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MY SOCK MONKEY PICKS AT:  Sock Monkey Paintings and More!

Feb-Apr 2004

My children are so joyful. They are easily lost in the moment so I try not to rush them to and fro. When we have a destination, we try to leave early so there is plenty of time to enjoy the journey. Little things bring big smiles. New discoveries bring wide eyed amazement. Small adventure open up whole new worlds. I hope they hold onto this joy.

For now, they rely on me and my hubby for their well being and happiness. But as they grow older and more independent, they make more and more choices for themselves. Each choice can move them toward happiness and satisfaction or away from it. As I guide them to make choices that are right for them, I have high hopes that they will live joyfully.

I want them to know that to live passionately they do not need to have flashy, high profile lifestyles. They do not need to be jet set travelers or extreme sport adventurers. Instead they need to have an understanding of what is important to them. Their passions are determined by their own priorities and style.


Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. - Albert Einstein

We all have limited resources, including limited time and money. How we choose to spend our resources can profoundly affect on our lifestyle. Knowing our personal priorities is important when making choices that are right for us.

While you may never have thought long and hard about your personal priorities, you still probably have a sense of what they are. Faith and family top my list, but your list will be as unique as you are. Consider writing down your personal priorities to bring them into focus. Once our personal priorities are clear, making choices which affect our lifestyle should be a little easier.

Take the path which lets you remain true to our own style.


Style is more then just the clothes we wear or how we decorate our homes. It is a distinct manner of expression which affects almost every aspect of our life. Finding our own style is a lifelong search for beauty and happiness.

Everyone has their own unique style, but not everyone knows how to express it. It is very common these days to be enticed by and adopt styles defined by the media or popular designers. While these pre-packaged styles may be quite nice, they most likely do not truly and fully reflect your unique style.

Some people easily fall into their own style, but the majority of us need to explore, discover and just live life before we understand our own definition of beauty. Also, as we move through life, our definition of beauty changes and evolves.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. - William Morris

Making our home a beautiful refuge which reflects our style is essential to soulful living. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful collections is one way to bring style into our homes (more...). Our home should be a sanctuary that restores us. Time spent inside our sanctuaries eating, sleeping, bathing, and performing daily chores should restore us. Time spent with family and friends should restore our body, mind, and spirit.


While we may feel guilty about spending resources on ourselves, it is actually one of the most important things we can do for our family and loved ones. Keeping ourselves strong physically, mentally, and spiritually, makes us a better wife, mother, sister, daughter or friend. It makes us a better husband, father, brother, or son. It makes us better able to offer our comfort and support when loved ones are in need. It is essential to a happy life.

Taking care of our physical self is not just an act of vanity. While we may feel it is shallow to judge people by appearances, it is an inherent tendency of humans to use their senses to compare and make choices based on what is visually appealing. Furthermore, physical appearance covers more than just good looks. It is a reflection of personal hygiene, self care, health and vitality. How we present ourselves to others not only has an impact on how they see us, but also on how we see ourselves. Feeling physically attractive and being physically fit can positively affect other areas of our lives as well. As published by the National Academy of Sciences, recent studies show that staying physically fit can also improve cognitive performance.

The care of our cognitive self includes emotional balance and stimulating our mind. It is important to balance our emotions. While each of us has stress and fears, they should not prevent us from living life. In times of emotional turmoil, support from loved ones, time alone, and emotional releases can help us find balance. Acceptance and forgiveness may also be needed to achieve emotional balance. Once our emotions are balanced it is important to find activities that stimulate our minds. We can stimulate our minds in many ways, including reading, puzzling, and learning. Learning is a life long endeavor which can keep us young at heart.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. - Albert Einstein

The care of our spiritual self can be achieved in many different ways. Attending church, meditating, and yoga are a few that easily come to mind. Artistic creativity can also be spiritually satisfying.

After focusing our time and energy taking care of our needs, it is important to build upon the special relationships in our life.


We are social beings. Having meaningful bonds with others is also essential to a soulful life. Trust and affection grow with enjoyable time spent together. Trust and affection grow with honest and open communication. Trust and affection grow from care, comfort and support.

A balance between time with ourself, time with our family, and time with our friends is important.


