Monday, August 25, 2014

Mosaic Inspiration

From the instant we arrived at the gates to Park Guell in Barcelona, I knew I had found a special place that would touch my soul.  The vision of architect/artist Antoni Gaudi, Park Guell is a visual feast for those of us who live for color and texture.  We had the pleasure of having a private tour guide to explain to us what we were seeing in the structures, pathways and open spaces that filled the park, as well as buildings and the Sagrada Familia church throughout Barcelona.  I could fill pages with everything that I loved about Barcelona and the works of Gaudi - here are a few photos of mosaics.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Spain

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Creative Back to School

I am sadly past the time in my life where I can make a big deal about my kids going back to school.  There is not much shopping and the requisite 'first day' photo must be a sneak attack.  I cannot resist the need to still look at all of the colorful supplies that stock the store aisles at the end of the summer.  

While visiting Berlin last month I found the Idees shop, a craft shop across the street from the enormous KaDeWe department store.  While I enjoyed the large selection of craft supplies, ranging from fabric to beads to paper arts and more, I was smitten with the large display of colorful paper cones arranged in an appealing display.  I was happy to find a sign in English explaining the purpose for these tantalizing towers.   The sign read:

When children in Germany and Austria set off for their first day in school upon entering first grade, their parents and / or grandparents present them with a big cardboard cone, pretty decorated and filled with toys, chocolate, candies, school supplies, and various other goodies.  It is given to children to make this anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter.

It's called Schultute (translated to 'school cone) and it's a tradition that dates back two centuries.  Don't you just LOVE this idea?  had I seen this 13 years ago I would have had a fabulous time creating the perfectly decorated cone.   What kind of creative back to school traditions do you have?