December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

As we ring out the old and ring in the new,
I thank you for your friendship this past year,
and look forward to lots of good things to come.
Blessings to each of you for health and happiness in 2014!

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people,
to grasp how wide and how long and high and deep
is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19


"Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man."
-Benjamin Franklin

Art by DaintyDumplings and BendixenArt.

Samara Hardy Illustration

I was instantly attracted to the art of Samara Hardy when I came across it on Tumblr! 
Samara is a freelance illustrator from Falmouth in the UK.
Her terrariums, above, are my favorite!
Here's a variety of her lovely drawings and pleasant patterns.

You can see
Samara Hardy Illustration
at the website
and on Tumblr.

Images used with direct permission from Samara Hardy.

December 30, 2013

Currier & Ives Winter Scenes

"The Road, Winter"

Yes, I have a bucket list.
One of the items on it is this:
"Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride with my sweetheart."
(sigh). So romantic!

The name Leroy Anderson may not be familiar,
but his 1948 song, "Sleigh Ride" is a favorite of many.
"It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives.
These wonderful things are the things we'll remember all through our lives!"

Enjoy these Currier and Ives lithographs,
which picture idyllic life in winter's snow-laden countrysides.
Oh. And sleighs, too. 

"Central Park in Winter"

"Winter Morning in the Country"

"The Sleigh Race"

"American Homestead Winter"

"A Spill Out on the Snow"

"Frozen Up"

"Central Park, Winter"

"Bringing Home the Logs"

December 27, 2013

Flat Earth Designs

After earning his degree, Nathaniel Bibaud worked in 
an architectural design firm and then in graphic and web design. 
His career was abruptly waylaid after he was involved in 
a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

With a wrist splint to help him hold a pen, he began drawing 
in physical therapy as a way to develop his fine motor skills. 
Assisted by Photoshop and computer aided graphics, 
Nathaniel saw his skills progress to the point of 
being able to selling his drawings and paintings to the public.

I really admire his determination and talent!

The acrylic painting above is called Barn Owl.
Below, Great White Shark is done in oil paint.

The following pieces were done with pen and ink:

Birch Trees



Clipper Ship

Striped Bass

Owl Eyes

See more Flat Earth Designs at the website and Etsy shop.

Images used with direct permission from Nathaniel Bibaud.

December 24, 2013

Mary, Did You Know?

This past year, The History Channel gave us an unforgettable miniseries called The Bible.

Along with a recap of the movie in this official video,
CeeLo Green sings one of my favorites, "Mary, Did You Know?".
I'd like to share it with you as my "Merry Christmas!"

While we watch, we can appreciate the full story.
Our history is "HIS-story".
His birth.
His sacrifice.
His gift of salvation.

December 23, 2013

Mouses Houses


Adorable, right?
Since childhood, Maggie Rudy has loved mice.
In fact, her father gave her the nickname "Maggie Mouse!"
It's no wonder, then, that mice are the subject of her cuter-than-cute artistry.

Maggie's mice are not for sale; she creates them to illustrate her books.
 The House that Mouse Built is available through Amazon.

Maggie uses felt and pipe cleaners to make her adorable mice.
Don't they just tickle your fancy?

As she puts together the detailed props and background for each scene,
it's fun to see the imaginative ways in which the mice
make their tiny furniture and such from "people things!"
Bottle caps, seed pods, match boxes, or spools of thread
take on new uses in this miniature world.

Card Game

Mouse Maker (a self-portrait?)

Pin the Tail on the Kitty

Pink Girls




Jump Rope

Good Book
(This scene seems a quite familiar...Love ya, Honey!)

Visit Maggie's website, Mouses Houses.

Images used with direct permission from Maggie Rudy.

December 21, 2013

Cork & Cap Restaurant - Lancaster, PA


While visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania ( one of my favorite towns),
we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Cork & Cap Restaurant.
Upon hearing its history, I just knew I'd have to share it with you!

The Cork & Cap is in the gorgeous Cork Factory Hotel,
which is part of a complex called Urban Place.

The construction of Urban Place dates back to 1865. 
Ten years after that, the Lancaster Cork Company opened.
Lancaster Cork later became Armstrong Cork, 
which in the 60's then became Kerr Glass Manufacturing, producer of bottles and caps. 
Aha! We now understand whence the hotel and restaurant acquired their monikers.

In 2004, the Baldwin Family of Lancaster County began restoring the complex
into what is now the 300,000 square foot site of luxury apartments,
upscale lodging and dining, and modern retail and commercial businesses.  


This tall, brick smoke stack is the centerpiece of the complex.


An iron door at its base reads:

The Rust Engineering Co
Pittsburgh PA
Rust Associates Ltd
Montreal Que
Engineers     Constructors
Chimney Builders


Cork-covered walls in the hotel lobby acknowledge the building's history.



Exposed wood beams, antiques as wall art, and original
brick and stone walls create a cozy atmosphere of rustic authenticity.




Cork & Cap Restaurant
480 New Holland Ave. Lancaster, PA

Here's the Urban Place website.