Friday, October 16, 2009

Framing Favorite Things

I taught Fine Arts Survey for 10 years at the high school level. Everywhere I went on vacation I bought prints and touristy items, expressly for the purpose of using them in my Fine Arts class.

I had favorite prints: "Woman Weighing Gold" by Vermeer; one of Cezanne's new age, early cubist efforts called "Chateau Noir." When I retired, I promised myself I would frame my favorite things.

 Here's how I framed the Vermeer:

Touristy Items

Then there were favorite touristy items bought to use as cultural props in conjunction with the fine arts of various countries:
1. A print of the Library of Congress as a postage stamp

2. A poster of the fruits of Thailand (not yet framed)

3. A tea towel featuring cats on  linen woven in Ireland--Do you see the one cat turning to look at you? It's as if he is winking that the kitten to his left is his. The pairings are quite interesting and hold little genetic secrets.

4. A small tapestry made in Tunisia--This is the front side.

When I frame it, I want it enclosed in double glass so that it can be turned to the back, for this is what this tapestry looks like on its back side:

Isn't this incredible?

The setting is Sidi Bou Said, the most unusual town we visited in Tunisia. Young men and women freely mixed without head coverings. I don't know what the cultural occasion was but these young people reminded me of college kids in any European city. They were all drinking sweet hot tea spiced with mint and pine nuts, or smoking these big herb pipes.

For more information about this charming town:

5. A poster of Mont St. Michel, which has the American price of $1.25 written right on the poster--I bought it as the last one in stock, this in 1976. If you look carefully, you can see it right at mid-section on the right.

 6. A poster of Venezia:

Hmong Art
How about local art? The detailed clothwork of the Hmong is featured in one of our local art museums.

This artwork of tiny pieces of cloth sewn together to create a triple frame for the embroidery-rich animals gathering at the waterhole measures 19" x 18". Its color is a deep blue instead of that gray-looking color. The brilliance of the embroidery threads is depicted accurately!

I bought this piece many years ago at a special exhibit of Hmong artwork in conjunction with the special collection of art housed at Meadows Museum of Centenary College. French artist Jean Despujols was commissioned by the French government just before World War II to paint the people of Southeast Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand). His work is one-of-a-kind and documents that region before it was forever changed by  the Vietnam War. Because of a Shreveport connection, Meadows owns the entire collection.

For more information, please visit the Meadows website:


Two of my favorite posters that I used for 30 years (!) were this Stonehenge and another of the Eiffel Tower. I used the same frames and mats for both. The frame and mat look more dramatic with the Eiffel, but certainly work well with the Stones. The saying at the bottom is "Becoming is superior to being." I used that statement for a writing prompt on more than one occasion.

Becoming is superior to being.

For books about framing a treasured photograph or print or original, go to this link:

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.