Sunday, March 30, 2008

Are we looking out a window?

Or are we just fooled by a reflection?

What parts of our world are truly what they at first seem and what parts are just a mirror of something else?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Went to the market today. Actually, I went to the library, it was closed by the time I got there (our local library is only open for about 20 minutes a day, five times a week, it drives me nuts) so instead I went into the discount market next door and decided to do some rambling. I've fallen into doing as little "housewife-y" shopping as possible lately, so I never think to shop for the extra discounted goodies I can find at this store - I just go straight to the big market in town and get everything in one full swoop. But I've made some improvement in my new "eat healthy, eat at home" game plan, so it was fun to find some special additions. Until I got to the end of the trip, opened my check book, and discovered hubby had been saving up a bunch of ATM slips and had just subtracted them all and we actually had only half the money of the check I was about to write. Oops. But it was the weekend and then the first of the month, so - whew. ANYWAY.... I took some photos of wine art.

I liked these three together. First, on the left, you've got yourself a tree. In the middle we have a tree and a tempting green snake wrapped around it. And finally, on the right, we've dispensed with the tree altogether and all that's left is a snake. And apparently once you're on your third bottle of wine, even the bottle is somewhat snakelike - can you see that the bottle curves?

And then I found this cool (hot?) looking fellow. Awesome. I read the label and apparently this wine was the result of a contest between vintners to come up with something drinkable out of a one year timetable from vine to glass.

And more shady looking characters! All merlots. Hmmmm, snakes and sauvignon blanc, shady characters and merlots - is there some sort of symbolism that you have to be a wine drinker and "in the know" to understand? In any case, I loved these bad boys so much I wanted to bring them all home with me. I came to my senses, however, and realized that I didn't really need A merlot, much less MANY merlots. ("I do not own a gun, much less MANY guns, that would necessitate the need for a gun rack." - name that quote) Unless I was planning a merlot tasting party, which I was not. Who would I invite? William? Underage! I really need a trashier.... er, I mean "more refined, wine drinking" set of friends who live close enough to do crazy things with on occasion.

So I settled for my favorite, and the one that sounded the most drinkable - Diaboliqué. But first I have to finish up a bottle of Chardonnay my hubby gave me for my birthday - because he thought I'd like the bottle. Not the best way to choose your wines (although usually my selection choice) but this time it turned out really well. One of the nicer bottles we've had in a while. It's from a vintner called Moonshadow Wines out of Napa, but I can't even find a weblink to share with you. Too bad - you'll have to go find your own - by the selection process of your own choosing. Choose by label? Pick a number from one to ten? Close your eyes and select the first bottle your fingers touch? Choose by size of bottle (or box!)?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today's post over on Beach Treasure is a holiday photo post of the last of the first London visit. There were a lot of statue and sculpture photos, so I dragged the bulk of them over here.

This little fellow and his kangaroo mate were atop a tall column in front of Buckingham Palace. I suspect he represents a yesteryear when the British Empire circled the globe. Either that or kangaroos were bounced out of England by some unknown saint at the same time St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland?

Isn't she beautiful? You can click on these photos remember, to see more detail.

Sun rays? Snakes? Mane? Pretty frightening regardless of which it is.

I really liked the perspective on this one. He looks larger than life, a sculpted God. Well, he was larger than life actually.

Neptune, I presume.

A lot of these images encircled the same fountain in the middle of the traffic circle in front of Buckingham Palace.

And now, for something completely different. This is a much more contemporary sculpture that is atop a square column.... can a column be square? Is it called something else if it's square?... in Trafalgar Square.

Another view of the same sculpture. It was lovely in many ways but sort of disturbing as well with the stunted and missing limbs. The only thing I remember about it was that it represents the wife of the sculptor. Mixed feelings aside, I had to admire the atypical choice for public art.

Don't forget to visit the rest of the photos over at Beach Treasure.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

rock lake

We were in Redding yesterday. In their old downtown there's a lot of urban renewal projects - it's making a big difference in the area. One area used to be a covered mall. They took the roof off and made it more like a plaza - it's very nice. The supports that used to hold the roof have been left and turned into assorted art structures - some now look like old architectural columns, some look like this. In the day the light shines through the stained glass and at night they are lit from inside. I wish I'd taken more than this one photo. Some were like this one and some had double rows of glass with a dark metal space between. I'm thinking there's a quilt idea or two in this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tonight I put up a Holiday Photos post over on Beach Treasure. Lots of touristy pictures. I'll leave a link at the bottom of the post for you to use to go check them out, but first scroll down to see some of the artsy photos from the same travel set.

These little sea "urchins" were in a deserted plaza a block or so away from the Tower of London. They must have been happy on the day I took the photo - it was raining.

We went on the London Eye, a giant ferris wheel that is perched on the edge of the Thames River. I liked this colorful barge and bridge segment in the middle of the gray waters.

Speaking of water, there sure is a lot of it in London - quite a bit of it falls, frequently, from the skies. We were protected from these rain drops by a clear glass (plastic?) rooftop.

