Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lefton China Teacup

Just a quick post of photos so that I can link to the parties of the Lovely Tea Ladies!  I inherited this Lefton teacup ... I'm thinking from my grandmother, but it could have belonged to one of her sisters.  The cup feels fairly thin and delicate.

My great grandmother's necklace is very fragile.

This old ceramic coffee pot is unmarked.

[God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Just carrying on ... with a little help from tea and books!

I'll be linking up to the following blog parties:

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Wanda Lee at Silken Purse for Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cancelled Stamp Art

Hello Dear Followers, Readers, and New Visitors!

I have wanted to share these little exquisite works of art with you for some time, but had to find them first!  Some years back I put them in a "safe place" (I thought), and I spent several hours this past week looking for them.  Of course, such things are always in the last place we look, but a short and sweet search would be more pleasant than long and arduous!  Ah well, I was able to weed out oodles of papers I don't need anymore.

Here they have their original protective covering.

These beautiful cancelled stamp flowers, embellished with pen and ink, were created by a Miss Jessie Nolan.  The two larger works are dated 1968 (on their backs).  I've had them for years and am not sure whether they were my grandmother's or great aunt's.  I scanned them hoping to share more detail:

The original of this measures 5" x 7".
Something new is going on when one clicks on a photo, but if you
click on the photo, then click on the "Image from..." link,
then you can enlarge the photo once it comes up.  I hope.
The original notecard measures just shy of 4" x 6".

The original measures 6" x 9".

The demitasse cup is a Russel Wright:

A few more snapshots:

The "ribbon" on the notecard is in pen; the ribbons
on the other two works are made from cancelled stamps.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing this cancelled stamp art ... something that would be much more difficult to create now that cancelled stamps are so few.

You, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
Psalm 92:4   (NRSV)

Determined to sing for joy even on Monday!

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Wanda Lee at Silken Purse for Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Chillin'

While at the office today I thought of a vignette for, hopefully, a quick post tonight.  Once home I hurriedly began to arrange things, but unfortunately by 6PM there was no decent light in any of my usual spots.  I didn't want to wind up with untrue colors by using the flash, so I put everything away for another time.  I'm guessing evening photography using natural light isn't going to be an option for the next several months.  I'll have to hope for good light on the weekends.

I am sorry to miss all my usual blog parties this week.  I will have to plan more efficiently!  Well, I'll take my cue from "Kallie" and will cast my care and try again later.  (Kitties seem to photograph nicely with or without the flash!)

Give all your worries and cares to God,
for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7   (NLT)

Have a blessed middle of the week,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Little Early

In blogland we're thinking about the beginning of autumn, and the squirrels think it's autumn, but sadly the leaves on our maple trees are acting as if it were late October here.  This is the result of the hot, hot, dry summer we had.  We did water, but as we drive around town, we can see that wasn't enough.  The heat seems to have been especially hard on the maples and evergreens.  I heard someone call it "scalding."  

At least the maples were absolutely gorgeous for the two autumns before this.  I will look at those photos and also enjoy what color does develop this year!

I so enjoyed the many lovely posts and tributes I read this weekend.

Hoping you have a very beautiful and colorful autumn in your neck of the woods,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cups, No Saucers

In word processing/editing there are such things as widows and orphans when a single line begins or ends a page.  They are generally avoided for appearance's sake.  I'm not sure whether cups without saucers are akin to widows or to orphans, but they are still lovely in their own right.  So today I share with you my cups that have no saucers.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself
from being polluted by the world.
James 1:26,27

So grateful for cooler, hot tea kind of weather,

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Wanda Lee at Silken Purse for Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Thank you, Gracious Ladies!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I Learned about "Unfriendliness" from My Beautiful Bird

The bird on the left reminds me of Booful.
Photo Credit

Shortly after I began working at a large law firm, I decided to buy a parakeet.  I had been feeling rather downhearted and thought the cheerful chirping of a parakeet might lift my spirits.

When I was in high school, I had a friend who had a parakeet, and it was a real sweetie.  My friend could take the bird out of its cage, and it would stay perched on her finger.  She could even bring it up to her puckered lips, kissing its beak several times in a row.  My classmate had also taught the parakeet to say “pretty bird.”  It seemed such a happy relationship.

More recently, my neighbor had a parakeet for several years.  She, too, had a pleasant relationship with her bird.  She could let it fly loose around her house, the bird coming and going from its cage at will much of the day.  It also fed on all sorts of interesting greens and fruits offered, helping to make life interesting for that little sweet bird and my neighbor.  They were good company for each other until her parakeet died of old age (for a bird in captivity).

So although I had my precious doggie, I thought a parakeet would be just the right addition to my household.  At the pet shop I perused all the parakeets carefully, so that I’d choose just the right one.  Finally, I chose a blue and white, male parakeet.  He had a vibrant blue cere (the nostril area above his beak), light blue feathers on his back, and when he lifted his wings, he revealed feathers on his upper back that were a gorgeous aqua.  Truly a beautiful bird.

Looking back, I should have suspected something when he didn’t screech or flutter around like the other parakeets when I drew near their cage.  If I thought of it at all, I probably thought he was a nice, calm, well-adjusted birdie.  Had I been wiser, I might have guessed my fate and been prepared for the years that were to follow:  I had managed to purchase one totally self-absorbed, anti-social parakeet.

My parakeet just plain didn’t like me.  Never warmed to me and never was overly interested in me for the entire nine years of his life.  Needless to say, by not being interested in me, he never learned to talk.  I had read some short books on parakeets when “Booful” (short for Beautiful) came to live with me, and I suspected I didn’t have the time to work with him as much as was needed to bring forth word mimicry.  Still, I had hoped, maybe ... 

Of course, I did woo him with words and coo at him often.  This would bring forth a momentary glance in my direction, accompanied by silence.  Then his attention would return to the birdie in the mirror.  Oh my, what a good-looking bird must have been in that mirror.  Booful gazed at himself and tugged on the mirror, flipping it around, for hours each day.  His own image was such a good companion to him, he didn’t need me.  I would slowly put my hand in his cage and try to stroke him or pet him, but in all the years of his life, he never stopped trying to bite me.  Often he successfully gave me a nip.

One of only two photos I have of Booful, and they are both this blurry.
But I wanted to show how he had a lot of white,
and his "stripes" always remained very faint his whole life.
Here he is, admiring himself in the mirror.

I did think about removing the mirror for awhile, but was afraid the shock would kill my little bird.  After all, it wasn’t ever my intention to traumatize him.  And outside of birdseed and his lava stone, he never ate anything else I offered him.  On the contrary, he acted as if I were trying to kill him with whatever I put in his cage!  I just never could convince the little darling that I was a friend and had his best interests at heart.

One night not too many weeks before the morning I found him lying stiff and cold at the bottom of his cage, I heard him squawking.  I was already in bed, and so was he, having been covered up for the night.  I knew something wasn’t right, though, because he was always quiet while covered up.  I turned on the lights, went to his cage, and discovered that somehow he had managed to catch one of his little talons on the cover over his head.  Fortunately, he let me free him and then sat very still on his perch.

It was then I was able to stroke him for the longest I ever could.  I ran my finger down his back, his breast, and smoothed the top of his head.  I knew he was in shock or he wouldn’t have allowed me to do that.  I spoke to him in a soft voice, saying, “See how nice that is if you would let me do that.  See...”  The next day he was back to his usual aloofness, but for a few tender moments the previous night I had the sweet relationship with my little parakeet I had wanted to have all along, and a sort of bittersweet hello/goodbye as well.

The point of all this is that just as my bird simply didn’t like me, sometimes people just simply don’t like us either.  Despite our attentions and our good intentions, we can just feel the wall between ourselves and certain others.  We know the wall is there because we keep running right smack into it every time we try to be friendly towards them.

I realized some people (and birds) will just plain not take to us, and we don’t get to have a thing to do with it.  It's their problem.  They may not even realize or care that they come across as being unfriendly or snooty.  It’s just the personality they have.  Even if it is planned treatment of us on their part, it still doesn’t matter.  We respond the same either way—we love them, just as I loved Booful, because that’s what the Lord requires of us (love your neighbor as yourself, Galatians 5:14). 

As Christians, we are to especially love other Christians, and sometimes that's a challenge.  Yet it is quite possible to not care for another’s personality, but to still love them.  And when the persons in question don’t respond in kind, we can keep them in our prayers.  Doing so helps us to love them more, and to serve Christ as a living example of His love.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:14,15

(Note:  I originally wrote the above a few years ago.  When I bring writing over from Word, the formatting seems to have a mind of its own!)

Sending out greetings to my family, readers, followers
and new followers,