Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cathedral After Dark: The Munster

Sometimes, monsters inspire.

Dr. B and I recently spent a long weekend traveling the length of Switzerland and I came home bearing a gift from Bern's Munster Cathedral:


It will not come as a surprise to most that I have a fondness for Gothic architecture and Medieval history. Nay, not mere fondness. It is adoration bordering on the divine when crossing the threshold of a 1000 years young castle. Tears of joy roll down my cheeks as I sit quietly in an old cathedral pew; trembling in delight, in wonder...

'Thrilled to the marrow' is a phrase reserved for moments such as these.

I brought the above images home to my studio, along with the memories of cold stone and layered varnish; of stained glass and carved wood...

...and began to create.

I'm pleased to announce I've designed my first new piece of jewelry in one long, difficult year. At last.

Quatrefoil Crown Earrings

Inspired by my visit to Munster Cathedral, I've created a version of the beloved quatrefoil motif in swarovski pearl beads. They may be found, along with a hundred other jewels, in my Etsy shop. I plan to design thousands more.

Quatrefoil Crown Earrings - Back View

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Wee steps in an upward direction, My Dears!

Warmest Wishes,


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Europe After Dark: A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

What can I say to make you happy?

I haven't had words I've felt worth saying in a while.

A long-term illness has kept me quiet and in a haze of ineptitude for more than a year. My better half, scientist and problem-solver that he is, whisked me out of the country for the 'European Cure'. Oh, my -- this was THE gift of a lifetime. We are currently settled in Germany in a wee village on the outskirts of the gorgeous Medieval city of Wuerzburg. Before I continue, please allow me to share my new home with you:

The Majestic City of Wuerzburg

A statue on the Old Main Bridge and a bit of local humor

A sleepy hidden chapel nestled inside the Dom Cathedral

Exquisite artwork by the owner of the home we currently rent.
A painter in his spare time, his stunning book of illuminated
manuscripts took 5 years to complete.

The Town Hall

Out and about on a 'Family Walk' -- Inari runs through these fields
on her daily visit to her friends -- the sheep, horses, and chickens
which live nearby.

The city's castle -- Fortress Marienberg

Elegant weathered niches displaying statues of a religious nature
are to be found in every nook and cranny of the city. The above
example is on display just down the street from our cozy little home.

A glimpse of village architecture

The Dom Cathedral Cloisters -- long stretches devoted to the
dearly departed. Ancient tombs line the walls and floor of this
sacred space.

Inari in her element -- basking in the glow of the sun's rays like
the kitty she is at heart.

A castle moat, long since filled in by earth

My favorite work of art in all of Wuerzburg --
Trauernde Maria aus Acholshausen
by Tilman Riemenschneider in 1505.
A photo of Maria resides by my desk for inspiration.

A dragonfly visitor knocks on our door
(Not to worry -- Dr. B is an experienced entomologist and adept at
handling these lovelycreatures in a gentle and considerate manner)

Walking Home

Our new surroundings have influenced my health and happiness in astounding ways. I have found my precious creativity once again (it was hiding under a castle stone in the Mosel Valley) and am more healthy and happy than ever before! My time in Europe has been the most inspiring journey of my life, and the adventures are just beginning. Even now, as we run our fingers over ancient stone in rapture, we are forging ahead. We are wrapping hands around the neck of fate and mapping the next nomadic exploit. Shall it be a year in India? South America? Africa?

If you could grasp the Earth by a string, which world would you choose?

In the meantime, I shall sit down at my studio desk and create -- for you and for me.

Warmest Wishes to All,