Monday, March 30, 2009

Christine Sibley's Work Continues!

On Saturday, looking out the window, I wasn't inspired to do much of anything around the house and with the rain we had, yard work was out of the question. Every few months I get an idea for an adventure so we headed out in the pours of rain to a small town just south of us called Fairburn. Last week I posted about an artist Christine Sibley, sharing with you a reproduction of one of her pieces called Spring. An artist who worked with Christine just happens to have a studio a few miles away so we decided to go and see some of his work.

This guy doesn't advertise and he doesn't have a website so that he can connect with his clients. He does place work with just a few unique garden centers in the southeast but generally he makes his business by word of mouth.

Carlos Montano is the owner of Casa Montano - the artist's studio. Carlos produces fine and very unique garden statuary and other items. He painstakingly creates a mold to be able to create the work. A wall of molds

A mold for the top of a birdbath
The finished product

Here is a garden ornament inspired by an Italian mask that he made ito a mold. I purchased one of these that had a slight stain added. Here is a garden bench he had just completed. He has about 30 molds of European-style fireplace mantles that he makes for some of the McMansions in the Atlanta area. He also does restoration of antique statuary.

Below he is applying a finish to an intaglio.

I bought the Mother and Child pictured top and center. Carlos made this from an Italian antique statuary (click on the photo to enlarge).

If you are ever down near Fairburn it's worth stopping in to meet Carlos and see what he might be making. It is also kind of fun to meet some of his other clients. An interesting client was leaving when we arrived. She has just built a house made of clay (adobe) in north Georgia. It is built into the side of a mountain and she purchase Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall along with the elements Earth, Water Air and Fire as art for her home. Happy adventures!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mimi Might Be Coming Home!

My daughter called to say that she might be coming home in the next couple of weeks! We are very excited and this will mean it is time for AN OUTDOOR CONCERT!!! We are so lucky to have a musician in the family. Usually when Mimi comes home, we pick a night to invite friends and neighbors to come over before the sun goes down and we have a back yard concert. We light up all the torches, bring out the lawn chairs, lots of hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine, then sit back while Mimi performs while we all relax under the stars. When Mimi was growing up her piano teach held quarterly musicales and I always thought of them as simply magical. Her teacher, Ms. Lissa brought in The Peachtree Trio (a woodwind group), a soprano and tenor from the ASO Chorus, and then of course Ms. Lissa would be the pianist for the evening. These informal music experiences through the years have provided our family with some very special memorable events. I always tell Mimi that she has given us the opportunity to see and hear some beautiful scenes of life that we might not have seen without her.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Any Sunshine?

We just watched the weather report and more rain with possible storms are on the way. It rained most of the week and I have been hoping for gorgeous weather this weekend so that I could get out in the yard and play in the dirt. While we need the rain - I personally need the sunlight and hope we get to see the sun sometime soon. Maybe this means we should use the weekend to stimulate the economy and just go shopping! I would but I'm so ready to go outside, work in the garden and enjoy the flowers.

UPDATE! My husband and I just decided to go on an adventure (my favorite word for exploring new things). I hope we have a story to tell when we return.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sculptor Welcomes Spring

A decade or so ago, I helped found a garden club. It was a great garden club and in the process of working with the organization, I had the opportunity to meet many famous and some not so famous but incredible Georgia gardeners, Master Gardeners and horticulturalists. Many of these folks have appeared on Erica Glasener's The Gardener's Diary through the years and one such gardener is Greg Luna. Greg has a business and you can visit his website at Luna's Lilies. Maybe I'll share more about Greg in another post but for now let me say that he had a gorgeous sculpture in his backyard (okay, the backyard itself is unbelievable-really!) and when I saw it I was totally moved by the work. It was a woman's face that he had mounted on a tree. When I asked him about it he said that it was one of Christine Sibley's sculptures.

Shortly thereafter I was visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and on the side of one of the fountains I saw a woman's face. Immediately I recognized the style and after inquiring discovered that it was another Christine Sibley sculpture.

About four years ago I was visiting The Society Gardner in Macon and I spotted not one but two faces that seemed so familiar. After getting a little closer I realized right away that it was another Christine Sibley face. I talked to the associate at the garden shop and sure enough they had two faces - one representing fall and one representing spring and they both were for sale! My sister said "I want fall." and I said "great, because I want spring."

Spring marks the entrance to my house and I have been waiting to share her with you. I hope you enjoy seeing this beautiful work of art. I just love how the veil of winter is falling away from her face as the flowers are emerging around her. Happy Spring!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Spring Wedding

Over the weekend, the eldest son of our next door neighbors of eighteen years got married. The wedding was held at a beautiful country church in rural Georgia.

I just loved the stained glass windows.

