Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pictures, Pictures Everywhere

I'm finally getting some decoration on my walls! A few months ago I hung a picture that my sister got me for Christmas on the wall in my living room. And this afternoon I finally hung a print that my aunt gave me in my bedroom. I really like having pictures on the walls. I've never been in an apartment before were I was allowed to, so I'm having fun with it now.

In the living room is "Porcupine" by photographer Sharon Montrose. Yes, it's just a picture of a porcupine. And I don't know why, but it totally works for my apartment. It's really simple and
unique, and look at him. He's so cute!

In my bedroom is "Hypnocat" by Jon Carling. A little stranger even than the porcupine, but I'm obsessed with this picture. I'm glad that I hung it by my bed so that I can look at it while lying in bed and try to figure out what it means.

Here's another picture that I want to hang, "The Garden's Secret" by Karla Morreira (the center is a print, but the matting is original by the artist). But I have two problems. First, I have no idea where to put it. I wish I had more wall space in my bathroom, if I did I would put it there.

Second, it's a little heavy and I'm kind of nervous about hanging a bigger picture. What kind of nails do I need? Do I have to find a stud? I'm need to find the answers to these questions because it's been sitting on the floor in my bedroom since I moved in. Not good.

Finally, there's one more piece I want to hang on my walls. This will also go out in my living room. The Azores are known for their tiles and when I was there this summer I picked up a quite a few.

Including this great six-piece tile picture I bought at a ceramics shop near my mom's house called Ceramica de Praia. It depicts the Império de São Bartolomeu (São Bartolomeu Divine Holy Spirit House) which is located on the island my mom lives on. I took this picture right after they pulled it out of the kilns at Ceramica de Praia.

It's beautiful and I can't wait to hang it up and show it off. But for now it's still in six pieces and wrapped up in bubble wrap. Those tiles aren't exactly light, so I think I'm going to leave the setting and framing to a professional.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

International Cosmo-Blogging Volume II: O Fim

I've been back in Denver for a week now, and while I still haven't unpacked my suitcase, I thought I would post the last of my pictures from my fabulous trip to the Azores two weeks ago. Although the weather was less than perfect for most of time I was there, we did manage to make it to the beach in Praia da Vitoria for a few hours on Thursday, where I picked up a rockin' sunburn.

The water was a little cold....
....but it was beautiful and a lot of fun. I hadn't been to the beach in a long, long time.

One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was going to a street bull fight later that night. My mom's landlord's family had a piece of property on the street where it was being held. We were seated up in kind of roof garden, so we were able to have a great, but completely safe, place to watch from.

Basically, they take some rowdy bulls, about six guys try to hold on to it with a rope and they let it go in the street. Then all the macho (and usually a little drunk) guys run up and taunt it, to try to get it to chase them. There were four different bulls used, and the whole thing took a couple hours.

While I'm sure PETA isn't a fan of these events, it's not like the Spanish-style arena bull fights where the bull is killed. With an Azorean street bull fight, you go hoping to see some guys get their asses kicked and everyone is rooting for the bulls. Someone actually did get trampled, and while I think he may have been milking it a little bit, an ambulence came and took him away. But I guess that's what you get when you run up to an angry bull and poke it with an umbrella!

And that's about it! Thanks for the wonderful trip, Mommy - you're the best! I'm already hoping can make it a twice-in-a-lifetime experience and come back next year....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Biscoitos! Sunshine!

We finally got some sun! Instead of hanging around Fonte do Bastardo and Praia da Vitoria on the south-eastern side of the island, which was still pretty overcast, we headed north. In fact we drove around the entire coast of the island today.
One of the highlights was stopping in a town on the northern coast called Biscoitos (pronounced besh-goyts). We finally got to catch some sun. There were these volcanic rock formations on the coast line that have been turned into cement beaches. The water was still a little too cold for swimming (although the Portuguese locals didn't seem to mind), but hopefully I was able to get a little bit of a tan!
On our way around the western coast of the island, we ran across an old nature preserve/park. There was a very cool fountain there, it didn't have a date but looked to be very old. Oh yeah, there was a see-saw there too. And yes, it was fun.
We also stopped for a late lunch of salmon and cod in Biscoitis, visited the "basket man" (he will create out of or wrap up in pretty much anything with reeds), and hit up another tile and ceramic shop, this one in a town called Cinco Ribeiras (I bought a great mixing bowl).
All-in-all it was a great day. And although we were disappointed to find out that our off-shore fishing trip for tomorrow has been cancelled due to an impending storm, we are planning to see a street bull fight tomorrow night and that sounds very exciting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shopping in Angra

The weather was still not cooperating today! So instead of going to the beach, we decided to go shopping. First, we went this very cool ceramic tile shop near where my mom lives (I can't remember the name of it right now....) Some of you who are reading this will probably be getting painted tiles from there as souvenirs. They have hundreds of variations of tiles there. Some are screen prints and some are custom hand-painted. But all are fired in their own shop. Later in the week I am going to go back and order a six-tile mosaic painting. Hopefully I can get an example picture to share.
Later in the day we went to a town called Angra, which is located on the southern coast of the island. It's much bigger than both Praia and Fonte do Bastardo. There were lots of shops, and although we weren't looking for anything in particular, we spent the afternoon just walking around and poking our heads into many of them.