Saturday, April 30, 2011

Landscape and Mail art #151

 Managed to pick up an Indiana map in the lobby this morning, but there isn't much to glean material from, so I'm happy I brought some scraps with me.
Last night was the wedding rehearsal and a pizza dinner afterwards. It was nice to spend time with family we hadn't seen in years. My how the kids have grown!
Somewhere in Indiana, this typical look of a red barn, a white silo, and lots of clouds, just yesterday. I was shooting from my spot in the back of our nephew's car, through a tinted window. I'm pretty pleased with the results. I took lots and lots of these landscapes.

Tonight is the wedding and tomorrow after brunch, we'll be on the way home. This is a very quick trip!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 2 on the road, #150

 We spent the night in Lancaster, Ohio and I found this cool map on a brochure in the hotel lobby. I made this card on the road this morning, and my nephew sweetly stopped at a post office for me to mail yesterday's and today's cards. Yay!
This is Indiana. We arrived at the hotel/motel a short while ago and yippee there's free Wifi. I'm lovin' it and, of course, had to log in right away so I could post my mail art!

Indiana is really flat, at least, where we are. Pretty, in it's flatness.  Like Illinois, where I used to paint landscapes that were just bands of green, yellow ochre, tan, and blue. Illinoiscapes, I called them. This photo is an example of one of my paintings (well sort of.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the road again & #149

 I created this piece of Mail Art in the car on the way west, heading to Indiana. We're on a road trip with our niece and nephew! What fun. Tonight, we're staying over in Ohio. More than half way to our destination.
This is on the road in Virginia, however, not today. I took it the other weekend when we were headed down to Lynchburg to pick up my honey's art work from a gallery. It was lovely on the way down, but on the way back, a storm. Not as bad as this weeks storms, to be sure.  Tomorrow, we start out again, early, Indiana bound.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Last of the Mail Art while traveling - #126 through #129

 I made this card in Grenoble using bits from old maps, magazines and photos. And a bit of bread wrapper.


 The king card ("roi" in French, thus the R) was given to me by my friend, who found it in an old chair that he was refurbishing.

More old bits. I liked the word "Souplilav." What the heck is that? And what kind of car is that? Do you know?

 I love using old photos.

 Car and diagram from an old auto magazine.

I made this one on the plane, leaving Paris, using scraps from the airport magazine and from some receipts. Au revoir, Paris! I was pretty pleased with myself that I managed to make daily Mail Art! Now to catch up with my life since returning home 2 1/2 weeks ago. (& I'm still tired!)

End of our trip, France

 A pain aux raisins, my favorite, at the airport (CDG) awaiting our flight back to the U.S. of A.
 View from the train as we sped along between Grenoble and Paris.
 The old water spigot in the courtyard of our friends' abode in Paris.
 Lots and lots of flowers in Paris, lots and lots of tulips especially.
 This is a municipal pigoen coop! The city put it up outside of a small park. It provides food, water, and nesting boxes. The idea is that the pigeons will go to the coop and not the window ledges of adjacent buildings, plus the city sterilizes the eggs or the birds. Can't remember which. It was interesting to see this.
 An angel in the corner of the Ethiopian restaurant we went to on Chemin verte. The food was delicious!
 This is a municipal water station. You can fill up your small water bottle OR large ones. There is a hanging sculpture (see Chuck taking a photo of it?) using plastic bottles. The French appear to be trying to get people to use tap water. Too many plastic bottles in the environment, there and everywhere. The water was excellent, by the way.
 Passing along the street next to the Promenade Plantee, this view, very surprising, a bit of old Paris.
 We stood on the Pont Marie, eating a Berthillon (I had pistache and banane) watching the Seine. Isle St. Louis is to the right.
We spent a couple of afternoons sitting in Place de Vosges. The weather was lovely, people were stretched out on benches and the grass. I was taking advantage of the free WiFi (weefee) and a place to just relax. It was a moment to say au revoir to Paris once more, and quietly saying "I hope I'll be back."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grenoble and Mail Art #123, 124, 125


 We went to Grenoble by train to visit a friend. I love taking trains, and it was fun to board the TGV (fast train) at Gare de Lyon (say that fast as one word, so French!)

For this card, I used an image from the brochure about the Chagall show at the Grenoble Museum of Modern Art. It was more than Chagall, it was also the Russian Avante Garde. A very cool exhibit. That's a map of Grenoble, showing the round bubble funicular, called Le Telepherique, that we didn't ride.

Our friend gave me some old automobile magazines and a French topo map. You know how I love those tropographical maps.
 In Grenoble, while waiting to post a piece of mail art, I was lucky enough to capture this image of a many posting his mail. I was so happy to be in a country with lots of post boxes and post offices. Really!
 How fun is this? I'm not sure what municipal type building this was in front of, but it sure was a nice way to add greenery where there was only concrete.
 Looking up, across the Isere River towards the Bastille on the top of the hill. When we arrived, there was snow on the mountains, but by the time we departed it was gone, as warm weather arrived with us.
 We passed the Greek Consulate. This one's for Katerina and Georgia in Thessaloniki.
Here's the small brocante that we went to in Grenoble, not far from where our friend lives. We didn't buy anything but saw some very cool things we would have bought had we lived nearby. Big things, like furniture. I had a chat with some sellers, friends of our friend, in French and Spanish, which was quite fun.

More of our Paris & Mail Art #121a & #122


The letter opener!
 I think I'm just about home, as far as blogging my trip goes. Just these few more Paris images and then a few from Grenoble. Whew. I'm reliving the tired part of the trip!  I used parts of the brochure from the Musee de l'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The Modern, which had a big Kees Von Dongen show on exhibit. We liked his early work a lot. The museum has a really terrific permanent collection.
The cafe and small book/gift shop are nice, too. My honey got me a letter opener there.  This second card has scraps from a bread wrapper, a gallery map, and a tiny image of artwork.
Here are a few images shot from the #69 bus window as it was passing along the Louvre and then under the gateway.
 Through the inner area with the Louvre Pyramid.
 Out the other side, before crossing the Seine on the way to the Champs de Mars and the Tour Eiffel. It was a gray day.
 Lots of places to eat outside, and lots of bicycle rental ranks. Note the sign reminding people to clean-up after their dogs, and the convenient trash bin.
 A beautiful weeping willow in the park along the Promenade Plantee.
 My obsession: those ubiquitous shopping trolleys. I wanted one really badly.
Another shopping trolley.  I'd wanted one of these for a long time. I had a wire one, which finally lost a wheel before we left for our trip. Actually, the plastic spokes on the wheel broke off so it wasn't repairable. I abandoned it and had to carry the groceries home over my shoulder. Luckily, I had more shoulders to help, as my honey was with me. When we got back from the trip, he did some research and found one for me on the internet. It's a really sturdy one with four wheels. I used it yesterday for the first time. We walked to and from the market (2+miles/3+km) which was nice except it was mighty hot out there! More on the trolley later.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paris, encore, and Mail Art (#119, 120, 121)


 We arrived at the Charles de Gaulle airport and quickly got onto our shuttle, which promptly got caught in really thick traffic on the peripherique. It took hours to get into the city. 
I took out my copy of Cancer Ward (my book club book) and the woman next to me pointed to it and said "You like?" and when I launched into English, she said "No English." We had a minimal conversation in French.  She was from Moscow, a French language teacher.

These are the first of the three cards that I made while in France.

This happy baker came from the wrapping paper from the baguette I purchased in the morning.

 Coffee at a little cafe we'd often passed by but never stopped at. It was suggested by our new friend in Istanbul (Ekin) that we go there and check out the bathroom. While the cafe looks old and typical, the bathroom is wildly modern, metal and dark, with little tiny lights. It's something to experience. The coffee was Frenchly good. This cafe is across the street from our favorite Eye Glass store (Anne and Valentin)

 This is the courtyard that our friends have made into a garden! Their place is on the left. Those are their kitchen windows straight ahead. They graciously gave us accommodations for our stay in Paris. Here's our friend's website where you can see his terrific sculptures.
 Walking to the Marais, we crossed over Beaumarchais (or Richard Lenoir, I can't remember) and I turned back and spotted this shop. Since I am sometimes called Mimy, this made me smile.
 We went for lunch at one of our favorite places, The Swedish Cultural Institute.
They have a nice little cafe, which offers a refillable cup of coffee, a rarity in Paris. On nice days, one can sit in the courtyard. They have two exhibition spaces and always have interesting art exhibits.
Spring flowers were everywhere in Paris. Tulips in abundance and since we'd just come from the land where tulips originally came from, we took special delight in seeing them.

Friday, April 22, 2011

So Long Istanbul & Mail Art #116, 117 & 118

 Images from our days in Istanbul. One day, we opened the apartment door, and saw this cat eyeing us suspiciously.  There were cats everywhere in Istanbul. We would see food and water left out for them, and at times, see cats congregating in an area waiting to be fed perhaps.
 A dessert sampler plate at Saray on Istiklal Cad. We got only one, and then had to order a second as these were so delicous.
 This is Chuck inserting a token into the turnstile so that we could take the tram at Tophane.
This is the tram that we'd be riding on. They're so modern and easy to use. I am envious of localities with public transportation like this. Envious!
 This is the inside of the Sultanhamet mosque. The tiles are really amazing. One can't get a good closeup of them so postcards are the answer. We entered after prayers, though there were still some people praying. It's an active mosque and we heard the prayer to call earlier.
 Emin Percussion is a small shop with lots of drums, dumbeks, and what we in the U.S. would call tambourines, but are really hand drums, like riqs. The man sitting sideways, seen through the doorway, played them for us when we stopped in earlier in the day. He was so good and what a treat to hear live music in that little space. I wish I'd gotten a close up as the musician was playing but I was too enthralled by the music.
 Here is the typical tea in glasses. This cup was from when we were outside of Aya Sofia, with Katerina. We had many, many glasses to tea during out visit to Istanbul.
 Along the Bosphorus, as Julien was taking us up to the Black Sea. Asia is other other side and there's a big tanker in the water headed north.
 This is an old fort situation where the Bosphorus  meets the Black Sea. It was an amazing feeling standing there looking out at that body of water. In the near distance were ships waiting to enter the Bosphorus and on the other side, was the part of Europe that my father came from. I got a bit emotional thinking about that. Sorry this is blurry. Chuck took some really good one, which I may post later.


These are the last pieces of Mail Art related to Istanbul. I had to take them to France to me, since I had no time to get to the post office to buy stamps or mail these. The last one was on the way,  via Lufthansa to Munich, for our connection to Paris.