Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Butterflies in Blue & White

White butterflies winging their way toward a bowl full of white ranunculus 
glide by the stemware and covered butter dish. 

Can you see the tiny random polka dots in the background 
of the blue butterflies and flowers on the butter dish? 

Oh, so many bleu butterflies on the botanical printed dishes... 

Have you spotted the blue butterfly on the inside rim of the large salad bowl? 
China maker Portmeirion makes the Botanic Blue china and 
a tiny escaped butterfly is a signature mark of the pieces in the pattern. 

There, just visible inside the creamer, is another escapee,  
while another little blue butterfly seems to have 
partially escaped on the ruffled rim of the creamer. 

Laser cut butterflies at the top of the white place cards 
have yet other tiny white butterflies within the laser cut. 

Can you count all the butterflies visible? 

Scattered across the entire china pattern, 
butterflies of varying sizes, designs, and angles 
flit among the multiple varieties of flowers. 

The Botanic Blue dishes coordinate with 
Fitz and Floyd blue-rimmed Nobilis

Ruffled rims on the PTS International Adelaide cereal bowl and 
the Portmeirion Botanic Blue dinner plate are subtle design elements 
that help coordinate the two in a place setting even 
though the blues are not quite the same. 

A matching rimmed soup bowl is also perfect for cereal or salad. 

Are there FOUR different butterflies seeking nectar from the 
the flower in the bottom of the bowl? 
What is that flower, anyway? 
Is it an English primrose? 

Oh, wait! 
What looked like one of four butterflies in the bowl's bottom is really a

And, there... , on the far left top rim... 
a BEE! 

Can you enlarge your screen's photo to see all the details? 

There's another BEE on the end of the lidded butter dish, and 
there's one on the salad bowl just above the left top of the butter dish. 

Butterflies, bees, dragonflies, flowers, polka dots ...  
and b l e u. 

Each day this pattern looks more and more lovely. 

Portmeirion no longer has Botanic Blue available in the USA 
which means order from England, 
pay costly shipping fees and duty taxes, 
or look for pieces on eBay or through a china replacement service. 
But, shop carefully. 

The Botanic Blue pieces have ruffled rims, finely detailed images, and 
a signature butterfly someplace unexpected. 
See the beautiful butterfly inside the creamer? 
There are three inside the rim of the large salad bowl 
serving as a centerpiece. 
The plate has one underneath the rim. 
The rimmed cereal/soup bowl has one on the 
outside of the white rounded part under the rim. 
The small bread and butter plate has one under the rim. 

Now, look at the larger pitcher. 
No ruffled rim, no curvy details on the handle, 
and the pattern is a little faint, not sharp. 
Plus, the pattern doesn't extend under the handle. 
Instead it looks like a white rectangle under the handle. 
This looks like a reproduction piece, 
not an authentic Portmeirion Botanic Blue piece. 
The telling factor... no butterfly inside the pitcher. 

Nonetheless, the pitcher looks good with the rest of the set. 

Blue stemware with an etched floral pattern is perfect with the dishes. 

The blue and white butterflies,  
in the kitchen sunspace wrapped in new green foliage,  
herald Spring has fully arrived.   

Sunshine, warm weather, and bright green leaves are perfect 
companions for blue and white butterflies.  

Spring is here with butterflies on the table 
and in the garden. 

Bright blue skies fill the living room 
as well as the kitchen sunspace with bright sunlight. 

Fresh thyme basks in the sun and is ready 
for planting on the deck just outside the kitchen sunspace.  

Botanic Blue and white ranunculus ... 
Butterflies in blue and white ... 

Botanic Blue china is the inspiration for botanic bleu.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Botanic Blue china ~ Portmeirion (summer 2014) 
Nobilis china ~ Fitz and Floyd (inactive, warehouse sale, late 1980s) 
Adelaide ~ PTS International (HomeGoods, spring 2014) 
Blue & white checked placemats ~ Pottery Barn Outlet (summer 2014) 
Sheila ~ Blue etched stemware ~ Joss and Main (summer 2014) 
Blue chargers ~ Kirklands (spring 2013) originally brown 
Want to see more blue & white?

