September 18, 2017

Jazz Up Your Wheelchair with Izzy Wheels!


Ailbhe Keane is a graphic designer based in Dublin, Ireland.
Her sister Izzy, who has Spina Bifida, inspired her to create a way 
to dress up a wheelchair with art. So began Izzy Wheels!
These changeable wheel covers come in a wide variety 
of patterns to reflect personality and add pizzazz!
Their tag line is, "If you can't stand up, stand out!"
What a great way to provide self-expression while at the same time
breaking down the stigma of wheelchairs!

 Other artists have illustrated the wheel covers as well.
This lovely one was done by Jane Newland.

Izzy Wheels has already won several awards.

Watch this Insider video to see Izzy Wheels in action!

Even more info here:

September 15, 2017

A Great Day at the Doylestown, PA Arts Festival

A perfect September afternoon to head to Doylestown, 
the county seat of beautiful Bucks County, PA, for its annual Arts Festival!
We took our time browsing through the canopies of 160 talented artisans.
Creativity was definitely in the air!

I met James Maloney, of One Man's Trash, who creates clever 
Pennsylvania-proud pieces of art by recycling old license plates.  
His new bride of just two weeks was there too. (Aaah...true love.)

Very cool succulents and cacti by Bucks County Flowers and Things.

Creative belt buckles artistically displayed in vintage sewing cabinet drawers.

Ron Andress, The Happy Potter

Brian Toseland's beautiful hand-blown glass pumpkins!

Sardine Upcycled Clothing

Nichols Pottery features a "Civil War Cup," which is hardier than the average mug.
With confederate soldiers often needing to melt down their tin cups for bullets,
North Carolina potters made mugs generous enough to hold stew, as well as coffee.

The festivities included the Bucks County Classic pro cycling event.
It was a thrill to see the high-speed racers streak by as they circled through the town!
Enthusiastic fans cheered them on with whistles and cow bells!

I encourage you to attend the next Doylestown Arts Festival 
for a wonderful day of handcrafted treasure hunting!

Colleen and I had a most enjoyable time!

September 13, 2017

Beth's Beautifully Crafted Japanese Temari Balls

The word "temari" in Japanese means handball.
To give a temari as a gift is a token of loyalty and friendship,
and is believed to bring good fortune to the one who receives it.

Beth Bittle, of Maryland, has perfected this ancient art form.
The core is a simple Styrofoam ball, which is donned with a "coat of many colors."
Brightly colored yarn and threads are wrapped around it to create exquisite patterns!

Visit Beth's shop on Etsy!

Images used with direct permission from Beth Bittle.

September 5, 2017

The Spectacular Library of the Czech Republic in Clementinum, Prague


I'm truly crazy about libraries!
I read dozens of books each year and don't buy a single one if I can help it.
I just love borrowing books from my community library.
Not only for the obvious reason of saving tons of money, 
but also to take in that certain atmosphere in a library that is unmatched.
Is it intelligence, curiosity, adventure, intrigue? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Naturally, I was all goosebumps when I saw these photos of the
National Library of the Czech Republic in Clementinum, Prague.
Over the top! Only in my dreams!
How I'd love to spend a few hours getting lost in this library!
Imagine that intoxicating smell of old books 
amidst this glorious Baroque architecture!



August 31, 2017

Back to School with a Tour of an 1802 Octagonal Schoolhouse

As a new school year starts back into session, it was an appropriate time
to head to Wrightstown, Pennsylvania to tour an unusual old schoolhouse.
This octagonal, also called "eight square," stone building was built in 1802,
and is the only one still standing in Bucks County.

Why an eight-sided building?
Windows on eight sides were thought to bring in the most natural light
during this time before kerosene lamps or, of course, electricity.
There was a door on one side and a window on each of the other seven.
They were positioned higher in the walls so as not to provide distracting views.

Wooden desks were lined up along the walls,
with smaller desks for the younger students in front.

A wood-burning stove heated the building in the cooler months.
The teacher was responsible for supplying the wood.

Schooling at the time was not public, but private.
A yearly fee was required of $1.50 per child. 
If a family could not afford it, the Quakers would pay their tuition.

This is a copy of an employment agreement for a teacher named Rachel Twining.
Her duties are outlined, along with a list of students with a record of tuition paid.

The document was typed out to be more easily read.

An pretty collection of ink bottles.

How about this cute birdhouse replica?

The school house is located at the corner of Second Street Pike and Swamp Road.
You can learn more at the Wrightstown Township, PA website.