Sunday, April 29, 2007

I went to the a local antique/collectible store the other day. I wasn't just browsing, I had a legitimate reason to go there. I was looking for a glass lampshade that would fit a art deco lamp (sans shade) that I found about a month ago. I didn't find the shade, finding one was a long shot at best. I'll probably have to find one online. But since I was there, I had myself a look around.

This is a little ceramic box. It's only about an inch and a half high maybe. It's handpainted. Both photos are of the same box so you can see all four sides. It could hold a candle or toothpicks or... whatever. 50 cents

A tiny moon. It's an old wall decoration and I'll tuck it into a high corner somewhere. 50 cents. The plastic container with a lid is nice. I picked it up just because I was interested in the container itself and found it filled with crystals. 50 cents. The tiny shell is an oyster bowl. I'm going to use it for coins and miscellaneous in my bathroom, which has a beach theme. It's hard to tell but it's pale pink with gilded edges. 50 cents

There were a lot of dolls, most of them seemed over priced to me, but this one stood out for me. I just loved this face. The dress is in bad shape (although not ripped or anything) and one of the tiny fingers is broken on one hand - you can't tell because the wind blew her lace head piece up when I snapped the photo. I think she'd make a great gypsy or witch so I plan to redress her someday. I can simply have her holding something to mask the lost pinkie. She was sort of expensive but the owner is a nice guy and said I could have her for $3.

There's a lot of glare off the glass in this photo, the image is actually quite sharp and detailed. I've walked by and left this on the shelf for almost a year. It looks like it might have originally been an illustration out of a children's book. I finally broke down and bought it. $1

This very sad yet sweet little figurine has also been in this particular shop for quite some time. In the store she sat up on the top of a shelf, almost invisible, and she was very, very dirty. I wonder if she was in someone's flooded basement at some time or perhaps set outside or in a floral arrangement. She's cleaned up here but when I brought her home all the folds of her gown and around her arms and flowers she was brown. Dirt a quarter inch thick in spots. She was also somewhat expensive (for her condition) but she looked so sad I just couldn't stand to see her sit there unwanted any longer. I really love her. When I took her up to the register the woman and I both noticed at the same time that her head had actually been broken off and glued back on. So she let me bring her home for one thin dime.

This was my big splurge, but I think it was a practical one. Apparently this is called a blanket cabinet... or something like that. As you can see, it opens up with all sorts of storage.

I could fit at least a half dozen cats inside! What really got me is the wonderful worn patina and the unusual colors painted inside. It's hard to tell from the photo but the bottom cabinet is a dark brick red color, the small drawer is yellow, and the top is a pale lime green. $65

Saturday, April 28, 2007

More wine bottles!!

I went to Safeway for some groceries a couple of days ago and passing the wine and beer aisle it occurred to me that I'd never looked at their selection. I've definitely decided that the smaller the store the more interesting the bottles. The small specialty corner market that started this whole fascination with wine labels had the most interesting wine art. The large but local market label selection was also diverse and interesting. This large chain market had the least selection and what they had wasn't nearly as creative. Just my opinion of course. But I did find some things to photograph.

This one appealed to me because it reminded me of a bright quilt. The horse reminds me of a fabric print by designer Laurel Burch and the uneven and unusual border pattern would look fantastic in fabric, doncha think?!

The label on the right looked a lot better in person. It's not very memorable in this photo unfortunately. The label on the left caught my attention, probably because it was one of my favorite colors.

The big V label I noticed before and almost photographed during my last group. It's very dramatic. The unevenly bordered quail label, again, was more dramatic in person. Hmmm, I seem to be losing my touch.

This one isn't a label. It's paint, or perhaps it's etched, on the glass. I didn't touch it to be certain. Jack London - I guess this makes this one a good choice for a "literary" evening - a comfy chair, a warm fire, a good book, and a glass of wine.

The silly smoking loon was one of my favorites of this group. It has a sort of Pacific Northwest Native American art look. Don't ask me to explain that one. It's just the feeling I get when I look at it. And the sun on the right is also one I've noticed before. I think it too is paint rather than a label.

