Another Use for the Wood Pile This Winter

Do you have a stocked wood pile? If so, then you have an opportunity for artistry.

Just look at these examples of another use for the wood pile this winter and how art is everywhere.

From where the wood comes takes on a visual meaning with this fallen tree.

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Perhaps this layout suggests the wood pile can be moved?

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Or let it move itself.

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Animals seem to be popular particularly owls.

Mobility Wood Pile_AIE

This one changes with snow and look who’s peeking out.

Bear Wood Pile_AIE

Coming across this wild boar wood pile art might scare you while walking in the woods but it’s one of my favorites.

Boar Wood Pile_AIE

Intricate human portraits can also be created with multiple types and colored wood.

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Or add color for a bold abstract impact that can be helpful in guiding your path.

This take a little extra digging but could be a good workout in the new year.

Colored Wood Pile_AIE

Wood piles don’t always have to be linear or laid straight in one plane, as seen in this spiral construction.

Spiral Wood Pile_AIE

They can even be a sphere, which is very unusual. I just wonder what would happen if you took one log out for the fire? 😉

Sphere Wood Pile_AIE

Speaking of a fire. This next wood pile reminds me of an oven. It uses a traditional stacked construction with the stair supports to help frame. The creative layout comes with 2 layers and a lot of wood that will keep you warm in the winter, hence the oven concept perhaps?

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Finally, this hut construction is truly artistic and more for execution than for practical use — unless, the huts can be shelters. However, I rather suspect they may have been made by Patrick Dougherty, who fashions large sculptures out of twigs and natural objects.

Wood Pile Huts_AIE

However you stack your wood pile, just know it doesn’t have to be boring and you can have fun while doing the chore.

Starting 2017 with Striking Murals

Happy New Year!

We’re starting 2017 with striking murals that grab your attention in various ways.

Kaleidoscope and Color

Murals painted by Miami-based street artist, Hoxxoh.

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Kaleidoscope Mural pics via Fubiz

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Mind Bending GraPHICs

Trompe l’Oeil Graphics by Parisian-based artist, Astro.

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Photos via Fubiz

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Anamorphic Mural for Children

This anamorphic butterfly mural at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC was painted by Sergio Odeith and featured in the Charleston City Paper.

The butterfly indicates for me starting 2017 with “change” for the new year.

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Photo by McCown Griffin

Transformative Trompe l’Oeil

These before and after building facade images show the transformative power of trompe’loeil murals and their ability to make the buildings look more attractive and interesting. They help to enliven the space and create a sense of activity where there might not otherwise be much. This helps eradicate urban blight and crime. These intricate murals were painted by Patrick Commecy via WebUrbanist.

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Photos via WebUrbanist

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Fake-Facade-Murals-1 on Art Is Everywhere

Here’s to starting 2017 with something interesting and different and with a welcome change!

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Angelic Music in 3-D Sistine Chapel

Here is a link that you can have active in the background in your browser to listen to angelic music with a 3-D Sistine Chapel tour.

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There was a piece on the Pope’s Choir on 60 Minutes recently so this is very timely.

Enjoy the contemplative sounds and 3-D interactive tour of the Sistine Chapel Mural for your holidays.

If your winter weather is too cold this holiday to venture outdoors, enjoy these 16 surreal landscapes that could be too beautiful to be real.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Venice Biennale 3D Tour

During this hectic holiday time, it’s good to sometimes just take a break.

You can do that with this 3D interactive tour of the Venice Biennale 2016.

Venice Biennale_3D Tour 1 on Art Is Everywhere

Venice Biennale_3D Tour via Venice Design and Interiors 3D.it

The interactive nature of the tour itself is quite fascinating.

It’s like a video game propelling your view through the rooms and especially interesting among the historic backdrop of the Palazzo Michiel in Venice.

Venice Biennale_3D Tour 2 on Art Is Everywhere

Enjoy your holidays and we’ll be back soon.

Under One Symbolic Restored Dome

Today is Thanksgiving.

We have a lot to be thankful for and to look forward to with a new start.

However, with such a divided country, it is hopeful to see the US Capital Dome newly restored. With the unveiling of the newly restored Capitol Dome,The Architect of the Capitol has revealed a renewed emblem of national unity.

Restored Capitol Dome_AIE

via Washington Post

Let’s remember what this Nation was built on, America’s unity and try to be grateful and move forward with America’s continued prosperity in mind, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”.

Click here to read more about the history of our Nation’s Capitol Dome, see 44 pictures and a video about the restoration.

Hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Artistic Tradition Woven in Time and Odyssey

A quick post this week featuring the famed Venetian house of Bevilacqua textiles and their artistic tradition woven in time along with some pictures from New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA’s) 50th Odyssey Ball.

A magical setting from the 50th Odyssey Ball at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Some artwork featured Venetian Masters.

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Odyssey Ball photos by Lorre Lei Jackson

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A range of delectable desserts

Timothee Lovelock, the DJviolinist on Art Is Everywhere

Timothee Lovelock, the DJviolinist was one of the featured musicians. I like his violin!

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The Curious Incident of the Dog is Delightful

We saw the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time two weeks ago. I just haven’t had time to write about it.

It was more than delightful; It was one of the best plays that I’ve seen!

It was a family affair with our older son and his wife joining us at the Kennedy Center matinée. We had front row seats in the third tier with these gorgeous starburst cluster-chandeliers above us.

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I had read the book by Mark Haddon and loved it. They were unfamiliar with the story line and it was interesting to see their heartfelt reaction for the first time. Libby teaches public high school students, so I thought she might appreciate the challenges for this teenager in the play.

 It was one of the most active and physical plays I’ve seen going from a somber moment to a super-energized cacophony. The book fully captivated me and the play even more so because it added the visual and auditory layer that the book couldn’t fully generate, except in your imagination.

Both the book and the play put you in Christopher Boone, the 15 year old protagonist’s head, as if you were the one who was experiencing what it is like to have Aspergers first hand. It is a dichotomy in that he is brilliant but unable to manage social situations easily. Everyday hectic living can present crippling sensory overload for him.

Christopher sets out to solve the mystery of the death of his neighbor’s dog, who he discovers is killed on the front lawn with a pitchfork. The adventure leads to revelations that even “normal” teens, much less adults, would be shocked to their core to learn. Because Christopher has Aspergers, a milder functioning form of autism, he takes everything at face value and in some ways is able to deal with the truth better than most.

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Just like when I read the book, I found myself getting uncontrolably emotional because you can’t help but be moved by Christopher’s accomplishments.

The entire set was a digital sight and sound box that was brilliantly used and constantly changing. I can’t really describe it more than let this video speak for itself — and even it doesn’t do the play justice. If you have the chance while it is on tour, it’s just something to see!

There’s a reason it has won 5 Tony awards!

Afterwards, we have a wonderful dinner at Centrolina in the new City Center area in DC. Piers company, Clark Construction, had built the project.

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We sat at the table closest to the center dark wall

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Their special cocktails: a Negroni in back (without Campari) + Rimini in front with 2 different amaros, cachaca and pineapple. Both are excellent!

Views of CityCenter below.  city-center-gateway_aie

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Side note: Although there is so much, actually endless topics to write about, this blog may be posted 2 times a week after this post, due to the time involved to write, which I don’t have as much as I used to with other things taking some priority. Plus, I welcome reducing some of the load.

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More than Just Work at Métier

Métier is simply described on the restaurant website as a French word that means a field of work, an occupation that is someone’s area of expertise and for which he or she has received specialized training. Métier, the restaurant, is much more than just work. Although the chef’s expertise and the staff’s work goes into every aspect of the dining experience, they serve you a long-lasting memory of food-rapture and delight.

Before traveling for a needed getaway to Rhode Island, Peter and I were invited by our good friends to sample an evening reconnecting while experiencing one of the most delectable meals at Métier, Chef Eric Ziebold’s newest restaurant. I was fortunate that my ability to taste had just returned; even though, I still had the unfortunate and uncontrollable symptoms of coughing that I hope did not disturb the other guests.

The evening started with us “metro-ing” to the 7th Street, NW location near Mt. Vernon Square, in between Downtown and Noma (N. of Massachusetts Ave.). The area is undergoing a resurgence so not necessarily the safest place to be at night.

We were standing outside of the restaurant but it wasn’t apparent to us that it was Métier. The exterior was dark and easy to overlook. One had to walk into an alcove to open the door and at first we only saw Kinship written on the left side. Then we saw Métier written on the right.

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Kinship, as it turns out is the “less fancy” version of Métier. There’s not a waiting list of months to get a reservation.

