Saturday, March 31, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jog!

 I have just been in Oakland for a few days with my twin granddaughters.  Camille had been frustrated about not being able to work on their room during the approximately 20 minutes a day they are not demanding something or other.  So I flew out to play with them while she made a trip to Ikea and to Home Depot, hung curtains, put together furniture, decided where to hang artwork, weeded out things the girls no longer use, etc.  I am exhausted, but she is energized after getting so much done.  Here is a sneak peek. I am not showing you much because it is Camille's project and and she will soon post about it on her blog The Vintique Object.  I bet Steve at An Urban Cottage will already have imagined exactly how it will look from hints Camille has given about this project.  Can you guess from this partial photo?

Camille adjusting the curtains
One rainy day, we took a trip to the Lawrence Science Museum
Caroline in blue and red and Sara in yellow climbing the whale sculpture
Crossing the stream
L-R Unknown ginger headed cutie who joined our group, Sara, Cooper, Camille, Caroline, and Emery
 Never missing an opportunity to try out the local cuisine, we dined that evening at Pizzaiolo in Oakland.

Sleepy after a long day at the museum.
Is bread all we are going to have?
Is that one ours?
Finally!!!  Ummmmm.

On my return there is so much to do...

Plant the rest of the succulents Brittany and I rooted for favors for a party...
Fourteen done...six to go!

Frame the wonderful wood block prints generously donated by Charlie Aldrich, Aldrich Galleries, for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Wood block prints of the Stations of the Cross

Isn't the face of Simon wonderful?
 Plant my pots for the deck...
Waiting in the Wings

Pick up dowels at Michael's or Hobby Lobby for the banners we are making at the Deanery wide "Walk Through Holy Week." at the hosting church, St. Chad's Episcopal Church.

Clean my very dusty house.  Have I mentioned the SPRING WINDS in New Mexico?

I will not be posting anything else this week as I observe Holy Week.  If you are looking for a place to renew your spirit come and join us at St. Mark's, or visit a place that is sacred to you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bunnies and eggs...oh my!

On a recent trip to Santa Fe to see some exhibits,  "Illuminating the Word" and "Breaking the Rules"  we popped into what shall remain an unnamed store to gaze in amazement at the prices.  Who pays $525 for a t-shirt?  Someone must because this store has anchored a corner of the plaza for quite awhile.  I have to say my thrifty soul was horrified.  A sneak peek in that store window, showed a very good looking jacket at the not so modest price of $1,200.  It made this bargain hunter nervous just to walk through the door.

We did, however, have to stop by one of my favorite (and much more reasonably priced) shops, ACC, which is primarily a furniture and design store, to see what wonderful seasonal displays they had up for Easter.  I almost always buy a little something here, although this time I only admired things as I was so busy taking photos to show to you, I did not have time to decide on anything.  Besides, we had to rush off to see the Margarete Bagshaw show.  The afternoon was waning.

Faux flowers and iron bunnies
Not sure I like the egg wreath, but love the faux flowers in the beautiful blue and white bowl.
My friend, Diane, loved this little writing desk.

I loved the blue and gold bird prints and framed pieces of IKAT fabric...
These turquoise jars
And this wonderful mirror
Easter table

Very versatile sectional couch.  Disappointed that the wonderful color on the wall is showing up pea green on my computer monitor.  Hope yours is more accurate.

Do you decorate for holidays?  I did decorate a lot when the children were at home, but now, not so much.  Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think about holiday decorations.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Illuminating the Word" Exhibit

Last Friday, my sister, Rosalind, a close friend, Diane and I traveled the short distance from Albuquerque to Santa Fe to visit two museums for two very special exhibits.
Creation by Donald Jackson, creative director of the project.

 The first much anticipated exhibit, "Illuminating the Word" was an incredible experience.  Thirteen years of painstaking work by some of the finest calligraphers, artists and theologians in the world comes to a close this year with the completion of The Saint John’s Bible – a contemporary handwritten and illuminated Bible created by a team of artists and calligraphers at a Scriptorium in Wales. Before its pages are bound into volumes and placed on permanent exhibition by the Benedictine monks at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., 44 pages from two of the Bible’s seven volumes – Wisdom Books and Prophets – are being exhibited at the New Mexico History Museum.

"Wisdom Woman" by Donald Jackson

The project took root at an early 1990s retreat at New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch, where Donald Jackson developed a concept piece titled Christ in the Desert, expanding on a lifelong desire to create a handwritten and illuminated Bible. In 1995, he presented the concept and his sketches to Saint John’s Abbey, where he received the go-ahead to develop a version of the entire Bible with illumination, calligraphy and the finest materials – something with the staying power of 2,000 years. (Jackson’s New Mexico sketches are being shown for the first time in this exhibit.)

Donald Jackson at his scriptorium in Wales. Image courtesy of Donald Jackson Scriptorium, Wales.
 The Museum has just announced that the show will be extended until December of 2012.  If you love art you MUST SEE this exhibit.  If you are interested in calligraphy you MUST SEE this exhibit.  If you are Bible student, you MUST SEE this exhibit!

Breaking our day to have lunch at the Shed continued a  tradition started by my godmother 54 years ago.  Mary Beth Grisso spent her summers in Santa Fe and frequently invited members of our family to visit for a few days of "cultural events."   She introduced us as small children to the New Mexico Opera, to Flaminco dancing at El Nido, to Maria Martinez's pottery making, to Santero artists in Northern New Mexico, to stories of having her hair cut with Georgia O'Keefe, and to her own amateur artwork and studio space. 

Diane and Rosalind

She taught us to appreciate fine dining and good conversation and to never "look at the right side of a menu" by which she meant the prices.  The Shed was always our lunch spot and we had to arrive by 11:30 a.m before the "rush" of the tourists.  It continues to be my sister and I's favorite place to lunch and we still order the same things, soft tacos with no posole for Rosalind, and blue corn enchildas, red with a side of sour cream for me.

Caution, food is spicy!
 The Shed is a very colorful place that is very appealing to children and tourists alike.
The doorways are very low as the adobe walls of the building date back to 1692  when folks were not nearly as tall, and keeping warm was much more of a challenge.  Ducking down is a necessary skill to move through the rooms of the restaurant.
Waiting in the bar is not an option because single diners sit here.

But the courtyard is lovely on a warm early spring day.

 Full to the brim with tummies warmed by the chile, off we drove to the New Mexico Museum of Indian Art and Culture to see the

Margarete Bagshaw:  "Breaking the Rules" Exhibit

February 12, 2012 through December 30, 2013
Sorry about the blurry image.  The painting itself is gorgeous!

Margarete Bagshaw: Breaking the Rules features more than 30 paintings (some on sculpted wood panels), bronze and clay as wall art and multi-colored ceramic vessels that demonstrate the breadth and multi-dimensionality of Margarete Bagshaw's work. The exhibition runs through December 30, 2013.
Bursting with color and activity Bagshaw’s canvases are vibrant combinations of precise shape, texture, translucent layering, and light. Her paintings range from small to quite large and have an abstract, Cubist quality steeped in spirituality – a connection to her Native heritage and to her artistic forbears.
One wonders if Bagshaw’s grandmother, Pablita Velarde, were alive today would she be painting like this? It’s through her mother, acclaimed artist Helen Hardin, that Bagshaw traces her creative lineage back to Velarde – a dynasty of independent women artists as renown for their art as they were for breaking the rules.

Altogether a wonderful day.  Hope your weekend was wonderful.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How many things can you cram into 28 hours-Part Two

Supposedly Norm would be finished with his Rio Grande Compact meeting at the Texas State Capitol building

 by 11:30 and everyone on the team would go to lunch.  At 11:00 Norm called to say it looked as though they would work through lunch and be done by 1:00 or 1:30.

Halleluiah!  Time enough to drive by the first house we purchased when we lived in Austin in 1974 and see how it looked.

New wall obscures the view of the house from the street but I am sure it helps keep the traffic noise down as well.
This house was purchased for hardly any money, although at the time we were struggling to make the payments on the down payment we borrowed from Norm's parents, the first mortgage from the bank, and the second mortgage supplied by the seller who was very anxious to unload this property.  But it had wonderful bones and just need some cosmetic attention.  We sold it for what we considered a windfall.  The last time we visited Austin about fifteen years ago, it had been badly neglected and we were so sad. Here is what it looks like now:
If you were driving by, you catch a brief glimpse.
Trim has been painted and new foundation plantings soften the linear limestone house.  A new metal roof adds to the street appeal.
Flowering tree replaces a live oak that used to dominate the front yard.

I am cheating just a bit by using this flowering tree which is outside of what is no longer my house to link to Jane's Monday "Flowers in the House" party at
Small But Charming.
 Head on over there to check out all the beautiful flowers.

After spending a nostalgic few minutes taking photos (with the permission of the new owners), I headed downtown to pick up Norm.  The meeting WAS STILL NOT FINISHED! So I picked up some gifts for my granddaughters at the Texas History Museum and walked over the the Blanton Art Museum at the University of Texas where a wonderful surprise was waiting for me.  I have always loved the Hudson River School of painters and this show was paintings of all the artists in that group owned by a private collector, so I had not previously seen any of the paintings.  What a treat!  I practically sprinted through the exhibit in order to be ready to leave for the airport, but still felt like the admission charge was well worth the 25 minutes of pleasure.
"Founded in 1825 by Thomas Cole, the Hudson River School drew its inspiration from America’s landscape. Its artists shared a spiritual awe of nature and believed in the notion that the country’s untamed wilderness reflected aspects of its national character. American Scenery investigates the group’s shared aesthetic and philosophical principles and situates the paintings in the context of nineteenth-century American values. The exhibition’s unique point of view stresses the artist’s eye, pairing and grouping paintings that explore the visual characteristics of particular sites, or that examine the subtle changes that can be observed during varied seasons, times of day, and weather conditions."  I highly recommend this show if you are visiting Austin, Texas.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How many things can you cram into 28 hours, Part One

Eat BBQ....check
Visit almost lifelong friend...check
Sleep in Hotel...not too long or too well...check
Visit Austin's Botanical Gardens...check

The Botanical Gardens include a lovely Japanese garden:
Path inspiration
Angular stone lantern taken over by a bird nesting

Mill stone as garden object.
Bench so you may sit and watch the water reflections.

Japanese gardens usually incorporate a small bridge and sure enough!
A Swedish Cabin, School House & Blacksmith Shop

Child's bed and cradle next the fire.  The parents froze in the loft!

No desks for the students!

Modern Apprentice (foreground) learning from young Master Blacksmith in camouflage.

In the children's garden this whimsical dinosaur that is being replanted after hard winter freeze damage.

 And the azaleas were in bloom.
Stacked rock wall planter.
Have lunch?  Waste of time when there are still a few hours left to see things....check in tomorrow for Part Two.