Thursday, October 4, 2007

MANET WHO?-THE ARTFUL PICNIC which photo above, does it look like they are having a better time? You had better say the second, the one with the happy artists, holding up their wine glasses, having a glorious day together!!!

It's all thanks to this lovely lady above, Constance. She is truely one of the most beautiful spirits I have ever met. There is so much positive energy coming from this lady, you can feel it immediately.

She decided to get a few of us bloggers together, to celebrate the birthday of Susanna......and well....just get us together. I was so happy to meet all of these wonderful women! All accomplished in so many ways and absolutely a blast to be with. Constance, Susanna, Mo'a and Rena. Thank you so much for making the day so perfect.

So what are the ingredients of a great picnic? Well......have Constance make the frittata, beer bread, biscotti, soup...and probably more, that I am forgetting. Have Mo'a make the spinach salad and bring beautiful flowers. Rena makes the butternut squash soup...with a hint of spice.......Bring WINE!!! Have great party favors courtesy of the birthday girl..........and last but not least , SHARE YOUR ART! Constance, her beautiful handbags and Florilinas, Susanna, her photographic sketchbooks, like a dream and encaustic painting, beautiful color and texture. Mo'a brought her incredible Icelandic Santas. (Did you know there were 13 Santas in Iceland?) and Rena, an old friend of Susannas, is a writer. She discussed the novel she has written.

Lot's of great still life set ups!

Take lots of photos!

Play with the beautiful things around you!

Give the birthday girl a priceless gift!

At the end......feel full..........of LIFE. Thanks ladies!

Monday, October 1, 2007


So pull up a seat, put your feet up and grab a glass of wine...or a spritz, as the Venetians would...that's Prosecco, Campari and a little orange liquor, that for the life of me I can't remember the name of.

My trip was wonderful. Trying to figure out what to post is more difficult than I would have imagined, so I decided to go with a theme. WINDOWS. I saw so many amazing sights both looking INTO and OUT of windows in Italy . I found the following info in the dictionary-
Word History: The source of our word window is a vivid metaphor. Window comes to us from the Scandinavian invaders and settlers of England in the early Middle Ages. Although we have no record of the exact word they gave us, it was related to Old Norse vindauga, "window," a compound made up of vindr, "wind," and auga, "eye," reflecting the fact that at one time windows contained no glass. The metaphor "wind eye" is of a type beloved by Norse and Old English poets and is called a kenning; other examples include oar-steed for "ship" and whale-road for "sea." Recently we have restored to the 800-year-old word window a touch of its poetic heritage, using it figuratively in such phrases as launch window, weather window, and window of opportunity or vulnerability.
Let's do a little "window shopping" and browsing, if you will.............

Sigh....... looking out from the "Bridge of Sighs" at the Doges Palace in Venice, so called because when prisoners were sent to the prison, this was the last bit of light they would see. They would "sigh"....... or curse I suppose.

Looking up at the windows of a home.

A window at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice where I saw an incredible art show. Check it out here. What you see hanging next to the window, covers the entire front of the building. Woven tin cans. Not only does it look fabulous, when the wind blows it makes a beautiful sound. I also saw an incredible exhibit of John Singer Sargents paintings and drawings from his time in Venice, at the suggestion of fellow blogger Robyn, who does some beautiful watercolors of her own. Sargent somehow captures the essence of this incredible city without making it look like a cliche.

Peeking into the window of a jazz bar around the corner from our hotel. P.S. I hope none of you know that man :-)....pretty colors, huh? I felt an immediate need to run out and buy some new underwear.

The beauty that can only come from something old and weathered. A patina that would be difficult to would be fun to try, though.

Moving on to window shopping.........

....a necklace that would not be my style to wear, but oh so beautiful!

Looking up at the front doorway to the Duomo in Sienna. I can't possibly do this building the justice it deserves.

Moving on to Cortona and a beautiful gem of a B and B called Poggio Sole. It's run by a lovely young woman named Benedetta and her family. We had the BEST dinner and BREAKFAST of our entire trip here.

The windows are small at these countryside homes , originally designed to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But....OH THE VIEW!!

Inside Benedettas kitchen you see the Tuscan countryside on one side and a beautiful little faux window on the other.

Early morning view out of the bathroom window.

May I also point out that there are MAJOR improvements in soundproofing. Outside of our hotel in Rome, which was around the corner from the lively Campo Di Fiori area, we heard NOTHING when the windows were closed.

I truely could go on forever......but back to the real world I go.

I leave you with a view out of the taxi window on the way to Rome airport. See the rainbow? It was FULL!!! I'm thinking it means I'll return.

More later........