Friday, February 27, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Feeling Lucky?  Sponsor a Ducky! by Selbe, via I {heart} Rhody
Feeling Lucky? Sponsor a Ducky! by Selbe

cold buddha by Roger LeJeune, via I {heart} Rhody
cold buddha by Roger LeJeune

Dance of Peace Sculpture by Fire In The Eye Photography, via I {heart} Rhody
Dance of Peace Sculpture by Fire In The Eye Photography

Keith's Theatre - Westminster Street.  Postcard c. 1900 and present location in 2014 by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Keith's Theatre - Westminster Street. Postcard c. 1900 and present location in 2014 by Eric Harrison

Castle Hill Lighthouse in Evening Light by dhfore, via I {heart} Rhody
Castle Hill Lighthouse in Evening Light by dhfore

Greystone Veterans Monument by ArtFan70, via I {heart} Rhody
Greystone Veterans Monument by ArtFan70

The Winter of 2015_2298 by Rick Payette, via I {heart} Rhody
The Winter of 2015_2298 by Rick Payette

Untitled by MrsLamontagne423, via I {heart} Rhody
Untitled by MrsLamontagne423

Providence mall by tao wang, via I {heart} Rhody
Providence mall by tao wang

Ram Tail Road Bridge by Frank Grace, via I {heart} Rhody
Ram Tail Road Bridge by Frank Grace

#2 After the Storm by Joanne Johnson, via I {heart} Rhody
#2 After the Storm by Joanne Johnson

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Performing Arts ~ I Love Lucy Live at PPAC ~ February 24 - March 1 ~ Providence



I went to see I Love Lucy Live at PPAC on Tuesday night. It was a lot of fun!



The premise is that you are a member of the studio audience during a live filming of two episodes of I Love Lucy. This includes filming the commercials, and the genial host, rather like this fellow:


He kept things moving with lots of in-jokes and some nice improv work. There's lots of audience participation, and an applause sign, in case you're not sure. At no point did the audience need to be prompted to applaud.

The actors did a great job of inhabiting their roles, particularly Thea Brooks as Lucy and Euriamis Losada as Ricky. Losada, who was born in Cuba, did a fantastic job showcasing Ricky's many talents, including singing, dancing and the bongos. Even though the show only involves filming two episodes, you'll find plenty of jokes and references to other favorite I Love Lucy gags.



The costumes were very well done. It was strange to see the big-skirted 50's dresses in living color. The same with the Ricardo's living room. After decades in black and white, it was both strange and wonderful to see what those clothes really looked like.


I was entertained and charmed by the whole experience. The retro commercials that make us realize how much things have changed, also helped bring us back to the 50s.

Whether you love Lucy or just remember her fondly, you'll get a kick out of I Love Lucy Live.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Artists ~ Jennifer Neuguth ~ Foster

Artist’s name: Jennifer Neuguth
Shop name: IamTra
Website: www.iamtra.com
Blog: coming soon
Twitter: www.twitter.com/iamtrainc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/iamtrainc
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/iamtrainc
Other www.instagram.com/iamtrainc

1. Tell us about your work
Iamtra produces lifestyle products that support healthy living. Our water bottles, mugs, tea, magnets, jewelry (and more) transform lives by helping people focus on how they want to feel. All items are designed and made in RI.


2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I owned a contemporary gift gallery in RI called OOP and an art festival company called Festival Fete. I took my experience from both to start my wholesale line.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from my own journey. I have experienced some difficult times but through the use of mantras, I have been able to move my life in a positive direction. Each item in my line is a tool I use in my daily life for healthy living.


4. What’s your favorite item to create?
My favorite item to create is always the next new item

5. What’s your best seller?
My best seller are the IamTra cups and tea


6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I moved to RI at the age of 22 to open OOP on Thayer Street.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
EVERYTHING...I love the support of the arts in RI, the amazing food and how all of us Rhode Islander's are truly connected.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I have been a serial entrepreneur in the state of Ri since I was 22 (I am now 50), I am forever thankful for all the support the state has offered from the mayor's office to the small business development center to all the loyal customers.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book review ~ Remarkable Women of Rhode Island by Frank L. Grzyb and Russell J. DeSimone


Every now and then I do a search for books with a Rhode Island theme. My most recent find was this historical piece by Grzyb and DeSimone.

The book is a collection of biographical sketches, starting with female sachem Awashonks during King Philip's War (ca 1675), and continuing right up to the publication date (July 2014). The two men describe the struggles and triumphs of historical Rhode Island women. They also try to put the accomplishments into the context of the time in which they lived.

