Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flick Your Bic

Robin over at Pink House Studio told me about a new toy. Bic, the makers of ballpoint pens, have made a disposable fountain pen. Not only is it disposable, but it's cheap inexpensive. Robin told me the pens were available at Staples. I found a two pack and a three pack with black, red, and blue ink. The three pack was under $10 including sales tax. I think the two pack was a buck less.

The packaging states the pen is "ready to use" out of the package. No lie. The pen is a nice weight, and writes without skipping.

The saying from a fortune cookie, "Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows" had me taking the pen for a spin in my journal. The pen makes a medium weight monoline, and the ink dries quickly. However, the ink is not waterproof.  I used colored pencils to color the sunflower even though I would have preferred to use watercolor pencils. Since the ink is not waterproof, with a brush and water adding a shadow would be easy. Will have to play with that sometime.

While I wouldn't use the pen for fine work, it's portability and ease of use will make it a fine addition to traveling with a journal or working away from the studio. And, as soon as the pen runs out of ink, I'll try taking the pen apart to see if it can be refilled.

Have you used the Bic disposable fountain pen?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Graceful Envelope Contest

The envelope from The Graceful Envelope Constest arrived in Saturday's mail. A number 10 business envelope. Just like college acceptance letter. You know what a number 10 envelope means.

So,congratulations to those who won. Looking forward to next week when the winning envelopes will be on display at the Washington Calligraphers Guild website.

Still I like my goofy Mr. Zip. A nod to my childhood in the mid1960s.  Mr. Zip reminded us to use the new zipcode instead of the old postal zone. "Mail moves the country, and zipcode moves the mail." Do you remember Mr. Zip?

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Friday Five

Last week, Iowa had sent me a meme about what it was like growing up Italian. This week's Friday Five and then some is closer to the mark.




1. There  is  some sort of religious statue in the hallway, living room,  bedroom,  front porch and backyard. (A Mary on the half  shell).


In my parents room, there was a crucifix, a white statue of the Madonna and child ( it was pretty, very simple elegant lines), and an Infant of Prague statue under a glass dome. There were also 10 pennies, but I don't know the significance of the pennies). Ma also kept a Madonna I got when I graduated 8th grade for having perfect attendance for 8 years. It was a pretty Mary statue, in case you are wondering. The crucifix in my room opened up. It contained two white candles and a bottle of Holy Water just in case someone in the house needed Extreme Unction (Last Rites). 


Grandma had two beautiful statues on her dresser. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. The statues were big like the kind found at church on the altar. Have no idea where she got them and sadly don't know what happened to them after she passed away. They were beautiful works of art.
   
  2.  The   outdoor table is linoleum covered with small, chrome metal trim  along  the edges.

Nope. We had a wrought iron table, six chairs, and two wrought iron end tables. Anyone interested in them? Make me an offer and you pick up.
   
   3.  The living  room is filled with old wedding favors with bows and stale   almonds (they are too pretty to open and  eat).

This made me laugh. These are wedding favors. Yes, 5 white Jordan almonds wrapped in tulle, the color of the bride's theme. Five to symbolize wishes for the happy couple: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.
   
 4   All    lampshades, stuffed chairs and stuffed couches are covered with  stiff,  clear plastic.

Yup.
   
  5.   A    portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra hang in the dining  room..

Nope, not in my house. But Grandma had a picture of Pope John XXIII We used to call him her boyfriend. When she went back to Italy for a visit in the early 60s, she and whoever she traveled with got an audience with him.
   
 6.   God forbid  if anyone EVER attempted to eat 'Chef Boy-ar-Dee', 'Franco   American', 'Ragu',  'Prego', or anything else labeled as  Italian in a jar or can.


Ma, Grandma, and all the aunties made gravy every week.
   
7.    Meatballs  are made with pork, veal   and beef, mixed  together.

Ma just used ground beef. Maybe ground pork and veal were too expensive.
   
 8.   Turkey is  served on Thanksgiving AFTER   the manicotti, gnocchi,  lasagna, and minestrone or shcarole  soup.

True, if we were at Grandma's for Thanksgiving. We never had gnocchi. Wasn't from the region of Italy where Grandma came from.
  
