Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's Celebrate.....


the new year.  I've had a fabulous year and each and everyone of you, my dear readers have made it a great year of blogging.  Today a festive shot of a nice little neighborhood bar near my home, Parkside Cafe.  I love their lanterns.  A very festive place to celebrate the new year!

Happy New Year to each and everyone of you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holy Ghost Revival!



For those of us in the south, Byron Sonnier's work brings many fond memories.  I photographed his work last week at the Bottletree Cafe.  It has nice folk art feel to me anyway. Byron might have other ideas.  You can find him on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's Cooking, Cliff?





Meet my good friend Cliff Holt. He and his beautiful wife Maureen have made Little Savannah one of Birmingham's most popular and respected restaurants.  Want to know the best part?  It's within walking distance from my house!  They use locally grown produce and if you want a fabulous meal.....head to Clairmont Avenue in Forest Park.  My favorites you ask?  Well everything on their ever changing menu is terrific, but their shrimp and grits are the best in town, and I'm a little partial to the Provençal Violette Sparkler at the bar!

I shot these during one of their Saturday morning cooking classes.  They meet the group at the Pepper Place Market and shop for the freshest Alabama produce then move to the restaurant to prepare a delicious meal.   ( Maybe "Kiss the Cook" should have been my title! )

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Sisters Take a Stroll...


at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

This is a photo from last spring at the gardens. I found this group of nuns on a guided tour, just delightful.
As a photogrpaher, I liked the contrast of their garments and their hands. Their habits, had a nice rhythm I thought.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Birmingham Rouge - Vintage Indian



It's been a while since I posted from the amazing Barber Motorsports Museum.  Here's two of a vintage Indian.  That's all I can share. Perhaps some of my more knowledgable readers can comment on the year/model or whatever. It's shiny and red and I liked it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

WHAT??


Well you Yankees can keep your white Christmases.  We had our very own yesterday, right here in Alabama!  I'll  admit it was my first one in Birmingham...ever!!!  And it was just the way we like it, pretty but didn't stick on the roads. 
 Sing it Bing!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Wish....

Homewood



White Flowers in downtown Homewood is one of the most beautiful shops in Birmingham.  As the name implies, EVERYTHING in the store is in shades of white, from the floor to the ceiling and all of the merchandise.  They have a fabulous selection of candles, soaps, jewelry, keepsakes, gift items,  clothing and owner/designer Diana Holman's very special line of tee shirts and other ladies wear.  Recently I passed at night and the window was magical.  The lovely poem in the window expresses my feelings for all of you.

I wish you wondrous things
that can't be tied up 
in ribbons and bows.

I wish you thoughts that take 
you to magnificent places.

I wish you togetherness and
                                                  abundant  happiness.

                                                        And I wish you quiet times
                                                        all to yourself when the grace
                                                        of all that is good in your life
                                                        is sweetly celebrated within.
                                                                                        White Flowers

Merry Christmas to all of you my dear and faithful readers,
V
                                                                                        
                                               

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hey Santa.....


I'll leave the door unlocked...just in case! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Time to Reflect


My friend Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo does a Zen Monday on her blog each week.  I'm declaring this Zen Thursday!  I don't know about ya'll but right about now I need to stop and do what my yoga instructor India tells us, " Inhale deeply, now exhale slowly."  She also reminds us not to clench our teeth!!  This week I think I've done that more than once.  So today, we take a break for the frantic, frenzied, fun and festivities of this season.  May we all take deep breaths, enjoy this peaceful scene and refocus our thoughts on the true meaning of this season.
V

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zoolight Safari


The Birmingham Zoo has sponsored their Zoolight Safari  for many years,  but I'll have to admit this was my first visit. They boast over half million lights and I will concur.  It was great fun wandering through the grounds and seeing so many grand light displays, but the most fun was of course the train ride through the park.  For my Birmingham readers, there's still time to see it all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Bottletree Christmas


If you have followed this blog for a while, you know I love to meet my friends at the Bottletree Cafe on the southside from time to time. I love the decor. How to describe it??? Funky, retro , I don't know. It changes each time we vist.  They are well known for their live entertainment,  but I'm sorry to report we're outta there by the time all that gets cranked up.

