Posts tagged birds

Nothing Like a Good Barn Sale

Welcome everybody to a new addition of Middleburg Folk Art Studio called The Barn of Middleburg “Barn of Middleburg!”

This new Etsy shop will feature vintage and antique items for your office, garden, and home! One of the most interesting pieces we have gathered is a Tammis Keefe ladies’ handkerchief from the 1950s!

Designed by Tammis Keefe, this handkerchief is adorned with sunshine yellow birds in their aviary, faded gray feathers, all in front of an ice skating rink against a royal blue background at New York City Central Park Zoo with a gray outline.

The handkerchief is 100% linen.

When we first purchased the handkerchief, we thought it’s hip retro colors and its’ “artsy” illustration were enough for us to love it, but we have been doing some research…

Apparently, it is a piece in a collection that’s over 200 pieces by a talented New York City 50’s textile designer Miss Tammis Keefe.

Originally born in Los Angeles, CA back in 1913, Tammis Keefe travelled to New York City to help run a new textile studio her employer was opening in the mid 1940s. Well, we all know that even today making it in the “Big Apple” isn’t easy, and while Keefe was there, she began to pick up freelance work from big department store names like Lord and Taylor and Kimball. At first she was commissioned to design just ladies scarves. Pretty soon though, Keefe found herself designing linen kitchen towels, tablecloths, cocktail napkins, and handkerchiefs. Keefe passed away in 1960 after an long term illness, but is considered one of the most prolific textile designing women of the 40s-60s.

Many of her designs contain animals and nature, but it’s the obvious attention to color that truly makes each one individual and stand out. Looking around on some Tammis Keefe blogs/bloggers, and a flicker page, we have found several designs of: owls, butterflies, horses, flowers, plants, holidays, and cities.

“Whenever possible I like to introduce the three dimensional in prints. I like “depth” in a fabric. I also like the introduction of current objects treated artistically. Warm colors are my favorites – beige, tan, brown with the addition of some cool color for relief.”

Tammis Keefe, 1948, quoted in American Fabrics

Although, Keefe did extensive traveling throughout Europe, there are a lot of wonderful handkerchiefs representative of American cities like our “New York City Central Park Zoo”. Among its cousins are “Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution (as it titled back in the 1950s), “New York’s Greenwich Village,” “New York’s Washington Square,” “New York’s Rockefeller Center,” “San Francisco’s Grant Ave/Chinatown,” “San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf,” “California’s San Gabriel Mission,” etc. Another thing that speaks about the palettes of Miss Keefe are that there are several color ways of the same image.

What’s unique about ours, is that we have not been able to locate a “Central Park” handkerchief in the same color way, which we believe, makes it pretty rare.

We think it would make a splendid pillow top cover or a decorative framed wall hanging somewhere in your home!

Be sure to check out our new items daily, as we will be posting more and more!

Some great resources to learn more about this wonderful designer.


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No squirrels, no rabbits, but birds by the thousand, Ok maybe an Owl.

You would think we were doing a remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” here and holding auditions. We are surrounded each day with hordes of black birds. They love what is all left in the peanut fields. It kinda adds life to the place, they are either in the trees or flying between the fields, the cars going down the road honk to make them move. Our pug dogs chase them, and Gigi the little black one jumps up like she will fly away with them. After all she is the right color, lol.

We have been enjoying lots of movies as of late, we have been streaming them via Netflix on-line to the tv, it is really cool not to have to go to the store and get a DVD or even wait for it to come in the mail any more. So with all the birds in mind, we let our 13 year old daughter watch the Hitchcock, sci-fi thriller. But I told her to cover her eye’s during the scene when the farmer was found, it is just too gory of an image. If you haven’t seen it in a while, sit down and take a watch, it’s such a classic. And you don’t have to sit there and say “do you think that part was CGI?”

Got to love Tippi !

Here is the newest bird in my life. My daughter say “she’s so cute”, should I tell her it’s a Boy?

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Artist Out on Whim

This is a little collection of tiny painting and collages. I saw these sweet little canvases at the art store and had to pick-up some. The other days found myself so enamored with painting on them, maybe a little longing of my former 2-D life. They are just 2″x2″ streched little canvases. They all came out kinda birdie. It was like doing a quick skecth. Very fun! I first thought these would make a great pendents to wear. But then someone at my house said “There to big”. So maybe just little hang abouts. I’m fitting some with wire and some with ribbon. Off to an show this weekend, so this is the briefest blog I’ve written in a long time.

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The Cardinal House


You know as an artist when you create something truly exceptional, you feel it in your gut. Well I have just completed one and it all comes from a lot of times being called to a window in my Mothers kitchen to look at the cardinals outside. My mother was a true bird lover, we actually had a parrot. A yellow headed amazon named “Billy”, who at the time was nearing 30 when I was a kid. But her true loves were the birds in the yard, peace doves, robins and little sparrows. But the cardinals were king, she would put seed on the fence for them to land and eat in safety from the black birds. On snowy days she would often call me to see them, telling me which were the ladies and which were the gents.

I too have some wonderful cardinals here by my house now. So bright red. I heard a study was done on why the cardinal’s color red differs. The red color is actually affected by their diet and the ones who eat lots of red berries are redder in color. And do we have the trees with the red berry’s here. So I have very bright red cardinals by us.

So now you know my affinity for cardinals, I can tell you how this piece came to be. I was driving along a road to a morning appointment and all of a sudden in-front of my car flew about three or four cardinals swooping and diving around doing loop de loop right in front of the car. They seemed to stay in front of me for at least a quarter of a mile, then off into the trees on the road, as if they had never been there. I looked around and there were no other cars around. It seemed so still all of a sudden.
I take things like this to be little signs from somewhere or I guess we could call it inspiration!

You can see all the specs on “The Cardinal House at my etsy shop

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