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

hi-ho-bathroom-feature-wall_on Art Is Everywhere

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).

two-ten-oyster-bar_AIE

210-oyster-bar-inside on AIE

Where we ate inside overlooking Salt Pond

210-oyster-bar-aerial on Art Is Everywhere

210-oyster-bar-outside-front on Art Is Everywhere

Front “tiki” bar to try in the summer

clam-cakes_on Art Is Everywhere

Clam Cakes!

haversham-restaurant-exterior_aie

“The Sham” as locals affectionately call it

haversham-restaurant-interior_aie haversham-about_aie

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.

Our sandy left side of Green Hill beach_AIE

Our sandy left side of the beach

green-hill-rocky-right-side_aie

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)

Algae covered rocks on AIE

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

mussels-and-snails on Art Is Everywhere

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!

lily-pad-pond on Art Is Everywhere

Frogs are everywhere on AIE

Frogs are everywhere you look

Frogs are everywhere 2 on Art Is Everwhere

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

Getting Your Southern Fare Fix

Before vacationing in Ocracoke, North Carolina, we tried out the new Hen Quarter restaurant, in Alexandria. It took over the old Austin Grill but is managed by the same owners with this new Southern cuisine concept. It’s a way to get your Southern fare fix, complete with porkbelly pops, down-home collard greens, fried chicken and some of the best fritter waffles you’ll ever taste and a very smooth-balanced mint julep. Now that’s something coming from a native New Orleanian and still one at heart!

Love their décor and their Southern phrases and charm:

“You’re like the butter to our biscuits…

…and whiskey that warms the heart”

and wouldn’t be the South without the, “Bless your heart” sign hanging.

fried chicken and biscuits_hen quarter_AIE

Classic Southern Biscuits and Fried Chicken

Belly pops prep_Hen Quarter_AIE

How they make their Belly Pops

Belly Pops as appetizers_hen quarter_AIE

Pop ’em in – porkbelly pops melt in your mouth

Here’s the play-by-play video with some good Southern, bluesy music too!

Egg Basket lighting_hen quarter_AIE

Egg Basket lighting that I’ll have to make someday. Love this idea!

Hen Quarter upstairs decor_AIE

Hen Quarter upstairs décor with wood plank walls that kinda remind me of….

Hole in the wall entrance at Captain Gregorys on AIE

You guessed it. It’s a hole in the wall entrance. The flag is the “doorbell”

Now we’re back to thinking of  mint juleps and….

Bourbon flight_hen quarter_AIE

Bourbon flight but where’s the Pappy?

“Free Range Cocktails” (Hen Quarter’s slogan)

…but looking forward now to some much-needed relaxing days while waiting for the green flash at sunset. We haven’t seen it yet but keep hoping!

Pre sunset porch time_AIE

Pre sunset porch time

Sailboat view from dock on AIE

Sailboat view from dock

End of day starting on AIE

Sun Rays – End of day starting

Picture perfect sunset and kayaker in silhouette on AIE

Picture perfect sunset and kayaker in silhouette in Pamlico Sound

Ahhh, summer and cicadas, don’t want it to end…

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Summer Schedule

Hello readers, with the summer schedule and needing to put forth extra energy and effort to my main CasartCoverings.com website and migrating the Slipcovers for your walls blog to an updated version, the posts on this blog will move to a temporary and limited, twice-a-month schedule.

Thank you for your continued interest as art oriented observations will still be posted, just not as frequently, like this little video-ditty about the singer Miquel’s creative process, on NPR’s Noteworthy series.

NPR_creative process film_AIE

I’ve listened to but not all that familiar with Miguel’s music and only like some of it, particularly the rhythm and blues, funk and more psychedelic-soul / lounge oriented pieces, but his thought process regarding creating music and how the artist is affected is surprisingly very thoughtful. I enjoyed learning more about him and his music as he discusses the inspiration for his latest music and video. He states the importance of being in the moment to absorb those bits of creative sparks that are so quickly fleeting. He recalls his time on the beach in letting those moments flow. I’ll be thinking of this as vacation to the beach is quickly coming and I don’t want to bring too much work this time. Click the image below to view.

Personally, I like his custom wallpaper 😉

Miguel wallpaper_AIE

Go ahead and subscribe (sidebar link) to this blog so you won’t miss out and won’t have to remember to check back. This way the posts will come to your inbox.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and finding art is everywhere.

