for your inspiration: alice’s adventures in wonderland

On my recent jaunt through the Denver, Colorado area I spent most of my time in Centennial in a rather business-centric part of town. I had an hour or two to roam and perused Yelp, TripAdvisor, and RoadTrippers to see what was close by and discovered the Madden Museum of Art. Unfortunately as soon as I got into my car my week’s worth of sleepless nights caught up with me and I found myself at the hotel instead for a blissful nap.

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Once awake I made my way to the museum but phone calls interrupted and time was short and in walking by I discovered a small outdoor sculpture park full of delightful sculptures by Harry Marinsky celebrating Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

IMG_7492“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

IMG_7493“”There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know.”

IMG_7495“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
(Why do I so strongly identify with this quote as a woman/mother/business owner?)

IMG_7498You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white:
And yet you incessantly stand on your head – 
Do you think at your age that is right?

In my youth, Father William replied to his son,
I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why I do it again and again.

for your inspiration: a parade of tractors

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Observed at the Got To Be NC Festival.

for your inspiration: asheville, NC

Downtown Asheville, NC is full of wondrous architectural gems. The people are interesting. The food is pretty amazing (this trip took me to Duck Taco and  Zambra’s Tapas, both highly recommended. I also wandered into Desicrant, a “lifestyle boutique” that held some interesting treasures. 

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Take a closer look at the bookshelf.
w.a.n.t.

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An interactive sculpture detailing the history of transport in Asheville. You don’t notice at first that the sounds coming through the nearby bushes are the sounds of a canoe on a stream. Sounds move with the wheel through horses, trains, and propellor airplanes. Lovely.

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.

Pars_doors_06I tried opening it, but my parseltongue is a bit rusty.

for your inspiration: from the air

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When I fly I am perfectly happy spending the entire time marveling at the beauty.

for your inspiration: ft. lauderdale

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… means that when you find a ridiculously low airfare and you happen to have friends who are sweet enough to take your kids for a couple of days – you GO! (Mr. Almost Perfect and I haven’t been away together for several years. It was time!)

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For your inspiration: samuel gomez

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Seen at the Grand Rapids Art Museum
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for your inspiration: the beauty of rocks

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During this road trip I spent time, as I always do in this landscape, gazing in wonder at the beauty created from minerals, time, wind, and water.

for your inspiration – spring and a favorite app

I love it when spring and blue skies banish the cold weather.

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It’s been a tough battle with the cold pushing back time and again.

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More playing around with the Moku Hanga App. (I see textiles here in the future!)

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I think the sun might be winning for now.

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Happy Spring!

for your inspiration – spring flowers

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For Your Inspiration – a little spring

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IMG_2428(Playing with the Moku Hanga app on my iPad.)

 

for your inspiration: the art of ed fairburn

Die-Milche-StrasseDie Milche-Strasse (The Milky Way)

Windermere700Pencil on a cropped map of the English Lakes – specifically Lake Windermere.

Colorado-Geological700Pencil on a geological map of Colorado

Norwich2700‘Norwich’

This artwork completely captivates me.
Please visit Ed Fairburn’s website to view more of his amazing artwork.

For your inspiration: the art of Jennifer Collier

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Singer Sewing Machine 44 x 20 x 32
Jennifer Collier

 

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detail: singer sewing machine
by Jennifer Collier

 

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detail: singer sewing machine
by Jennifer Collier

“My practice focuses on creating work from paper; by bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching I produce unusual paper ‘fabrics’, which are used to explore the ‘remaking’ of household objects. The papers are treated as if cloth, with the main technique employed being stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles. The papers themselves serve as both inspiration and media for my work, with the narrative of the books and papers suggesting forms. I tend to find items then investigate ways in which they can be transformed; giving new life to things that would otherwise go unloved or be thrown away.”

Teaset 30 x 40 x 20 cm by Jennifer Collier

Teaset 30 x 40 x 20 cm
by Jennifer Collier

 

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detail: tea set by Jennifer Collier

Take a look at her website for some other beautiful work.

For Your Inspiration: Beaufort, North Carolina

 

photo 4-3This past weekend I had the great good pleasure of spending time with my best friend.

photo-4It was the slowest vacation we’ve ever taken.

 

 

 

Time spent with books.photo 2-11

Time spent slowly wandering on the sand and the marshes.photo 3-9

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Time spent looking at houses from the 1700’s.photo 5-1

Time spent eating amazing food.photo 1-9

Time spent in laughter.photo 4-7

Time spent exploring a fascinating old buildings and graveyards and history.photo 3-10

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I really needed that. I’ll get back to the giveaways on Wednesday – and draw the winners for the last three then. I’m still not quite all back yet.

For Your Inspiration: Spring

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I hadn’t seen this before I moved to the South so I thought I’d share it with you even though it’s a terrible picture – taken out the window while I was driving. There are a few places where the Wisteria vines grow unchecked into the trees. You drive by and suddenly a great purple jungle blooms into the heavens.

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For Your Inspiration: Charleston’s Angel Oak

ch6My trip to Charleston, SC started almost immediately with a truly fabulous tour given by the incomparable Mr. Al Miller. I had picked up my fellow guest star for the next day’s filming with The Quilt Show, Victoria Findlay Wolfe at the airport and barely had time to check in to the hotel before we hopped the bus and went off on a loopedy-loop trip around the city and it’s neighbors. I’ll introduce Victoria to you in more depth soon.

ch9I knew I was going to be filming on a plantation and had mixed emotions about it. I didn’t feel right about ignoring the issue of slavery even if it is a show about quilts, and not history. I called a few trusted friends who said “don’t rail against slavery, honor the contributions of the local black community.” So I called around ahead of time and found Mr. Miller and commenced to learning something about the black history of the area. It was FABULOUS!!! We took the Porgy & Bess tour, although I didn’t know that was what it was until it was almost over.

ch14Al was a treasure trove of historical knowledge, his non-stop story telling peppered with non-stop instructions, “get a picture of that yellow house on the right side of the bus,” “now get over to the left and take a shot of that!” We were the only ones on the bus so it didn’t matter that we were clambering all over the seats.

There were snippets about houses and slaves and people and politics. There were so many stories that I can’t remember most of them. One of my favorite stops was on a corner to see this house. It’s not really a house – it’s a work of public art that was built for the Spoleto Art Festival in 1991 by the artist David Hammons.

But my very favorite stop was at the Angel Oak tree. After a bit of a drive over to Johns Island dirt roads and spying white squirrels with a black stripe up their back like funny little reverse skunks we pulled up to a little cabin in the woods. As you walk up to this tree you don’t really realize what you are seeing. In the south the undergrowth is always just plain thick.

ch17 But this wasn’t scraggly undergrowth – it was ONE tree. One enormously spread out Southern Live Oak estimated to be over 1500 years old. It is 66 feet tall and shades over 17200 square feet. As I stepped under and over some of the outer branches and came under it’s canopy there was a sense of awe. Then my inner six-year-old needed a mighty and immediate leash to keep me from squealing out loud and going “all monkey” as we call the tree climbing urge around our house. This is a tree climbers paradise – except for all the signs that say absolutely NO CLIMBIN

ch15photo-2Sigh. Very big sigh. I really, really, really wanted to climb way up into it’s highest branches and lay back to feel the wind. (Except the wind was a little on the very cold side.) Ah well. I did find a most gorgeous sweetgrass basket made by the Gullah/Geechee artisans who are the descendants of the areas’ slaves. They are amazing works of art.

I was able to use it in as a prop on my segment for The Quilt Show filming and Ricky Tims was good enough to talk about it during my segment.

For Your Inspiration: Charleston SC architecture

A couple of weeks ago I had the great good pleasure of visiting Charleston, SC to film with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson for The Quilt Show. I’ll tell you more about that soon, but first, the beautiful city. I love architecture that has character. Cities that have a living breathing soul. I love my suburban house – but it’s more like a carpenter loves her favorite tool. It gets the job done well but it isn’t like a work of art. Going into a place where the environment has the benefit of time for people and generations to truly give a place a feeling of depth and history – that is as good as sitting and breathing into the ocean tides for me.

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Charleston has a structural history as deep as any place in the United States. It was one of the first settlements during the colonial era. Unlike most other early settlements it tolerated many religions, having one of the oldest synagogues in the country.

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Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim

Charleston is a beautiful city to walk through, small enough to wander without getting lost – you’ll run into the ocean soon enough on this small penninsula. There are grand homes and small ones and many, many beautiful glimpses of tiny courtyard gardens. I love hidden gardens as much as I love soulful architecture.

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I also love that first hint of spring with blossoms opening. There was a bitterly cold wind as we were walking around that kept us from feeling that expansive wonderful first warmth that is the harbinger of winter’s end, but we could see visible proof that it is on the way.

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I look at such places and imagine the stories bricks could tell. I sometimes feel that if I could sit still and quietly for long enough I could hear their whispers. Or at least I could imagine the stories.

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In the case of this city there is a deep and rich and often painful story to be told. For the first time I took time both before and after I visited to dig a little deeper. Over the next few posts I’ll share a little of my perspectives with you. Stay tuned.

 

For Your Inspiration: Snow

Snow.
We simply don’t get much of it here. That’s a good thing.

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When we do get snow – we run outside and enjoy every minute of it.

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This was the first time in years (YEARS!) I’ve seen those big, fat, fluffy, sopping wet kind of flakes slowly falling from the sky.

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For Your Inpsiration:Chihully pt 2

There were too many gorgeous pictures not to share more.
The Chihully Glass Museum in Seattle is, well…. amazing.

For Your Inspiration: Chihully pt 1

If you are ever in Seattle
DO NOT MISS
Chihully Garden and Glass
(right by the Space Needle)

 

For Your Inspiration: Seattle’s Space Needle

 

 

For Your Inspiration: J Raulston Arboretum

For Your Inspiration: Chicago

I spent an absolutely lovely weekend with my sister in Chicago.
(all of these were taken on my iPhone with the photo synth app)

For Your Inspiration: The Tuba Exchange

I had my horn in to “the guy” who does the best brass work in the area.

His shop happens to be part of the Tuba Exchange in Durham, NC.

It’s a lovely little place – if you are in the area it’s worth the trip.

For Your Inspiration: NC Beaches

 

 
joie de vivre

For Your Inspiration: Philadelphia

I spent a week with the family in Philadelphia over the 4th of July.

A city where old meets new

One of the nations first banks (I think)
The Barnes Foundation – one of the worlds greatest collections of art.
Watch the documentary “The Art of the Steal”

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