8.  Sunday  dinner  was at 1:00  PM sharp. The meal went like  this...    The table was set with everyday dishes.  It doesn't matter if they don't    match. They're  clean; what more do you want?

In my house, Sunday dinner or holy days of obligation dinner started at 2pm.
  
9..  Wine,  homemade, is served   up in small water or old, cheese  glasses.

Homemade wine was served in crystal wine glasses or juice glasses from the fancy set that had yellow daisies on them.
   
10.   At  the  table all the utensils go on the right side of the plate  and the napkin   goes on the  left.

Nope. Fork and napkin on the left, knife and spoon on the right.
   
11.    A  clean   kitchen towel was put at Nonno's & Papa's  plates because they won't  use  napkins.

My mother's mother was called Grandma, not Nonno, Nonna,  Nonni. When she became a great-grandmother, she was called Nonna-non. My mother's father and my father's parents were deceased by the time I came along. Don't know what they were called.

Grandma used a napkin. A clean dishcloth, called a mopeen, was kept close by. Usually to wipe the moosh (mouth) of the little ones before they left the table.
   
12.    Homemade  wine, a pitcher of water   and bottles of 7-UP are on  the table.

In my house, wine was reserved for special occasions. Gingerale was the beverage of choice. Grandma had a large tumbler of wine everyday with her evening meal.
   
13.  First  course,  Antipasto...

For the fancy dinners, first course was soup.. Chicken soup with rice, schcarole (Escarole), and pupetini (small meatballs made with ground beef and grated Parmesan cheese) Then came the Antipasto (before the pasta)

 Change plates.
   
  14.  Second  course,  macaroni or ravioli. Ma made home-made ravioli. If she didn't make ravioli, we had Ziti.
   
    All  pasta  was called macaroni...

You remembered that from last week, right?

 We also had an eggplant Parmigiana.   Change    plates.
   
  15.  Third    course was usually roast beef, or chicken and potatoes  and vegetables...
   Change    plates.

Yup.
   
    THEN,   and only then - NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE  MEAL
    -  would  you eat the salad drenched in homemade oil &  strong, red wine vinegar    dressing..
   Change   plates.

My mother would put the salad course with the soup. My father would eat his salad after the main meal was over.
  
   16.  Next    course, fruit & nuts - in the shell - on paper plates because  you  ran out of the real  ones.

We used to ask Uncle Mario to crack the walnuts for us. He could crack four at a time. He had hands the size of hams and was very strong.   
      
 17.   Last    was coffee with anisette, some espresso for Nonno, 'American'  coffee for  the rest - with hard cookies (biscottis) to  dunk in the coffee with more  fruit and some  cheese.

Rarely was anisette poured into the coffee. One of my uncles liked Sambucca in his coffee. The grown ups just had American coffee. Cookies were usually pizzelle (waffle cookies flavored with anisette) or a cake like cookie also flavored with anisette, frosting and colored confetti.
  
18;.    The  kids would go out to play.
   
19.    The  men would go lay down.  They slept so soundly that you  could do brain  surgery on them without  anesthesia.
   
20.    The  women cleaned the kitchen.
   
 21.   We  got screamed at by Mama or Nonna, and half of the sentences  were English, the other half in  Italian.


Yup.


22.  Italian  mothers never threw a baseball in their life, but could nail you  in the head or back with their shoe thrown from the kitchen  while you were in  the living  room.


Not Ma, but Grandma. :-D


That's what it was like. Sound familiar?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ear Worms.

A song I sang at school had become an ear worm. Decided to get it out of my head an onto paper. The idea looked better in my head than on paper, but that's the beauty of working in a journal. Journal work doesn't have to be perfect.

How do you get rid of a song that gets stuck in your head?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who?

I discovered a new television show, Dr. Who. Well, that's not true. The series is new to me, and The Young One had asked if I wanted to watch it. I think I grimaced when she asked because when the series was first on sometime back in the 70s, I had tried to watch it. Just couldn't get into it. I didn't know much about the show beyond having a vague recollection of a character wearing a colorful scarf.

