Coloring Pages: rondo

Rondo_Lyric_Kinard

10 celtic knots, kaleidoscopes, and patterns to color
$4.99
available for instant download

PURCHASE HERE

rhondo_beauty02

I love the depth of shading you can play with when using colored pencils. I usually color in each space then go back in when the whole design is filled in and choose where to darken the colors.

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I am so happy that these are immediately available to download. I find it much easier to just print and go. I keep the designs on a clipboard or in a folder which I find much easier to manage than a bound book…. although stay tuned – a book is on it’s way for those that prefer that format.

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This Variation on a Theme collection begins with a lovingly hand drafted celtic knot. The knot is then digitized and manipulated into exquisitely beautiful kaleidoscopic mandalas and tiled patterns for you to print and color.

Coloring Pages: sea shanties

Sea_Shanty_lyric_kinard01

10 celtic knots, kaleidoscopes, and patterns to color
$4.99
available for instant download

PURCHASE HERE

Sea_Shanties_Lyric_KinardThis Variation on a Theme collection begins with another lovingly hand drafted celtic knot. The knot is then digitized and manipulated into exquisitely beautiful kaleidoscopic mandalas and tiled patterns for you to print and color. You should see my kids and I geeking out as I cut and chop and digitally stitch together these  mandalas for you. 

Fishy_thumbnails_back_coverHere is a peek at the designs you will receive in the PDF file. I’m thinking of trying out some watercolor paper just to play around and see what happens!

And… the offer stands through Valentine’s day. The Heart Nouveau collection is on sale for only $1.99. And…. anyone that leaves a review on my Etsy shop and sends me a note will get a coupon for $4.25 towards anything in the shop. That means you can snap up your next favorite coloring page collection for about .75 cents!

Coloring Pages: knot deco

Knot_Deco_Lyric_Kinard

10 celtic knots, kaleidoscopes, and patterns to color
$4.99
available for instant download

PURCHASE HERE

Knot_Deco_lyric_kinard01

This Variation on a Theme collection begins with a lovingly hand drafted celtic knot. The knot is then digitized and manipulated into exquisitely beautiful kaleidoscopic mandalas and tiled patterns for you to print and color.
Knot_Deco_back_cover_thumbs

Knot_Deco_lyric_kinard02

And here is an idea… I’m really trying to get my rankings up on my ETSY shop. I really need ratings in order to do so. If you buy any of my coloring page collection then leave a review on ETSY, I will send you a $4.99 coupon so that you can choose another collection for free! Please share this with any and all of your friends who love to color, I’d really appreciate it!

Valentine’s special – Downloadable Coloring Pages

Well I did it. I bit the bullet, invested in some serious professional software (the Adobe Creative Cloud) as well as a subscription to Lynda.com, and completely remade all of the coloring pages I’ve been working on for weeks. Finally, TA -DA!!!! I’m ready to share them with you!

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Heart_Nouveau_cover_Lyric_Kinard

10 designs available as an instant PDF download

This lovely little collection of 10 is available for instant download

HERE

Because it’s Valentine’s month, I’m offering it for $1.99 through the 14th.
(The price will go up quite a bit after then)

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So breathe deeply, relax, smile, and pull out your sharpest colored pencils for this batch!

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The best part is that you don’t have to go anywhere, or wait forever. You can just click the order button, wait for the payment to go through (it might take a minute or two) then download and print off your designs.

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a little gift – coloring pages for you

snow2016We are “snowed in” here in North Carolina. I have to laugh because there has been barely a coating of ice and snow – nothing compared to the feet and feet of snow that are north of us. Still, the lack of snow tires and clearing equipment, not to mention the inexperience of many southern drivers with icy roads, it’s better to stay home and enjoy it.

Enjoy it I have!

heart_nouveau_00Thank heaven that we kept power. A little explanation of that can be found at the bottom of the post. I spent some lovely days and late into the night playing with the celtic knots I’ve been drafting.

heart_nouveau_09What do you think? Got a hankering for coloring? I’ve created four PDF downloads, each with ten kaleidoscopes and tiled patterns made from one celtic knot. Heart Nouveau is ready to go but the other three are desperate for a clever name. Anyone got ideas?

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Would you like to try them out? I’ve made a sample page for you to download from each set. Happy coloring!!!

Click HERE to download the Heart Nouveau PDF sample

Click HERE to download the Pointy Knot PDF sample

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Click HERE to download the Loopy Knot sample

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Click HERE to download the Deco Knot PDF sample

coloring3A little explanation about the southern landscape and ice and power: even with so little snow and ice thousands of people in our area lost power. A large part of the beautiful green that is the south is made up of Southern White Pine. It grows 6′ per year – very soft wood. It looses all it’s lower branches as it grows so it is very top heavy. Bad combination with ice as these 80′ trees tend to fall on everything – especially power lines.

playing with pictures – favorite apps

kinard_feathers_01original

kinard_feathers_03Snapseed

kinard_feathers_04Paper Camera 1

kinard_feathers_05Paper Camera 2

kinard_feathers_07Maku Hanga

Waterlogue

tutorial: valentine’s day origami heart garland

kinard_origami_heart_garland3If you missed the tutorial on how to fold these sweet little origami hearts, just scroll down. The post should be right next to this one.

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Here is a short video showing how I strung the hearts together to make a garland. I’ve used pearl cotton embroidery thread but you can use whatever decorative cord you wish.

 I had extra painted pages so I thought I’d package them up for you.

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I have just a few packs. 5 sheets each – just shy of 4″ x 8″each. Red on one side and white on the other.  I threw in some pearle cotton and a needle so you don’t even have to hunt around to find something to string your hearts onto.

$12.00 plus $1.50 shipping (US only)

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tutorial: valentine’s day origami heart

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I thought I’d share a sweet and very doable project with you for Valentines day. This easily folded (I promise!) origami heart has a lovely little flower in its center.

kinard_origami_heart_garland4I have a collection of sheet music that I use for collage and origami projects. These pages were painted red on one side and white on the back.

Here is a quick (under 5 minutes) video of folding the hearts.

 

Tomorrow I will post a short video of how I strung them together.

 

 I had extra painted pages so I thought I’d package them up for you.

kinard_painted_paper1

I have just a few packs. 5 sheets each – just shy of 4″ x 8″each. Red on one side and white on the other.  I threw in some pearle cotton and a needle so you don’t even have to hunt around to find something to string your hearts onto.

$12.00 plus $1.50 shipping (US only)

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kinard_origami_heart_garland2 

work in progress: screen printing mill wheels

The days I get to spend in the studio are few and far between… but they make me happy.IMG_8307

A morning spent on photoshop turns a photo into a screen for printing.
(You can see my tutorial for doing that here)IMG_8267

An afternoon spent going back and forth between discharge printing and (ack!) accounting while I waited for the stuff to dry so that I could print the in-between prints on the grid.FullSizeRender-1

I enjoy seeing the potential as each piece emerges – these are just two bits of the yardage I worked on.FullSizeRender-2

a peek through my sketchbook

This is one of the moleskin sketchbooks I’ve been using for drafting celtic knots.

Enjoy!

 

work in progress

The days I get to spend in the studio are few and far between… but they make me happy.IMG_8307

 

A morning spent on photoshop turns a photo into a screen for printing.
(You can see my tutorial for doing that here)IMG_8267

An afternoon spent going back and forth between discharge printing and (ack!) accounting while I waited for the stuff to dry so that I could print the in-between prints on the grid.FullSizeRender-1

 

origami earrings

Over the holiday a few of my children and I would spend time here and there folding origami paper into this and that. Stars, flowers, birds, and hearts were the most popular.JPEG image-A6C0F0289372-1

I got a little carried away and decided to see if I could make some miniature cranes and then make them into earrings. Want some? I made a pair in my favorite color then made several extra.

kinard_origami_crane_earrings_blue3$20 includes domestic shipping – purchase this pair here.

 

Each pair measures about 1.5″ from beak to tail and hangs at about 1″ from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the crane.

You can purchase the white origami crane earrings here for $20 (includes domestic shipping)

 

kinard_origami_crane_earrings_grey1You can purchase the grey origami crane earrings HERE for $20 (includes domestic shipping.)

 

kinard_origami_crane_earrings_pple4You can purchase the purple origami crane earrings here for $20 (includes domestic shipping)

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a list for last year

Every few years I make a year-end accomplishment list – it’s much easier than making a list of goals for the new year.

Best of 2015

Weekend getaway to ft. Lauderdale Fl with the most amazing man on earth. We bring home a shell from most beach trips. This bit of coral got all dressed up because it was such a special time to remember.JPEG image-B33B5C305D94-1

Joined my neighborhood quilt bee. Friends who also love fabric are the best. They also do things like actually love and use and finish all of those UFO’s from 20 years ago that I know I’ll never get to. I absolutely love giving away things to people who I know will love them.

Entered a few quilt shows and won awards at MAQF and MQS.JPEG image-DBC56C54B465-1

Spent a weekend with both of my grown daughters in UT.

Preset Style = Bold Format = Medium Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = High Contrast Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Medium

Traveled to and taught in NC, SC, GA, OR, AZ, CA, TX.

Saw my wonderful in-laws in Tucson, my brother’s family in CA, and my sister’s family in Portland. I wouldn’t have been able to see them if I weren’t teaching. I love my job.FullSizeRender-19

Taught in Canada for the first time. Victoria, BC is a little slice of heaven on earth.victoria)kinard

Spent an absolutely amazing few weeks with my daughter in Paris and Greece. The trip of a lifetime!Notre_Dame_02

Spent many hours researching ADD (inattentive type) as well as depression. Spent hours with a couple of my children at doctors/psychologists/psychiatrists. One child is thriving and the other is still making it and has NOT flunked out of school. Whew. I consider these my most hard fought accomplishments of the year.

Since April I’ve spent between 10 and 30 hours per week serving the wonderful women in my congregation as the Relief Society President. I have grown to love these sisters fiercely! No matter how exhausted I am at the end of the week, I know I’ve spent it well.IMG_0859

 

 

happy new year

I wish you a year full of love, light, joy and peace.

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This past year has been a time of learning for me. I’ve only been able to keep the bare minimum afloat with my teaching – obviously the blog has suffered. My art has taken a far second place to family and church responsibilities. There has been a lot to deal with. Through it all I have been slowly learning to find peace. It most certainly does NOT come from my circumstances. It comes from learning to calm myself and find the love and light and joy that is there when I open my eyes to see it. It is not a natural ability for me to slow down and breathe and be grateful – but I’m learning.

tutorial: origami 5 part star

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And here are step by step photos if you weren’t quick enough to fold along with the video.
Seriously – all you need is a little more caffeine to go that fast, right!?

kinard_5pt_star_tute1Begin with 5 rectangles (half a square)

kinard_5pt_star_tute2Fold one rectangle in half the long way

kinard_5pt_star_tute3Unfold and fold two corners in to meet the line

kinard_5pt_star_tute4Fold one corner in on the other side

kinard_5pt_star_tute5Fold your point in to meet that corner

kinard_5pt_star_tute6flip the paper over and unfold that one corner

kinard_5pt_star_tute7fold the two corners in to meet the center line again

kinard_5pt_star_tute8repeat, folding in the two corners again
(it feels like a paper airplane)

kinard_5pt_star_tute9flip the paper over again so you can see the pointed flap

kinard_5pt_star_tute11fold the flat edge up under the flap

kinard_5pt_star_tute12repeat, folding the edge up again

kinard_5pt_star_tute13repeat again, creasing the fold tightly

kinard_5pt_star_tute14make five more of these units

kinard_5pt_star_tute16take two units, and notice the pocket here

kinard_5pt_star_tute17slide one unit’s strip into that pocket

kinard_5pt_star_tute18flip the units over

kinard_5pt_star_tute19tuck the second strip into the back/point pocket

Kinard_origami_5pt_star1repeat with the rest of the units until all five are tucked into each other.

TA DA!!!!

Kinard_origami_5pt_star3This star works perfectly with paper money.
If you are giving cash as a gift this is a lovely way to do it.

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It looks just as pretty from the back.

 

 

tutorial: felted wool ornaments

I’d like to point you towards Judy Coates Perez’ sweet little tutorial for making felted wool ornaments.
You can find her instructions here.

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tutorial: braided corona star

I spent half a day ignoring all the “shoulds” on my list.
The result was this spectacular piece of origami.Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star6

Braided Corona Star
origami designed by Maria Sinayskaya

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I have a collection of old sheet music that I use for just such purposes.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star1For this project I used 8 pages. Four were painted red, four white. The back of all 8 were painted gold.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star9After the paint dried I ironed each sheet nice and flat then cut them perfectly square.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star4There were several steps along the way with this star where I was completely smitten…

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star5… in love with the geometry and beauty of this feat of simple yet complex engineering.

You can find Maria’s step by step and easy to follow video tutorial here:
http://goorigami.com/modular-origami/braided-corona-star/4832

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star8
I went back in with more paint after the star was finished and cleaned up some of my messy paint.

Glitter, Glisten, Glimmer: Beaded Ornament Tutorial

 
Let’s make a lovely little ornament.
I’m using Miyuki twisted bugle beads, number 6, 11, and 15 seed beads, and a felt ball.
I use a #11 straw or applique needle and Nymo or Sylamide beading thread.
 
Knot your thread –  push it straight through then knot on the other end just to be safe. Trim the tail.
Place a #6 bead on the needle, slide it down, then pick up a #11 on the needle without sliding it down. 
 
Stick the needle back down through the #6 hole then straight out through the other side. 
 
Make a knot there to be safe then make this same little stack at each pole and on each of the four directions of your little globe.
After you’ve made your six stacks, make a knot as close to underneath the bead as possible. If your thread is too short get another one ready. 
 
Load on a #11, a bugle, and another #11 – keep the  last bead on the needle. Slide the needle back through the bugle and bottom seed bead and come out on the other side of the #6.

Make six of these bugle stacks around the #6 stack.

After making six of these bugle stacks send your needle through the felt ball to the next #6 bead stack and repeat the process around each center bead.
Make knots fairly often to secure your thread by taking a little bite of the felt ball as close to underneath a bead as you can. Leave the needle half way through.
 
Wrap the thread around the front end of the needle, hold the wrap there with your finger, then pull the needle through.
Send your needle through one of your seed/bugle stacks – you can catch the top bead after you’ve pulled the needle through if you miss it on the first pass. 
Pick up a bugle bead then send your needle through the seed bead on the top of the next stack in the circle. 
Add a bugle between each of the stacks without going back down to the felt ball. Just hop from one seed bead on the top of a bugle to the next. 
 
When you get to the last seed bead, go through it again, and through the bugle and the next seed bead.
Take your needle back down to the felt ball through the bugle and seed bead, bringing the needle back up under the next #6 bead.
Repeat the process of adding a bugle between each stack until you have a lovely hexagon around each #6 bead stack center thingie. (Yes – “thingie” is a technical term.)
Make sure you have plenty of thread to make a loop, doubled thread is a good option here. Bring your needle up through one of those big #6 bead center thingies, and add lots of little tiny #15 seed beads until you have a string of them long enough to make a hanging loop.
Take your needle back down through the #6 stack and bring it out as close under one of the other hexagon bead formations as you can. 

Do the knot thing, in fact knot it twice for good measure. Send the needle anywhere through the felt ball and then trim the tail. 
 
Viola! 
 
Something beautiful to hang on your tree, or in your window, or on your rear-view mirror.
 
If you don’t happen to have those dazzling twisted bugles in your stash – no worries.
I’ve put together kits for you with everything you need to make your own ornament.
Each kit includes one felt ball, all the beads you need, a spool of nymo beading thread and a needle.

 

 Shipping within the U.S. is free.

Choose your color

 
And if you liked this tutorial, you will love my DVD.
It’s 90 minutes of blissful beading play time and full of inspiration.
Learn to apply beads to fabric and make your own wonderful works of art.
Pop it in your computer and print out a PDF pattern for the floral quilt on the cover.
 
$24.95 + $5.50 shipping

 

tutorial: origami 8 part star “robin”

I love origami. Because I also love music I get a kick out of folding ornaments out of a few old piano books I found. It still feels a little sacrilegious to cut them up but the results are a thing of beauty.

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Play along with me as I create this star


The origami Robin Star was designed by Maria Sinayskaya

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Here is the star with plain, rather than gold painted paper.

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And here is the star folded in variation #2 as shown in 
this most excellent diagram
http://goorigami.com/diagrams/robin-star

Tutorial: Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

This December I hope to post and point you to some lovely tutorials.
Let’s make stuff – bring beauty and light into a world that needs it!

Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

My children and I were playing around with scissors and paper – it happens every year about this time. We came up with some wonderful variations on snowflakes and I fancied them up for you. Enjoy!

Choose your material – paper, interfacing, whatever you have about. I’ve used some old sheet music and Lutrador.

Cut out squares – I liked mine 4″ as a tree ornament. The kids and I used regular paper and made them much larger. Experiment!

I wanted to brighten up the yellowed paper so I brushed some gesso over it. You could use any white paint you have lying about. This isn’t necessary if your material is white to begin with and it’s optional even if it isn’t.

The paper curls if you only paint one side. No worries. Let the paint dry then iron it flat.

Fold your square corner to corner and crease the edge. (I’m showing you the Lutrador now.)

Fold again, corner to corner and crease the edge.

Fold one last time, corner to corner. DO NOT crease this edge – keep it soft.

Find the side with all the edges showing (from the last picture) and cut a simple wave along the top.

Now find the edge with a few folds on it and cut a couple of shallow shapes from it, leaving some of the edge intact. Leave the corners alone too – don’t cut them off.

On the last edge you should only be able to see one fold. Get fancy with your scissor here and cut a few deep shapes but leave part of the edge intact.

Open up your four sided snowflake and snip from each corner almost (but not quite) to the middle.

Hunt around for whatever you have that will stiffen up the paper or interfacing (or cloth, or stabilizer) your are using.

Brush or spray it on both sides. Be gentle.

Now for the fun part. Find some glitter (this is fancy micro-fine stuff) and sprinkle it on while your stiff-stuff is still wet.

Find a needle and some thread or embroidery floss. Double the thread and make a knot in the end. Pull it through the center then through one of the corners as shown.

Pull that corner down the thread until it meets the center then work your way to the other three corners, doing the same thing.

Make a knot in the thread then cut it. You could add a button here to fancy it up or simply tape, glue (then clamp until it dries) or staple the corners in to make it simpler.

Use the embroidery floss, or thread and poke your needle into the tip and make a loop for hanging the ornament. To make it super simple you could tape the loop on or even use an ornament hook.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! 

celtic snowflake

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celtic snowflake 1 options

options

 

Celtic Snowflake Thermofax Screen

Large = 7″ x 8″, Medium = 4″ x 4.5″, Small = 2.6″ x 3″

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$5.00 $6.00 $10.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$7.00 $9.00 $15.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$9.00 $13.00 $18.00

christmas simplified

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me Matt. 25:40

It’s that time of the year when America seems to do an odd thing. We develop a split personality. We fuss and stress and go way overboard spending money on truly unnecessary gifts that often go unappreciated. We give more to charities than at other times of the year, we smile, we are willing to be patient and kind to perfect strangers.

Which way do you want to be?

December has become my favorite time of year because we have worked very hard to make Christmas meaningful. We deliberately cut out everything that was stressful and didn’t bring our family together. We try each year to do as many of the things we find wonderful as we have energy for-  and then let the rest slide right on by without any feelings of guilt.

This is what we do to Christmas meaningful. I can imagine that the list would be different for every family.

MUSIC – Several of us play together in a Messiah Orchestra – that’s one of my favorites. There are Christmas Parades where we cheer our children as they march with their school bands. There are school concerts and recitals. I pull down my Mountain Dulcimers (these were custom made by Ron Ewing) and play Christmas music in the evenings. Sometimes we host a neighborhood caroling party – firepit blazing in the cul-du-sac, hot chocolate, and of course singing. It can be pretty rag-tag but we enjoy it.

NATIVITIES – We wait to set up our own collection of nativity sets so that they can first be displayed at the Apex Nativity Celebration. As a gift to the community our church spends a week setting up hundreds of nativity sets from around the world. For three days Thu/Fri/Sat the 10th/11th/12th there is live music (that’s where we get to play the Messiah for a sing-along) and a beautiful reminder of the precious gift we are celebrating. Once our own nativity sets (we have lots) are up in the house, three of our wise men go on a journey day by day. The kids have to find where they are each morning.

GIFTS – Each of the children pull a name from the “Angel Tree” at their school and the kids help me do the shopping for a child in need. I make sure they know we are spending more money on others than we are spending on them. They learn that we are very blessed materially and there are others who have much, much less. Our children receive one gift each, after all it’s not their birthday. We are celebrating Christ’s birthday. What is the best gift we can give him? To love and serve others.

Some years they buy or make gifts for each other but we don’t stress about it. Among extended family members sometimes we trade names, sometimes we don’t exchange gifts at all. We are all very far away from each other so we make sure to call and spend time talking together. Some years (my favorite!) we choose a common childhood memory and each write out version of it.

MAKING THINGS – We love gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers (because baking gingerbread is one step too many for me these days.) We cut out lots of paper snowflakes (come back on the 6th for a Christmas tutorial –  a fun variation on this theme.) Sometimes we bake. Sometimes we decorate. Often our decorating looks like this. No matter. There are more important things to fuss about and with young children about there isn’t time for perfection.

Tell me how you choose to spend this season? 

celtic wreaths

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Celtic Wreath LOOPY options

 

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Celtic Wreath SPIKED options

 

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Celtic Wreath DECO options

 

Large Wreaths = 7″ x 7″
Medium Wreaths = 4″ x 4″
Small Wreaths = 3″ x 3″

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

celtic star thermofax screens

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Celtic Star DECO options

Large Stars = 7″ x 9″
Medium Stars = 4″ x 4.5″
Small Stars = 3″ x 3.4″

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Celtic Star QUILTY options

 

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Celtic Star WREATH options

 

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

travel: royal british columbia museum

On a recent trip to Victoria, B.C. I had the privilege of spending an afternoon in the Royal British Columbia Museum. I spent most of my time in the First Nations exhibits.

kinard_royal_bcMuseum1I have a thing for frogs.

kinard_royal_bcMuseum3To my delight, so do the First Nations of Victoria, B.C.

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kinard_victoriaThe legislature building – feels very old school european

gratitude – beauty on my travels

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

color in the rain

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wall to wall windows with rocking chairs in the Seattle airport

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best seafood chowder I’ve ever had in Victoria, B.C.
(mussels, clams, salmon, prawns, shrimp)

Preset Style = Bold Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = High Contrast Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Medium Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Super Funky Squash to brighten a fall day

(original photographs, snapseed  & waterlogue apps)

See me on the quilt show!!!

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As promised – here is a link for you to enjoy watching
The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson

@ Gregory Case Photography

From November 15 through the 22nd you can watch the show and explore everything on the site for free. There are classrooms and instructional videos to take a look at (including my Bead It Like You Mean It DVD), many fabulous guests to meet on the shows, and lots and lots of beautiful quilts to peruse. Enjoy!!!!

foil for fabric

Ready to SHINE?
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Five sheets of metallic foil, 5″ x 12 silver, gold, copper, purple, turquoise
1 oz jar of foil adhesive (plenty to last!)

    Foil For Fabric    
$5

    Gray Glue for Foil    
$3

 

Fast! Fun! Fabulous!

Foil can be applied to cloth any way that you apply paint: screen printed, brushed, stamped, stenciled. You are limited only by your imagination.

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  • Use washed and ironed cloth
  • Any fiber is acceptable as long as it can be ironed on “hot!”
  • Foil will adhere better to smoother, tightly woven fabrics

Gray Glue

  • Glue can be applied to your cloth any way that you can apply paint
  • print with stamps, screen print (make sure to wash screens quickly as glue dries very quickly), stencil, brush
  • Printing on cloth works best if you use a padded print surface such as a piece of craft felt
  • Allow gray glue to dry completely, overnight is best for thicker applications
  • A hair dryer can speed up the drying process

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Foil

  • Lay a a solid heat proof surface such as a metal cookie sheet on top of your ironing board
  • Lay your fabric, glue side up onto the metal sheet
  • Lay foil COLOR SIDE UP on top of the glue
  • Use a piece of parchment on top to protect the foil until you figure out how hot your iron is
  • Scrape firmly with the edge of your iron, cotton setting – both heat and pressure are required
  • Let the fabric cool then peel away foil
  • Move foil and repeat the process for any areas that did not transfer
  • You can use the foil over and over until the foil sheet is entirely used up
  • Foil adhered to fabric is gently machine washable

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Tutorial: how to draw a Celtic knot

As promised… here is a video tutorial for how to puzzle out the celtic knots I’ve been playing with.

 

In the meantime…

image image image image image imageI challenge you to give it a try! If we are Facebook friends (we really should be if we aren’t already) post your results and tag me. Share the link!

international quilt festival – coming up for air

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. There has been a lot of life happening. A LOT! On top of things at home I spent several weeks struggling to prepare to teach six classes, one lecture and two samplers at the International Quilt Festival. That’s a lot of kits to prepare, samples to make, merchandise to ship, and plans to make.thumb_IMG_7985_1024I have a million pictures I can share – and hope to find time to do so. But first I have to show you my pieces in the exhibits. It was SUCH an honor to have quilts included in this venue. The best of the best are here. Above you can see my piece in Affinity. The quality of this exhibit is truly breathtaking. More later.thumb_IMG_8119_1024These are my two entries in the “painted surface” category. The portrait was originally entered in the “people” category but the show moved it. Who knows why? I suppose it IS painted.

my work on the cover!!!

I’m a cover girl!!!!!

Can you tell I’m a little giddy with excitement?
My work has been published in many books and magazines but has never made it to the cover.

affinity 2015  The exhibition that this book catalogs

AFFINITY
by the Dinner at Eight Artists

will open at the end of next week
October 24 – November 1st in Houston TexasEssence_full_webat the 
International Quilt Festival and Market

The catalog is available for $15.00 on Amazon 

travel: paris street fashion

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skinny checked pants, jacket, bare ankles on the one hand, casual attire on the other. But always well groomed.

I’m taking a few minutes here and there to go back through my pictures of the trip I took this spring to Paris and Greece. It’s a fun way to bring back memories. My daughter Avia and I would sit at a street cafe and I, at least, loved to watch people walk by. We were in a lot of tourist areas and I thought for sure I’d see a stark difference between the well dressed french and the scruffy americans but that wasn’t the case. I’d mark someone in tennis shoes and a baseball cap as a tourist and then hear them speak the fluid native tongue. Although, men in checked pants, bare ankles, and a suit jacket were always very French. And if there was facial hair it was pretty much always impeccably groomed.

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A dapper man, straight from the 40’s?

I have a question. Do you obsess about what to wear when you travel, especially abroad? Not like I have vast experience with traveling abroad. I’ve always loved clothes and also LOVE to travel as light as possible. And I’ve alway read about how the French are impeccably dressed and groomed. So I spent ages of brain time figuring out what to wear.

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I saw more red and pink pants on men, and “man-purses”! I loved that French men loved color.

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Shorts and sportcoats. It was a thing.

I was in a border town for half a day many many years ago when I traveled around Germany on my own right after college. I think it was Strasbourg? The town literally straddled the border so half was French and half was German. I distinctly remember that on the german side the people were rather un-groomed and often slightly unwashed but the environment was impeccable. Buildings, windows, streets – all scrubbed clean and a box full of flowers in every window.

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Tux Shorts? Not sure that should be a thing.

Just over the border on the French side the environment was positively grungy with dirty buildings, cigarette butts everywhere on the ground – and dog poop. But the people looked like they all had stepped out of a fashion magazine, and they smelled like perfume. No practical shoes anywhere. 

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Long white beard, one glove, very pointy shoes, leather jacket and top hat. Unique even for Paris.

Funny but I didn’t notice the women being any different from American women in any large city on this trip. The men were definitely better groomed and seemed more free to wear color. I like the groomed look – guess I’m not a fan of the current american shaggy beard look.

Do you think he was a stay-at-home dad or just on his way home from work and waiting to meet his wife at the park? Nice shoes!

Do you think he was a stay-at-home dad or just on his way home from work and waiting to meet his wife at the park? Nice shoes!

The picture that got away? A picture of a very well dressed couple walking down the street holding hands. Very upscale business casual. She was in a very nice spring dress and heels with a fancy handbag and jewelry. He was in a button down, tie, dress shoes and socks…. and a straight denim miniskirt.

Again – I love places where people freely where whatever they darn well please! 

student work: once in a blue moon

Susan Brubaker Knap and I taught for three days at our Once in a Blue Moon retreat. Each student had a day and a half with one of us then switched. Susan taught photo realistic painting techniques and I taught abstract design principles. Opposite ends of the spectrum. These abstract designs might appear to be quite simple and perhaps they are. But each is completely unique, a new and hard-won idea. I think many of the students progressed far on their journey towards original design and abstract thought. Each worked hard to learn and understand the underlying principles of the visual language.

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Once In A Blue Moon

I love the mountains and stately old buildings nestled in their quiet spaces.OIABM1rMost students stayed in the lodge, rather than this place up the hill. It turned out to be perfect as they were just down the hall from their classrooms.

I love quilters and artists and brave souls who try new things.FullSizeRender-10Because of the rain we opted for indoor activities such as this blind contour drawing exercise. Snug and warm in comfy chairs instead of hiking out in the wet.

I love autumn colors.leaf

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I love the fabulous work shared by so many fabulous ladies at our show-off evening!FullSizeRender-6

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THANK YOU to all of the wonderful women who shared a few days with Susan Brubaker Knapp and I at last week’s Once In A Blue Moon retreat!

Tomorrow I’m going to show off student work from our Abstract-A-Licious workshop.

new work: names and choices

I finished up this little piece – sort of – while at the Lake Norman Quilt Show.IMG_6221

A little play time and I added some beaded wings – but I can’t decide if I want to keep them.
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What do you think?IMG_6220

And do you have any suggestions for a title?

lake norman quilt show (and having a cohesive voice)

Earlier this summer I was the featured artist at the Lake Norman Quilt Show.  I was stationed right at the main entrance and got to chat with many delightful visitors.IMG_6195

It was a delightful weekend. Most of the visitors seemed to be unfamiliar with the art side of quilting so I had a great time exposing them to something new

I re-learned something I already knew. If I ever want to have a solo show I need to start working in a series. I like all the different kinds of work I’ve made, and each looks like MY work…. but. It lacks cohesionIMG_6206

Having hung numerous juried exhibits I know how important having a cohesive visual whole is to the success of any exhibit. That Oooooh! factor when people walk in and see a beautifully curated group of art is worth the effort. The combined effect of the parts becomes greater than each of the pieces could be on their own.IMG_6204

I have, in fact, been invited to be part of a five person show at a museum next year (more information on that later). Imagine a wall full of portraits – looking at each other. Or a colorful series of variations on the XOX kisses and hugs theme. 

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I have so many directions to choose from – that’s the hardest part. Which cartoon was it where the character stood there saying “Which way should I go? Which way should I go?”

sketching faces

It’s been a long time since I’ve sketched, but I downloaded Pam Carriker’s new book Mixed Media Portraits before a recent trip and got a little bit inspired.

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Student Spotlight: valley quiltmakers

I’m the luckiest person alive – to have a career where I get to travel and play with quilters.IMG_6895Last week I was in southern California with several guilds and enjoyed their heat wave and humidity – which to me felt lovely and dry.IMG_6893The Valley Quiltmakers and I worked with a reverse appliqué technique I call Apli-Punto.IMG_6891Beautiful and complex designs – made easy.IMG_6889Even students who really weren’t sure appliqué was a technique they wanted to explore came away with something wonderful.IMG_6894And what fun – playing with beautiful colors and shapes!

travel: paris – doors

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The Association of Parisian Grocers.
At least when the building was constructed, who knows who is there now?Pars_doors_16

This is a gorgeous door and set from the Musee du Orsay.

a little bit of art

Sigh. The first week of school happened last week. I’m up at 5:30 every day and it’s amazing how much I’m getting done in those first several hours of the day. Back to my yoga classes, and back to…. the studio.

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These sweet little 4×6 postcards should have been done three weeks ago and really it should only have taken me a day and a half to print the cloth and sew them up.

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But I haven’t had a day and a half – or even a few hours – all summer long. Having the kids back in school is bliss.

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These were made as a sweet “thank you” to the featured artists who shared their work with me for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. Go take a peek at their art (and the work of other fine artists who participated in the exercise) in the Reality Warps on-line exhibition.

artist spotlight: gavin aung than

I browse the web on occasion… usually following links from here to there that I’ve seen on Pinterest of Facebook. (There hasn’t been time for that for the past few months.) Every once in a while a gem comes through that is worth watching. 
Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.30.42 PMIt’s a website where inspirational quotes from famous people are adapted into cartoons. The artist, Gavin Aung Than, is a cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit his unfulfilling job at the end of 2011 to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.

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I seriously love his work.

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My kidlets fight over who gets the tear-out poster from his first book. 24x36_500px_largeI just bought a second copy of it so that I could cut out some of the illustrated quotes and tape them to their walls. You can find his posters here.PHOTO_590

He just announced the availability of his second book, Zen Pencils-Volume Two: Dream the Impossible Dream.  I’ve already pre-ordered my two copies. 

It will include my favorite illustration of a quote from Amelia Earheart: The fears are paper tigers. Than’s illustration brings it to life in a way that captured my heart and my mind! C’mon – go look at it now. Then support an artist who is making the world a better place by buying his book. 🙂 You’ll be glad you did!

travel: paris – doors and windows

Sometimes even the simplest door would have a beautiful detail in Paris.Paris_doors_20
And sometimes there was so much detail that I needed to narrow my focus in order to enjoy it.Pars_doors_14

Can you imagine living in a place where a door as beautiful of this almost looks ordinary?Paris_doors_19

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travels: paris, the louvre and funny faces

Another thing that caught my eye and became a wonderfully fun treasure hunt was funny faces. I had one of those halt in my tracks, turn back and try to keep myself from squealing moments when I chanced upon a set of Archimboldo paintings. Delighting in the wackiness of these portraits sent me off in another direction – finding funny faces. I wasn’t ignoring women here – there just weren’t any women making funny faces in the wings I wandered.FullSizeRender-1

Do me a favor – come up with some hilarious captions for these and I’ll add them to the post.

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Cinq maitres de la Renaissance florentine

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Autoportrait avec un ami (Self portrait with a friend by Raffaello Santi, de Raphael)

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Portrait de deux jeunes hommes (portrait of two young men by anonymous vénitien painter)

“If you pretend you don’t smell anything, they won’t know it was you.”

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La Seance de portrait (the portrait session by Gaspare Traversi)

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David vainqueur de Goliath (David vanquishes Goliath by Guido Reni)

“Yep. All in a day’s work.”

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Portrait d’un graveur en pierres fines (Portrait of a fine stone engraver by Jacopo Carrucci)

“Wait, who took the last cookie!”

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Self Portrait by Jacques-Louis David

“The original duck-lip selfie!”

travels: paris, the louvre and strong women

When there is so much to see, in such a short amount of time, it sometimes helps if you have limited parameters. Instead of trying to see everything – choose one or two things to concentrate on. louvre-women2I didn’t have any particular parameters in mind when I began our peripatetic perusal, but after this powerful woman on a plinth caught my eye. I decided to see how many paintings I could find with powerful women as the main subject. louvre-women5Not Madonna’s – although I think of them as very strong. There were just too many of them. And clothed would be nice. Have you ever stopped to consider the ratio of naked women to men in art museums? Hmmmm.louvre-women3Most all of the paintings with women as the main subject were allegorical in the galleries we visited. No idea what collections we visited. I also don’t remember seeing a lot of “women as sexual objects”. Either I missed those ones or they came later in the art world. I hopped over to the wiki site for the Louvre and of course I missed a great number of works that feature women… some in the “sexual object” category. I also missed Michelangelo’s Dying Slaves. (I think I would have actually fought the crowd to see that one!)

louvre-women1Still, most of what I saw was woman as saint or goddess, or symbol or something otherworldly. I would have loved to see a few Vermeers. Have you seen the film Tim’s Vermeer yet? I recommend it. It is an entertaining and educational hypothesis about an optical device Tim believes Vermeer used to paint his works.louvre-women4Interesting that the only portrait of a real (non-allegorical) woman I saw was painted by a female artist. Elizabeth Lebrun was born in Paris to a portraitist father and by the time she was 16 was painting portraits professionally herself. Click here to go to the wiki page about her. She was a very interesting woman. I don’t remember her being mentioned in my art history class. I wonder how many other interesting women weren’t mentioned in my art history classes? Did you know that 

travels: paris, the louvre – odd bits here and there

Once you start walking through the Louvre you realize how overwhelming such a collection can be. Almost any work here could be a national treasure on it’s own, to be gazed at and appreciated for hours in any smaller museum. But here at the Louvre, when there are hundreds and hundreds of treasures, you start just glancing here and there until something catches your eye. Avia quickly found works that she had recently studied in her art history course.FullSizeRender-29I quickly forgot that this place used to be the palace for the French Royalty. Until I was reminded by a room like this….

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louvre-statue-egyptian-romanHubby and I were talking the other night and I was telling him a little more about the trip. I kind of feel like, “Paris – Check! Greece – honey you’ve GOT to see this!”

That might only be because he loves sun and beaches. Museums – not so much. Because who doesn’t want to travel across the world to see some hellenistic dude dressing up like Pharaoh? Right?

But then we started thinking of all sorts of crazy fun ideas like, “Let’s go spend a season in Paris. You go to Le Cordon Bleu for cooking school, I’ll go see and make art every day.”

louvre-paintingThat idea takes Paris right back into the “when can we go!” category. Sigh. The answer to that question is most likely – after the kids are grown. We have a ways to go there.

Can you imagine being in Paris during the off season, heading off to the Louvre (or any one of the other amazing museums) without the crowds, and tucking yourself in a corner to just really learn from one of your favorites?

louvre-statues4And without the crowds maybe you could laugh out loud when you see these guys contemplating…..

 

It took some hunting but Avia found a piece she had written an essay on last semester. How cool is that!? To see it in real life? In all it’s hugeness? Very cool. 
louvre-avia1Although by the end of the day all you want to do is snap a quick picture to prove you were there and then find somewhere to sit down. It’s all good – a day well spent.

travels: paris, overwhelmed at the Louvre

Once I tore myself away from the stone tablets in the Islamic wing of the Louvre, Avia led the way to one piece she wanted to revisit.FullSizeRender-15

The Winged Victory of Samothrace is, for all it’s incompleteness, is one of the most graceful and beautiful sculptures I’ve ever seen. I wonder if I would have such a visceral reaction to the flowing lines and the feeling of movement and grace if she did have a face?FullSizeRender-13

And I wonder if she is yet another national treasure, spirited away during the Turkish occupation of Greece to a foreign land. Anybody know? She was excavated by the French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau, in 1863 who sent her right away to Paris. Her setting here is certainly magnificent!

I can’t help but think though, if this beauty, and so many of the other magnificent sculptures from ancient Greece were still IN Greece, FullSizeRender-14would there be crowds like this there?

 

The next thing I really remember is turning a corner and gasping for breath thinking – it’s SO beautiful as I looked at a painting/fresco. Then I did the inner gasp thing again, thinking to myself, is this a Botticelli!?FullSizeRender-25

Looked down at the title card and sure enough, there is the name. Coming face to face with favorite works from several college art history classes many many many years ago can be disarming. There truly is no way to capture the essence of a work, especially a large scale work, in the pages of a book. The figures in this fresco were almost life size if I’m remembering correctly.FullSizeRender-25

Then there are works that might make as much of an impact in a book, because they are tiny in real life. And – who wants to fight that crowd to get a glimpse? That was shoulder to shoulder, push your way through. Not my favorite way to see art.IMG_4969 So technically I DID see the Mona Lisa. But no, I didn’t think it was worth it to fight the crowd.

 

travels: paris, the louvre in stone

Everything inside the Louvre is a treasure. The most overlooked artifact there would be a centerpiece of any smaller museum.IMG_4976-1Statues from ancient Greece and Rome..IMG_4975A mosaic on the floor that most people rush by on their way to see that one paintingIMG_4984-1This was Avia’s second time in the Louvre but I think she had mostly spent her time in the Islamic wing. She humored me for a quick trip through where I was inexplicably drawn past exquisite mosaics and tapestries and entranced by stone after stone.IMG_4983

With her French study abroad program she had spent several weeks in Paris studying immigrants in France as well as several weeks in Morocco studying French Colonialism’s effect on North Africa. They had spent weeks analyzing and picking apart cultural biases and interactions.FullSizeRender-5I think it was something of a lightening of spirit to be able to just go and enjoy the beauty of the artifacts.FullSizeRenderHave you ever seen a more beautiful script?FullSizeRenderIf I can find translations somewhere (anyone able to help me search them out?) these might end up as thermofax screens. I wouldn’t want to be disrespectful if they are religious texts. FullSizeRenderI’m hoping for grocery lists or epitaphs. What do you think they are? The pictures are quite heavily digitally edited so that I can see the scripts more clearly. Here is an original for comparison.IMG_4982

travels: paris, entering the louvre

FullSizeRenderIt’s a BIG place. All the exterior pictures I’ve ever seen of the Louvre picture I.M. Pei’s pyramid in the courtyard. I think we might have come in through the back entrance of what was once the Royal Palace. Do you ever wonder what today’s American equivalent of royalty is? We certainly don’t revere our politicians. TV and Movie stars perhaps. Perhaps professional athletes (mostly in Football and Basketball.) I don’t watch TV or sports (no time) so I wouldn’t really know but I get the feeling those people are as spoiled and behave as badly as did the French Royalty. I can imagine what the palace must have been like as one giant stage for the nobles to be seen upon. And don’t ask me how I ended up with a chinese map – is it chinese?Louvre_exterior1I think we must have come in the back door. The big empty dirt yard was a little underwhelming. But the building itself went on forever.Louvre_exterior2In through the first arcade… It was interesting to see all the details, wondering when the lamps were added then thinking, what did they use before lamps and what did that look like?Louvre_exterior3Old and new always butt up against each other. Did they even bother to repair or scrub the buildings before they had cranes? I was thinking that we were in great luck and that the tourists had all decided to stay home that day. Honestly – this place is huge. You can just glimpse I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid through the next arcade. We definitely came in the back door. Every picture I’ve seen of the place showed the pyramid from the other side.Louvre_exterior5I’m not sure if the ugly red box is semi-permanent or not. It might house ticketing booths. I know the other side of that glass holds enormous lines of people from all over the world. Which could be really annoying.Louvre_exterior6Or, if you have the right shoes and the right attitude it could be really fun. The people were honestly as interesting as the art.Louvre_exterior8 Just listening and trying to identify how many languages you can hear at a place like this is an adventure worth taking.Louvre_exterior9With the Paris Museum Pass you can skip the ticket line, but not the security lines. Fortunately those go pretty quickly. Louvre_exterior10And really, it’s worth the wait. Stay tuned for the ART!

travels: paris – on the way to the louvre

Or in this case – on the way to the Louvre. I’ve just decided that I need to print up maps and mark all the places we wandered. I’ve already forgotten a lot of them… or at least where they were on the map. Of course – if you keep your eyes open – many of the most delightful discoveries are on the way to your destination. Or when you are lost.

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paris_pass1paris_pass2I’m not sure if we walked all the way to the Louvre or if we took the Metro. Avia had a pass and we decided that for the time I was there a bundle of 10 tickets was the least expensive option. It was much nicer to just be able to decide on the spur of the moment to hop a train rather than needing to stop and purchase tickets for each part of our last minute journey.

Paris is more than a world class city when it comes to art. It’s paradise! Bring your shoes. And if you go, I recommend the Paris Museum Pass. You can purchase it at varying costs for however many days you will be there. It gave us the freedom and flexibility to pop in and out of some of the smaller places that we would not have wanted to pay for. It also lets you skip a lot of the lines – which is a THING in and of itself.

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But seriously, take your time and look around during the journey instead of focusing entirely on the destination. Everywhere you look there is something really interesting to see. Who built this? What is it? I really want to see what it looks like in there! Don’t you love the asymmetrical awning?
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I wonder if this is a shop or factory? Or is it both? I have never had a desire for name brand stuff and couldn’t spot a Louis Vuitton anything if my life depended on it, but it’s a very lovely building.FullSizeRender-18And this…. I don’t even know what it is or what it says but don’t you wish they made details on buildings like this these days? And finally – we arrive at the Louvre – but are completely distracted by what is across the street. We both love exploring cathedrals. There seems to be one every few blocks in Paris, an embarrassment of architectural riches to be sure. We chose to hit these on our way back – although I don’t remember if we actually ever did.FullSizeRender-23

travel: paris – doors and details

Pars_doors_08How many years does it take for a patina to be created then worn away?

Pars_doors_12This building was somewhere on the way to the Musee’ du Orsay.Pars_doors_013New and old mix everywhere in Paris.
I couldn’t figure out if this was a very exclusive shop or residence.
It’s possible it was both.

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Travels: Paris street art

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travels: paris, the food!

Paris sweets tend to focus their variety on pastries, the cake like specialty cookies that I can’t remember the name of (confiseries – I had to look it up), and of course macarons. All of them are spectacularly beautiful and artistically presented – but I didn’t see a lot of other options either in the tourist areas or the neighborhoods we explored. Every once in a while there was a surprise. See those three chocolate truffles? Served with home made real whipped creme. At the equivalent of a fast food bagel shop!!!! When I ordered it I thought I was just getting one truffle for desert. What a lovely surprise. paris_food15

Then there are the meringues. No pretty ribbed little drops. The meringues are simply big, blobby blobs of sugar, light as air and crispy. They are usually displayed in a bowl on top of the counter. Often they are dusted with cocoa. They were the only sweet that was sweet like Americans like sweet. Which is to say – ridiculously sweet. I saw a couple of them that were the size of a flattened football. They crumble and fall apart when you bite into them so I’m not sure how one would share such a monster.paris_food12This beauty was obviously an exception. Here is Avia in the lovely apartment we rented through AirBnB for the week. (It was wonderful and ideally located by the way!) She had been eyeing this thing for a couple of weeks and neither one of us were quite sure what it was. We knew it was chocolate on the outside so how could one go wrong?paris_food14Other than making a royal mess on the table, the process of discovery was a delight. A meringue coated in a light chocolate whipped cream, dipped in chocolate crackle stuff. Impossible to eat politely and absolutely delicious!

So – I’ve cultivated a love of surprises when it comes to food. I know so many people who only like the same things to eat (one of them lives in my house but I hope he’ll grow out of it.) I suppose if your tummy tends to rebel it would make it hard to like surprises but I think exploring with all my senses is half the adventure of travel! What have been your best (or worst) food surprises when you’ve traveled?

Whimsical Inspirations by Jamie Fingal

There are times you just need to stop. To relax. To breathe. 

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The times I get to actually REST are few and far between for me. Besides the things you see here on this blog I have children at home and other very heavy responsibilities that weigh on my mind all the time.

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Sometimes I need something to take my mind off of things and when my good friend Jamie Fingal published this sweet coloring book for grown ups I ordered one immediately. Of course it took me weeks to find a moment to sit down and just empty my mind and blissfully play with color. The designs are so detailed that it takes just enough concentration to let me forget everything else.

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When I had surgery and was out of commission for weeks a couple of years ago, a dear, sweet friend brought over a brand new set of colored pencils and a Dover coloring book. It was perfect. No pressure. Just mindlessly playing with color. Jamie’s coloring book is even better. Detailed patterns that delight me every time I open the book. Too much for a small child but plenty perfect for the child in me.

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Interested in seeing more? This week more of Jamie’s friends will be sharing what they have done with some of the other coloring pages. I’m looking forward to seeing them myself.

IMG_1227Tuesday, August 4 – Leslie / Watercolors or Markers – Coffee Cups
Wednesday, August 5 – Desiree / Ink Tense Pencils – Trailers
http://myclothesline.blogspot.com
Thursday, August 6 – Deborah / watercolors – Houses
Friday, August 7 – Susan / watercolors – Flowers on Page 3
http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
Saturday, August 8 – Sue / colored pencils – Dresses  
http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

Leave a comment on any of the blog posts. Jamie will be giving away coloring books to two random commenters. (U.S. entries only please – make sure you leave a way of her to get in touch with you!) Why don’t you tell me what it is YOU do when you need to meditate – to chill. Do you color?

Even better – pop over to Jamie’s blog and order your own coloring book and spend some quiet hours meditating with color. Come on…. you know you want to! The order button is right there in to right hand column on her blog. Totally worth it!

travel: paris – le petit musée du chocolat

When you have your eyes open and aren’t glued to a map, or in a hurry to get somewhere, or if you get lost, you find amazing things. IMG_4718

This is straight down the hill from Sacre Ceaur, a big Basilica on a hill in Paris. Two of my favorite things. Chocolate and a Museum. I had read about this place in a guidebook or on a blog somewhere but it wasn’t high enough on the list to seek out. Running into it in passing was a very delightful accident.

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This is just the shop. Crystal chandeliers (and a guy on a ladder polishing them by hand.) And loads and loads of chocolate. 

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We didn’t go downstairs through the museum. It was our last day on our trip and we were winding down. Didn’t want to pay the fee. And – there was enough amazing stuff upstairs to keep us happy for a quick run through. I have a brother who drives a mini, and builds model ships. Guess who this picture made me think of.

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Just so you can compare and see how amazing the detail on this sculpture really was…

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This, of course, was my very favorite. I don’t like scary (no horror films for me!) but I do love things a little weird sometimes and gargoyles are just… cool. Especially when made of chocolate!

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Yes, we bought chocolate. It was good. We brought some home for family. I am very pleased to say that I live in an area of the country where I can find food, and chocolate, just as good as I found in Paris. Rarely as beautifully presented – but not everyplace can be Paris!

travels: paris, the food – it’s all about the presentation

I think the Parisiens are very keyed into the visual language of beauty. They like to dress beautifully, trim their trees into (ridiculous) rectangles so the beautiful view is unobstructed, and every pastry shop was like an art gallery.
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Honestly – look at that display! Everything is just so …. Beautiful!paris_food05

I wonder if they like to just loooooook at all the beautiful food? To many Americans, desensitized by the presence of sweeteners in practically everything we put into our mouths, the taste doesn’t quite live up to the visual. The pastries just aren’t as sweet as American pastries. That’s probably not a bad thing. Oh, and they don’t skimp on butter – ever. I think that when you aren’t constantly eating sugar, and live in a country where the default is walking rather than hopping in a car to get anywhere – that you can eat butter!paris_food01

This lunch was arranged as beautifully on the plate as the pastries in the shop. And here is another wonderfully interesting thing about Paris. See the chairs in the cafe across the street? They are all facing the street. That was more the norm than were we were sitting. I think the people watching is as much part of the experience as the food. I loved it. Except for the fact that smoking is far more accepted there. During this particular meal a guy sitting nearby kept blowing huge puffs of a super stinky cigar our way. 
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This was a chain store – we saw the same place in several touristy areas of town. But still….paris_food16

Pressed tin ceiling, perfectly stacked cookies (what do you call al little cake biscuit thing?) and everything color coordinated.paris_food17

Even the fish market was artfully arranged. It’s all about beauty. Or at least, they care enough to dress even every day things with beautiful arrangements.paris_food06

travels: paris – the food!

One of our favorite things in Paris was to hunt down any sort of treat that was recommended to us. We were told of a great gelato (ice cream) shop in Isle de la Cite’. We found a place, bought a really expensive tiny scoop – and were not really impressed. paris_food19

Walking back along the tiny cobblestone road we found another place, with almost the same name, with a line of loud and rowdy American teenagers (and their loud and rowdy chaperones) and decided we definitely had room for another cone. Avia tried the Poire (pear) and it was truly delicious. Don’t remember what flavor I had. I do remember that we ended up trying Pear flavored gelato whenever we found it on the rest of the trip. This place was definitely better than the first! We ate this cone on the banks of the Seine river at sunset – before racing through the city to catch the twinkling of the Eiffel tower.

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Another favorite, simply for the style, was the shop that turned each cone into a flower. This might be raspberry, basil-lime, and coconut. 

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Another night we were thinking we couldn’t be in Paris and not visit a Fromagerie. (cheese!) This required a little more advanced planning as they keep French hours and close at lunch and in the evening. We were told this was THE best place and that we must try a desert cheese called Fontainebleau. (wow – I just googled the name of the cheese to make sure I was spelling it right and the Barthelemy Fromagerie came up on the list first thing!

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It was great for a very light late dinner of baguette and fresh strawberries. It was sort of like a very, very light whipped ricotta – and my sincerest apologies to cheese experts. To us uneducated (in the world of cheese) Americans that is the closest I could come. Just the tiniest bit sweet – a perfect match to the tartness of the berry.

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Another day we traveled to Maison Pradier to try what we were told were the BEST eclairs. The fun thing about traveling outside the tourist zones is that in Paris, there are no boring strip malls and monotonous suburbs. Every place is an adventure. This place was around the corner from Deroylle… scroll down if you missed this cabinet of curiosities. Every part of the trip was an adventure. I highly recommend that when you travel you TRY NEW THINGS!!!! Sure you can stop by a McDonalds almost anywhere in the world – (URG!) but why would you spend the big bucks to go someplace completely different and do something you can do every day at home. (again – URG!)

Of course, there really is no way to go wrong with the sweets in Paris. Have you been there? What was your favorite?

travels: paris, notre dame – inside

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It’s really, really, really big in there. (And much, much more crowded these days.)IMG_5751

Every nook along the apse (the aisles on either side of the Nave -which is the long central main space)  has beautiful stained glass and a little sanctuary with statues. Each is unique.IMG_5752

I loved Joan of Arc. Fierce woman if ever there was one.IMG_5763The stained glass windows on every level are beautiful. It is impossible to convey the feel and atmosphere of the place.

IMG_5765-1Is that the shadow of an angel – or the hunchback of…. Notre Dame?IMG_5766-1I wish I could read french. Was this really a great man giving to the poor, or was it a rich guy who commissioned a statue to make people think of him as really generous. I really shouldn’t be so cynical. Really I’m not.  Late at night the snarky thoughts just seem to take over my usual pollyanna view of the world.

travel: paris, Notre Dame – west facade

Edeuard Baldus, 1851-1870

Edeuard Baldus, 1851-1870

The facade of the Notre Dame cathedral is truly impressive. There is a LOT of stuff up there. I suppose if most of your population is illiterate that a facade can be read like a really interesting book. Everything has a meaning and was meant to teach the general populace a lesson. I enjoyed reading through this article  with it’s general information. I haven’t had time yet to read through a statue by statue explanation…. Did I mention that there is a LOT of stuff there.IMG_5757

It was a surprise to read that most of the statues were originally painted all sorts of bright colors. (The same is true of ancient greek statuary and temples.) We are so used to the quiet and worn monochrome of age that the very thought sounds really loud and gaudy to me. What it must have been like…..Paris_doors_22For some reason I am drawn to the grotesques. And all the little pedestals that look like little villages and castles. Who are all those saints looking on… standing on the backs of the sinners?IMG_5758

Were they really saints? Were they really sinners? I don’t have a very Catholic world-view I’m afraid. My current favorite saying is “a saint is a sinner who just keeps trying.”IMG_5760

When I look at the statues I mostly think of the dedication and skill of the craftsmen who worked on this structure for their whole lives. Was it a cushy, secure job? How well were they paid? What kind of politics did they deal with? Did they enjoy their labor? Did they get to see it done?

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Can you even imagine the hours spent at the fire and the anvil, banging out each delicate curl and scroll?Pars_doors_09

Winners: Reality Warps

I kind of cringe at that title. EVERYONE who entered was a winner to me, not jus the few who were chosen to appear on air. It takes courage to put yourself out into the public and take a chance. That said, I could only choose a few of the entered artworks to bring with me when I film for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson later in the month. 

Gwyned Trefethen
Dancing Scissors

Jones Strike A Pose

Janice Jones
Strike A Pose

Jacobi Dalsors

Jacquelyn Jacobi
Dalsors

Hoagland Ran With Scissors

Renee Hoagland
Ran With Scissors

Fillon Scissors

Lisa Fillon
Scissors

Boyd Empty Figs

Bill Boyd
Empty Figs

Pat Bishop Burrowing Owl

Pat Bishop
Burrowing Owl

Susan Armour Scissors

Susan Armour
Scissors

These are the small works of art that I will share on air. Each of them showed a mature sense of composition and also represented a wide variety of outcomes that can occur when individual artistry is applied to a set instructions. You can see all the entries of the Reality Warps call for entry here.

Travels: paris, notre dame’s gargoyles

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Painted in Waterlogue

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Painted in Waterlogue

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Painted in Waterlogue

travels: paris, notre dame’s bells

According to Wikipedia, “The cathedral has 10 bells. The largest, Emmanuel, original to 1681, is located in the south tower and weighs just over 13 tons and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services. This bell is always rung first, at least 5 seconds before the rest. Until recently, there were four additional 19th-century bells on wheels in the north tower, which were swing chimed. These bells were meant to replace nine which were removed from the cathedral during the Revolution and were rung for various services and festivals. The bells were once rung by hand before electric motors allowed them to be rung without manual labor. When it was discovered that the size of the bells could cause the entire building to vibrate, threatening its structural integrity, they were taken out of use. The bells also had external hammers for tune playing from a small clavier.”IMG_5716

“On the night of 24 August 1944 as the Île de la Cité was taken by an advance column of French and Allied armoured troops and elements of the Resistance, it was the tolling of the Emmanuel that announced to the city that its liberation was under way.”

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“In early 2012, as part of a €2 million project, the four old bells in the north tower were deemed unsatisfactory and removed. The plan originally was to melt them down and recast new bells from the material. However, a legal challenge resulted in the bells being saved in extremis at the foundry.[11] As of early 2013, they are still merely set aside until their fate is decided. A set of 8 new bells was cast by the same foundry in Normandy that had cast the four in 1856. At the same time, a much larger bell called Marie was cast in the Netherlands—it now hangs with Emmanuel in the south tower. The 9 new bells, which were delivered to the cathedral at the same time (31 January 2013),[12] are designed to replicate the quality and tone of the cathedral’s original bells.”

travels: paris, notre dame’s towers

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Climbing towers – being UP – one of my very favorite things ever. Every time I travel my most memorable memories are climbing to the top of things. Or at least the view once I get there.

IMG_5722Waiting in lines – NOT my favorite thing. Hers neither. And this was one LONG line. I suggest either get there first thing in the morning, or wait until a time of day when the line is in the shade.

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The views as you wait are wonderful if you take a moment to look.

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We finally made it to the little red door.IMG_5720And then – up and up and up and up and up and up…..

IMG_5719But the views are SO worth the climb! This is looking North – the hill is Montmartre and Sacre Caeur.

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Another view North of the bell tower.

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The Seine.

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = Medium Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light

I thought I would be spending time with my watercolor sketchbook, sitting at cafes while I was traveling. I didn’t. Too many things to see, and then too exhausted to think. My Waterlogue app did plenty of painting for me.

travels: paris, notre dame

Notre_Dame_01One of the subjects I studied in college was architecture. It took a while to dredge up the names of the parts of a cathedral, but no time at all to realize that seeing and walking through the structure in person cannot compare to looking at pictures in a book. I knew this and wanted more than anything to do a study abroad program in architecture back then. Better late than never!Notre_Dame_08Notre Dame is THE cathedral you study when you learn about Gothic Architecture, which is characterized by pointed arches,Notre_Dame_02ribbed vaults,

IMG_5704 and flying buttresses.

IMG_5706Notre Dame was the first structure to use this innovative support system – out of necessity after the walls, growing ever higher, started to develop stress fractures. It took 185 years to build, finished in 1345. IMG_5705

Notre Dame is also known for the naturalism of it’s sculptures.Notre_Dame_04

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Notre_Dame_03(Somebody in this picture had a rough day.)

Notre_Dame_06I love it for the Gargoyles and Chimeras. 
(Lots more pictures to come – interior, the view from the tower, gargoyles!)

travels: paris, the bird and flower markets

Every Sunday, just east of Notre Dame next to the Isle de la Cite metro stopparis-bird_market10… you will find the Paris Bird and Flower markets.paris-bird_market06The flower markets are a permanent fixture although I’m not sure they are open every day.

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The bird market is a Sunday morning only thing.paris-bird_market04I suppose in a city without Petsmart type big box stores, buying your regular supplies for your pet parakeet requires a bit more planning. paris-bird_market07I didn’t see any more unusual birds than you would find at a pet shop in the US. Except maybe the chickens. (Can you find one?)paris-bird_market12

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I did see some unusual people.paris-bird_market03

I was impressed that she could ride a scooter in heels and a mini skirt – with a bird. I half kill myself on scooters – even with a helmet and sensible shoes.

travel: paris – doors and windows

To be in a place, a building, people have inhabited for decades or centuries….Pars_doors_17It makes you think.
How do they keep the building from falling down (or the Wisteria from tearing it up)?Pars_doors_15I wonder who touched these handles and what were they thinking?Pars_doors_10Who created these works of art?
Pars_doors_11Who walked here?
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travels: paris, deyrolle – a cabinet of curiosities

IMG_3784Please see the previous post if you missed the introduction to this amazing shop in Paris.

Deyrolle is a cabinet of curiosities full of wonder and – when I walked into the entymology section – absolute delight! Underneath these display boxes are row upon row of drawers filled with specimens.

 

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The specimens were not simply displayed as a collection. Each box, each display and framed piece on the wall was a work of art.IMG_5663

Of course I happen to think that the living insect world is full of tiny works of art all by themselves. I could have spent the entire day photographing every specimen they have.IMG_3786

What artist could create jewels as beautiful as these?IMG_3779

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The artist Jean-Luc Maniouloux had several works on the wall that ought my eye. The shattered light bulb (is that a bee or a bullet?) was my favorite.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.jean-lucmaniouloux.com/&prev=search

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I could spend hours on the Deyrolle pinterest page.
Now I need a month or two of completely uninterrupted time in order to create a vast series of works celebrating the beauties of the insect world. Anyone want to come take my place for a while? Sigh. If only….

travels: paris, deroylle – a cabinet of curiosities

IMG_3784My daughter and extremely competent tour guide, Avia, had already been abroad in Morocco and Paris for a few weeks before I arrived. When one of her study-abroad group said “you have to stop by this shop – the best eclairs ever – and oh, by the way, there is a cabinet of curiosities shop nearby” – off we went! IMG_5665Avia just might be the world’s foremost expert on judging the quality of an eclair. She notices and has a reasoned opinion about every part of the pastry. She judged these as very good – but not the best she had tasted in Paris. The curiosity shop, however, was worth a trip to Paris on it’s own merits.

FAIR WARNING: This post contains images of dead and stuffed animals and taxidermy. And skeletons. And maybe bugs and other stuff.

According to their website: “With few exceptions, the stuffed animals in Deyrolle come from zoos, parks or reserves where they died of old age or sickness. The animals were not killed for being naturalized in Deyrolle. All protected species are sold accompanied by a CITES certificate (issued by the Washington Convention), which ensures traceability.”

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Downstairs is a little shop with books and gardening supplies and a few interesting frames with mounted insects on the wall. Upstairs – is a garden of wonder that strikes the visitor full of awe. The employees/artisans worked their magic in an atmosphere of more hushed reverence than any cathedral we visited.
IMG_5659It wasn’t just the lifelike taxidermy, it was the whimsy and artistry of each arrangement. There was something unexpected around every corner. The people who do this aren’t trophy hunters. They are artists who appear to care a great deal for the natural world.

IMG_3795Taurus – with butterflies. Or Papillon if you want to be French.

IMG_3794Creatures in and out of their nice neat shelves.

IMG_3791-1Lobster anyone? The picture doesn’t do this justice. It was the biggest lobster we had ever seen.

IMG_3789Would you believe me if I told you I’d always wanted a bat skeleton – and bird and frog skeletons too. The history of Deyrolle is very interesting. Begun in 1831 by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, it has long been an institution devoted to education. They currently provide scientific wall charts to schools in 120 countries teaching everything from human anatomy to etymology.

IMG_3792Surprise! (um… I did warn you.) In 2008 much of the collection was destroyed by a devastating fire. Even then, art emerged. Artists and photographers documented the remains and effects and if I had room in my luggage I might have purchased the amazing book that resulted. A little creepy and beautiful at the same time.

IMG_3796Does anyone else have heart palpitations when they see cabinets with rows upon rows of drawers of all sizes? The dream studio that lives in my imagination is full of them. It is not full of chickens and elephants. But if it were tall enough it would have a little balcony with a wall to wall library and posters just like these.

Tomorrow I’ll share my photos from the etymology room.

The Deyrolle Website
replete with photos, history, mission, education
46, rue du Bac – 75007 Paris

New Work: Essence

I am greatly honored to be included among the talented list of artists that have work accepted for 

AFFINITY

An exhibit sponsored by the Dinner @8 crew of
Leslie Tucker Jennison
and
Jamie Fingal

Essence_full_webEssence
40″ x 40″
printed, painted, stitched

Essence_detail_web

 

Affinity 

The exhibit will be shown at the International Quilt Market (Oct 24-26) and Festival (Oct 28-Nov 1) in Houston; Sponsored by Havel’s Sewing.
Forty art quilts, 40×40 = 40x40x40

Travels: Paris, the Eiffel tower

Avia and I usually wore ourselves out by early evening and would head in to our apartment to rest and eat a very light dinner of fruit and cheese and of course a baguette. Eiffel_tower0605This night we headed out to find gelato and see the Eiffel twinkle. We (quite literally) ran through Paris and her Metro stations to make it in time for the lighting party. Because it is a party. Be prepared for lots of drunk and obnoxious american college students partying and for a river of men walking by trying to sell you wine.Eiffel_tower0201We made it just in time for the lighting at 10pm with seconds to spare. Avia really wanted to see the tower twinkle but … it just lit up. When it’s barely dusk it doesn’t make a big impact. We waited a bit to see if it would twinkle and decided that it wasn’t going to happen until the next hour.Eiffel_tower0706I decided that if we were going to wait around another 45 minutes we might as well do it in line for the elevator and see the twinkling close up. We did so in the company of another group of mostly drunk but amusing American college students.Eiffel_tower0403I think I wish I were part bird. I simply love being UP. Towers, belfries, hot air balloons. Doesn’t matter as long as I’m way high so I can see everything. Paris is beautiful from the heights.Eiffel_tower0302And – as promised at 11pm the twinkling began.

(You can click here to watch a video!)Eiffel_tower0504Worth it!

 

travels: versailles, petit trianon and hamlet

versailles2Next stop on our Blue Bike Tour of Versailles was the Petit Trianon. First a residence of Madame de Pompadour, a mistress who apparently had some serious privileges – guess kings back then didn’t have to keep such things a secret. Versailles_Petit_TrianonNow it is mostly remembered for the presence of Marie-Antoinette.Marie167It’s just a “little” place to get away from the crowd over in Paris.versailles3

I love to zone in on details and found this doorknob to be one of my favorite things about the place. We weren’t given a long time to explore the place and to be honest, super fancy houses don’t capture my interest so I don’t even remember the rooms.IMG_3422

The gardens might have been lovely but by this time of the day it had gotten quite hot and I didn’t feel like heading out into the open with no shade around. Yup. I’m a wimp sometimes when it comes to the sun – having forgotten sunscreen and having no hat. I ended up with a wicked sunburn anyway.IMG_3414I did love the geometry of this place with diagonally laid floor tiles and a long view through the corridor.IMG_3423Then on to the Hamlet. A little village created to remind Marie-Antoinette of the simple life (which in actuality she never really had lived. Royalty – remember?IMG_3410The vista was charming and the swan seriously added to the feeling of – wow – this place has the exact same feeling as Disneyland! Fantasy done extremely well! but the knowledge that this was fantasy for one person at the expense of the French citizens makes it a little hollow.versailles1This delightful little cottage with truly amazing gardens – I loved the gardens! – was reserved for the queen’s boudoir. Her hairdressing cottage.IMG_3420The mill required humans to turn the wheel as there wasn’t any actual stream on the site. We were informed that she loved to collect eggs – but that she asked her servants to wash the eggs first then place them so she could collect them without getting her hands dirty. A true country girl.IMG_3419Sorry if I sound a little – um – jaded is the only word I can think of. I truly enjoyed Versailles as a day outdoors on a bike with one of my favorite people in the world. The sky was clear and blue and the world was green and beautiful.

And we had a funny story on the way home. In one of the Metro stations on the way home we came down to the platform just as a train was getting ready to leave. We decided to run for it and Avia hopped on – me right behind her. Almost.Metro-metro The door closed with one leg, one arm, and my face in and the rest of me out. I thought I could maybe get the doors back open. Nope. A guy with a somewhat panicked look on his face pried the door open enough that I could get my leg out and Avia shoved the rest of me out as the doors slammed back shut and the train took off. Abesses_entrance_1Nothing better to get your heart pumping than thinking you are going to be dragged down a train tunnel any second. No real worries though. I just hopped the next train and at the next station Avia was waiting and we both hopped back on. The massive (still very colorful 10 days later) bruise on my thigh that I’m sporting is probably from the table corner I clumsily bumped into that evening but I think the train door makes a better story, don’t you?

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