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Saturday, December 6, 2008

At the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

We celebrated Thanksgiving in Milwaukee with our kids. This was the first time in several years we were all four of us together for this holiday and it was really great. Chris wanted to go to the Harley-Davidson Museum and since they were also having a special day-after-Thanksgiving event complete with a give-away of commemorative Harley-Davidson Museum glasses we piled in the car for the short ride to the museum grounds, conveniently located off I-94 at the crossroads of 6th and canal, right on the Milwaukee River. To be honest, I'm not really a big Harley fan (imagine that!) but this museum is so well done and connects the history of the motorcycle to other historical events and the displays are really entertaining and informative. As a graphic designer I really appreciate HD‘s attention to detail and the quality and cohesiveness of their design, in everything from the bike design to their letterhead, business papers and advertising, even from the very beginning of the company.

We had a fun time sitting on the different bikes and exploring this really cool place. There was even a big screen TV showing clips from all the great motorcycle movies like Easy Rider and The Wild Ones. It was just fun. I‘ll try to post some of Bob‘s photos later. These were taken by the photographer at Harley-Davidson and were downloaded from their site.

We finished our tour with a free beer in the cafĂ© that overlooks the river. The only negative part of the day was the fact that the museum restaurant was not staffed up enough to handle the crowds that day and they ran out of some of the menu items and beers we wanted to try. No big deal though and I would definitely recommend a visit there if you are in the area, even if you aren‘t a follower of the Hell's Angels!

Me and my Harley

Jessica, with Chris riding shotgun

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Early Thanksgiving in Richmond 2008

We went to Richmond the week before Thanksgiving to spend it with Kyla and Chris, since Kyla would be at her Mom's house for Thanksgiving Day. I cooked a mini-thanksgiving dinner, with a turkey breast and all the trimmings in smaller amounts. Kyla had mac & cheese.

During the day, while her Daddy was at work Bob and I took her to a place called The Inflation Nation, a big warehouse of a place with all these inflatables kids like to jump in and on, like at birthday parties or festivals in the park. She loves it and is absolutely fearless!

Later, before dinner we had fun making turkeys from our handprints and she created this vase of flowers (OK, I made the vase, but she made all the flowers herself, with just a little help with the pipe cleaners) I thought they were fantastic and so creative!

Her finishing touch was a little puppet show under the table to entertain her Daddy!

Halloween 2008

A little out of order, I still wanted to post these photos of Kyla at Halloween. We had fun trick or treating again in Richmond with Kyla and her Mom's family and friends. She has a lovely, large extended family with plenty of brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents to go around!

At 4 years old, Kyla has become enamored with Hannah Montana and knew all the moves and the words to the songs. Hilarious! She had so much fun.

Halloween party at Kim's house (Kyla‘s Mom) with all the cousins in attendance

Bob and I (a.k.a. Gram and Gampy) dressed up as “works in progress” wearing canvases and asking all the party guests to add their drawings. Everyone had a good time with this and by the end of the night the works of art were complete!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Augusta arrived in Milford

A couple of weeks ago the yacht “The Augusta” came home to Milford, Delaware. With all the excitement of Halloween, the election and everything else going on in our lives, I haven't had a chance to write about it. It was the first motorized ship built in Milford in 1927 by the former Vinyard Shipbuilding Company on the Mispillion River. Milford has a proud shipbuilding history, boasting in its heyday, seven working shipyards. Sudler and Joan Lofland, present owners of the former Vinyard Shipyard, recently purchased the yacht and plan to restore her in a working museum atmosphere, perhaps teaching early shipbuilding and cabin-making skills here in Milford. A small group of interested spectators watched as the ship was lifted by crane and eased into its new home. Bob and I were among them. We‘d love to see the city capitalize on its shipbuilding history and this is an early first step towards making that happen. There is talk of building more boats here, perhaps a convention of ship model builders with an art exhibit component, and maybe even developing some sort of ferry service up and down the Mispillion! We think the possibilities are very exciting and look forward to seeing where this goes.

A crane was needed to bring the 50-foot yacht, “The Augusta” into the shipyard

Almost home

In the House

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barrack Obama Wins the Presidency!

We are so ecstatic to write that on this blog! We supported Barack Obama throughout the primaries and through this election period. Rosemary wrote about why she supported him. America is poised to turn the page on the past eight years and look towards the future with hope and optimism. We know it's not going to be easy but with a man like Barack as president we are confident that change will happen and that he is the right man at the right time with the ability to bring us all together as one America.