That was the old series. She was pretty sure I would like the show. BBC America was broadcasting the new series (done in 2005) beginning with the first episode.

The show was ok as low budget, low special effects sci-fi shows go. Not as good as Lost in Space or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  For me, the experience was more about being asked to share in something The Young One liked. And then...

Somewhere along the line, I became very interested in the show. I admit it took me nearly the entire first season to follow the story line of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleson). I didn't particularly like the ninth Doctor, but he grew on me. And then I found myself trying to figure out who is the Doctor?  That's the hook, the appeal.

I always thought the character's name was Dr. Who, but it isn't. More like Doctor Who? That phrase becomes a running gag through the show as the Doctor just introduces himself as The Doctor. He keeps his real name hidden.  He's  enigmatic. A Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He stands in the middle of time. He can see time as it was, as it is, it's potential, and as it will be. His planet and all he knew was destroyed in a Time War. He survived, and as the last of his race, The Doctor travels through space and time in his ship, the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) disguised as a 1960's Police Call Box. A lonely soul, he picks a companion to travel with him as he battles evil, and aliens bent on Universal domination.

He talks a lot, but says very little about himself. He just drops a hint or two along the way. I find myself picking up the hints like bread crumbs and trying to piece together his story. I can't watch the show while I'm doing something else. I'll miss something. A seemingly small bit turns up in later episodes, as do monsters, villains, and other characters. This is one of those series where you can't start in the middle and figure out what's going on. Especially when episodes end in a cliffhanger.

If you'd like to watch the series from the beginning go to  http://www.yourtvseri.es/series/doctor-who/episodes/

Are you a fan of The Doctor?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Creating Memories

For The Young One's eighth birthday, the cake request for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. No problem until the baking went horribly wrong. The cake layers baked uneven. So uneven, it would have taken a tub of frosting to even things out so the layers would stack on top of each other. What to do?

The gap between the layers looked like a mouth. I grabbed items I had hanging around. Desperation is the mother of invention. White chocolate chip bits, glaced fruit, and red licorice laces became the features on a monster cake and fortunately, The Young One loved it. Whew!

Twelve years later, The Young One's cake request was for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. And then a surprise. I wish I could have a monster cake?"

"Seriously? "

"I loved that cake."
Ok. This time I went out to buy candies to use for decorations. I had to buy white chocolate chip bits because someone had opened up the package to snack on and only left two bits. Hugs, gummy worms, peach rings, M&Ms and red licorice laces jumped into the cart. The hard part was to intentionally bake uneven cake layers. without burning one side or the other not baking through. It worked and The Young One loved the result.


We spend a lot time, effort, and sometimes cash to create memories. Nostalgic memories  from when we were kids, or expose them to opportunites we never had as kids. Sometimes odd what we think what should be a memory, and what actually becomes a memory. Some thirty or forty years from now, The Young One will be saying, "That crazy, old, broad was hell on wheels with a tub of frosting and a bag of gummy worms."

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Friday Five

My friend, Iowa, sent this to me. "What It Means to be in an Italian Family". She wanted to know how many are true. I'm pretty sure my answers will be atypical. My parents were the first generation of their families born in this country, but they grew up in East Boston, a version of Little Italy. My parents moved  25 miles west to the "country" leaving the rest of the family behind.. The Brother and I do not have Italian first names. Though Italian was their first language, they did not teach us how to speak the mother tongue. The only time the folks spoke Italian at home was when they didn't want The Brother or me to know what was going on.  (We did pick up a few words and phrases, some of which can be used in polite company, too!) My parents wanted us to fit in and "be American".  


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN AN ITALIAN FAMILY

1) You will never play professional basketball.
True. Though the above statement refers to height, the real reason is I have no desire to play professional basketball.

2) You swear very well.
True. I can swear in Italian (with appropriate hand gestures), English, German (a few phrases), a word or two in French, and a word or two in Klingon.

3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds political office.

A first cousin once removed and a second cousin were firemen.


 And you have at least one relative who is either a nun or a priest.
A second cousin was a late vocation to the priesthood after his wife passed away. Before he became a priest, he was a cardiologist and a lawyer.

