Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Words on Wednesday...Another 200th

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Jane Austen, one of my favorite authors, was born on December 16, which was also my mom's birthday. For some crazy reason, I derive extreme joy from this. While my mom wasn't a famous author, she could craft a great story. In a quiet, unassuming way she could suss things out with humor and unique aplomb. Mom spent almost 20 years in a wheelchair, and that made her invisible to many people, but it gave her a great vantage point to witness life's intricacies.  I learned it's amazing what you can pick up when no one is noticing you. Like Jane, Mom was a keen observer of human nature.  In remembrance of Jane on the 200 anniversary of her passing on July 18, with a special nod to mom, here are some of my favorites:

It's tough to choose just one of Jane's novels as a I will narrow it to three.  Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Mansfield Park. Well, maybe I will add, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion for good measure!

For PBS adaptations, Emma, hands down, my favorite!

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Favorite movie at cinema, Pride and Prejudice, with Kiera Knightly.
Favorite Bollywood version: Bride and Prejudice
Favorite Rom/Com book club variety: Jane Austen Book Club
Honorable mention: Colin Firth

Favorite Mini Series with Time Travel: Lost in Austen
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And Current Read with a twist...

...and a wink and a nod to Jane and Antiquarian books.  Happy, Reading!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

T stands for Thelma and Louise-in' it...

Things have been busy and a tad stressful.  While a tad isn't great, as long as there are no health issues,  no complaints. That being said, sometimes it is necessary to pull out the big guns. Changing the mood may require a change of atmosphere and environment, and someone to lift spirits out of the doldrums works wonders.
Thelma and Louise-in' it
This tad was building a while, so it was going to take a full day, starting at 8:30 am, and we planned our favorites with a few new things thrown in for good measure.
Breakfast at one of our favorite places, The Wenham Tea House.

Starters before brekkie, and of course, there's Tea
After a lovely breakfast, we headed off to Cranes Beach...
Lots of open space.

We really do..jump for joy!
What's on tap next? A winery sounds good, so off to Mill River Winery...for just a taste ..or maybe two
Wine, cookies, chocolates and cheese...delicious
A little wine gave quite a boost to our self-confidence, so we were ready to tackle the golf course... umm, mini golf, that is, at Nunan Flowers and Greenhouse. It was so hot, we were the only ones there..perfect to take our time and get in the best shot ;)
Beautifully landscaped mini golf
 We finished up with a tie, and celebrated with local Richardson's ice cream, available at the Kallie's Kones right outside. Since we were at a garden center, it would have been wrong not to take a peek inside...Beautiful flowers

and Whoa...
A giant macaw
Time to hit the road, after walking on the hot sand and our mini-golf, a pedicure seemed like a nice treat (excellent advice, Onz)
Goodness, it's still early...can't go home just yet. Let's take a quick browse at Barnes and Noble. So many books, so many bargains...
Lots of Entertainment value here!
It was almost time to go home, with a quick stop for a strawberry margarita and appetizers.  Then it was on to home, almost 11. We enjoyed our day together, and never once felt the urge to head over the cliff!

And in the attempt to keep it creative, and in a nod to Tea, a poem my dad used to say to me, lettered in French round hand.
one of my favorite poems
Wishing you a spirit of gladness, as you enjoy a cup of tea and take a glimpse at Bluebeard and Elizabeth's tea party blog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mail on Monday...Sign sand delivered.

Last week was a hectic one for me, and I am hoping to get out from under it soon. Today's rain may help with completing some of the projects on tap, with the added benefit of keeping my lawn well watered. While last week was busy, we managed to include a few good things, including breakfast at the oldest tea house in America.
sign at The Wenham Tea House
We made it a point to visit the Sand Sculpting Contest at Revere Beach. Absolutely amazing!

Just a sampling...

The professional sand sculptors travel from all over the world to compete in this weekend event. Their work is awe inspiring! Although extremely crowded, it was well worth it, especially considering today's constant rain.  I am so happy we had the opportunity to view this magnificent, temporary art.

Sand Sculpture Contest

Handling grains of Sand
Sculptures created, magic
Then, suddenly, gone.

And finally delivered,

PTE exchange, from Jean 
More great ideas to try. Hoping that I have sent some inspiration your way!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mail on Monday

Thank goodness for envelope exchanges, it means something artistic and fun arrives in the mail!
fun mail from Kate
I really loved the stlye and colors on this, so I copied it on one of my envelopes for the exchange. Forgot to cover the address, so I will just show the return side
back flap
I used Kate's lettering style but did flowers instead of fruit.  In addition to the lovely letters coming through the mail slot, I love being introduced to new ideas to try. Also, on my agenda is figuring out how to blur an address for future posts.

