Posts Tagged ‘museum’

National Christmas Center

December 14, 2017

Last week I read about The National Christmas Center here. As many times as I’ve been to Lancaster County, I’d never heard of this place before. Let’s think about that for a minute. I learned about a Christmas museum a couple of hours away from where I live on a blog post written by a woman who grew up in London and lives in Paris. Yay, internet! It’s a small world, indeed.

If you live within a reasonable distance of Lancaster and love Christmas, you MUST make time to visit this museum before it CLOSES FOREVER on January 7, 2018! It is for sale and they’re hoping that someone will buy it and reopen. I sincerely hope that happens.

We got a leisurely start on the day by leaving at 9:30. Google maps travel time of 2 hours is a bit optimistic. It’s really 2.5 hours for us. Our first stop was lunch at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Like most of the other well-known restaurants in the Lancaster area, it won’t win any culinary awards, but no one should go away hungry. It is the largest buffet I’ve ever seen – 2 complete buffet lines. I’d guess the seating areas accommodate at least 1000 people.

We spent about an hour and a half wandering through the museum. I could have spent much longer. There is an unbelievable amount of stuff to see here. This place is huge, although you don’t realize that until you think about how many different rooms and areas the path takes you through. I like that it is a one-way path that winds through the various areas so you don’t miss anything. Please see Linda’s post on our trip. With a couple of exceptions, our photos are all different. Even with that we only scratched the surface.

We were welcomed into the Christmas Around the World exhibit by this slightly creepy figure.

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I was interested in the Dutch house because my great-grandfather, John Hendrik Oosthoek, came here from the Netherlands in the late 1800s. My aunt told me he threatened to change his name to the English equivalent because no one pronounced it correctly. I’m glad he didn’t because I can’t imagine talking about Grandpa East (Oost) Corner (hoek).

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There were many toy workshops along the way.

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My home town had a Woolworth’s while I was growing up.

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If this is what they made at the end of the day, how beautiful were the ornaments made earlier in the day?

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Honoring the troops

There was a display of dangerous Christmas ideas over the years. My friend, Polly, would love this.

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Stages of a blown glass ornament.

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The snow on the tree appears to be batting or pillow/doll stuffing.

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Life size nutcrackers at the entrance to the area for pictures with Santa. Santa is otherwise occupied on Wednesdays so wasn’t available for portraits with Santa. You can just get a glimpse of the quilt on the back wall.

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The quilt is enormous!

Some of the vignettes in the portrait with Santa room. Love the tree with all the nutcracker ornaments. Now I want one. Sigh.

 

There were many wonderful painted surfaces throughout the exhibit areas.

 

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There was a room for each page in this book. I probably should have taken time to read the pages as we went through but I didn’t. I found videos for you: here and here.

Of particular interest to quilters is Nanny’s Rag and Quilt Works.

 

 

 

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An Amish display

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A cross stitch sampler hanging on the wall. Linda told me what this type of sampler is called but I forgot already.

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Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women celebrate a quiet Christmas at home.

 

 

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Hand blown glass ornament factory

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Lots of displays of ephemera.

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Biker Babe Barbie.

I had to include this photo because back in the mid-1990s one of my co-workers dubbed me “Biker Babe” when he found out that I had dated a guy with a Harley when I was in college. Irony in action because I don’t think you could meet anyone less like a biker babe than I.

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Child catches Santa in a 1950s house

There was a large room with a train layout in the center. The ceiling was covered with branches with ornaments hanging from them. I wasn’t able to get a decent picture. It wasn’t yellow in person.

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There’s a carousel tucked into the cave.

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This looks like the old, no longer used, bridge near my house that is all decorated with lights for Christmas.

There were many cases of nativity scenes from all over the world.

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The strange thing at the bottom is my index finger for scale. Look how tiny those snowflake ornaments are!

There were streets winding through a village one might find in the time of Jesus. These figures are life-size or bigger. This is a sampling of what we saw.

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The tour culminated with the nativity.

I wanted to buy something at the gift shop. As I was making my second pass past all the ornaments to make my choice, Patty came over (I think she was ready to head for home and wanted to hurry me up.) I said it was too bad they didn’t have a ship ornament since my grad school project is Ladies of the Sea. A moment later, Patty found this ornament that I had completely overlooked. It was one of a kind. I’m going with the story that Patty saw it because she’s a little shorter than I am and it was hanging low on the wall.

How perfect is this? Of course, I bought it.

When I proposed the outing I thought we might follow up with a visit to one of the many quilt shops in the area but it was after 3 p.m. and I wanted to do most of the driving home before dark and snow was in the forecast so we jettisoned other plans and headed home. We all agreed that it was a satisfactory day and that the museum is worth a trip. Had I known of it years ago, it would be an annual tradition by now.

 

Baltimore Museum of Art

May 15, 2016

First I have to do the obligatory whining about all the rain. The Baltimore-Washington area just set a new record for the number of consecutive days of measurable rain at 15. But, the rainy, gloomy days have gone on even longer. It’s just that we got a little break here and there. Thursday didn’t have measurable rain but it poured again on Friday and Saturday. Today was sunny but cold. We’ve been running 15-20 degrees below normal for the last month. It’s supposed to rain again on Tuesday and Wednesday. The TV forecast actually has 3 days after that of no rain but the weather apps on my phone aren’t so positive. Sigh. As our family friend, Ruth Wolf, would say, “Enough with the whining, already.” Or, Barbara L would ask, “Do you want some cheese with that whine?”

Week before last 20 members of the Baltimore Applique Society met at the Baltimore Museum of Art for a tour of the current quilt exhibits. Anita Jones, the textile curator, spent about an hour and a half taking us around the various textile exhibits.

Some of the pictures are a little blurry. I forgot my camera so had to use the phone. It’s a little too light for me to hold steady sometimes.

The main event for the Baltimore die-hards was this Baltimore album quilt.

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I love crazy quilts. I’ve always deluded myself into believing that I want to make one but I don’t really enjoy embroidery that much. This quilt was supposed to be in the crazy quilt exhibit last fall but was withdrawn because it needed some conservation work.

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This isn’t a quilt but the designs are very quilt like.

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This sampler has very tiny stitches.

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Anita showed us some other items that didn’t interest me. Eventually we ended up at the exhibit of the newly acquired modern quilts.

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In the adjacent room I found this chair made from yellow school pencils.

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And this interesting cabinet made from scrap wood.

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After the tour we had lunch at Gertrude’s, the restaurant in the museum. The chef, John Shields, once had a cooking show on public TV and has written several cookbooks. Not the place to go if you’re on a budget. I was at the table with Anita Jones (on the left) and Mimi Dietrich (on the right).

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I ordered a sangria. I’ve forgotten what they called it. The fruit-looking things are frozen juice, mango I think.

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For the main course I had the seafood salad with shrimp, scallops and crab over field greens with roasted lemon vinaigrette. I forgot to take a picture of it. Two of us ordered desert. This is the Gertrude’s Candy Bar.20160504_134409.jpg

I had the triple Crème brûlée with flourless chocolate cake.

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Most expensive lunch I’ve ever had but I enjoyed every bite.