This and that

Last night I watched a beautiful film - it has been out for a while but I never got around to watching it, I wish I had. It was MISS POTTER and I loved it - it has a G (general) rating, so it contained no bad language, violence,  etc... it was just beautiful.  Even though I don't know all the details of Beatrix Potters life, what was portrayed I think was probably a reasonably accurate account.  The only thing missing that I thought was critical to her life is the letters she wrote to her governess's children which then became her published stories - this part was completed skipped over.  Not sure why. 

What I didn't know was once she moved to the Lake District permanently and bought Hilltop she went and bought 4000 hectares of farming land so it wouldn't be developed and much later she donated the land back to the British people.  She was really quite an environmentalist way before her time. 

It had sad moments that needed a tissue, funny moments that brought on laughter and some cute moments when her paintings come to life.  This could have been over done, but it wasn't, once in a while whilst she was talking to the animals eg Jemima Puddle Duck they would start to move (but not in a Walt Disney way).  I would highly recommend it. 

* * *
I have finished a great book - it is for anyone who ever wondered about the things that they use every day - if you are like me, reading At Home by Bill Bryson - it is fascinating. From Amazon:
Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them.
This is the sort of book that I do this with “did you know. . . .”
  • the history of concrete and how it changed building
  • tax on glass and its affect on architecture
  • iron, steel and bricks
  • the life of the servant
  • export of ice from the USA to Great Britain
  • how many oak trees were needed to build a ship of the British navy
  • the affect of the railway on women gardening 
  • toilets and sewage (and death)
  • why people in the past did not wash (a real stinker)
  • the invention of power
  • bedding and bed-lice 
  • food (don't read this one whilst eating)
  • wall paper
  • and the list goes on and on
Bryson does on occasions wander off and it can be difficult to see where he is heading but this doesn’t matter in the end, as he is so full of facts and figures that the reader doesn’t mind the diversion.  What I particular liked about this book is it covers homes in both the UK and the USA and how they influences each other.    He doesn’t only focus on the domestic home, but he talks about some of the most famous homes ever built (including Blenheim Palace, Biltmore Estate,  Monticello and Castle Howard ) not only looking at the design, but the men behind some of the most remarkable building.

I would highly recommend it - soon I will read the one he has written about Britain.

* * *
 I have just come back from voting and I think I have turned into an icicle. To partake of the democratic process I stood outside in a grey damp school yard with icy winds blowing for 30mins.  My feet are still feeling cold and I have turned up the central heating to get a bit warmer and popped on my woolly slippers.

* * *
Do you know happens when you drop a container full of frozen peas in your kitchen - they go everywhere and Ruby (cat) spends the next week looking for them under the fridge!  They are roll for miles!!

* * *
Here are three cards that I have made this week using paper tole (3D pictures) and the car at the back is complete, just needs to be attached to a card and sent to my dad for Fathers Day. These are so much fun to make and in a moment I am making another one for Caius's friends birthday next week.

* * *
In a few hours I am off to sing . . 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

So shalom until tomorrow.


  1. Jo, we got Miss Potter out on video a couple of years ago and loved it too! The actress did a wonderful job too (I can't think of her name off the top of my head, but I can see her face. Renee hard-to-spell-last-name actress) lol.

    Love the cards... they look so lovely and would be a blessing to the recipient no doubts at all.

    And the cat picture!! well, I LOVE it lol.

    The book you mentioned sounds right up your alley! Ganeida will love your interesting facts, as she is like you in that regard :D

  2. From what I understand, Beatrix Potter was a bit crazy, but she produced stories that almost seem timeless!
    The book (At Home) does sound fascinating... :)
    We had quite a lovely day here today - amazing how the weather can be so different just a few hours drive away!
    Enjoy the Sound of Music!

  3. oh - and the cards are just gorgeous!!

  4. All interesting tidbits but yes, the cards are great!

  5. Okay I must get that movie. It sounds wonderful and we love her books.
    I was cringing at the thought of frozen peas rolling all over the floor. Oy!
    And your cards are beautiful. I made Christmas cards yesterday with a gal who has about 5000 stamps, paper punches, embossing machine, ink, the works! It was SO much fun. A lot of work for one card, but fun. And I really wouldn't call it "work". LOL!
    I hope you defrost soon and have a wonderful weekend.

  6. I really enjoyed that movie even though I think Renee Z wasn't a good choice for the lead role but anything with 'my Ewen' is a keeper

  7. Jo, I love this movie Miss Potter and her stories my daughter delights in. The Beatrix potter Collection from the ABC shops are lovely animated stories from her books and in these they show Beatrix writing to her governesses children and then follow with the story. Its a lovely collection. When I visited the lakes district in England we saw her house and all the wonderful work she did for the area, a truly inspiring lady of her time.

  8. Jo,
    The book sounds fascinating. Along those lines is one called The Secret House. Have you heard of that one? It too has some facts you don't want to read while eating. :)

    Your cards are so, so lovely. What a gift from the heart.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Miss Potter is one of my very favorite movies.

    And I LOVE the kitty whiskers picture because I love kitty whiskers. (o:

  10. We've had Miss Potter for a while; one of our favourites.

    We stood outside in the cold too but had waited till lunch time so it was a bit warmer, to vote.

    Your cards are lovely. Good on Ruby cat for hunting down stray peas. ☺

  11. Clara - I'm not sure if Beatrix Potter was a bit crazy, I think her mother wanted her to live the upper middle class life of marriage (love wasn't important, name and money were), parties and afternoon teas whilst Beatrix wanted to marry for love and to paint and tell stories (she has an isolated childhood with her brother and governess). This is one of the reasons why she moved to the Lake District. She did finally marry for love when she was in her 40's.

    She also was willing to voice her opinions, which for the times she was born and in her class this wasn't considered ladylike or appropriate. That courage she had allowed us all to enjoy her works for many decades.

  12. We watch the ABC DVDs too! My little kids love them and I love the movie too! The cards are brilliant. You sound so busy I don't know how you find time to write too.

  13. Bonnie - I sometimes wonder where I find the time considering I also work full-time:) but time does seem to find its way when I need it.

  14. Lovely job on the cards! I have no talent for that sort of crafting, but do enjoy seeing the fruits of those who excell at it.

    I liked the Beatrix Potter movie as well, though it is of course a bit sad.

    If you're interested in more home oriented books, I highly recommend Judith Flanders' Inside the Victorian Home. It is THE reference guide on my shelf for life in Victorian England (and a great deal of it applies to what is happeneing in the States during that time as well, though we're always a few years behind). It's an EXCELLENT read.

  15. Oh Jo - I LOVED the MIss Potter movie - so sweet and so well written - one of my favortes!



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