This was my favorite. It reminds me of the art from a children's book. Not sure if that's a very "wine-ish" way of looking at it. So, maybe think of someone sitting on the back porch sipping a glass of wine, listening to the tree frogs sing, watching the fireflies dance above a dark garden.

A fuzzy photo - my bad. Pull up a chair, preferably around a round table, and enjoy a bottle of wine with friends while you discuss how to bring about a new, more peaceful world.

I wonder if these details were created with some historical accuracy that I'm unaware of or if it's just the create fantasy of the artist. Either way, I love the combination look of medieval knight and pagan ritual mask. This isn't wine by the way, it's champagne. Or, I think, if it's not made in Champagne, we are supposed to call it sparkling wine, yes?

I think I've now photographed all the wine selections in town. So that's it. Unless I move on to hard liquor. Hmmm. "Move on to hard liquor" - somehow that sounds bad. Maybe I should move in the other direction and check out juice, tea, or soft drinks. Although I doubt I'm gonna find as much artistic variety there. Perhaps I'll just bide my time and whenever I find myself far from home, I'll remember to take a stroll down the wine aisle in search of more "Art in the Market".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Monday, April 23, 2007

For someone who doesn't drink much wine, I sure do take a lot of photos of wine bottles! I didn't go out looking to take more photos. But I was on the wine aisle because it's also the magazine aisle and this first one caught my eye and then I saw so many others I hadn't seen before and well, I got a little carried away. (If you want to see the other two wine art posts, type "wine" into the Blogger search window for this blog.)

I accidentally cut off the top of this label. But I was just reading about all things bohemian last night. I even went to Youtube to watch the La Vie Boheme scene from the movie Rent. Why, I don't know, since I could just watch it on the big screen - I own the DVD. Palm trees, so I guess this can't be anywhere around here. Southern California maybe?

Being a cat lover, I had to take a photo of this one on the left. And I caught the tower one on the right while I was at it. I like castles and towers and things.

I took this photo because I thought it might be an illustration of a house I'd actually been inside. Turns out no. Well, maybe I was inside it. Could be, as I lived in Sonoma County and I went a lot of places. But it wasn't the house I thought it was, which is The Gaige House, which my ex-BIL built. Technically, he only renovated a historic home. But since he took it down to the bare studs and then added on more square footage than was there in the first place, I don't really think there's enough of the original house there to truly qualify. I came home and Googled it. Found out that Glen Ellen House winery doesn't have even have a website. It looks sort of like those Big Yellow House Restaurants that were so popular a couple of decades ago. They all disappeared, the entire chain went out of business. But that The Gaige House, which is now a B & B, has over 90,000 results. Wow. Apparently it's a really fancy schmancy destination these days! That's amusing, since I used to have Thanksgiving dinners there and sit around while the kids swam in the pool on hot summer evenings.

I really liked this star-bodied Zin Man. He's awesome.

More Sonoma County. It looks more like a painting of some European cafe to me but, hmmm, okay. It could be on the plaza in Sonoma. Or maybe up in Guerneville, you can hear the Russian River passing by a few blocks away. Or how 'bout Healdsburg. I saw some pictures of it in a travel magazine a while back and it looks like it's become quite gentrified since I last past through the area. Hmmm, now I've got a bug to go do a little touring back through my old stomping grounds. It's been years and years since I've been back. I think the last time we were there we had all five kids with us and we were camping so.... that would have to be over fourteen years ago.
I'm not really sure where they were going with this choice. Drink this wine - it's so good you'll get carried away and than later swear nothing happened. Who's your daddy?! Okay, I probably just lost half my readers with that one.

First heaven and then hell? Or maybe just lava beds? Yes, the vineyards turn lovely shades of red and yellow in the fall but this looks more like something out of Mordor to me.

I don't know if this really qualifies as wine label "art". The ears on the word rabbit is clever though, doncha think? I just had to add it because I thought it was funny. We think of of French wines as being so snobbish. They've been reduced to serving it in lunch drink cartons.

