Wednesday, March 29, 2023

My Gallery Wall

  I posted this on my other blogs, but thought I'd cross post, since it's home-related!

This is my office area.  When I moved in, I set up my computer on the peninsula between the kitchen and living room and then the decor evolved from there. To the left of the monitor is book wallpaper adhered to the back of a small shelf unit that I use as a divider "wall."  And it's extra shelf/storage in the kitchen. Above the monitor to the right were two cupboard doors that I removed and replaced with the bulletin board (which I've covered with lace). It houses kitchen stuff that's accessible from the kitchen.

Close-up of bookcase wallpaper & plants on top of shelf:

To the right of the monitor is more book wallpaper adhered to a piece of foamboard, to give a cohesive look and hide the back of the microwave:


Close-up of corner:
Photos are of Mum's mum as young woman and at age 5, looking very Victorian!

Copper book plate for a fern book & a painting by my artist friend Betsy:

Full gallery wall:

The fabric is a fern eco-print from Nik The Booksmith and it covers a printer. To the right of that is a framed collection of dried flowers that I got at a thrift store: 

On the back, it says:

Detail of homage to Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward: 
Free floating moths are from The Graphics Fairy.

Complete with a mini-Wardian case from Dollar Tree:

Underneath the little shelf thingie:
Left to right: Professor Anderson, director of Chelsea Gardens, Dr. Asa Gray, botanist at Harvard, and Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward.

I suspect these to be 3 of NB Ward's children. The photos are from the Literary and Scientific Portrait Club: photographs by Maull & Polyblank, circa 1855. They look like siblings, and I see a resemblance to NB Ward:

More 19th century botanical artists and authors: 
Top, Left to Right: Helena Scott, her sister Harriet Scott with Harriet's moth painting between them.
Bottom, Left to Right: Kate Chopin, author of The AwakeningAnna Atkins, & Louisa May Alcott
To the right of all of them is Jane Austen, of course!

This a print from author and botanical artist, Christine Andreae:
She's like a modern day Edith Holden!

Fern print that camouflages the heat register:

Beatrix Potter with her dog Kep, at Hilltop Farm and Elizabeth Gaskell:

Here are a coupla bonus pix of the "Parlour" area, not in the video:
Tabby Bobcat asleep on the recliner. Lady is curled up in the cat/beagle bed. The book graphic is actually a shower curtain that I adhered to the back of a cupboard unit, that I use as a "half wall." It was a lot easier to do that than my original idea of doing the book wallpaper.

And up above, is Yoda-Kitty in her "Hutch Lair":
Zzzzzzz . . . .   :-)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Interview about Dave Dobson

Recently, John Morgan and I got together with Doug O'Brien to chat about our mutual teacher, Dave Dobson. Loyal readers of this blog will recall my many posts about Dave. Here's our conversation:


Friday, August 26, 2022

A few pix

Yesterday's sunrise: 

I've been chauffeuring some Amish people to different places. Being the compulsive photographer I am, it's hard not to take pictures! Yesterday I transported a gentleman to a friend's new homestead out in the country. My kinda place! The home is being built with timber from the land and they had a sawmill right there. How cool is that?!  Especially on the heels of the Deforestation Debauchery that I wrote about earlier. I snapped a quick pic after the drop off when I was heading back down the driveway:

Here's Lady in her cat bed. You can just see a bit of the cat in the lower left corner of the photo:

Found a grasshopper:

Friend Teresa gave me these hydrangeas for eco-dying, but they were too pretty not to display:

And of course, ferns!

All is well.  :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tree Shruggers

I love trees; for their beauty and variety and part in the delicate ecosystem of our world. They are the lungs of the planet and habitat for birds and squirrels and all manner of critters. I especially love a tree-lined country road . . . 

through different seasons and light and weather . . .

This particular road is to a friend's house. Here are some cows:

You can imagine my shock when I drove down this same lovely, shady stretch to see this:

Clear cutting everything. Some of those trees  are were 100+ years old. 

Are they going to use the wood for furniture, perhaps? Or at least the smaller trees for winter wood; fireplaces and woodstoves? 


