Monday, September 30, 2013

Artprize 2013

Those of you who've been here for a while have seen my prior posts on Artprize.  It's an event that has happened annually in Grand Rapids for the last 5 years.  It's one of the biggest art competitions in the world, with one of the biggest prizes.  It lasts for 19 days, covers 3 square miles and gives $560,000 in cash prizes.   This year there are 1524 art entries.  The biggest prize is $200,000 which is given to the winner of the public vote.
We look forward to this every year, spending a day or two walking around the city and admiring or questioning some of the entries.  Bob and I both had the day off on Monday and enjoyed a beautiful day wandering around.  Here's some of the pieces we admired or questioned.  There are always those that are trying to make a political point and some that look like they were made by a 2 year old.  :)  But mostly, we were awed by the talent shared.

A car covered with metal work

This heart is made of different wooden signs


Pencil sketches of eyes

Bigfoot was sighted in the city!

How do you like this duck with all the little ducklings?


Here's a "threat" made of license plates to the man who started Artprize.  It says:
Rick DeVos, Hand over the  $200,000 Artprize or else. Wait 4 further instructions. Come alone to my venue with unmarked $20 bills or else.  No Cops or else.  The public will vote for me anyhow or else.

A dragon that one of the many school groups were enjoying.


A black and white drawing made of dots.


Here's a close up of the eye.


A beautiful painting of a barn, with a train going behind it.


This one is called "Stand-off".  I love it!


Painting of Lincoln.


This fish is made of sequins.  It was about  10 feet tall and glittered in the sunlight.

This is a living wall, made of all kinds of plants.  It was really pretty in person.


This dragon was another favorite, especially when the fire was shooting from it's nostrils!
I'll share the top ten with you on Thursday

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Clouds

One thing I like about Fall is the way the sky changes. The clouds seem to have a look that only shows up in this season.


Beautiful, isn't it?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apples in abundance

This year the conditions have been just right for apples. My Dad has a few trees on his property and they are just loaded.

Just look at all those apples!


Such a pretty sight.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cooking Thursday

It's been a bountiful year for tomatoes in our area. That's a good thing for people like me who love them. My daughter gave me a recipe for a pasta and tomato dish that uses a bunch of cherry tomatoes.  Our house smelled like a restaurant while it was cooking, and it tastes light and fresh. If you have a surplus in your area, here's a recipe for you!

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes - you may put in more or less to your likeing
Olive oil - enough to coat tomatoes
dried thyme
16 ounces rotini pasta
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put tomatoes in large bowl, add enough olive oil to coat tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then add thyme to your liking.  I use abut 1 1/2 teaspoon.  Spread in single layer onto cookie sheet lined with foil.  Bake without stirring, until tomatoes are tender and edges are beginning to brown for about 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add pasta, cook until al dente for about 8 minutes or as package directs.  Drain and return to pot.  Add roasted tomatoes and any juice to pasta.  Stir to combine and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall is here - ready or not!

It's officially Fall!  I love some of the things that go with Fall - cooler temps, crisp apples, the colorful leaves, campfire smoke...   But yet, I hate to see Summer come to an end and I really hate to think about what will be coming up next.  But for now - it's time for me to put some pumpkins and Mums on the porch, get out some Fall scented candles and enjoy the season.
Here's a few pictures from my area that show that Fall is really here.

The pumpkin fields are being harvested.  I love seeing all those pumpkins in the field, flanked by stacks of crates.

These are Fall crocus in our back yard.  They send up a few green leaves in the Spring and then die back.  All Summer long nothing is visible, but in the Fall there's an explosion of color.  Crocus are beautiful in Spring and Fall.

I hope you're enjoying the signs of Fall in your area.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Funny Girl

We had such fun this weekend, enjoying our granddaughter Alaina overnight. I have a few pictures to share with you...
She has always loved our cat Oliver.  He tolerates her very well, as evidenced in these pictures.  She's now decided that it's not enough to just pet him; she picks him up and lugs him around, bestowing a kiss now and then.  When she comes over, he spends a lot of time in the basement.  :)


She and Bob were playing together, making faces and laughing and I got a few pictures.

"Who you looking at Grandpa?"

"Here, I'll share my string cheese with you."

Time spent with her is priceless!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vacation comes to an end...

For our last day of vacation we stayed quite close to home.  We went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  We've been here numerous times, but always enjoy it, plus they are always adding something new.  The Gardens and trails cover almost 100 acres and the sculpture park on its own is 30 acres.  It's listed s one of the 30 must see Museums in the world.   If you are ever in the area, you need to check it out!

Here's the view as you walk up to the building.  It's gorgeous before you even get to the actual gardens.


I learned something new on this visit.  These concrete beams go through the whole building, and I just found out they are shaped to represent trees, which is quite fitting. I never paid much attention to them before.


They are decorating for Fall and it looks great.


There are some fun things to look at inside, as well as special exhibits, but the best is outside.  We loved looking at the berries and leaves on the plants.


The birds were very busy that day.


There are lots of different gardens there - woodlands, bog, childrens and this farm garden.  All of the gardens have pieces of art placed in them and I thought this was a pretty cute one.


The Grand Rapids arch.


 An entrance to one of the sculpture areas.

This is one of the better known sculptures - the American horse, modeled after a Da Vinci work.  It's 24 feet tall.


Here's a few more sculptures.  There is such a range of style, there's something for everyone.


I love the waterfalls they have. 


This is one of the new sculptures.  It represents a neuron and it looked quite pretty in the sunlight!

And that ended our outings for the week. Vacation is wonderful, but we're blessed with our jobs as well.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day trip #2

Bob planned our second day out.  He had me confused right from the start as we didn't appear to be heading anywhere familiar.  He then told me that in thinking about what I like to do, he thought of the fact that I love to drive in the country and take pictures of barns.  So - he was driving us out to an area I never go to and was willing to stop whenever I wanted for photo ops.  What a guy!

This is the kind of scenery we were seeing- dirt roads are the best I think!


We saw lots of farms and farmland.


At one point we saw what looked like a big steeple next to a corn field.  We drove in that direction and found this beautiful, old stone church.  Next to it was an old cemetery, with this poignant scene near the front of it.  There were a lot of young children buried in this area.


Here's just a few of the barns we saw.

We stopped for lunch and then he said we would move on to part 2 of the day.  Again we were driving out in the country when we got to our destination - a huge car museum in the middle of the cornfields.  
This is the Gilmore Car Museum.  It's not just pole barns filled with cars - it's a beautiful place!  The cars are in barns and other buildings that have been moved and restored.  You get the feeling that you've stepped back in time.

This was the Cadillac barn. 

The white car in the collage is a 1935 Duesenberg, one of only 4 that was made.  It's in original condition and has only 16,000 miles on it.


This was a well known bike - used by Fonzie on Happy Days!


An 1930's Shell station, moved to this location and restored.

This double decker bus is next in line for restoration.  Do you see Bob looking out the top window?


 This is one of 8 historic barns on the site.  This one was dismantled piece by piece and moved to the site.

This old train station was also moved to the site and now houses a collection of hood ornaments.


A few old Checker cabs.


This is the original "Little Deuce Coupe" which graced the cover of the Beach Boys Album of the same name.


This is an actual road side Diner, which was moved here from Connecticut and is now open to serve guests.

We ended our day here, with a yummy frozen custard cone.
It was another fun day!