Thursday, April 30, 2009
Where do angels reside? Some live in attics, some live in the burbs on farms and others live in the Netherlands with a sweet little mouse, but the recipient of the Angel Award for the month of May lives in a castle, Castles in the Air that is! If you have not already been, you MUST go and visit Ulla at Ullabenulla.typepad.com.
When you visit her blog, you are walking into an enchanting world of creative dimensions that quite frankly, transport you to another level of artistic consciousness. Just when I thought I had reached the pinnacle of discovering creative uses for vintage motifs, glitter, gold and other treasures, Ulla pulls you in AGAIN with the work of a guest artist at her studio and blows your ideas outside of the box. The dolls, the puppets, the paper works, oh the list goes on and on, are of a quality that surpasses my imagination, and I have quite an imagination! All the photos here are from her blog where you can learn more about the artists that she so lovingly showcases.
These petals on the wall are paper! What nimble hands made this? Visit Ulla and find out!
The dark rich wood of this lovely cabinet and the dark fairy tale wonder of this photograph contrast the airy, light and lovely display of a delicate crown below.
Ulla's taste for diversity and eye for rare detail are exceptional. However, what makes her an angel in the divine sense of the word, is her sweet spirit in which she responds to your posts. She is a busy professional, tending to her workshop, but always does she find the time to respond to YOU with genuine sincerity, gratitude and a personal touch that makes you feel as if you have known each other for years. My beautiful sister-in-law from Fête et Fleur had the opportunity to take a class at Castles in the Air; oh how fortunate she was! So if you want to escape from whatever is accosting your pleasure zone, take a tour of the Castle and you will be sure to find yourself in the middle of a glittered fairy tale that is only a click away. Here is a poem that I wrote thinking about this lovely lady. This one's for you Ulla:
Glittered dreams are far from futile
When within them hearts unfold
This my friends is but a story
Of dimensions left untold
Wake up dear ones in the company
Of friends and artists minds untamed
Bringing dreams down from the heavens
In an image beautifully framed
Not with baubles, gems or trinkets
Though her art is fine and rare
Friendship, kindness are her treasures
Up at Castles in the Air.
Have a great visit chez Ulla!
Now, our weather here in Minneapolis is not cooperating, so my gardening plans are on hold for what I hope is another week or two or three...but I will leave you with some images of one of my other favorite past times: taking tea with friends. How lovely it would be to be able to take tea with each one of you in Paris at the famous and elegant...
...to behold the perfectly crafted pastries...
and indulge in a moment of decadence in the City of Lights.
Or perhaps, we could stroll along the streets of my beloved Carmel-by-the-sea and visit the little pink tea house for a warm pick-me-up...
or a high tea at the famous Carmel landmark, The Tuck Box.
We could take a stroll and visit the neighboring shops...
have lunch at one of the town's coziest restaurants...
or simply take a walk to the beach and talk about our dreams.
Have a splendid weekend and thank you for sharing your beauty in the wonderful world of blogging!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I'm in the pink and I've made up my mind. I am going to go all pink this year in our gardens and window boxes. Last year, I had a case of the blues; rich hues of lavender, morning glories, forget-me-knots and Endless Summer hydrangeas gave us daily pleasure. But this year, my inspiration for pink comes from a photo of a darling little tea shop in... you guessed it...
Carmel-by-the-Sea. However, I am very partial to blue...especially the deep azur of my delphiniums the rabbits ate down to a nub two years ago,
and the deep blue of hydrangea flower boxes outside of a posh antique shop near the lakes.
But it's time for a change. Like the little cottages in Carmel that attract shutterbugs,
and the timeless cottages of the Cotswolds in England,
So too does a little dwelling with enormous appeal as well as a roomier cottage here in our city needs a lift from the stillness of a harsh mid-west winter.
So pink happens to be the color of choice this year to put winter to rest,
and to accompany the lush green of moss and thyme,
So the first weekend of May I'm off to one of our many Farmers' Markets to pick out my palate of pinks to adorn our windows and to add a brush stroke of color to wash away a long mid-west winter
and usher in the transforming magic of Spring.
I would like to thank Tristan from Enchanted Revelry for brightening my weekends with his stylish Pink Saturday posts. Please visit him at tristanrobin.blogspot.com for a dose of happiness; you will be tickled pink! Look at the magical book I won from one of his give-aways! It was surely a wish come true for me! Thanks Tristan et bon weekend tout le monde!
Labels: The Magic of Spring
Saturday, April 18, 2009
My husband is an artist and a lover of beauty. He is also a professor of history and is one of the most brilliant minds I've ever known. This juxtaposition of right/left brain tendencies has confirmed to me that creativity knows no boundaries. After a long three week run of my play, La Diva, we here at the Little House on the Northeast Side of Town are ready to attend to more domestic issues such as gardening, home renovation and spring cleaning. On a recent interview, I asked my husband what his muse has been to inspire him to create the haven that we call home. He states: "I grew up reading fairy tales and envisioned a world in harmony with nature where there was the possibility that something magical lurked behind every verdant corner or where animals talked."
