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Chalk Robots

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 9 comments

There was a chalk drawing of a robot on the ground. No explanation. Just an arrow.

La Ru robot

So, of course, we followed it – and the next one and the next one – down the steps behind Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Pike Place Market

We tried to guess where they were leading. A street art project? A robot maker? Nowhere? The den of our new robot overlords?

One lead us to turn the corner, and then, “Is that it? Is it a baby store?!!”

Ugly Baby and La Ru, Seattle

Nope. A larger robot drawing pointed inside a store with a chalkboard sign that answered my question: “{Ugly Baby & La Ru} Handmade local art for grown-ups and practically nothing for actual babies.”

Ugly Baby and La Ru chalk art

It was a gift shop owned by two artists – Rosalie Gale (of Ugly baby) and Lauren Rudeck (a.k.a. “La Ru”), who was there in the store that day.

Artist La Ru

Ugly Baby and La Ru, Seattle

She creates illustrations of animals and robots, and seemed delighted to hear her chalk drawings had lead us in. The store was full of craft kits, cards, and mini works of art, and I wanted to buy everything.

Ugly Baby and La Ru, waterproof art

Ugly Baby and La Ru, Seattle

The entire store wouldn’t fit in my suitcase, but I did take home a really great sloth coffee mug.

Coffee sloth!


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 6 comments

Historic hotel in Peoria AZPhillip read an article an old hotel that had been sitting abandoned for years with plans to tear it down when the city decided instead to preserve it.

Historic hotel in Peoria AZ

He wanted to go find the Edwards Hotel on his day off, so we drove to the Peoria address in the article. It wasn’t hard to find.

Edwards hotel

Even from outside the chain link fence, it was interesting to guess what had been there originally and what had been added later.


Then we took a stroll around Old Town Peoria, where there’s currently not much going on, but they have a revitalization program in the works.





State bird quilt

In the meantime, they have ornate, agriculturally-themed bus stops, a handful of historic buildings (including a church that was turning 100 the week we were there),  and a nice little community center with paintings and quilts on display. It was all a cozy contrast to the hollowed-out hotel.





Peoria Quilt


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Share your #LocalArtLoves!

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 10 comments

What art do you love in your part of the world?

Between now and Valentine’s Day (February 14th), I’ll be sharing some of my local faves, and I hope you’ll do the same! Keep an eye out for art in galleries, coffee shops, libraries, and even outside.

Local Art Loves

Post photos of the local art you love and/or your own work with #LocalArtLoves.

Art is so important. Let’s celebrate what people are creating in our communities!

I’m looking forward to seeing art from your town, and I’ll share a sampling of your Local Art Loves here too.


PS If you blog about it, feel free to add a link when you comment here.


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space


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Linen Lux Paris: Lampshades over the City of Light

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Travel | 2 comments

Have you seen the photos of colorful lampshades hanging above Paris streets?

Here’s one…

Lamp shades in Paris via Fat Tire Paris

This was the first one I saw, and it was posted by Fat Tire Paris, a tour company I follow on Twitter, with the caption “The lamps (officially) came back out today! You can find them on Rue de Furstemburg.”

I was intrigued. What were these lamps? An art installation? Some kind of elaborate sidewalk sale?

I did some investigating and found out the oversized laterns are meant to show the beauty and versatility of European linen.

Linen Lux

Paris Déco Off

They are displayed annually in January during the 5 days of the Paris Déco Off. As I understand it, the Paris Déco Off is when home decor companies open up their Paris showrooms to debut new collections. It’s open to the public, and interior designers from around the world come for that and the tradeshow held at the same time.

There are free shuttles to take you to the different Paris Déco Off neighborhoods. (They’re Volkswagens, because it’s Europe.) Some of the showrooms have receptions with food and champagne. (Because it’s France.)


Linen Lux

The lamps hang over 8 of the streets where there are Paris Déco Off showrooms, including the aforementioned Rue de Furstemburg. The whole display is called Linen Lux, and it’s put on by Masters of Linen, a certification for material traceable from flax to fabric as being produced in Europe.

This year it included 140 lamps representing 85 different producers.


Rue de Furstemburg

While I was trying to figure out the deal with the lamps, I learned about the Rue de Furstemburg. It’s also spelled as the more German “Furstenberg,” because it was named after 17th-century abbot William Egon of Fürstenberg, who built the street and restored its abbey, St-Germain-des-Prés.

The abbey later was home to artist Eugène Delacroix and is now a museum of his work.

Less notably, in the middle of the rue is the Place de Furstemburg, which, depending on who you ask, is either the smallest square in Paris or just an overachieving roundabout.


Photo credits:

1. Fat Tire Paris

2.-3. European Linen and Hemp

4. Flickr user Max Sat (CCL)

5. Flickr user Hervé (CCL)

6. European Linen and Hemp


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Our Indy Race (1st Lap)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

It was just after 1am, and we were passing Indy cars like they were standing still.

Because they were. Phillip and I, on the other hand, were racing through the Indianapolis International Airport, dodging puzzled, groggy passengers.


When we were still waiting to get off the plane, I had called our hotel’s shuttle dispatch. They let me know we could take the one that was already en route – if we could make it to the stop in time. If not, it wouldn’t wait for us, because they were also picking up a flight crew, and we’d have to wait around for the 2am pickup.

Sitting halfway back on a plane with an aisle clogged with impatient passengers, we had just under 15 minutes, directions I’d already forgotten, and only carryon luggage. We decided to go for it.


So we ended up sprinting through the airport, not towards a flight but away from one, relying on ambiguous signage to guide us. Finally, we spotted the words “ground transportation” with an arrow pointing towards exterior doors.

We burst outside with a few minutes to spare, only to be greeted by air thick with humidy and mosquitoes, an empty curb, and a vague sense that we were not in the right place.

I redialed the shuttle dispatch. The same woman patiently explained again where we were actually supposed to be.


We rushed downstairs, out the door and across the street, and finally found our stop with the aforementioned flight crew sitting on nearby benches, waiting for the shuttle.

While I was trying to nonchalantly catch my breath in the heavy air, I realized this could possibly be the crew from our flight. In other words, they may have just calmly gotten off our plane after us and everyone else, strolled through the terminal, and arrived here sooner. Which would mean we could have done the same without all the panic, confusion, and mosquitoes.

But maybe it wasn’t them. In fact, let’s just say it wasn’t.

I didn’t look too closely.


Either way, we all made it onto the shuttle. The woman from dispatch even called the driver to check on us.

“Yep.” she replied, turning onto the ramp that lead from the airport to the freeway. “Everyone’s here.”


– More info –

Watch for at the Indianapolis Airport:

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