Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Those of you who have been following along for awhile know about my fondness for anything with multiple drawers, nooks & crannies ~ here and here. When a woodworker friend of mine posted a photo of the Wooton Patent Desk on his FB page, I was totally smitten ~ I have never seen anything like this anywhere! I wonder if you came upon a piece of furniture like that shown below if you would even think to open it up?

Imagine finding this inside ~ I think I just might have a heart attack ~ especially if it was at a price I could afford! Guess I will keep an eye open from now on!

{images from here}

I did a bit of searching and located a few other examples that are shown below. I also found out a bit of history about the Wooton Patent Desk. This sort of desk was produced by William Wooton from 1870 through 1884 ~ it was called a "secretary desk" and its function was to organize any sort of office paperwork. These desks were expensive at the time (and now!) and only the wealthy could afford such a piece of furniture. The craftsmanship and details on these pieces is just amazing ~ I especially love the different ways the little drawers were designed ~ ie. the addition of numbers or the drawer pulls.

{images above from here}

{images above from here}

I love that this piece of furniture was advertised as "The King of Desks" ~ I can't imagine that there was much competition! Another of the advertising slogans used for the Wooton's Patent Desk was that it was "A place for everything & everything in its place" ~ nice to know where that saying originated!

{image & more info here}

{image from here}

Great vintage photo above that shows a Wooton desk being used in an office ~ must have been a successful business to be able to afford such nice office furniture. Below is a book on the desks ~ might be fun to take a look at to learn more and see other examples.

{buy book here}

So, how do we go from the Wooton's Patent Desk to that shown below? Granted, the cabinet below would fit most budgets, but after seeing a Wooton, this just doesn't cut it ~ plastic or vinyl drawers ~ UGH! Paperboard boxes with metal pulls would improve this considerably ~ even if it increased the price. What do you think?!

{image from here}

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vermont, as almost everyone knows, is a nature lover's delight. Green both in its politics and on the ground, the state is chock full of farm land, forest land, wild land, lakefront land, riverside.

WHOOPS! Let's back that one up a little.

Farms, forests, lakes, all true enough. And lots of green space.

But wild land? Not so much.

Less, as a percentage of its total area, than many other states. Not only the Western states with their thousands of square miles of wilderness, but also less than neighbors New York and New Hampshire.
Or even – would you believe? – New Jersey.

"It's an illuminating statistic," said Emily Boedecker, the Deputy State Director for Nature Conservancy Vermont, pointing to a map on the wall of her Montpelier office which notes how much land each Eastern state has categorized as wild. New Jersey, thanks largely to its preserved coastal wetlands, has set aside more such land than Vermont.

According to the estimation of Sweet Water Trust, a foundation that supports wild land conservation in the Northeast, only 2.83 percent of Vermont's 9,249.56 square miles have been preserved in their wildest state, with another 1.54 percent given protection as "primarily natural." Altogether, 16.74 percent of the state is "conserved land" in one form or another.

What Is Wilderness?

As originally defined in the 1964 Wilderness Act, wilderness is an area "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man," effectively limiting it to remote public lands in the West. Nine years later, President Gerald Ford signed the Eastern Wilderness Act adding parcels that had been trammeled in the past, but were to remain wild from then on.

Anyone can go into any wilderness area, but only on foot or horseback, and only "non-invasive activities" are permitted. This includes fishing, hunting, backpacking and some scientific research, but not logging, mining, roads, mechanized vehicles (No, not even bicycles), or other development.
In New Hampshire, those figures are 4.28 percent, 5.68 percent and 29.51 percent. In New York, they are 4.10 percent, 5.83 percent. and 17.85 percent. Vermont's share of protected land is smaller than the combined average of all the "Northern Appalachian states" (New England plus New York).

Those are the statistics. As to why Vermont keeps less of its land wild, there are diverse explanations – natural, historical, political, cultural. To begin with, almost all land protected in its wild state was public land to begin with, and Vermont just has less public land than many of its neighbors. The Green Mountain National Forest – the only large, contiguous tract of public land in the state – is smaller than its White Mountain counterpart in New Hampshire or the "forever wild" expanses of the Catskill and Adirondack Parks in New York.

