Giant Tree, Day Five and Versatile Blogger Award

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Since I was in California on vacation for a week, I still have my last photo to share in the Five Photo challenge.

I have been searching for the name of this tree and haven’t been able to find it so I’m calling it “Giant Tree” (how original!).   There are quite a few around the town of Carlsbad.  They are very impressive and provide shade.  I couldn’t get the whole thing in one picture, but you get the idea of the enormity by seeing it compared to the person on the right side.

There were a couple photo entries in this challenge that are more graphic design than interior related, but it’s good to change things up sometimes.

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( as I stated on Day One….)

Five Photos, Five Stories

Here are the rules:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation.

My nominations are:  http://darlamsands.blogspot.com and http://elengrey.com

Thank you Darla for nominating me earlier this month for the Versatile Blogger award.  Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.

In accepting, I have been asked to: 1) Display the badge;  2) Thank the nominator;  3) List 7 interesting things about myself; and 4) Nominate other bloggers for this award.

I hereby nominate Emilia of https://bookbug2012.wordpress.com for the Versatile Blogger Award.

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Here are 7 interesting things about me….

1.  I have a 15 year old dog and two cats, age 2

2.  I’m addicted to British shows

3.  I’ve seen Keeping Up Appearances so many times I could probably recite the dialog

4.  I love baseball

5.  I met Chad Everett in a shop where I worked in college in CA (he used to be in the tv show Medical Center back in the 70’s)

6.  I need chocolate to survive

7.  I have not read any Harry Potter books.

Thanks for reading along with me and my blog!

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Cupcake Teapot

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Teapot, cupcakes.

where are my scones and clotted cream?

Alice must be around the corner,

Cheshire cat’s in the tree.

 

I feel like Henry Gibson with his gigantic flower on Laugh-In.

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I just love teapots and cupcakes.  What better way to have them both than the teapot made of cupcakes! (from DC Cupcakes–show on TLC)

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sorry it’s late!

Chicago Boat Tour Cont’d

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In order for me to do the architectural boat tour justice, I needed another day for photos.

These are the twin towers called Marina City.  They occupy a whole city block and look like corn cobs, but I saw more of a honey-comb appearance up close.

Designed in 1959 by Bertrand Goldberg, they were completed in 1964.   The towers were both the tallest reinforced concrete structures and the tallest residential buildings in the world.

The complex was really ahead of it’s time as it was really a city within a city.  Shops and businesses were conveniently located within.  That would have been great during those freezing winters!  The buildings have almost no right angles inside.

Each tower has 65 stories with super fast elevators.  It only takes 35 seconds to go from the lower level to the 61st floor.

I find Marina City very interesting because the complex served as the first post-war, urban high-rise residential building in the U.S.  It started the re-birth of American inner cities.

 

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The building below I found intriguing because of it’s Jenga-like appearance.  I haven’t been able to find the name of it, but it’s pretty cool for a modern building.

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Last, but not least, is the Merchandise Mart.  It’s one of my favorite places because it’s Art Deco in design and it houses furniture and goods aimed at interior designers, architects, etc.  Others can go in if accompanied by someone in the trade.

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Built in 1930, at that time it was the largest building in the world with 4,000,000 square feet of floor space!  I could probably spend the week there and not see the entire assortment of shops.

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Without making this blog entry too long and historic, I want to show you the delicious fig, pear and prociutto pizza we had in Eataly.  It’s a two-story shopping extravaganza of all things Italian owned by Mario Battali, Joe and Lydia Bastianich.  It’s a “do not miss” spot.  Check out their website by clicking above.  You can also order products online!!  Buon appetito!!

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(featured image courtesy of architecture.org)

 

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

 

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If you’re an architecture lover, or just want to have a nice leisurely cruise for an hour, you should take this tour up the Chicago River.

Until last October I had not been to Chicago, except for an airport layover.  I wasn’t prepared for the tall, gorgeous buildings situated along the river.

I’m going to use Day 2 and Day 3 (in my challenge) here because I have more than 1 or 2 photos I took that I want to show you.

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View of the river as we were going down the steps to the dock.

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The concave building, above, is the former London Guarantee & Accident Insurance building on the site of Ft. Dearborn.  It’s considered one of the first four anchors of the Michigan Ave. bridge.

It was built in 1923 by Alfred Alschuler.  Mr. Alschuler was one of the city’s more prominent architects during the building boom of the 1920’s.

Here’s a better view of the LGAI building.  This photo courtesy of chicagoarchitects.info.  All other photos were taken by me.)

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It has a neo-classical penthouse area fronted by columns with a folly on the top of the building!  (Technically a folly would be in a garden or open area and this would be called a cupola.)   The commercial occupants left the LGAI in 2012 because Crain Communications built a modern (I say ugly) building.   The great news is that this historic building is being gutted (with gold entryway ceiling in tact) and next Spring will be the London House Hotel!

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I would love to tell you that I know all the buildings by name and their architects, but I can’t.  There were so many commercial and residential architectural wonders to be seen.  The historical ones from the 1920’s are the most interesting ones to me.

Tomorrow I will end my architectural boat tour (photos).

