Monday, June 28, 2010

Ceramics Workshop

On our first day, we had a workshop with Simonetta Giaroli, who is a Ceramics Artist.
She had prepared ceramic figures for each of us to paint, each one a little different.

Then, we each spent time painting and altering our lady, to our own tastes.

Simonetta will fire the women, and then we will add wire to form long arms, and from these we can hang our earrings and jewelry.

Here we are at work!!

Here I am with Simonetta. We had a wonderful day.

The Italy Retreat Cast of Characters

Our retreat here in Verona has started.

Meet Cynthia, Anna, Judith, Ursula, Jackie, Mary, and me.
Here we are known as Cinzia, Anna, Guidita, Orsola, Jacquelina, Maria and Susanna

Now... give them a camera, and watch them go a bit 'silly'. We are having a great time.
We sit on a famous staircase in Piazza del Ragione in Verona.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Inspiration: History and Architecture in Verona

I am expecting my Retreat Group here in two days. Thus, I have been preparing lessons on various topics to inspire them with design. We will be doing a walking tour of Verona, to allow them to get their bearings. I took this, so that I could get a preview in advance, and the history is amazing.

Here are some images of buildings in Verona. Verona's history/buildings goes back to the first century A.D. (with the Roman Arena). We will be looking at everything around us as a source of inspiration for texture, color, form, etc.

Jazz in Verona: For the Love of Playing Music

Saturday evening, I went to dinner with a new friend, and afterwards, we walked over to a Street Festival with Jazz.

Now, I want to say, that one thing I have noticed with all kinds of music here in Europe, whether it be classical, jazz, world...,when you watch the musicians play, their love of playing music radiates.

So, that being said, I am posting some photos here. They were taken with my I-Phone, which is not able to capture motion well in low light. Let me tell you that there was motion!!

The Italian men in this Jazz ensemble, paraded for a bit on the street, and then found a spot where they performed for a long time. They were infectious! I hope you get a sense of it from these images, even if they are not clear in all cases.

The group was called Magicaboola Jazz Brass Band.

Think..... JAZZ.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Caftans.. a hot fashion item in Italy

I have been walking the streets of Verona, and now Padova (Padua), to see what are new things in fashion.
The caftan returns. Traditionally this has always been an unstructured, loose and flowing garment, worn in many parts of the world, but particularly in the Middle East.

The following are detail shots of the above caftan.

Here is a second style.

Working in the Library

I generally come to the city library to work. Today, I am struggling to get in a working mood, so as you can see by the above image, I 'dally'. In this shot, you can see how wonderful and motivating the library is. I am surrounded by "old" books, in a beautiful setting.

Enter.. the Macintosh Photo Booth application. This is what one does when she is having trouble maintaining focus. Of course, I got caught playing around by some of the people sitting near me. How embarrassing. Then again, I believe that one is never to old to be silly.

Design in Architecture

Here are two shots of the interior of a church in Padova (Padua), Italy. My friend Beate encouraged me to join her on a day trip, and I'm glad I did.

I think the architecture is wonderful, and admire greatly, the use of curves.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ponte di Veja: a Roman Bridge for Inspiration

Yesterday, a new friend, Jolanda, took Beate and I out to the country to see an old Roman bridge, which is made naturally, by the shape of the stone. After a three hour lunche with Jolanda and her friends, we hiked in and around the bridge. Isn't this amazing! I will be posting some of the photos I took, that inspire me design-wise... in an upcoming entry.

Two shots of under the bridge, one with Jolanda.

One shot of the natural top of the bridge.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Two History Professors

Meet Beate...
She is visiting Verona (and me) from San Diego.

We are both Professors of History... Beate teaches Art History, and I, of Fashion.

Elements and Principles of Design.. applied to food

I'm still loving all the fresh fruit here.

Yet another photo of one of the dinners I prepare at home... I have as much fun preparing the plate (using my fashion design aesthetics of color, texture, placement, etc., and combining them with food aesthetics such as flavor, texture, color, etc.) as I do eating the meal.

Here.. a dinner somewhat on the light side, probably because I had either a gelato, or pasta at lunch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I loved seeing this outside a store on the streets of Verona.

The art of Tailoring still exists!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Opera Decisions... which one?

On Sunday evening, I went to an Opera preview evening at the Roman Arena. The initial building of this arena was started in 49 AD. It boggles my mind to think that I am sitting on stone steps that old.

The event was a Preview of the Opera Season about to commence here later in the month. The event was televised, so it was very interesting for me to watch how the Italians organize and film a live performance, with 'us' as the audience.

We got to see a snippet of each of the operas of this, the 88th year of Verona Opera. I post these here, as tidbits to help my Retreat group decide which opera they would like to see while here.
More info at the official Opera site

This is what the Roman Arena looks like, as it fills with people... and when there is a Full House with the lights down. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Here is sultry Carmen..

Aida is the most spectacular of the four, with over 150 people on stage at once, including horses, etc. Of course, it is the longest of the operas, and will last until nearly 1 a.m. The last of these four images is showing the fireworks along the top of the arena, which was the final scene of the evening.. at midnight.

Madame Butterfly is lovely, and sad. Viva Puccini!

Here I am listening to Nessun Dorma, from Turandot. This is one of the most beautiful of opera arias.

I believe this shot was from Il Trovatore. I have not seen this opera in past, so I am a little sketchy.

OK my group of ladies...which one??

Images from my Walk in Verona

This blog entry is specifically for the group of women who will be coming to join me in Verona in a few weeks for a Design Retreat. I want you to get a sense of the city, from the same view as in the movie Letters from Juliet. I took these photos this a.m., as I went for an early walk with my camera in hand.

I am going to give an attempt at uploading a video of these and more shots... so, here it is.

Images from my Walk