Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grapevine Fall Wreath


With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I realized this is the last day I
can officially write a fall post. While Christmas has been in the stores
since Halloween, I refuse to give in, though I did purchase a lovely
real garland at Trader Joe's today for only $6.99 that already adorns
our mantel.    

This is the one and only fall wreath I made for the church boutique
that I participated in two weeks ago. It sold fairly quickly and was
easy to put together, so I might make another one for next year.
I don't make more than one or two of any type of wreath. I get bored
making the same thing, plus you never know what will sell. They like
knowing they have one-of-a kind.

I don't think people are buying  as many wreaths as in the past, so I
am going to come up with some new ideas for next year if I decide to
participate again.


 I try to find my wreaths at Goodwill (half price Sat.)
even if they are filled with ugly stuff. What I am looking
for is a nice round shape and one that is not dried out.
My hot glue gun is my adhesive of choice.
I wouldn't be without one, even if I wasn't a crafter.
They are less than $5 at Hobby Lobby and can be
used for so many fix-it projects around the house.

This is about as traditional as I get--my other wreaths
are more non-traditional. I will show you some of them
 in December.

It you need to know How to Make a Perfect Bow
like this one,
go here
Ann Sutton has a wonderful blog.

Wishing you and your family
a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite Books of 2014

At the beginning of the year I had major problems with my computer
which eventually led to having everything wiped off and the system
reinstalled (Geek Squad to the rescue--even though we had already paid
for another online techno service!)

I really worked hard at getting the issues resolved, but when one
solution after another did not work, I found myself avoiding my office
and soothing my frustrations by doing a lot of reading. I had received a
Kindle Fire for Christmas and found I could keep up with my emails on
that, as well as have access to thousands of e-books through our library
system. Wow, I love my Kindle!
  
I read some wonderful books and wanted to share the titles of
some of my very favorites, in no particular order.

My Notorious Life, by Kate Manning

Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier

The Daring Ladies of Lowell, by Kate Alcott

The Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline

The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes

Mrs. Lincoln's Rival, by Jennifer Chiverini

The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love Story, by Liane Moriarty

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Philomena, by Martin Sixsmith

The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure

Pavilion of Women, by Pearl Buck

The Forgotten Seamstress, by Liz Tronow

The Madonnas of Leningrad, by Debra Dean


WORST BOOK I READ THIS YEAR:
Pulizer Prize-Winning...
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

You either loved it or you hated it!

Do you have a favorite?


 

Friday, November 21, 2014

One of My Favorite Days in Paris--The Louvre--Part 2


most visited museum in the western world.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as
a fortress in the late 12th century to protect
Parisians against Viking attacks.
It became a museum in 1793, during the French Revolution.


It contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works
of art. 
It would take 100 days to see everything in the Louvre if you looked
at each work of art for 30 seconds, all day without a break.  

The museum averages 15,000 visitors each days, 65% being
foreign tourists.
8 million people visit the museum each year.
It's one of Paris's 153 museums. 

Although we were short on time, our first priority was to see
the Mona Lisa...

  After taking about a million photos, we reluctantly
moved on.

but not before taking a photo of this impressive beauty
in the same room. 
It was massive!
The Wedding Feast at Cana.

Some other of our favorites...




Loved  the Greek sculptures...

L

 This cushion looked so real you just wanted to touch it!

Talk about real-looking--their garments--amazing!

And last but not least...the lovely

 Venus de Milo
The statue was created out of marble between 130 and 100 BC.
Can you imagine the skill  without all the tools we have today?

It is believed that Venus de Milo depicts Aphrodite, the Greek
Goddess of love and beauty.
She was sculpted by Alexandros of Antioch.
amd discovered on the island of Melos in the Aegean Sea in 1829, which 
explains why she is named Aphrodite of Melos.

Earlier in our trip, we visited the Louvre at dusk and just walked around
the exterior. Our main reason was to see the Pyramid lit up and it was
well-worth it.

    The Pyramid was commissioned by the French President and built in 1989. 
There are 700 panes of glass.
The French artist Claude Leveque is responsible for this red neon
lighting bolt.

This is quite a popular site for young lovers to have their pictures taken...

 Keep in mind that they are standing in an "alley" with water on both
sides of them!

Quite a fun evening--weren't they all?

Have a wonderful week-end.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One of My Favorite Days in Paris--Part One--Escargot and Jardin des Tuileries

I have so many memories from my wonderful trip that I 
really don't know where to begin! My thought was to
start by sharing a few pictures from one of my favorite
days, which was actually the last.

My daughter-in-law had gone to London on business by this
time, and my sister-in-law needed an afternoon of rest back at
the apartment, so it was just my daughter, Kristin and me. We
hadn't had our fill of escargot yet, so we took the Metro to our
destination, Au Bistro.

on Rue du Marche Saint-Honore

 We had read that they served escargot in a unique style...
 escargot in hollowed out baked potatoes...

 
smothered in butter.parsley/garlic sauce!
To accompanying this delicacy, we ordered...

salad with roasted goat cheese toasts. 
They had chives and chopped red onions in them.
What a divine lunch!!

From there, we walked a short distance to 
Jardin des Tuileries.
It is situated between the Louvre Museum (in the backbground)
and the Place de la Concord as the garden for the
Tuileries Palace by Catherine de Medici in the 1564.
. It became a public park where the Parisians
relaxed and promenaded after the
French Revolution. 

We saw only a small portion of the park, but it
evident what a restful spot it was and one to be
returned to on a future visit.
Those green metal chairs are extremely comfortable.
People were all over enjoying the sun and shade. 
 Watching the little boys with the 
sailboats was delightful!


This was the larger fountain completely surrounded by statues. 
 Looking into the distance, we could see the Obelisk and the
Arc de Triomphe. 

 The Musée de l'Orangerie (impressionistic art) and the Jeu de Paume
(contemporary art) are both within the park, but our final
destination of the afternoon was through the...

  Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
Built by Napoleon between 1806 and 1808, it stands
at the west entrance of the Tuileries and was the majestic
entrance to the palace courtyard. It survived the
destruction by the revolutionary mob who burned down
the palace in 1871.   

This is not to be confused with the Arc de Triomphe 
overlooking the Champs-Elysées.

Here it was our last day and we had not seen the inside of the Louvre yet! 

That is a blog post in itself, so I will save that for another, my friends.
As you can see, it was a clear, sunny day in Paris. 
Our weather was fantastic on our entire trip.

Hope all is well with you and are in the full swing of fall. 

(After much research, I learned the EASY way to 
get the accent over the é. 
With the Alt key pressed down,
lock the NumLock key and type 130 on the key pad,
not the numbers at the top .)
á=160
é=130
í=161
ó=162
ú=163

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Au Revoir Mes Amies

Tomorrow is the day I have been anticipating for a long time. I am going to
Amsterdam, Germany, and France with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and
sister-in-law. I have dreamed of the chance to explore Paris, and now I will
have that opportunity, as we are ending our trip with eight days in the City of
Lights--la Ville Lumiere. I plan to have some awesome pictures to share with
you in October not only of Paris, but of southern France as well.

I received these two sweet handmade cards in the mail this week from two of
my talented friends.



Thanks to all of my friends for their well-wishes.
Have a wonderful month--
stay safe and well.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright Walking Tour of Homes in Oak Park, Illinois (Part Two)

I'm back again after another interruption--this time a car accident a month ago in
which I injured my wrist and hand. It is my dominant hand (left) which is in a
removable splint, so I have been coping the best I can.

Here are some long promised pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright homes built in
Oak Park, Illinois (my home town) between 1903 and 1913. They depict his
prairie-style of architecture which inspired the modern European architects of the
1920s. I had no idea what "praire-style" meant, so I decided to do a little research
on it. The elements include a large central fireplace and chimney, a low-pitched
roof,  over-hanging eaves, horizontal lines, and open floor plan.

 Frank S. Thomas House (1901) first Praire style built here


Art critics call Wright's stained glass "leaded glass"--
while he referred to them as "light screens."
He created over 4000 pieces of doors and windows
for 150 of his homes, often as panels to divide rooms. 




   Clerestory windows were often used--a band of narrow
windows along the very top, usually rising above the
adjoining roof. 

Moore-Dugal House originally built Tudor style in 1895
Wright returned to the area to reconstruct home after an
 extensive fire on Christmas Day, 1922.

Harry S. Adams House (1913) last built here

 This bust is in the Austin Gardens on the edge of
the walking tour.

If you are a book lover, I highly recommend
Loving Frank, by Nancy Koran.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hello Again...It's Been (Quite) A While

Hello My Friends--
I might actually be back in the blog world after a rough seven months
of electronic agony. I am now trying to get used to the foreign feel of
a laptop for the first time--dang this thing is touchy! I also had to get
a new camera, a new printer, and then another one when the first one
kept jamming. So there has been a lot of frustration and failed online
support to get me to this point. But it appears that I can now upload
pictures which is what I have been hoping to accomplish. I still cannot
do that on my desktop which I had to have totally  reinstalled by the
Geek Squad.

Enough of my woes...Thank you for hanging in there..I even gained some
new subscribers which is a delightful surprise and very encouraging. I have
been busy crafting for the annual November church boutique and have a
lot to show you. I have also done a lot of reading, especially since my
children gave me a Kindle for Christmas. I didn't know how much I would
LOVE it. During my computer problems, I used my Kindle exclusively.
It was great for emails and internet research, as well as downloading free
books from the local library. If you haven't checked into that in your area,
you should. I have not bought one book thanks to this wonderful FREE
program through the library system. I have read some awesome books and
will be sharing my recommendations with you soon.

My internet research has mainly been in preparation of my upcoming trip to...
FRANCE! In September I will be going to Germany, southern France, and Paris
with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law. So I am planning on having
some awesome pictures to share with you in October.

I have plans for giving this blog a facelift also--these colors look awful on this
computer! Time for a change. 

I promised when I left you that I would show you more Frank Lloyd Wright
homes--and I will. But those pictures are on a zip drive in a different location
so it will have to be for a future post.

Last year, my book page wreaths were a popular item at the church boutique,
so here is one I made to sell this November. 

The pages looked "aged" to my liking, so I did not have to do anything to
artificially enhance them. I started with squares that I cut 3-1/2 x 3-1/2,
cupped them in my hand and pinched in at the center. Then I put hot glue on
the bottom center side and push it into the styrofoam wreath, gently, using
a Chinese chop stick. I put them very close together so that the wreath
was very full. This blingy buckle came from an array that was given to me
last year at the boutique by the sweet lady in the booth next to me who
sold adorable sandals. She had purchased them and could not use them so she
thought I might be able to. You bettcha! Wired ribbon always works best for me
when making a bow. I just fiddle-faddled with it until it looked right!

And there you have it!

So nice talking to you again. 
Have a restful Sunday.

What have you been up to lately?
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