January 22, 2018

Fire-painted Copper Jewelry by LeAnne Marquis

LeAnne Marquis is passionate about creating a masterpiece
with each piece of her gorgeous handcrafted jewelry. 
Her medium of choice is copper, which becomes a canvas 
on which she creates not with paint or ink, but with fire. 
Using a torch, she coaxes spectacular results 
as bursts of color -black, blues, and purples- emerge.
Rustic, artsy...spectacular!

Prehnite stone dangles are chic additions to these earrings.

A dramatic cuff bracelet.

A labradorite stone is the finishing touch.

See more on LeAnne's website,
and on Facebook!

Images used with direct permission from LeAnne Marquis.

January 18, 2018

Embroidered House Keepsakes by The Monster's Lounge

What a dear keepsake of your home-sweet-home!
Sure, you can frame a photo of it, or commission an artist to paint it,
but an embroidered likeness would be really classy!

Theresa Lawson, of The Monster's Lounge,
creates these fabulous works of art in Seattle, Washington.
She uses a variety of stitches and textures to 
cleverly replicate every individual detail.

Wouldn't this be a perfect gift to give for a
housewarming or a wedding anniversary?
Super special and much appreciated!

More of The Monster's Lounge here:

Images used with direct permission from Theresa Lawson.

January 15, 2018

Bobby Kennedy's Poignant Speech Announcing the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day for remembering the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.,
in order to honor his memory and appreciate his work,
I'm featuring the wisdom of Robert F. Kennedy. 
After only just hearing the shocking news of King's assassination, 
he took on the responsibility of informing a crowd of people in Indianapolis.
He spoke from the heart, without the use of a speechwriter. 
His compassion calmed the crowd and diffused their anger.

63 days later, Kennedy was killed.

Listen to this poignant speech by Robert F. Kennedy,
often referred to as one of his best.

Here is a written transcript of Kennedy's speech, courtesy of jfklibrary.org:

I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort.

In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black--considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible--you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.

Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.

So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love--a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

January 11, 2018

We Love the Pennsylvania Farm Show!

Every January, we trek to Harrisburg, PA to take in the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Many attractions are longtime favorites that we enjoy seeing every year,
but we always manage to discover new things as well!

The butter sculpture, above, is a really popular Farm Show tradition.
Jim Victor & Marie Pelton, of Conshohocken, crafted it from
1,000 pounds of butter that was donated by Land O' Lakes, Inc.

This little calf was extra cute!

Fried mushrooms are a savory treat!

Always special to have Grandmom along!

Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna - a Pennsylvania Dutch favorite since 1902!

Now, that's one unusual potato!

My piglets having some fun!

More Farm Show info can be found here:

My Farm Show posts from past years:
Our Day at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
2017 Farm Show Fun

January 7, 2018

Vanessa Lubach's Terrific Linocuts

Vanessa Lubach, of the UK, has a particular talent for linocut.
Take note of the overlapping tree branches and the fur of the squirrel. 
When the many steps in the process of creating a linocut print are 
realized and appreciated, one sees that her detailed artistry is truly outstanding!
Sketching, cutting the linoleum, printing each color.
The results make a lengthy process well worth it!
Well done, Vanessa!

Find more of Vanessa's work here:

Images used with direct permission from Vanessa Lubach.

January 3, 2018

The Clever Japanese Art of Nerikomi Pottery

An intriguing art form is the ancient Japanese pottery technique called nerikomi.
The word itself means "to press into." The clay is layered in decorative patterns
and then pressed into cylinders, which are then thinly sliced to reveal the design.

A technique much like polymer clay canes...

or the millefiori glass of Murano, Italy...

or... sushi!

Here are some super examples of nerikomi pottery,
then a YouTube video that I just know you'll enjoy!

It's always fun 
to see how it's done!