Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

This photo was taken on the last bridge (Accademia) that goes across the Grand Canal before you reach Saint Mark Basin. Looking east. The dome that you can see in the distance is the Basilica Di Santa Maria della Salute. There's a large tour boat just going under the bridge. Beautiful, yes?





posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Traveling with an android

I started this trip using the app Blogger but as you noticed, photos were sideways if I didn't use my nephew's laptop. I switched to another app called Bloggeroid halfway through the trip, which at least made the photo look ok! Since I haven't learned my html, this was a blessing.

We stayed in the Hill Country in Tuscany. One day, I went up to the top of the hill with my phone



I'll be using this post for my letter A of AlphabeThursday!  New round five!

posted from Bloggeroid

Bolzano in the Italian Alps

There isn't much open since it's Sunday and a three day holiday but we did go to the Museum Archeologich de Sudtriol to see the special (temporary) exhibition on the Iceman.

He was found in the Alps close to here (Bolzano or Bozen, depending on your language). The Iceman is 5000 years old and called an Otzi!

Everyone speaks either Italian or German here. We are very close to Austria. Tomorrow we are heading the long way around to Venice so we can see the mountains a little more.

posted from Bloggeroid

(Darn!  Missed Letter B too!  Bolzano was going to be my Letter B for AlphabeThursday)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art journaling - travel journal



I decided at the last moment to take to Italy with me this small 3" x 3" journal I received from my mom.  We are trying to travel light, and my daily art journal is very bulky.  This way, I can whip this little watercolor book out, and write or paint anywhere!


This is where we stayed in Rome, Hotel Teatro Pace.  We were on the second floor, and had to walk up this winding staircase.  Great fun!

Wordlessly Wednesday - Tuscan rainbow


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cortona and the Annunciation

Yesterday we drove to Cortona.  Jill and Stefana wanted to see Fra Angelico's  Annunciation  at the Diocesan Museum.  "In this scene, Mary says "Yes," consenting to bear God's son."

I wasn't able to take any photos inside, but here's my admission ticket.

Everything was so beautiful and the colors were just fantastic.  Amazing that they were so bright.  They  were talking about the artwork being cleaned.  There were also vestments from the 16th centuries, with gold threads.

It was lots of fun walking around the little village.  We ate at a great restaurant called Locanda al Pozzo Antico.  I have to remember to write something on their website. 

On our way home, we stopped and bought groceries.  Had a small dinner.  Off to Siena tomorrow - it's midway between here and Florence.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Link List - traveling abroad

I'm in Italy now, and only using my Samsung Galaxy Note for getting on the internet.  It's actually to hard to blog with.  If I do post anything in the next few Saturdays, the format might look a little different, but hopefully everything will upload as planned.  




So let me give you some travel tips.  Before you go anywhere abroad, get a travel book.  One of my blogging friends in Italy recommended Rick Steves.   You've might have heard him speak on American public radio or seen him on tv travel shows.  I went to Amazon and got his travel book on Italy - 2012!  It gave me lots of hints -  like what to bring and best places to go.  I also have an app for my phone, that's called Rick Steves' Audio Europe, which is free.  He talks about it in his books, if you're interested.  Pretty neat!



One recommendation I have: travel light.  You can always wash clothes in the sink.  If you carry your luggage with you, you won't have to worry about anything getting lost... hopefully.   Here's a site I found that can be helpful to any person flying in the US.

We'll be staying in the hill country in central Italy, and using a villa (i.e. a large house) as our homebase.  It's too bad that the four of us are traveling by car -  the mass transportation in Europe is great and easy to use.  I believe at the end of our trip, since we plan to go to Venice, we'll take a train from there back down to Rome.  I love the trains, so this will be a treat for me!

Wait for photos in the coming days!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BBArtisans Giveaway featuring N. Fallon Design Studio


What a great idea for a giveaway at the BBArtisans team blog: a gift certificate from an Etsy shop.  Nancy is the host and she has some absolutely beautiful items that I would love to have.  And with $50 - you can really do some serious shopping!

Coin Purses from N. Fallon Design Studio
I've always enjoyed the coin purses Nancy makes; one of those would definitely fit me and my purse.  And what a variety of designs and colors!  I've been thinking, I could get one for myself and one for my mom, and still have money left over...


Knit Heart Pins
A knit heart brooch is be a perfect little gift.  I bought one for my mom as a Mother's Day gift.  Don't worry, there's more available.  And it comes with free shipping.  A very popular item from a savvy Etsy seller! 


