Thursday, June 13, 2019

Horray for the Red, White, and Blue

Horray for the Red, White, and Blue

The red and white and starry blue
Is Freedom's shield and hope. ~ John Philip Sousa

Flag Day ~ June 14th

A few thrifty finds just in 
time to honor the Stars and Stripes!

Staffordshire Liberty Blue 
Promotional Pattern Developed for 
Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan
to Commemorate the Company's 50th Anniversary in 1975
and the American Bicentennial Celebrated in 1976

The dinnerware features fifteen 
different historical scenes, all from Colonial America.

The borders are a typical floral 
often seen on English transferware.

The cereal bowl features Betsy Ross,
the legendary seamstress credited with 
making the first American flag.

Each piece is marked on the back 
with the name of the historic scene.

This dinner plate 
features Independence Hall.

The mark on the dinner plate is much more 
refined and includes specific information about the 
original copper engraving used to produce the scene.

~ Red ~ White ~ Blue ~
~ Stars ~ Stripes ~

The perfect patriotic dishes!

Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits
I like to buy vintage hankies and scarves to use as 
napkins and tray covers.  The added texture is unexpected.

~ F is for flag ~
It's red for love, and it's white for law, 
And it's blue for the hope that our forefathers saw 
Of a larger liberty.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote #19

Rabbit, Rabbit!
Welcome to the 19th edition of Tales of the Traveling Totes.
Join me as we visit a few Texas venues for
art, architecture, antiques, and gardens.

 On the eve of the spring equinox, Miz Checkers and I joined my
garden club friends for a day trip to a fascinating Texas garden.

Peckerwood Garden, located in Hemstead, TX is 
named for the woodpeckers that frequent the area. 

Artist, John Fairey purchased the first 7 acres of the property in 1971 and eventually expanded with an additional thirtynine acres. 

 You can read more details about Peckerwood Garden here.
In John Fairey's words, " There are many ways to describe Peckerwood Garden:  it is a collection of more than 3,000 plants including many rarities; it is a conservation garden containing examples of numerous threatened species, many of which are no longer found in the wild; it is a laboratory garden testing a wide range of new plants and our Mexican dicoveries.  
It is a garden with a mission to encourage other gardeners to see a beauty in landscape that is consistent with out plants and climate; it is a pioneering garden exploring new plants and cultiviation methods and aesthetic concepts for other gardeners.  It is a garden that looks to the future, not to the past.
Yet, most esential, it is my studio, a place where artistic and horticultural research are fused to create an environment that stimulates all of the senses, including the most eleusive of all, our sense of time. "   ~ John G. Fairey

Mr. Fairey's "recipe" for design was to plant an interesting mix along the paths with the low growing plants close to the walk way, 
larger ones placed in the background, and an accent of something unusual mixed in.  He likes to mix various leaf shapes and shades of green to give the space visual interest.

 The Two-winged Silverbell tree caught my attention for it's 
sweet white blooms that flower March through April.  
It is a perfect understory tree, that is
generally insect and disease free.  

 The light blush pink flowers of the Daybreak Magnolia 
instantly charmed me, as the wide upright blush bloom said, "Welcome, Spring."

There is a creek lined with Cyprus trees that meanders through the property.  The Cypress Knees growing above the roots have a distinctive appearance though their actual purpose is unknown.

It was an informative and most interesting day, and Miz Checkers
and I plan to ponder some new ideas for the garden here at HFTS.

The same week, we were off to Dallas for the day 
on a special art related trip.

Our first stop was a visit to the private home, library, and garden of Dallas collector, Harlan Crow.  Respectful of our host's privacy, I'm only sharing this one photo with Miz Checkers and me 
along side a life size wax figure of one of Harlan's heroes, 
Winston Churchill, who just happens to also be my chef's hero.
Our group was given an upclose and personal tour of Crow's home and amazing collection of rare books, manuscripts, paintings, statues, and other artistic treasures.  The original home was built in 1917 and the extensive library wing was added in 2005.
You can google Harlan Crow for various articles on his collection.

