Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Tribute To The Iris - Free Vintage Iris Botanical Images

I will save the apologies for being absent from blogging for so long. Suffice it to say that life has been quite chaotic. Hopefully things are going to be somewhat calmer now for a while. I have many treasures to share with you and I would love to attract some new followers as well as to please and surprise my loyal current followers!

I have come across a treasure trove of websites with botanical images. One of them is Vintage Printable, which has many vintage images, not just botanical images.

On the Vintage Printable site I found some wonderful vintage french botanical images from 1620 which are very unusual. They are featured in this post and will also be included in another post. I feature the iris images in this post.

Some interesting bits of history on the Iris. In ancient Greek times, the Greek Goddess Iris was the messenger of the Gods and the personification of the rainbow. It was believed that she acted as the link between heaven and earth and guided women on their journey to the Elysian Fields. Purple Irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the Goddess to guide the dead in their journey.

The Iris has been the symbol of France as far back as the 6th Century A.D. It became known as the "fleur-de-lis", or the flower of Louis, in honor of the kings of France.

More botanical images to come. Dreaming of beautiful flowers (after the end of the freeze warnings!). Be well and happy!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Free Halloween Avatars

I have been preparing some blog posts for you with free vintage and other Halloween images, and in the process, I discovered a great site that has loads of free avatars for every occasion.  I downloaded so many Halloween ones that I decided to make a separate  Halloween avatar post.  The site is:

Here are some of my favorites!

Gotta love Garfield

No holiday would be complete without the Peanuts.

Reminds me of Geoff on the Craig Ferguson Show!

Some very unusual vintage Halloween Postcards coming soon!
Get Crafting!
Be Well and Happy!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nurses' Verses -- A Tribute To Nurses Through Their Poetry

I have alluded to the fact that I have some serious chronic health problems, and along with them go some substantial amount of time in or at the hospital.  Both last week and today I spent a good part of a day with the nurses of  I.V. Team  at the hospital where I receive most of my medical care.  I have a port-a-cath in my chest for I.V. access, and they have been diligently (if not a bit frantically) trying to dissolve a blot clot that had formed in and/or around the port.  I am incredibly happy to report that after today's administration of clot-busting drugs, we were successful, and all is well.  I have known these wonderful women for about ten years, and they never cease to amaze and impress me with the kind, compassionate, professional, and gracious way they do their jobs under the weight of great pressure and responsibility.  I wish that I could name every one of them and show you their photos, but to protect their privacy, I will not do so.  However, they know who they are, and I think that they realize how much I appreciate their excellent care.  Nursing is a complex and difficult profession, and thank God that we have women and men that have been willing and able to meet its challenges to care for us when we are at our darkest times. 

I am always on the hunt for poetry books in thrift shops.  I especially love the ones that contain poems written by people who are not professional or well-known poets.  And so, a couple of months ago I came across a small green book entitled, "Nurses' Verses - An Anthology of Poetry by America's Nurses".  The copyrights were between 1941-1943, so I think that it is safe to assume that the poems were written by nurses during the 1930's.  Most of the poems have nothing to do with nursing per se, however, for this post, two of the three poems that I have chosen pertain to their hospital nursing care.  I will feature several other nurse's poems from this book in future blog posts.   So, without further adieu, our nurses' verses ---

The Hospital
There is a warmth of kindness here
For those whose heavy hearts are
Full of pain - who seek again
Their own familiar selves.
It is a place of truth.
The bright lights burn far into the night
To save some shattered soul.
I, too, shall be a part of this
Before long.
      --Jean H. Osborne

Photograph courtesy of the Graphics Fairy 

They Walk
She  walks - the nurse in white, at night
   To see if patients sleep,
To every room, beside each bed
   The night watch doth she keep.

She walks - the nurse in blue, up hills,
   Down valleys dark and deep,
In storms that beat against her will
   Her night watch she doth keep.

She walks - in spirit with a light
   Where soldiers can not sleep.
All through the long and troubled night
   Her gentle watch doth keep.

They walk - with radiant faces bright -
   Each shepherdess of sheep -
In garmets that are spotless white
   They fold us in for sleep.