The natural causes are simple and obvious. Vermont has better farmland –"the soil is sweeter," said Boedecker – leading to more agricultural development. The Green Mountains are gentler than the Whites or the Adirondacks, so "New York and New Hampshire just have better wild land than Vermont," said Jim Northrup of Northeast Wilderness Trust in Bristol. "They have more rugged, remote, wild land which gives people a sense of solitude, and made it easier to set aside those areas as wilderness."

And at least in the past, Vermont also never had the same kind of powerful (and well-heeled) conservationist lobby that helped preserve the wild land in the Adirondack and Catskill regions of New York.

In the view of some wilderness advocates, Vermonters may be more hostile to preserving land in its wild state than are many of their neighbors. George Wuerthner, a photographer and ecologist who lives in both Richmond and out west, decried (via email) what he called "the uncritical adoration of the ‘working landscape,' (which) "by extension implies that what one may call ‘non-working landscapes' are somehow less desirable…just lazy, shiftless and obviously not holding their own."

From an ecological perspective, Wuerthner said, these wild lands "are working very hard producing clean water, wildlife habitat, clean air, flood control, functioning ecosystems and so forth."

There does seem to be some antipathy in Vermont to ‘non-working landscapes,' as though some Vermonters think that leaving land in its natural state is somehow…unnatural. The "current use" law gives landowners a lower tax rate on forest land, but only if they have an active plan for logging it. If they just leave it alone, they pay the higher rate.

In 1998, when Gov. Howard Dean and the Conservation Fund arranged to buy and protect 133,000 acres of Northeast Kingdom forests from the Champion International paper company, opposition centered around the fear that some of the land would not be logged. As a result, the Legislature insisted that most of the land be retained as "working forest" and only a 12,000-acre "core area," part of the West Mountain Wildlife Management Area, was set aside as wild land.

Ben Rose, the Northeast Regional Director of the Wilderness Society, doubts that there is more anti-wilderness feeling in Vermont than elsewhere. The Champion Land debate, is said, is by now "ancient history" which occurred "in the political context of the aftermath of the Civil Unions" controversy, when the Republican House of Representatives "was very sympathetic to folks in the Northeast Kingdom who were upset that things were changing. They tried to lock in the status quo, which was the working forest. I wouldn't extrapolate too much from that one case."

But as recently as 2006, anti-wilderness sentiment persuaded Gov. Jim Douglas to block passage of a Vermont wilderness bill until some land had been stripped from the proposal. And even now, Rose and other wilderness advocates seem reluctant to call for any additions to the Federal Wilderness Protection System in Vermont. There are now eight areas of the state protected under that system, totaling about 101,074 acres. Rose said there would probably be no effort to add more land to the system at least until work begins on the Green Mountain National Forest's new Forest Plan.

Work on that plan will not begin until at least 2018, said Melissa Reichert of the National Forest.

The old wilderness fights may be over, though, at least in Vermont, where wild land advocates are focusing less on adding to the Federal system than on what Emily Boedecker called "the character of wilderness," with or without official designation. In cooperation with other public and private agencies, including Vermont's Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy is coordinating an initiative called "staying connected," to provide "linkage areas" so that wildlife as small as salamanders and as big as bears can move from one large protected area to another.

It's a town-by-town local-option proposal, Boedecker said. No town has to participate, and some, she acknowledged, have said "they are not ready for a conversation."

But in Salisbury, for instance, she said, the local conservation commission has inspired people to "start walking the roads in the winter," and has created a map showing two primary routes where wildlife crosses from a swampy area to the Green Mountains. It will be up to residents of the town, she said, "to decide what they want to do about it."

Local control would not necessarily avoid controversy. Among the options would be zoning or regulation, in either case limits on the use of private land, always a dicey proposition in Vermont.

But another potential wild land initiative seeks not only to engage private landowners, but possibly to enable them earn a profit by keeping their land wild. Jim Northrup said Northern Wilderness Trust has a plan under which landowners can sell carbon credits "by placing forests under a Forever Wild easement, thereby ensuring the avoidance of conversion to non- forested conditions or the removal of carbon by logging."

The buyers would be universities, foundations or individuals seeking to offset their own carbon imprint. The transaction would be handled by the California Climate Action Reserve (CAR), through which carbon offset credits will be bought and sold starting in next year. The Trust is already "setting up a system to qualify those credits so they will be available for sale," Northrup said.

Northrup said the Trust "hasn't listed a carbon project in Vermont yet," but is "talking with some landowners" about the plan.

To some extent, the attraction of wilderness is aesthetic and abstract. People like the idea of wild land as much as they like visiting it. Even wilderness advocates acknowledge that land which is less wild often has more striking vistas and other scenic beauty. It's also easier to walk through for both people and large animals. That explains why there are fewer deer on wild land, which in turn explains why hunters often oppose creating more wilderness.

But as there is also a scientific argument for wild land, which, as Wuerthner noted helps keep air and water clean and protects biodiversity. In Northrup's view, global warming creates another imperative for protecting wilderness. Keeping parcels of the northern forests wild, he said, could preserve some cold-weather stretches of land and retard – or at least mitigate –the impact of a hotter world.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Congratulations to Dru ~ the winner of Issue #10 of Uppercase Magazine! Dru, please send me your mailing address so I can get your package shipped! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

ADDENDUM: Dru, please send your mailing address by 8.22.2011 ~ if I don't hear from you by then I am going to draw another name. Thanks!

ADDENDUM #2: Since I have heard nothing from Dru, I have drawn a second winner. Congratulations Tammie ~ please email me with your mailing address!

ADDENDUM #3: As I have no confirmed address for either Dru or Tammie at the moment, the first of you who sends me their mailing address will be the lucky recipient of the magazine. Please email me (see link on right side of blog) with your mailing address as soon as possible. Thanks!

ADDENDUM #4: It has been a week and never got confirmed addresses from either winner, so I have opted to draw another ~ Joy Light is the winner! Sorry for the confusion ~ this was my first giveaway ~ next time I will make some changes to avoid this sort of situation. Who knew it would be so difficult to give something away?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

While browsing Pinterest the other day, I came upon this delicate crochet work created by Japanese artist, Jung-jung. Jung-jung's work is just beautiful ~ intricately crafted in gorgeous subtle hues. I wonder if she hand dyes her threads as the colors are so unusual and muted? Gives one a new appreciation of the root and cruciferous vegetable!

I'm not sure if the graphic above is a pattern, but whether or not it is, it is a beautiful graphic anyway. All images shown are from here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love this video of Monkey, the rescue dog! It certainly captures the joy a dog can bring to your life! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Spotted this over at something.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On Fridays in the summer my day job has summer hours ~ we get to leave at 1:00 if we have put in 3 additional hours earlier in the week. So, thanks to the summer hours, I am able to get a start on my antiquing for the weekend. I try to convince myself that a Friday afternoon antiquing will provide the fix for the weekend, but it usually just gets me in the mood for more!

Well, this Friday was a good one ~ I scored a great vintage Star Sewing Thread Display ~ just like this one! Mine is still in the car, but I found these photos online (at twentytimesi ~ already sold!) of an identical display ~ love the internet! This will come in handy for some storage in the studio as well as a nice way to display small handmade items at a craft show. All the drawers slide back and forth and are even removable. My display still has some paper labels attached ~ I will have to post a photo later when I get mine cleaned up and in working order!

{all photos from here}

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happened upon some lovely pieces of tramp art over at Candler Arts. Every now and then I see tramp art at various antique shows or stores, but it isn't something I run into very often ~ and it is usually on the expensive side.

Long ago I bought a made in Thailand large wood cabinet for my dining room with the thought of making it unique by adding my own version of tramp art decoration ~ needless to say, the project is not complete ~ or even started! I did finish a practice piece ~ a small tramp art star shaped ornament. No picture to share, but I did gain even greater respect and admiration for the folk artists that created this type of work. I wish I could hire a tramp to come and finish off my cabinet!

