I'm transferring ships. I signed off Carnival Legend this morning at 9am. My flight to Orlando is tonight at 11pm. It's wet and cloudy in Seattle, pretty normal for here, but a perfect day for being inside.
Inside at the Chihuly exhibition at Seattle Centre. Apparently the Glasshouse is closed for a private event so there's a reduced admission. Except the Glasshouse is open. Nice!
Some of my favourite pieces are the Sealife Room. Can you see the starfish, octopus, stingray, snail or conch shell?
The Persian Ceiling. I'd like this in my non existent, gigantic house with pillows on the floor so I can just lay there and stare at the ceiling.
The Ikebana and Float Boat
In the (supposedly closed for a private event) Glasshouse
Looking up at the Space Needle
Looking from the garden into the Glasshouse
The Seattle Space Needle reflected in a glass float
Last week when I visited the Casino in Avalon one of the things that fascinated me most was the artwork.
At the entrance to the Casino are nine huge panels depicting an undersea world ruled by Regina del Mer (Queen of the Sea).
They are designed by John Gabriel Beckmon who also worked on Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
Originally planned to be executed in all tile, Beckman and his team of artists worked around the clock painting directly onto the concrete surface completing all 9 panels in an astonishingly short 3 month period in time for the Casino's grand opening.
In 1986 Beckman (then 88) and Richard Thomas Keit of RTK tiles worked together to restore the centrepiece panel and finally complete it in tile as originally designed.
Both Beckman and Keit signed the tile work and donated their labour for the restoration.
When I (well when Michelle, Jo and I) packed up the townhouse last year I gave away or donated pretty much all my candle holders. Most were from Ikea or Pier 1, so easily replaceable. I just couldn't see the sense in storing them all. I kept a few. A ceramic globe tealight holder from Heather. A tall blue candle from Jane and Cindy. I think that's it. So only I kept two candle holders! I miss them. Didn't realise how much I actually lit candles. I like the shadows they cast.
I saw these ceramic cups in the window at Fresh from the Coast, a store here in Sechelt that sells artwork made on the Sunshine Coast. I didn't buy any of them. I am very materialistic, I like to be surrounded by pretty things. But lets face it, I don't have a home right now. I have a bedroom. My next job is not conducive to having "things". So anything I buy now will eventually go into a storage locker for a year or two or maybe more.
My goal for 2012 and now 2013 is that I am trying not to buy anything that goes on shelf or on a wall. Unless it has a practical use it's not coming home with me. So how's that going? Umm yeah, not to good. I succumbed. I bought three.
Each cup is sculpted in luminous porcelain using the artists inspiration from Canadian nature. They could be used as a cup for cold drinks, but I've only been using them for votive candles.
Don't they look pretty?
I think there were 5 designs to choose from at the time. I chose one each of three designs. I went with three that I liked instantly. It was only afterwards when I read the info card with each one that I realised each of the three I selected were based on nature inspirations from the Coast. (Possibly I was just having a bottle blonde moment, and maybe all the designs are from the Coast).
"The impression for the Cedar Drift Wood design was taken on the waterfront in Sechelt, BC"
"The inspiration for the Davis Bay Barnacle Lines design came from the barnacle lines left on a rock at low tide, Davis Bay, BC"
"The inspiration for the Georgia Strait Waves design came from one of my many ocean kayaking adventures in and around the Strait"
The artist who creates the Canadian Landscape Cups is Kez Sherwood from Gibsons, BC.
Lesley's sketch - a very good attempt at putting my words into a design
Contouring band (image courtesy of Finlayson Goldsmiths)
Notching, fitting together (image courtesy of Finlayson Goldsmiths)
Checking diamond placement (image courtesy of Finlayson Goldsmiths)
Same diamond channel set in woven 18k white and rose gold bands
Left side view - rose gold band on bottom
Right side - rose gold band on top
I took my wedding ring off almost 15 months ago. It was sitting in a pouch in my jewelry box. I offered to give it back to Dave, he declined and said to keep it. As much as a liked my wedding ring I couldn't continue to wear it as it was. I had taken it to a couple of jewelers in the lower mainland, but no-one really seemed to able to put my words into a design. Most jewelers suggested putting the diamond into a prong setting, but to me that was too much like an engagement ring and that I didn't want.
So the ring continued to hide a way in a black drawstring pouch in a jewelry box in my storage locker. Dave and I didn't have any children, so there wasn't a daughter to hand it down to. Such a waste. I thought about selling it. But I am quite like the diamond. I also thought about resetting it as a pendant rather than a ring. Then a new friend here on the Coast suggested Finlayson Goldsmiths in Gibsons and I made an appointment with Lesley.
Weeks later after an in person meeting and mulitple emails back and forth about what I did and didn't like, we agreed on a design, I took a deep breath and left my ring with Lesley. Lesley and Ian then proceeded to turn my works and Lesley's paper sketch into reality. Lesley sent photos throughout the process and I met with Lesley and Ian about midway through to approve the work that had already been done and give the final go ahead to permanently set everything in place.
I think the whole process took about 2 months, may be a little longer. But I am really pleased with the result. The ring is a little thicker, wider, taller and heavier than I am used to wearing, so it was taken a few weeks to adjust to wearing it. I like that I can still see the whole diamond, not just the top. I like the one rose gold band in amongst the white gold. I like that the band is wavy. I like.
20 years ago Jo and I lived in London. One Christmas my parents came to visit and do the touristy thing. I had to work so they took Jo with them to watch the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It was Christmas, and it was cold. Two things Jo does not like.
Changing the Guard is an iconic London attraction. Off went the three of them to Buckingham Palace. They arrived early to get a good viewing spot. They had quite the wait in the cold. Jo bores easily. By the time Changing the Guard started, Jo had had enough. Not sure what she was expecting, but the actual ceremony did not meet expectations. She saw it once, and does not need to see it again. She did however keep my parents and those around them highly entertained. I wish I had been there.
When I met them after work, my Mum and Dad could not wait to tell me Jo's running commentary throughout the ceremony. They saw and did a bunch of stuff in the three weeks they were in London, but I think listening to Jo at Changing of Guards was the highlight of their trip! 20 years later my Mum still tells the story.
A couple of years back I was in small local gift store in Maple Ridge - The Little Cricket Gallery. I was looking for a gift to send to, I don't actually remember who. One of the first things I saw was this piece of artwork...
It made me a laugh out loud. I bought it one the spot without even thinking about it. I don't remember who I was shopping for, I'm guessing whoever it was never actually received a gift, Jo got this instead.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012, I was hanging out in Gibsons for the day with Andrea and her boys, and I walked past a small gift shop that had a the same artwork as a woodblock in the window. Turns out the window I was looking in was the artist's gallery - Sa Boothroyd. I didn't buy it at the time. But it kept bugging me, so I had to go back a month or two later and buy it. I sent it home to Mum and Dad as part of their Christmas gift.
Jo thought it was hilarious. Mum thought I should have sent it to Jo instead. Mum didn't realise I'd already sent it to Jo years ago.
Can you believe I've lived on the Sunshine Coast for 10 months now? That 10 months has flown by. One of my favourite things to do on a Saturday morning in the summer was go to the Sechelt Farmer's Market. I'd buy some fruit and veggies and bread for the week, but I also bought a small fortune of hand crafted products to give as Christmas gifts. And yes, I start my Christmas shopping in the summer. Get over it.
One of the first items I bought was actually for myself and not a gift for someone else! So what did I buy? Well remember earlier I said I'd like a set of bowls in this lovely blue? Well I didn't buy a set of bowls in the blue.
I did however buy a pie dish in green. I know, I know, my kitchen doesn't match. I don't even have a kitchen of my own right now. All my kitchen goodies are in boxes that I can't get to in a storage locker. I wanted to bake a pie. I needed a pie dish. If I'm going to buy a new pie dish, then it's going to be pretty.
It's made by D'Arcy Margesson of WM Terracotta Pottery in Gibsons. He has quite the range of beautifully crafted dishes. Everything from the pie dishes to serving trays, soup bowls, mugs, teapots and casserole dishes. It's all hand thrown and decorated.
I love that on the bottom of the pie dish is a recipe for Foolpoof Pie Dough. It includes 1/4 cup of cold vodka. I'll have to try this recipe some time.