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."
For Earlier Posts visit