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Archive for August, 2009

Back from the Fabulous Baltic Region!!

August 28, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

This has been the year of trips for us. We have been in New York City, Chicago, the Dominican Republic and now have just returned from a cruise to the Baltics. We toured St. Petersburgh in Russia, Stockholm in Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark, Helsinki in Finland, Gdansk in Poland plus several other places. What an amazing experience! The architecture in the old parts of these cities was wonderful to see. St. Petersburg with its palaces was incredible. So much richness, and obvious luxury in the homes of the nobility of Russia pre Bolshevik era. Malachite, lapis lazuli, marble, gold, agate and other wonderful materials were used to decorate the palaces as well as the furnishings. A sobering thought was the fact that many people were starving at the same time of the building of these glorious edifices. The availability of amber is astounding. The quality is excellent-not often available here. But also incredibley expensive. I was able to find some that I thought was affordable and am looking forward to working it into some of my designs. If nothing else, seeing all this amber was very inspiring.
There are many books out there with photos of everything that we saw. But until you see it in person, you really have no idea how glorious everything is. It was an experience that we will never forget.

And now back to reality. I will be participating in the Grimsby Festival of Art, on Sept. 12th. Check my events page for details. This is a one day event that is very worthwhile as there are many artists and artisans showcasing their work. My next event is at my home and studio–the Beyond the Valley Studio Tour in October — the week end after Thanksgiving. This is a 2 day tour, on a Saturday and Sunday. There are 7 studios open with 13 artists showing their work. My guest is Michelle Guitard who is a painter. Check out her website through the link on my home page.

As I am still recovering from jet lag, seems to take longer each time, it is taking me a bit of time to get working. I have lots of ideas and lots of sketches and I am looking forward to working the new amber into my collection. As well I have some large 14mm. freshwater pearls and some large flat ones as well that will be making an appearance. A brilliant blue agate is new to my inventory. It looks sensational with bright silver. Expect to see lots of new pieces with different stones that I have not used before.
I have also sent a new shipment to the Circle Arts Gallery in Tobermory. If you are able to get up there, this award winning gallery is a must visit. Check out their website for a listing of the artists that are represented.
Now back to work–I just have to do one small piece and then usually I am off and running (so to speak).

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:19 pm | Comments

Back from Fabulous Chicago!!!

August 6, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

We spent the past week end in Chicago with friends. What a fabulous and beautiful city. This is our second trip and was even more fun than the first. We went to the Gold Coast Art Festival which is an outdoor event with over 300 artists. Not something to be missed. The weather co-operated most of the time and on Sat. there was some rain, but it soon passed. Sunday was perfect and then on Monday there was a short downpour in the morning but the rest of the day was fine.
The highlight for us was visiting Oak Park and touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s home. He lived there from 1889 to 1909 and while there designed many homes. We also toured the outside of 8 these residences. This was the Victorian era and to see his designs alongside Victorian homes was an incredible experience. People panicked when they saw his designs being built because they were so unusual and totally out of keeping with what was expected. It was certainly a learning experience as his concepts were explained to us and we were better able to understand his ideas. A great experience!
We live in a home that was built in 1870. The outside colour is primarily yellow with green and burgundy accents. It was interesting to see a Victorian home in Oak Park with exactly the same colours on the exterior.
Another lively event was a food tour. This was arranged through Chicago Food Planet. We took part in the “Near North Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour” which took us through the Gold Coast neighborhood, Old Town and Lincoln Park. It was a 3 and a half mile walk taking 3 hours with a guide and worth every minute. Just an excellent way to visit different neighborhoods and get lots of information about the history of these places. Some of the magnificent homes are on lots that are 25 feet wide and so look small, but they often go back many many feet and can have from 6000 to 10,000 square feet in living space.
A Champagne bar called POPS was recommended to us. It is on Ohio avenue-lots of fun with excellent food! We had steak at Gibson’s which was perfect and also had dinner at Zocala’s which is a Mexican restaurant. On Monday nights Salsa dancing is taught. Lots of participants and perhaps next time we will join in.
Our hotel was called Inn of Chicago and was in a good location. We have stayed there before and always recommend it to everyone.
If you have an opportunity, visit Chicago. It is a great city with friendly people and lots to do. Never boring!!

Posted by Stephanie @ 10:34 pm | Comments


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