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Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge

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I was challenged by my friend and blogger Bookbug.2012 to the following:

Five Photos, Five Stories

Here are the rules:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation.

 

Since I was thinking back to last year and our trip to Cancun almost to the day, I wanted to share a few photos of the cool interior architecture of our hotel. (The Ocean Coral and Turquesa, Riviera Maya)

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This is just part of the lobby.  It had many seating areas with this one being in front of a bar.  The interior ceiling was a soaring conical one with a thatch look.  I’m not sure of the technical term for it. The pendant lights look like drops of water that are falling and adding to the fountain below.  They aren’t glass but rings covered in a gauzy material.

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Here’s another view of the same area.  It gives you a better idea of how large the lobby is.  These red chairs are modern and reminded me of Eero Saarinen’s tulip chair.  You might be familiar with a few of his architectural wonders like Dulles Airport (Washington DC/VA) and the St. Louis Arch.

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I have shown more than one photo, but last is a shot taken at dusk of one of the pools with the sea in the background.

Beautiful and memorable…

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The Cherokee Ranch & Castle

 

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“High on a Colorado promontory…in the heart of a 3,400-acre ranch preserve…rises a medieval-inspired castle offering extraordinary experiences.”

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While visiting my sister in the Denver area a few years ago, we decided to take a tour of the Cherokee Ranch and Castle.  I had never heard of the place, but any mention of touring an historic mansion and I’m first in line!

After a short 20-minute ride from Castle Rock to Sedalia, we took a right turn and the Cherokee castle came into view.  I couldn’t believe the breadth of the ranch I was seeing.  As the brochure says, the castle sits upon a high rock and is eerily similar to Scottish castles I’ve read about in so many historic novels.

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(photo from visitcastlerock.org)

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(photo from cherokeeranch.org)

Walking through the huge wooden doors to the interior you’re eyes are amazed by the grand wooden arches and cool stone walls.

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The above photo shows a giant stone arch and column walls holding it.  Some areas of the castle are used for events such as weddings/receptions, teas, murder mystery dinners, whiskey tastings, and wine pairings.

I found the knight’s suit of armor to be rather spooky.

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This enormous fireplace is flanked by antique chairs.

Here’s a different view of the same room.

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The dining room has a gorgeous oval table with Chippendale chairs (that are probably mahogany), an antique china cabinet, fireplace with Delft tile scene above it, and Gothic ribbed arch ceiling.

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A close-up of the stone walls (below) with Byzantine artwork displayed in the niche.  The home itself was built in the 1920’s.  The family wanted it to resemble country homes, English and Scottish castles.

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And I believe the architect did a great job with the details.

On the table down below it is a bust of the last owner, Tweet Kimball.  She owned this home and property from 1954-1999.  An avid equestrian, she introduced the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle to Colorado from Texas.  They are bred all over the world now.

In 1996 Ms. Kimball put a foundation in charge of the ranch to protect it as a wildlife santuary.  Some Santa Gertrudis cattle are still bred on the land.

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The view from the Cherokee Castle is so amazing.  You can see from Pike’s Peak to Long Peak and all along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.  Waking up to this would be unreal.

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I remember this patio because there was a sheer drop off the side of it.  Yikes…

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Another view of the castle with the majestic Rockies.

The following photo collages are pictures that I took while on the tour.

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The Cherokee Ranch and Castle proved to be a breathtaking stone house with even more amazing panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains.

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Cats in Art

 

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I love cats.  We just adopted a three-year old kitty tonight.  So…I thought it would be apropos to do a piece featuring Cats in Art.

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William Oliver (1823-1901), a British artist, lived during the reign of Queen Victoria.  His work featured  those in British high society and often depicted their social prosperity.  The painting above shows a little girl holding her cat who’s ready to jump down.

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Le Chat aux Poissons Rouges

The Cat with Red Fish

Henri Matisse  (1869-1954) was a French artist known for his expressive color.  Also a sculptor and printmaker, Matisse’s paintings span a half-century.  He is remembered as a leader in modern art.

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Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933), an American artist who painted landscapes and portraits in the Impressionist style of Claude Monet.

 

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Above is a poster of the artist pictured, Edward Penfield, with a calico cat looking on as he paints.  This was made in an Art Nouveau style in 1897.

The lithograph poster was used in France to advertise entertainment…a la Moulin Rouge.  The Industrial Revolution gave many people more leisure time–time to enjoy shows.

During the late 1800’s France was experiencing a time of economic growth.  This time of frivolity and peace was known as the Belle Epoque (Beautiful Era).  Posters soon became so popular they were collected by the newly created middle class.

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The next few photos of cats in art are contemporary artists.  There are so many ways of having original works in your home without breaking the bank.  Etsy is a really good source.  I have a good friend who is a muralist and does commissions as well.  They can insert your cat or dog’s image into a portrait of your choice.

Above is a painting of a cat in an Elizabethan collar by Daniel Merriam, a watercolorist from the Northeast U.S.  He fuses reality and fantasy in his work.

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If you like a Folk Art feel, here is Girl With Her Cats by Kilkennycatart available on Etsy.  This particular acrylic paint on canvas has been sold, but you can make requests.

 

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