Walking along the river we passed a display of Dali sculptures. They were having an exhibition in a facing building. I would have loved to have seen it but William didn't have the inclination and we didn't really have the time which, as you can see, was quickly melting away.

I'm not sure what this sculpture was meant to say but as a woman I could certainly identify with the need to balance that egg.

Star Wars-ish elephant balancing an open triangle. Nope. Don't have a clue. The London Eye in the background.

There were two of these fellows, each protected one side of a bridge (don't know the name of the bridge, sorry) that crossed the Thames.

I don't remember where I saw this sculpture. Hmmmm. Can't tell you who it is either. But I do like the image of a powerful woman in charge of these two stallions. This is as it should be, yes?

Okay, now check out buildings, more statues, clocks, and of course William in the photos on Beach Treasure.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My mom was kind enough to send me this beautiful "Parisian" clock. I really like it but I can't get it to work. First I tried a bunch of batteries and couldn't get it to do anything. Finally I managed to get the pendulum going. It swings back and forth with a with a pretty "tick tock" sound. Unfortunately the hands still don't move. I finally got tired of messing with it and it's up on the wall tick tocking along without telling time. I'll work on it again later - maybe if I tighten or loosen some part of the hands I might get it working.

I couldn't pass up the chance to go to Rosie's Calico Cupboard while I was down in the San Diego area. It's a quilt store that fills an entire strip mall and has lots and lots of high quality quilting fabrics at fantastic prices. I enjoyed the visual extravaganza but very wisely kept my ample stash in mind and left with a very moderate purchase - two small pieces to surprise my daughter-in-law for a project she's working on and these pieces from a new line called Bohemian Brights. I loved all the colorways and prints but settled for these three. If you'd like to see the full line, you can see them here at, then click on Designer Collections and then on Bohemian Brights.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Old and new

Carousel lights

Sea-horse monster


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Shhhhhhh! I don't want to scare away the little dancing fairy.

Nasturtiums climbing an old wheel
Butterflies? or flutter byes?

Going up? or back in time?

Chandelier? or small alien space ship about to beam up some local flora?

Palm fronds? or nature's venetian blinds?

Statue? or chilly sunbather?

Friday, March 07, 2008

I think I need to make an orange and black quilt.

Rose "tears". This would make a good quilt pattern too.

Moving from quilt patterns found on the streets - Lisa and I both took photos of these bathroom walls. There were blocks of wall in assorted colors and the words were in black and shimmery gold paint.

This gives you a glimpse of the reflective quality of the gold paint.

Some sections had full quotes, others had bits and pieces of lines, some just had swirls and curlicues.

I liked this whole quote below.

I was going to paint my hallway the base gold that I used in my living room. Now I'm tempted to do wall art like this in the hall instead. Why have a boring hallway? What else is it good for? Except getting from Point A to Point B of course. But this would make it more interesting along the way.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

She sells sea shells at the sea shore

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I've been meme'ed by Chris of Prism Trail!. Thank goodness. I needed something to do here in the studio, since I'm not actually doing anything with paint or fabric or pen.

First, here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Chris raised the bar a bit by saying she was sure that her tagged people, including moi, would have fun and intriguing lists. Or something like that. Surrrrre, make it more difficult!

Since this is supposed to be my artsy blog, I think I'll twist things a bit and make the random things all artsy related.

1. I have a hard time appreciating abstract painting (not always, but typically), but I find I'm often emotionally drawn to abstract textile art.

2. I used to dislike purple in anything but garden flowers (purple and orange combinations are really fantastic!) until I tried to expand my quilting palette - now I have a newfound appreciation of everything on the color wheel between red and blue.

3. I'm not a card carrying member of any traditional religion but I'm fascinated by religious art and icons.

4. I spent my childhood being told over and over again that I was a talented artist. My reaction to all that encouragement? I completely stopped doing any drawing or painting for about five years. Don't know how unimportant this particular fact is - now that I think about it - what would have happened in an alternative scenario, hmmm?

5. I ....... okay, making it art related is too hard. When I was younger I thought fuzzy dogs with floppy ears were much prettier than short haired dogs with erect ears. Now I think just the opposite.

6. I dislike almost any sort of white noise when I'm sleeping - except the surf, rain, or wind. This one doesn't seem unimportant either, especially when I find it hard to sleep in a hotel room with a/c, fan, or heater blowing. ARGH.

Okay, I don't know how fascinating any of that was, much less intriguing. For intriguing, I suggest you rent yourself a copy of Charade. I love that movie. Just watched it a few nights ago. Who do you think is the Cary Grant of this era, hmmm? George Clooney maybe? What about the modern day Audrey Hepburn? Elegant but quirky. I don't know if there is a contemporary equivalent. Maybe Audrey Tautou? I'm thinking of her in her role as Amelie Poulain, but I loved her in The Da Vinci Code as well.

I've given up on tagging folks. I just never know who wants to play and who doesn't. So, I'm just gonna tag you'all. Anyone who wants to play, let me know and I'll add a link letting folks know how to find you.