Monday, January 26, 2009

Sleeping with books . . .

Bookcase in my guest room.

Fashion designer Bill Blass even sleeps with his books.

This photo ripped out of an old magazine years ago convinced me to put floor to ceiling bookcases in both of my bedrooms. This chamber is in an 18th century stone weekend house in northwestern Connecticut owned by Bill Blass. The bibliophile is a major benefactor of the New York Public Library, a friend to literary lions, and a daily reader no matter how crammed his business and social schedules become. He even sleeps with his books in this cozy bedroom with a library wall.

Nothing stops me in my tracks quicker than a photograph of a wall of books.

Where do you keep yours?

Content in a Cottage

Rearranging furniture is so rewarding . . .

I had the urge to do some furniture rearranging over the weekend. This drafting table was in my third floor studio and I got the brilliant idea to put it in the spare room where all of my antiques reference books are housed. It is absolutely perfect; I wish I had done this sooner. Now I can sit on my windsor stool and flip through my books with the greatest of ease. This will be so much nicer than standing beside the guest bed to do my research.

I hope I can resist the urge to start piling up tax documents here. They are starting to roll in but I refuse to even think about them until February. January is my absolute favorite month of the whole year. The holidays are behind me and there is noting pressing before me. Perfect for nesting and doing self-indulgent things like watching movies, reading books, knitting, sprucing up my blog, or anything fun.

Reality is just around the corner since February is less that a week away. Only a few more days of freedom. I will try not to waste a minute of it!!!

Content in a Cottage

Dutch canals freeze and ice skaters rediscover national identity . . .

This image is so beautiful. It really does look like a Dutch painting with the windmills and the skaters.

Canals in the Netherlands no longer freeze every winter, so the chance to ice skate outdoors created a frenzy in Kinderdijk and elsewhere in the south. (photo: Michael Kooren/Reuters)

For the first time in 12 years, the Netherlands' canals froze this month, bringing the Dutch, who like their tulips in neat rows, a heady mix of pandemonium and euphoria.

Hundreds of thousands of skaters, their cheeks as red as apples in the freezing temperatures, took to the ice, and hospital wards were filled with dozens of people with fractured arms, sprained ankles and broken legs. read more

I guess the injured ones lost their Hans Brinker skills over the 12 year period without ice.

Content in a Cottage

Life's Little Instruction Book, page 13 . . .

...To be continued...

Content in a Cottage

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seed Saving Envelope, One Big One | Free Download . . .

I just finished crushing my Black Eyed Susan heads into seeds. The tiny envelopes were much too small for the large amount of seeds I got. So I made one big seed saving envelope for you to download.

Click on the image above and print. Enjoy.

See you on the internet, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage
Click orange square to subscribe via feed reader or email.

Bask in the beauty of the world around you . . .

I love this stocky outdoor cat that seems to be part polar bear.

Content in a Cottage

Friday, January 23, 2009

Which mug will you choose on Saturday morning? . . .

I will pick the mug on the right since I don't drink tea in the morning. I need two big cups of strong perked coffee to get my day going, with soy milk/no sugar. A new magazine would be nice but I rarely get my hands on anything very current. I have several friends who save their old ones for me since I don't subscribe to any periodicals in my continuing effort to save the planet. The good thing about getting used magazines is you can rip out pages with wild abandon and no guilt.

Enjoy the day and the weekend.


Content in a Cottage

Life's Little Instruction Book, page 11 . . .

...To be continued...

Content in a Cottage

Today is National Handwriting Day and Neatness Counts

Get out your pens boys and girls. It's time for penmanship. Oh, how I loved this class in the fourth grade! It was such a rite of passage to leave the childish printing behind and learn CURSIVE.

I looked through my flat files and found this page from Lena Carroll's 1873 lesson book.

This is a screen capture from an online website that teaches children cursive. When you mouseover each letter, it shows you how to write it. See 2nd link at end of this post.

This is a penmanship exercise from the late 19th century that I found online and copied.

You can download and print these cursive flash cards ~ see the last link below.

Today really is National Handwriting Day. I hope you will take the time to read the full article from The Boston Globe (first link below). It really made my hair stand on end when I read that there are 20 and 30 year olds that can't read cursive! How can this be? I can understand when 5 year olds say they can't read script but not young adults. What has happened?

I read an article recently about a young girl who sent 35,000 text messages in one month. We e-mail, we text, we Twitter - what will become of handwriting? Parents should insist that their children are taught these basic skills. It would be a real handicap later in life to be illerate in cursive and incapable of executing a handwritten letter or thank you note in your best penmanship.

I still have the fountain pen that I got as a high school graduation present and I have some bottles of real ink too. In my desk I have quite an assortment of antique writing instruments acquired over the years from relatives or purchased at estate sales. Sadly, I don't use them as much as I used to but I could if I wanted!

Try to write something beautiful today in your best hand to celebrate this special day and help keep handwriting alive.

Feel free to comment if you have any strong feelings on this subject. Thanks, Rosemary

Is the writing on the wall for penmanship? - The Boston Globe

Online cursive handwriting lessons for kids

Download cursive pictorial flash cards for kids

Content in a Cottage
Click orange square to subscribe via feed reader or email.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Visual Word Cloud of Obama's Inaugural Speech + Wordles of Bush, Clinton, Reagan, and Lincoln . . .

What words were used most often? The folks at Read Write Web ran the full text of Obama's speech through tag cloud generator for one view of the event, and just for the sake of historical context they ran George W. Bush's second inaugural speech plus those of Clinton, Reagan and Lincoln through as well.

This is soooo interesting! Be sure to view the others on Read Write Web.

Content in a Cottage

Life's Little Instruction Book, page 10 . . .

...To be continued...

Content in a Cottage