Friday Featured Art: Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss was one of the first famous pieces that we saw at the Louvre. It's very beautiful. You can find out more about it by visiting the Louvre's special site here.


Thursday Text: Traditional Turkish Designs

I just ordered this book + CD-ROM from Dover Publications: Traditional Turkish Designs. (Yes, it's just graphics, but I'm counting it as text because it's a book...) I saw a lot of beautiful pillow covers at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul that featured Ottoman embroidery designs. I didn't find one with a design AND a price that I liked, so after returning home I figured that I could get this book with the designs and embroider my own! I really liked the stylized tulip (seen below) and carnation designs.



Have you ever thought about keeping a bird? We saw these ones for sale on a street in Paris. Their colors and patterns were so incredible. I would love to have one, but I think it would make me too sad to keep it in a cage.


Istanbul Design

There were some items in the Istanbul gift shops that featured really great graphic design. I didn't end up getting any, but I did write down the web site! Istanbul Koleksiyonu sells dishes, t-shirts, and notebooks with designs representative of the city. There are tons of seagulls in Istanbul, like on this bowl, and I loved the designs like on the notebook below with depictions of the skyline. (The web site is in Turkish...)



You always hear about how great French food is - baguettes, cheese, macaroons, etc. In our short time in Paris we only really had time for lunch. We bought sandwiches from a street stand near the Place de la Concorde. They looked like this (I found this picture via Google) - baguettes with Emmental Swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo (that tasted like it was freshly made). They were fabulous.


Friday Featured Art: Winged Victory of Samothrace

During our time in Paris, I came face to face with my favorite work of art of all time: Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is so incredible. It stands at the top of a staircase in the Louvre. I really loved seeing it.


Thursday Tunes: La Vie En Rose

We were only in Paris for half a day, but the whole time we were there I was thinking of Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose. How can you not? Here's a sweet live version from YouTube - it wouldn't let me embed the video, but you can click on the picture (or click here) to go to it.


Turkish Tulips

An interesting fact about Turkey is that they're the ones who gave Holland tulips. Yes, they started the whole craze. I really love that tulips are a symbol of Turkey. This unusual variety is called the Istanbul Tulip (tulipa acuminata). It has pointy, knife-like petals. You can see a similar pointy tulip in the official logo of Turkey tourism, below.

{Istanbul Tulip photo from plant database.}


Spring Break

We returned Saturday from our spring break trip to Istanbul. On the way there we had a 10-hour layover in Paris. Then we spent 4 and a half days in Istanbul. It was all a really great experience for us. I'll have some fun things to share in the days to come...


Friday Featured Art: Flower Girl in Holland

This painting is another favorite from the lower level of the Art Institute. It is aptly titled Flower Girl in Holland and is by George Hitchcock. Lovely.


Thursday Text: Spring Rain

Here's a spring poem from Sara Teasdale:

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first Spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway
Where we stood while the storm swept by,
Thunder gripping the earth
And lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor buses swayed,
For the street was a river of rain,
Lashed into little golden waves
In the lamp light's stain.

With the wild Spring rain and thunder
My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
Than your lips would ever say. . . .

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first Spring thunder
In a rush of rain.



It's been rather springlike around here, and they're starting to broadcast baseball from spring training. I can't believe it's already time for baseball to begin again. It seems like just yesterday we were watching the Rally Squirrel lead the Cardinals to a World Series championship! (This is Skip Schumaker's new baseball card - the first to not feature the face of the player...)


Owl Library Card

I found this adorable library card on Love vs. Design (through How About Orange). They have a bunch of fun, free printables that you can download. I just really love library design...


Genealogy Fan Chart

I have been getting more interested in genealogy lately, and I discovered a new site that pulls information from FamilySearch to generate a 9-generation fan chart! I made this one for Christmas, but this new tool makes it really easy to gather the information that you need. This is the sample chart (mine has a big empty gap on one side - I know where to start working!). Go to createfan.com and login with your FamilySearch ID (the same that you'd use on lds.org).


Friday Featured Art: Tureen

I really wish this picture was in color! It's a lovely rabbit tureen from the 1750s that resides at the Art Institute of Chicago. It makes me happy every time I see it.


Thursday Text: The Hunger Games

I did finish The Hobbit, and I enjoyed it. Then everyone was talking about The Hunger Games. A girl from church gave me her copy to read, so I did. I'm not sure what I think of it. It was interesting, and I liked the characters. But the whole premise of the book seemed not quite right. I was actually a little concerned that children would read this book... Have you read it? What do you think?


Home Gray Stoneware Collection

Have you been to Target lately? Home has a line of really cute stoneware like this gray cow creamer and egg crate. The items also come in white, red, and blue. Fun!


Aspen Leaf Yogurt

Our town has a super new place for a treat: Aspen Leaf Yogurt. You've maybe seen other similar places in your area - you get to build your own cup of yogurt, and it's priced by the ounce. They have about 16 different kinds, and you can twist some of them together. Then load up on toppings! So refreshing.



My other fabulous find at Nordstrom Rack downtown last week was a great new pair of slippers by SmartWool. My old leather moccasin pair from L.L. Bean finally wore out (after about 5 years)... I really like this new pair - it has a good grippy bottom, and you can wash them in the washing machine!


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Sea Pinks

Jenny, the proprietor of the Etsy shop Sea Pinks, had one of her items featured on the front page of Etsy. It led me to her lovely shop. How cute is this robin? She also carries beautiful pin cushions, etc.


Thursday Text: Jane Austen - A Celebration of her Life and Work

My mom gave me this fantastic book for Christmas. Don't let the cover fool you - it is packed with great information and lovely illustrations, like the one of Godmersham Park, below. You can find the Kindle version here.