Friday, January 30, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

pumpkin path by shana, via I {heart} Rhody
pumpkin path by shana

THE CHANLER by tao wang, via I {heart} Rhody
THE CHANLER by tao wang

Dancing On The Waves by ArtFan70, via I {heart} Rhody
Dancing On The Waves by ArtFan70

Where Are You Going..... by Donna St.Pierre, via I {heart} Rhody
Where Are You Going..... by Donna St.Pierre

Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church - Corner of Broadway & Barton streets by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church - Corner of Broadway & Barton streets by Eric Harrison

Snow Bench by John via I {heart} Rhody
Snow Bench by John

IMG_9560_DxO by John "Mike" Manning, via I {heart} Rhody
IMG_9560_DxO by John "Mike" Manning

Snacking on Seafood by John Crosby, via I {heart} Rhody
Snacking on Seafood by John Crosby

IMG_6843 by MrsLamontagne423, via I {heart} Rhody
IMG_6843 by MrsLamontagne423

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Artists ~ Wendy Cournoyer ~ Bristol

Artist’s name: Wendy Cournoyer
Shop name: Wendy's Wonders

1. Tell us about your work:
I am a knitter, crocheter, dyer and spinner of natural fibers. I strive to create items that will become a staple piece in your everyday attire.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I am a self taught Fiber Artist. I started knitting and crocheting once I became a stay at home Mom. I fell in love with making things for family and friends. As time passed, I started to tinker more and more with making on own designs. Knitting and designing has now branched off into making my own yarns. Dyeing and spinning has inspired me on a different level of color and texture.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration? 
Everywhere! The world is full of natural textures and colors that inspire.

4. What’s your favorite item to create? 
At the moment, my fingerless gloves are my favorite item to make. I am always wearing a pair while I work.

5. What’s your best seller? 
My Knit Hats for Men have to be the best selling item.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island? 
I have been living in Rhode Island for the past three years. I moved from a small farming community in Pennsylvania.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island? 
I love the water! I could sit and create all day by the waterside.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sights ~ The Cranston Street Armory ~ Providence

Cranston Street Armory
310 Cranston St.
Providence, Rhode Island

Cranston St. Armory

Since its construction in 1907, the Cranston Street Armory has become a landmark in the West End of Providence. So much so, that the neighborhood surrounding it is known as "the Armory District."


Once used for storage of munitions and military training, the National Guard occupied the building until 1996.

"The Castle," as it's sometimes known, sits on land that was willed to the state by Ebenezer Knight Dexter, and was used as a Civil War encampment and training ground. Although the land itself is now part of the Providence Parks, it's still known as the "Dexter Training Ground" and "Dexter Field."

The architects for the Armory were William R. Walker & Son, who also designed Warwick City Hall, Cumberland Town Hall, Emery's Majestic Theater (now Trinity Rep), Avon Cinema, Westerly Armory and the Fifth Ward Wardroom in Pawtucket, among many others.

Throughout its history, the Armory has distributed hot lunches to schoolchildren, hosted intramural sports, served as a public venue for inaugural celebrations, track meets, dog shows and more.

Megan and I attended the inaugural celebration of Mayor Jorge O. Elorza last week. It was our first time inside the building, and it's pretty impressive inside, too. Lots of dark, carved wood, and stairs going everywhere.


The training hall was decorated for the occasion, and looked good with the draping and cut-out lights. A live band played for the sold-out crowd, and local restaurants offered samples.





The crowd went wild when Mayor Elorza talked about his hope to restore the building to its former glory and putting it to regular use again.


Elorza's speech was followed by a parade featuring What Cheer Brigade and a local youth club.



I'm really looking forward to learning the future of the Armory. It's a beautiful historic building with so much to offer.

