Thursday, June 30, 2011

Longing for the Beach

I've got beach fever. Yeah, I know I was there in May, but that was almost two months ago. During that last trip, I saw this written on the sand. Unfortunately, all I had with me was my phone camera. I says Just Married, 5-22-11; very romantic.

Double click on the bird-in-flight photo. It's a pelican but looks like some kind of prehistoric bird. We were staying in a condo on a headland where the wind kept pushing against the flying birds causing them to stop in midair. We were on the third floor and level with them making

photographing them a snap.
I definitely like staying in a beach house as opposed to a condo. I like to pretend we live there, and I would never live in a condo. I need a yard, trees, animals, and all the things that make up a cozy home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tea Crucial to a Balanced Life

"The proper, wise balancing of one's whole life may depend upon the feasibility of a cup of tea at an unusual hour." Arnold Bennett in How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

I totally agree! More from this little gem of a book later.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Authors You Love

I found the coolest thing! If you click on this link,, you can list your favorite author and ones similar to him/her will come up on a list. It's a way to find new authors that write in a style you already love.

I typed in Diana Gabaldon and got back this list: Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Amanda Quick, Janet Evanovich, Lori Foster, Maeve Binchy, Phillipa Gregory, Catherine Cookson, Elizabeth Peters, Jack Whyte, Mary Stewart, and more. Some of these authors I've read, some I haven't.

On Diana Gabaldon's website she lists her favorite authors. Jack Whyte is one of them. I've never read anything by him, but if Diana recommends him, that's good enough for me!

If you could pick one favorite author, who would it be?

*Photos taken at the Appalachian Museum in Norris, Tennessee, I think. I'm drawn to old books like a moth to a flame. I've seen so many of them that's it's hard to look at a photo and remember where I was at the time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Parlor Has a New Look

This spring I started doing some updates in our parlor. The walls used to be green and now they're cream. I like the change, but the walls seem flat to me. I'm going to glaze them soon to give them more depth and some 'oldness'. Hope it works. I also recovered the chair and ottoman in the corner. It did have a large green and rust flowery print but now it's covered in navy pillow ticking. I LOVE it! I love the tabs on the corners. I saw that in a catalog and showed it to my upholsterer, and it's done.
Click on the bottom photo

and you can see the details of the pictures on the wall. The one on the left is a hand-tinted photo of the beach at Fripp Island that I did in oils.

The large one is an oil painting of a Scottish castle. I love it dearly not only because of its subject matter but because it was given to me by a dear friend who has gone on to glory. Her aunt painted it in art school in the early 1900's.

Notice the light fixture in this room is very similar to the one in the library (posted last time). I found them in antique stores while we were building our house. One came from South Carolina and the other from Georgia. They're Art Deco, a style I love for it's stylized motifs and gentle curves.

The map reflected in the mirror hangs over the piano. I'll post sometime about how I aged it before framing and hanging. It was a $7 find at Books-a-Million.

This little corner is a favorite of mine. I'm using more blue and tan in my decorating. I wonder if it's the influence of the beach?

I just noticed that I uploaded two of the same photo. Sorry about that! I tried to take it off but didn't know how.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Good Company of Books

There was a good piece written in the now defunct Victoria Magazine by Michele Slung called The Good Company of Books. I tore it out and saved it in my BOOK FOLDER.

She quotes from Clarence Cook's "The House Beautiful" (1878), an influential work on domestic interior decoration. He says, "For lovers of books...a house without books is no house at all; and in a family where books make a great part of the pleasure of living, they must be where they can be got at without trouble, and what is of more importance, where they can share in the life about them and receive some touches of the humanity they supply and feed." I couldn't agree more. Here are some photos of our library this morning. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house. I just wish it was bigger. It's only 9x15 feet.

The row of books running around the top of the room is my biography section. All the books in the Victorian cabinet are religious/spiritual in nature with some literature textbooks thrown in.

The trunk in front of the loveseat is full of books waiting to be read. Only problem there is that one of the grandsons snapped it shut, and there's no key. I'll have to wait until my daddy comes to visit and get him to pick it. He's good at that.

The books on the small mission style table are photography or art books. All of my fiction is in my art studio. I completely ran out of room in the house. I'll show them to you later this week.

And what's a library without a kitty cat and a cozy throw to snuggle with?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gallery 11, City Market, Savannah, GA

I'm in! I've been accepted into Gallery 11 in Savannah's City Market. I'm pretty excited! I haven't been in a gallery since ours closed in Statesboro two years ago.

