Day Trippers – Part 3

Is everyone here?
Ok then, let’s continue! 😀

(Remember to double-click photos to enlarge.)


This next item in the Dale Chihuly exhibit, “Through the Looking Glass”, is a spectacular blue “chandelier” that would be fabulous in your entryway . . .

IF you happen to live in a palace, that is!!! 😉

It’s absolutely huge. The color is a cool icy blue, which is somehow appropriate because the glass tendrils look frozen.


As we turn the corner, we come upon a whole field of tall violet reeds, displayed amongst large birch logs. It’s quite a powerful sight and yet immediately soothing, wonderfully serene – sort of a mystical marshland!


Gosh Kids, you must be starving by now! Time for lunch. 🙂
The museum has a few dining venues: a formal restaurant, a cafeteria, and a lovely cafe, which is where we’re going. Located near the courtyard, it’s a large, bright, open space with lots of windows – a cheerful little oasis in the midst of the bustle of art fans of all ages.

Whew! We were more ready to sit down than we thought! First, a cold drink. On a warm summer day, I’m a seltzer-with-lemon gal; Sir Beads had the Sam Adams.


Within seconds, our server offered fresh rolls, and generous slices of warm cornbread with butter on the side. So yummy I forgot to snap a photo of them. (C’mon, we were HUNGRY!)

On this particular day, Sir Beads was channeling his caveman roots – all he wanted was a big juicy burger (Men!).

I, on the other hand, 😉 wanted to try one of the more creative choices on the menu: “Summer Vegetable Lasagna”.

The presentation is a little work of art, in itself. Don’t you agree?

I quickly jotted down the ingredients so that I could rattle them off for you . . . zucchini, roasted tomatoes, summer squash, herbed ricotta, eggplant, micro arugula, and tomato basil sauce. It was delicious!!!! The waiter had warned me that there were no noodles in this lasagna. As a pasta fan I could have chosen something else, but I also love veggies, and besides, I wanted to try a festive entree! I will definitely attempt to re-create the dish at home – it was that good.


As we dined, we were able to enjoy another one of Chihuly’s pieces . . . His “Lime Green Icicle Tower” was installed right in the restaurant area. It’s enormous. For an idea of size, notice the ants people standing nearby!

Rumor has it that donations to the museum have made it possible for this piece to stay after the show moves on. 🙂


I hope you had fun. Thanks so much for coming along. Shall we do it again some day?

For now, we’d better hop back on the bus and take our seats. Sir Beads will be driving us home . . .

Isn’t that right, Sir Beads?

Sir Beads????????

Ah, there he is! Trying to squeeze in just one more photo . . . 🙂

Til next time,



and Sir Beads, too!

Day Trippers – Part 1

Haven’t we heard more than enough dismal economic news this week?

We need a distraction . . .

How about another one of our group trips? 🙂

This time though, it’s not so much a shopping trip as a day of fun!

Wanna go to Boston with us? Hop on board! (Refreshments will be served!)

There’s an exhibit we’ve been dying to see at the Museum of Fine Arts. We thought we had plenty of time but, as you know, the summer days seem to fly. All of a sudden, it’s the last week of the show – we’d better stop dilly-dallying.


Lucky us! It’s an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride. There’s even a mini respite from the extreme heat of late.


Oh-oh! Road work!?! Hope we won’t be caught in traffic.


Whew! No problem. We’re making good time, after all!

This Boston landmark (story in a future post) tells us we’re getting very close to the city.


Yay! We’ve arrived at the museum! Stay together, now. Don’t want to lose anyone.

To begin, shall we swing by the “Art of the Ancient World” section and take a peek at the statue of Sir Beads and me?

Just a little joke. 😉 ( I have a million of ‘em!)


Seriously, this museum has everything I love – art, antiques, history, jewelry, and flowers!

Local garden clubs continually provide fresh flower designs – often utilizing cherished objets d’art from the museum’s permanent collection.

Isn’t this breathtaking? (Click photo twice to fully enlarge.)

Well, here I am rambling on and we haven’t even gotten to the main event of our day.

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this series to view the beautiful exhibit that was the inspiration for this trip.

You don’t want to miss it!



Wash Day Blues

It’s Friday, which often means it’s time for Friday Favorites!

Today, I have a work of art to share.

(click photo twice to enlarge)

”Woman Ironing”
by French painter/lithographer, Armand Désiré Gautier (1825–1894)


I love the play of light in this painting! At first glance the colors seem drab but with a closer look, you’ll notice that there is lots of color in the scene.

Poor girl, though, not only was she living in an era before permanent press – there was no electricity either! Obviously, she has her work cut out for her with that mass of wrinkles hanging on the line.

Who was she? What was she like? Was she happy? Was she loved?

Ah, that’s the mystery and the fun of viewing art. 😀


Happy Weekend!



As The Calendar Turns

February In Calico Country by Ellen Eilers

Hi Kids 😀

Long time no see!

Umm, well…

more like “no write” for me,

“no read” for you,

and “no comments” for both of us. 😉

But here we are at the start of a brand new year.

Welcome back! Hope you had a chance to relax over the holidays.


One of the things I love about a new year is a new calendar. I love that it is totally blank and consequently just brimming with possibilities. I try to imagine how many fun things I can schedule along with the obligatory dental appointments, furnace cleanings, etc.

Of course, part of the excitement for me is choosing the calendar. We do seem to get a couple of freebie calendars each year, but somehow they are never quite right. Either I don’t care for the pictures or the little boxes for each day are so small you can barely mark a loved one’s birthday in them.

So, I usually buy my calendar – BUT only after they’ve been marked down to half price! It seems silly to pay full price in mid-December, when a couple of weeks later they’re at least 50% off.

Waiting for that sale means I may not get my first choice, but I love that it compels me to look at and consider calendars I might never have noticed.

With my purchase this year, I’ve discovered a new (to me) artist, Ellen Eilers! The calendar features her incredibly colorful and very charming scenes of farms and countrysides. This photo and the one above are just two examples.

Doc's Country Retreat by Ellen Eilers

She didn’t begin her professional art career until she was in her 50’s. Currently, at 93 years young; she still paints every day, exhibits her work, and teaches art at community workshops!

Talk about motivation for a new year! Reading about Ellen and seeing her work has inspired me to reach and stretch in 2011 – to try some things I’ve never done before . . .

To paraphrase the old saying:

“You’re never too old to become the person you might have been.



See more of Ellen’s art here.

Or watch the following 2-minute youtube video!

Interview with the Artist – Bird Ahoy

snowflakeperiwinkleSometimes there are a few spare moments in the day when I’m waiting for something to finish – like when the timer is ticking for a pot on the stove, or I’m waiting for the dryer to buzz so I can rescue the clothes before they become permanent-wrinkle. 😉

It’s not enough time to get involved in much – but it’s just enough time to take a quick peek on etsy to see what’s new!

Recently, I discovered an artist who creates unique and very beautiful pendants from beach pebbles! Many of her designs reflect the beauty of nature and the splendor of its simplicity. She graciously agreed to chat with me for this installment of Interview with the Artist, and I’m just delighted to showcase her work here today.

Please meet birdahoy!


Were you interested in art as a child?
One of my early memories is when I was about 4 years old at school, sitting painting an American Indian with powder paints and getting a little thrill that it had character that I hadn’t expected to achieve. I think that was the first time that I ever felt proud of anything I’d done. All through school I loved art, and it was fantastic because they gave us the opportunity to try all sorts of crafts like working with clay, batik and making huge sculptures with chicken wire and plaster impregnated bandages! Those were the days!!


What were some of the earliest projects that you created?
My mum still has some of those things I made at school. My favourite teacher at school used to let me do art all day after I’d finished my math exercises! There is a clay relief slab that is modelled on his beloved Mini with its bonnet up so you can see the engine. I think I was about 10 when I made it. He proudly displayed it on the shelf that year (he loved his car so much!!) and one day a naughty boy knocked it off and it broke in two. He was furious and glued it back together!


When did you first become interested in using beach pebbles for your art?
There is a huge draw to the sea and the great outdoors for me. I love the idea of using natural materials to create jewellery because I’m a nature girl at heart. I think I first wanted to create something for myself that tied me to my favourite environments and I’ve always had little collections of pebbles and shells. I’d been making jewellery for quite a while with beads and I really wanted to branch out and create something unique that was one of a kind. Other people seemed to like their simplicity so I thought I’d try selling them.


Besides working with the stones, what other materials do you enjoy using?
I love using silver in my jewellery. I’ve just bought my first block of PMC. The idea of using recycled silver that starts as clay and fires to solid silver seems like magic to me! I’m also in love with my camera. I’m obsessed with how things change in different light. I drive my husband mad whenever we go anywhere and always come back with hundreds of photos! I enjoy trying as many different crafts as I can. My little room is stuffed full of different materials. Carving rubber stamps, making lino prints, modelling with salt dough, painting, freezer paper stencils… you name it, I’ve probably tried it or want to try it!


Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration everywhere. I’m always absorbing things wherever I go, be it the forest, seaside, city or countryside. I love to find patterns everywhere. We have a cocker spaniel puppy and I now get inspiration on our daily walks through the forest. My imagination runs riot! I think the more you repeat a walk, the more you start to create things in your mind. My ideas go into my sketchbook/journal and evolve into designs for my jewellery.


Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself? 🙂
Yes I do have one pebble necklace that I made for myself featuring a leafy branch. People always ask if you’re wearing any of your own work when you tell them you make jewellery so I think it’s a good idea.

What advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art, but could use a little guidance?
My advice would be to first and foremost make art for yourself. If you love what you do it shows through and it makes selling it so much easier. Then try to build up a collection of work that looks as though it belongs together, something unique to you. Try to find your niche. Etsy is a great place to sell online. The most important thing when selling on the internet is to make friends with your camera. Good photos with good lighting make all the difference I think.
For more information on the art of Bird Ahoy, you may visit her etsy shop or her blog. 🙂

‘Til next time,