Summer Blues and Whites
Blue and White Dishes 
Spirea Garden Party ~ French Style 
April Chirping Bird Table 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share 
a link to it with friends, family, or your readers, 
just use the social media buttons found 
at the bottom of the page near the Comments section. 
With just a click of a button you can 
share a link by email, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, 
and Google +1. 
Linking it to your Pinterest page 
makes it easy to find for re-reading in the future. 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Can't Go to France? Bring a Little France to You

Can't go to France,
but the longing for France dances in your mind daily? 

When you have friends going, hearing all their plans, 
but you can't go due to work, or family illnesses, or not in the budget.  

What to do when you can't go to France? 

bring a little France to you. 

Here are suggestions for ways to 
bring a little France into a favorite spot in your house. 
Bring France to a place that you see every day, 
in full view from the kitchen and living room. 

Start with a French blue flower pot and add an old world live foxglove, 
one that takes center stage to add a touch of  
French country gardens and Parisian flower markets. 

Design tip:  Notice the multiple uses of blue... 
flower pot, large floral framed print on the stone wall, 
small picture on the chest, blue in the books, paperweight... 
The color bleu helps unify the grouping. 

Add another touch of greenery with preserved boxwood 
tucked into an empty glass candle holder 
that has golden scenes from Paris. 
The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie... 
Scenes that bring Paris to you... 

Display books about France. 
The Heart of FRANCE and 

Just seeing the books brings to mind France's beauty. 
Having them in sight invites you to browse 
through them to take a 30-minute tour while having coffee. 
You may not be there in person, 
but your mind and spirit can be there as you daydream 
looking through photos and reading about French scenery. 

Place the boxwood at the base of a small lamp atop the stack of books. 

Design tip: Once again color has been repeated. This time, gold. 
Gold spine of the top book, gold design on the glass candle jar, 
and gold picture frame in the background. 

Sometimes good things come from accidents. 
Or perhaps, realizing not all is lost when accidents happen. 

The small lamp once had a cherry wood base 
with a blue and white teacup filled with artificial pastel flowers. 
The lamp was knocked onto the floor shattering the saucer 
and breaking the handle of the teacup. 
Miraculously, the teacup was still intact. 

So many memories of good times traveling to Salado 
with a dear friend, now deceased, are tied to the little lamp. 
Both my friend and I bought this same lamp on one of those trips. 

In the French spirit of treasuring the imperfect as well as the perfect, 
the handle was glued together, but the teacup was not glued back to the lamp base.  
Painting the lamp base white gave it new life and an update. 
Had the lamp not been broken, it would have been unlikely 
that it would have been painted, and for certain, it would always 
have retained the blue and white teacup. 

Now the lamp can hold any number of small things on its base. 
At Christmas time there was a small white vase with the word Noel. 
The accident paved the way for changing the lamp's look 
with each new grouping on the chest of drawers. 

Bring a little more France to you... 

Add a small picture of French lavender like this one 
purchased in France while touring lavender fields in Provence. 

Souvenirs from previous trips to France 
bring vivid memories filled with details of authentic French life. 
When you cannot create a new travel experience, 
relive a favorite memory of a previous trip. 
Postcards make excellent small photos to frame, 
and the photos often are from a viewpoint not available to travelers. 

Design tips: The small picture's frame echoes the gold of the larger print's frame. 
The beading and corner accents in the wooden frame reflect French design. 

With flowers, French scenes, books about France, 
and a souvenir picture you can 

Bring a Little France to You

What is your favorite way to bring a little France 
(or insert country of choice) to yourself? 

Food comes to mind, but it is hard to incorporate 
into an arrangement on a chest... 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share 
a link to it with friends, family, or your readers, 
just use the social media buttons found 
at the bottom of the page near the Comments section. 
With just a click of a button you can 
share a link by email, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, 
and Google +1. 
Linking it to your Pinterest page 
makes it easy to find for re-reading in the future. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Copyright - Is My Work Protected?