Savannah is such a lovely city. This gallery caters to the tourist trade, so I need to take some 'Savannah scenes' photos. It'll be hard to find something new that already hasn't been done to death. But I'll have fun trying.

If you're ever in Savannah, stop by! FYI-The scotch eggs at Molly MacPherson's Pub are amazing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Best Kind of Learning

I really think the 'delight-directed' method of learning is the one that comes naturally. Case in point: Darcie saw the movie Soul Surfer. That started an obsession with all things Hawaiian and Caribbean. She checked out all the books she could find at the library on the subject. Here she is watching a Youtube video on how to hula dance. The grass skirt was left over from a previous birthday party. She completely learned the motions and words to Little Brown Girl. She can now entertain at a moment's notice if things get dull around here.

That led to other Youtube videos of Hawaiian singers and ukulele players. For her end-of-the-year present, she asked for and received her own ukulele. She can already play a couple of songs.

Next came a trip to the grocery store to buy all the tropical fruit we could find. Mangos, papayas, pineapples, and coconuts. Again, she looked online to learn how to know when these fruits are ripe and how to eat them. I took a nail and hammered three holes into the top of a coconut and drained out the milk. A few blows from a machete broke it open to show the super white coconut meat inside. I'll have to say that I learned as much as she did. I had never prepared and eaten a raw mango or papaya before. I also learned that I prefer them dried.

I'll admit that I'm rather indulgent with this kind of learning; within reason, of course. If the interest is there, I try to provide, as much as is in my power, the means to learn about it. I want her to learn the subject into the ground until she's ready to move on to the next obsession.

One big advantage of homeschooling is that you get to lie on the couch with your kitty in your arms and do your required history reading.

Travels in a Donkey Trap

I'm reading the sweetest little book called Travels in a Donkey Trap by Daisy Baker. At seventy-something years of age, she gets a donkey and cart to travel down to the sea and the nearby village. She lived in England at the early part of the twentieth century.

She would usually find herself daydreaming as 'Darkie' clopped along the path. Here's a small nugget where she talks about one of their outings: "When I am thinking over all this in the donkey cart along a quiet lane I may suddenly "wake up" and find that Darkie has stopped. Not to eat, not even to rest, for there is no reason to do so when we are not on a hill."

"Like me she seems to be just dreaming, her tall ears at slightly different angles, her large eyes looking at nothing, her body in repose between the shafts. A daydreaming donkey, and in the middle of a journey, too. But who am I to chide her? There are indeed a pair of us, drowsing in warm air, motionless, enclosed for the time being within ourselves, looking, no doubt, like last-century travellers carved on the road."

"I flick the reins with a gentle word for her, and as we move on again, I think what a pity it is that I cannot impart my thoughts to her, nor she to me. For I would love to know what she dreams about."

Isn't that sweet? I'd love to ride with her in the donkey cart down an English country lane with hedgerows on either side. I bet there'd be a hedgehog or two to see!

Note: I know this photo isn't a donkey, but it's the closest thing I could find. I don't know any donkeys!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fripp Fun

Pom Pom, you asked what else we did on Fripp Island? We ride golf carts to random destinations or no destination. We do the same on bikes. We go to the beach. We go to the pools. We go to the playground. We cook, eat, read, and sleep. That's about it.

I experimented with taking photos at night at the pool. I do a lot of experimenting with my camera. Here are some of the results.

And here up top are some photos of the marshes on the island.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Have Depth

From the book In Search of Balance by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. "Depth is born out of such disciplines as stillness, patience, solitude, waiting, intimacy, suffering, quiet, contemplation, submission, discipline, prayer, and yes, margin and balance.

Modernity, on the other hand, is suffused with such "non-disciplines" as speed, interruptions, noise, multitasking, clutter, alarms, advertisements, distractions, Twitter, texting, television, viruses, entertainment, cell phones, activity obesity, information overload, and the Internet.

I've gotten into the habit of reading the Psalms every morning, and the last time I read Psalm 42, the phrase 'Deep calls unto deep' struck a chord which resonated deep within my heart. I kept rereading it trying to understand it better.

Have you ever felt on the verge of a great discovery and just couldn't quite grasp that one last thing that would throw complete light onto it? Well, that's how I feel reading Psalm 42. I'm still looking for enlightnment and full understanding. I'm reading all the commentaries I can find hoping for something to jump out at me. I'm waiting for that 'ah ha' moment to occur.

Abyssus, abyssum, invocat translates from the Latin into English as "Deep calls unto deep" found in Psalm 42:7. If I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be this phrase.