These casual siblings appealed to me. They seem like the perfect easy going style for a casual potluck or barbeque with friends. Nothing fancy. Just a few zany buddies. And the bottles are large enough to serve a lot of people. Which has nothing to do with art at all but just in case you're planning a get-together, I'm just saying.

Last but not least, these appealed to me for the same reason as the last bottles. Let's grab these and have a big bonfire on the beach. Bring some drums. Save me an extra blanket for when the sun goes down.

Y'know, eventually I'm gonna have to put my money where my mouth.... camera where my mouth.... mouth where my lens is? - and actually try some of these wines.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm back and I promised you photos of my art. It was really one large painting but I've photographed different sections of it to make different abstract pieces. I should name them now, huh. Let's see. I'll call this first one....

Dawn Rising Above Despair

And this next piece....

Intersections in Red

What do you think? Do you like them? It's a very different style than my usual work. Snort! Like I have a usual work.

And now I think you should go over to Beach Treasure and see the piece in it's entirety.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Still busy. Being creative at the same time though. By tomorrow night I should be back home and I'll be able to show you photos of my "art". In the meantime, another pretty photo for you.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Busy this weekend. Just a pretty photo for you today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yesterday we visited the new tea room that opened up in town. A good time was had by all. That's William's hand in the photo. He thought that was funny for some reason. But the reason I'm sharing the photo is so you can see that the tea pot arrived wrapped in a tea cozy. I've never used one before and I was really impressed by how hot it kept the tea.

So now, I want to make a tea cozy or two for myself. I spent time this morning looking for a pattern online and I'm undecided how to proceed. There appears to be three types of tea cozies. The first is a knitted, crocheted, and perhaps felted cozy. These are cute and maybe some day I'll try making one but at the moment I want to make a quilted cozy so I can play with some of my fabrics. The other two kinds are both quilted, or at least layered, cloth varieties.

The first type, like in the photo above, wrap and tie snugly with the handle and spout sticking out. They stay on the pot even when pouring. The advantages - they seem simple to make, can be made reversible with two different fabrics, and it looks like they might do the best job at keeping the tea hot. (Do they? Anyone know?) The disadvantages are that the tea might dribble onto them when one is pouring (well, no "might" about it if I'm the one serving!) and you don't get to enjoy seeing the tea pot itself.

The second kind fit loosely over the top of the entire tea pot and look like a cover for a toaster. I can't find a pattern for these online. I think it would be more difficult to make it reversible, although I don't really care too much about that. I like that they'd show off the fabric I choose to make it from well. And I'd still get to enjoy my tea pot when I uncovered it to pour the tea. I'm just worried that since it doesn't fit as snug it might not keep the tea hot for as long as the other kind. Although, it does cover the whole pot whereas the heat could escape out the top and spout of the snug kind. Hmmmm.

Any suggestions? Anyone know of any good patterns or ideas for measuring and making a pattern for myself?

If you want to hear more about our visit to the tea room, you can hop on over to Beach Treasure today.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I took this photo of the moon balancing in the middle of a streetlamp in the early evening of our walk in the Gaslamp District in San Diego. It makes me want to write a poem about balance or maybe about perspective. Which is bigger - the lamp or the moon? Do you believe only what you see? Can you balance what your eyes tell you with what your mind, or sometimes your heart, tells you? Can you see the bigger truth that balances between two opposing truths?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring by Meinrad Craighead

A blogging friend of mine, Laura, wrote a tribute post about her father, who recently passed away. It was a very sweet tribute but the specific reason I bring it up is because it centered around how one small act, her father giving her a teddy bear from Paris when she was a small child, was the catalyst for the direction her life took and who and where she is today.

This post is about a similar event in my life, albeit one with a much smaller impact. We all have these moments in our lives that when they happen we are usually unaware of their importance (I say usually because sometimes we have a sense of foreshadowing about them) but that years down the road, we look back and can remember them as the moment when a new direction was started, a new seed of an idea began to grow, or a decision was, even if still unconsciously, made.

I can't remember exactly when in time this moment happened. I think I was living in Sacramento at the time, so that would put it at just short of twenty years ago. A Book Sale, sort of like the Spirit stores that pop up only for Halloween or the Hickory Farms that open up in small towns in December, opened up for a few weeks in an empty department store near where I lived and I visited it several times, digging endlessly for bargain book finds. I was rummaging through a table full of non-fiction when I stumbled upon a slim enveloped item. I thought it was a calendar. It had tiny squares of different art images displayed on the back of the envelope that looked intriguing, although they were really too small to get anything but a hint of what they were.

I brought it home to discover it wasn't a calendar after all but a set of quality prints of paintings by an artist named Meinrad Craighead. What was pivotal about these images was that they incorporated many ideas and symbolisms that before that moment I had not believed to exist anywhere except in my own head.

Something recently made me think of her and the prints, which I know I still own but can't find unfortunately, they must be packed away in a box somewhere, and so I decided to Google to find out more about her. I didn't know anything about her as a person or as an artist before that except for what was written in a brief paragraph or two on the envelope I purchased. I didn't even remember her name but I assumed with the few bits and pieces of information I remembered, surely I could find her online.

TWO HOURS later, I finally succeeded. The main problem was I thought her last name was Meinham or Meinhemm or something like that and I thought she was a German artist (turns out she's from Arkansas). The only other information I could recall was that she used to be a nun and one of her paintings was titled The Corn Mother. Yeah. Not a lot to go on. Here's the interesting part though. Finally, in desperation I gave up combinations of "nun German Manheim woman artist painter Manfred etc" and simply typed in the words "God as mother" which was what the collection of prints I owned has always so clearly said to me. And there she was. Pages and pages of her.

Art of "God as mother" - that idea was the reason why the memory of stumbling upon her prints those many years ago became one of those pivotal moments in my life. Because it was the first time I remember finding someone else in the world who was not only thinking but expressing their spirituality "outside the box" of traditional images and beliefs. It was that those three things were in combination - spirituality, art, and personalized expression - that was exciting and new to me. I had felt, read, wondered about, experienced, heard about each of those ideas before, many times before. But never before had I realized that it was possible to put them all together.

I can't really express the sort of comfort and joy I found in that discovery. My experience of "the feminine divine" is not exactly the same as Craighead's experiences. But that isn't terribly important. No person's relationship to spirit is the same as anyone elses, anywhere, no matter what belief system they may share. What was important was that the discovery of her work opened me to new possibilities of thought and direction in my own life and on my own path.

I won't say anything else about her here as you can click on the links and read it more eloquently for yourself on various websites. Here's another article about her. Let me just say I am now even more intrigued with this unique and fascinating woman's life and I'll be spending more time reading about her in the future. I hope you take at peek as well.
Today's post is much more colorful then yesterday's. It's all about F-words.

Like flowers...

And flags...

And even filigree.

Photos were taken at Balboa Park.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's all about wide open spaces today. The photos are still lovely, but they didn't capture what one could see in real time. The sky was bluer, the leafless bushes and trees were backlit in golds and peach, the sunset mountain glowed pink. Click to enlarge the photographs to get as much detail and subtle color change as possible.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

We've been gone on holiday, which is why you haven't seen hide nor hair of me recently. I've set myself a daunting task of finishing up my downsizing project and cleaning out the garage in order to be ready to have a yard sale in a month's time. That and doing the taxes and helping my son tile his bathrooms and of course the daily tasks that need doing every day means it's unlikely I'll be spending any time at all in my studio for awhile. I will try to stop in every day or two, however, and share some of the photos I took while traveling the last two weeks.

On the first day of our travels we stopped in the ghost town of Bodie. One could spend an entire day there investigating but unfortunately I only had a half hour to run around and and take a few photos. Here are a sampling of them.

There are a few more photos of Bodie, as well as some cute pics of my granddaughter - don't want to miss those! - over on Beach Treasure today.