Monday, August 26, 2013


This time of year is always busy, especially since the family I live with homeschools; there is always the curriculum to plan and the schedule to organize.  Even with all of the activity, we had time to go see the wonderful French film, Renoir, which of course, inspired me to "stroll" through some of my favorite Renoir paintings, because even when things are busy, it is très  importante to take time for art!

I have always loved the way Renoir portrays children; he captures the innocence and wonder of childhood with his soft brush strokes and warm colors. 

I love this painting because of my love of gardens, and also because of the amazing contrasts between sun and shadow.

This is such a sweet painting!  How lovely to be invited to such a delightful party!  How daring of her to wear red with pink!  Without a doubt, she pulls it off quite charmingly.  

This painting is so simple, yet so very beautiful!  I love the contrast between her gleaming, red hair and the pale blue in her dress and bow.  

Feeling inspired by the movie, Renoir, I came home ready to awaken the artist's model that I have always known lived within me!!  However, being a plein air model is more distracting than one would think!  

"I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it."
-Pierre Auguste Renoir    

Monday, August 12, 2013

On a Bicycle Built for Two

While on my brief vacation from blogging we took a day trip to a  historic small town in a picturesque river valley.  Our intent was to go biking on the canal towpath, so it was a happy accident that it was the same day as their local food fest!  I rode upfront in my lovely wool-lined basket.

I absolutely love to ride in the bike basket!  There is so much to see, and lots of new people to greet!!

First, we had to choose our route.

We rode for a bit and then went into town for some lunch; their local food market (a part of their local food fest) was a perfect place to stop for lunch!  After getting some sustenance, we surveyed the local vendors.  Of course, there were two that caught my attention, one stand selling dog biscuits and another selling tea!  Tea and Biscuits!!    

Here I am at the "t by Sarah" stand.  Sarah makes the most lovely teas and they are all natural or organic and hand blended!  We tried the Elderberry White, it is very good!  You can learn more about her teas here.

Here I am at the "Baked Earth" stand.  All of her products use local ingredients whenever possible!  I purchased Pumpkin Peanut Butter biscuits; peanut butter is one of my favorites, and they are delightful!  You can learn more about her products here.

After exploring the town a bit we hopped back on the bike trail, it really was fun (especially since I was a passenger)!

We stopped to explore an abandoned canal lock along the towpath!  It was quite exciting and a bit scary since I almost slipped over the edge!

I enjoyed reading about the canal and lock; it was very interesting!  I enjoyed seeing the old pictures of the working canal too!

My new tea and biscuits were the perfect, relaxing end to a long, fun and adventurous day!!