Friday, January 23, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

DSC_0091 by tao wang via I {heart} Rhody
DSC_0091 by tao wang

Backstreets by Donna St.Pierre, via I {heart} Rhody
Backstreets by Donna St.Pierre

Exchange Place / Kennedy Plaza by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Exchange Place / Kennedy Plaza by Eric Harrison

Providence Night Skyline by John, via I {heart} Rhody
Providence Night Skyline by John

Sachem Pond and North Light by John Crosby, via I {heart} Rhody
Sachem Pond and North Light by John Crosby

Providence WaterFire by Keith Bragg, via I {heart} Rhody
Providence WaterFire by Keith Bragg

Providence by Eddy, via I {heart} Rhody
Providence by Eddy

dandy by shana, via I {heart} Rhody
dandy by shana

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

The StudioIOnline and #94: Water by Joanne Johnson, via I {heart} Rhody
The StudioIOnline and #94: Water by Joanne Johnson

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Artists ~ Monique G. Burgess ~ Portsmouth

Artist’s name: Monique G Burgess
Shop name: MGBstudio
Travel Blog:

1. Tell us about your work
All my jewelry items are one of a kind and handmade in my Portsmouth home studio overlooking the Sakonnet. My main materials include small sparkling faceted gemstone beads or briolettes, leather cord, Japanese silk knotting thread, and ultra tiny faceted Charlotte seed beads. I'm a sailor, global ocean cruiser, with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. Nautical knotted gemstone jewelry has been my specialty since 2008, when my husband, 2 kids and I sailed from Newport, Rhode Island to Auckland, New Zealand.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
Living on a 48-foot catamaran for a few years will alter your world...for the better. It was during our family global cruise that I realized my need to create jewelry was more than a hobby, it was a craving, a necessity. Etsy, and a few local shops, have made it possible for my signature items to be available to to a global clientele.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Beyond RI's beautiful waterfronts, my designs are inspired by red coral reefs submerged in turquoise waters and dotted with tropical fish, lush mountains that shoot straight out of the ocean, family hikes to waterfalls, and of course, coiled rope, taught lines, vertical halyards, grainy teak wood, critical shiny cleats and colorful spinnakers. Some of these items painted my daily scenes, others were my foundation, my insurance, my safety.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
Anything that will be worn daily. I dig statement pieces, but mostly enjoy creating adornments that can be thrown on before running out to the gym, grocery store, or the office.

5. What’s your best seller?
Two designs rise to the top: my minimalist gemstone silk thread magnetic clasp necklaces and multi-wrap gemstone leather bracelets with unique nautical knotting that can also be worn as an anklet.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I was born and raised here. After studying abroad, sailing some of the planet's greatest oceans, in 2010 I returned home to Aquidneck Island.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
It's probably the best sailing in the world. Driving over the many bridges, Rhode Island makes me feel like I'm living in a resort town. But most of all, I adore the fact that if you chat with a Rhode Islander long enough, you'll find you are somehow related!!! It's such a small community of fantastic people.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
My favorite design stories, in the short life of my company (March 2014), is all about repurposing dusty, old, or even broken elements. One client sent me 100-year-old family heirloom glass buttons to be incorporated into my casual everyday designs. Another client handed me her gorgeous vintage Chanel button to be utilized as a clasp in a gemstone wrap bracelet. A dusty handcarved bone tiki of a mama whale and her baby was entrusted to me and my knotting wrap techniques. Adding these precious personal items, immediately transform my jewelry into very sentimental pieces for MGBstudio customers.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Much ado about painting

Much (too much?) is being made of the non-typical portrait of former Gov. Lincoln Chafee unveiled recently.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee by Julie Gearan (via GoLocalProv)
The portrait has a dreamy, almost impressionist quality to it, very different from the more representational life-captures attempted by artists of previous governors (see GoLocalProv's slideshow here).

Portrait styles do tend to change over time. From 1775 to 1860, the governors were seated in their portraits. William Sprague, in office 1860-1863, was shown on a horse. It was the Civil War era, after all.

For the next 20 years, the Governors are all seated, until 1883, when Augustus O. Bourn got up to stand beside his chair. John W. Davis sat back down in 1887 and it took another 12 years before Charles Lippitt stood up.

Governors alternated between standing and sitting, in varying levels of visual crispness, until standing became the style, roundabout 1903. Governors weren't seated again until Gov. San Souci sat down again in 1921.

They were standing in the 30s, sitting in the 40s (the Roosevelt years), until 1951 when Gov. Dennis J. Roberts leaned on the corner of his desk. That's when backgrounds got interesting. We had desks, doors, fireplaces, and in the case of John H. Chafee, the view out an arched window.

