Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mail Art

 I haven't touched Tiny Town for two months, though I'd taken a few of the postcards with me to Paris. Somehow, I just didn't find the right images. Today, I went through some of my scraps and rediscovered this head. It's Greek or Roman, I'm thinking the latter. It fit perfectly on the street. Here's what I wrote on the back - "After an absence of any odd phenomena for 2 months, Tiny Town residents awoke to find a monument to an unknown ancient world woman on Main St. They were amazed and annoyed."

 My friend Katerina in Thessaloniki, Greece, sent my honey and I wonderful painted CDs. We had them on display in the atelier and brought them home with us. I decided I wanted to try some CD art, too, and got one in the mail as an advertisement for something, on Saturday. Here's what I did with it.
 This is the address side. I took a clue from my friend Dean, and didn't include a return address. He said that way the postal service had to deal with it. I hope he's right and this gets to it's recipient.  Notice the new USA international stamp ($1.05)
 This arrived from Katerina, on Saturday. It's her #800. She's catching up to me. I'm going to stop numbering at 1000, I think. I only started numbering when I started my 365 project. I wonder what number I'd be on if I'd started with the first piece of mail art that I ever sent?
I got this Loring Art calendar in Bilbao, Spain, at the Museo de Bellas Artes. It's so cool that it's a DIY mail art calendar. The producer asks people to send in mail art and they'll have an exhibit at the end of the year. woo hoo, great idea!

Also, a head's up - I'll be hosting a Slow Art day on 28 April, here in Richmond, VA, more to come about this.
AND there'll be another Skull Appreciation Day mail art call coming up for the 2nd annual S.A.D. Stay tuned for details.

Home, we're home!

 I've been home since Friday night, and today, I am feeling like I'm home again. The weekend was a blur - time change, feeling tired in the evening, getting adjusted, but I managed to get in some long walks, which was good. The weather here is nice, spring-like, with flowers blooming.

We were greeted by our family, who had a nice dinner waiting for us. So sweet!

Our daughter made a pitcher of these, and while I don't usually drink them, I had one and it was good! Welcome home!

And I got to the post office and bought some new stamps, since the price had changed during my time away.
 Last night, I finished working on a piece of mail art that I made in Paris but never sent. It was all smudgy, so I took at it with some ink and made it look more cartoon-like. I like the action and think it turned out quite energetic.
 I made this one last night to send to my French teacher in Paris. She'd made a wonderful dinner for us our last night there. So lovely. The food was amazing and served in tiny dishes and tiny glasses with tiny spoons, tiny portions - except for the yummy potato dish, which was the main course. We all were given a generous portion. I wish I had some good photos to share but I was too busy oohing and aahing and eating.
This morning, I walked to Spa310 to get my hair cut, and happily reconnected with the folks there, caught up on news, looked at baby photos, read the local free newspaper.  M. walked over and met me. We went into Carytown Teas to get some more of their good tea, and got to chat with Patricia. I'll be able to practice my French with her, so I won't lose it. You can see and hear her on the link.

We spotted this cat sitting on some literature. It's name is Carytown Cat! See how sunny it is today?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

End of the stay!

 Le baguette - we ate many of these. We will not eat another like this for a long time. They are so distinct to this place.
View along the Seine last Sunday, when it was closed to vehicles and people promenaded, bicycled and skated along the route. 
 A group of my Mail Artist friends and I walked all the way to the Louvre and a bit beyond, on Sunday. Here's the Pyramid du Louvre.
 Yesterday, my Honey and I walked to rue du Bac, where we stopped in some galleries and Deyrolle, which some of you may have seen in the movie Midnight in Paris.  We looked in the window at Sennelier. Here are some papers showing their water-colors. The reflection is of the Louvre on the other side of the Seine.
 After a long walk, we took the #70 bus across the river and back to Hotel de Ville.
 The ice skating rink is still up and very well used. The light made the Hotel de Ville look rosy.
 Another view of the lovely old carousel.
These are the last of the pastries, unless we get some at the airport while waiting for our flight. Au revoir pastries, baguettes, Paris.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some photos from our promenees

