Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Review: Windows to the Past - Creating Sea Glass Mosaic Art

Windows to the Past - Creating Sea Glass Mosaic Art by Jackie Trimper.

What do sea glass and a seaside cottage have in common one may ask?  It turns out that collecting the former and building the latter turned into a career as a sea glass artist, and now author, for Jackie Trimper.

This book is 67 pages long and is filled with beautiful, colorful photos of Jackie's sea glass art.  It consists of 8 chapters:
  1. Why Sea Glass Art?- Such an Uncommon Art Form
  2. Collecting and Sorting Sea Glass for Creating Mosaic Art
  3. Gather Your Supplies
  4. Create a Design for your Sea Glass Mosaic
  5. Attaching the Pieces to your Sea Glass Mosaic
  6. Finishing Touches
  7. Gallery of Sea Glass Mosaics
  8. A Few Final Thoughts
Jackie grew up spending her summers on Prince Edward Island and started her love of collecting sea glass and other beach treasures at an early age.  In 2008, while building a cottage on the island, her father suggested covering a window separating 2 rooms with sea glass.  And so Jackie embarked on her journey of creating sea glass mosaics.

Jackie likes to find old windows, particularly church windows, for her art. She also likes to incorporate a "calling card" into each mosaic by hiding an Inuksuk in each piece.  It was fun to go through her photos and try to locate the Inuksuk in each one.

If you'd like to try your hand at creating a sea glass mosaic, then Jackie has taken the guesswork out of the process.  First she details the supplies you'll need and the best types of adhesive to use.  She tells you exactly how to find and then sort your sea glass.  She supplies an excellent drawing pattern example for nice flowing lines and explains how to choose your colors.  Page 44 has 3 photos showing different ways to place your glass pieces and I found those to be extremely helpful.  This book is an excellent "how to" and once you've collected your sea glass, you'll be limited only by your own imagination.

Chapter 7 contains over 2 dozen photos of Jackie's fabulous works of art.  The variety of mosaics she has created is mind boggling and each is more stunning than the last.  I really want to run my hand over them and feel the textures and my favorites are the ones created using the old church windows.  There is something quite lovely and poetic about using old windows and sea glass to create a window to the past.

Quite by accident Jackie has discovered a new art form.  The possibilities are endless, and it would be fun to mix sea glass with other items such as shells, driftwood and sharks teeth to create your own work of art.  Who would think that a life long hobby of collecting beach glass could turn into something so wonderful?  Excuse me while I go book a trip to the beach - I've got some sea glass to find!

If you'd like to check out some of the pieces Jackie has done, visit her website.  She has dozens of seascapes, landscapes and abstract designs that you will ohhh and ahhhh over.  Many of them are available for purchase as well as the book itself.  Christmas is just around the corner and this book would make a lovely gift.  Visit Jackie's website here.

You can also visit her YouTube channel for some great how to videos.   Go check them out.

Join her FB page to stay up to date on new photos, videos and mosaics.

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Review - The Family of Hummingbirds: The Complete Prints by John Gould

The Family of Hummingbirds: The Complete Prints by John Gould by Joel Oppenheimer and Laura Oppenheimer, Rizzoli Electra, 2018

This stunning hardcover edition has 304 pages with 450 color illustrations and brings together all 418 species that were known to exist when John Gould captured them on paper in 1849.  The collection depicts these darling birds along with botanicals native to their habitats.  This master work of natural history took John Gould years to complete.

 Part one, written by Laura Oppenheimer, covers A Passion for Birds: The Life and Legacy of John Gould.  This chapter chronicles Gould's life starting with his apprenticeship as a Gardner and his passion for birds at an early age.

Beginning as an apprentice gardener at the age of fourteen, he later took up taxidermy and set up his own shop in London.  In 1829 he famously stuffed King George IV'S pet giraffe, an act that lead to his name appearing in print for the first time.  Several species of his growing collection of hummingbird specimens were exhibited at the Society in 1830.  By 1833 he was the superintendent of the ornithology department of the Zoological Museum which gained him access to exotic bird specimens and a superb network of naturalists.

Throughout his lifetime Gould published many volumes dedicated to birds.   He traveled extensively with his wife, who was an artist in her own right, and she contributed a great deal to his publications by providing the lithographs to many of the illustrations. 

On a personal level, the hummingbird was closest to Gould's heart.  Gould sketched designs featuring one male and one female of each hummingbird species with a plant native to its habitat.  He made notes pertaining to color and size and then the finished drawings were transferred onto lithographic stone.  These resulted in 360 plates for the first five volumes on Hummingbirds.  Over his lifetime Gould created the definitive scientific reference on hummingbirds for his era.  His outstanding work has stood the test of time.

Part two covers The production and methods of creating The Family of Hummingbirds and was written by Joel OppenheimerIt's a fascinating presentation on the methods of transferring illustrations from metal plate to lithographic stone.  For The Family of Hummingbirds alone, including the supplemental additional prints, over one hundred thousand plates were produced over a 38 year period.  It's mind boggling to think about!  The coloring process itself was extensive, and once Gould hit upon the brilliant idea of adding gold leaf as an underlayment, then the true colors of the hummingbird exploded off the page.

The crowning jewels of this book however are the prints themselves.  The colors are vivid and with the natural botanicals swaying in the background, it's quite easy to imagine the hummingbird in its native surroundings.  360 plates are featured as well as 58 supplemental plates.  Each print is a work of art in its own right.

The Family of Hummingbirds: The Complete Prints by John Gould  is many things -  It's a glimpse into the fascinating life of John Gould and the relentless passion he displayed to carry out this labor of love.  It's also a snapshot into a period of time that is long gone but quite important because of the scientific discoveries that were being made into the world of birds as well as the process of capturing their likeness in print.  And finally, its a book that you can hold in your hands and thumb through, enjoying again and again the illustrations of a delightful creature known quite simply as "the hummingbird."

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Get your copy here

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review - Cycling Paradises: 100 Bike Tours of the World's Most Breathtaking Places to Pedal

Cycling Paradises: 100 Bike Tours of the World's Most Breathtaking Places to Pedal by Claude Droussent, Universe Publishing. 2018

Imagine exploring the world on two wheels - slow down, relax and really experience the countryside, moving no faster than your legs can pedal.  Just think about the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and nothing in front of you except open road.  What do you prefer?  Perhaps it's scenic mountain views or a sweeping expanse of ocean.  Maybe you'd like the hustle and bustle of city riding or would rather meander along a country road, miles away from another human being.  Whatever your preference, they have it covered in Cycling Paradises: 100 Bike Tours of the World's Most Breathtaking Places to Pedal.

The book consists of 208 Pages with 100 color photographs and is broken down into four chapters...
  • Road
  • Mountain
  • City
  • Touring
Each chapter features 25 different locations around the globe, taking you to spots in the United States, China, Italy, Iceland, Turkey, Russia, Japan, Australia and France, just to name a few.

The Grand Canyon would be high on my personal list.  The White Rim Road is 70 miles in length and the suggested time frame is 3-4 days....

Cycling Paradises features maps of each location, as well as the time frame suggested for each trip, distances, gradients, the trip difficulty, sites to visit along the way, and recommended pit stops - you know, where to brake for a good meal and a well deserved glass of wine or beer.

Feel like checking out a picturesque windmill village?  Then visit the Windmills of Zaanse Schans in Amsterdam where children are taught how to ride at an early age and there are nearly as many bicycles as there are inhabitants.

Argentina will thrill you with its alpine altitudes.  Take the "Road of the Seven Lakes" for endurance riding and touring while you enjoy green rivers, tumbling cascades and awesome viewpoints!

Cycle between sea and hills and then swoon at the gorgeous waters of Dubrovnik, Croatia.   You will enjoy 5 ferry rides during your week long journey.  Part of your trip will also consist of a 4900 ft. climb thru 27 hairpin turns that will lead you to a rocky wall overlooking the town.   Are your legs ready?  

Visit temples and paddy fields in Indonesia, ride beside pineapple and grapefruit plantations in Polynesia, or coffee and banana plantations in Jamaica.  If cold weather cycling is more your style then head to Anchorage, Alaska with a fatbike and your winter gear.  Luxuriant vegetation and the Tijuca Forest await you in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil....

No matter what type of bicycle or terrain you prefer, there is a path for you.  A whole world of options exists and more are opening every day as bicycling becomes more and more popular.  Go for a day, a week, a month or a year.  There are bike trails waiting for every level of experience.  So grab a bike and hit the road.  As for me, I think I'll head out to San Francisco and pedal across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I'll throw you a wave from Marin County!

  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.   Get your copy here

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Blogger - No Comments

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting on my posts the past few weeks.  Blogger has made some changes and for some reason they haven't been notifying me that I had comments to publish.  And here I thought nobody was reading my blog anymore....    LOL.  I was so happy to see some old familiar faces still stopping by!

