Today I decided to paint roses on the journal I made before giving it as a gift. The rose on the cover also has the recipient's name so I'm not going to share it because I don't want to take the chance that she might see it. She has no idea it's coming!
But I will show you the rose I painted on the first page of the journal next to the lace pocket. I love the way it turned out. It has a raised effect. I was delighted that it didn't seep through the hand made papers. The paper has such a delicate look but will be perfect for journaling, and I can be assured that pens and paints won't seep through!
Also painted and sent out a few cards today - one to a friend whose mother just passed, a get well card, a birthday card and one to send congratulations. It seems there are reasons to send them as quickly as the paint meets the paper. Roses are appropriate for so many occasions.
The snow has melted but yesterday's snowmen parade is still on my mind. Creativity changes everything.
We have had a series of car break-ins in our neighborhood and a few more disturbing incidents. The neighbors have rallied and there have been no further incidents for several weeks. Community camaraderie and yesterday morning's surprise have given me renewed hope.
Yesterday's gift has prompted me to repost a section of something I wrote previously about creativity.
My most valuable aha in regard to the power of creative thinking occurred in Washington D.C. when we attended Colin Powell's celebration of the 100 Best Communities to raise young people in the country. Harrisburg, PA was proud to be included - we won twice - and the highlight of one trip was listening to the stories about other winning communities across the nation.
The one that most impressed me was a group of young people from a town in West Virginia in economic decline. Coal mining had been their main source of revenue, but it was no longer lucrative and the young people were leaving their families and friends to find work in other areas. There was a sense of hopelessness as more and more people left, having given up on revitalizing the town. Their paradigm was the only way to make a living there was through coal mining.
Could anything be done in a coal mine other than mining coal? They began to consider the characteristics of the mines and a young man in junior high discovered that the temperature in a coal mine was ideal for raising fish. A new industry was born and the town began to thrive. Families were able to stay together and the quality of life improved by quantum leaps.
We underestimate the value. Had you considered one creative thought from a middle school student could have the capacity to impact the economy of an entire town for generations to come? I hadn't, until I heard their story.
Creativity goes far beyond arts and crafts, music, and our traditional limited associations. It can change economics, improve our perceptions about the value of a community, and guide us to health focused - iinstead of illness and medical focused - lives, We can learn to see the world and ourselves differently. And through those perceptions, if we take action, even in seemingly simple ways, we can make the world a better place.
One of my favorite creative thinkers is Roger von Oech. His books have been around for decades but his suggestions have yet to be incorporated into most of our daily lives. If you haven't had the pleasure, I think you'll be delighted.
This morning Zippy and I started out for a walk and were greeted by a parade of mini snowmen - one on every car on the block! Unfortunately I always take longer to journal on Sunday mornings because I list Sunday Successes and goals for the week ahead, so they had already started to melt by the time I got out the door. But if you look closely you can see a mini snowman on each car! Aren't they adorable? Didn't cost a cent but created a memory I'll never forget! Kudos to the creator(s)! It is amazing what imagination combined with thoughtfulness can do! I'll be using these images in my course on creativity!
My violet post was the last in the series of herbs that are associated with love and romance. There are many more but Valentine's Day has come and gone it seems a good time to close.
For those of you who check in from time to time, you know I love roses I have them all over my house and recently I've been living with, and painting, white roses. But one of my favorite white roses has been around for a very long time.
Today's treasure is my great grandfather's white ivory rose autograph book from January 1, 1899. At one time the velvet cover appears to have been a bright red but it is faded from age. The softening makes it ever more beautiful. I feel that way about a lot of vintage treasures - buildings, fabrics, people . . .
This is the first page in the book.
The penmanship is exquisite. It may be difficult to read so I've included the inscription.
Mr. Albert Shuey
New Year's 1899
Albert was born on November 4, 1876 and died on January 31, 1951.He was 23 years old when he started this autograph book. I don't know who gave it to him or much more about it. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it when I was a little girl and decided to leave my autograph. I'm not proud of my contribution. It's not nearly as elegant as the rest, but I loved the book and wanted to be part of it. Years later, my grandmother laughed and told me she thought he'd want me to have it.. Maybe it's just as well that I left my mark. No one else seemed nearly as impressed with it as I was.
I have no idea what this says! I must have known at the time?
This is one of the first autographs in the book.
January 1, 1899
Leaves may wither,
Flowers may die,
Friends will forget you
But never will I.
January 1, 1899
When you get married
And your old woman gets cross
Come over to our house
And eat apple sauce.
Ever remember Dec - 29, 1898
This little book, plus some posts I'm planning to do based on a recent exhibit I visited, have inspired me to begin a new category for my blog posts - vintage. This will be the first.
There will be more from this book - there are 40 pages and I'm only including a few for now.
There are autographs from Daisy, Albert's wife (his fiancé at the time), and later from his daughter, my grandmother, and some very cynical entries from my mother. Apparently I wasn't the only family member inspired to leave comments after his death.
It's an interesting mix and gives me some insights on my family.
Violets have over two hundred folk names and most of them are reminiscent of sex or love. In addition, their leaves are heart shaped, giving them a place of honor in our Romancing Herbs series in honor of Valentine's Day!
Like the rose, the color of the violet has great significance in sending messages. Blue violets promise "My love will always be true", purple send the message, "I return your love." White signifies "I'm willing to take a chance on happiness". They also represents modesty and humility as they hide their spectacular beauty under heart shaped leaves.
One story comes from Venus asking her son Cupid if he thought she was more attractive than a group of maidens playing along the edge of the woods. He said he found the maidens to be more beautiful so she beat them until they were blue. Since then, because of their association with Venus, they have been associated with love and romance. Huh?
Another legend suggests at one time violets were white, but Mary's grief at seeing the suffering of Jesus on the cross turned them all blue. She has been associated with the modesty of the Virgin Mary, the Angel Gabriel, the Holy Trinity, and Greek and Roman legends and lore. Athens has been referred to as the "Violet Crowned City" Napoleon returned from exile in the spring and used the violet in a secret code to determine loyalty. This tiny, delicate little flower has an endless significance in all aspects of history.
In addition to the legends, there are recipes for aphrodisiacs, love portions, candied violets, beauty products. I had planned to do the iris this spring, similar to the Rose legend and lore e-book, but the violet may win out!
My favorite use for violets is sprinkled on a tossed green salad when she first appears in the spring. She is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. Add strawberries, orange sections, and avocado. My poppy seed dressing from an earlier blog post is the perfect salad dressing.
All parts of the orange are used to attract love! Fresh blossoms are used in bouquets and baths. Dried blossoms, seeds and dried peels are used in sachets and potpourris. The juice of the orange can be mixed with wine or enjoyed alone to increase love and lust.
The orange is one of the Aquarius zodiac herbs, particularly prized for adding sunshine during a time of year that can be filled with gray days for many of us. In addition, this golden fruit is also prized for attracting wealth and abundance! Love, lust, health, wealth, and abundance - what more could we want?
An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
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