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My Little Cottage

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day at Our Cottage

Good afternoon, dear blog friends! I hope that each of you enjoyed a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving's Day gathered in with your family and friends. We had a wonderful day here at the cottage! I got up around 6:15 to the sumptuous aroma of the turkey baking in the oven. We bake our turkey over night at 275 degrees in our good old covered roasting pan seasoned with seasoned salt, poultry seasoning and a stick of melted butter poured over the top~mmmmMMM!!! I got online for just a few minutes to wish everyone on Facebook a Happy Thanksgiving and then set about turning off the oven and starting the process of preparing the side dishes for our meal at 3:00. My sweet husband and son got up around 9:00 and I had coffee and breakfast ready for us to eat by 9:30, too. Caleb and I watched most of the Macy's parade and we called family and friends to wish them "Happy Thanksgiving" and Caleb added "Happy turkey day", as well~lol! My sweet hubby got the turkey out of the oven and placed the meat on two separate platters; one for light meat and one for dark~we had to sample it, of course...mmmm. My daughter and her family got here around 1:00 and she brought rolls and a delicious venison roast with carrots, potatoes and celery in gravy. I usually am not real fond of venison, but this was very good. My son-in-law's cousin came along with them and we were very happy to meet him and have him join us for our celebration. I had most of the side dishes finished by then with the exception of the mashed potatoes and the gravy which I had just started working on. Next came two of our sons and their families and everyone had a good time visiting as they waited for all the food. My daughter and daughters-in-law helped me finish the meal. My hubby asked the blessing and thanked our Heavenly Father for the wonderful blessings of food, family, home and His Grace in our lives. And then, it was time to eat! We had two tables set, one in the dining room and one in my office/learning room (yes, I had to take my computer down yesterday so that we could use this BIG old table in here~lol). After our meal my two dear cousins, Kay and Nancy stopped by to visit a while. I was so glad to see them!!! They brought some new books for our ever growing homeschool bookshelf and told my hubby that they wanted to make sure they took some of his famous stuffing home with them. They love his stuffing~it is really good! Our grandchildren had a great time playing together; watching movies, playing with their favorite toys, drawing and making paper frames for their pictures. Elizabeth brought her saxaphone and played some Christmas tunes for us after dinner. My brother stopped by later that evening with my niece and nephew and a sweet friend from NC and we had a great time visiting, too. Most of our kids were still here, as well and they were glad to get in a visit with their uncle and cousins. We had phone calls from our daughter in NC and other dear family members, too that added to our joy! Needless to say, everyone had plenty to eat and wore themselves out visiting and laughing and talking! It was a wonderful day! I didn't get photos as I have decided that the visit is sweeter without the camera being in our faces. I did get a picture of the dining tables BEFORE:



My house looked like a bomb had exploded AFTER~LOL, but it was a blessed mess and will remain dear in my memories always! Love to all and hope you have a great weekend.

Until later, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Brief History of Interior Design and Decoration (Part 4)

Greetings sweet friends!!! I am finally taking a minute to sit down at my faithful old computer and write a little bit on my blog today. I have been a busy momma this morning with a swirl of activity including working with Caleb on his lessons, helping my sweet hubby set up our little Winter Village on the living room shelves and working on getting our house ready for our family's Thanksgiving Day dinner!!! I can't wait to have everyone gathered in and enjoying a wonderful meal together! I didn't want to forget my Design History post today and hope that you are enjoying my little series. Today's slice of history includes a little bit of church history, as well. Grab a cup of tea and join me in a little travel back in time:

Early Church and Byzantine Period: A.D. 330-1453

During the time in history known as the Middle Ages, A.D. 330-1453, the focus in Rome turned from the civic order of the Roman Empire to an emphasis on spiritual awareness found in the newly recognized Christian church Before this time Christian followers had met in secret within the deep catacombs beneath the streets of Rome or in the modest homes of fellow believers. Since most of the parishioners of these secret congregations had no guiding example for the design of church structures, the challenge came with the question, “what should a church look like”?