Beach at Portici, Fortuny
A stop at the Meadows Museum was next on the agenda.  The Meadows recently acquired Fortuny's Beach at Portici, the last work by this Spanish painter who lived from 1838-1874.  
A special exhibit on Fortuny was the main attraction, but the Meadows also offers an excellent collection of Spanish art.  

 We lunched at Cafe 43 at the 
George W. Bush Presidential Library.
A simple chicken salad, but isn't the presentation beautiful?

From lunch we ventured to downtown Dallas.

Our afternoon was spent at the Dallas Museum of Art.
The main exhibit was the work of female impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot, but the DMA is a wealth of art offerings, so our afternoon was filled with more wonderful treasures.
Along with Miz Checkers I had a special travel buddy.
My sister joined me for the day!

Long time followers of HFTS, know that spring in Texas means
Round Top Antiques Week.
Of course Miz Checkers and I attended!

Later in the spring, Miss Mini Merri Mac and I were invited to  Kappa Settings, an event tailor-made for moi.
A room full of astonishing table settings along with guest speaker, Lela Rose, the event was awe-inspiring.  Miss Mini Merri Mac and I were guests at this bright, sunny table along with special friends and Lela Rose herself.  Those of you who love to entertain would enjoy Ms Rose's book, Pret-A-Party, available here.

Our May Garden Club Meeting was held at Umlauf Gardens, 
one of my favorite serene spots in our busy city.  With torential rain that morning, I doubted we would be touring the paths, but fortunately the sky cleared, and we enjoyed a perfect morning.
Owned and operated by the city of Austin, it is quintessentially Austin with it's shady native Texas plants, small ponds, trickling waterfalls, and dozens of bronze and stone sculptures by noted 20th century American sculptor, Charles Umlauf.
All within blocks of downtown!  
You can read about Charles Umlauf here.

Above is just a sampling of the amazing work to be found among the paths of this garden.  If you find yourself visiting Austin, I highly recommend a vist to 
Umlauf Gardens.

Evidently NYC has banned dogs on the subway unless they are in a bag.  This was Sadie's expression when I excitedly told her we could go to NYC, and she could travel in Miss Merri Mac.
From the look in her eyes, I'd say she isn't interested!

Our Sadie girl much prefers to stay home and 
go for twice daily walks in her neighborhood.
You can see some funny shots of NYC dogs 
riding the subway here

Be sure to visit all the adventures below.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul ~You Are Here
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote # 18

Rabbit, Rabbit!
It's March 1st and time for another edition of 
Tales of the Traveling Totes.

Yes, it's getting to be a habit!
It's the Chef's idea, really it is!  We try to go 
each first Sunday of the month for 
Milkshakes, Burgers, and Bubbles 
at the Peached Tortilla.  

Oh, my!  December's mega shake was amazing!
Abuelita chocolate with churros and roasted marshmallows.
Miz Checkers is always ready for a mega shake!

If Miz Checkers is always ready for a mega shake,
it's Miss Merri Mac that's always ready 
to tag along on a fun get away.

Yes, first week in December, Miss Merri Mac and I 
headed north to cold country.

You might recall that Miss Merri Mac and Miz Checkers
joined me on a visit to Kansas City a few years ago.
You can see more of this fine city in our post here.
This trip was to visit QCI friends, 
the Napoleon exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum
the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
the Kappa Holiday Homes Tour
and of course a little shopping.
My friends' lovely home was all decorated for the holidays.
You might notice that in addition to collecting Quimper
my friends also share my love for MacKenzie-Childs.

It was cold and snowy most of the time,
but that didn't stop us from getting out and about.
The Kappa Holiday Homes Tour happened to coinside with
our visit.  We spread the tour of four homes over two days.
Photos weren't allowed, but suffice it to say we walked away
with lots of inspirition for decorating for the holidays.

Top on my list was to visit the Nelson-Adkins Museum, host to this exhibit created by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Focused on the "Imperial Household", the exhibit reflected the ambiance and splendor during Napoleon's years in power as it explored how these majestic and artistic works were used to fashion a "monarchic idenity for the new emperor, 
his family, and loyal entourage." 

This short video will give you a 
quick overview of this excellent exhibit.

 The opulence and grandeur of the items was
part of Napoleon's propaganda as he played the role of Emperor.

 It was enlightening to learn more about
the behind the scenes of his "imperial household."

Six high-ranking men were given titles as grand officers to direct the pagentry of Napoleon's Court.  Napoleon used portraits and sculputre of those within the household to project an image of his power and authority.  All the splendor to reflect an emperor! 

Fashion was a significant aspect of Napoleon's reign, and both Josephine and Marie Louise set the standard for the fashion of the day.  Napoleon also used fashion as a useful propaganda tool.

Napoleon in His Study Wearing the Uniform of a Grenadier of the Guard
Of the many portriats and works of art comissioned to reflect Napoleon's power, this mosaic of cubes of colored glass and inlays of stones was among my favorites.  
Zoom in on the details.

Also high on my list was a visit to the 
National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Begun as a small museum featuring the collections of 
Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall, this museum now houses the world's largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation's largest toy collections on public view.
 Featuring over 72.000 objects, one can indulge 
their inner child with a look at toys through the ages.
Soft Toys ~ Mechanical Toys ~ Marbles ~ Games ~ Dolls and Doll Houses ~ Miniatures ~ Just to name a few.

Two complete floors house this incredible collection of
vingettes of miniatures, doll houses completely furnished, toy and games through time, and on-going special events and exhibits.
Another attraction is the "toy tisserie" that is viewed from the lobby up through the stairwell to the second floor.  Created for the reopening of NMTM after extensive renovations, it was the project of my friend and talented artist, Sarah Lugg Regan 
and her assistant, sculptor Ben Breslow.
You can read more about this project here.
Of course shopping was on the agenda too.
Kansas City has beautiful antique shops!
Need I say more?
 J'Adore Home and Gardens was a favorite for some holiday shopping.  This delightfu shop is filled with beautiful things for the home and garden along with rooms dedicated to themed Christmas decorations.
 I found this Putz village scene atop one of 
the mantels to be totally enchanting.

 Another Kansas City must see for me was Nell Hill's.  
I've long followed Mary Carol's blog and have all of her beautiful
 home decor books.  A  visit to shop this incredible home furnishing store was the perfect way to round out my Kansas City visit.
Nell Hill's, just north of downtown KC, is located in the beautiful
Briarcliff Shopping Center.  With 16,000 square feet spread over two levels, it features sixteen fully furnished living spaces to give the shopper the feeling one is within a beautiful home.  Indeed, Nell Hill's is the perfect inspirational design destination. 

I must also say our KC visit included fabulous meals both in the home of our hosts and at several venues around town.
Kansas City is home to some wonderful French restaurants.
Cafe Provence ~ French Market ~ Café Europa

After our action packed KC trip, the holiday festivities kept us busy up through the beginning of the New Year, and as expected we
indulged in our monthly Peached Tortilla First Sunday treat.
A collaboration with Holy Roller, the mega shake was a
Chameleon Gold Brew Horchata Milkshake 
topped with Horchita Cake, Cinnamon Miso Caramel, 
Whipped Cream, and Toasted Coconut.
Yes, we share!  Double Straws!

As always, many thanks for joining me.  I hope you will leave a comment before heading off to visit the other 
Traveling Tote Adventures at the links below.

A special request for thoughts and prayers for our 
fellow toter, RJ @ Sketchy Reader, as she is 
away caring for a family member.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to
our winner, Julie @ Julie's Creative Lifestyle.

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