From the THASC family to yours…
From Tuesday’s blog on “Waving Proud” until today’s blog, “Lady Liberty”, THASC artist Janice Peroni continues with her incredible watercolor impression of the powerful Statue of Liberty meeting her celebratory, colorful and explosive fireworks lighting up the New York skyline. There is nothing more exciting and decisive than the thunderous roar of these vivid bolts to verify her significance to the world. She does so with grace and distinction and nothing confirms her stance more than the skies of New York.
The French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi originally named the Statue of Liberty, “La Libertè Éclairant le Monde” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” He modeled the sculpture after his mother, Charlotte. Broken chains lie at her feet symbolizing her as a woman free from weariness and submission. The Roman numerals for July 4, 1776, the date of American Independence, are inscribed across the tablet held in her left hand.
The Statue of Liberty was completed in France and then gifted from France to the United States as a symbol of freedom and democracy. It was a joint effort between the two countries. The Statue arrived in New York in June of 1885 in over 300 pieces from France. It was reassembled in four months and placed upon a granite pedestal which was built in America. In October of 1886, President Grover Cleveland unveiled and accepted the Statue on behalf of the people of the United States. The full statue measures 305 feet one inch from the tip of the flame to the ground. The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons or 450,000 pounds.
The Statue’s original torch was the first part constructed in 1886 but in 1984 was replaced by a new copper torch covered by 24 Karat gold leaf. Here are some interesting facts about the crown. Let’s take a closer look: Did you know that the seven rays of the Statue’s crown represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world?
There are 25 windows in the crown which represent the gems of heaven shining over the world. Access has not been available to the torch since 1916. You need to climb 154 steps to reach the head. To give you an idea of some of the measurements of the Statue: her index finger is 8 feet long and the width of her mouth is three feet.
In 1903, the poem, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was inscribed on a tablet and placed in the Statue’s pedestal:
I lift my lamp beside
The golden door!”
When I look at Janice Peroni’s watercolor I am reminded of the middle name my parents gave me, which was my paternal grandmother’s name. Maybe some of you have noticed that it is “Libera,” the Italian word for “free.” I feel I have a special connection with this greeting card and with Lady Liberty and will feel that more every year on July 4th. Thank you to Janice and to my immigrant grandparents who made this journey to freedom for me.
I hope you all have a special connection with Freedom as I do and enjoy your Holiday!
- 1 package angel food cake mix
- 2 packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 6 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a 10 inch ungreased tube pan. Immediately invert pan onto a wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
Cut a 1 inch slice off the top of the cake; set aside. To make a tunnel, carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1 inch shell. Tear removed cake into 1 inch cubes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in milk and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in extract and food coloring if desired. Stir in cake cubes and strawberries. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping.
Fill tunnel with strawberry mixture; replace cake top. Spread remaining whipped topping over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Many of THASC’s artists’ wonderful paintings are available in both greeting cards and in pocket calendars as you see above. Janice’s depiction of Old Glory is bold and beautiful
and reminds us of the most precious gift of all in America:
I remember as children we learned and recited The Pledge of Allegiance every day in our classrooms…”I pledge allegiance to the FLAG of the United States of America…” It wasn’t until recently that I learned the Pledge of Allegiance dates back to President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 who was seeking ways to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America on Columbus Day. Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist and Baptist minister, arranged for the President and Congress to announce a national proclamation which centered on an American flag ceremony. And so the Pledge was born.
Most Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday, or Independence Day, with amazing firework celebrations, but beyond the big cities of Boston, New York, Los Angeles and D.C., there are many small towns that show their patriotic colors in a big way. For example, Bristol, Rhode Island’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration established in 1785, is the oldest continuous celebration of its kind in the United States. These celebrations starting on Flag Day, June 14 and concluding on July 4, give Bristol its nickname, “America’s most patriotic town.”
Up until about 15 years ago the family used to go to Block Island for its annual parade, as my sister Sara worked there and loved the small town intimacy. (Block Island is off the southern coast of Rhode Island and New York.) She always wore her famous blue and white sequined jacket ~ a real eye-catcher~ with a fabulous sequined flag on the back.
This is my favorite photo from July 4th :
I have since inherited that great jacket in all its glory and have worn it every year on the 4th. I just recently took it out of the closet to get ready for the big day!
The highlight of every celebration for July 4th has to be the fireworks which we’ll talk about on Janice’s other patriotic THASC greeting card called “Lady Liberty” on Thursday.
See you then as we inch closer to the Big Celebration.
Hope you’ll have a great view for fireworks wherever you will be.
“With Liberty and Justice for ALL”
Stars & Stripes- enjoy your summer!
We tested this recipe finding it a delight to make and eat. We did try a little make over decorating with fresh strawberries and blueberries. A fruit filling completed the make over. Whichever way you try, both will be a wonderful cake for your family and friends.
What you need:
1 package white cake mix
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 package confectioners sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- blue and red food coloring
What to do:
Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the water, salt and vanilla until smooth. Place once cake layer on a serving plate; spread 2/3 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer.
In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup frosting and blue food coloring. In another bowl, combine 1 ½cups frosting and red food coloring. Fill pastry or plastic bag with ¼ cup white frosting; cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and set aside.
Frost top and sides with remaining white frosting. With blue frosting, frost a 3 inch section in the upper left corner of the cake. Pipe white stars over blue frosting. Fill another pastry or plastic bag with red frosting; cut a large hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe stripes across top of cake.
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped hulled strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a heavy small sauce pan, stirring constantly and crushing berries slightly with back of spoon.
Boil 2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly (mixture will be slightly chunky).
Pour into bowl and cool completely.
Living on a Street named “Poppy” most of my life always brought special meaning to Memorial Day for me. I grew up when people often wore silk poppy flowers to remember the fallen. After World War I, a poem was written by a Canadian physician named John McCrae called “In Flanders Fields” which may have been the beginning of wearing poppies. The poem talks about the poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders. Two years later in 1920 the poppy became the official symbol of remembrance adopted by the National American Legion. Here is part of that poem:
“In Flanders Fields”
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Many veterans or those still associated with the Armed Forces sell silk poppies on the corners of most cities and towns during the weekend while others place flowers or American flags at the stones of the fallen or attend parades with marching bands following servicemen and veterans from various wars.
The original date chosen for the holiday was May 30 as the perfect date for flowers to be in bloom, but was changed to the last Monday in May when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. Whatever day it is celebrated, I thank all of those every day, past and present, who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be free. Novella Duke is right. Freedom is Precious. We should remember that every day. Thank you to the Precious Art by Precious People. Novella is one of them.
See you in June. Next Tuesday, that is.
Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Birthday, Scot!