Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



Wishing you a fantastic 2011!
May it be overflowing all year through with
Happiness, Good Health, Peace, Prosperity,
and Success in all your endeavors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Unicorn's Musings

I'm a unicorn (from Latin unus 'one' and cornu 'horn'), and am called a 'mythological creature'. Though the modern popular image of me is sometimes that of a horse differing only in the horn on its forehead, my traditional body also has a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hooves. Marianna Mayer observed in The Unicorn and the Lake that, "The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he (I'm a 'she'!) is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. (S)He could be captured only by unfair means, and his (her) single horn was said to neutralize poison."

Contrary to popular belief, you won't find unicorns in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced unicorns were real (of course we are!).  They found us in India, a distant and fabulous realm for we unicorns. The earliest description is from Ctesias who described us as wild asses (I prefer the horse description, thank you!), fleet of foot (definitely!), having a horn a cubit and a half in length (some are two cubits) and colored white, red and black. Aristotle mentions two one-horned animals, the oryx and the so-called "Indian ass". Strabo says that in the Caucasus there were one-horned horses with stag-like heads (much nicer description)

 Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant of Alexandria, who lived in the 6th century and made a voyage to India, states, from report, that "it is impossible to take this ferocious beast alive; and that all its strength lies in its horn. When it finds itself pursued and in danger of capture, it throws itself from a precipice, and turns so aptly in falling, that it receives all the shock upon the horn, and so escapes safe and sound." (very true!)

Medieval knowledge of we unicorns stemmed from biblical and ancient sources, and we were variously represented as a kind of wild ass, goat, or horse.

The predecessor of the medieval bestiary, compiled in Late Antiquity and known as Physiologus, popularized an elaborate allegory in which a unicorn, trapped by a maiden representing the Virgin Mary, stood for the Incarnation.  We unicorns also figured in courtly terms: for some 13th century French authors, the lover is attracted to his lady as the unicorn is to the virgin. We also acquired more orthodox secular meanings such as being emblematic of chaste love and faithful marriage.

Back in time, we unicorns, or rather our horns, were coveted by royals who feared poisoning and many times would only drink from goblets made of "unicorn horn".  Thus, sadly, hunting we unicorns became a popular 'sport'.  One traditional method of hunting unicorns involved entrapment by a virgin.  In one of his notebooks Leonardo da Vinci wrote: "The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it." (stupid males! - those were the times I was grateful to be a female).  Hunts for an actual animal as the basis of the unicorn myth, accepting the conception of writers in Antiquity that it really existed (of course we do!) somewhere at the edge of the known earth, have added a further layer of mythologizing about we unicorns.

Do we unicorns really exist?  If you believe, yes, we do!


From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicorn with my apologies to the article's author for my taking liberties with his/her writing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!! Happy Yule!!


Merry Christmas!! 
Happy Yule!!
Seasons Greetings!!
Wishing You and Yours...
Peace, Harmony, and Joy

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is It Life Size Or A Miniature?

This was a Treasury which I curated on Etsy over a year ago.  I found life-size items and paired them with 1/12th scale miniatures.  Before you read each individual pic title, see if you can guess which is the miniature.





Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flower Of The Month For October...The Calendula aka Marigold

Marigolds
by Robert Graves
...Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
They will ever yet return...


October's Flower, the Calendula, is said to have originated in Egypt, and is a member of the marigold family. Its Latin name, calendula, derives from the Latin word calendae (kalendae) "the first day of the month". Calendula also translates as "a little calendar" or "little clock". The name was appropriate since the flower bloomed throughout the entire calendar year and provided monastery gardens and altars with a constant supply of golden blooms.

Calundela afficinalis valued for its medicinal and culinary properties. The word officinalis means "medicinal" and the Latin word calendae means "throughout the months" meaning that the plant flowers for many months. It's colors are yellow and orange. It's common names include: Pot Marigold; Summer's Bride'; Husbandman's Dial; Mary's Gold; Souci; Marybud; Bulls eye; Garden marigold; and Holligold.


Calendula has been used to treat ulcers and other illnesses. It was used during the Civil War to help stop bleeding and help speed the healing of wounds. The Romans used Calendulaas a remedy for insect bites and stings. During the 1600’s it was highly regarded as a remedy for smallpox and measles and has been used as symbol of constancy in love as a flower for weddings or in love potions. Calendula is known for it spasmolytic, mild diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antihaemorrhagic, astringent, vulnerary, antifungal, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, menstrual regulator, antioxidant, antiviral, and mild antibacterial properties.

Some of the legends and folklore of the Calendula/Marigold:

*Eating Calendula was thought to make one see fairies, be easily induced to sleep, or to feel more amorous.

*During the nineteenth century the marigold, which represents the shining sun, became a symbol of life, yet, its strange smell caused it to be planted in graveyards as well.

*During the Victorian era these flowers meant "My thoughts are with you", i.e., symbolizing sorrow and sympathy .

*Dreaming of marigolds was indicative of future prosperity and riches

*Early Christians called the Calendula ~Mary's Gold~ and placed them by the statues of the virgin Mary.

*Considered to be one of the most sacred herbs of ancient India, it is still used in temples and weddings. The blossoms were strung into garlands and placed them around the necks of the gods.

Monday, August 30, 2010

BONSAI in 1/12th Scale



Bonsai (盆栽) is the art of aesthetic miniaturization of trees, or of developing woody or semi-woody plants shaped as trees, by growing them in containers. 'Bonsai' is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term, Penzai, (盆栽). A 'bon' is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. Around 1800, the Japanese changed the term they used for this art to their pronunciation of the Chinese penzai with its connotation of a shallower container in which the Japanese could now style small trees.

Container-grown plants, including trees and many other kinds of plants, have a history stretching back at least to the early times of Egyptian culture. Pictorial records from around 4000 BC show trees growing in containers cut into rock. Pharaoh Remesses III donated gardens consisting of potted olives, date palms, and other plants to hundreds of temples. Pre-Common-Era India used container-grown trees for medicine and food.One of the oldest-known living bonsai trees, a 500 years old five-needle pine (
Pinus pentaphylla var. negishi) known as Sandai-Shogun-No Matsu, is considered one of the National Treasures of Japan and is in the Tokyo Imperial Palace collection.

The following are a few of the (artificial) miniature Bonsais which I have made in 1/12th scale for dollhouses.








Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Writer's Block

Ok, so I'm one of the World's worst bloggers. I either forget I have a blog, or I have a real bad case of writer's block. Actually it's a combination of both.

My writing is either funky or technical. It's the in between syle of writing which ends up taking forever to write and that's when I encounter writer's block at every turn. Like now.

That said, I leave my readers in suspense wondering at the fate of my pen...errrrr... blog.

Flower Of The Month For September... The Aster


Wild Asters

by Sara Teasdale
"In the spring I asked the daisies
If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid Asters
Not one knows."


September's Flower, the Aster, is botanically named Aster, which literally means star. The association with stars, clearly references the flower’s shape. Asters are sometimes called the Michaelmas Daisy because their blooms coincide with the feast of St Michael.

Asters generally bloom in late Summer and early Autumn, and produce large clusters of delicate daisy-like flowers in white, purple, lavender, blue, pink or red. Alpine Aster blooms in May and June and usually bears one-and-one-half inch, violet flowers. The most popular variety is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae). You will often see native Aster varieties growing wild in almost any environment from the tropics to the coldest regions of the north, in habitats ranging from extremely arid deserts to bogs. Cultivated Aster plants range in height from a few inches to four feet.

The Aster is also known as Starwort. 'Wort' refers to the root and was used in ancient times to indicate a plant with healing properties. A number of Asters worldwide have been used historically as medicines and in a few cases as food. Asters belong to the Compositae family of which there are a great number in herbalism (ie. echinacea, boneset, etc) In Chinese medicine it is: A. tartaricus that is chiefly used and, other than in Chinese medicine, Asters are not used today.

Some of the legends and folklore of the Aster:

*When humans began to become more and more corrupt, Astraea, the Greek Goddess of Innocence left earth to dwell in the heavens as the constellation Virgo. Eventually, even Zeus became tired of the corruptness of humanity and created a flood to cover the entire earth except for the top of Mt Parnassus. Two humans, Deucalian and Pyrrha survived the flood on top of Parnassus. However, after the flood receded they wandered the earth lost and alone. Astraea took pity on them and created starlight to guide them. As she wept from pity, her tears landed on earth and formed the star-like flower, the aster.

*Asters symbolize love, daintiness, and affection.

*Astrologers regard it as an herb of Venus. It is used in love divinations in many countries.

*Asters were burned by the Greeks to drive away serpents. The Romans dressed up altars to the gods with wreaths of aster blossoms.

*The Chippewa Indians smoked the dried, powdered root of an aster species to attract game.

*In some Native American tribes, asters are associated with Bear, the most powerful of all mystical beings. According to some legends, Bear gave mankind a particularly powerful medicine, the aster root. It is named for Bear - Bear Root or Bear Medicine - and is regarded as being the next best thing to a panacea.

*In China, according to the Feng Su Chi, the people of Li lived well past the 100 years because the water they drank was flavored by the asters growing up in the surrounding hills.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Life"

I haven't posted in here for quite a while. "Life" got in the way, and it still is, but I shall try to post more often.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flower Of The Month For March ...The Daffodil



March's Flower...the Daffodil


I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD
by
William Wordsworth

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze..."

March's Flower, the Daffodil, is botanically named narcissus. Some people call them “jonquils,” but, technically, jonquil refers to only one specific type of daffodil, not the whole family. They come in three size groups (Miniatures; Standards; and Intermediates which are in-between Standards and Miniatures), and six colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, and, green. Six outer petals surround a cup creating the trumpet-style look of this flower. Some stems produce one flower; others produce clusters. The outer petals are yellow or white; cups may be white, yellow, orange or salmon, and some have an orange edge.

All Narcissus varieties contain the alkaloid poison
lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves. In kampo (traditional Japanese medicine), wounds were treated with narcissus root and wheat flour paste. The Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus listed narcissus root in De Medicina among medical herbs, described as emollient, erodent, and "powerful to disperse whatever has collected in any part of the body". Roman soldiers would carry several bulbs with them and if mortally wounded, they'd chow down on the bulbs. The bulb would work its narcotic wonder and the soldier would painlessly die.

Some of the folk lore and legends associated with the Daffodil:

*Plant lore tells us that daffodils bring good fortune to the person who avoids trampling on them.

*The daffodil is a symbol of rebirth, Spring, and Easter.

*Because of its association with the God, Narcissus, the daffodil symbolizes unrequited love, vanity and excessive self-love. The center of the daffodil cup is said to contain the tears of Narcissus.

*Never give a single daffodil, as bringing a single daffodil into the house will bring misfortune.

*As a spring flower that blossoms when the sun begins to shine, it expresses the joy one has when in the presence of one’s partner, signifying love, regard, and respect.

*Chinese lore says that the daffodil flower brings good luck for the next twelve months if forced to bloom during the New Year.

*The narcissus was also used as a ritualistic flower of death by the Egyptians. When Pharaohs were buried the skins of daffodil bulbs were placed over the eyes, nose, and mouth of the mummy.

*The daffodil was accepted by the Druids as their national flower, symbolizing purity.

*In medieval Europe, it was believed that if a daffodil drooped when you looked at it, it was an omen of death.

Monday, February 22, 2010

CDHM and Etsy TeamMIDS

There are two great groups of International Miniaturists and Doll Artists of which I am a member. Whether a collector or artist of miniatures, you might want to take a few minutes of your time to visit each one and see the awesome handmade miniatures my fellow group members have created.

These two groups are:
CDHM (Custom Dolls, Houses & Miniatures)
and
Etsy TeamMIDS (Miniatures In Dollhouse Scale)

CDHM has an online Gallery where members can choose to sell and/or market their creations:
http://www.cdhm.org/ (click on 'Search Miniature Gallery') - this is where you can view some wonderful dollhouse miniatures. CDHM has a great online monthly magazine, "The Miniature Way": http://www.cdhm.org/news/newsletter0210.php They also have a blog: http://www.mycdhm.com/

TeamMIDS is an Etsy (sales venue) group of shops owned by individual Team members. TeamMIDS has a blog:
http://teammids.blogspot.com/ ; a website: http://teammidsdollhouseminiatures.goods.officelive.com/default.aspx ; and a Flickr Pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mids/