We thought we would include a link here to Barack Obama.com and his speech from last night: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/stateupdates/gGxLhV

We were weeping by the end and wanted to share it with you.

Thank you for voting. Thank you for caring.
Bob & Rosemary

Working for Obama in Philadelphia & Richmond

Bob and I went to Philadelphia to canvas for Barack Obama. Here are a few images from the Campaign Headquarters before we headed out to walk the streets of North Philadelphia. It was amazing to meet and talk with so many people, from every walk of life, in every color and economic strata who support this guy. We were so thrilled to help in even a small way.

At the Obama Campaign HQ in Philly

Then a few days later made phone calls for Barack at the Obama Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and had the opportunity to hear Governor Bill Richardson speak to the volunteers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Barack Obama

With just one week to go until election day I wanted to post my thoughts about Barack Obama and why I support him for President of the United States. There was an ugly letter in our local paper from a McCain supporter and I just felt that I had to offer the other side. Here's my letter:

Why I support Barack Obama

I support Barack Obama because I believe in an America where everyone is treated equally regardless of his/her race, sex, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or ethnic background. Where everyone has an opportunity for a good education to succeed in our world and work together for a better America.

I support Barack Obama because I believe in Peace and because I believe we can do more with diplomacy than with military action. I want an America that does not bully; that works with other countries and respects the rest of the world as partners.

Because I believe with Obama the country will look forward and address the damages of global warming. That in the ten years it will take to get more oil rigs up and running he will see to it that we have explored and encouraged, and developed other forms of energy.

I support Barack Obama because I believe in Hope. The hope that America can be better than it has been these last eight years. John McCain voted 90% of the time with George Bush and he says he wants to run on the issues but then resorts to smears and lies, distracting from the real issues.

Because I have been stunned and ashamed of an America that can seriously debate whether we should torture detainees and because John McCain, for all his tough talk and in spite of the cruelty he himself endured, backed down on the issue and ultimately gave in to the Bush Administration's demands regarding the treatment of detainees.

Because I want an America where large corporations don't use loopholes to avoid paying taxes and don’t get tax breaks for taking jobs oversees. Where workers are paid a living wage and average people don’t lose their life savings while CEO's walk away with millions after running companies into the ground.

Because I believe we need Health Care that covers every American. Where the ill and the elderly don't become destitute because their health care costs are so high. If our government cares for the least among us this is not socialism, it is compassionate and responsible.

I support Barack Obama because women still earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. We do not need more conservatives in the White House – and on the Supreme Court – who will turn back the clock on women's rights, while proclaiming a woman as Vice President who does not support the values of women like me - a white woman, a grandmother, proud to call myself a liberal – and I don’t consider that a dirty word – happily married to the same man for 40 years who raised two children to believe that men and women were created equal and should be treated equally, with equal rights and equal opportunities and equal control over their own futures.

I don't understand an America that says it wants us to come together, that wants change, that wants to end divisiveness and the politics of hate and then responds to John McCain and Sarah Palin's campaign of mudslinging and lies.

I believe these issues are too important to be talking about things manufactured to distract us. I urge you to look at the issues and where each of these candidates stands on the things that matter most to you. If you truly want change from the last eight years then please vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I support Barack Obama because I believe he has the intelligence, the poise and wisdom, the understanding and compassion to bring us all together as one America and lead our country out of these dark days and into a better tomorrow.

Thank you,
Rosemary Connelly
Milford, Delaware

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mispillion Autumn Arts & Attire Gala

Last night, October 24, we attended the Mispillion Art League‘s big fundraiser/Gala, “Autumn Arts & Attire” - a juried member show that included dinner and a fashion show (Bob was one of the models looking quite dashing in a tuxedo! and I wore a spiffy new outfit for the occasion!) at the Shawnee Country Club, here in Milford. There were over 70 Fine Art entries from our members in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, graphite and mixed media, and Fine Crafts that included gourds/basketry, wood carving and jewelry. It is a terrific show with some very fine work representing over 28 local artists and was attended by over 100 guests that included the mayor, city council members and other distinguished members of the community. The committee members did an excellent job pulling this event together and we were all proud of the results.

The show will remain at the Shawnee Country Club, 6152 S. Rehoboth Blvd, Milford, DE 302-422-9745 October 25 and 26 from 8-5 and will then move to the Mispillion Art League Gallery, 127 NW Front Street, Milford. (Thursdays and Fridays 4-6, Saturday 10-2 and Sundays 12-3) where it will remain, through January 5, 2009.

Sara Gallagher‘s amazing “Fall‘s Court” won First Place, my “At Abbott‘s Mill” Second and Cathy Walls beautiful “Autumn Pond” Third. Bob took First Place for Photography with “Verona Dried Flowers” and Bea Whitehead, First Place in Crafts for her Gourd “Icelandia.” Honorable mentions were given to Sharon Hepford, Betsy Rybczynski, Sonja Frey, John J. Ferrier, Judy Struck, Nicole Carter, Mark Schanne and Elizabeth Gilbert. (I apologize if I have forgotten anyone!)

We were honored to have as our judge Marie Cavallaro of Salisbury University. Professor Cavallaro is an acclaimed visual artist and educator and is co-founder of the Cavallaro Cleary Visual Arts Foundation that provides scholarships to high school students continuing a visual arts education.

Bob‘s photograph “Verona Dried Flowers” won First Place in the Fine Art/Photography category

My watercolor “At Abbott‘s Mill” won Second Place in the Fine Art/Painting category

A detail of “Fall’s Court” by Sara Gallagher. Her oversize watercolor on canvas won First Place and sold this weekend!

Us at the Gala

The evening included a Fashion Show with outfits from Talbots and tuxedos from the Bridal Boutique. That’s Betsy Rybczynski modeling here.

At the Pumpkin Patch with Kyla

We went to the Chesterfield Berry Farm (a real working fruit, vegetable, and beef cattle farm located in western Chesterfield County near Richmond) for their Harvest Festival with Kyla and Chris about two weeks ago. They had all sorts of fun stuff for kids to do, like the “shelled corn play area” where kids could roll around in a big container of corn - she loved it - one of those big Moon Bounce things, wagon rides, goats, ducks and pigs, pony rides and more, with a hay ride out to a huge field of pumpkins where you could pick your own.

She really liked riding the horse

She was quite a natural up there!

Our Little Flower with her proud Daddy

Kyla in the Moon Bounce - she loves stuff like this

Kyla had fun searching for her perfect pumpkin.

Going Home - having a quiet moment with her Daddy

On Sunday we went out to Uno‘s for dinner and she got to make her own pizza! Fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Upcoming Shows & Exhibits

Hello friends,
Bob and I would like to take this opportunity to let you know about a few things coming up for us, that you might want to check out if you have the time.

Delaware Art Museum, Opening Reception November 7, 5:30 - 8pm
2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 302-571-9590
Bob’s photograph “The Little Saint, Good Friday, Enna, Sicily” was selected for inclusion in the Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks exhibition in conjunction with Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks. Through January 4, 2009.

Rehoboth Art League, Opening reception November 14, 5 - 7pm
12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 302-227-8408
The Theme of this show is Photo Opportunities. This is a member show in al media employing a photographic connection. Through January 6, 2009.

Millsboro Art League, Fall Open Art Exhibit
203 Main Street, Millsboro (Friday and Saturday 11 to 3 and Sundays 12 to 3PM)
Samples of our work are currently on exhibit through October 30. In addition, Bob’s photograph “Dahlias” won first place in the Photography category.

Mispillion Art League, Autumn Arts & Attire
Art Exhibit & Gala, Shawnee Country Club, Friday October 24, 2008 6pm
Work with an Autumn theme will remain on exhibit at the Shawnee Country Club, 6152 S. Rehoboth Blvd, Milford, DE 302-422-9745 October 25 and 26 from 8-5. It will then move to the Mispillion Art League Gallery, 127 NW Front Street, Milford. (Thursdays and Fridays 4-6, Saturday 10-2 and Sundays 12-3). Through January 5, 2009

Rosemary’s Journal Paintings & Prints are on exhibit at Angelucci Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass Studios and Artists Gallery, 7 Park Avenue, Milford, DE. 302-422-4533

Something new:
Rosemary’s “Rosemary’s Garden® NoteCards” and Bob’s “Keyhole, Letterbox and Doorhandle Series note cards will be available for purchase at Dolce Bakery Shop, 36 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bob's photo will hang at Delaware Art Museum

The Little Saint, Enna, Sicily 2006

We're excited to tell you that Bob received word yesterday that his photograph entitled "The Little Saint" was chosen for inclusion in the Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks Arts Competition photography exhibition which will be on view from November 4 - January 4, 2009 at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. This show runs in conjunction with Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks. Artists were invited to submit photographs, poetry, and short films reflecting the themes found in the art of Gordon Parks.

On his death, the New York Times wrote a lovely tribute to his life and work. If you aren't familiar with Gordon Parks, it is worth reading: "Gordon Parks, a Master of the Camera, Dies at 93."

