Monday, December 15, 2008

Antique Painted Floor with Dog | My favorite . . .

There is a long tradition of putting paint on floors and it's still fashionable. This is the best example of a painted floor surviving in Britain.

It's located in the Tyroconnel Room at Belton House in Lincolnshire. Its heraldic design and its use of only three primary colours is unusual by any standards, although the execution would still have been cheaper than marquetry, the other alternative for such decoration.

Incorporating the symbolic Belton greyhounds and the arms of the Brownlow family (former owners of the house) the floor is the subject of continuing controversy about the date of its paintwork. Some claim it as original to the 17th century; others believe the nature of its design places it in the 18th century. The present owners, The National Trust, do not believe it could have stayed intact for so long if it were the former. Since there is some evidence to support both of the claims, the longevity of the floor remains an enigma.

Here is a photograph of the entire floor.

The practice of painted floors was by no means limited to the United Kingdom. In early 19th century American colonial homes, they were as popular as painted walls and woodwork with many original examples remaining.

I only love the dog part of the design. Maybe one day I will duplicate it in my tiny hall that already has a painted floor in a solid color. I found this article in a very old Farrow & Ball Magazine and I ripped out this page so I don't know the exact date. I think it is probably around 8 to 10 years old in case you want to find a copy. This is an English paint company that sells paint with authentic colours from the National Trust and Archives. Did you notice that I used two different spellings for color? Color for America and colour for Britain.

I have wanted to post about this wonderful floor for quite a while but the top photo had printing on top of the image and it took me a while to clone it out with my photo editing software.

Please see one of my earlier posts on painted floors.

I hope you have enjoyed this article are now inspired to do something creative in your own home.

Belton House was completed in 1688 and has been used as the BBC's film location for Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Tom Jones. See National Trust information here. Delightful slide show here. This is a real destination for your next trip to England. Will you please take me with you?

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello Baby! | Hello Kitty Maternity Hospital in Taiwan . . .

Read the article about this adorable hospital here.

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Friday, December 12, 2008


This beautifully designed graphic video by Seth Brau is well worth watching. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 60 years old...but who among us has actually read it? Length 4:31

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
from Seth Brau on Vimeo.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

A watercolour of an unknown rabbit painted by Beatrix Potter has been sold at auction in London for £15,600.

Who is the mystery bunny who loves tea? And why didn't she get her own story? The watercolour of a girl rabbit with a pink ribbon tied daintily around her neck has left experts puzzled. The subject of this highly-finished painting never appeared in any of Beatrix Potter's rabbit tales. It has been in a private UK collection for the past fifty years.

Cropped version of the unknown watercolour.

Uncropped version of the unknown watercolour.

Knightsbridge London
Lot No: 275

Beatrix Potter (British, 1866-1943)
The little bunny drinking tea
signed 'H.B.P.' (lower right)
12.5 x 10cm (4 15/16 x 3 15/16in)
Sold for £15,600 inclusive of Buyer's Premium
Provenance: A private UK collection for over fifty years.

The present lot was not published in any of Potter's childrens books. It exists in another version with contains exactly the same components except that the animal is a kitten, rather than a bunny. This reflects Potter’s practice of making a number of versions of her pictures and experimenting with poses and props. The version which depicts the kitten is much sketchier than the present lot which suggests that Potter found the composition with the bunny far more satisfactory. The version depicting the kitten was painted circa 1895 and was originally offered to Ernest Nisbet (see Anne Stevenson Hobbs, Beatrix Potter The artist and her world (Warne 1987), p. 58). Another press release regarding this sale.

Take care of your antiques and they will take care of you.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Economic Crisis | CAPITALIST FOOLS . . .

Hilarious photo illustration by Darrow

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan bookend two decades of economic missteps.

The Economic Crisis ~ Capitalist Fools
Behind the debate over remaking U.S. financial policy will be a debate over who’s to blame. It’s crucial to get the history right, writes Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel-laureate economist, identifying five key mistakes—under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II—and one national delusion...
read more ~ Vanity Fair ~ January 2009

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Face of The Great Depression | Update (video) . . .

As the U.S. slips into recession, a daughter reflects on Dorothea Lange's photo, which has come to symbolize the Depression.

'Migrant Mother' remembered (3:41)

A friend sent me the original CNN video but I could not embed it for some reason. Luckily I found it on YouTube. I found it very interesting to learn the real story of the most famous photograph from the Great Depression from one of the children in the picture. She is the little girl on the left with her head on her mother's shoulder.

Watch and listen.
There is a very timely message at the end.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Boy Designs 'Home Domb Shelter' from Trash . . .

You will love this heartwarming story! Max is my hero.

Twelve-year-old Max Wallack was recently named the winner of Design Squad's Trash to Treasure competition — a contest that inspired kids to repurpose trash into practical inventions.

So just what was the brilliant idea Max came up with? Wallack invented a “Home Dome,” a structure made of plastic bags filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts, designed to serve as a temporary shelter for homeless people and disaster victims. It also would help relieve landfill growth. Max was awarded a $10,000 prize provided by the Intel Foundation, but said: “I don’t really care about the money. I care about helping people.”

This isn’t the first big win for Wallack either! “When I was six,” Max said, “I won an invention contest that included a trip to Chicago. While there, I saw homeless people living on streets, and beneath highways and underpasses. I felt very sorry for these people, and ever since then, felt that my goal and obligation was to find a way to help them. My invention improves the living conditions for homeless people, refugees, or disaster victims by giving them easy-to-assemble shelter.”

Source: ecorazzi via treehugger

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This puppy will steal your heart . . .

Please don't tell Webster, but I love this little guy!

via Holga

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Inspiration | Gifts that keep on giving . . .

One of the premises of Lewis Hyde’s book ‘The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property’ is that gift exchange is the economy of the creative spirit. He discusses the art of gifting.

Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal
When we were students, young and poor, a friend of mine would give his family books for Christmas. Library books. He would seek out works well matched to his relatives’ interests, check them out, wrap them up and deposit them beneath the tree, leaving his loved ones the single task of returning them to the library once they had been read.

An Indian giver, some would say, and more correctly so than they might think. Years ago when I first set out to write a book about gift-giving and art, I thought it would be useful to figure out how that phrase came into being. The first recorded use turns out to appear in Thomas Hutchinson’s 1765 history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the implication being that something odd had happened when the Puritans first met up with Native generosity. “An Indian gift,” one footnote reads, “is a proverbial expression signifying a present for which an equivalent return is expected.” Over two centuries later we still use the phrase, its sense now broadened to refer to anyone who gives a gift with the clear expectation that the recipient should not keep it.

The experiences that Hutchinson’s forebears were trying to name turn out to demonstrate a simple ethic well known in all traditional gift-exchange societies: The recipient of a gift is more its custodian or steward than its owner. “The gift must always move” is the old wisdom, meaning that what we have received from others must eventually be passed along again, either the actual gift itself or something of similar value and meaning.
~

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hilarious | What NOT to buy . . .

Treat yourself -- watch this! You will not be able to stop laughing--seriously. Great way to kick off the Christmas shopping season.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Liking very much . . .

Currently loving these lamps.

And these wall organizers.

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Companion Christmas Card for my previous post . . .

via fascinatiion st.

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Environmental Art | Colored Tree Pencils . . .

Color Pencils, 2006
Artist: Jonna Pohjalainen, Helsinki
Location: Pedvale, Latvia

I used local aspen in my work because of its lively forms and beautiful, grey colour. While you sharpen your pencils you can see time passing by. Colours bring joy and happiness in our everyday life. I chose a place of of my work because of the sunsets. You can sit and meditate near my work and look at the sunsets. Without sun there are no colours and life!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dartmoor (Devon, England) ~ beautiful moorlands . . .

Dartmoor - Philip Bloom Comp from James Watson on Vimeo.

Let's take a very short trip to the southwest of England to Dartmoor; 368 miles of moorland with National Park protection.

It is an absolutely beautiful place; the cinematography is wonderful too.

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Henry Ford's Advice | No Bailout . . .

Henry Ford with Model T in 1921.
American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly-line production method.

I wonder what he would have to say about the pitiful state of the American automobile industry?

Maybe all those boys in Washington should take a break today and read some words of wisdom from Henry Ford.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.

The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them, and then make our plans with confidence.

A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.

People can have the Model T in any color--so long as it's black.

As an industrialist Henry Ford’s #1 rule was: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.

Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets.

I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.

It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time. A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large. All Fords are exactly alike, but no two men are just alike. Every new life is a new thing under the sun; there has never been anything just like it before, never will be again. A young man ought to get that idea about himself; he should look for the single spark of individuality that makes him different from other folks, and develop that for all he is worth. Society and schools may try to iron it out of him; their tendency is to put it all in the same mold, but I say don't let that spark be lost; it is your only real claim to importance.

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Alternate Currency to replace US Dollar . . .

How about you?


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