Archive for the 'Art and Artists' Category

Rock n Roll Time

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There really is a difference between hearing music live, and hearing recorded music. I’ve mentioned in the past that I love being in high-energy crowds. Whatever is the music equivalent of a vampire, I am that. I feed off the energy. Yet getting to the crowd is often complicated enough that I pass on the opportunity.

Back in the spring on a day I was feeling a bit low, I saw an advertisement for an upcoming Heart concert. I clicked through and saw it was scheduled for a venue about 90 minutes away, it was a double-bill with Joan Jett, it was my birthday week, and I love Heart’s music AND Joan Jett’s music. I had no idea who’d want to go with me, but I bought 2 tickets. Not only 2 tickets, but I made sure they were center seats, under the roof (it was a pavilion venue – BB&T Pavilion in Camden). And then I pretty much forgot about it.
joan jett and the blackhearts

Well last week was birthday week (as well as kidney stone week) and the concert was Friday. I invited my sister to use my other ticket and join me and she agreed. Outdoor venues are tricky – you never know if the weather will cooperate or not. Even if you are under the roof, it it’s raining the air is uncomfortable. I’d never been to BB&T so I tried to get as much information online as possible. Well. I guess it’s true that mostly cranky unhappy people post reviews. “Too Expensive” “horrible view” “traffic was ridiculous” “I’ll never go back”. Oh dear, too late for ME – I already bought my tickets AND my VIP parking. I’ve reached the point that if I’m going to treat myself, I’m going to treat myself and I’m not going to park a zillion miles away and hike in.
joan jett aug 2019

The more I looked at the pictures, however, and read reviews, I realized that the complaints were nothing more than what I consider to be realities of concert going. Yep, the prices for EVERYTHING at a venue are outrageously expensive. Part of how they make their money. Yep, trying to get hundreds of cars (if not thousands of cars) out AFTER the event means you WILL be sitting there for a good 30 minutes or more before you should even try to start your car to move. That’s why you bring enough food to tailgate before AND after. 🙂 (And of course you go in your red convertible which makes everything better.)

My brother-in-law packed us a fantastic tailgate: home-grilled seasoned chicken on home made flat bread, and his delicious macaroni salad. We each brought our drink of choice (vodka & tonic for my sister, wine spritzers for me). I had brand new chairs-in-bags and a brand new pop-up table in a bag. My cooler is always stocked with paper goods, plastic wear, cutting knives and napkins. I always have my Swiss Army knife. I packed a cooler of ice cubes and a bag of limes. We were good to go!
tailgating at bb&t

Getting down to Camden was not a problem – no traffic on the NJ Turnpike for a change. Our biggest issue was finding the correct place for VIP parking. We waited in a parking line to get into the venue parking, only to be told we were in the wrong lot. We needed to go out and go right-right-right to get to the VIP parking. 🙂 We found the lot and asked WHERE the venue was in relation to the entrance to the lot. The attendant pointed over to her left, said we could park anywhere. I headed left and there were LOADS of spots. This concert was obviously NOT a sellout. We picked a spot next to a no-parking area so we’d have room to setup our tailgate. It was lovely. The online descriptions of the lot indicated it was across the road from the venue. The “road” was barely a road – it was more a driveway. It was a very short walk, probably the closest we have ever parked to a venue. (Yes, it was expensive, and yes, the people parking for $10 less were parking in the same huge lot we were but on the other side of the orange cones. So what – it was one less worry for me in my planning.)
Heart Aug 2019

We had a lovely tailgate and then headed in to the venue. It was very much like the pavilion up on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel, NJ, where we’ve gone many times. This one was better, however, because the concession stands were INSIDE, which meant air-conditioning as well as protection from the rain if necessary. The drinks were extremely over-priced but of course I indulged in the summer cocktail special. It came in a BLINKING GLASS!!!!!! How could I resist? Obviously I couldn’t. 🙂 The only disappointment was the lack of anything that could be considered dessert – we’d forgotten to pack any cookies. 😦 They won back those ‘points’, however, at intermission when they changed the men’s bathroom into one for the women and directed the men to the facilities outside. *grin* They said the ratio of women/men was so skewed they knew they had to address the matter. 🙂
Light up glass

The music was, of course, fantastic. Despite stating that I wouldn’t take any pictures because they never come out well, I took pictures. 🙂 I took videos of some of my favorite songs. The opening act was Elle King (you know – EX’s and Oh’s). The sound crew did a poor job. My sister and I both stuffed tissues in our ears because it was so loud and almost distorted. (Ah yes, we ARE getting old, how tacky of you to mention it.) Joan Jett and Heart both had much better sound quality and no tissues were necessary, thank goodness! 🙂 There were many open seats in front of us so we had great sight, except of course for the couple 2 rows ahead of us who NEVER sat down. *grin* We shifted over so my sister could see something besides their backs. I love the light shows. 🙂 The music is great without a light show but I do like bright shiny glitter and light shows are that and more. There was also a bubble machine at one point.
Heart 2019

Leaving WAS a bit of a nuisance. We did sit there the expected 30 minutes waiting for the line of leavers to lessen. Once we joined the departures it was probably only another 15 minutes of moving forward slowly. The annoying part was the inability to get back on the road we used to get there – Rt 38. We were blocked from that direction and had to keep going south onto Rt 676. I have to say that I absolutely loath trying to drive around Philadelphia and Camden – it’s a real form of torture for me because the roads are terrible, they all merge, the signs are terrible, I don’t do enough driving there to know the secrets and you just can’t get THERE from HERE, no matter the ‘there’ or the ‘here’. We ended up driving south for easily 15 minutes or so before we could finally hook up to the road that would go north. I find that annoying. I suppose it’s possible that as far as TIME goes, it took the same amount of time as I’d have spent on Rt 38, but it’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing, you know???? I want to go where *I* want to go. 🙂

All in all it was a great birthday present – great music, great company, great food, AND a blinking cup souvenir!!!

It’s STILL My Dream

I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Do I need to add more to that? Is there any little girl who has seen The Nutcracker ballet and NOT wanted to be the Sugar Plum Fairy? Not for me Clara, or the Waltz of the Flowers or Chocolate or Coffee. I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

We went to the ballet last night with my sister and her husband. I LOVED seeing all the little girls coming in their best “going to the ballet” outfits. There were 2 little sisters in pink tulle with (fake) fur stoles and their hair up in ballerina fashion. There was a little girl in black and red plaid with a huge red bow in her top-knot. The little girl in front of me in her lovely black velvet dress with a white kitty on the front spent most of the ballet sitting in her mother’s lap. And *I* alternated between directing the live orchestra and clutching my husband’s hand in excitement.

After the performance several young ladies were gathered in the lobby to pose for photos. That is, once they had been collected from pirouetting and attempting en pointe. 🙂 Oh you have no idea how I yearned to spin and twirl too. I should have dressed for it. When the young ladies were finally in line, they were all cradling their very own Nutcrackers. It was wonderful.

I’d not been to a live performance of the Nutcracker in about 20 years. I asked my son yesterday if he remembered the ballet and how the tree GROWS RIGHT ON THE STAGE!!!! He said “yep”. Ahem. Thank you thank you thank you to my husband for suggesting we go.

When I grow up I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Dressing the Walls

IMG_8035One of a homeowner’s great pleasures, and often greatest frustrations, is decorating the walls of the house. Some people like a stark look, almost nothing on clean walls. Others hang zillions of photos – family, or vacation, or nature, or animals. Others hang artwork (however you choose to define it). My old kitchen had walls with LOTS of pictures and art and photos, because I had a lot of wall space and LOTS of chachkes.

My new kitchen has cabinets and brick, not exactly conducive to attachments. It also has a very clean, spare look, also not exactly welcoming to chachkes. I had a lot of chachkes hanging on the old cabinets, from the windows, on the refrigerator. I didn’t want to repeat that in the new kitchen. But there was a wall that cried out for artwork. I knew from the design stage that there was a wall that would need something.

I thought I’d found the perfect picture to hang on the wall between the basement door and the doorway to the front hall, above the new radiator. I’d found it in July at a street fair, when I bought another picture from the artist, Linda McAdams.IMG_9532 As I realized when I started looking for dish towels and oven mitts, there is no way that RED will work in this kitchen, and the “perfect picture” had a big red and white striped beach umbrella (that’s why it was perfect and I loved it *grin*). I was a bit bummed, to tell the truth. My friend and I started idly perusing Linda’s website via my phone and discovered that besides her beach/ocean series, she had an Italy portfolio as well. So many of the colors were the same colors as the brick backsplash in the kitchen – warm, rustic, brick. My friend was clicking through the mini pictures when I stopped her. “That looks like Castel Sant’Angelo”, I said. We enlarged the photo and sure enough – it was Castel Sant’Angelo.

I LOVE Castel Sant’Angelo. When my son and I were in Italy a few years ago, one of our best experiences was touring Castel Sant’Angelo. IMG_9531We spent so much time there, loving every floor, taking a zillion photos, staring out at the bridges across the Tiber. Originally Hadrian’s tomb, various popes turned it into a fortress, attached to St. Peter’s Basilica. We both took panoramic shots of the river and Pons Aelius (sorry – we switch to Latin for this *grin*) and the 10 angel statues decorating the bridge. We spent our whole time there exclaiming how much my husband would love to see it – structures, architecture, archaeology, history. All 3 of us adore those fields. *grin* And for B, who I know reads this blog – we love talking about Hannibal and elephants, too. *grin*

Once I saw that photo I knew I had THE picture for my kitchen. 3 of my friends had seen photos of the kitchen with the back splash and said it reminded them of Tuscany/Italy. I’d felt that way also. IMG_9538 Here was a picture that was the right color, the right mood, and a reminder of an extremely happy time. I had to have it. I contacted Linda McAdams, gave her the measurements for that space, gave her my credit card and within 2 weeks – there it was. I also learned a lot about how to hang artwork on a drywall (not plaster wall) that was hollow – the pocket door is behind the wall – no long strong nails could be used. A friend had recommended Command hangers (I’d never heard of this fantastic product before) but although I DID buy various packs of Command hangers for future use, we ended up using High and Mighty hangers, which are designed specifically for drywall.

My sister “discovered” the art for the doorway between the breakfast room and the kitchen. It was in my dining room. I’d bought it many years ago with a bonus check I’d received, due in part to the work I’d done in virtual worlds. The piece was mounted on a dark wall. IMG_9537It SHOULD have been on a lighter wall but we never did get around to repainting that wall for that purpose. The piece, therefore, has probably been overlooked by most visitors for years. Now it has a place of honor over the new doorway, with lots of light from the skylight and a clean white wall behind. I can enjoy it every day when I sit at the bistro table.

I will probably put back at least one of the pieces that used to be in the breakfast room on the driveway-side wall above the table, and very possibly put them both back. I’ll have to get that done before the “come see my new kitchen party”. 🙂

Artistic Confidence

potteryAre you creative? Are you artistic? Do you have an eye for balancing an image? My friend, the Fundy Migrant, 🙂 is taking a course on photography. I’ve always thought she took great pictures but I do see her skill growing rapidly. I think that supports the credo “Practice Makes Perfect”. Or at least leads to improvement. Those of you who only know her as the Fundy Migrant or “that woman” don’t know of her long history of creativity, but you will learn. My personal favorite, of course, were the Drama Dolls. And my very own special Drama Doll. But I digress (as usual). Because this post isn’t about her but about me (as usual). *grin*

I am very conflicted when I think about my artistic abilities. On the one hand, I think I’m creative. I’ve made and sold my own pottery (for real money to people who didn’t know me).dining room palette I think I have a good eye for my gardens. I learned to make virtual trees (thank you Fundy Migrant) and I learned to script so items I created would move. I made virtual hair which people wanted. I bake well also – ask my brother-in-law about my sugar free rugelach. On the other hand, I was NOT considered the artistic member of my family. Museums exhaust me mentally long before physical fatigue sets in. I passed up visiting Florence to go back to spend more time in Rome. You might remember a posting about a picture in our family home – the picture that my mother declared separated those with an artistic eye from those without. I loathed that picture. So you know where I was slotted on the spectrum. 🙂

I have been very slow to renovate my house. The house is nearly 100 years old. We’ve been there 34 years. We still have the original kitchen cabinets, kitchen counter, upstairs carpeting, and upstairs bathroom. For most people of my acquaintance, this is little short of heresy. Almost taboo. We did an addition to the house. We repainted the kitchen and changed the lights, and we’ve done other repairs and such over the years. tropical ceiling fanBut other than the addition, which we did nearly 30 years ago, I’ve not done anything BIG. Several years ago it was time to repaint the living room and dining room and my big-breakout designer action was to paint the walls something other than WHITE. I used TWO strong colors in the dining room, and the ceiling in the dining room was the same faint pink-overtones of white that were the walls in the living room. I loved it. I remember my mother making “a face” at the end result. I, however, felt vindicated and still love my palette to this day.

Last year about this time we needed a new chandelier for the dining room. While we were at the lighting store, I saw a ceiling fan that captured my heart. It had 5 blades, shaped like fat rubber tree leaves. We bought it and replaced the ceiling fan in the sunroom. I thought no more about it until my niece suggested that I make the sunroom my “beach getaway” room, my own little tropics in NJ. I’d never considered redoing an entire room with a theme. I know OTHER people do these things, but I never considered it. But the suggestion took root, especially when my niece gave me the color palette she thought I’d like. I redid the entire room, piece by piece, idea by idea, slowly but surely. Everything was done except…. except…. I wanted a big seascape above the windows across from my reading chair. ocean viewI didn’t find what I wanted at craft shows or online. I found wallpaper, however, that triggered some ideas. The wall is mostly windows. I wanted something more “ocean, beach” for the little bit of wall that remained. I bought wallpaper that looked like a weathered ocean fence, and a border that was ocean waves, sand dunes with beach grass and blue sky. I told folks that I was going to put the fencing down the wall and across the top of the wall above the windows, then put the border on top of that so it would look like I was looking out over the fence to the ocean. The reactions I received ranged from a slightly skeptical look to “that’s ridiculous, the ocean isn’t ABOVE the windows”. It looks great. I love it. It’s everything I wanted. People who see it love it too (okay, they might be humoring me but I don’t care. *I* LOVE it.)

Ahuva's cornerI’m feeling much more confident about my ability to design a room and pull the various pieces together. I have much more faith in my taste in furnishings and color and concept. That is a very good thing, too. Because in 2 weeks we will gut our entire kitchen, widen a doorway, and redo the kitchen we have had for 34 years. Big changes are coming….

Art IN the Bay of Fundy

Because nothing is hidden from the internet, because I follow Honour on social media, I get to see cool things that get shared with Honour. 🙂

And HOW cool is THIS????? A painting IN the water…..

The Day of The Bugs

We have had a lot to concern us on this trip. In BC we worried about the cats and the fires. In Alberta we worried about cats and shade. In Saskatchewan, it was the Day of the Big Bugs. Also known as “Day of the Squeegee”. I regret I have no good pictures for you of all the bugs smashed on the windshield. My most sincere apologies for that lack.

We woke on Day 3 happy in the knowledge that we were going to Calli’s for breakfast. She fed us a feast!!! The most delicious pancakes I have ever had in my life – ricotta pancakes with orange zest. Also – sensational coffee. She said it was a BC company called Kicking Horse. I really hope I can find that online or I’m making Honour move back to Delta and mail me coffee. Hmmm. Honour has just informed me that she won’t oblige (oh and so what else is new). Oh Clair……. 🙂 Not only did Calli feed us magnificently but she took all the animals’ bedding and washed it!!! ahuva's tiaraWe’re not sure if Fergus, Duff and Jamie cared but Honour and I were thrilled. I also got to use the wifi and managed to do the prior tl;dr post. I also got to wear my tiara for breakfast! We had much fun chatting with Calli and her husband. Calli has 2 fantastic dog sculptures in her front yard, made by the daughter of a neighbor. My photos do not do them justice but they are truly magnificent. Calli and her husband also helped us plan out travel stops for the next few days. We already had a hotel reservation for that evening but they recommended we get one for the next night as well for when we stopped in Wawa.

I began calling places in Wawa and every pet-friendly hotel was booked. I really hate traveling because you have to do things like make reservations. If I can’t get the reservation I want in a maximum of 2 calls I start getting very unhappy. Some might even say cranky. calli's sculpturesIt is at times like that, that I turn to my travel-agent-in-the-sky. Or wherever she might be. I use ‘sky’ because of this very funny story that Honour could tell you if she would only do her own posting. But mostly she dictates to me what she thinks I should be writing. But it’s a great story about her mother and the GPS. Maybe someday she’ll tell you. ANYWAY, my TAITS is my sister. My sister not only excels at hunting down the best reservation she even seems to enjoy the process. I called her and said please please help me. She, being the fantastic sister she is, said sure. So we could finally start off again on our journey. I took a picture of Fergus and Duff and their excitement before we left Calli’s house. (In case my photo fails to capture their joy, you can notice the clean cat bed under which they are hiding.) They spend a lot of time like that. As with many parents taking children on long journeys, we are disappointed that they are failing to appreciate this great cultural opportunity we have given them.

Day 3 was a lot of nothing very exciting and a lot of dead bugs. You can tell because I have almost no photos for this post. close up of dogs I only had 2 on-the-road pictures, and one of them was a sign I saw as we pulled out of the gas station. I’d like to point out to all of you who have asked me – well what is it you DO do? that I EXCEL at squeegeeing. Honour pumped the gas but I cleaned the windows, the headlights and the license plate. They have VERY big bugs in Saskatchewan. What we did notice, besides the bugs, was that no one else on the road appeared to be heading east. They were all going west. We wondered what they all knew that we did not. Even the trains were going the opposite direction. I finally managed to have my camera in hand when one was approaching. I don’t know why I find the trains so appealing but seeing them come with that big headlight shining made me smile. And worry because they too were heading west…..

We were booked into a Super 8 in Kenora. We’d made pretty good time and were looking forward to having a chance to have some dinner and relax before collapsing into bed. cats under cat bed Our GPS, however, felt we needed a bit more excitement after that long bug-filled ride. She (I have named Honour’s GPS Gypsy2 – because MY GPS is named Gypsy) insisted that we needed to turn left to reach the Super 8. I was driving and refused to listen as we were on a bridge over a lake. I crossed the bridge, turned around and headed back, thinking perhaps I’d simply been slow to respond but no, now she wanted me to turn right into the lake. I didn’t remember the reservation saying anything about needing a boat and since Molly (the car, you remember) doesn’t have pontoons, we decided to ignore Gypsy2 and try to find someplace else to stop. We drove on and tried to get our phones to also cooperate and pulled into a gas station. There we learned that the Super 8 was just ahead on the left, after 2 more bridges. .

We pulled into the Super 8 and noticed the adjoining restaurant. I checked into the hotel while Honour fed the cats. I dumped everything in the room and set up my computer to charge. Honour started knocking at the door, despite the fact I had brought her her key. Her key, apparently, did not work. We figured this was no big deal since we weren’t going to be coming and going and we headed out to dinner at the restaurant. train keeps a rollin'The hotel clerk had told us the restaurant closed at 11 or maybe 1 am on a Saturday night. There WERE lights on in the building. We could see people at tables. But the doors were locked. We were tired and hungry so we walked to the other door and tried that. Which was also locked. It was 9:50pm. We finally looked AT the door and saw a sign: Due to unforeseen circumstances we are closed. Okay, that really demoralized us. As we headed back around the building, we saw 4 people come OUT the door. We called to them and asked if the restaurant was open. They said they seemed to be the very last people in the building. We walked back to the hotel where the desk clerk suggested we should order pizza. We thought this was an acceptable idea AND he gave Honour a new key. We walked upstairs (there was no elevator – we needed to walk up and down 2 flights of stairs which were located at the end of the hall furthest from our room). We got to the room and Honour tried her new key. It didn’t work. I took her key thinking maybe it just didn’t like her but it didn’t work for me, either. So I took out my key and guess what – mine no longer worked either. This was even more dispiriting. I gave up and said to Honour that she and Jamie (who we’d retrieved from the car after our non-dinner) could go and get new keys because I actually had one trip down and back ahead of her and I was carrying several water bottles. Honour came back with the young desk clerk, to whom we’d gotten very attached by this point, with 2 NEW keys. horse fair signHe had confided to Honour that he really hoped it was the keys and not the lock because he didn’t know how to FIX the lock.

Honour took her new new key and tried to open the door. It didn’t open. To his credit, the young man did NOT laugh in our faces. He simply said – you have the key the wrong way. Oooookay. In our defense – we were very very tired and hungry. Of course, by this time, it was too darn late to call for pizza. Honour and Jamie went to bed, but I, your intrepid narrator, stayed up writing a post and editing pictures. (I was not going to be this nice to you in the future).

I’m Ahuva Heliosense. I’m Rising!

Ahuva Rising

One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime.

One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity.

One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.

.

Join V-Day on
02.14.13
STRIKE, DANCE, RISE
in your community &
Demand an
end to violence
(copied from the official One Billion Rising url)

I hold strong views on many subjects. I try not to preach to my friends and coworkers. But in this instance, I believe so strongly in this movement, that I am speaking out to you. Yes – YOU. I mean you – male and female both. Join the revolution. End the violence.

OBR in SLI hope to rise in both SL and RL. I’ve found 2 possible RL events. In SL – it’s running 24 hours, from midnight Wednesday, Feb 13th through midnight, Feb 14th. It will be LIVESTREAMED. There are going to be live performances by well-known SL entertainers (*grin* one of my personal favorites is rumored to be the closing act)

To get you revving – watch the video. Yep, I’m there. Honour is there. Saffia is there, Pyper, Tatiana, sooooooo many others. There is still time for you to be there too, on Feb 14th. Schedules will be posted later this week. Pyper Dollinger, Tatiana Kurri, Saffia Widdershins, Petlove Petshop, Honour McMillan, and Aisling Sinclair have done a FANTASTIC job on this video! You have to LOVE The Dazzlers. I want to be a Dazzler when (if) I grow up!

You need to get yourself over to Prim Perfect and pick up the poster and your t-shirt. They have both male and female mesh shirts, in a variety of sizes, both black and white backgrounds.
Business women getting last-minute directions in London, SL

Strike!

Dance!

Rise!

Note: Check out my new hair up top. I’m sure I’ll still be wearing my Analog Dog “Astrid”, that I’ve been wearing for 4+ years now. *grin* But Queue Marlow won my heart yet again with “driven” in butterscotch.  🙂


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