There have been lots of changes this year.  I'll be back soon with updates!

Friday, August 10, 2018

My Antique Booth Update

I have been really busy with the antique booths at Antiques et Cetera in Benton, Kentucky the past few months.  Yes, I said booths!  What started out as one booth a little over a year ago has blossomed into three separate booths.  Want to take a look?

This is the original booth.  2 weeks after we took this booth the small booth next to it opened up, so we combined them into one larger booth.  We built 4 sets of shelves backed with burlap, hung a banner and made money every month after the first month...

The second booth we opened was our "Mantiques" booth.  This one is more geared towards guy stuff and it's been doing really well.

Albums are a big hit as is bar ware...

Books, magazines and camping equipment...


And lots of fishing equipment...

And then we got a third booth.  This one has more furniture in it, kitchen ware, beachy stuff, kids items and a Christmas section...

We have a lot of inventory across the 3 booths.  Furniture has been a slow mover in this area, which disappoints me to no end.  We really like finding and redoing furniture and I was hoping it would sell better.  So far we've sold more furniture out of our garage, so I may be rethinking the marketing of the furniture.  Any suggestions?

In the meantime, if you're in the western Kentucky area, visit us at Antiques et Cetera on Main street in Benton.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Give Me that Old Time Music

I have been on an "Old Time Music" kick.  It all started a couple of months ago when I bought a few old vinyl albums to sell at the Antique Mall.

They started selling almost immediately.   So I started buying more albums along with 45's and those started selling.

I even added some to my Etsy shop.  Then I got to thinking that it would be really fun to actually listen to some of those great old albums.  So I looked on line and found a nice modern portable record player and I bought it so I could start listening to the records before I sold them.

I realized that I was buying a lot of the music that I had originally bought in the 1960's - 1980's, along with music that my parents listened to when I was a kid.  Unfortunately, the advent of cassette tapes sort of made vinyl albums obsolete.  I had a huge collection and I threw away all my old records.  What the heck was I thinking????  I was sick about it then and I'm even more sick about it now.

I've found lots of great old show tune albums...

Who doesn't love the Beach boys?  This album is Fab!

One of the greatest singers in the world...

I was even able to track down my 2 favorite albums of all time...

All of the albums you see pictured here are now in my personal collection.  I'm also on the lookout for a vintage record cabinet that I can restore and use to hold my record player and my albums.  Something mid century modern.  I think that would look very cool.

Then one day we were at an estate sale and Louie found this great old Crosley record player.  It's in excellent condition and sounds wonderful.  If I hadn't just bought a portable record player I would have kept this one for myself.  It's such a beauty.  I took it to the antique mall and it kills me to see it sitting there with a price tag.  I so want to keep it for myself.  If somebody doesn't snatch it up soon it may just make it's way back to my house...

So, what's your all time favorite album?

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Hitching Post Ice Cream Shop

I've done quite a few posts about "The Hitching Post" which is one of my favorite places at Kentucky Lake.  You can go back and read a few of them here and here.  Well there are a few new additions over there so I thought I'd share them with you.

A couple of weeks ago local chainsaw carver Justin Driver transformed 2 tree stumps into a charming welcome sign, complete with woodland animals and red birds.  How cute is that??   What a fun photo op!  I wish I could have been there to see him in action....

But wait, there's more - the addition of their ice cream shop!  Holy cow - talk about awesome!  Su's husband Tom is creating the homemade ice cream on site...

Currently they are featuring about 16 different flavors and they are rotating them as they come up with new flavors.

Su says "we have Butter Pecan, Coconut Cashew, Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistachio, Toasted Coconut, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Maple Walnut, Snickers and Mint Chocolate Chip. We made them all here in our certified kitchen!! We also will make delicious Sundaes and Floats!"

The Hitching post is located in beautiful downtown Aurora, KY at 16474 US Highway 68 E.  The ice cream shop hours are:  Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 -6:00, Sunday 11:00 - 4:00.

But that's not all...  Su has a knack for unique merchandising, so be sure to visit both the stores also on site.  She stocks antiques, clothing, knick knacks, foods, snacks, soaps, coffee and candy....

Oh and one more thing - Be sure to stop by on Thursday evenings from 4:00 - 7:00 pm for their soda tastings.  They have over one hundred different flavors and brands of soda pop.  Yum!!

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Slide up to the bar and sample a few....

The Hitching Post is definitely MY happy place!!

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