Faberge Eggs in Manhattan

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The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt is the world’s biggest egg hunt, with over 260 egg sculptures individually created by leading artists and designers. The sculptures will be placed across the five boroughs of New York City. The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt will officially start on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:00 a.m. and will run until Thursday, April 17, at 11:59 p.m. Following the hunt, all the eggs will be placed in Rockefeller Center until Friday, April 25.

Artists who have designed the eggs include Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Bruce Weber and Peter Beard, and fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg.

They were very neat to look at-pictured above were some of my favorites.

Beatrix Potter

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If you ever wondered how Beatrix Potter got the inspiration to draw such incredibly adorable animals in such beautiful, charming settings you need only go to the village Near Sawrey in the Lake District where she lived in a house called Hill Top Farm .

Born into a wealthy Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother Walter Bertram (1872–1918), grew up with few friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent away from London, in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

She was educated by private governesses until she was 18. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. She enjoyed private art lessons, and developed her own style, favouring watercolor. Along with her drawings of her animals, real and imagined, she illustrated insects, fossils, archaeological artefacts, and fungi. In the 1890s her mycological illustrations and research into the reproduction of fungus spores generated interest from the scientific establishment. Following some success illustrating cards and booklets, Potter wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit, publishing it first privately in 1901, and a year later as a small, three-colour illustrated book with Frederick Warne & Company.
With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, Potter bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a tiny village in the English Lake District near Windermere, in 1905. Over the following decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape.

Potter published over 23 books: the best known are those written between 1902 and 1922. She died of pneumonia/heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey at age 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park.

Flower Power!

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It is always good to work with friends who are so incredibly creative and fun to work with.We  just had a 60’s party for the Concord Museum and called it” Flower Power”. We had a lot of fun digging out old albums and other memorabilia from the 60’s,buying macrame baskets,pillows and lava lamps and saving wine bottles to put candles in(who doesn’t remember doing that??!). Maryann had the great idea of constructing a VW bus over the doorway that lead to the patio where the bar was and also painted big flowers on each tablecloth in bright yellow,green,pink and orange.We decided to use only daisies for the flowers and my friend Judy constructed(with others helping) these beautiful centerpieces as well as the big peace sign that went over the mantle of our venue. It was a very fun evening with loads of dancing to those old familiar tunes!

Ambleside in the Lakes

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We drove up to the Lake District for a few days and stayed at a hotel very near to Ambleside called Holbeck Ghyll. It was a beautiful hotel and the food and service was amazing. The first day we hiked to Ambleside along a beautiful path-saw sheep,beautiful stone houses and had gorgeous views.
Ambleside, one of the jewels of the Lakes, is set in the center of the Lake District at the head of Lake Windermere. Blessed with beautiful scenery, this bustling market town provides everything a visitor could want from the numerous shops offering wares for walkers and climbers, to the many drinking and eating establishments.Ambleside is rich with history and heritage. Originally containing a Roman fort (Fort Galava, the remains of which can be seen in Borran’s field, Waterhead), Ambleside has always been an important area of the Lake District.Buildings such as the 17th century Bridge House, one of the smallest houses in Britain, jostle with the Ambleside Museum (home to many Beatrix Potter artefacts) to hold the attention of visitors and offer an interesting insight into local life. Nearby is Stock Ghyll Force, a beautiful waterfall,  which provides another stunning natural attraction.An ideal base for a walking holiday, Ambleside has easy access to the surrounding fells and breathtaking mountains. For the less energetic, there are strolls along the shore, boat trips on the lake and a fantastic collection of interesting visitor attractions. Shoppers are well catered for also with an abundance of outdoor retail outlets, craft shops and galleries.

Punting On The Backs in Cambridge

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Behind the main line of colleges in Cambridge, along the River Cam, are the Backs (so-called from being the backs of the colleges). Each college owns its own part of the river banks, so it is not possible to walk along the river by the Backs, but you can walk through the college  and cross the river by their bridges. The public  bridges are Magdalene Bridge (pronounced ‘maudlin’), Garret Hostel Bridge (pedestrian and bike only) and Silver Street Bridge. You can walk along Queen’s Road, catching glimpses of the colleges through the trees. The best way to see the Backs is from a punt, a flat bottomed boat which is poled along.

Many tourists visit Cambridge each year to see the historic university, its buildings and the beautiful Backs. King’s College Chapel is the most famous building in Cambridge.

Cambridge University is made up of different colleges, some of which have old and beautiful buildings. The colleges’ buildings are usually arranged around courts. It is possible to walk round some of these and visit chapels and halls.  There are also many fabulous restaurants and great shopping. It is a wonderful day trip if you happen to be in the area!

London In March

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April in Paris maybe, but London in March proved to be just as beautiful. We were there last week and I was completely surprised at how perfect the weather was and how much was in bloom. It made it doubly hard to come back to snowy New England!

By The Light Of The Candle

Candlelit dinners really could be good for the heart, new Swedish research has suggested

Candlelit dinners really could be good for the heart, new Swedish research has suggested.

A candlelit dinner works wonders for romance.Now scientists say it could also be good for your heart.Breathing in candle smoke causes beneficial changes in cardiac rhythm, they claim.It is thought that tiny salt particles released when the candle burns are behind  the effect.

The researchers monitored the hearts of 13 men and women as they breathed in air pumped into a small chamber. In some cases the air included smoke from candles in a second room.The volunteers didn’t know which type of air they were breathing, but when it included candle smoke, their heart rate variability improved.Everyone’s heart rate varies naturally all the time, beating a little bit faster when we breathe in than when we breathe out.

This is perfectly healthy and a sign that the brain is alert and able to regulate the heart. But this variation falls as we get older and if we develop heart problems. In the study, it was increased by inhaling candle smoke.

Researcher Christina Isaxon from Lund University in Sweden said the concentration of smoke generated during the study was similar to that created by a candlelit dinner.

As the volunteers could not see the candles and weren’t told what they were breathing, the effect could not be explained away by the calming effect of candlelight .Dr Isaxon said she thought tiny particles of sodium and potassium, which along with soot, make up candle smoke, could be responsible for the  beneficial effects.The two elements are involved in regulating the heart’s rhythm and in sending messages between cells in the body.More salts are produced when a flame is still so she recommends that candles are burned away from drafts. Breathing in candle smoke causes beneficial changes in cardiac rhythm, the study found.

The study, carried out for her PhD, did not find any negative health effects of the smoke – although Dr Isaxon admitted said she did not ‘make a huge effort’ to find any.Soot, which increases when the flame flickers, has been blamed for health problems in the past.The American Chemical Society has warned that paraffin wax candles, the most common type, release potentially harmful chemicals linked to cancer, asthma and eczema. It recommends using beeswax and soy candles.Dr Isaxon used candles made of pure stearine, a natural fat, in her study. Many other types of candle also contain some stearine. Dr Isaxon found paraffin wax candles which had stearine in them also released potassium and sodium particles.

Stearine candles were first developed 200 years ago.They are very popular in Scandinavia and can be bought here from retailers including Ikea.Dr Isaxon recommended using candles that are as natural as possible and avoiding scents and dyes as they may give off dangerous chemicals when burned.Since we spend more than 85 per cent of our time indoors, what we breathe in at home is very important, she said.

from Mail Online February 28,2014