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Friday, February 29, 2008

Many, Many Thanks!

I very much appreciate all the encouraging comments I have received over the past few days. I have not been able to put much time into blogging matters lately due to taking care of my 89-year old Mother who is staying with me, while my sister and her husband are vacationing. She developed a severe cold with racking cough, and terrible wheezing.

Our prayers, cough medicine, antibiotics, and Vitamin C has taken effect and she is doing much better now.

It's great to have others take an interest in our concerns. Many, many thanks to each of you!

Friday Show and Tell: African Style and Design

Show and Tell

Show and tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home.

Back in February 1996 I noticed a student on campus with a colorful canvas bag for Black History Month. When told that it was available in the college bookstore, I went over and got one for myself. Inside each bag was a leaflet with a bibliography of books on the theme for the month.

Today is February 29, the last day of Black History Month 2008 so I thought I'd do a post on a couple books on African design and style.

A few years back, I saw a program on HGTV featuring interior designers, Sharne Algotsson and Denys Davis, authors of The Spirit of African Design. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1996. In the Preface they state "our goal was to take traditional African art out of the museum and look at it in the home." "We have chosen to showcase homes around us (including our own), sharing their creative use of African and African-inspired art and design."



"Kitchens and Dining Rooms"

"Furniture Forms"

"Africa in Your Backyard"

Another book featuring African design is African Style by Stephane Guibourge. Paris: Flammarion, 2000.


The author Stephane Guibourge is a novelist and journalist. "In the course of his many trips to Africa he has developed a passion for African art and crafts." Designer Annie Desgrippes and photographer Frederic Morellec selected and skillfully presented nearly two hundred items that reflect the African lifestyle. The four sections of the book cover Materials, Colors, Patterns, Shapes.

"Colors"

"Patterns"

These two books provide an introduction to a fascinating range of design and style which we do not see very often. I hope this brief post whets your interest in African design and style.

To visit other Show and Tell posts, please go to Kelli’s. Thank you for coming by. Please leave a comment and do come again soon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday


I am grateful for a number of blessings today.

The promise of the text, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2Cor. 12:9

My mother is recovering from a bad cough and cold which had her down the past few days. She has expressed over and over her thanks for my taking care of her this past week, while my sister and her husband (at whose home she lives) are vacationing overseas.

That I have been able to hold off coming down with a cold myself.

A kind friend who came by yesterday surprised me with an inspirational gift book.

The expectation of spring. The snow will not keep coming, nor will it stay cold forever!

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever.’
Psalm 118:28-29


For more Thankful Thursday posts, please visit Iris here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter - At Home (Week 4)


Wildflower Morning hosts a weekly event called Wildflowers in Winter to post about wildflowers. The theme for week 4 from February 6-12 is Wildflowers in the Home. "Decorating with wildflowers. Show us dishes or other decorations made by you or someone else that you have in your home."

Looking around my kitchen I spotted some Corning Ware in the "Cornflower Blue" pattern. This Corning Ware pattern was produced for about thirty years up to the 1970’s. Of all the various designs produced by Corning, Cornflower Blue became an American classic.
As oven, stovetop and then microwave safe examples were offered, cooks made use of these versatile wares. Sets in various sizes were ubiquitous bridal shower or wedding presents for decades. At potlucks, you needed to mark your casserole in order to retrieve the right one to take home. I used my 2-quart casserole for many dinners and potlucks.


This Petite Pan and its plastic storage lid was handy when I was a graduate student.


Last month I found these two casseroles (1 qt. and 1 ½ qt.) and one glass cover at a thrift shop for $3.00.

The 22-ounce and 7-inch pans and 1-quart Saucemaker are also thrift finds in great condition.


These well-made and sturdy wares have become collectible.

Here is a photo of the cornflower plant with its bright blue hue. Didn't the designer for Corning Ware interpret the flower well?

For more about art and wildflowers, do visit Elizabeth Joy at Wildflower Morning for a comprehensive list of posts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thankful Thursday


Things for which I give thanks today include:

That although my right thumb is almost unusable and sore, I am getting most things done that need doing.

That my mother (who is here with me since Sunday for a visit) has found an item which she had misplaced months ago. Praise the Lord! This had caused so much trouble.

Persons who sacrificed to insure that everyone has access to various civil liberties and opportunities.
I am grateful for those who sacrificed during The Civil Rights movement and the following women’s rights movement to bring our society to be sensitive to the needs of people who are different from ourselves
I am thankful also that the United States of America has reached the point of two historic firsts in national politics -- a woman and a African-American male are serious contenders for the nomination to the office of president of the United States. Of course, of first importance in deciding to vote, are the necessary qualifications of each candidate for carrying out the duties of President of the United States.

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
To shew forth thy lovingkindnes in the morning,
and thy faithfulness every night."
Ps. 92:1-2.

For more Thankful Thursday posts, visit Iris here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wildflowers in Art: Mayflower


Wildflower Morning has a weekly event called Wildflowers in Winter to post about wildflowers. The theme for week 6 from February 20-26 is Wildflowers in Art – "Share art made by you or someone else that features wildflowers."

My item this week is an oil painting by C. Leon Strickland entitled "Mayflower." It hangs in a wall grouping in the dining room.


I tried to buy it at an Apple Festival where a silent auction allowed buyers to leave a written bid on a list for the item desired. You had to keep going back to see if someone else had written a bid below yours. If so you wrote a higher bid under that. When the bidding time was up the last bidder on the item’s list won the item.
Well, someone else did outbid me for this wildflower painting. However, the following day he decided he did not want the painting after all and returned it to the artist. So I was able to buy it directly from the artist. The local frame shop framed it for me with a linen liner in a molded gilt frame.



Here is some information about the mayflower:
The mayflower is "a low-growing evergreen shrub of eastern North America with leathery leaves and clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers"
The official flower of Massachusetts is the mayflower, also known as the trailing arbutus.
On May 1, 1918, the state's legislature designated the mayflower as the official "flower or floral emblem" of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Just below the Mayflower painting is a signed piece called "Acoma Pot with Sunflowers" by James Yarnell. I had it framed at the same local frame shop using two shades of green mats and a narrow gilt frame.



For more about art and wildflowers, do visit Elizabeth Joy at Wildflower Morning for a comprehensive list of posts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Show & Tell: Butterfly Picture

Show and Tell

Show and tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home
Today’s post features an unusual framed picture I purchased at TJ Maxx a few years ago. Like last week's sculptures, this was also made in South Africa.



This picture is of an African woman carrying a bowl of produce on her head. The picture is made up of butterfly wings on a white cotton backing, framed in a gilt frame.




On the back a printed label reads:
"This picture of An African woman is made from real butterfly wings. These butterflies have lived for only a short period of time and have died naturally. The wings have been treated and preserved. Butterflies are truly the ‘jewels of creation’." Another paper label states, "Hand Made in South Africa"

The picture hangs in the hallway along with prints from China, Japan and Mount Vernon in Virginia.

To visit other Show and Tell posts, please go to Kelli’s. Do come again soon. Please leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!



Happy
Valentine's
Day
Dear Friends!
--clipart Dover Publications

Thankful Thursday - Trust in Him


Today I would like to give thanks for the blessing of beautiful hymns and songs. Their lyrics give expression to our confidence in the Savior’s sustaining love and give us hope as we face each days challenges.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
Words: Bill & Gloria Gaither

An important facet of the hymns and songs we enjoy are the writers of the wonderful lyrics, such as Bill and Gloria Gaither. With the Gaither's song writing and many Homecoming concerts they have done a tremendous job of spreading joy. I discovered the Homecoming concerts on TV a couple years ago. The joyous singing celebrates God, the Christian life, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His second coming.

The words of the following song express my desire to be always in touch with the truths of the salvation so freely offered and available to each one who will receive it.

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
….
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

For more Thankful Thursday posts please click here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pink In Your House

Angela at Cottage Magpie is holding a Pink &Valentine’s giveaway which ends tonight.

At Oak Rise Cottage there are a lot of greens, blues, peaches, ivory and off-whites. In one room however, pink is the dominant hue. That room is the Royal Rose Guest Bedroom with its floral bed linens and window coverings. My October 17, 2007 post described this room.

Here are some of the pink accessories:
On the bed there is a solid pink pillow which picks up the pinks in the floral fabric.


On the wall opposite the bed a china plate has pink flowers. There are also pink accents in the porcelain plaque in the frame above the plate.

In the corner near the window is a tall picture of pink roses. On the bed tray are other pinks in the accessories.

For more posts visit Angela at Cottage Magpie .

Wildflowers in Winter - Stitchery


I learned from La Tea Dah at Gracious Hospitality that Wildflower Morning has a weekly event called Wildflowers in Winter to post about wildflowers. The theme for week 5 from February 13 to the 19 is "Stitching up Wildflowers." "This will be showing creations made with your favorite textiles (fabric, yarn, thread etc.) and featuring wildflowers in some form."
Here are two items that I believe fit this theme. The first was a Christmas gift from the head of my department. It is a counted cross stitch done by his wife and placed in an ornate oval frame. I am not sure what flower is depicted.


The following framed piece is a crewel embroidery I did from a kit bought at a friend’s party. The pattern is called "Butterfly Garden." It hangs on the wall above the television in my study.



For more stitching with wildflowers, do visit Elizabeth Joy at Wildflower Morning for a comprehensive list of posts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine Greetings

Valentine’s Day if often associated with large heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. The Food Network and others have been airing various interesting programs about chocolate. Valentine’s Day is also associated with flowers. The accompanying card reveals the sender.

Another important Valentine’s Day item is greeting cards. Jenn at The Thrift Shop Romantic has an interesting post about her Victorian Valentine Postcards.
School children exchange whimsical Valentine greetings, such as the one on the left which I received from one of my students during the 1970’s in south Texas. Shaped like a bottle stopper it reads, "For My teacher/ Can’t keep it bottled up!/ U R the 1 4 me/ Be my Valentine." The Hollie Hobbie card was from another student.


Here are some other greeting cards I found when I was locating heart-shaped items described in my Feb. 5 post.
These cards from young nieces and nephews brings a smile to my face. They are set on a large cream platter from Portugal, that has pierced heart decoration around the edge.


The sentiments of cards from family, such as these from my sisters, are lovely to receive.

So is this vintage-looking card from my mother that I put in a white thrift shop frame. [Sorry, I was unable to get these two photos to rotate]


The card on the right came from my aunt and uncle.

During my visit to the hospital guild thrift shop last Friday I found a couple items to add to the collection:
A heart-shaped tin filled with heart-shaped note paper. These came in handy for one of my Valentine mailings.

A tin cookie cutter. It is just the right size to use for tea sandwiches.


My Journey Back has been sharing links to various Valentine-themed posts as part of her Valentine’s Day Party.
I hope that you all receive lots of sweet greeting cards and that your Valentine’s Day will be the best ever.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Show & Tell: Cape Town Carvings

Show and Tell

Show and tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home.

As a young girl with an interest in geography in peoples around the world, I always wanted to have a collection of dolls from various countries. One of my maternal uncles worked on a ship that took him to many countries. At one point he brought our family a 90-plus piece set of porcelain dishes from China. This became the special-occasion set used for holidays and other events.

Although I made known to him my desire for international dolls, he never got any for me. But around my 22nd birthday he came for a visit and handed me a paper sack. I took it with one hand, and immediately sank down to the floor under the weight of its contents. Upon opening it I found two carved heads of dark wood.



My uncle indicated that he had purchased them in Cape Town, South Africa. The sculptures were a combination of smooth and rough textures.




When I received them the finish was a dark uniform color. As a part of my living room d├ęcor they were set on a lamp table or sometimes the coffee table. In time sunlight faded the dark finish and revealed a striated wood underneath.


I have always enjoyed the rich elegance of the forms and so have my friends.






Over the years I even had offers to buy them. But I consider them a treasure with special family ties to my favorite uncle.


To visit other Show and Tell posts, please go to Kelli’s. Do come again soon. Please leave a comment. Thank you for coming by.