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5 posts from October 2010

October 06, 2010

howl at the moon ...

2010-logo You may have noticed this fun little
badge over on my sidebar for Howl
at the Moon.  Last year was such a
great time and I'm excited to be
heading back that way soon for this
year's event!  (You can get all the
details on my classes this year by
clicking here or following the link to
the "classes" page above!)

And I thought it would be fun to take a
peek back at some of the good times
we had last year ...




So many creative ladies, lots of laughter, tasty treats, and ... a lot of orange and black!  It doesn't get much better than that in my book! 

You can get more details about the whole weekend of events on the shop's blog!  I hope to see you there again this year!


October 05, 2010

fall ...

Sing it with me now ... "it's the MOST wonderful time ... of the yeeaaar!"   


I'm excited about fall.  About October.  About pumpkins and changing leaves (and visiting Mom and teaching on the east coast so I can see oranges and reds and not just yellow Aspens). 

The house is nearly all decorated for Halloween.  And we're contemplating more.  Maybe we go all out this year and decorate the outside with more than pumpkins.  We'll see.

Baking things with apples and making Nutella cookies.  Orange hot chocolate.  Halloween spatulas and dishtowels are out (if I'm honest these have been out since Labor day).  *grin*

Halloween crafty goodness.

Ahhh ... I love fall.

October 04, 2010

all good things ...

Our last few days in Paris were borderline relaxing.  We walked.  Slowly.  Far.  And back again.  (And I didn't take very many photos.  Shocking, I know.)

We cooked more.  And simply enjoyed being in the apartment.

And on the very last day we finally got into the "Grand Monet Exhibition" at the Grand Palais.  No photos inside, but trust me, it was an amazing look at one artist's body of work.  Literally gathered from around the globe.  It wasn't planned, but ended up being a Monet-heavy trip.

Our last evening found us here.  On a blanket.  With snacks. 

And books. 
We read until it got dark, we chatted, and stared at the tower. 

And sat until we saw it sparkle "one more time."  Until our butts were sore from sitting for hours on a blanket on top of slightly damp, cold, hard ground. 

And the last thing we did was share a cassis & violet cupcake back at the apartment.  (Yeah, sounds weird, but was crazy good.)

It was a great couple of weeks.  All travel comes with ups and downs, but they're generally eclipsed by all the good stuff.  And there was lots of good stuff. 


a parisian remedy for stress ...

By Saturday night, a week and a half on-the-go caught up to us and Sunday we bummed around the apartment all day.  D watched footie, I edited photos and jotted down things I didn't want to forget, we made beouf bourguignon, and pretty much hung out in our pjs all day.  A pretty normal Sunday for us when I think about it.  And adding to the relaxing mood - it rained.  Beautiful grey skies and sloshy sounds when cars drove by.  

Monday came and the grey skies and rain continued.  Actually, it rained off and on for the rest of our visit.  I didn't mind one bit.  Or maybe it was because we stopped at Ladurée for breakfast (and got macarons for later).  For me there is no better macaron than a Ladurée macaron.  Chocolate please. 

Pretty pastel green Ladurée bag in hand, we walk down the Champs Elysees, passed the spot where thousands were beheaded by the guillotine during the revolution in the Place de la Concorde, and into the gardens on the other side that connect it to the Louvre.  Destination Musée de l'Orangerie.

The l'Orangerie contains Monet's gift to France - the Nymphéas.  More than simply containing them, it was chosen BY Monet to house them.

The paintings are large and displayed in two oval rooms under naturally diffused light - just as Monet intended them to be seen.

 Monet painted a lot of waterlilies at Giverny - around 250 in all. 

Paris195The two rooms housing them are meant as a "haven of peaceful meditation" according to Monet.  He thought the French were overworked and stressed and wanted the display in the l'Orangerie to be a quiet place they could escape to.  (It's been called the "Sistine Chapel of Monet" and after the first time a docent "shushed" someone, I understood the comparison.  *wink*)

Paul Guillaume was an influential art dealer in Paris in the early 1900's and the bottom floor houses his private collection.  He'd hoped to turn this collection into a museum of modern art one day, but died before he could.  France acquired his collection of Cézannes (above), Renoirs, Monets, Modiglianis, Picassos, Utrillos (below), and Soutines (to name just a few) from his widow in the late 50's and they're now on display in the l'Orangerie.  (There were also photos of their home, the paintings hanging with barely a space in between, in his office and other rooms.  My brain was spinning seeing a collection of such scale and depth on the walls of someone's home.)

Going to Paris, there was the list I mentioned in the last post - what to do or see.  And then there's the list of things to bring home.  It's not a large list, mind you, but there are a couple of essentials.  At the top of it is white wine mustard from Maille.  So spicy it can bring tears to your eyes.  But oh, so good!  They don't bottle the stuff - you can only get it, on tap, at a shop. 

And near to Maille are other food, chocolate, tasty goodness shops: Hediard, Fauchon, and the grocery store at Galleries Lafayette where we restocked the pantry with more yummy cheese (and other things to cook).  We did, sadly, eat more than just cheese. *wink* 


braving the modern world ...

We got home on Friday, but I still have a couple of entries from Paris here in the hopper to share ...

After we walked so much at Versailles we, literally, waddled from the living room to bed later that night.  So I'm as surprised as you that we got up the next day and walked some more.  *laugh*

We hit up a flea market in Les Halles, bought wooden spoons at one of my favorite restaurant supply stores, had lunch in a cafe and watched kids with ski masks, toy guns, and birthday party hats playing kill the infidel.  At least that's what we imagined they were playing, in all our snarktastic glory.  (It also led to a discussion about how we had cap guns and cowboy hats 35 years ago and how the world is different, not the kids.)

When D and I were talking about what we'd like to make a point to see while we were here, the Centre Pompidou was at the top of his list.  Our previous visits had been rushed; always seeming to come at the end of a long day with company we'd gone to Paris with. 

So this time we'd pay it proper due.  And I made an internal promise to keep my big, overly-opinionated mouth shut for the sake his enjoyment.  Oh wait, did I not mention that contemporary art is not my favorite thing?  Like ... REALLY not my favorite thing.  And a visit here (or any other modern institution) generally leads to a lively debate, punctuated by a lot of "Seriously?" from me.  *chuckle* 

There were some interesting bits of furniture.  And I did really well through most of the special collections.  A video of a woman with red paint on her hand dragging it down a wall.  A board leaning against a wall.  A piece of white cloth suspended from the ceiling in a room all it's own.  And ... I kept my mouth shut.  Go me. *chuckle*

By the end of the special collections D is good and done with it and I'm finally able to get a good "Seriously?!" out.  Ahhh.  He's there for the Picasso and the Matisse in the permanent collection, afterall.  Not the angry "why art is misogynist" exhibit, featuring said white cloth hanging from ceiling in the center of a room.  

And saw Matisse we did.  And Picasso and the other stuff D was REALLY there to see. 

Some of it I liked.  Some I didn't.  But the art-historian in me can appreciate it, understand it's place.  (Something you may have noticed I struggle with in more modern interpretations.)  *grin* 

And, if nothing else, the building is really cool.  Can you see the top of Notre Dame just out the window?

You may have noticed the tubes on the outside of the building.  Inside those are escalators to go between floors.  And the higher you go, the better the view.  

There's a restaurant on the top floor too.  Empty outside because it was cold.  But still a rose on every table just in case.

And finally, the view ...

... not a bat spot to watch the sun set over Paris.


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Hi! I'm Heather, and welcome to my blog! I stamp, I travel, I make stuff, I cook, I take tons of photos - and you'll find a little of all of that here!

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