Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bittersweet

It's a Sunday night, which usually is one of my favorite times, because we get to eat Italian food, drink red wine and watch the Sopranos. This week, even better, because tomorrow is a holiday, so we made spaghetti sauce with herbs we brought back from Rome, and let it simmer all day on the stove. Add meatballs, go to check the tivo to make sure it started recording the show, and lo and behold! it's not on this weekend! Only two shows left in the series, and they take a week off?? that's harsh.

But it's still sweet knowing that tomorrow's also free. It hasn't been a lazy weekend. I spent most of the day window-shopping online for appliances, reading consumer reviews, getting prices and making a wishlist. Yesterday we buckled down and met with a nice lady at home depot, talking about kitchen cabinet design. The remodel is really beginning to take shape in our minds. Today I came up with the idea of adding a few beams over the new back deck, for creating a trellis of jasmine or other sun-loving vines, that will act as shade for the kitchen.

I'm still thinking about all the beautiful mosaics we saw in Sicily. We are trying to imagine how we can use these inspiring pieces of art in the design of a bathroom. Maybe it's better to use the patterns as ideas for smaller tiled pieces that we could hang if we want to... much cheaper that way!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Images of Italy

Our recent trip to Rome & Sicily is still washing over me. The images and sensations of so many new places are rising to the surface as I go back to my regular routines. I have been sorting through all the photos I took. As we walked every day, I always had my camera in my hand, and I tried to experience each place before I recorded it. But I tried to record the place in the way that I experienced it.. the first thing that caught my eye was usually what I snapped.

This image of one of the many faces carved into walls and doorways in Sicily is one of my favorites. Look at the funny little lion ears and the big moustache.

All around Taormina, where we stayed, you could see faces - on the flowerpots, the doorbells, the city walls, the store signs, the pastries, everywhere. One shopkeeper explained to us that the Moors had brought the art of ceramics with them when they invaded the island. The Arabic faces (some wearing turbins or with dark skin) of the Moors are the ones you see in the ceramic vases that line every balcony, filled with geraniums and succulents. He said that the heads might be referencing the fact that many heads were chopped off during the struggles of that era. He also said that one story goes, that the pots were used as chamberpots by the Sicilians, who didn't care for the Moorish invaders.