Category Archives: EXCLUSIVELY SJ

LAZY

Had to pull over and snap a few pics of this old theatre in Kansas, which was en route to my latest buying trip. I don’t document my travels as much as I should and need to work on that asap. I was gone for 4 days and returned last night,triumphant! Quality over quantity this round. I listed a few of the finds tonight:

1940s? Tropical Hawaiian print? Fishtail peplum? We’re so there. You can expect a last minute bidding war on this here.

Rose print 1950s party dress in shocking, bubblegum, and raspberry pink. Shiaparelli would have approved. here

Morton Bergman late 1950s impressionist style blue spring floral cocktail dress set. Wiggle skirting + matching bolero/cropped blouse. High quality tailored look + silk = totally luxe. here

There’s tons upon tons more which hopefully will all be up this week. Some 5 day auctions will launch on Tuesday for sure. This stunner will be for sale via Buy It Now too:

Pick of the litter. Just wait till you see the rest of it!

xoxo, SJ

SOUTHERN GOTHIC

  My dad is an avid treasure hunter as well; a collector of bark cloth, mid century lamps, and wall art. We often travel together on weekends in search of items to add to his collection + my inventory. Two years ago we headed for Louisiana’s oldest city (and former set of Steel Magnolias), Natchitoches.

 Typical us, we had no prior knowledge of what the city had to offer.  The charming downtown was your typical ‘old town’ – 3 or 4 square blocks of 2 story brick buildings and cobblestones. Only this downtown also had a waterfront. And a lot of greenery. Impressed with how green Natchitoches was, we opted to take a scenic drive.

 What followed were miles upon miles of beautiful farmland, namely fields full of pecan trees. And when I least expected it, there it was. The most haunting sight I’ve ever seen, an old white home largely hidden behind a mess of trees and vines. I had to investigate.

 The driveway was empty. The surrounding grounds could be toured during business hours, which were since over. With the exception of a massive black bumbling bee hovering by the porch we were alone. Or perhaps not. I’m very sensitive to presences and felt watched the entire time. 

 Moments after leaving my dad suffered a mysterious affliction which caused him to lose most of the sight in one eye. Naturally, I think malicious forces from beyond the grave were the culprit. It’s as if they were saying ‘that’s what you get for snooping around’. Thankfully dad made a full recovery after wearing an eye patch for 3 months.

Upon my return home I researched this place of mystery. Magnolia Plantation was on the cutting edge in it’s heyday. Established in 1830, it was well equipped with many cotton gins and hundreds of slaves; who built a great fortune for the Le Comte family. It also stood atop an Indian burial ground. If that doesn’t set the tone for horror, I don’t know what does.

As  sensationalized as the Ghost Adventures episode on it was, they got a few things right. Magnolia Plantation is undoubtedly a very haunted place with a very brutal history.

The basement of the 2 1/2 story main home was used to cure meat, as well as discipline (aka shackle and torture) disobedient slaves. Escaped slaves were often hunted down, then returned and tortured. Once an overseer took slaves to the basement to torture them. Instead they tortured, killed, and cured him. The original ankle shackles used to detain slaves remain in the basement to this day.

The home has a designated ‘dying room’, where several residents and guests have died over the years. Including a Union soldier, who was slowly poisoned and went mad.

When Union soldiers overtook Natchitoches, they attempted to burn Magnolia plantation. The attempt failed, but they did succeed in shooting and killing an overseer at the doorstep. He’s buried on the property, and reputedly haunts the home.

Atypical masonry buildings housed slaves. Each building is subdivided into 2 sections, and each section housed up to 20 slaves. The buildings also housed up to 25 confederate prisoners at a time during the civil war. Many died from suffocation.

 Voodoo graffiti is found everywhere on the property. On the slave houses, the slave hospital, in the main home… even on Christian grave markers. Anthropologists studying the property found many voodoo related artifacts, much to the dismay of the local community – who’d rather downplay the negative parts of their history.

Hundreds of confederate soldiers are said to be buried on the property in unmarked shallow graves. The graves have yet to be found though.

