakery. Monsieur Soleil is a papier-mâché "puppet" for lack of a better word, that was part of the May Day festivities in the spring. I'm a little partial to la tour Eiffel in the background as well. Bon weekend everyone!!!

From Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out

Blogstipation - Noun. Writer's block for bloggers!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bottle Tree, Another Look

We visited The Bottle Tree last July. When there's not live entertainment, they show vintage TV shows and cartoons here. ( So now TV shows that I watched growing up are considered "vintage", well that's unsettling! ) I've never stayed really late, who knows what they might be showing then!!! Located on Birmingham's southside, this is a great place to meet for drinks and dinner. Give it a try!

From Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out

BLURKER - noun. A blog reader who leaves no comments and does not have a blog; a silent reader of blogs

I for one am most grateful to all the "blurkers" out there who so faithfully read my blogs!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birmingham Rouge III - Deux Chaises

This is a photo I've tried before. I finally got it last week on the back patio of Chez Fonfon. You know what I'm remembering.......Paris! Oh, and it fits with my Chair Series!

from Biz Stone's Who Let the Blogs Out

HITOSIS - Noun. Unable to stop oneself from checking blog stats.
( You know who you are, well maybe I'm there too! )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Old Mill

Fondly referred to as "The Old Mill", this private home in Mountain Brook started out as a tearoom and clubhouse for social functions back in the day. Today, it still draws a lot of admirers. Since I pass it each day on my walk, I decided to finally stop and take a few photos!

Blogger Bash -Noun. A get together or party arranged and attended by bloggers.

From Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out

(What could be more fun? Maybe more blogger bashes in my future? I hope so!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chef Mark

Last week I ducked into Chez Fonfon before they opened, to see if I could prowl around for more photos. You know from past posts that this is a favorite haunt of mine. Who did I see, smiling at me through the window of the kitchen? Why Chef Mark! Someone for my 100 Strangers you ask?? Heavens no, I taught Mark in third grade! I know Mark's whole family and loved his sweet Momma to pieces. What a thrill to see him again, and I'm looking forward to having dinner there real soon and letting him whip up something special! You're never too old to brown nose your teacher are you??


Today begins a new feature here at BADP. I just finished reading Who Let the Blogs Out, by Biz Stone. A fascinating read that chronicles the history of blogging and gives a lot of helpful tips if you are more computer savvy than I. Biz was nice enough to include a glossary in the back. I thought I'd give you a word a day for a while. I think even the more seasoned bloggers, as well as many of my non-blogging readers will enjoy them. We'll start with the basics and work our way down.

Noun. A personal website that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries, and recommendations compiled by the user; also written weblog, Web log. Verb. To compose and publish a blog entry.

Monday, September 7, 2009

So Long Summer - 2009

Back in the good ole days, when the kids didn't go back to school till after Labor Day (instead of the first week in August), today marked the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It was set in stone, along with the mandate that no white shoes etc were to be worn one minute past Labor Day!!!! The new school calendar around here leaves one a bit bewildered about exactly when fall begins, but I'm going with Labor Day. Now if you live in Birmingham, you won't be packing up those summer clothes for about a month or maybe two, or even thinking about whipping a pot of chili. But we do have the start of our college football, and autumn leaves are already scattered around my yard even though the AC is still chugging. So today, I offer this farewell to summer.... a cool, delicious photo from the lemonade guy at the Pepper Place Market, and Billie Holliday is even going to croon "Summertime" just for you!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The Japanese Gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a lovely serene place. The last time I posted photographs here, I made a new and very special friend. Since then we have shared a leisurely lunch and exchanged many emails. I decided to let her choose the photograph she liked best for this post. (She chose my favorite.) Quelle surprise!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm in Love Again!

Oh I'm so fickle. Last winter I declared my undying love for the spiffy red pickup that lives down the street. Alas, someone else has won my heart. I was leaving the Pepper Place Market last week and there was this great red hunk of burning love, all parked and ready for me to jump right in! Red convertible, white interior...... well that brought back some fond memories! So what's a girl to do?? SIGH!

Since we've gone right down Memory Lane, I offer this song by Mary MacGregor....."Torn Between Two Lovers"! here LOL!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creating the Magic

The evil White Witch takes shape

OK, I've been teasing you all with my new "project" long enough. I've been asked by the Birmingham Children's Theater, actually that cute Nancy Jones who could sweet talk the horns right off a billy goat, to chronicle their fall production of C.S.Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, from start to finish! In high school I was much too shy ( oh stop the guffaws and knee slapping...I was!) to ever try out for a part in the school plays. I preferred to work behind the scenes with props etc. Well now I get to re-live the fun of watching a stage production unfold. Oh, did I mention that I read the book no less than 15 times to my third graders over the years? It was one of my most favorite read alouds. And don't fret, I'll give you peeks at the action from time to time!

Today, meet Emily Blanche. Emily hails from Fullerton, California and is here to construct the whimsical, mythical Narnia characters in puppet form. I was just fascinated with her renderings and watching her patiently hand sewing the puppets. What a talented artist she is!

Photos will be updated weekly on my Facebook here and on my Flickr set here.

Mr. Beaver will soon come to life!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Connecting People and the Community

Tuesday I had the pleasure of connecting with yet another wonderful organization here in Birmingham. The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, " established as a public charity in 1958, is dedicated to connecting people and resources with community needs and opportunities to make life better, today and tomorrow." They are celebrating 50 years with a fascinating project. Each week for 50 weeks they are highlighting one of "50 Ways to Love Your Community". I met Emily Jones Rushing, their Director of Communications, at the Birmingham Children's Theater. Emily wants to add the BCT as one of their 50 ways. I think that's a terrific idea. I had the chance to photograph these two exuberant canvases, painted by attendees at a recent Foundation gathering. I'd gladly hang these on my walls. Aren't they great??

PS More about the Birmingham Children's Theatre later. I've started my exciting photography project for them. There will be lots of photos to follow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Left in Remembrance?

Last June I had a wonderful, if brief trip through the Cemetière du Montparnasse in Paris with my friend Mary Gilbert from Cincinnati. Mary is a devoted Francophile and docent at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinatti. While we were there I noticed pebbles arranged in circles on many of the grave stones. Mary explained that it is a Jewish custom to leave a stone when you visit. Yesterday I stopped by the Union Hill Cemetery for another look around. This nut atop a marker reminded me of that.