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January 31, 2011

Memories of Egypt

In 2005 after returning from a year of living at the chilly South Pole, hubdude and I spent a few months traveling through Europe and ended our trip with a few weeks in Egypt. It was a mildly challenging country to travel through as a woman, but even with those minor annoyances, it was a fabulous country to visit. We met incredibly kind people, saw artifacts and monuments that were far more spectacular than all the history books and movies lead you to believe and experienced an array of cultures within the few communities that we were lucky enough to visit.

It's worrisome what's happening there now, but at the same time it's exciting to see that people with such diversity of cultures and thought can come together to work for change for the masses.
















January 30, 2011

Postage Stamps of the Week- New Zealand

Hubdude recently returned from Antarctica and picked up a bag of stamps for me in New Zealand on his way through.  Most of these I hadn't encountered yet so it was nice to get new ones.  In the mix was one lone Thailand stamp.  I like stamps from New Zealand & Australia because they typically tend to be more colorful than many other countries.



January 29, 2011

The End of an Era

I just found out that the historic pedestrian tunnel underneath Union Station in downtown Denver is closing for good on February 1st.  I made a last trip down there this morning to take some photographs and was a little disappointed to find that construction workers were already readying the place for destruction.

Union Station was originally built in 1870 for half a million dollars.  It survived a fire and 3 major reconstructions during its first few decades and the structure that we have now was finished in 1914.  It's a really neat building with all the old gates for the trains tucked down in what is now a pedestrian walkway that takes you from downtown to the lightrail station just on the other side of Union.  When you walk through the tunnel lined with these old gates, original white wall tiles and wooden benches with backs that are about 5 feet high, you really get a sense for what it was like years ago when the place was in full swing.  It's sad to see the tunnel go, but at least they're keeping the rest of the building.

These are few photos from what was probably my last trip through the tunnel this morning (unless I can squeeze in one more tomorrow....).






























These next few photos are taken in the main hall which will remain. I was reading today that there are over 2300 columbines (the state flower) carved into the plaster. This is a beautiful three-story light filled room, which I'm afraid my photos don't do justice to.





January 17, 2011

Solitary- Small Fiber Art

This is a piece I finished recently.  I love working on linen canvases and have plans to do some much larger pieces on linen canvas in May.






















Solitary- 6 x 6 fiber art on linen canvas

January 16, 2011

Coloring in Winter- Flower #3

It's been really gray and overcast in Denver the last few days.  It's my favorite weather but I do miss spring flowers....






















India ink & watercolor pencils

January 15, 2011

52 Saturdays 2011- Baker Hood

Today's photo for The Saturdays 2011 flickr group.This was taken in my neighborhood.  We have all these amazing old houses with fantastic, vibrant paint jobs. 

January 13, 2011

Take it to the Streets

Last year was the year of Impossible.  This year it seems to be the year of street photography.  The twitterverse, Facebook world and blogosphere are all singing the praises of Vivian Maier- the amazing street photographer whose negatives were recently discovered.  You can read all about her here or do a quick google on her name and find loads of blog posts written about her work. 

The great thing about street photography is that it captures realistic moments in time.  They aren't the contrived, set-up photographs that we so often see in advertising or formal portraiture, but rather caught or stolen moments of real people living out their daily lives.  I think this is what gives them magic and resonance.  And without street photographers, we would be missing a lot of our history and our ability to get a glimpse into the daily realities of those that lived in the past.

Street photography is beautiful, important and historically illuminating.  So grab your camera and get out there.  What's happening on your streets today?

A quick search on flickr will find you lots of other great street photography like those found below.

















The Library of Congress



















New York Public Library























Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest



















New York Public Library























George Eastman House























George Eastman House

George Eastman House



















New York Public Library

January 12, 2011

Don't-Get-Your-Hands-Dirty Awesome Homemade Bread Recipe

First, it should be noted that I don't really cook.  And I don't really like to get my hands dirty.  Even though I sometimes call myself a gardener, I really don't like to get my hands dirt.  The miracle of gardening gloves.  (If my parents had thought to give me some when I was little, I would not have hid under my bed on family gardening nights to avoid the dirt and worms.  It's true.  I did...)

ANYway, a couple of years ago I found a great! very easy bread recipe online somewhere and I manage to make it without ever even touching the dough really.  Here is my slightly modified version (and if this was your recipe originally- I'm sorry I don't remember who you are in order to acknowledge you but you ARE a fantastic bread-making guru!).  

3 ingredients, 3 short steps. If I can make it, anyone can make it. Trust me.  





















Ingredients:

  • 3 c bread flower (sometimes I throw in a little more, sometimes a little less, but approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 c of warm water- tap water warm is fine
  • Heaping 1/4 tspn of instant yeast
  • 1 tspn sea salt (or table salt, whatever you want really...)
  • Some kind of pot/bowl/dish with a lid that can go in the oven at 450 degrees.

Dump all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until it's all wet and sticky.  It won't be pretty, but it won't matter.  Cover and let sit for 12 to 24 hours.

After 12 to 24 hours, dump (use a spoon to get it all out) dough onto a cutting board that has a little flower on it.  Use the spoon to push the dough into a rough roundish shape.  Sprinkle with flower.  If you don't mind getting your hands a bit flour-y then rub the flour around a bit so that the dough is covered with it.  Put a tea towel/cloth napkin over it.

Let dough sit for 2 hours.  After dough has been sitting for 1 1/2 hours, put an empty glass or ceramic covered dish into the oven and turn it on to 450 degrees.  (Sometimes I do this after only 1 hour of letting the dough sit if I'm anxious to eat fresh bread!).  After 20-30 minutes, take the empty dish out of the oven and dump your dough into it.  It doesn't need to be beautiful. Sometimes if it lands really lopsidedly into the bowl I use pot holders to grab the handles of the bowl and shake the bowl a bit until it settles nicely into the center.

Put the lid back on the dish with your dough in it and return to oven.  Bake for 30 mins covered then take lid off and bake for 5-10 mins more until top is the color that you want it.  Voila!  You just made fabulous bread without, presumably, getting your hand dirty.

I suggest finding some homemade peach jam to go with it and eat while warm... 

January 10, 2011

January 9, 2011

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To...

My Twitter friend and amazing artist Lee Tracy  generously sent me some old papers this week to use in my artwork.  Included in the stack was this jaw-droppingly brilliant newspaper header from The Illustrated London Times of 1854.  I don't think I can use it in one of my pieces.  I think I can only hang it up to admired on a daily basis.







January 8, 2011

52 Saturdays 2011- Pencils


Saturday 20110108
Originally uploaded by Studio6or7

Today's photo for The Saturdays 2011 flickr group. It's such a sunny day outside, while a bit chilly, I couldn't resist sitting on the patio to do some drawing this morning.