Saturday, January 31, 2009

The wisdom of animals . . .

That California woman is going to have her hands full.

Full story from Gal Friday.

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Beatrix Potter quote and illustration . . .

"Thank goodness I was never sent to school;
it would have rubbed off some of the originality. "

Beatrix Potter, born in London, was educated privately at home. Both parents were from Unitarian families that became prosperous through the cotton trade. She grew up isolated from most other children, with drawing, nature, pets, her little brother, and governesses as her contacts with the outside world. In the 1890s, Beatrix Potter carried out experiments in natural history, illustrating animals, plants, lichen, and fungi. When the difficulties of succeeding as a woman scientist became clear, she began a career as an illustrator of children's writing.

Her best-known book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, began as a letter to the young son of her former governess. It was first privately published in 1901. After she married at age 47 and bought a farm in England's Lake District, her writing tapered off. She focused on her personal life with her husband, preserving (protecting)the natural landscape from developers, and raising sheep. In 1930 she became the first woman president of the Herdwick Sheep Breeder's Association.

Beatrix Potter wrote a diary in code from ages 14 to 31, deciphered and published in 1966.
I never tire of learning more and more about this fascinating woman. Imagine writing a diary in code! I wonder who broke it? She must have been very protective of her private thoughts. I must look for this book at the library. I hope it is illustrated with her delightful drawings.

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Follow your bliss . . .

I love the way this French Bulldog's whole face fits in this short, stubby container. I hope he got to lick something delicious. He doesn't look as if he's coming up for air anytime soon.

Joseph Campbell coined the phrase "Follow your bliss." Try following his advice this weekend and enjoy whatever you do.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Passenger view from the back seat . . .

I know just how this man feels. I am so used to being the driver that I have become a white knuckle passenger.

The View from Saturday
by E. L. Konigsburg, 1996

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The Writing is on the Wall . . .

Ivern Ball was a poet and writer, famous for wise quotes. This seemed perfect to superimpose on one of my brick garden walls. Are you ignoring the writing on your wall?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Create your own JACKSON POLLOCK masterpiece . . .

I just noticed the Google Doodle today and wondered what it was. It is a squiggly painting celebrating the birthday of Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956).

I have had this link saved to my computer for years. The paint splatters when you move your mouse and the colors change with each click. When you "finish" your masterpiece, you can even save and print it. Very cool indeed. Here is the link to bring out your inner artist:

“The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.”
— Jackson Pollock

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Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece | An amazing 'must see' short film . . .

Fallingwater from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

This is one of the most amazing short films I have ever seen. Really! It left me speechless! How was it done? Length 4:32. Please watch if you are interested in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and/or computer generated films.

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Life's Little Instruction Book, page 15 . . .

...To be continued...

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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?

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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!!!

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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.

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

...To be continued...

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