Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend (2017)

Friday May 26, 2017
As per usual (for Memorial Day wknd), I started out the weekend by purchasing a hanging plant for our patio. I knew that would probably be the first of many plants I’d buy over the weekend, and I was right. The hanging plant I chose was a fuschia, which is definitely my favorite flower when it comes to hanging baskets (or bushes). I think that’s because we had a fuschia bush in front of the house we rented in Gloucester back in 1998-1999. My mother-in-law took a cutting which grew into a rather sizeable bush at the house they just sold in Wellington. I wish we had the climate to keep a fuschia bush alive, but sadly, I’ve had to settle for just the occasional hanging plant over the summer.

Friday night we went out to dinner at a local favorite Japanese restaurant called Kikoyo. Honestly, I was a bit jealous of all the people eating out on the patio at Figlio’s next door, but I really wanted sushi, so it was indoor dining for us. Andrew ordered a bento box while I got the ‘Hot Mess’ sushi
(which reminded me of Trish ‘Hot Mess’ McKinney). Having liked the Saki I had last fall with our Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to order some more with the help of our waitress. I ended up liking this Saki even more than what we bought from World Market. We each enjoyed sipping out of our little cups while Andrew had his soup and I ate his salad before our main courses were brought out. We both ended up having enough food that we had leftovers (which we later ate on Sunday night).
Saki & Green Tea Ice Cream to finish

Saturday May 27, 2017
The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out by early afternoon. Wanting to do at least one day trip, after surfing the web for a bit and looking through a list of festivals in Central Ohio, I decided on a visit to the Springfield Museum of Art. It was the last weekend for Industrial Nature: Works by Michelle Stitzlein.
We had originally planned to visit on my birthday, but the museum isn’t open on Mondays, so we shelved that plan. I’m glad we finally made it out there because it was a truly spectacular exhibit. I love art made with discarded objects; though I’m not sure if all the parts were, but some pieces were definitely old. Because of all the pieces of hose pipe, many of the pieces had a somewhat aquatic nature to them and reminded me of some of the plants that grow on coral reefs. 

I think Andrew and I both agreed that the pair of moths were our favorite pieces.

Before we left we had a look at the Stories by Hand: (quilts by) Marianne Raab Britton), 


as well as the watercolor paintings by the local watercolor society

and the Gardens and Ponds paintings of Jennifer Rosengarten. All were very impressive. Even though we didn’t have to pay the $5 admission fee (because we’re members of the CMA which has a reciprocal agreement), we definitely got our money’s worth, and even more importantly, felt it was worth the 45 minute drive there (but we also stopped and had lunch at CafĂ© Mundo on our way over).

Sunday May 28, 2017
Today after church I decided to bite the bullet and buy some more plants for our patio and the bed underneath our Florida Room window. I ended up buying (3) hostas, (2) varieties of Basil (lime and cinnamon), a couple spider plants, a cluster of misc. flowers and some funky grass. $62 and a full cart later, I headed home with my foliage and spent most of the afternoon getting things into various pots and the hostas into the flower bed. It was worth the effort as I’m pretty pleased with the results. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that I can keep everything alive for the duration of the summer.

Since the weather was still pretty nice (rain predicted for some time later though) we decided to chance it and head down to the Columbus Commons for “Evolutionaries.” It was a David Bowie & Prince tribute concert
put on by Shadowbox (a local theatre company whose home venue is near German Village). The concert lasted just over two hours, but it wasn’t exactly a concert under the stars since it was a bit overcast,
but we were happy that the rain held off until we were in the car on our way home.
Although it was a bit difficult to see since we were so far back on the commons (probably should have gotten there sooner to stake out a good spot closer to the stage), I occasionally zoomed in on the action using my camera while taking pictures for this blog, etc.
tribute to Ziggy Stardust
Even though they didn’t play Andrew’s favorite Prince song (“Raspberry Beret”), they covered a fair amount of material between the two artists, and furthermore, it was FREE, so you can’t ask for more than that. I look forward to attending more concerts on the Commons in the future.