The immediate answer was to look toward the temple buildings of ancient Greece and earlier Rome. The columns that once honored the gods of Greece and earlier Roman emperors would be resurrected to honor Christ the resurrected Son of God. Over time the descendants of the aristocratic families of the Roman Empire began to adopt the new faith and came to the church for protection from attacking barbarians that had spread through the empire. They were willing to give their wealth to the church in exchange for their assistance. The building of the old Church of St. Peter established the beginning of the Early Christian period in Rome. The building exhibited a style that was based on the Roman basilica and had a narthex area toward the front with five parallel aisles that opened onto a formal atrium area. The widest center aisle, or nave, featured a curved apse area at its end. Other building styles that were used for early ecclesiastical structures included the central plan that included round and polygon forms. These buildings styles were often used for mausoleums and baptisteries. Mausoleums held the large stone sarcophagus under the central dome built on columns.

During this period the principals of the Vitruvian School gave way to new passions in the interest of relating the gospel through art and architecture. The façade of early churches maintained a form that was minimal in ornamentation while the interiors boasted beautiful frescos and carved moldings developed by the Greek, Egyptian and Celtic cultures. Coptic designs from Egypt were seen in illuminated manuscripts, glass, ivory and sculpture. Intertwining designs of knot work from Celtic lands became a popular motif for church interiors combined with rinceau carvings. Mosaics that portrayed Christian saints and martyrs could be seen on walls of nave corridors.

The military appeal and grand scenery of the ancient city of Byzantium drew Constantine to relocate the capital of the Roman Empire to its location toward the end of his reign. He renamed his new capital Constantinople as this was the custom of the day. The styles of architecture and decorative techniques of this near Asian city became a large part of the new structures built by the Roman government. This is the period that is known as the Byzantine, although it coincides with what is referred to as the Early Church.

Much of the same outward ornamentation of the earlier religious buildings of the Christian churches was used in the buildings of Constantinople. The first buildings held true to the Basilica or the central plans, however, eventually many buildings took on the form of the Greek cross and were topped with domes that rested on corner structures of either squinches or pendentives. The interiors were often supported by piers crowned with intricately carved impost capitals.

Materials often used as ornamentation included mosaic work that had long been a Roman favorite. The examples found in Byzantine architecture became more detailed with even smaller tesserae and a very stylized appearance. They also adopted a technique similar to cloisonné using precious stones and hammered metals. These can be seen in many of the dome interiors designed with elaborate patterns.

Another form of art incorporated into decorative furnishings was carvings in ivory. The ivory was generally derived from the tusks of elephants and the pieces show a great level of detail. Ivory as a whole is small in nature and was often supported by a wooden base. The carved pieces were most frequently applied to thrones or hinged panels called diptychs, two, or triptychs, three. Because the focus of this new era concentrated primarily on ecclesiastical buildings, very little is known of the domestic structures of the day.

Because the Byzantine styles were eventually adapted by buildings in Rome as well the two periods of architecture began to blend together. The styles differ in their appearance and their approach in relating the world of the divine to their inhabitants.

Early Christian structures took on a serene simplicity that is basic in nature while overall monumental and powerful. The addition of later ornamentations seemed to demean their sense of order and logic.

The Byzantine approach had included an element of mystery from its beginning with the new idea of placing domes on a square structure. The use of the complicated patterns and new techniques added a great deal to this impression of wonder and awe.
 
