Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scary October Witch!

I know. I know...pretty dreadful. It is the season for dreadful and scary and even frightful! I do believe this witchy portrait fits the bill.

To make it all up to you I'll share my latest favorite Mary Oliver poem. (To be honest, if you ask me tomorrow to name my favorite Mary Oliver poem it would most likely be another. I am a serious Mary Oliver fan and I love so many of her poems.)


Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I'm not where I started!

And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.

Halleluiah, I'm sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings

I am still away. Tomorrow is the beginning of JournalFest. I'll be there until Sunday. If any of you Dear Readers cares, I will be posting a piece or two of new art work next week.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn Art Travels

I am off today on another art adventure. My first stop will be a painting retreat with Anna Rhodes, my painting teacher. Anna puts on retreats a few times a year under the name An Artists' Retreat. The retreat is being held at Harmony Hill, a retreat center, on Hoods Canal. I haven't been to the Canal in years and am looking forward to spending some time on the beach. I used to fish the Canal every summer with my Dad and it has a special place in my heart.

Anna is a great teacher and I always learn a lot in her classes. I'm looking forward to doing some work in oils and getting back into my painting 'groove.' I've been away from my easel far too long.
On Sunday, the end of my time with Anna, I'll meet up with Nonie. We are going to spend a few nights at Port Ludlow Inn. We don't have any real plans except to prowl around the area, finding some new parks to visit and maybe going as far afield as Poulsbo. Who knows what devilment me might get up to? It is the right time of year, after all!
Wednesday I say good bye to Nonie and I'm off to JournalFest at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. JournalFest is brought to us by the same great team who bring us ArtFest each spring. I love both of these retreats, but I think JournalFest might just edge out ArtFest for me as I am a long time journaler and love all the classes that are all about journaling or bookmaking or things that pertain specifically to journals. It's a great group of people and I love my time there.

And so, Dear Reader, I'll be back about the first of November. Hopefully I'll have some art to share with you, but I will have a report of my adventure for sure.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sunday at the Smithsonian

I returned earlier this week from my first visit to Washington, D.C. I went east for a family wedding that was held in Virginia. On the Sunday following the wedding I spend part of the day in D.C. with my daughter Annie and her family. It was a lovely partly sunny early autumn day, the sort of day that was the perfect introduction to my nation's capitol.

This lovely old castle-y looking building is part of the Smithsonian Institutions. It is the iconic image that is engraved on most of the literature you see pertaining to the Smithsonian. I knew that before I went to D.C. but it surprised me all the same when I saw it 'for real.' Funny how that happens.

This is one of the moon gates in a garden that is modeled after the Palace of Heaven in China. (I am going to be going to China in the spring and will get to see the original!)
We found this moth (or butterfly?) in the moon gate garden. I have never seen one like it and I've no idea what sort of moth/butterfly it might be. If you know, Dear Reader, please enlighten me by leaving a comment. I'd love to be able to put a name to this lovely.
12/2/2010: My dear friend George has just solved the mystery for me. The butterfly, not a moth, above is a common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).
Thank you, George!
The Capital.
The Washington Monument.

This is my daughter and her family in a classic tourist snapshot.

This plump little birdie was sitting right outside of the Museum of Natural History.

We had decided that since we had such a limited amount of time to visit the Smithsonian (19 separate museums make up the Smithsonian Institute, all free!), we would concentrate on the Museum of American History. This museum houses something I have wanted to see for some time, something that thrilled me to be able to see with my own eyes....Julia Child's kitchen!
There, on the back wall, where all the pots and pans are hung so neatly, if you look carefully you'll see the outline of the object on the pegboard. Paul Child did this when he and Julia arranged their kitchen. I read about this in Julia's biography and thought it very interesting. It appeals to my OCD, I think. I myself have never been quite so organized, but I do admire it in other's .

I was thrilled to see Julia's diploma from Le Cordon Bleu. Have your read how difficult it was for Julia to pry this very document from the woman who ran the school's hands? I enjoyed reading the story of the diploma in Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch. Julia Child is a hero of mine. I first came across her in the early 1960s and like the Julie in Julie and Julia, I have made many (many!) of the recipes in her cookbooks. In many ways, Julia taught me to cook by explaining techniques and methods so clearly in all her recipes and she certainly taught me to cook with passion.

On the counter just outside the edge of the above photo is Julia's rather sophisticated telephone, circa the 1970s I should think. While I was viewing the kitchen, there was a couple also looking into the display. The husband remarked to the wife that had you been on Julia's speed dial, you'd have known that you'd arrived. Oh, how I yearned to have been on her speed dial when he made that comment! Wouldn't that have been something?

Above is a photo of a photo of Julia Child in her kitchen in France. I have always loved this photo of her.
Being able to visit the kitchen of Julia Child was very special to me. It was one of those moments we sometimes are gifted with. I am happy to say that my daughter, Annie, felt the same way. It was even more special to me to be able to share the experience with her.
Ian, my two-year-old grandson, however, found the cranes and construction machinery we saw outside the Museum of American History to be much more his cup of tea.

Annie's daughter Alex, 5, was enthralled with the ruby slippers from the movie The Wizard of Oz. It was pretty cool to see those famous slippers, but they didn't hold a candle to Julia's kitchen to me.
Seeing Julia's kitchen with my own eyes was something, something special.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Wedding

Here's to hoping that you, Dear Reader, enjoy happy wedding photos as much as I do. All of these photos are curtesy of my extremely talented brother-in-law, Don Whitebread. My camera was broken the day before the wedding and I have had to rely of the kindness of family members for images to share with you.

My beautiful daughters, Annie (matron-of-honor) and the bride, Jennie.

My son Don and his eldest daughter, Emma, arrive by golf cart for the ceremony.

My oh-so-handsome son Don walks me down to my seat just before the start of the wedding ceremony. (That is the bride's camera I'm carrying.)

The flower girls were lovely. Emma (6) is on the left, Alex (5) on the right.

Jen and her handsome groom with flower girl Emma.

DH walks Jen down the "aisle" at the Calistroga Ranch, the wedding venue.

Jen & Chris' cake was delicious and carried out the hydrangea flower theme of the wedding with it's one layer completely covered with hydrangea "petals."

We were treated to a five course dinner (with wine pairings, no less!) in the wine cave at Calistoga Ranch. It was the perfect place for such a celebratory meal. The food was divine.

The cake was even better.