Thursday, October 01, 2015

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: September 2015

This is what I plan to do after every month now, adding "for the record" what I'm posting on Facebook of my present two memes.  And yes, I decided to make a meme out of my coloring, calling it Saturday's Color.

First, here's what I did in September for Watercolor Sunday:

September 6 (photo manipulation):
"O Tiger-lily," said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, 
"I wish you could talk!"
"We can talk," said the Tiger-lily: "when there's anybody worth talking to."
-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

September 13 (photo manipulation):
"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
-- Carlos Santana

September 20 (photo manipulation):
"But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime
after the midpoint of September, it stays like an old friend that you have missed."
-- Stephen King

September 27 (photo manipulation):
"You can observe a lot by just watching."-- Yogi Berra

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Then, since I was coloring like a mad woman, I started adding my colored designs to Facebook.  After all, they're saying coloring as adults is good therapy, right?  Okay, it may not be considered "professionally therapeutic," but it sure is fun.  Besides, what do they know!

Back at the beginning of September I already added 3 of my colored designs, so I won't duplicate them here.  But here's the next designs I added to Facebook.  I've decided to leave Saturday for coloring on FB, calling it Saturday's Color:

(finished on 6 September 2015, posted on FB 8 September 2015)
This was a hard design to color.  Bejeweled?
I kept wondering what sister Ruth would do if it were a quilt!

(finished 31 January 2004, posted on FB 10 September 2015)
As you see, I decided to dip into my archives (an idea from son Mark).

(finished 1 February 2004, posted on FB 12 September 2015)
Speaking of son Mark, there's a lot of symbolism in this one.
He's a GEORGIA Bulldog grad, with red and black colors.
Their nemesis is GEORGIA TECH, with Black and yellow colors.
 I played around with their rivalry.

(finished 12 September 2015, posted on FB 19 September 2015)
It seemed fitting to post this at the end of the summer season.
I chose the 4 primary colors and thought of beach chairs/umbrellas and sailboats.

(finished 8 February 2005, posted on FB 26 September 2015)
This design, from my Native American Mandalas book, represents the Sun Symbol of the Huichiol
Native Americans.  I chose it because of the Autumnal Equinox.

 So, there you have it...for the record!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Speaking of the Autumnal Equinox and the full BLOOD MOON on September 28th, early morning our time, we actually set the alarm for 3:45 a.m. and watched the whole thing from our outside balcony walkway until 5:30 a.m....and then went back to bed!  Seriously.

While we both weren't totally happy with what we were able to capture with our separate cameras, we will never forget what we saw, not only with our bare eyes but on my camera screen, enlarged and in focus.

 Even at 1200mm, that was the best my camera could do of the blood moon.
But those first 3 images are within a span of 23 minutes, followed by the blood moon 18 min. later.

But look what Astrid got!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

DORDRECHT, NL: Open Monument Day 2015

In case you happen to remember, every year there is a weekend in September that is Open Monument Day, when over 4,000 "monuments" nationwide, not normally open to the public, are available to visit for free.

We already know where we're going next year (ha!) but this year, we decided to go to nearby Dordrecht, since King Alexander and Queen Maxima had chosen it for their King's Day visit in April.  It's only 25 km from where we live here in Gorinchem...and, yes, we have been there before, in 2010, for Dordt in Stoom.

It used to be that Open Monument Day was only on Saturday, but starting last year, it's now also on Sunday...the day we chose to go to Dordrecht.

First of all, Dordrecht is a harbor city that is an island, bordered by 4 rivers,
and is the oldest of the North and South Holland provinces, granted city rights in 1220.
Pay attention to that Grote Kerk = Big/Great Church.  (Wiki image)

Did you pay attention to the Grote Kerk in the aerial view?
We parked on the other side of a canal from it...but did not visit it that day,
having already seen it previously.
Notice the absence of a spire...because they ran out of funds in the day!

The main portal into the city from the Oude Maas river is near the Grote Kerk.

From there, as you'd guess, there are canals everywhere throughout the city.

We actually were on a mission that day, to see two of the "monuments" that caught our eye in our research but ended up catching 4 altogether:

1:  The Augustijnenkerk (The Augustine Church)

This was one of the unexpected  "accidents" of the day.
It used to be an Augustinian monastery from 1293, becoming a reformed church in 1572.

I fell in love with the bluish-green and red colors against the white walls and pillars.

2:  Atelier Gerhard Lentink

You could safely say this was our biggest "accident" of the day, 
the workshop of this wood sculptor in what used to be a Catholic boy's school from 1906.

I think our jaws were on the floor the entire time we were there.
These wood sculptures are beyond incredible.

