Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tis the Season

I haven't been doing much in the way of art but I did want to share something I did - I'm pretty proud of it because it was pretty darn difficult, in a fun way. There's a magical little store in Berkeley California called Castle in the Air and they managed to get hold of a huge collection of old French Pellerin paper models, theaters and "Grand Constructions" as they call them.  They sell beautiful reprints for only $15 that you can cut up and construct in good conscience - my Mom bought me an original for Christmas last year and it's safely framed - no scissors are coming near it. I bought the reprint of this one below (they're all 16"x 20"):

And after hours of pondering, and thinking and pondering some more and wishing I could read 1800's French (or that Google could translate it) it now looks like this (please ignore the magnets, it's on my fridge):

There's a long central piece of paper that goes down the back that his head is attached to, and every little moving piece is interconnected and had to be attached together with brads in exactly the right order so that when you move that center piece back and forth, all the other little pieces move as well - I should have taken a little movie of me moving it.  I just love it, and it was so fun to put together.  I started looking through their website at the others they have to do another one and got overwhelmed there are so many and they're all so wonderful,  The link is here if you're interested.

Since what little creative effort I've made recently has primarily been in the decorating department, I thought I'd share a few pictures.  These are chosen basically due to their being the least embarrassing quality photos - I clearly need a better camera if I want to take good indoor photos.

My village:

The center of my dining table

 My little silver tree with vintage ornaments

My mantel

This will be my last post before Christmas as I'm leaving town Friday - I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and magical holiday season.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Avila Beach and SF

This is going to be another picture-heavy and art-light post!  

A few weekends ago I went with a group of 8 women for a girls weekend to Avila Beach, which is on the Central California coast.  This was a much needed escape for my friend who has had a very rough couple of years, and I was so happy that her sisters, a cousin and friends (one of whom flew over from New York) were able to all get together for this long weekend. Someone had a really nice camera and took most of the pictures, but I haven't seen those yet so here are just a few I took with my phone.

We were staying about a block away from this pier.

The coast is beautiful here. I know I said that in my last post about the Northern California coast, but the California Coast overall really is pretty hard to beat. 

Some of us frolicking on the beach and in the tide pools.

This little town famously has a population of 18 and is a tiny hippie artist colony where they make pottery and blown glass.  

There is also a wonderful tiny cafe owned by an Italian man who looked utterly shocked when someone tried to order a decaf. There is the cutest tiny little room across from it to sit and eat and drink that looks to me like a tiny little artists room/studio in 18th century France, crumbling plaster and all ( I know, I have a colorful imagination).  It had a tiny wood stove in the corner and old records were playing on an old turntable.

This is the dining room of the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, not known for it's restraint in any way!  I texted this picture to my husband and said this is why I never drag him there when we're in the area and his response was "Oh My Gaudy!".   It's fun though, and something everyone should experience once if they're in the area.

The condo we rented had a big blackboard where we wrote our list of things we wanted to do, - Cal Poly which is nearby is where 5 of us went to college, so there was lots of going down memory lane on our to-do list.

Last weekend I took my Mom to San Francisco to see a stage production of "A Christmas Carol" which was wonderful.  I took just a few pictures:

This is the front of the ACT - American Conservatory Theater where we saw the production. It's just beautiful,

I took this picture of the boxes inside before they told us no pictures inside.

Macy's on Union Square with a huge wreath in every window.

The Christmas tree and famous statue in Union Square next to the ice rink.

From the ground floor looking up the 3 story high Christmas Tree and glass ceiling at Neiman Marcus.