August 30, 2012

Butterflies and More Butterflies!

My neice and I recently rented a space in a beautiful antique mall that is about a mile from my house.  She lives about 100 miles away and yesterday drove up to spend the night so we could work on "fluffing up" our shop today.  Before we started working we visited the local botanical gardens to see the butterfly exhibit that is featured this summer.  We both commented that it was like a dream!  The butterflies are housed in the conservatory and there are hundreds of them.  If you stood still for just a few minutes, they would perch on you and just sit  peacefully.  There were several plates of rotten fruit sitting around and the butterflies loved it!  This is a great idea for your home garden.
Hope you enjoy my pictures.

August 21, 2012

The History of Mother of Pearl Buttons

My friend, Kathleen, from Yesteryear Embroideries posted this information recently about mother of pearl buttons.  With her permission, of course, I am sharing some of her photos.

Mr. Beopple cutting buttons.
John Fredrick Beopple, an immigrant from Otlensen, Germany and farm laborer in Columbus Junction in the late 19th century is credited with beginning the pearl button industry in Muscatine, Iowa.

While in Germany, Beopple made buttons from animal horns, but also experimented using fresh-water mussel shells. William Molis, superintendent of the water works, loaned Beopple $15 to move his hand made button cutting machine to Muscatine. Muscatine is located at a bend in the Mississippi River where great amounts of clams grew.
Advertising piece for Beopple's Buttons
On January 26, 1891, Beopple partnered with Molis and formed Beopple Pearl Button Company.  In 1898 Nicholas, Patrick and Thomas Barry boosted the industry into a modern commercial enterprise by developing automatic saws and drills. Barry automation caused the pearl button industry in Muscatine to increase so at its peak from 1913-1919 one third of the entire population of Muscatine was employed in some aspect of making pearl buttons. Beopple later served as a shell expert at the Biological Station at Fairport, Iowa, a few miles from Muscatine, in studying mussel shells of the Mississippi River. During the preparation of the Dingley Tariff Bill, Beopple was called as a pearl button authority to Washington DC.  Beopple died January 30, 1972


August 19, 2012

Great Day and a New Friend!

Handsome Mr. Brodie!

Once in a while you have a day that is perfect in every way!  Yesterday was one of those days! 

My daughter, Amy, her neighbor, Ann, and I went to Appomattox, VA, to visit friends who relocated there two years ago.  The weather was perfect so we drove with the top down on Ann's lovely convertible.    There are lots of dairy farms in that part of our state.  My daughter blew the horn to all the cows as we passed.  Silly girl!

I'd say the highlight of the day was meeting our friends' new corgi boy, Brodie.  They adopted him in June from a rescue organization.  He looks like a teddy bear.  This couple has one other corgi and this little guy has an awesome "forever home".

Appomattox is rich in  history and is the site where Lee surrendered to Grant at the end of the Civil War.  Our friend relocated to that area to be the director of a new Confederate museum that opened this past January.  She took us on a personal  guided tour and it was extremely interesting!

Of course, we managed to fit in some shopping at the antique shops in the charming little town.  My daughter found the perfect dining table that she's been looking for several years!

We came home last night tired and with lots of great memories!

August 8, 2012

Great Movie!

I've been waiting all summer for Hope Springs to start.  Today was opening day and I went this afternoon.  It was definitely all I had hoped it would be.  The combination of Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones is fabulous.  I don't remember when I laughed so much!  Of course, I loved the scene of their neighbor, Carol, and her three corgis!

I love seeing good movies so let me know if you have seen anything worthwhile recently!

August 6, 2012

I Won!

I was so thrilled when I received an email from Shell of The Raspberry Rabbits telling me I won this beautiful Christmas folk art tree.  Shell is an extremely talented textile folk artist and I have admired her work with quite some time.  I thoroughly enjoy her blog and love her furry employees, Harrington and Hannah.

I hope you'll take time to stop by Raspberry Rabbits and say hello to Shell and the bunnies.

August 5, 2012

Purple Martin Festival

Last night I went to the Purple Martin Festival downtown with some friends.  We ate dinner at a great Cuban restaurant and then crossed the street to wait for the birds to return to their roost.

Since 2006, thousands of Purple Martins congregate at the Farmers Market in downtown Richmond, VA.  They gather here for about a month before their migration to Brazil.  During the day, they fly out over the James River and return every evening around 8:00.  They roost in the Bradford Pear trees that you see on the left side of this photo.  The whole process is perfectly choreographed.  First you see a small flock of tiny specks in the sky.  After a while it becomes very large and then they dive down to the trees.  This happens several times before they are all settled for the night.  Watching them in the sky was like seeing a giant kaleidoscope as they changed formation.

I'd like to thank all of you who left comments on my post about Arabelle.  I appreciate the advice and want you to know that I have one possibility right now for a new home for her.  I will keep you posted!