Until next time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook (November 16, 2011)




FOR TODAY (November 16, 2011)

Outside my window...
It is drizzeling rain and is dark and cloudy. A blustery sort of mid-autumn day.
I am thinking...
that it is so wonderful to have a nice, warm, cozy home to be in on a day like today!
I am thankful...
for every sweet blessing from the Lord in my life! I am so very blessed with dear family, wonderful friends, a warm home, good food to eat and the love and grace of my Lord! So very much to be thankful for!!!
From the learning rooms...
We are learning about the Space Race in the 1960s. We watched "The Right Stuff" the past 2 days and Caleb really enjoyed learning more about Chuck Yeager, Gordon Cooper, John Glen and all of the Mercury astronauts. We are still learning about Genetics for science and percentages in math! We will be making some of our ornament projects today!
In the kitchen...
I just finished having toast with apple butter and my cup of coffee for breakfast~mmmm! I think that today is the perfect day for homemade veggie soup for our supper!
I am wearing...
must confess, I haven't changed out of my good ol' floral nightgown yet. I will be putting on my favorite "mom jeans" and tee shirt in a bit to get started on my day.
I am creating...
several little crafts: light bulb ornaments, felt ornaments and some jar gifts in the kitchen. I had a blast this past week-end doing some craft clay mini sculptures with one of my sweet grand-girls! I have a box of FIMO and Sculpey clay that a friend gave me a couple of years ago that I have just never taken the time to work with. My creative granddaughter, Elizabeth and I got it out Sunday afternoon and made several items that could be turned into refrigerator magnets or holiday pins; a Christmas tree, a wreath, a turkey....it was SO much FUN! We are thinking of getting a toaster oven just for our FIMO crafts and making some things for a craft fair this summer!
I am going...
nowhere today, too icky outside. I think I will just make some good tea and stay in for the day!
I am reading...
Country Woman Christmas 2002, Country Woman Christmas 2004 and Better Homes and Gardens Christmas From the Heart! I love looking through books with great Christmas crafts and recipe ideas!
I am hoping...
that all of you will have a Blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends next week. I still cannot believe that it is already time for Thanksgiving this year. The time has really just flown! I am also hoping to get all of my Christmas projects completed on time. With November this close to an end, December is just a blink away!
I am looking forward to...
having our family here for Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday!
I am hearing...
the comforting sound of warm air coming from the forced air vents! So thankful for a warm home!
Around the house...
things are a bit of a shambles with crafting and school projects. A lovely mess! :-)
I am pondering...
the many seasons of our lives. Some years are hectic, some are mellow, some are brimming with happy moments and some are consumed with sadness....and God is in each of them; standing beside us, arms embracing us with His love and mercy to enable us to face them all!
One of my favorite things...
warm fuzzy slippers on cold mornings!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
working on projects, writing some poetry, taking time to call friends and family.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Some front porch decorations
a couple of weeks ago
I hope you enjoyed a glance into my day through this Daybook post. A BIG thank you to Peggy for hosting the Simple Woman's Daybook! If you would like to post your very own Daybook entry, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook for complete instructions!

Have a wonderful week and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte




Monday, November 14, 2011

History of Interior Decoration and Design (Part 3)

Good morning sweet friends!!! I kind of got behind on my blog posts last week as we had quite a busy week here and then were blessed to have three of our granddaughters over on Thursday night with two of them remaining with us through the week-end. Our son, Caleb went to his brother's house to visit and the girls and I had fun doing all kinds of crafts and writing some poetry, too. I did not get any pictures as we were having so much fun just living in the moment that the camera just never came out. It was wonderful just spending time with them!!! I want to get back on track this week and so I am posting the third installment of my History of Design series for you. Hope you have a beautiful week!!!
Roman Civilization 753 BC – AD 550

The Roman culture was intrigued with constant change and finding new ways to express their creativity and political views. They would often adapt the architectural influences of cultures that they had conquered into their design of buildings and furnishings. This is exhibited greatly in the Greek influences seen in the culture. The Roman styles of architecture, furnishings and fine art pieces were manifest adaptations of previous Etruscan and Greek designs combined with innovative new materials and philosophies of the Roman world.

Builders of the Roman Empire used columns and entablatures found in the three previous Greek orders of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Corinthian order ornamented with the profuse leaf pattern of the acanthus plant became a favorite among the builders in Rome and were later adapted and combined with features of the Ionic order to create a new Roman order called Composite. Another order of architectural structure created by the Romans was the Tuscan order. The columns and entablatures of this new order were artfully simple in line and ornamentation. The most identifying features were the lack of fluting on the shaft of columns and the smooth plane of the frieze. Buildings used for commerce known as basilicas, appeared to be inside-out versions of Greek temples with columns and ornamental frieze areas. Because Greek structure had many variations from builder to builder, the Romans explored methods that would unify and better define the orders. An official set of codified standards created in the first century AD and referred to as the Vitruvian Principals; which were the primary source used by Roman architects.

The use of arches in Roman buildings brought many innovations to architecture in this brave new world. The Roman arch was a masterpiece of mathematical balance and allowed architects to place weight over a broader expanse of space than any earlier culture. Arches were used for bridge construction as well as in buildings and were later adapted into the form of vaults. Vaulted ceilings used the concept of the arch over extended areas and created curves overhead. A single vault created a tunnel effect known and the barrel vault and where four vaults joined at right angles a groin vault was formed. The discovery of concrete by mixing together lime, pebbles, sand and water gave the architects of Rome a new and inexpensive material and new levels of creativity that had never been experienced in previous cultures. Columns, arches and vaults could be formed by concrete in molds for later use in less time than it would take to carve the structure from stone. Veneers of marble, alabaster, brick and stucco were added to further enhance the exteriors of concrete construction.

Interiors of Roman temples, buildings of commerce, and individual domiciles were far more elaborate than those seen in earlier Greek culture. While the citizens of Greece preferred plain white walls, the majority of Roman buildings boasted a number of ornate treatments for walls and floors. A new interest in art was expressed in the use of paintings on plaster walls called frescos. Divided into panels, the earliest forms of frescos resembled painted marble. The panels developed over time and later included a form of portraiture within the panels. Mosaic tile work on floors in Greece was brought to a new level in Roman times and further developed onto walls. Small pieces called tesserae made from shells, terra cotta, mother of pearl and other materials were used in wavy patterns to create emblemata of human likenesses and vistas. Patterns used for flooring became more complex and combined geometric shapes with curved patterns. Decorative carved motifs most often used on the interiors as well as the exteriors of Roman buildings included wreaths and garlands of laurel leaves, the popular acanthus leaf in varying patterns, and small cupid like angels called putti as well as griffins, humans and oxen.

Like the homes of Greece, Roman houses were also built around central opened areas. While the main function of a home in Greek culture was private and focused on family use and only used on occasion for entertaining male dinner guests, the Roman’s saw their homes as a place to conduct business, welcome political contacts and impress visitors with the family’s affluence. The Roman house was called a domus and contained a series of separate areas placed around an atrium area that led into a more formal outdoor garden area adorned with statuary called the peristyle. The atrium had a partial roof with a compluvian that was used to direct rain water into a basin, or impluvian, below. Doorways beginning at the entrance and continuing into the peristyle were aligned with each other and referred to as enfilades. Along the outer façade of the home were areas reserved for shops where the family conducted business in the community. The dining room, or triclinium, was an important space situated just off of the peristyle and used for entertaining guests. The room was furnished with small tables and three sofas that were larger variations of the earlier Greek klini called a lectus. The lectus used in the dining area was called a klinium but it was also used in bedroom, cubiculum, areas of the homes and was sometimes doubled or tripled in size and had a headboard, or fulcrum, and a footboard. Another important room in the Roman house was the tablinium located off of the atrium and leading to the peristyle that was used as a welcoming area for guests. Family records or awards and images of ancestors were placed in this area as a symbol of status. Accessories used throughout the home included small tables and candelabras with pedestal bases and tables that were the forerunners to the modern sideboard.

