Monday, August 24, 2015

Purple People Bridge Sketch

Yesterday Christina and I sketched the Purple People Bridge that connects Cincinnati, OH and Newport, KY.  We parked at Lunken airport and road along the river to downtown.  It was a beautiful day and the ride was mostly flat and easy.  The trip starts out as a dedicated bike path and then switches to a bike lane and then back to a bike path.  I had not visited the riverfront in a long while and it is really nicely re-done into a long park along the river.  If you haven't visited it is worth a trip. 

The Purple People Bridge is really no longer purple but has faded to a light blue.  It was built in 1872 and was originally built for rail traffic.  It was converted to pedestrian-only in 2003.  (There is a nice history of the bridge here.) 

I also got a chance to start one of two new sketchbooks I received for my birthday.  Finally a sketchbook with pages big enough so I won't have seams in the middle!  Thank you Christina and Elsa.  You can see Christina's sketch here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ohio Buckeye

Last week George brought me home a surprise he found at the tennis courts...Ohio buckeyes (Aesculus glabra).  I was intrigued by the golden spiny orbs and learned that this distinguishes it from its more common relative, the yellow buckeye (Aesculus flava) which has smooth fruit. 

Although almost every part of the buckeye is poisonous, the beautiful seeds are reputed to be good luck when carried in your pocket and were also supposed to help ease rheumatism.  Native Americans used to boil the tannins out and grind them into a starchy paste to eat.  The nuts were also used "to remove mildew stains from linen and a flour made from buckeyes made an insect-proof paste of great tenacity much preferred by bookbinders." (source here). 

Whenever I find a buckeye I feel like I have found a treasure.  There is nothing quite like breaking open the "ugly" outer coating to find the smooth, mahogany prize inside. I plan on planting these seeds in the backyard and will hopefully one day be rich with buckeyes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rising Dough in Vintage Bowls

One of the small but great joys of life has to be rising dough in vintage bowls.  Who doesn't love the soft, buttery curve of rising dough?  And the thought of what it brings?  And don't even get me started about vintage crockery!  Ever since I brought these bowls home I have been excited to do a post about them.  But before I knew it fall and winter arrived last year and I certainly couldn't do a post about these cheery, flowery bowls in the dead of winter.  So before the warm weather got away from me this year I asked George to let me know next time he was making any kind of dough.  Lucky for me last week, he was making bread and tortillas on the same day!

My mom and I found these amazing bowls at the Springfield Antique Extravaganza last spring.  We share a love of vintage bowls and we both had never seen anything like them.  The cornflower blue outer bowl and "gear" shaped base would have been enough to win me over, but add in the flowers around the rim and I fell madly in love.

Above you can see the label on the bottom of the bowls says "Hall's Superior, Tested and Approved by Mary Dunbar, Jewel Homemakers Institute, Quality Kitchenware".  When I googled it I found a very common Autumn Leaf pattern but the blue bowls were harder to find.  The only one I found on ebay was described as "uncommon." 

Apparently the company formed in the 1920's and offered a full range of dinnerware and accessories, plus a successful line of cookbooks (click here and here for more history).  I even found a website that listed all the pattern names but I couldn't figure out the name of this particular pattern.  If anyone out there knows , please leave a comment as I would love to know.

I originally intended to post George's new tortilla recipe but I think it deserves its own post.  So if vintage bowls don't float your boat, check back soon because George's homemade tortillas are incredible and worth trying.  If you can't wait then email me!

Every so often at a flea market you find something that makes your heart beat a little faster and if you are able to purchase it you feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  And the best part is, years later when you look at that purchase, you are reminded of that feeling and the wonderful memories of that day.  It was so much fun sharing that excitement with my mom and I think of her every time I see these bowls.  Thanks mom!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

St. Elizabeth Sketch

Last Thursday Christina and I biked through Norwood and then stopped to sketch St. Elizabeth church.  The church was built in 1903 and is a stunning structure.  It was sold in 1995 to Vineyard Central and they now offer services, but you can also rent it for weddings, concerts, and camps.  From the photos I saw on their website, the interior is just as amazing as the outside.  I hope someday I get to see the inside.

I found this website that had some beautiful writing by Eric Hansen about this church.

"She has eight large stained glass windows, two rose windows, and two strained glass domes, all combining to let in a subtle natural light. She is also in a state of disrepair. The roof leaked – and was allowed to leak – for several years. She has had severe water damage, and large patches of plaster have come off the walls. Brick columns are exposed, like underlying bones.

Elaine and I attend Vineyard Central services there.  I am convinced St. E’s is a Sacred Space. She is for me and Elaine, and she seems to be sacred to others as well. Visitors are always moved by her beauty and brokenness and (perhaps) feel the presence of God within her surround."

If you would like to visit this church it is at the corner of Mills and Carter in Norwood, Ohio.  You can see Christina's awesome sketch here.