Friday, November 28, 2008

Antique Inspiration For A Modern Look

An Anthropologie catalog came in the mail today. I never toss them in the trash unopened. I pour over ever page. I may have said this before, but I'll say it again. I love their design aesthetic. I'm inspired by their advertising savvy. Each catalog is an artistic delight.

I noticed something tonight and just wanted to ask if you see the similarities too.

Anthro advertisement:

Vermeer painting:
Anthro advertisement:

Vermeer painting:

Anthro advertisement:

Vermeer painting:

Anthro advertisement:

Vermeer painting:

By the way, I thought you might like to see the scale of Vermeer's intricate masterpieces.

Because of the refined detailing, I had imagined that they would be rather large, instead they are almost miniatures. I don't suppose he listened to his art instructors when they said "Draw bigger, fill the whole space!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Until Next Year

The football game is over. The kitchen is clean. The tablecloth is in the wash. The leftovers have been divided up and sent home with family. The house is quiet again.

Time to pack the Turkey away until next year.

Time for me to crawl up in the bed and pull the covers over my head!

Wishing You A Happy Thanksgiving!

Like Mary B. wrote to Miss Lana Trim in 1909, "I wish you could be with me and help eat our Thanksgiving dinner."

I am deeply grateful that I have met such nice people in the blog world this year.

I trust that each one of you is spending this day with those that you love.

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Work continues to be slow. I continue to doodle on everything. Here's a glimpse at some of the latest sketches.

My hand:

Mozart from a CD case:

My cup of pens and markers:

My granddaughter, from a photograph on my desk:

Monet painting in his Japanese garden:
Like Jessica said in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit:' I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way!

Just Once Please!

This phenomenon is on my want to see "Once in My Lifetime" list.

Yep, I want to see the aurora borealis, but since it is only visible the closer in the Northern Hemisphere you get to the poles, I'm afraid the chances of this Southern Belle aren't very good. But why put things on your must see list that you can walk out the front door and see any time.

This amazing phenomenon was named in 1621 after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and combined with the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.

The Northern Lights have been described as bands, curtain or streamers of colored light. In the Southern Hemisphere the lights are called the Aurora Australis. Here is a short explanation of the science behind this natural wonder:

The sun gives off high-energy charged particles (also called ions) that travel out into space at speeds of 300 to 1200 kilometres per second. A cloud of such particles is called a plasma. The stream of plasma coming from the sun is known as the solar wind. As the solar wind interacts with the edge of the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles are trapped by it and they follow the lines of magnetic force down into the ionosphere, the section of the earth's atmosphere that extends from about 60 to 600 kilometres above the earth's surface. When the particles collide with the gases in the ionosphere they start to glow, producing the spectacle that we know as the auroras, northern and southern. The array of colours consists of red, green, blue and violet.

I'm sure you'll agree that seeing the Aurora Borealis would be out of this world.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I Did While Watching Trading Spaces

I enjoy watching home decorating shows. HGTV is one of my favorite cable networks. Occasionally, I have been inspired to try my own hand at re-purposing items. I've lived in this house almost 22 years. Most of that time I really disliked the light fixture in the hall. One night while watching Trading Spaces something snapped.

I grabbed a screwdriver and dismantled the fixture, leaving only the main support crosses at the top and the twin lightbulb holders. I found some rub on silver paint and changed the parts that were left from gaudy gold to stylish silver. I twisted and twirled soldiering wire wildly around the whole thing. I wrapped cobalt blue stones in the wire and hung them randomly. A long strand of colbalt seed beads, left over from my beading hobby days, was wound around and around. Then I added real prisms which I had saved from a broken lamp and a strand of prism garland. The finishing touch was a dangling Christmas prism ornament.

The result is a lop-sided one of a kind crazy quilt of a hall chandelier.

I cleaned it tonight and tried to rearrange it's disheveled shape. My 6 ft. 4 in. son can't help but run into it when he walks down the hall.

What about you? What is your craziest home project?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Washed clothes-check
Touched up paint in the bathroom that has been out of service for almost 3 years-check
Peeled wallpaper in the hall bathroom-check
Cleaned both bathrooms-check
Moved my stuff back into the finally FINISHED bathroom-yeah!-check
Dragged my dead tired body to Sips and Strokes to meet friends-check
Had a good time-check

The goofy looking girl at the bottom was the instructor. Too bad her eyes were closed. Too bad I look crappy. But I do like my picture this time.

