How well do you know your next-door neighbors? Do you like them? (credit to Cyranny for the question) I do know our next door neighbors, George & Gail, but not very well. We have not lived here very long. At our former residence, I knew most of my neighbors, partially thanks to their friendliness and partly due to the annual block party. My next-door neighbor was a horticultural landscaper and she helped me start and expand my garden. Our neighbors across the street invited us to their New Year’s party every year, as well as their daughters’ graduation parties. These neighbors, in particular, were ones that I’d always stop to talk to. So yes,, I liked them.
Do you have a full length mirror? (credit to Sadje for the rest of the questions) Yes. After we had lived here for several months, I got frustrated about not having a full length mirror, since at our old house, we had two of them, one on the second floor and one on the first floor. So we finally bought one when we were shopping at Target or Meijer. It’s now hanging on the outside of our bathroom door.
(for the ladies) How long do you spend putting on make-up in the morning? None. I don’t wear make-up and never have. Anytime I tried to wear makeup, it would get in my eyes and irritate them. But even if it didn’t irritate my eyes, I wouldn’t bother with make-up unless I had a really noticeable zit (which invariably happened on picture day at school!).
How many items of clothing are in your bedroom (or closet) and not hung up? Usually none, except for clothes in the hamper. But right now there is an outfit I want to wear again, but I didn’t want to wear it to exercise today and I was going to the fitness center. Just a pair of pants and a shirt.
GRATITUDE QUESTION (as always optional)
Do you have a happy place? Anywhere there are flowers and nature.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of hole/whole. And for her newest challenge, Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge, the topic is orange.
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a wonder of geological formations called “hoodoos.” These orangish sandstone shapes were carved over millions of years through water and wind erosion. Besides being orange, look carefully to see the holes!
Another beautiful national park in Utah is Arches National Park, named for the many arches carved by nature into the orange rocks. The first picture below is an iconic image, which many people have seen on calendars or posters. I had to use my telephoto lens to get a good shot of this beautiful arch, because without an arduous climb we could not get very close to it! The second photo is another of the park’s arches, which form a type of hole due to erosion, out of the whole rock!
Pumpkins, when they carved, become jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. At night you can see the light of the candle glowing through the holes!
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic Non-Alive Animals. Of course, any representation of an animal has a real animal in mind as the artist creates it. But the rendition may be very close in appearance to the real animal, or it may be whimsical, or abstract. It all depends on the craftsman’s talent and point of view.
It was hard to choose photos for this post – so many to choose from! Everywhere I go, locally or abroad, there is animal art. Animals have been subjects for every kind of art imaginable for thousands of years…
Such as the first known painting in the world, a painting of Egyptian geese on papyrus at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo,
and the god Horus, usually represented as a hawk, at the Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.
Also at the Egyptian Museum is a throne of King Tutankhamun, whose tomb was not found until 1922, with most of its grave goods intact – it hadn’t been subjected to many tomb robberies!
The ancient Chinese civilization also had many animal representations, one of the most common being the guardian lion. This one is in front of a restaurant, House of Szechwan, in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Deriving from this Chinese custom, there are people today who have a pair of lions as lawn ornaments, like this one in Des Plaines. He might look more ferocious if freshly painted!
Here are another example of a Des Plaines lawn ornament, this cute little bird sitting on an orb.
There were many whimsical animals on display for sale or as decoration in the charming small town of Poulsbo, Washington, north of Tacoma.
In Evanston, Illinois, there is a little known museum called the American Toby Jug Museum, which we discovered during Chicago’s annual Open House in October. Toby Jugs are ceramic figures, usually depicting well known persons, but also animals. The history of the toby jug, or philpot, dates back to 18th century potters in Staffordshire, England and was popularized by colonists in the United States. The top of each toby jug has a spout for pouring, but nowadays, these figurines are primarily for ornamentation or collections.
After the wedding we attended near Poulsbo, Washington, we spent a day in Tacoma before returning to Seattle for our flight home. There is a beautiful Museum of Glass there, which has many objects designed by the famous Dale Chihuly, but there is also a fine collection of glass sculptures by other artists, such as this beautiful horse.
Horses are the subject of many works of art, including statues of famous heroes mounted on horses in many European cities, but I am only including two 2-dimensional renditions, one a drawing of a palomino I drew a few days ago, and another one at a short film display at the Ij (Eye) Museum in Amsterdam.
While in Amsterdam, we visited the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, founded circa 1213 CE. Under the seats of the choir were unique carvings – some rather bawdy! – including this one of a pig.
Most people love animals, and there are many examples of whimsical animals to delight human sensibilities. In the gardens behind Melk Abbey in Austria are some cute creatures, mostly fantastical combinations of human and animal, but there was this turtle:
In Passau, Germany, which we had visited the previous day while on our Viking European cruise, while walking around town on our own, we came across a dachshund museum! Big and little dachshund statues were in front of it.
Who could resist being delighted by several painted cows in the town across from Mont St-Michel in France? Here is one of them, my personal favorite (I love that bright blue udder!).
Our daughter loves Hello Kitty, and for her bridal shower, Hello Kitty was the theme! I bought these as party favors.
Some animal sculptures are cute,
but some can be a bit intimidating!…
and some are reminders of favorite movies, such as this groundhog in Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was filmed.
The Museum of Glass in Tacoma has an interesting, modernist design. It was designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, his first art museum. He started working on the building in 2000 and in 2001 the building was completed. At the top of the building, shaped like an angled cone, is the hot shop, where visitors can watch glass artists shape their work.
The hot shop:
Artists and visitors see a close up view of the glass being worked or “blown” on a large screen.
Outside the museum is the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which links the museum site with downtown Tacoma.
Rising upward and topping this bridge is a glass sculpture by Chihuly consisting of chunks of green-blue glass. (And there’s no way to make this photo square without ruining the view of what it looks like. But it definitely tops the entire complex.)
I don’t think I ever posted these photos of doors in Tacoma, Washington – most of them taken while in the car, so I wasn’t able to be too discerning about the photography. Anyway, for Norm’s Thursday Doors, here are doors in downtown Tacoma.
Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy challenge continues with this week’s topic: color code.
She says: This one is all about color and keeping the same color or hues together. Tip from Ingrid Fetell Lee: Color-code: Organizing by color brings instant harmony to your bookshelf or your closet.
The best photos I’ve taken that are a variation of hues come from nature:
Shades of brown in a cavern (Arizona)
Beiges in a desert landscape (Masada, Israel)
Green cacti & succulents (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
Greens in a park (Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA)
Pinks in a cluster of roses (Point Defiance Park, Tacoma)
Green landscape on the slope of Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania)
There are also manmade hues:
Brown stones and jug (Masada, Israel)
Red theater chairs & floor in the same cave as the first photo (Arizona)
Shades of cream and brown almost camouflage this gold and tan angel next to a house in Des Plaines, IL
Gray & Silver: This monochromatic photo was a mistake – an overexposure of sailboats on the Mediterranean Sea (Caesarea Maritima, Israel). It has not been doctored nor altered in any way – both the sky and the sea were actually very blue.
My car is a source of several types of reflections:
Reflections of holiday lights on its hood
Light from its headlights reflecting on snowfall
An image in its driver’s side mirror (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Bodies of water are also great sources for photographing reflections:
One of the ponds at our senior community – the reflection was clearer on the water side (left) than the ice side (right).
Hippo and its reflection (Serengeti National Park, Tanzania)
Egrets on the edge of a lake (Tarangire National Park, Tanzania)
In this close-up of two geese that are part of a sculpture, the reflection of the top of the sculpture, geese in flight, can be seen in the pond. (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
Polished surfaces, such as glass and mirrors, are good places to look for reflections.
Glass pots on display at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington – the pattern at the bottom of the pot on the left is reflected on the platform.
Glass sculpture on the roof of the museum after a rainfall – the birds are actually reflected in the puddle – it reminded me of the egrets in Tanzania!
The polished floor in the courtyard of a mosque in Cairo, Egypt
It took me awhile looking at this photo to realize it was actually a mirror image I was photographing, at a restaurant in Cairo. There was also a mirror at the far end, where the actual scene of our group having dinner was reflected, in the second photo.
Finally, semi-spherical mirrors were used to enhance flower exhibits at the annual orchid show (Chicago Botanic Gardens). This photo is a bit blurry but I liked the reflection – and you can see my camera in my hand at left!
And now, a theme-related video of a golden oldie from the 1960s!