Fernwood Flowers

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Fernwood Flowers at 620 N Main Street, Chiefland, Florida 32644

20160511_150626I’m sure by now you have all seen the beautiful flowers in our Memorial Day card, above, and for that we have to say a huge thank you to Kim and her family at Fernwood Flowers in Chiefland.  Kim, who is as you can see a very talented lady, and her mother, Jennie, started the business 14 years ago upon moving from South Georgia when Jennie retired and had a house built in Bronson, where she still lives.

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Jennie and her great granddaughter, Ellie, in the workshop

Jennie helps Kim in the shop, although originally she designed and made metal sculptures, which she sold at art shows in Coconut Grove, and is a very talented lady too.  They are quite often joined by Kim’s granddaughter and Jennie’s great granddaughter Ellie, who is already showing talent as a budding florist in the making (pun intended), who can at 4 already name the individual flowers

 

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A bouquet from Fernwood Florists

A testament to their talent and success, apart from the beautiful arrangements you can see, is the plaque on the wall from 2011 when they were awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition by Florida Congressman Rich Nugent, a result of them winning Business of the year

 

Kim and her mother also do lots of charity work

 

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The bouquet home and in water, showing how beautifully it falls into place.

We would like to say a big thank you to Kim, Jennie and of course Ellie, for all the lovely work they have done for us, as I have said, a very talented team.  We would also like to wish Jennie a belated Happy birthday for her birthday on Saturday, no doubt spent with her lovely family around her

 

 

Anyone wishing to talk to Kim about their floristry needs can reach her on; 352 490 5331, or, 800 483 1134

THASC  is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products. www.thasc.com

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Full Bloom

Full Bloom
Full Bloom

By:

“FULL BLOOM” is an original marker painting by Paul Bailey of the Badger State, Wisconsin. Paul is a Quadriplegic from an automobile injury. Paul creates his artwork dot by dot with a head stick. This greeting card was reproduced for an original artwork by Paul Bailey for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“FULL BLOOM” is an original marker painting by Paul Bailey of the Badger State, Wisconsin. Paul is a Quadriplegic from an automobile injury. Paul creates his artwork dot by dot with a head stick. This greeting card was reproduced for an original artwork by Paul Bailey for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.

For the many THASC artists whose subject is flowers, I must say each one of them speaks to us in a different way. Most flowers have a specific seasonal time to bloom and it wasn’t until late last week that I noticed the beautiful tiger lilies that abound in my garden. Each day now there are more and more and when I looked at Paul Bailey’s marker painting it immediately reminded me that these lovely flowers were about to bloom in my back yard. It is not until they spread their wings fully that you can capture the glory of their lovely peach color and the length of their reach.

20150707_17551020150707_175504Tiger Lilies

Tiger Lilies

Most of my flowers are already bloomed and gone by the end of Spring but my Summertime bloomers remind me that there is still more to come. Paul’s dot by dot method is not only incredibly precise but captures each leaf with remarkably, explosive color
changes. It is only when a flower reaches its pinnacle of growth that do we realize nature’s beauty at it’s peak. As I looked around my Summer garden, I captured other wild flowers at their “full bloom” and would like to share them with you.

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Summertime flowers in full bloom

While visiting my cousins in Sicily this past month, I went into a local florist in town and was amazed at the bouquet of fresh flowers he put together for me as a gift for them upon our departure. They were a beautiful combination of fresh flowers as you can see, all newly bloomed and the best part is that he charged me only 25 euros (about $30)!

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Bouquet in Sicilian florist

Thank you to THASC artist Paul Bailey for reminding us all “Nothing says it like Flowers!”
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your full-bloomed Summer flowers and fruit trees. See you on Tuesday.

-Maria

PS. Thank you to a wonderful friend who graced my aunt’s birthday table last year with a gorgeous bouquet!

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Aunt Nancy’s Birthday flowers

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com

Spring

Spring
Spring

By:

“SPRING” is an original watercolor painting by Janice Peroni, resident of the Garden State, New Jersey. Janice is a Quadriplegic and is aided by the use of a wheelchair. Janice paints with the restricted use of her arms and hands. Her paintings come alive with color and movement. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Janice Peroni for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“SPRING” is an original watercolor painting by Janice Peroni, resident of the Garden State, New Jersey. Janice is a Quadriplegic and is aided by the use of a wheelchair. Janice paints with the restricted use of her arms and hands. Her paintings come alive with color and movement. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Janice Peroni for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.

The happiest time of year for most New Englanders who abhor winter is the arrival of Spring. The sudden bursts of plants and flowers making their way through the still somewhat solid ground is inspiring that finally we will have some reprieve from the cold and snow.

20140509_144237-2When I first saw Janice Peroni’s painting, it immediately brought me back to the lilacs that my Mom loved so much. They were not the first to bloom so we all waited patiently for their lovely scent. My parents had them planted in specific places, one of them being right outside the bedroom windows. We all knew when they arrived as that distinct scent came flowing threw the half-opened windows to wake us up.

