Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Some Art and Then a History Lesson

It can't possibly be midweek already, can it? Time is flying. I have one more week off and then its back to work for me. I can't think about that yet though. I am going to try to keep it out of my mind until at least next week. Try being the word.
So today I begin my post with another spread from my Iceland travel journal. I have been working away at it and am almost done. Once school begins I will be mentally moving onto the next round of  life's adventures and Iceland will seem further away, So I am really try to finish it up ASAP.
This spread is all about sheep. They are everywhere in Iceland. All sheep  roam free during the summer, and in September they have a roundup.  You even see them on the sides of some very steep grassy hills, which made us joke that they looked  like they were kept in place by Velcro. We also laughed about pink sheep- not that there were pink sheep, but some of the hay bales were wrapped in pink plastic, and as they were as round of the fluffy sheep, we joked about pink sheep. 
So I found a pink sheep postcard which made me smile and thought would be a good memory for my journal. I also bought a little Viking  reproduction  trinket that came in a jewelry box. Instead of having cotton at the bottom of the box, there was a little bit of this unspun black wool. (Of course there wouldn't be cotton in a country that has a bigger sheep population than people population.)So I also added that to my page because I love the texture it creates.
I am linking up to Art Journal Journey too. Sheep are a wonder of nature with there cool wooley coats. How smart we are to figure out to spin it and turn it into yarn which can be used for both knitting and weaving.
So this past weekend I went to the Hudson River Valley in New York for a couple of days. I had never been to this particular area of New York, but it was green, lush farmland with some beautiful homes. One of the towns we visited was Hyde Park, which was the home of one of the US's former presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For those of you who may not be familiar with US presidents. FDR was president back during the 1930's Great Depression  and during most of World War II. He was the longest serving US president, having been elected to four 4 year terms. It is because of him that US presidents can no longer serve more than 2 terms (8 years) in office.
This is the home he was born in and was his residence all his life. I didn't know that he only owned it for approximately the last 4 years of his life. It was instead owned by his mother, and she ruled the roost. But it was also here that  some dignitaries including Winston Churchill and King George the VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth of  England visited. 
 This was his bedroom. I don't know if you can notice the phone on the wall next to the bed, but this was his direct line to the White House in Washington. 

FDR came down with polio as an adult and he was paralyzed from the waist down. He needed a wheel chair, however he had regular chairs made into wheelchairs. He wanted to keep his disability hidden since in those days many people believed physical disabilities also meant mental disability. This wheel chair is in the extra large dumbwaiter installed in the house so that FDR could get up to and down from the second floor where his bedroom was. He would pull on the cord to lift the dumbwaiter up to the second floor. 
You might also see the wheelchair in the living room.  What is really cool is that when FDR died he gave the house to the US government. That included all the furniture and many of his other belongings. I think its fascinating to see things that FDR actually used. I like to imagine what it was like when they actually living there.
There is also FDR's presidential library and museum on the grounds which was really fascinating too. It was actually much bigger than I thought, and bit overwhelming, but I found a few things worth photographing.
 This is his car, with hand controls since he could not drive a standard car due to his paralysis.
And when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese in 1941, FDR gave this speech the next day. Here in the US it is a famous speech, about "a day that will live infamy". This is FDR's hand corrected draft of the speech. No speech writers in those days.
 His desk from the Oval Office at the White House.
 And many of the knick knacks he kept on his desk.
OK, long post.  Hope you made it and didn't either fall asleep or click off. Ha-ha! 
Thanks for stopping by for a visit. 


Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful Iceland page, sheep really are beautiful creatures, I love to see them wandering about - but here along this part of the Rhine we have no hills or mountains. Thanks for all the pictures and info about Roosevelt, it looks a great place where he lived. Glad you have been able to get out and about a lot in your vacation, time has flown! Hugs, Valerie

Sadie´sGedankenfülle said...

Hello Erika
A very interesting post and the many pictures, very consistent,
but most I like your "own art" i like sheep;-)
Have a nice Day.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I didn't fall asleep...lol! It was so very interesting! Thank you ! And the sheep pages are fantastic! I wonder why they take pink plastic for their hay? We have light green plastic here - but I think I would like pink more...I like pink! lol
Have a great day and thank you for joining AJJ again and again and again this month Erika!
Enjoy the last week - the holidays were much too short... you are so right!!!
We start here on Sept 5th.

oxo Susi

Lisca Meijer said...

Wow! Another fascinating post! Your sheep page is adorable.
I never knew FDR was paralysed from the waist. Nor that he was the longest serving president. How interesting. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of his house especially the interior ones.
I've been away for a few days (no internet on campsite) and I have some catching up to do of your blogs.

Rita said...

This was fascinating! From the pink sheep to the chair wheelchairs. Thanks for sharing all this. :)

Gibby Frogett said...

A double fascinating post today Erika.
I love your sheep pages and the pink sheep are adorable. I can understand getting food from an animal and the skin to keep warm - but how and when someone thought of the wool for other uses is amazing.
Your visit to the home of FDR was very interesting too, nice to see the interior - great photos.
Gill xx

Meggymay said...

A wonderful page with the sheep, they are so useful to humankind, some one back in time was good at seeing all their qualities. I enjoyed seeing the photos, it must have been a very interesting visit to the house.
Yvonne xx

~*~Patty S said...

Sheep certainly ARE wonders of nature Erika.
Your pages turned out great and extra special (and interesting too!) about the black wool.
Fun visit to FDR's house too.
The summer really is speeding past us isn't it.

sheila 77 said...

Hello Erika,
This was all fascinating, about the sheep and about FDR and his house.
Your sheep pages are great, I do like the way your journal has what you did and your super art together.
I can hardly believe your holiday is nearly over, it doesn't seem very long since you had a few days to go before your holiday started.
How does TIME do that??!!

Nancy Chan said...

Nice art journal of Iceland sheep. The house of FDR is a great place to visit. They have maintained the place well. His desk has many interesting items.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What fun to see the sheep art and read about the velcro joke. I can imagine, especially because it seems you were with a fun group of like minded women.

What great photos of FDR's home and library. I've been watching the Presidents on PBS after the Olympics. They are up to Reagan, but of course they began back at the beginning and have progressed through the presidents, their shortcomings, achievements, their home live and backstories, and their legacies, including their libraries. So glad you were able to visit there. Hope it was as memorable for you as it was interesting for me!

Anonymous said...

sheep sheep and more. I would have love to have seen those wooly icelandic sheep everywhere. Nice sweaters they make too. Love the bit on FDR, he was so charismatic. Enjoy your one more week. xox

Divers and Sundry said...

The Clinton library is the only one I've seen, but I would love to visit sites associated with FDR. His life is a fascinating story.

Let's Art Journal said...

Brilliant pages Erica!. I love the story behind your pink sheep, it made me smile! The postcard abd black wool from your gift box are wonderful touches and make it so special. Thanks for the tour of FDR's house, very interesting - thanks so much for sharing! Wishing you a happy weekend! J :-)

Jeanie said...

Another fascinating post. I'm guessing you saw Ken Burns' series on the Roosevelts. Such an intriguing part of our history. Thanks for such a good write up and wonderful photos.