Monday, October 25, 2010

Latest art cards

I haven't posted any of my art cards in a while and I'm feeling a little artsy today, so here goes.

Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" 1907-08

Go to for a very nicely done slideshow on Klimt, his life and his work. Nice music in the background, too.

According to this card from Poland, this painting, "Alicja" was painted by M. Adamczyk.
 "Autumn Varberg" by Swedish painter Nils Krueger

Krueger is best known for his landscapes and cityscapes of Paris and vicinity, often at dawn or dusk, in the mist, rain or snow.
 This is "Kreeta Haapasalo Playing the Kantele in a Peasant Cottage", painted by Finnish artist Robert Wilhelm Ekman in 1868. So what the heck is a kantele and who is Kreeta Haapasalo? 
The kantele is a plucked string instrument similar to a zither, and native to Finland, Estonia and Karelia. That answers my first question. Kreeta became well known for her singing and kantele playing, which she did mostly to raise a little money to support her 11 children and her almost-good-for-nothing husband. (Obviously he was good for SOMETHING.)

Her songs were often very sad. Mine would be too, if I had 11 children and my husband didn't work.

"Peach Trees in Blossom" by Vincent van Gogh, 1888.
 "Monet's Wife and Child' by guess who........YES, Claude Monet. Very good.
 "Reclining Figure" by Fernand Léger, 1922.
I think it's funny that this painting is part of a collection belonging to the Sara Lee Corporation. Let this be a reminder that too much pastry can be harmful to your figure.

You may now exit the museum.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crater Lake, Oregon

In an unusual burst of good timing, a recent trip to Crater Lake and the Rogue River National Forest in Oregon was absolutely done at the best possible time. We had 70+ degree days, no rain, no wind, only a few tourists, and the most wonderful pine-scented air to breathe. I came home with lots of pictures, but unfortunately I couldn't bring any of the air.

  I took this from the car window as we were driving along the road to our rental cabin.

There are many, many hiking trails in this area and you never have to go very far to find a river or a waterfall.

Although it would have been exciting to see a cougar, it's probably a very good thing that we didn't!  We kept our eyes open for Bigfoot too!

The little store where we purchased odds and ends while staying at the cabin in the woods. We are so used to having a television and the cabin did not have one so we purchased a set of dominoes here and spent one whole evening playing.

The Rogue River

 The Rogue River

If you have never been to Crater Lake, try to make it some day. It is one of the most amazing natural sights I've ever seen. It helps when the weather is perfect like this, too!  The big island is called Wizard Island.

This little island is called the Phantom Ship.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. 
I'm very behind in showing you the great postcards I've been getting, but stay tuned, they will be coming.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy day at the mail box

If you didn't get a lot of mail today, don't feel bad.  I got a whole pile of it and I'm going to share it with you.

This first card is called "Christmas in Vilnius" (Lithuania). Since today was a sunny 84F day here in Salem, Oregon, Christmas still seems quite far away. It's sneaky though, and it will be here sooner than you expect. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Here's a quiet mountain scene from China, followed by the wonderful stamps that were used to post this card.

From Naples, Italy I received this beautiful Danish art card. That actually does make sense. The sender is half Italian and half Danish.

Clyde wants this next card for his bird cage, but he let me borrow it for the blog.  If one didn't know better, one would think these birds are extremely talented at building bird houses, but I believe the structures were built by indigenous people.  It's a lot more fun to think about the birds building them though.

Isn't this interesting?  It's aboriginal art from Australia. This is an aerial representation of the Mission where the artist was raised.  It depicts the homes, roads, tracks and gardens of the mission. Isn't it great that we can see the world through the eyes of other people now and then?

Here's another addition to my map card collection, this one from France.  The sender has an unusual combination of occupations: she is a primary school teacher and a firewoman. I wonder if she hoses down her class if they get too rowdy.  I can just see soggy little Pierre squishing into his house after school.  "Mama, teacher did it AGAIN." 

Here's another map card that I really like, probably because of all my Irish ancestry.

Finally today, here's a very old photo of the Singapore River, taken around 1900.  The card says that merchants sought to erect their shops on the south side of the river because it resembled the concave belly of a carp - which, according to Chinese belief, was where prosperity lay.  Next time you buy commercial property, tell your real estate broker that you are only interested in property shaped like a carp's belly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrr! I've been waiting for it all year and then I go and MISS it!! Yesterday was Talk Like A Pirate Day. Blast!! What a bilge-sucking addlepate I am!

Let's wander around the seven seas a bit anyway. Maybe it will take my mind off my fox paw.