The biographies are broken up into sections: Native Americans; Activists, Reformers and Dorrites; The Literati; Arts and Artists; Educators; Religious Leaders; Making their Voices Heard; Athletes; It's a Woman's Job, Too; First Ladies in Their Fields, and Other Achievements.

The biographies are simply written, with a younger reader in mind. In fact, it's a book I'll share with my grandchildren when they're a few years older.


Friday, February 20, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Untitled by MrsLamontagne423, via I {heart} Rhody
Untitled by MrsLamontagne423

Cathedral Square - Active urban center vs. desolate wasteland of urban "renewal" by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Cathedral Square - Active urban center vs. desolate wasteland of urban "renewal" by Eric Harrison

Cat In A Window by ArtFan70, via I {heart} Rhody
Cat In A Window by ArtFan70

The Hiding Place..... by Donna St.Pierre, via I {heart} Rhody
The Hiding Place..... by Donna St.Pierre

096 by Erika Smith, via I {heart} Rhody
096 by Erika Smith

Cold Day In Providence, Rhode Island by Fire In The Eye Photography, via I {heart} Rhody
Cold Day In Providence, Rhode Island by Fire In The Eye Photography

CLIFF WALK by tao wang, via I {heart} Rhody
CLIFF WALK by tao wang

Gino admires the snowdrift on the back deck by Rick Payette, via I {heart} Rhody
Gino admires the snowdrift on the back deck by Rick Payette

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Art ~ Memorial Angel at Swan Point Cemetery ~ Providence

I've written about Swan Point Cemetery before. Bear and I have been there several times. I have a... fascination? appreciation? for cemetery art, and how people memorialize their loved ones.

I found this piece particularly interesting. Like most funerary art, there's no artist's mark visible, so I knew almost nothing about it until the quote below appeared on Pinterest.
Cement angel

"Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI. As it happens, I can add information about this angel. She was created in concrete by my great aunt Mabel "Mabs" Gardner, for the grave of her parents. Mabs was a woman rather ahead of her time. She and my grandmother attended what became the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. She later went to serve with the Red Cross in France during WWI, and eventually became an expatriate living in a studio in Paris, carving and casting figures. (Forest Rogers)"
Clearly Mabs' parents lived in Rhode Island, but I don't know enough about them to do much more research. A Google search for "Mabel "Mabs" Gardner artist" brought only obituaries in the UK from 2011.

Forest Rogers is an artist, himself. He has a blog where he shared another piece of artwork done by his aunt Mabs. Like the angel, it's serene and lovely.


I'd love to know more about Mabs and her artwork, but it's nice to know we have some of it here, and it's still standing guard for her parents.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Artists ~ Jane Carlson ~ Narragansett

Name: Jane Carlson
Shop Name: J & J Illuminations
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/jjilluminations


1. Tell us about your work.
I am a nautical crafter.. I design and craft shell-framed mirrors along with wreaths which can be used as wall decor, centerpieces or to just add a little beachy flavor to any home.


2. How did you come to be a crafter?
I have always loved crafting and designing with sea shells as a hobby. It wasn't until this past year, when I had to take a medical leave from my job, that I really became involved with my crafts. My family and friends were very influential in convincing me to open a shop on Etsy. It's a wonderful feeling when I finish one of my creations and post it on the website and the viewers favor and like these items. I have sold my crafts all over the country from Hawaii, to California, Texas, Florida, etc. and have received many 5 star reviews. I offer outstanding customer service, great pricing and super fast shipping. I am always adding new items to my shop.

3. Where do you draw your inspirations?
All of my inspirations have come from walking along our coastal areas and visiting our many beaches and lighthouses. Over the years, I have collected quite an assortment of shells which I have used in many of my creations.


4. What is your favorite item to create?
I enjoy doing custom orders for something special, whether it be for a gift, a certain occasion or to add decor to a specific room.

5. What is your best seller?
I do very well with my shell framed mirrors and the wreaths with candles.


6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I am a native Rhode Islander and have spent my entire life living along the shorelines.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love the state of Rhode Island and our many beautiful coastal areas. There's nothing like the peace and tranquility you get sitting on the beaches or on one of the cliffs overlooking the ocean. I love our breath taking sunsets and star filled nights.

