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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

That Travel Nerd Aesthetic

A friend over on Tumblr tagged me in a challenge to post six photos from my phone’s camera roll that “represent my aesthetic.” I liked the ones I chose, mostly because apparently my aesthetic is nerdy hobbies, nature, and travel, which is not inaccurate, and also the colors all went together fairly nicely, which was complete happenstance.

So: a book I copy edited, a temari I worked on while watching Farscape, my favorite profile picture, an arrangement I made, a wall of tiles at Park Güell in Barcelona, and sunset over a rain pool at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

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The Official 2016 Birthday Card

It’s here! (Both my birthday and my card from my exceptionally artistic aunt and uncle.)

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In case you can’t read it, the green book spine says “This life is sweeter than fiction.”

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Art in Bloom 2015

This past Saturday, I took an outing with my mom, cousin, and two aunts (one from each side of my family, just to maintain symmetry) to the Art in Bloom special exhibit at the NC Museum of Art. The idea:

The NCMA’s inaugural festival of art and flowers. Floral designers from across North Carolina and beyond bring springtime into West Building by interpreting masterworks from the permanent collection in 45 breathtaking flower displays.

Installation next to the West Building entrance.

Installation next to the West Building entrance.

Once inside, the exhibit basically turned all of the main permanent collection into a scavenger hunt. Each floral arrangement was near the piece of art that had inspired it, but the piece could be next to it, in front of it, behind it… and as a result, I’m sure I actually noticed many more pieces in the collection than I ever had before. (It was, of course, an admission of defeat if you had to check the label on the display to figure out the inspiration piece. Or maybe that was just me.)

I took a lot of pictures, but I’m going to try to restrict this post to a few of the ones I felt best captured the floral displays with their accompanying inspiration pieces. There are inevitably stunning pieces that won’t make it into this post because the photos didn’t capture them adequately, or there was no way to get both pieces in the same frame, or what have you. If they do a show like this again next year, or a similar one at a museum near you, go see it in person!

My aunt studying one of the more interesting floral interpretations.

My aunt studying one of the more interesting floral interpretations.

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Blue on blue on blue.

Hovering.

Hovering.

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Arches and icons.

Amusingly representational.

Amusingly representational.

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Storm-tossed waves.

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The perfect use of hydrangeas.

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I will now always think of those fuzzy bits as “lava flowers.”

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Classical in the extreme.

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Irises and Rodin.

Perhaps my favorite combination of display and painting.

Perhaps my favorite combination of display and painting.

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Exciting! Dark! Spiky!

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So harmonious you almost can’t tell where the flowers stop.

I really hope they decide to do this again! For obvious reasons, it has to be a limited-time event, and even though we were there for 3 hours, I felt like I could have stayed longer. It was so interesting to see which aspects of the art the floral designers had chosen to highlight. Some were obvious, some were not, and many of them actually made the piece of art more interesting through the act of comparison.

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The Official 2015 Birthday Card

I know it’s my birthday because my official birthday card from my card-making aunt and calligrapher uncle arrived!

Hooray! It can be my birthday now!

Hooray! It can be my birthday now!

Something to look forward to every year!

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Snow Day(s)

North Carolina finally decided to have winter this year after all, so the theme of the past two weeks has been “snow day!” Last week’s days off of school and work weren’t so much fun, because they were largely due to ice (and it sure did hang around in our neighborhood, since we have so many trees to shade the streets), but last night yielded a respectable amount of wet, heavy snow.

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The view from our front door.

Not pictured: the big branch that fell across the driveway, about two feet behind our cars. Fortunately it missed hitting them both. I think most of the snow has fallen off the trees now, so hopefully the cars will remain safe.

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Hope in Winter

Having never much cared about Groundhog Day, my current personal sign that winter is coming to an end is our flowering apricot tree. As with the flowering plums in Japan, this is a late-winter-blooming tree, so it’s not really a sign of spring so much as a reminder that winter will eventually come to an end. Some year, I hope ours actually gets to bloom in conjunction with snow, but this doesn’t appear to be a particularly snowy year for North Carolina.

Flowering apricot blossoms, February 2015

Flowering apricot blossoms, February 2015

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Household Winter Scenes

I have always hated the end of Christmas because it means taking down all the decorations, especially the lights, just as winter is really entering the coldest, grayest time. So this year I’m consciously making an effort to replace the holiday decorations with winter-themed decorations instead. (I attribute some of my inspiration to having long admired the changing nature table displays Angela does with her kids.)

In the hallway outside our bedroom, I made this arrangement. We got the vase for our wedding, and it has been sadly underutilized thus far. The pine needles and cones came from the yard. The pine trees out there are determined to drop stuff all over everywhere, so I might as well get some joy from them, in addition to all the raking.

Vase with pine needles and cones

Vase with pine needles and cones

For the living room (so far), I took a little while on Saturday afternoon to make a kumihimo cord so I could hang my favorite winter temari on the new ornament stand I got at the Campbell Folk School. (Note: 4-strand cords are a lot harder than 8-strand, in case you were wondering.) The temari is Barb Suess’s Winter Night pattern, though I never actually finished adding all the pine needle stitches for the final step. I should probably take it off the stand and add those tonight.

Snowflakes inside a swirl

Snowflakes inside a swirl

And in the dining room, I left out the tablecloth and wooden trees I had put out for Christmas, because they were already mostly just winter-themed rather than overtly holiday themed. The trees were the other thing I bought for myself in the Campbell gift shop, but I found the artist on Etsy a few days ago, so if you like them, you can get some, too!

My little wooden forest

My little wooden forest

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