Thursday, May 26, 2011

My favorite picture ever

I have managed to check off a number of bucket list line items in the past few years what with the poison ivy identification and the climbing of a lighthouse and now this. Seeing my favorite picture of all times live and in person at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Its a self portrait of Judith Leyster. My love affair with her began way back when we lived in the Netherlands. One of our favorite castles to visit was called Muiderslot. It was on the outskirts of Amsterdam and it had all the requisite features of a castle, crenelations, towers a moat...everything. It is what I see when I think of a castle. During the 1600's salons were hosted there for the local movers and shakers, almost exclusively men, except for one daring young woman, Judith Leyster. She was ahead of her time and was successful in a mans world at a mans trade. Whats more, it was as if she was welcomed into it, and was treated as an equal. Thats when I first learned of her, and thought she must have been extraordinary. I think I saw a still life that she painted hanging in the castle. It was not till as a going away present that our Dutch friends gave us a book on the Dutch golden age of painting that I first saw Judith's self portrait. Remembering her from the Castle I was tickled to see her looking back at me and I could instantly see why she was welcomed in the Salon. She has that quality about her that makes you want to know her better.
Seeing the picture in person just made me love it all the more. It was as if I had stopped by her studio for a visit and she was talking and painting at the same time, and stopped just for a moment to turn and give full attention to me. I think one reason I love it is because I know that moment, have lived that moment dozens of times. Usually sitting around with a group of women, maybe we are quilting, or working on miniatures or decorating cakes...whatever work is at hand and the chatter is flowing, but somebody says something that warrants full attention so work halts just for a moment and then resumes again almost before it had completely stopped and the moment is so natural its hardly noticed. That is what Judith captures in her picture and I never really recognized that until I saw it on the wall in the gallery!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rose and Maile lei

Here is the next block in my Aloha Album. I finished it 1 and a half blocks ago, that is to say I have finished another block and am more than half way through finishing a second block. Why its taken me so long to post a picture of it, I cannot say....Well thats not entirely honest. I think I can say. I have been busy, it's true. I have been out of town twice since I finished this block, in bed sick for a week and then out making " Nice Nice" for a solid uninterrupted week with Steve's work...and I could claim any or all of that for the reason its taken me so long, but it really boils down to the new computer. I am still on shaky ground with it in some respects, uploading pictures being one of them, and as is the tradition in my family passed on to me by my mother, and her mother before her, if its no fun ignore it...Its a good strategy actually except for its fatal flaw, eventually we must all face what we hide from and the longer we put it off, the worse it usually gets, so I am trying to face my computer downloading issues head on...A small matter for most, but for me and others like me, its a true profile in courage!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What had happened was....

I have done enough traveling to know that when I am on the road, I am most likely off my bathroom cycle, if you get what I in an attempt to keep things as they should, I poured a good dose of benefiber into a ziploc baggy to take on the road with me.

Fiber is not the only thing in short supply when I am traveling, coffee creamer is also hard to come by especially when I am relying the the little complimentary coffee station in my hotel room with its single 1/2 teaspoon packet of solidified powdered non dairy creamer. So I have been taking extra creamer with me too for years now.

On our first trip to Washington this April I left my little baggy of benefiber behind sitting on the counter at home and drove off without it. As you may recall from an earlier post, that is the same trip I was on when I succumbed to the flu. After the LONGGGG car ride home I crept upstairs and into bed and did not come down for two days. Steve did all the unpacking and putting things away, for which I am ever grateful. When I finally made it downstairs I remembered my baggy of benefiber and thought I should get it and pour the stuff back in the jar, but it was nowhere to be found. It slipped my mind for another few days until I finally remembered to ask Steve if he had seen it anywhere. His response to me was "you mean that was fiber?" " Yea, it was fiber....what did you do with it?" He mistook it for the coffeemate I have also been know to travel with and poured it all into the creamer dish. Well, that sure explained a lot... Now I knew why my coffee tasted so very strong; so strong that I would go back and put in another spoonful or two of "coffeemate" which would then account for my other "irregularities"
At least now I know the importance of clearly labeling things!