Intaglio Earrings

When we were in London, we visited the British Museum. It had so many fascinating items from various cultures throughout history. What I loved but could not afford was a pair of intaglio earrings in the gift shop similar to these:


Friday Featured Art: The Girl at the Gate

One of the pieces that we saw at the Tate Britain that I really liked was Girl at the Gate by Sir George Clausen. It is very beautiful. Clausen was an English realist, and I think I really like the style.


Thursday Text: For the Bed at Kelmscott

One of the off-the-beaten-path things that we did while in England was visit William Morris's home in Kelmscott. It was fascinating. Around the canopy of the bed in the master bedroom is an embroidered verse that Morris wrote:

The wind's on the wold
And the night is a-cold,
And Thames runs chill
Twixt mead and hill,
But kind and dear
Is the old house here,
And my heart is warm
Midst winter's harm.
Rest then and rest,
And think of the best
Twixt summer and spring
When all birds sing
In the town of the tree,
As ye lie in me
And scarce dare move
Lest earth and its love
Should fade away
Ere the full of the day.

I am old and have seen
Many things that have been,
Both grief and peace,
And wane and increase.
No tale I tell
Of ill or well,
But this I say,
Night treadeth on day,
And for worst and best
Right good is rest.


Ploughman's Lunch

OK - I have to do another post about food. One of the first things that we ate in England (at the Kew Greenhouse Cafe on our first day) was a ploughman's lunch. I loved the concept. In this case, it was cheese (Stilton, cheddar, and brie), a roll with butter, a small salad, coleslaw, and chutney. It was all very fresh and delicious. As I mentioned in the last post, we ate a ploughman's sandwich at one point - that was cheese and lettuce and chutney. It's so simple. I've got to investigate the chutney thing a bit more - I'll let you know what I find out.


M&S Simply Food

One of our very favorite things about our trip was the department store Marks & Spencer. At first we didn't realize it was a department store because we found an M&S Simply Food shop at the airport. Their food is incredible. We enjoyed drinks like British apple juice and cloudy lemonade (sparkling). We loved the yogurt (yoghurt, as they spell it) with granola or raspberry currant compote to mix in. We couldn't get enough of their sandwiches - cheese and spring onion (grated cheddar with chopped green onions all mixed in mayo), cheese and celery (shaved white cheese with sliced celery in mayo), ploughman's (which I'll get to later). They even had food stores at the rest areas along the motorway (freeway). We ate many breakfasts and lunches of M&S food. Even their American-style donuts were amazing. Tony's wishing that one would open here, but for now we'll just have to steal their ideas!


The Scotsman

One of the recurring themes of my UK trip was the song The Scotsman from Utah State University running through my head.

Show me a Scotsman who doesn't love the thistle
Show me an Englishman who doesn't love the rose
And I'll show you a true-blooded Aggie from Utah
Who doesn't love the spot where the sagebrush grows!

The English roses and Scottish thistles really were amazing. And I love that they have such a connection to plants as national symbols.


Home Again, Home Again

From July 31 to August 11, Tony and I took a great big trip to the beautiful British Isles. We were celebrating a number of big milestones - we both turned 30 this year, we passed our 5th anniversary, Tony finished his PhD, etc., etc. We have been planning and saving for some time, and we thought if we didn't go now it might never happen. So we went and we loved it and we put 1500 miles on the rental car. Right now we're in the process of moving from mid-Missouri to northern Illinois, so things are a mess, but watch for some upcoming posts on the fascinating things that I saw - and ate - in the UK.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Garnet Girl Designs

Madelynn Cassin offers beautiful creations in metal and gemstone in her Etsy shop, Garnet Girl Designs. I am really in love with this aquamarine ring. If I didn't already have a wedding ring, I would seriously consider this one. My husband's birthstone is an aquamarine, and I think this would be a rather elegant option.


Thursday Text: T.S. Eliot

A couple of weeks ago when we had to speak in church, Tony shared a quote by T.S. Eliot that I really liked. It's from Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.


Gliding Love Seat

We're starting to think about furniture that we'll need at our new rental house in Illinois. There's one thing we found that I keep thinking about. Kansas City is home to one of the huge Nebraska Furniture Mart stores, and we like to go browse. We found a gliding love seat that looked like the sofa below. It's pretty basic, but I'm enthralled by the idea of having a glider. We have a porch swing now, and we love to sit on it. Maybe this is the next best thing...


Aggie Ice Cream

Something that always sounds good is Aggie Ice Cream. When I was going to college at Utah State University, I would walk home to the dorms past the food science building. I didn't get Aggie ice cream very often, but I did like to buy the yogurt that they made. You could get freshly-made plain yogurt with fresh berries mixed in. Delicious! (Yes, that is Aggie Blue Mint.)


Polaroid PoGo

Have you heard about the latest from Polaroid? It's an instant digital camera that will print 2x3" sticky-back prints. Isn't that amazing?! I think it sounds like a lot of fun. And it uses a new technology that doesn't require ink for printing. Wow.


Friday Featured Art: Leaf, Botanical Art

A couple of years ago, my sister Sara and her family gave us a beautiful framed leaf for Christmas. The leaf art is made by Owen Mortenson, who used to share a studio with Joe. The interesting thing was that she gave us a tulip tree leaf, and we didn't yet know that tulip trees grow in Missouri. It was a happy coincidence. I also like this piece with ginkgo leaves and was interested to find out that Owen also does botanical pendants. I love the Queen Anne's lace.


Thursday Two Things: Gateway Arch/Hancock Tower

Architecture is something that tends to be distinctive about a city or region. So, here is another set of something that I'll miss when I leave Missouri and something that I'm looking forward to in Illinois.

1. Missouri - the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. (I take tons of pictures of it every time we're in St. Louis because it's so fascinating to me.)

2. Illinois - the John Hancock Center. Tony took me to the Signature Room at the 95th for dinner once, and it was fabulous. Now we usually go up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor for great views of Chicago like this one (below).


Sensibly Styled

Are you following the blog Sensibly Styled yet? It's a blog that gathers modest clothing options from mainstream stores and puts them all in one place. For me, it's a great reminder that there are options out there that aren't short, sleeveless, skimpy, etc.


Martha Stewart Lighting

I came across more lighting options from Martha. I really like the Schoolroom Milk Glass collection. Aren't these ceiling lights pretty?


Stark Brothers

This isn't the best picture because I took it out the window of a moving car, but I really love this barn. It has a bear and says Stark Trees Bear Fruit. It's for the Stark Brothers Nursery in Louisiana, Missouri - along the Mississippi River.