After passing through the unassuming doors of the black entryway near the still iffy-area of the Convention Center, we walked through Kinship, Ziebold’s a la carte version of Métier. It’s on the street level. We were directed to a “secret” elevator that brought us to the basement floor where Métier is located and where our friends were waiting. We had hand-crafted drinks, like The American Quarter, which seems to be a version of our favorite Vieux Carré. It has the perfect mix of Ambler Bourbon, Nardini Amaro Bassano, Gran Classico, Cointreau and Orange Bitters. The taste of their appetizer with the lemon verbena granita in a fresh herb consumé served in Japanese tea cups was the most interesting flavors to simulate the Chef’s version of summer. It was perfect on a hot day and that happened to be the last official day of summer. This was all served in the front salon, an intimate French Chateau looking room that could have been someone’s home.

salon_metier_Art Is Everywhere

We had our drinks and appetizers right here.

The dinner with wine pairings was exceptional. I just wish I could remember exactly what it was because they’ve changed their summer menu to fall and it’s no longer available on the website. [Be sure to read the Menu Stories about the chef’s inspirations.]

dining room_metier on Art Is Everywhere

We ate at the table in the front lower right corner

Our server asked us if we wanted to be surprised with the chef’s pics? We all agreed, however, I commented, “as long as it didn’t have sea urchin because the last time I had it at Restaurant Eve it was over the top and unpleasant.” The server said there was one dish that did have sea urchin but it was not the main ingredient and I said let’s go for it. Well, it was my favorite dish!

Fletan at Metier_Art Is Everywhere

I think this is the sea urchin! It’s mixed in the risotto and foam.

We have a history with Eric Ziebold’s interpretation of food. CityZen, which was in the Mandarin Hotel, is where we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. It has since closed, but I remember the experience. We had our private dining alcove, the food was superb as was the service and I couldn’t believe Radiohead was playing in the background, which just added to it being one of the best meals, with the only exception being the sea urchin, which coincidentally, I had forgotten that we also had that evening. What is it with chef’s and sea urchin? This time it was perfected. Funny, when the chef came to visit our table, I’m glad I didn’t have this particular recall detail, only that we had a wonderful meal at CityZen and proceeded to thank him for such a wonderful meal at Métier.

I had heard about Ziebold’s new restaurants but it’s rare when Peter and I get such incredible opportunities to experience. Our friend, Adele, had been calling for months. We are lucky for having been the ones chosen to attend. After I broke out the old-fashioned stationary to write our friends a thank you note, which was certainly the very least we could do to express our gratitude, I read this article, The $1,000 Date Night: Had D.C.’s Tasting-Menu Culture Hit a Tipping Point?, about the value meeting the cost of the expensive fine-dining experience. Other restaurants in DC are also testing this market. Ziebold is smart in having two restaurants that offer similar fare but different experiences. You really do get what you pay for.

We were even given the staff’s hand-written thank you note and a bottle each of their home-made vinaigrette with herbs from local farms. We’re going to have to have some friends over to use and celebrate ourselves.

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Métier Vinaigrette and our roof-top basil bounty. This only a small sampling. We have to make pesto this weekend!

I tried my hand recently at a home-made roasted beet salad. Not bad but I couldn’t compare with the above. Coincidentally, I learned two unexpected things in the process: 1) I didn’t know you could roast beets. I’m so used to steaming them. Roasting only took 15 minutes at 420 degrees and I tossed with mustard ginger and oil, so you can add other flavors. 2) If you freeze the beets, they don’t dye your hands red when handling. I learned this quite by accident. Our fridge temperature needs to be adjusted now that it’s no longer hot outside and consequently, many items inside froze a bit; the beets being some.

Next on the list is making pesto cubes with all the tons of basil from our roof-top garden.

roasted-beet-salad on Art Is Everywhere

Roasted Ginger-Mustard Beet Salad with Cheese and home-made spicy dill dressing dribbled with honey. This recipe was from the newspaper Food Section, so I can’t take credit for the concoction only the substitutes, of which there were many.)

 

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What the Doctor Ordered

A RHode Island Getaway

Now that I’m better and coming off my sick-leave, I had an opportunity to travel for an impromptu getaway to Rhode Island to visit family. It seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. It also seems like I’m not ready to give up the beach combing yet — just because it’s no longer summer.

It was right after the big marketing push for announcing new designs so I knew there would still be some work to do but I relished the opportunity to relax. We had Hurricane Matthew that is brewing in the tropics on our tail. We survived a harrowing drive all night in the rain where people were using their hazards because it was so difficult to see and trucks were spaying us with tire-mist and constantly coming in our lane.

Fortunately, my husband did all the driving and made reservations at a boutique hotel in Connecticut, just outside of New York City, right off the Merritt Parkway. This meant we only had 3 more hours to drive to RI and hopefully the morning would be better.

Don’t let the name or stark location fool you but the Hi-Ho is a pretty cool place, boutique indeed with its 70’s retro styling and Andy Warhol prints and Palomino pillows in the bedrooms. Old-fashioned phones and red high-top tables set the contemporary breakfast room decor. We had one of the best continental breakfasts with one of the staff making sure everything was fresh and filled and greeting all the guests warmly.

Hi-Ho Hotel on Art Is Everywhere Hi-Ho Hotel bedroom on Art Is Everywhere

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Like this one wallpapered feature wall.

There was an interesting Barcelona wine bar/ restaurant to try that was attached to the hotel but we weren’t staying for dinner. We’ll have to go back! As it turns out, I believe this  is a chain restaurant and each location may make their own unique adaptations. At least when we want our Spanish-fare fix, we can go a little closer to us in Reston, VA, but may not be as good. The one at the Hi-Ho has cabanas and their own vegetable garden and their award-winning food looks exceptional. Another reason to go back. In fact, this may be our regular pit-stop on our way to RI. I’m glad we discovered it!

hi-ho-barcelona restaurant on Art Is Everywhere

Beach + Food + Family

We weren’t expecting the weather in RI to be in the 50’s! We mostly brought short-sleeved tops but layering with sweaters and jackets kept us warm while we attempted to catch fish in the surf. Although our luck wasn’t good, the striped bass were biting as others were more lucky catching them on the beach (and throwing them back).

We tried some new places for food, like 210 Oyster Bar & Grill as well as some old favorites, like Haversham Restaurant & Tavern right off Post Road (road to the beaches).

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210-oyster-bar-inside on AIE

Where we ate inside overlooking Salt Pond

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Front “tiki” bar to try in the summer

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Clam Cakes!

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“The Sham” as locals affectionately call it

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We were happy to have clam cakes in the off-season and see Green Hill in a peaceful state as all the transplanted vacationers had mostly packed up for the summer and had gone back to their other New England homes. The residents, however, and those who have long-time connections to the area were enjoying the calm. Everyone was friendly and was waving hello as almost a code that suggested we all have something in common for being here.

Here are some of the photos from our trip. Our (left) side of the beach had all the sand this time but this will change as the currents shifts from year to year.

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Our sandy left side of the beach

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The other — rocky and seaweed right side. Our beach usually looks like this.

Notice this change as you turn the corner on AIE

You notice this change as you turn the corner. (Photo Credit – The Rev. Peter Spencer)

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Algae covered rocks (at low tide) harbor lots of wildlife

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Mussels and Snails

One of our favorite days was the very last, when we spent time walking in the Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge. It’s right next door to these beach properties, which is wonderful that is protected from being developed and serves as a safe haven for many wildlife. In the summer, a big part of the beach is closed off in an attempt to protect the nesting grounds of the piping plover.

Trustom Pond on Art Is Everywhere

Right as we started walking on the first path by the field that leads you to the pond, we saw a bobcat — first time! Initially we thought it was a dog. It was sitting on the path looking at something (probably for dinner) in the clearing. Another couple coming our way walked around the corner and scared it but didn’t even realize it was a bobcat. They thought the strap on our binoculars was a leash and therein the bobcat was a dog. It simply turned around and walked into the woods. It was not very afraid but we picked up a large stick as we continued on our way.

One of our favorite spots walking back is the lily pad pod. This is where Peter caught a bullfrog and pretended to kiss it when our boys were younger. They were grossed out!

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Frogs are everywhere on AIE

Frogs are everywhere you look

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This time, we saw a beaver!

See the beaver in trustom pond on AIE

See the beaver?!

The pictures reflect for me the magic a much-needed break can bring. Getting back to Nature, sharing meals and the importance of spending quality time with family all leave lasting, life-sustaining memories.

Beautiful Skylit Boulders on Art Is Everwhere

Beautiful Skylit Boulders

Pear cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden to share on AIE

We shared our pear-shaped cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden.

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on window on AIE

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on the beach house window

Healing through Art

Just a reminder that the health and healing can come from the power of art.

healing-painting on Art Is Everywhere

via US News

You can read the informative article The Power of Creative Arts in Health and Healing by Ronit Fallek by clicking the link.

Keeping this in mind, The blog will be taking a sick-leave break until October while I recover from a bad sinus / ear infection / chest cold and hope it doesn’t progress into bronchitis, the usual next phase for me. I haven’t been ill in long time but I’ve already bounced back faster this time by not taking antibiotics while building up my own immunity.

All this is occurring during a planned marketing campaign that has been delayed but now now set back on track, so scoot over to Slipcovers for Your Walls for when it posts.

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