4) You think you sing very well.

Nope, I sing like a hinge.

5) You have no idea how to make a long story short! (don't forget the hand gestures either LOL )

Tie my hands, and I'm mute.

6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or killing
someone.

Moi? No, Italians are very even tempered individuals. Just ask Himself.

7) Many of your childhood meals were boiled and store bought pasta or
sauce/gravy was a mortal sin.

I'm not sure what this question is supposed to mean. We never had pasta. Pasta was an upscale word. We had macaroni. We had macaroni several nights a week. Ma always bought Prince macaroni which was manufactured in the North End of Boston. Her mother also made home-made macaroni (Wed. was macaroni making day), and we preferred Grandma's macaroni to Prince. A tomato based sauce for macaroni is known as gravy. To eat macaroni without gravy is a mortal sin. 

8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling.

Actually, I did once. Had gone with a friend to her friend's small apartment in New York City. Our room was in loft with a bunk bed and low ceiling. I had the top bunk. Sat up too quickly in the morning and saw stars.

9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer.

This had nothing to do with the fact of being Italian. I spent most of my childhood on my knees because I went to parochial school. Most of my cousins didn't attend parochial school and didn't spent their time on their knees in prayer.
10) You're exceptionally poetic after a few bottles of vino.

I don't need alcohol to enhance that gift.
11) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.

Nope

12) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Maria, Teresa, Gina or Sophia

Nope. Only a first cousin once removed is named Gina.


 and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Maria Teresa .
Nope.
13) Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you.

True.
14) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing.

I don't sing unless I'm alone. I sing like a hinge. Remember?
15) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking.

LOL it's been known to happen.
16) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.

Not true. I'm hysterically funny.
17) There wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last
christening party. All life is to be celebrated.

True. Happy, sad, momentous, or mundane, all revolve around copious amounts of food.
18) You are, or know someone, named Anthony/Tony or Toni/Antoinette.

I have four cousins and an uncle named Tony.
19) If you don't know Tony - then you know Sal. If you don't know Sal or Luigi,
then you know Joe, Frank, or Dino. Then you also probably know Rocco and his brothers.

I know Sal, Luigi, Joe, Frank, and Rocco.
20) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.

Not true. An Australian friend called me the Little Oyster, not only am I a pearl of great price, but I can keep my mouth tightly shut.
21) You have Italian Alzheimer's, you forget everything but the grudges!

Lol. It's not Alzheimer's. More like I can forgive, but I can't forget.
22) 'Italian Leftovers' is a euphemism for 'spaghetti and meatballs.' Mangia!!!

Spaghetti and meatballs is American. We didn't have spaghetti in my house (Ma didn't like it). Leftovers was (cold) eggplant Parmigiana sandwiches. Mangia, indeed.

23) You never need a spray tan - you always have warm coloring! If you are fair- you still tan beautifully (after the 1st burn).

True.
24) Childhood remedies for the common cold often included some form of warmed spiced Vino.

Nope. My mother's remedy was chicken soup. Wine was for special occasions. I was 10 when I had my first sip of wine at a wedding. I didn't like it.
25) There's no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45
minutes.

Sometimes it takes an hour and a half.
26) At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other. Not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other.

Those relatives came from my parents' generation. They aren't speaking to each other because they are all dead. My parents are the last of their generation on both sides of the family.  

So, Iowa, are you disappointed?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets: Marble Cam

Before
I'm not a huge shutterbug. Half the time, I forget to take a picture of the interesting or mundane things going on around me. I do like playing with the photos that I take. Usually, I manipulate things in Paint Shop Pro, a poor man's version of Photoshop.

After
Last week, I found a fun app for iPhone called Marble Cam. Marble Cam makes it looks as if you've take your photograph through a glass marble. You can use the app to alter photographs in your albums or photo stream or use the camera function to capture an image.
While in the sun room last week, I was mesmerized by the sun light through the trees. Grabbed the iPhone and snapped the picture. Not a great shot especially since I shot it through the sun room screen. The translation was lost in the exposure. Marble Cam took my lack lustre photo and made it look awesome. Just as the app promised the photo looks as if it was shot through a glass marble or one of those Victorian gazing globes.