 This is a small corner of the huge book section of BHV (Bazaar de l'Hotel de Ville.) Imagine, a big department store that still has a book store in it! Amazing. This is no longer the situation in the United States, sadly.
 This shoe was in the window of a frips shop, second hand and vintage clothing, accessories, etc. What era do you think these are from?
 These are in the window of a small shop on rue Pavee, that carries shoes from Sweden. They just changed up the display to show warm weather shoes. I really like these a lot.
 We stopped into a small cafe by the Metro St. Paul. There are three in a row. We picked the one that looked like it had the most local people in it. Good choice. This is an omelette with goat cheese and potatoes in it. It was quite good and we sat next to a woman, who does photography, and had a lovely conversation with her.
 This is such a lovey line of trees, in the Palais Royal garden. This is the beauty of French gardens, the lines. Around this area, are many shops, including Serge Lutens, the perfumerie. Amazing, small inside with purple walls, and black display stands, and lots of interesting scents.
 This shoe was in a shop in Palais Royal! Can you imagine walking in that shoe? Not me! That said, I'm still attracted to fancy shoes.
After walking around Palais Royale, we walked over to the Tuileries. This line of trees was so typical. The sky was threatening rain, but we were happy to be out walking around. There was a group of men playing Boules, down in the garden to the right of me. They were having a big discussion about about it, with a measuring device.

The air got colder, the wind picked up, we walked quickly to the metro and headed back chez nous, to our warm studio, and some hot tea, with a pack of Serge Luten samples to remember our day by, and lots of photos.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Update Paris! 9 days to go.

Brancusi's Atelier

In progress
 Paris is gray and drizzly this morning, seeming so perfectly Paris. It's warmer than it's been and feels almost spring-like. A long walk is definitely in today's plan.

Monday, we finally got to Brancusi's Atelier. Why we hadn't done this before is a mystery. It's nearby and it's free. We loved it, love it, loved it. Okay, get the picture? He gave his atelier and all it's contents to the France. It was reproduced on this site when the original site was going to be changed up. All the work is as it was in the original, everything is exact. When we were in Bilbao, we saw his work in the Guggenheim and now to see more of it. Oh the thrill. Do we like Brancusi's work? More than ever.

I've been continuing to do the tiny landscapes for the Art-o-Mat and will have over 50 of them completed before we head back home in NINE (9) days. I've enjoyed doing this and want to play more with both water color and water color pencils, when I'm home.

 Here's the carousel on the Place de Greve in front of l'Hotel de Ville. When we were walking back from seeing the Atelier, it was on. The ice rink is still in place, too. You can see a corner of it on the ride of the photo. I love how there are so many carousels in Paris.
 Yesterday, we had lunch with Mme B. at her wonderful apartment full of antiques. She served us Champagne in these glasses, called Champagnards. The bubbles come up only in the center, because of the shape. They're traditional Champagne glasses, not the flutes we use in the United States. I wonder if I can own a couple of these someday. Lunch was delicious. Cheese souffle like I've never had before. Actually, I've NEVER had it before. Yummy.

It was an experience we'll treasure, so wonderful to be invited to Mme B.'s home.

Here's some more mail art. I continue to make it and send it out. A passion, an addiction, a madness, it continues.
 On Sunday, we took a walk in the chill, all the way over to Place d'Aligre, where they have the market. On the return walk, passing a little boutique, I noticed this bag! Oh my, the Ikea fabric that I like so much. I've made a number of bags out of this same fabric, of course, in my own "pocket" style. The price for this is 60€ (USD  = $79) though I wonder if it'll really be sold for that. My "pockets" are a real deal by comparison. When I get home, I'll re-open my FritziMim, my Etsy shop.
Here's my work table. I'll be finishing up my Mona Lisa alterations during the next couple days. We'll be clearing things out and making the studio a gallery space for Saturday's Open Studio. But for now, here's where I work. I got a new hole punch and two tiny canvases with their own easels, and a new multi-size pencil sharpener. Fun new supplies.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Art supplies, lunch, and pastries

