Monday, December 4, 2017

Those Are Marshmallow Clouds Being Friendly, In the Arms of the Evergreen Trees

Remember my Christmas tree dilemma?  Well, I made a decision to go with number four, the painted tree design!  I stopped by Walmart the other day and found a deep red flat, twin-size sheet that fits perfectly between the windows and only cost four dollars!  After an evening of using my hair straightener to iron out the fold lines and wrinkles, I was ready to start painting.

I turned on the Frank Sinatra Christmas Pandora station and painted away!  So far I like the Christmas imagery, and was mainly just copying the picture I found on Pinterest, but Taylor had the perfect idea that I should change it up a bit.  He suggested I paint Gandalf and the Hobbits on one branch, and the Bumble from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer on another.  I'll have to do a Star Wars branch as well, and maybe the bird feeder from the Conservatory in our backyard at home.

There's still quite a bit of space left!  I'm thinking another four or five branches.  Any other ideas?

(photos by e.hunt)


Danger *Global Warning* Danger

Good morning, everybody.  I know its a few days late, but welcome to December!  Mom sent me a surprise Advent Calendar in the mail so I've been trying to keep up with opening the little windows every day; still twenty days to go until Christmas Eve!

Last night I made the six mile trek back home for Sunday dinner.  It was a good night for driving around; a lot of people had hung up their Christmas lights because the weather was so nice.  Another effect of the unseasonably warm weather?  Barbecue in December!

Dad and Taylor stood in the light of the tree beacon and grilled a delicious chicken and veggie dinner.   A couple days ago they wrapped another few feet up the tree.  Doesn't it look awesome?!

It's so awesome that our neighbor decided to do a tree of his own.  It looks ok, but we think he needed a helper to get the evenly-spaced wrap look.

And look at that moon!  It was a Super Moon last night, which means that the moon was full and at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit, making it about 12% bigger than an average full moon, and 16% brighter.  Look for another one Monday, January 1st!

(photos by e.hunt, and g.hunt)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

Now that the Christmas lights are up at home, I've started thinking about my own Christmas tree at my apartment.  Last year I hung lights on the wall in a 2d Christmas tree shape and hung little ornaments along the branches.  This year I'd like to do something a little different, but along the same lines.  Enter Pinterest, the go-to source for DIY projects and inspiration.

I think each of these is doable in a 6ft or taller version, it just depends on what kind of look I want.  A 3d tree, like the top two options, would be nice, but would also require a bit more work to put together (and a lot of newspaper!).  I like the simplicity of the white cutout one draped with lights, but then I like the detail in the hand-drawn one.  For that one I could get a flat sheet or piece of fabric and just roll it up when the holidays are over to use next year.  So again, I just need to decide what type of tree I want this year.  What do you guys think?

(photos collected from karinkrut, popsugar, thenest, and homedit)

No Nails

Sunday came around and I was back at work, Andrew and Juliana were headed back to Nashville, and Dad and Taylor got right back on the housework train.  That day's activity was a little more exciting than most, though.

That's right, they put up the Christmas lights!  They had to come up with a new strategy this year due to there no longer being bushes on either side of the steps or along that left side under the windows.  I think this new way is quite successful though.  I've been advocating lights along the top of the porch for the last several years, to no avail, but look how good it looks!  I told you so.

Wrapping the tree trunk was a new thing this year too.  It's like a beacon at the end of the driveway.  Look how evenly spaced each wrap is!

Even though Mom and I weren't around to help put all the lights up, we did go out and have a grand viewing when I got home for dinner.

It's usually my job to take in-process photos for documentation, but I needed a good nap after my 4am wake-up call.  Maybe I'll take some during the take-down, instead.

(photos by e.hunt, and r.hunt)

Birthday Bronze

The next day was Taylor's birthday!  We met up for gift opening, dinner, and celebratory drinks afterwards.  Happy 25th, Taylor!

I had the next day off work so we planned a Cultural Tour of St. Louis, starting with a little coffee culture at Kaldi's.

After that we headed down to the art museum.  It was a beautiful day; sunny and in the sixties.  I got there a little before everyone else so I took a lap around the tree-lined sidewalk and viewing platform.

Once inside the museum, we started off at a new exhibit, "A Century of Japanese Prints."  It was made up of prints from the last century.  Not as cool as the really old Japanese woodblock prints, but there were some good ones.

This three-piece series was the first thing inside the door - a promising start!  They are woodblock prints done by Kawase Hasui around 1930.  While each is a dark, night scene, there are lots of layers of light and shadows, making them pleasing to the eye but also catching your intrigue.

In 1925, Yoshida Hiroshi printed this view of the Ancient Ruins of Athens, one in the daytime and one at night.  While they both depict the same location, the coloring makes it seem like two different places.

These two red-based prints are quite interesting.  The first, Bell Hill, by Fujimori Shizuo in 1923, has two distinct layers.  Shizuo used a rougher technique when carving the block, giving it the jarring movement and creepy feel.  The second, Seaside Village, by Ono Tadashige in 1965, has similar movement and depth, but was achieved in a different way.  Tadashige began with textured paper and colored it with dark ink before printing over the top.

Next, we moved into the Impressionism gallery, where Monet's Waterlily and Degas' Little Dancer of 14 Years were waiting for us.

In the same area, we found another stunning bronze sculpture, Daphne, by Renée Sintenis in 1930.  Sculpture is usually not my favorite medium, but the expressions and detail on both of these is captivating.  Daphne is a mythological nymph who turned into a tree to escape Apollo's unwanted advances.

Moving on, we found this wonderfully colorful and architectural piece, View of Basel and the Rhine, by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1927.  It's a very traditional subject, but portrayed in a very flamboyant way, giving it more movement and excitement.

Our last stop was the Contemporary section, where we found this Olympic-like painted bronze statue hiding behind a wall in the corner.  This is Titan, by Markus Lüpertz, 1986.

(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, November 27, 2017

When the Sun Shines Hot and the Wind Blows Cold

Well, it has been one whirlwind of a holiday weekend!  Andrew and Juliana arrived Tuesday night and from then on it was nonstop.  Between work, family, and fun time we didn't have much downtime, but that's what the holidays are all about!

After going out to dinner Wednesday night, I rushed home to make brownies before an early bedtime.  I opened the next morning, but didn't have to be there until 5:30, and hour later than usual!  We were pretty slow for the first few hours but it picked up substantially as the morning went on.  I was off at 11am which provided enough time for a good nap before heading home for the festivities.

The house smelled delicious from the moment I walked in.  They had been busy all day preparing all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes: turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes (my favorite!), green beans, party potatoes, and bread.  People started arriving around 4:30 so there was plenty of time for a cocktail and conversation before the meal.

Look at this beautiful spread!

Everything tasted great!  And of course we all had a great time catching up with the family.  The conversation took a pretty detailed detour into Apple vs. Windows products, but other than that it was lighthearted and delightful; the perfect warm-up for Christmas!

(photos by e.hunt, and r.hunt)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

And in That Certain Position of Light

It's time for a Fall inspiration post, and what better thing to be inspired by right now than the beautiful autumn tree leaves?!  This week and last has been exceptionally good for the colors.  I love those saturated jewel tone oranges, reds, and golden yellows.  It makes the crisp air feel more refreshing, and the early setting sun less sad.  These colors remind me of hardcover books, Christmas shopping, art museums, and Lord of the Rings.  What do you think of?

(photos collected from instagram profiles sushivoyage, taramilktea, theprettycities, thejungalow, parisjetaime, bontraveler, museeorangerie, kjp, thereneberry, elensham, sincerelyjules, kjp, stlartmuseum, abeautifulmess, elledecor, somethingnavy, weareherenow, graciestudio, cntraveler, beekman1802boys, cntraveler, cntraveler, national_gallery, prettycitylondon, sennarelax, living_europe, and andrewknapp)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Winter Wishes

Now that the seasons have changed, I'm really getting into Fall clothing.  Cool weather lends itself well to my preferred preppy-with-an-edge style.  I've been loading up on big, cozy sweaters to wear with a turtleneck and jeans, and a little ankle boot to match.  It's not quite cold enough for blanket scarves or coats (another thing that I have a lot of due to thrift store prices), but crew socks and hats are fast becoming staples, as are light jackets.

There are a few things I want to add to my closet collection this year, mostly having to do with lounging around the apartment.  First up, I'm on the lookout for another set or two of pajamas.  I got a nice purple-with-piping set last year and would love to have it in another color, or even with a nice plaid print!

Second, a couple years ago I bought a pair of high neck, fuzzy moccasins from Target and wear them all the time when it's too cold for my Ugg moccasins that only go up a little past my toes on the top of my foot.  Because the new ones I got were pretty cheap, they're not holding up as well.  So, the second thing on my wish list is a higher quality pair of fuzzy, high top moccasins.

What about you all?  Any trends you're wanting to try?  Or something classic that you've always wanted?  Christmas is coming, after all!

(photos by e.hunt, and collected from southernstyle, and bloglovin)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Histoire Sans Fin

Hello and happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely Fall weekend.  I was off work yesterday after three grueling days of a buy-one-get-one free promotion.  Pure madness, it was.  Anyway, I have been combatting the work stress with Harry Potter and hot cocoa!

With Holiday stuff appearing at work and in stores, I've been in a more festive mood, and I've always thought the Harry Potter movies fit in this time of year.  The dreary English setting, prep-school robes and color-block scarves, sparkly magic charms and curses emanating from wands, and usually a snow scene or two lend themselves well to the holiday season.  The early movies were being made before the entire series was published, so it's interesting to see details that come back with more importance later on.  Author J.K. Rowling was on-set as a consultant for this very reason.

(photo by e.hunt, and collected from googleimages)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Weather

Happy November, everyone!  The leaves are finally starting to change, and our crisper, cooler weather is here to stay.  I've been enjoying my big sweaters, light jackets, and little boots while I can before it gets too cold.

I hope you all had a lovely October wrap-up, and enjoyed whatever Halloween festivities you took part in.  I went to an old college friend's house party on Saturday, and stopped by the house on the way there to get the final touches of my costume in place.  Dark Link was a success!

Earlier that day I stopped by Mom's craft show of the weekend for a coffee delivery.  Her felt creations are so whimsical and unique.  Soon I'll be getting my own little forest out to decorate for the holidays.

While the holiday season at Starbucks doesn't officially start until next Thursday, we did roll out the infamous red cups the day after Halloween.  They're pretty tame this year and include a lot of traditional winter imagery so I don't think it'll cause a media firestorm like it has in years past.

The marketing idea is to "get inspired" and color the cup in yourself.  I'm just excited to start wearing my red apron!  In all the tales of Christmas retail madness, don't forget about Thanksgiving, which is now only three weeks away!

(photos by e.hunt, r.hunt (with creative direction by t.hunt), and collected from starbucks)