              Rainbow Wristlet                    and                    Night Sky Wristlet     
Another favorite item of mine are Nancy's wristlets.  Whether you want something carefree or a little more refined, you'll find it here.  These are perfect for going out to eat, or for traveling in a busy airport.  I've been taking a lot of walks lately, and a wristlet is the perfect size for carrying my wallet, keys and phone. 

A favorite knit tote
If you feel like using your gift certificate as a "down payment" on a more expensive item, that's doable too.  Just imagine what a chunk of cash $50 would take out of this elegant wool tote bag!  It has a zippered closure, something I always look for in a bag.  Isn't this just fantastic?

So, have a convinced you that you should try your luck at the BBArtisans Giveaway?  What harm can it do?  All you have to do is visit Nancy's shop and comment on the BBArtisans team blog.  There are multiple chances to comment too.  Go over to team blog to read the easy instructions.  The contest is open worldwide and the drawing takes place May 20, 2012 at 11am central.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

BBArtisans team treasuries

One of my new teammates, Heather from iHartFelt, included me in a treasury she curated last week.  Thanks, Heather!  Me, the multi-tasker that I (like to think I) am, now had a good reason to go by and visit her shop.  And what a surprise that was!  She had the most adorable little plushes, with the cutest expressions.  Whether you're looking for birds or animals, food or superheros, there's something here you'll enjoy.

I couldn't leave iHartFelt without telling you about the mobiles I saw.  At this time, there are two in Heather's shop, specifically for baby cribs.  I don't know any babies off-hand, but I think these would be adorable handing from one of my ceilings!  She also has some owls that hang from small loops of thread.  It looks like you can choose your own colors, with any of these plushes, to match your decorations.  What a great idea!


The other curator this week was Kathy from tapestry316.  This first treasury was called RED!,    Guess what?  The same pair of black and white (and red) paper earrings were in both treasuries -  maybe these two treasuries will connect with different people in the Etsy community!  Kathy paints beautiful watercolors, drawn from the animals who live with her in the Arizona countryside.  Once in a while, she'll paint a cute scene out of her head, like this Mouse House.  Pretty nice pad eh?

Here second treasury was a colorful one.  Gosh, two in one week - she's been busy!  I definitely have Spring Fever!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Link List - Nature in Art


Many of the nature in art sites I've found are filled with activities for parents to do with their kids, or teachers with their students.  But I don't see anything wrong with adults trying out some of these projects, or looking at the resources.


Martha Stewart's Back to Kids' Nature Craft is a great place to visit and find many artistic projects with nature as a theme, like this fabric bracelet (left).  Whether you enjoy hunting for seashells or going on nature walks, you'll find something fun to do on the weekend or holiday with Martha!

      
Here's an easy way to make an attractive window box herb garden for your kitchen.  There's not a lot of expensive supplies, and you may have some of the items needed  around the house already.  I think adding your own personality to this little wooden box would be fun.  A great idea for the cook in the family.


If you're a serious artist and are interested in promoting nature art and conservation, you might want to stop by the Artists for Conservation (AFC) homepage.  They're an international non-profit group of nature artists.  There's a steep annual membership, but the benefits outweigh the costs if you're an active member.  Their Annual Exhibition this year is at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver from October 12 through the 21st.  Check it out.  


Here's an interesting book I found while "window-shopping" at Blick's online store called Earth, Sea, Sun, and Sky by Barbara Stieff.   It's especially geared towards the young reader.  Anyone can take these ideas and transform them into their own.  If you have children and are looking for creative projects, this book looks to be a good guide.  


It is amazing how many Etsy artisans are inspired by nature.  Members are recyclers, nature lovers and naturalists.  Here are a listing of 129 different teams.  The smallest ones have only one member; the largest, over 900.  If you're an Etsy member and you enjoy nature, join a nature team and meet some like-minded people.  I picked out nine that looked really neat!     

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Short-term goals for May


Since I'll be going away in about a week, I’ve be thinking of altering my goals for the month of May.  There are some things to keep in mind, while traveling with the family.  I want to be a good companion for my mom and be patient with everyone else.  But that’s not too difficult to do, since I love them all so dearly.  Here's my plan:

1)  Keep in contact with home.
DH and I will have to spend more time writing emails than talking on the phone while I'm away (we both couldn’t afford for go overseas).  I've been thinking of writing two short posts a week, to let everyone know what’s going on.  I just bought a global add-on package with 125 MB of data, but that will be deleted quickly unless I can find a lot of Wi-Fi hot spots.  I did find an app (called WiFi Finder) to help me look.   
2)  Spend my down time relaxing and reading.  
It looks like this is a good chance to get some extra reading done.  I put The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu on my smart phone through an Amazon Kindle app.  And I just learned about a travel app, put together by Rick Steves, the author of my book on Italy.  I figured everyone I’m traveling with will have books; I'll go high tech!   Unfortunately, I'll be missing a good discussion with my book club; our book-of-the-month is Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James.  I plan to read my book, stay in touch with everyone though our email "loop" and write a book review.   

3)  Take lots of pictures and record my adventures.
I plan to be a photographer this month, and take lots of photos.  Also I want to write in my art journal and record where we've been.  I know I’ll forget names!  I didn't start out well - keep forgetting the camera when Buster and I go for walks around the pond.  I have his retractable leash - trying to get used to it.  He likes to jump into the water after the ducks, but can't go too far.  Above is a little journal entry of the event. I also want to take some videos while I'm away; something I haven't done before.  Think I'll use my camera and not my phone! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

BBArtisans Team Treasuries

It's been about a week since these two curators put together their Etsy treasuries.  They both invoked a special emotion for me, one dealing with giving, the other receiving.  Does that sound strange enough?  This is what I mean:
 

I thought Sharla's light-hearted treasury had everything to do with animals, until yesterday, when I took the time to look at it and see what she was saying.

"There are so many wonderful people on Etsy and I'm honored to know these special ladies! They've all made me smile in one way or another so help me say thanks by visiting their fabulous shops!"

Sharla always makes me smile, sometimes break out laughing, when I read her blog.  And whenever I think of animals now, I am reminded of her.  Like these kitty earrings she made.  Thank you, Sharla, you are a dear friend.



Then again, yesterday, I took the time to go into Linda's shop, to find a special item to  match her treasury.  Maybe Mom would enjoy something from Linda's Judaica Earrings Jewelry section?  But no, I didn't think so; she never wears fancy earrings.  As I looked through the necklaces, I saw the beautiful sodalite necklace and earring set she made.  How perfectly it reminded me of my mother, and how dear she is to me.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Link List - in celebration of nurses




Do you know any nurses?  Well, if you do, get ready to pamper them this coming week.  Nurses Day, celebrated in the U.S. on May 6th, is traced back to 1953 and Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.  She sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a "Nurse Day" in October for that year.  A day was set aside the following year, but the proclamation was never made.


Where did Florence Nightingale get her name?  
From Florence, Italy of course!

 It wasn't until January 1974 that the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed May 12th as "International Nurse Day" (the day was chosen to commenorate Florence Nightingale's birthday).  

In 1982, the American Nurses Association Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6th as "National Nurses Day" in the United States.  (It was only then that) the U.S. Congress affirmed a joint resolution designating the day as "National Recognition Day for Nurses."  Visit the American Nurses Association's website at www.nursingworld.org where they talk about careers, workplace safety and membership benefits. 


you can download this wallpaper for your computer to honor s nurse.
If you're a nurse in school, May 8th is your day.  The Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma Theta Tau International) was founded by six nurses in 1922 at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses (they later became incorporated in 1985).  The organizational mission is "to support the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide."  That's nice!  Here's their website


For those living in the United Kingdom or planning a trip there anytime soon, don't miss the Florence Nightingale Museum, located in London.  The museum follows Florence's life as a nurse, and looks at the history of nursing.  There is a beautiful statue of Florence Nightingale at Waterloo Place (London).  


Another statute can be found outside the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary Hospital, where the Nightingale family settled on their return to England (from Italy).  On May 12th, a procession of nurses with be led by women in period dress.  It begins at St. Peter's Church in St. Peter's Churchyard, Derby.  You can see the stained glass window there, featuring an image of Florence, which was moved from the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary chapel following its closure.  The parade concludes at the Derby Cathedral.  There will also be an exhibition in the Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall, in Holloway, near Matlock on the same day.      





Looking for a handmade gift for your special nurse.  Here are a few ideas:


Judy from ImGlassyEyed
Jamie from PaisleyMaizie

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AlphabeThursday - X marks the spot


Not too many words begin with the letter X, so this week's AlphabeThursday will be interesting to see what people pick.   I like the letter X all by itself.


The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Xs, is X marks the spot.






A friend gave me a box of magazines a month ago, so I decided to look for a designer chest to put under my X, like a treasure.  And wouldn't you know it - I found one in House Beautiful!  The trunk I found reminds me of luggage that would have been taken on a ocean voyage, at the beginning of the century.  The 20th century!





I wasn't sure if it would fit on my pages, but it did.




And I was going to draw a big X across the page, when I remembered a stamp I had started a few weeks ago.  So I finished my carving of a pencil and used that straight line, over and over again, to make an X.


What would be in your treasure chest?


To visit other Letter X posts this week, 
come to Ms. Jenny's blog, ...off on my tangent... 

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