"Once a teacher, always a teacher" seems to be one of the quotes that defines my life.  Now that I have been blogging for about two and a half years, I felt a desire, a need, to share what I have learned with others.  Blogging is a passion to be shared.

Am I an expert after only 2.5 years? Absolutely not.  Do I know HTML coding? Just the barest of all few lines.  Is my blog widely popular, read by tens of thousands, followed by thousands, sought out by magazine editors?  No, but writing it gives me great self-fulfillment which is the only thing required.

Keep reading; Copyright is coming.

TCU Extended Education Catalog Spring 2015

Texas Christian University, TCU, in Fort Worth, Texas offers Extended Education classes for nominal fees, open to the public.  In TCU's Extended Education catalog last fall there was a call for instructors to teach new courses in the upcoming Spring semester (2015).  Do you see what's coming? Yes, I submitted a proposal for a Blog Writing Guide class.  That four-session, once-a-week class is now finished. There are now four new blogs out there!

That brings me to Copyright - Is My Work Protected?  When I shared copyright information with my handful of fledgling new bloggers, my suspicions were confirmed that copyright knowledge is fuzzy, vague, misunderstood, and sometimes, downright faulty, even to people who have some experience in the higher education world with writing that requires citation.

Here is the most important fact that blog writers may need to know about copyright. 

Citing is not permission.

You see a photo of THE PERFECT kitchen on the Internet, and 
you include it in your blog post about French Country Kitchens. 
All you have to do is to link back to the original source - right? 

Several factors are involved in copyright regarding using copyrighted work.
Citing a source does not give permission to use the work. 
Permission must be granted for the photo to be used. 
Now, the photo may be free for use, but check the source.
Depending upon how the photo is used also is a factor;
check the US Copyright Law website for details.
Link to US Copyright provided below. 

The second most important fact that blog writers may need to know about copyright. 

An author's work is protected 
whether or not a copyright notice 
or © symbol is included in the work.

That photo of THE PERFECT kitchen does not have a watermark, 
or a copyright notice, or the name of the blog. 
Does that mean the photo is free to use without permission?

So, here is a summary about copyright that I shared with my fledgling new authors. The information is written specifically for Google Blogger authors, but most of it applies to all platforms.


The following information is offered as general information, not as legal advice. Consult a lawyer for legal advice. 

There are two sides to copyright ©: 1] fair use of other's work and 2] protecting your own work.  Copyright is governed by the United States Copyright Law and is outlined in a one-page government flyer.  Authors' rights are protected whether or not a copyright notice or symbol is included in the work.  However, using the word Copyright and/or the symbol © reminds the reader that the work is copyrighted. 

TIPThe copyright symbol © is accessed by pressing

  • MAC - the OPTION key and the 'G' key at the same time
  • PC - ALT and 0169 while holding down the ALT key

Read Copyright | Fair Use 

In 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law to address both world wide ownership and ever-changing technology. The United States Copyright Office summary of DMCA is about 18 pages long. Below is a link to the summary in case you want to read it. 

Read DMCA: US Copyright Office Summary

A good resource for copyright information is found at Copyright & Fair Use by Stanford University Libraries.
All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. Works published after 1922, but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication. 
- See more at:

  • TIPThe lengthy quote above is indented.  To create an indented quote on your Blogger blog, use the  tool on the Composition toolbar.

Thoughts Regarding Fair Use of Others' Work 
  1. Citing a source does NOT constitute permission. 
  2. Citing a source when granted permission most always must be included, but sometimes not, like with Pexels' free photos
  3. Linking to a source is not copying another person's work; linking is giving the ADDRESS of another person's work so a reader can read/see the original work. 
  4. Only use photos for which you have permission: given, purchased, or your own.  
    • Use free photos from the internet. 
    • Ask to use another blogger's photos. 
    • Link back to sources that have granted permission. 
    • Use of Pinterest photos outside Pinterest is tricky. Check before use. 
  5. Music is copyrighted. Using background music on a post requires permission or copyright free music to use the music. Search the Internet for sites that offer copyright free music. 
  6. Quoted material requires diligence in determining permission to use. When in doubt, ask permission.  To use another blogger's commentary in a post, you must check with the blogger. See the US Copyright Law link for guidelines in using quotes from books, plays, poems, speeches, etc... 
  7. Fonts are also copyright protected. Read the fine print for any font you want to use. Some fonts, including purchased fonts, restrict use to personal use and/or to 'static' use. 
    • TIP: Static use means the font is used to create a document or image that remains fixed in place. Web use means the font is used to write statements live on a website (such as, in creating a blog post).  
The fleur-de-lis is embedded into the .png file below.  This is a static use of the fleur-de-lis.   

Google Blogger and Copyright

Google states in the Blogger Terms of Service ...
Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

Google Blogger adheres to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and will remove content that violates copyright law. There is a form for people to submit copyright infringement.  Repeated infringements result in Blogger accounts being terminated. 

Read Blogger Copyright Tips

Protect Your Work

Your work is automatically protected under copyright law, but a couple of actions on your part helps protect it.  In addition to including a copyright statement on your blog, include a watermark on photos you take. While neither of these actions prevent others from using your work without permission, they do alert readers that you own what they are seeing. 

Regardless of how little exposure you think your blog will receive, it is just a matter of time until someone uses your work without your permission. (Yes, it has happened even to my little blog.) Many people do not know copyright law and do not understand that work, especially photos, is/are still protected even if the work does not have a © notice. 

Copyright Statement
In Blogger, a Gadget titled 'Attribution' contains Google's copyright information that shows up at the bottom of every post.  Do not remove Google's copyright notice. 

Add a copyright statement to your blog site. Include four items.
  • Copyright or the symbol ©
  • Year - update each year to include a range of years (2012-2015) 
  • Author/Owner - your name or your blog's name 
  • Rights statement
    • All Rights Reserved - requires users to request permission
    • Some Rights Reserved - should seek additional information about how to write this
    • No Rights Reserved - places your work in the public domain
Copyright 2015 | botanic bleu | All Rights Reserved | 

Directions for Google Blogger 
  • Sign In to your blog.  Should take you to the Dashboard/Home page of your blog.
  • Click on your Blog Name. Should take you to the Overview page. 
  • Click on Layout in the left column. Takes you to the diagram with the boxes. 

    At the bottom of the Layout screen, find the Attribution gadget.  This is where you 'attribute' or acknowledge who owns the copyright.  Attribute used in a sentence, "To whom do you attribute his good manners."

    Click on Edit to open a pop-up box to Configure Attribution.

    • Write a copyright statement for your blog, such as:  Copyright 2015 | Your Blog Name | All Rights Reserved
    • Save. 
    • View Blog to see how it looks. 

    Watermark Photos
    Place a watermark (or simply just text) on copies of photos you take to help protect your work from being used without your permission. Do not add text to your one and only original photo.  Copy the photo and add the text to the copy.  Another preventative measure against unauthorized use of your photos is to use low resolution photos on the Internet. Keep your high resolution originals in one folder; keep low resolution copies with watermarks/text in another folder. 

    A thought:  Place the watermark/text so that it adds to the photo design or is unobtrusive. You want people to enjoy the photo... that's why you share it. 

    Example of a photo with text that shows ownership 

    The blog name/watermark is in the lower right corner. 

  • PicMonkey is a free photo editor program that can be downloaded from the Internet and can be used to add text to photos. 
  • MAC computers come with built-in Preview software that can be used to add text to a photo.
  • Text can be added to photos in Microsoft PowerPoint.

  • One of the reasons to add a blog's name to a photo is so readers will know where to go to read about the photo or to read about similar topics. 

    Thank you for reading botanic bleu, especially a L - O - N - G post 
    with only one pretty picture of flowers. 

    Is there anything else that we bloggers should think about copyright?
    Leave a comment giving us suggestions or insights. 

    If you enjoyed this post and would like to share 
    a link to it with friends, family, or your readers, 
    just use the social media buttons found 
    at the bottom of the page near the Comments section. 
    With just a click of a button you can 
    share a link by email, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, 
    and Google +1. 
    Linking it to your Pinterest page 
    makes it easy to find for re-reading in the future.