New postage stamps also trigger learning. The new solar eclipse stamp has been released to coincide with the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017. The band will pass trough the contiguous US in a 70 mile stretch moving from west to east. Massachusetts won't have the full total eclipse, but we will get a partial  sometime between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

You would need a special attachment for a telescope to view a solar eclipse safely.
I used pastels to color the backround of the envelope and drew a telescope for the address section.  On the card I used a chalk marker, which was a little challenging, as it goes on clear and then turns chalk like. This definitely will take a little more practice.

A great little pressie came in the mail, courtesy of Fi.
Yay! for surprises!
Fi ordered me a return address stamp for my return address on my mailings. It came all the way from Malaysia.  I love the postage stamps too, so pretty. I thought  my favorite Lilly Pulitzer wristlet coordinated nicely.

Wishing you a day with a good wish, some mail, and surprises! Happy Mail Monday!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Happy 200th

Happy 200th birthday to Henry David Thoreau, a native of Concord Massachusetts and a man ahead of his time. I wish more people shared his appreciation for the environment and simplicity. Thoreau was an environmentalist, abolitionist, essayist, poet and philosopher. Since reading Walden in high school, I have been an ardent fan of Thoreau's works and ideals. A quick  search of his name will lead you to some of his more famous quotes. One of my personal favorites is; "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."  As I am on a mission to declutter and organize my craft closet, I will include this..."Simplify, simplify."  And in a nod to nature and my local walking vista, my haiku,

Breakheart Reservation

Nestled just ahead
 trees tower, sun dappled paths
Our welcome respite

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
-Henry David Thoreau

Happy walking in nature.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

T stands for Tea...a hug in a mug

Since this is a T for Tuesday day on Bluebeard and Elizabeth day, I thought I would share some mugs Fi and I painted at a pottery studio that I found on Groupon.  The groupons only work for weekdays until 7, giving us less than an hour to pick our piece, choose paint and get to work.  What a rush, but still fun. We are already planning on finding a pottery studio where we won't be under such a time constraint.  Now for the mugs...
Fi's watercolor dreams
Elephant Mug
I think my elephant mug would be a little difficult to drink out of, but it is a nice container for some art supplies. Above the head is a spot for what we think would be a teabag, but I am using it for a much needed eraser! Next time, we will go in with a plan and more time to complete our projects,. We finished up the night by grabbing a bacon, potato, scallion pizza at Otto's.

The timing on our pottery painting night came on the heels of finishing a historical fiction novel, set in the north end of Boston in 1909. The story centers on four immigrant girls, their friendship and The Saturday Evening Girls Club. I had never heard of this part of local history before hearing the author speak at our local library. The novel weaves together the true story of the club, libraries, immigrants, patrons and art. I enjoyed Jane Healey's talk and the book is a wonderful glimpse into the time period and Jewish and Italian immigrant experience in the 1900s.  Jane also talked about her writing process and getting published through the Amazon Scout contest. Jane graciously shared her experiences and suggestions.                  

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 A Redbook Magazine  2017 Beach Read Summer Pick

My good friend  CJ and I had planned a trip into the MFA. After our visits to the Boticelli and Matisse exhibits, we went in search of the pottery which Jane had mentioned being on display.

Saturday Evening Girls Club pottery at the MFA
Our afternoon outing ended shortly after with a scrumptious luncheon at Flour Bakery. I would say the day was a perfect intersection of books, art, history, and friendship. It really doesn't get much better than that. Cheers.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mail, a book, and flowers...some of my favorite things

Busy weekend, with not much time for mail...Just a letter or two to go out..
Blue bird of happiness for Susan
and lilies for Honore..
While I need to get on my own letter writing, I just finished a great little book about a relationship that developed through letters exchanged.
I am in the process of reading Writing with Quiet Hands,  so I find myself looking at books in terms of criteria that Paula recommends for writers. This book flowed so easily, and had characters that I was totally engaged in. When I finished this book, I thought, I hope she does a sequel. I read this book as I took the train in and out of Boston, and couldn't wait to finish that's what I did. File it under my weekend read!

Gift from Eog
he knows where my heart is..
The garden is still in progress, but I love all of the color that is starting to pop...
Snap dragons and vinca

Sexy Rexy
What a name, but it is beautiful!
Wishing you a sun filled, flower filled week!