Melancholy Angels

What Are You Thinking?

“Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have.”
~ Benjamin Franklin (1706 ~ 1790)

Melancholy Angel

Old burial sites are fragile treasures that are reliquaries holding our past. Full of sacred, artistic, historic, and genealogical information, they tell us who were are, what was important to us, and how we got where we are today.

Angel Wings

Iconography is the art of representation by pictures or images on gravestones.

Likenesses on stones give clues to the date of death, religious beliefs, and even the artisan who produced them.

Angels represent spiritual messengers…


Angel Kiss

An angel with praying hands signifies the hope that the child is now in God's care…

Peaceful Prayer

Books denote mortality, and hourglasses mean the sands of time of life have run out. The lamb, seen most often on a child’s grave, signifies innocence and purity.

Out to Pasture

Booty Call

The dove with an olive sprig symbolizes hope. Broken columns, often draped, usually typify the loss of a family head.

A hand pointing downward shows a sudden death…

Guardian Angel

While an upward pointing hand and perhaps even the tilt of the head

confirms life after death…

Angel Child I

My Heavens!

During the 1800s flowers and plants became popular. Flowers represent the fragility of life and plucked flowers indicate the early severance of a life in bloom. A rosebud is usually on the stone of a child. A rose in partial bloom is for a teenager. A rose in full bloom means death in the prime of life, while a broken rosebud denotes life cut short.

I have always been fascinated with cemeteries ~ I do appreciate the iconography, but also the scale of the architecture, the beautiful angels, the decorative wrought iron gates and crosses, the mystery.
New Orleans Cross IV

New Orleans Cross I

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I am now offering a new collection of ACEOs in the form of collectible hang tags in my Etsy shop, which will be listed early this week.

Using my original black and white photographs from my “Classic Sculpture” collection, I have printed these images on Strathmore, acid free, 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper in my studio. Each photograph is initialed in pencil and the entire image of the original photograph is shown, while leaving a tiny outside border. The border allows for framing without having to crop the image.

They are mounted on a hand cut gift tag also made of Strathmore, acid free, 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper and I added a little black scalloped edge to the photo to make it “pop.” A generous eight-inch (8”) black organza or tiny polka dot ribbon pulls through a black metal eyelet for tying.

Remember, these are original photographs, not clip art!

These are not only collectible ACEOs, but also may be used for lovely hang tags for weddings, anniversaries, religious holidays, St. Valentine’s Day, and just to say “I love you” to someone. They are perfect to hang from a gift basket, to use as a party favor at a baby shower or bridal shower, tie on a bottle of champagne or a bouquet of flowers. They may be used in scrapbooks as keepsakes or even framed.

With your order you will receive an assortment of four (4) tags. I will make the selection, but if you have any preferences please let me know when you place your order. I will be happy to accommodate your request. They are priced at $18 for a set of four.


All of the photographs shown are available in my shop as Limited Edition ACEOs (with the exception of the tags which are open edition), and enlargements with image sizes approximately 5” x 5” or 5” x 7” matted to 11” x 14”; and 8” x 8” or 8” x 12” matted to 14” x 14” or 14" x 18".
If you are interested in any photograph shown here (or anywhere else on my blog and/or my Flickr photostream) but it is not listed in my shop, please send me an e-mail. I would be happy to do a custom order for you.
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(Some of the information regarding iconography came from various sources. All of the photography is my original work.)

Treasure Hunt

My week on Etsy started off with five treasuries and is ending with three ~ I am most grateful for the recognition. Thank you Etsy colleagues.

Two favorites of many,


"Bistro" is shown by Southern Lady's Vintage in "Beautiful Color!" and my "Secret Garden" is in a "Rustic" treasury curated by The Haunted Hollow Tree.

Secret Garden

These two photographs have been featured in so many treasuries but have not sold. If anyone is interested in purchasing them this week, let me know you read about this in my blog and saw them in the treasuries this week and I will offer FREE shipping with your order!


