Friday Featured Art: The Good Shepherd

William Dyce was a Scottish artist from the 1800s. Although I didn't remember it right away, we saw some of his work in the Queens Robing Room at the Palace of Westminster - he did a series of frescoes on the walls that depict virtues from Arthurian legend. I really like his religious works. This one is titled The Good Shepherd.


Thursday Text: A Death in the Family

I just finished reading a book called A Death in the Family by James Agee. (I posted about his poetry previously.) I wasn't sure what I would think of the book, but I ended up liking it. Some of the parallels to my life story were astonishing, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The moistures of May drowned all save the most ardent of stars, and gave back to the earth the sublimated light of the prostrate city. Deep in the end of the back yard, the blossoming peach tree shone like a celestial sentinel. The fecund air lavished upon their faces the tenderness of lovers' adoring hands, the dissolving fragrance of the opened world, which slept against the sky.


The Flowers of the Fields of France

A week or so ago I attended at lecture at NIU given by Christopher Breward, Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He talked about British design from 1948-2012. They are preparing an exhibit that will run during the London Olympics in 2012. It was a fascinating discussion. Here is one of the items that may be on display for the exhibit: a state evening dress worn by Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to Paris in 1957. It's called "The Flowers of the Fields of France." Lovely.


FITtv and Ellen Barrett

We live on a small street on the edge of a highway, so it's difficult to get outside and walk, etc. I've started doing the All-Star Workouts on FITtv. I really like Ellen Barrett. She does Pilates Sculpt and Slow-robics. I think I need to get one of her DVDs...


Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring was on TV the other day. I don't think I really like Colin Firth as Vermeer. The cinematography is exquisite, though. And I really liked the book.


Friday Featured Art: An Angel

While at the Milwaukee Art Museum, we noticed a painting that we did not remember seeing when we were there before (7 years ago). It's called An Angel and is, of course, by Abbott Handerson Thayer. Beautiful.


Thursday Text: Madeleine Castaing

The latest issue of House Beautiful had a quote that I liked by the French decorator Madeleine Castaing:

"Love is essential to the decoration of a house. ... A room must say, 'My love is here,' or 'My love has just left,' or 'I'm waiting for my love to arrive.'"


Liatorp Table

We have the Liatorp table from IKEA in our living room. I wasn't sure what to put in the drawers to display. At first we just put books in it, but I wasn't satisfied. The other day I wandered around the house gathering up knick-knacks. I like how it turned out.


Towel Stand Trick

I have a little towel stand that's been around for a while. I've used it in the bathroom and as a nightstand, and now it's back in the bathroom. It was starting to look cluttered, though, so I made some little curtains to hide everything. They're not exact, but they do the trick!



A couple of weeks ago when we were at the dentist, we had to wait a really long time. The upside of this story is that I found a recipe for donuts in the Family Circle magazine. I tried it last week. I don't have a donut pan, but I do have one of Martha's mini Bundt cake pans. They turned out to be pretty good - and fun! I forgot to take a picture before we ate the best-looking ones... (Recipe below.)

Whisk: 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt

Whisk: 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 4 tsp. melted butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pipe into donut pan (or mini Bundt cake pan).

Bake at 325 degrees for 13 minutes. Makes 6.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Green and Gardenia

Today I'm spotlighting my own Etsy shop: Green & Gardenia! During this past week I've lowered all of the prices in my shop and introduced a new design. Check it out.


Thursday Tunes: Inspector Lewis

I really love the background music on the Inspector Lewis series. So we searched high and low and overseas for the soundtrack. It's composed by Barrington Pheloung and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra, and you can sample it (or buy it!) through the UK version of Amazon here.


China Patterns

On Saturday we were at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and we noticed some really fabulous china. It made me think of the china that we saw at the Palace of Holyroodhouse last summer. And it made me think of the presidential china that we saw at the Harry Truman Library. My china is just white with a silver band, but I'm really liking the idea of some beautifully colored/patterned pieces. (The top set is from the royal collection, the middle is John Quincy Adams, and the bottom is Franklin Pierce.)


Liberty of London for Target

Have you seen the goods at Target? They have some great new things by Liberty of London. This piggy bank is darling. I really love the prints. This black and white canister is fantastic!



We went to the Missouri Botanical Garden over Easter weekend, and so many things were at their peak - including magnolias. We love the pink ones, but we especially love the white ones. They are so elegant.


Friday Featured Art: A Study in March (In Early Spring)

I checked out a book from the University library about the Pre-Raphaelites and landscapes, so I have a lot of resources for Friday art! This one is by John William Inchbold and is called A Study in March (In Early Spring).


Thursday Text: When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be

I just finished a short collection of Keats' poetry. Considering that he died so young, I found this one particularly interesting:

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing

I saw Martha's new Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts on her show the other day... So I immediately ordered it. I'll let you know what I think of it when it arrives!


Filigree Star Ceiling Clip Shade

I really like this star clip-on light shade from the latest Pottery Barn catalog. It's a simple way to dress up a room.


Green's Egg Custard Tarts

When we were in England, we bought some Green's egg custard filling mix. If you've ever watched As Time Goes By, you know that Lionel loves to eat custard tarts. We picked them up a couple of times while we were there, and they were delicious. So when we were at the grocery store we picked up a box to make at home. Now I just have to find the shells!


Friday Featured Art: View from Shorn Ridgway, Kent

Tony and I were talking the other day about the British countryside and their rolling fields with green hedges and lots of sheep. This painting is called View from Shorn Ridgway, Kent, and is by Ford Madox Brown, yet another of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.


Thursday Tunes: I Gotta Feeling

I was listening to I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas the other day, and it reminded me of the thing that they did on Oprah. Did you see it? They were on her show on the day that she took over Michigan Avenue. They choreographed a dance for the entire crowd. It makes me smile every time I see it.