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Friday, November 06, 2009

LAST CONTEST OF '09: Treasure

This is the last contest until after the holidays. This one is a little different, a little more personal. The prize is ridiculously awesome.

Good luck.
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Your mission:
Show us something, i.e. an item - not someone - that is yours and that you consider treasure. Then tell us why, in three sentences.

(Obviously loved ones, including the pet kind, are to be treasured above all items, but for the purposes of this contest, they are disallowed.)

Specifics:
  • ALL PHOTOS MUST BE ORIGINAL WORKS.
  • You MAY enter more than one photo.
  • Email me the photo(s) and accompanying description(s), and I will upload it/them to this post so all can enjoy.
  • You may submit a previously submitted, non-accoladed photo.
  • Your entry constitutes a one time use grant (two if you garner judge praise). You retain ownership of your work.
  • You are solely responsible for any damages arising from your entry, as well as any tax concerns should you win.
  • Entries deemed as inappropriate by yours truly will not be considered.
  • Do not add a signature or watermark to your photo.
  • Contest entries must be received by 5 pm EST on Friday, November 13th 2009.
Judging:
An esteemed judge (or two) - sadly, not a pirate - will select one winner. Not the only consideration: photographic skill. Your entry will be judged solely on that intangible quality we call je ne sais quoi. (That's a fancy way of saying "Whichever wind blows the judge's skirt up.")

Prize:
A pair of 1-day passes for Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair, where items to treasure abound. Tickets can be used either Saturday or Sunday and are valued in total at $12.

my phonophoto: a small piece of art that sat on a corner table in my parents' room while I was growing up. I used to sit in my mother's rocking chair and look at it while my mother finished dressing for church or dressed up to go out in the evening with my father. It's not by anyone famous nor an "important piece" or any such, but because art is highly personal, it reminds me utterly of her.

Entries:

This bookcase was made by my grandfather, an ironworker, as a gift to my father to take to college (the first one in the family to attend). I inherited it when I was young because I always love to read and owned so many books. It's traveled with me from my girlhood home to college, and every house beyond.

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This is Gertie, my 1972 BMW 3.0CS. My Father had the 4 door version (same color) when I was a kid and ever since I was ten this was my dream car. After three years in the restoration shop, I will get her back next month and along with my memories of my Father.

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After my Nana died we found fashion sketches that she had drawn as a young woman. These drawings of hats, dresses and skirts allowed my imagination to take me back to Nana's younger days when everyone seemed so glamorous and "va va voom" as I like to say. I adore these sketches and keep them framed to remind me that I get my love of clothes and fashion from the original fashionista... my Nana.

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This sweet little holder of warm liquids used to be water bottles. I love to recycle and repurpose things with new life. Would it be weird to say it makes me happy to seeing my green little mug in the kitchen in the mornings?

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"I have something for you," my Mom said on a recent visit, handing me this 1924 copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Black Arrow." Opening it, I found a beautiful, tear- inducing three paragraph long inscription from my grandfather, dated three months after my birth. When I pointed out he'd inscribed it 37 years ago and he'd been dead for 14, and she was just now giving it to me, she simply replied, "I've been busy."

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This is my eye; a gift from my mother to her daughter. The greens and browns surrounded by lashes are beginning to show time, but I do not worry. My mother’s eyes shine when she smiles, and it is my treasure to see her beauty in me.

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Our latest treasure commemorates our recently departed family pet. It was given to us by two even greater treasures called friends. We are overwhelmingly humbled and deeply thankful for friends.

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A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to get to go visit my best friend in New York City. The only thing I insisted on doing was to go to Mood, the incredible fabric store that the contestants on "Project Runway" almost always go to. It was love at first sight for me and this embroidered nylon, so I got a swatch of it as a souvenir!

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The girl who had been my best friend since the Cradle Roll was living in New Orleans at the time I got married. The night before my wedding she gave me this wooden box, full of poems she had written for me and other little goodies, including this wedding couple that had been tied together and blessed by a voodoo priestess. I secretly love it that the bride is a little bigger than the groom!

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My maternal grandmother made quilts for all 23 of her grandchildren when they were born and when they got married, and the Little Dutch Girl quilt was my baby quilt. By the time I got married (I'm #22 of the 23), she was unable to quilt anymore, so I was surprised and extra-honored by the strawberry quilt she had made in advance. Both she and my grandfather passed away while I was pregnant with my first son, and I found the blue and white baby-sized quilt in a closet in their house; my whole family agreed it should go home with me.

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After my grandmother died, my mother gave me her recipe book. The recipe for "Judy's Fudge Cake" (called "Gram's Fudge Cake" in my mother's recipe file) was our favorite for birthdays, celebrations, or for no particular reason except that it was cold and gloomy outside and my mother (Judy) thought we needed cheering up with chocolate cake frosted with a blend of cream cheese and melted chocolate chips. I love having the recipe in my gramma's handwriting, because it reminds me of the years before her penmanship grew shaky, and of how she always signed her letters "Gram," with the tail end of the "m" curling up and crossed with an x for a kiss.

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My treasure is a bear; made completely from the night gown and dressing robe my beloved grandmother wore almost every night for thirty years. These articles of clothing kept my grandmother warm while rocking three fussy grandchildren to sleep, traveling through Europe, and plain 'ol cold nights in Boone where she lived; there simply isn't a time where I can't remember her not wearing this ensemble—at night of course! Her unexpected death two years ago devastated our family, but the bear is a reminder of the love and impact she left on our lives—and continues to keep my grandmother alive, at least in my heart.

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This card was found over 20 years ago, after my grandmother passed away, and I feel sure it is from the 1920's and belonged to my grandfather, who lived his whole life in Winston-Salem. Every time I read it I imagine some sort of scandalous bathtub gin party or the such during prohibition. I love it because it shows a bit of naughtiness incorporated with humor for that era, and do treasure having it.

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Everyone treasures their Christmas tree, right? Especially the ones that happen to be 72 feet tall? When my uncle, who was my namesake and godfather, died of cancer, we went to his funeral in New York, and this sight cheered me up while I whistled Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree... Merry Christmas!

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