Monday May 29, 2017
I had no specific plans for today other than to try and do as many art projects as I had time for. Other than spray painting a couple pages of an art journal I’m working on, all I really accomplished was constructing a Tin Can Pen Rack, which I had read about in a book awhile back and kept meaning to assemble. Like with most projects that seem effortless, it took a little longer than I had anticipated. For one thing, I had the wrong size hair bands for attaching my cans to the pole, and I had some difficulty figuring out how to attach it to the wall. After a trip to Walmart and some assistance from my husband, Andrew, we eventually got it up on the wall.

I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day and enjoyed their three day weekend. Have a great week everyone!  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Confirmation Weekend

Friday May 19, 2017

My nephew Rhys was among the 144 Confirmandi who were anointed with the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Frederick Campbell this past Friday evening. As I am his Godmother, I was chosen to be his sponsor. As part of that responsibility I had to fill out a questionnaire and write him a letter incorporating some of the concepts on the questionnaire. So, yes, I had a little bit of homework to do and about two weeks to do it. It wasn’t too bad as homework goes, though I did have to do some research as I had no idea what the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit are (you learn something new every day!). I hope I passed along some wisdom, though I know he’s still way too young to appreciate that fact. Perhaps he’ll hold on to the letter for the future, but if not, I will always have a digital copy he can refer back to.  : )

I am very, very grateful that the deluge of rain let up by the time I had to meet Rhys at the school gymnasium. I pity the 4:30pm class, some of whom were provided with towels to dry off (plus there was a leak in the roof inside the church). Amongst that class was my neighbor’s granddaughter, Ellie, whom was in my Monday night ASL (American Sign Language) class.

I am also grateful that Mr. Boydon, who was in charge filled us in on some of the questions the Bishop would probably ask (though it wasn’t me who would have to answer any, but I’m sure Rhys appreciated the heads up). He also reminded us that we needed to know the saint name of the child we were sponsoring. I found that out weeks ago when I texted my sister, so we were good there. By the way, mine was Saint Anne, and we didn’t have to remember our saint names since they were displayed on a handmade sash we all had to wear on our Confirmation day. I  bet Rhys is glad they don’t subject kids to that humiliation anymore.

As grateful as I am that the rain let up, I do wish that either the air conditioning was set a little lower, or that the dress code dictated long sleeves, because pretty much all of us wore dresses and had short sleeves of some sort, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who froze. I couldn’t wait to go home and get out of my dress and into a nice warm hoodie. I have yet to attend an event where I’m not bundled up to ward off extreme A/C or cold weather outside. Hence, no one but my husband has ever seen my shoulders because they’re always under a cardigan.

Anyway, the ceremony went off without a hitch, and it didn’t take too long to anoint everyone. I easily remembered right hand, right shoulder, whisper saint name (Matthew) at prompting; then walk back to your seat.

Afterwards we snapped a few quick pictures with the parents and grandparents and me before we all literally split up and headed back to our cars. A shout out to my husband Andrew for coming to pick me up after some confusion over who was giving me a ride home (and then no one did).

I know it wasn’t my day, but I was a little disappointed not to feel any joy (maybe relief, but certainly not joy) after the ceremony was over. My sister’s neighbor probably said it best when she described it as rather “low key.” I remember being absolutely elated on my special day (which feels like 100 years ago now). In fact, we almost felt like celebrities when we were back at school the next day (possibly because my favorite teacher was also a fellow parishioner). It was a long slog to get to that point (of confirmation), but it was still such a happy moment. If it was a happy event for Rhys it’s probably only because he’s done with formal PSR classes and now has a weekend of parties and special events.

My sister had a nice little party at her house afterwards. Really loved the strawberry multi-layered cake she had. It must be the year for strawberry cakes as we also enjoyed one on Boxing Day to celebrate a couple relatives’ birthdays. Quite honestly I liked the cake my sister bought better. More layers, more cake, more yum factor! I wonder what their chocolate cakes taste like???

I like the cross-shaped wooden tray my sister bought for Rhys. She told him it would come in handy to put his coins, keys or jewelry in. That was certainly the most clever and practical gift you could buy for a boy. Girls are so much easier; I bought Ashley a pretty, dainty cross necklace and enjoyed looking through dozens of different designs and even bought one or two for myself.