Summer’s End and Olympics Begin

Just as Summer is ending soon, the Olympics begin.

It makes sense to reap Summer’s bounty before it fades — be it memories of carefree, less stressful days, or travel and being at the beach or even with Nature’s provision.

I thought these Nature murals were a wonderful to show off Ocala, Florida and the bounty of Her regional produce, while at the same time beautifying the city’s water tanks. I really like their colorful, illustrated style.

Ocala Nature water tank Mural_AIE

As the Olympics begin with the Opening Ceremonies this Friday — tomorrow evening — in Rio, here’s an updated mural announcement on my last post regarding Eduardo Kobra.

His longest mural will be unveiled at the start of the Olympics. Click the image to watch the movie.

Kobra Summer Olympics begin mural_AIE

Although not in Rio or associated with the Olympics per se, this Corpus Christi mural is so vibrant with a Latino flair that I thought it made sense to post with the timing of the Olympics. It’s entitled “Endless Sunset” by Sandra Gonzalez of Laredo.

Corpus Christi Mural on AIEHave fun watching the Olympics! I know I will.

Click here for previous posts written about the Olympics.

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A Mural with Timely Connection

There’s a lot going on in the world and it’s often uncanny to me when I find artwork that has a timely connection to separate but jointly pivotal events.

This 5-story, kaleidoscope-style mural of Bob Dylan located on the side of the Hennepin Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota is by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra.

Bob Dylan Mural Hennepin Theatre by Eduardo Kobra_AIE

via Hennepin Theatre. Photo credit Bill Hickey

The “times, they are a-changing” quote is not only attributed to and made famous by Bob Dylan but it signifies to me the current upheaval in the word and the political climate we are currently in, but also the possibility for hope that things will change. We cannot continue on this present course.This especially comes to light during recent and shocking terrorists attacks in France again and elsewhere along with racial division here among the very law enforcement who are supposed to protect us and also against them. This is all taking place during the Republican and Democratic conventions, while knowing how much is at stake for the US during this election.

Lincoln Mural_Eduardo Kobra_AIE

Abraham Lincoln mural credit Eduardo Kobra

At the same time, the Olympics are about to start in Brazil. The world is supposed to come together here but there is much unease, unrest, uncertainty and even unethical gaming-the-system with Russian athletes doping in the past to win. At this writing, the Olympic committee may ban them from attending.

What and who do we trust?

Coincidentally, Kobra has also painted one of the largest murals for the Olympics and it’s entitled We Are All One, how timely…

We Are All One Mural by Kobra for the Rio Olympics_AIE

We Are All One Mural by Kobra for the Rio Olympics via Paste

Trust is the foundation for most every relationship, be it business, personal, political or for pleasure. There’s a lot at stake here at home and globally with no real, clear certainty.

As the days lead up to the Games and the Presidential Election gets closer, I hope it will become clearer that the best measures and actions will be taken for safety, security, and trust that our nation and the world can move forward while making sure the “the times are changing” — because they have to. There is no other choice but for peace and prosperity.

For further reading: previous posts on Eduardo Kobra and the Olympic Games and Brazil.

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A 28th Way to Celebrate

Most people will say as they get older, or as their children get older, or as their wedding anniversaries fly by, “where did the time go?!” Well it’s true. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. My husband and I celebrated our wedding 28th anniversary recently and have discovered what has become a somewhat traditional way for us to celebrate.

We had dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. We’re lucky we can just walk down the street to Vermilion. This is particularly beneficial after a full Tasting Menu with wine pairings for each course. The dinner was delicious, as it never disappoints! I wish I had taken more pictures, especially of the black gnocchi which was divine, but after cocktails, champagne and the first wine, I wasn’t thinking any longer of taking pictures — just immersed in the moment of pure dining pleasure — as it should be.

Vermilion Artistic plating with a swish!_AIE

Artistic plating with a swish! These are our appetizers.

In fact, we love going to most all of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s eateries but we feel blessed to have Vermilion down the street, where we have been dining since its inception.

The service was exceptional, especially since I mentioned it being our wedding anniversary. Word spread from the bartender, where we had Vieux Carré cocktails in the lounge to start, to our waiter, who greeted us with a glass of sparkling champagne. It was an exceptional evening! And even though I may not remember the meal exactly as time meanders on, I have our menu to remind us of what a good meal it was.

Vermilion Wine Tasting_28th_ArtIsEverywhereSince this was our second wedding anniversary to celebrate this year, we also went to a relatively new restaurant, called Lapis. It’s located where the old Napoleon restaurant was in Adams Morgan. Peter and I had a fabulous tasting meal there too. We contemplated going to dance it off at the Black Cat because it was 80’s music but after walking the 18 blocks there, we felt like we got our exercise and would save our dancing for next month.

Roasted eggplant appetizer at Lapis_Art Is Everywhere

Roasted eggplant appetizer at Lapis

I think my last month of celebrations just extended to 2 months now — and with more on the way in May!

 

A News Mixology

This is a quick bit of news mixology, as I’m working on new designs and extra time for a longer post isn’t at hand.

  1. While not expressing my own political inclinations (at all ;), I can still state that with politics on everyone’s minds these days and the latest primary just past, this is a worthwhile mural posting of Bernie Sanders y Conrad Brenner, located in Philly (to see on our next trip).

    Bernie Sanders Mural by Conrad Benner via Philadelphia Weekly_Art Is Everywhere

    Bernie Sanders Mural by Conrad Benner via Philadelphia Weekly

  2. Before you go, check out this list from USA Today on the 10 best cities to see murals.
    10 Great Cities to see Murals_USA_ Art Is Everywhere

    10 Great Cities to see Murals_USA

    3. If you have nothing better to do on April 26th, here’s an interesting Christie’s auction to look forward to snagging some historically prestigious trompe l’oeil panels.

Christies auction_ArtIsEverywhereThe panels are painted by Martin Battersby for Lady Diana Cooper, who sounds like she was a rebel rouser.

martin-battersby-1914-1982-pleasures-of-life via Christies on Art Is Everywhere

martin-battersby-1914-1982-pleasures-of-life via Christie’s

Lady Diana Cooper_via Christies_Art Is Everyhwere4. I am very excited to learn there will be a sequel to the movie Finding Nemo, called Finding Dory, coming out this June.

Finding Dory Sequel to Finding Emo_We Got this covered_Art Is EverywhereI have 2 Clown Fish in my tank due to the first movie and because they are very hearty fish. No telling what I’ll get next. 😉

I’ll take this opportunity to mention that in the midst of my Month of Celebrations, sadly, I lost the very first fish in our salt-water tank, my Cardinalfish (Banggai). He was 5 years old. They normally last only 4 years in a tank and maybe 2 years in the wild. His demise is still somewhat of a mystery in that he had symptoms that none of the other fish had with a what looked like a white bulbous tumor under but partly visible from his right gill. He had progressive fin and tail rot that I hadn’t noticed until it appeared too late. This is normally a sign of bad water conditions but I change the tank regularly, check the chems and this did not seem to be the case. I did a little research (WebMD for fish) and found that many owners of this type of fish had similar symptoms. It could have been related to food and a virus that was affecting those in captivity. I can’t say for certain but since the frozen brine shrimp I was using is from China (as is most things these days) and even though, it says free of bacteria and diseases, do we really know for sure or if this is even regulated there? Perhaps it transported the virus that infects only this type of fish. Evidently they are now hard to come by because they have been over-fished for aquariums and the disease has affected so many.

It was very sad to see him wither away because he got to the point where he could not swim and the other fish were picking on him. At one point he appeared to be getting better with the antibiotics I was treating him and the tank with to also proactively protect the other fish; although it only seemed that the Cardinalfish was prone to this disease. When the medicine was finished and it was time to do my weekly water change he rapidly declined. He’s buried in the Memory Garden with very healthy plants due to the other fish buried nearby.

He was a very pretty and fast swimming fish with striking markings. He often outwitted the other fish getting prime food morsels before they could. He’d often break dried shrimp pellets apart spit them out for others to eat along with him.

Going back to The Soul of an Octopus, even fish have a personality and he had a good one. I’ll miss him but he brought a lot of joy.

Cardinal Banggai Fish_Art Is Everywhere

Cardinal Banggai Fish

Fabulous Fibonacci is Golden Art

I’ve just backed Rafael Araujo’s Kickstarter project to bring his beautiful architectural illustrations to light in an adult coloring book. Araujo is a Venezuelan architect in Caracas, who’s been using the Fibonacci Sequence or Golden Ratio for over 40 years to create his artwork.

Rafael Araujo at work_ Art Is Everywhere

Rafael Araujo at work

The Golden Ratio uses “Phyllotaxis,” which is the tendency in nature for things to grow in spiral patterns. This concept can be seen in mathematically sequenced spirals in seashells and butterflies — two of my favorite things — among many other elements that are found in Nature.

Golden Ratio shell 1_Art Is EverywhereHe’s left all the mathematical plotting points intact to show the diagram of the object he’s illustrating, similar to Leonardi’s famous image of the Vitruvian man, which in this case also shows how the circle and the Golden Ratio Rectangle come together.

Rafael Araujo_Golden Ratio Rectangle Fibonacci Spiral_ArtIsEverywhere

Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man_ArtIsEverywhere

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man via Stanford University

Golden Ratio shell 3_ Art Is Everywhere

Araujo’s shells using the Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio shell 2_Art Is Everywhere

Rafael Araujo_Blue Morpho butterflies_ArtIsEverywhere

Blue Morpho Butterflies in flight by Rafael Araujo

Casart Butterfly Logo2_Art Is Everywhere

Casart coverings Blue Morpho Logo Butterfly

I love the Blue Morpho Butterfly, as you can see above. I took these next two pictures while in Panama. It is one of the most majestic creatures. I was so excited to see them in flight, as well as leaf cutter ants at work. Pretty amazing and mesmerizing.

Blue Morpho Underside wing pattern in Panama_Art Is Everywhere

Blue Morpho Underside wing pattern in Panama

Blurry Blue Morpho eating_AIE

Blurry Blue Morpho eating

Rafael Araujo_Monarch butterflies_ArtIsEverywhere

Araujo’s Monarch Butterflies

I’m loving this coloring book because it epitomizes the apex of where art and science come together. I’m excited to receive one but more importantly, I’m very happy, Mr. Araujo and his printers have already reached their fundraising goal. I’m just pleased to be a part of the effort to bring his exceptional art to others. You can still be a part of the effort too until April 27th, so get on board and surf the Golden Ratio wave!

Golden Ratio Coloring Book_ArtIsEverywhereHere are some more links that may be of interest:

Rafael Araujo’s website

His creative process on Imgur

Math is Fun – The Fibonacci Sequence

A Fun Math Exercise in Your Garden

About the Fibonacci Sequence

Golden Ratio in relation to Fibonacci Sequence

More on Golden Rectangles

Golden Ratio Rectangle_ArtIsEverywhere

Don’t ask me to explain the math, except maybe this is why I like Spirograph so much! 😉

 

Belgium Solidarity

Joyfully it is Easter Week — a time to celebrate!

In the spirit of energy and renewal, this is quick post as we get ready for our annual Easter Brunch, to show solidarity with the Belgium people. The world has come together, yet again, to express their sympathy and support after the latest terrorists attacks.

It is a sad coincidence that as I wrote my blog post last week, the remaining terrorist in the Paris attacks had been caught in Belgium. I noted that I hoped this victory would give the French and other nations information to prevent future attacks. Tragically in just a week’s time, in between the writing of the last post and this, another horrific terrorist crime has occurred. More innocent people are dead and countries, particularly Europe is on high alert. In the midst of this wake, I’m more encouraged by the unification around the world expressing solidarity with Belgium and efforts to fight terrorism.

Begium Muslims unite on Art Is Everywhere

via Washington Post

This image spoke a message about the human spirit — free and defiant, not afraid to gather, called into action, paying respects to the lives of the dead, offering hopes and prayers for their families and the future.

Thinking about the book Big Magic’s concept that the idea is powerful and can be realized by those who think and act upon it, collectively as more people embrace prayer and thoughts for hope, I believe we can win this war.

Hermes-Butterfly as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Human + Butterfly merge

The butterflies are symbolic for God’s miracles, transformation, and rebirth. They indicate for me that peace will come.

Butterflies are free and in some ways represent transcendence from constraints and this world. Hopefully you’ll see why I like butterflies.

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