          --Marie Charlotte Buckley

...To all of the lovely nurses who take care of me...

How Lovely You Are
The sound of your sweet voice upon the night air -
A soft golden moon seems to halo your hair.
Your blue eyes are brighter than starlight by far,
It rivals your beauty -
   how lovely you are.

The trees bow down humbly as you pass them, dear,
Each rose lifts its petals - more closely to hear
The lilt of your foot steps, your light laughter too;
They're proud of your beauty-
   so lovely are you.

I, like the trees, and the starlight and flowers,
Envy your smile, your strange hidden powers;
In each of your eyes the Lord placed a star
He, too, knows your beauty,
   how lovely you are.

        --Virginia Zarder

Until we meet again...
Be Well and Happy!!!
Let's Get ready for Halloween!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Have Returned!

Greetings to my blog friends.  I feel terrible that I have neglected my blog for so many months.  It has been a very difficult time for me.  I had to move to a new place...continued serious health problems...the resulting financial problems...some of my longtime "friends" abandoning me..........  Let's just say that this is not a year that I would be anxious to repeat!

Yes, Henry, Bunny and I have relocated to a new "nest" -- a lovely condo about 2 miles from my old neighborhood, and we love it. 
Bunny especially likes her new bed.

 It did not take Henry long to find his favorite nesting place -- the sink!


I am still struggling to clean out the house and have the estate sale before the end of the month.  It's like boot camp!  PURGE, two, three, four!   DONATE two, three, four!  NO, you probably will never be a size 6 or 8 again, so purge all those little clothes -- two, three four!!  WHEW!

I am having a good time dreaming up home dec ideas with my flea market and thrift store finds, and I will share my photos with you soon.  I brought my signature green barn wood door with me that stood in-between my garage doors at the house for so long.  I could not bear to leave it behind or to sell it, so it has a new home now on my balcony. 

I continue to take my photographs of flowers and nature, and to enjoy poetry.  Here are some photos that I took in July at Canoe Creek State Park in Pennsylvania while I was home visiting my parents. 

Here are a couple of shots of my Mother's gorgeous flower boxes!

Looking forward to future blogging, photos, poems, friends, and wonderful discoveries!

Above all, Be Well and Happy.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daffodils in the Garden and Bird's Nests in My Hair

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."
                          --   Chinese Proverb

You have no way of knowing this, but I have a collection of art in my sewing room that depicts women with bird's nests in their hair.  I'm not quite sure how it started, but I'll just blame it all on etsy!  Ha ha.  One of these days I will give you a tour of my bird nest ladies.  My sewing room, as well as my house, is in disarray since I am in the process of getting ready to move - I don't know when or where yet, but I do know that it will be soon, and that I have to purge a lot of stuff!

Poetry, art and photography help calm me down.  So do the daffodils that have begun blooming in my yard, and the sights and sounds of the birds who are scouting their nesting sites and looking for nesting materials.  Don't forget to put out your dryer lint, pet hair, bits of yarn and string, and other soft nesting materials for the birds now.  They need it for their little ones!

As I have said in the past, two of my favorite places are Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Florida.  The great lady Lucy Maude Montgomery spent a great deal of reflective time there, and I feel somewhat of a kinship with her, even though we have lived during different centuries.  Here is a wonderful poem that she wrote about Spring, and another poem from a lovely fellow you may have heard of.

         Spring Song
Hark, I hear a Robin calling!
List, the wind is from the South!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.

In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river's orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.

Ours shall be the moonrise stealing
Through the birches ivory white;
Ours shall be the mystic healing
Of the velvet-footed night.

Ours shall be the gypsy winding
Of the path with violets blue,
Ours at last the wizard finding
Of the land where dreams come true.

        --Lucy Maud Montgomery

Perhaps the  most famous "Daffodils" poem:

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
     That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
     A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
     And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
     Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance;
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
     Out-did the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not be gay,
     In such jocund company;
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
     In vacant or in pensive mood
 They flash upon that inward eye
     Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
  And dances with the daffodils.

