White by Design

White by Design Stickley Prairie Settle

Interior designers use white by design.

White color is a combination of all the other colors. It implies purity and innocence, as our gaze appears clean and unblemished. White color can provocative because it makes all the other things stand out. Nothing is hidden on a white background. White accents the colors that remain and highlights the beauty of the objects with which it contrasts. A bride is dressed in white not only as a statement of innocence, but also to reflect her natural beauty.

White can complement either the traditional style or the modern.

In traditional settings white implies a suggestion of orderliness. As the room is predominately white, it combines with the rich heritage of the antiques and pictures to focus the eye’s attention on the objects of the room and not the furniture.

Modern design uses white to simplify the design. White eliminates distractions. The mind is cleared of unneeded color. The room remains fresh and clean. Often shades of white will be used to create subtle contrast.

Barbra Streisand employed white and strong colors in her interior design. She acquired a Prairie Settle by Gustav Stickley. The Settle  was later part of an auction by Christie’s of the Barbara Streisand Mission Collection. Today, it is a highlight of the Stickley Museum.

Whatever your style of choice, white will always appear natural. White combines well with natural wood. Natural plants, wood, fabrics all blend with white color to establish a quiet interior that fits well with paintings, rugs and objects of art.

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This Little Piggy went to Market

This little piggy came from the Dallas Gift Show.This little piggy went to the Dallas Gift Show.

He is loaded with all sorts of vegetables. He knows the value of eating healthy. Vegetables should be more than half of your plate with a small portion of lean meat on the side. And by all means, for the sake of the pig, don’t eat pork.

As we all know, the pig had friends. But they all know the advantage of eating healthy and shopping at Traditions Furniture.

Traditions Furniture has many other surprises that came from market. Stop by and be surprised.

In case you don’t remember, here is Mother Goose’s rhyme:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went…
“Wee wee wee” all the way home…

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An After Christmas Thought

Everything looks different in the rear view mirror, even Christmas. After Christmas there is the inevitable feeling of let down. The thought that the gifts that we spent so much time looking for are not appreciated.

My son, who received from me a Nikon Coolpix camera, quickly said, “That’s neat,” and then a minute later, added, “Did you keep the receipt?” My daughter was worse. One of her gifts was a bejewelled flannel shirt, the kind that reminded me of something Daisy Duke would wear in the Dukes of Hazzard. Hannah, my daughter, wasn’t feeling so country, and proceeded to call all her friends over the next two days recounting what bad taste I had in clothing. When, in my defense, I pointed out that she had something similar in her closet, but not so stylish, she denied ever seeing the prior similar and offending shirt.

Children grow up. Once upon a time it was easy to buy presents for them. Then, the newness of everything and the excitement of gifts at Christmas was like the first taste of cool water after a hard workout – “sweet”. Now, it is like trying to eat one too many cookies on the plate.

That’s okay for me because the true meaning of Christmas is the gathering of family and friends and the sharing of stories and memories. Christmas, after all, celebrates the birth of Christ. It acknowledges the struggles that Joseph and Mary had in leaving Egypt and coming to Bethlehem. Of their attempts to find shelter on a cold night. Of the warmth that they shared in the stable, surrounded by the animals and the shepherds who came in response to the angels’ invitation.

The giving of the gifts of the Magi is actually celebrated on January 6 as the Feast of the Epiphany.Their gifts were frankincense, myrrh, and gold. I know these are expensive gifts, but they always seemed to me a little inappropriate for a new born child. I wonder if Jesus’ parents didn’t trade these gifts in for something a little more practicle, like a new donkey and something to eat. No, when I think of great Christmas gifts, I think of the Littlest Angel who returned to earth and collected the mementos he hid under his bed.

“Well, there was a butterfly with golden wings, captured one bright summer day on the high hills above Jerusalem, and a sky blue egg from a bird’s nest in the olive tree that stood to shade his mother’s kitchen door. yes, and two white stones, found on a muddy river bank, where he and his friends had played like small brown beavers, and, at the bottom of the box, a limp, tooth-marked leather strap, once worn as a collar by his mongrel dog, who had died as he had lived, in absolute love and infinite devotion.”

It has been 2010 years since that first celebration of the birth of Christ. The awe and wonder of it all has in time seemingly diminished, lost in the glitter of Christmas lights, discarded wrapping paper, and credit card bills. But the value of gifts are not measured in money, but in love.

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The Christmas Song

Mel Torme wrote and sang The Christmas Song. The lyrics are simple and heartfelt for all kids, from one to ninety-two. And, for you kids out there, here is a joke that is going around:

I think I just realized the 4 stages of manhood…

First, you believe in Santa Claus…(age 0-13)

Second, you stop believing in Santa Claus…(age 13-24)

Third, you become Santa Claus…(24-50)

And fourth, you end up looking like Santa Claus…(50+)

Merry Christmas to you’all in whatever stage of manhood you are!

The Celtic Singers version was produced three years ago.

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The Gift of the Maji

The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry is one of my favorite Christmas stories. It begins:

“One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.”

The beginning is famous, not only for its portentious start, but also because of the mathematical impossibility of owning “One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies.”

The message of O’Henry’s short story is, of course, that of selflessness of true love. The two main characters of the story, Della and James “Jim” Dillingham Young, are newly married, poor, and in love. How they express their love at Christmas time is the subject of the story. How they react as they each learn of the other’s actions, teach the reader what true value is.

The story twists and turns. There is humor in the irony of Jim and Della’s situation. But, through it all is the constant of love and devotion that they share.

The story ends with the narrator’s explanation of the Gift of the Maji,

“The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men – who brought gifts to the new-born King of the Jews in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. In a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the Magi.”

Read the full story online. http://librivox.org/the-gift-of-the-magi-by-o-henry/

May our gifts this year be as thoughtful and meaningful as those of Della and Jim. May we appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. May we share this Christmas with someone we truly love.

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Notes from the underground

Adding plug-in share this.

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Windy Days and Nights

Life sometimes seems to be a collection of unconnected thoughts and events.

For example, yesterday while I was looking for interesting facts on Kansas, I came upon two statements. First, that once upon a time in Kansas, it was illegal to serve ice cream and cherry pie. The statement was there on the web, naked without any other facts to identify the source and with no trail to track down the offending city where this ridiculous law was passed.

The second statement was that Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States with an average wind speed of 14 miles an hour. I am not sure who collects all this information or who insures its reliability, but the point is that we shouldn’t believe everything that we read, see, or hear.

This leads me to my point about the unconnectedness of thoughts and events. Today, it is windy and cold. Winnie the Pooh would call this a blustery day. It is too cold to go for a run or walk. The cold air cuts through even the warmest clothes and it stings the face like a hot iron.

There have been other memorable cold and windy days in my life. Once on a summer sojourn in Europe, I decided to climb part ways up the Matterhorn with nothing more than the backpack I had brought to get around Europe for the summer. I crossed a frozen ice field in the afternoon and as the warm sun began to set, I decided to camp on the side of the Matterhorn in a sleeping bag too thin for the cool night air. All I could do for warmth was to shiver and count each second waiting for the warmth of the morning sun. Then, there was the time in college when I was skiing in Breckenridge, the air a chilly 20 below zero and the wind speed the same. Now that I think of it, how many times were there when we would go skiing, find our clothes wet from sweat and melted ice, and then frozen again like an icicle.

The wonder of it all is that our thoughts are like the best travel agent in the world, taking us one place and then another in an instant. We have only to close our eyes or look away, to be transprted to another time and place.

I close by quoting Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem Windy Nights. I chose Stevenson because as a child I read many of his books, all stories of adventures in faraway places.

Windy Nights

by Robert Louis Stevenson
Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

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Pillows that pop!

Here are just a few of our eye-popping pillows. The pillows are 16 inch squares and hook-stitched for a feel that is comfortable, yet sturdy. A gift that is sure to brighten your spirits.

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Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards accomplished much in her short life, but her proudest accomplishment was as mother of her four children. A son John Wade and daughter Cate were born in 1979 and 1982. Tragically, John died at the age of 16 while driving his jeep to the family’s summer home on the beach. Elizabeth was deeply affected by his loss, and always described her life as pre-Wade and post-Wade.

Following his death, Elizabeth and her husband John Edwards decided to have other children. Claire and Jack were born in 1998 and 2000. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, Elizabeth wished that she be given the gift of seeing her youngest children grow up as teenagers. She was denied this wish, but though it all demonstrated to everyone that there is a purpose in life higher than oneself.

In addition to her dedication to her family, Elizabeth will be remembered for her commitment to health care for all. She was also an attorney, public speaker, and best selling author. She was a forceful advocate for change in this country. She will be missed by all who care about others.

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In Vino Veritas

From the foothills of the Chattahootchee Forest in northern Georgia, comes 2-Day Design, a company that specializes in unique designs for the wine lover. Here are examples of several tables and wine coolers.

Salut!

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