Friday, February 13, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Enishkeetompauog Narragansett  [from Trail Of The Whispering Giants] by ArtFan70, via I {heart} Rhody
Enishkeetompauog Narragansett [from Trail Of The Whispering Giants] by ArtFan70

The Place To Be...... by Donna St.Pierre, via I {heart} Rhody
The Place To Be...... by Donna St.Pierre

Untitled via I {heart} Rhody
Untitled by MrsLamontagne423

#98 Windswept by Joanne Johnson, via I {heart} Rhody
#98 Windswept by Joanne Johnson

House On The Lake by Fire In The Eye Photography, via I {heart} Rhody
House On The Lake by Fire In The Eye Photography

Harrison Street, west end.  Former Pilgrim Congregational Church by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Harrison Street, west end. Former Pilgrim Congregational Church by Eric Harrison

DSC_0373 by tao wang, via I {heart} Rhody
DSC_0373 by tao wang

Gino is impressed by Rick Payette, via I {heart} Rhody
Gino is impressed by Rick Payette

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Artists ~ Mary Monteiro

Artist’s name:  Mary Monteiro
Shop name: Avani Original Art
Website: http://www.avanioriginalart.artspan.com/

1. Tell us about your work.
I discovered silk painting about two years ago after a life long career as an illustrator. This medium gives me the spontaneity I was looking for. I aim for a balance of letting it happen and exerting some control to avoid undesirable effects. By letting the designs emerge in a wet-on-wet technique I can create one-of-a-kind pieces for my customers.


2. How did you come to be a professional artist?
I started my pursuit of art at 18. I was drawn to Rhode Island in my early twenties because of some very talented artists I met here. Fortunately I was able to apprentice with both of them, one a painter and one an illustrator, and launched my freelance art business in 1976. Art has been my passion ever since.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the beauty of the natural world so I named my silk painting business "Avani" which is Sanskrit for nature. The way I paint now is part my doing and part letting the paint and water flow onto the silk, so my work is signed "Avani" to acknowledge nature as the true artist.


4. What is your favorite item to create?
Definitely my scarf design called "Imagine" named so because people see organic forms: trees, birds and such in the patterns. It's fun for me because I watch the effect "grow" as it drying and add touches here and there.

5. What is your best seller?
My 8 x 72" scarf. Because it's long and thin you can wear it a variety of ways. "Imagine" in Blue, Violet and Turquoise and my "Waterlily" designs are tied for best sellers.


6. What do you love most about Rhode Island?
The people here have a basic respect and appreciation of art which is rare. And there are lots of talented people here who keep me inspired.

7. Anything else?
That would have to be the coffee!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dining ~ Ladder 133 ~ Providence

Ladder 133
133 Douglas Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 272-7427

by Mommy

With 4 small kids, Papi and I don't often get out, just the two of us. It had been months since our last date night, so we planned a special pre-Superbowl dinner. With a snow storm on its way, we wanted to stay close to home, and ended up at Ladder 133, a former firehouse turned sports bar and grill with a great reputation.


image: Ladder 133

By this point, you may have put it together more quickly than we did; Sports bars are packed on Super Bowl Sunday. When asked if we had a reservation, I was sure we would be laughed back into the cold weather, but they were all too happy to accommodate us, since we weren't planning to stay for the game.
Ladder 133 is introducing a brand new menu this week, from which they pulled all their specials. While their old menu was so oversized and generic that we got lost in a sea of typical barfood options, they now offer a fresher menu, focused on great quality food.

Our waitress Jen was excited to share with us her recommendations, and we are glad to have taken her advice. We started with the Maple Glazed Pork Belly, which was topped with bleu cheese crumbles. Seriously, this is the best way to eat pork! I should have gotten one of my own, because while I am a savorer, Papi is a shoveler, and it was gone before I knew what had happened.


Luckily our entrees were close behind, which were also pretty tasty. I chose the black bean burger, which was topped with an avocado puree and sriracha aioli. It came with an order of the house made salt and vinegar chips (which were served in the cutest mini fryer basket!) The burger was great, aside from the need for a textural change in my mouth. While the flavors were on point, I felt like I had bitten into one giant smoosh.


Papi was really pleased with his Bourbon Bistro Steak Tips, served with red pepper polenta and balsamic glazed brussel sprouts. According to him,"It was very delicious and tasty! It's very good. I would recommend them to anyone."


From our conversation with our server, we learned that not only is this already a great family friendly place, which hosts live entertainment, but there are some great renovations coming to Ladder 133. Having recently acquired the space next door, they plan on adding a lounge space within the next year. What a little treasure we've stumbled on! We are excited to come back and see what other experiences the restaurant has to offer.