Monday, March 31, 2014

The Splendor of Cabin Trip 2014 : Homage de Bryson City, North Carolina

A couple weeks ago, we took the long awaited for winter vacation that is Cabin Trip. So many hopes and dreams, and it lived up to them all. There is nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than being in the woods and doing absolutely nothing. Well, almost nothing. Here's how it went, as I continue my love affair with Bryson City, NC.

First I closed up shop, packed the car, and drugged the dogs for the ride up there. 

I hate to close the shop but one of the wondrous things about Cabin Trip is no connectivity. I always think I'm going to hate it and I cling to my phone like a child with it's teddy bear. For the first day, I still check my phone (even though it is in airplane mode) like messages will magically arrive. Nope, if you want to get a hold of me, it's smoke signal only!

The ride up there is typical mountain highway, until we get of the beaten path close to the cabin. I remember the first time we went last year, my PIC looked at me like I was trying to cash in on his life insurance policy. It gets rustic. Folks aren't too fancy, they don't much care for upkeep, and the yard is just another storage area for junk and trash. Quite a feast for the eyes! Then you leave paved road and you are crawling up a gravel road, with deadly curves, no guard rails, on the edge of a cliff, hoping you don't get a closer view of that beautiful valley below. Needless to say, you are pretty glad for a small patch of flat ground when you finally pull down your driveway and into your parking space. 

Like I said in my previous post, cabin decorating can be pretty interesting. But this cabin was beautifully and simply decorated, with a kitchen fully stocked with everything you need, and between the hot tub, fire pit, pool table, air hockey, fooseball, and games, there is plenty to do. Oh yeah, and the view is amazing!
First thing I did was promptly find myself a spot on the couch and started to read. And did I read. And read. And read. Ok, this is why I don't read at home. Nothing else would get done! One day I sat on the couch and read for 6 hours straight. Talk about pure bliss! During this trip I read 3 books. "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline was the first book I read and my favorite. It followed and paralleled the lives of two orphans, one from the early 1900s, one modern, weaving together history, heartache, and redemption into one amazing story. Next I read "At The Mountains of Madness" by HP Lovecraft which was just a great creepy, sci-fi, terror read. And rounded things out with "The Great Gatsby" for my classic fix. We worked on a puzzle. Seriously, who ever has time to sit and stare at a box full of cardboard pieces and painstakingly try to fit them together. We did.

Although PIC was being quite accommodating as I descended into my own world (or the world of the book I was reading), I sensed that he was itching to actually do something. So we did a bit of exploring.

Tons to see and do in this area, especially if you love the outdoors. We walked down the Nantahala River, taking pictures. We walked back on the Great Smoky Mountain railroad, where I found a treasure trove of wonderful rusty railroad spikes! We took a drive to Mingo Falls, a great waterfall hidden just a couple hundred feet off the road. Rocks, water, trees, bark, moss...just a few of my favorites things.

Needless to say, the weekend went fast and suddenly it was the last day. So much to fit in! We hit the road for some exploring and junk finding. Let me tell you, there is nothing like the back roads of NC. Like I said, these people let it all hang out. They like to share their junk collection with nature and share they do! Found a little place that sold my favorite delicacy from childhood, Slush Puppies.

We got some wood, made a roaring fire, ate popcorn, and drank our Barrel Aged Chocolate Cherry Stout from Nantahala Brewing Company as we star gazed and solved the world's problems, fireside.

As we waved goodbye to Bryson City and headed on down the tracks, we decided to try to ride home on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Signs at the entrance stated to avoid if it was foggy. It was foggy. But we went anyway. There is a reason that sign was there. 

Visibility was quite limited and as we were not in the mood to see if the car could fly and scenic views had all the splendor of a cotton ball, we got off at first chance.

So back to civilization we went and we have not been the same since. We are still on "cabin time" which includes staying up late, getting up late, having no responsibility, and eating junk food. As in, we wish we could do those things but alas, duty calls. I feel like I need to go into a rehabilitation program. Until next time, cabin!

Lots of wonderful rustic treasures were found on this trip. To see them go to Maliasmark on Etsy!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vintage Into Art : Creepy Doll Vogues for JRD Photography

Strike a pose, vogue, vogue, vogue. You're singing it now, aren't you? You're even doing the hands. It's ok, I won't tell anyone.

I sell vintage but I started out buying vintage items to repurpose into art. So everything I buy is through the eyes of an artist and much of it is with the intention of possibly creating something with it in the future. Sometimes, that can be in the near future, most of the time it is in the distant future. In the meantime, I can't just let these wonderful items stay hidden away so I give my customers first crack at creating something amazing. I am happy when an item goes to a loving home of any kind but I always secretly hope it will be repurposed into something cool.

One day last month, someone bought one of my creepy dolls. After having used some previous dolls in a photography shoot, I think these dolls make great subjects for expressing a number of emotions through their emotionless stares. You can just imagine my delight when Jace Delgado of JRD Photography shared with me some pictures of how he used the doll he purchased from me on Etsy.

Maybe you can't imagine so let me help you. Ecstatic, mind blown, love it are a few words and phrases that come to mind. So awesome to see the potential of this doll fully realized through the eyes of this amazing artist! His photos are a feast for the eyes, rich in texture and subject, visual and implied. 

Take a moment. Compose yourself. Prepare yourself for razzle dazzle. Ok, check out a few of them...

I know, it's easy to get lost in them but bring it back. Focus. I'm talking here. Could you ask for a better re-imagining of this vintage piece? I think not.

Thank you so much to Jace for sharing his work with me! What a range on this guy. From your portraits, landscapes, sports shots, weddings, and boudoir, to his haunting steampunk work (my personal favorite), this guy does it all. Check out his website at and be sure to like him on Facebook at to keep up with and be inspired by his latest and greatest. Warning : Clear your schedule, you're not going to want to stop looking until you've seen it all. 

Find your own treasures and be inspired at Maliasmark.