Stock up on citrus fruit here to prevent scurvy.

Your dreams, if you are seasick and have drunk too much Madeira. 
Porto de Galinhas, Brazil, the "Port of Chickens".
Grateful to be back on dry land, let's visit St. Barbara's Cathedral in the Czech Republic.
Hmm, good name for a rock group: The Grateful Dry.
Little pictures from a little country, Luxembourg.
This woman is silly. Trying to fold her clean sheets outside in the wind. Obviously a newbie to laundry.

And finally, this is, well, I think it's, no.....maybe it's  - Oh, heck, I don't know what it is or why anyone took a picture of it. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Riverfront Park

Here are a some home-grown photos taken at Salem's Riverfront Park a couple of days ago. Pretty cool carousel, huh?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wild goose loses chase

How do you like our new motor home?  This type is not recommended unless you have a LOT of friends who are not at all busy.  Otherwise, the kind with wheels would be a better choice.  If you do decide on the wheel-less variety, make sure all your carriers have been given the same map to follow or you might end up in Xanten when you really planned on having dinner in Kleve.
This is one of the few cards I have ever gotten from Tasmania. Don't scoff - I'll bet you don't have more than five or six. (I hate it when you scoff.)
Now honestly, would you peel an orange and then play your guitar? This is probably how flamenco music began. Some sticky-fingered guitarist pounding on the strings trying to get his fingers loose. With family and friends stomping all around giving encouragement.
The Flemish city of Kortrijk, Belgium. Pretend you're racing a little motor craft and you have to decide which arch to go through, then your used-to-be best friend on the right forces you into the cement and you crash and burn. Medieval Super Mario River-Kart Racing by Nintendo.
Medieval Super Mario River-Kart Racing, the funeral.  Actually, this is the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin in Nottinghamshire, England, built in 1186-1189.
Native American Bandstand.  When the Twist craze died down, it was replaced by the Kiowa Stomp. The Mashed Potato and Corn was also very popular. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So here we have a dead goose on a woman's lap, having all of its poor feathers plucked out, while the goose's friends calmly continue their afternoon walk. Talk about not being appreciated.

If the woman on the left had put her shoes on backwards, she would look like the Zombie Bucket Woman.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Couples, odd and otherwise

From the 19th century version of Dancing With The Stars, we have Gustav and Rosamunde waltzing themselves into giddy abandon, probably somewhere in Bavaria.  Gustav has already lost his hat.  No telling what will happen next.

Next, Frontier Days in India. The horse on the left is Turmeric and on the right is Trigger.

Next we have two strange little girls, obviously budding politicians. Notice they are already standing on boxes. I think the girl on the left is actually holding an unlit firecracker, which doesn't bode well for the continuation of this card series.

Ah, the wonder of Facebook!  After a separation of decades, these Crows have found each other and are amazed to discover that they can still party down. Sort of.

This painting by Helen Schjerfbeck is titled Children Berry Picking but I have my doubts. Helen obviously decided the spelling of her last name by tossing Scrabble tiles in the air, so how can we trust her to know what these children are doing?  I think one is keeping a lookout while the other buries something they shouldn't have killed.

On that gruesome note, I bid you good evening.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ready for some football?

Any pro football fans out there?  I'm excited about the season starting this Thursday evening, as if I needed one more excuse to sit in my recliner and be useless. Sometimes I knit while watching sports, which makes me feel a little more productive. And I also mute the commercials and read a paragraph or two from my current book until the commercials are over. By the end of a game, I have read 8 pages of my book (having gotten all the characters confused) and completely messed up a knitting pattern.  But dadgummit, that football game got itself watched, didn't it?   

I'm closing my eyes now and reaching into ye olde postcard box.  And the winner is.....


Glimmer in the Temple from Shanghai, China. Longhua temple is the largest and busiest Buddhist temple in Shanghai.  The pagoda dates from 977 and is not open to the public due to its fragility. If you were that old, you'd keep to yourself too.

Welcome to Finland, and watch out for those reindeer on the road.  And if you can fly, why walk on the road anyway, is what I want to know.

Kadriog Palace in Tallinn, Estonia was built by Tsar Peter the First in the 18th Century for his empress, Catherine.  "Kadriog". translated from Estonian, means "Catherine's Valley". Pete had first decided on a mobile home, but Cathy would have none of that.

Pangkor Island Beach Resort, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.  Unfortunately for the local residents, tourism has fallen off sharply since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Nothing to joke about here.

I see the cows are coming home, so it must be time for me to stop writing.