Well, Congratulations Rhys and the rest of your Confirmation class. Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Sunday, May 14, 2017
an old photo from Franklin Park Conservatory

Today my mom asked me whether or not I still “scrapbooked.” She then told me about a story she saw on one of those early morning news programs where they were highlighting a B & B type place you could stay for the weekend and do non-stop scrapbooking.

To answer my mother’s question, I told her I don’t really do scrapbooking anymore, as such. Instead, I enjoy what is called Art Journaling. I have to admit that I misunderstood what the definition of Art Journaling was when I first started. I expected to simply illustrate a journal containing my notes and writing. You can do that, but really an art journal is a sketchbook filled with writing and pictures in an artful combination. There’s really more of a focus on the art rather than the writing.

I took my first art journal class perhaps five or six years ago after coming across an interesting class description in the Upper Arlington Lifelong Learning catalog. The only hitch was that it was a daytime class for seniors. I made enquiries to the UA Lifelong Learning office and they gave me the contact details for the instructor (Amy Flowers of Shrewd Art), who then informed me that she also taught evening classes at one of the local art stores (Dick Blick’s). I signed up for her class and been hooked ever since, though I haven’t yet completely filled the two art journals I started in a couple of her classes.

My most recent art journal class was at a weekend retreat (Artiscape) where our instructor gave us each a book she had started repurposing as an art journal by painting over the cover and a few of the inside pages. I haven’t done anything further with it since then, but am slowly making plans in my head.

Here are some examples of a few of my favorite pages I’ve completed over the years:
 Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Saturday May 6, 2017
Today Andrew and I visited the Columbus Museum of Art to check out this year’s Decorators’ Show House. According to one of the volunteers, this was the first time the event was held inside the museum. Each Interior Designer was assigned a room by lottery, and then they just had to make the most of the space. By ‘room,’ I mean partitions set up to create different size spaces. There were 13 rooms created by various local interior design companies, and some of the items inside each room were for sale. There weren’t many of the items we could have afforded, save for the odd book or martini glass. We were surprised to see there was even a kitchen among the assortment of rooms. The only room missing to make this a complete house was a bathroom (and perhaps a laundry room).

I told Andrew that it would have been fun to ‘play house’ in this pseudo house by ordering in some food, chilling some wine, and enjoying the various spaces. For all I know the museum may have already done that as there were some special evenings early on when the Show House just opened. It should be noted that the whole point of the Decorators’ Show House, which was coordinated by the Women’s Board, was as a fundraiser for the museum (hence the pricey $25 a head price tag). I figured Andrew might be a bit reluctant since we’ve never paid that much to tour any house (though Falling Water & the Hearst Mansion are quite pricey), but he agreed to accompany me anyway. After strolling through all 13 rooms, I can honestly say it was worth every penny and wouldn’t have minded spending longer. Andrew said he wished he would have brought his fisheye lens, while I wish I had brought my Lumix camera, but thankfully our camera phones seemed to have sufficed. [non-flash photos were allowed.]

The first room we were shown into was the Portal, which was the home Library. All the 3000 books were arranged by color, which may have struck some as a unique and particularly artistic design, but I’ve seen photos on Pinterest where ordinary people do that. Although I love the aesthetic, I prefer to arrange mine by Dewey Decimal. I would say that was my favorite room, but there really wasn’t any furniture save for a table in the room. If there had been more space, an overstuffed chair in the corner wouldn’t have looked out of place.

Moving on we were shown to the bar or ‘The Contemporary Cocktail Cabaret.’ I was envious of the wine collection, which took up most of a wall. It was definitely more wine than I could drink in a lifetime. Anyway, that has nothing to do with art, so I should probably talk about the various design elements. I liked the metallic chrome pig and the yellow glass baubles on the table (Chihuly?). I also liked the table shaped like it was a slab of wood, when really it was made out of metal or something. I’m pretty sure the two glass bowls on it were Chihuly.

The next room over was actually called ‘The Bar,’ probably because of all the liquor bottles on the credenza. Not sure whether or not I like all the books stacks underneath it. I believe the volunteer said it was modeled on a Manhattan style apartment, so space being precious, that’s probably the only place where they could be stowed (and is probably where I would have put them myself). I like the head planter, which is definitely something I wouldn’t mind owning (I have a slightly smaller version I picked up inexpensively at Franklin Park Conservatory last year).

Next to the bar was the ‘Bold and Beautiful’ kitchen. Both Andrew and I admired the hand-painted tile backplash, something I wouldn’t mind having when we renovate our kitchen, but first I’d have to find a tile artist. Recommendations anyone?

Moving on we were next shown to the ‘Urban Artisans’ room which had a wall of musicians made out of scraps of wood. I commented on the glass hammer. What do you get the handyman who has everything? A glass hammer of course, or perhaps that would make a nice award for a carpenter.

Then we were shown to a nice cozy living room in ‘Bold Luxury Living.’ If I am not mistaken, this was the room with a pair of ceramic Great Danes, both wearing mens’ ties, which I thought was a nice touch. I also liked the pair of black ceramic hands which could be used as art on their own (as they were), as baskets, or perhaps seating for those whose are slightly on the tiny side (I might have just about been able to squeeze into one of them, but I doubt it would be very comfortable).

Next over was the 'Scandinavian Inspired Bedroom.' My favorite piece was the ‘dome chair of bleached wood and raw linen.’ Not sure of the price tag, but doubtless not in our budget.

We don’t have kids, so the Mid-Century Modern Nursery was a bit wasted on us, but if we did have a baby, we’d probably want a nursery much like this one. I love all things Mid-Century Modern. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era (but I did really love the 80s!).

After putting the kids to bed and finishing up a nice evening in the ‘Bold Luxury Living’ room, my bedroom of choice would have to be the French Boudoir. Besides the fact that I love the word ‘Boudoir.’ It makes me think of the time Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen once designed a room on “Changing Rooms” nicknamed ‘a Tart’s Boudoir.’ I love the faux doors and windows and 3-D painted walls in this room. The walls were painted with a square pattern and shaded in such a way to make it look like the walls had dimension. According to our guidebook, ‘What appears to be woodwork is, in fact a photo-realistic wallcovering of geometric molding – a technological take on historic French boiserie.’

On opposite ends of the room were doors behind which was a view looking over Paris, only it’s not real. It’s an enlarged b/w photo lit from behind. The other pair of elongated windows/photos (on either side of the bed) aren’t lit, but are equally as stunning.

Andrew might have chosen the “London ChicPrivate Retreat next door. He spent quite awhile studying the various old maps of the UK framed and mounted along one wall. That’s definitely a May family trait – pouring over maps, old or new.

If you can’t sleep, or need another room in which to entertain, the ‘Employees Only’ room fits the bill. According to the guidebook, ‘It is both library and lounge, a place for after-hours libations or an afternoon of quiet work and focus.’ It’s a tie for my favorite piece. The chandelier was absolutely stunning and definitely something I wouldn’t mind having in my house, but I also loved the rug. At first glance it looks just like an everyday black and white rug. However, as explained to us by one of the volunteers, in its former life, it was one of those well-worn red Persian rugs that had been bleached and then dyed black. I definitely prefer that look to the traditional red, and how clever!

Study in Geology’ is another gentleman’s study with a haired hide rug similar to the one in the Urban Artisans room (only we were allowed to walk on this one). I liked the shape of the table in the back corner of the room and all the wood and organic design; perhaps a bit masculine, but it was a room designed for that aesthetic.

The last room before leaving this very impressive show house was ‘Modernized Versailles.’ I told Andrew if I could only own one piece from this room it would have to be the tiny (portable) ‘Port ‘bar. I love all the tiny glasses (smaller even than shot glasses).
Reminds me of something someone would bring to “The Antiques Roadshow.” In fact, I’m sure it probably is an antique. I also love the wall of mirrors which certainly makes the room feel a lot larger and reflects a lot more light back into the room.

When I get a minute I can’t wait to take the volunteers’ suggestion to listen to the decorator’s commentary on each room. They suggested taking a photo of each plaque to get the number to punch into our cell phones and listen later.

I’m really glad I got a chance to visit and see the Decorators’ Show House, especially since it’s only there for such a short time (18 days). I hope they do it again next year, and if we’re feeling flush cash-wise, maybe I’d even attend one of the special events.

If you get a chance, I’d highly recommend a visit while it’s still there. If you can’t make it there, be sure to check out my photos on flickr (I still need to make them public, but in the meantime you can always check out my pics from Artiscape). Here’s a link to my flickr page: