Sunday, July 16, 2017

Art----In Every Day Places

I am sure there are times, especially now a days when life seems to get busier at each passing moment, when we all wonder how could the day seem to have slipped by all so quickly without much of a chance for relaxation and pleasure.  Even when we are in the time of year like summer, which is noted for its leisure and slow-pace, the day can be filled up with getting things done, whether it is in your work life or family life, the responsibilities on the to-do list are often long and continuous.  So when it comes time to the fun to-do list such as taking weekend trips, attending city festivals and parades, participating in tours to gardens, historical places, zoos or art museums, it might be one of those things that is not as easy to check off as accomplished.

Of course, this leads me to my point regarding art in every day places.  I can honestly say that I am very grateful for the fact that when I do not have the opportunity to visit any museums, galleries or art fairs, I can still enjoy creative and talented art work just by taking a drive or a walk.  The following pictures of various pieces of street art were those taken in three different cities in two different states.  The art found along Lake Michigan is in Wisconsin and the others are from Golden and Fort Collins, Colorado.  So whether I am at home in Wisconsin or visiting family in Colorado, these pieces are there to enjoy even when I cannot make a planned visit to the museum.

Therefore, this week's post is about something other than a new tablescape design.  It is about a form of sidewalk art that is available to everyone even at our busiest moments.  I hope by sharing these pictures with you that you will enjoy them too.

Wisconsin Lakefront Art:

This next picture is of the adorable little free library located along the lakefront trail.  This bright yellow library set up for exchanging books is one which is both art and function.  While taking a walk along the lakefront, this free library is available to anyone who would like to help themselves to any book at no cost or at the exchange of another book of their own while they are enjoying the serene, tranquil setting at the beach.

The following two pictures of art have a practical element to them.  Both of these colorful metal structures serve as bicycle racks where cyclists can lock up their bikes when they need a place to leave them.

Sidewalk Art from Golden and Fort Collins. Colorado:

Some of my most favorite sidewalk art are those that come from Golden, Colorado and Fort Collins, Colorado.   I could not put down my camera for one minute.

Where might you find art in every day places?  Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A 1960's Encounter

Did you ever come across a single item that immediately brings to mind countless sentimental memories of people, places or events from once upon a time?  That is exactly what happened to me just recently. Let me explain. Several weeks ago, I came across a piece of decorator's sample fabric at an antique shop.  This sample piece was used by interior designers or home decorating stores for display purposes for customers who placed custom orders on their purchases and, if my guess is correct, it stems from the 1960's.  The lovely bright yellow and white floral spray in the design was common for that period of time and it was typically seen in outdoor patio furniture, home decor and women's clothing.

After I spotted this nostalgia-inducing piece of fabric, the flood gates of earlier memories of good times opened and came rushing back and I knew I had to purchase it.   With this unexpected flashback, I was overcome with a heart-warming recollection of the many Sunday afternoon visits to the homes of aunts, uncles and cousins for buffet style get-togethers, outdoor cook-outs, BBQs, potlucks or a casual, drop-in visit on their indoor/outdoor patio or recreation room basement.

But before I get into any further detail of family celebrations of long ago, lets first see how this pattern was originally used back in those days.   Then check out how I used this piece of fabric to achieve a 1960's inspired tablescape by sewing it into a charming table runner. And lastly, take a look at some of the popular fun foods of the 60's.

To start with, the following is an image found in Pinterest which advertises beautiful outdoor metal patio furniture from the 1960's. Notice the similarity in the floral print of the cushions to the following picture of the fabric piece I made into a table runner and, consequently, resulted in a 1960's theme tablescape.

That same use of the bold floral print was also reflected in women's fashion.

And now..... for the inspiration piece.  The decorator's sample fabric now made into a table runner for a 1960's twist to a summer-time tablesetting.

The runner along with the white cut-out salad plates and avocado green glassware make up a perfect combination for a l960's look.

Of course, it wouldn't be a 1960's tablescape without a well-manicured topiary or two, which is characteristic of the meticulously kept lawns and landscapes of that time. Occasionally, you could see a neighbor or two who included the beloved "plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament in their landscape decorating.  The 1960's tablescape even includes a few raindrop-shaped chandelier crystals as water droplets sprinkled from a yellow metal watering can.

In addition to the well-groomed lawns and landscapes, the 60's also was a time for cocktail parties, tiki parties and fine dining at supper clubs.  What better occasion would there be to wear the glamorous cocktail dresses and jewelry that were beautifully designed and indicative of this time. The fascination with travel destinations to Florida and tropical islands in the Caribbean at that time had not only influenced home decor and fashion, but also was infused into food and entertainment ideas.

Some of the scrumptious foods you could find on a 1960's party buffet would include fondues, shrimp cocktails, jello molds, pineapple boats with spicy meatballs and tropical punch bowls or drinks.  Take a minute to revisit some of these favored foods below.

Why not serve up some smooth and creamy cheese fondue with some fresh and crunchy french bread cubes?

I can see why the fondue became so popular.  Who doesn't love melted cheese?

Fondues are so much fun and the sweet or savory flavor choices are endless.

A chilled shrimp cocktail with a zesty dipping sauce makes a perfect appetizer on a hot summer day.

Of course, you can't forget the well-liked fruit jello mold.  There was never an occasion without one. This lobster jello mold is an orange/lemon flavor with mandarin orange wedges and garnished with lemon and lime slices.

It was proven at each family gathering that there was "always room for jello" no matter how many other goodies were selected to eat.

No one can pass up these spicy pineapple chipotle meatballs.  The first bite and you begin to wonder how so much flavor can be in such a small ball.

Of course, it wouldn't be a cocktail party without the cocktail.  This mango-pineapple drink can be made with or without alcohol and even includes a homemade gummy flamingo and paper umbrella for decoration.

Why not give each guest an individual "flower power" hydrangea cupcake in a mason jar. These cute little yellow hydrangea cupcakes sprinkled with orange, yellow and blue stars fit nicely in the upside down mason jar and are made to look like a flower of the late 60's with a yellow paper petal napkin.

I hope you had so much fun reminiscing the l960's as much as I had designing and putting this tablescape together.  I can see how some things never go out of style.

Now that the appetizers are ready, I need to slip into my cocktail dress........ Thank you for visiting.....stop in again.....