The family gathered outside before the wedding for a few photos. The groom is a fireman and was married in his dress uniform. His dad is a newly retired police officer and the groom's brother works for the sheriff's department. Truly a family of public servants.

My good friend Judy (mother of the groom) wasn't nervous at all - NOT!

Then we saw the bride come out for photos - she was looking a bit nervous.

It was the most tender moment during the ceremony when the grandfather of the groom put his arm around his wife. So much love in this family.

The cake was covered with roses.
So where did the time go? The groom was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles yesterday and now these kids are grown and starting lives of their own. Best wishes and congratulations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everything's Turning Up Violets!

A couple of years ago a girlfriend introduced me to a most unusual but delightful treat - violet candies. She had a lovely tin in her purse and she politely offered me a pastille. A weird burst of floral sweet surprised my tastebuds and from that minute on I was hooked. I found a shop that carried these candies and stocked up but that store went out of business. We went to France, and again, I stocked up...but this year no trip to France is in the plans. While I could order them online there is some fun to the hunt.Over the weekend I was in a World Market store thinking I would find them there (we did find Smarties and Flakes), but sadly, no lovely tins. At the checkout I asked the cashier about the violet treats and immediately she said, "I love those!" We don't have the tins but we do have violet mints and she turned and headed to the back of the store. Sure enough there is an American company that makes violet mints! I bought all that they had and packed them in my purse (my purse smells heavenly).

Yesterday I was thinking that I should post about these most unusual mints and as I was reading some of my favorite blogs, it was such a surprise to see that Mary at Little Red House posted about violet tea. Then later I was reading Linda's post at Confessions of a Plate Addict
and she too had posted about violets. It seemed only fitting that I share my violet candy story today. If you ever encounter the candy, try them. If you love flowers, you are bound to love them!

BTW - Deb at Driven' 55 is having a blog anniversary giveaway on her blog. Simply go and leave a comment and you are entered to win!

P.S. Shawn at Country French Antiques sent this beautiful violets postcard and I just had to share.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just Loving Jewelry

Do you ever find yourself stopping at one of the jewelry channels when channel surfing? Or, maybe when trying to throw away the Ross-Simons catalog, instead stopping to flip through the entire catalog just to dream a little. Well while in D.C. when I heard about and an exhibition that featured jewelry, I just couldn't resist it.
The jewelry on display was created by designer Azza Fahmy. Much of her work is inspired by writings, history or other traditions in the arab region. It was interesting to read that the burka that was traditionally only worn by the married bedouin women, was considered an adornment and was usually adorned with jewels, stamped coins and gold chains. Single women never covered so that they could showcase their beauty. Bedouin woman also created some of their own jewelry, stringing together items they found, ultimately creating some uniquely designed adornments. Ms. Fahmy has created her own jewelry inspired by dessert jewelry.
Some of her work has been inspired by poetry of Kahil Gibran or the beauty of the Whirling Dervishes.
But my favorite items on display were the examples were the filigree bracelets. The work is obviously tedious as tiny strands of metal are wound together and then designed into small shapes that are then soldered into place.It was all so beautiful! Oh the joys of window shopping!

Many thanks to each of you who left so many wonderful comments and well wishes for my son. We are so happy to have him back home and we had the best weekend time just being together. Thank you for celebrating his return with me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Home At Last!

I will be back to blogging tomorrow but today we are celebrating my son's return from Iraq. He is home!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Embroidered Art

While in D.C. I wish there had been more time to visit exhibits but unfortunately I had only one hour to sightsee. That is another great thing about D.C. - one can visit museums and see exhibitions until your heart's content without spending a dime.

My girlfriend suggested that I visit an exhibition called Arabesque currently at Kennedy Center which features among other things, wedding dresses and jewelry and the thought of the two combined totally captured my imagination.

Today I will be sharing from The Brides of the Arab World. "Whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish [weddings] may go on for days or even weeks, echoing ancient customs." While the western white wedding gown is common in the Arab world, traditional wedding gowns tell stories, reflect textile arts or generally illustrate the richness of the culture and society.

One of my favorite textile art or embroidery is something called Tulle-bi-telli. It is a traditional embroidery with thin metal threads. This type of needle work originated in Egypt but is now crafted in other countries. When my husband and I married, he inherited a "telli" piece from his great-grandmother's trousseau. It is such a treasured piece that we actually had a furniture maker build a table around the tablecloth. (Believe it or not, in the town we used to live we still had a furniture craftsman).

