Paintings – Sister, Sister!

A love of fine art runs in the family. My sister has just launched a website: Sunday Afternoon Studio. Here’s a sample of her art and bio.

Copyright – Amy Elizabeth


Studio Artist and teacher working in a mixture of media and art disciplines.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art

High Point University

Art Educator in North Carolina Public Schools

If you are ever in Greensboro, NC. You can find Amy Elizabeth Fine Art in Only Just Be Gallery.

Copyright – Amy Elizabeth
Copyright – Amy Elizabeth

Photo Challenge – Weather Vanes February 20

At times I find the most ornate weather vanes on unexpected buildings…such as this beauty on top of the Harrison House Diner in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. The diner, at the intersection of Routes 45 and 322, is only a stone’s throw away from the local Amish Market. The market is another amazing place to find food of all kinds. Have you ever had a homemade Raspberry Cream Donut? Oh my!

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s photo challenge.

Exploring Colour – Presbyterian Wind Vane

The 59 Club – US Route 321

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenges – Nature with a touch of Man

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.” ~Epictetus

On our recent winter nature walk we came upon this arch crafted by some creative tree trimmers. I love the way they fashioned the arch to fit back into the surface of the smooth tree trunk.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~Arthur Ashe

Phascination – Mantis Pods/Yes or No?

A recent winter walk revealed several mantis pods (ootheca) in Tall Pines State Preserve. I’ve never seen a pod as secure as this one atop a tall meadow tree. I don’t think a mouse, squirrel or bird would be able to hold on long enough to ravage the pod for food.

In past years, winter would find me actively searching out mantis pods to place in my garden as free insect control. I’ve stopped the hunt after reading several articles about praying mantids capturing small birds. Now an inner dilemma will arise when I spy a mantis in my gardens. Do I leave the predator or carry it off into the woods and away from the hummingbird/butterfly plants I grow in my garden? I know the choice I will make now and in the future…I will carry them away. The hummingbirds and butterflies will have my protection. It’s funny how your perspective changes when you find out more facts than you wanted to know.

Mantis pods also fall victim to predatory creatures. This pod was probably eaten by a hungry mouse or bird.

Today’s post is part of Jo’s Monday Walk.

Perspective – The Opposite of Love Part II

I intend to do more to speak up for the unborn and those newborn babies in peril of infanticide/murder. A first step is to contact my state representatives. I am including links that explain how to contact your state senators and congressmen. We all need to begin putting action behind our beliefs in the Sanctity of Life.

United States Senate/Contacting the Senate

United States House of Representatives/Contacting Congress

Perspective – The Opposite of Love

At the moment of his birth my older son was very vocal, immediately protesting his entry into the cold world. My younger son was quiet, gazing upward at the delivery room lights, no crying, a quiet contemplation of the world. They have stayed exactly the same throughout their lives, one talkative, one quiet. Who they were at the moment of their birth is who they have remained. The knowledge in me that their personalities were in place before they were even born once again solidifies my view on abortion. It’s time for everyone who believes in the sanctity of life to say so!

Here are a few wise quotes:

“Late-term abortions, especially when the baby survives, but is then killed by starvation, neglect, or suffocation, show once again the link between abortion and infanticide. The time to stop both is now.” ~Ronald Reagan

“The state could have been concerned about rendering society callous to infanticide … the horror of seeing a live human creature outside the womb dismembered. Can’t that be a valid societal interest?” ~Antonin Scalia

‘We need to recapture the gospel glow of the early Christians who were nonconformists in the truest sense of the word . . . Their powerful gospel put an end to such barbaric evils as infanticide and bloody gladiatorial contests. Finally, they captured the Roman Empire for Jesus Christ.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perspective – Valentine’s Day and THE BIG KNIFE

Can you have a whole conversation with those you love using only movie quotes? At times we can in our house. When we are having an especially difficult time with a situation we will say to the other, “Chrissy, Bring me the BIG KNIFE.”

