Thursday, August 18, 2016

A quick visit to Lexington

Stopped in Lexington, Virginia this week. Haven't been there before. Steeped in History, much of it Civil War history. General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson's house is in Lexington and he was a professor up the hill at the Virginia Military Institute prior the Civil War.

At any rate I found a public parking place on E Henry Street and N Randolph (it is an old town, there is a little bit of street parking and a open lot or two) and went for a walk to see what I could find.

Lexington, Virginia, Shopping, shoes

Came across this shop advertised by this sign and stepping for a minute. Beautiful shoes, some lux casual wear (for example the brand FLAX ) and accessories in a variety of price ranges. But the young lady unloading the boxes full of new merchandise, while having the sense to say hello and welcome me to the store did the once over to determine the value of what I was wearing with a long pause at my running shoes. (perhaps she missed the custom wedding ring and the Breitling on my wrist?) and so I was not inclined to linger.

I stopped in another boutique just up the way "Pumpkin Seeds" which is very cute and offers a variety of clothes I haven't seen before in a variety of sizes, 0 to at least 14, as well as soaps, and lotions and fun knick knack type things.
shopping, lexington, virginia, boutique, pumpkin seeds, clothes, accessories, home accessories, bags, purses, hats, owl piillow
inside Pumpkin Seeds

clothes, accessories, home accessories, gifts, shopping, lexington virginia

Many of the buildings have these little placards to share the building's history

yarn, crochet, knit, quilt, fabric, lessons, shopping, lexington, virginia
The Stitching Post
After purchasing a bottle of water at the Subway Sandwich Shop I came across the Stitching Post. A lovely shop full of yarns and a bit of quilting fabric and exactly the sort of southern welcome one would expect while shopping in Virginia. I was greeted by a friendly knowledgeable person who was on the phone, and then speaking to a someone who appeared to be a frequent visitor. Did I knit or crochet or quilt? I was asked. And while I answered no that didn't stop my hostess from being friendly at all as she flipped from conversation to conversation between greeting me, keeping up with her local frequent visitor and managing her phone.

I found a very enticing looking coffee shop, but it was four in the afternoon and just so hot that even I, coffee drinker that I am, could not bring myself to wish for a cup of coffee just then.
coffee, shopping, lexington
Lexington Coffee Roasters Tasting Room

just off to the side is the funny little courtyard, the sound of the water caught my attention and I stepped in to investigate

The water I'd heard was from the little fountain at the bag of the courtyard

and as I stepped back out to the side walk I noticed this marker in the sidewalk.
I thought it was interesting, both it's placement and that it was a memorial to a slave, and sad that after rescuing 49 men, he drowned. One assumes in the same flood, likely trying to rescue the 50th person. 

Thomas Jackson's house is just around the corner. I did not go into the house this visit, preferring to do so another time when I was not in a rush, but I did visit the garden. I loved the garden.

the scarecrow

thomas jackson, stonewall, house, garden, lexington
the back of the house from the garden
and on my way back to the car I passed this cheeky marker on the side of a building. It made my visit.

1776, non historical marker, lexington

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chocollage - a Sweet Cafe in Norfolk

Was in Norfolk, Virginia on Friday for an appointment which happened to be not too far what appears to be the downtown area. Cool shops. Random Mermaids. Good stuff. I was on a time budget so I couldn't really poke around too much - but did have time to pop into Chocollage.

Have you ever walked into a bakery and been hit, instantly, with the smell of cake and icing and chocolate and coffee all at once? Gorgeous.

chocollage, bakery, cafe, norfolk, virginia, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, breakfast

you can find it:
201 College Pl
Norfolk VA 23510

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Korean Dolls / Silla Crown

I bought these dolls at one of the local thrift stores a while ago. I was excited to find them. I sometimes will see a Korean or Japanese doll in one of the stores, presumably from a military family's travels and subsequent closet cleaning in later years, but usually it is a single female figure. I am not sure that I've ever seen a couple. I am guessing this is a bridal pair. But I have no basis for that guess. Just the positioning of the dolls and the Hanbok which is often still worn for wedding ceremonies but could just as easily mean nothing as this is a pair of dolls, possibly created specifically for tourists. I don't know.

doll, collectable, korean doll, bridal couple, silla crown, han bok
Korean Doll Couple

Aren't they sweet? And then one day I realized that the man's head piece was reminding me of something I'd seen before. There is a crown in the Nation Museum of Korea (I was lucky enough to visit in 2011) from the 5th Century.

Crown, Silla, 5th Century
photo taken of a page in the catalog
from the National Museum of Korea

I can see a reference to the shapes in the Silla Crown in this headpiece. I find it very interesting that the doll maker chose to reference this rather fantastic 5th century piece and I wonder if it has to do with the timing of the discovery of the crown. The Korean Times article points out that the crown was first shown in Seoul in 1974, right after being discovered. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Trying to add Shoulder Straps / Pink Sundress

In the spring I tried a "cold shoulder" pattern by Striped Swallow Designs. It turned out darling and the girls wear their shirts lots and lots. I wanted to make MLyons a dress to wear over her leotard to ballet and found this gorgeous pink. And then I started thinking that I might try to make it less "spaghetti" straps and more of a solid strap in case MLyons wanted to wear the dress to school.
So I looked at Striped Swallow Designs blog and some of the modifications that others had attempted and decided to try. I am not sure that I'm happy with the finish at the neck but other wise it turned out very cute and she has already worn is 3 or 4 times and I only finished it last Saturday.

slow fashion, hand sewn, striped swallow designs, cold shoulder, dress, pink

slow fashion, whigs and tories, hand made clothes, pink off shoulder dress, cold shoulder dress, halter top
purchasing fish food at Wild Wolf Brewery

Last week we ate at Wild Wold Brewery off 150 in Nelson County. Tim & Patrick like the brew(s) and the food was great (try the fish and chips) and there are things to keep the kids busy for a minute. In addition to feeding the gold fish there is a delightful "airplane" to play on and it kept our kids busy until their food came.

pink off shoulder dress by whigs and tories, halter top by whigs and tories, kids clothes, handmade, slow fashion
feeding gold fish at Wild Wolf Brewery

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rock Sculptures in the Mountains (for K)

For you; bear, bean, busy bee
who often thinks no one notices

smart, strong, beautiful daughter


always changing yet steady 

seeing details and wide focus 
both the forest and the trees

so wise and so naive
worldly yet innocent

exploring, questioning, seeking

facing challenges

cherished and missed

reunion joyfully anticipated


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blackstone Merlot

I posted this on my "The Wine Log" page just over here
but I'm so pleased with this wine I'm posting here too

July 2016: I love, love, love this wine! 
So this is a gorgeous merlot. I have no idea where it came from. Maybe a hostess gift at some time? I tasted the blackberries and wondered, is that just suggestive from the label? But no, you taste blackberries, not sickly sweet berries, but black berries in a lovely warm, full, not sweet sort of way. Gorgeous. Best part, it is available online for under $10.00 a bottle. No lie. For example try here:

merlot, wine, wine log, blackstone
Blackstone Merlot, my new favorite wine.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


It feels like it is late to be finding baby birds in nests, is it late? I don't know. There is a nest near my drive way, I noticed because I was walking passed the shrubs and a bird started to call me away, trying to catch my attention, and so I turned to look at the shrub and found the nest. It was high enough that I couldn't quite see into it, so I held my phone up for a photo. Oh dear, they must be new. They don't have feathers yet!

cardinal, nest, baby cardinals, no feathers, chicks, virginia

I am guessing that these tiny chicks are cardinals because after viewing the nest I turned back to the bird trying to get my attention and saw a flurry of red. I followed it until I could get a better view. Yes a male cardinal. I am so pleased. They are my favorites. They seem a bit shy at the bird feeder, the chickadees are always the first ones. And we have several finches (I think) that are bossy and aggressive. And the Tufted tit mouse (if its birds do we still say 'mice' for plural?) that I also enjoy are frequent visitors. The cardinal seems the last to visit, the first to decide things are too busy or too noisy or too whatever.

a not very good phone photo, with a bit of red there

and there he is flying

I'll be peeking at the nest again in a week or so. I don't want to distress daddy cardinal too much and make a nuisance of myself.