Burning these HUGE piles of wood IN THE RAIN:

What a waste. The irony?  They put up a bird feeder. 
You know. For all the birds whose habitats they just destroyed.
You've heard of Tree Huggers?  
I'm calling these people Tree Shruggers.
"Trees?  Meh. Who needs 'em?"
Yeah. That's what I'm calling them--
which is nicer than what I was calling them before.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sherlock Mystery Files

 My sister is teaching A&P for the T.A.G. (Talented And Gifted) program this week for 10-14 year olds. So I helped her design some learning centers. Each day will have medical mysteries correlated with the system they are studying. We're also incorporating critical thinking and scientific inquiry. I won't post the whole series here, but here's the first one:

Creative Commons photo of 19th century Sherlock. I just printed in B&W on parchment paper. 

Each story is printed on cardstock and I have incorporated some critical thinking / scientific inquiry questions:

Answer can be deduced by flipping up the card:

On back of story is a pocket holding "The London Times" front page:
Vintaged up.

I printed this out on parchment & distressed:

Here's an easier version to read:

I'll prolly do a video demo after the class is finished to show all the folders.  :-)

Monday, June 27, 2022

Lady Pix

 I'm dog-sitting Beagle-girl Lady for Composer Brother. So for his birthday, I made him a newsletter of Lady pix that I've taken since she's been here the past few weeks. I'm posting them here for posterity's sake. And because no one reads my blog anymore, least of all my family. Ha!  Here we go:

Here's the birthday card:

Friday, June 3, 2022

Letter to My Niece


Dearest Niece,

Your father shared with me that you are taking a break from college. I will tell you that I did something similar when I was your age. In between my high school experience (at the infamous Wakefield School) I took 2 years off before going to Mary Washington. I lasted 3 semesters there before I took a break off to be a nanny (amongst other things). It would be 5 years before I returned to a different college, and I essentially had to start over, so that I wasn’t graduated until I was 32. But when I went back, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I’d also had more life experience and was a MUCH better student!

I think part of the problem was that there’s an attitude that you have to choose a major and therefore a career and start adulting and know what you want to be when you grow up. It seems like such a permanent decision. Unless you have a clear idea of what you want that also requires a college degree (doctor, teacher, lawyer) then it’s really more about “leaving the nest” and learning how to make decisions, manage your time,  how to do laundry and other self-care tasks, or how to get along with roommates. Well, you’re already an expert in that regard!

What I would tell myself at your age—and so I will tell you, is that you don’t have to have it all figured out. AND, most importantly, you can change your mind. Very few decisions are permanent. The woman who wrote Legally Blonde, actually did go to law school—and left. Ricky Gervais didn't write The Office until he was 40. I know that seems sooooo old right now, but somehow time speeds up and you’ll be there soon enough!

Your tastes and interests will change. So will your friends because they reflect who you are now. Being a young adult is about finding out who you are. That is the wisdom of Socrates: Know thyself. When you know who you are, and have a sense of what you want to do, it makes it very easy to say, “No, thanks; not for me,” or “Yes, please, I’ll have more of that.”

One of the ways I evaluate anything is to ask: Does this energize me or de-energize me?  This goes for spending time with people or on a particular task or job. I love art and reading and writing and so many things. I would rather gnaw off my own arm if I have to sit through meetings or do taxes. That eliminates a few things off the “What do I want to do” List.  Now, when I was in college, I had to take Macro-Economics in order to get my education degree. It was taught by a hideous man who spat when he spoke—and I sat in the front row. Ughhhh.  But it helped to remind myself why I was in the class—for a larger purpose. So I am not saying, don’t do anything you don’t want to do. That’s what being an adult is, having to do stuff you don’t want to a lot of the time. But when it comes to who you spend time with, what you do in your leisure time, make sure you enjoy it. And if it’s a necessary task that you don’t particularly enjoy (cleaning, for example) then put music on or listen to a podcast or book and make it enjoyable. If it’s a person who sucks the life force out of you, then limit your time with that person. You are not obligated. And—if someone tries to make you feel guilty, they are trying to control you. That goes for any kind of relationship. Seriously. Don’t take the ticket on the Guilt Trip. Eschew it. 

Welp. I think that will do it for Auntie HaHa’s Life Lessons. I love you no matter if you get a degree now or later or never.

Sending MUCH LOVE,