Tag Archives: Beauty

Beautiful Florence

Looking back through my pictures and Florence is as beautiful as I remember.

We had what was probably the best Airbnb apartment of our whole trip. It was less than two blocks to the River Arno and the Ponte alla Carraia (the second bridge west of the Ponte Vecchio), and probably 15 minutes walk to the train station. Well, 15 minutes for us. If you ask an Italian how long a walk, they would probably say 5 minutes. They all seem to walk very briskly and everything is “just 5 minutes walk away.”

Just inside is the well-equipped kitchen and one bathroom, then up stone stairs to the two bedrooms and up another flight to another bathroom.

Right by the bridge was a gelataria, Gelataria Carraia. This was another fabulous gelato shop, also on several Top Ten lists.

We loved living in a neighborhood that offered laundromat, grocery store, bakery, brewery and gelataria all within a short walking distance.


S. Forno Panaficio, the bakery, was a beautiful shop with a vaulted ceiling. I asked a woman behind the counter how long they’d been open and she said they’d been there for four years, but there had been a bakery in that location for “at least 100 years.”  Everything we tried was delicious.

Rem was  happy to sample a flight of beer at Archea Brewery in our neighborhood, a small place, as well as at Beer House Club, which had more space, and more beers to taste.

Walking around there was so much to see.

From this huge wall, portal and door…

To a strange doorknocker, there were beautiful and unique things at every turn.

This poster turned out to be the first of several similar ones we saw later in the trip. Blub.

An open-air bus was a nice, relaxed way to see some of the city. Sitting in the sunshine with my husband, classical music playing on the headphones between the tour information, toodling around Florence wasn’t a bad way to spend the afternoon.

And David. Ah, David. There are two replicas displayed outdoors. We saw them both.  The bronze, below, is in Piazzale Michelangelo.

Rem was not interested in waiting in line to visit a museum, so I saw the original marble by myself (for the second time – my first visit was when I was there 18 years ago).  It was a long line but I’m glad I went back.

We didn’t go inside the Duomo, but the exterior is an extravagant wedding cake of a design in elaborately carved white, green and pink marble. The terra cotta dome is magnificent and I loved catching glimpses of it as we moved around the historic center of the city.

We enjoyed a classic dinner: bistecca alla fiorentina, or literally Steak Florentine: grilled Porterhouse steaks.

And of course we enjoyed shopping in the food stalls in the Mercado Centrale and cooking dinner in our own kitchen.  I also hit the stalls outside and bought a new purse and some scarves.

Soon enough, it was time for another train journey – off to Lucca.

Thanks for coming along.




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Filed under Cooking, Life

Day 26: 30 Day Journal Project


” You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” ~ Hericlitus


This is what I wrote in response to the question, above:

I feel like I’ve just started a crash course and so far we’ve gotten an overview of the topic: Art Journaling.


Now I can continue learning, copying, trying things out and when I’m lucky – flowing.


My images have been very literal. I’d like to be more metaphorical sometimes too!


I’m trying to find and maintain balance with my art, my health & my life.


To curate, to keep a space ready for creativity, and to keep journaling (but NOT daily).


Thank you to my friend Margaret for the beautiful and unique old stamps that I used as embellishment on this page. We crafted together on Friday when I was working on Day 24.

Cheers and hugs for everyone who is still hanging in with the #30DayJournal project! I’m now caught up with both the journaling and blogging.

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Filed under Crafts

Everybody Needs Beauty

Everybody needs...

I was so happy to sit at my craft desk this weekend with time to work in my Art Journal.  However, I felt like I had so many ideas that I didn’t know where to start!

Solution: go to my Art Journal board on Pinterest and look at pictures that I’ve pinned for inspiration.  Once there I found this spread and put it with the John Muir quote, also pinned on the page.  I already had flower and garden pictures saved, so I just had to pull out pictures and start trimming and gluing them in place.

The quote took up a bit more room than I planned so I had less space for hearts, but in the end it all worked out.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

– John Muir

How do you get warmed up when you’re ready to craft but not sure what to do?

Thanks for reading my posts.


Filed under Art Journal Pages, Crafts

Day 9: Let the Beauty You Love, Be What You Do

Let the Beauty You Love

Day 9: Let the beauty you love, be what you do.

My desk had become crazy messy with all the crafting I’m doing. My work space was shrinking as more supplies made their way to the desktop and the layers of paper, pens, glue sticks, scissors, brushes, embellishments, rubber stamps crept into the little empty place in the center.  Before I started crafting today, I spent 30 minutes putting away tools and supplies I wasn’t using and organizing (re-stacking) stuff I planned to use today.

As I sorted through the flotsam and jetsam, collecting little scraps and interesting bits, I saw that I was halfway to getting a spread assembled. I had a quote from Rumi scribbled on an envelope, a glittery bit of trim cut off an old calendar page but saved for it’s sparkling possibilities, a heart-shaped stencil with interesting paint smears and a pretty crescent moon that my sister let me snag from her collection of images.

I decided to use these in a page and knew I’d be using the beautiful image of a purple bottle I’ve been wanting to include.  It is too tall for my book,  but I love how it looks, so just made a little fold-out flap to include it.

Flap with Key

The butterfly and heart scraps were leftovers from previous projects and with a few more scraps from the pile, a great photo from a magazine of a painting of Mt. Tam, some paint and a few more embellishments, my spread for Day 9 was just about done.

I got everything glued in place and carefully wrote out the quote from Rumi.

Rumi quote

I had started with a small, paper key but liked this metal one better so I switched it out and added a little sparkly dot.  A heart charm dangles down from the flap.


Dianne Dots were the finishing touch.

Dianne Dots

I also made two more birthday cards to get my mom stocked up.

Birthday Bird & Collage

The bird came from the same old calendar as the little glittery border I used in my Art Journal.  Thanks, Shook!

Cigar Label Birthday Card

Both of these cards used paper and embellishments that were already out on my desk.

If I took a picture of it now you probably wouldn’t believe that I’d cleaned it up, but I know that it is much better than it was.

Last year for Day 9 of 30 Days of Creativity I made these pretty Glass Tile Pendants.

The year before that I made a pair of Pink Glass Earrings.

Thanks for coming on by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts