Monday, July 21, 2014

underground and aboveground

at times I felt like a termite

so much of our getting from here to there was underground

the Eurostar train to Paris was really cool though

the countryside really lends itself to B&W photography

the Paris Metro was more dated than the London Underground - and more photogenic

lucky for you I can't post smells - just sights

I had a slight mishap when the doors closed on one of the trains - my family was inside and I was outside - it worked out ok - I just took the next train

did I mention that EVERYTHING in Paris is photogenic?

next post: street art in London's East End

Saturday, July 19, 2014

a window on the world

ancient window at the tower of london

medieval archery window, tower of london

a view from inside the louvre, paris

a window at "petit trianon," marie antoinette's private chateau at versailles

one of the clock windows at musee d'orsay - which at one time was a rail station

middle daughter on her iPod texting with a friend 

one of the street entrances to the louvre complex

a tunnel of vines at marie antoinette's "farm" at versailles

a window on paris from the pompidou modern art museum

oldest daughter in balcony window at nice - feeling nice

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

where I've been, what I've been doing

Where I've been? London and Paris. Wow. I'm home now - but am still processing the trip of a lifetime for this small town girl.

The pictures I have today are of some of the things I brought home with me. Trust me - these are not your average plastic souvenirs.

Beachcombing on the River Thames at low tide yielded these treasures.

There's an actual word for beachcombing the Thames: mudlarking. 


Some of the things I found: beach pottery, big molten blobs of glass, and tiny clay pipe stems from as early as the 16th century. I have no idea how old my pipe stems are - or what melted the glass (the great London fire?) but mudlarking was definitely a highlight of my trip.

From Paris I have these unique playing cards. No K for King, Q for Queen, or J for Jack in this deck. Not even an A for the Ace. I'm guessing R is Rex, D is Dame, and V is Viscount. A simple number 1 is all that's needed for the Ace. Plus the face cards are individually named. These say "Madeleine, Bernard, and Etienne."


And from the hotel room - the most beautifully designed matchbox and sewing kit EVER.


I did have a moment or two for sketching in Paris - which it turns out is a VERY french thing to do - and created these keepsake drawings of the topiary gardens I paused in.

Taking time for art - a very good choice.

And my "road trip" penny mat is ready to stitch to its background. I'll probably be doing that as we tool around our more local environs of the Pacific Northwest - still the loveliest place I know.

Next blog post: photos.


Friday, June 20, 2014

lavender days

the rain has stopped and the lavender is ready to pick

I pick a bundle a day and bringing it into the house to dry

it hangs upside down for a few weeks - then I crumble the flower tops to use in soap, sachets, and neck pillows with flax seeds and rice

Patty at Magpies Nest has been busy making lovely lavender wands - check out her blog HERE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

felt scraps

I have lots of felt scraps from over the years (I save the oddest things) ... and I recently ran across an old time folk art that I can use my felt scraps for. A "penny mat."

In the late 1800's, thrifty and wise women used cast off woolen clothing to recycle into felted things like hats and mittens. With the scraps left over from those scraps, they would use coins as a template and cut out small circles.

These circles (or "pennies") of felt would then be made into runners, mats, and other decorative things for the house. In my imagination I see a log cabin - Honest Abe reading by candlelight and Ma stitching up lovely things with felt scraps.

A small and portable project for summertime wanderings and road trips. Do you have projects like this that travel well? I'd love to hear about them ....

Saturday, May 31, 2014

fun new photo app

I found a new photo app - Patty (Magpie's Nest) has been using it with fun results so I had to give it a whirl. It was developed by a college student and is free in the App Store for a limited time. Gloomlogue is the app's name.

I took these two city pictures a few months ago in downtown Seattle. It was a quintessential rainy day.

And here's a little snapshot of our Sadie - posing for the camera - wishing for a biscuit.

I love playing with photo apps. My favorites for the iPhone are Snapseed, Phonto, DistressFX, and now Gloomlogue.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

art class

I went to my art class today - after missing the last 4 weeks it was a sigh of relief a breath of fresh air a kick in the pants :)

Thank you Mary!

(today's project: oil pastel and black ink and inktense colors - a wax resist technique)