Friday, April 18, 2014


is such a lovely time...
not just for the return to color..

not simply for the flowers
and flowering trees...
the abundant return of leaves and the color green...

but for the sense of hope that roots in the heart...
and the shiny newness that one feels in the spirit..
 the opportunity again 
to bring forward something new
something different..

the endless possibilities.......

here this weekend
 we will be celebrating 
with food and wine
and perhaps some cake... 

my one weakness..

we will put our feet up and toast
to La Dolce Vita..
while we enjoy
Dolce Far Niente..

wishing you all a beautiful
a renewed sense of the joy of life 

Easter and always...


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

cherry blossoms

since we live so close..
gentle readers...
we just had to see the annual
cherry blossoms
in DC..

so I thought I would take you along on the adventure..

as you know
a good travelogue is my one weakness..

if we had it to do all over again...
we would have made the trip in to the city
much earlier..
but alas, we could not drag ourselves out of bed that early..
so putting up with 

a few other folks did not 
seem like such a problem...

after all... we ditched the car in favor of public transport..

and it WAS beautiful...
not only the cherry blossoms, but the day
was stunning...
the absolutely nicest day in 6 months..

so we basked in sunshine and had every intention of walking to the 
Jefferson Memorial...

and spending more time
with the cherry phenomenon 
that I have always wanted to see 
in person...

the sheer amount of them flowering 
at one time is just incredible...
overwhelmingly gorgeous...
more stunning than I can ever impress upon you dear ones..

we were not the only ones who wanted to see them...
in fact, I think all of Washington came out as well as the
tourists from every state and country...

Mr. LDV took the next two pics, because it was so crowded and 
I am so little, I could not get this shot..
looking at the Jefferson Memorial
from across the Tidal Basin
you can see the wall of people..

and the blossoms... of course.. grin

so we came..
we saw..
we photographed..
and we toddled back
to Alexandria... where we stayed 
away from the crowds...

if you are claustrophobic, as I am, you
will want to do this early in the morning or on a 
week day...

in our hotel, we heard later over libations
that the crowd was twice the size 
it was last year, which was record breaking..

but on the way back..
I snapped a few more photos..

of spring coloring the 
grounds and trees...

which is so joyful...
the colors seem to dance around
after such a long 
cold winter...

the Smithsonian above...

and flowers outside a little shop..

a bit early for hydrangeas, but
so pretty..

and though the weather has turned chilly again...
I hope my little adventure has warmed you up a bit...

and I am back to the studio
today to work on April pages, 
and gigli..


Friday, April 11, 2014

evidence of spring

these days...
there is a fight between my muse
who wants to create...
and me who wants to luxuriate in sunshine...
so we settled the matter
by dividing up our time...

I love to 
 snap pics of the
for the life of me, I think 
the flowering trees against a blue sky 
are one of the most beautiful things
to see...

gigli for Giglio's, above, colored pencil and nupastel in progress

 so I have been 
dividing my time
and taking short walks to the little park near my house
to sit for a tiny minute in the white gazebo
and enjoy the sunshine...
and listen to the mourning doves...

and dear reader, 
I have found some time to work on those giglios or gigli for Giglios
lilies for Giglios
for those of you who are new to the sweet life...
giglio is lily in Italian
gigli is plural 
someone recently made it clear that my family have never received a 
piece of art from me...
hence, my new project...

It is a fun project, and you will see them when they
are all finished..

I have also been working on some collages
for my French paper series, to put into the shop..
work in progress below...
these will feature hand painted stars and moons...

and just starting april pages..
plus lots of projects in the works behind the scenes as always...

 I cleaned up my side bar
and my blog links, 
I am keeping current blogs
and please note, if you refer my blog and I do not have your blog listed 
on my side bar, 
please let me know and I will be most happy to post your link..

I am off to see more
flowering trees, and hope
that you are in the mood to see more
so do stop by next week if you get the chance..

as always, I am grateful for you all..
dear readers and lurkers, friends and family..
for your kind comments, thoughtful remarks and positive


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

williamsburg part 2

I hope you have your tea or coffee or another libation..
because this will be a long post
with lots of photos...

visual aids are my one weakness..

when I put Williamsburg on my bucket list
many years ago, I thought it would be a charming little town
with people dressed in costume and
chock full of tiny buildings 
on cobbled streets and it would be no bigger than a minute..

nothing could be further from the truth...

oh... it has charming buildings and people dressed in costume
and some cobbled streets..
but it is not tiny, 
 it is spread out.. on acres..
and if you come, wear your walking shoes...

it is hard for me to imagine that the CW employees above do all that walking in 
leather shoes, authentic to the period and made on the premises..
when we broke for lunch and sat outside,
the group above followed us in and sat a couple of tables away from us..
I tried not to stare... but I did get a good look at the tiny stitches..


the cobbler's shop
was fascinating
with finished boots and shoes hanging from the ceiling...

and I was fascinated by his shelf and 
it took my complete adult restraint to keep 
my artist muse from poking around the shelves..


the view below is from the 
gunsmith's shop...

and as you see..
spring is here..

the Governors Mansion below
was a pile of burnt rubble when the park began..
they located the architectural plans which were drawn by 
Thomas Jefferson and
rebuilt the mansion..
the tour was amazing..

the view from the lawn of the mansion below..
a roundabout for large carriages and buggies..

and down the lane.. 
through the park below...
to give you an idea of 
the size of the park..
we easily walked 10,000 steps that day..

the mansion burned down,
but they found remnants of the original wallpapers, gilt trim
and shards of china, so everything
was restored and it was quite remarkable...

the gilt trim edged the doorways and the wainscoting
and was made of paper mache hand molded in a form and then painted gold..

for more history on the properties..

the gardens below 

look a bit tired from winter  (aren't we all?)

but soon they will be gorgeous..
the photo below is from the website..

and when you are tired of walking 
you can pick up a carriage 
under this magnificent tree...

and I might add that the trees are quite remarkable...

if you are a tree hugger
then you will be in heaven...

believe it or not, we barely scratched the surface..
I will have a lot more to share with you this summer..

but I hope you enjoyed the view from the 
sweet life...
for today...


Friday, April 4, 2014

williamsburg part 1

the gardens... 
oh how I miss them gentle reader...

so when Mr. LDV and I had the opportunity
to take

visiting family to
Williamsburg for the day, 
I was at the ready 
with the camera tucked safely
in the saddlebag..

and we had a splendid day..
warm and sunny and spring squirting out everywhere...

evidence above and below of spring..

it is early yet, but so welcome..

and I will be back in summer...
but the daffy's by the fence will be long gone...

if you have never been here, I urge you to go...
put it on the bucket list..

for you gardeners or just lovers of gardens
here is a link
to check out...

organic gardening
and everything is done the way they did it in
Colonial Williamsburg..

I love the willow hoops and cloches..

and the gardeners
all work with
handmade tools.. 
rakes and hoes..

and wearing the correct costume..
including shoes
made on the property...

very deliberate and straight rows..

living history museums are 

tools against the shed...

it is a rather large garden..
and will be gorgeous this summer..

we did manage to have a lovely lunch on the patio
near the college...

and took in many more sights... 

I will have more pics for you next week..

I hope your spring or fall
is lovely
and that you have a safe and beautiful weekend..