Window shopping

Christmas display

Usually, I have an attitude of “bah humbug” when stores debut their Christmas displays before Thanksgiving. In my mind, displaying too much Christmas too early simply pushes the hand of time, and that’s never a good thing. Instead of pushing consumers to think about Christmas months before the first snowflake falls, I personally believe businesses and their customers alike should follow “a predictable and leisurely seasonal succession, with September bringing fall foliage, October bringing pumpkins, November bringing turkeys, and December bringing Santa.” No need to rush into a season that will arrive on its own eventually.

All that being said, I make a blanket exception for the Christmas shop windows at Creative Encounters, an art-supply and frame shop on Main Street in downtown Keene. Over the years and in various seasons, I’ve taken lots of pictures of their window displays. The windows at Creative Encounters aren’t large, but they are always colorful, interesting, and attractive. Just as the mannequins at Miranda’s Verandah always catch my eye, I always find myself admiring whatever is on display at Creative Encounters.

Christmas display

The Christmas windows at Creative Encounters debuted last week, more than a week before Thanksgiving, and I for once am not complaining. On these dark and increasingly gray days, I’m grateful for the spot of color and sparkle these well-designed windows offer. This year’s display at Creative Encounters features a three-sided kiosk that rotates before a wall with several framed mirrors, an arrangement that highlights the various products on sale while also providing a moving, changing display of colors, shapes, and reflections. It might sound strange for me to admit that I stood several moments so I could see the colorful kiosk cycle through its various arrangements, but I wasn’t the only one. Before I could approach the window to snap these shots, Reggie and I held back for about five minutes while a woman and her daughter stood transfixed in front of the display, watching the artfully decorated kiosk turn around and around, offering a kaleidoscopic allure of light and color.


These days, my after-work dog-walks happen long after dark, so I rely more and more on illuminated shop windows to light my way downtown and back home again.

Fall fashions

The headless, well-dressed sisters at Miranda’s Verandah serve as a perennial beacon, loyal neighbors who always stand at silent attention as Reggie and I pass by, sniffing and snapping pictures as are our respective pursuits. How many other passersby–both window-shopping pedestrians and harried rush-hour motorists circling the rotary that Keene curiously terms a “Square”–have Miranda’s weird sisters welcomed over the years from their prime downtown vantage point?


There is something timeless about the classic beauty of a white marble bust, even if the “bust” is merely a jewelry store dummy and the “white marble” is molded plaster. The regal poise of such a pose is slightly diminished, however, when the motif is portrayed in snow by college guys whose taste in busts leans toward the “busty”:

Snow amazon

Standing tall

It’s a good thing I snapped several shots of this Amazonian snow-woman on my walk to campus yesterday, as she’d fallen prey to gravity by the time I walked home. Any woman-of-flesh would tell you that snow-breasts are destined to sag in time…even on a snow-woman with toned, gravity defying arms that would make even First Lady Michelle Obama envious.

Even more evening wear

Yes, there’s yet another dress in the window at Miranda’s Verandah, giving me something snazzy to share (belatedly) for last week’s Photo Friday challenge, Dusk. For even though it looks like the dead of night in this photo, it was only 5:00 pm when I shot it, darkness falling earlier and earlier these days.

Three square meals

On the eve of America’s national holiday devoted to (over)eating, here’s a word in favor of moderation. Although we might, on Thanksgiving, skip breakfast and lunch in order to enjoy one really big meal, on all the other days of the year, it’s best to enjoy three square meals, even if all three of those squares are chocolate.

This divided chocolate bar, which I spotted at Borders while choosing a 2009 day-planner yesterday, reminds me of the one I spotted in Portsmouth, NH over a year ago. Whereas that chocolate bar was all about promoting marital happiness, this one is all about getting one’s own hungers fed: mine, mine, mine!

More evening wear

I wonder what Frank’s daughters think about the latest piece of evening wear on display at Miranda’s Verandah.

Evening wear

We’ve reached that time of year in Keene when it’s dark by 5pm, so on a late afternoon dog-walk downtown, the only things to photograph are shop windows glowing with well-lit evening wear.

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