October 31, 2015

An Autumn Afternoon at Longwood Gardens

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My friend Colleen and I set aside a day for an adventure.
We took a road trip to Kennett Square, PA 
to tour the fabulous Longwood Gardens!

There was beauty to be seen both inside and outside
with the autumn foliage just about at peak and
the Chrysanthemum Festival in progress.


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One of the fun water features at the Indoor Children's Garden.

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The Silver Garden is filled with plants that thrive in arid climates,
including cacti and succulents -all in shades of gray, silver, and pale greens & blues.

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Irregular Incurve Mums

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The Orchid House

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The Waterlily Display

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The Rose Garden - What gorgeous color!

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The Topiary Garden

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We loved walking along the pathways,
exploring every garden along the way and
continually marveling at God's artistic creativity!


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The Canopy Cathedral

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Nathaniel Hawthorne said,
"I can not endure to waste anything so precious
as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house,
so I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air."

This was my exact feeling; a day as glorious as this one 
deserved to be enjoyed to its fullest!
How wonderful to be outside in the crisp air 
with the bright sun to spotlight the colorful foliage!


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One of my favorite sights this time of year is a tree erupting with
yellows and oranges against the backdrop of a perfect blue sky.
Does it get much better than this?

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Longwood Gardens is at
1001 Longwood Rd. Kennett Square, PA.

Here's their website.


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You'll love to see this post!
A Stunning Christmas at Longwood Gardens


October 30, 2015

Pop Culture Jewelry by My Aunt Debbie


OK. How FUN are these Jetsons earrings?



...and this brooch of the Brazilian Bombshell, Carmen Miranda?




...not to mention these Sonny & Cher earrings?



They're super-fabulous pieces of jewelry by Debbie Serdy,
affectionately known as My Aunt Debbie
(by, and in celebration of, her 2 adorable nephews!)

Debbie puts her creative juices into overtime 
as she embraces kitch and aims to amuse!

What do Dolly Parton, Lizzie Borden, Shirley Temple,
Edgar Allen Poe, Audrey Hepburn, Pee Wee Herman,
Andy Warhol, Charlie Chaplin, and Queen Elizabeth have in common?
Not a thing, other than they're all stars of My Aunt Debbie's creations!




I came upon Debbie's great stuff in a nook of
Madcap & Co., a multi-merchant shop featuring vintage 
and handcrafted items in Lancaster, PA.





You may notice characters from Gone With the Wind, Leave it to Beaver, 
The Wizard of Oz, Batman, or The Dick Van Dyke Show.
And if you don't see what you fancy, she takes special orders! 





Deb likes to find "forgotten artifacts" and re-purpose 
them into new clothing, jewelry and accessories.





This is smile-bringing, wearable art, guaranteed to brighten your day!
There's sure to be an Elvis sighting, too!





How cool is this? Deb sets out these for the taking;
envelopes stitched from vintage sewing patterns that corral 
3 pieces of contact info (vintage flashcard turned business card)
 & details on the workshops she holds!







Madcap & Co. is at 310 N. Queen St. Lancaster, PA.
Here's their website.



Other places to find My Aunt Debbie:


Debbie - 
I have no doubt whatsoever that you are 
one exceptionally awesome aunt!





Images used with direct permission from Deborah Serdy.

October 29, 2015

Montpelier: James & Dolley Madison’s Virginia Home

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Montpelier. 
Virginia home of our nation's 4th president and "Father of the Constitution,"
James Madison and his famously hospitable wife Dolley.

Montpelier is located only 18 miles from Monticello,
home of Thomas Jefferson; the friends visited often.
These men were 2 of the 8 Virginians who became United States Presidents.

Sharing photos with you from our afternoon at Montpelier
as we traveled through the historic state of Virginia.




A bust of Mr. Madison is in the Visitor's Center.

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To my dismay, no photos could be taken inside the mansion,
which is very often the case with historical buildings.
Perfectly understandable. (I guess.)

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The Madisons' beautiful view. 
The Blue Ridge Mountains were hazy that day, but still visible in the far distance.

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On either side of the main house, basement-level rooms 
served as the kitchen and work areas for the slaves.

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A photo of the kitchen, with its half-circle window.
(Yes, photos permitted here.)

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James Madison's "temple", used in the logo to represent Montpelier, as shown above,
sits just to the north of the mansion. It was under restoration during our visit.
Built on top of a 24 foot deep ice well, it was used as a place for repose and reflection. 


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The Madison Family Cemetery

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A tall obelisk marks the final resting place of President Madison,
with a much smaller one for his wife Dolley, directly behind.

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An engraving on another family member's obelisk that warmed my heart~

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You can find great information about James Madison
and Montpelier at the Montpelier website.

Check back for my upcoming post on Monticello!


October 27, 2015