Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Moonbeam coreopsis, aka tickseed
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I disturbed his resting location while watering my pots yesterday.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Over the weekend, after a ride out into the country, I made a purchase at an antiques shop. Well, it is really only a flea market filled with things that have been purchased up at local estate sales and then placed on sale in booth-like arrangements. Here is a jar, vase, jug or biscuit barrel (?) shown here filled with a pot of African violets. Not sure exactly what it was originally. My guess is that it was a biscuit barrel, at present lacking its lid. It consists of creamy porcelain with a blue transferred pattern and originated in England. I adore the two knobby handles on the sides which are in exceptional condition. It is quite large, standing 10 inches tall. It's amusing to suppose just where and under what circustances this piece has been. Anyone want to take a guess as to its original use??
The markings on the bottom reveal that it is a Doulton Burslem dating from 1891-1902. The marking contains four D’s enclosed in a rosette and topped off with a crown, which was added to the mark following the appointment of Henry Doulton as the official potter to H.R.H., The Prince of Wales' (later King Edward VI 1). The O surrounded by four dots was probably the unique symbol of the individual potter signing his or her piece.
John Doulton, Henry’s father, began making pottery in Lambeth, South London, in the early 1800’s. Lambeth, being the setting for my most recent read, Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier. In his factories there, and later in Burslem, Doulton produced jugs, water bottles, whiskey flasks, pitchers, beer bottles, figurines and other table wares.
Perhaps I should send photos off to Ms. Chevalier. Only she could write a rich and enlightening story inspired by this find with a history!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Avocados, aka alligator pears according to Florida vernacular (perhaps because the skin resembles that of an alligator), are tasty when used to make guacamole. Yes, it looks unpleasant, but go ahead… try some on a salty tortilla chip…delightful and so good for you. A splendid by-product of guacamole is the pit or seed of the avocado. Take care not to damage it as you remove the edible portion for the guacamole. Follow the instructions. I have done this with a number of pits and am never disappointed…a relatively inexpensive plant follows. During the summer months, I place some outdoors. Occasionally, a hungry bug will nibble on the leaves, but mostly the plants thrive. I once saw one in the office at a school that grew so huge, it had to be replanted in an aluminum garbage can!
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Made by Natori, my latest jammie purchase is soft, cozy and fits great. Small knotted buttons on the cuffs add attention to detail. An oriental design of varying shades of pink and turquoise make for a very classic look. Who knew pajamas could be so much fun?
Monday, June 4, 2007
Twisted around the mailbox, this Henryi clematis is severed down to approximately 12 inches of remaining growth each winter. By late spring, this plant has grown and white blossoms appear. The clematis is nearly indestructible given plenty of water and sunshine.
The Snowflake Oak leaf Hydrangea bursts with panicles of lacy, cream-colored florets. Slow to mature for me, it blooms well each year and offers fall color in the leaves and bark as well.
I recently completed the reading of Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. Never having been totally interested in history, her stories reveal much to me of a time past. Motivated by a piece of art, literature, tapestry, grave-marker or other article having survived a preceding era, Ms. Chevalier generates characters, many previously-existing, others fabricated, which unveil the essence of the period that they lived in. The lurid and garish Astley circus, the craft of button-making, hand-crafted Windsor chairs, the functioning of a printing press, peculiar habits in the life of William Blake are disclosures of the culture all set in Georgian England, outgrowth of the revolt taking place in France.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience, a book of poems by Blake motivates a resounding theme of opposites throughout the novel. There is Maggie, the loud, street-wise, sassy gal of the big city, never fearing to venture out. Jem, differing, is the close kept son of a chair-maker and carpenter who finds himself in the hazardous, hostile, often intimidating and unfriendly city of London after spending his early years in the lesser village of Piddletrenthide, countryside. Along with members of their families, the escapades begin. I enjoy reading of times long-ago in this format, historical fiction, a great deal more than mind-numbing (yawn) history books. Ms. Chevalier, through her rich, full characters, expressive settings and vivid language carries me back to an earlier time to pay a visit.
Ms. Chevalier is writing yet another book. On this occasion she is inspired by the life of Mary Anning who discovered pre-dinosaur fossils on the shores and cliffs of the English coast. She Sells Sea Shells has grabbed my attention!
Next in the pile of books to read:
by Carl Hiaasen
Labels: Tracy Chevalier