Gerhard Lentink himself was present.
I bowed my "namaste" to him with tears in my eyes.
If you want to see more, check out this video that Astrid found.

Astrid really wanted to see this house of violin and guitar builders.
It was where the King and Queen had a violin made for one of their daughters.

Talk about a photo op.  Totally worth the stop.

Believe it or not, this was our main mission of the day.
Friends of ours told us that Rutte & Zn had achieved an incredible honor worldwide:
two of their gins, a vodka and a jenever were voted the best in the USA.

 While Astrid and I aren't connoisseurs of such liquors, we wanted to take the tour.
There's always so much to see!

And, yes, we also got to taste, just to say we did it!
It was a fun way to end the day.

Of course, we were short of eyes in between our "monuments."
After all these years, Dutch architecture still amazes me.

As do the gable stones!

I never tire of them.

Or of the weathervanes.

You could say that "things" impress me, everywhere I look.

It's as it should be...because I love where I live!

As we returned to our car, this said it all!

And since I put it out there, we plan to visit the war prison in Breda next year, closed since 2014.
God willing and the creek don't rise, of course....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

CITYSCAPES: A Dot-to-Dot Commercial Break

This really is a commercial in hyping something that has brought me a lot of fun and joy.

It started when friend and blogger, Anne, introduced me to this book a couple of months ago:

It doesn't take much to make me happy, and since the first cityscape was Amsterdam,
I immediately thought of it being a project for grandson Nicholas and me while he was here in July.
Besides, we had an Amazon gift-card, so it made sense.

I first went to the printers and made a copy of Amsterdam, which we both two days.
(After the first 500 dots, your eyes are criss-crossed, trust me.)

Did I mention that there are 20 cities and each page is 16.5 x 12 inches?  
Too big to scan and the photos aren't easy to process?
And 1,000 dots each, in batches of 100 dots in 10 different colors?
In other words, you have to c o n c e n t r a t e.

After Nicholas left, Astrid and I divvied up the 20 cities so we each could do 10 of them,
mostly based on where we have been and what was left.
These are my 10, in alphabetical order:

Amsterdam, Netherlands
(yes, I've been there)

Barcelona, Spain
(yes, I've been there)

Berlin, Germany
(yes, I've been there)

Chicago, Illinois, USA
(yes, I've been there)

Edinburgh, Scotland
(yes, I've been there)

Moscow, Russia
(haven't been there but have been to St. Petersburg)

Paris, France
(yes, I've been there)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(no, I haven't been there)

Sydney, Australia
(yes, I've been there)

Venice, Italy
(yes, I've been there)

Here's a close-up to show the detail.

And since Astrid will eventually get to all of hers, here's her first one:

London, England

She has yet to do Athens, Cairo, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York,
San Francisco, Toronto and Tokyo.

One day I'll show the rest of hers, to complete the batch.
But I don't know when I've had more fun...almost as fun as coloring!
Thanks, Anne!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fort Vuren on the Dutch Waterline

So, remember when we took grandson Nicholas to see Fort Vuren (and the Loevestein Castle and the Woudrichem windmill) in July?

Well, that reminded me that I had never found a "round tuit" to make a post on Fort Vuren when Astrid and I were there alone in April.  That visit, actually, was the main reason why we wanted to take Nicholas.

So, for the record, here's what we saw 5 months ago.  And it's only 1.5 km from home (Gorinchem)!

Every time we passed the sign while driving along the dijk of the Merwede river,
we said we needed to stop and visit this fort, part of the Dutch waterline.
Now we plan to take all our guests there, if possible.

The fort dates back to 1844 as a fortress on the river against any enemy.
Today, since 2013, you can use it as a B&B.  How ironic.
They even hold weekend concerts there.

And as we often do, we first stopped for a nice break in the cozy café...

...where we both had a delightful uitsmijter, accompanied by the café's own beer:
De Drie Mutsen = The Three Hats.

Fully satisfied, we then took our own self-tour of the underground fort.

I don't know how to adequately express our shock/surprise at what we saw.
I've decided it's one of the best-kept secrets of the Netherlands!

There are TWO levels that keep going and going, from room to room.
You'd need a map to figure it out, though I suppose the soldiers were quick learners.
Talk about a photo-op...and it's all free.

As we left over the moat, we saw the Loevestein castle across the river.
A fort and a castle opposite each other!
I bet they were always saying to each other, "We've got your back."

As we drove away on the dijk, we looked back on the fort, surrounded by its moat,
with the Merwede river on the other side.
I wonder if the cows are old enough to tell the stories hanging in the air?

In this day and age...

which is why I needed to add this for the record!