Stuff I've Been Reading

I'm reading Ten Years in the Tub, a collection of essays by Nick Hornby.  Hornby is one of my favorite authors; I've read all of his books and they're really funny.  This book is a collection of ten years of his "Stuff I've Been Reading" column for The Believer magazine.  It is what it sounds like, and it's great.  Really funny and relatable....more

The Countess of Westmorland returns to Osterley Park, West London

Isn't she a beauty? A perfect Georgian Rose. Sarah Anne Child was one of the wealthiest heiresses of her day, an eighteenth century Christina Onassis, and she used to live just down the road from me in Osterley Park.   ...more

1800s Cottage Dresser Upcycled in the 1960s

When I was a kid in the '60s my mother became a master at "antiquing" furniture and was able to develop a small business that ran out of our country home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Here we have a piece that brings back  fond memories of Mom, hard at work rejuvenating tired dressers and stands with blue, avocado green and barn red updates....more

Tangled Tuesday No. 3

It's Tangled Tuesday once again! While personally-speaking I have to say that it's been a rather rough week (as you'll know if you've been following Alphabet Salad regularly), some fairly momentous things have taken place, tangling-wise (at least I think they're momentous!). Lots of exciting news and updates to be revealed, so here we go! ...more

Gerard Manley Hopkins Called Them Inscapes

Several years ago when I was working on my Masters thesis, I came across the journals and poetry of poet/priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). A brilliant philosopher and thinker, Hopkins discussed natural objects as having inscapes "unified complex characteristics that give each thing its uniqueness and that differentiate it from other things (Everett, Glenn. The Victorian Web. ...more

Uncovering the Nude Woman

Art is a loosely based term for all types of creative endeavors. I surround myself with art. My shop is filled with the works of mostly unknown artists who have poured their souls out onto canvas or paper or wood or metal. ...more

Reading Orson Scott Card Again

I have loved Ender's Game and all the Ender books by Orson Scott Card. My husband read   the books to me over a good span of time. The character of Ender was so complex and intriguing as was Card's visions of the future. There was great humanity in the books. Well, now I am at it again. I am reading (this time to myself) Pathfinder, the first book about Rigg and Ram, also well developed characters. This time we are colonizing, and have colonized another planet. There is much time travel in this series, and you have to keep your wits about you....more

Mid Century TV Lamps

Many years ago I frequented an indoor flea market where a young seller from Connecticut used to sell his wares. He was hip to the Mid-Century scene and always had fabulous smalls. One Sunday just before the place closed, I hurried to his space and found a Royal Haeger fan-tailed goldfish TV lamp with the original tags as well as this shell lamp that had no wiring. I begged him for his best price and got him to accept a check, The purchase left me with no money for an entire week, but I made it through somehow, as I always did when purchases cost me more than my paltry budget allowed....more

Frozen in Time

Everywhere I turn or tune in this week, little girls are singing, dancing to, and rehearsing that song. That earworm (it’s a nice song the first 15 times) Let It Go. From the movie Frozen.This is for BlogHer, I thought to myself knowing I’d find good writing on the topic here. But my experiences are different. I believe Frozen is a full-blown epidemic that falls short culturally. An epic labor in search of, I joking commented, an epidural. There are other perspectives here. I honor and recognize their voices....more

Peonies original oil on canvas by Margaret Aycock

 I just posted this to my ebay gallery and to my blog. These are so much fun to paint and I suspect there are more of these little paintings to come as the weather has been so cool that the season seems to be lasting a little longer and we haven't had horrible winds and rain storms to knock all the blossoms off.  I am so lucky, I get to be surrounded by beauty and get to breath in the beautiful scent as I paint.  Keep checking as I will post more as they come. To visit my blog  visit