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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

lack of oxygen

this is another wooden piece from my collection.  i think this little cage was a give-away when a bird was purchased at a pet store.  above the graphic are the letters SOLD in pencil, which are then scratched out.  maybe they returned the bird?  on the underside, the cage is stamped "Made in Occupied Japan", which dates it to the late forties to the early 50's.  for some reason i like these old bird cages.  i have tried to find some on ebay and etsy, but they are usually really expensive.  most are sold as "miner bird cages", meaning that they were probably used by men in the mines to determine if there was enough oxygen down there.  but i'm not sure about this.  

speaking of enough oxygen, mine is about gone.  it's from the gasps of frustration over facebook.  over the last year or so, i have been an active participant.  but not anymore.  i am going to delete my account today.  there are two reasons, one being that i can't face the political posts and commentary any longer.  the second is that i am finding myself getting sucked in to the political posts and commentary! i am all for politics, but i don't want to shove it in anyone's face without a discussion.  it's the same as religion, or anything else.  i respect your choice, but expect you to respect mine.  sometimes i feel like facebook isn't the best place for that kind of discussion.  i knew it was getting bad for me when i started posting a few political things.  and then i realized i was preaching to the choir.  if you didn't happen to be a member of that choir, i was really alienating you.  and that's not what i wanted to do.

so no more facebook.

i know that this could not be a good thing for me artistically.  i used facebook to let people see new work, or announce shows.  i also use it to alert people that i have a new blog post.  but it's the chance i'll have to take.

maybe when the election is over, i can safely go back to that kind of social media.  but for now, i am done for the moment.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

the most collected

it's been a while since i have posted.  i have been kind of taking a much needed break from making art. i think my brain needs a rest so it can catch up on gaining some creativity cells.  i think they were all gone after my whirlwind summer.

i have started some new boxes this week. they are in the preliminary stages, but at least i have started to work again.  no pictures yet.  they are just beginning.

 the antique mall called me the other day (big surprise) to start collecting some box fodder.  turns out all i bought was things made from wood. as i was standing in line ready to pay for my new wooden stuff, i realized that it has become the most collected thing i have.  except for maybe metal objects.  it may be a tie.

anyway, here is some of my wooden object collection.  many of the items are also in other categories, like miniature houses, santos, boxes, and things with drawers.  i have no idea why i love things made from generations of trees, but it all fits in with my love of anything touched, used, and loved by a human.  


tiny wooden box.  someone fixed it with a wire.  love that!!

doll house chair

wall cabinet with added wire mesh shelf.  other wooden stuff on top!

frame.  thanks tina!!

the virgin mary, sans nose

san raphael.  i like to give my santos some bling!

another virgin mary with wooden rosaries

doll cabinet

hand made house for a train layout?  bricks and stones drawn with graphite

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

scandinavia, part III

we traveled in scandinavia on a very large sailing ship, which was really nice, as the ship is smaller than those of the big cruise lines.  the good part about this is that the ship can get into harbors often too small for bigger vessels.  this was to our advantage, as we were able to see some of the idyllic smaller cities and villages of the region.

the wind surf, still in oslo

we were fortunate to visit the town of stromstad, sweden.  it's just a tiny bit over the border of norway, on the west coast of sweden.  we were only in stromstad for part of one day, and it was a bit rainy.  we still enjoyed walking the cobblestones and taking in the view.  we decided to visit the downtown, and spent our time in the grocery store, toy store, and a local coffee shop.  it was a nice respite from museums and tourist attractions.

the architecture is gorgeous

love the green patina of the copper roof in the distance

pattern everywhere!

color, even on a dreary day

stromstad has been in existence since the 1670's.  it has been a fishing village, and now attracts people to rest on the beaches and eat in the seafood restaurants.  the harbor is dotted with simple outdoor cafes serving up seafood in a no-frills atmosphere.  it's a clean, beautiful, charming, colorful delight to the senses! 

main shopping area

walking path, with accessories

across the canal view of shops

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

scandinavia, part II

if you know me personally, or have followed my blog or artwork, you will know that i am really attracted to vintage medical and science junk.  i was actually a biology major until my junior year of college, until i switched to art.  (i was thinking about being a medical illustrator for a while until i realized i couldn't sit still for that long.)  anyway, one of my favorite books as a high school student was gray's anatomy.  i spent hours and hours pouring over that thick book, looking at the plates of veins, muscles, arteries, and other components that make up humans.  

when john found out there was a medical museum (medicinsk museion) in copenhagen, i was overjoyed.  i knew that it was a must stop location on our trip.  the museum is located near the royal palace, in an amazing old building with not much signage, and two unassuming front doors under a pillared porch.  it turns out that the museum is housed in the former Academy of Surgery, which educated surgeons in Copenhagen between 1785-1842.  One of the spaces in the building is the auditorium in which dissections were carried out as part of the course of training!

dome in the auditorium

the exhibits were wonderful, as was the interior of the building.  one could walk the unfinished wide-planked pine floors and imagine surgery students long ago treading on that same surface.  inside were amazing things, including a vintage pharmacy reinstalled in the space.  there was a room with vintage prosthetics, and one with wax models of face disfigurements.  everything was so amazing!!

we read that during the time of the Academy, surgeons were not doctors.  they actually began as butchers!  at that time in history it was believed that knife skills were more important than medical training.  who knew??

vintage anatomical model

vintage anatomical chart

another model

and one more chart!

my only regret is that i don't have more photographs.  i think i was so taken with the stuff in that building that i forgot that i had a camera.  oh, what i would do for a couple of shots of those prosthetic legs, hands, and arms!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

scandinavia, part 1

i just returned from a wonderful trip to scandinavia.  after a crazy spring, and an insane beginning of summer, it was a much needed respite.  i was really excited to go to that part of the world, because i love scandinavian design.  the trip did not disappoint.  wherever we went we were blown away with the pattern, color, and design around us.  everything was beautiful, functional, and clean.

in oslo norway we went to the "radhus", or city hall, which began construction in the early 1930's.  construction was halted for WWII, and not completed until after the war.  the entire interior of the building was covered with artwork.  amazing wood carvings outside the entrance, murals on every surface including the ceilings.  even the floors were works of art.

ceiling in the radhus

silk wallpaper 

the size of the murals is almost unimaginable

detail of wall painting

another ceiling

floor in the main hall

"swan maidens" wood carving on the exterior of the building

it was breathtaking.

we spent two days taking in the sights in oslo.  it's a place i will never forget.

on another note, the sightseeing did interject some sadness in oslo, too.  it was close to the one year anniversary of the mass shooting there.  near the government buildings (which are still boarded up and under repair from the bomb the shooter detonated before he went really crazy) were piles and piles of roses left for the people lost.  we watched as men carefully packaged up the flowers and placed them neatly into boxes.  it was really sad, and really moving at the same time.  throughout the construction zone, flowers were poked in every nook and cranny as well.

every nook

and every cranny

it's strange and terrible that we are living and dying through these tragedies over and over.  i truly can't get my brain wrapped around how humans can be so cruel.

in my next post i will share some more photos from the trip.  we were gone for 12 days, and visited norway, denmark, northern germany, and sweden.