Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some Birthday Inspiration to share...

Today I want to share some inspiration with you. This is a photo heavy post with some interesting images & patterns and a bit of fun at the end!

For my birthday, we took a drive up to Salem, Massachusetts, to visit the Peabody Essex Museum which was founded in 1799 and is the oldest continuously operating museum in the country.  If you live in New England and have a chance to visit this museum it is well worth the trip.  Salem, of course, is famous for the witchcraft trials of 1692, but it was also one of the most important ports in early America (until ships became too large for the shallow inner harbor).

The museum was renovated and expanded in 2003 and the space is delightful - bright and airy, even on a rainy day (we drove through torrential rains but the storm had passed by the time we left the museum).

The curves and "sails" in the atrium are a wonderful interpretation of the maritime history of Salem.

One of the current exhibits is called "Eye Spy, Playing with Perception" and it began with this angled mirror in the atrium.

I liked this quote - and it was particularly appropriate for some of the intriguing displays.

This seemingly random assortment of curved and angled metal rods...

...produces the shadow of a wooden artist sketching figure.  I am fascinated by the process that must have been used to determine the shape and placement of the metal to produce the perfect shadow representation of the model.  At first I thought the figure was drawn on the wall but it is not.

There were also several images formed by viewing an array of thread spools suspended on the walls through a viewing sphere.  The sphere inverts the image and sharpens it.

The painting represented in the first installation is Auguste Renoir's, A Girl with a Watering Can.

The viewing sphere is in the black stand on the right and in this photo you can see the array of spools which create an upside down version of the image that is flipped when viewed through the sphere.

Here is a close view of a section of the spools of thread from the left side of the array.  These images are a bit easier to understand because, as our son pointed out, they are simply "pixel" versions of the paintings with each thread spool representing a pixel!

Here is one more - can you see it?

When viewed through the sphere you can see that it is one of the Campbell's soup can paintings by Andy Warhol.

 In another part of the museum we saw this amazing shell dress sculpture.  It is called "Island Bride" and was made in 2002 by Brian White.  The inspiration was the sailor's valentines made from shells - taken to a much higher level!

The patterns and precision are amazing.

Here is the waistline...

the hemline...

a closer view of the flowers...

and another side view of the figure.

When we came home, I found the package I have been waiting for.  Thank goodness the Fed Ex delivery person had the sense to put it in a plastic bag.

Yes,  my Cricut Circle membership kit arrived on my birthday.  I think that is a lucky omen!

Here is my yummy birthday cake - not a Cricut cake, but one from a favorite local bakery.

It is covered with chocolate meringue and the center is basically made of thick chocolate frosting!

I managed to blow out the token candles on the cake.  At least they weren't the type that continually relight themselves!

Here are a couple of books that my son and his girlfriend gave me - I am looking forward to trying some of these patterns in my CM StoryBook program!

My husband found this set of tiny pencils for me - they are packaged in a CD case!.  I guess the idea is that you can take them along and color anywhere!

I love the way they look but I am not sure if I will be able to hold them to color any images.  Here you can see my son putting them back into the case after they spilled.  These are some tiny pencils!

Thank you to everyone who sent emails, cards, Facebook messages or comments to wish me a happy birthday.  It was so nice to be remembered by so many people!  I have a few "birthday" surprises planned for next week so stay tuned....

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  I am planning to have some crafting time with my new cartridge tomorrow...

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  1. How fun!!! Glad to see you had a fun filled b-day!!! and as always thanks for all you share! loved the pictured from the museum!! and of course, your cake!!1 yum!

  2. Yay for the FedEx man...that's pretty cool packaging the Circle comes in...and how fun that it did arrive on your birthday!
    It looks like you had a wonderful day (and that cake looks sinfully delicious)!
    Looking forward to seeing what you create with your new Circle cartridge.

  3. Happy Birthday - looks like you had a very nice time in Salem. Those thread displays were incredible -- can't imagine putting something like that together!

  4. What a wonderful birthday, Diane. Thank you for sharing the awesome museum and the "eye display". Your cake looks super decadent and delicious. Cannot wait to see what you have for us this week!

  5. Happy Birthday! Mine was Friday, so we are nearly birthday-mates ;o) That museum looks amazing! I'd love to go there, but it's a long way from Kansas! Enjoy!

  6. That looks like a fun museum. I wish we would've known about it a few years ago when we were in Salem.

    And Happy Belated B-day! The cake & gifts look great.

  7. Happy belated birthday! Now, let's see if you can replicate that wedding dress on a wedding card! lol Wouldn't that be a hoot!

  8. A happy belated birthday to you. It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I loved the shell dress.

  9. I wished you a happy birthday before, and i can see that it came true. What a wonderful museum! I just LOVED that medal thing on the wall. I wished I lived on your side of the Amerikas, but I live on the west side. Too bad. I wish I could have seen that with my own eyes.

    Rita Winmill

  10. happy belated birthday diane and thanks so much for sharing the amazing photos with us and the yummy cake too.

  11. Wow, I loved the pics from the museum. I grew up in Southern Vermont, and while I've been to the Boston Science Museum several times I've never heard of this museum. Love the dress sculpture made from shells! Impressive!!

  12. Hey, Diane, it sounds like you had an awesome birthday. Thanks for sharing the musueum photos. I shared them with my art loving daughter, who enjoyed them as much as I did. If we ever get up to Massachussetts, we will definitely stop by this musuem. Glad you got your Circle goodies! I think it's a good omen, too.

  13. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. That museum looks so interesting. So much history in the eastern US that I'd love to visit some time. Happy belated birthday.

  14. Sounds like a great birthday. I hope someday to visit New England. Have fun with the new cart.

  15. Happy Birthday. Looks like you had an awesome day. The pictures from the museum are amazing! Thanks for sharing. Too bad we couldn't virtually share the looks way too yummy.

  16. I just love museums. Happy Belated Birthday. Looks like you got some fun stuff for your birthday.

  17. That museum looks awesome! I hope you had as wonderful a birthday as it looks like in your photos. Thanks for sharing them. - Cil

  18. A very happy belated birthday! The cake looked delicious! Glad you had time to spend with your family. Enjoyed the pictures of the museum.

  19. Happy Birthday sounds like you had a wonderful day.

  20. Happy Birthday! Hope it was as fun as it looked!!

  21. Happy Bday! You were practically in my backyard!

    Maybe you can find a holder that will hold your tiny pencils in your blade housing and color with your cricut.

    Glad you had a great day!

    And to get your circle package ON YOUR BIRTHDAY! How extra special! Meg

  22. the museum looks fantastic! the cake looks sinful and completely wonderful! glad you had a delightful birthday ~~ blessings, J

  23. Sounds like you had a fantastic time at the museum. And happy birthday!


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