Saturday, August 30, 2008

Greenie Queenie ~ Queen Elizabeth goes green . . .

Is that an oil spot I see on the ground beside Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral? Be gone! She has instructed her police bodyguards to trade their gas-guzzling Range Rovers for black mountain bikes whenever possible.

The switch to bicycles is designed to reduce fuel consumption and establish a greener way of guarding the Royal Family during their summer break. The officers are pleased to be getting good workouts and saving fuel at the same time.

This is nothing new for Queen Elizabeth; she started going green more than two decades ago. The main castle's boilers have been converted to burn wood chips instead of oil and she is said to go around Buckingham Palace switching off the lights. Good for her!

The Queens company, The Crown Estate, has purchased the world's largest offshore wind turbine known as the Britannia project.

The company is also involved in the development of offshore windfarms in Scottish waters.

I think it is wonderful that she is so proactive instead of just sitting back and leaving it for Charles to do on his watch.

I hope she discovers the wonderful photos taken from a helicopter of "London from Above, At Night" on The Big Picture. When she sees how many lights are turned on she will probably go out and buy one or two more windfarms!

Content in a Cottage

Pansy faces . . .

I am still going through my old photos to see if there are any worthy of publishing on my blog. The single rain drop on the purple flower commemorates the nice gentle rain we had last night; the scorched grass is getting greener already.

Pansy faces are always appreciated and they send their best wishes for a safe Labor Day weekend. Enjoy!

The name pansy is derived from the French word pensée meaning "thought", and was so named because the flower resembles a human face; in August it nods forward as if deep in thought.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pssst! Long Weekend Ahead ~ Pass It On . . .

The long Labor Day weekend is getting off to a damp start here in New Jersey. We need the rain so I am not complaining. The wet grass will keep me from 'laboring' outside and I am very thankful. I love a rainy day; it gives me permission to play inside without guilt! I am not off the hook entirely as it might clear up later.

I grew up with Norman Rockwell covers on the Saturday Evening Post and 'The Gossip' is one of my favorites.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

John Derian items at Target on Sept. 7th . . .

Fans of John Derian will be sleeping in the parking lots of Target stores on Sunday, September 7th to snap up choice pieces in his lower-price line.

See The New York Times article dated August 20th: "John Derian’s decoupage paperweights, vases and serving dishes — one-of-a-kind pieces covered with layered images of flowers, animals and antique script sealed under handblown glass — may be coveted both uptown and downtown, but they come at a price: the paperweights start at $30 and larger items can cost several thousand dollars.

Starting Sept. 7 Mr. Derian’s Old World aesthetic will be available to a much wider audience, when Target introduces a lower-price line of John Derian stationery and home décor. The coasters, photo albums, plates and wrapping paper, which are digitally printed to resemble decoupage, lack the visual depth and delicacy of Mr. Derian’s studio work; then again, the most expensive item in the collection is about the same price as a small paperweight in his original line."

The photo above is a page I have been saving in my clippings drawer from a very old Town and Country magazine. Since I collect and sell antique prints, his creations have always appealed to me. My friend Jill used to borrow authentic 18th century hand-colored engravings from my flat file to scan for decoupage lamps. She gave me two for a house-warming gift. One day I will show them to you; they are really spectacular.

Content in a Cottage

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The butterfly, the thistle, and the weeds . . .

This is probably my last butterfly and thistle photo for 2008. I have to get ready for the leaf season and the big thistle has to go.

Webster is looking out at the newly mown grass and what looks to be a hedgerow on the left. It is really a weed patch that gets chopped down every fall so the leaves can blow away. There is a steep bank on the left that has been overtaken by an insidious plant known as Giant Ragweed. It is really woody and takes a metal blade to cut it back. Some of the stems are almost one inch in diameter and the height exceeds 5 feet. I don't mind them in the summer since they look like a living fence. By the end of August they start to droop and hopefully by this evening they will be gone along with the thistles. It is really dry here as you can see by the brown grass. The area on the right was allowed to grow wild all summer and it too has been cut down for leaf control. A homeowner always has to stay one step ahead of the upcoming season!

Content in a Cottage

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vine Study and Red Honeysuckle . . .

I thought at the time I was photographing these vine curlycues they looked very much like the pictograms from the 2008 I named the photo OlympicVine. How do those tendrils know where to go? Do they have sensors at the end? Nature never ceases to amaze me!

Red Honeysuckle flower from my previous home. I had forgotten how much I love this climbing shrub. I hope I can find one or two to plant here now that all the perennials are on sale at such low prices. They are very hardy and so very beautiful.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Snail portraits . . .

I was photographing some wild grape vines yesterday on my early morning walk and almost overlooked this tiny snail crawling around on one of the leaves. He was most cooperative throughout his first photo session. How nice it must be to be able to wear your beautiful home on your back and retreat whenever you feel the need. I was amazed that he stayed outside for me prior to his internet debut.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Perfect day for . . .

This is how I will be spending a lazy Sunday morning. The photo is from my magazine clippings pile...saved because I like this Henredon sofa. Hope your early morning endeavors are equally enjoyable.

Content in a Cottage