The wedding dress that is pictured is one from the 19th century and is on loan from the Royal Khedivial family of Egypt. Most probably this dress would have been a part of the bride's trousseu and it is thought that the dress would have been worn for either the official ceremony
or the writing in the book (the actually recording of the wedding).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Justice Ginburg

I have been traveling for work and just returned from Washington, D.C. Personally I think D.C. is the most exciting city in the United States and I get so excited when I have the opportunity to visit. Being in D.C. makes me feel as if I am living American history and this visit was no exception. I was attending a seminar and Friday evening there was an evening reception following a day of seminar programming. This particular conference is an annual institute and each year Justice Ginsburg comes to address the attendees. No one was expecting that she would be able to speak this year given that she had surgery for pancreatic cancer just one month ago. Much to our amazement she came to our reception and spoke. Justice Ginsburg is a woman whom I admire greatly as do many working in the legal field. It was no surprise that the room exploded with applause when she entered the room but when she began to speak we were all breathless.

The group she was speaking to happened to be the pro bono lawyers and staff from major corporations and law firms in the U.S. Justice Ginsburg is a strong supporter of attorneys dedicating legal pro bono work to the poor, the voiceless and disadvantaged. While she may be small in statue her words of inspiration Friday evening were monumental. We are blessed in this country to have a Supreme Court that represents the people from left to right and I was honored to be present to hear one great Justice on Friday evening.

For now posting a press photo but will add my photos from the event tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rosie Update!

Much to my surprise our Rosie meeting on Saturday was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution! For some reason I can't get the link to work so I am posting a text version of the story from Sunday's paper. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the Rosies I met at the Atlanta Chapter meeting. That is me in the background wearing red, speaking to my new friend Kathleen.

‘Rosies’ reminisce about jobs, plan outreach

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, March 01, 2009

After spending a year designing blueprints for B-29 bombers during World War II, Harriet Frankel had a baby, took a few years off and came back to apply for a job at the Lockheed-Georgia plant in Marietta.

She was turned down.

“They said the war is over and we’re not hiring any women. I was so mad,” Frankel said —- still miffed today at the notion a woman wasn’t good enough to do a man’s job. But she went on to get a job as a commercial artist and eventually ran her own ad agency.

Frankel’s work during the war made her a “Rosie.” She’s now a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association —- an organization dedicated to women who were trailblazers, taking jobs in male-dominated fields when the men went off to war from 1941 to 1945.

She enrolled in a sheet-metal drafting course and then got a wartime job at Georgia Tech creating blueprints for B-29s. The bombers rolled off an assembly line at what was then the Bell Bomber plant in Marietta.

“I was the second woman in the engineering department to do production illustration for the B-29 bomber,” Frankel, now 89, said at a meeting of the Atlanta Rosie chapter Saturday in Decatur.

Frankel said she decided to join the war effort because her husband was “4-F” —- meaning he was rejected for military service because of physical reasons. She said she was determined to represent her family in the war effort.

She worked at Georgia Tech for a year until her pregnant belly “could no longer fit through the turnstiles.”

Atlanta Rosie President Billie Ruth Bird said her members hope to start a program in the schools to teach children about the women and their role in World War II.

National Museum of Patriotism Director Pat Stansbury spoke to the group Saturday. Stansbury said she is working with the group to create a Rosie Day at the museum.

“I’m very excited about the Rosies. Young girls in Atlanta need to know … it’s time for us to stand and time for us to serve,” she said.

It’s getting harder to find living Rosies to tell their story because of their age. But the Atlanta chapter had two this weekend.

At age 19, Kathleen Powell, was one of the youngest town clerks in South Carolina. Powell was an assistant to the town clerk when the war broke out, but then he was drafted.

“I did both jobs and … finally they decided I should take his job,” said Powell, now 88.

She worked there for three years but wanted to do more for the war effort.

“My mom took grease” to a local defense plant, she said. “There were piles of metal stacked in the town. Everybody was involved and wanted to be involved.”

So Powell got on a bus to the air base in Greenville, S.C., and became the cashier in charge of the PX and other money-generating operations at the base. Her husband, Kenneth Powell, whom she met and married after the war, was flying B-17s in the 401st Bomber Group.

She’s excited about promoting the history of Rosies.

“It’s important that we know what we’ve gone through,” Powell said. America’s women, she added, “went in and did what they could do.”

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Bloggers' Lunch

A group of Georgia bloggers met up for lunch today and it was so much fun!!!! Stop by Sue's blog, Rue Mouffetard to read more about the blogger attendees and the fun we had today. Can't wait till the next gathering!!

Remembering Paul Harvey 1918 - 2009

There has always been something comforting about listening to Paul Harvey. His shows were informative and I loved the personal advertising but the greatest thing about listening to his show was that it was always consistent. You knew you could always count on hearing "the rest of the story" when listening to his show. Whenever driving around and channel surfing if I heard his voice I always stopped to listen. Growing up in the Macon, Georgia area, Paul Harvey aired on a local a.m. radio so it was a show we grew up listening to and hearing his voice has always taken me back to a simpler time - if only for a short while. As an adult I listen to an oldies channel that still airs his program. Paul Harvey, thank you for the "Good Day."