The new banner photo features a delightful Nativity by artist Colin Richmond . For my Birmingham area readers, you can find them at Charlotte Woodson Antiques in Mt. Brook Village.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Birmingham Rouge - Colorful Computer Circuits


Doesn't this bright red computer circuit board look festive?  Well I have a very good eco-reason for  sharing this photograph today.  I know that everyone out there has a string/strings of those #*%$ Christmas lights that were working last Christmas when you took them down and now...........grrrrrrrrrr they are dead as a doornail.  Don't even get me started about my "pre-lit tree" that ........isn't!  WAIT!  Don't toss them in the trash.  Take them to Technical Knock Out in Homewood to be recycled.  

Technical Knock Out
2714 20th Street South, Suite A
205-451-0180

The new header photo features a delightful Nativity by artist Colin Richmond and for my Birmingham area readers you can find them at Charlotte Woodson Antiques in Mt. Brook Village.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Church Series - Cathedral Church of the Advent


One of my favorite downtown churches, the Cathedral Church of the Advent located on 20th Street, is even more beautiful against the neighboring "glass boxes" of Birmingham's financial district.  Founded in 1873, this church is a testament to the rich history of Birmingham.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Interment Ledger - Oak Hill Cemetery


I've posted numerous photos from Birmingham's first public cemetery, Oak Hill.  Located just across from the BJCC to the north, this cemetery is a like reading the who's who of Birmingham's founding fathers.  Director Stuart Oates gives a marvelous tour and always begins it in the tiny chapel that now houses his office.  The Interment Ledger is always of great interest.  The record of each and every person buried here is recorded in beautiful handwriting of days gone by.  He always points out the cause of death column.  Fever, bronchitis, pneumonia and of course the deadly cholera epidemic  ( 1872) that devastated this city are often mentioned.

I often take my photography students here as many of the monuments are still quite beautiful, and we of course,  look forward to Stuart's commentary.

Friday, December 17, 2010

All Twinkly


"It's like a fairyland!" is what I say every single Christmas when the city of Mountain Brook turns up the wattage in the village.  The trees are all strung and now they've outlined all the shops with lights as well.  The header photo is the gorgeous tree in front of Bromberg's Jewelers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beets Me!


I snapped these colorful .....BEETS??? at the Pepper Place Holiday Market a few weeks ago.  This city girl is guessing, but I'm sure some of my more knowledgeable readers will set me straight if I'm off base on this.  Nevertheless, you gotta love the color!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have Yourself a Glitzy Little Christmas!


Recently I stopped in at Illuminations at the Pepper Place. It's a great place to find unusual lighting fixtures of all kinds. This trip, I was taken with the tinsel tree and the gorgeous ornaments.  I learned that these baubles came from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and are no longer available for sale.  How nice that we can all enjoy them right here!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Everything Must Go






This month, Lite Box Gallery at the Pepper Place features an unsual but VERY interesting installation for my Birmingham area readers.  I'm going to let Kate Merritt Davis give you a preview in her own words:




"Staged as an estate sale for the fictitious and deceased H. Benjamin Benjamin, Lite Box is divided into virtual rooms of the estate, each containing items suiting that room's purpose made by the exhibiting artists.  



The bazaar is filled with the bizarre, a la Lady Habersham pieces, ranging from small trinkets and sculptures to larger paintings and prints.  Decorated with vintage and gothic furniture, the normally stark white space of Lite Box is transformed into a kooky, delightfully macabre manor, each "room" lush with detail.  The show is cash and carry, with Visa, Mastercard, cash and checks accepted.