I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind. - Albert Einstein

Balance is important in all aspects of our life. Balance is beautiful. Great artists, designers and architects attain beauty through visual balance. A beautiful musical composition is also well balanced. We are inherently drawn to balance so even untrained eyes and ears notice when the balance just isn't right. Attaining balance in the different aspects of our life can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

Balance is easier to achieved through simplicity. Simplicity is not deprivation, but removing the irrelevant. Simplicity is removing unnecessary items from our life, so the important items are not lost in the clutter.

It is easy to lose your way when you don't know where you are going. Define your priorities and define your style. Seek beauty and be joyfull.

(revised: 12/2004,2/2005,4/2008)

March/April 2004
COLLECTIONS Page 2 (goto Page 1)

Cornish Ware by T. G. Green Ltd.

The founder of T. G. Green Ltd., Thomas Goodwin Green, purchased a small pottery at Church Gresley, a small industrial section of South Derbyshire, England back in 1864. While building his business, he partnered with Henery William King to produce his pottery. When Thomas Green retired in the 1890's, the company was converted into a limited liability partnership, controlled by his son Roger Green and Henry William King. These two families retained control of the pottery until the mid 1960's, when due to financial hardship, the company was appointed a reciever. In 1968 the pottery was sold to P. H. Freeman, who continues to run the pottery.

T. G. Green Ltd. produced their first extensive line of blue banded storage jars and canisters in the 1920's. Blue banded jugs had been produced by potters at Stoke-on-Trent for decades before tradesmen from Stoke-on-Trent brought that pottery style to T. G. Green Ltd. But the blue banded storage jars and canisters, were a novel idea. Because these jars were well received by the trade, that line of wares, labeled Cornish Kitchenware, was expanded.

While blue is the most available color, an eBay seller offering a red salt shaker stated that Yellow, Gold and Red Cornish Ware was introduced around 1958, but the red underglaze was hard to perfect and many pieces which came out orange/brown and were destroyed.

For more information on Cornish Ware visit where they have wonderful pictures of pottery produced by T. G. Green Ltd. and THE STORY OF CORNISH KITCHEN WARE by Kenneth Stanley Green.

Griswold cast iron pans

The Griswold Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania produced various cast iron cookware from 1865 through to the late 1950s. Their wide range of cookware included skillets, muffin pans, roasters, bread molds, waffle irons, kettles, dutch ovens and even miniatures. The earliest pieces were marked Erie, Erie PA or Erie PA USA, and are most desirable.

Guardian Service cookware

According to the Guardian Service Cookware Center, Guardian Service cookeware was produced by the Century Metalcraft Corporation of Los Angeles, California from the mid 1930s until 1956, when the plant burned down. This durable cast alluminum cookware was first manufactured with metal lids, but in later years the lids were glass. Also, according to a 1985 issue of Hobbies magazine, the cookware was sold through home demonstrations.

Holt Howard Pixieware

According to Collectics Reference and Education: Holt-Howard Pixieware the Holt-Howard Company of Stamford, Connecticut was founded by John and Robert Howard and A. Grant Holt in 1948. The company produced whimsical kitchenware and giftware. Pixieware items were only produced from 1958 until the 1960s, but have captured the hearts of may collectors. "The pixieware collection includes 12 different condiment jars, salt and pepper shakers, 3 liquor decanters, 5 cruets, and specialty items like ashtrays and ice cream sundae dishes."

Devar and Lefton copied Holt-Howard pixieware designs, and while these are not as highly prized, my favorite piece in the pixieware style is Lefton's mustard jar with a hamburger headed cover with spoon.

Vernon Kilns Souvenir State Plates

Vernon Kilns produced many different items, but their State Souvenir Plates with historic places and landmarks are quite wonderful. They were usually off white in color with blue, red, green, or brown printing. According to Tim Colling of Vernon Kilns went out of business in 1958.

Whirley Moo-Cow Creamers

Whirley Moo-Cow Creamers are whimsical and fun. I remember pouring milk into my cereal with one of these as a kid, and now I have 3 sitting above my kitchen sink. While brown heads are the most common, the also were produced in yellow and purple. They were sometimes sold as souvenirs and are available with designs representing different states. It's a great nostalgic collectible.