Through the course of time Roman architecture and furnishings would continue to change and include the influence of the tastes of their political leaders as well as other cultures that became part of the Empire. While Greek philosophies leaned toward an attitude of “Less is More”, the motto of the Roman Empire seemed to be “Bigger Is Better” in almost every area of their society. The evidence is seen in the innovative and exaggerated methods that they used to adapt and expand the styles of previous cultures to fit their ever changing needs.
You can see a sample floorplan of a Roman Domus by visiting this link!

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook (November 4, 2011)

FOR TODAY


Outside my window...
it is overcast and looks like we might get some rain later today. This is typical weather around here for this time of the year. Most of the trees are now bare or left with only brown or dark golden leaves, the slendor of red, burgundy, bright gold and green are now, for the most part, gone for the year.
I am thinking...
about the coming Thanksgiving holiday and starting to plan our menu. I had tried a different sweet potato recipe last year and it was not a real hit with our kids. I guess I will go back to our usual favorite sweet potato casserole recipe for this year.
I am thankful...
for so many wonderful blessings!!! First of all for my Lord's saving grace and His steadfast love and care!!! I am so blessed to have a good husband and family, our sweet little cottage, good food, warm clothing and so much more! I will not say that I never complain, but am always so ashamed of myself when I do as I truly have everything I will ever need! God is so GOOD!
From the learning rooms...
we are getting ready to move from the 1950s to the 1960s in our history lessons, we will be making some Christmas ornaments from old light bulbs in November, math is still focused on percentages and we are continuing to learn so much about genetics and DNA for our science lessons. I have also started teaching Caleb some of the old time hymns and we focus on one Character trait a day as I feel that it is such an important part of growing. You can never be reminded enough the importance of having a good and honorable character. 
In the kitchen...
I have steaks laid out for our supper and we will be having baked sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables to go along with them~YUM!

I am wearing...
my favorite slacks and a good old tee shirt. Just being comfortable today!
I am creating...
some Christmas crafts: light bulb ornaments, felt ornaments, some pretty bookmarks and a little craft with Fimo clay. This time of year brings out my "crafty"~lol!
I am going...
to a HUGE rummage and hot dog sale at the annex building at our church tomorrow morning! It is being sponsored by the youth of the church and the proceeds will go toward some of their trips and projects. The building is loaded with all kinds of wonderful treasures offered at a good price and the hot dogs are always DE-LISH!!! They had a sale back in the spring and I found some wonderful little items, I am hoping to find some good stocking stuffer items at the sale tomorrow.

I am wondering...
what my sweet kids, my mom and my dear cousins are all up to today.  What are you doing today, dear blog friends?
I am reading...
lots of cookbooks right now, my favorite poetry books and a couple of really good devotional books, too.
I am hoping...
to get all of my goals accomplished this month and to have some added business for my web stores for the holidays, too.

I am looking forward to...
the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years celebrations that are coming up. I can't believe it is already that time of year, again. I do love seeing everyone and wishing them Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I relish our annual traditions and all of the good times with family and friends, not to mention all of the good food!

I am hearing...
Caleb as he plays a video game (he gets kind of vocal when he does good at them~"whoa, yeah!!!", and the hum of my computer and some favorite music playing, too.

Around the house...
LOTS of housework that still needs to be done for the day, but that will still be here until I am finished with my writing. Some days a girl just has to write~lol. I have some clothes that need to be carried upstairs and put away and some morning dishes to wash. The usual daily chores.

I am pondering...
the fact that this time last year my dad was still with us, though very weak. He still had his wonderful sense of humor and loved to talk to his friends and family daily on the phone. I can hardly believe that it is almost a whole year since he went to be with the Lord. I still miss him so!!!
One of my favorite things...
Warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
the rummage sale, Church on Sunday, visiting with our son and his family tomorrow. The rest is always open for whatever opportunities come our way!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A little gift from me to you! Right click the image
and save as a photo. You can print this out on
card stock or fine stationary paper for framing. It
will print out at whatever size you choose from your
photo program.
 Hope that everyone is having a beautiful FRIDAY!

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte


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