With that said, Magnolia Plantation is considered one of the most haunted places in the south. I’d like to think the trees grow as they do because they hang in shame. Their concealment of the main home is their way of protecting us from the ugliest aspects of humanity.

I originally posted these photos on a personal blog, and had resized them to fit the dimensions of my layout. I regret not saving them in larger sizes and am sometimes tempted to go back and reshoot. But the little voice in my head tells me to steer clear. And little voices are never wrong.

A LITTLE LIPSTICK AND THAT’S IT

Burning the (well past) midnight oil.  Snapped these pics of myself between product photos. A rare glimpse of me – I’m not photogenic at all and therefore very camera shy. I like how some of these tuned out though. They remind me of  Serge Lutens ads from the 70s.

GINGERBREAD

Photos I took a ‘gingerbread’ home in Waxahachie, TX pre-restoration. A couple summers ago. I look forward to photographing more old/abandoned buildings in America soon. Warm weather couldn’t come sooner. These past few days have given me hope.

ARE YOU THERE BEANIE? IT’S ME, SARAH JAYNE

 The selection at Half Price Books never ceases to amaze me. Initially drawn to the art noveau cover but sold on the title/bargain price, this is one of my best impulse buys of late. Tales of ghost dogs, ghost canaries, ghost cows… even ghost hamsters. Oh my.

 I’m a staunch believer in ghosts and paranormal phenomena in general, and have had multiple encounters which reenforce said beliefs. My attitude towards ghosts is that they outnumber the living, surround us constantly, and have the ability to harm us if they pleased. But for the most part they’re good, and if you’re cool with them they’re cool with you.

 I saw a ghost once (a cliched glowing lady dressed in white) at my aunts home during my cousins birthday party. I was 4 or 5 at the time but know damn well what I saw! And thankfully was too young to fear the experience. Ghosts have made their presence known to me many times since, just not in the form of a visual presence – thank god. Immediately following one such encounter I said aloud “I’m fine with you living here. Just don’t show yourself to me, please.” To the ghosts credit my wish was respected. I have a major fear of seeing ghosts. Few things could be more terrifying (as an adult) than seeing one come and go, imo.

 The exception would be if I saw a ghost pet.

 Beanie was a beloved pet I had in high school. As a Siamese the highlights on her nose and butt made her look like a pinto bean, hence the name. Unlike most rats, she was very affectionate  and sat still when pet – a lap rat if there ever was one. Her head was constantly tilted upwards, but not in that snobby ‘who farted?’ sorta way. In a cheery disposition sorta way. She always seemed to smile. Like Babe.

 She also reminded me of my great Aunt Veronica who was born in 1899. Maybe that was just the white hair. 

 Beanie did not outlive great aunt Veronica. Great aunt Veronica died in 2004, thus she technically lived in 3 centuries. But poor Beanie never partied like it’s 1999. She bit the bucket at the ripe old age of 2.  Initially she was plagued by incontinence. But the tumor she lugged around which was larger than her head ultimately did her in.

 I buried her in a cigar box under a tree in our yard at the time. As corny as it sounds, there hasn’t been a day since that Beanie doesn’t cross my mind. I constantly wish she was still around. As a consolation prize I’ve searched endlessly for a similar looking rat (no dice yet, Siamese are rare), and gave serious consideration to pet cloning before I realized how harmful it can be to other animals. Nothing compares to the original Beanie though – hence her ghostly presence would be welcomed.

 Needless to say, this book gives me hope. Perhaps one day when I least expect it Beanie’s ghost will run accross my computer desk. Or sit in my lap as she often did. Or I’ll look in the mirror one day and see a reflection of her ghost resting on my shoulder like ‘heeey!’. It’s a damn shame rats can’t read/write/spell in English. If they could, I’d brave an Ouija board as a means to conjure her. Beanie can make her presence known from beyond the cigar box/scare the shit out of me any time.

 But if her presence has left me for good, maybe it’s because she was perfect (incontinence and all) and achieved Nirvana. It’s NOT because ghosts don’t exist because they definately do – and good luck convincing me otherwise. I’ve had to many experiences that defy any other explanation. If you too believe in ghosts, wish to reconnect with dead pets, and/or have ghost stories to tell now is the time.