Friday, October 11, 2013

Five on Friday, October 11

It's a grey, misty day outside here in Manhattan -- the kind of day that makes one think of trench coats and umbrellas, windshield wipers, slick cobblestones and peering into a cozy restaurant through a window.  I don't mind days like these now and then; it makes it easy to stay inside to read and drink coffee without feeling that I should be doing something out in the sunshine.

I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming holidays, and I realize that the single thing I love best about them is sharing the day with my family. I don't care about gifts or cards or decorating the way I used to - in fact, last year I made no cookies at all and barely decorated.  I wonder what it would be like to just do what we really wanted at the holidays?  I'd volunteer somewhere, buy gifts for the truly needy, listen to holiday music beginning at Halloween, and see my loved ones without the pressure of finding the perfect gift. Hmmm.  What would your perfect holiday be like, if there were no have-to's?

I went to see Gravity this week.  Not in 3D.  Not in iMax. And not very impressive without all those extras.  The story itself - meh - for my taste, too many perils thrown in just for the sake of suspense.  I didn't care about the characters and at first blush it felt like the special effects were there to spice up a story lacking in substance.  HOWEVER, I've heard it's all about the 3D and iMax, so I'm going to see it again and try to experience the feeling of being in outer space. Readjusted expectations, and maybe I'll enjoy it.   Seems like many others did.

I finished a YA book called The Fault in Our Stars. Do you read any YA books?  This one was about two teenagers with cancer, and I read it all in a day.  What I liked -- it realistically portrayed both the usual teenage angst and anxiety about friendships and romance and relationships with parents, while at the same time it never strayed far from the interruption of cancer's cold hand. The conversation was a little slick for me, as if each character had a witty-repartee button pressed on their dialogue, but I was easily able to excuse that since it brought each character to life in a very vivid way - like upping the color intensity in a photo edit.

It was a quieter week for me, so I've been able to do some artwork, if you're interested.

These pictures are my journal for the medieval fabric journal group. My theme is the commedia dell'arte, a theatrical troupe that performed both on streets and in palaces. The commedia characters were very well defined by their behavior, costumes and masks, and audiences everywhere enjoyed their antics.

I made a little booklet explaining the genre and describing the various characters and the performances and tucked it into a pocket inside the front cover.

The centerfold of my folio is a scene from one of the shows, freeform embroidered and edged with black and gold lace.

Masks like the one below are now made and sold throughout some parts of Italy, a glance backward to the medieval theater days.

The cover of my book shows a small part of the larger image inside, nestled behind red satin curtains.

Below are two watercolor pages for a friend's journal. She asked us each to contribute suggestions for her upcoming trip to Italy.  In Venice, I especially loved the courtyards hidden inside the winding alleys.  Hundreds of years old and surrounded by all the neighboring apartments, I could almost hear the voices of countless generations meeting here as they pumped their morning water.

My husband and I spent many happy hours in Florence sitting outside at the Piazza Della Republicca's Caffe Gilli,  a institution of culinary delight dating back to the 1700s.  People watching doesn't get any better, sipping limoncello and snacking while watching the carousel and the colorful characters passing by on the piazza.  (I especially enjoyed the naked man standing in the window for an afternoon stretch...)

And finally, I've started creating altered coffee sleeves for a swap in my Blissfully Art Journaling group. I'm loosely interpreting these sweet angel babies as a Christmas theme. Why not?

Have a great week!!


De said...

wow Teri....great sleeves...I can't wait to start!

Liz Deck said...

A sneek preview of your lacebook!

I wish I had known your theme while in Venice.....SO many masks!

Jeanne Henriques said...

I am already starting to fret about Christmas Teri..I feel the same way. Wanting to keep it really simple as the years pass. I thought of you today as I pinned a new board 'journal' inspire me, always. xx

thepinkrachael said...

Sorry if you get this twice - seems blogger isn't my friend today! Anyway, I left you a comment to say I love staying in with coffee and a book on days like that too, and my favourite thing about the holidays is also getting together with all my family to eat and drink and laugh.
Loved seeing your journal pages and altered sleeves - the drawings from Venice are the best (and the story about the naked man in the window...maybe I'll have to take a trip to Venice!)

Lorena said...

I'm jealous! I wish I had a quiet week to sit and do art! All of your creations are so thoughtful and beautifully executed. I love the idea of adding suggestions to your friend's journal for her upcoming trip to Italy. Such a precious gift to have not just your tips but ILLUSTRATED too! Those vintage coffee sleeves are to die for and I am looking forward to seeing more of your Commedia Dell'Arte medieval fabric journal. Gorgeous work and some really great swaps you are involved in!!

Thauna said...

I love your watercolors...and especially the limoncello. I wish I would have spent more time people watching in the Piazza Della Republicca, I bought some watercolor art there but didn't sit in the piazza.

JaneA said...

I love the medieval style scraps of fabric, and your watercolours are lovely. I also love the holidays when they're simple. I live far away from home at the moment, and holidays have become about travelling to see family. We don't give many gifts because the tickets are so expensive. It's actually such a blessing to just spend time with people, to love being with them, and not have all the other holiday stress. Lovely blog! X Jane

Caatje said...

You've been busy! Lovely work. I read a lot of YA books, mostly of the dystopian variety. Currently reading the Gone-series by Michael Grant.

Lisa said...

What do you use the coffee sleeves for once they are beautiful? Always so impressed by what you create!