Bring me the big knife is a quote from one of our favorite movies, MOONSTRUCK, starring Cher and Nicholas Cage. The Big Knife scene is inside Ronnie Cammareri’s (Cage) basement bakery, and when he’s reached the end of his patience with his situation, he yells for his employee Chrissy to bring him the BIG KNIFE so he can end it all. Moonstruck is a great movie for Valentine’s Day. In the storyline, when people do the wrong thing, it is called the wrong thing, and not glossed over as their right or celebrated. In the movie people actually acknowledge wrongdoing, believe in God and the church, and try to make things right in their lives. By the time the credits roll you feel like you are a part of their family.

For me, true love is a paint paddle made into a “Big Knife” by my husband a week or so ago. He knows I have been having a difficult time in several situations, and to make me laugh, he brought me THE BIG KNIFE. Would anyone else in the world know how meaningful this paint paddle is for me besides him? Well maybe now you will too. True love…priceless…and sometimes in the form of a Big Knife. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Photo Challenge – The Yellow Garage Antiques Shop

This fish weather vane was my favorite.

A treasure trove of unique weather vanes awaited me in The Yellow Garage Antiques shop this week. Yes, the exterior is yellow, and yes, it was a garage/bus terminal built in 1922. It was renovated in 1995 and is home to 35 antique dealers. Is it amazing inside? Yes. Was it filled with unique merchandise? Yes. Were there antique weather vanes? Yes, not only weather vanes but whirlygigs and other wind dependent structures too.

If you are ever in southern New Jersey, The Yellow Garage is easy to find on Main Street in Mullica Hill.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge.

Exploring Colour – Wind Vane: Bell Tea

Geriatri’x’ – A Cock Above a Crown

A Day in the Life – Weathervane Wednesday

The 59 Club – Sunday Walk in the Bavarian Countryside

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Projects – Scrub Pine Valentine Update

December’s Scrub Pine Christmas tree is still a resident plant in my home. Replanted in a bigger pot and placed in a sunny area, the pine, which was bristly and dried out when I first transplanted it is thriving in its improved conditions. The needles are not so sharp to the touch, and there is new growth on many of the tips.

The Christmas Tree Pine is now a Valentine’s Day Tree. I didn’t buy a thing to dress it up. Double-sided paper cut into heart shapes, hole-punched, and hung with Christmas ornament hooks were a perfect match for the tree’s sparse appearance.

The color combination is pink with touches of orange/coral, a perfect combination for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Look closely and you can see I’ve used old beads and pearls as ornaments, cut away from necklaces I no longer wear. I hung these by threading them onto Christmas tree hooks. I’ve found these hooks have many uses in house and garden when I need a small piece of wire.

 

 

Pheathers – Monochrome Monday Mockingbird in Snow

Mockingbirds are a favorite of mine. I captured this beauty outside my window today, perched on a branch of the Bald Cypress tree. The beautiful snow is reason enough to gaze out the window, making eye-contact with a mockingbird is an added bonus. Is it possible to develop friendship with birds, moments of real trust? Possibly this morning was an inroad to even better relationships with the backyard flock. I trudged out in the snow to throw a bit of seed on the ground, and into the feeder hoping to give them a few minutes of nourishment before the snow covered my breakfast offering over again.

This Monochrome Monday post is part of Skywatch.

Perspective and Praise – Casting Cares

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

~ Psalm 55:22 (KJVA)

The acacia passage is one of my favorite areas in the Longwood Garden Conservatory. This beautiful vignette is just one of the many plant displays that will pique your interest during the Orchid Extravaganza.

If I was the gardener in charge of the area, the care, placement and upkeep of all the plants would be daunting. To cope, and do the best job possible, I would remind myself of wise counsel a good friend once gave me, “Concentrate on one problem at a time.” This sage advice works for so many aspects of life. We get into trouble when we overextend ourselves and try to take care of too many problems at one time.

Aha, you say, all my problems must be taken care of now, I have no choice. Yes, sometimes choosing just one doesn’t work, but in that case, I remind myself of the verse I began the post with, and I cast the burden on the Lord. What a promise to cling to in the midst of our busy, problem-filled lives. He will sustain me, He will sustain thee. God bless you on this Sabbath Day.

The orchids are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Pages & Philm – Vanity Fair

I’ve been watching, and enjoying, an Amazon Prime Original of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

I have also found a free Librivox  recording of Vanity Fair. I’m about to start Chapter One today. I can listen on my tablet as I work at completing odds and ends around the house. Librivox is a wonderful site filled with free audiobooks of public domain works. There are many classics available for your listening pleasure on Librivox. Since I’ve never read Vanity Fair, I’m looking forward to meeting Becky Sharp through the audiobook as well as Amazon’s well-done series.

Photo Challenge – Kennett Square/Weather Vane Wednesday

I spotted this cat weather vane across the street from the Encore Consignment Shop in Kennett Square, Pa. The vane appropriately sits atop a veterinary office. I didn’t go into the vet’s office, but I did browse a bit in the Encore Consignment shop.

The shop is a few miles away from Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum.

There are many Wyeth family paintings displayed in the Museum, and we even saw a signed print of one of Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings in the Encore shop.

I suppose in reality, the shop is just an upscale thrift store. It certainly has a charm missing in most Goodwill or Salvation Army centers I’ve visited, but then the bargains aren’t as good either. All proceeds from the shop benefit Chester County Hospital.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge.
Exploring Color – Anglican Wind Vane
Geriatri’x’photo gallery – Weather Vanes in the Snow
The 59 Club – Called to Duty in 1894
A Day in the Life/Daily Musings – Weathervane Wednesday
Exploring Colour – Which Way Oamaru

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Pages – Crafty Books

On a recent trip to Longwood Gardens we admired this arch created with books folded into interesting shapes and flowers. The base appears to be created with gnarly branches and moss.

As a lifelong lover of books, I have mixed feelings about using books for crafts, although I have done so on numerous occasions. I enjoy cutting phrases out of books to use on greeting cards. You can see a sample and how-to on using these cut out phrases on The Flower Ark/Tulip Greeting Card.

I might try to make a few of these book page flowers for a Valentine’s Day Centerpiece.

Place – Walking the Flip Side

I have to laugh at the sign stating “Lifeguard Not On Duty.” I feel sympathy enough for lifeguards sitting in their stands in the blazing sun of summer. Could you imagine an eight-hour shift on this Cape May Beach in the winter? Brrrrrr. No problem, I will find a way to walk on the beach and search for treasure even when the sand is covered with snow. My heart is anchored for life to the seashore towns and the ocean waves, and I can’t imagine living in a land-locked area.

February is living up to its reputation of being unpredictable. It was fun to walk the beach for a few minutes, but soon the cold wind penetrated our tightly-buttoned outerwear and we skedaddled back to the shelter of our car.

Pheathers – Did You Know?

Did you know February is National Bird Feeding Month? These were birds at my feeder yesterday in the small snow squall that came through New Jersey.

It’s also groundhog day, but because of my problems with those pesky groundhogs, it’s definitely not on my list of celebration days. I didn’t know there was a site dedicated to informing those unaware of what national day you can commemorate, but there is and you can find it here: National Today.

Photo Challenge – Orchid Extravaganza Part II & Weather Vane Wednesday

This week’s weather vane is atop the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. The Orchid Extravanganza featured orchids in a variety of unique settings.

These orchids were in a planter in a long walkway filled with blooming acacia.

A waterfall complete with orchids.

A bright cascade of orchids alongside two walkways, one behind and one in front. This display was really lovely.

Thank you to these bloggers who took part in last week’s challenge. Take a look at their great weather vanes.
Daily Musings – Weather Vane Wednesday
Geriatri’x’fotogallery – Weather Vane Wednesday
The 59 Club – Lawton Stables – South Carolina
Exploring Color – Wind Vane Windfall

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!