After that, standing behind the Governors' desk became the thing to do. American flags started showing up in 1969, with brief breaks for Govs. Garrahy and Sundlun. Sundlun was painted outdoors, apparently on a beach at sunrise. It's worth noting that, to date, only one Rhode Island governor, John A. Notte, Jr., has been painted with the Rhode Island flag in the portrait.

American flags came back with Govs. Almond and Carcieri. It was post-9/11, so that's not surprising. Both men were shown seated.

And now we have the Lincoln Chafee painting. It's different, in that it's darker than previous paintings of the 20th century, though no darker than Robert Quinn's from 1939. He was Governor during the Depression.  The style isn't photorealistic, but neither were those of Del Sesto, Notte, John Chafee or Licht. As opposed to DiPrete and Carcieri, who were practically painted in HD.

L. Chafee doesn't face the painter. He's staring off, presumably to a brighter future (note where the light is coming from, and that his gaze is to the right). He's outdoors. Both aren't typical poses, but they're not unheard-of in the history of Rhode Island gubernatorial portraits.

So what does all this have to do with the price of eggs? I don't know. I think you take from art what you bring to it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

India Point Park Before the Storm by Frank Grace, via I {heart} Rhody
India Point Park Before the Storm by Frank Grace

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

sunset, september by shana, via I {heart} Rhody
sunset, september by shana

Crescent Park Carousel by Keith Bragg, via I {heart} Rhody
Crescent Park Carousel by Keith Bragg

Seekonk River Bridge by Erika Smith
Seekonk River Bridge by Erika Smith

Jamestown and Pell Bridge by John Crosby, via I {heart} Rhody
Jamestown and Pell Bridge by John Crosby

Power Plant by John, via I {heart} Rhody
Power Plant by John

Corner of Hope & Olney Streets by Eric Harrison, via I {heart} Rhody
Corner of Hope & Olney Streets by Eric Harrison

The Stories We Tell...... by Donna St.Pierre, via I {heart} Rhody
The Stories We Tell...... by Donna St.Pierre

Mary Magdalene by ArtFan70, via I {heart} Rhody
Mary Magdalene by ArtFan70

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dining ~ Rosalina ~ Providence

150 Aborn St.
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 413-1069

It's Providence Restaurant Weeks!

This season's culinary adventure took me to Rosalina, just around the corner from Gracie's, steps from Trinity Rep. Or as a Rhode Islander would say "Where Cuban Revolution used to be."

Rosalina by Erika Smith via I {heart} Rhody


It's a cute place, with the atmosphere of a comfortable home and the soundtrack of a Blake Edwards movie.

I sat at the bar, since I could watch CNN and fret over Boko Haram and the situation in France. Sometimes I'm a glutton for punishment.


Renee, the bartender, was there right away to offer one of their signature cocktails. I tried the Tina Louise, which is muddled limes, rye, pear nectar, ginger beer with a sugar and black pepper rim. It was pretty good. Tasty, not too sweet, and the pepper gave a nice bite to it.


The appetizer was eggplant parmesan with crostini and Narragansett Creamery ricotta. The eggplant was served in a tiny cast iron pot, thick with melted cheese and a hearty tomato sauce.


The serving required some instruction. You can either dip the crostini into the pot, or scoop eggplant out with a spoon onto the crostini. I opted for the latter. The eggplant was tender, but you still need a spoon to cut it into bite-sized pieces.  The serving was generous. In fact, two days later, I'm having my second lunch from it.

Burrata cheese ravioli/house made meatballs/pomodoro sauce

The main course was Burrata cheese ravioli with house made meatballs in Pomodoro sauce. I was taken aback by the amount of oil on the plate, but it was light and didn't give the meal the greasy, slippery feel I was expecting. The pasta was a bit bland, and I found myself wanting seasoning, but the meatballs were complex and flavorful. I detected an almost floral flavor. Again, it was enough for two meals.

Finally for dessert I chose the "straight from New York" cheesecake.


It was rich and creamy, as you'd expect cheesecake to be. The real surprise is how perfectly it went with the Tina Louise cocktail. Magical.

I've heard other reviewers say that Rosalina is giving the Federal Hill Italian food scene a run for its money. I have to agree.