Tomorrow, grocery shopping, cooking, more cleaning, more clothes washing, present wrapping (a shower for pregnant daughter is Monday night)...more of everything!

Lest you think I am superwoman...a very good friend helped me get a lot done last night and this morning. Thanks Nancy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Practical Magic?

I found this article today over at the National Geographic site fresh from their " believe it or not" files.

Invisibility Cloak "Feasible Now"

The latest milestone in the quest for a Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak has been reached: a way of bending the geometry of space so that light from all directions travels around an object, rather than hitting it. Unable to interact with light, the hidden object is therefore invisible, a new study found.....The science behind his study isn't new. "If you look at a fish [in an aquarium] it's not where it appears to be," Leonhardt said. That's because our brains insist on viewing light as having traveled in a straight line, when in fact the water has bent it. Glass does the same thing, which is why telescope lenses make objects appear closer.An invisibility cloak would simply replicate this process in a more sophisticated way.....

Just thought you might like a peek at what might be coming down the pike in the future. Think of the possibilities!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yankee Doodle Dandy

I don't have time for a real post, but I thought you might like this.

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

Father and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Gooding
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy

There was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion
A-giving orders to his men
I guess there was a million.

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.
Why did yankee doodle stick a feather in his hat and call it macaroni? Back in Pre-Revolutionary America when the song "Yankee Doodle" was first popular, the singer was not referring to the pasta "macaroni" in the line that reads "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni". "Macaroni" was a fancy ("dandy") style of Italian dress widely imitated in England at the time. By sticking a feather in his cap and calling himself a "dandy," Yankee Doodle was proudly proclaiming himself to be a gentleman of some social standing.
British troops used the song to make fun of the American colonists during the Revolutionary War. Yet it became the American colonists' rallying anthem for that war. At the time the Revolutionary War began, Americans were proud to be called yankees and "Yankee Doodle" became the colonists most stirring anthem of defiance and liberty. During Pre-Revolutionary America when the song "Yankee Doodle" first became popular, the word macaroni in the line that reads "stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni" didn't refer to the pasta. Instead, "Macaroni" was a fancy and overdressed ("dandy") style of Italian clothing widely imitated in England at the time. So by just sticking a feather in his cap and calling himself a "Macaroni", Yankee Doodle was proudly proclaiming himself to be a country bumpkin (an awkward and unsophisticated person), because that was how the English regarded most colonials at that time.

Yankee Doodle Dandy-James Cagney 1942

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Making My List And Checking It Twice

I'm busy making my list. No, not for Christmas. I'm making lists for Thanksgiving. I'm hosting this year. Twenty-four will attend, give or take a few. The dining room table will be expanded to it's full capacity of 14. The folding table in the basement will be emptied of it's sewing machine and it will extend the seating by another 5 or 6. A children's table will be set in the kitchen.

This year my sister is supplying the turkey, sweet potatoes and a pie. I am making the dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Additionally, I will cook turnip greens, a squash casserole and maybe a pecan pie. My sister in law is bringing asparagus, hashbrown casserole and rolls. My niece is bringing macaroni and cheese. My mother will bring some peas. I haven't talked to my daughter in law yet about what she will make, maybe a dessert or some stuffed eggs. My youngest son said he will bring tomato, cucumber salad. There will be enough food for a army. It will be delicious.

But, first I must clean the house, clear the sewing table, shop for groceries, pre-cook a couple of pans of cornbread for the stuffing, find the tableclothes and wash the china.

You can see why I have been making lists. It is a lot to do and I won't have any extra off days between now and then. If you don't hear from me much, you know what I will be doing.

What about you. What are your plans? Does your family have any special holiday traditions? My newest tradition is having my sons help me get the Christmas tree out of the basement and the rest of the decorations out of the attic before they go home on Thanksgiving, so I can get the house decked out for the next holiday as soon as this one has ended.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Maybe it's just me but I wasn't impressed with the new Bond movie. I liked Daniel Craig's first foray into 007 territory with his debut in Casino Royale, but Quantum of Solace left me cold. While Bond movies are known for their fast paced action scenes, the chases in this movie were disjointed and hard to follow. For me that has always been one of the best things about watching 007; being able to follow him work his way through impossible action sequences and chase scenes.Bond is supposed to be sharp, suave and savvy, not a fearsome, stone cold killing machine. I didn't find much solace in this 007 story, but there was a quantum of fierce action.

Dream Itinerary For The Grape Escape

Hurry jump on your Vespa and let's start my dream tour of Rome. Nowhere else can such a unique combination of history, religion, art, and culture be found. We'll see ancient ruins, religious landmarks, famed museums, and remarkable public squares – not to mention eat some wonderful food. So hold onto your scarves and fanny packs and let's get this show on the road!

The Pantheon
The Pantheon - is one of Italy’s most beautiful and stunning buildings and has stood for nearly 2,000 years. Admission is free and is open during daylight hours. Built around 120 A.D., the Pantheon is the best preserved of all ancient Roman buildings. Originally dedicated to the major Roman gods by the emperor Hadrian, this building was consecrated (and thus saved) as a church in the 600s.
The Parthenon

The Colosseum
The Collosseum - one of the world’s most famous structures and the gem of Italy. Tickets are €8.00; hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. during winter). The Colosseum is located near the ancient center of Rome, and although not as well preserved as the Pantheon, is still a marvel to behold. Commissioned by the emperor Vespasian in the 70s A.D., the Colosseum was originally used as a sports complex where gladiators fought. When Constantine took over Rome and began to Christianize the empire in the 600s, he outlawed all forms of gladiator games and blood sport. Following this time, the Colosseum was abandoned and stripped of many of its treasure.

The Coliseum

St. Peter’s
Over two thousand years of Roman and Christian history are represented and found in the history of St. Peter’s. History tells us that St. Peter (one of the original twelve disciples and founder of the Church) was crucified around 65 A.D. in Nero’s Circus. It is said that he was buried nearby in a small cemetery on Vatican Hill. This spot is thought to lie directly below the current dome of St. Peter’s and is marked by a magnificent baldacchino. The Vatican is the home of the papal seat and the center of the Catholic Church. Artistic masterpieces and architectural design by such greats as Michelangelo, Bramante, Bernini, and Maderno grace its halls.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

The Roman Forum and Palantine Hill
Unlike the Pantheon and the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Imperial Forums, and Palantine Hill are ruins. They no longer exist in the original magnificence. Still the ruins leave behind important clues about what once was and with a little imagination, you can picture yourself walking amongst Rome’s ancient rulers and elite. The Roman Forum is the most famous of the Roman ruins and is a must see sight in Rome. The Palantine Hill also includes many famous ruins but is not as fully excavated or as popular – it is a great quiet place of a picnic and wander at will amidst the ruins.

The Roman Forum

San Clemente
In San Clemente, you can truly see the different layers of Roman history. First you enter into a medieval church built in the 1100s and decorated with frescoes that date from the 15th -18th centuries. The current church is beautiful – but what is even more wonderful is what lies beneath it – three older structures, each taking you further back in time! Find the staircase in the back right corner of the sacristy and descend into the ruins of a fourth century Christian church. Even more remarkable, descend further to find the ruins of two ancient Roman structures – one an ancient house with three rooms dedicated to the worship of the Persian god Mithras, the other an ancient warehouse.

San Clemente

Piazza Navona
The Piazza Navona sits upon the ruins of the ancient Circus Domitianus. The present day piazza is ovular in shape and owes its shape to the ancient race track that once occupied the space. The Piazza is marked by three beautiful fountains, the most famous being the center fountain by the great Bernini. The center of the fountain is marked by a tall Egyptian obelisk and surrounding it are four figures representing the great rivers of the world. Another famous landmark in the piazza is the church of Saint Agnese. The facade of St. Agnese was designed by Borromini. Legend says that Bernini designed one of his figures in the fountain (the one covering its face) as a reflection of his thoughts on Borromini’s design – the two were great artistic rivals.

Piazza Navona

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain is a large sculptural fountain in the Baroque style. The fountain is famous for the legend that if you throw a coin into the fountain you are sure to return to the Eternal City. The fountain has been used as a backdrop in movies such as Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain.

Capitoline Museums
Italy and its museums are home to some of the most renowned statues in the world. The Capitoline Museums are open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (closed Mondays); tickets cost €6.20. The museum contains many ancient sculptures from Rome, Greece and Egyptian, such as the fragments of a giant colossal statute displayed in the museum’s courtyard. It also contains a picture gallery.

Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Museums are vast and contain many treasures collected over thousands of years. The Vatican Museums are located in the papal palace and the most famous room inside the museum is the Sistine Chapel. As many know, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel contains Michelangelo’s most famous fresco painting.
After all of our sightseeing I hope you won't be too tired for some grape stomping and wine tasting. Dash over to Muse Swings and The Birdbath Chronicles and you won't miss a thing. See you later!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Just Saying.....

My bags are packed. My passport is up to date. I was almost ready to fly to Italy for the Grape Escape tomorrow, but while reading up on the country I've discovered some disturbing information.

If this is the attitude in Italy currently...well I'm just saying....maybe I'll have to stay home. I mean come on, grazie a Dio per il testosterone.
Please read the following and let me know your feelings on the subject.

Groin scratching becomes a touchy subject

By Sara Everingham

Posted Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:44pm AEDT
Updated Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:09pm AEDT

Italy's highest appeals court has ruled that it is a criminal offence for men to touch their groins in public.

The ruling came after a 42-year-old man from Como, near Milan, was convicted of indecent behaviour for touching his groin through his clothing in the presence of other people.

According to reports, his lawyer argued it was nothing more than an involuntary movement. But he was fined 200 euros ($320) and had to pay another 1,000 euros in court costs.

So how common is it for Italian men to touch their "attributi" as it is known?

"They do it normally when they see a hearse drive past, because for them it's a superstition. So for some reason they touch their groin to ward off - I don't know - to ward off any ill that might become of it," said an Italian man in Sydney's Leichhardt area.

When asked if he sees it happening in Australia, the man replied:

"Are you kidding? I think Australians do it more than Italians. Especially with the stubby shorts, because the stubby shorts must be uncomfortable so they're always adjusting them."

Some are pleased by the ruling.

"If they passed the rule, I think ... [I] agree with that rule," said another.

"It's all superstition. I don't think the younger generation believe in this thing anymore. Like you say, 'touch wood' ... and they say, 'touch ...' - that's it. But I don't think, I think it's not right."

But for those still carrying on the tradition, it might - according to Allan Pease, an author of a book on body language - be a hard habit to break.

"Well, it's like any gesture. Most of us who have a repetitive gesture - and we all do, we all have at least one or two or three of these. It might be a nose scratch or a maybe just a hair twirl or an ear pull. In other cases for men, a crotch adjustment - if they've been doing that for a long period of time [it is hard to stop]. First of all, we don't really normally know that we're doing these things."

Whatever the reason, Tony Palumbo from SBS Radio's Italian Program says it is unlikely there will be a crackdown.

"In Italy we've got thousands of laws and nobody takes care of them ... it is surprising that such a high court has got time to worry about this," he said.

What A Difference A Day Makes



Rainy or sunny, either way, I have a lot of leaves to rake.

May your Sunday be filled with sunshine and smiles, family and fun and lots of rest and relaxation.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Bright Spot On A Dreary Day

I love to make up stories to tell my grandchildren. They are mostly stream of consciousness type tales, with one word flowing into another effortlessly. In them furniture is allowed to walk and talk. Little girls with red pigtails may hunt for dinosaur bones with their friends. Children can do heroic things. The world is occasionally tested and found to be topsy turvy. My fun is found in my grandbabies eyes, their big-eyed looks of incredulity, their cries for more when the end is pronounced.

I ran across this video today. She might be an author in the making. She sure can tell a story!

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

I've always said there are four words that every child in the world knows, and those are, "Tell me a story,." Don Hewitt

Friday, November 14, 2008


Today was one of those fall days that start out wet and foggy and end little improved.

But one postitive thing can be said about overcast days.

Dark dreary skies make a perfect backdrop for bright fall color.

I'm off to meet a friend for Chinese food and to see the Quantum of Solace. Hope you have plans for time well spent tonight also!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Some Nonsense!

There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, 'It is just as I feared! -

Two Owls and a Hen,

Four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard!'

-Edward Lear, "Book of Nonsense"

Today was almost unbearably long. So glad it is over! How about your day? Got any
news to report?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Are A Nation Of Many Voices

This week in addition to thinking about the meaning of Veteran's Day, I've been reflecting on our recent election and all that it entails for our nation. As Americans, we sometimes agree and we sometimes don't. The important thing is that we can have a free and unrestricted dialogue with one another. A measure of our national stability is our ability to engage in public discourse with civility and kindness. Freedom of speech is the most important freedom that we are guaranteed in the Constitution.

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
-Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States

Like I said...just thinking.

A Grateful Nation

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
George Washington

Today, a grateful nation remembers and thanks you.