One of the sad things about Spring is that it doesn’t last very long. The flowers, that is. To have six long months of a barren winter compared to about three weeks of flowers, seems just not fair, but that is probably why we relish it so much. My favorite flower has always been the rose, but originally there were no roses in my back yard. Other gorgeous flowers like lilacs, sunflowers, hyacinths, daffodils, irises, lily of the valley and azaleas covered most of the garden beds.

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When I bought my childhood home back after thirty-five years, one of the first things I wanted to do was to plant roses….and roses I did. Roses are late bloomers, which was for me a good thing because I always had them in the end after most of the others were gone. I planted them everywhere: wherever I could find an open spot. After having been away almost a month, when I lifted my blinds I was so surprised to see a garden full of roses!

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So I notice my calendar that says June 16th and I know we officially have 5 more days of Spring and all its beauty. The grass and bushes around the house are green and full again.
The warm temperatures remind us that summer is finally arriving in New England.

Janice Peroni must have thought the same thing when she painted her watercolor of lilacs and roses. For me a perfect combination for Spring.

Please join me and the precious people of THASC Sales Co. again
on Thursday for more lovely visions of life.
Until then…Enjoy the last days of Spring!

-Maria

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THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com

Bouquet for Mom

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“BOUQET FOR MOM” is an original oil painting by Sue Bingaman, resident of the Keystone State, Pennsylvania. She was injured in a snowmobile accident that left her a quadriplegic. Sue paints with a cuff around her hand with an adapter that holds her brush. This pocket planner was reproduced from an original oil painting by Sue Bingaman for THASC Sales Co. which employs a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.

By:
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My mom and me as a child
My mom and me as a child

As Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, I thought I’d like to put my thoughts to my wonderful Mom, Sara. I lost her way too soon, but there is always something lingering in my life that reminds me of the joy she gave her family. I’d like to share her most happy moments with you.

She was born Sara Nancy Rose Santoro to immigrant parents from Sicily and was the 4th in line of 6 siblings. She had promised her father that she would finish going to college after she married, as she met the love of her life, Joseph Mario Vallone, in her junior year of college at URI and got married soon after that. She did complete her degree in education by going to extension classes and getting her B.A. in elementary education after the three of us were born. Unfortunately, her father passed away suddenly and he was never to see her graduate.

The story of her wedding and marriage is a lovely one. My Dad had told me that he saw her for the first time at her parents’ house while he was at a college meeting for Italian-Americans sponsored by her sister and some friends. By Mom came home that weekend from college and as she entered the room, he took one look at her and said to his friend Sal, “I’m going to marry that girl”. And so it went that at 20 years old, my Mom married Joe Vallone, on September 23, 1940.

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20150404_132711My parents had quite a honeymoon for those times. My Dad had graduated from MIT in 1938 and had a red convertible Buick in which they toured the entire United States, stopping, and in some cases, visiting different cities for more than a day, They were gone for one month! September 23 to October 29! She kept a diary which I found among her things and the first pages she scribbled “Joe and Sara” and then listed all of the states they visited.

20150404_132725After the opening pages with her list of States, she wrote her first entry. It reads:
“1940
Monday, September 23
The most beautiful and I’m sure the most memorable day of my life. Married at 9:00 am- Dinner and reception at Rhodes Annex
Arrived at Mohican Hotel- Connecticut – at 10:30 PM. Stayed in Room 320. Joe carried me across the threshold. Ate at Peterson’s
Then started for New York…”

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Mom at 36

My mother was a beauty and we all knew it. I wanted to be just like her. She was fashionable and always well manicured. She had beautiful legs and always wore high heels. I loved to go shopping with her. She had an eye for fashion and went to the nicest stores. She always brought me with her, probably because she knew I was most like her in many ways and had the most patience. She loved my sister and brother just as much.

Dressed up for Easter
Dressed up for Easter

She was very talented and made all of our clothes as children. Especially for the holidays, she made sure we got all dressed up before going to see our grandparents. We always had bonnets for Easter and my father bought all the ladies corsages. I remember they were gardenias and loved the smell.

My grandmother was very special to me. When I got my first job teaching across the street from her house, every day I used to cross the street and go up a little pathway that lead me to her house. She would always make me a nice soup and a hearty meal and we would speak Italian. She was truly my second mother. My own mother was so fond of her mother that my Dad would take her with them on day trips and out to restaurants. She was a jewel, too, and I could see where my Mom got her sweetness.

20150404_134515I was lucky to have taken my Mom to Italy after my Dad passed away. She loved it and always asked me to take her back. We saw all the big cities, but never got to Sicily. My only regret was that I never took her back to Sicily to see her Mom’s and Dad’s hometowns. We ran out of time.

The last entry in her honeymoon journal reads like this: “There’s no one in the world like Joe — never too much of anything precious.”20150404_132829

That was my mother’s love story. I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day on Sunday whether she’s with you or not, keep her in your heart.

See you next Tuesday
-Maria

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com