Archive for spring

Weird and Wacky Design: Hats off – A riot of Springtime Promises

Posted in WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2020 by echostains


Even as  these trying times are upon us, everything in the garden is blooming lovely. Seasons don’t fear the reaper and will come and go as they please regardless. Continuity of life , maybe not quite  as we once knew it, but there will a continuity nontheless. So if you are finding it hard to put  a spring in your step (and many of us are) then use your imagination,   fling your flamingos to the wind for a couple of minutes and visualise stepping out wearing one of these wildly imaginative exotic hats.


Not for everyday wear of course, VERY and I mean (very) special occasions wear. Delightful silk blooms adorn the head in a colourful burst of symphony and synergy – a delight to eye. I’m feeling  joy just looking at them.


Step through the fantasy of exotic meadows and mysterious rainforests as a riot of colour invades the senses. These exotic blooms vividly  invoke  in me rainforests and Rousseau drawn  animals in dense landscapes teaming with life and dappled sunshine – and I’ve never even been to a rainforest.


This exotic  Carmen Miranda type hat provides much  fruit for thought. After no deliberation I have come to the conclusion that ‘I like you very much!’ 


I would love to drown myself  in a chaos of metallic silk petals that hang in a mid confetti throwing shower around the head.  These freeze frame the face perfectly and leave exclamations hanging in mid-air.


Meanwhile, down in the woods and meadows, nature has surely conspired with the small folk to make these  felted hats surely made for fairies by fairies or their fairy inspired ancestors.  The results are just bewitching and so is the website lalabugdesigns – pure escapism.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks to these Beautiful websites for the journey




the cherry blossom girl





Wood nymphs, daffodils and echoes

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, HISTORY, HOME, POETRY with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by echostains

golden daffodils

It’s actually been a Spring like day today!  A bit breezy, but sunshine non the less.  The sun always makes me feel better and more light-hearted.  So light-hearted, in fact that I wrote three  Haiku poems about Spring, plants, even daffodils! (here). 

Here is the Master  Lakes poet himself with a beautiful poem that is now world-famous:-

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I  wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

How gentle and lovely!  I enjoy recollecting this poem probably as much as the author who had the original experience – (some of it imagined).  Wordsworth (b. 1770 – 1850) lived in the Lake District most of his life and wrote this poem in 1804. 

Lake Ullswater


At school, we always knew this poem as ‘Daffodils by Ullswater’  but it was originally published as ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ until he changed it in 1807 to just ‘Daffodils’  The poet wrote this poem in 1804  when taking a walk with his wife  near Lake Ullswater.  The sight of the delightful daffodils  ‘tossing their heads in sprightly dance’ remained vibrant in the poet’s memory and gave vent to his imagination on that blustery, stormy day.

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Talking of daffodils, I can’t resist putting one of my favorite paintings in this post.  I used to have this in poster form and I had it in my home for years.  The painting is called ‘Echo and Narcissus’ painted 1903 by John William Waterhouse who was associated with the Pre Raphaelites (and it shows). 

The painting tells the classical tale of the beautiful youth Narcissus falling in love with his own reflection.  Poor chatterbox Echo, cursed by  Juno so that she can only echo the words of others. fell in love with him.  But this love was not to be.  Narcissus in love with his own reflection pined away through love of  himself.  All that was left was the flower, which the God’s named Narcissus, after the beautiful youth.



The story of Echo and Narcissus here

William Wordsworth info here

Inspirational Cumbria haunts of Wordworth

Easter springs upon us and takes us by surprise

Posted in HOME with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2009 by echostains



Just a quick Good Friday post today.  We just spent the day relaxing (a bit too much) and pottering.  Spring is in the air – I can smell it!  We may have a trip out somewhere in the week after Easter, but this Easter weekend will be spent working as usual.

hotcrosspudding yummy!

hotcrosspudding yummy!

I had a go at this Jamie Oliver recipe and I must say it was delicious and made a lovely hot pudding!  Hot Cross buns are available all the year round now, so there’s no need to restrict this recipe to Easter.



There doesn’t seem to be  many people around at the moment on here, probably got better things to do than sit at their P.C.  So here is the link from yesterday’s post celebrating my 130th post and summerising all that has gone before.  Happy Easter!

Bella Bellagio!

Posted in PAST PLACES, WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS STAYS HERE! with tags , , , , on March 31, 2009 by echostains

bellagio bellisimo!

bellagio bellisimo!

The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas is beautifully  fabulous!  It was my absolute favorite of the hotels we managed to see (Luxor was second and then Mandeley).  The Italianate decor was beautiful, showing great attention to detail: very tasteful indeed, even down to the way the carpet was woven (very like old tapestries).  The quality of the place shows in lots of different ways and exudes opulence.

bellagio display

bellagio display

ceiling bellagio, these displays change seasonally, so I've been told

The garden displays change seasonally, so I’ve been told.  When we were there, the theme seemed to be Spring which focused on gardening, giant watering cans, an old potting shed full of gigantic moths fluttering about!  The perfume from the flower displays was overwhelming and quite delightful!

wake up and smell the flowers

wake up and smell the flowers

bellagio spring

bellagio spring

spring has sprung bigtime!

spring has sprung bigtime!




The Fountain show is tremendous. Even I had a tear in my eye listening to the Star Spangled Banner and watching the waters stand to attention, before thrusting their exuberence in an ostentatious show of  patriotism.  Quite moving and very uplifting…and I’m not even American, but it brought a lump to my throat!