Saturday, May 31, 2008

Is This The Little Girl I Carried?

Did you hear my exciting news? I am going to be a grandmother again! Some of you may know that Rachel of Seeking Delightful Pleasures is my daughter. Last weekend on their way home from their beach trip they dropped by here to bring me a present.

Believe me, I was surprised by their sweet gift. It took me a couple of seconds to comprehend the news. I knew they were ready for children, But Guys That Was Quick!

My little girl is all grown up and ready for children of her own.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Five Blogs That Make My Day

Thank you Willow , from Life at Willow Manor, for putting me on the list of blogs that make you happy. I am truly honored.

I found my first blog by googling a local artist. I read it and I was hooked from that time on. I love to hear people's stories, to know what makes them happy, to look at their photos, to know a little of what makes them tick. Blogs are the perfect virtual vehicle for doing so. You post when you can, I read when I'm available. We leave messages for each other. We communicate.

It isn't easy to pick five blogs to share. I think like Lavinia Ladyslipper, five hundred is more like it. Please forgive me if I pick some blogs that have been selected previously. I won't put you on the list Willow, Lavinia, Modgirl, Denise, Betsy, Rebecca. I know you have been previously selected and I hope you know that your blogs have been making my day almost the entire time I have been on this blogger's adventure. So here goes.

Please check out:
  1. Seeking Delightful Pleasures because she has been making me happy for 27 years now. If I had put in a special order with God for a daughter, I couldn't have ordered anyone more perfect than the daughter He gave me. She is smart and kind and funny too. We like to watch movies together. She loves to organize her home and mine. She loves a bargain and she is going to make me a grandmother in February.
  2. Mille Fiori Favoriti because of her love for all things Brooklyn and NYC related. Pat just returned home from Ireland so rush on over to her place to take a virtual tour of that lovely green isle.
  3. The Smitten Image because Hillary takes beautiful photographs and loves her boys and has a great sense of humor. She lives in Canada, so give her a warm south of the border welcome if you are from the US.
  4. Posy is a blog you don't want to miss if you like roses and pink and English car-boot sales. Jane is from a seaside town in Devon England. She has an inordinate love of all things girlie and a delightful natural writing style.
  5. Life's Funny Like That because Debby is thoughtful and honest and funny. Her observations touch my heart and make me think.

The rules for this award are:
1) Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make
my day.
2) Acknowledge the post of the award giver (Thank you, Willow!)
3) Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their
blogs with the news!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Still Lost....So Let's Go to the Beach

I watched the season ender for Lost and like the title of this post states-I'm still lost. Locke dead? Desmond found. Hurley crazy. Kate scared or protective? Jack addicted. Yeah, I have no idea what it all means. Or where it all leads.

But that tropical water looked awfully enticing. Let's take a swim! Tonight's post is brought to you by a school of mermaids.
Illustration from The Mermaid and the Major

I belong to a couple of Artist Trading Card groups. ATCs are 2.5 x 3.5 (playing card sized) pieces of original artwork that are traded not sold. The following black and white sketches were scanned into the computer, resized, cut out and colored and used to make ATCs.
Tissue paper was torn and pasted to watercolor paper using gel medium to form the background. The fish and shells are a combination of stickers, postage stamps and cutouts from National Geographic magazines.

This ATC is all digital. The image combines a couple of manipulated pictures into something new. Her fins were drawn and colored using a computer program. When the card was completed I printed it out and pasted it to heavy card stock to make a card to trade.

The next 2 pictures are of a painting I made for a friend. He wanted something that was a spin off of the Absolut Vodka advertisements.

This last mermaid picture is from a weird and delightful book I discovered while thrifting; The Mermaid and the Major ...The True Story of the Invention of the Submarine. The story and illustrations are by Francisco Melendez.

Splish Splash !!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


No, I'm not lost. I'm thinking about the Thursday night 2 hour season end show. I used to try to figure out the plot but I gave up about 1 year and 1/2 ago. Now I just watch for the sheer fantasy/fun of it.

Am I all alone here or are there any Lost fans out there? What's your theory? Who is your favorite character? What is going on on that island?

Is anyone else as lost as me? I'm not sure that tomorrow night's episode will do anything to clear this mind fog of mine. Oh well, just for the fun then.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Cabinet of Curiosities All My Own

Recently, I decided that I want one of these; a cabinet of curiosities. As in, curiosities- An object that arouses interest, as by being novel or extraordinary: kept the carved bone and displayed it as a curiosity. Upon reflection, it seems that I may be getting a late start since a collection of this caliber, given my merger means, would best have been undertaken decades ago. But be that as it may...better late than never, huh?

First things first...the cabinet. It should be made of heavy wood of undetermined origins, stained a deep expresso. For character please add a few strategically placed wormholes. It's shelves must be deep enough to hold the skull of a large jungle cat, delicate enough to display a robin's egg to advantage, and it must let in enough natural light so that viewers are able to count the mosquitoes encased in a hunk of amber resin.

Now let's see, yes of course....some of Betsy's starfish, maybe Lavinia can find me a bird's nest, how about it Willow will you lend me that stuffed rooster? Yep, those objects would make a great beginning for my little cabinet! Okay, yes, that's a good let's see, my conch shell, the Mayan fertility statue BB gave me upon his return from Central America (okay, it's not real I know, but come on-work with me friends!), my genuine pebble from Omaha Beach, that old piece of lava from Hawaii, some arrowheads, some found objects of questionable origins...

....yes, yes, now we're talking, more, more....Oh man I almost forgot! I have to make room for BB's bona fide, real, authentic arrows that he received in trade from an
aboriginal native of Papua New Guinea in return for giving him his own blue jeans.

hand carved

wicked blades...some for pigs and some for men

The rare object, shown below, is in fact a one of a kind artifact known in certain circles as a dust fetish. It was once used by natives of an isolated South Pacific island to ward off dust devils. It's magic powers were legendary on the island. The delicate markings on the base denoted each time this artifact was taken by the warring factions on the island. The shells, which you can see upon close inspection, were given in payment for the fetish's ransom and the pearls denote its great worth to the inhabitants of the island. (can you tell how much I love artistic BS?)

Dust Fetish circa 2001 3-D Art Class
Assignment: take a useful object, take away its usefulness by transforming it into an object of art

How about you? Have anything to donate to my little cabinet of curiosities?

ps Ever wonder who thinks up the stuff in the movies? Check this out to find the real life inspiration for Indiana's crystal skull.

Food for Thought

Do you like to read books about food or cooking?

Some people collect cookbooks. Thumbing through recipes or making meal plans is a hobby for them. I cannot honestly say that I am one of these people although I do tear out the occasional recipe from a lady's magazine or print out one from the internet. I especially like the ones that someone else has recommended. Some of my favorite recipes have been torn from our local Wednesday Food Section of the paper.

I wish I had some of my grandmother's recipes. She made a delicious Orange Cake. She baked it in an angel food cake pan and when it came out of the oven she would drizzle a sugary glaze over it. Our whole family remembers it with the fondest of memories, but alas the recipe died with her. She made it from memory. I wonder if any of my cooking will be legendary in my children's minds after I am gone.

Me and Grandmother on my 1st Birthday

I did learn to make Chicken and Dumplings from Grandmother. These instructions weren't written down either. I stood beside her in the kitchen and watched her mix the ingredients, roll out the dough, drop the dumplings into the broth one by one, gentling swirling the pot to cover each dumpling as it floated in the savory broth. My grandmother has been gone for over 15 years now. By request of my youngest son, I prepared this dish as part of his birthday meal a couple of years ago. My daddy took one taste and asked me if this was his mother's recipe. I knew I had the recipe right.

Me and Grandmother when she was about 80

Two Fat Ladies was my favorite cooking show from the first moment I laid eyes on those two motorcycle and sidecar riding ladies, Clarrisa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson. What a hoot and what an education...pommes frites rather than french fries does sound ever so posh. And with all the butter and cream they used, well their dishes surely had to be tasty didn't they? I loved it that they served these meals to such diverse groups as the Scottish Fireman's Brigade and to the students of a boy's prep school.

Have you ever wondered why a recipe might also be called a receipt? Well since this inquiring mind wanted to know, I looked it up.

Receipt is an old form that means the same as recipe. Both derive from Latin recipere, to receive or take. Receipt was first used in medieval English as a formula or prescription for a medicinal preparation (Chaucer is the first known user, in the Canterbury Tales of about 1386). The sense of “a written statement saying that money or goods have been received” only arrived at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
Hence Rx for a prescription. Cool.

I think we should use more culinary words and phrases in our everyday speech; like gustatory, epicurean, gourmand, gastronome, repast, provender, potable, having to eat one's own words, having an attitude like sour grapes, enjoying life with relish and gusto....

No one writes about food like Ruth Reichl. I first read her Tender At The Bone a number of years ago. This book is her semi-autobiographical ode to her love affair with food and her journey from her childhood kitchen to her work as the editor of Gourmet magazine. Her descriptive food vocabulary is so exact the reader almost tastes the dish along with her. She has since written Comfort Me With Apples and Garlic and Sapphires.

Like Water for Chocolate
is another one of those books that melds food and fantasy with an almost invisible line connecting the two. While reading I felt myself being transported into the Mexican kitchen of her story so that I could chop chilies along with the other characters in the book.

And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul -Plato

Language and words are like food to me. Food for thought. Big bites of life. Flavor for a day to day world. Tasty experiences and savory memories. Mmmmmmm.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A List of Stuff

Chinese lanterns, catching lightening bugs at dusk, soft spring breezes, ripples on water, the sound of pond frogs croaking at night, cricket songs in the summer, leaves floating on the breeze, babies laughing, watching a movie in an empty theater on a hot summer day, road trips, covered bridges, multicolored sunsets, crunching ice, fresh paint on a canvas, old postcards, sweet cantaloupe slices, watching cloud shadows rolling over hills and valleys, newly painted toenails, the art book section of a bookstore, scrapbook paper, Pentel pens-medium point please, chocolate milk before bed, back scratchers, holding hands, real leather purses, the sound of children playing outside, the smell of a new mown lawn, a warm quilt on a cold night, camping out, new Elizabeth Berg or Amy Tan books, art supplies, cold watermelon, the feel of exquisite linens between my fingers, the creamy texture of old pottery, walking barefoot in the grass, attending an outdoor concert, stargazing, old maps, cutting and pasting paper, icy cold cokes that have a bite, beautifully constructed sentences, pictures of my babies, guitar music, granny smith apple green, all the words for the color blue; azure, cerulean, phthalo, ultramarine, prussian, the first bite of a lemon icebox pie, watching the moon rise, bird songs, taking off in a plane, walking on the beach late in the afternoon, dangly earrings, pearl baby bracelets, embroidery floss, vintage photographs...these are a few of my favorite things.

The Giant
by N.C. Wyeth

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Evening

Just came inside from trying out my new weedeater. It is the kind that powers off a battery....said battery does not hold a charge for very long, but that is okay because I am out of energy myself. This is my first time to weedeat because I have always had someone else living here to do it. I will have to work on my skill level.

It is SO Hot and SO Humid here today. Even at 7:30 at night I am wringing wet. UGH!

I went over to my daughter's to water her garden while they are away on a long weekend. They have poison ivy in all kind of cracks and crevices. I looked in the mirror and see that I have a suspicious red patch on my face. Please tell me I DID NOT touch anything that had poison ivy on it PLEASE!!!!

I saw the new Indiana Jones movie today. I give it a thumbs up. Harrison Ford moves pretty good for an old man!

I finished this book.

And I started this book.

Please ignore the wonky Search Inside message...I didn't have time to find better images....stole these off Amazon.

I bought one of these today because a co-worker says they revolutionized the way she thinks about dusting...I thought heck if I can get rid of all the dust in the house instead of just move it to a new location, I'll be happy. So I am giving it a try.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Little Birdie

When I was young my mother always knew everything. It was as if she had eyes in the back of her head. I would ask her, "how did you know that?" Her answer to me would be "because a little birdie told me so." I was afraid to do anything wrong because that darn bird always told on me!

My middle name is Wren. It isn't a family name, just something my mother liked. I always hated my middle name until I decided to make it work for me. When I began my first crafting venture I named my little business Wren's Nest. I've found that the name isn't all that unique, but I bet I am the only person who choose that name for their business because it is their middle name. lol
Bird is made using 2 different fonts and the letters O, L, C and V.

How about you? Love your middle name or hate it?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thoughts On Being 9 Years Old

As I remember it my childhood was a time of dualities. Being carefree vs. worries about things I didn''t quite understand. I was the type of child who sat under the table and listened to the grownups talk. I didn't want to miss anything. As a result, I worried about things that should have been outside of my realm of care. I was a dreamer who was also the eldest child so I was expected to act responsibly. I was fearful when I should have been fearless. I was chubby and had wavy hair ( I didn't fit the beauty benchmarks of my youth). I loved to read and lived inside of my books. I wasn't mathematical and was terrorized by my grammar school math teacher. She was mean! I didn't feel very good about myself.

I was challenged by this post to think back to when I was 9 years old and come up with my own 9 yr wish list.

