Monday, April 27, 2009

London Calling

On Wednesday, we leave for Paris. After several days there, we plan to head over to London for a few days. Having only Niagra Falls in my international experience, I am quite excited to see what the UK has to offer.
I am sure we will fly around London, trying to see as much as we can within the few days.
As a government nerd, seeing Parliament would be extra interesting.
There will be so many sights to see...
And libations to experience!
The sights will not end when the sun goes down, I assure you.
And though we will begrudgingly head to our hotel room, our heavy heads will be dreaming of all the days' sights as they hit the pillow.
(All items can be purchased on Etsy - click on the image to be sent to the item listing.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The Scottie story:
This morning, one of my dogs got loose. My husband called me, and since I was only a few minutes away from home, I turned around and came back home to help corral her. Apparently the situation had been complicated by two Scottie dogs who appeared, distracting our dog.
I went inside, grabbed a harness and leash, and a fistfull of dog treats.

When my dog saw me, she ran straight at me, and I was able to get her harness attached to her and give her a few treats. The Scotties came along, too, so they also got treats. I asked my husband where he found these two little guys, and he said they just showed up. I had never seen them before, and I keep pretty close track of all the dogs in our neighborhood.

Neither of them had a collar on, so there were no tags to check.

It has been raining and very muddy lately, so these two were very wet, and very dirty. They even had leaves and large burs stuck in their previously well-groomed coats. They had obviously been traveling through the woods.

Since I had no clue as to where these two came from, and no one was emerging from the neighboring homes to claim them, I escorted them to our house, grabbed my keys and loaded them up in the car.

We drove to the Prince William County animal shelter.

They were both exhausted from their roaming adventure so far, and while one curled up on my leather jacket in the passenger seat, the other laid on my left leg and rested his head on the car door. Both of them slept for most of the trip. I guess Scottie legs aren't meant for long distance travel.

I dropped them off, and was relieved to find out that they were both micro-chipped, so it was likely that their owner would be found. I took down the numbers assigned to them so I could periodically check in on them. Realizing that I was way too muddy to go to work, I went back home to quickly change clothes. As I was leaving again, I noticed a woman driving a mini-van very slowly through the neighborhood. Suspecting I knew why, I followed her and pulled along next to her when she pulled over to let me pass. "Are you looking for two dogs?" She replied, "YES!" "Scottie dogs?" "YES!" I told her that I had found them, that they were wet and dirty, but that they were safe and I had brought them to the shelter. She was quite relieved, and directly to go pick them up. Later, when I came home from work, I found a note and two flower baskets on my porch.

I am so glad they got to go back to their loving home. They do live in my neighborhood, though quite a ways away, and had broken the gate at around 7:00 this morning. I have a bit of a reputation for finding lost dogs... the last one was a pitbull puppy whose owner I found after bringing him into the office with me for the day. I don't think I see any more lost dogs than anyone else, I just think that I stop for them more often. And it helps to keep dog treats in the glove compartment, just in case...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gray, Grey, Whatsa Matter?

When they were growing up, my uncle would say (or maybe he once said) to my mother, "gray, gray, whatsa matter?" My mother remembered it, and it became something I remember from my childhood. I love the color gray, though I prefer the English spelling, grey. A search on both spellings reveals a number of perfect home furnishings from the artists on Etsy's DesignStyleGuide team. I covet this hand knitted pillow by handknittedthings. AnikaEaster has this beautiful bird on a wire, made from wood and a guitar string, and calls it Alone Time. I love the trellis design on this pillow from decorativeinstincts. Gary Heller's photography is always incredible, from the subjects he chooses to the composition and quality of the photos, and this shack is no exception.

This raku piece by foxpots has such soft gray that works so well with the crackle texture.


(mugs available at Glynt Pottery)
Graciela Glynt, of Glynt Pottery, and a fellow member of the Design Style Guide Etsy team and Manassas Clay, has featured me on her blog! Thanks, Grace!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marvelous Mosaics

When I first learned about Etsy, I did some searches and went crazy marking items as favorites. Alas, many of those items have since sold, or worse, expired/been removed by the shop owner. I say worse because it means I can't go back and look at them. But I do go through and gaze at my favorites, because I find them inspiring. One of the themes I have noticed in my favorites is a predilection for mosaics. I will share some of those favorites, plus a number of others I found in a search this evening. These giraffes may have been what triggered my realization that Etsy was incredibly, unbelievably cool. Mirrored peacock. Wow.
Metal on wood!
I think what I like the most about mosaics is the use of color and shapes to create lines. This dancer mosaic is an excellent example.
So Van Gogh.
My new all time favorite mosaic ever. Simply incredible.
Feel free to browse my favorites for the seller information on these... but if you buy the peacocks or the giraffes, I may have to track you down.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Perfection from Provence

SueFurrow, fellow Design Style Guide member (from Virginia!) and artist featured in my last posting, shared Postcard from Provence with me. I am nearly speechless. This artist paints from France, and his ability to capture the life in a still life is incredible. You can bid on his more recent paintings, and he has limited prints available as well. I attempted painting with oils once, and while I had moderate success for a first timer, I certainly gained an appreciation for the difficulty of the medium. The gold rim on the plate in this painting enthralls me.
Reflections and refractions in glass also intrigue me, though he makes it seem simple to represent with this jar of daffodils.

The reflections of tulips and light in this silver goblet are exquisite.

The texture of this egg is perfect. And when in France, I will certainly look for white asparagus like these, as suggested by Sue.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I See London, I See France...

Okay, I have never seen London or France. But that is about to change. At the end of April/beginning of May, I am going to Paris for about a week. Why? Because, frankly, I have the best mother-in-law in the world. I'm looking forward to spending time in establishments like this one as painted by suefurrow, reproducing a photograph she took in Paris. I love the bistro chairs and the stone walk. I can also see us walking down streets like this one in Sacré Coeur, Paris. FauveStudio has captured its relaxed ambiance in watercolor. My hope is to spend some time in a few Paris flea markets, and while I don't have unlimited funds or the ability to bring a lot home, maybe I'll make a few incredible finds like these French revival chairs by helenmillerhandcraft. On the other hand, space won't be an issue for partaking in some consumables while I am there, and this Parisian Latte oil painting by CarolSchiffStudio has already whet my appetite. Don't you want to reach in and get a dab of cream on your finger?

Finally, jennysporch has this lovely abstract painting called CHOCOLAT, created during her time in Paris. I know we plan on experiencing much chocolate, and probably French wine as well.

All of the artists featured here are members of Etsy's Design Style Guide, the interior design team. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions on experiences I need to have while in Paris!