Monday, June 25, 2012

Ode to Summer Days

Not all of us have Lazy Days of Summer.....  Enjoy yours when you can!

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) kits

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)  fawns, AKA Hoofed Rats

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) chrysalis
Swallowtail Butterfly

Immature Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
Tree Frog

Baby Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
Big Mama Snapper

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) with fledglings
Immature Robin, maiden flight

Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), feeding

Homo sapiens with Man's Best Friend (Canis lupus familiaris), HAVING FUN!


Monday, June 18, 2012

W is for Westmoreland

In 1889, two brothers, George and Charles West, left the Specialty Glass Company in E. Liverpool, OH to open the Westmoreland Glass Company in Grapeville, PA.  The natural gas-rich area provided a plentiful energy source for the production of high quality pressed glass tableware and specialty jars designed for vinegar, mustard, extracts and candy.  Their signature item was milk glass Hens on Nests produced during the 1920's through the 1950's, as well as novelty 'packer's goods'.  The West brothers manufactured two lines for Woolworth's as well as some of America's finest cut glass.  One of the most well known patterns,  Paneled Grape, was first produced in the late 1800's as a thinner more translucent white glass.  Westmoreland became well known for its glass toys such as submarines, wagons, windmills, automobiles, trains, animals, revolvers - countless lines of novelty gift ware.  To set themselves apart, much of the glassware was hand decorated.  At the turn of the 20th C this was an appreciated distinguishing element separating Westmoreland from the myriad of glass companies in existence at that time.

In response to the faltering economy of the Great Depression (1929-1940), the company reorganized in 1937 selling its holdings to Ira Brainard who purchased it for his sons. Westmoreland Glass continued to make lovely, heavy opaque milk glass until closing its doors just shy of its 100 year Anniversary in 1984.  Many of its molds were sold to companies still in operation at that time including Blanko, Summit and Viking Glass.  Take home a piece of history with Westmoreland milk glass and see for yourself just how happy you can be with the simple things in life!   Enjoy the hunt!

 Hens on Nests, Westmoreland Glass Company

 Hen Party

 Novelty Glass Wheelbarrows, Westmoreland Glass Company


Monday, June 11, 2012


What is wabi-sabi you ask?  It is beauty found in the imperfect and the impermanent; of things modest and humble.  It is a nature-based aesthetic that is applied to the art of living a creatively conscious life. Wabi-sabi is about the fine balance that exists between the pleasure we receive from acquiring 'things' and the ultimate contentedness we feel when not encumbered by 'things'.  Wabi-sabi is about hidden aspects and overlooked specialness;  the understated and the unassuming.  It is the elegant simplicity of a quiet tea ceremony:  boiling and pouring the water, preparing the tea, serving with grace, enjoyment.

One must sloooow downnnn , be patient, and look very closely to experience and appreciate subtleties that are the essence of wabi-sabi..... Practicing it in small ways can change your life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

V is for Vaseline Glass

The name vaseline conjures up an image of that ubiquitous household item -  a jellied lemony colored balm,  soothing as an elixir of sorts for dry skin and lips.  It was during the early 19th C that a glass was produced that replicated the color of this luscious product through the addition of uranium dioxide.  The resulting formula produced a very cool yellow green coloration,  florescent under an ultra-violet black light that 'excites' the outer electrons of the uranium atoms causing them to glow! Names for this unique hue include citron, jasmine, golden green, mustard, canary and Florentine with colorations ranging from yellow to green depending on the oxidation state and concentration of the metal ions present in the mix.  The higher the uranium dioxide content, the greater the florescence and bright green energy we see.  A Geiger Counter will register very low levels of radioactivity from authentic Vaseline Glass which is insignificant and close to the amounts of the natural radioactivity surrounding us.

As a form of Art Glass, Vaseline Glass is considered highly collectible.  Its neon punch of color is very hip and certainly creates that dash of intensity and vibrancy that makes a room come alive.
 Happy Hunting!

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