The app is also available for Android phones as MarbleDroid.

Do you have a great app to share?

Oh, and Jan over at Creative Instigation has featured my Alphabet Sunday series as a jump start for getting your creativity running. Go take a look.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Recycle

Before: Three Sets of Dishes
As I've been cleaning out my parents' house, I've also turned my eye to my own house. We have a lot of stuff, and I've started a major purge. Perhaps, it's a knee jerk reaction, but I don't want my girlies to have to go through what we are going through.

My first mission was the kitchen. I have three sets of dishes. Yup, three. A set of Blue Willoware, which was designated Sunday/company dishes. There's a set of Pfalzgraf "Hopscotch" stoneware. These are blue and white with a fruit pattern. Fruit is the kitchen theme. These used to be the every day dishes. A couple of them broke, and a couple are chipped. A few years ago, I found a set of Corelle dishes with fruit. Corelle boasts the dishes won't chip, and that was the appeal to me at the time. But honestly, who needs three sets of dishes? Look at the bow in the poor kitchen cabinet just groaning under the weight. We don't do a lot of entertaining with hordes of people where we would need that many dishes. 

It was an easy choice to make, which to keep and which will go. Both the Pfazlgraf and Corelle patterns have been discontinued. Finding replacements isn't easy. The Willoware pattern has been around for a hundred years or more. And it's blue. Ma also had a few place settings of the Willoware, so I absorbed hers.

I made an appointment for pick up with the Epilepsy Foundation. Boxed up the dishes and stuff from Ma's house that I don't want or can't use. 

The shelves got a good dusting out, new shelf liner, and all the dishes took a ride in the dishwasher. The dishes now have room to breathe, and the shelves aren't groaning under their weight.

Next up to purge: books, computer equipment, and software no longer used. Are you a collector or a minimalist?
After: One set of Dishes

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Friday Five

Temperatures are expected to soar again this weekend. Yup, another real scohcha. Happy me! Though I'm not a huge fan of ice cream, I do enjoy it when the weather gets hot. My five favorite flavors:

1. Chocolate. Surprised? Do I hear a Duh?

2. Vanilla, especially if it has vanilla bean flecks in it. Can't go wrong with a classic.

3. Candy Bar from the Creamery. Chocolate, almonds, and coconut. Oh, the joy.

4. Pistachio. Green food never looked so appetizing.

5. Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia. Like eating a frozen chocolate-covered cherry.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Found My Muse

Actually, I found three. Lurking in a basement curio cabinet  were three bisque statues in a classical style. Like the three Wyrd Sisters. A little out of place with Ma's other pretties, still I liked them. One still had the original price tag of 69 cents from J. M. Fields (barely a step up from the Five and Ten Cent store.) The statues must have been a Ma-gift The Brother or I bought with our allowance (we each got 50 cents a week)

One of the goddesses suffered a horrific accident. She had been decapitated and then had her head glued back on. Her loss must have happened within the past ten years or so as her head was glued on with Gorilla glue. Dad swore by that stuff. Where others might have used duct tape, Dad used Gorilla glue. A lot of Gorilla glue. The poor lady had Gorilla ring around the neck.

The second goddess must have been a relation of Sasquatch as her feet are grossly out of proportion to her body.

The third statue was perfect though a trifle dirty. She went into the dishwasher utensil rack with a load run on the china setting without a dry cycle. Somewhere between wash and rinse, she must have gone back to Olympus as she was no where to be found when I unloaded the dishwasher. Himself said the bisque was actually a plastic. Note to self: the wash water must get heated up to the lava setting.

I now had my muse choice between Marie Antoinette or Clementine. Except when I went to retrieve Clementine, her head was hanging by a thread of dried, Elmer's Glue. Her procedure must have been done by Ma or possibly The Brother. Both are notoriously neat.

I debated whether I should leave her head off a la Wednesday Addam's doll or to glue her head back on. Decided with her enormous feet, she needed all the help she could get. Except my bottle of Gorilla glue was stone clogged. I grabbed the tub of Yes! Paste.

