Monday, April 30, 2012

Vern Yip, UNICEF and The Experience

Last night I had the pleasure of attending one of the most exciting fundraising events for one of my favorite charities, UNICEF.  
 As I child I remember going trick or treat with my UNICEF box and since that time UNICEF has been a part of my life.  
In Atlanta UNICEF offers lectures throughout the year, providing updates on their work and areas of focus but last night I had the "Experience."   Below are a few photos and experiences.   

As guests arrived we were given a card with our "child" and their personal story.   My child's name is Joy and she's from the Philippines.   Her home was washed away in a tropical storm that washed away hundreds of homes in her community.  Joy is still with me.   
 As the evening began the first thing guests were asked to do was to pick up and carry a 5 gallon container of water to see what life is like for those without water resources.  They must carry what they need and most of the time the distance from the water source is great.  Lucky for me I just had to walk down a long hallway rather than a long distance.
It was interesting to see how much water we use for simple tasks.   Having spent time in Lebanon during the war I know what it is like to have limited water though I'm guilty of taking a hot shower for granted (25 gallons of water to take a shower).
Throughout the banquet hall there were stations sharing facts about health, nutrition, education and disaster relief.   At each station were UNICEF volunteers providing details about UNICEF's work and how we could help.  

Guests were given cards with prices of each item and details on how each purchase meet needs. 
  I bought a desk for classroom.   One of the things that I learned during my experience is that after a disaster a classroom helps restore a feeling of community and normalcy, even when housing is still lacking.  
UNICEF brings communities together through schools. 
It was so precious that children attended the event, and yes, a few celebrities too, like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Vern Yip.   Rebecca Gupta chaired the event and Vern is a UNICEF Ambassador.
It was an evening of immersion in the lifesaving work of UNICEF. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Georgia Market Bulletin

 Every year for as long as I can remember I've enjoyed reading the Farmers Market Bulletin.   I'm not a farmer but I did grow up in an agricultural area and have spent many a summer in the field or in the yard, picking, shucking or shelling by the bushel.   

Until now I'm still a big fan of the Bulletin which has ads for just about anything agricultural you might need.  Equipment, animals, bees, land, etc., and also recipes but my favorite listings are the plants.   
Thanks to Summerhill Seeds for the photo
 This year I bought seeds, yellow datura, ginger lilies and found a new friend!  In the bulletin you can also post items that you are looking for and there was someone looking for a swamp hibiscus.   I called the number posted in the ad and what do you know, Ruth lives just 5 minutes from my house.   She stopped by to pick up her swamp hibiscus and brought me a tree lily!  I'd never heard of such but it's already about about four feet tall and can reach heights of eight feet or so.   Ruth brought several other plants including lemon balm and we had so much fun going through my beds picking out other plants we could swap out.   
My mother always told me never to say thank you for a plant, and before I could tell Ruth we shouldn't say thanks, she reminded me that we better not thank each other for the good health of our plants (I'm so superstitious)!  Instead exchanged lots of hugs and decided to keep in touch so that we could continue our swaps.  This week Ruth sent me a beautiful card with the sweetest note. 

The Market Bulletin is more than just ads, articles and agriculture, it's a connection to some of Georgia's finest.  It was great to meet you Ruth.

Today as soon as I link up with The Tablescaper, I'm heading out to the garden.   

Saturday, April 21, 2012

ASA Decorators' Show House & Garden

It's open and it is wonderful!  If you live in the Atlanta area this is one event you will not want to miss.   For the past 10 years I've volunteered as a docent and though I'm never disappointed, I have to say this house is my favorite.   You are not really allowed to photograph the house so you will have to see it for yourself but I've posted a few photos just to give you an idea of what you'll find.

A radiator put to use as the plate warmer
It was wonderful to spend the day with a number of local designers especially Melanie Turner.  I also loved visiting with Kellie Griffin and her mom as well as Bill Murphy.

Great company and lots of fun

Loved the spoon plate holder

Amazing...Melanie made this settee

 The architectural detail was beautiful

The floor is handpainted

A mosaic floor...this photo doesn't begin to show the detail

I'm linking up with The Tablescaper to enjoy a Seasonal Sunday.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dunaway Gardens - A Hidden Treasure

Maybe my husband and I are a little odd.  Some couples go out to dinner or a movie but most of the time my husband and I spend our special time together going out on an adventure.  Today was an adventure day.  
 Though located just 20 minutes from my house we'd never visited Dunaway Gardens.   I'd heard about the gardens about 10 years ago and it had been on my wish list of places to visit for a long time. 
 In some ways it is a very unusual garden in how it had it beginnings.  Hettie Jane Dunaway was a famous actress and was part of a traveling troupe in the 20s.   She ended up married to someone from Newnan, Georgia and settled down in the area on her husband's family property.   Hettie went to work creating a magical garden and theater camp which took 18 years to complete.  She called it a "theater garden" and the property included a grass amphitheater, stage, a tearoom, a honeymoon lodge, numerous spring fed pools with waterfalls, a Japanese garden, a granite outcropping and a natural swimming pool.
Dunaway Gardens in its previous glory days
 For a period of time it was home for the Hollywood Ballet Troupe and numerous stars, performers, lecturers and dancers would visit the theater garden to rest, rejuvenate and train in the 20s, 30s and 40s. 
But the glory days ended and over time the garden went untended and the garden and its history became overgrown.  Hettie Jane Dunaway died in 1961 and the garden was somewhat forgotten.  This was an old barn theater at Dunaway which was torn down in 1968.
From Georgia Archives - 1968
A stone monument replaced the original wooden totem pole that Hetti Jane had in her garden
When the current owners bought they land they begin to "discover" where the garden had once been and slowly began the excavation and renovation of Hettie Jane's beautiful theater garden. 
Originally there would have been fewer trees but now many of the trees Hetti Jane planted have created a canopy over the garden areas.  In many places there are beautiful shade gardens and of course lots of new plants have been added since Hettie Jane designed the garden but I'll let photos tell the rest of the story.  
I love that there is an honor system for admission
The former tearoom restored is now a bridal cottage
One garden room leads to another

Stone from the local area was used to create the garden path and walls

The amphitheater restored is now where weddings are often held

Waterfalls are in many areas of the garden
Who knew there was another stone mountain in Georgia

I told my husband that I was sure this was where the faeries were living

Entrance to the Japanese garden

So it really was a "PINK SATURDAY"
 If you love gardens you will really enjoy visiting Dunaway Gardens.  Be sure to check their schedule as they aren't open every day but you are welcome to bring a picnic and spend some time enjoying the gardens and the tranquility.  

I'll be joining The Tablescaper for this week's Seasonal Sunday.