Pieces from the Benjamin estate will be available through Saturday, December 18th, culminating with a memorial for H. Benjamin Benjamin at Noon. (A pot luck dinner will follow.) "


Curators are Daisy Winfrey and Michael Bonadio

Monday, December 13, 2010

And the Fork Ran Away With the Spoon


at the Pepper Place Market.  I love old silver. I'd bet many of you do as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Church Series - Independent Presbyterian Church


This weekend, Independent Presbyterian Church hosts their annual Holiday Home Tour.  In addition, the women of the church deck the halls and host a holiday tea.  The floral decorations are known not only here in Birmingham, but groups come from over the southeast to see each year's offerings.  Every year we all say, "This is the best ever"!  Today was no exception.  The home and church tours will be continue today from 1-5.  Tickets available at the church.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And the Elves Came


They worked their magic and voila!  Christmas has arrived at my home !

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Window Shopping


The French would call this " lèche-vitrines" which loosely translates to  "lick the windows".  Well I think we have some wonderful Birmingham shops that qualify!!! SWANK.  in Mountain Brook Village would give any Parisian window a run for their money.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Put a Little South in Your Mouth II - Pecans


Behold the southern pecan.  Please don't pronounce it..... pee'- can!!  This is our nut of choice down here.  It makes pecan pies, toasted pecans, pralines,  brownies ........well just about anything ......fabulous.  I photographed this colander full at the Pepper Place Market last weekend.  They're tough to pick but if you can find someone to do it for you, life is good! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baaaaaaa........


HUMBUG?  Oh no, this delightful flock gathered in the window of Charlotte Woodson Antiques in Mountain Brook, is begging for you to come and give them a good home. J. Colin Richmond, Colinscreatures,  in North Carolina is the artist and you can find many more of his delightful porcelin creatures here and on his website.  Stay tuned, I'm saving one more wonderful offering from Dinah Toro's lovely shop window and Colin very soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck the Dogs.......


Last Saturday's  Pepper Place Holiday Market was just great fun.  I think I may have photographed one of these adorable dogs before, wearing a PPM ballcap,  but Saturday they just made me laugh out loud!  Santa Paws!!!

( How on earth did the owners get these two to keep these silly things on???)







Monday, December 6, 2010

A Good Old Fashioned Tree Lot


The Shades Valley Optimist Club has been selling trees the old fashioned way,  for as long as I can remember.  They share space with Shades Cahaba Elementary School on Hollywood Blvd. in Homewood.  When I taught there, I loved taking my students to the lot to estimate how many trees they had and to photograph them for their Christmas cards to their families.  The SV Optimist are generous with their support of children in this community.   This is a worthwhile way to start your holiday season.  

Now the question:  Is the lot half full or half empty??

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Church Series - The Bell Tower


This is a church that has touched my heart for a very long time. Their community outreach is a true blessing to the city of Birmingham's homeless.

My Paris Calendars 2011 are now 50% off on Zazzle here!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Old Blue Door With Chair


Today we take a Christmas break and poke around The Garage again.  I don't know, I just liked the old wire chair with the ochre wall and blue door.  Holiday festivities and more,  will resume on Monday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hanukkah


For my Jewish friends here in Birmingham and around the world who are celebrating Hanukkah.  This photograph was taken at Temple Emanu-El.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Star of Homewood


For as long as I can remember this star at the top of "the hill" in downtown Homewood has been a tradtion throughout the Christmas season. This view, looking north towards Birmingham captures Vulcan pointing the way!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CDP Theme Day - Time..... no Thyme!


Time may fly......but thyme creeps.  

Many thanks to Libby Rich at Plant Odyssey who made it possible for me to join in this Theme Day.  I looked high and low for thyme, which apparently isn't available in the dead of winter, but I had a sneaking suspicion that Libby would have some.  Right I was.  They had many varieties to choose from, and  she and her friendly staff brought it to me,  so I could duck out into the pouring rain for this quick shot.  My Birmingham readers, pay her a visit!

On the first of every month, over 1,000 City Daily Photobloggers around the world post their take on a theme that is voted upon by all of us.
Click HERE to see the other wonderful creative entries.