Feb 20, 2009

Paisley & Toponyms


This Scottish toponym (from the town of Paisley, in Renfrewshire) denotes a fabric design that was massively manufactured there in the 19th century, but the design itself is Middle Eastern in origin, having traveled to Europe in the colonial period and become so popular that import could not meet demand. -Visual Thesaurus

The print pictured in this post is from EBB Creations. Modern paisley prints have evolved from the traditional teardrop shape with swirls. Now, one can find just about anything inside the teardrop, including skulls.

A toponym is a noun depicting a name or place. Cheese provides a roundup of names that identify their place of origin. Parmesan (Parma, Italy), Romana (Rome), Gruyère (Switzerland), and Gouda (Netherlands) are culinary staples. Other names such as Lappi (Lapland), Stilton (England), Neufchâtel (Normandie), and Manchego (La Mancha, Spain) represent other regions.

Toponyms describe food, drinks, events, agreements and so on. Byzantine, named after the Byzantine Empire, is used to describe something that is difficult to understand or complex. Words like bikini, canary, and china all represent their birthplace or natural habitat, as with the canary. Caucasian, a name for the "white race", was coined by anthropologist Johann Blumenbach after the Caucasus Mountains, their supposed ancestral homeland. Gypsies, referring to the nomads in Europe and the United States was derived from Egypt.*

*Resource: Wikipedia

Feb 19, 2009

Two Piece Salwar Kameez and Dupatta

A dear Indian friend, by the name of Annie Rajan, gave me a wonderful Birthday gift last month. I had casually mentioned that I wanted to shop with her in Little India, a former farm community in Artesia, California that used to be inhabited mostly by Dutch farmers. Annie then surprised me with a traditional Two Piece Salwar Kameez and Dupatta.

It is very much like the one pictured here, except that the kameez (shirt) is a lovely muted red with embroidered florals in silken beige. The salwar (pajama style trousers with a drawstring waist) and the dupatta (scarf) are a lighter shade of beige than what's shown.

The more modern versions include a shorter kameez or kurta that stops at the knee, and the pants are called churidar which is a tight-fitting trouser that gathers at the ankles.

These outfits are incredibly elegant, comfortable, and flattering. I love culture and I enjoy adapting it to my own lifestyle. I have even worn a puletasi, the traditional garb of Samoan women.

Feb 18, 2009

Yellow & Strawberries

The sun has finally pushed through crowds of clouds to make an appearance, throwing up its radiant arms. Snow capped mountains peek from behind local hills.

I'm happy to feel the warmth but sad to see the rain leave. Rain is a treat in Southern California. At least I was able to enjoy some lazy, tea sipping days as the storms slipped through.

Many of my blog friends have been enduring freezing temperatures while suffering the affects of damaging ice. A few are just now seeing the "light" after weeks without electricity. Gloomy days, in my estimation, call for more yellow.

When asked what my favorite color is, I often answer, "color." Color is my therapy. I am usually attracted to whatever suits my mood at the time. Yellow, however, is always my pick-me-up color. When I'm discouraged, I wear yellow and instantly become invigorated by the happy responses I get from others. And, adding yellow to a room is like tossing balls of sunshine.

Then, there is the awesome expectation of spring and strawberries. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist, and Dramatist) wrote:

“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”

This pretty much sums it up...

Feb 16, 2009

Weather & Death of the Air Popper

I just finished making an emergency run to replace a well used air popper. The urge for popcorn overtook us while watching the persistent rain through the front picture window of our home. A fire was glowing in our white brick fireplace as Barry was wrapped in fleece on the couch. Just as the butter was melting, the air popper protested in a burst of smoke. So off I went to Walmart (spying a gorgeous rainbow on the way) to appease the popcorn gene. "I am woman, hear me roar..."

With a tummy full of popcorn, I want to share some of my favorite weather quotes. Enjoy.
Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. -Kin Hubbard

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. -Langston Hughes

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. -Patrick Young

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. -Author Unknown

Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains. -Henry Ward Beecher

Tell me how many beads there are
In a silver chain
Of evening rain,
Unravelled from the tumbling main...
-Thomas Lovell Beddoes

The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. -Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Where does the white go when the snow melts? -Author Unknown

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together! -Author Unknown

There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor's. -Clyde Moore

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. -Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

Feb 15, 2009

It is all down in black and white...

Post Valentine Sentiments


Two yellow chicks
Happy little pair
Crept into a flower-pot
And made a dwelling there.

There they chirp and chatter,
There they bill and coo,
Never fret and quarrel
Like other people do.

But though their little hearts are fond
Their love is not more true,
Than all the wishes of my heart
That here I send to you!

-F. E. Weatherly*

*1890's - Hildesheimer & Faulkner.
Designed in England. Printed in Germany.

Victorian Valentines - Indiana University