Thursday, June 27, 2013


Another thing we did while in Virginia was visited Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  You have to go on a guided tour to go inside the house.  Then, you only see the main level and not the upstairs.  No pictures were allowed inside the house.  Therefore, all I have to share is on the outside.

From the front, it appears to be just one level because of how they did the windows and other elements.  But there are two.

Front entrance.

Going through the inside of the house, it was interesting to hear about some of Thomas Jefferson's inventions.  A big lover of books, he created a rotating stand that could hold five books, so that he could be reading more than one at a time.

View from the back.

A small desk was pointed out to us that was used for home schooling.  We were told Jefferson believed that girls should receive an education and his daughters were home schooled.  Here is a link that explains a little more about his views of females, education and his daughters.

Underneath the house was a basement area with different storage areas, a wine cellar and a beer cellar and the kitchen.

A view down the basement corridor.

The inside of the house was interesting but what I enjoyed more was the outside.  Not particularly the house, but the surrounding landscape.  

Monticello sits atop a hill and has great views.  The landscaping around the house is nice and I especially liked the big, long garden which was used to help feed all the slaves at the time.  It sounded like they tried to be as self sufficient as possible on the plantation.  

When the supply of imported cloth was cut off, Jefferson brought in an artisan to build textile machinery and to train the slaves to make cloth.  This was used to clothe the slaves.

A nice view.

View from the structure in the garden.

Some of the garden.

We were fortunate to have nice morning weather for our visit. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

University of Virginia

Anna will be a junior in high school this fall.  So while we were in Virginia, we decided to visit some colleges/universities so she could start getting an idea of what she might like in choosing a school.

One of the places we visited was the University of Virginia.  It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.  Of course, there were old historic buildings.  What we saw of the campus was very nice.

We went into the rotunda building.  

Here's Anna with Mr. Jefferson . . .

. . . and in the lecture hall.

On the upper level they had a display of old books.  They were ordered by dates and descriptions were given of the typical characteristics of books from that time.

They were all behind glass and therefore, have some reflections on them.  I did not take the time to note the dates of each book.  What I love about the old books are the cover illustrations and the texture on the covers (some of them are embossed, stamped or have cloth covers).

With our electronic readers, we just don't get the tactile pleasure of holding the physical book.  But we do save some trees.  I guess there is always a trade off.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finding Your Way Home

I finally took some time this week to get over to the Sesqui Shop to view the exhibition, Finding Your Way Home: A Collection of Historic and Handmade Maps.

There are some old maps and new interpretation of maps, just as the title suggests.  As you enter the shop, one of the first maps you see is this one.

Different fabrics indicate the growth of Boise over the years.  I'm sorry I forgot to see who the artist is (might be Alize Norman).

As you walk around the gift purchase display, you encounter an interactive map.  Primary colored blocks are available for visitors to mark on a map by location and time a significant occasion that has occurred for them in Boise.  This is a view from underneath.  In this photo you can just barely see the maps on the glass layers.

Older maps were also displayed, including one indicating where the electricity was available in the city, as back in the day not everybody had electricity.

I liked the pictures of old buildings in the corners of one map.

Chad Erpelding's Sister Cities has nine square panels with cut map-like papers layered in resin. Several sister cities are layered on top of one another.

Two of my artworks from the Greenbelt series are also on display, as well as a work from my friend, Amy Nack and other local artists.

You have only about a week left to find your way to the Sesqui Shop as the last day of the exhibition is June 29.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway

While on our trip, we took a drive on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.

We stopped along the way to take a walk in the woods.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Views from Virginia

Living in the high desert, I'm always impressed when we go somewhere that has lots of greenery and more rain than we do (O.k. I admit I'm pretty much impressed with plant life anywhere).  On our trip back to Virginia, the greenery was lush, as they just had lots of rain.  The woods were everywhere.

As we were walking in the woods looking for fairy stones in Fairy Stone State park, I saw this white thing on a log that I thought looked like a plastic bottle cap.  Upon looking closer, I was happy to see that it was not trash, but a blossom.  I love the shape of it.

My mother-in-law recognized it as a blossom of the mountain laurel.  Here are some more I found later in our trip.

In the woods searching for fairy stones, which are really staurolite crystals with cool shapes, there was lots of green that complimented the very red soil in the area.

We did manage to find a few nice fairy stones, but not as nice as the drawings on the sign.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Airport Art

We had to fly west to go east on our trip.  Our first flight was to Seattle.  The airport there is very nice and I enjoyed looking at the artwork they had there.  I even recognized the names of some of the artists.  Here are some of the things we saw.

Clouds and Clunkers by Peter Shelton.

York Factory A by Frank Stella.
There were several of these mosaic pillars.  What a great idea to integrate the art with the architecture.
Columbia Gardens by Rudy Autio.

Minnich by Marlene Bauer.

In Memory of My Father, Nai-Ling Cheng by Amy Cheng.

The Naturalist's Day by Joanne Hammer.

And this last picture is just a fancy curved wall with reflections.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Virginia Wedding

We took a trip to Virginia for a family wedding.  Frank was born there and his dad grew up there. The wedding was outside in the woods at an old log house that is owned by someone in the family.

The family did most of the decorations and set up themselves.  It was kind of a country theme.   There were hay bales covered with quilts mixed in with the chairs for seating.  An area for the corn hole game was set up.  A swing had been installed in one of the trees for the kids.  There was also a s'more station as well as a kid game station set up.  You could take pictures at the homemade photo booth with funny hats and mustaches.  A food tent and popcorn machine were by the side of the house.  The kids had a blast.

Cousins: Anna, Jessica, Alexandra and Ben

Fun in the photo booth.

Ben ready to play some corn hole.

Anna in corn hole action.

The couple: Wesley and Kelly (Anna's second cousin)

A little dancing after dark.