Cottage in the Sun curated a colourful cottage style treasury west and featured my latest listing on Etsy which I recently found out made it into Flickr's Explore collection because of its "interestingness."

Messy Palette

Colorful Cottage Cottage in the Sun


Thank you fellow Etsians once again for taking notice of my photography and curating great looking treasuries for everyone to enjoy. I wish us all much success and lots of sales this week!

Remember, when the treasuries expire the links (shown in blue) will no longer work, so click quick, and thank you from all of us featured artists and curators.

Red and Hot...and a Precious Pink Cottage

My week on Etsy started off with five, yes five, treasuries in the last two days! I am so thrilled to have my work noticed among all the fabulous members of Etsy.

I have posted the links to these creative curations and hope that some of you get a chance to take a peek before they expire. As soon as the treasuries do expire, however, the link will not work. Here we go...


Eight Geraniums

Fabulous Cottage Cottage in The Sun from the CSSTeam



To Be in Another In a Frenzy


Hot Wool

The Sun is Paisley Kitty


Precious Pink Cottage Little Things 1


Thank you fellow Etsians for these beautiful treasuries.

...and the awards go to


Earlier this month, just three weeks after I began my blog, I was awarded this lovely prize of appreciation by my friend
Poppins. I was so tickled and have thought about how I can reciprocate, not only to her, but some others too. So, now it is my turn to give it to three "blog beauties" who need to know that...

Poetic Home...we met on-line soon after I joined Flickr. I lusted after one of her vintage pieces ~ these cool metal scroll bookends that she said used to be finials ~ and I wrote to her about them asking if I could purchase sad for me they had sold. It was then that I found out that we were both UC Berkeley alumni and used to shop at the same flea markets in the Bay Area. Grace has a beautiful collection of eclectic vintage pieces and her photography is simply divine. She takes us on tours of homes, shows us how to re-invent old stuff, and scouts around flea markets looking for unique pieces to restore, re-use, re-sell, and share with us on her blog. I would love to go shopping with her. I do...vicariously.

Daisy Cottage...who most of you all know I am such a delight! Kim welcomed me immediately when I first commented on her charming blog after seeing her colourful, vibrant, and beautifully composed photographs on Flickr. I have received many, many visits on Italian Girl from friends of Daisy Cottage. Kim, I thank you for not only sending new friends my way, but also being one. And thank you too for sharing your "Daisy Cottage" with us! It is a joy to read.

Country French Antiques...Shawn has a gorgeous collection of home furnishings and accessories in her store, which you may also visit on-line, but most of all her blogs take you away to the French countryside and the "Country French" way of life. They are elegantly written and photographed. I almost feel as if I am taking a class in college on the "Country French Style of Living"...and I just know I would get an "A+" because it is so enjoyable. I'm about to fill my car up with expensive gas and drive to Kentucky to personally see your shop Shawn, but for now I will visit your blog often and I encourage all of you to also. It is divine!

Now, I thought that I could create my own special award to give as well. I want to give this to Ingrid, a lovely Scandinavian who lives in Umbria, Italia. Her blog, Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese ~ Ingrid in Umbria is luscious! If you have not already, you all must take a journey and visit her paese. Every time I visit her blog, I am back in Italy.

I thought this would do, what do you think? I made it myself. (You all may pass it along to your favorite peach if you would like to ~ just copy and paste it.)

Thank you Ingrid for being a friend and inspiration and...getting me to practice my Italian. (My Webster's New World Italian Dictionary sits on my desk all the time now.)

Poppins also gave me this award, The Tree of Happiness

and the task of listing six things that make me fell happy now. Right now I am happy for...

1. Being home and having a lazy Sunday with my two favorite people, my husband and my son.

2. My husband making me a yummy cheeseburger!

3. The cooler weather, the beginning of autumn, and that my flowers are still blooming in the garden.

4. The "dance party" we had last night ~ just the three of us ~ and it was silly.

5. All the new friends I have made since I started my blog last month ~ my pen pals from all over the world.

6. Because of "No. 5" I am inspired to stay creative in my art, photography, and writing ~ it feels good!

and I have to add one more...

7. I am happy to also give this to Poppins!

Now it's your turn, girls...Have fun! Ciao amici.


Mini Masterpieces…well not really, just my Petit Photographs

For hundreds of years artists have created small works of art to barter for their livelihood. Artists were often commissioned to paint portraits of loved ones to be carried by family members, much as we carry photographs today. Arranged marriages were popular, and often an artist would be paid to travel to the family of the bride, paint her portrait and bring it back to the inquisitive (and sometimes unpleasantly surprised) groom. Artists often exchanged these small works with each other to learn technique and carry a memento of their fellow artist.

The acronym "ACEO" stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. ACEOs are collectible little pieces of art. The standardization in size of baseball cards is credited with creating the standardization in size for art cards, which are always 2 ½” x 3 ½”, and may be created in any medium ~ including photography.


I am offering my petit photographs in a collection of limited edition prints, signed and numbered on the back. They are printed in my studio on Strathmore, acid free, 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper. I have printed the entire image of each original photograph without cropping while leaving a tiny outside border, which allows for matting or framing.

I have packaged each in a little custom and hand made purse-pocket, a gusseted scalloped edge envelope made of thick Kraft paper, tied with natural raffia. It makes a perfect gift as is or may be kept safe in its pocket as part of your ACEO collection.

"Banderas Bay Blue"

They are perfect little pieces of art for your desk at work or on a bathroom vanity. They may be matted and framed to hang on the wall, or slipped into a greeting card as an extra surprise for a birthday, anniversary, or holiday.


"Precious Pink Cottage"


These are all offered for sale in my Etsy shop. Free shipping to anyone who decides that they just cannot live without one of these little treasures, places an order, and mentions that you read this post on my blog!

"Carmel Mission"

"Secret Garden"

Ciao for now, my friends...thank you for stopping by.

(Some of the historical information on ACEOs that I have included in this post were extracted from Wikipedia.)

Falling for Autumn Colour!

The season is about to change from summer to autumn and I am so looking forward to the cooler weather...and playing in the garden with the new fall plants and flowers. The traditional and standard autumn bloom, the chrysanthemum, I am not crazy about ~ well maybe the white ones that look like little daisies ~ so I am always on the lookout for alternative fall flowers.

I just came in from the garden after planting some white daisies in a pot for my terrace and some "monkey grass" in some spots that needed some help around the yard.

I fell in love with these luscious golden yellow gerbera daisies I saw at the market and thought they would look so pretty and stunning in our pale yellow, black and white bedroom ~ so I brought them home. (These are just a few ~ the rest were mixed with some gorgeous yellow roses that I placed around the house!)

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Take a little time my friends to stop and smell the flowers.

Laundry List

There is something so authentic about hanging laundry out to dry on a clothes line...

The Italians have a way with laundry and they seem to create wonderful photographic opportunities for those of us who have a desire to capture the simplicity of their lifestyle and their certain customs on film. When I was studying in Cortona, Italy, I lived in a monastery which had been converted into a make-shift dormitory for all of us students. There were no washers and dryers for us to use, so we scrubbed our clothes outside in a large galvanized bucket with an old-fashioned washboard.

Then we would hang everything out to dry on the clothes lines in the walled garden…

or in the sanctuary courtyard...

Under Where?

...and other spots we could find.

After a few months of living there, I happened to become good friends with the Italian women and their little children, because I could speak the Italian language and communicate with them conversationally on a regular basis. They loved it and occasionally they would take my laundry and wash it with all of the monastery linens in the machines!

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I love the fresh scent of crisp cotton sheets that have been blowing in the breeze and dried by the sun. I actually have a clothes line in my back yard! And…I do hang my linens out to dry.

Now it is time for me to do some of my own laundry. Stay clean and don’t air your “dirty laundry” out to dry!
Ciao for now my friends.

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P.S. Some of these photographs are now available in my Etsy shop.