  1. Mother will only buy me cute shoes from now on-no more sensible oxford lace ups.
  2. My local library will stock up on all the books I love so that I can read all of the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden books ever written.
  3. I will get to ride my bike in the street and my little sister will have to wait until she is 9 to be allowed to do so. (not when she is 7 when I had to wait until I was 9)
  4. I will be allowed to purchase more Popsicles from the ice cream truck.
  5. I get my own bedroom, no more sharing.
  6. Never ever never again will I have to eat squash or boiled okra!
  7. No more being sent to take a bath in an scary empty house while the rest of the family sits out on the front porch. (this scared me so much that I whistled the whole time I was in there by myself, I whistled because I imagined that if I stopped they would know something was wrong and they would rush in to rescue me from unknown terror)
  8. I will be allowed to shave my hairy legs and wear hose instead of stupid white ankle socks.

What about you? How do you remember your childhood? What type of rules would you have written for yourself?

Favorite Spots Here at Home

Today I am participating in an online home tour sponsored by this site. We were challenged to post about something in our home that we really like.

My favorite redo in my home is this:

My great room originally had greyish barn wood paneling. It made the room seem cozy at night but during the day it looked washed out and dusty. We painted the paneling yellow, the ceiling and rafters white and the cedar mantel white. But the painted cedar mantel was so ugly!

Many times I tried to think of how to redo the mantel to update it. The seeming unsurmountable problem was that the two beams that supported the mantel were embedded into the brickwork. If you took the old mantel down you would be left with the holes where the beams had been.

One day, while shopping at Home Goods, I found two of these pillars. A plan began to form in my mind....
I drew this picture of how I envisioned the new mantel should be built using the pillars from Home Goods for the end supports.

My ex-husband was hired to do the handiwork (weird I know but he is good at this sort of thing) and voila....I have a beautiful mantel now where my old eyesore had been.

Look for more favorite things and places in my home here and here and here.

Thanks for visiting and ya'll come back soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Evening

When I was young I was afraid to jump off the porch wall even though all my friends would do it. I have never been very coordinated. Do you think I wouldn't jump because I wasn't coordinated or I'm not coordinated because I wouldn't jump? Hmmmm........

I picked up this movie from my local public library and watched it this weekend. What a gem! It's sweet and funny and quirkie. Try it. Bet you'll like it.

Ludlow: Do you love him?
Myra: Lud, we've only had one date
Myra: and two fights.

Remember Chatty Cathy Dolls? My sister had the blonde-haired blue-eyed one and mine had brown hair and eyes. Gosh I wish one of us had kept our doll.

Sis was the doll person and I was the book person. She would play dolls for, just long enough to dress them and decorate their homes, then it was back to the books. Sis also had a Charming Chatty.

I made this Artist Trading Card a few years ago to celebrate my sister and my relationship. That is us sitting in the grass together.

I spent yesterday afternoon visiting with family. My daughter-in-law is homeschooling these two bright and inquisitive little girls. They are standing in front of the models they are making of the organs of the body.

Daddy helped them crack open the geodes that are on the table. Little brother sure did try to get his hands on them.

He doesn't look too happy does he? Nobody lets him get ahold of the good stuff! He is wearing his lunch on his belly proudly though.

This one is always willing to pose for a picture. Isn't she cute? It was a beautiful day for a picture beside a fountain.

Here is my mother's day present from the girls. They made these cute little suns in their pottery class. They have the creative gene don't they?

Here's a quote for the day. Sorry, I don't remember who wrote it.

"To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think-spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that's a heck of a day."

Go have a heck of a day!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Favorite Color

When I like something I tend to stick with it for a long time. Case in point...I loved my previous comforter and sheet set. You could say it was my favorite. It was Charlotte IV Green by Ralph Lauren. I collected all the pieces one by one when they were on close out at various stores.

When freshly laundered they felt like soft suede. The set aged gracefully until about 9 months ago when I realized that my sheets and pillowcases were threadbare. Eventually they began to rip. What should I expect? By my best estimate, the set was over 11 years old.

Time to redecorate. Problem is I'm not drawn to anything on the market right now. I've bought my new bedding piece by piece. It's not my favorite like the last set, but I do like the colors, red and orange and cream.

I love color. Bright, muted, jewel tones, pastels; I love them all. But if I had to pick a favorite if would be red.

I plan to paint the walls this summer a soft dove gray. I think this will be a soothing neutral background to all the bright color...after all this room is supposed to be restful.

This little vignette on my bedroom wall is one of my favorites. The doorknob was discovered in an antique store, the small cloisonné cross on the bottom right was purchased as a souvenir from Chartres Cathedral in France, the cherub is from Austria and I put the peacock feather on bronze fabric and used a frame bought on sale from Hobby Lobby to finish it off.

My mother gave me this unique jewelry box with a clock on the lid as a present a few years ago. It makes a fun addition to my clock collection.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing just a few more of my favorite things.