Thursday, April 24, 2008

Four days in South Korea

Would you like to spend 55 sleepless hours traveling, most of them cramped in a crowded airplane and the rest in airports in order to spend 4 days in South Korea?

Why not?

Actually if that's how he had asked me I might have said "no thanks." But he didn't mention that we would only be there for 4 days.

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I'm awfully glad I went though. It was a great trip. It was a little different from most of the traveling we've done in that we had a local guide most of the time. A south Korean (who has lived in Minneapolis for 25 years) arranged the trip and traveled with us for most of it. He arranged for his nephew to drive us around Seoul and also hired a guide to show us the sights of Seoul on the weekend.IMG_7451_1_1

The first thing we saw was the changing of the guard ceremony at the Royal Palace. It's a museum now, so this is a show just for tourists.

 

 

 

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Near the palace we also visited the National Folk Museum of Korea, where we learned a lot about Korean traditional culture. There were displays showing how they make Kimchee, the fermented and seasoned cabbage dish that is uniquely Korean.

IMG_7492_1_1 And we saw several temples. In front of all of them we saw these colorful paper lanterns hanging in honor of the Buddha's upcoming birthday. There were services going on in some of the temples we visited.

 

The rest of my pictures are on this site.  South Korea Pictures. There are 3 pages--one of the weekend in Seoul, then one of the day we spent in Chuncheon and then one more with a few more pictures from our last afternoon in Seoul.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rosemaling

I have just finished an 8-week rosemaling course. It met on Thursdays for 8 weeks. I missed two weeks because I was traveling, but I did do some painting.

aqua-plate

Here are the things I painted in this class. Rosemaling is Norwegian folk painting, that is normally done on wood. It can be done on other surfaces, but wood is the most common one. I, however don't feel I'm good enough to paint on a lot of wooden objects. I am still practicing and learning, so I do a lot of painting on paper. sometimes if the design turns out well I scan it and make cards from it. So during this class I painted many designs on paper and 3 wooden plates.

 cream-plate I paint free-hand and my designs are my own. Many rosemalers, especially at the level I paint trace designs or sketch out designs before they start, but I'm just too lazy to do it that way. This is a6-inch plate.

 

 

 

blue-circle-card This is one I did on paper, scanned and added the outer color on my computer, to use as a card. This is the extent of my photo-enhancing skills.

 

 

 

 

brown-plate This is a 7-inch wooden plate.

 

 

 

 

I did these three yesterday. The teacher had left a sketch on the board from the previous day's class and I used that as inspiration for this design, which I did three times with ththree bagse same colors, but slight variations in the design. I cannot do 2 identical designs.

 

 

blue-nils-e 

 

 

Finally, this is inspired by a painted sketch done by Norwegian rosemaler Nils Elingsgard. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Now for something completely different

I'm not one for taking more artistic photos, or looking for unusual angles. I just try to get the best shot I can to show the sight I'm looking at. But sometimes I can't get far enough away from a tall building to get the whole thing in the shot, so I started taking some shots looking up at the building or monument from right up close to it. I've collected some of these and put them on a new page. Below is a house in Paris on, I think the Rue François Miron, in the 4th arrondissement.




And these two old half-timbered houses are on the same street. They may be the oldest houses in Paris.


So here is the link to more of these photos. Looking up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Le parc de Belleville

Slipping back to Paris for this post. Not me physically--just in the photos. I took so many photos while I was there that I didn't have time to get them all posted. Some I thought were worth posting later. These pictures of the park in the north east of Paris (20th arrondissement) were some I wanted to share with you.




The park is on a hillside. I entered at the bottom and climbed up a lot of steps before I started taking pictures. At the top I realized people were watching something happeneing below us, so I looked over the edge of the wall and saw that I was standing above a film crew getting ready for a shoot. I don't know who it was or what they were filming, but I stayed to watch for a while. It was some kind of children's program or film.

You can see the rest of my pictures of this park and the shoot on this page. Parc de Belleville.


Friday, February 8, 2008

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

I shouldn't complain about the weather here, as so many people have had really horrendous weather this week-killer-tornadoes, floods and heavy snow storms, that stopped traffic for hours. Here in Duluth we had the driest January on record with about 1 inch of snow total for the whole month. It was very cold-in the single digits and colder for many days, but it did warm up for the start of the John Beargrease sled dog Marathon, which starts close to our house. The warm-up was nice for the spectators, but not good for the dogs. Apparently they prefer temperatures around 0F.

Jim and I walked down to the start of the race and I took a few pictures, which you can see on this site. John Beargrease. There are links there to the official race site and that will explain more about the race, if you are interested. And here's preview photo. More like this on the page linked above.


This is one of the main streets in Duluth. They closed the street for this race and piled a lot of snow in the middle of it. The trail runs up the middle of the street for about 100 yards and then turns into a golf course and meets up later with a snow-mobile trail.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Enjoying the winter

Happy New year to all! I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are looking forward to the best year ever.

We don't get snow for the holidays every year in Duluth, so we were happy that it happened this year and our plans were to stay home. Our sons were both here for a week and we got out in the snow as much as we could. On the day after Patrick got in we had blizzard conditions, which left snow in funny patterns on our back window.




One of my Christmas presents was this 3-D puzzle of the Sears Tower. We all had fun putting it together.


We got out skiing 4 or 5 times while the guys were here. What are they looking at here? Check out this page of pictures to find out. Snow is not all fun. There is work involved in moving it around. Here Patrick is helping us move all the snow off the deck. We were afraid it was getting too heavy and might leak through the roof to the family room below, so we cleared off the deck.
See? It's all gone now. Ready to fire up the barbeque and have a picnic.

And one more shot looking out over a park in Duluth.