An Opening Reception Celebration for the “Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks Arts Competition”
will be held on Friday, November 7, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. It's a free event and coincides with Wilmington's "Art on the Town" a first Friday art walk throughout the downtown area.

The celebration continues later in the month when selected film entries are screened at the Delaware Art Museum on Sunday, November 23 (2:00 p.m.) and the Christina Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, November 30 (2:00 p.m.).

With his photograph entitled "The Little Saint" Bob captured a quiet moment in Enna, Sicily on Good Friday 2006 during a religious procession where male members of the "confraternities" or clubs from each church don elaborate colored robes and white hoods over their heads with holes cut for their eyes, acting as "penititi" (penitents), like so many souls wandering, seeking forgiveness. The little girls were dressed as saints/nuns and their mothers scurried in and out fussing over them. I wrote about this extensively on our Italy blog and if you are interested in reading and seeing more of Bob's photographs of this event, click this link: Live Cheap and Make Art and scroll down for the story and photos.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dance Boulevard performs at Festival Italiano

The Fifth Annual Festival Italiano Food and Wine Festival at Belmar took place while I was in Colorado for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. It was a lot of fun, great food, entertainment and artisans selling ceramics, gelato, sausages with peppers and onions, Pizza fritte (like sfingas!), pizza and more. There were chef demonstrations, live Italian music and dancing, and regional Italian wine tastings. It was almost like being in Italy (well, not quite, but still fun!) Maddie’s dance school Dance Boulevard, in Arvada, Colorado, under the tutelage of owner and Artistic Director, Amie Bergondo, was invited to perform at the festival. They were adorable!

Belmar, Colorado is a live-work-play community about ten minutes west of downtown Denver with options like condos, townhouses, flats, residences and urban row houses, (some already sold out!) with future live/work lofts planned. Shopping is upscale, mixed with trendy restaurants and entertainment venues, it seemed like a very cool place to live.

Dancers aged 7 to 17 (or there about!) performed at Belmar’s Festival Italiano on Saturday and Sunday, Sept 20 - 21, 1008 and Maddie was right there with them. Here they are at the beginning of the performance with music blaring and hands clapping to many well-known (and some not as well known) Italian favorites.

I was so glad I could be there to see Madison perform at the Festival

Maddie’s dance partners performed to "Buona Sera, Signorina", an old tune made popular by Louie Prima in the 1950’s.

All the dancers swirled around in a circle, doing the Tarantella

At the end the girls invited their friends and neighbors to join in the Tarantella

Maddie and Sam doing the Tarantella

Belmar, Colorado's Festival Italiano

Pane Fresco (fresh bread) was one of the highlights (for us anyway!) of Belmar's Festival Italiano

My sister Suzanne contemplates the breakfast goodies. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Festival's main street in Belmar, Colorado

Street Painters busy copying old master paintings on the streets of Belmar

Authentic flag throwers were brought over from Florence, Italy to perform. I felt like I was back in Italy!

Stomping Grapes at Belmar's Italian festival

The kids had fun stomping grapes. The Balistreri Vineyards sponsored this tent where kids of all ages were free to stomp the grapes that will be turned into wine for next year's vintage. I was a a bit dubious about the sanitary qualities but they assured me once the wine goes through the fermentation process it is all very sterile and clean.

Maddie had fun getting her toes all squishy with grapes after the dancing was over

Sam stayed safely outside the squishy grapes (budding author that she is, with her ever-present notebook in hand, should a brilliant idea for the book she is writing strike her, she's always ready to jot it down)

One of the reps for the winery, wearing her "Wine Glasses"

Visiting Denver, Colorado

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum's landmark Hamilton Building, an expansion of the original North Building (1971, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates) was designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind to recall the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and opened to the public October 7, 2006. It is a spectacular building both inside and out and I was completely taken with the dramatic angles, ceilings, windows, staircases, bridges and plays on light.

The Hamilton Building exterior

Staircase, interior

Window with dramatic light

Denver's Public Library was designed by architect Michael Graves and is located next to the Denver Art Museum. The cartoonish sculpture in the foreground is called “The Shoot-Out”, by artist Red Grooms. It sits on the roof of Denver Art Museum's Palettes restaurant. I guess when it first appeared in 1983 it was pretty controversial and drew protests from Native Americans and support from Artists who defended it as Pop Art. It was hidden away for years but has recently re-emerged apparently to little fanfare. If you want to read more about this, check out this website that provides an interesting account: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM31PK

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's
sculpture "Big Sweep" sits outside the entrance to the Denver Art Museum.