Voil√°, Clementine, muse of artist who have lost their minds.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Repurpose

Found this vase while cleaning at the old homestead. I really like the color and the shape. Doesn't it make a holder for pens, pencils, and brushes?

Do you have a holder for pens and pencils or do you just leave them scattered on your desk?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Friday Five

Five decisions I made this week

1. Start a blog to go along with the Etsy shop. Thought buyers might be interested in stories behind some of the items in the shop.

2. Picked the platform. Decided to stick with Blogger because it's what I know.

3. Pick layout and design. Pick color. That was a no brainer. Wanna guess what color?

4. The Young One edited a pink, copyright free pig and made Mafundsalo white and blue. I found the wings from a PSP tube site. She altered the color. Didn't my baby do a great job? I was able to make the banner used at the blog and the Etsy shop.

5. I wrote the first Mafundsalo blog and scheduled it to post today.

What decisions did you make this week?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Help Me, Lord

I've started another blog. I'll be blogging about the provenance and stories about items in my Etsy shop, Mafundsalo Curio. More to come as soon as I finish tweaking.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Other Wives

When I teach, I usually use a chalkboard to demonstrate making letters. Seems the chalkboard is going the way of the horse and buggy. Lately, I've had to improvise on a whiteboard using two whiteboard markers held together with an elastic. This creates the outline of the letter, and sometimes the students have difficulty with the concept.

I had whined to Himself that the chisel tip markers aren't large enough to make letters people at the back of the room can see. Last week, Himself plunked this beautiful, red chunky Sharpie marker on the table. Other wives get thought of you flowers. Himself brings me cool toys.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mind Reading

I have a super power. I can read minds. Whether it's a cosmic collision or just a coincidence, it's been happening more frequently.

Not long ago, I was having a test. If you're female and over 40, you know the one. Necessary, but uncomfortable. The technician was busy positioning the machine and positioning me. It was early in the morning, not my best time. I was holding onto the handle trying to grin and bear it as the technician chattered away in a high-pitched voice while pushing, prodding, and making her adjustments.

I thought her voice sounded like a cartoon. Though my thought at the time was #$%@% cartoon. As I said, it was early morning and I just wanted the process over for another year. I'm pretty sure my facial expression was in neutral. It doesn't always happen, but I'm sure my thought didn't flit across my face.

As the last tweak was made, the technician gave a nervous giggle. "I don't know why I sound like a cartoon this morning." And there I was caught in the machine, holding my breath to keep still and trying very hard not to laugh so another take wouldn't be necessary. Sometimes a super power ain't all that it's cracked up to be.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

WAM-tastic Opportunity

I'm the little bird you've heard tell about. I'm here to tell you about a WAM-tastic opportunity.

In recent years, hard financial times and budget cuts forced the Worcester Art Museum to close the magnificent, bronze doors at the museum's Salisbury St. entrance. WAM director, Matthias Waschek, started a campaign to raise money to open the doors. Through the generous donations, large and small, the goal was reached. To celebrate, starting today and through the months of July and August, admission to the Worcester Art Museum will be free during gallery hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Free! And you'll be able to enter the museum through the main doors.

I know what you're thinking. Worcester has an art museum? How could there be culture past Route 128? On a map, the edge of the earth (anything west of Route 128) is marked Hic sunt draconis, Here There Be Dragons. That was my thought, too. I grew up close to Boston. Went to school in Boston. If someone said "museum", I immediately thought of the MFA or the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. When I moved to the Worcester area some twenty odd years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find Worcester is a seat of culture, and its crown jewel is the Worcester Art Museum. 


Don't just take my word for it. Come and see for yourself. (From Boston, Worcester is only an hour away.) Take advantage of the free admission during July and August. Make a day of it. Beat the heat in the climate-controlled galleries, be inspired by the works of art, have lunch in the museum caf√©, and stop by the gift shop for art-inspired gifts. 


And then come back. The museum isn't static. It's alive and always changing.  There are always new exhibits. Be sure to stop by the Education Desk to find out about the wide selection of classes for children and adults (like calligraphy! (-;  ). 


 I saw a poster online: Remember the Earth is just eh without Art. See you at the museum!