Twenty-seven years ago on our honeymoon, he introduced me to his world and I have never wanted to leave it since. We spent two weeks in Carmel-by-the-sea where I saw nature and humanity exist as close as possible to a fairy tale. The seaside forests of oddly shaped trees, the call of the sea lions and most of all, the little cottages that dot the winding streets of the town captured my heart.
After that initial visit, it took us 15 years to buy our first home. Immediately, my husband applied his vision for our little post-war cottage. I too, had ideas. My muse has been the old world charm of the French countryside, which matched very well with his idea of a charming setting.
For both of us, stone, plenty of vegetation and natural materials evoke the feel that we want to surround ourselves with; timeless and enduring elements that have been here and will remain long after we are gone. The challenge for most people, is the expense to obtain these materials. Leaded glass windows are a must for the cottage look that we were looking for. One window alone adorned with leaded glass could cost several thousands of dollars. However, during an online search one day, I found a solution. Out of England comes a sturdy, industrial strength adhesive lead application that works like a charm. If you want to apply the leaded glass look to a window or a curio cabinet go to decraled.com and you will find numerous sizes to fit your needs. We needed to replace some old windows anyway, so we opted to buy plain Pella© windows and make our template and apply the decraled. The results have been very satisfying.Months ago, I had reported on the progress of our bathroom. My husband did all of the plumbing and the reconstruction of the entire bathroom. With a busy school schedule, the final tiling had to be done by a professional, and after a long winter of anticipation, we are finally done. We had wanted the limestone look of a Roman bath, but again, natural stone is very expensive. We were able to find an affordable porcelin tile that looks just as good. What is left to do is to install the fixtures and we are ready for an Old World spa treatment!
Spring is around the corner here in our neck of the woods. Verdant paths of wild thyme and stone structures will soon greet us during the early hours of our walks and during our summertime soirées with friends. Our little haven is that much more special because it has been created by loving hands, inspired by the beauty of nature and fantasy.
You might say that the only thing missing here is the talking animals, but if you listen hard enough upon entering The Little House on the Northeast Side of Town, you just might as our friend Angela lovingly says, "Get sucked in" and hear the chatter of creatures both great and small.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Welcome to the first annual Playwright's Award Ceremony hosted by yours truly, Camille Benoit! Please make sure your volume is up and click on the pictures!
Tonight we will celebrate the accomplishments of four wonderful, burgeoning writers. It takes a lot of time, thought and courage to share one's writing in public. Writing can be a window looking into the heart and intellect, and all those who are willing to share this intimate art with others are winners in my book!
But for the final act of LA DIVA, you the audience have made your choice. And now, the envelope please...The guest playwright of entry #2 is the winner with 10 votes, and the prize goes to...
Bonnie Silva of diamondsdaisies.blogspot.com!
Please give a round of applause to Bonnie as she will be the recipient of the book La Diva which is in the process of being constructed by hand by moi:
Bonnie will be named as the author of the final act. If you have a chance, visit her and give her a warm congrats. Many thanks and kudos to the following talented guest artists and dear friends who contributed their work as well:
The sweet and talented Sherry from ediemariesattic.blogspot.com
The inspiring and noble Cathy from bit-of-blarney.blogspot.com
The whimsical and creative Dutchess from thegardenofthedutchess.blogspot.com
You have been patient and hardworking. BRAVO!
And now, the final act of La Diva, "Over The Rainbow" by Ms. Bonnie Silva...
Isabeau awoke after a fitful sleep. It was those first few moments before the dawn when the fog still covers the earth like a warm blanket. Bon, it must be done determined Isabeau. She emerged from her gilded quarters with her cloak hastily thrown over her shoulders. She walked gently so as not to attract attention but as soon as the castle walls were behind her, her gentle walk became fueled with an urgency like no other. Leaving the castle grounds was not an easy task but the guards had dozed off and an emboldened Isabeau made haste.
As the mist gave way to a verdant forest, Isabeau found herself home at last. Had she been gone all those years? Was it not just a dream? She was immediately consumed by overwhelming love and loss at the same time. Tears spilled from her eyes, and a sweet sad song emerged from the deepest part of her soul.
The melody caught the attention of all the forest creatures including a familiar young maiden. So captivated by the sound of love lost and then found, no one noticed the infant fairy Condoleeza approach. As Isabeau sang, the young fairy dusted Isabeau with the blue gossamer dust of fairies. The dust fell like ribbons winding through the mist and as the sun shone through the ancient trees the sad chanteuse began her transformation into the beautiful creature she had once been. Without thinking Isabeau flew to the young maiden.
Through tears of happiness the two whirled in circles until dizzy with joy they collapsed. As they lay laughing on the forest carpet, they realized the sweet scent of lavender had returned. Through Isabeau’s act of bravery and love, Condoleeza had ensured Isabeau would never suffer the cruel fate of the faded divas and the forest would continue to thrive forever vibrant and alive. To this day if you still your mind, open your heart and listen very carefully, you will hear Isabeau’s song of her beloved forest, so sweet, so tender.
We here at Le Petit Théâtre de Chimères are grateful for your patronage. It was lovely having you in the audience and I wish you all a joyous Resurrection Sunday!