I love customs and traditions. Perhaps one of our most intriguing seasonal holidays/festivals is May Day. I thought I would search Etsy.com for artists who have created special May Day treasures. Enjoy these beautiful creations!
I went to the library today. You know, one of those buildings ~ real, not virtual ~ where stack after stack of glorious books can be found. Real books, not ebooks. Truth is, I go to the library most every day. But the library I usually go to is my workplace. I love my job. I'm surrounded by amazing books, children and the staff and teachers of the best elementary school in the world! I am an elementary school librarian ~ my library is full of children's books. But, there are those days, when I long to go to the library just for me. And, today, I did just that.
Here's a picture of the great book I checked out today. After reading only two pages, I'm sure I'll be up late tonight scouring the pages looking for new ideas to give wonderfully old reclaimed materials new life!
Now that you know how much I love libraries, I have to tell you what one of my favorite rooms in my house is. It's my library, or course. As a Navy family, we move often. With each new house, comes a new library. In some houses it is its own special room, just like we have now. But in other houses, sometimes it consists of a special corner in a room that serves multiple purposes ~ or a combination of shelves in several rooms spread throughout the house. But, regardless of how we store our thousand + books, wherever they dwell is always one of my favorite spots in the house.
I took a picture tonight (as you can tell from the quality, I can't wait to get a new camera!) of one of our library walls. We have so many shelves and so many books. We're currently living in a rental so we're limited to white walls as backdrops for most of our favorite pieces. This makes me want to add as much character to all our pieces as I can. Most of the valuable real estate in this shelving unit is taken up by books, but you will be able to see I've chosen two sections to house some of our vintage family items. They have a prominent home and we see them every day.
The pictures above show those special things I mentioned. (I edited one in Picasa 3 giving it a vintage look, just for fun:) Under the dome I have placed small pocket bibles from my grandfathers and great-grandfathers. I also have sermon notes from my step-father's many beautiful sermons he delivered from his pulpit. There's also several old books of poetry from my great-grandfather and a pair of antique glasses. To add a bit of color to the shelves, I chose our hand blown glass vase from Australia. I love the unexpected bit of color. And, lastly, is the canvas transfer photo I made of my aunt's husband during WWII. He never made it back from the war, but I still feel like we've known him forever because of all the wonderful stories and pictures my aunt shares with us. You can read more about them in my blog post here.
I'd love to hear about your own libraries...or better yet, see pictures. Please let me know your storage secrets and design ideas for that special room in your house.
I took this picture of our alien-like, asparagus-looking plant while standing on our front stoop. Can you see the shoot that is "shooting" straight out of the agave? It's quite a sight actually. We can't decide whether to be proud of this once in a century occurrence or embarrassed. I'm sure we're the talk of the neighborhood. Just last week, the taller of the two shoots seen here was the size of the shorter one. Yes, it has grown that much in just one week. So how much taller is this asparagus looking being going to grow, you ask? According to my research into the wee hours of the morning, our special, once in a lifetime (sometimes called good luck charm) flowers from the Agave Americana can grow to a height of 40 feet each! Imagine our surprise when we discovered this wasn't some sort of anomaly that I wanted to take the hacksaw to, but a very rare and special flowering showpiece. I guess I'll have to put the hacksaw back in the garage.
I've posted more pictures below so you can get a better look at our special plants. Actually, now that I know what I do, they're starting to grown on me. We have gone from being embarrassed to be seen out front, to waving to our neighbors as they drive and walk by while pointing proudly to our beautiful flowering agave.
I found a great website at the link below that describes this beautiful plant. It's hard to believe that our plants in our small front yard, may look like the majestic flowering (it really looks like a tree) agave below.
Most of you know, by reading many of my former posts, that our oldest son lives and works in San Francisco. You probably also remember how much I love to visit his beloved city. I thought I would post a few pictures that I took on one of our walks down California Street from Pacific Heights to the Embarcadero. My son takes this walk every day as he goes to and from work. What a lucky fella!
I have a dear friend who lives in New York City who told me during my visit to his city to always LOOK UP when walking our finest cities. He was right! I do this in every city I visit now. I am astonished at the beauty that can be found high above eye level. All three of the pictures I've posted here were taken of buildings along California Street as I walked around... looking up. ~ I must insert a safety warning at this point.....urging everyone to please have someone with you guiding you as you attempt to take pictures in a crowded city as you walk....looking up. It can be dangerous! ~
I've always been fascinated with architecture and architectural elements. I love altering the photos with photo editing programs and software. Since I'm a true Google Nut, I love Picasa 3. It's a free downloadable photo editing program produced by Google. You must try it! I edited the photos here with Picasa 3, and then uploaded them to yet another program, PicMonkey, to add the borders.
So, there you have it:) My photo editing secret....Picasa 3! With a little help from PicMonkey. I just love sharing tricks of the trade for others to use. I still love Adobe Photoshop ~ I just wish it wasn't so expensive.....
I'm curious to know what you think of my photos of California Street. Can you identify the buildings? Have you been on California Street? I hope you have had the chance to "look up" in one of our nation's most beautiful cities.