 I kept thinking about the art supply store. We don't have anything like this in our little city. Floors full of supplies, to repeat myself. Look, many airbrush sets! I haven't seen one of these in years.
 Color is the way to group items, yes? These are pieces of foam, felt (in 2 thicknesses) and paper. I can't remember what was on the bottom shelf. See my honey touching the item at the top?
 This is only a portion of the brushes available.
 These are some of the pastels. They're a bit out of focus as I moved so quickly from one fabulous thing to the next.
 Pencils! I want more colored pencils in my life. I may have to make one more trip to Rougier et Plé before we leave Paris.
 This was our Sunday lunch. I'd made some soup with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and some red lentils. We had cheese and, of course, a bottle of wine. Our friends gave us two bottles of some very good red wine, notice the date 1999! It was quite good. We're getting to really like GOOD wine.
Here's pastry that we got at Miss Manon yesterday, since it was open. Not many bakeries, or shops are open on Sunday. As we left, the line was very long, out the door, with customers. We'd made it just in time to beat the crowd. These were excellent pastries.  We have a few more bakeries to try out, like hundreds!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Art (supplies, galleries, mail)

 Yesterday, we took a long walk up Beaumarchais to Roger & Plé, the big art supply store. It's mind boggling to have 4 floors of art supplies. Here's a view of the racks of colorful Canson papers. Everything you can imagine is there (except they didn't have 9B water soluble graphite!) We got some supplies, who could resist.
 And look, real artist smocks! No, I didn't get one, but aren't they great?  

After this heady experience, we headed back via a shorter route, over to rue de Turenne. We "discovered" many art galleries along the way and stopped into them, warming up, and seeing artists we were unfamiliar with. When we get ready to pack up in less than two weeks, we'll have to deal with all of the paper items we picked up at the galleries, or fill another suitcase!
 Gallery Pellotin has two parts to it. This exhibit was in the second part across a no outlet road that we came to via a tiny door. These snakes were made our of fabric and had stitching and/or beads on them.
 Here's the tiny door we exited from one part of the gallery to another. Until we exited and looked back, we didn't realize how tiny it was.
 Here's a lovely old building on rue de Turenne. This is the area near Republique for those of you wondering. The sky was so clear, not a cloud in sight, deep blue, and deeply chilly due to the wind.
 This is card #845, I think.  Oh this performer should only know what I'm doing to her.
We walked past the little theatre and I picked up a few more cards. This perfomer looked interesting. If we understood French better, we'd check out the performance.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More on Friday

 We went to the 12th arrondisment to have lunch with our friend, D. He took us to the market on Reuilly, which was a lot of fun, though we were mighty chilled by the time we headed back to the apartment. Look at the selection of olives, and dried fruit. There was a rug dealer with lots of cool canes, too. The striped fabric reminded us of the art work of Daniel Buren, who used them as his inspiration.

 Here's the view from one of D's windows up on the 5th floor. Down below is a small park with a gazebo for concerts.
 D. made us a quiche with carrots, broccoli and orange. Delicious.
And for dessert, he made Crèpes Suzette. I think this is the first time we've had them. We've had other Crèpes,  but not with flaming Grand Marnier! You can't see the flames in my photo, but trust me they were there.
 This was delicious.
 Here's one of today's rather surrealist mail art cards. I'd been waiting for a chance to use the eyeball.  I'm showing it as a break before my tale of the movie we didn't see.
 We got home from D's, having taken a bus & getting off at Bastille, and walking the rest of the way, and decided we wanted to see a movie. Something fun, the Sherlock Holmes. The closest cinema showing it was at Forum des Halles. (A huge shopping mall, underground.) We walked there with plenty of time to make the 7h45 movie. Well, we descended into the crowds below the street and it was so chaotic for us, crowded. We worked our way to the cinema, which was the equivalent of several blocks away. There were people lined up to use machines to get tickets. We didn't want to deal with figuring out the French (or rather, I didn't) and we had cash, so we asked about where to buy tickets with cash. Downstairs, around the corner, long lines, oh no, we'd miss the start of the movie. We gave up. We just couldn't take the confusion and the crowds. So we walked back, at a slower pace.

As we passed some restaurants, my honey said he was thinking about dinner. I didn't want Pizza Momo, so we stopped at the mini Monoprix and got ready made sandwiches, crisps(chips,)chocolate cake and a Coca Cola. Yum, this is better than our anniversary dinner, where we shared one sandwich. We sure know how to enjoy ourselves. No kidding, this was fun for us.  Meanwhile, we'll try to see a movie tomorrow, at the cinema on Saint Germain, which is further but easier to deal with.  Some days we just can't take confusion, crowds, and/or chaos. What about you? Have you had those days?