Category Archives: Art

Burrowing

I’ve just had one of my favorite kinds of weekends. No social engagements, no particular errands, no particular chores. Started out with snowblowing early Saturday morning so that YA could get to work; although it’s technically a chore and it was cold, I had fun using my new snowblower (well, new to me anyway) even though it was a little hard to get it started the first time it was still dark and I had to kinda figure out by touch where the choke and throttle were. Did my Saturday morning chores (change sheets, water plants) and by then it was all of 7:30. So except for taking breaks to throw more laundry in and have meals, I spent the entire day in my studio! I’ve had a pile of stuff that I wanted to use up for a few weeks and I managed to get through it all.

Yesterday I had to snowblow out the bottom of my driveway again and when I lent the snowblower to my neighbor for a bit, I got to learn about cotter pins. Glad he broke it and not me – I would never have known what had happened and would probably have spent a lot of bucks having somebody diagnose and fix it. YA convinced me we should out for breakfast – The Lowbrow – her favorite breakfast spot. When we got home I made a big pot of broccoli cheese soup and then headed back to my studio. Overall I made 41 cards this weekend and got the studio spruced up as well.

My friend Pat calls this kind of behavior “burrowing” and I have to admit I did feel like I had hunkered down in my sweatpants and fat socks. I do enjoy my busier weekends as well, but it did feel rather nice to tune out the world for a couple of days.

What do you like to do when you’re “burrowing”?

Inked For You

Photo credit:  Cody Black

I saw an article about the taboos of tattoos on bbc.com yesterday. We all know that tattoos are much more prevalent  – almost a fashion statement these days – among the younger generations, but there is still a lingering social taboo against them.  Apparently it is legal in the US (and the UK) for companies to have a “no tattoo” policy.  Never occurred to me that a company would even have such a policy, much less that it would be legal!

YA has a few piercings and two tattoos. I’m not crazy about her tattoos (some style choices, some money issues) and just a few days ago we had a discussion about still being careful about tattoos and piercings until you know the acceptance level of a possible employer.

For quite a few years, I’ve fantasized about getting tattooed myself. Small, on my wrist (toward the inside), multi-colored hibiscus flower with YA’s name, in her handwriting.  She knows about this plan and every now and then tries to encourage me.  My guess is it will probably never happen, but you never know.  I know it won’t be a problem here at my company but I might have to wait until Nonny is gone!

Knowing you could get rid of it tomorrow if you don’t like it, tell me about the tattoo you would get.

Weddings and Rice

As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this).  My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.

Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.

Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces.  I detest that.

So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional.  Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know.  My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at  Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses.  Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon.  I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married.  Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?

If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)

Calendar Cuties

I just received the December 5th edition of the Rock County Star Herald, my home town newspaper. I was delighted to read a story about Generations, the local senior citizens center. The center started an ambitious campaign to raise 2 million dollars for a  building for senior activities which will provide meals and social activities for community seniors as well as for residents of all ages in the low income housing tower to which it will be connected.

The newest fund raiser is a calendar featuring,  each month,  a local  senior posed in a scene from an iconic movie. Costumes were borrowed from the local community theatre company, and a local photographer volunteered to take the photos. So, on the front page of the paper, there she was, Neva, the mother of one of my high school classmates, posed like Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music,  clad in that black dress with the white apron, standing in front of a mountain in the middle of the alpine meadow with her arms held out, ready to belt out The Hills are Alive.  George, director of Generations and a retired horticulturalist, posed as Forrest Gump sitting on the bench with a suitcase and a box of chocolates.

They got the idea from the Winona Friendship Center. It seems like they had a great deal of fun doing it. They are making plans for next year’s calendar.

What iconic film scene/character  would you like to pose as for such a calendar?

Christmas Style

Our tree is up and decorated, and I am taking a chance and putting out the Christmas  pyramids this year. You can see them in the header photo. The cats have left them alone thus far. I will keep my fingers crossed.  I think we will put the cats in the basement when we light the pyramid candles. I had to put the straw goats up high, since our grey cat likes to chew the wheat berries off their beards.

I never have had a themed tree, one with color coordinated glass balls and bows. No, ours is a mix up of glass, straw,  wood and china ornaments. Some were my parents before I was born. We like having lots of red color in our tree.   I put the tomtens out on the buffet, hang the wreath on the front door, and that is that.  A friend of our daughter who grew up in Stuttgart says our tree looks very German.  It is how my mother decorated  the tree, and I like the style.

What is your Christmas decorating style?

Billboards, Posters, Dogs

The first thing I do each time I check into a hotel is to check out the view from the window. This is particularly interesting when I am in a city or airport hotel – as the variety is so great.  In Peru, the first of our hotels was literally just across four lanes of traffic from the Lima Airport so I was happy that my room actually faced the parking lot on the city side and not the actual airport.  (Although I have to admit that it didn’t really matter as I spent very little time in this room!)

One of the things that I’ve noticed about many cityscapes worldwide is that many countries have not yet abandoned the billboard the way that we have here in the states, although I don’t think I’ve EVER seen anything like the giant six-pack of Coke that was in my view. The other thing that is very common is posters plastered around business entrances.  In Peru, the zoning laws are spotty so you can have business and residences crowded together, making it likely that you’ll be looking at posters for all kinds of goods and services as you approach your home.

The other noticeable difference is the large numbers of stray dogs that roam around many of the cities in Peru (although not as much in Lima). Most of the dogs I saw seemed not only well-fed but well-behaved.  And very nonchalant about their lifestyle.  You could find dogs sleeping in all kinds of places where  you would think they would be skittish.  This dog decided to plop itself down to snooze among a group of Japanese tourists in the train station – as if he were just part of the luggage:

Tell me about the view from your window!

Lost Arts

Several years ago Husband and I were in a Fargo furniture store where we purchased a pair of lovely table lamps. They are Tiffany  glass and mica and go well with the Mission/Craftsman style furniture we have in our bedroom. They sit on either side of the bed.

I have had some buyer’s remorse since we purchased them as I didn’t take into account how fragile the shades are. Both Husband and I have  accidentally whacked the shades. I even knocked one on to the floor one morning. That resulted in a dent in the base of  the shade.

Stained glass artisans are not very common out here. We had one in Hettinger, about 80 miles south of us, but she retired a couple of years ago. She worked a lot on stained glass windows in local churches. I am fortunate that one of my coworkers is an artsy person and does some stained glass work, and was able to fix my shade.

We used to have furniture refinishers  and clock repairers out here, but no more.   There are a couple of  upholsterers in town.  They are old guys who I assume will retire one of these days. Then what?  I worry about too many arts lost.

Where do you get things fixed?  What lost arts would you like to see revived?