{beautifully decorated sewing box ~ love this!}

I don't know if this last piece would actually be considered tramp art, although it does look like some of the details are similar to some tramp art techniques I have seen. The description states that it is a handmade squirrel coffin from Shamokin, PA ~ wondering if the man that made it had a pet squirrel?

All images from Candler Arts

Candler Arts blog here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Uppercase Magazine, but if you aren't make sure to take a look and think about getting a subscription for yourself ~ you won't be disappointed! From the moment your issue arrives and you open the envelope and smell the freshly printed pages, it is an experience you shouldn't deprive yourself of! Uppercase Magazine ~ a magazine for the creative and curious ~ is quite the showstopper. Every issue is filled with beautiful images, interesting articles and a fabulous variety of all sorts of inspiration. Below are a few covers and spreads to give you an idea of what the magazine is like.

Uppercase Magazine is inquisitive, inspired, adventurous, eclectic & playful ~ literally, there is something (probably more than one something!) of interest for everyone. Read more about the magazine or subscribe here.

Uppercase's blog is also fun & inspiring ~ sometimes there is information about upcoming issues or a behind the scenes look at creating the magazine. There are also posts on ways for readers/subscribers to contribute to the magazine. In addition to the gorgeous magazine and blog, Uppercase also publishes amazing books. There is a great book bundle available now ~ check it out here.

As I made a mistake with my renewal and ended up with a double copy of Issue #10, Janine (from Uppercase) has generously donated the copy for a giveaway. So, leave a comment with your contact information and you will be entered in a drawing for Issue #10 of Uppercase Magazine. I will draw a winner next Wednesday ~ drawing ends at midnight on Tuesday, August 16. Good luck!

(all images from Uppercase}

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

{image from Rapunzel's Delight}

In the last couple of weeks I have started to develop an obsession with Victorian hairwork ~ the flower wreaths, the jewelry and even simple tokens kept in cards or scrapbooks. This all began because I finally made the trip to Leila's Hair Museum ~ something I have had on my "to do" list for 20 years! My visit to the museum piqued my interest further, so I have spent a good deal of time hunting around the internet for more information, only to find out that there is not much to be found.

During my search I did find this wonderful advertising card for Lyon's Kathairon ~ a hair treatment of some sort. The card itself reminded me of a book I loved when I was a child ~ Dandelion, by Don Freeman. While I do remember loving this book, I only have a vague recollection of the details. I know it had to do with a lion who got a fancy haircut and new clothes to impress his friends at a party only to be turned away because no one recognizes him. So, what is the moral of this story? (You know there must be one!). You'll have to pick up a copy to see what happens!

{Dandelion: Before}

{Dandelion: Getting dandified!}

{Dandelion: After}

Monday, August 1, 2011

{iron arm molds from 1920}

While perusing the internet this evening, I came upon an online antique store called Obsolete Inc. ~ after digging through their beautifully photographed and unique items I am wishing I had unlimited funds and a larger house! Here are just a sampling of some of my favorite items:

{hand made bench made for a set of twins ~ circa 1870-90}

{wax bust of young girl complete with real human teeth ~ a little creepy, but intriguing!}

{wire cage light fixture}

{I'd use this like a painting ~ it would make a great graphic statement in a room}

{wonderful French spools of wool ~ love the colors}

The apothecary side tables shown above have hand painted labels on the drawers ~ these would be a great addition to almost any interior. Then again, I am a sucker for drawers and cabinets ~ I love the mechanics work cabinet with its original painted surface below.

But, by far, my favorite is this industrial steel cabinet from France circa 1940 ~ everything about it is perfect ~ the patina, the details, the size, the zillion drawers! Well, it does have one rather major defect ~ it has been sold so it is no longer available! That is probably a good thing as I would possibly have remortgaged my house for it ~ isn't it grand?

{all images from here}