March 24, 2017

Lovin' Lisa VanMeter's Prints!

Lisa VanMeter, of Indianapolis, Indiana, creates spectacular handmade prints.
She does original work with linocut, woodblock and screen printing.
The processes involved are detailed and time consuming,
but the beautiful results are well worth every minute!
I'm showing off some of my favorites. Enjoy!

The pieces above and below are screenprints: Fall Marigolds and Aspen Forest.

The following two are woodblock prints: Sunflower Blooms and Beachcomber.

These are linocut prints, each with a photo in process.

Orange Cosmos

Test the Waters

Find more of Lisa's work here:

Images used with direct permission from Lisa VanMeter.

March 21, 2017

Amazing Driftwood Sculptures at Baliker Gallery

The Baliker Gallery in Florida is a must-see if you're in the area!
It's located at 5928 North Oceanshore Boulevard in Palm Coast.

Paul Baliker collects driftwood branches and stumps with the roots attached.
Many of his findings were stockpiled in the courtyard in front of the gallery.

Paul envisions what each piece could become,
then works his magic by carving out the details.
Absolutely fascinating!

We loved the variety of sea life represented in this huge sculpture!

A closer look-

And inside the gallery...

An impressive owl mirror with a photographer's reflection.

This seahorse is my favorite piece!

Much more here:

March 18, 2017

Edgy, Urban Needlepoint by Tapestry Girl

Niki McDonald, of Sydney, Australia, is Tapestry Girl.
Her embroidered designs are reminiscent of colorful urban graffiti.
Needlepoint stitches that resemble digital pixels give a modern vibe.
The women she creates are contemporary, exciting, and edgy.
Enjoy the amazing works of Tapestry Girl!

More Tapestry Girl here:

Images used with direct permission from Niki McDonald.

March 16, 2017

Let's Kiss the Blarney Stone!


You may have heard, especially around St. Patrick's Day,
that kissing the Blarney Stone is a traditionally Irish thing to do.
According to legend, the one who kisses the Blarney Stone will receive
eloquent speech, skills of flattery, and the gift of gab!

First of all, I had always thought that the stone was a big rock in Ireland,
maybe isolated and roped off for tourists,
something like the picture of Yogi & Boo Boo, above.

Incorrect! The Blarney Stone is actually a building stone that's 
part of Blarney Castle, which is located 5 miles from Cork, Ireland. 
It's situated at the very top of the castle, accessed by a 127 step winding staircase.


I was doubly surprised when I learned exactly how the actual kissing is accomplished!
The kisser must lie down on their back and lean out over a gap between the floor
 and the wall, which exposes a view of the 37' drop down to the ground below!
With the assistance of a spotter, they must arch their neck backwards for the smooch.

Guard rails make this act much safer than it was decades ago, 
but it must still be very unsettling for the faint of heart.
A few photos of the kissing in action-



Here's a photo from 1897.


Enjoy this YouTube video, and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 10, 2017

Vintage Treasures from Hunt & Found

I found a great vintage shop on Etsy called Hunt & Found!
Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Julie has collected some terrific treasures to sell.
I love the addition of a unique vintage item or antique to a home's decor.
It grounds us, paying homage to what we once were and to how far we've come.

Enjoy my favorites from Hunt & Found!

More of Hunt & Found here:

Images used with direct permission from Julie.

March 7, 2017

Little Free Library Spotting in Belmar, New Jersey!

Quite a while ago, I had heard about Little Free Libraries, but I'd never seen one.
Being a voracious reader and advocate of libraries, I'm intrigued by the concept.

On a recent trip to Belmar, New Jersey, we were driving along, 
and I yelped to my husband, "Pull over, pull over!"
I had spotted a Little Free Library!
I hopped out for an inspection and to snap some photos.
(The hubby no doubt knew that there was a blog post in the works.)

It definitely caught my attention with a cool geometric design 
and a blazing yellow lightning bolt on its glass door.

The inside was just stuffed with books!

So, what's the idea behind Little Free Libraries? 
Anyone can build and maintain a library.
The purpose? To bring a sense of community, to encourage creativity,
to make books available, and to cultivate reading.
It's on a take one, leave one basis.

There are over 50,000 Little Free Libraries located in all 50 states of the USA!
Plus, this has gone global; they're in 70 different countries!

The website gives tons of information on how you can become a "steward,"
including free building plans and ongoing support from their staff.
There's even a map that helps you find locations near you!
(The one we saw in New Jersey is on 6th Ave. in Belmar.
It is not listed on the website's map.)

Here are photos of more Little Free Libraries~

More information can be found here: