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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Film star Helen Twelvetrees, ca. 1936-7 / photograph by Sam Hood

If you love photographs from days gone by, then you are going to be in heaven when you check out this link. I know I will be going back there often to see a bit of history. -- Alice

Helen Twelvetrees during filming of "Thoroughbred", Sydney, 1936 / Sam Hood


Format: Silver gelatin photograph

Notes: One of the first American women to star in an Australian film

From the collections of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Jane Austen Doll Figure

I think this is absolutely for me! I feel a birthday present coming on. This is a Jane Austen Doll figure and I have just found some listed on at a very reasonable price.

More and more I find I am into Jane Austen and her novels. I just recently won the auction her whole set of hard back books with dust jackets from 1996 Book-of-the-Month Club while shopping on

Today, also I was exploring my new residing town of Great Falls, MT and got totally excited when looking at their online site for the Chamber of Commerce at the calendar of events. I found this May 9th listing for a Mother's Day Tea & Victorian Fashion Show. A wonderful website appeared, but I was having trouble finding an address for the event.

Upon more exploring, I am not very happy to report that it is over 198 miles to travel to this event. -- There goes my special fun outing with my daughter, Savannah Rose (who also has a birthday on May 5th). We will have to continue to look for something more local.

Who knows it may be a snow blizzard at that time as well -- because it has been snowing all last night, today, and currently at 1:28 a.m. -- Spring time in the Rockies!!!

Jane Austen in Rio, originally uploaded by Adriana Zardini.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Midsummer in Sweden - Maypole

Midsummer in Sweden, originally uploaded by Silva_D.

In Sweden the Maypole is usually called a midsommarstång, as it appears at the Midsummer celebrations, but it is also called majstång, as the word maja means to decorate with greens and that is exactly how most Swedes decorate them. They appear in many varieties, the most common being a cross with two rings hanging from the "arms" and the pole is popularly identified with the male sex and the rings with the female.[citation needed] Garlands of leaves and flowers are usually wrapped around the pole.
Sometimes a crown of flowers is placed on top of the maypole, supported by the ribbons, so that it gradually descends the pole as the ribbons are woven together, finally falling to the ground.

Today maypole dances are often done without dividing the participants by gender, simply having them in pairs facing one another so half go one way and half go the other.

In Sweden similar traditions were once observed but today the pole is the centre of traditional ring dances, the songs being more or less the same as during the dances around the Christmas tree. Arrangements are usually made by local traditional groups. Swedish speaking parts of Finland often celebrate Midsummer with a midsommarstång as well.

May Day Celebration History

My birthday is May 1st or better known as MAY DAY -- but what exactly is MAY DAY and what is a Maypole?

Wikipedia says: May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several public holidays.[1] In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times.

Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

Historians generally agree that May Day celebrations probably originated in the spring fertility rites of ancient Rome, which occurred at about the same time of year marking celebrations honoring the goddess of spring, Flora. ((I had an Aunt Flora!!!)).

By the Middle Ages, the day was being celebrated with a procession led by a "Queen of the May" chosen from a population of pretty teen girls, followed by the townspeople dancing around a maypole decorated with streamers and colorful spring flowers.

Pilgrims later brought May Day to America, but Puritans were quick to condemn the tradition as "that Stinking Idol reviving feasts of ye Roman goddess Flora or ye beastly practices of ye mad Bacchanalians".

By the late 19th century, May Day was taken up in America as a socialist movement celebrating workers' rights, a tradition that remains strong in Europe.

All told, modern May Day celebrations today have evolved into a hodgepodge of traditions including parties, sing-alongs, Old World maypole dancing, parades and workers' demonstrations, along with general protests against Big Business on the streets of major capitals worldwide.

And just for a little contrast, in Hawaii it's ... Lei Day.

Location: Canungra, Australia

Date: ca. 1934

Tiled mural rescued from a children's ward in Middlesex Hospital showing a maypole dance.

Designed in 1929 by Haydn Jensen.

Now in the Tile Museum, Jackfield, near Ironbridge, Shropshire.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bird Fairies!

Bird Fairies!, originally uploaded by Lisa Kettell.

Here is a photograph Lisa Kettrell calls: The Bird Fairies!
I believe these fantasy gals are Ziegfeld Follies Performers from the 1920's.

I love the symmetry in the photography and the costume styling -- like the birdies in the background!!

Fairy Girl 1900s

Fairy Girl 1900s, originally uploaded by Lisa Kettell.

Here is a photograph which Lisa Kettrell calls: Fairy Girl!
I believe she is a Ziegfeld Follies Performer from the 1920's.

I love this photograph!! It is inspiring to draw something in this pose!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pink Harlequin - AppleHillDolls

AppleHillDolls, located in New England

Isn't this lovely!!

This one of a kind female Harlequin, dressed in pink, looks demure and delicate but she's nobody's fool. When she makes the crowd laugh, there's not a dry eye in the room, and afterward, not one heavy wallet.

The Pink Harlequin is sculpted in paper clay over a foil armature without the use of molds or patterns. Her face and neck are painted with acrylics, but her body was left natural. Her hair is lightly dyed mohair. Her hat and dress were fashioned from a vintage fancy hanky. She sits 8 inches from the tip of her hat.

This lovely jewel can be found on Etsy -- but I bet not for long!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Regal LION

ROM - ROM - ROM, originally uploaded by BLUFF.

This is a babylonian mosaic at the Royal Ontario Museum..the actual size is impressive!

Get Excited and Make Things!

Brave People Make Things so get excited and make things…. The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It'll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something strange.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to blog.
7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you. IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.
This is going around blog-land. I saw it first here.

'What does love mean?'

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily -age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at Night.' Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day'
Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image) Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

I LOVE this one: What is Love? Love- a wildy misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise, and lips to pucker - rare_jesika.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jane Austen Bath Festival

The Jane Austen Festival
Friday 18th to Sunday 27th September 2009

The Bath Jane Austen Festival was the idea of David Baldock Director of the Jane Austen Centre and the first Festival took place in 2001. “My aim was to draw attention to this very popular author whose works were so influenced by the city by holding an annual celebration where Austen fans from all over the world could come and indulge themselves in everything Regency.”

Each year the Festival, which is held at the end of September, grows and grows with more people dressing in Regency costume celebrating the life and works of Jane Austen. Throughout the city events are organized by the Festival team under the guidance of Jackie Herring the Festival Director. Entrance to the events is by ticket and those go on sale at the Bath Festivals Box Office a few months before the start.

The most spectacular day each year is the first Saturday, when the festival officially ‘opens’ with the Regency Costumed Promenade through the streets of Bath. Promenaders from all over the world dress in 18th Century attire led by our Town Crier and accompanied by soldiers and sailors adding extra colour to the proceedings.

In 2008 for the first time, a traditional Country Fair in Queen Square where not only promenaders but also the general public could partake of the sideshows and stalls as well as try the stocks for size!

Small soirees, theatre, concerts, walking tours, food, talks and of course dancing plus the opportunity to dress throughout the week, if you wish, in 18th century costume. These are some of the attractions of the Jane Austen Festival.

Stop and visit this site for information on City of Bath England:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

British artist Stephen Wiltshire

Truly Inspiring Skill and Art!!!

November 7, 2008 | New Art | by Gerry Mak |

British artist Stephen Wiltshire is known as the ‘human camera’ for being able to render images of entire cityscapes in uncanny detail after only viewing the real scenes once. Wiltshire’s abilities stem from his autism, but his pieces are no less stunning. Perhaps Wiltshire’s condition isn’t truly a disability, merely evidence that our species is still evolving.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Victorian Postcards

I have a love for anything Victorian. Postcards are something that always catch my notice. I found these lovely photos and wanted to share them here. Upload on January 9, 2009
by davidezartz

Tribute to Julia Margaret Cameron.
.....Early postcard depicting her work.

.....Julia Margaret Cameron ( 1815 - 1879 ) was born in Calcutta, and in 1848 she moved to London.
..........In 1863, when Julia was 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present. Within a year she was elected a member of the photographic society in London.
.....She strove to capture beauty and became obsessive about her new occupation, with subjects sitting for countless exposures in blinding light as she labouriously coated, exposed and processed each wet plate.
..........She welcomed - and photographed - the cream of Victorian Society.
.....In 1875, Julia departed to Ceylon, and one of her last letters was to Lady Tennyson, in which she wrote " It is a sacred blessing which has attended my photography ; it gives pleasure to millions and a deeper happiness to very many. "

Early postcards were hand tinted, as colour photography was experimental
and not commercially used.
.....These images were photographed in monochrome and then hand
coloured prior to production.
..........Note how parts of her dress have different shades of colour, though it
was a single photographic session

Purple Iris Beauty

Someone sent me an email that had this beautiful picture of purple irises included.

These have always been my favorite flowers. They do not have long bloom life in the south. They also do not last in bouquets very long, but they are so beautiful and vibrant in color.

They make me happy!! Hope they brighten your day as well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rainforest Cafe' -- Opry Mills Mall -- Nashville, TN

Recently the family went for dessert to the Rainforest Cafe'. We chose to go there because the kids had remembered several years ago getting a Volcano Cake that had actual lit sparklers on it making the smoke like an erupting volcano.

They were not happy to find for safety reasons or expense that the sparklers had been replaced by a foil decoration, but the treats were enjoyed by all.

Some of our friends came along and we had fun playing tourist and snapping photos while inside.

Ms. Laura (now 2) had fun coloring and looking around at all the jungle decor. The apes did scare her a bit as she did not like their movements.

This is a fun outing for young, old or inbetween.

Stained Glass Art

"Star & Moon"
I took a picture of this piece I made for a friend a few months back and wanted to keep a record of what it looks like for future creations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blooms in Tennessee

Before pulling out of Tennessee I snapped many pictures of my blooming pear trees in the front yard.

Also, the clover was blooming and I had mowed the yard twice. Is there a four-leaf in there? I didn't spot it while taking this picture!

I was thankful that the trees were overloaded with blooms, putting on a real show for my enjoyment.

The beauty of flowers inspires me to create. I love the delicate petals and colors whether muted or sharp.

There was a bird's nest in one of the trees that I captured in this photo.

The leaves were just coming out on the rose bush. Even they are delicate and full of color to inspire a blank canvas.