Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scenes from Life

On Sunday, we went to the Alexandria Art Fair, but I didn't get many photos because it was super crowded. To be honest, most of the stuff wasn't really our taste anyway, but we did like these large animal sculptures. The bull's head moved up and down.

After that we walked down to the water for a bit, then wandered into a couple stores. I took a few pics to share of this vintage shop, Maggie Jane's, which I don't think we'd ever been to before.

The style was mostly sort of French antique, but they also had lots of handmade soaps and other small gift-type items.

I don't know if a lot of this stuff would really fit in with the decor in our house, but I still really like to visit shops like this and admire pretty gold things, old mirrors, glass knobs, and the like.

After that, we walked around for a little while, mostly contemplating all the things we wanted to eat, before going home to make dinner. And that was Sunday. :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Afternoon in Annapolis

We stopped in Annapolis on the way back from a trip recently and spent a few hours walking around and eating mostly. We got coffee at a local shop, ate a late lunch by the harbor, and then walked up the street for homemade ice cream. I won't mention the coffee or restaurant because, honestly, they were nothing special, but the ice cream! I had peanut butter Oreo from Annapolis Ice Cream Company, and it was the dreamiest.

After that, we pretty much just wandered around in an ice cream- and sunshine-induced haze. It was very sunny, as you can probably tell from these photos. Actually, it was so bright that I'd say about a third of my photos ended up being overexposed, but c'est la vie. I still have a few nice photos to remember the day.

I have more pics to share from recent adventures so stay tuned! :)
xo, Mary

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dark Star Park

A couple of weeks ago, Peter and I were in our old neighborhood running errands, and I decided to take a detour to get some photos of Dark Star Park. Designed by environmental artist Nancy Holt (and completed in 1984) the work is made up of five large concrete spheres meant to resemble fallen, extinguished stars. It really does look as if these "stars" fell to earth 30 years ago, changing the topography around them...making craters and dips and pools.

Nancy Holt (1938-2014) is most known for her large-scale environmental works that deal with how people perceive time and space. She began her career as a photographer and video artist, and you can see that influence clearly in Dark Star Park; there is a viewing tunnel that acts almost like a viewfinder on a camera, and there are several other points (through the passage tunnel, for example) at which the perspective is physically shaped...just as one would frame a shot before pressing the shutter.

Holt was a pioneer of earthworks and land art, but I think probably not widely known outside certain art circles because her work did not hang in museums. She was quoted in a New York Times article as saying, "If work hangs in a gallery or museum, the art gets made for the spaces that were made to enclose art. They isolate objects, detach them from the world."

I'm very much for art that's in the world. What a difference it makes in life to be surrounded by art.

Read more about Holt's life and work here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meadowlark Gardens

I mentioned in my last post that we discovered a new garden to visit last week: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. It's a little bit further out of town, but definitely worth an afternoon visit. I don't think my photos really do it justice because it's gorgeous and has just the right amount of pristine landscaped greenery combined with wilder natural areas.

We saw a couple of beavers; I think this one is a baby. We also saw lots of bunnies and a few colorful birds I'd never seen before too.

I think originally there was a farm on this land, and there's still an old log cabin here.

There are also the remains of an old spring house.

And of course, there are lots of pretty flowers. I'm going to try and do a better job of learning the names of plants and flowers I like. I actually took Botany in college, and I really liked that class and did well in it, but sadly my brain sort of has a "use it or lose it" policy, and I've forgotten most of what I learned back then. It would be nice to know, though, if for no other reason than my own curiosity.

I have lots more pics to share soon. xo, Mary