         -- William Wordsworth (1804)

       A gorgeous daffodil bud from my garden.

 Another sign of Spring -- lichens on my trees. 

I will be back soon.  Until then, be well and happy.  
Don't let the birds nest in your hair! 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vintage Singer Dressmaking Book and Free Sewing Printables

I am in the process of doing a MAJOR decluttering of my house, and yesterday I found a book that I forgot that I bought a few weeks ago at a thrift shop.  It is a Singer Sewing Machine Dressmaking Course from 1961 - the year I was born.  The illustrations are cute!  Some of the things that the hostess stresses crack me up --- like -- "You must always keep your sewing room nice and tidy at all times".  Oh my, if she could only see my sewing rooms!  Alas, that was the 60's.  However, I still need to get things organized and under control! 

A note about these pages from the book.  Blogger would not let me upload them after I spent an hour struggling with my stupid scanner trying to get them saved into my computer.  I'm not trying to violate any copyright laws here.  Please do not download the photos I took of the pages from this book.  There will be other free downloads for you at the end of this post. 

So, without further adieu, here are a few pages from the book.  Now remember,  mind your manners girls, and, as she tells you in the book, make sure that you always wear the proper undergarments, including the all-important "slip", especially when you are taking measurements for your sewing garments.  (I doubt that the slips of the 1960"s sucked in much of the female population's "unwanted" proportions  --  what would she have said if Spanx had been invented back then?)

So, there you have it.  I just thought the illustrations were cute.  I think that many of the sewing lessons in this book can still be applied today, so I'm going to take a closer look at it. Oh, by the way, guess who bought herself a swanky new sewing machine for her birthday?  I'll be "unveiling" it to you folks soon.  BUT - So far, I've been afraid to touch it -- I'm such a nerd!  

Here are some sewing-related downloads for you.

Okay Ladies and Gentlemen out there -- "Keep Calm and Sew Something"!
(But wear your slip and clean up after yourselves!)  
Most of all ----
Be Well and Happy.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

 Today is my 50th birthday.  I'm not embarrassed to admit this, I think that 50 is just a number, and considering all of the serious health problems that I have had during the past 10 years, frankly, I am happy to have reached my 50th birthday.  For weeks, I have been telling people that one of the things that I wanted for my birthday was a big snowstorm - like 25"!  Everyone was ready to strangle me!  Ha Ha.  My hopes were running low last week when the thermometer hit 68 degrees.  However, the Snow Fairy bestowed 8" of the lovely white stuff on me last night, just in time for my birthday.  This even gave me a chance to wear my new sweater that I bought at Macy's with some birthday money for the whopping price of $7!  I love a birthday bargain.  Here are some winter wonderland photos from my yard.  I wanted to do a nature walk in the woods, but I will have to do that tomorrow.  First, a pretty poem.

                 Winter Storm
Outside the trees are wearing ermine capes,
The eaves are flaunting icicle drapes,
And cascades of diamonds spill
From rocky ledges on the hill.
Red berries glisten in the snow.
The wind-chill factor is ten below.
A winter storm came in last night
And blanketed our world in white.
There's a crackling fire, an easy chair,
And firewood stacked up to there;
A catalogue of plants and seeds
From which to choose Spring garden needs;
A book to read, a pot of tea,
And food enough for you and me.
Welcome to my hearth and home.
Never mind the winter storm...
          Willette Caudle McGuire

Here is one of my Garden Chairs.

My Holly bushes still have a few berries for the birds!

Our lovely evergreens provide shelter for birds and deer alike.

The busiest birdhouse in the neighborhood gets a winter rest!

Grazing Deer.

My vintage wool gloves came in handy today.

It was dark by the time I got home from my thrift shop adventures today, so I fashioned a nighttime snow celebration.  This is my yummy cake from the famous Bethel Bakery in Bethel Park, PA.  They make the most awesome cakes and pastries!  As I typed this post, I ate it and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here's the full view.

I fashioned the "50" from some of my pink vintage earrings - pretty in pink!

All in all, I think that 50 is going to be a "fabulous" year!
Until next time - Be Well and Happy!