November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks to the Lord this Thanksgiving

Thankful for so many things.
The Lord has blessed me beyond measure.

Happy Thanksgiving
to you and yours!

November 23, 2015

The Bold Pottery of Danko Handmade

A big fan of hand-thrown pottery,
I was wowed when I saw the creations of Daniel Nikolov.
Daniel is from Bulgaria and has a shop called Danko Handmade.
His modern interpretations of solid, rustic styles are wonderful.
I like his choices of deep, saturated shades of red, blue and green.
Showing off some of my favorites~
Any -in fact, all- of these would look fabulous in my home!

Connect with Danko Homemade here:

Images used with direct permission from Daniel Nikolov.

November 17, 2015

Touring the Spectacular Luray Caverns of Virginia


The stalactites and stalagmites in the underground fantasy world of
Luray Caverns were highlights of our trip to Virginia.
What a thrill to tour this geologic wonderland! 
Very unique - we really were wowed!

There was an eerie, other-worldly, sci-fi feel to the place.
I kept trying to imagine what an astonishing experience 
it must have been for those who discovered it years ago in 1878.

Photos can in no way do justice to the caverns;
they can't begin to convey the scope and depth of the place.
But I did give it a shot, so here is my feeble attempt
to relay the beauty and wonder of Luray Caverns. 



Look closely at this photo.
This is Dream Lake with its mirror image of the cavern's ceiling.
Crystal clear amazement!




Luray Caverns is located at
101 Cave Hill Rd., Luray, Virginia.

You can view their website here.

November 13, 2015

Karen Nicol’s Innovative Textile Design


Karen Nicol, of London, England, is a marvelously imaginative textile artist!
At a young age, she fell in love with embroidery and determined to make it her career.
With the courage to reach beyond the expected, she collaborated 
with others to design textiles for fashion and interiors,
finally exhibiting her work in galleries under her own name.
She's experimented with laces and has showcased her designs 
through a series of animals, including 2D and 3D embroidery.

Karen’s textile artistry is nothing short of innovative. 
She is passionate about embroidery and loves to teach and encourage others.

Enjoy this selection of her various works.









Karen's book, Embellished: New Vintage,
is a visual banquet of her vintage and textile treasures.

Visit Karen's website.

Images used with direct permission from Karen Nichol.

November 11, 2015

Visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello


I've always wanted to see Monticello, the home of
our country's 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson.
How happy I was to make the trip to Virginia for a visit!
A history buff's destination to cross this off the Bucket List.

Monticello is featured on the back of the U.S. nickel.
Tour guides refer to the photo I took above as "the nickel shot."
It is actually not the front of the home, 
where visitors were received in the main entrance hall,
but the rear of the home, most used by family.

My husband and I enjoyed learning about Jefferson
and the architecture of his beloved plantation.
As expected, no photos could be taken inside.


The 2 acre vegetable garden is located on the terraced hillside.
Jefferson was involved in the planting, cultivation and harvesting of over 
330 fruit & vegetable varieties, faithfully recording every detail in his journal.


This is Jefferson's Garden Pavillion, where he came to relax and read in the evenings.
It overlooks a vineyard, an orchard, and plantings of figs and berries.


A picturesque mountain-top view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Here I am beside one of the slave quarters along Mulberry Row,
where slaves labored as skilled blacksmiths, tinsmiths, 
spinners, weavers, nail-makers, and stablemen. 


This chimney is part of the ruins of the original Joiner's Shop, 
where woodworking and furniture making took place.


The decorative iron gate to the Monticello Graveyard,
with its ornamental "TJ" monogram.


Jefferson's obelisk tombstone marks his final resting place.


Jefferson chose what he wanted to engraved on the obelisk, what he considered 
to be his greatest accomplishments. He died on July 4, 1826, 
exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Check out the Monticello website for more information.

Monticello is located at
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, Virginia.

November 4, 2015

Reimagining the Book: 3D Book Art by Kerry Miller

Kerry Miller, of Great Britain, uses her artistic talents in a unique way.
She re-invents antique books, long ignored and cast off,
giving them new lives and new purposes as true works of art!

Kerry explains, "As technology threatens to replace the printed word,
there has never been a better time to re-imagine the book."

Each book is deconstructed by reverently cutting out the illustrations.
In the case of black and white images, Kerry sometimes
hand-paints them with watercolors or inks.
She re-builds the book by layering the pieces in one of two 3D approaches:
an explosion of images, bursting forth to capture our interest,
or a diorama, reaching within the confines of the book's covers
to offer a peek at the wonders inside.

Here's to appreciating the past,
the rewards of reading, 
and the artistry of Kerry Miller!

A Handbook to the Order Lepidoptera
Vols 1 & 3, published 1896

 The Boy's Own Annual 1886

Britain's Birds and their Nests, published 1910.

The Book of Days, Vol. 1, published 1897.

Familiar Garden Flowers, published circa 1880.

Harmsworth's Household Encyclopedia, published 1923.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published 1928.

Textbook of Massage, published 1910.

You can view lots more at Kerry's website.

Images used with direct permission from Kerry Miller.