Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's Top 3 Favorites

1) For some serious second-hand book shopping, start saving for a trip to Hay-on-Wye, Wales. This magnificent photo is from here.

2) Wouldn't it be fun to find an envelope in tangled script in your mailbox this afternoon? The calligraphy of Anna Beckman is more than an art. See more here.

3) This garden path is so beautiful, it's a destination in itself. The pods of grass invite us to hop from one onto the next over a sea of stones. Path inspirations from here.

I hope you enjoy these, too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Writing Well, Part II

When you find an old and well-used leather bound book, you know there are pages to explore and a proper education on something to be gained. In my treasure book of social and business etiquette from 1882 there is much discussion of the proper position of the writer. It is "a matter of the greatest importance" and "exercises a powerful influence upon his general health." Further into this subject, the reader is admonished that no one should be satisfied with "a bad handwriting" when it is in his power to improve it.

Any one can procure a copy-book, and can spare an hour, or half an hour, a day for this effort at improvement. Remember that a good hand is not acquired in a week or a month; it takes long and diligent practice to produce this result.

The advantages of writing well are numerous, and will readily suggest themselves. In the first place, it is always a pleasure to prepare a plainly and neatly written letter or paper. The writer is then never afraid or ashamed for his friends to see his writing.

A good hand is also an invaluable aid to a young man seeking employment. A merchant in employing clerks and salesmen will always give the preference to the best penman. A young man applying by letter for a situation can scarcely offer a better reference than the appearance of his letter.

More late 19th century tips to follow soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Make Your Own Embroidered Tote

There is no reason not to have a beautiful tote bag to carry your groceries or library books. Here are the instructions to embellish an ordinary looking store bag with a little color and style. Thanks to favorite crafter, Perri Lewis for another fabulous idea to brighten the day.

Click over for more help deciphering the necessary needlework and links for a refresher with your chain stitch(1), French knots (2), fern stitch (3), or lazy daisy (6). I especially like the addition of the various buttons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dover Castle Redone

King Henry II spent a fortune in the 1180s creating this castle above the white cliffs of Dover. Now English Heritage has completed a restoration of medieval interiors to help modern visitors envision life in this colorful royal showplace. Click here for more details.